WorldWideScience

Sample records for reducing potential bias

  1. Estimation bias and bias correction in reduced rank autoregressions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Heino Bohn

    2017-01-01

    This paper characterizes the finite-sample bias of the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) in a reduced rank vector autoregression and suggests two simulation-based bias corrections. One is a simple bootstrap implementation that approximates the bias at the MLE. The other is an iterative root...

  2. Biased lineups: sequential presentation reduces the problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, R C; Lea, J A; Nosworthy, G J; Fulford, J A; Hector, J; LeVan, V; Seabrook, C

    1991-12-01

    Biased lineups have been shown to increase significantly false, but not correct, identification rates (Lindsay, Wallbridge, & Drennan, 1987; Lindsay & Wells, 1980; Malpass & Devine, 1981). Lindsay and Wells (1985) found that sequential lineup presentation reduced false identification rates, presumably by reducing reliance on relative judgment processes. Five staged-crime experiments were conducted to examine the effect of lineup biases and sequential presentation on eyewitness recognition accuracy. Sequential lineup presentation significantly reduced false identification rates from fair lineups as well as from lineups biased with regard to foil similarity, instructions, or witness attire, and from lineups biased in all of these ways. The results support recommendations that police present lineups sequentially.

  3. Potential negative effects of perspective-taking efforts in the context of close relationships: increased bias and reduced satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorauer, Jacquie D; Sucharyna, Tamara A

    2013-01-01

    Three experiments demonstrated that trying to appreciate a close other's unique point of view (imagine-other perspective taking) increases the extent to which individuals overestimate their own transparency to the close other, that is, how many of their values, preferences, traits, and feelings are readily apparent to him or her. Trying to be objective and pay careful attention to cues from a close other, which inhibits perspective taking, instead had the opposite effect. Mediation analyses suggested that increased focus on the self as an object of evaluation contributed to the positive effect of imagine-other perspective taking on perceived transparency, and decreased focus on the self as an object of evaluation contributed to the negative effect of trying to be objective on these judgments. These effects on perceived transparency had important implications for relationship well-being: Enhanced perceived transparency of negative feelings prompted by imagine-other perspective taking during a back-and-forth exchange with a romantic partner led to systematic discrepancies between individuals' own and their partner's experience of the exchange and reduced relationship satisfaction; trying to be objective instead reduced perceived transparency and thereby increased satisfaction. Notably, initial closeness with another person enhanced rather than tempered the egocentric effects of perspective taking. Taken together, these results suggest that positive motivations to nurture a close relationship and be sensitive to a loved one might sometimes be better channeled toward paying closer attention to his or her behavior than toward perspective taking.

  4. Reducing status quo bias in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Ole; Ladenburg, Jacob

    In stated preference literature, the tendency to choose the alternative representing the status quo situation seems to exceed real life status quo effects. Accordingly, status quo bias can be a problem. In Choice Experiments, status quo bias is found to be strongly correlated with protest attitudes...... toward the cost attribute. If economic values are to be elicited, this problem is difficult to remedy. In a split sample framework we test a novel ex-ante entreaty aimed specifically at the cost attribute and find that it effectively reduces status quo bias and improves the internal validity...

  5. Reducing hypothetical bias in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ladenburg, Jacob; Olsen, Søren Bøye; Nielsen, Rasmus Christian Fejer

    eliminate some of the hypothetical bias. The present paper tests an addition to Cheap Talk, an Opt-Out Reminder. The Opt-Out Reminder is an objective short script presented prior to the choice sets, prompting the respondent to choose the opt-out alternative, if he/she finds the proposed policy generated...... alternatives in a choice set too expensive. The results suggest that adding an Opt-Out Reminder to Cheap Talk can in fact reduce hypothetical bias even further and reduces some of the ineffectiveness of CT in relation to the survey bid range and experienced respondents....

  6. Estimating Production Potentials: Expert Bias in Applied Decision Making

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matthews, L.J.; Burggraf, L.K.; Reece, W.J.

    1998-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate how workers predict manufacturing production potentials given positively and negatively framed information. Findings indicate the existence of a bias toward positive information and suggest that this bias may be reduced with experience but is never the less maintained. Experts err in the same way non experts do in differentially processing negative and positive information. Additionally, both experts and non experts tend to overestimate production potentials in a positive direction. The authors propose that these biases should be addressed with further research including cross domain analyses and consideration in training, workplace design, and human performance modeling

  7. Recognizing and reducing cognitive bias in clinical and forensic neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satya-Murti, Saty; Lockhart, Joseph

    2015-10-01

    In medicine, cognitive errors form the basis of bias in clinical practice. Several types of bias are common and pervasive, and may lead to inaccurate diagnosis or treatment. Forensic and clinical neurology, even when aided by current technologies, are still dependent on cognitive interpretations, and therefore prone to bias. This article discusses 4 common biases that can lead the clinician astray. They are confirmation bias (selective gathering of and neglect of contradictory evidence); base rate bias (ignoring or misusing prevailing base rate data); hindsight bias (oversimplification of past causation); and good old days bias (the tendency for patients to misremember and exaggerate their preinjury functioning). We briefly describe strategies adopted from the field of psychology that could minimize bias. While debiasing is not easy, reducing such errors requires awareness and acknowledgment of our susceptibility to these cognitive distortions.

  8. PEST reduces bias in forced choice psychophysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M M; Forbes, S M; Creelman, C D

    1983-11-01

    Observers performed several different detection tasks using both the PEST adaptive psychophysical procedure and a fixed-level (method of constant stimuli) psychophysical procedure. In two experiments, PEST runs targeted at P (C) = 0.80 were immediately followed by fixed-level detection runs presented at the difficulty level resulting from the PEST run. The fixed-level runs yielded P (C) about 0.75. During the fixed-level runs, the probability of a correct response was greater when the preceding response was correct than when it was wrong. Observers, even highly trained ones, perform in a nonstationary manner. The sequential dependency data can be used to determine a lower bound for the observer's "true" capability when performing optimally; this lower bound is close to the PEST target, and well above the forced choice P (C). The observer's "true" capability is the measure used by most theories of detection performance. A further experiment compared psychometric functions obtained from a set of PEST runs using different targets with those obtained from blocks of fixed-level trials at different levels. PEST results were more stable across observers, performance at all but the highest signal levels was better with PEST, and the PEST psychometric functions had shallower slopes. We hypothesize that PEST permits the observer to keep track of what he is trying to detect, whereas in the fixed-level method performance is disrupted by memory failure. Some recently suggested "more virulent" versions of PEST may be subject to biases similar to those of the fixed-level procedures.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. Postactivation potentiation biases maximal isometric strength assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Leonardo Coelho Rabello; Oliveira, Felipe Bruno Dias; Oliveira, Thiago Pires; Assumpção, Claudio de Oliveira; Greco, Camila Coelho; Cardozo, Adalgiso Croscato; Denadai, Benedito Sérgio

    2014-01-01

    Postactivation potentiation (PAP) is known to enhance force production. Maximal isometric strength assessment protocols usually consist of two or more maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVCs). The objective of this study was to determine if PAP would influence isometric strength assessment. Healthy male volunteers (n = 23) performed two five-second MVCs separated by a 180-seconds interval. Changes in isometric peak torque (IPT), time to achieve it (tPTI), contractile impulse (CI), root mean square of the electromyographic signal during PTI (RMS), and rate of torque development (RTD), in different intervals, were measured. Significant increases in IPT (240.6 ± 55.7 N·m versus 248.9 ± 55.1 N·m), RTD (746 ± 152 N·m·s(-1) versus 727 ± 158 N·m·s(-1)), and RMS (59.1 ± 12.2% RMSMAX  versus 54.8 ± 9.4% RMSMAX) were found on the second MVC. tPTI decreased significantly on the second MVC (2373 ± 1200 ms versus 2784 ± 1226 ms). We conclude that a first MVC leads to PAP that elicits significant enhancements in strength-related variables of a second MVC performed 180 seconds later. If disconsidered, this phenomenon might bias maximal isometric strength assessment, overestimating some of these variables.

  10. Decoupling Action Potential Bias from Cortical Local Field Potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen V. David

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiologists have recently become interested in studying neuronal population activity through local field potential (LFP recordings during experiments that also record the activity of single neurons. This experimental approach differs from early LFP studies because it uses high impendence electrodes that can also isolate single neuron activity. A possible complication for such studies is that the synaptic potentials and action potentials of the small subset of isolated neurons may contribute disproportionately to the LFP signal, biasing activity in the larger nearby neuronal population to appear synchronous and cotuned with these neurons. To address this problem, we used linear filtering techniques to remove features correlated with spike events from LFP recordings. This filtering procedure can be applied for well-isolated single units or multiunit activity. We illustrate the effects of this correction in simulation and on spike data recorded from primary auditory cortex. We find that local spiking activity can explain a significant portion of LFP power at most recording sites and demonstrate that removing the spike-correlated component can affect measurements of auditory tuning of the LFP.

  11. Napping Reduces Emotional Attention Bias during Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremone, Amanda; Kurdziel, Laura B. F.; Fraticelli-Torres, Ada; McDermott, Jennifer M.; Spencer, Rebecca M. C.

    2017-01-01

    Sleep loss alters processing of emotional stimuli in preschool-aged children. However, the mechanism by which sleep modifies emotional processing in early childhood is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that a nap, compared to an equivalent time spent awake, reduces biases in attention allocation to affective information. Children (n = 43;…

  12. Reducing ongoing product design decision-making bias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antioco, M.; Moenaert, R.K.; Lindgreen, A.

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this exploratory study is to add to our understanding of ongoing product design decision-making to reduce eventual decision-making bias. Six research questions are formulated with the aim to establish if and how functional membership and informal patterns of communication within an

  13. Assessing atmospheric bias correction for dynamical consistency using potential vorticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocheta, Eytan; Sharma, Ashish; Evans, Jason P

    2014-01-01

    Correcting biases in atmospheric variables prior to impact studies or dynamical downscaling can lead to new biases as dynamical consistency between the ‘corrected’ fields is not maintained. Use of these bias corrected fields for subsequent impact studies and dynamical downscaling provides input conditions that do not appropriately represent intervariable relationships in atmospheric fields. Here we investigate the consequences of the lack of dynamical consistency in bias correction using a measure of model consistency—the potential vorticity (PV). This paper presents an assessment of the biases present in PV using two alternative correction techniques—an approach where bias correction is performed individually on each atmospheric variable, thereby ignoring the physical relationships that exists between the multiple variables that are corrected, and a second approach where bias correction is performed directly on the PV field, thereby keeping the system dynamically coherent throughout the correction process. In this paper we show that bias correcting variables independently results in increased errors above the tropopause in the mean and standard deviation of the PV field, which are improved when using the alternative proposed. Furthermore, patterns of spatial variability are improved over nearly all vertical levels when applying the alternative approach. Results point to a need for a dynamically consistent atmospheric bias correction technique which results in fields that can be used as dynamically consistent lateral boundaries in follow-up downscaling applications. (letter)

  14. Reducing neutron multiplicity counting bias for plutonium warhead authentication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goettsche, Malte

    2015-06-05

    bias. As the exact configuration of warheads includes sensitive information which must be protected, it will not be fully declared and the coefficients must be estimated. Assuming that the plutonium component of warheads can be approximated by hollow spheres, it is shown that the coefficients could be approximated if the thickness of the hollow sphere were known. Other parameters such as the radius have a very small influence: Only knowing the thickness introduces a negligible bias of 1% for the fissile mass. If the thickness remained unknown, a less accurate estimate of the correction coefficients could also be estimated from the multiplication which is directly measured by neutron multiplicity counting. Bias from this approach is smaller than using the analysis based on the false assumption. In order to study the influence of further materials in the warhead and the container the warhead would be placed in, correction coefficients were also studied for plutonium spheres surrounded by polyethylene. The result of the polyethylene is that the correction coefficients are somewhat smaller. Applying the correction coefficients that do not take further materials into account to these cases, the fissile masses are overestimated by around 7% in exemplary simulations. Bias would be further reduced if information on further materials could be included in the correction coefficients' assessment. By having developed a method to reduce bias, the reliability of neutron multiplicity counting measurements has been increased. The obtained level of reliability may suffice in the context of additional verification measures as these also add to the overall confidence.

  15. Age-ordered shirt numbering reduces the selection bias associated with the relative age effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, David L; van Ginneken, Pleun J M A

    2017-04-01

    When placed into age groups for junior sporting competition, the relative differences in age between children leads to a bias in who is evaluated as being talented. While the impact of this relative age effect (RAE) is clear, until now there has been no evidence to show how to reduce it. The aim of this study was to determine whether the selection bias associated with the RAE could be reduced. Talent scouts from an elite football club watched junior games and ranked players on the basis of their potential. Scouts were allocated to one of three groups provided with contrasting information about the age of the players: (1) no age information, (2) players' birthdates or (3) knowledge that the numbers on the playing shirts corresponded to the relative age of the players. Results revealed a significant selection bias for the scouts in the no-age information group, and that bias remained when scouts knew the players' dates-of-birth. Strikingly though, the selection bias was eliminated when scouts watched the games knowing the shirt numbers corresponded to the relative ages of the players. The selection bias associated with the RAE can be reduced if information about age is presented appropriately.

  16. A Single Session of Attentional Bias Modification Reduces Alcohol Craving and Implicit Measures of Alcohol Bias in Young Adult Drinkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luehring-Jones, Peter; Louis, Courtney; Dennis-Tiwary, Tracy A; Erblich, Joel

    2017-12-01

    Attentional bias modification (ABM) techniques for reducing problematic alcohol consumption hold promise as highly accessible and cost-effective treatment approaches. A growing body of literature has examined ABM as a potentially efficacious intervention for reducing drinking and drinking-related cognitions in alcohol-dependent individuals as well as those at-risk of developing problem drinking habits. This study tested the effectiveness of a single session of visual probe-based ABM training in a cohort of 60 non-treatment-seeking young adult drinkers, with a focus on examining mechanisms underlying training efficacy. Participants were randomly assigned to a single session of active ABM training or a sham training condition in a laboratory setting. Measures of implicit drinking-related cognitions (alcohol Stroop and an Implicit Association Task) and attentional bias (AB; alcohol visual probe) were administered, and subjective alcohol craving was reported in response to in vivo alcohol cues. Results showed that active ABM training, relative to sham, resulted in significant differences in measures of implicit alcohol-related cognition, alcohol-related AB, and self-reports of alcohol craving. Mediation analysis showed that reductions in craving were fully mediated by ABM-related reductions in alcohol-Stroop interference scores, suggesting a previously undocumented relationship between the 2 measures. Results document the efficacy of brief ABM to reduce both implicit and explicit processes related to drinking, and highlight the potential intervention-relevance of alcohol-related implicit cognitions in social drinkers. Copyright © 2017 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  17. Visual search attentional bias modification reduced social phobia in adolescents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Voogd, E.L.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.; Salemink, E.

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives: An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of

  18. Stabilization of electron beam spot size by self bias potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwan, T.J.T.; Moir, D.C.; Snell, C.M.; Kang, M.

    1998-01-01

    In high resolution flash x-ray imaging technology the electric field developed between the electron beam and the converter target is large enough to draw ions from the target surface. The ions provide fractional neutralization and cause the electron beam to focus radially inward, and the focal point subsequently moves upstream due to the expansion of the ion column. A self-bias target concept is proposed and verified via computer simulation that the electron charge deposited on the target can generate an electric potential, which can effectively limit the ion motion and thereby stabilize the growth of the spot size. A target chamber using the self bias target concept was designed and tested in the Integrated Test Stand (ITS). The authors have obtained good agreement between computer simulation and experiment

  19. Visual search attentional bias modification reduced social phobia in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E

    2014-06-01

    An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reducing bias in the analysis of counting statistics data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammersley, A.P.; Antoniadis, A.

    1997-01-01

    In the analysis of counting statistics data it is common practice to estimate the variance of the measured data points as the data points themselves. This practice introduces a bias into the results of further analysis which may be significant, and under certain circumstances lead to false conclusions. In the case of normal weighted least squares fitting this bias is quantified and methods to avoid it are proposed. (orig.)

  1. Reducing approach bias to achieve smoking cessation: A pilot randomized placebo-controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baird, S.O.; Rinck, M.; Rosenfield, D.; Davis, M.L.; Fisher, J.R.; Becker, E.S.; Powers, M.B.; Smits, J.A.J.

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to provide a preliminary test of the efficacy of a brief cognitive bias modification program for reducing approach bias in adult smokers motivated to quit. Participants were 52 smokers who were randomly assigned to four sessions of approach bias modification training (AAT) or sham

  2. Are Managed Futures Indices Telling Truth? Biases in CTA Databases and Proposals of Potential Enhancements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Zaremba

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Managed futures are an alternative asset class which has recently became considerably popular among investment industry. However, due to its characteristics, access to managed futures historical performance statistics is relatively confined. All available information originates from commercial and academic databases, reporting to which is entirely voluntary. This situation results in series of biases which distort the managed futures performance in the eyes of investors. The paper consists of two parts. First, the author reviews and describes various biases that influence the reliability of the managed futures indices and databases. The second section encompasses author’s proposals of potential enhancements, which aim to reduce the impact of the biases in order to derive a benchmark that could better reflect characteristics of managed futures investment from the point of view of a potential investor.

  3. Sustained attention training reduces spatial bias in Parkinson's disease: a pilot case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention, whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD, 2 RPD) performed a visual search task before and after 1 month of computer training. Before training, all participants showed a significant spatial bias and after training, all participants' spatial bias was eliminated.

  4. Junction Potentials Bias Measurements of Ion Exchange Membrane Permselectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingsbury, Ryan S; Flotron, Sophie; Zhu, Shan; Call, Douglas F; Coronell, Orlando

    2018-04-17

    Ion exchange membranes (IEMs) are versatile materials relevant to a variety of water and waste treatment, energy production, and industrial separation processes. The defining characteristic of IEMs is their ability to selectively allow positive or negative ions to permeate, which is referred to as permselectivity. Measured values of permselectivity that equal unity (corresponding to a perfectly selective membrane) or exceed unity (theoretically impossible) have been reported for cation exchange membranes (CEMs). Such nonphysical results call into question our ability to correctly measure this crucial membrane property. Because weighing errors, temperature, and measurement uncertainty have been shown to not explain these anomalous permselectivity results, we hypothesized that a possible explanation are junction potentials that occur at the tips of reference electrodes. In this work, we tested this hypothesis by comparing permselectivity values obtained from bare Ag/AgCl wire electrodes (which have no junction) to values obtained from single-junction reference electrodes containing two different electrolytes. We show that permselectivity values obtained using reference electrodes with junctions were greater than unity for CEMs. In contrast, electrodes without junctions always produced permselectivities lower than unity. Electrodes with junctions also resulted in artificially low permselectivity values for AEMs compared to electrodes without junctions. Thus, we conclude that junctions in reference electrodes introduce two biases into results in the IEM literature: (i) permselectivity values larger than unity for CEMs and (ii) lower permselectivity values for AEMs compared to those for CEMs. These biases can be avoided by using electrodes without a junction.

  5. Multicultural experiences reduce intergroup bias through epistemic unfreezing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadmor, Carmit T; Hong, Ying-Yi; Chao, Melody M; Wiruchnipawan, Fon; Wang, Wei

    2012-11-01

    In 6 studies, we systematically explored for the 1st time the ameliorative effects of multicultural experience on intergroup bias and investigated the role of epistemic unfreezing as the motivational mechanism underlying these effects. We found that multicultural exposure led to a reduction in stereotype endorsement (Studies 1, 4, and 6), symbolic racism (Study 5), and discriminatory hiring decisions (Study 2). We further demonstrated that experimental exposure to multicultural experience caused a reduction in need for cognitive closure (NFCC; Studies 3 and 6) and that the ameliorative effects of multiculturalism experience on intergroup bias were fully mediated by lower levels of NFCC (Studies 4, 5, and 6). The beneficial effects of multiculturalism were found regardless of the targeted stereotype group (African Americans, Ethiopians, homosexuals, and native Israelis), regardless of whether multicultural experience was measured or manipulated, and regardless of the population sampled (Caucasian Americans or native Israelis), demonstrating the robustness of this phenomenon. Overall, these results demonstrate that multicultural experience plays a critical role in increasing social tolerance through its relationship to motivated cognitive processes.

  6. Sustained Attention Training Reduces Spatial Bias in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Case Series

    OpenAIRE

    DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD/2 RPD) performed a v...

  7. A "Scientific Diversity" Intervention to Reduce Gender Bias in a Sample of Life Scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss-Racusin, Corinne A.; van der Toorn, Jojanneke; Dovidio, John F.; Brescoll, Victoria L.; Graham, Mark J.; Handelsman, Jo

    2016-01-01

    Mounting experimental evidence suggests that subtle gender biases favoring men contribute to the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), including many subfields of the life sciences. However, there are relatively few evaluations of diversity interventions designed to reduce gender biases within…

  8. Perceptual Individuation Training (but Not Mere Exposure) Reduces Implicit Racial Bias in Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Miao K.; Quinn, Paul C.; Heyman, Gail D.; Pascalis, Olivier; Fu, Genyue; Lee, Kang

    2017-01-01

    Two studies with preschool-age children examined the effectiveness of perceptual individuation training at reducing racial bias (Study 1, N = 32; Study 2, N = 56). We found that training preschool-age children to individuate other-race faces resulted in a reduction in implicit racial bias while mere exposure to other-race faces produced no such…

  9. Technical note: Alternatives to reduce adipose tissue sampling bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, G D; Wang, Y; Fadel, J G

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms by which nutritional and pharmaceutical factors can manipulate adipose tissue growth and development in production animals has direct and indirect effects in the profitability of an enterprise. Adipocyte cellularity (number and size) is a key biological response that is commonly measured in animal science research. The variability and sampling of adipocyte cellularity within a muscle has been addressed in previous studies, but no attempt to critically investigate these issues has been proposed in the literature. The present study evaluated 2 sampling techniques (random and systematic) in an attempt to minimize sampling bias and to determine the minimum number of samples from 1 to 15 needed to represent the overall adipose tissue in the muscle. Both sampling procedures were applied on adipose tissue samples dissected from 30 longissimus muscles from cattle finished either on grass or grain. Briefly, adipose tissue samples were fixed with osmium tetroxide, and size and number of adipocytes were determined by a Coulter Counter. These results were then fit in a finite mixture model to obtain distribution parameters of each sample. To evaluate the benefits of increasing number of samples and the advantage of the new sampling technique, the concept of acceptance ratio was used; simply stated, the higher the acceptance ratio, the better the representation of the overall population. As expected, a great improvement on the estimation of the overall adipocyte cellularity parameters was observed using both sampling techniques when sample size number increased from 1 to 15 samples, considering both techniques' acceptance ratio increased from approximately 3 to 25%. When comparing sampling techniques, the systematic procedure slightly improved parameters estimation. The results suggest that more detailed research using other sampling techniques may provide better estimates for minimum sampling.

  10. Exponential dependence of potential barrier height on biased voltages of inorganic/organic static induction transistor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yong; Yang Jianhong; Cai Xueyuan; Wang Zaixing

    2010-01-01

    The exponential dependence of the potential barrier height φ c on the biased voltages of the inorganic/organic static induction transistor (SIT/OSIT) through a normalized approach in the low-current regime is presented. It shows a more accurate description than the linear expression of the potential barrier height. Through the verification of the numerical calculated and experimental results, the exponential dependence of φ c on the applied biases can be used to derive the I-V characteristics. For both SIT and OSIT, the calculated results, using the presented relationship, are agreeable with the experimental results. Compared to the previous linear relationship, the exponential description of φ c can contribute effectively to reduce the error between the theoretical and experimental results of the I-V characteristics. (semiconductor devices)

  11. Reducing Bias: Research Notes on Racism in America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbutt, Richard

    This paper highlights recent developments in research on racism in the United States, and notes several conceptual issues of significance for the long-range planning work of those interested in reducing racism in America and particularly in Idaho. Growth in the number of minority researchers has resulted in increased attention toward racism as it…

  12. Reducing Prejudice With Labels: Shared Group Memberships Attenuate Implicit Bias and Expand Implicit Group Boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scroggins, W Anthony; Mackie, Diane M; Allen, Thomas J; Sherman, Jeffrey W

    2016-02-01

    In three experiments, we used a novel Implicit Association Test procedure to investigate the impact of group memberships on implicit bias and implicit group boundaries. Results from Experiment 1 indicated that categorizing targets using a shared category reduced implicit bias by increasing the extent to which positivity was associated with Blacks. Results from Experiment 2 revealed that shared group membership, but not mere positivity of a group membership, was necessary to reduce implicit bias. Quadruple process model analyses indicated that changes in implicit bias caused by shared group membership are due to changes in the way that targets are evaluated, not to changes in the regulation of evaluative bias. Results from Experiment 3 showed that categorizing Black targets into shared group memberships expanded implicit group boundaries. © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

  13. Bias-reduced estimation of long memory stochastic volatility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Per; Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard

    We propose to use a variant of the local polynomial Whittle estimator to estimate the memory parameter in volatility for long memory stochastic volatility models with potential nonstation- arity in the volatility process. We show that the estimator is asymptotically normal and capable of obtaining...

  14. Both physical exercise and progressive muscle relaxation reduce the facing-the-viewer bias in biological motion perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Heenan

    Full Text Available Biological motion stimuli, such as orthographically projected stick figure walkers, are ambiguous about their orientation in depth. The projection of a stick figure walker oriented towards the viewer, therefore, is the same as its projection when oriented away. Even though such figures are depth-ambiguous, however, observers tend to interpret them as facing towards them more often than facing away. Some have speculated that this facing-the-viewer bias may exist for sociobiological reasons: Mistaking another human as retreating when they are actually approaching could have more severe consequences than the opposite error. Implied in this hypothesis is that the facing-towards percept of biological motion stimuli is potentially more threatening. Measures of anxiety and the facing-the-viewer bias should therefore be related, as researchers have consistently found that anxious individuals display an attentional bias towards more threatening stimuli. The goal of this study was to assess whether physical exercise (Experiment 1 or an anxiety induction/reduction task (Experiment 2 would significantly affect facing-the-viewer biases. We hypothesized that both physical exercise and progressive muscle relaxation would decrease facing-the-viewer biases for full stick figure walkers, but not for bottom- or top-half-only human stimuli, as these carry less sociobiological relevance. On the other hand, we expected that the anxiety induction task (Experiment 2 would increase facing-the-viewer biases for full stick figure walkers only. In both experiments, participants completed anxiety questionnaires, exercised on a treadmill (Experiment 1 or performed an anxiety induction/reduction task (Experiment 2, and then immediately completed a perceptual task that allowed us to assess their facing-the-viewer bias. As hypothesized, we found that physical exercise and progressive muscle relaxation reduced facing-the-viewer biases for full stick figure walkers only. Our

  15. A "Scientific Diversity" Intervention to Reduce Gender Bias in a Sample of Life Scientists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss-Racusin, Corinne A; van der Toorn, Jojanneke; Dovidio, John F; Brescoll, Victoria L; Graham, Mark J; Handelsman, Jo

    2016-01-01

    Mounting experimental evidence suggests that subtle gender biases favoring men contribute to the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), including many subfields of the life sciences. However, there are relatively few evaluations of diversity interventions designed to reduce gender biases within the STEM community. Because gender biases distort the meritocratic evaluation and advancement of students, interventions targeting instructors' biases are particularly needed. We evaluated one such intervention, a workshop called "Scientific Diversity" that was consistent with an established framework guiding the development of diversity interventions designed to reduce biases and was administered to a sample of life science instructors (N = 126) at several sessions of the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Education held nationwide. Evidence emerged indicating the efficacy of the "Scientific Diversity" workshop, such that participants were more aware of gender bias, expressed less gender bias, and were more willing to engage in actions to reduce gender bias 2 weeks after participating in the intervention compared with 2 weeks before the intervention. Implications for diversity interventions aimed at reducing gender bias and broadening the participation of women in the life sciences are discussed. © 2016 C. A. Moss-Racusin 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).

  16. Bias-corrected estimation in potentially mildly explosive autoregressive models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haufmann, Hendrik; Kruse, Robinson

    This paper provides a comprehensive Monte Carlo comparison of different finite-sample bias-correction methods for autoregressive processes. We consider classic situations where the process is either stationary or exhibits a unit root. Importantly, the case of mildly explosive behaviour is studied...... that the indirect inference approach oers a valuable alternative to other existing techniques. Its performance (measured by its bias and root mean squared error) is balanced and highly competitive across many different settings. A clear advantage is its applicability for mildly explosive processes. In an empirical...

  17. Potential Reporting Bias in Neuroimaging Studies of Sex Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Sean P; Naudet, Florian; Laude, Jennifer; Radua, Joaquim; Fusar-Poli, Paolo; Chu, Isabella; Stefanick, Marcia L; Ioannidis, John P A

    2018-04-17

    Numerous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have reported sex differences. To empirically evaluate for evidence of excessive significance bias in this literature, we searched for published fMRI studies of human brain to evaluate sex differences, regardless of the topic investigated, in Medline and Scopus over 10 years. We analyzed the prevalence of conclusions in favor of sex differences and the correlation between study sample sizes and number of significant foci identified. In the absence of bias, larger studies (better powered) should identify a larger number of significant foci. Across 179 papers, median sample size was n = 32 (interquartile range 23-47.5). A median of 5 foci related to sex differences were reported (interquartile range, 2-9.5). Few articles (n = 2) had titles focused on no differences or on similarities (n = 3) between sexes. Overall, 158 papers (88%) reached "positive" conclusions in their abstract and presented some foci related to sex differences. There was no statistically significant relationship between sample size and the number of foci (-0.048% increase for every 10 participants, p = 0.63). The extremely high prevalence of "positive" results and the lack of the expected relationship between sample size and the number of discovered foci reflect probable reporting bias and excess significance bias in this literature.

  18. Reducing Bias in Citizens’ Perception of Crime Rates: Evidence From a Field Experiment on Burglary Prevalence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Martin Vinæs; Olsen, Asmus Leth

    2018-01-01

    Citizens are on average too pessimistic when assessing the trajectory of current crime trends. In this study, we examine whether we can correct this perceptual bias with respect to burglaries. Using a field experiment coupled with a large panel survey (n=4,895), we explore whether a public...... information campaign can reduce misperceptions about the prevalence of burglaries. Embedding the correct information about burglary rates in a direct mail campaign, we find that it is possible to substantially reduce citizens’ misperceptions. The effects are not short lived – they are detectable several weeks...... after the mailer was sent, but they are temporary. Eventually the perceptual bias re-emerges. Our results suggest that if citizens were continually supplied with correct information about crime rates they would be less pessimistic. Reducing bias in citizens’ perception of crime rates might therefore...

  19. Reducing Implicit Gender Leadership Bias in Academic Medicine With an Educational Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, Sabine; Fassiotto, Magali; Grewal, Daisy; Ku, Manwai Candy; Sriram, Natarajan; Nosek, Brian A; Valantine, Hannah

    2016-08-01

    One challenge academic health centers face is to advance female faculty to leadership positions and retain them there in numbers equal to men, especially given the equal representation of women and men among graduates of medicine and biological sciences over the last 10 years. The purpose of this study is to investigate the explicit and implicit biases favoring men as leaders, among both men and women faculty, and to assess whether these attitudes change following an educational intervention. The authors used a standardized, 20-minute educational intervention to educate faculty about implicit biases and strategies for overcoming them. Next, they assessed the effect of this intervention. From March 2012 through April 2013, 281 faculty members participated in the intervention across 13 of 18 clinical departments. The study assessed faculty members' perceptions of bias as well as their explicit and implicit attitudes toward gender and leadership. Results indicated that the intervention significantly changed all faculty members' perceptions of bias (P leadership of all participants regardless of age or gender (P = .008). These results suggest that providing education on bias and strategies for reducing it can serve as an important step toward reducing gender bias in academic medicine and, ultimately, promoting institutional change, specifically the promoting of women to higher ranks.

  20. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfabigan, Daniela M; Lamplmayr-Kragl, Elisabeth; Pintzinger, Nina M; Sailer, Uta; Tran, Ulrich S

    2014-01-01

    Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women) performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Using the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  1. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela M. Pfabigan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Under the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  2. Increasing electric vehicle policy efficiency and effectiveness by reducing mainstream market bias

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, Erin H.; Skerlos, Steven J.; Winebrake, James J.

    2014-01-01

    Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) provide an opportunity for reducing energy use and emissions in the transportation sector. Currently, a number of federal policies are in place to incentivize deployment of PEVs to mainstream consumers with demographics and vehicle attribute preferences most common to today's new vehicle purchasers. This article argues that policies intending to give PEVs a foothold in the market should not focus on mainstream consumers and should instead focus on niche markets—specifically carsharing and postal fleets—and early adopters including green consumers. Two arguments can be made in support of eliminating the mainstream market bias of current policies toward a policy of cultivating niche markets. The first is efficiency: so far PEV policies featuring a mainstream market bias have proven to be inefficient and costly. The second is effectiveness: it is becoming increasingly evident that PEV policies would be more effective in achieving potential societal benefits if they focused on early adopters and niche markets using such approaches as strategic niche management, accessible loans and financing, and appropriately targeted incentives. PEV policies focused on early adopters and niche markets would create complementary system effects that will lead to increased PEV market penetration and realization of intended societal benefits. - Highlights: • We argue that U.S. electric vehicle policies are inefficient and ineffective. • We introduce “mainstream consumer bias” as an explanation for policy deficiencies. • We propose an alternative policy agenda to address some of these policy problems. • Proposed policy options include strategic niche management, targeted R and D and incentives, and loans

  3. Obesity Education as an Intervention to Reduce Weight Bias in Fashion Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christel, Deborah A.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to explore the effectiveness of an educational intervention aimed at reducing weight bias. Senior fashion students (n = 11) enrolled in a 16 week special topics course, "plus-size swimwear design," completed assignments of selected obesity related educational readings and guided critical reflection. Student…

  4. Examining Event-Related Potential (ERP) correlates of decision bias in recognition memory judgments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Holger; Windmann, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Memory judgments can be based on accurate memory information or on decision bias (the tendency to report that an event is part of episodic memory when one is in fact unsure). Event related potentials (ERP) correlates are important research tools for elucidating the dynamics underlying memory judgments but so far have been established only for investigations of accurate old/new discrimination. To identify the ERP correlates of bias, and observe how these interact with ERP correlates of memory, we conducted three experiments that manipulated decision bias within participants via instructions during recognition memory tests while their ERPs were recorded. In Experiment 1, the bias manipulation was performed between blocks of trials (automatized bias) and compared to trial-by-trial shifts of bias in accord with an external cue (flexibly controlled bias). In Experiment 2, the bias manipulation was performed at two different levels of accurate old/new discrimination as the memory strength of old (studied) items was varied. In Experiment 3, the bias manipulation was added to another, bottom-up driven manipulation of bias induced via familiarity. In the first two Experiments, and in the low familiarity condition of Experiment 3, we found evidence of an early frontocentral ERP component at 320 ms poststimulus (the FN320) that was sensitive to the manipulation of bias via instruction, with more negative amplitudes indexing more liberal bias. By contrast, later during the trial (500-700 ms poststimulus), bias effects interacted with old/new effects across all three experiments. Results suggest that the decision criterion is typically activated early during recognition memory trials, and is integrated with retrieved memory signals and task-specific processing demands later during the trial. More generally, the findings demonstrate how ERPs can help to specify the dynamics of recognition memory processes under top-down and bottom-up controlled retrieval conditions.

  5. Examining Event-Related Potential (ERP) Correlates of Decision Bias in Recognition Memory Judgments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Holger; Windmann, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Memory judgments can be based on accurate memory information or on decision bias (the tendency to report that an event is part of episodic memory when one is in fact unsure). Event related potentials (ERP) correlates are important research tools for elucidating the dynamics underlying memory judgments but so far have been established only for investigations of accurate old/new discrimination. To identify the ERP correlates of bias, and observe how these interact with ERP correlates of memory, we conducted three experiments that manipulated decision bias within participants via instructions during recognition memory tests while their ERPs were recorded. In Experiment 1, the bias manipulation was performed between blocks of trials (automatized bias) and compared to trial-by-trial shifts of bias in accord with an external cue (flexibly controlled bias). In Experiment 2, the bias manipulation was performed at two different levels of accurate old/new discrimination as the memory strength of old (studied) items was varied. In Experiment 3, the bias manipulation was added to another, bottom-up driven manipulation of bias induced via familiarity. In the first two Experiments, and in the low familiarity condition of Experiment 3, we found evidence of an early frontocentral ERP component at 320 ms poststimulus (the FN320) that was sensitive to the manipulation of bias via instruction, with more negative amplitudes indexing more liberal bias. By contrast, later during the trial (500–700 ms poststimulus), bias effects interacted with old/new effects across all three experiments. Results suggest that the decision criterion is typically activated early during recognition memory trials, and is integrated with retrieved memory signals and task-specific processing demands later during the trial. More generally, the findings demonstrate how ERPs can help to specify the dynamics of recognition memory processes under top-down and bottom-up controlled retrieval conditions. PMID

  6. Examining Event-Related Potential (ERP correlates of decision bias in recognition memory judgments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Hill

    Full Text Available Memory judgments can be based on accurate memory information or on decision bias (the tendency to report that an event is part of episodic memory when one is in fact unsure. Event related potentials (ERP correlates are important research tools for elucidating the dynamics underlying memory judgments but so far have been established only for investigations of accurate old/new discrimination. To identify the ERP correlates of bias, and observe how these interact with ERP correlates of memory, we conducted three experiments that manipulated decision bias within participants via instructions during recognition memory tests while their ERPs were recorded. In Experiment 1, the bias manipulation was performed between blocks of trials (automatized bias and compared to trial-by-trial shifts of bias in accord with an external cue (flexibly controlled bias. In Experiment 2, the bias manipulation was performed at two different levels of accurate old/new discrimination as the memory strength of old (studied items was varied. In Experiment 3, the bias manipulation was added to another, bottom-up driven manipulation of bias induced via familiarity. In the first two Experiments, and in the low familiarity condition of Experiment 3, we found evidence of an early frontocentral ERP component at 320 ms poststimulus (the FN320 that was sensitive to the manipulation of bias via instruction, with more negative amplitudes indexing more liberal bias. By contrast, later during the trial (500-700 ms poststimulus, bias effects interacted with old/new effects across all three experiments. Results suggest that the decision criterion is typically activated early during recognition memory trials, and is integrated with retrieved memory signals and task-specific processing demands later during the trial. More generally, the findings demonstrate how ERPs can help to specify the dynamics of recognition memory processes under top-down and bottom-up controlled retrieval conditions.

  7. [Potential selection bias in telephone surveys: landline and mobile phones].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Continente, Xavier; Pérez-Giménez, Anna; López, María José; Nebot, Manel

    2014-01-01

    The increasing use of mobile phones in the last decade has decreased landline telephone coverage in Spanish households. This study aimed to analyze sociodemographic characteristics and health indicators by type of telephone service (mobile phone vs. landline or landline and mobile phone). Two telephone surveys were conducted in Spanish samples (February 2010 and February 2011). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to analyze differences in the main sociodemographic characteristics and health indicators according to the type of telephone service available in Spanish households. We obtained 2027 valid responses (1627 landline telephones and 400 mobile phones). Persons contacted through a mobile phone were more likely to be a foreigner, to belong to the manual social class, to have a lower educational level, and to be a smoker than those contacted through a landline telephone. The profile of the population that has only a mobile phone differs from that with a landline telephone. Therefore, telephone surveys that exclude mobile phones could show a selection bias. Copyright © 2013 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  8. A forecasting method to reduce estimation bias in self-reported cell phone data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redmayne, Mary; Smith, Euan; Abramson, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    There is ongoing concern that extended exposure to cell phone electromagnetic radiation could be related to an increased risk of negative health effects. Epidemiological studies seek to assess this risk, usually relying on participants' recalled use, but recall is notoriously poor. Our objectives were primarily to produce a forecast method, for use by such studies, to reduce estimation bias in the recalled extent of cell phone use. The method we developed, using Bayes' rule, is modelled with data we collected in a cross-sectional cluster survey exploring cell phone user-habits among New Zealand adolescents. Participants recalled their recent extent of SMS-texting and retrieved from their provider the current month's actual use-to-date. Actual use was taken as the gold standard in the analyses. Estimation bias arose from a large random error, as observed in all cell phone validation studies. We demonstrate that this seriously exaggerates upper-end forecasts of use when used in regression models. This means that calculations using a regression model will lead to underestimation of heavy-users' relative risk. Our Bayesian method substantially reduces estimation bias. In cases where other studies' data conforms to our method's requirements, application should reduce estimation bias, leading to a more accurate relative risk calculation for mid-to-heavy users.

  9. A Classroom Demonstration of Potential Biases in the Subjective Interpretation of Projective Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiederman, Michael W.

    1999-01-01

    Suggests that instructors teaching psychological assessment can use a demonstration to illustrate potential biases when subjectively interpreting response to projective stimuli. Outlines the classroom procedure, notes styles of learning involved, and presents a summary of student evaluations. (DSK)

  10. Using Perturbed Physics Ensembles and Machine Learning to Select Parameters for Reducing Regional Biases in a Global Climate Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S.; Rupp, D. E.; Hawkins, L.; Mote, P.; McNeall, D. J.; Sarah, S.; Wallom, D.; Betts, R. A.

    2017-12-01

    This study investigates the potential to reduce known summer hot/dry biases over Pacific Northwest in the UK Met Office's atmospheric model (HadAM3P) by simultaneously varying multiple model parameters. The bias-reduction process is done through a series of steps: 1) Generation of perturbed physics ensemble (PPE) through the volunteer computing network weather@home; 2) Using machine learning to train "cheap" and fast statistical emulators of climate model, to rule out regions of parameter spaces that lead to model variants that do not satisfy observational constraints, where the observational constraints (e.g., top-of-atmosphere energy flux, magnitude of annual temperature cycle, summer/winter temperature and precipitation) are introduced sequentially; 3) Designing a new PPE by "pre-filtering" using the emulator results. Steps 1) through 3) are repeated until results are considered to be satisfactory (3 times in our case). The process includes a sensitivity analysis to find dominant parameters for various model output metrics, which reduces the number of parameters to be perturbed with each new PPE. Relative to observational uncertainty, we achieve regional improvements without introducing large biases in other parts of the globe. Our results illustrate the potential of using machine learning to train cheap and fast statistical emulators of climate model, in combination with PPEs in systematic model improvement.

  11. University students' psychopathology: correlates and the examiner's potential bias effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Espirito Santo

    2015-02-01

    Aims: the main objective was to verify if there is a difference on psychopathological symptoms between two groups questioned by two different examiners, controlling for the potential role of social desirability, and other potential covariates. Additionally, we want to assess the level of psychopathology and its socio-demographic correlates.Methods: 185 Coimbra's university students completed the Brief Symptom Inventory/BSI and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. In one group the examiner was of the same age and academic status as the students, while in the other group the examiner was older and a teacher. We studied the psychopathological correlates with Pearson, point-biserial correlations, and qui-square analyses, and we controlled the potential role of covariates through Quade non-parametric ANCOVAs. Results: The level of distress was lower in comparison with other investigations. Women had higher level of distress and more symptoms of somatization, anxiety, phobic anxiety, obsessive-compulsion, and depression. The students that live a higher distance from home had more anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The group assessed by the younger examiner scored higher in distress and in some BSI factors, and had lower levels on social desirability. Conclusions: Sex and distance from home seem important factors for university students' mental health. However, the examiner does have an influence in the evaluation, probably because of social desirability, suggesting that the examiner's characteristics should be given in investigations involving university students.

  12. Opinions and potential solutions regarding dissemination bias from funding agencies of biomedical research in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo-Hernandez, Hector; Urrútia, Gerard; Meerpohl, Joerg J; Marušić, Ana; Wager, Elizabeth; Bonfill, Xavier

    2018-02-01

    Several studies have found that about half of research results from clinical trials are never published. Until now, there has been little information on the views that funding agencies of biomedical research in Europe have regarding this issue and its possible solutions. An electronic survey was conducted among funding agencies from 34 European countries. Participants were asked about their opinions, policies, and potential solutions regarding dissemination bias. On the basis of the results of this survey and the input of the OPEN Consortium and of representatives of stakeholder groups in the knowledge generation process, we formulated recommendations for funding agencies to reduce dissemination bias. We received responses from 64 funding agencies of biomedical medicine from most European countries, out of 245 that were contacted (26%). Of these, 56 funded research at the national and/or international level and were therefore eligible to participate. Policies encouraging publication increased over time: 33 (58.9%) of agencies enforced them in 2005 compared to 38 (67.6%) in 2012. However, only 13 (23.2%) had knowledge of the publications related to research funded in 2005, 23 (41.1%) were able to provide only an estimate, and 20 (35.7%) did not know at all. Regarding recommendations to control dissemination bias, we propose that funding agencies request the dissemination of research results irrespective of the direction of findings. We also call for measures that allow evaluating funded projects past the contractual period and until dissemination of results. Funding agencies should create publicly accessible databases with information on funded projects and dissemination efforts. Despite having policies to encourage publication of results, most funding agencies fail to implement such measures or to ensure compliance. We propose recommendations that could be incorporated in the blueprint of calls for proposals and contracts agreed upon by funding agencies and grant

  13. Hostile attribution biases for relationally provocative situations and event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godleski, Stephanie A; Ostrov, Jamie M; Houston, Rebecca J; Schlienz, Nicolas J

    2010-04-01

    This exploratory study investigates how hostile attribution biases for relationally provocative situations may be related to neurocognitive processing using the P300 event-related potential. Participants were 112 (45 women) emerging adults enrolled in a large, public university in upstate New York. Participants completed self-report measures on relational aggression and hostile attribution biases and performed an auditory perseveration task to elicit the P300. It was found that hostile attribution biases for relational provocation situations was associated with a larger P300 amplitude above and beyond the role of hostile attribution biases for instrumental situations, relational aggression, and gender. Larger P300 amplitude is interpreted to reflect greater allocation of cognitive resources or enhanced "attending" to salient stimuli. Implications for methodological approaches to studying aggression and hostile attribution biases and for theory are discussed, as well as implications for the fields of developmental psychology and psychopathology. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Potential biases in colorectal cancer screening using faecal occult blood test

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riboe, Dea Grip; Dogan, Tilde Steen; Brodersen, John

    2013-01-01

    of this paper was to scrutinize these trials for potential biases and assess their influence on the screening trials. METHODS: The four RCTs were reviewed based on the principles of 'Critical Appraisal of the Medical Literature'. Principal investigators of the four RCTs were contacted to clarify uncertainties...... in their study. Data were collected from The Danish Data Archives. Authors of the Cochrane review were contacted. RESULTS: Six biases were identified, of which five favour screening. Three of the biases identified were specific to CRC screening: type of diagnostic method, place of surgery and diagnostic delay....... CONCLUSION: The 16% RRR in CRC mortality found in the updated Cochrane review's meta-analysis is overestimated....

  15. Towards Identifying and Reducing the Bias of Disease Information Extracted from Search Engine Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Da-Cang; Wang, Jin-Feng; Huang, Ji-Xia; Sui, Daniel Z; Zhang, Hong-Yan; Hu, Mao-Gui; Xu, Cheng-Dong

    2016-06-01

    The estimation of disease prevalence in online search engine data (e.g., Google Flu Trends (GFT)) has received a considerable amount of scholarly and public attention in recent years. While the utility of search engine data for disease surveillance has been demonstrated, the scientific community still seeks ways to identify and reduce biases that are embedded in search engine data. The primary goal of this study is to explore new ways of improving the accuracy of disease prevalence estimations by combining traditional disease data with search engine data. A novel method, Biased Sentinel Hospital-based Area Disease Estimation (B-SHADE), is introduced to reduce search engine data bias from a geographical perspective. To monitor search trends on Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Guangdong Province, China, we tested our approach by selecting 11 keywords from the Baidu index platform, a Chinese big data analyst similar to GFT. The correlation between the number of real cases and the composite index was 0.8. After decomposing the composite index at the city level, we found that only 10 cities presented a correlation of close to 0.8 or higher. These cities were found to be more stable with respect to search volume, and they were selected as sample cities in order to estimate the search volume of the entire province. After the estimation, the correlation improved from 0.8 to 0.864. After fitting the revised search volume with historical cases, the mean absolute error was 11.19% lower than it was when the original search volume and historical cases were combined. To our knowledge, this is the first study to reduce search engine data bias levels through the use of rigorous spatial sampling strategies.

  16. HTGR strategy for reduced proliferation potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, H.B.; Dahlberg, R.C.

    1978-01-01

    The HTGR stratregy for reduced proliferation potential is one aspect of a potential broader nuclear strategy aimed primarily toward a transition nuclear period between today's uranium-consumption reactors and the long-range balanced system of breeder and advanced near-breeder reactors. In particular, the normal commerce of U-233 could be made acceptable by: (a) dependence on the gamma radiation from U-232 daughter products, (b) enhancement of that radioactivity by incomplete fission-product decontamination of the bred-fuel, or (c) denaturing of the U-233 with U-238. These approaches would, of course, supplement institutional initiatives to improve proliferation resistance such as the collocation of facilities and the establishment of secure energy centers. 6 refs

  17. Exposure reduces negative bias in self-rated performance in public speaking fearful participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Joyce; Niles, Andrea N; Craske, Michelle G

    2017-03-01

    Individuals with public speaking anxiety (PSA) under-rate their performance compared to objective observers. The present study examined whether exposure reduces the discrepancy between self and observer performance ratings and improved observer-rated performance in individuals with PSA. PSA participants gave a speech in front of a small audience and rated their performance using a questionnaire before and after completing repeated exposures to public speaking. Non-anxious control participants gave a speech and completed the questionnaire one time only. Objective observers watched videos of the speeches and rated performance using the same questionnaire. PSA participants underrated their performance to a greater degree than did controls prior to exposure, but also performed significantly more poorly than did controls when rated objectively. Bias significantly decreased and objective-rated performance significantly increased following completion of exposure in PSA participants, and on one performance measure, anxious participants no longer showed a greater discrepancy between self and observer performance ratings compared to controls. The study employed non-clinical student sample, but the results should be replicated in clinical anxiety samples. These findings indicate that exposure alone significantly reduces negative performance bias among PSA individuals, but additional exposure or additional interventions may be necessary to fully correct bias and performance deficits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Strategies to Prevent or Reduce Gender Bias in Peer Review of Research Grants: A Rapid Scoping Review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea C Tricco

    Full Text Available To review the literature on strategies implemented or identified to prevent or reduce gender bias in peer review of research grants.Studies of any type of qualitative or quantitative design examining interventions to reduce or prevent gender bias during the peer review of health-related research grants were included. Electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC, PsycINFO, Joanna Briggs, the Cochrane Library, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM Reviews, and the Campbell Library were searched from 2005 to April 2016. A search for grey (i.e., difficult to locate or unpublished literature was conducted and experts in the field were consulted to identify additional potentially relevant articles. Two individuals screened titles and abstracts, full-text articles, and abstracted data with discrepancies resolved by a third person consistently.After screening 5524 citations and 170 full-text articles, one article evaluating gender-blinding of grant applications using an uncontrolled before-after study design was included. In this study, 891 applications for long-term fellowships in 2006 were included and 47% of the applicants were women. These were scored by 13 peer reviewers (38% were women. The intervention included eliminating references to gender from the applications, letters of recommendations, and interview reports that were sent to the committee members for evaluation. The proportion of successful applications led by women did not change with gender-blinding, although the number of successful applications that were led by men increased slightly.There is limited research on interventions to mitigate gender bias in the peer review of grants. Only one study was identified and no difference in the proportion of women who were successful in receiving grant funding was observed. Our results suggest that interventions to prevent gender bias should be adapted and tested in the context of grant peer review to

  19. Self-Awareness and Cultural Identity as an Effort to Reduce Bias in Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Augustus A; Logghe, Heather J; Goodenough, Dan A; Barnes, Linda L; Hallward, Anne; Allen, Irving M; Green, David W; Krupat, Edward; Llerena-Quinn, Roxana

    2018-02-01

    In response to persistently documented health disparities based on race and other demographic factors, medical schools have implemented "cultural competency" coursework. While many of these courses have focused on strategies for treating patients of different cultural backgrounds, very few have addressed the impact of the physician's own cultural background and offered methods to overcome his or her own unconscious biases. In hopes of training physicians to contextualize the impact of their own cultural background on their ability to provide optimal patient care, the authors created a 14-session course on culture, self-reflection, and medicine. After completing the course, students reported an increased awareness of their blind spots and that providing equitable care and treatment would require lifelong reflection and attention to these biases. In this article, the authors describe the formation and implementation of a novel medical school course on self-awareness and cultural identity designed to reduce unconscious bias in medicine. Finally, we discuss our observations and lessons learned after more than 10 years of experience teaching the course.

  20. Understanding and potentially reducing second breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brenner, D.

    2011-01-01

    Full text: Long term survival after breast cancer diagnosis has increased markedly in the last decade: 15-year relative survival after breast cancer diagnosis is now 75% in the US. Associated with these excellent survival prospects, however, long term studies suggest that contralateral second breast cancer rates are in the range from 10 to 15% at 15 years post treatment, and are still higher for BRCA1/2 carriers, as well as for still longer term survivors. These second cancer risks are much higher than those for a comparable healthy woman to develop a first breast cancer. It follows that women with breast cancer are highly prone to develop a second breast cancer. We propose here a new option for reducing the disturbingly high risk of a contralateral second breast cancer. in patients with both estrogen positive and negative primary breast cancer: prophylactic mammary irradiation (PMI) of the contralateral breast. The rationale behind PMI is evidence that standard post-Iumpectomy radiotherapy of the affected (ipsilateral) breast substantially reduces the long-term genetically-based second cancer risk in the ipsilateral breast, by killing the existing premalignant cells in that breast. This suggests that there are relatively few premalignant cells in the breast (hundreds or thousands, not millions), so even a fairly modest radiation cell-kill level across the whole breast would be expected to kill essentially all of them. If this is so, then a modest radiation dose-much lower than that to the affected breast--delivered uniformly to the whole contralateral breast, and typically delivered at the same time as the radiotherapy of the ipsilateral breast, would have the potential to markedly reduce second-cancer risks in the contralateral breast by killing essentially all the pre-malignant cells in that breast while causing only a very low level of radiation-induced sequelae. Therefore we hypothesize that low-dose prophylactic mammary irradiation of the contralateral breast

  1. Testing the effectiveness of certainty scales, cheap talk, and dissonance-minimization in reducing hypothetical bias in contingent valuation studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Morrison; Thomas C. Brown

    2009-01-01

    Stated preference methods such as contingent valuation and choice modeling are subject to various biases that may lead to differences between actual and hypothetical willingness to pay. Cheap talk, follow-up certainty scales, and dissonance minimization are three techniques for reducing this hypothetical bias. Cheap talk and certainty scales have received considerable...

  2. Potential for bias in 21st century semiempirical sea level projections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jevrejeva, S.; Moore, J. C.; Grinsted, A.

    2012-01-01

    by satellite altimetry. Nonradiative forcing contributors, such as long-term adjustment of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets since Last Glacial Maximum, abyssal ocean warming, and terrestrial water storage, may bias model calibration which, if corrected for, tend to reduce median sea level projections...

  3. Data analysis strategies for reducing the influence of the bias in cross-cultural research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindik, Josko

    2012-03-01

    In cross-cultural research, researchers have to adjust the constructs and associated measurement instruments that have been developed in one culture and then imported for use in another culture. Importing concepts from other cultures is often simply reduced to language adjustment of the content in the items of the measurement instruments that define a certain (psychological) construct. In the context of cross-cultural research, test bias can be defined as a generic term for all nuisance factors that threaten the validity of cross-cultural comparisons. Bias can be an indicator that instrument scores based on the same items measure different traits and characteristics across different cultural groups. To reduce construct, method and item bias,the researcher can consider these strategies: (1) simply comparing average results in certain measuring instruments; (2) comparing only the reliability of certain dimensions of the measurement instruments, applied to the "target" and "source" samples of participants, i.e. from different cultures; (3) comparing the "framed" factor structure (fixed number of factors) of the measurement instruments, applied to the samples from the "target" and "source" cultures, using explorative factor analysis strategy on separate samples; (4) comparing the complete constructs ("unframed" factor analysis, i.e. unlimited number of factors) in relation to their best psychometric properties and the possibility of interpreting (best suited to certain cultures, applying explorative strategy of factor analysis); or (5) checking the similarity of the constructs in the samples from different cultures (using structural equation modeling approach). Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages and lacks of each approach are discussed.

  4. Atomic-Scale Simulation of Electrochemical Processes at Electrode/Water Interfaces under Referenced Bias Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzid, Assil; Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2018-04-19

    Based on constant Fermi-level molecular dynamics and a proper alignment scheme, we perform simulations of the Pt(111)/water interface under variable bias potential referenced to the standard hydrogen electrode (SHE). Our scheme yields a potential of zero charge μ pzc of ∼0.22 eV relative to the SHE and a double layer capacitance C dl of ≃19 μF cm -2 , in excellent agreement with experimental measurements. In addition, we study the structural reorganization of the electrical double layer for bias potentials ranging from -0.92 eV to +0.44 eV and find that O down configurations, which are dominant at potentials above the pzc, reorient to favor H down configurations as the measured potential becomes negative. Our modeling scheme allows one to not only access atomic-scale processes at metal/water interfaces, but also to quantitatively estimate macroscopic electrochemical quantities.

  5. The foreign-language effect: thinking in a foreign tongue reduces decision biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keysar, Boaz; Hayakawa, Sayuri L; An, Sun Gyu

    2012-06-01

    Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language as you would in your native tongue? It may be intuitive that people would make the same choices regardless of the language they are using, or that the difficulty of using a foreign language would make decisions less systematic. We discovered, however, that the opposite is true: Using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases. Four experiments show that the framing effect disappears when choices are presented in a foreign tongue. Whereas people were risk averse for gains and risk seeking for losses when choices were presented in their native tongue, they were not influenced by this framing manipulation in a foreign language. Two additional experiments show that using a foreign language reduces loss aversion, increasing the acceptance of both hypothetical and real bets with positive expected value. We propose that these effects arise because a foreign language provides greater cognitive and emotional distance than a native tongue does.

  6. Educational Research with Real-World Data: Reducing Selection Bias with Propensity Scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill L. Adelson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Often it is infeasible or unethical to use random assignment in educational settings to study important constructs and questions. Hence, educational research often uses observational data, such as large-scale secondary data sets and state and school district data, and quasi-experimental designs. One method of reducing selection bias in estimations of treatment effects is propensity score analysis. This method reduces a large number of pretreatment covariates to a single scalar function and allows researchers to compare subjects with similar probability to receive the treatment. This article provides an introduction to propensity score analysis and stratification, an example illustrating its use, and suggestions for using propensity score analysis in educational research.

  7. Reducing biases on H0 measurements using strong lensing and galaxy dynamics: results from the EAGLE simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagore, Amitpal S.; Barnes, David J.; Jackson, Neal; Kay, Scott T.; Schaller, Matthieu; Schaye, Joop; Theuns, Tom

    2018-03-01

    Cosmological parameter constraints from observations of time-delay lenses are becoming increasingly precise. However, there may be significant bias and scatter in these measurements due to, among other things, the so-called mass-sheet degeneracy. To estimate these uncertainties, we analyse strong lenses from the largest EAGLE hydrodynamical simulation. We apply a mass-sheet transformation to the radial density profiles of lenses, and by selecting lenses near isothermality, we find that the bias on H0 can be reduced to 5 per cent with an intrinsic scatter of 10 per cent, confirming previous results performed on a different simulation data set. We further investigate whether combining lensing observables with kinematic constraints helps to minimize this bias. We do not detect any significant dependence of the bias on lens model parameters or observational properties of the galaxy, but depending on the source-lens configuration, a bias may still exist. Cross lenses provide an accurate estimate of the Hubble constant, while fold (double) lenses tend to be biased low (high). With kinematic constraints, double lenses show bias and intrinsic scatter of 6 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, while quad lenses show bias and intrinsic scatter of 0.5 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. For lenses with a reduced χ2 > 1, a power-law dependence of the χ2 on the lens environment (number of nearby galaxies) is seen. Lastly, we model, in greater detail, the cases of two double lenses that are significantly biased. We are able to remove the bias, suggesting that the remaining biases could also be reduced by carefully taking into account additional sources of systematic uncertainty.

  8. Environmental metabarcodes for insects: in silico PCR reveals potential for taxonomic bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2014-11-01

    Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers [16S and cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI)] and then compared their efficiency in vitro. Existing metabarcoding primers amplified in silico 90% coverage. Furthermore, metabarcodes targeting COI appeared to introduce taxonomic PCR-amplification bias, typically amplifying a greater percentage of Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while failing to amplify certain orders in silico. To test whether bias predicted in silico was observed in vitro, we created an artificial DNA blend containing equal amounts of DNA from 14 species, representing 11 insect orders and one arachnid. We PCR-amplified the blend using five primer sets, targeting either COI or 16S, with high-throughput amplicon sequencing yielding more than 6 million reads. In vitro results typically corresponded to in silico PCR predictions, with newly designed 16S primers detecting 11 insect taxa present, thus providing equivalent or better taxonomic coverage than COI metabarcodes. Our results demonstrate that in silico PCR is a useful tool for predicting taxonomic bias in mixed template PCR and that researchers should be wary of potential bias when selecting metabarcoding markers. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Reducing children's social anxiety symptoms: exploring a novel parent-administered cognitive bias modification training intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Jennifer Y F; Pettit, Eleanor; Creswell, Cathy

    2013-07-01

    Social fears and worries in children are common and impairing. Yet, questions have been raised over the efficacy, suitability and accessibility of current frontline treatments. Here, we present data on the effectiveness of a novel parent-administered Cognitive Bias Modification of Interpretations (CBM-I) training tool. CBM-I capitalises on findings demonstrating an association between anxiety symptoms and biased interpretations, the tendency to interpret ambiguous situations negatively. Through CBM-I training, participants are exposed to benign resolutions, and reinforced for selecting these. In adults and adolescents, CBM-I training is effective at reducing symptoms and mood reactivity. In the present study, we developed a novel, child-appropriate form of CBM-I training, by presenting training materials within bedtime stories, read by a parent to the child across three consecutive evenings. Compared to a test-retest control group (n = 17), children receiving CBM-I (n = 19) reported greater endorsement of benign interpretations of ambiguous situations post-training (compared to pre-training). These participants (but not the test-retest control group) also showed a significant reduction in social anxiety symptoms. Pending replication and extensions to a clinical sample, these data may implicate a cost-effective, mechanism-driven and developmentally-appropriate resource for targeting social anxiety problems in children. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain's reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias, gaze

  11. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J.; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain’s reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias

  12. Examining Potential Boundary Bias Effects in Kernel Smoothing on Equating: An Introduction for the Adaptive and Epanechnikov Kernels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cid, Jaime A; von Davier, Alina A

    2015-05-01

    Test equating is a method of making the test scores from different test forms of the same assessment comparable. In the equating process, an important step involves continuizing the discrete score distributions. In traditional observed-score equating, this step is achieved using linear interpolation (or an unscaled uniform kernel). In the kernel equating (KE) process, this continuization process involves Gaussian kernel smoothing. It has been suggested that the choice of bandwidth in kernel smoothing controls the trade-off between variance and bias. In the literature on estimating density functions using kernels, it has also been suggested that the weight of the kernel depends on the sample size, and therefore, the resulting continuous distribution exhibits bias at the endpoints, where the samples are usually smaller. The purpose of this article is (a) to explore the potential effects of atypical scores (spikes) at the extreme ends (high and low) on the KE method in distributions with different degrees of asymmetry using the randomly equivalent groups equating design (Study I), and (b) to introduce the Epanechnikov and adaptive kernels as potential alternative approaches to reducing boundary bias in smoothing (Study II). The beta-binomial model is used to simulate observed scores reflecting a range of different skewed shapes.

  13. Potential for Bias When Estimating Critical Windows for Air Pollution in Children's Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ander; Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda; Hsu, Hsiao-Hsien Leon; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J; Coull, Brent A

    2017-12-01

    Evidence supports an association between maternal exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and children's health outcomes. Recent interest has focused on identifying critical windows of vulnerability. An analysis based on a distributed lag model (DLM) can yield estimates of a critical window that are different from those from an analysis that regresses the outcome on each of the 3 trimester-average exposures (TAEs). Using a simulation study, we assessed bias in estimates of critical windows obtained using 3 regression approaches: 1) 3 separate models to estimate the association with each of the 3 TAEs; 2) a single model to jointly estimate the association between the outcome and all 3 TAEs; and 3) a DLM. We used weekly fine-particulate-matter exposure data for 238 births in a birth cohort in and around Boston, Massachusetts, and a simulated outcome and time-varying exposure effect. Estimates using separate models for each TAE were biased and identified incorrect windows. This bias arose from seasonal trends in particulate matter that induced correlation between TAEs. Including all TAEs in a single model reduced bias. DLM produced unbiased estimates and added flexibility to identify windows. Analysis of body mass index z score and fat mass in the same cohort highlighted inconsistent estimates from the 3 methods. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Sulfate reducing potential in an estuarine beach

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LokaBharathi, P.A.; Chandramohan, D.

    Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and their activity (SRA) together with total anaerobic and aerobic bacterial flora were estimated during July 1982-April 1983 and July-August 1984 from 1, 3 and 5 cm depths using core samples. The average number (no...

  15. Reward reduces conflict by enhancing attentional control and biasing visual cortical processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2011-11-01

    How does motivation interact with cognitive control during challenging behavioral conditions? Here, we investigated the interactions between motivation and cognition during a response conflict task and tested a specific model of the effect of reward on cognitive processing. Behaviorally, participants exhibited reduced conflict during the reward versus no-reward condition. Brain imaging results revealed that a group of subcortical and fronto-parietal regions was robustly influenced by reward at cue processing and, importantly, that cue-related responses in fronto-parietal attentional regions were predictive of reduced conflict-related signals in the medial pFC (MPFC)/ACC during the upcoming target phase. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between cue responses in the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and interference-related responses in the MPFC during the subsequent target phase was mediated via signals in the left fusiform gyrus, which we linked to distractor-related processing. Finally, reward increased functional connectivity between the right IPS and both bilateral putamen and bilateral nucleus accumbens during the cue phase, a relationship that covaried with across-individual sensitivity to reward in the case of the right nucleus accumbens. Taken together, our findings are consistent with a model in which motivationally salient cues are employed to upregulate top-down control processes that bias the selection of visual information, thereby leading to more efficient stimulus processing during conflict conditions.

  16. Reducing Cognitive Biases in Probabilistic Reasoning by the Use of Logarithm Formats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juslin, Peter; Nilsson, Hakan; Winman, Anders; Lindskog, Marcus

    2011-01-01

    Research on probability judgment has traditionally emphasized that people are susceptible to biases because they rely on "variable substitution": the assessment of normative variables is replaced by assessment of heuristic, subjective variables. A recent proposal is that many of these biases may rather derive from constraints on cognitive…

  17. What is the key to culturally competent care: Reducing bias or cultural tailoring?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Adolfo G; O'Brien, Kerth; Saha, Somnath

    2017-04-01

    To gain a better understanding as to whether disparities in patient-provider relationships arise from ethnic minority patients being treated differently than European American patients while they would prefer to be treated the same, or whether disparities arise when ethnic minority patients are treated the same as European American patients while they would prefer to be treated differently. African-American, Latina/Latino and European American community members were recruited to participate in one of 27 focus group discussions. Topics included what made a good or bad relationship with a doctor and what led one to trust a doctor. A thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo 10. Patients of all groups described experiences that reflected the concepts of patient-centred care, such as wanting a clinician who is attentive to patients' needs. African-American patients reported experiences they viewed as discriminatory. Some African-American patients felt it was appropriate to racially/ethnically contextualise their care, and most Latina/Latino patients preferred language/culturally concordant clinicians. Health care disparities might be reduced through a patient-centred approach to cultural competency training, general knowledge of the cultural context of clinicians' patient population, and attention to the effects of racial bias and discrimination among both clinicians and non-clinical staff.

  18. Accounting for response misclassification and covariate measurement error improves power and reduces bias in epidemiologic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Dunlei; Branscum, Adam J; Stamey, James D

    2010-07-01

    To quantify the impact of ignoring misclassification of a response variable and measurement error in a covariate on statistical power, and to develop software for sample size and power analysis that accounts for these flaws in epidemiologic data. A Monte Carlo simulation-based procedure is developed to illustrate the differences in design requirements and inferences between analytic methods that properly account for misclassification and measurement error to those that do not in regression models for cross-sectional and cohort data. We found that failure to account for these flaws in epidemiologic data can lead to a substantial reduction in statistical power, over 25% in some cases. The proposed method substantially reduced bias by up to a ten-fold margin compared to naive estimates obtained by ignoring misclassification and mismeasurement. We recommend as routine practice that researchers account for errors in measurement of both response and covariate data when determining sample size, performing power calculations, or analyzing data from epidemiological studies. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Reducing bias in rainfall estimates from microwave links by considering variable drop size distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fencl, Martin; Jörg, Rieckermann; Vojtěch, Bareš

    2015-04-01

    only the maximum rain-induced attenuation of an event. Based on our experimental data, optimal results were achieved by classifying the rain events into three distinct groups with different power-law parameters for each group. In general, the classification of rain events based on attenuation data enables to substantially reduce bias in MWL rainfall estimates due to the power-law model. Thus, when using MWLs for rainfall estimation, reference rain events should be first classified and model parameters of a power-law retrieval model should be fitted for each of class separately. However, this at least requires rainfall data in sub-hourly resolution. It seems very promising to further investigate methods to adjust local MWL rainfall estimates to rainfall observations from traditional sensors. Messer, H., Zinevich, A., Alpert, P., 2006: Environmental Monitoring by Wireless Communication Networks. Science 312, 713-713. doi:10.1126/science.1120034 Fencl, M., Rieckermann, J., Sýkora, P., Stránský D. and Bareš V. 2014: Commercial microwave links instead of rain gauges - fiction or reality? Wat. Sci. Tech., in press doi:10.2166/wst.2014.466 Acknowledgements to Czech Science Foundation project No. 14-22978S and Czech Technical University in Prague project No. SGS13/127/OHK1/2T/11.

  20. Potential for parasite-induced biases in aquatic invertebrate population studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Justin D.L.; Mushet, David M.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies highlight the need to include estimates of detection/capture probability in population studies. This need is particularly important in studies where detection and/or capture probability is influenced by parasite-induced behavioral alterations. We assessed potential biases associated with sampling a population of the amphipod Gammarus lacustris in the presence of Polymorphus spp. acanthocephalan parasites shown to increase positive phototaxis in their amphipod hosts. We trapped G. lacustris at two water depths (benthic and surface) and compared number of captures and number of parasitized individuals at each depth. While we captured the greatest number of G. lacustris individuals in benthic traps, parasitized individuals were captured most often in surface traps. These results reflect the phototaxic movement of infected individuals from benthic locations to sunlit surface waters. We then explored the influence of varying infection rates on a simulated population held at a constant level of abundance. Simulations resulted in increasingly biased abundance estimates as infection rates increased. Our results highlight the need to consider parasite-induced biases when quantifying detection and/or capture probability in studies of aquatic invertebrate populations.

  1. Response of the plasma to the size of an anode electrode biased near the plasma potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnat, E. V.; Laity, G. R.; Baalrud, S. D.

    2014-01-01

    As the size of a positively biased electrode increases, the nature of the interface formed between the electrode and the host plasma undergoes a transition from an electron-rich structure (electron sheath) to an intermediate structure containing both ion and electron rich regions (double layer) and ultimately forms an electron-depleted structure (ion sheath). In this study, measurements are performed to further test how the size of an electron-collecting electrode impacts the plasma discharge the electrode is immersed in. This is accomplished using a segmented disk electrode in which individual segments are individually biased to change the effective surface area of the anode. Measurements of bulk plasma parameters such as the collected current density, plasma potential, electron density, electron temperature and optical emission are made as both the size and the bias placed on the electrode are varied. Abrupt transitions in the plasma parameters resulting from changing the electrode surface area are identified in both argon and helium discharges and are compared to the interface transitions predicted by global current balance [S. D. Baalrud, N. Hershkowitz, and B. Longmier, Phys. Plasmas 14, 042109 (2007)]. While the size-dependent transitions in argon agree, the size-dependent transitions observed in helium systematically occur at lower electrode sizes than those nominally derived from prediction. The discrepancy in helium is anticipated to be caused by the finite size of the interface that increases the effective area offered to the plasma for electron loss to the electrode

  2. Voluntary vs. compulsory student evaluation of clerkships: effect on validity and potential bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoun Bahous, Sola; Salameh, Pascale; Salloum, Angelique; Salameh, Wael; Park, Yoon Soo; Tekian, Ara

    2018-01-05

    Students evaluations of their learning experiences can provide a useful source of information about clerkship effectiveness in undergraduate medical education. However, low response rates in clerkship evaluation surveys remain an important limitation. This study examined the impact of increasing response rates using a compulsory approach on validity evidence. Data included 192 responses obtained voluntarily from 49 third-year students in 2014-2015, and 171 responses obtained compulsorily from 49 students in the first six months of the consecutive year at one medical school in Lebanon. Evidence supporting internal structure and response process validity was compared between the two administration modalities. The authors also tested for potential bias introduced by the use of the compulsory approach by examining students' responses to a sham item that was added to the last survey administration. Response rates increased from 56% in the voluntary group to 100% in the compulsory group (P two consecutive years. Testing for non-response bias in the voluntary group showed that females were more frequent responders in two clerkships. Testing for authority-induced bias revealed that students might complete the evaluation randomly without attention to content. While increasing response rates is often a policy requirement aimed to improve the credibility of ratings, using authority to enforce responses may not increase reliability and can raise concerns over the meaningfulness of the evaluation. Administrators are urged to consider not only response rates, but also representativeness and quality of responses in administering evaluation surveys.

  3. Negativity bias for sad faces in depression: An event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Qin; Wei, Juanjuan; Shu, Xiaorui; Feng, Zhengzhi

    2016-12-01

    Negativity bias in depression has been previously confirmed. However, mainly during a valence category task, it remains unclear how happy or unhappy individuals perceive emotional materials. Moreover, cerebral alteration measurements during a valence judgment task is lacking. The present study aimed to explore a valence judgment of a valence rating task, combined with event-related potential (ERP) recording. Healthy controls, individuals with sub-clinical depression, and patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) were recruited. Twenty-four subjects in each group completed a valence rating task, during which the ERP amplitudes were recorded. The MDD group had lower valence scores, faster responses, and greater N1 amplitudes for sad faces, whereas individuals with sub-clinical depression had faster responses and greater P1 amplitudes for all faces but lower valence scores and greater P2 amplitudes for happy faces. The findings suggest the tendency toward a negativity bias in valence ratings in patients with depression supported by behavioral and cerebral evidence, which is a latent trait of depression, possibly associated with the vulnerability of depression. The current study offers the first experimental evidence of cognitive and cerebral biomarkers of negativity bias in valence ratings in depression, which confirms Beck's cognitive theory and gives important direction for clinical therapy. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Reducing the impact bias in judgments of post-decisional affect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick Sevdalis

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available People overestimate their affective reactions to future events and decisions --- a phenomenon that has been termed ``impact bias.'' Evidence suggests that completing a diary detailing events contemporaneous with the focal one de-biases judgments of affect. It is generally assumed that this is because diary completion helps people to realize that they will be distracted from the focal event. However, there is another possibility: de-biasing may occur because diary completion interferes with the processing responsible for the bias. In a first experiment, we showed that diary completion also lowers affect associated with past decisions. In a second experiment, we showed that solving anagrams has the same effect. A third experiment demonstrates that this is not because affect judgments are influenced by mood changes brought about by solving anagrams. Indeed, monitoring moods lowered affect in the same way as diary completion. It appears that cognitive tasks of any sort interfere with the processing required by judgments of affect.

  5. A “scientific diversity” intervention to reduce gender bias in a sample of life scientists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moss-Racusin, C. A.; van der Toorn, J.; Dovidio, J. F.; Brescoli, V. L.; Graham, M. J.; Handelsman, J.

    2016-01-01

    Mounting experimental evidence suggests that subtle gender biases favoring men contribute to the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), including many subfields of the life sciences. However, there are relatively few evaluations of diversity

  6. Reducing Biases in Cross-Cultural Top Management Team Decision-Making Processes

    OpenAIRE

    David Strutton; William Carter

    2013-01-01

    Cross-cultural top-management-teams (cc-TMTs) are typically comprised of rational individuals. Yet cc-TMTs featuring uniformly wise and experienced executives often make irrational decisions (i.e., choices incompatible with reason or logic). Even most executives acknowledge this is true. Behavioral economics suggests a primary reason why is that iterative combinations of cultural and cognitive biases invariably arise and interact in cc-TMT settings. As they arise, these biases often undermine...

  7. Cognitive bias modification versus CBT in reducing adolescent social anxiety: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sportel, B Esther; de Hullu, Eva; de Jong, Peter J; Nauta, Maaike H

    2013-01-01

    Social anxiety is a common mental disorder among adolescents and is associated with detrimental long term outcomes. Therefore, this study investigated the efficacy of two possible early interventions for adolescent social anxiety and test anxiety. An internet-based cognitive bias modification (CBM; n = 86) was compared to a school-based cognitive behavioral group training (CBT; n = 84) and a control group (n = 70) in reducing symptoms of social and test anxiety in high socially and/or test anxious adolescents aged 13-15 years. Participants (n = 240) were randomized at school level over the three conditions. CBM consisted of a 20-session at home internet-delivered training; CBT was a 10-session at school group training with homework assignments; the control group received no training. Participants were assessed before and after the intervention and at 6 and 12 month follow-up. At 6 month follow-up CBT resulted in lower social anxiety than the control condition, while for CBM, this effect was only trend-significant. At 12 month follow-up this initial benefit was no longer present. Test anxiety decreased more in the CBT condition relative to the control condition in both short and long term. Interestingly, in the long term, participants in the CBM condition improved more with regard to automatic threat-related associations than both other conditions. The results indicate that the interventions resulted in a faster decline of social anxiety symptoms, whereas the eventual end point of social anxiety was not affected. Test anxiety was influenced in the long term by the CBT intervention, and CBM lead to increased positive automatic threat-related associations. TrialRegister.nl NTR965.

  8. Can the variability in precipitation simulations across GCMs be reduced through sensible bias correction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Ha; Mehrotra, Rajeshwar; Sharma, Ashish

    2017-11-01

    This work investigates the performance of four bias correction alternatives for representing persistence characteristics of precipitation across 37 General Circulation Models (GCMs) from the CMIP5 data archive. The first three correction approaches are the Simple Monthly Bias Correction (SMBC), Equidistance Quantile Mapping (EQM), and Nested Bias Correction (NBC), all of which operate in the time domain, with a focus on representing distributional and moment attributes in the observed precipitation record. The fourth approach corrects for the biases in high- and low-frequency variability or persistence of the GCM time series in the frequency domain and is named as Frequency-based Bias Correction (FBC). The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) gridded precipitation data covering the global land surface is used as a reference dataset. The assessment focusses on current and future means, variability, and drought-related characteristics at different temporal and spatial scales. For the current climate, all bias correction approaches perform reasonably well at the global scale by reproducing the observed precipitation statistics. For the future climate, focus is drawn on the agreement of the attributes across the GCMs considered. The inter-model difference/spread of each attribute across the GCMs is used as a measure of this agreement. Our results indicate that out of the four bias correction approaches used, FBC provides the lowest inter-model spreads, specifically for persistence attributes, over most regions/ parts over the global land surface. This has significant implications for most hydrological studies where the effect of low-frequency variability is of considerable importance.

  9. A simple technique investigating baseline heterogeneity helped to eliminate potential bias in meta-analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Amy; Fairhurst, Caroline; Torgerson, David J

    2018-03-01

    To perform a worked example of an approach that can be used to identify and remove potentially biased trials from meta-analyses via the analysis of baseline variables. True randomisation produces treatment groups that differ only by chance; therefore, a meta-analysis of a baseline measurement should produce no overall difference and zero heterogeneity. A meta-analysis from the British Medical Journal, known to contain significant heterogeneity and imbalance in baseline age, was chosen. Meta-analyses of baseline variables were performed and trials systematically removed, starting with those with the largest t-statistic, until the I 2 measure of heterogeneity became 0%, then the outcome meta-analysis repeated with only the remaining trials as a sensitivity check. We argue that heterogeneity in a meta-analysis of baseline variables should not exist, and therefore removing trials which contribute to heterogeneity from a meta-analysis will produce a more valid result. In our example none of the overall outcomes changed when studies contributing to heterogeneity were removed. We recommend routine use of this technique, using age and a second baseline variable predictive of outcome for the particular study chosen, to help eliminate potential bias in meta-analyses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Using ARM Measurements to Understand and Reduce the Double ITCZ Biases in the Community Atmospheric Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Minghua [Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)

    2016-12-08

    that features a spurious double Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in most models. This work is recently published in Yu et al. (2016). Interannual variation of ITCZ south of the eastern equatorial Pacific: By analyzing data from satellites, field measurements and atmospheric reanalysis, we have characterized the interannual variation of boreal spring precipitation in the eastern tropical Pacific and found the cause of the observed interannual variability. We have shown that ITCZ in this region can occur as a single ITCZ along the Equator, single ITCZ north of the Equator, single ITCZ south of the Equator, and double ITCZ on both sides of the Equator. We have found that convective instability only plays a secondary role in the ITCZ interannual variability. Instead, the remote impact of the Pacific basin-wide SST on the horizontal gradient of surface pressure and wind convergence is the primary driver of this interannual variability. Results point to the need to include moisture convergence in convection schemes to improve the simulation of precipitation in the eastern tropical Pacific. This result has been recently submitted for publication (Yu and Zhang 2016). 2. Improvement of model parameterizations to reduce the double ITCZ bias We analyzed the current status of climate model performance in simulating precipitation in the equatorial Pacific. We have found that the double ITCZ bias has not been reduced in CMIP5 models relative to CMIP4 models. We have characterized the dynamic structure of the common bias by using precipitation, sea surface temperature, surface winds and sea-level. Results are published in Zhang et al. (2015): Since cumulus convection plays a significant role in the double ITCZ behavior in models, we have used measurements from ARM and other sources to carry out a systematic analysis of the roles of shallow and deep convection in the CAM. We found that in both CAM4 and CAM5, when the intensity of deep convection decreases as a result of

  11. Things I Have Learned about Meta-­Analysis since 1990: Reducing Bias in Search of "The Big Picture"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines sources of potential bias in systematic reviews and meta-analyses which can distort their findings, leading to problems with interpretation and application by practitioners and policymakers. It follows from an article that was published in the "Canadian Journal of Communication" in 1990, "Integrating Research…

  12. The price of information: Increased inspection costs reduce the confirmation bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E; Pratt, Jay

    2018-04-01

    In visual search, there is a confirmation bias such that attention is biased towards stimuli that match a target template, which has been attributed to covert costs of updating the templates that guide search [Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015. Confirmation bias in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/xhp0000090]. In order to provide direct evidence for this speculation, the present study increased the cost of inspections in search by using gaze- and mouse-contingent searches, which restrict the manner in which information in search displays can be accrued, and incur additional motor costs (in the case of mouse-contingent searches). In a fourth experiment, we rhythmically mask elements in the search display to induce temporal inspection costs. Our results indicated that confirmation bias is indeed attenuated when inspection costs are increased. We conclude that confirmation bias results from the low-cost strategy of matching information to a single, concrete visual template, and that more sophisticated guidance strategies will be used when sufficiently beneficial. This demonstrates that search guidance itself comes at a cost, and that the form of guidance adopted in a given search depends on a comparison between guidance costs and the expected benefits of their implementation.

  13. Ligation-mediated PCR with a back-to-back adapter reduces amplification bias resulting from variations in GC content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishihara, Satoru; Kotomura, Naoe; Yamamoto, Naoki; Ochiai, Hiroshi

    2017-08-15

    Ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction (LM-PCR) is a common technique for amplification of a pool of DNA fragments. Here, a double-stranded oligonucleotide consisting of two primer sequences in back-to-back orientation was designed as an adapter for LM-PCR. When DNA fragments were ligated with this adapter, the fragments were sandwiched between two adapters in random orientations. In the ensuing PCR, ligation products linked at each end to an opposite side of the adapter, i.e. to a distinct primer sequence, were preferentially amplified compared with products linked at each end to an identical primer sequence. The use of this adapter in LM-PCR reduced the impairment of PCR by substrate DNA with a high GC content, compared with the use of traditional LM-PCR adapters. This result suggested that our method has the potential to contribute to reduction of the amplification bias that is caused by an intrinsic property of the sequence context in substrate DNA. A DNA preparation obtained from a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay using pulldown of a specific form of histone H3 was successfully amplified using the modified LM-PCR, and the amplified products could be used as probes in a fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Links among available integral benchmarks and differential date evaluations, computational biases and uncertainties, and nuclear criticality safety biases on potential MOX production throughput

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goluoglu, S.; Hopper, C.M.

    2004-01-01

    Through the use of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's recently developed and applied sensitivity and uncertainty computational analysis techniques, this paper presents the relevance and importance of available and needed integral benchmarks and differential data evaluations impacting potential MOX production throughput determinations relative to low-moderated MOX fuel blending operations. The relevance and importance in the availability of or need for critical experiment benchmarks and data evaluations are presented in terms of computational biases as influenced by computational and experimental sensitivities and uncertainties relative to selected MOX production powder blending processes. Recent developments for estimating the safe margins of subcriticality for assuring nuclear criticality safety for process approval are presented. In addition, the impact of the safe margins (due to computational biases and uncertainties) on potential MOX production throughput will also be presented. (author)

  15. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R.; Hanson, Heidi A.; Maklakov, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution. PMID:27087670

  16. Assessing the utility of frequency dependent nudging for reducing biases in biogeochemical models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagman, Karl B.; Fennel, Katja; Thompson, Keith R.; Bianucci, Laura

    2014-09-01

    Bias errors, resulting from inaccurate boundary and forcing conditions, incorrect model parameterization, etc. are a common problem in environmental models including biogeochemical ocean models. While it is important to correct bias errors wherever possible, it is unlikely that any environmental model will ever be entirely free of such errors. Hence, methods for bias reduction are necessary. A widely used technique for online bias reduction is nudging, where simulated fields are continuously forced toward observations or a climatology. Nudging is robust and easy to implement, but suppresses high-frequency variability and introduces artificial phase shifts. As a solution to this problem Thompson et al. (2006) introduced frequency dependent nudging where nudging occurs only in prescribed frequency bands, typically centered on the mean and the annual cycle. They showed this method to be effective for eddy resolving ocean circulation models. Here we add a stability term to the previous form of frequency dependent nudging which makes the method more robust for non-linear biological models. Then we assess the utility of frequency dependent nudging for biological models by first applying the method to a simple predator-prey model and then to a 1D ocean biogeochemical model. In both cases we only nudge in two frequency bands centered on the mean and the annual cycle, and then assess how well the variability in higher frequency bands is recovered. We evaluate the effectiveness of frequency dependent nudging in comparison to conventional nudging and find significant improvements with the former.

  17. Reduced Affective Biasing of Instrumental Action With tDCS Over the Prefrontal Cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ly, V.; Bergmann, T.O.; Gladwin, T.E.; Volman, I.A.C.; Usberti, N.; Cools, R.; Roelofs, K.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Instrumental action is well known to be vulnerable to affective value. Excessive transfer of affective value to instrumental action is thought to contribute to psychiatric disorders. The brain region most commonly implicated in overriding such affective biasing of instrumental action is

  18. Reducing Student Bias against Older Adults through the Use of Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tice, Carolyn J.; Harnek Hall, Diane M.; Miller, Shari E.

    2010-01-01

    Human services educators must address the issue of students' bias toward older adults to encourage interest and meet the growing need for professionals in the field. The use of literature can challenge students' preconceptions of older adults while innovative teaching methods can guide their development of more tolerant views and introduce them to…

  19. Enhancing Group Decision Making: An Exercise to Reduce Shared Information Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Diane F.

    2010-01-01

    Research on shared information bias has shown that group members involved in a decision-making task tend to undervalue information that a single member shares with the group, especially when that information conflicts with their prior conclusions. The group activity in this article is intended to heighten awareness of this shared information bias…

  20. Can Children with ADHD Be Motivated to Reduce Bias in Self-Reports of Competence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoza, Betsy; Vaughn, Aaron; Waschbusch, Daniel A.; Murray-Close, Dianna; McCabe, George

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Our purpose in the current study was to examine whether children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comparison children, if adequately motivated, are able to purposefully match their teachers' ratings of competence in multiple domains and whether any reductions in self-perceptual bias normalize self-views in…

  1. Reducing Bias and Error in the Correlation Coefficient Due to Nonnormality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishara, Anthony J.; Hittner, James B.

    2015-01-01

    It is more common for educational and psychological data to be nonnormal than to be approximately normal. This tendency may lead to bias and error in point estimates of the Pearson correlation coefficient. In a series of Monte Carlo simulations, the Pearson correlation was examined under conditions of normal and nonnormal data, and it was compared…

  2. Incidental encoding of emotional pictures: affective bias studied through event related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Manuel; Carretié, Luis; Sierra, Benjamín; Mercado, Francisco

    2008-06-01

    Emotional stimuli are better remembered than neutral stimuli. Most of the studies taking into account this emotional bias refer to explicit memory, use behavioral measures of the recall and predict better recall of negative stimuli. The few studies taking into account implicit memory and the valence emotional dimension are inconclusive on the effect of the stimulus' emotional valence. In the present study, 120 pictures (30 positive, 30 negative, 30 relaxing and 30 neutral) were shown to, and assessed by, 28 participants (study phase). Subsequently, event related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded during the presentation of 120 new (shown for the first time) and 120 old (already shown in the study phase) pictures (test phase). No explicit instructions or clues related to recovery were given to participants, and a distractor task was employed, in order to maintain implicit the memory assessment. As expected from other studies' data, our results showed that old stimuli elicited an enhanced late positive component 450 ms after stimulus onset (repetition effect). Moreover, this effect was modulated by the stimuli's emotional valence, since the most positively valenced stimuli were associated with a decreased repetition effect with respect to the most negatively valenced stimuli. This effect was located at ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These results suggest the existence of a valence-mediated bias in implicit memory.

  3. Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings-paper 7: understanding the potential impacts of dissemination bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Andrew; Lewin, Simon; Glenton, Claire; Munthe-Kaas, Heather; Toews, Ingrid; Noyes, Jane; Rashidian, Arash; Berg, Rigmor C; Nyakang'o, Brenda; Meerpohl, Joerg J

    2018-01-25

    The GRADE-CERQual (Confidence in Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research) approach has been developed by the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) Working Group. The approach has been developed to support the use of findings from qualitative evidence syntheses in decision-making, including guideline development and policy formulation. CERQual includes four components for assessing how much confidence to place in findings from reviews of qualitative research (also referred to as qualitative evidence syntheses): (1) methodological limitations, (2) coherence, (3) adequacy of data and (4) relevance. This paper is part of a series providing guidance on how to apply CERQual and focuses on a probable fifth component, dissemination bias. Given its exploratory nature, we are not yet able to provide guidance on applying this potential component of the CERQual approach. Instead, we focus on how dissemination bias might be conceptualised in the context of qualitative research and the potential impact dissemination bias might have on an overall assessment of confidence in a review finding. We also set out a proposed research agenda in this area. We developed this paper by gathering feedback from relevant research communities, searching MEDLINE and Web of Science to identify and characterise the existing literature discussing or assessing dissemination bias in qualitative research and its wider implications, developing consensus through project group meetings, and conducting an online survey of the extent, awareness and perceptions of dissemination bias in qualitative research. We have defined dissemination bias in qualitative research as a systematic distortion of the phenomenon of interest due to selective dissemination of studies or individual study findings. Dissemination bias is important for qualitative evidence syntheses as the selective dissemination of qualitative studies and/or study findings may distort our understanding of

  4. Reducing selection bias in case-control studies from rare disease registries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, J Alexander; Taylor, John S; Hangartner, Thomas N; Weinreb, Neal J; Mistry, Pramod K; Khan, Aneal

    2011-09-12

    In clinical research of rare diseases, where small patient numbers and disease heterogeneity limit study design options, registries are a valuable resource for demographic and outcome information. However, in contrast to prospective, randomized clinical trials, the observational design of registries is prone to introduce selection bias and negatively impact the validity of data analyses. The objective of the study was to demonstrate the utility of case-control matching and the risk-set method in order to control bias in data from a rare disease registry. Data from the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG) Gaucher Registry were used as an example. A case-control matching analysis using the risk-set method was conducted to identify two groups of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease in the ICGG Gaucher Registry: patients with avascular osteonecrosis (AVN) and those without AVN. The frequency distributions of gender, decade of birth, treatment status, and splenectomy status were presented for cases and controls before and after matching. Odds ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) were calculated for each variable before and after matching. The application of case-control matching methodology results in cohorts of cases (i.e., patients with AVN) and controls (i.e., patients without AVN) who have comparable distributions for four common parameters used in subject selection: gender, year of birth (age), treatment status, and splenectomy status. Matching resulted in odds ratios of approximately 1.00, indicating no bias. We demonstrated bias in case-control selection in subjects from a prototype rare disease registry and used case-control matching to minimize this bias. Therefore, this approach appears useful to study cohorts of heterogeneous patients in rare disease registries.

  5. Reducing selection bias in case-control studies from rare disease registries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mistry Pramod K

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In clinical research of rare diseases, where small patient numbers and disease heterogeneity limit study design options, registries are a valuable resource for demographic and outcome information. However, in contrast to prospective, randomized clinical trials, the observational design of registries is prone to introduce selection bias and negatively impact the validity of data analyses. The objective of the study was to demonstrate the utility of case-control matching and the risk-set method in order to control bias in data from a rare disease registry. Data from the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG Gaucher Registry were used as an example. Methods A case-control matching analysis using the risk-set method was conducted to identify two groups of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease in the ICGG Gaucher Registry: patients with avascular osteonecrosis (AVN and those without AVN. The frequency distributions of gender, decade of birth, treatment status, and splenectomy status were presented for cases and controls before and after matching. Odds ratios (and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each variable before and after matching. Results The application of case-control matching methodology results in cohorts of cases (i.e., patients with AVN and controls (i.e., patients without AVN who have comparable distributions for four common parameters used in subject selection: gender, year of birth (age, treatment status, and splenectomy status. Matching resulted in odds ratios of approximately 1.00, indicating no bias. Conclusions We demonstrated bias in case-control selection in subjects from a prototype rare disease registry and used case-control matching to minimize this bias. Therefore, this approach appears useful to study cohorts of heterogeneous patients in rare disease registries.

  6. Potential sources of analytical bias and error in selected trace element data-quality analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Angela P.; Garbarino, John R.; Olsen, Lisa D.; Rosen, Michael R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Struzeski, Tedmund M.

    2016-09-28

    Potential sources of analytical bias and error associated with laboratory analyses for selected trace elements where concentrations were greater in filtered samples than in paired unfiltered samples were evaluated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Quality Specialists in collaboration with the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) and the Branch of Quality Systems (BQS).Causes for trace-element concentrations in filtered samples to exceed those in associated unfiltered samples have been attributed to variability in analytical measurements, analytical bias, sample contamination either in the field or laboratory, and (or) sample-matrix chemistry. These issues have not only been attributed to data generated by the USGS NWQL but have been observed in data generated by other laboratories. This study continues the evaluation of potential analytical bias and error resulting from matrix chemistry and instrument variability by evaluating the performance of seven selected trace elements in paired filtered and unfiltered surface-water and groundwater samples collected from 23 sampling sites of varying chemistries from six States, matrix spike recoveries, and standard reference materials.Filtered and unfiltered samples have been routinely analyzed on separate inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry instruments. Unfiltered samples are treated with hydrochloric acid (HCl) during an in-bottle digestion procedure; filtered samples are not routinely treated with HCl as part of the laboratory analytical procedure. To evaluate the influence of HCl on different sample matrices, an aliquot of the filtered samples was treated with HCl. The addition of HCl did little to differentiate the analytical results between filtered samples treated with HCl from those samples left untreated; however, there was a small, but noticeable, decrease in the number of instances where a particular trace-element concentration was greater in a filtered sample than in the associated

  7. Higher levels of depression are associated with reduced global bias in visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W; Cooper, Andrew

    2014-04-01

    Negative moods have been associated with a tendency to prioritise local details in visual processing. The current study investigated the relation between depression and visual processing using the Navon task, a standard task of local and global processing. In the Navon task, global stimuli are presented that are made up of many local parts, and the participants are instructed to report the identity of either a global or a local target shape. Participants with a low self-reported level of depression showed evidence of the expected global processing bias, and were significantly faster at responding to the global, compared with the local level. By contrast, no such difference was observed in participants with high levels of depression. The reduction of the global bias associated with high levels of depression was only observed in the overall speed of responses to global (versus local) targets, and not in the level of interference produced by the global (versus local) distractors. These results are in line with recent findings of a dissociation between local/global processing bias and interference from local/global distractors, and support the claim that depression is associated with a reduction in the tendency to prioritise global-level processing.

  8. The strength of attentional biases reduces as visual short-term memory load increases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimi, A; Astle, D E

    2013-07-01

    Despite our visual system receiving irrelevant input that competes with task-relevant signals, we are able to pursue our perceptual goals. Attention enhances our visual processing by biasing the processing of the input that is relevant to the task at hand. The top-down signals enabling these biases are therefore important for regulating lower level sensory mechanisms. In three experiments, we examined whether we apply similar biases to successfully maintain information in visual short-term memory (VSTM). We presented participants with targets alongside distracters and we graded their perceptual similarity to vary the extent to which they competed. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that the more items held in VSTM before the onset of the distracters, the more perceptually distinct the distracters needed to be for participants to retain the target accurately. Experiment 3 extended these behavioral findings by demonstrating that the perceptual similarity between target and distracters exerted a significantly greater effect on occipital alpha amplitudes, depending on the number of items already held in VSTM. The trade-off between VSTM load and target-distracter competition suggests that VSTM and perceptual competition share a partially overlapping mechanism, namely top-down inputs into sensory areas.

  9. Attention bias in earthquake-exposed survivors: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan; Kong, Fanchang; Han, Li; Najam Ul Hasan, Abbasi; Chen, Hong

    2014-12-01

    The Chinese Wenchuan earthquake, which happened on the 28th of May in 2008, may leave deep invisible scars in individuals. China has a large number of children and adolescents, who tend to be most vulnerable because they are in an early stage of human development and possible post-traumatic psychological distress may have a life-long consequence. Trauma survivors without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received little attention in previous studies, especially in event-related potential (ERP) studies. We compared the attention bias to threat stimuli between the earthquake-exposed group and the control group in a masked version of the dot probe task. The target probe presented at the same space location consistent with earthquake-related words was the congruent trial, while in the space location of neutral words was the incongruent trial. Thirteen earthquake-exposed middle school students without PTSD and 13 matched controls were included in this investigation. The earthquake-exposed group showed significantly faster RTs to congruent trials than to incongruent trials. The earthquake-exposed group produced significantly shorter C1 and P1 latencies and larger C1, P1 and P2 amplitudes than the control group. In particular, enhanced P1 amplitude to threat stimuli was observed in the earthquake-exposed group. These findings are in agreement with the prediction that earthquake-exposed survivors have an attention bias to threat stimuli. The traumatic event had a much greater effect on earthquake-exposed survivors even if they showed no PTSD symptoms than individuals in the controls. These results will provide neurobiological evidences for effective intervention and prevention to post-traumatic mental problems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Cortical surface-based analysis reduces bias and variance in kinetic modeling of brain PET data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greve, Douglas N; Svarer, Claus; Fisher, Patrick M

    2014-01-01

    Exploratory (i.e., voxelwise) spatial methods are commonly used in neuroimaging to identify areas that show an effect when a region-of-interest (ROI) analysis cannot be performed because no strong a priori anatomical hypothesis exists. However, noise at a single voxel is much higher than noise...... in a ROI making noise management critical to successful exploratory analysis. This work explores how preprocessing choices affect the bias and variability of voxelwise kinetic modeling analysis of brain positron emission tomography (PET) data. These choices include the use of volume- or cortical surface...

  11. Methods of Reducing Bias in Combined Thermal/Epithermal Neutron (CTEN) Assays of Heterogeneous Waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estep, R.J.; Melton, S.; Miko, D.

    1998-11-17

    We examined the effectiveness of two different methods for correcting CTEN passive and active assays for bias due to variations in the source position in different drum types. Both use the same drum-averaged correction determined from a neural network trained to active flux monitor ratios as a starting point. One method then uses a neural network to obtain a spatial correction factor sensitive to the source location. The other method uses emission tomography. Both methods were found to give significantly improved assay accuracy over the drum-averaged correction, although more study is needed to determine which method works better.

  12. Methods of Reducing Bias in Combined Thermal/Epithermal Neutron (CTEN) Assays of Heterogeneous Waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Estep, R.J.; Melton, S.; Miko, D.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the effectiveness of two different methods for correcting CTEN passive and active assays for bias due to variations in the source position in different drum types. Both use the same drum-averaged correction determined from a neural network trained to active flux monitor ratios as a starting point. One method then uses a neural network to obtain a spatial correction factor sensitive to the source location. The other method uses emission tomography. Both methods were found to give significantly improved assay accuracy over the drum-averaged correction, although more study is needed to determine which method works better

  13. Reducing health care costs - potential and limitations of local ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reducing health care costs - potential and limitations of local authority health services. ... both the quality and the cost-effectiveness of health care would be improved. ... LAs offer an appropriate structure for effective community control over the ...

  14. An improved, bias-reduced probabilistic functional gene network of baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Insuk Lee

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Probabilistic functional gene networks are powerful theoretical frameworks for integrating heterogeneous functional genomics and proteomics data into objective models of cellular systems. Such networks provide syntheses of millions of discrete experimental observations, spanning DNA microarray experiments, physical protein interactions, genetic interactions, and comparative genomics; the resulting networks can then be easily applied to generate testable hypotheses regarding specific gene functions and associations.We report a significantly improved version (v. 2 of a probabilistic functional gene network of the baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe our optimization methods and illustrate their effects in three major areas: the reduction of functional bias in network training reference sets, the application of a probabilistic model for calculating confidences in pair-wise protein physical or genetic interactions, and the introduction of simple thresholds that eliminate many false positive mRNA co-expression relationships. Using the network, we predict and experimentally verify the function of the yeast RNA binding protein Puf6 in 60S ribosomal subunit biogenesis.YeastNet v. 2, constructed using these optimizations together with additional data, shows significant reduction in bias and improvements in precision and recall, in total covering 102,803 linkages among 5,483 yeast proteins (95% of the validated proteome. YeastNet is available from http://www.yeastnet.org.

  15. Discovery of novel variants in genotyping arrays improves genotype retention and reduces ascertainment bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didion John P

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-density genotyping arrays that measure hybridization of genomic DNA fragments to allele-specific oligonucleotide probes are widely used to genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in genetic studies, including human genome-wide association studies. Hybridization intensities are converted to genotype calls by clustering algorithms that assign each sample to a genotype class at each SNP. Data for SNP probes that do not conform to the expected pattern of clustering are often discarded, contributing to ascertainment bias and resulting in lost information - as much as 50% in a recent genome-wide association study in dogs. Results We identified atypical patterns of hybridization intensities that were highly reproducible and demonstrated that these patterns represent genetic variants that were not accounted for in the design of the array platform. We characterized variable intensity oligonucleotide (VINO probes that display such patterns and are found in all hybridization-based genotyping platforms, including those developed for human, dog, cattle, and mouse. When recognized and properly interpreted, VINOs recovered a substantial fraction of discarded probes and counteracted SNP ascertainment bias. We developed software (MouseDivGeno that identifies VINOs and improves the accuracy of genotype calling. MouseDivGeno produced highly concordant genotype calls when compared with other methods but it uniquely identified more than 786000 VINOs in 351 mouse samples. We used whole-genome sequence from 14 mouse strains to confirm the presence of novel variants explaining 28000 VINOs in those strains. We also identified VINOs in human HapMap 3 samples, many of which were specific to an African population. Incorporating VINOs in phylogenetic analyses substantially improved the accuracy of a Mus species tree and local haplotype assignment in laboratory mouse strains. Conclusion The problems of ascertainment bias and missing

  16. Children's Attentional Biases and "5-HTTLPR" Genotype: Potential Mechanisms Linking Mother and Child Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Brandon E.; Benas, Jessica S.; Grassia, Marie; McGeary, John

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we examined the roles of specific cognitive (attentional bias) and genetic ("5-HTTLPR") risk factors in the intergenerational transmission of depression. Focusing first on the link between maternal history of major depressive disorder (MDD) and children's attentional biases, we found that children of mothers with a history…

  17. Deceleration of probe beam by stage bias potential improves resolution of serial block-face scanning electron microscopic images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwer, James C; Deerinck, Thomas J; Bushong, Eric; Astakhov, Vadim; Ramachandra, Ranjan; Peltier, Steven T; Ellisman, Mark H

    2017-01-01

    Serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBEM) is quickly becoming an important imaging tool to explore three-dimensional biological structure across spatial scales. At probe-beam-electron energies of 2.0 keV or lower, the axial resolution should improve, because there is less primary electron penetration into the block face. More specifically, at these lower energies, the interaction volume is much smaller, and therefore, surface detail is more highly resolved. However, the backscattered electron yield for metal contrast agents and the backscattered electron detector sensitivity are both sub-optimal at these lower energies, thus negating the gain in axial resolution. We found that the application of a negative voltage (reversal potential) applied to a modified SBEM stage creates a tunable electric field at the sample. This field can be used to decrease the probe-beam-landing energy and, at the same time, alter the trajectory of the signal to increase the signal collected by the detector. With decelerated low landing-energy electrons, we observed that the probe-beam-electron-penetration depth was reduced to less than 30 nm in epoxy-embedded biological specimens. Concurrently, a large increase in recorded signal occurred due to the re-acceleration of BSEs in the bias field towards the objective pole piece where the detector is located. By tuning the bias field, we were able to manipulate the trajectories of the  primary and secondary electrons, enabling the spatial discrimination of these signals using an advanced ring-type BSE detector configuration or a standard monolithic BSE detector coupled with a blocking aperture.

  18. First principles molecular dynamics of metal/water interfaces under bias potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedroza, Luana; Brandimarte, Pedro; Rocha, Alexandre; Fernandez-Serra, Marivi

    2014-03-01

    Understanding the interaction of the water-metal system at an atomic level is extremely important in electrocatalysts for fuel cells, photocatalysis among other systems. The question of the interface energetics involves a detailed study of the nature of the interactions between water-water and water-substrate. A first principles description of all components of the system is the most appropriate methodology in order to advance understanding of electrochemically processes. In this work we describe, using first principles molecular dynamics simulations, the dynamics of a combined surface(Au and Pd)/water system both in the presence and absence of an external bias potential applied to the electrodes, as one would come across in electrochemistry. This is accomplished using a combination of density functional theory (DFT) and non-equilibrium Green's functions methods (NEGF), thus accounting for the fact that one is dealing with an out-of-equilibrium open system, with and without van der Waals interactions. DOE Early Career Award No. DE-SC0003871.

  19. A potential gender bias in assessing quality of life - a standard gamble experiment among university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obaidi, Leath Al; Mahlich, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    There are several methodologies that can be used for evaluating patients' perception of their quality of life. Most commonly, utilities are directly elicited by means of either the time-trade-off or the standard-gamble method. In both methods, risk attitudes determine the quality of life values. Quality of life values among 31 Austrian undergraduate students were elicited by means of the standard gamble approach. The impact of several variables such as gender, side job, length of study, and living arrangements on the quality of life were identified using different types of regression techniques (ordinary least squares, generalized linear model, Betafit). Significant evidence was found that females are associated with a higher quality of life in all specifications of our estimations. The observed gender differences in quality of life can be attributed to a higher degree of risk aversion of women. A higher risk aversion leads to a higher valuation of given health states and a potential gender bias in health economic evaluations. This result could have implications for health policy planners when it comes to budget allocation decisions.

  20. Potential bias factors that affect the course evaluation of students in preclinical courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Jin Chae

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose We aim to identify what potential bias factors affected students’ overall course evaluation, and to observe what factors should be considered in the curriculum evaluation system of medical schools. Methods This study analyzed students’ ratings of preclinical instructions at the Ajou University School of Medicine. The ratings of instructions involved 41 first-year and 45 second-year medical students. Results There was a statistically significant difference between years of study and ratings’ scoring. Learning difficulty, learning amount, student assessment, and teacher preparation from second-year students were significantly higher than first-year students (p<0.05. The analysis results revealed that student assessment was the predictor of ratings from first-year students, while teacher preparation was the predictor of ratings from second-year students. Conclusion We found significant interactions between year of study and the students’ rating results. We were able to confirm that satisfaction of instructions factors perceived by medical students were different for the characteristics of courses. Our results may be an important resource for evaluating preclinical curriculums.

  1. Effects of three types of potentially biasing information on symptom severity judgments for major depressive episode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Gregory H

    2002-10-01

    Two experiments examined the effects of potentially biasing information on judgments of symptom severity pertaining to the diagnosis of major depressive episode (MDE). In both experiments, clinicians viewed videotapes of two actor-simulated patients responding to questions from a standardized diagnostic interview. In Study 1, an expectancy effect was found for both patients such that prior information about a clear-cut history of depression resulted in lower rated severity of current symptoms. In addition, a halo effect was observed for one patient in Study 1 and both patients in Study 2: Clear-cut depressive nonverbal behavior (DNVB) resulted in greater rated severity for symptoms that should not have been affected (e.g., appetite/weight change, suicidal ideation). Clear-cut versus near-threshold information for the two essential criteria for MDE did not affect subsequent judgments in either study. Implications for diagnostic interviewing are discussed. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 58: 1327-1345, 2002.

  2. Communication: Estimating the initial biasing potential for λ-local-elevation umbrella-sampling (λ-LEUS) simulations via slow growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bieler, Noah S.; Hünenberger, Philippe H.

    2014-01-01

    In a recent article [Bieler et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 10, 3006–3022 (2014)], we introduced a combination of the λ-dynamics (λD) approach for calculating alchemical free-energy differences and of the local-elevation umbrella-sampling (LEUS) memory-based biasing method to enhance the sampling along the alchemical coordinate. The combined scheme, referred to as λ-LEUS, was applied to the perturbation of hydroquinone to benzene in water as a test system, and found to represent an improvement over thermodynamic integration (TI) in terms of sampling efficiency at equivalent accuracy. However, the preoptimization of the biasing potential required in the λ-LEUS method requires “filling up” all the basins in the potential of mean force. This introduces a non-productive pre-sampling time that is system-dependent, and generally exceeds the corresponding equilibration time in a TI calculation. In this letter, a remedy is proposed to this problem, termed the slow growth memory guessing (SGMG) approach. Instead of initializing the biasing potential to zero at the start of the preoptimization, an approximate potential of mean force is estimated from a short slow growth calculation, and its negative used to construct the initial memory. Considering the same test system as in the preceding article, it is shown that of the application of SGMG in λ-LEUS permits to reduce the preoptimization time by about a factor of four

  3. Communication: Estimating the initial biasing potential for λ-local-elevation umbrella-sampling (λ-LEUS) simulations via slow growth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bieler, Noah S.; Hünenberger, Philippe H., E-mail: phil@igc.phys.chem.ethz.ch [Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH Zürich, CH-8093 Zürich (Switzerland)

    2014-11-28

    In a recent article [Bieler et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 10, 3006–3022 (2014)], we introduced a combination of the λ-dynamics (λD) approach for calculating alchemical free-energy differences and of the local-elevation umbrella-sampling (LEUS) memory-based biasing method to enhance the sampling along the alchemical coordinate. The combined scheme, referred to as λ-LEUS, was applied to the perturbation of hydroquinone to benzene in water as a test system, and found to represent an improvement over thermodynamic integration (TI) in terms of sampling efficiency at equivalent accuracy. However, the preoptimization of the biasing potential required in the λ-LEUS method requires “filling up” all the basins in the potential of mean force. This introduces a non-productive pre-sampling time that is system-dependent, and generally exceeds the corresponding equilibration time in a TI calculation. In this letter, a remedy is proposed to this problem, termed the slow growth memory guessing (SGMG) approach. Instead of initializing the biasing potential to zero at the start of the preoptimization, an approximate potential of mean force is estimated from a short slow growth calculation, and its negative used to construct the initial memory. Considering the same test system as in the preceding article, it is shown that of the application of SGMG in λ-LEUS permits to reduce the preoptimization time by about a factor of four.

  4. SNP discovery in nonmodel organisms: strand bias and base-substitution errors reduce conversion rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves da Silva, Anders; Barendse, William; Kijas, James W; Barris, Wes C; McWilliam, Sean; Bunch, Rowan J; McCullough, Russell; Harrison, Blair; Hoelzel, A Rus; England, Phillip R

    2015-07-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have become the marker of choice for genetic studies in organisms of conservation, commercial or biological interest. Most SNP discovery projects in nonmodel organisms apply a strategy for identifying putative SNPs based on filtering rules that account for random sequencing errors. Here, we analyse data used to develop 4723 novel SNPs for the commercially important deep-sea fish, orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), to assess the impact of not accounting for systematic sequencing errors when filtering identified polymorphisms when discovering SNPs. We used SAMtools to identify polymorphisms in a velvet assembly of genomic DNA sequence data from seven individuals. The resulting set of polymorphisms were filtered to minimize 'bycatch'-polymorphisms caused by sequencing or assembly error. An Illumina Infinium SNP chip was used to genotype a final set of 7714 polymorphisms across 1734 individuals. Five predictors were examined for their effect on the probability of obtaining an assayable SNP: depth of coverage, number of reads that support a variant, polymorphism type (e.g. A/C), strand-bias and Illumina SNP probe design score. Our results indicate that filtering out systematic sequencing errors could substantially improve the efficiency of SNP discovery. We show that BLASTX can be used as an efficient tool to identify single-copy genomic regions in the absence of a reference genome. The results have implications for research aiming to identify assayable SNPs and build SNP genotyping assays for nonmodel organisms. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Investigating d-cycloserine as a potential pharmacological enhancer of an emotional bias learning procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woud, Marcella L; Blackwell, Simon E; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Browning, Michael; Holmes, Emily A; Harmer, Catherine J; Margraf, Jürgen; Reinecke, Andrea

    2018-05-01

    The partial N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonist d-cycloserine may enhance psychological therapies. However, its exact mechanism of action is still being investigated. Cognitive bias modification techniques allow isolation of cognitive processes and thus investigation of how they may be affected by d-cycloserine. We used a cognitive bias modification paradigm targeting appraisals of a stressful event, Cognitive Bias Modification-Appraisal, to investigate whether d-cycloserine enhanced the modification of appraisal, and whether it caused greater reduction in indices of psychopathology. Participants received either 250 mg of d-cycloserine ( n=19) or placebo ( n=19). As a stressor task, participants recalled a negative life event, followed by positive Cognitive Bias Modification-Appraisal training. Before and after Cognitive Bias Modification-Appraisal, appraisals and indices of psychopathology related to the stressor were assessed. Cognitive Bias Modification-Appraisal successfully modified appraisals, but d-cycloserine did not affect appraisals post-training. There were no post-training group differences in frequency of intrusions. Interestingly, d-cycloserine led to a greater reduction in distress and impact on state mood from recalling the event, and lower distress post-training was associated with fewer intrusions. Therefore, d-cycloserine may affect emotional reactivity to recalling a negative event when combined with induction of a positive appraisal style, but via a mechanism other than enhanced learning of the appraisal style.

  6. Attentional Bias in Patients with Decompensated Tinnitus: Prima Facie Evidence from Event-Related Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhicheng; Gu, Ruolei; Zeng, Xiangli; Zhong, Weifang; Qi, Min; Cen, Jintian

    2016-01-01

    Tinnitus refers to the auditory perception of sound in the absence of external sound or electric stimuli. The influence of tinnitus on cognitive processing is at the cutting edge of ongoing tinnitus research. In this study, we adopted an objective indicator of attentional processing, i.e. the mismatch negativity (MMN), to assess the attentional bias in patients with decompensated tinnitus. Three kinds of pure tones, D1 (8,000 Hz), S (8,500 Hz) and D2 (9,000 Hz), were used to induce event-related potentials (ERPs) in the normal ear. Employing the oddball paradigm, the task was divided into two blocks in which D1 and D2 were set as deviation stimuli, respectively. Only D2 induced a significant MMN in the tinnitus group, while neither D1 nor D2 was able to induce MMN in the control group. In addition, the ERPs in the left hemisphere, which were recorded within the time window of 90-150 ms (ERP 90-150 ms), were significantly higher than those in the right hemisphere in the tinnitus group, while no significant difference was observed in the control group. Lastly, the amplitude of ERP 90-150 ms in the tinnitus group was significantly higher than that in the control group. These findings suggest that patients with decompensated tinnitus showed automatic processing of acoustic stimuli, thereby indicating that these patients allocated more cognitive resources to acoustic stimulus processing. We suggest that the difficulty in disengaging or facilitated attention of patients might underlie this phenomenon. The limitations of the current study are discussed. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. The personal interview: assessing the potential for personality similarity to bias the selection of orthopaedic residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, Andres J; Segal, Lee S; King, Tonya S; Black, Kevin P

    2009-10-01

    The selection of medical students for training in orthopaedic surgery consists of an objective screening of cognitive skills to secure interviews for the brightest candidates, followed by subjective measures of candidates to confirm whether applicants are worthy of further consideration. The personal interview and its potential biased impact on the orthopaedic workforce were evaluated. During 2004-2006 at the Penn State College of Medicine, the authors performed a prospective cohort study in which 30 consenting interviewers and 135 interviewees completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator before the interviews. Completed surveys were evaluated after submitting the resident selection list to the National Residency Matching Program, and candidate rankings based solely on the personal interview were analyzed. Clinicians ranked candidates more favorably when they shared certain personality preferences (P = .044) and when they shared the preference groupings of the quadrant extrovert-sensing and either the function pair sensing-thinking (P = .007) or the temperament sensing-judging (P = .003), or the function pair sensing-feeling and the temperament sensing-judging (P = .029). No associations existed between personality preferences and interviewee rankings performed by basic scientists and resident interviewers. The results support the hypothesis that, within the department studied, there was a significant association between similarities in personality type and the rankings that individual faculty interviewers assigned to applicants at the completion of each interview session. The authors believe that it is important for the faculty member to recognize that this tendency exists. Finally, promoting diversity within the admission committee may foster a diverse resident body and orthopaedic workforce.

  8. Investigating the Potential of Ridesharing to Reduce Vehicle Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roozbeh Jalali

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available As urban populations grow, cities need new strategies to maintain a good standard of living while enhancing services and infrastructure development. A key area for improving city operations and spatial layout is the transportation of people and goods. While conventional transportation systems (i.e., fossil fuel based are struggling to serve mobility needs for growing populations, they also represent serious environmental threats. Alternative-fuel vehicles can reduce emissions that contribute to local air pollution and greenhouse gases as mobility needs grow. However, even if alternative-powered vehicles were widely employed, road congestion would still increase. This paper investigates ridesharing as a mobility option to reduce emissions (carbon, particulates and ozone while accommodating growing transportation needs and reducing overall congestion. The potential of ridesharing to reduce carbon emissions from personal vehicles in Changsha, China, is examined by reviewing mobility patterns of approximately 8,900 privately-owned vehicles over two months. Big data analytics identify ridesharing potential among these drivers by grouping vehicles by their trajectory similarity. The approach includes five steps: data preprocessing, trip recognition, feature vector creation, similarity measurement and clustering. Potential reductions in vehicle emissions through ridesharing among a specific group of drivers are calculated and discussed. While the quantitative results of this analysis are specific to the population of Changsha, they provide useful insights for the potential of ridesharing to reduce vehicle emissions and the congestion expected to grow with mobility needs. Within the study area, ridesharing has the potential to reduce total kilometers driven by about 24% assuming a maximum distance between trips less than 10 kilometers, and schedule time less than 60 minutes. For a more conservative maximum trip distance of 2 kilometers and passenger

  9. Abdominal acupuncture reduces laser-evoked potentials in healthy subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pazzaglia, C.; Liguori, S.; Minciotti, I.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Acupuncture is known to reduce clinical pain, although the exact mechanism is unknown. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of acupuncture on laser-evoked potential amplitudes and laser pain perception. Methods: In order to evaluate whether abdominal acupuncture...... is able to modify pain perception, 10 healthy subjects underwent a protocol in which laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and laser pain perception were collected before the test (baseline), during abdominal acupuncture, and 15. min after needle removal. The same subjects also underwent a similar protocol...... in which, however, sham acupuncture without any needle penetration was used. Results: During real acupuncture, both N1 and N2/P2 amplitudes were reduced, as compared to baseline (p . < 0.01). The reduction lasted up to 15. min after needle removal. Furthermore, laser pain perception was reduced during...

  10. Potential fitting biases resulting from grouping data into variable width bins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Towers, S.

    2014-01-01

    When reading peer-reviewed scientific literature describing any analysis of empirical data, it is natural and correct to proceed with the underlying assumption that experiments have made good faith efforts to ensure that their analyses yield unbiased results. However, particle physics experiments are expensive and time consuming to carry out, thus if an analysis has inherent bias (even if unintentional), much money and effort can be wasted trying to replicate or understand the results, particularly if the analysis is fundamental to our understanding of the universe. In this note we discuss the significant biases that can result from data binning schemes. As we will show, if data are binned such that they provide the best comparison to a particular (but incorrect) model, the resulting model parameter estimates when fitting to the binned data can be significantly biased, leading us to too often accept the model hypothesis when it is not in fact true. When using binned likelihood or least squares methods there is of course no a priori requirement that data bin sizes need to be constant, but we show that fitting to data grouped into variable width bins is particularly prone to produce biased results if the bin boundaries are chosen to optimize the comparison of the binned data to a wrong model. The degree of bias that can be achieved simply with variable binning can be surprisingly large. Fitting the data with an unbinned likelihood method, when possible to do so, is the best way for researchers to show that their analyses are not biased by binning effects. Failing that, equal bin widths should be employed as a cross-check of the fitting analysis whenever possible

  11. Potential fitting biases resulting from grouping data into variable width bins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Towers, S., E-mail: smtowers@asu.edu

    2014-07-30

    When reading peer-reviewed scientific literature describing any analysis of empirical data, it is natural and correct to proceed with the underlying assumption that experiments have made good faith efforts to ensure that their analyses yield unbiased results. However, particle physics experiments are expensive and time consuming to carry out, thus if an analysis has inherent bias (even if unintentional), much money and effort can be wasted trying to replicate or understand the results, particularly if the analysis is fundamental to our understanding of the universe. In this note we discuss the significant biases that can result from data binning schemes. As we will show, if data are binned such that they provide the best comparison to a particular (but incorrect) model, the resulting model parameter estimates when fitting to the binned data can be significantly biased, leading us to too often accept the model hypothesis when it is not in fact true. When using binned likelihood or least squares methods there is of course no a priori requirement that data bin sizes need to be constant, but we show that fitting to data grouped into variable width bins is particularly prone to produce biased results if the bin boundaries are chosen to optimize the comparison of the binned data to a wrong model. The degree of bias that can be achieved simply with variable binning can be surprisingly large. Fitting the data with an unbinned likelihood method, when possible to do so, is the best way for researchers to show that their analyses are not biased by binning effects. Failing that, equal bin widths should be employed as a cross-check of the fitting analysis whenever possible.

  12. Illusions of causality: How they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena eMatute

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion.

  13. Illusions of causality: how they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matute, Helena; Blanco, Fernando; Yarritu, Ion; Díaz-Lago, Marcos; Vadillo, Miguel A; Barberia, Itxaso

    2015-01-01

    Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion.

  14. Illusions of causality: how they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matute, Helena; Blanco, Fernando; Yarritu, Ion; Díaz-Lago, Marcos; Vadillo, Miguel A.; Barberia, Itxaso

    2015-01-01

    Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion. PMID:26191014

  15. Ensemble clustering in visual working memory biases location memories and reduces the Weber noise of relative positions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, Timothy F; Vul, Edward

    2015-01-01

    People seem to compute the ensemble statistics of objects and use this information to support the recall of individual objects in visual working memory. However, there are many different ways that hierarchical structure might be encoded. We examined the format of structured memories by asking subjects to recall the locations of objects arranged in different spatial clustering structures. Consistent with previous investigations of structured visual memory, subjects recalled objects biased toward the center of their clusters. Subjects also recalled locations more accurately when they were arranged in fewer clusters containing more objects, suggesting that subjects used the clustering structure of objects to aid recall. Furthermore, subjects had more difficulty recalling larger relative distances, consistent with subjects encoding the positions of objects relative to clusters and recalling them with magnitude-proportional (Weber) noise. Our results suggest that clustering improved the fidelity of recall by biasing the recall of locations toward cluster centers to compensate for uncertainty and by reducing the magnitude of encoded relative distances.

  16. Measuring Program Quality, Part 2: Addressing Potential Cultural Bias in a Rater Reliability Exam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richer, Amanda; Charmaraman, Linda; Ceder, Ineke

    2018-01-01

    Like instruments used in afterschool programs to assess children's social and emotional growth or to evaluate staff members' performance, instruments used to evaluate program quality should be free from bias. Practitioners and researchers alike want to know that assessment instruments, whatever their type or intent, treat all people fairly and do…

  17. Potential of bias correction for downscaling passive microwave and soil moisture data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passive microwave satellites such as SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) or SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) observe brightness temperature (TB) and retrieve soil moisture at a spatial resolution greater than most hydrological processes. Bias correction is proposed as a simple method to disag...

  18. Bias modification training can alter approach bias and chocolate consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Sophie E; Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence has demonstrated that bias modification training has potential to reduce cognitive biases for attractive targets and affect health behaviours. The present study investigated whether cognitive bias modification training could be applied to reduce approach bias for chocolate and affect subsequent chocolate consumption. A sample of 120 women (18-27 years) were randomly assigned to an approach-chocolate condition or avoid-chocolate condition, in which they were trained to approach or avoid pictorial chocolate stimuli, respectively. Training had the predicted effect on approach bias, such that participants trained to approach chocolate demonstrated an increased approach bias to chocolate stimuli whereas participants trained to avoid such stimuli showed a reduced bias. Further, participants trained to avoid chocolate ate significantly less of a chocolate muffin in a subsequent taste test than participants trained to approach chocolate. Theoretically, results provide support for the dual process model's conceptualisation of consumption as being driven by implicit processes such as approach bias. In practice, approach bias modification may be a useful component of interventions designed to curb the consumption of unhealthy foods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Normalization reduces intersubject variability in cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tilburg, Mark J; Herrmann, Barbara S; Guinan, John J; Rauch, Steven D

    2014-09-01

    Cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials are used to assess saccular and inferior vestibular nerve function. Normalization of the VEMP waveform has been proposed to reduce the variability in vestibular evoked myogenic potentials by correcting for muscle activation. In this study, we test the hypothesis that normalization of the raw cervical VEMP waveform causes a significant decrease in the intersubject variability. Prospective cohort study. Large specialty hospital, department of otolaryngology. Twenty healthy subjects were used in this study. All subjects underwent cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing using short tone bursts at 250, 500, 750, and 1,000 Hz. Both intersubject and intrasubject variability was assessed. Variability between raw and normalized peak-to-peak amplitudes was compared using the coefficient of variation. Intrasubject variability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and interaural asymmetry ratio. cVEMPs were present in most ears. Highest peak-to-peak amplitudes were recorded at 750 Hz. Normalization did not alter cVEMP tuning characteristics. Normalization of the cVEMP response caused a significant reduction in intersubject variability of the peak-to-peak amplitude. No significant change was seen in the intrasubject variability. Normalization significantly reduces cVEMP intersubject variability in healthy subjects without altering cVEMP characteristics. By reducing cVEMP amplitude variation due to nonsaccular, muscle-related factors, cVEMP normalization is expected to improve the ability to distinguish between healthy and pathologic responses in the clinical application of cVEMP testing.

  20. N-Acetylcysteine reduces cocaine-cue attentional bias and differentially alters cocaine self-administration based on dosing order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi Bolin, B; Alcorn, Joseph L; Lile, Joshua A; Rush, Craig R; Rayapati, Abner O; Hays, Lon R; Stoops, William W

    2017-09-01

    Disrupted glutamate homeostasis is thought to contribute to cocaine-use disorder, in particular, by enhancing the incentive salience of cocaine stimuli. n-Acetylcysteine might be useful in cocaine-use disorder by normalizing glutamate function. In prior studies, n-acetylcysteine blocked the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory animals and reduced the salience of cocaine stimuli and delayed relapse in humans. The present study determined the ability of maintenance on n-acetylcysteine (0 or 2400mg/day, counterbalanced) to reduce the incentive salience of cocaine stimuli, as measured by an attentional bias task, and attenuate intranasal cocaine self-administration (0, 30, and 60mg). Fourteen individuals (N=14) who met criteria for cocaine abuse or dependence completed this within-subjects, double-blind, crossover-design study. Cocaine-cue attentional bias was greatest following administration of 0mg cocaine during placebo maintenance, and was attenuated by n-acetylcysteine. Cocaine maintained responding during placebo and n-acetylcysteine maintenance, but the reinforcing effects of cocaine were significantly attenuated across both maintenance conditions in participants maintained on n-acetylcysteine first compared to participants maintained on placebo first. These results collectively suggest that a reduction in the incentive salience of cocaine-related stimuli during n-acetylcysteine maintenance may be accompanied by reductions in cocaine self-administration. These results are in agreement with, and link, prior preclinical and clinical trial results suggesting that n-acetylcysteine might be useful for preventing cocaine relapse by attenuating the incentive salience of cocaine cues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Using linked educational attainment data to reduce bias due to missing outcome data in estimates of the association between the duration of breastfeeding and IQ at 15 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornish, Rosie P; Tilling, Kate; Boyd, Andy; Davies, Amy; Macleod, John

    2015-06-01

    Most epidemiological studies have missing information, leading to reduced power and potential bias. Estimates of exposure-outcome associations will generally be biased if the outcome variable is missing not at random (MNAR). Linkage to administrative data containing a proxy for the missing study outcome allows assessment of whether this outcome is MNAR and the evaluation of bias. We examined this in relation to the association between infant breastfeeding and IQ at 15 years, where a proxy for IQ was available through linkage to school attainment data. Subjects were those who enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in 1990-91 (n = 13 795), of whom 5023 had IQ measured at age 15. For those with missing IQ, 7030 (79%) had information on educational attainment at age 16 obtained through linkage to the National Pupil Database. The association between duration of breastfeeding and IQ was estimated using a complete case analysis, multiple imputation and inverse probability-of-missingness weighting; these estimates were then compared with those derived from analyses informed by the linkage. IQ at 15 was MNAR-individuals with higher attainment were less likely to have missing IQ data, even after adjusting for socio-demographic factors. All the approaches underestimated the association between breastfeeding and IQ compared with analyses informed by linkage. Linkage to administrative data containing a proxy for the outcome variable allows the MNAR assumption to be tested and more efficient analyses to be performed. Under certain circumstances, this may produce unbiased results. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.

  2. A Perceptual Pathway to Bias: Interracial Exposure Reduces Abrupt Shifts in Real-Time Race Perception That Predict Mixed-Race Bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Jonathan B; Pauker, Kristin; Sanchez, Diana T

    2016-04-01

    In two national samples, we examined the influence of interracial exposure in one's local environment on the dynamic process underlying race perception and its evaluative consequences. Using a mouse-tracking paradigm, we found in Study 1 that White individuals with low interracial exposure exhibited a unique effect of abrupt, unstable White-Black category shifting during real-time perception of mixed-race faces, consistent with predictions from a neural-dynamic model of social categorization and computational simulations. In Study 2, this shifting effect was replicated and shown to predict a trust bias against mixed-race individuals and to mediate the effect of low interracial exposure on that trust bias. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that interracial exposure shapes the dynamics through which racial categories activate and resolve during real-time perceptions, and these initial perceptual dynamics, in turn, may help drive evaluative biases against mixed-race individuals. Thus, lower-level perceptual aspects of encounters with racial ambiguity may serve as a foundation for mixed-race prejudice. © The Author(s) 2016.

  3. Assessing the Potential for Bias From Nonresponse to a Study Follow-up Interview: An Example From the Agricultural Health Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinsky, Jessica L; Richardson, David B; Wing, Steve; Beard, John D; Alavanja, Michael; Beane Freeman, Laura E; Chen, Honglei; Henneberger, Paul K; Kamel, Freya; Sandler, Dale P; Hoppin, Jane A

    2017-08-15

    Prospective cohort studies are important tools for identifying causes of disease. However, these studies are susceptible to attrition. When information collected after enrollment is through interview or exam, attrition leads to missing information for nonrespondents. The Agricultural Health Study enrolled 52,394 farmers in 1993-1997 and collected additional information during subsequent interviews. Forty-six percent of enrolled farmers responded to the 2005-2010 interview; 7% of farmers died prior to the interview. We examined whether response was related to attributes measured at enrollment. To characterize potential bias from attrition, we evaluated differences in associations between smoking and incidence of 3 cancer types between the enrolled cohort and the subcohort of 2005-2010 respondents, using cancer registry information. In the subcohort we evaluated the ability of inverse probability weighting (IPW) to reduce bias. Response was related to age, state, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, smoking, and alcohol consumption. When exposure and outcome were associated and case response was differential by exposure, some bias was observed; IPW conditional on exposure and covariates failed to correct estimates. When response was nondifferential, subcohort and full-cohort estimates were similar, making IPW unnecessary. This example provides a demonstration of investigating the influence of attrition in cohort studies using information that has been self-reported after enrollment. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Camera trap placement and the potential for bias due to trails and other features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolowski, Joseph M; Forrester, Tavis D

    2017-01-01

    Camera trapping has become an increasingly widespread tool for wildlife ecologists, with large numbers of studies relying on photo capture rates or presence/absence information. It is increasingly clear that camera placement can directly impact this kind of data, yet these biases are poorly understood. We used a paired camera design to investigate the effect of small-scale habitat features on species richness estimates, and capture rate and detection probability of several mammal species in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA. Cameras were deployed at either log features or on game trails with a paired camera at a nearby random location. Overall capture rates were significantly higher at trail and log cameras compared to their paired random cameras, and some species showed capture rates as much as 9.7 times greater at feature-based cameras. We recorded more species at both log (17) and trail features (15) than at their paired control cameras (13 and 12 species, respectively), yet richness estimates were indistinguishable after 659 and 385 camera nights of survey effort, respectively. We detected significant increases (ranging from 11-33%) in detection probability for five species resulting from the presence of game trails. For six species detection probability was also influenced by the presence of a log feature. This bias was most pronounced for the three rodents investigated, where in all cases detection probability was substantially higher (24.9-38.2%) at log cameras. Our results indicate that small-scale factors, including the presence of game trails and other features, can have significant impacts on species detection when camera traps are employed. Significant biases may result if the presence and quality of these features are not documented and either incorporated into analytical procedures, or controlled for in study design.

  5. Can Spirulina maxima reduce the mutagenic potential of sibutramine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araldi, R P; Santos, N P; Mendes, T B; Carvalho, L B; Ito, E T; de-Sá-Júnior, P L; Souza, E B

    2015-12-28

    The worldwide obesity pandemic requires the use of anti-obesity drugs. Sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug that has been used worldwide but is indiscriminately consumed in Brazil. Several studies have demonstrated that sibutramine promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, but several side effects have been associated with its systematic consumption. For this reason, sibutramine was withdrawn from the European and American markets, but still remains legal for use in Brazil. Studies have shown that a 5-10% reduction in body weight results in outstanding health benefits for obese patients. However, in order to promote significant weight loss, it is necessary to use sibutramine for at least 2 years. This long-term exposure has carcinogenic potential, as sibutramine causes DNA damage. Thus, this study evaluated the in vivo mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone (5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 mg/kg) and in association with Spirulina maxima (150 and 300 mg/kg), a cyanobacterium with antioxidant potential, using the polychromatic erythrocyte micronucleus test. Our results reinforced the mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone, which showed a time-dependent action. Combinatory treatments with S. maxima were not able to reduce the genotoxicity of sibutramine. These results were confirmed in vitro with the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus test. In conclusion, our data showed that new alternative anti-obesity treatments are needed since the consumption of sibutramine can increase the risk of cancer in overweight patients.

  6. Does information from ClinicalTrials.gov increase transparency and reduce bias? Results from a five-report case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Gaelen P; Springs, Stacey; Trikalinos, Thomas; Williams, John W; Eaton, Jennifer L; Von Isenburg, Megan; Gierisch, Jennifer M; Wilson, Lisa M; Robinson, Karen A; Viswanathan, Meera; Middleton, Jennifer Cook; Forman-Hoffman, Valerie L; Berliner, Elise; Kaplan, Robert M

    2018-04-16

    We investigated whether information in ClinicalTrials.gov would impact the conclusions of five ongoing systematic reviews. We considered five reviews that included 495 studies total. Each review team conducted a search of ClinicalTrials.gov up to the date of the review's last literature search, screened the records using the review's eligibility criteria, extracted information, and assessed risk of bias and applicability. Each team then evaluated the impact of the evidence found in ClinicalTrials.gov on the conclusions in the review. Across the five reviews, the number of studies that had both a registry record and a publication varied widely, from none in one review to 43% of all studies identified in another. Among the studies with both a record and publication, there was also wide variability in the match between published outcomes and those listed in ClinicalTrials.gov. Of the 173 total ClinicalTrials.gov records identified across the five projects, between 11 and 43% did not have an associated publication. In the 14% of records that contained results, the new data provided in the ClinicalTrials.gov records did not change the results or conclusions of the reviews. Finally, a large number of published studies were not registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, but many of these were published before ClinicalTrials.gov's inception date of 2000. Improved prospective registration of trials and consistent reporting of results in ClinicalTrials.gov would help make ClinicalTrials.gov records more useful in finding unpublished information and identifying potential biases. In addition, consistent indexing in databases, such as MEDLINE, would allow for better matching of records and publications, leading to increased utility of these searches for systematic review projects.

  7. Lepidosaurian diversity in the Mesozoic-Palaeogene: the potential roles of sampling biases and environmental drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, Terri J.; Benson, Roger B. J.; Evans, Susan E.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2018-03-01

    Lepidosauria is a speciose clade with a long evolutionary history, but there have been few attempts to explore its taxon richness through time. Here we estimate patterns of terrestrial lepidosaur genus diversity for the Triassic-Palaeogene (252-23 Ma), and compare observed and sampling-corrected richness curves generated using Shareholder Quorum Subsampling and classical rarefaction. Generalized least-squares regression (GLS) is used to investigate the relationships between richness, sampling and environmental proxies. We found low levels of richness from the Triassic until the Late Cretaceous (except in the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian of Europe). High richness is recovered for the Late Cretaceous of North America, which declined across the K-Pg boundary but remained relatively high throughout the Palaeogene. Richness decreased following the Eocene-Oligocene Grande Coupure in North America and Europe, but remained high in North America and very high in Europe compared to the Late Cretaceous; elsewhere data are lacking. GLS analyses indicate that sampling biases (particularly, the number of fossil collections per interval) are the best explanation for long-term face-value genus richness trends. The lepidosaur fossil record presents many problems when attempting to reconstruct past diversity, with geographical sampling biases being of particular concern, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

  8. Potential reduced exposure products (PREPs) in industry trial testimony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne, Geoffrey Ferris

    2006-12-01

    To identify patterns in trial testimony that may reflect on the intentions or expectations of tobacco manufacturers with regard to the introduction of potential reduced exposure products (PREPs). Research was conducted using the Deposition and Trial Testimony Archive (DATTA) collection of trial testimony and depositions housed online at Tobacco Documents Online (www.tobaccodocuments.org). Relevant testimony was identified through full-text searches of terms indicating PREPs or harm reduction strategies. The role and function of PREPs in testimony were classified according to common and contrasting themes. These were analysed in the context of broader trial arguments and against changes in time period and the market. Analysis of testimony suggests that the failure of PREPs in the market tempered initial industry enthusiasm and made protection of the conventional cigarette market its major priority. The "breakthrough" character of PREPs has been de-emphasised, with trial arguments instead positioning PREPs as simply another choice for consumers. This framework legitimises the sale of conventional brands, and shifts the responsibility for adoption of safer products from the manufacturer to the consumer. Likewise, testimony has abandoned earlier dramatic health claims made with regard to PREPs, which had undermined industry arguments regarding efforts to reduce harm in conventional products. More recent testimony advocates the broad acceptance of independent guidelines that would validate use of health claims and enable the industry to market PREPs to consumers. Trial testimony reflects the changing role and positioning of PREPs by the tobacco industry. The findings are of particular importance with regard to future evaluation and potential regulation of reduced harm products.

  9. Approximate Bias Correction in Econometrics

    OpenAIRE

    James G. MacKinnon; Anthony A. Smith Jr.

    1995-01-01

    This paper discusses ways to reduce the bias of consistent estimators that are biased in finite samples. It is necessary that the bias function, which relates parameter values to bias, should be estimable by computer simulation or by some other method. If so, bias can be reduced or, in some cases that may not be unrealistic, even eliminated. In general, several evaluations of the bias function will be required to do this. Unfortunately, reducing bias may increase the variance, or even the mea...

  10. Reducing potentially preventable complications at the multi hospital level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czyz Anne

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study describes the continuation of a program to constrain health care costs by limiting inpatient hospital programs among the hospitals of Syracuse, New York. Through a community demonstration project, it identified components of individual hospital programs for reduction of complications and their impact on the frequency and rates of these outcomes. Findings This study involved the implementation of interventions by three hospitals using the Potentially Preventable Complications System developed by 3M™ Health Information Systems. The program is noteworthy because it included competing hospitals in the same community working together to reduce adverse patient outcomes and related costs. The study data identified statistically significant reductions in the frequency of high and low volume complications during the three year period at two of the hospitals. At both of these hospitals, aggregate complication rates also declined. At these hospitals, the differences between actual complication rates and severity adjusted complication rates were also reduced. At the third hospital, specific and aggregate complication rates remained the same or increased slightly. Differences between these rates and those of severity adjusted comparison population also remained the same or increased. Conclusions Results of the study suggested that, in one community health care system, the progress of reducing complications involved different experiences. At two hospitals with relatively higher rates at the beginning of the study, management by administrative and clinical staff outside quality assurance produced significant reductions in complication rates, while at a hospital with lower rates, management by quality assurance staff had little effect on reducing the rate of PPCs.

  11. Dual Labeling Biotin Switch Assay to Reduce Bias Derived From Different Cysteine Subpopulations: A Method to Maximize S-Nitrosylation Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Heaseung Sophia; Murray, Christopher I; Venkatraman, Vidya; Crowgey, Erin L; Rainer, Peter P; Cole, Robert N; Bomgarden, Ryan D; Rogers, John C; Balkan, Wayne; Hare, Joshua M; Kass, David A; Van Eyk, Jennifer E

    2015-10-23

    S-nitrosylation (SNO), an oxidative post-translational modification of cysteine residues, responds to changes in the cardiac redox-environment. Classic biotin-switch assay and its derivatives are the most common methods used for detecting SNO. In this approach, the labile SNO group is selectively replaced with a single stable tag. To date, a variety of thiol-reactive tags have been introduced. However, these methods have not produced a consistent data set, which suggests an incomplete capture by a single tag and potentially the presence of different cysteine subpopulations. To investigate potential labeling bias in the existing methods with a single tag to detect SNO, explore if there are distinct cysteine subpopulations, and then, develop a strategy to maximize the coverage of SNO proteome. We obtained SNO-modified cysteine data sets for wild-type and S-nitrosoglutathione reductase knockout mouse hearts (S-nitrosoglutathione reductase is a negative regulator of S-nitrosoglutathione production) and nitric oxide-induced human embryonic kidney cell using 2 labeling reagents: the cysteine-reactive pyridyldithiol and iodoacetyl based tandem mass tags. Comparison revealed that <30% of the SNO-modified residues were detected by both tags, whereas the remaining SNO sites were only labeled by 1 reagent. Characterization of the 2 distinct subpopulations of SNO residues indicated that pyridyldithiol reagent preferentially labels cysteine residues that are more basic and hydrophobic. On the basis of this observation, we proposed a parallel dual-labeling strategy followed by an optimized proteomics workflow. This enabled the profiling of 493 SNO sites in S-nitrosoglutathione reductase knockout hearts. Using a protocol comprising 2 tags for dual-labeling maximizes overall detection of SNO by reducing the previously unrecognized labeling bias derived from different cysteine subpopulations. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

  12. Heuristic and analytic processes in reasoning: an event-related potential study of belief bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Adrian P; Hope, Christopher

    2014-03-01

    Human reasoning involves both heuristic and analytic processes. This study of belief bias in relational reasoning investigated whether the two processes occur serially or in parallel. Participants evaluated the validity of problems in which the conclusions were either logically valid or invalid and either believable or unbelievable. Problems in which the conclusions presented a conflict between the logically valid response and the believable response elicited a more positive P3 than problems in which there was no conflict. This shows that P3 is influenced by the interaction of belief and logic rather than either of these factors on its own. These findings indicate that belief and logic influence reasoning at the same time, supporting models in which belief-based and logical evaluations occur in parallel but not theories in which belief-based heuristic evaluations precede logical analysis.

  13. Reduced carbon sequestration potential of biochar in acidic soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yaqi; Zhan, Yu; Zhu, Lizhong

    2016-12-01

    Biochar application in soil has been proposed as a promising method for carbon sequestration. While factors affecting its carbon sequestration potential have been widely investigated, the number of studies on the effect of soil pH is limited. To investigate the carbon sequestration potential of biochar across a series of soil pH levels, the total carbon emission, CO 2 release from inorganic carbon, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) of six soils with various pH levels were compared after the addition of straw biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperatures. The results show that the acidic soils released more CO 2 (1.5-3.5 times higher than the control) after the application of biochar compared with neutral and alkaline soils. The degradation of both native soil organic carbon (SOC) and biochar were accelerated. More inorganic CO 2 release in acidic soil contributed to the increased degradation of biochar. Higher proportion of gram-positive bacteria in acidic soil (25%-36%) was responsible for the enhanced biochar degradation and simultaneously co-metabolism of SOC. In addition, lower substrate limitation for bacteria, indicated by higher C-O stretching after the biochar application in the acidic soil, also caused more CO 2 release. In addition to the soil pH, other factors such as clay contents and experimental duration also affected the phsico-chemical and biotic processes of SOC dynamics. Gram-negative/gram-positive bacteria ratio was found to be negatively related to priming effects, and suggested to serve as an indicator for priming effect. In general, the carbon sequestration potential of rice-straw biochar in soil reduced along with the decrease of soil pH especially in a short-term. Given wide spread of acidic soils in China, carbon sequestration potential of biochar may be overestimated without taking into account the impact of soil pH. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Potential sources of bias in the use of Escherichia coli to measure waterborne diarrhoea risk in low-income settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ercumen, Ayse; Arnold, Benjamin F; Naser, Abu Mohd; Unicomb, Leanne; Colford, John M; Luby, Stephen P

    2017-01-01

    Escherichia coli is the standard water quality indicator for diarrhoea risk. Yet, the association between E. coli and diarrhoea is inconsistent across studies without a systematic assessment of methodological differences behind this variation. Most studies measure water quality cross-sectionally with diarrhoea, risking exposure misclassification and reverse causation. Studies use different recall windows for self-reported diarrhoea; longer periods increase potential outcome misclassification through misrecall. Control of confounding is inconsistent across studies. Additionally, diarrhoea measured in unblinded intervention trials can present courtesy bias. We utilised measurements from a randomised trial of water interventions in Bangladesh to assess how these factors affect the E. coli-diarrhoea association. We compared cross-sectional versus prospective measurements of water quality and diarrhoea, 2-versus 7-day symptom recall periods, estimates with and without controlling for confounding and using measurements from control versus intervention arms of the trial. In the control arm, 2-day diarrhoea prevalence, measured prospectively 1 month after water quality, significantly increased with log 10 E. coli (PR = 1.50, 1.02-2.20). This association weakened when we used 7-day recall (PR = 1.18, 0.88-1.57), cross-sectional measurements of E. coli and diarrhoea (PR = 1.11, 0.79-1.56) or did not control for confounding (PR = 1.20, 0.88-1.62). Including data from intervention arms led to less interpretable associations, potentially due to courtesy bias, effect modification and/or reverse causation. By systematically addressing potential sources of bias, our analysis demonstrates a clear relationship between E. coli in drinking water and diarrhoea, suggesting that the continued use of E. coli as an indicator of waterborne diarrhoea risk is justified. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. [Correlation of codon biases and potential secondary structures with mRNA translation efficiency in unicellular organisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vladimirov, N V; Likhoshvaĭ, V A; Matushkin, Iu G

    2007-01-01

    Gene expression is known to correlate with degree of codon bias in many unicellular organisms. However, such correlation is absent in some organisms. Recently we demonstrated that inverted complementary repeats within coding DNA sequence must be considered for proper estimation of translation efficiency, since they may form secondary structures that obstruct ribosome movement. We have developed a program for estimation of potential coding DNA sequence expression in defined unicellular organism using its genome sequence. The program computes elongation efficiency index. Computation is based on estimation of coding DNA sequence elongation efficiency, taking into account three key factors: codon bias, average number of inverted complementary repeats, and free energy of potential stem-loop structures formed by the repeats. The influence of these factors on translation is numerically estimated. An optimal proportion of these factors is computed for each organism individually. Quantitative translational characteristics of 384 unicellular organisms (351 bacteria, 28 archaea, 5 eukaryota) have been computed using their annotated genomes from NCBI GenBank. Five potential evolutionary strategies of translational optimization have been determined among studied organisms. A considerable difference of preferred translational strategies between Bacteria and Archaea has been revealed. Significant correlations between elongation efficiency index and gene expression levels have been shown for two organisms (S. cerevisiae and H. pylori) using available microarray data. The proposed method allows to estimate numerically the coding DNA sequence translation efficiency and to optimize nucleotide composition of heterologous genes in unicellular organisms. http://www.mgs.bionet.nsc.ru/mgs/programs/eei-calculator/.

  16. Effect of electro-acupuncture intervention on cognition attention bias in heroin addiction abstinence-a dot-probe-based event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ying-Ping; Liu, Hao; Xu, Ping; Wang, Yan; Lu, Guang-Hua

    2011-04-01

    To study the changes of cognitive attention-related brain function in the heroin addicts before and after electro-acupuncture (EA) intervention for exploring the concerned neuro-mechanism of addictive relapse and the central action role of EA intervention. Adopting event-related potential (ERP) technique, the ERP at 64 electrode spots in 10 heroin addicts (test group) were recorded before and after EA intervention with dot-probe experimental form during implementing cognitive task on positive emotional clue (PEC), negative emotional clues (NEC), and heroin-related clue (HRC). The P200 amplitude components on the selected observation points (Fz, Cz, and Pz) were analyzed and compared with those obtained from 10 healthy subjects as the control. Before EA, the ERP of attention on HRC in the test group was higher than that on PEC and NEC (Pattention on HRC at Cz and Pz was significantly lowered (P PEC > HRC, but in the control group, it showed PEC > HRC at all three observation points and PEC > NEC at Pz. Heroin addicts show attention bias to HRC, which could be significantly reduced by EA intervention, illustrating that EA could effectively inhibit the attention bias to heroin and so might have potential for lowering the relapse rate.

  17. The Potential for Forestry to Reduce Net CO2 Emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Erik

    2006-01-01

    Forestry may have an important role to play in attempts to reduce atmospheric CO 2 levels, since countries may choose to account for forest management activities to fulfil their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. However, the effectiveness of such efforts may depend on the forest management strategies applied. This thesis is based on four separate studies in which the potential for forest management strategies to decrease net CO 2 emissions was considered. Long-term field experiments and models were used to: evaluate the impact of different thinning regimes; study broad-leaved stands growing on abandoned farmland with different rotation lengths; predict the effects of using different rotation lengths on carbon accumulation and fossil fuel substitution; and perform an integrated analysis of forest management practices and the potential to substitute fossil fuels by wood products. To evaluate the effects of the management regimes considered, carbon stocks in the investigated stands and the potential of the resulting biomass to substitute fossil fuel were estimated. No significant differences were found in biomass production between the thinning regimes for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands, but the standing biomass was significantly larger in unthinned stands, indicating that to maximize the carbon stock in tree biomass thinnings should be avoided. For Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), thinned and fertilized stands produced significantly more biomass (2.60-2.72 ton d.w./ha/yr) than unthinned and unfertilized stands (2.17-2.34 ton d.w./ha/yr) in the northern regions. These findings indicate that fertilization might be a viable measure to increase production of biomass with the potential to replace fossil fuel and energy-intensive material. In addition, for broad-leaved trees stands on abandoned farmland, management regimes with a short rotation were found to be better for maximizing the substitution of fossil fuel than regimes with a long rotation

  18. Potentiated clinoptilolite reduces signs and symptoms associated with veisalgia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gandy JJ

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Justin John Gandy, Ilze Laurens, Jacques Rene Snyman Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa Introduction: Abundant anecdotal evidence for products claiming to reduce veisalgia after alcohol overindulgence are available on the Internet and as many advertisements in journals. None of these claims are, however, substantiated by research. The aim of this research was to ascertain the validity of such claims for the substance Absorbatox™, a potentiated aluminosilicate (cation exchanger able to bind NH4+, histamine, and other positively charged ions by investigating the signs and symptoms, as well as blood or breath alcohol levels, in healthy volunteers. Methods: Blood or breath alcohol levels were measured in all volunteers in initial controlled experiments, and symptoms were scored on a diary card for gastrointestinal tract symptoms, as well as other symptoms such as headache and light sensitivity. Eighteen volunteers completed the initial blood alcohol study, which investigated the effect of Absorbatox™ on blood alcohol levels after fasting. The follow-up studies researched the effects of the symptoms and signs of alcohol overindulgence. The “night out” study was completed by ten volunteers in a typical controlled environment, which was followed by the real-life four-leg crossover study. In the crossover study, volunteers (number =25 completers had to fill matching diary cards to containers of two placebo and two active drugs after a night out where they themselves decided on the container (color coded to be used and the amount of alcohol to be consumed. Results: Absorbatox™ had no effect on blood alcohol levels, but it significantly reduced the symptoms and signs of veisalgia by approximately 40%–50%. Conclusion: This research indicates that Absorbatox™ does not have an effect on blood- or breath-alcohol levels. Furthermore, treatment with

  19. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agogino, Alice

    2007-04-01

    Review of the report by the National Academies, with a focus on action strategies in the physical sciences. Women face barriers to hiring and promotion in research universities in many fields of science and engineering; a situation that deprives the United States of an important source of talent as the country faces increasingly stiff global competition in higher education, science and technology, and the marketplace. Eliminating gender bias in universities requires immediate, overarching reform and decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, government agencies, and Congress. Forty years ago, women made up only 3 percent of America's scientific and technical workers, but by 2003 they accounted for nearly one-fifth. In addition, women have earned more than half of the bachelor's degrees awarded in science and engineering since 2000. However, their representation on university and college faculties fails to reflect these gains. Among science and engineering Ph.D.s, four times more men than women hold full-time faculty positions. And minority women with doctorates are less likely than white women or men of any racial or ethnic group to be in tenure positions. The report urges higher education organizations and professional societies to form collaborative, self-monitoring body that would recommend standards for faculty recruitment, retention, and promotion; collect data; and track compliance across institutions. A ``report card'' template is provided in the report. To read the report online, add a comment, or purchase hard copy, go to: http://www.engineeringpathway.com/ep/learningresource/summary/index.jhtml?id=94A4929D-F1B2-432E-8167-63335569CB4E.

  20. Potential Bias in Projecting Future Regional Megadrought Risk: Insights From A Global Data-Model Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overpeck, J. T.; Ault, T.; Cole, J. E.; Fasullo, J.; Loope, G. R.; Parsons, L. A.; Stevenson, S.

    2015-12-01

    Megadrought is one of the most significant and costly climate extremes, and one that stakeholders (e.g., water and other resource managers) the world over wish to understand better; in particular, they need estimates of the risk of severe droughts as a function of drought frequency, severity, duration, and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration. In many dry-climate regions of the globe, megadrought is synonymous with multi-decadal drought. However, in other regions, megadrought can be defined as extended drought, mostly not seen in the period of instrumental observations, and that would have large impacts if it were to occur in the future. New and published paleoclimatic observations allow us to understand the spectrum of drought in many regions of the globe; droughts exceeding 50 years have occurred in recent Earth history in southwestern North America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean and Australia, whereas shorter megadroughts have occurred in Monsoon Asia, Amazonia and elsewhere. Data-model comparisons for regions with sufficiently long (e.g., 1000-2000 years) records of observed hydroclimatic variability suggest that state-of-the-art models can provide realistic estimates of interannual to decadal drought risk, but underestimate the risk of megadrought. Likely reasons for this shortcoming are the lack of sufficient multi-decadal variability in simulations of the past and future, plus an underappreciated understanding about how temperature variability and land-surface feedbacks interact with hydrological and ecological drought, as well as the roles played by unusually wet hydroclimatic extremes (e.g., ENSO related) in ending droughts of long duration. Paleoclimatic records also provide the opportunity to estimate how much models underestimate megadrought risk as a function of locale, frequency, severity, duration, and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration; they also aid in providing stakeholders with bias-corrected estimates of megadrought risk.

  1. Alternative outcomes create biased expectations regarding the received outcome: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciano, Déborah; Bentin, Shlomo; Deouell, Leon Y

    2018-05-01

    After choosing between uncertain options, one might get feedback on both the outcome of the chosen option and the outcome of the unchosen option (the alternative). Behavioral research has shown that in such cases people engage in outcome comparison, and that the alternative outcome influences the way one evaluates his own received outcome. Moreover, this influence differs whether one was responsible or not for the choice made. In two studies, we looked for the electrophysiological correlates of outcome comparison. Subjects chose one of two boxes shown on the screen, each box contained a gain or a loss. The alternative outcome was always revealed first, followed by the received outcome. In half of the trials the software picked one box instead of subjects. We tested whether the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and the P3 elicited by the received reflect outcome comparison. As expected, we found that the FRN and P3 were more positive when the received outcome was a gain (vs. a loss). The FRN and P3 were also sensitive to the value of the alternative outcome, but contrary to our predictions, they were more positive when the alternative outcome was a gain (vs. a loss). As the FRN and P3 are sensitive to expectations, we hypothesized that our findings might result from subjects' biased expectations: subjects might have wrongly believed that a good (bad) alternative outcome signaled a bad (good) received outcome. This hypothesis, coined as the Alternative Omen Effect, was confirmed in parallel in a series of behavioral experiments: people see an illusory negative correlation between the uncorrelated outcomes of choice options (reported in Marciano-Romm et al. (2016)). A challenge for future research will be to disentangle the effects of expectation from those of outcome comparison. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Effectiveness and limitations of parameter tuning in reducing biases of top-of-atmosphere radiation and clouds in MIROC version 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogura, Tomoo; Shiogama, Hideo; Watanabe, Masahiro; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Yokohata, Tokuta; Annan, James D.; Hargreaves, Julia C.; Ushigami, Naoto; Hirota, Kazuya; Someya, Yu; Kamae, Youichi; Tatebe, Hiroaki; Kimoto, Masahide

    2017-12-01

    This study discusses how much of the biases in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation and clouds can be removed by parameter tuning in the present-day simulation of a climate model in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) generation. We used output of a perturbed parameter ensemble (PPE) experiment conducted with an atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) without flux adjustment. The Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate version 5 (MIROC5) was used for the PPE experiment. Output of the PPE was compared with satellite observation data to evaluate the model biases and the parametric uncertainty of the biases with respect to TOA radiation and clouds. The results indicate that removing or changing the sign of the biases by parameter tuning alone is difficult. In particular, the cooling bias of the shortwave cloud radiative effect at low latitudes could not be removed, neither in the zonal mean nor at each latitude-longitude grid point. The bias was related to the overestimation of both cloud amount and cloud optical thickness, which could not be removed by the parameter tuning either. However, they could be alleviated by tuning parameters such as the maximum cumulus updraft velocity at the cloud base. On the other hand, the bias of the shortwave cloud radiative effect in the Arctic was sensitive to parameter tuning. It could be removed by tuning such parameters as albedo of ice and snow both in the zonal mean and at each grid point. The obtained results illustrate the benefit of PPE experiments which provide useful information regarding effectiveness and limitations of parameter tuning. Implementing a shallow convection parameterization is suggested as a potential measure to alleviate the biases in radiation and clouds.

  3. Effectiveness and limitations of parameter tuning in reducing biases of top-of-atmosphere radiation and clouds in MIROC version 5

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ogura

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study discusses how much of the biases in top-of-atmosphere (TOA radiation and clouds can be removed by parameter tuning in the present-day simulation of a climate model in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5 generation. We used output of a perturbed parameter ensemble (PPE experiment conducted with an atmosphere–ocean general circulation model (AOGCM without flux adjustment. The Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate version 5 (MIROC5 was used for the PPE experiment. Output of the PPE was compared with satellite observation data to evaluate the model biases and the parametric uncertainty of the biases with respect to TOA radiation and clouds. The results indicate that removing or changing the sign of the biases by parameter tuning alone is difficult. In particular, the cooling bias of the shortwave cloud radiative effect at low latitudes could not be removed, neither in the zonal mean nor at each latitude–longitude grid point. The bias was related to the overestimation of both cloud amount and cloud optical thickness, which could not be removed by the parameter tuning either. However, they could be alleviated by tuning parameters such as the maximum cumulus updraft velocity at the cloud base. On the other hand, the bias of the shortwave cloud radiative effect in the Arctic was sensitive to parameter tuning. It could be removed by tuning such parameters as albedo of ice and snow both in the zonal mean and at each grid point. The obtained results illustrate the benefit of PPE experiments which provide useful information regarding effectiveness and limitations of parameter tuning. Implementing a shallow convection parameterization is suggested as a potential measure to alleviate the biases in radiation and clouds.

  4. Are Anti-Stigma Films a Useful Strategy for Reducing Weight Bias Among Trainee Healthcare Professionals? Results of a Pilot Randomized Control Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judy Anne Swift

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Weight bias is an important clinical issue that the educators of tomorrow's healthcare professionals cannot afford to ignore. This study, therefore, aimed to pilot a randomized controlled trial of the effects of educational films designed to reduce weight stigmatization toward obese patients on trainee dietitians' and doctors' attitudes. Methods: A pre-post experimental design with a 6-week follow-up, which consisted of an intervention group (n = 22 and a control group (n = 21, was conducted to assess the efficacy of brief anti-stigma films in reducing weight bias, and to test whether future, larger-scale studies among trainee healthcare professionals are feasible. Results: Participants at baseline demonstrated weight bias, on both implicit and explicit attitude measures, as well as strong beliefs that obesity is under a person's control. The intervention films significantly improved explicit attitudes and beliefs toward obese people, and participant evaluation was very positive. The intervention did not significantly improve implicit anti-fat bias. Conclusion: The current study suggests both that it is possible to conduct a substantive trial of the effects of educational films designed to reduce weight stigma on a larger cohort of trainee healthcare professionals, and that brief educational interventions may be effective in reducing stigmatizing attitudes in this population.

  5. The Potential of Road Pricing Schemes for Reducing Carbon Emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nocera, S.; Giaretta, F.; Cavallaro, F.

    2016-07-01

    Road pricing is a transport measure mainly conceived to fund road management, to regulate the demand for traffic and to reduce the number of private vehicles circulating in urban areas. It can also grant benefits in terms of environmental externalities including the reduction of CO2 emissions, which has recently become one of the most important elements defining the sustainability of a transport system. However, the carbon potential granted by road charging is rarely assessed, thus confirming a sort of secondary role attributed to CO2 in urban premises. This paper provides an accurate analysis of the relationship between the different forms of road pricing (including distance-based, congestion-based and pay-as-you-drive) and their effective role in terms of carbon reduction, which in some contexts is higher than 10%. Furthermore, practical suggestions to policy makers in terms of implementation of the measure are discussed, highlighting the precautions necessary to include a fair carbon evaluation into an overall effective analysis. (Author)

  6. Prospective motion correction with volumetric navigators (vNavs) reduces the bias and variance in brain morphometry induced by subject motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdall, M Dylan; Reuter, Martin; Qureshi, Abid; Buckner, Randy L; Fischl, Bruce; van der Kouwe, André J W

    2016-02-15

    Recent work has demonstrated that subject motion produces systematic biases in the metrics computed by widely used morphometry software packages, even when the motion is too small to produce noticeable image artifacts. In the common situation where the control population exhibits different behaviors in the scanner when compared to the experimental population, these systematic measurement biases may produce significant confounds for between-group analyses, leading to erroneous conclusions about group differences. While previous work has shown that prospective motion correction can improve perceived image quality, here we demonstrate that, in healthy subjects performing a variety of directed motions, the use of the volumetric navigator (vNav) prospective motion correction system significantly reduces the motion-induced bias and variance in morphometry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Evaluation of point-of-care analyzers' ability to reduce bias in conductivity-based hematocrit measurement during cardiopulmonary bypass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teerenstra, S.; Steinfelder-Visscher, J.; Gunnewiek, J.K.; Weerwind, P.W.

    2014-01-01

    Most point-of-care testing analyzers use the conductivity method to measure hematocrit (hct). During open-heart surgery, blood-conductivity is influenced by shifts in electrolyte and colloid concentrations caused by infusion media used, and this may lead to considerable bias in the hct measurement.

  8. Stress potentiates decision biases: A stress induced deliberation-to-intuition (SIDI model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongjun Yu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans often make decisions in stressful situations, for example when the stakes are high and the potential consequences severe, or when the clock is ticking and the task demand is overwhelming. In response, a whole train of biological responses to stress has evolved to allow organisms to make a fight-or-flight response. When under stress, fast and effortless heuristics may dominate over slow and demanding deliberation in making decisions under uncertainty. Here, I review evidence from behavioral studies and neuroimaging research on decision making under stress and propose that stress elicits a switch from an analytic reasoning system to intuitive processes, and predict that this switch is associated with diminished activity in the prefrontal executive control regions and exaggerated activity in subcortical reactive emotion brain areas. Previous studies have shown that when stressed, individuals tend to make more habitual responses than goal-directed choices, be less likely to adjust their initial judgment, and rely more on gut feelings in social situations. It is possible that stress influences the arbitration between the emotion responses in subcortical regions and deliberative processes in the prefrontal cortex, so that final decisions are based on unexamined innate responses. Future research may further test this ‘stress induced deliberation-to-intuition’ (SIDI model and examine its underlying neural mechanisms.

  9. Bias against research on gender bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cislak, Aleksandra; Formanowicz, Magdalena; Saguy, Tamar

    2018-01-01

    The bias against women in academia is a documented phenomenon that has had detrimental consequences, not only for women, but also for the quality of science. First, gender bias in academia affects female scientists, resulting in their underrepresentation in academic institutions, particularly in higher ranks. The second type of gender bias in science relates to some findings applying only to male participants, which produces biased knowledge. Here, we identify a third potentially powerful source of gender bias in academia: the bias against research on gender bias. In a bibliometric investigation covering a broad range of social sciences, we analyzed published articles on gender bias and race bias and established that articles on gender bias are funded less often and published in journals with a lower Impact Factor than articles on comparable instances of social discrimination. This result suggests the possibility of an underappreciation of the phenomenon of gender bias and related research within the academic community. Addressing this meta-bias is crucial for the further examination of gender inequality, which severely affects many women across the world.

  10. Isolation of Electrogenic Microorganisms with Potential to Reduce Hexavalent Chromium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mora Collazos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Isolation of cultivable microorganisms was made from the biofilm formed on the anode of a microbial fuel cell put into operation for 30 days; isolated microorganisms were evaluated for their ability to produce energy and reduce the hexavalent chromium Cr (VI. Five microorganisms were isolated, which were characterized by analysis of 16S rRNA gene, placing them in four bacterial genera: Exiguobacterium (CrMFC1, Acinetobacter (CrMFC2, Aeromonas (CrMFC3 and CrMFC5 and Serratia (CrMFC4. All isolates showed electrogenic activity and ability to reduce hexavalent chromium; the Acinetobacter CrMFC1 strain showed the best electrochemical performance registering a maximum power density of 18.61 mW/m2; the other strains showed values of maximum power density between 4.6 mW/m2and 7.1 mW/m2. Strains Aeromonas CrMFC5 and Exiguobacterium CrMFC1 showed the best rates of chromium reduction being able to reduce 100 % of the Cr (VI in less than 24 hours, the Aeromonas CrMFC5 strain was the most efficient, reducing 100 % of Cr (VI in 10 hours; the other strains reduced 100% of the contaminant after 28 to 30 hours. The microorganisms isolated in this study are hardly known for their electrogenic capacity and for reducing Cr (VI; however, show promise for their use in combined systems involving energy production system coupled to bioremediation of chromium contaminated water.

  11. Challenging emotional prejudice by changing self-concept: priming independent self-construal reduces racial in-group bias in neural responses to other's pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chenbo; Wu, Bing; Liu, Yi; Wu, Xinhuai; Han, Shihui

    2015-09-01

    Humans show stronger empathy for in-group compared with out-group members' suffering and help in-group members more than out-group members. Moreover, the in-group bias in empathy and parochial altruism tend to be more salient in collectivistic than individualistic cultures. This work tested the hypothesis that modifying self-construals, which differentiate between collectivistic and individualistic cultural orientations, affects in-group bias in empathy for perceived own-race vs other-race pain. By scanning adults using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found stronger neural activities in the mid-cingulate, left insula and supplementary motor area (SMA) in response to racial in-group compared with out-group members' pain after participants had been primed with interdependent self-construals. However, the racial in-group bias in neural responses to others' pain in the left SMA, mid-cingulate cortex and insula was significantly reduced by priming independent self-construals. Our findings suggest that shifting an individual's self-construal leads to changes of his/her racial in-group bias in neural responses to others' suffering. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Effect of applied potential on electrochemically reduced technetium diphosphonate radiopharmaceuticals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, J.L. Jr.; Heineman, W.R.; Deutsch, E.

    1987-01-01

    Technetium diphosphonate radiopharmaceuticals continue to play a major role in diagnostic nuclear medicine. Their ability to provide both structural and functional information provides a unique advantage which even the more recent imaging techniques cannot provide. The Tc-99m isotope possesses nuclear decay characteristics which allow maximum organ imaging following intravenous injection while delivering a minimal radiation burden to the patient. Due to the diphosphonate ligands' strong affinity for bone, Tc-99m diphosphonate complexes are routinely used for the determination of bone abnormalities such as cancerous tumors. Electrochemical reduction provides the additional parameter needed to increase the yield of a single component. This work presents the effect of varying the applied potential of the mercury pool electrode at selected pH values. The result of this variation in applied potential is tracked by anion exchange chromatographic separation based on the negatively charged Tc-diphosphonate complexes. These chromatograms are compared to those obtained by standard chemical reduction

  13. Forest harvesting reduces the soil metagenomic potential for biomass decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas, Erick; Kranabetter, J M; Hope, Graeme; Maas, Kendra R; Hallam, Steven; Mohn, William W

    2015-11-01

    Soil is the key resource that must be managed to ensure sustainable forest productivity. Soil microbial communities mediate numerous essential ecosystem functions, and recent studies show that forest harvesting alters soil community composition. From a long-term soil productivity study site in a temperate coniferous forest in British Columbia, 21 forest soil shotgun metagenomes were generated, totaling 187 Gb. A method to analyze unassembled metagenome reads from the complex community was optimized and validated. The subsequent metagenome analysis revealed that, 12 years after forest harvesting, there were 16% and 8% reductions in relative abundances of biomass decomposition genes in the organic and mineral soil layers, respectively. Organic and mineral soil layers differed markedly in genetic potential for biomass degradation, with the organic layer having greater potential and being more strongly affected by harvesting. Gene families were disproportionately affected, and we identified 41 gene families consistently affected by harvesting, including families involved in lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin degradation. The results strongly suggest that harvesting profoundly altered below-ground cycling of carbon and other nutrients at this site, with potentially important consequences for forest regeneration. Thus, it is important to determine whether these changes foreshadow long-term changes in forest productivity or resilience and whether these changes are broadly characteristic of harvested forests.

  14. Potential options to reduce GHG emissions in Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, N.; Bonduki, Y.; Perdomo, M.

    1996-12-31

    The Government of Venezuela ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December, 1994. The Convention requires all parties to develop and publish national inventories of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as well as national plans to reduce or control emissions, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives, and circumstances. Within this context, the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources and the Ministry of Energy and Mines developed the `Venezuelan Case-Study to Address Climate Change`. The study was initiated in October 1993, with the financial and technical assistance of the Government of United States, through the U.S. Country Studies Program (USCSP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

  15. Hybrid Vehicle Technologies and their potential for reducing oil use

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, John

    2006-04-01

    Vehicles with hybrid gasoline-electric powertrains are starting to gain market share. Current hybrid vehicles add an electric motor, battery pack, and power electronics to the conventional powertrain. A variety of engine/motor configurations are possible, each with advantages and disadvantages. In general, efficiency is improved due to engine shut-off at idle, capture of energy during deceleration that is normally lost as heat in the brakes, downsizing of the conventional engine, and, in some cases, propulsion on the electric motor alone. Ongoing increases in hybrid market share are dependent on cost reduction, especially the battery pack, efficiency synergies with other vehicle technologies, use of the high electric power to provide features desired by customers, and future fuel price and availability. Potential barriers include historically low fuel prices, high discounting of the fuel savings by new vehicle purchasers, competing technologies, and tradeoffs with other factors desired by customers, such as performance, utility, safety, and luxury features.

  16. Time course of affective bias in visual attention: convergent evidence from steady-state visual evoked potentials and behavioral data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindi Attar, Catherine; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M

    2010-12-01

    Selective attention to a primary task can be biased by the occurrence of emotional distractors that involuntary attract attention due to their intrinsic stimulus significance. What is largely unknown is the time course and magnitude of competitive interactions between a to-be-attended foreground task and emotional distractors. We used pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were either presented in intact or phase-scrambled form. Pictures were superimposed by a flickering display of moving random dots, which constituted the primary task and enabled us to record steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as a continuous measure of attentional resource allocation directed to the task. Subjects were required to attend to the dots and to detect short intervals of coherent motion while ignoring the background pictures. We found that pleasant and unpleasant relative to neutral pictures more strongly influenced task-related processing as reflected in a significant decrease in SSVEP amplitudes and target detection rates, both covering a time window of several hundred milliseconds. Strikingly, the effect of semantic relative to phase-scrambled pictures on task-related activity was much larger, emerged earlier and lasted longer in time compared to the specific effect of emotion. The observed differences in size and duration of time courses of semantic and emotional picture processing strengthen the assumption of separate functional mechanisms for both processes rather than a general boosting of neural activity in favor of emotional stimulus processing. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A potential gender bias in assessing quality of life – a standard gamble experiment among university students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Obaidi L

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Leath Al Obaidi,1 Jörg Mahlich2,3 1University of Nottingham, School of Economics, Nottingham, UK; 2Health Economics, Janssen KK, Tokyo, Japan; 3Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany Background: There are several methodologies that can be used for evaluating patients' perception of their quality of life. Most commonly, utilities are directly elicited by means of either the time-trade-off or the standard-gamble method. In both methods, risk attitudes determine the quality of life values. Methods: Quality of life values among 31 Austrian undergraduate students were elicited by means of the standard gamble approach. The impact of several variables such as gender, side job, length of study, and living arrangements on the quality of life were identified using different types of regression techniques (ordinary least squares, generalized linear model, Betafit. Results: Significant evidence was found that females are associated with a higher quality of life in all specifications of our estimations. Discussion: The observed gender differences in quality of life can be attributed to a higher degree of risk aversion of women. A higher risk aversion leads to a higher valuation of given health states and a potential gender bias in health economic evaluations. This result could have implications for health policy planners when it comes to budget allocation decisions. Keywords: quality of life, gender, risk aversion, standard gamble, students 

  18. Long-term trajectories of lower extremity function in older adults: estimating gender differences while accounting for potential mortality bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botoseneanu, Anda; Allore, Heather G; Gahbauer, Evelyne A; Gill, Thomas M

    2013-07-01

    Gender-specific trajectories of lower extremity function (LEF) and the potential for bias in LEF estimation due to differences in survival have been understudied. We evaluated longitudinal data from 690 initially nondisabled adults age 70 or older from the Precipitating Events Project. LEF was assessed every 18 months for 12 years using a modified Short Physical Performance Battery (mSPPB). Hierarchical linear models with adjustments for length-of-survival estimated the intraindividual trajectory of LEF and differences in trajectory intercept and slope between men and women. LEF declined following a nonlinear trajectory. In the full sample, and among participants with high (mSPPB 10-12) and intermediate (mSPPB 7-9) baseline LEF, the rate-of-decline in mSPPB was slower in women than in men, with no gender differences in baseline mSPPB scores. Among participants with low baseline LEF (mSPPB ≤6), men had a higher starting mSPPB score, whereas women experienced a deceleration in the rate-of-decline over time. In all groups, participants who survived longer had higher starting mSPPB scores and slower rates-of-decline compared with those who died sooner. Over the course of 12 years, older women preserve LEF better than men. Nonadjustment for differences in survival results in overestimating the level and underestimating the rate-of-decline in LEF over time.

  19. May common model biases reduce CMIP5's ability to simulate the recent Pacific La Niña-like cooling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jing-Jia; Wang, Gang; Dommenget, Dietmar

    2018-02-01

    Over the recent three decades sea surface temperate (SST) in the eastern equatorial Pacific has decreased, which helps reduce the rate of global warming. However, most CMIP5 model simulations with historical radiative forcing do not reproduce this Pacific La Niña-like cooling. Based on the assumption of "perfect" models, previous studies have suggested that errors in simulated internal climate variations and/or external radiative forcing may cause the discrepancy between the multi-model simulations and the observation. But the exact causes remain unclear. Recent studies have suggested that observed SST warming in the other two ocean basins in past decades and the thermostat mechanism in the Pacific in response to increased radiative forcing may also play an important role in driving this La Niña-like cooling. Here, we investigate an alternative hypothesis that common biases of current state-of-the-art climate models may deteriorate the models' ability and can also contribute to this multi-model simulations-observation discrepancy. Our results suggest that underestimated inter-basin warming contrast across the three tropical oceans, overestimated surface net heat flux and underestimated local SST-cloud negative feedback in the equatorial Pacific may favor an El Niño-like warming bias in the models. Effects of the three common model biases do not cancel one another and jointly explain 50% of the total variance of the discrepancies between the observation and individual models' ensemble mean simulations of the Pacific SST trend. Further efforts on reducing common model biases could help improve simulations of the externally forced climate trends and the multi-decadal climate fluctuations.

  20. The potential of food preservation to reduce food waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martindale, Wayne

    2017-02-01

    While we state it seems unthinkable to throw away nearly a third of the food we produce, we still continue to overlook that we are all very much part of this problem because we all consume meals. The amount of food wasted clearly has an impact on our view of what we think a sustainable meal is and our research suggests food waste is a universal function that can help us determine the sustainability of diets. Achieving sustainability in food systems depends on the utilisation of both culinary skills and knowledge of how foods make meals. These are overlooked by the current food waste debate that is concerned with communicating the problem with food waste rather than solutions to it. We aim to change this oversight with the research presented here that demonstrates the need to consider the role of food preservation to reduce food waste and the requirement for new marketing terms associated with sustainability actions that can be used to stimulate changes in consumption behaviours. We have chosen frozen food to demonstrate this because our research has shown that the use of frozen foods results in 47 % less household food waste than fresh food categories. This has created a step-change in how we view food consumption and has stimulated consumer movements that act across different products and supply chains to enable the consumption of the sustainable meal.

  1. Relaxation training after stroke: potential to reduce anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneebone, Ian; Walker-Samuel, Natalie; Swanston, Jennifer; Otto, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    To consider the feasibility of setting up a relaxation group to treat symptoms of post stroke anxiety in an in-patient post-acute setting; and to explore the effectiveness of relaxation training in reducing self-reported tension. A relaxation group protocol was developed in consultation with a multidisciplinary team and a user group. Over a period of 24 months, 55 stroke patients attended group autogenic relaxation training on a rehabilitation ward. Attendance ranged between one and eleven sessions. Self-reported tension was assessed pre and post relaxation training using the Tension Rating Circles (TRCs). The TRCs identified a significant reduction in self-reported tension from pre to post training, irrespective of the number of sessions attended; z = -3.656, p training. The TRCs proved acceptable to group members, but should be validated against standard anxiety measures. Further exploration of the application of relaxation techniques in clinical practice is desirable. Implications for Rehabilitation Anxiety is prevalent after stroke and likely affects rehabilitation outcomes. Relaxation training is a well proven treatment for anxiety in the non-stroke population. A significant within session reduction in tension, a hallmark symptom of anxiety, was evidenced via group relaxation training delivered in a post-acute, in-patient stroke unit setting. Relaxation training a shows promise as a treatment for anxiety after stroke.

  2. What potential has tobacco control for reducing health inequalities? The New Zealand situation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blakely Tony

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In this Commentary, we aim to synthesize recent epidemiological data on tobacco and health inequalities for New Zealand and present it in new ways. We also aim to describe both existing and potential tobacco control responses for addressing these inequalities. In New Zealand smoking prevalence is higher amongst Māori and Pacific peoples (compared to those of "New Zealand European" ethnicity and amongst those with low socioeconomic position (SEP. Consequently the smoking-related mortality burden is higher among these populations. Regarding the gap in mortality between low and high socioeconomic groups, 21% and 11% of this gap for men and women was estimated to be due to smoking in 1996–99. Regarding the gap in mortality between Māori and non-Māori/non-Pacific, 5% and 8% of this gap for men and women was estimated to be due to smoking. The estimates from both these studies are probably moderate underestimates due to misclassification bias of smoking status. Despite the modest relative contribution of smoking to these gaps, the absolute number of smoking-attributable deaths is sizable and amenable to policy and health sector responses. There is some evidence, from New Zealand and elsewhere, for interventions that reduce smoking by low-income populations and indigenous peoples. These include tobacco taxation, thematically appropriate mass media campaigns, and appropriate smoking cessation support services. But there are as yet untried interventions with major potential. A key one is for a tighter regulatory framework that could rapidly shift the nicotine market towards pharmaceutical-grade nicotine (or smokeless tobacco products and away from smoked tobacco.

  3. Sex-biased miRNAs in gonad and their potential roles for testis development in yellow catfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Jing; Wu, Junjie; Liu, Wei; Xiong, Shuting; Ma, Wenge; Zhang, Jin; Wang, Weimin; Gui, Jian-Fang; Mei, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Recently, YY super-male yellow catfish had been created by hormonal-induced sex reversal and sex-linked markers, which provides a promising research model for fish sex differentiation and gonad development, especially for testis development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been revealed to play crucial roles in the gene regulation and gonad development in vertebrates. In this study, three small RNA libraries constructed from gonad tissues of XX female, XY male and YY super-male yellow catfish were sequenced. The sequencing data generated a total of 384 conserved miRNAs and 113 potential novel miRNAs, among which 23, 30 and 14 miRNAs were specifically detected in XX ovary, XY testis, and YY testis, respectively. We observed relative lower expression of several miR-200 family members, including miR-141 and miR-429 in YY testis compared with XY testis. Histological analysis indicated a higher degree of testis maturity in YY super-males compared with XY males, as shown by larger spermatogenic cyst, more spermatids and fewer spermatocytes in the spermatogenic cyst. Moreover, five miR-200 family members were significantly up-regulated in testis when treated by 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), high dose of which will impair testis development and cell proliferation. The down-regulation of miR-141 and 429 coincides with the progression of testis development in both yellow catfish and human. At last, the expression pattern of nine arbitrarily selected miRNAs detected by quantitative RT-PCR was consistent with the Solexa sequencing results. Our study provides a comprehensive miRNA transcriptome analysis for gonad of yellow catfish with different sex genotypes, and identifies a number of sex-biased miRNAs, some of that are potentially involved in testis development and spermatogenesis.

  4. Application of a hybrid model to reduce bias and improve precision in population estimates for elk (Cervus elaphus) inhabiting a cold desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenecker, Kathryn A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2016-01-01

    Accurately estimating the size of wildlife populations is critical to wildlife management and conservation of species. Raw counts or “minimum counts” are still used as a basis for wildlife management decisions. Uncorrected raw counts are not only negatively biased due to failure to account for undetected animals, but also provide no estimate of precision on which to judge the utility of counts. We applied a hybrid population estimation technique that combined sightability modeling, radio collar-based mark-resight, and simultaneous double count (double-observer) modeling to estimate the population size of elk in a high elevation desert ecosystem. Combining several models maximizes the strengths of each individual model while minimizing their singular weaknesses. We collected data with aerial helicopter surveys of the elk population in the San Luis Valley and adjacent mountains in Colorado State, USA in 2005 and 2007. We present estimates from 7 alternative analyses: 3 based on different methods for obtaining a raw count and 4 based on different statistical models to correct for sighting probability bias. The most reliable of these approaches is a hybrid double-observer sightability model (model MH), which uses detection patterns of 2 independent observers in a helicopter plus telemetry-based detections of radio collared elk groups. Data were fit to customized mark-resight models with individual sighting covariates. Error estimates were obtained by a bootstrapping procedure. The hybrid method was an improvement over commonly used alternatives, with improved precision compared to sightability modeling and reduced bias compared to double-observer modeling. The resulting population estimate corrected for multiple sources of undercount bias that, if left uncorrected, would have underestimated the true population size by as much as 22.9%. Our comparison of these alternative methods demonstrates how various components of our method contribute to improving the final

  5. Impaired thromboxane receptor dimerization reduces signaling efficiency: A potential mechanism for reduced platelet function in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capra, Valérie; Mauri, Mario; Guzzi, Francesca; Busnelli, Marta; Accomazzo, Maria Rosa; Gaussem, Pascale; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J; Parenti, Marco; Rovati, G Enrico

    2017-01-15

    Thromboxane A 2 is a potent mediator of inflammation and platelet aggregation exerting its effects through the activation of a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), termed TP. Although the existence of dimers/oligomers in Class A GPCRs is widely accepted, their functional significance still remains controversial. Recently, we have shown that TPα and TPβ homo-/hetero-dimers interact through an interface of residues in transmembrane domain 1 (TM1) whose disruption impairs dimer formation. Here, biochemical and pharmacological characterization of this dimer deficient mutant (DDM) in living cells indicates a significant impairment in its response to agonists. Interestingly, two single loss-of-function TPα variants, namely W29C and N42S recently identified in two heterozygous patients affected by bleeding disorders, match some of the residues mutated in our DDM. These two naturally occurring variants display a reduced potency to TP agonists and are characterized by impaired dimer formation in transfected HEK-293T cells. These findings provide proofs that lack of homo-dimer formation is a crucial process for reduced TPα function in vivo, and might represent one molecular mechanism through which platelet TPα receptor dysfunction affects the patient(s) carrying these mutations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. REDUCING THE THREAT TO CONTROL INVASIVE SIGNAL CRAYFISH REDUCING: THE POTENTIAL USE OF PHEROMONES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    STEBBING P. D.

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The need for an effective method of controlling invasive species of crayfish is of utmost importance given the plight of Europe’s native crayfish species. Many techniques have been applied to the growing problem with little success. Pheromones have been used to control terrestrial insect pests for a number of years with many success stories. The concept of applying pheromone control methods to the aquatic environment is by no means new, but has not been previously developed. This paper discusses the preliminary results from field trials testing traps baited with Pacifastacus leniusculus pheromones, and the potential application of the pheromones in controlling P. leniusculus populations.

  7. Biased information processing in the escalation paradigm: information search and information evaluation as potential mediators of escalating commitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultze, Thomas; Pfeiffer, Felix; Schulz-Hardt, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Escalation of commitment denotes decision makers' increased reinvestment of resources in a losing course of action. Despite the relevance of this topic, little is known about how information is processed in escalation situations, that is, whether decision makers who receive negative outcome feedback on their initial decision search for and/or process information biasedly and whether these biases contribute to escalating commitment. Contrary to a widely cited study by E. J. Conlon and J. M. Parks (1987), in 3 experiments, the authors found that biases do not occur on the level of information search. Neither in a direct replication and extension of the original study with largely increased test power (Experiment 1) nor under methodologically improved conditions (Experiments 2 and 3) did decision makers responsible for failure differ from nonresponsible decision makers with regards to information search, and no selective search for information supporting the initial decision or voting for further reinvestment was observed. However, Experiments 3 and 4 show that the evaluation of the previously sought information is biased among participants who were responsible for initiating the course of action. Mediation analyses show that this evaluation bias in favor of reinvestment partially mediated the responsibility effect on escalation of commitment.

  8. Free radical scavenging potential, reducing power, phenolic and biochemical constituents of Porphyra species from India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Pise, N.M.; Jena, K.B.; Maharana, D.; Gaikwad, D.; Jagtap, T.G.

    . Antioxidant potentials of algae were assessed through phenolic content, 2, 2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity, hydrogen peroxide (H sub(2)O sub(2)), scavenging power and reducing potential. A dose-dependent free radical scavenging action against DPPH...

  9. Affective attention under cognitive load: reduced emotional biases but emergent anxiety-related costs to inhibitory control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Richards, Anne; Taylor, Joseph; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2013-01-01

    Trait anxiety is associated with deficits in attentional control, particularly in the ability to inhibit prepotent responses. Here, we investigated this effect while varying the level of cognitive load in a modified antisaccade task that employed emotional facial expressions (neutral, happy, and angry) as targets. Load was manipulated using a secondary auditory task requiring recognition of tones (low load), or recognition of specific tone pitch (high load). Results showed that load increased antisaccade latencies on trials where gaze toward face stimuli should be inhibited. This effect was exacerbated for high anxious individuals. Emotional expression also modulated task performance on antisaccade trials for both high and low anxious participants under low cognitive load, but did not influence performance under high load. Collectively, results (1) suggest that individuals reporting high levels of anxiety are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cognitive load on inhibition, and (2) support recent evidence that loading cognitive processes can reduce emotional influences on attention and cognition. PMID:23717273

  10. Reducing bias in population and landscape genetic inferences: the effects of sampling related individuals and multiple life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, William; Brocato, Emily R; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Eggert, Lori S

    2016-01-01

    In population or landscape genetics studies, an unbiased sampling scheme is essential for generating accurate results, but logistics may lead to deviations from the sample design. Such deviations may come in the form of sampling multiple life stages. Presently, it is largely unknown what effect sampling different life stages can have on population or landscape genetic inference, or how mixing life stages can affect the parameters being measured. Additionally, the removal of siblings from a data set is considered best-practice, but direct comparisons of inferences made with and without siblings are limited. In this study, we sampled embryos, larvae, and adult Ambystoma maculatum from five ponds in Missouri, and analyzed them at 15 microsatellite loci. We calculated allelic richness, heterozygosity and effective population sizes for each life stage at each pond and tested for genetic differentiation (F ST and D C ) and isolation-by-distance (IBD) among ponds. We tested for differences in each of these measures between life stages, and in a pooled population of all life stages. All calculations were done with and without sibling pairs to assess the effect of sibling removal. We also assessed the effect of reducing the number of microsatellites used to make inference. No statistically significant differences were found among ponds or life stages for any of the population genetic measures, but patterns of IBD differed among life stages. There was significant IBD when using adult samples, but tests using embryos, larvae, or a combination of the three life stages were not significant. We found that increasing the ratio of larval or embryo samples in the analysis of genetic distance weakened the IBD relationship, and when using D C , the IBD was no longer significant when larvae and embryos exceeded 60% of the population sample. Further, power to detect an IBD relationship was reduced when fewer microsatellites were used in the analysis.

  11. Reducing bias in population and landscape genetic inferences: the effects of sampling related individuals and multiple life stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Peterman

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In population or landscape genetics studies, an unbiased sampling scheme is essential for generating accurate results, but logistics may lead to deviations from the sample design. Such deviations may come in the form of sampling multiple life stages. Presently, it is largely unknown what effect sampling different life stages can have on population or landscape genetic inference, or how mixing life stages can affect the parameters being measured. Additionally, the removal of siblings from a data set is considered best-practice, but direct comparisons of inferences made with and without siblings are limited. In this study, we sampled embryos, larvae, and adult Ambystoma maculatum from five ponds in Missouri, and analyzed them at 15 microsatellite loci. We calculated allelic richness, heterozygosity and effective population sizes for each life stage at each pond and tested for genetic differentiation (FST and DC and isolation-by-distance (IBD among ponds. We tested for differences in each of these measures between life stages, and in a pooled population of all life stages. All calculations were done with and without sibling pairs to assess the effect of sibling removal. We also assessed the effect of reducing the number of microsatellites used to make inference. No statistically significant differences were found among ponds or life stages for any of the population genetic measures, but patterns of IBD differed among life stages. There was significant IBD when using adult samples, but tests using embryos, larvae, or a combination of the three life stages were not significant. We found that increasing the ratio of larval or embryo samples in the analysis of genetic distance weakened the IBD relationship, and when using DC, the IBD was no longer significant when larvae and embryos exceeded 60% of the population sample. Further, power to detect an IBD relationship was reduced when fewer microsatellites were used in the analysis.

  12. A fast, open source implementation of adaptive biasing potentials uncovers a ligand design strategy for the chromatin regulator BRD4

    OpenAIRE

    Dickson, Bradley M.; de Waal, Parker W; Ramjan, Zachary H; Xu, H Eric; Rothbart, Scott B.

    2016-01-01

    In this communication we introduce an efficient implementation of adaptive biasing that greatly improves the speed of free energy computation in molecular dynamics simulations. We investigated the use of accelerated simulations to inform on compound design using a recently reported and clinically relevant inhibitor of the chromatin regulator BRD4 (bromodomain-containing protein 4). Benchmarking on our local compute cluster, our implementation achieves up to 2.5 times more force calls per day ...

  13. A Critical Examination of Spatial Biases Between MODIS and MISR Aerosol Products - Application for Potential AERONET Deployment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Y.; Zhang, J.; Reid, J. S.; Hyer, E. J.; Eck, T. F.; Holben, B. N.; Kahn, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) data are the primary benchmark for evaluating satellite-retrieved aerosol properties. However, despite its extensive coverage, the representativeness of the AERONET data is rarely discussed. Indeed, many studies have shown that satellite retrieval biases have a significant degree of spatial correlation that may be problematic for higher-level processes or inverse-emissions-modeling studies. To consider these issues and evaluate relative performance in regions of few surface observations, cross-comparisons between the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) products of operational MODIS Collection 5.1 Dark Target (DT) and operational MODIS Collection 5.1 Deep Blue (DB) with MISR version 22 were conducted. Through such comparisons, we can observe coherent spatial features of the AOD bias while side-stepping the full analysis required for determining when or where either retrieval is more correct. We identify regions where MODIS to MISR AOD ratios were found to be above 1.4 and below 0.7. Regions where lower boundary condition uncertainty is likely to be a dominant factor include portions of Western North America, the Andes mountains, Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia. Similarly, microphysical biases may be an issue in South America, and specific parts of Southern Africa, India Asia, East Asia, and Indonesia. These results help identify high-priority locations for possible future deployments of both in situ and ground based remote sensing measurements. The Supplement includes a km1 file.

  14. Negativity Bias in Dangerous Drivers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Chai

    Full Text Available The behavioral and cognitive characteristics of dangerous drivers differ significantly from those of safe drivers. However, differences in emotional information processing have seldom been investigated. Previous studies have revealed that drivers with higher anger/anxiety trait scores are more likely to be involved in crashes and that individuals with higher anger traits exhibit stronger negativity biases when processing emotions compared with control groups. However, researchers have not explored the relationship between emotional information processing and driving behavior. In this study, we examined the emotional information processing differences between dangerous drivers and safe drivers. Thirty-eight non-professional drivers were divided into two groups according to the penalty points that they had accrued for traffic violations: 15 drivers with 6 or more points were included in the dangerous driver group, and 23 drivers with 3 or fewer points were included in the safe driver group. The emotional Stroop task was used to measure negativity biases, and both behavioral and electroencephalograph data were recorded. The behavioral results revealed stronger negativity biases in the dangerous drivers than in the safe drivers. The bias score was correlated with self-reported dangerous driving behavior. Drivers with strong negativity biases reported having been involved in mores crashes compared with the less-biased drivers. The event-related potentials (ERPs revealed that the dangerous drivers exhibited reduced P3 components when responding to negative stimuli, suggesting decreased inhibitory control of information that is task-irrelevant but emotionally salient. The influence of negativity bias provides one possible explanation of the effects of individual differences on dangerous driving behavior and traffic crashes.

  15. Combining a reactive potential with a harmonic approximation for molecular dynamics simulation of failure: construction of a reduced potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejada, I. G.; Brochard, L.; Stoltz, G.; Legoll, F.; Lelièvre, T.; Cancès, E.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics is a simulation technique that can be used to study failure in solids, provided the inter-atomic potential energy is able to account for the complex mechanisms at failure. Reactive potentials fitted on ab initio results or on experimental values have the ability to adapt to any complex atomic arrangement and, therefore, are suited to simulate failure. But the complexity of these potentials, together with the size of the systems considered, make simulations computationally expensive. In order to improve the efficiency of numerical simulations, simpler harmonic potentials can be used instead of complex reactive potentials in the regions where the system is close to its ground state and a harmonic approximation reasonably fits the actual reactive potential. However the validity and precision of such an approach has not been investigated in detail yet. We present here a methodology for constructing a reduced potential and combining it with the reactive one. We also report some important features of crack propagation that may be affected by the coupling of reactive and reduced potentials. As an illustrative case, we model a crystalline two-dimensional material (graphene) with a reactive empirical bond-order potential (REBO) or with harmonic potentials made of bond and angle springs that are designed to reproduce the second order approximation of REBO in the ground state. We analyze the consistency of this approximation by comparing the mechanical behavior and the phonon spectra of systems modeled with these potentials. These tests reveal when the anharmonicity effects appear. As anharmonic effects originate from strain, stress or temperature, the latter quantities are the basis for establishing coupling criteria for on the fly substitution in large simulations.

  16. Toward a Better Understanding of the Relationship between Belief in the Paranormal and Statistical Bias: The Potential Role of Schizotypy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnall, Neil; Denovan, Andrew; Drinkwater, Kenneth; Parker, Andrew; Clough, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The present paper examined relationships between schizotypy (measured by the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experience; O-LIFE scale brief), belief in the paranormal (assessed via the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale; RPBS) and proneness to statistical bias (i.e., perception of randomness and susceptibility to conjunction fallacy). Participants were 254 volunteers recruited via convenience sampling. Probabilistic reasoning problems appeared framed within both standard and paranormal contexts. Analysis revealed positive correlations between the Unusual Experience (UnExp) subscale of O-LIFE and paranormal belief measures [RPBS full scale, traditional paranormal beliefs (TPB) and new age philosophy]. Performance on standard problems correlated negatively with UnExp and belief in the paranormal (particularly the TPB dimension of the RPBS). Consideration of specific problem types revealed that perception of randomness associated more strongly with belief in the paranormal than conjunction; both problem types related similarly to UnExp. Structural equation modeling specified that belief in the paranormal mediated the indirect relationship between UnExp and statistical bias. For problems presented in a paranormal context a framing effect occurred. Whilst UnExp correlated positively with conjunction proneness (controlling for perception of randomness), there was no association between UnExp and perception of randomness (controlling for conjunction).

  17. Towards a better understanding of the relationship between belief in the paranormal and statistical bias: The potential role of schizotypy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Dagnall

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The present paper examined relationships between schizotypy (measured by the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experience; O-LIFE scale brief, belief in the paranormal (assessed via the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale; RPBS and proneness to statistical bias (i.e., perception of randomness and susceptibility to conjunction fallacy. Participants were 254 volunteers recruited via convenience sampling. Probabilistic reasoning problems appeared framed within both standard and paranormal contexts. Analysis revealed positive correlations between the Unusual Experience subscale of O-LIFE and paranormal belief measures (RPBS full scale, traditional paranormal beliefs and new age philosophy. Performance on standard problems correlated negatively with Unusual Experience and belief in the paranormal (particularly the traditional paranormal belief dimension of the RPBS. Consideration of specific problem types revealed that perception of randomness associated more strongly with belief in the paranormal than conjunction; both problem types related similarly to Unusual Experience. Structural equation modelling specified that belief in the paranormal mediated the indirect relationship between Unusual Experience and statistical bias. For problems presented in a paranormal context a framing effect occurred. Whilst Unusual Experience correlated positively with conjunction proneness (controlling for perception of randomness, there was no association between Unusual Experience and perception of randomness (controlling for conjunction.

  18. Optimistic bias and Facebook use: self-other discrepancies about potential risks and benefits of Facebook use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sunny Jung; Hancock, Jeffrey T

    2015-04-01

    Despite the accumulating evidence on the positive and negative outcomes of Facebook use, how people perceive themselves to be subject to these outcomes as well as the consequences and mechanisms of these perceptions are underexplored. According to optimistic bias, Facebook users may perceive that bad things are more likely to happen to others than to themselves, while good things are more likely to happen to them than to others. The findings from an online survey among Facebook users indicate that the negative psychological and social outcomes of using Facebook were perceived to be more likely to happen to other Facebook users than to themselves, pscams) significantly mediated one's willingness to support Internet regulation, Sobel z=2.49, p=0.01. For positive outcomes of Facebook use, the direction of optimistic bias was reversed, t(235) = -5.52, p<0.01, indicating that people minimized the likelihoods of experiencing positive events from Facebook while assessing that other Facebook users are prone to encounter those positive events. This reversal pattern emerged among those with negative attitudes toward, and low involvement with, Facebook. These findings demonstrate important and novel self-other discrepant perceptions concerning the risks and benefits of Facebook use.

  19. Age-related differences in function and structure of rSMG and reduced functional connectivity with DLPFC explains heightened emotional egocentricity bias in childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinbeis, Nikolaus; Bernhardt, Boris C; Singer, Tania

    2015-02-01

    Humans often judge others egocentrically, assuming that they feel or think similarly to themselves. Emotional egocentricity bias (EEB) occurs in situations when others feel differently to oneself. Using a novel paradigm, we investigated the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the developmental capacity to overcome such EEB in children compared with adults. We showed that children display a stronger EEB than adults and that this correlates with reduced activation in right supramarginal gyrus (rSMG) as well as reduced coupling between rSMG and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (lDLPFC) in children compared with adults. Crucially, functional recruitment of rSMG was associated with age-related differences in cortical thickness of this region. Although in adults the mere presence of emotional conflict occurs between self and other recruited rSMG, rSMG-lDLPFC coupling was only observed when implementing empathic judgements. Finally, resting state analyses comparing connectivity patterns of rSMG with that of right temporoparietal junction suggested a unique role of rSMG for self-other distinction in the emotional domain for adults as well as for children. Thus, children's difficulties in overcoming EEB may be due to late maturation of regions distinguishing between conflicting socio-affective information and relaying this information to regions necessary for implementing accurate judgments. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. A fast, open source implementation of adaptive biasing potentials uncovers a ligand design strategy for the chromatin regulator BRD4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickson, Bradley M.; de Waal, Parker W.; Ramjan, Zachary H.; Xu, H. Eric; Rothbart, Scott B.

    2016-10-01

    In this communication we introduce an efficient implementation of adaptive biasing that greatly improves the speed of free energy computation in molecular dynamics simulations. We investigated the use of accelerated simulations to inform on compound design using a recently reported and clinically relevant inhibitor of the chromatin regulator BRD4 (bromodomain-containing protein 4). Benchmarking on our local compute cluster, our implementation achieves up to 2.5 times more force calls per day than plumed2. Results of five 1 μs-long simulations are presented, which reveal a conformational switch in the BRD4 inhibitor between a binding competent and incompetent state. Stabilization of the switch led to a -3 kcal/mol improvement of absolute binding free energy. These studies suggest an unexplored ligand design principle and offer new actionable hypotheses for medicinal chemistry efforts against this druggable epigenetic target class.

  1. Can statistic adjustment of OR minimize the potential confounding bias for meta-analysis of case-control study? A secondary data analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tianyi; Nie, Xiaolu; Wu, Zehao; Zhang, Ying; Feng, Guoshuang; Cai, Siyu; Lv, Yaqi; Peng, Xiaoxia

    2017-12-29

    Different confounder adjustment strategies were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) in case-control study, i.e. how many confounders original studies adjusted and what the variables are. This secondary data analysis is aimed to detect whether there are potential biases caused by difference of confounding factor adjustment strategies in case-control study, and whether such bias would impact the summary effect size of meta-analysis. We included all meta-analyses that focused on the association between breast cancer and passive smoking among non-smoking women, as well as each original case-control studies included in these meta-analyses. The relative deviations (RDs) of each original study were calculated to detect how magnitude the adjustment would impact the estimation of ORs, compared with crude ORs. At the same time, a scatter diagram was sketched to describe the distribution of adjusted ORs with different number of adjusted confounders. Substantial inconsistency existed in meta-analysis of case-control studies, which would influence the precision of the summary effect size. First, mixed unadjusted and adjusted ORs were used to combine individual OR in majority of meta-analysis. Second, original studies with different adjustment strategies of confounders were combined, i.e. the number of adjusted confounders and different factors being adjusted in each original study. Third, adjustment did not make the effect size of original studies trend to constringency, which suggested that model fitting might have failed to correct the systematic error caused by confounding. The heterogeneity of confounder adjustment strategies in case-control studies may lead to further bias for summary effect size in meta-analyses, especially for weak or medium associations so that the direction of causal inference would be even reversed. Therefore, further methodological researches are needed, referring to the assessment of confounder adjustment strategies, as well as how to take this kind

  2. Propensity score matching and persistence correction to reduce bias in comparative effectiveness: the effect of cinacalcet use on all-cause mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Iain A; Floege, Jürgen; Gioni, Ioanna; Drüeke, Tilman B; de Francisco, Angel L; Anker, Stefan D; Kubo, Yumi; Wheeler, David C; Froissart, Marc

    2015-07-01

    The generalisability of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) may be limited by restrictive entry criteria or by their experimental nature. Observational research can provide complementary findings but is prone to bias. Employing propensity score matching, to reduce such bias, we compared the real-life effect of cinacalcet use on all-cause mortality (ACM) with findings from the Evaluation of Cinacalcet Therapy to Lower Cardiovascular Events (EVOLVE) RCT in chronic haemodialysis patients. Incident adult haemodialysis patients receiving cinacalcet, recruited in a prospective observational cohort from 2007-2009 (AROii; n = 10,488), were matched to non-exposed patients regardless of future exposure status. The effect of treatment crossover was investigated with inverse probability of censoring weighted and lag-censored analyses. EVOLVE ACM data were analysed largely as described for the primary composite endpoint. AROii patients receiving cinacalcet (n = 532) were matched to 1790 non-exposed patients. The treatment effect of cinacalcet on ACM in the main AROii analysis (hazard ratio 1.03 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78-1.35]) was closer to the null than for the Intention to Treat (ITT) analysis of EVOLVE (0.94 [95%CI 0.85-1.04]). Adjusting for non-persistence by 0- and 6-month lag-censoring and by inverse probability of censoring weight, the hazard ratios in AROii (0.76 [95%CI 0.51-1.15], 0.84 [95%CI 0.60-1.18] and 0.79 [95%CI 0.56-1.11], respectively) were comparable with those of EVOLVE (0.82 [95%CI 0.67-1.01], 0.83 [95%CI 0.73-0.96] and 0.87 [95%CI 0.71-1.06], respectively). Correcting for treatment crossover, we observed results in the 'real-life' setting of the AROii observational cohort that closely mirrored the results of the EVOLVE RCT. Persistence-corrected analyses revealed a trend towards reduced ACM in haemodialysis patients receiving cinacalcet therapy. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Kohn–Sham exchange-correlation potentials from second-order reduced density matrices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuevas-Saavedra, Rogelio; Staroverov, Viktor N., E-mail: vstarove@uwo.ca [Department of Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7 (Canada); Ayers, Paul W. [Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1 (Canada)

    2015-12-28

    We describe a practical algorithm for constructing the Kohn–Sham exchange-correlation potential corresponding to a given second-order reduced density matrix. Unlike conventional Kohn–Sham inversion methods in which such potentials are extracted from ground-state electron densities, the proposed technique delivers unambiguous results in finite basis sets. The approach can also be used to separate approximately the exchange and correlation potentials for a many-electron system for which the reduced density matrix is known. The algorithm is implemented for configuration-interaction wave functions and its performance is illustrated with numerical examples.

  4. Sympathetic bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, David M; Peart, Sandra J

    2008-06-01

    We wish to deal with investigator bias in a statistical context. We sketch how a textbook solution to the problem of "outliers" which avoids one sort of investigator bias, creates the temptation for another sort. We write down a model of the approbation seeking statistician who is tempted by sympathy for client to violate the disciplinary standards. We give a simple account of one context in which we might expect investigator bias to flourish. Finally, we offer tentative suggestions to deal with the problem of investigator bias which follow from our account. As we have given a very sparse and stylized account of investigator bias, we ask what might be done to overcome this limitation.

  5. Interwell radiative recombination in the presence of random potential fluctuations in GaAs/AlGaAs biased double quantum wells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Timofeev, V.B.; Larionov, A.V.; Ioselevich, A.S.

    1998-01-01

    narrowing with temperature increase from 4.5 to 30 K. A theoretical model is presented which explains the observed narrowing in terms of lateral thermally activated tunneling of spatially separated e-h pairs localized by random potential fluctuations in the quantum wells. (C) 1998 American Institute......The interwell radiative recombination from biased double quantum wells (DQW) in pin GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures is investigated at different temperatures and external electrical fields. The luminescence line of interwell recombination of spatially separated electron-hole pairs exhibits systematic...

  6. Clustering of quasars in SDSS-IV eBOSS: study of potential systematics and bias determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurent, Pierre; Goff, Jean-Marc Le; Burtin, Etienne; Bourboux, Hélion du Mas des; Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie [IRFU, CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Eftekharzadeh, Sarah; Myers, Adam [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States); White, Martin [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Rd, Berkeley CA 94720 (United States); Ross, Ashley J. [Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Tinker, Jeremy [Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, Department of Physics, New York University, New York, 10003 (United States); Tojeiro, Rita [School of Physics and Astronomy, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Bautista, Julian; Dawson, Kyle [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Brinkmann, Jonathan [Apache Point Observatory, P.O. Box 59, Sunspot, NM 88349 (United States); Comparat, Johan [Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraße, 85748 Garching (Germany); Kneib, Jean-Paul [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne (Switzerland); McGreer, Ian D. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721–0065 (United States); Percival, Will J. [Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, Dennis Sciama building, PO1 3FX, Portsmouth (United Kingdom); Prada, Francisco, E-mail: jmlegoff@cea.fr [Instituto de Fìsica Teórica (IFT) UAM/CSIC, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid (Spain); and others

    2017-07-01

    We study the first year of the eBOSS quasar sample in the redshift range 0.9< z <2.2 which includes 68,772 homogeneously selected quasars. We show that the main source of systematics in the evaluation of the correlation function arises from inhomogeneities in the quasar target selection, particularly related to the extinction and depth of the imaging data used for targeting. We propose a weighting scheme that mitigates these systematics. We measure the quasar correlation function and provide the most accurate measurement to date of the quasar bias in this redshift range, b {sub Q} = 2.45 ± 0.05 at z-bar =1.55, together with its evolution with redshift. We use this information to determine the minimum mass of the halo hosting the quasars and the characteristic halo mass, which we find to be both independent of redshift within statistical error. Using a recently-measured quasar-luminosity-function we also determine the quasar duty cycle. The size of this first year sample is insufficient to detect any luminosity dependence to quasar clustering and this issue should be further studied with the final ∼500,000 eBOSS quasar sample.

  7. Biases in Visual, Auditory, and Audiovisual Perception of Space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Odegaard

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Localization of objects and events in the environment is critical for survival, as many perceptual and motor tasks rely on estimation of spatial location. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that spatial localizations should generally be accurate. Curiously, some previous studies have reported biases in visual and auditory localizations, but these studies have used small sample sizes and the results have been mixed. Therefore, it is not clear (1 if the reported biases in localization responses are real (or due to outliers, sampling bias, or other factors, and (2 whether these putative biases reflect a bias in sensory representations of space or a priori expectations (which may be due to the experimental setup, instructions, or distribution of stimuli. Here, to address these questions, a dataset of unprecedented size (obtained from 384 observers was analyzed to examine presence, direction, and magnitude of sensory biases, and quantitative computational modeling was used to probe the underlying mechanism(s driving these effects. Data revealed that, on average, observers were biased towards the center when localizing visual stimuli, and biased towards the periphery when localizing auditory stimuli. Moreover, quantitative analysis using a Bayesian Causal Inference framework suggests that while pre-existing spatial biases for central locations exert some influence, biases in the sensory representations of both visual and auditory space are necessary to fully explain the behavioral data. How are these opposing visual and auditory biases reconciled in conditions in which both auditory and visual stimuli are produced by a single event? Potentially, the bias in one modality could dominate, or the biases could interact/cancel out. The data revealed that when integration occurred in these conditions, the visual bias dominated, but the magnitude of this bias was reduced compared to unisensory conditions. Therefore, multisensory integration not only

  8. Biases in Visual, Auditory, and Audiovisual Perception of Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R.; Shams, Ladan

    2015-01-01

    Localization of objects and events in the environment is critical for survival, as many perceptual and motor tasks rely on estimation of spatial location. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that spatial localizations should generally be accurate. Curiously, some previous studies have reported biases in visual and auditory localizations, but these studies have used small sample sizes and the results have been mixed. Therefore, it is not clear (1) if the reported biases in localization responses are real (or due to outliers, sampling bias, or other factors), and (2) whether these putative biases reflect a bias in sensory representations of space or a priori expectations (which may be due to the experimental setup, instructions, or distribution of stimuli). Here, to address these questions, a dataset of unprecedented size (obtained from 384 observers) was analyzed to examine presence, direction, and magnitude of sensory biases, and quantitative computational modeling was used to probe the underlying mechanism(s) driving these effects. Data revealed that, on average, observers were biased towards the center when localizing visual stimuli, and biased towards the periphery when localizing auditory stimuli. Moreover, quantitative analysis using a Bayesian Causal Inference framework suggests that while pre-existing spatial biases for central locations exert some influence, biases in the sensory representations of both visual and auditory space are necessary to fully explain the behavioral data. How are these opposing visual and auditory biases reconciled in conditions in which both auditory and visual stimuli are produced by a single event? Potentially, the bias in one modality could dominate, or the biases could interact/cancel out. The data revealed that when integration occurred in these conditions, the visual bias dominated, but the magnitude of this bias was reduced compared to unisensory conditions. Therefore, multisensory integration not only improves the

  9. Implementation of health and safety management system to reduce hazardous potential in PT.XYZ Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widodo, L.; Adianto; Sartika, D. I.

    2017-12-01

    PT. XYZ is a large automotive manufacturing company that manufacture, assemble as well as a car exporter. The other products are spare parts, jig and dies. PT. XYZ has long been implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) to reduce the potential hazards that cause work accidents. However, this does not mean that OSHMS that has been implemented does not need to be upgraded and improved. This is due to the potential danger caused by work is quite high. This research was conducted in Sunter 2 Plant where its production activities have a high level of potential hazard. Based on Hazard Identification risk assessment, Risk Assessment, and Risk Control (HIRARC) found 10 potential hazards in Plant Stamping Production, consisting of 4 very high risk potential hazards (E), 5 high risk potential hazards (H), and 1 moderate risk potential hazard (M). While in Plant Casting Production found 22 potential hazards findings consist of 7 very high risk potential hazards (E), 12 high risk potential hazards (H), and 3 medium risk potential hazards (M). Based on the result of Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), the main priority is the high risk potential hazards (H) and very high risk potential hazards (E). The proposed improvement are to make the visual display of the importance of always using the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), establishing good working procedures, conducting OSH training for workers on a regular basis, and continuing to conduct safety campaigns.

  10. A brisk walk, compared with being sedentary, reduces attentional bias and chocolate cravings among regular chocolate eaters with different body mass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Hwajung; Taylor, Adrian H

    2013-12-01

    Poor self-regulation of high energy snacking has been linked to weight gain. Physical activity can acutely reduce chocolate consumption and cravings but the effects on attentional bias (AB) are unknown. The study aimed to test the effects of exercise among normal and overweight/obese individuals during temporary and longer abstinence. Participants were 20 normal and 21 overweight regular female chocolate eaters (after 24 h abstinence), and 17 females (after ≥1 week abstinence during Lent). They were randomly assigned to engage in 15 min brisk walking or rest, on separate days. AB was assessed using an adapted dot probe task pre and post-treatment at each session, with chocolate/neutral paired images presented for 200 ms (initial AB; IAB) or 1000 ms (maintained AB; MAB). Chocolate craving was assessed pre, during, immediately after, and 5 min and 10 min after treatment, using a 0-100 visual analogue score. Three-way mixed ANOVAs revealed that there was no significant interaction effect between group (i.e., BMI status, or abstinence status) and condition × time for craving and AB to chocolate cues. Fully repeated 2-way ANOVAS revealed a significant condition × time interaction for IAB (F(1,57)=6.39) and chocolate craving (F(2.34,133.19)=14.44). After exercise IAB (t(57)=2.78, pchocolate cues, relative to control, irrespective of BMI or abstinence period. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Payoff Information Biases a Fast Guess Process in Perceptual Decision Making under Deadline Pressure: Evidence from Behavior, Evoked Potentials, and Quantitative Model Comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noorbaloochi, Sharareh; Sharon, Dahlia; McClelland, James L

    2015-08-05

    We used electroencephalography (EEG) and behavior to examine the role of payoff bias in a difficult two-alternative perceptual decision under deadline pressure in humans. The findings suggest that a fast guess process, biased by payoff and triggered by stimulus onset, occurred on a subset of trials and raced with an evidence accumulation process informed by stimulus information. On each trial, the participant judged whether a rectangle was shifted to the right or left and responded by squeezing a right- or left-hand dynamometer. The payoff for each alternative (which could be biased or unbiased) was signaled 1.5 s before stimulus onset. The choice response was assigned to the first hand reaching a squeeze force criterion and reaction time was defined as time to criterion. Consistent with a fast guess account, fast responses were strongly biased toward the higher-paying alternative and the EEG exhibited an abrupt rise in the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) on a subset of biased payoff trials contralateral to the higher-paying alternative ∼ 150 ms after stimulus onset and 50 ms before stimulus information influenced the LRP. This rise was associated with poststimulus dynamometer activity favoring the higher-paying alternative and predicted choice and response time. Quantitative modeling supported the fast guess account over accounts of payoff effects supported in other studies. Our findings, taken with previous studies, support the idea that payoff and prior probability manipulations produce flexible adaptations to task structure and do not reflect a fixed policy for the integration of payoff and stimulus information. Humans and other animals often face situations in which they must make choices based on uncertain sensory information together with information about expected outcomes (gains or losses) about each choice. We investigated how differences in payoffs between available alternatives affect neural activity, overt choice, and the timing of choice

  12. Reducing the Potential for Future Financial Crises: A Framework for Macro-Prudential Policy in Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Paul Jenkins; Gordon Thiessen

    2012-01-01

    Canada needs a policy framework and new governance structure beyond what is in place to reduce the potential for future financial crises. The authors make the case for establishing a formal committee with a mandate to identify potential systemic risks and to act promptly before they materialize. While Canada's system of regulating and supervising financial institutions might hold up as a model of good performance, changes can and should be made, say Jenkins and Thiessen. Future crises undoubt...

  13. Enhanced confinement with plasma biasing in the MST reversed field pinch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Craig, D.; Almagri, A.F.; Anderson, J.K.

    1997-06-01

    We report an increase in particle confinement with plasma biasing in a reversed field pinch. Miniature plasma sources are used as electrodes to negatively bias the plasma at the edge (r/a ∼ 0.9). Particle content increases and H α radiation decreases upon application of bias and global particle confinement roughly doubles as a result. Measurements of plasma potential, impurity flow, and floating potential fluctuations indicate that strong flows are produced and that electrostatic fluctuations are reduced

  14. Potential Mediating Pathways through Which Sports Participation Relates to Reduced Risk of Suicidal Ideation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taliaferro, Lindsay A.; Rienzo, Barbara A.; Miller, M. David; Pigg, R. Morgan; Dodd, Virginia J.

    2010-01-01

    Suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for American youth. Researchers examining sport participation and suicidal behavior have regularly found inverse relationships. This study represents the first effort to test a model depicting potential mechanisms through which sport participation relates to reduced risk of suicidal ideation. The…

  15. Effect of interventions to reduce potentially inappropriate use of drugs in nursing homes: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gjerberg Elisabeth

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies have shown that residents in nursing homes often are exposed to inappropriate medication. Particular concern has been raised about the consumption of psychoactive drugs, which are commonly prescribed for nursing home residents suffering from dementia. This review is an update of a Norwegian systematic review commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The purpose of the review was to identify and summarise the effect of interventions aimed at reducing potentially inappropriate use or prescribing of drugs in nursing homes. Methods We searched for systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, ISI Web of Knowledge, DARE and HTA, with the last update in April 2010. Two of the authors independently screened titles and abstracts for inclusion or exclusion. Data on interventions, participants, comparison intervention, and outcomes were extracted from the included studies. Risk of bias and quality of evidence were assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Table and GRADE, respectively. Outcomes assessed were use of or prescribing of drugs (primary and the health-related outcomes falls, physical limitation, hospitalisation and mortality (secondary. Results Due to heterogeneity in interventions and outcomes, we employed a narrative approach. Twenty randomised controlled trials were included from 1631 evaluated references. Ten studies tested different kinds of educational interventions while seven studies tested medication reviews by pharmacists. Only one study was found for each of the interventions geriatric care teams, early psychiatric intervening or activities for the residents combined with education of health care personnel. Several reviews were identified, but these either concerned elderly in general or did not satisfy all the requirements for systematic reviews. Conclusions Interventions using educational outreach, on-site education given alone or as part of an

  16. Neighborhoods, Schools and Obesity: The Potential for Place-Based Approaches to Reduce Childhood Obesity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Elbel

    Full Text Available A common policy approach to reducing childhood obesity aims to shape the environment in which children spend most of their time: neighborhoods and schools. This paper uses richly detailed data on the body mass index (BMI of all New York City public school students in grades K-8 to assess the potential for place-based approaches to reduce child obesity. We document variation in the prevalence of obesity across NYC public schools and census tracts, and then estimate the extent to which this variation can be explained by differences in individual-level predictors (such as race and household income. Both unadjusted and adjusted variability across neighborhoods and schools suggest place-based policies have the potential to meaningfully reduce child obesity, but under most realistic scenarios the improvement would be modest.

  17. Neighborhoods, Schools and Obesity: The Potential for Place-Based Approaches to Reduce Childhood Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbel, Brian; Corcoran, Sean P.; Schwartz, Amy Ellen

    2016-01-01

    A common policy approach to reducing childhood obesity aims to shape the environment in which children spend most of their time: neighborhoods and schools. This paper uses richly detailed data on the body mass index (BMI) of all New York City public school students in grades K-8 to assess the potential for place-based approaches to reduce child obesity. We document variation in the prevalence of obesity across NYC public schools and census tracts, and then estimate the extent to which this variation can be explained by differences in individual-level predictors (such as race and household income). Both unadjusted and adjusted variability across neighborhoods and schools suggest place-based policies have the potential to meaningfully reduce child obesity, but under most realistic scenarios the improvement would be modest. PMID:27309533

  18. Potential biodiversity benefits from international programs to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siikamäki, Juha; Newbold, Stephen C

    2012-01-01

    Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide emissions and options for its reduction are integral to climate policy. In addition to providing potentially low cost and near-term options for reducing global carbon emissions, reducing deforestation also could support biodiversity conservation. However, current understanding of the potential benefits to biodiversity from forest carbon offset programs is limited. We compile spatial data on global forest carbon, biodiversity, deforestation rates, and the opportunity cost of land to examine biodiversity conservation benefits from an international program to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation. Our results indicate limited geographic overlap between the least-cost areas for retaining forest carbon and protecting biodiversity. Therefore, carbon-focused policies will likely generate substantially lower benefits to biodiversity than a more biodiversity-focused policy could achieve. These results highlight the need to systematically consider co-benefits, such as biodiversity in the design and implementation of forest conservation programs to support international climate policy.

  19. The potential for Probiotic Bacteria from milkfish intestine in reducing mercury metals in skimmed milk media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyana, Zaraswati; Priosambodo, D.; Haedar, N.; Erviani, A. E.; Djabura, A. K.; Sukma, R.

    2018-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the heavy metals that is harmful to humans. The accumulation of mercury in the body is generally derived from food. Several types of bacteria from intestine of milkfish are known to reduce mercury concentration. People can take advantage of this bacterial ability by eating it through probiotic foods. This research conducted to figure out the potential for probiotic bacteria from milkfish intestine in reducing mercury. Isolation from probiotic bacteria from milkfish intestine conducted with grown the isolates in MRSA medium with addition of 1% CaCO3. Twelve isolate were obtained from milkfish intestine. Mercury resistance tested was performed by measuring cell density using a spectrophotometer at concentrations of 10, 15 and 20 ppm respectively in skim milk media. Probiotic tests (gastric acid, bile salts and antimicrobial activity) for MRSB media was also conducted. Results showed that seven isolate were resistant to mercury in all concentrations and potential as probiotics. All resistant isolate then tested for skim milk media with addition of 5, 10, 20 ppm mercury acetate respectively. Result showed that only one isolated was able to reduce the concentration of mercury (Hg) in all variations on concentration and potential as mercury reducer probiotic bacteria.

  20. Reducing Potentially Avoidable Complications in Patients with Chronic Diseases: The Prometheus Payment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Brantes, Francois; Rastogi, Amita; Painter, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Objective (or Study Question) To determine whether a new payment model can reduce current incidence of potentially avoidable complications (PACs) in patients with a chronic illness. Data Sources/Study Setting A claims database of 3.5 million commercially insured members under age 65. Study Design We analyzed the database using the Prometheus Payment model's analytical software for six chronic conditions to quantify total costs, proportion spent on PACs, and their variability across the United States. We conducted a literature review to determine the feasibility of reducing PACs. We estimated the financial impact on a prototypical practice if that practice received payments based on the Prometheus Payment model. Principal Findings We find that (1) PACs consume an average of 28.6 percent of costs for the six chronic conditions studied and vary significantly; (2) reducing PACs to the second decile level would save U.S.$116.7 million in this population; (3) current literature suggests that practices in certain settings could decrease PACs; and (4) using the Prometheus model could create a large potential incentive for a prototypical practice to reduce PACs. Conclusions By extrapolating these findings we conclude that costs might be reduced through payment reform efforts. A full extrapolation of these results, while speculative, suggests that total costs associated to the six chronic conditions studied could decrease by 3.8 percent. PMID:20662949

  1. Modifications of plasma edge electric field and confinement properties by limiter biasing on the KT-5C tokamak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hui Gao; Kan Zhai; Yizhi Wen; Shude Wan; Guiding Wang; Changxun Yu

    1995-01-01

    Experiments using a biased multiblock limiter in the KT-5C tokamak show that positive biasing is more effective than negative biasing in modifying the edge electric field, suppressing fluctuations and improving plasma confinement. The biasing effect varies with the limiter area, the toroidal magnetic field and the biasing voltage. By positive biasing, the edge profiles of the plasma potential, the electron temperature and the density become steeper, resulting in a reduced edge particle flux, an increased global particle confinement time and lower fluctuation levels of the edge plasma. (author)

  2. Do mitigation strategies reduce global warming potential in the northern U.S. corn belt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jane M-F; Archer, David W; Weyers, Sharon L; Barbour, Nancy W

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural management practices that enhance C sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emission (nitrous oxide [N₂O], methane [CH₄], and carbon dioxide [CO₂]), and promote productivity are needed to mitigate global warming without sacrificing food production. The objectives of the study were to compare productivity, greenhouse gas emission, and change in soil C over time and to assess whether global warming potential and global warming potential per unit biomass produced were reduced through combined mitigation strategies when implemented in the northern U.S. Corn Belt. The systems compared were (i) business as usual (BAU); (ii) maximum C sequestration (MAXC); and (iii) optimum greenhouse gas benefit (OGGB). Biomass production, greenhouse gas flux change in total and organic soil C, and global warming potential were compared among the three systems. Soil organic C accumulated only in the surface 0 to 5 cm. Three-year average emission of N₂O and CH was similar among all management systems. When integrated from planting to planting, N₂O emission was similar for MAXC and OGGB systems, although only MAXC was fertilized. Overall, the three systems had similar global warming potential based on 4-yr changes in soil organic C, but average rotation biomass was less in the OGGB systems. Global warming potential per dry crop yield was the least for the MAXC system and the most for OGGB system. This suggests management practices designed to reduce global warming potential can be achieved without a loss of productivity. For example, MAXC systems over time may provide sufficient soil C sequestration to offset associated greenhouse gas emission. by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  3. Management and control aimed at reducing potential exposure of cobalt irradiation units

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Yukui

    2003-01-01

    This paper is intended to address the problems of the management and control of potential exposure of cobalt irradiation units and analyze both the current situation and the resultant accident reasons associated with irradiation units, with the necessary control measures provided to reduce potential exposure. The concepts of defense in depth and excellent engineering practice are introduced in design to provide the units with sufficient redundancy. In the course of scientific management, the qualified applicants or registers devoted, strictly and effectively, their oversight, monitoring and regulation to the irradiation units. The effective management and control are achieved through safety analysis and assessment, reasonable regulatory system and source decommissioning system. (authors)

  4. Predicting Crashes Using Traffic Offences. A Meta-Analysis that Examines Potential Bias between Self-Report and Archival Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    af Wåhlberg, Anders; Freeman, James; Watson, Barry; Watson, Angela

    2016-01-01

    Background Traffic offences have been considered an important predictor of crash involvement, and have often been used as a proxy safety variable for crashes. However the association between crashes and offences has never been meta-analysed and the population effect size never established. Research is yet to determine the extent to which this relationship may be spuriously inflated through systematic measurement error, with obvious implications for researchers endeavouring to accurately identify salient factors predictive of crashes. Methodology and Principal Findings Studies yielding a correlation between crashes and traffic offences were collated and a meta-analysis of 144 effects drawn from 99 road safety studies conducted. Potential impact of factors such as age, time period, crash and offence rates, crash severity and data type, sourced from either self-report surveys or archival records, were considered and discussed. After weighting for sample size, an average correlation of r = .18 was observed over the mean time period of 3.2 years. Evidence emerged suggesting the strength of this correlation is decreasing over time. Stronger correlations between crashes and offences were generally found in studies involving younger drivers. Consistent with common method variance effects, a within country analysis found stronger effect sizes in self-reported data even controlling for crash mean. Significance The effectiveness of traffic offences as a proxy for crashes may be limited. Inclusion of elements such as independently validated crash and offence histories or accurate measures of exposure to the road would facilitate a better understanding of the factors that influence crash involvement. PMID:27128093

  5. An Empirical Evaluation Of The Potential Of Public E-Procurement To Reduce Corruption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun Neupane

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available One of the significant potential benefits of e-procurement technology is reducing opportunities for corruption in public procurement processes. The authors identified anti-corruption capabilities of e-procurement through an extensive literature review and a theoretical model representing the impact of three latent variables: monopoly of power, information asymmetry, and transparency and accountability upon the dependent variable, the intent-to-adopt e-procurement. This research was guided by the Principal-Agent theory and collected the perceptions of 46 government officers of the potential of public e-procurement to reduce corruption in public procurement processes. Results were analysed using the Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM approach. The findings suggest that the intent-to-adopt e-procurement has a positive and significant relationship with the independent variables that might inform developing countries in strategies to combat corruption in public procurement.

  6. Journal bias or author bias?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Ian

    2016-01-01

    I read with interest the comment by Mark Wilson in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics regarding bias and conflicts of interest in medical journals. Wilson targets one journal (the New England Journal of Medicine: NEJM) and one particular "scandal" to make his point that journals' decisions on publication are biased by commercial conflicts of interest (CoIs). It is interesting that he chooses the NEJM which, by his own admission, had one of the strictest CoI policies and had published widely on this topic. The feeling is that if the NEJM can be guilty, they can all be guilty.

  7. VALIDITY OF THE DIMENSIONAL CONFIGURATION OF THE REDUCED POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE MODEL IN SKI JUMPING

    OpenAIRE

    Ulaga, Maja; Čoh, Milan; Jošt, Bojan

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the study was to establish the validity of the dimensional configuration of the reduced po-tential performance model in ski jumping. Two performance models were prepared (models A and B), dif-fering only in terms of their method of determining the weights (dimensional configuration). Model A in-volves the dependent determination of weights while model B includes the independent determination of weights. The sample consisted of 104 Slovenian ski jumpers from the senior-men’s categor...

  8. Green tea catechins reduced the glycaemic potential of bread: an in vitro digestibility study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Royston; Gao, Jing; Ananingsih, Victoria K; Ranawana, Viren; Henry, Christiani Jeyakumar; Zhou, Weibiao

    2015-08-01

    Green tea catechins are potent inhibitors of enzymes for carbohydrate digestion. However, the potential of developing low glycaemic index bakery food using green tea extract has not been investigated. Results of this study showed that addition of green tea extract (GTE) at 0.45%, 1%, and 2% concentration levels significantly reduced the glycaemic potential of baked and steamed bread. The average retention levels of catechins in the baked and steamed bread were 75.3-89.5% and 81.4-99.3%, respectively. Bread fortified with 2% GTE showed a significantly lower level of glucose release during the first 90 min of pancreatic digestion as well as a lower content of rapidly digested starch (RDS) content. A significantly negative correlation was found between the catechin retention level and the RDS content of bread. The potential of transforming bread into a low GI food using GTE fortification was proven to be promising. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Open Circuit Potential Study of Stainless Steel in Environment Containing Marine Sulphate-Reducing Bacteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fathul Karim Sahrani; Madzlan Abd. Aziz; Zaharah Ibrahim; Adibah Yahya

    2008-01-01

    The corrosion potential of AISI 304 stainless steel coupons influenced by sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has been studied. Pure colony of SRB was isolated from the Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering, Pasir Gudang, Johor. Open circuit potential measurements were carried out in variable types of culturing solutions with SRB1, SRB2, combination of SRB1 and SRB2 and without SRBs inoculated. Results showed that the corrosion potential, E oc increased in the presence of SRBs (in pure and mixed culture) compared to that of control. EDS analysis showed the strong peak of sulphur in coupon containing SRB cultures compared to the control. ESEM data showed that the high density cell of SRBs were associated with corroding sections of surface steel comparing with non-corroding sections for coupons immersed in VMNI medium containing SRBs. (author)

  10. Computation of 3-D magnetostatic fields using a reduced scalar potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biro, O.; Preis, K.; Vrisk, G.; Richter, K.R.

    1993-01-01

    The paper presents some improvements to the finite element computation of static magnetic fields in three dimensions using a reduced magnetic scalar potential. New methods are described for obtaining an edge element representation of the rotational part of the magnetic field from a given source current distribution. In the case when the current distribution is not known in advance, a boundary value problem is set up in terms of a current vector potential. An edge element representation of the solution can be directly used in the subsequent magnetostatic calculation. The magnetic field in a D.C. arc furnace is calculated by first determining the current distribution in terms of a current vector potential. A three dimensional problem involving a permanent magnet as well as a coil is solved and the magnetic field in some points is compared with measurement results

  11. Inconsistencies in quality of life data collection in clinical trials: a potential source of bias? Interviews with research nurses and trialists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyte, Derek; Ives, Jonathan; Draper, Heather; Keeley, Thomas; Calvert, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    Patient-reported outcomes (PROs), such as health-related quality of life (HRQL) are increasingly used to evaluate treatment effectiveness in clinical trials, are valued by patients, and may inform important decisions in the clinical setting. It is of concern, therefore, that preliminary evidence, gained from group discussions at UK-wide Medical Research Council (MRC) quality of life training days, suggests there are inconsistent standards of HRQL data collection in trials and appropriate training and education is often lacking. Our objective was to investigate these reports, to determine if they represented isolated experiences, or were indicative of a potentially wider problem. We undertook a qualitative study, conducting 26 semi-structured interviews with research nurses, data managers, trial coordinators and research facilitators involved in the collection and entry of HRQL data in clinical trials, across one primary care NHS trust, two secondary care NHS trusts and two clinical trials units in the UK. We used conventional content analysis to analyze and interpret our data. Our study participants reported (1) inconsistent standards in HRQL measurement, both between, and within, trials, which appeared to risk the introduction of bias; (2), difficulties in dealing with HRQL data that raised concern for the well-being of the trial participant, which in some instances led to the delivery of non-protocol driven co-interventions, (3), a frequent lack of HRQL protocol content and appropriate training and education of trial staff, and (4) that HRQL data collection could be associated with emotional and/or ethical burden. Our findings suggest there are inconsistencies in the standards of HRQL data collection in some trials resulting from a general lack of HRQL-specific protocol content, training and education. These inconsistencies could lead to biased HRQL trial results. Future research should aim to develop HRQL guidelines and training programmes aimed at supporting

  12. The own-age bias in face memory is unrelated to differences in attention--evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Markus F; End, Albert; Luttmann, Stefanie; Schweinberger, Stefan R; Wiese, Holger

    2015-03-01

    Participants are more accurate at remembering faces from their own relative to a different age group (the own-age bias, or OAB). A recent socio-cognitive account has suggested that differential allocation of attention to old versus young faces underlies this phenomenon. Critically, empirical evidence for a direct relationship between attention to own- versus other-age faces and the OAB in memory is lacking. To fill this gap, we tested the roles of attention in three different experimental paradigms, and additionally analyzed event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In Experiment 1, we compared the learning of old and young faces during focused versus divided attention, but revealed similar OABs in subsequent memory for both attention conditions. Similarly, manipulating attention during learning did not differentially affect the ERPs elicited by young versus old faces. In Experiment 2, we examined the repetition effects from task-irrelevant old and young faces presented under varying attentional loads on the N250r ERP component as an index of face recognition. Independent of load, the N250r effects were comparable for both age categories. Finally, in Experiment 3 we measured the N2pc as an index of attentional selection of old versus young target faces in a visual search task. The N2pc was not significantly different for the young versus the old target search conditions, suggesting similar orientations of attention to either face age group. Overall, we propose that the OAB in memory is largely unrelated to early attentional processes. Our findings therefore contrast with the predictions from socio-cognitive accounts on own-group biases in recognition memory, and are more easily reconciled with expertise-based models.

  13. Potential nanotechnology applications for reducing freshwater consumption at coal fired power plants : an early view.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elcock, D. (Environmental Science Division)

    2010-09-17

    This report was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Existing Plants Research Program, which has an energy-water research effort that focuses on water use at power plants. This study complements the overall research effort of the Existing Plants Research Program by evaluating water issues that could impact power plants. A growing challenge to the economic production of electricity from coal-fired power plants is the demand for freshwater, particularly in light of the projected trends for increasing demands and decreasing supplies of freshwater. Nanotechnology uses the unique chemical, physical, and biological properties that are associated with materials at the nanoscale to create and use materials, devices, and systems with new functions and properties. It is possible that nanotechnology may open the door to a variety of potentially interesting ways to reduce freshwater consumption at power plants. This report provides an overview of how applications of nanotechnology could potentially help reduce freshwater use at coal-fired power plants. It was developed by (1) identifying areas within a coal-fired power plant's operations where freshwater use occurs and could possibly be reduced, (2) conducting a literature review to identify potential applications of nanotechnology for facilitating such reductions, and (3) collecting additional information on potential applications from researchers and companies to clarify or expand on information obtained from the literature. Opportunities, areas, and processes for reducing freshwater use in coal-fired power plants considered in this report include the use of nontraditional waters in process and cooling water systems, carbon capture alternatives, more efficient processes for removing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, coolants that have higher thermal conductivities than water alone, energy storage options, and a variety of plant inefficiencies, which

  14. Biased Supervision

    OpenAIRE

    Josse Delfgaauw; Michiel Souverijn

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ When verifiable performance measures are imperfect, organizations often resort to subjective performance pay. This may give supervisors the power to direct employees towards tasks that mainly benefit the supervisor rather than the organization. We cast a principal-supervisor-agent model in a multitask setting, where the supervisor has an intrinsic preference towards specific tasks. We show that subjective performance pay based on evaluation by a biased supervisor ...

  15. Cognitive Biases and Nonverbal Cue Availability in Detecting Deception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgoon, Judee K.; Blair, J. Pete; Strom, Renee E.

    2008-01-01

    In potentially deceptive situations, people rely on mental shortcuts to help process information. These heuristic judgments are often biased and result in inaccurate assessments of sender veracity. Four such biases--truth bias, visual bias, demeanor bias, and expectancy violation bias--were examined in a judgment experiment that varied nonverbal…

  16. Sources of bias in clinical ethics case deliberation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magelssen, Morten; Pedersen, Reidar; Førde, Reidun

    2014-10-01

    A central task for clinical ethics consultants and committees (CEC) is providing analysis of, and advice on, prospective or retrospective clinical cases. However, several kinds of biases may threaten the integrity, relevance or quality of the CEC's deliberation. Bias should be identified and, if possible, reduced or counteracted. This paper provides a systematic classification of kinds of bias that may be present in a CEC's case deliberation. Six kinds of bias are discussed, with examples, as to their significance and risk factors. Possible remedies are suggested. The potential for bias is greater when the case deliberation is performed by an individual ethics consultant than when an entire clinical ethics committee is involved. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  17. Potential for reducing global carbon emissions from electricity production-A bench marking analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ang, B.W.; Zhou, P.; Tay, L.P. [National University of Singapore (Singapore). Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    2011-05-15

    We present five performance indicators for electricity generation for 129 countries using the 2005 data. These indicators, measured at the national level, are the aggregate CO{sub 2} intensity of electricity production, the efficiencies of coal, oil and gas generation and the share of electricity produced from non-fossil fuels. We conduct a study on the potential for reducing global energy-related CO{sub 2} emissions from electricity production through simple bench marking. This is performed based on the last four performance indicators and the construction of a cumulative curve for each of these indicators. It is found that global CO{sub 2} emissions from electricity production would be reduced by 19% if all these indicators are benchmarked at the 50th percentile. Not surprisingly, the emission reduction potential measured in absolute terms is the highest for large countries such as China, India, Russia and the United States. When the potential is expressed as a percentage of a country's own emissions, few of these countries appear in the top-five list. 14 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Potential for reducing global carbon emissions from electricity production-A benchmarking analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ang, B.W.; Zhou, P.; Tay, L.P.

    2011-01-01

    We present five performance indicators for electricity generation for 129 countries using the 2005 data. These indicators, measured at the national level, are the aggregate CO 2 intensity of electricity production, the efficiencies of coal, oil and gas generation and the share of electricity produced from non-fossil fuels. We conduct a study on the potential for reducing global energy-related CO 2 emissions from electricity production through simple benchmarking. This is performed based on the last four performance indicators and the construction of a cumulative curve for each of these indicators. It is found that global CO 2 emissions from electricity production would be reduced by 19% if all these indicators are benchmarked at the 50th percentile. Not surprisingly, the emission reduction potential measured in absolute terms is the highest for large countries such as China, India, Russia and the United States. When the potential is expressed as a percentage of a country's own emissions, few of these countries appear in the top-five list. - Research highlights: → We study variations in emissions per kWh of electricity generated among countries. → We analyze emissions from electricity production through benchmarking. → Estimates of reduction in emissions are made based on different assumptions.

  19. Effect of curcumin in reducing burning sensation in potentially malignant disorders of oral cavity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitin Nigam

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Curcumin, chemically named as diferuloylmethane is a yellow coloured pigment which shows anti inflammatory, antioxidant, pro apoptotic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities. It suppresses cyclooxygenase, lipooxygenase and other inflammatory mediators and destroys free radicals. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of curcumin in reducing the burning sensation in potentially malignant disorders of oral cavity. Materials and Methods: 100 subjects diagnosed clinically with potentially malignant disorders of oral cavity were included in this study. The patients were administered commercially available turmeric systemically and topical application of turmeric and honey was advised. Their burning sensation on VAS scale was evaluated after 15 days, and the data was then statistically analysed by Wilcoxon sign rank test. Results: After the treatment there was a significant decrease in VAS scale. The median showed decrease from 7 to 4. The mean value also showed decrease from 6.91 to 3.98. Conclusion: Hence, it is concluded that turmeric and honey showed positive results in reducing burning sensation in potentially malignant disorders of oral cavity.

  20. Sustainable Survival for adolescents living with HIV: do SDG-aligned provisions reduce potential mortality risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cluver, Lucie; Pantelic, Marija; Orkin, Mark; Toska, Elona; Medley, Sally; Sherr, Lorraine

    2018-02-01

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a groundbreaking global development agenda to protect the most vulnerable. Adolescents living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa continue to experience extreme health vulnerabilities, but we know little about the impacts of SDG-aligned provisions on their health. This study tests associations of provisions aligned with five SDGs with potential mortality risks. Clinical and interview data were gathered from N = 1060 adolescents living with HIV in rural and urban South Africa in 2014 to 2015. All ART-initiated adolescents from 53 government health facilities were identified, and traced in their communities to include those defaulting and lost-to-follow-up. Potential mortality risk was assessed as either: viral suppression failure (1000+ copies/ml) using patient file records, or adolescent self-report of diagnosed but untreated tuberculosis or symptomatic pulmonary tuberculosis. SDG-aligned provisions were measured through adolescent interviews. Provisions aligned with SDGs 1&2 (no poverty and zero hunger) were operationalized as access to basic necessities, social protection and food security; An SDG 3-aligned provision (ensure healthy lives) was having a healthy primary caregiver; An SDG 8-aligned provision (employment for all) was employment of a household member; An SDG 16-aligned provision (protection from violence) was protection from physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Research partners included the South African national government, UNICEF and Pediatric and Adolescent Treatment for Africa. 20.8% of adolescents living with HIV had potential mortality risk - i.e. viral suppression failure, symptomatic untreated TB, or both. All SDG-aligned provisions were significantly associated with reduced potential mortality risk: SDG 1&2 (OR 0.599 CI 0.361 to 0.994); SDG 3 (OR 0.577 CI 0.411 to 0.808); SDG 8 (OR 0.602 CI 0.440 to 0.823) and SDG 16 (OR 0.686 CI 0.505 to 0.933). Access to multiple SDG-aligned provisions showed a

  1. The Potential to Reduce Nitrogen Loss Through Rotating Different Sorghum Varieties in Greenhouse Vegetable Field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KANG Ling-yun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In North China plain, excessive fertilization in vegetable greenhouse always results in nitrate accumulation in soil and possible nitrogen leaching with potential environmental risk. It is necessary to rotate appropriate catch crop to absorb surplus nitrogen in fallow season and reduce rootzone nitrate level. An experiment was carried out to select suitable sorghum variety as catch crop to reduce nitrogen loss in Beijing suburb. Six common varieties were used in the experiment as conventional catch crop, sweet corn as the control. The results indicated that the biomass, root growth and nitrogen accumulation in shoots of sorghum Jinza 12 were highest in the catch crops. It demonstrated that the variety Jinza 12 was an appropriate catch crop for reducing nitrogen accumulation in surface soil layer compared with sweet corn. Meanwhile, variety Jiliang 2 maintained highest proportion of soil NH4+-N content after urea application, which might be related to the biological nitrification inhibitors (BNI released by the root system of sorghum. It implied that sorghum could be used as catch crop to reduce nitrogen loss through plant extraction i.e. nitrogen uptake and stabilization i.e. BNI inhibition, in comparison with sweet corn.

  2. Potentials of ionizing radiation in reducing hazards to man and environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mullie, W C; Van Laerhoven, M J.A.M.; Kroes, R

    1991-07-01

    The main goal of the title study was to compare a relevant number of conventional processes and technologies for a range of uses with the application of ionizing radiation technology. Special emphasis is given to the hazardous effects of contemporary processes and chemicals on man and environment and to the potential role of the radiation processing technology, gamma irradiation in particular, in reducing these hazards. Based on their quantities and on (eco)toxicological criteria, four fields of application were identified a priori as potentially of interest for radiation processing. These fields of application are food preservation, sterilization and sanitization of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, waste water and drinking water disinfection, and disinfection of sewage sludge and infectious hospital waste. Other fields of application as mentioned above are discussed in a more general matter. 12 figs., 31 tabs., 4 apps., refs.

  3. Development of new versions of anti-human CD34 monoclonal antibodies with potentially reduced immunogenicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qian Weizhu; Wang Ling; Li Bohua; Wang Hao; Hou Sheng; Hong Xueyu; Zhang Dapeng; Guo Yajun

    2008-01-01

    Despite the widespread clinical use of CD34 antibodies for the purification of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, all the current anti-human CD34 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are murine, which have the potential to elicit human antimouse antibody (HAMA) immune response. In the present study, we developed three new mouse anti-human CD34 mAbs which, respectively, belonged to class I, class II and class III CD34 epitope antibodies. In an attempt to reduce the immunogenicity of these three murine mAbs, their chimeric antibodies, which consisted of mouse antibody variable regions fused genetically to human antibody constant regions, were constructed and characterized. The anti-CD34 chimeric antibodies were shown to possess affinity and specificity similar to that of their respective parental murine antibodies. Due to the potentially better safety profiles, these chimeric antibodies might become alternatives to mouse anti-CD34 antibodies routinely used for clinical application

  4. Gender bias affects forests worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlène Elias; Susan S Hummel; Bimbika S Basnett; Carol J.P. Colfer

    2017-01-01

    Gender biases persist in forestry research and practice. These biases result in reduced scientific rigor and inequitable, ineffective, and less efficient policies, programs, and interventions. Drawing from a two-volume collection of current and classic analyses on gender in forests, we outline five persistent and inter-related themes: gendered governance, tree tenure,...

  5. Stability of the minimum of a SO(N)-invariant Higgs potential with reducible Higgs fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thornburg, R.J.

    1986-01-01

    The present work takes up the problem of finding the absolute minimum of a SO(N)-invariant Higgs potential for the reducible representation of Higgs fields consisting of the antisymmetric (A) and symmetric (S) traceless second-rank tensors. The stability of the minimum under changes on the potential's parameters is also investigated. Potentials containing S alone, both A and S coupled by a positive semi-definite term are minimized. Eigenstates of the Higgs mass matrix are calculated and related to the behavior of the SO(N)-action. Previous results relying on the absence of pseudo-Goldstone models and a new application of the geometry of the action show that the minimum is stable under small changes of the parameters. It is thus stable in an open region of the full eleven-dimensional parameter space of the most general potential of its kind. The isotropy group of the minimum is found to be either SO(N-p) x SO(p-2) x SO(2) or U({N-p}/2) x U(p/2), and the relative magnitudes of the vacuum expectation values of A and S are not constrained. For SO(10), U(3) x U(2) contains the standard model. One-loop Renormalization Group β-functions are calculated for all parameters of the model

  6. Young driver education programs that build resilience have potential to reduce road crashes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senserrick, Teresa; Ivers, Rebecca; Boufous, Soufiane; Chen, Huei-Yang; Norton, Robyn; Stevenson, Mark; van Beurden, Eric; Zask, Avigdor

    2009-11-01

    The research aimed to explore associations between participation in 2 education programs for school-based learner drivers and subsequent road traffic offenses and crashes among a large cohort of newly licensed drivers. DRIVE is a prospective cohort study of 20822 first-year drivers aged 17 to 24 in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Participants completed a detailed questionnaire and consented to data linkage in 2003-2004. Questionnaire items included year of participation in 2 specific education programs: a 1-day workshop-only program focusing on driving risks ("driver-focused") and a whole-of-community program also including a 1-day workshop but also longer term follow-up activities and a broader focus on reducing risk-taking and building resilience ("resilience-focused"). Survey data were subsequently linked to police-reported crash and offense data for 1996-2005. Poisson regression models that adjusted for multiple confounders were created to explore offenses and crashes as a driver (dichotomized as 0 vs >or=1) after program participation. Offenses did not differ between groups; however, whereas the driver-focused program was not associated with reduced crash risk, the resilience-focused program was associated with a 44% reduced relative risk for crash (0.56 [95% confidence interval: 0.34-0.93]). The large effect size observed and complementary findings from a comparable randomized, controlled trial in the United States suggest programs that focus more generally on reducing risks and building resilience have the potential to reduce crashes. A large, representative, randomized, controlled trial is urgently needed to confirm road safety benefits and ensure evidence-based spending and practitioner recommendations in this field.

  7. Emotional event-related potentials are reduced if negative pictures presented at fixation are unattended.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Stefan; Sand, Anders; Norberg, Joakim; Andersson, Per

    2011-05-20

    Viewing of emotional pictures elicits two event-related potentials (ERPs) to emotional versus neutral pictures: an early posterior negativity (EPN) and a late positive potential (LPP). Because it is unresolved whether these indexes of emotional processing are reduced to task-irrelevant pictures at fixation, negative and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture Set (IAPS) were shown at fixation together with 6 letters that surrounded the pictures. In separate tasks, participants were instructed to attend either the pictures or the letters. When the pictures were task relevant, results showed an EPN and LPP. In contrast, when the pictures were task irrelevant, the EPN was eliminated and the LPP reduced. Performance was high in both tasks (hit rates>87%), but somewhat better when the pictures were relevant. However, analyses showed no relationship between this performance difference and the differences in EPN and LPP between tasks. These results suggest that emotional processing of strong, negative pictures is sensitive to manipulations of attention even if the pictures are shown at fixation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Evaluation of probiotic potential of lactic acid bacteria to reduce in vitro cholesterol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clementina Cueto

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Daily consumption of probiotics reduce levels of serum cholesterol by up to 3%, which is significant to prevent hypercholesterolemia, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cause of mortality. The genus Lactobacillus is used in industry as a probiotic and some species reduce serum cholesterol by two mechanisms, the adsorption of cholesterol and the production of the enzyme bile salt hydrolase, which vary according to species. The aim of the study was to assess the ability of probiotic bacteria group isolated from coast serum. 53 strains were isolated from nine coastal serum sample; the sensitivity to cefoxitin and vancomycin, and the tolerance to pH 2.0 and 0.3% bile salts were evaluated to determine its probiotic potential. Five microorganisms were selected and molecularly identified as Lactobacillus fermentum. The ability to absorb cholesterol measured by the method of Kimoto, showed a reduction of 53.06 ± 2.69 µg.mL-1 for strain K73 and 7.23 ± 2.69 µg. mL-1 for K75. These same strains showed the highest total and specific activity of the enzyme. The results didn´t show a relationship between the production of enzyme and adsorption of cholesterol. The strain with the greatest probiotic potential was K73. This hypocholesterolemic property will give strains added value to start the search for food matrices that allow decreasing serum cholesterol levels.

  9. Expansion of a quantum wave packet in a one-dimensional disordered potential in the presence of a uniform bias force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosnier de Bellaistre, C.; Trefzger, C.; Aspect, A.; Georges, A.; Sanchez-Palencia, L.

    2018-01-01

    We study numerically the expansion dynamics of an initially confined quantum wave packet in the presence of a disordered potential and a uniform bias force. For white-noise disorder, we find that the wave packet develops asymmetric algebraic tails for any ratio of the force to the disorder strength. The exponent of the algebraic tails decays smoothly with that ratio and no evidence of a critical behavior on the wave density profile is found. Algebraic localization features a series of critical values of the force-to-disorder strength where the m th position moment of the wave packet diverges. Below the critical value for the m th moment, we find fair agreement between the asymptotic long-time value of the m th moment and the predictions of diagrammatic calculations. Above it, we find that the m th moment grows algebraically in time. For correlated disorder, we find evidence of systematic delocalization, irrespective to the model of disorder. More precisely, we find a two-step dynamics, where both the center-of-mass position and the width of the wave packet show transient localization, similar to the white-noise case, at short time and delocalization at sufficiently long time. This correlation-induced delocalization is interpreted as due to the decrease of the effective de Broglie wavelength, which lowers the effective strength of the disorder in the presence of finite-range correlations.

  10. Negatively-marked MCQ assessments that reward partial knowledge do not introduce gender bias yet increase student performance and satisfaction and reduce anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Elizabeth Bond

    Full Text Available Multiple-choice question (MCQ examinations are increasingly used as the assessment method of theoretical knowledge in large class-size modules in many life science degrees. MCQ-tests can be used to objectively measure factual knowledge, ability and high-level learning outcomes, but may also introduce gender bias in performance dependent on topic, instruction, scoring and difficulty. The 'Single Answer' (SA test is often used in which students choose one correct answer, in which they are unable to demonstrate partial knowledge. Negatively marking eliminates the chance element of guessing but may be considered unfair. Elimination testing (ET is an alternative form of MCQ, which discriminates between all levels of knowledge, while rewarding demonstration of partial knowledge. Comparisons of performance and gender bias in negatively marked SA and ET tests have not yet been performed in the life sciences. Our results show that life science students were significantly advantaged by answering the MCQ test in elimination format compared to single answer format under negative marking conditions by rewarding partial knowledge of topics. Importantly, we found no significant difference in performance between genders in either cohort for either MCQ test under negative marking conditions. Surveys showed that students generally preferred ET-style MCQ testing over SA-style testing. Students reported feeling more relaxed taking ET MCQ and more stressed when sitting SA tests, while disagreeing with being distracted by thinking about best tactics for scoring high. Students agreed ET testing improved their critical thinking skills. We conclude that appropriately-designed MCQ tests do not systematically discriminate between genders. We recommend careful consideration in choosing the type of MCQ test, and propose to apply negative scoring conditions to each test type to avoid the introduction of gender bias. The student experience could be improved through the

  11. Negatively-marked MCQ assessments that reward partial knowledge do not introduce gender bias yet increase student performance and satisfaction and reduce anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, A Elizabeth; Bodger, Owen; Skibinski, David O F; Jones, D Hugh; Restall, Colin J; Dudley, Edward; van Keulen, Geertje

    2013-01-01

    Multiple-choice question (MCQ) examinations are increasingly used as the assessment method of theoretical knowledge in large class-size modules in many life science degrees. MCQ-tests can be used to objectively measure factual knowledge, ability and high-level learning outcomes, but may also introduce gender bias in performance dependent on topic, instruction, scoring and difficulty. The 'Single Answer' (SA) test is often used in which students choose one correct answer, in which they are unable to demonstrate partial knowledge. Negatively marking eliminates the chance element of guessing but may be considered unfair. Elimination testing (ET) is an alternative form of MCQ, which discriminates between all levels of knowledge, while rewarding demonstration of partial knowledge. Comparisons of performance and gender bias in negatively marked SA and ET tests have not yet been performed in the life sciences. Our results show that life science students were significantly advantaged by answering the MCQ test in elimination format compared to single answer format under negative marking conditions by rewarding partial knowledge of topics. Importantly, we found no significant difference in performance between genders in either cohort for either MCQ test under negative marking conditions. Surveys showed that students generally preferred ET-style MCQ testing over SA-style testing. Students reported feeling more relaxed taking ET MCQ and more stressed when sitting SA tests, while disagreeing with being distracted by thinking about best tactics for scoring high. Students agreed ET testing improved their critical thinking skills. We conclude that appropriately-designed MCQ tests do not systematically discriminate between genders. We recommend careful consideration in choosing the type of MCQ test, and propose to apply negative scoring conditions to each test type to avoid the introduction of gender bias. The student experience could be improved through the incorporation of the

  12. Evaluating the acute effects of oral, non-combustible potential reduced exposure products marketed to smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, C O; Weaver, M F; Eissenberg, T

    2010-10-01

    Non-combustible potential reduced exposure products (PREPs; eg, Star Scientific's Ariva; a variety of other smokeless tobacco products) are marketed to reduce the harm associated with smoking. This marketing occurs despite an absence of objective data concerning the toxicant exposure and effects of these PREPs. Methods used to examine combustible PREPs were adapted to assess the acute effects of non-combustible PREPs for smokers. 28 overnight abstinent cigarette smokers (17 men, 14 non-white) each completed seven, Latin-squared ordered, approximately 2.5 h laboratory sessions that differed by product administered: Ariva, Marlboro Snus (Philip Morris, USA), Camel Snus (RJ Reynolds, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA), Commit nicotine lozenge (GlaxoSmithKline; 2 mg), own brand cigarettes, Quest cigarettes (Vector Tobacco; delivers very low levels of nicotine) and sham smoking (ie, puffing on an unlit cigarette). In each session, the product was administered twice (separated by 60 min), and plasma nicotine levels, expired air CO and subjective effects were assessed regularly. Non-combustible products delivered less nicotine than own brand cigarettes, did not expose smokers to CO and failed to suppress tobacco abstinence symptoms as effectively as combustible products. While decreased toxicant exposure is a potential indicator of harm reduction potential, a failure to suppress abstinence symptoms suggests that currently marketed non-combustible PREPs may not be a viable harm reduction strategy for US smokers. This study demonstrates how clinical laboratory methods can be used to evaluate the short-term effects of non-combustible PREPs for smokers.

  13. Defining indicators to motorize block valves aiming to reduce potential leakage applied to OSBRA pipeline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pires, L.F.G. [Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), RJ (Brazil); Sousa, A.G.; Castro, N.C.; Spagnolo, R. [Petrobras Transporte S.A. (TRANSPETRO), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2009-07-01

    The discussion about motorizing block valves is a constant point being brought up when it is intended to control or reduce the amount of liquid leaking in the event of a pipe rupture. During the pipeline's project stage the installation of blocking valves along the pipeline must be taken into consideration to meet the operation and maintenance requirements as well as to reduce the potential amounts of volume being leaked. In existing pipelines, the main concern is the definition of which valves are candidates to be motorized. In both situations criteria should be established to define this choice. A math algorithm was developed to define the potential leakage due to gravity along the pipeline profile where the influence of a valve over another is verified, as well as the contribution of the check valves existing in the pipeline. The present work defines a parameter based on the extension protected by the valve and the reduction of the potential leakage. This parameter is then fed to a worksheet where the efficiency indicators are calculated to each valve eligible to be motorized. It also takes into consideration factors relative to the valve location, such as the environmental sensitivity, risk assessment, social diagnosis and device's proximity to contingency resources. Finally, after considering all the above aspects, it's possible to come up with a final classification, recommending specific valves to be prioritized on an eventual process of motorization adequacies. This methodology was applied, experimentally on a pipe segment of TRANSPETRO's Sao Paulo-Brasilia pipeline - OSBRA , where it proved to be an important technological and management tool. (author)

  14. A bias-reducing pathway enrichment analysis of genome-wide association data confirmed association of the MHC region with schizophrenia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Jia, Peilin

    2012-02-01

    After the recent successes of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), one key challenge is to identify genetic variants that might have a significant joint effect on complex diseases but have failed to be identified individually due to weak to moderate marginal effect. One popular and effective approach is gene set based analysis, which investigates the joint effect of multiple functionally related genes (eg, pathways). However, a typical gene set analysis method is biased towards long genes, a problem that is especially severe in psychiatric diseases.

  15. Enhancing tube hydroformability by reducing the local strain gradient at potential necking sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, S. G. R.; Joo, B. D.; Moon, Y. H.; Tyne, C. J. Van

    2014-01-01

    Bursting in tube hydroforming is preceded by localized deformation, which is often called necking. The retardation of the initiation of necking is a means to enhance hydroformability. Since high strain gradients occur at necking sites, a decrease in local strain gradients is an effective way to retard the initiation of necking. In the current study, the expansion at potential necking sites was intentionally restricted in order to reduce the strain gradient at potential necking sites. From the strain distribution obtained from FEM, it is possible to determine strain concentrated zones, which are the potential necking sites. Prior to the hydroforming of a trailing arm, lead patch is attached to the tube where the strain concentration would occur. Due to the incompressibility of lead, the tube expansion is locally restricted, and the resultant strain extends to adjacent regions of the tube during hydroforming. After the first stage of hydroforming, the lead is removed from the tube, and the hydroforming continues to obtain the targeted shape without the local restriction. This method was successfully used to fabricate a complex shaped automotive trailing arm that had previously failed during traditional hydroforming processing.

  16. Potential for beneficial application of sulfate reducing bacteria in sulfate containing domestic wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brand, T P H; Roest, K; Chen, G H; Brdjanovic, D; van Loosdrecht, M C M

    2015-11-01

    The activity of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in domestic wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) is often considered as a problem due to H2S formation and potential related odour and corrosion of materials. However, when controlled well, these bacteria can be effectively used in a positive manner for the treatment of wastewater. The main advantages of using SRB in wastewater treatment are: (1) minimal sludge production, (2) reduction of potential pathogens presence, (3) removal of heavy metals and (4) as pre-treatment of anaerobic digestion. These advantages are accessory to efficient and stable COD removal by SRB. Though only a few studies have been conducted on SRB treatment of domestic wastewater, the many studies performed on industrial wastewater provide information on the potential of SRB in domestic wastewater treatment. A key-parameter analyses literature study comprising pH, organic substrates, sulfate, salt, temperature and oxygen revealed that the conditions are well suited for the application of SRB in domestic wastewater treatment. Since the application of SRB in WWTP has environmental benefits its application is worth considering for wastewater treatment, when sulfate is present in the influent.

  17. Reducing the risk of potential hazard in tourist activities of Mount Bromo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meilani, R.; Muthiah, J.; Muntasib, E. K. S. H.

    2018-05-01

    Mount Bromo has been crowned as one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, having a particular landscape uniqueness. Not only volcano, Bromo also has savanna, sea of sands, and culture of Tengger tribe. Its panoramic landscape has attracted a large number of tourists, both domestic and foreign, despites the threat of eruption. To ensure tourists safety and satisfaction, the potentials hazard, both from eruption and other features should be managed carefully. The study objective was to identify and map hazard potentials and identify the existing hazard management. It was carried out in Mei – June 2017. Lava, tephra, eruption cloud, ash, earthquake, land sliding, extreme weather, slope, transportation modes (jeep, motorcycle, and horse), human, and land fire were found as potential hazards in Mount Bromo. Five locations had been identified as hazard area in the tourism areas, i.e. savanna, sea of sand, Bromo caldera and Pananjakan I trail and viewing point. Early warning system should be developed as part of hazard management in the area. Capacity building of local stakeholders and visitors would be needed to reduce risk of the hazard.

  18. Potential role of reduced environmental UV exposure as a driver of the current epidemic of atopic dermatitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thyssen, Jacob P; Zirwas, Matthew J; Elias, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    The basis for the sudden and dramatic increase in atopic dermatitis (AD) and related atopic diseases in the second half of the 20th century is unclear. The hygiene hypothesis proposes that the transition from rural to urban living leads to reduced childhood exposure to pathogenic microorganisms....... Hence instead of having the normal TH1 bias and immune tolerance because of repeated exposure to pathogens, urban dwellers have TH2 cell immune activity and atopic disease in a more sterile environment. Various other environmental exposures have been implicated in the explosion of AD (and atopic...

  19. All about size? – The potential of downsizing in reducing energy demand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, Gesche M.; Shipworth, David

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Building size has huge impact on residential energy consumption. • There is significant underoccupation in English homes, even in cities. • Huge energy savings are possible if people downsize (move into smaller homes). • Lack of alternative, smaller accommodation structural barrier to downsizing. - Abstract: Residential energy consumption is one of the main contributors to CO_2 emissions in the UK. One strategy aimed at reducing emissions is to increase retrofitting rates of buildings. In this paper, an alternative approach is discussed and its potential impact on energy use assessed, that of downsizing (moving to smaller homes). Reviews of previous research show that a wide range of what can be termed psychological barriers exist to downsizing, such as the loss of ownership and independence, concern about what to do with possessions, not having enough space for visitors, and attachment to one’s home. Benefits of downsizing from a personal perspective are economic, with lower bills and/or rent, release of capital, lower maintenance costs, and also potential lifestyle improvements including living in easier-to-maintain and more age-appropriate housing. Wider societal benefits include the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption, and mitigating the housing crisis in cities where not enough properties are available. Empirical analysis on a nationally representative sample in England showed that building size alone accounts for 24% of the variability in energy consumption (compared to 11% of household size). If single-person households with more than two bedrooms downsized by one bedroom, energy-savings of 8% could be achieved, and if single-person households occupied only one bedroom, savings of 27%. Data also showed a significant amount of underoccupation, with almost two-thirds of households having more bedrooms than considered necessary compared to the bedroom-standard. However, analysis also revealed a structural barrier to

  20. Advanced Biasing Experiments on the C-2 Field-Reversed Configuration Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Matthew; Korepanov, Sergey; Garate, Eusebio; Yang, Xiaokang; Gota, Hiroshi; Douglass, Jon; Allfrey, Ian; Valentine, Travis; Uchizono, Nolan; TAE Team

    2014-10-01

    The C-2 experiment seeks to study the evolution, heating and sustainment effects of neutral beam injection on field-reversed configuration (FRC) plasmas. Recently, substantial improvements in plasma performance were achieved through the application of edge biasing with coaxial plasma guns located in the divertors. Edge biasing provides rotation control that reduces instabilities and E × B shear that improves confinement. Typically, the plasma gun arcs are run at ~ 10 MW for the entire shot duration (~ 5 ms), which will become unsustainable as the plasma duration increases. We have conducted several advanced biasing experiments with reduced-average-power plasma gun operating modes and alternative biasing cathodes in an effort to develop an effective biasing scenario applicable to steady state FRC plasmas. Early results show that several techniques can potentially provide effective, long-duration edge biasing.

  1. Investigation of surface potentials in reduced graphene oxide flake by Kelvin probe force microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negishi, Ryota; Takashima, Kai; Kobayashi, Yoshihiro

    2018-06-01

    The surface potential (SP) of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) flakes prepared by thermal treatments of GO under several conditions was analyzed by Kelvin probe force microscopy. The low-crystalline rGO flakes in which a significant amount of oxygen functional groups and structural defects remain have a much lower SP than mechanically exfoliated graphene free from oxygen and defects. On the other hand, the highly crystalline rGO flake after a thermal treatment for the efficient removal of oxygen functional groups and healing of structural defects except for domain boundary shows SP equivalent to that of the mechanically exfoliated graphene. These results indicate that the work function of rGO is sensitively modulated by oxygen functional groups and structural defects remaining after the thermal reduction process, but is not affected significantly by the domain boundary remaining after the healing of structural defects through the thermal treatment at high temperature.

  2. Gardening as a potential activity to reduce falls in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tuo-Yu; Janke, Megan C

    2012-01-01

    This study examines whether participation in gardening predicts reduced fall risk and performance on balance and gait-speed measures in older adults. Data on adults age 65 and older (N = 3,237) from the Health and Retirement Study and Consumption and Activities Mail Survey were analyzed. Participants who spent 1 hr or more gardening in the past week were defined as gardeners, resulting in a total of 1,585 gardeners and 1,652 nongardeners. Independent t tests, chi square, and regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between gardening and health outcomes. Findings indicate that gardeners reported significantly better balance and gait speed and had fewer chronic conditions and functional limitations than nongardeners. Significantly fewer gardeners than nongardeners reported a fall in the past 2 yr. The findings suggest that gardening may be a potential activity to incorporate into future fall-prevention programs.

  3. Modifying welding process parameters can reduce the neurotoxic potential of manganese-containing welding fumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriram, Krishnan; Lin, Gary X; Jefferson, Amy M; Stone, Samuel; Afshari, Aliakbar; Keane, Michael J; McKinney, Walter; Jackson, Mark; Chen, Bean T; Schwegler-Berry, Diane; Cumpston, Amy; Cumpston, Jared L; Roberts, Jenny R; Frazer, David G; Antonini, James M

    2015-02-03

    Welding fumes (WF) are a complex mixture of toxic metals and gases, inhalation of which can lead to adverse health effects among welders. The presence of manganese (Mn) in welding electrodes is cause for concern about the potential development of Parkinson's disease (PD)-like neurological disorder. Consequently, from an occupational safety perspective, there is a critical need to prevent adverse exposures to WF. As the fume generation rate and physicochemical characteristics of welding aerosols are influenced by welding process parameters like voltage, current or shielding gas, we sought to determine if changing such parameters can alter the fume profile and consequently its neurotoxic potential. Specifically, we evaluated the influence of voltage on fume composition and neurotoxic outcome. Rats were exposed by whole-body inhalation (40 mg/m(3); 3h/day × 5 d/week × 2 weeks) to fumes generated by gas-metal arc welding using stainless steel electrodes (GMA-SS) at standard/regular voltage (25 V; RVSS) or high voltage (30 V; HVSS). Fumes generated under these conditions exhibited similar particulate morphology, appearing as chain-like aggregates; however, HVSS fumes comprised of a larger fraction of ultrafine particulates that are generally considered to be more toxic than their fine counterparts. Paradoxically, exposure to HVSS fumes did not elicit dopaminergic neurotoxicity, as monitored by the expression of dopaminergic and PD-related markers. We show that the lack of neurotoxicity is due to reduced solubility of Mn in HVSS fumes. Our findings show promise for process control procedures in developing prevention strategies for Mn-related neurotoxicity during welding; however, it warrants additional investigations to determine if such modifications can be suitably adapted at the workplace to avert or reduce adverse neurological risks. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  4. Assessing the potential of hybrid energy technology to reduce exhaust emissions from global shipping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dedes, Eleftherios K.; Hudson, Dominic A.; Turnock, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    The combination of a prime mover and an energy storage device for reduction of fuel consumption has successfully been used in automotive industry. The shipping industry has utilised this for conventional submarines. The potential of a load levelling strategy through use of a hybrid battery–diesel–electric propulsion system is investigated. The goal is to reduce exhaust gas emissions by reducing fuel oil consumption through consideration of a re-engineered ship propulsion system. This work is based on operational data for a shipping fleet containing all types of bulk carriers. The engine loading and the energy requirements are calculated, and sizing of suitable propulsion and the battery storage system are proposed. The changes in overall emissions are estimated and the potential for fuel savings identified. The efficiency of the system depends on the storage medium type, the availability of energy and the displacement characteristics of the examined vessels. These results for the global fleet indicate that savings depending on storage system, vessel condition and vessel type could be up to 0.32 million tonnes in NO x , 0.07 million tonnes in SO x and 4.1 million tonnes in CO 2 . These represent a maximum 14% of reduction in dry bulk sector and 1.8% of world's fleet emissions. - Highlights: ► Global shipping makes a significant contribution to CO 2 , SO x and NO x emissions. ► We examine noon reports from a fleet of bulk carriers to identify the amount engine is operating off design. ► A hybrid propulsion system is proposed that uses multiple diesel–electric generators and battery storage. ► Analysis indicates hybrid may give an attractive rate of return as well as emissions savings in emissions. ► Implementation will require review of class society regulations.

  5. Water-Based Automobile Paints Potentially Reduce the Exposure of Refinish Painters to Toxic Metals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Der-Jen Hsu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to lead-containing dusts is a global public health concern. This work addresses an important issue of whether eco-friendly water-based paints reduce the exposure potential of auto-repainting workers to metals. With this aim, metal levels in automobile paints and worker metal exposure were measured using both solvent- and water-based paints. The levels of metals, and particularly Pb, Cr (total, Fe, and Cu, in solvent-based paints varied greatly among colors and brands. Lead concentrations ranged from below the detection limit (~0.25 μg/g to 107,928 μg/g (dry film across all samples. In water-based paints, the concentrations of Pb and Cr (total were generally two to three orders of magnitude lower, but the concentrations of Al and Cu exceeded those in some solvent-based paints. The personal short-term exposure of workers who applied water-based paints of popular colors, such as black and white, were generally low, with Pb levels of less than <4 µg/m3 and Cr (total levels of less than 1 µg/m3. Conversely, mean short-term exposure to Pb during the painting of a yellow cab using solvent-based paints were 2028 µg/m3, which was ~14 times the Taiwan short-term permissible exposure limit, while the mean level of exposure to Cr (total was 290 µg/m3, which was well below the exposure limit. This study demonstrates that water-based paints reduce the exposure potential to lead, and highlights the importance of source control in limiting the toxic metals in paints.

  6. Board-Certified Oncology Pharmacists: Their Potential Contribution to Reducing a Shortfall in Oncology Patient Visits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ignoffo, Robert; Knapp, Katherine; Barnett, Mitchell; Barbour, Sally Yowell; D'Amato, Steve; Iacovelli, Lew; Knudsen, Jasen; Koontz, Susannah E; Mancini, Robert; McBride, Ali; McCauley, Dayna; Medina, Patrick; O'Bryant, Cindy L; Scarpace, Sarah; Stricker, Steve; Trovato, James A

    2016-04-01

    With an aging US population, the number of patients who need cancer treatment will increase significantly by 2020. On the basis of a predicted shortage of oncology physicians, nonphysician health care practitioners will need to fill the shortfall in oncology patient visits, and nurse practitioners and physician assistants have already been identified for this purpose. This study proposes that appropriately trained oncology pharmacists can also contribute. The purpose of this study is to estimate the supply of Board of Pharmacy Specialties-certified oncology pharmacists (BCOPs) and their potential contribution to the care of patients with cancer through 2020. Data regarding accredited oncology pharmacy residencies, new BCOPs, and total BCOPs were used to estimate oncology residencies, new BCOPs, and total BCOPs through 2020. A Delphi panel process was used to estimate patient visits, identify patient care services that BCOPs could provide, and study limitations. By 2020, there will be an estimated 3,639 BCOPs, and approximately 62% of BCOPs will have completed accredited oncology pharmacy residencies. Delphi panelists came to consensus (at least 80% agreement) on eight patient care services that BCOPs could provide. Although the estimates given by our model indicate that BCOPs could provide 5 to 7 million 30-minute patient visits annually, sensitivity analysis, based on factors that could reduce potential visit availability resulted in 2.5 to 3.5 million visits by 2020 with the addition of BCOPs to the health care team. BCOPs can contribute to a projected shortfall in needed patient visits for cancer treatment. BCOPs, along with nurse practitioners and physician assistants could substantially reduce, but likely not eliminate, the shortfall of providers needed for oncology patient visits. Copyright © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  7. Modifying welding process parameters can reduce the neurotoxic potential of manganese-containing welding fumes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sriram, Krishnan; Lin, Gary X.; Jefferson, Amy M.; Stone, Samuel; Afshari, Aliakbar; Keane, Michael J.; McKinney, Walter; Jackson, Mark; Chen, Bean T.; Schwegler-Berry, Diane; Cumpston, Amy; Cumpston, Jared L.; Roberts, Jenny R.; Frazer, David G.; Antonini, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Welding fumes (WF) are a complex mixture of toxic metals and gases, inhalation of which can lead to adverse health effects among welders. The presence of manganese (Mn) in welding electrodes is cause for concern about the potential development of Parkinson’s disease (PD)-like neurological disorder. Consequently, from an occupational safety perspective, there is a critical need to prevent adverse exposures to WF. As the fume generation rate and physicochemical characteristics of welding aerosols are influenced by welding process parameters like voltage, current or shielding gas, we sought to determine if changing such parameters can alter the fume profile and consequently its neurotoxic potential. Specifically, we evaluated the influence of voltage on fume composition and neurotoxic outcome. Rats were exposed by whole-body inhalation (40 mg/m 3 ; 3 h/day × 5 d/week × 2 weeks) to fumes generated by gas–metal arc welding using stainless steel electrodes (GMA-SS) at standard/regular voltage (25 V; RVSS) or high voltage (30 V; HVSS). Fumes generated under these conditions exhibited similar particulate morphology, appearing as chain-like aggregates; however, HVSS fumes comprised of a larger fraction of ultrafine particulates that are generally considered to be more toxic than their fine counterparts. Paradoxically, exposure to HVSS fumes did not elicit dopaminergic neurotoxicity, as monitored by the expression of dopaminergic and PD-related markers. We show that the lack of neurotoxicity is due to reduced solubility of Mn in HVSS fumes. Our findings show promise for process control procedures in developing prevention strategies for Mn-related neurotoxicity during welding; however, it warrants additional investigations to determine if such modifications can be suitably adapted at the workplace to avert or reduce adverse neurological risks

  8. Effect of top gate potential on bias-stress for dual gate amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide thin film transistor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chun, Minkyu; Um, Jae Gwang; Park, Min Sang; Chowdhury, Md Delwar Hossain; Jang, Jin, E-mail: jjang@khu.ac.kr [Advanced Display Research Center and Department of Information Display, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-07-15

    We report the abnormal behavior of the threshold voltage (V{sub TH}) shift under positive bias Temperature stress (PBTS) and negative bias temperature stress (NBTS) at top/bottom gate in dual gate amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film transistors (TFTs). It is found that the PBTS at top gate shows negative transfer shift and NBTS shows positive transfer shift for both top and bottom gate sweep. The shift of bottom/top gate sweep is dominated by top gate bias (V{sub TG}), while bottom gate bias (V{sub BG}) is less effect than V{sub TG}. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profile provides the evidence of In metal diffusion to the top SiO{sub 2}/a-IGZO and also the existence of large amount of In{sup +} under positive top gate bias around top interfaces, thus negative transfer shift is observed. On the other hand, the formation of OH{sup −} at top interfaces under the stress of negative top gate bias shows negative transfer shift. The domination of V{sub TG} both on bottom/top gate sweep after PBTS/NBTS is obviously occurred due to thin active layer.

  9. Rapid Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles by Exploiting the Reducing Potential of Trapa bispinosa Peel Extract

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandey, S.; Mewada, A.; Thakur, M.; Shinde, S.; Shah, R.; Oza, G.; Sharon, M.

    2013-01-01

    Present work reports exceptionally high reducing capacity of Trapa bispinosa to synthesize monodispersed silver nanoparticles (SNPs) within 120 seconds at 30 degree C which is the shortest tenure reported for SNP synthesis using plants. Moreover, we also instigated impact of different ph values on fabrication of SNPs using visible spectroscopy with respect to time. Percentage conversion of Ag + ions into Ag was calculated using ICP-AES analysis and was found to be 97% at pH = 7. To investigate the reduction of Ag + ions to SNPs, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and open circuit potential (OCP) using 0.1M KNO 3 were performed. There was prompt reduction in cathodic and anodic currents after addition of the peel extract which indicates the reducing power of T. bispinosa peel. Stability of the SNPs was studied using flocculation parameter (FP) which was found to be least at all the pH values. FP was found to be indirectly proportional to stability of the nanoparticles

  10. Surveillance indicators for potential reduced exposure products (PREPs): developing survey items to measure awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogen, Karen; Biener, Lois; Garrett, Catherine A; Allen, Jane; Cummings, K Michael; Hartman, Anne; Marcus, Stephen; McNeill, Ann; O'Connor, Richard J; Parascandola, Mark; Pederson, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Background Over the past decade, tobacco companies have introduced cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products (known as Potential Reduced Exposure Products, PREPs) with purportedly lower levels of some toxins than conventional cigarettes and smokeless products. It is essential that public health agencies monitor awareness, interest, use, and perceptions of these products so that their impact on population health can be detected at the earliest stages. Methods This paper reviews and critiques existing strategies for measuring awareness of PREPs from 16 published and unpublished studies. From these measures, we developed new surveillance items and subjected them to two rounds of cognitive testing, a common and accepted method for evaluating questionnaire wording. Results Our review suggests that high levels of awareness of PREPs reported in some studies are likely to be inaccurate. Two likely sources of inaccuracy in awareness measures were identified: 1) the tendency of respondents to misclassify "no additive" and "natural" cigarettes as PREPs and 2) the tendency of respondents to mistakenly report awareness as a result of confusion between PREPs brands and similarly named familiar products, for example, Eclipse chewing gum and Accord automobiles. Conclusion After evaluating new measures with cognitive interviews, we conclude that as of winter 2006, awareness of reduced exposure products among U.S. smokers was likely to be between 1% and 8%, with the higher estimates for some products occurring in test markets. Recommended measurement strategies for future surveys are presented. PMID:19840394

  11. The potential for energy savings when reducing the water consumption in a kraft pulp mill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wising, Ulrika; Berntsson, Thore [Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goeteborg (Sweden). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science; Stuart, Paul [Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering

    2004-05-01

    In this paper an existing pulp and paper mill has been studied in a systematic way regarding the reduction of water consumption, and the resulting increased potential for energy integration. It has been found that when the mill's hot water consumption is decreased, the live steam demand for the mill also decreases. Also when decreasing the hot water consumption, the quantity and temperature of available excess heat increases. This excess heat can be used for evaporation, thereby reducing the live steam demand further by up to 1.5 GJ/t. A pinch analysis was performed at an existing mill and it was found that if pinch violations are removed, the hot water consumption is not an important factor any more. Removing all the pinch violations and using the remaining excess heat for evaporation yields a significantly larger energy savings for the mill (4.0 GJ/t). From an economic optimum perspective it is probably most profitable to do a combination of reducing water consumption, removing pinch violations, and use the remaining excess heat for evaporation.

  12. Knowledge Translation Strategy to Reduce the Use of Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Hospitalized Elderly Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossette, Benoit; Bergeron, Josée; Ricard, Geneviève; Éthier, Jean-François; Joly-Mischlich, Thomas; Levine, Mitchell; Sene, Modou; Mallet, Louise; Lanthier, Luc; Payette, Hélène; Rodrigue, Marie-Claude; Brazeau, Serge

    2016-12-01

    To evaluate the effect of a knowledge translation (KT) strategy to reduce potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in hospitalized elderly adults. Segmented regression analysis of an interrupted time series. Teaching hospital. Individuals aged 75 and older discharged from the hospital in 2013/14 (mean age 83.3, 54.5% female). The KT strategy comprises the distribution of educational materials, presentations by geriatricians, pharmacist-physician interventions based on alerts from a computerized alert system, and comprehensive geriatric assessments. Rate of PIM use (number of patient-days with use of at least one PIM/number of patient-days of hospitalization for individuals aged ≥75). For 8,622 patients with 14,071 admissions, a total of 145,061 patient-days were analyzed. One or more PIMs were prescribed on 28,776 (19.8%) patient-days; a higher rate was found for individuals aged 75 to 84 (24.0%) than for those aged 85 and older (14.4%) (P patient-days with at least one PIM was observed immediately after the intervention. A KT strategy resulted in decreased use of PIM in elderly adults in the hospital. Additional interventions will be implemented to maintain or further reduce PIM use. © 2016, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2016, The American Geriatrics Society.

  13. Potential mediating pathways through which sports participation relates to reduced risk of suicidal ideation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taliaferro, Lindsay A; Rienzo, Barbara A; Miller, M David; Pigg, R Morgan; Dodd, Virginia J

    2010-09-01

    Suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for American youth. Researchers examining sport participation and suicidal behavior have regularly found inverse relationships. This study represents the first effort to test a model depicting potential mechanisms through which sport participation relates to reduced risk of suicidal ideation. The participants were 450 undergraduate students. Measures assessed participants' involvement in university-run sports and other activities; frequency of physical activity; and perceived social support, self-esteem, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, and suicidal ideation. Regression analyses confirmed a path model and tested for mediation effects. Vigorous activity mediated relationships between sport participation and self-esteem and depression; and self-esteem and depression mediated the relationship between vigorous activity and suicidal ideation. Social support mediated relationships between sport participation and depression, hopelessness, and loneliness; and each of these risk factors partially mediated the relationship between social support and suicidal ideation. However no variable fully mediated the relationship between sport participation and suicidal ideation. This study provides a foundation for research designed to examine pathways through which sport participation relates to reduced risk of suicidal behavior.

  14. Surveillance indicators for potential reduced exposure products (PREPs: developing survey items to measure awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McNeill Ann

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the past decade, tobacco companies have introduced cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products (known as Potential Reduced Exposure Products, PREPs with purportedly lower levels of some toxins than conventional cigarettes and smokeless products. It is essential that public health agencies monitor awareness, interest, use, and perceptions of these products so that their impact on population health can be detected at the earliest stages. Methods This paper reviews and critiques existing strategies for measuring awareness of PREPs from 16 published and unpublished studies. From these measures, we developed new surveillance items and subjected them to two rounds of cognitive testing, a common and accepted method for evaluating questionnaire wording. Results Our review suggests that high levels of awareness of PREPs reported in some studies are likely to be inaccurate. Two likely sources of inaccuracy in awareness measures were identified: 1 the tendency of respondents to misclassify "no additive" and "natural" cigarettes as PREPs and 2 the tendency of respondents to mistakenly report awareness as a result of confusion between PREPs brands and similarly named familiar products, for example, Eclipse chewing gum and Accord automobiles. Conclusion After evaluating new measures with cognitive interviews, we conclude that as of winter 2006, awareness of reduced exposure products among U.S. smokers was likely to be between 1% and 8%, with the higher estimates for some products occurring in test markets. Recommended measurement strategies for future surveys are presented.

  15. Checklist Usage as a Guidance on Read-Back Reducing the Potential Risk of Medication Error

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ida Bagus N. Maharjana

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Hospital as a last line of health services shall provide quality service and oriented on patient safety, one responsibility in preventing medication errors. Effective collaboration and communication between the profession needed to achieve patient safety. Read-back is one way of doing effective communication. Before-after study with PDCA TQM approach. The samples were on the medication chart patient medical rd rd records in the 3 week of May (before and the 3 week in July (after 2013. Treatment using the check list, asked for time 2 minutes to read-back by the doctors and nurses after the visit together. Obtained 57 samples (before and 64 samples (after. Before charging 45.54% incomplete medication chart on patient medical records that have the potential risk of medication error to 10.17% after treatment with a read back check list for 10 weeks, with 77.78% based on the achievement of the PDCA TQM approach. Checklist usage as a guidance on Read-back as an effective communication can reduce charging incompleteness drug records on medical records that have the potential risk of medication errors, 45.54% to 10.17%.

  16. Iron supplementation reduces the erosive potential of a cola drink on enamel and dentin in situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Melissa Thiemi; Buzalaf, Marília Afonso Rabelo

    2012-01-01

    Iron has been suggested to reduce the erosive potential of cola drinks in vitro. The aim of this study was to evaluate in situ the effect of ferrous sulfate supplementation on the inhibition of the erosion caused by a cola drink. Ten adult volunteers participated in a crossover protocol conducted in two phases of 5 days, separated by a washout period of 7 days. In each phase, they wore palatal devices containing two human enamel and two human dentin blocks. The volunteers immersed the devices for 5 min in 150 mL of cola drink (Coca-ColaTM, pH 2.6), containing ferrous sulfate (10 mmol/L) or not (control), 4 times per day. The effect of ferrous sulfate on the inhibition of erosion was evaluated by profilometry (wear). Data were analyzed by paired t tests (pcola drinks with ferrous sulfate can be a good alternative for the reduction of their erosive potential. Additional studies should be done to test if lower ferrous sulfate concentrations can also have a protective effect as well as the combination of ferrous sulfate with other ions.

  17. Forecast Based Financing for Managing Weather and Climate Risks to Reduce Potential Disaster Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrighi, J.

    2017-12-01

    There is a critical window of time to reduce potential impacts of a disaster after a forecast for heightened risk is issued and before an extreme event occurs. The concept of Forecast-based Financing focuses on this window of opportunity. Through advanced preparation during system set-up, tailored methodologies are used to 1) analyze a range of potential extreme event forecasts, 2) identify emergency preparedness measures that can be taken when factoring in forecast lead time and inherent uncertainty and 3) develop standard operating procedures that are agreed on and tied to guaranteed funding sources to facilitate emergency measures led by the Red Cross or government actors when preparedness measures are triggered. This presentation will focus on a broad overview of the current state of theory and approaches used in developing a forecast-based financing systems - with a specific focus on hydrologic events, case studies of success and challenges in various contexts where this approach is being piloted, as well as what is on the horizon to be further explored and developed from a research perspective as the application of this approach continues to expand.

  18. Distinct germination response of endangered and common arable weeds to reduced water potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühl, A T; Eckstein, R L; Otte, A; Donath, T W

    2016-01-01

    Arable weeds are one of the most endangered species groups in Europe. Modern agriculture and intensive land-use management are the main causes of their dramatic decline. However, besides the changes in land use, climate change may further challenge the adaptability of arable weeds. Therefore, we investigated the response pattern of arable weeds to different water potential and temperature regimes during the phase of germination. We expected that endangered arable weeds would be more sensitive to differences in water availability and temperature than common arable weeds. To this end, we set up a climate chamber experiment where we exposed seeds of five familial pairs of common and endangered arable weed species to different temperatures (5/15, 10/20 °C) and water potentials (0.0 to -1.2 MPa). The results revealed a significant relationship between the reaction of arable weed species to water availability and their Red List status. The effects of reduced water availability on total germination, mean germination time and synchrony were significantly stronger in endangered than in common arable weeds. Therefore, global climate change may present a further threat to the survival of endangered arable weed species. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  19. Reduced content of chloroatranol and atranol in oak moss absolute significantly reduces the elicitation potential of this fragrance material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Flemming; Andersen, Kirsten H; Bernois, Armand; Brault, Christophe; Bruze, Magnus; Eudes, Hervé; Gadras, Catherine; Signoret, Anne-Cécile J; Mose, Kristian F; Müller, Boris P; Toulemonde, Bernard; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    2015-02-01

    Oak moss absolute, an extract from the lichen Evernia prunastri, is a valued perfume ingredient but contains extreme allergens. To compare the elicitation properties of two preparations of oak moss absolute: 'classic oak moss', the historically used preparation, and 'new oak moss', with reduced contents of the major allergens atranol and chloroatranol. The two preparations were compared in randomized double-blinded repeated open application tests and serial dilution patch tests in 30 oak moss-sensitive volunteers and 30 non-allergic control subjects. In both test models, new oak moss elicited significantly less allergic contact dermatitis in oak moss-sensitive subjects than classic oak moss. The control subjects did not react to either of the preparations. New oak moss is still a fragrance allergen, but elicits less allergic contact dermatitis in previously oak moss-sensitized individuals, suggesting that new oak moss is less allergenic to non-sensitized individuals. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. How Difficult is it to Reduce Low-Level Cloud Biases With the Higher-Order Turbulence Closure Approach in Climate Models?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kuan-Man

    2015-01-01

    Low-level clouds cover nearly half of the Earth and play a critical role in regulating the energy and hydrological cycle. Despite the fact that a great effort has been put to advance the modeling and observational capability in recent years, low-level clouds remains one of the largest uncertainties in the projection of future climate change. Low-level cloud feedbacks dominate the uncertainty in the total cloud feedback in climate sensitivity and projection studies. These clouds are notoriously difficult to simulate in climate models due to its complicated interactions with aerosols, cloud microphysics, boundary-layer turbulence and cloud dynamics. The biases in both low cloud coverage/water content and cloud radiative effects (CREs) remain large. A simultaneous reduction in both cloud and CRE biases remains elusive. This presentation first reviews the effort of implementing the higher-order turbulence closure (HOC) approach to representing subgrid-scale turbulence and low-level cloud processes in climate models. There are two HOCs that have been implemented in climate models. They differ in how many three-order moments are used. The CLUBB are implemented in both CAM5 and GDFL models, which are compared with IPHOC that is implemented in CAM5 by our group. IPHOC uses three third-order moments while CLUBB only uses one third-order moment while both use a joint double-Gaussian distribution to represent the subgrid-scale variability. Despite that HOC is more physically consistent and produces more realistic low-cloud geographic distributions and transitions between cumulus and stratocumulus regimes, GCMs with traditional cloud parameterizations outperform in CREs because tuning of this type of models is more extensively performed than those with HOCs. We perform several tuning experiments with CAM5 implemented with IPHOC in an attempt to produce the nearly balanced global radiative budgets without deteriorating the low-cloud simulation. One of the issues in CAM5-IPHOC

  1. Thorium fuel for light water reactors - reducing proliferation potential of nuclear power fuel cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galperin, A; Radkowski, A [Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beersheba (Israel)

    1996-12-01

    The proliferation potential of the light water reactor fuel cycle may be significantly reduced by utilization of thorium as a fertile component of the nuclear fuel. The main challenge of Th utilization is to design a core and a fuel cycle, which would be proliferation-resistant and economically feasible. This challenge is met by the Radkowsky Thorium Reactor (RTR) concept. So far the concept has been applied to a Russian design of a 1,000 MWe pressurized water reactor, known as a WWER-1000, and designated as VVERT. The following are the main results of the preliminary reference design: * The amount of Pu contained in the RTR spent fuel stockpile is reduced by 80% in comparison with a VVER of a current design. * The isotopic composition of the RTR-Pu greatly increases the probability of pre-initiation and yield degradation of a nuclear explosion. An extremely large Pu-238 content causes correspondingly large heat emission, which would complicate the design of an explosive device based on RTR-Pu. The economic incentive to reprocess and reuse the fissile component of the RTR spent fuel is decreased. The once-through cycle is economically optimal for the RTR core and cycle. To summarize all the items above: the replacement of a standard (U-based) fuel for nuclear reactors of current generation by the RTR fuel will provide an inherent barrier for nuclear weapon proliferation. This inherent barrier, in combination with existing safeguard measures and procedures is adequate to unambiguously disassociate civilian nuclear power from military nuclear power. * The RTR concept is applied to existing power plants to assure its economic feasibility. Reductions in waste disposal requirements, as well as in natural U and fabrication expenses, as compared to a standard WWER fuel, provide approximately 20% reduction in fuel cycle (authors).

  2. Potential for electropositive metal to reduce the interactions of Atlantic sturgeon with fishing gear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouyoucos, Ian; Bushnell, Peter; Brill, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus) populations have been declared either endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Effective measures to repel sturgeon from fishing gear would be beneficial to both fish and fishers because they could reduce both fishery-associated mortality and the need for seasonal and area closures of specific fisheries. Some chondrostean fishes (e.g., sturgeons and paddlefishes) can detect weak electric field gradients (possibly as low as 5 Μv/cm) due to arrays of electroreceptors (ampullae of Lorenzini) on their snout and gill covers. Weak electric fields, such as those produced by electropositive metals (typically mixtures of the lanthanide elements), could therefore potentially be used as a deterrent. To test this idea, we recorded the behavioral responses of juvenile Atlantic sturgeon (31-43 cm fork length) to electropositive metal (primarily a mixture of the lanthanide elements neodymium and praseodymium) both in the presence and absence of food stimuli. Trials were conducted in an approximately 2.5 m diameter × 0.3 m deep tank, and fish behaviors were recorded with an overhead digital video camera. Video records were subsequently digitized (x, y coordinate system), the distance between the fish and the electropositive metal calculated, and data summarized by compiling frequency distributions with 5-cm bins. Juvenile sturgeon showed clear avoidance of electropositive metal but only when food was present. On the basis of our results, we conclude that the electropositive metals, or other sources of weak electric fields, may eventually be used to reduce the interactions of Atlantic sturgeon with fishing gear, but further investigation is needed. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Consumer awareness and attitudes related to new potential reduced-exposure tobacco product brands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parascandola, Mark; Augustson, Erik; O'Connell, Mary E; Marcus, Stephen

    2009-07-01

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of potential reduced-exposure tobacco products (PREPs) marketed that claim to be less harmful or less addictive, compared with conventional cigarettes. Tobacco control scientists have raised concerns about the potential adverse impact of marketing of these products for smoking prevention and cessation efforts. Although these products have not been widely used among smokers, there are few data available on consumers' awareness and attitudes toward these products. Data were obtained from the 2003 and 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of adults 18 years and older regarding health communication and associated beliefs and behaviors. Our study population consisted of 6,369 respondents in 2003 and 5,586 respondents in 2005, of whom 19% were current smokers and 28% were former smokers. In 2005, 45% of respondents had heard of at least one PREP product, while only 4.8% had actually tried one. Awareness and use were substantially higher among current smokers (55.6% and 12.7%). Awareness was highest for Marlboro Ultra Smooth (MUS) (30.2%), Eclipse (18.2%), Quest (7.8%), and Ariva (5.4%), while less than 2% for any other product. Of respondents who had tried a PREP, 50% cited harm reduction or assistance in quitting as a reason for trying the product and 30% believed that the product was less harmful than their usual brand. In the combined 2003 and 2005 dataset, 54.4% of current smokers stated that they would be "very" or "somewhat" interested in trying a cigarette advertised as less harmful, while only 3.2% of former smokers and 1.1% of never-smokers were interested. Among current smokers, interest was higher in females and non-Hispanic Whites, and among daily smokers, those who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day and those who were not considering quitting. Smokers interested in PREPs were substantially more likely to rate their perceived lung cancer risk as high (40

  4. Low luminance/eyes closed and monochromatic stimulations reduce variability of flash visual evoked potential latency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senthil Kumar Subramanian

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: Visual evoked potentials are useful in investigating the physiology and pathophysiology of the human visual system. Flash visual evoked potential (FVEP, though technically easier, has less clinical utility because it shows great variations in both latency and amplitude for normal subjects. Aim: To study the effect of eye closure, low luminance, and monochromatic stimulation on the variability of FVEPs. Subjects and Methods: Subjects in self-reported good health in the age group of 18-30 years were divided into three groups. All participants underwent FVEP recording with eyes open and with white light at 0.6 J luminance (standard technique. Next recording was done in group 1 with closed eyes, group 2 with 1.2 and 20 J luminance, and group 3 with red and blue lights, while keeping all the other parameters constant. Two trials were given for each eye, for each technique. The same procedure was repeated at the same clock time on the following day. Statistical Analysis: Variation in FVEP latencies between the individuals (interindividual variability and the variations within the same individual for four trials (intraindividual variability were assessed using coefficient of variance (COV. The technique with lower COV was considered the better method. Results: Recording done with closed eyes, 0.6 J luminance, and monochromatic light (blue > red showed lower interindividual and intraindividual variability in P2 and N2 as compared to standard techniques. Conclusions: Low luminance flash stimulations and monochromatic light will reduce FVEP latency variability and may be clinically useful modifications of FVEP recording technique.

  5. Increased extinction potential of insular fish populations with reduced life history variation and low genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellmair, Michael; Kinziger, Andrew P

    2014-01-01

    Theoretical work has shown that reduced phenotypic heterogeneity leads to population instability and can increase extinction potential, yet few examples exist of natural populations that illustrate how varying levels expressed diversity may influence population persistence, particularly during periods of stochastic environmental fluctuation. In this study, we assess levels of expressed variation and genetic diversity among demographically independent populations of tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), show that reductions in both factors typically coincide, and describe how low levels of diversity contribute to the extinction risk of these isolated populations. We illustrate that, for this annual species, continuous reproduction is a safeguard against reproductive failure by any one population segment, as natural, stochastically driven salinity increases frequently result in high mortality among juvenile individuals. Several study populations deviated from the natural pattern of year-round reproduction typical for the species, rendering those with severely truncated reproductive periods vulnerable to extinction in the event of environmental fluctuation. In contrast, demographically diverse populations are more likely to persist through such periods through the continuous presence of adults with broader physiological tolerance to abrupt salinity changes. Notably, we found a significant correlation between genetic diversity and demographic variation in the study populations, which could be the result of population stressors that restrict both of these diversity measures simultaneously, or suggestive of a causative relationship between these population characteristics. These findings demonstrate the importance of biocomplexity at the population level, and assert that the maintenance of diversity contributes to population resilience and conservation of this endangered species.

  6. Working memory load reduces the late positive potential and this effect is attenuated with increasing anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Ferri, Jamie; Hajcak, Greg

    2011-09-01

    Emotion regulation decreases the processing of arousing stimuli, as indexed by the late positive potential (LPP), an electrocortical component that varies in amplitude with emotional arousal. Emotion regulation increases activity in the prefrontal areas associated with cognitive control, including the dosolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The present study manipulated working memory load, known to activate the DLPFC, and recorded the LPP elicited by aversive and neutral IAPS pictures presented during the retention interval. The LPP was larger on low-load compared to high-load trials, and on trials with aversive compared to neutral pictures. These LPP data suggest that emotional content and working memory load have opposing effects on attention to distracting stimuli. State anxiety was associated with reduced modulation of the LPP by working memory load. Results are discussed in terms of competition for attention between emotion and cognition and suggest a relationship between DLPFC activation and the allocation of attentional resources to distracting visual stimuli-a relationship that may be disrupted with increasing anxiety.

  7. Potential of HVAC and solar technologies for hospital retrofit to reduce heating energy consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, Octavian G.; Abrudan, Ancuta C.; Adace, Dan S.; Pocola, Adrian G.; Balan, Mugur C.

    2018-02-01

    The study presents a combination of several energy efficient technologies together with their potential to reduce the energy consumption and to increase the comfort through the retrofit of a hospital building. The existing situation is characterized by an old and inefficient heating system, by the complete missing of any ventilation and by no cooling. The retrofit proposal includes thermal insulation and a distributed HVAC system consisting of several units that includes air to air heat exchangers and air to air heat pumps. A condensing boiler was also considered for heating. A solar thermal system for preparing domestic hot water and a solar photovoltaic system to assist the HVAC units are also proposed. Heat transfer principles are used for modelling the thermal response of the building to the environmental parameters and thermodynamic principles are used for modelling the behaviour of HVAC, solar thermal system and photovoltaic system. All the components of the heating loads were determined for one year period. The study reveals the capacity of the proposed systems to provide ventilation and thermal comfort with a global reduction of energy consumption of 71.6 %.

  8. Telemedicine and its potential impacts on reducing inequalities in access to health manpower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouhi, Mojtaba; Fayaz-Bakhsh, Ahmad; Mohamadi, Efat; Shafii, Milad

    2012-10-01

    Human resources for health have many diverse aspects that sometimes bring about conflicts in the healthcare market. In recent decades issues such as attrition, migration, and different types of imbalances in health workers were not only considered as international problems, but also took on new particular dimensions and complications. Rapid growth in establishing infrastructure of communications and many diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS and malaria, as well as shortages in skilled healthcare providers in developing countries, interested many health economists and health professionals to consider telemedicine as an approach to deliver some healthcare and to pursue its effects on human resources management in healthcare. The objective of this communication is to offer a better understanding of the value of telemedicine in human resources management in healthcare. This article briefly reviews related literature on potential contributions of telemedicine in mitigating four different types of imbalances in health workers and points out some of its capabilities. Although there is a great need for systematic, scientific, and analytical studies in effects of telemedicine on health workers, expansion of communication infrastructure throughout and especially in remote areas, political commitment, and provision of useful information and education to reduce problems of human resources for health are beneficial.

  9. Increased extinction potential of insular fish populations with reduced life history variation and low genetic diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Hellmair

    Full Text Available Theoretical work has shown that reduced phenotypic heterogeneity leads to population instability and can increase extinction potential, yet few examples exist of natural populations that illustrate how varying levels expressed diversity may influence population persistence, particularly during periods of stochastic environmental fluctuation. In this study, we assess levels of expressed variation and genetic diversity among demographically independent populations of tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi, show that reductions in both factors typically coincide, and describe how low levels of diversity contribute to the extinction risk of these isolated populations. We illustrate that, for this annual species, continuous reproduction is a safeguard against reproductive failure by any one population segment, as natural, stochastically driven salinity increases frequently result in high mortality among juvenile individuals. Several study populations deviated from the natural pattern of year-round reproduction typical for the species, rendering those with severely truncated reproductive periods vulnerable to extinction in the event of environmental fluctuation. In contrast, demographically diverse populations are more likely to persist through such periods through the continuous presence of adults with broader physiological tolerance to abrupt salinity changes. Notably, we found a significant correlation between genetic diversity and demographic variation in the study populations, which could be the result of population stressors that restrict both of these diversity measures simultaneously, or suggestive of a causative relationship between these population characteristics. These findings demonstrate the importance of biocomplexity at the population level, and assert that the maintenance of diversity contributes to population resilience and conservation of this endangered species.

  10. Patient engagement: four case studies that highlight the potential for improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, Jeremy; Henderson, Sarah; Howitt, Peter J; Matar, Mariam; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Edgman-Levitan, Susan; Darzi, Ara

    2014-09-01

    The energy of patients and members of the public worldwide who care about improving health is a huge, but still largely unrecognized and untapped, resource. The aim of patient engagement is to shift the clinical paradigm from determining "what is the matter?" to discovering "what matters to you?" This article presents four case studies from around the world that highlight the proven and potential abilities of increased patient engagement to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, while extending the reach of treatment and diagnostic programs into the community. The cases are an online mental health community in the United Kingdom, a genetic screening program in the United Arab Emirates, a World Health Organization checklist for new mothers, and a hospital-based patient engagement initiative in the United States. Evidence from these and similar endeavors suggests that closer collaboration on the part of patients, families, health care providers, health care systems, and policy makers at multiple levels could help diverse nations provide more effective and population-appropriate health care with fewer resources. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  11. Exotic Invasive Shrub Glossy Buckthorn Reduces Restoration Potential for Native Forest Herbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Hamelin

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Invasive glossy buckthorn could reduce restoration potential for understory native forest herbs by compromising their growth and biodiversity. Few studies of glossy buckthorn’s effects on forest herbs exist, and none were done in early-successional, partially open hardwood forests. This study was conducted in a mature hybrid poplar plantation invaded by buckthorn, located in southeastern Québec. We tested the effect of buckthorn removal on the growth of three forest herb species, whether this effect varied among species, and if canopy type (two poplar clones influenced this effect. Forest herbs were planted in herbicide (buckthorn removed and control treatments in the plantation understory, an environment similar to that of early-successional hardwood forests. Over the first two growing seasons, species showed specific reactions to buckthorn cover. Mean relative growth rate (RGR for Asarum canadense and Polygonatum pubescens was increased in the herbicide treatment (48% and 33%, respectively and decreased in the control treatment (−35% and −33%, respectively. Sanguinaria canadensis growth was the highest among species, with no difference between treatments. No effects of canopy type were detected. Results suggest that planting forest herbs for restoration purposes may be unsuccessful if buckthorn is present. Important changes in understory flora biodiversity are likely to occur over the long term in forests invaded by buckthorn.

  12. Training interpretation biases among individuals with body dysmorphic disorder symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premo, Julie E; Sarfan, Laurel D; Clerkin, Elise M

    2016-03-01

    The current study provided an initial test of a Cognitive Bias Modification for Interpretations (CBM-I) training paradigm among a sample with elevated BDD symptoms (N=86). As expected, BDD-relevant interpretations were reduced among participants who completed a positive (vs. comparison) training program. Results also pointed to the intriguing possibility that modifying biased appearance-relevant interpretations is causally related to changes in biased, socially relevant interpretations. Further, providing support for cognitive behavioral models, residual change in interpretations was associated with some aspects of in vivo stressor responding. However, contrary to expectations there were no significant effects of condition on emotional vulnerability to a BDD stressor, potentially because participants in both training conditions experienced reductions in biased socially-threatening interpretations following training (suggesting that the "comparison" condition was not inert). These findings have meaningful theoretical and clinical implications, and fit with transdiagnostic conceptualizations of psychopathology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Reducing the potential for conflict between proponents and the public regarding the risks entailed by radioactive waste management facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, B.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sources of potential conflict between proponents and the public regarding the risks entailed by radioactive waste management facilities are identified and analyzed. Programs and policies are suggested that could reduce conflict over the siting and operation of such facilities

  14. Potential Biases in the Estimation of the Delay Time in Multivariate Time Series: An application to Climate Data and Functional Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, E.; Davidsen, J.; Complexity Science Group

    2011-12-01

    Measuring cross-correlations is of vital importance to science in general and is a key ingredient in functional networks, which are being widely applied to geophysical systems. A functional network is a collection of nodes (e.g. global positions), and two nodes are connected by a link if their joint behaviour satisfies some criteria. In most cases each node is associated with a time series, and a link is created between two nodes if their time series have a cross-correlation that is deemed significant. However, the spatial distance between nodes and the resolution of the time series, Δ t, can mean that it is unphysical for a signal to propagate from one node to another within a time Δ t. One way to account for this is to measure the cross-correlation at a number of different time lags and use the time delay for which it is a maximum. Here we show that this method is biased for a large class of time series that are common to geophysical systems, namely long-range correlated time series. These are time series which show persistence, for example, a warm day is more likely to be followed by another warm day than a cold one. If one randomly generates two series which each have long-range correlations, the naive assumption is that the maximum cross-correlation between them is equally likely to be found at every time lag. However, the cross-correlation between the series is more likely to be a maximum at the largest and smallest (in this work we allow time lags to be negative) time lags measured. This is a systematic effect which can, and should, be corrected for when judging if a correlation is significant. Whereas the traditional null model is that each time lag is equally likely to give the maximum cross-correlation, our work provides a more correct null model for this class of systems. We apply this to climate data, as well as go on to discuss other potential issues when measuring cross-correlations in this context.

  15. The Distribution of Listeria in Pasture-Raised Broiler Farm Soils Is Potentially Related to University of Vermont Medium Enrichment Bias toward Listeria innocua over Listeria monocytogenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatelli, Aude; Lewis, Micah A.; Rothrock, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    over L. monocytogenes. These results indicate that the use of UVM as an enrichment medium may preferentially allow L. innocua to outcompete L. monocytogenes at low concentrations, biasing the Listeria prevalence from these farm samples toward L. innocua and potentially underreporting the presence of L. monocytogenes in these environments. PMID:29312967

  16. The Distribution of Listeria in Pasture-Raised Broiler Farm Soils Is Potentially Related to University of Vermont Medium Enrichment Bias toward Listeria innocua over Listeria monocytogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatelli, Aude; Lewis, Micah A; Rothrock, Michael J

    2017-01-01

    . innocua over L. monocytogenes . These results indicate that the use of UVM as an enrichment medium may preferentially allow L. innocua to outcompete L. monocytogenes at low concentrations, biasing the Listeria prevalence from these farm samples toward L. innocua and potentially underreporting the presence of L. monocytogenes in these environments.

  17. Testing for Bias against Female Test Takers of the Graduate Management Admissions Test and Potential Impact on Admissions to Graduate Programs in Business.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Robert E.; Bachrach, Daniel G.

    2003-01-01

    Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores and grade point average in graduate core courses were compared for 190 male and 144 female business administration students. No significant differences in course performance were found, but males had been admitted with significantly higher GMAT scores, suggesting a bias against women. (Contains 27…

  18. On the Borders of Harmful and Helpful Beauty Biases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Agthe

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Research with European Caucasian samples demonstrates that attractiveness-based biases in social evaluation depend on the constellation of the sex of the evaluator and the sex of the target: Whereas people generally show positive biases toward attractive opposite-sex persons, they show less positive or even negative biases toward attractive same-sex persons. By examining these biases both within and between different ethnicities, the current studies provide new evidence for both the generalizability and the specificity of these attractiveness-based social perception biases. Examining within-ethnicity effects, Study 1 is the first to demonstrate that samples from diverse ethnic backgrounds parallel the finding of European Caucasian samples: The advantageous or adverse effects of attractiveness depend on the gender constellation of the evaluator and the evaluated person. Examining between-ethnicity effects, Study 2 found that these attractiveness-based biases emerge almost exclusively toward targets of the evaluator’s own ethnic background; these biases were reduced or eliminated for cross-ethnicity evaluations and interaction intentions. We discuss these findings in light of evolutionary principles and reflect on potential interactions between culture and evolved cognitive mechanisms.

  19. Disruption avoidance in the SINP-Tokamak by means of electrode-biasing at the plasma edge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basu, Debjyoti [Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF-Bidhannagar, Kolkata 700064, WB (India); Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares-UNAM, Mexico D.F. 04510 (Mexico); Pal, Rabindranath [Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF-Bidhannagar, Kolkata 700064, WB (India); Martinell, Julio J. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares-UNAM, Mexico D.F. 04510 (Mexico); Ghosh, Joydeep; Chattopadhyay, Prabal K. [Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar (India)

    2013-05-15

    Control of plasma disruption by a biased edge electrode is reported in SINP-Tokamak. The features that characterize a plasma disruption are reduced with increasing bias potential. The disruption can be completely suppressed with the concomitant stabilization of observed MHD modes that are allegedly precursors of the disruption. An m = 3/n = 1 tearing mode, which apparently causes disruption can be stabilized when a negative biasing potential is applied near the edge. These changes in the disruptive behavior with edge biasing are hypothesized to be due to changes in the current density profile.

  20. Disruption avoidance in the SINP-Tokamak by means of electrode-biasing at the plasma edge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basu, Debjyoti; Pal, Rabindranath; Martinell, Julio J.; Ghosh, Joydeep; Chattopadhyay, Prabal K.

    2013-01-01

    Control of plasma disruption by a biased edge electrode is reported in SINP-Tokamak. The features that characterize a plasma disruption are reduced with increasing bias potential. The disruption can be completely suppressed with the concomitant stabilization of observed MHD modes that are allegedly precursors of the disruption. An m = 3/n = 1 tearing mode, which apparently causes disruption can be stabilized when a negative biasing potential is applied near the edge. These changes in the disruptive behavior with edge biasing are hypothesized to be due to changes in the current density profile

  1. Potential autotrophic metabolisms in ultra-basic reducing springs associated with present-day continental serpentinization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrill, P. L.; Miles, S.; Kohl, L.; Kavanagh, H.; Ziegler, S. E.; Brazelton, W. J.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2013-12-01

    Ultra-basic reducing springs at continental sites of serpentinization act as windows into the biogeochemistry of this subsurface exothermic environment rich in H2 and CH4 gases. Biogeochemical carbon transformations in these systems are of interest because serpentinization creates conditions that are amenable to abiotic and biotic reduction of carbon. However, little is known about the metabolic capabilities of the microorganisms that live in this environment. To determine the potential for autotrophic metabolisms, bicarbonate and CO substrate addition microcosm experiments were performed using water and sediment from an ultra-basic reducing spring in the Tablelands, Newfoundland, Canada, a site of present-day continental serpentinization. CO was consistently observed to be utilized in the Live but not the Killed controlled replicates amended with 10% 13C labelled CO and non-labelled (natural C isotope abundance) CO. In the Live CO microcosms with natural C isotope abundance, the residual CO became enriched in 13C (~10 ‰) consistent with a decrease in the fraction of CO remaining. In the Killed CO controlled replicates with natural C isotope abundance the CO showed little 13C enrichment (~1.3 ‰). The data from the Live CO microcosms were well described by a Rayleigh isotopic distillation model, yielding an isotopic enrichment factor for microbial CO uptake of 15.7 ×0.5 ‰ n=2. These data suggest that there was microbial CO utilization in these experiments. The sediment and water from the 13C-labelled and non-labelled, Live and Killed microcosms were extracted for phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) to determine changes in community composition between treatments as well as to determine the microbial uptake of CO. The difference in community composition between the Live and Killed microcosms was not readily resolvable based on PLFA distributions. Additionally, the microbial uptake of 13CO had minimal to no affect on the δ13C of the cellular biomarkers, with the

  2. Reducing automotive emissions—The potentials of combustion engine technologies and the power of policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berggren, Christian; Magnusson, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Reducing transport emissions, in particular vehicular emissions, is a key element for mitigating the risks of climate change. In much of the academic and public discourse the focus has been on alternative vehicle technologies and fuels (e.g. electric cars, fuel cells and hydrogen), whereas vehicles based on internal combustion engines have been perceived as close to their development limits. This paper offers a different perspective by demonstrating the accelerated improvement processes taking place in established combustion technologies as a result of a new competition between manufacturers and technologies, encouraged both by more stringent EU legislation and new CAFE levels in the US. The short-term perspective is complemented by an analysis of future improvement potentials in internal combustion technologies, which may be realized if efficient regulation is in place. Based on a comparison of four different regulatory approaches, the paper identifies the need for a long-term technology-neutral framework with stepwise increasing stringencies, arguing that this will encourage continual innovation and diffusion in the most effective way. - Highlights: ► From 1990 to 2008, CO 2 emissions from road transportation in the EU increased by 21%. ► Alternative vehicles are important, but internal combustion engines (ICE) will remain dominant. ► The paper shows how competition and new regulation accelerate the improvement of ICE-vehicles. ► The key factor for long-term emissions reduction is appropriate regulation, not technology. ► Most effective is a technology-neutral framework with stepwise increasing stringencies.

  3. TCABR Tokamak scrape-off layer turbulence with DC biasing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, M.V.A.P.; Ferreira, A.A.; Caldas, I.L.; Nascimento, I.C.

    2004-01-01

    Turbulence and particle transport in plasma scrape-off layer have been controlled by external electric fields. This control can be achieved by a biasing electrode located inside the plasma. We investigate plasma turbulence changes in the scrape-off layer of TCABR tokamak introduced by DC biasing an electrode inside the plasma. Our investigation is based on the alterations observed on the wavelet power spectra and on the intermittent burst sequences of plasma potential and density fluctuations measured by a set of Langmuir probes. Biasing the electrode changes the turbulence statistics and the bursts intermittence. With the imposed external electric field, fluctuation amplitudes, phase velocities, and anomalous particle transport are modified. Transport reduction for higher frequencies induced by the biasing could be due to the strong de-phasing between density and potential fluctuations. The mode coupling increases with the perturbation for the high frequency broadband fluctuations. The total (laminar and bursting) radial particle transport is reduced by about 25% by DC biasing. Bursts contribution to total transport is 15% and for the studied conditions this contribution does not change much with the bias perturbation

  4. Bias-correction in vector autoregressive models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engsted, Tom; Pedersen, Thomas Quistgaard

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the properties of various methods for bias-correcting parameter estimates in both stationary and non-stationary vector autoregressive models. First, we show that two analytical bias formulas from the existing literature are in fact identical. Next, based on a detailed simulation study......, we show that when the model is stationary this simple bias formula compares very favorably to bootstrap bias-correction, both in terms of bias and mean squared error. In non-stationary models, the analytical bias formula performs noticeably worse than bootstrapping. Both methods yield a notable...... improvement over ordinary least squares. We pay special attention to the risk of pushing an otherwise stationary model into the non-stationary region of the parameter space when correcting for bias. Finally, we consider a recently proposed reduced-bias weighted least squares estimator, and we find...

  5. Strengthening forensic DNA decision making through a better understanding of the influence of cognitive bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanguenat, Amy M; Budowle, Bruce; Dror, Itiel E

    2017-11-01

    Cognitive bias may influence process flows and decision making steps in forensic DNA analyses and interpretation. Currently, seven sources of bias have been identified that may affect forensic decision making with roots in human nature; environment, culture, and experience; and case specific information. Most of the literature and research on cognitive bias in forensic science has focused on patterned evidence; however, forensic DNA testing is not immune to bias, especially when subjective interpretation is involved. DNA testing can be strengthened by recognizing the existence of bias, evaluating where it influences decision making, and, when applicable, implementing practices to reduce or control its effects. Elements that may improve forensic decision making regarding bias include cognitively informed education and training, quality assurance procedures, review processes, analysis and interpretation, and context management of irrelevant information. Although bias exists, reliable results often can be (and have been) produced. However, at times bias can (and has) impacted the interpretation of DNA results negatively. Therefore, being aware of the dangers of bias and implementing measures to control its potential impact should be considered. Measures and procedures that handicap the workings of the crime laboratory or add little value to improving the operation are not advocated, but simple yet effective measures are suggested. This article is meant to raise awareness of cognitive bias contamination in forensic DNA testing and to give laboratories possible pathways to make sound decisions to address its influences. Copyright © 2017 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. "Fair Play": A Videogame Designed to Address Implicit Race Bias Through Active Perspective Taking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Belinda; Kaatz, Anna; Chu, Sarah; Ramirez, Dennis; Samson-Samuel, Clem; Carnes, Molly

    2014-12-01

    Having diverse faculty in academic health centers will help diversify the healthcare workforce and reduce health disparities. Implicit race bias is one factor that contributes to the underrepresentation of Black faculty. We designed the videogame "Fair Play" in which players assume the role of a Black graduate student named Jamal Davis. As Jamal, players experience subtle race bias while completing "quests" to obtain a science degree. We hypothesized that participants randomly assigned to play the game would have greater empathy for Jamal and lower implicit race bias than participants randomized to read narrative text describing Jamal's experience. University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate students were recruited via e-mail and randomly assigned to play "Fair Play" or read narrative text through an online link. Upon completion, participants took an Implicit Association Test to measure implicit bias and answered survey questions assessing empathy toward Jamal and awareness of bias. As hypothesized, gameplayers showed the least implicit bias but only when they also showed high empathy for Jamal (P=0.013). Gameplayers did not show greater empathy than text readers, and women in the text condition reported the greatest empathy for Jamal (P=0.008). However, high empathy only predicted lower levels of implicit bias among those who actively took Jamal's perspective through gameplay (P=0.014). A videogame in which players experience subtle race bias as a Black graduate student has the potential to reduce implicit bias, possibly because of a game's ability to foster empathy through active perspective taking.

  7. Near field communications technology and the potential to reduce medication errors through multidisciplinary application

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O’Connell, Emer

    2016-07-01

    Patient safety requires optimal management of medications. Electronic systems are encouraged to reduce medication errors. Near field communications (NFC) is an emerging technology that may be used to develop novel medication management systems.

  8. Cognitive Bias in Systems Verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Steve

    2012-01-01

    Working definition of cognitive bias: Patterns by which information is sought and interpreted that can lead to systematic errors in decisions. Cognitive bias is used in diverse fields: Economics, Politics, Intelligence, Marketing, to name a few. Attempts to ground cognitive science in physical characteristics of the cognitive apparatus exceed our knowledge. Studies based on correlations; strict cause and effect is difficult to pinpoint. Effects cited in the paper and discussed here have been replicated many times over, and appear sound. Many biases have been described, but it is still unclear whether they are all distinct. There may only be a handful of fundamental biases, which manifest in various ways. Bias can effect system verification in many ways . Overconfidence -> Questionable decisions to deploy. Availability -> Inability to conceive critical tests. Representativeness -> Overinterpretation of results. Positive Test Strategies -> Confirmation bias. Debiasing at individual level very difficult. The potential effect of bias on the verification process can be managed, but not eliminated. Worth considering at key points in the process.

  9. Evaluation of probiotic potential of lactic acid bacteria to reduce in vitro cholesterol

    OpenAIRE

    Clementina Cueto; Stephania Aragón

    2012-01-01

    Daily consumption of probiotics reduce levels of serum cholesterol by up to 3%, which is significant to prevent hypercholesterolemia, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cause of mortality. The genus Lactobacillus is used in industry as a probiotic and some species reduce serum cholesterol by two mechanisms, the adsorption of cholesterol and the production of the enzyme bile salt hydrolase, which vary according to species. The aim of the study was to assess the ability of probiotic b...

  10. Reduced Zeta potential through use of cationic adhesion promoter for improved resist process performance and minimizing material consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Lorna; Thompson, Andrew

    2012-03-01

    This paper presents the results of a non-HMDS (non-silane) adhesion promoter that was used to reduce the zeta potential for very thin (proprietary) polymer on silicon. By reducing the zeta potential, as measured by the minimum sample required to fully coat a wafer, the amount of polymer required to coat silicon substrates was significantly reduced in the manufacture of X-ray windows used for high transmission of low-energy X-rays. Moreover, this approach used aqueous based adhesion promoter described as a cationic surface active agent that has been shown to improve adhesion of photoresists (positive, negative, epoxy [SU8], e-beam and dry film). As well as reducing the amount of polymer required to coat substrates, this aqueous adhesion promoter is nonhazardous, and contains non-volatile solvents.

  11. Potential and economic efficiency of using reduced tillage to mitigate climate effects in Danish agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zandersen, Marianne; Jørgensen, Sisse Liv; Nainggolan, Doan

    2016-01-01

    , research also suggests that soil carbon stocks are declining. The scope of Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) approaches to effectively and efficiently address climate regulation will depend on the spatial distribution of the carbon assimilation capacity, current land use, the value of avoided emissions...... and compare these to the marginal abatement costs curve used in Danish climate policy. The cost effectiveness of reduced tillage as a climate mitigation PES scheme critically depends on the current debate on the net effects of carbon sequestration in reduced tillage practices. Based on existing IPCC...

  12. Delimitation of the embryonic thermosensitive period for sex determination using an embryo growth model reveals a potential bias for sex ratio prediction in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girondot, Marc; Monsinjon, Jonathan; Guillon, Jean-Michel

    2018-04-01

    The sexual phenotype of the gonad is dependent on incubation temperature in many turtles, all crocodilians, and some lepidosaurians. At hatching, identification of sexual phenotype is impossible without sacrificing the neonates. For this reason, a general method to infer sexual phenotype from incubation temperatures is needed. Temperature influences sex determination during a specific period of the embryonic development, starting when the gonad begins to form. At constant incubation temperatures, this thermosensitive period for sex determination (TSP) is located at the middle third of incubation duration (MTID). When temperature fluctuates, the position of the thermosensitive period for sex determination can be shifted from the MTID because embryo growth is affected by temperature. A method is proposed to locate the thermosensitive period for sex determination based on modelling the embryo growth, allowing its precise identification from a natural regime of temperatures. Results from natural nests and simulations show that the approximation of the thermosensitive period for sex determination to the middle third of incubation duration may create a quasi-systematic bias to lower temperatures when computing the average incubation temperature during this period and thus a male-bias for sex ratio estimate. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Potential contribution of the Clean Coal Program to reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blasing, T.J.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental considerations of Clean Coal Program (CCP) initially focused on reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) and nitrogen oxides (NO x ) to the atmosphere. However, it has also become apparent that some Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) may contribute appreciably to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), thereby diminishing the rate of any global warming that may result from greenhouse effects. This is particularly true for CCTs involving replacement of a major portion of an existing facility and/or providing the option of using a different fuel form (the repowering CCTs). Because the subject of global-scale climate warming is receiving increased attention, the effect of CCTs on Co 2 emissions has become a topic of increasing interest. The Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program projected that with full implementation of those repowering CCTs that would be most effective at reducing CO 2 emissions (Pressurized Fluidized Bed and Coal Gasification Fuel Cell technologies), the national fossil-fuel Co 2 emissions by the year 2010 would be roughly 90% of the emissions that would occur with no implementation of any CCTs by the same date. It is the purpose of this paper to examine the global effect of such a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and to compare that effect with effects of other strategies for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions

  14. Multiple paths towards reduced membrane potential and concomitant reduction in aminoglycoside susceptibility in staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Martin; Nøhr-Meldgaard, Katrine; Ingmer, Hanne

    2018-01-01

    susceptibility to gentamicin. 9 mutants were confirmed by E-test to display between 2 and 16-fold reduced susceptibility to this antibiotic. All of the identified genes were associated with the electron transport chain and energy metabolism. Four mutant strains (menD, hemB, aroC and SAUSA300_0355) conferred...

  15. Potential for, and costs of, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from nonenergy sources in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Taviv, R

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available enhanced by the concurrent process of bush encroachment, which provides a CO2 sink lasting several decades in the affected areas. Many recent studies have shown that actual levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) mitigation are far below the technical potential...

  16. Biased limiter experiments on text

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phillips, P.E.; Wootton, A.J.; Rowan, W.L.; Ritz, C.P.; Rhodes, T.L.; Bengtson, R.D.; Hodge, W.L.; Durst, R.D.; McCool, S.C.; Richards, B.; Gentle, K.W.; Schoch, P.; Forster, J.C.; Hickok, R.L.; Evans, T.E.

    1987-01-01

    Experiments using an electrically biased limiter have been performed on the Texas Experimental Tokamak (TEXT). A small movable limiter is inserted past the main poloidal ring limiter (which is electrically connected to the vacuum vessel) and biased at V Lim with respect to it. The floating potential, plasma potential and shear layer position can be controlled. With vertical strokeV Lim vertical stroke ≥ 50 V the plasma density increases. For V Lim Lim > 0 the results obtained are inconclusive. Variation of V Lim changes the electrostatic turbulence which may explain the observed total flux changes. (orig.)

  17. Near field communications technology and the potential to reduce medication errors through multidisciplinary application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Emer; Pegler, Joe; Lehane, Elaine; Livingstone, Vicki; McCarthy, Nora; Sahm, Laura J; Tabirca, Sabin; O'Driscoll, Aoife; Corrigan, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Patient safety requires optimal management of medications. Electronic systems are encouraged to reduce medication errors. Near field communications (NFC) is an emerging technology that may be used to develop novel medication management systems. An NFC-based system was designed to facilitate prescribing, administration and review of medications commonly used on surgical wards. Final year medical, nursing, and pharmacy students were recruited to test the electronic system in a cross-over observational setting on a simulated ward. Medication errors were compared against errors recorded using a paper-based system. A significant difference in the commission of medication errors was seen when NFC and paper-based medication systems were compared. Paper use resulted in a mean of 4.09 errors per prescribing round while NFC prescribing resulted in a mean of 0.22 errors per simulated prescribing round (P=0.000). Likewise, medication administration errors were reduced from a mean of 2.30 per drug round with a Paper system to a mean of 0.80 errors per round using NFC (PNFC based medication system may be used to effectively reduce medication errors in a simulated ward environment.

  18. Potential and cost-effectiveness of CO{sub 2}-reducing measures in the pulp and paper industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moellersten, K.; Westermark, M.; Yan, J. [Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm (Sweden). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Technology/Energy Processes

    2001-07-01

    Using the two criteria of potential CO{sub 2} reduction and cost of CO{sub 2} reduction several technical options in the pulp and paper industry are investigated. Principal CO{sub 2} reducing measures include: decreasing fuel consumption through improved heat exchanging or new processes with lower heat demand, decreasing electricity consumption, substituting fossil fuels with biofuels, exporting refined biofuels for external use, increasing CO{sub 2} neutral electricity generation, improving waste heat utilization and decreasing specific raw material consumption. The results show that electricity conservation and improvement of existing steam power cycles are the most cost-effective options that have a large potential to reduce CO{sub 2} emissions. Outsourcing of industrial energy operations to utilities may enable CO{sub 2} reducing measures that would not be carried out by industry due to differences in demands for profit on spent capita. 21 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  19. Reducing potential damages by freshet abatement in hydropower lakes. An argument for financing hydropower projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ionescu, Stefan

    1996-01-01

    Dam reservoirs with significant water volumes (storage coefficients exceeding 8-10%) cause diminishing of the maximum flow downstream, especially due to the aleatory variation of the initial water level in the reservoir. Depending on the flow reduction in the dam, a methodology for determining the flow for the whole water course downstream is proposed, taking into account various potential combinations for flood generation in the catchment area. Differences between potential damages caused by floods in case of natural conditions versus those occurring in case of engineered zones result in important public financial benefits, amounting up to around 30% of the investments required for dam construction. For instance, in the case of hydropower lake Dragan on the Crisul Repede River the damages diminished down to about 50% for downstream watercourse. (authors)

  20. Combination of biased forecasts: Bias correction or bias based weights?

    OpenAIRE

    Wenzel, Thomas

    1999-01-01

    Most of the literature on combination of forecasts deals with the assumption of unbiased individual forecasts. Here, we consider the case of biased forecasts and discuss two different combination techniques resulting in an unbiased forecast. On the one hand we correct the individual forecasts, and on the other we calculate bias based weights. A simulation study gives some insight in the situations where we should use the different methods.

  1. Potential of best practice to reduce impacts from oil and gas projects in the Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finer, Matt; Jenkins, Clinton N; Powers, Bill

    2013-01-01

    The western Amazon continues to be an active and controversial zone of hydrocarbon exploration and production. We argue for the urgent need to implement best practices to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts associated with the sector. Here, we present a three-part study aimed at resolving the major obstacles impeding the advancement of best practice in the region. Our focus is on Loreto, Peru, one of the largest and most dynamic hydrocarbon zones in the Amazon. First, we develop a set of specific best practice guidelines to address the lack of clarity surrounding the issue. These guidelines incorporate both engineering-based criteria and key ecological and social factors. Second, we provide a detailed analysis of existing and planned hydrocarbon activities and infrastructure, overcoming the lack of information that typically hampers large-scale impact analysis. Third, we evaluate the planned activities and infrastructure with respect to the best practice guidelines. We show that Loreto is an extremely active hydrocarbon front, highlighted by a number of recent oil and gas discoveries and a sustained government push for increased exploration. Our analyses reveal that the use of technical best practice could minimize future impacts by greatly reducing the amount of required infrastructure such as drilling platforms and access roads. We also document a critical need to consider more fully the ecological and social factors, as the vast majority of planned infrastructure overlaps sensitive areas such as protected areas, indigenous territories, and key ecosystems and watersheds. Lastly, our cost analysis indicates that following best practice does not impose substantially greater costs than conventional practice, and may in fact reduce overall costs. Barriers to the widespread implementation of best practice in the Amazon clearly exist, but our findings show that there can be great benefits to its implementation.

  2. Potential of best practice to reduce impacts from oil and gas projects in the Amazon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt Finer

    Full Text Available The western Amazon continues to be an active and controversial zone of hydrocarbon exploration and production. We argue for the urgent need to implement best practices to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts associated with the sector. Here, we present a three-part study aimed at resolving the major obstacles impeding the advancement of best practice in the region. Our focus is on Loreto, Peru, one of the largest and most dynamic hydrocarbon zones in the Amazon. First, we develop a set of specific best practice guidelines to address the lack of clarity surrounding the issue. These guidelines incorporate both engineering-based criteria and key ecological and social factors. Second, we provide a detailed analysis of existing and planned hydrocarbon activities and infrastructure, overcoming the lack of information that typically hampers large-scale impact analysis. Third, we evaluate the planned activities and infrastructure with respect to the best practice guidelines. We show that Loreto is an extremely active hydrocarbon front, highlighted by a number of recent oil and gas discoveries and a sustained government push for increased exploration. Our analyses reveal that the use of technical best practice could minimize future impacts by greatly reducing the amount of required infrastructure such as drilling platforms and access roads. We also document a critical need to consider more fully the ecological and social factors, as the vast majority of planned infrastructure overlaps sensitive areas such as protected areas, indigenous territories, and key ecosystems and watersheds. Lastly, our cost analysis indicates that following best practice does not impose substantially greater costs than conventional practice, and may in fact reduce overall costs. Barriers to the widespread implementation of best practice in the Amazon clearly exist, but our findings show that there can be great benefits to its implementation.

  3. Anethole potentiates dodecanol's fungicidal activity by reducing PDR5 expression in budding yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Ken-Ichi; Ishikura, Takayuki; Jono, Yui; Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro; Ogita, Akira; Kubo, Isao; Tanaka, Toshio

    2017-02-01

    trans-Anethole (anethole), a major component of anise oil, has a broad antimicrobial spectrum and a weaker antimicrobial potency than other available antibiotics. When combined with polygodial, nagilactone E, and n-dodecanol, anethole has been shown to exhibit synergistic antifungal activity against a budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and a human opportunistic pathogenic yeast, Candida albicans. However, the mechanism underlying this synergistic effect of anethole has not been characterized. We studied this mechanism using dodecanol-treated S. cerevisiae cells and focusing on genes related to multidrug efflux. Although dodecanol transiently reduced the number of colony forming units, this recovered to levels similar to those of untreated cells with continued incubation beyond 24h. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed overexpression of an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene, PDR5, in addition to a slight increase in PDR11, PDR12, and PDR15 transcriptions in dodecanol-treated cells. In the presence of anethole, these effects were attenuated and the fungicidal activity of dodecanol was extended. Dodecanol showed longer lasting fungicidal activity against a Δpdr5. In addition, Δpdr3 and Δlge1, lack transcription factors of PDR5 and PDR3, were partly and completely susceptible to dodecanol, respectively. Furthermore, combination of anethole with fluconazole was also found to exhibit synergy on C. albicans. These results indicated that although anethole reduced the transcription of several transporters, PDR5 expression was particularly relevant to dodecanol efflux. Anethole is expected to be a promising candidate drug for the inhibition of efflux by reducing the transcription of several ABC transporters. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Potential cost-effectiveness of schistosomiasis treatment for reducing HIV transmission in Africa--the case of Zimbabwean women.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martial L Ndeffo Mbah

    Full Text Available Epidemiological data from Zimbabwe suggests that genital infection with Schistosoma haematobium may increase the risk of HIV infection in young women. Therefore, the treatment of Schistosoma haematobium with praziquantel could be a potential strategy for reducing HIV infection. Here we assess the potential cost-effectiveness of praziquantel as a novel intervention strategy against HIV infection.We developed a mathematical model of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS and HIV infections in Zimbabwe that we fitted to cross-sectional data of FGS and HIV prevalence of 1999. We validated our epidemic projections using antenatal clinic data on HIV prevalence. We simulated annual praziquantel administration to school-age children. We then used these model predictions to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of annual administration of praziquantel as a potential measure to reduce the burden of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.We showed that for a variation of efficacy between 30-70% of mass praziquantel administration for reducing the enhanced risk of HIV transmission per sexual act due to FGS, annual administration of praziquantel to school-age children in Zimbabwe could result in net savings of US$16-101 million compared with no mass treatment of schistosomiasis over a ten-year period. For a variation in efficacy between 30-70% of mass praziquantel administration for reducing the acquisition of FGS, annual administration of praziquantel to school-age children could result in net savings of US$36-92 million over a ten-year period.In addition to reducing schistosomiasis burden, mass praziquantel administration may be a highly cost-effective way of reducing HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Program costs per case of HIV averted are similar to, and under some conditions much better than, other interventions that are currently implemented in Africa to reduce HIV transmission. As a cost-saving strategy, mass praziquantel administration should be prioritized

  5. Potential of Windbreak Trees to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Agricultural Operations in the US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Ballesteros-Possu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Along with sequestering C in forest, trees on farms are able to contribute to greenhouse mitigation through emission avoidance mechanisms. To evaluate the magnitude of these contributions, emission avoidance contributions for field and farmstead windbreak designs in regions across the United States were estimated, along with greenhouse gas (GHG emission budgets for corn, soybean, winter wheat, and potato operations. We looked at farming scenarios with large (600 ha, mid (300 ha, and small-size (60 ha farms containing farmsteads built before and after 2000, and growing different cropping systems. Windbreak scenarios were assumed to be up to 5% of the crop area for field windbreaks, while emission avoidance for farmstead windbreaks were assumed to provide a 10% and 25% reduction in energy usage for space conditioning and heating, respectively. Total reduction of C equivalent (CE emissions by windbreaks on farm systems ranged from a low of 0.9 Mg CE year−1 for a 60-ha farm with a home built before 2000 to 39.1 Mg CE year−1 for a 600-ha farm with a home built after 2000. By reducing fossil fuel usage from farm operations, windbreaks provide a promising strategy for reducing GHG emissions from agriculture in the USA.

  6. Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreyeva, Tatiana; Chaloupka, Frank J; Brownell, Kelly D

    2011-06-01

    Beverage taxes came into light with increasing concerns about obesity, particularly among youth. Sugar-sweetened beverages have become a target of anti-obesity initiatives with increasing evidence of their link to obesity. Our paper offers a method for estimating revenues from an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages that governments of various levels could direct towards obesity prevention. We construct a model projecting beverage consumption and tax revenues based on best available data on regional beverage consumption, historic trends and recent estimates of the price elasticity of sugar-sweetened beverage demand. The public health impact of beverage taxes could be substantial. An estimated 24% reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption from a penny-per-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage tax could reduce daily per capita caloric intake from sugar-sweetened beverages from the current 190-200 cal to 145-150 cal, if there is no substitution to other caloric beverages or food. A national penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could generate new tax revenue of $79 billion over 2010-2015. A modest tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could both raise significant revenues and improve public health by reducing obesity. To the extent that at least some of the tax revenues get invested in obesity prevention programs, the public health benefits could be even more pronounced. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Intergroup contact as a tool for reducing, resolving, and preventing intergroup conflict: evidence, limitations, and potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Ramiah, Ananthi; Hewstone, Miles

    2013-10-01

    We propose that intergroup contact provides an effective means by which to reduce, resolve, and prevent conflict of all kinds, including violent conflict. We review the vast literature on the effectiveness of intergroup contact and discuss when and how it reduces prejudice. We also discuss key features of successful interventions, highlighting examples from conflict zones around the world. Rather than accepting, as some scholars do, that conflict is inevitable, we argue that intergroup contact, in its various forms, can play a pivotal and preemptive role in conflict prevention. We suggest that a blunt application of contact theory, particularly when groups are of unequal status, can have some unfortunate consequences, and contact interventions can, and should, be designed to overcome these pitfalls. We argue that, ultimately, contact is a powerful tool that needs to be used alongside other means of conflict reduction, resolution, and prevention in order to frame sound public policy and build lasting peace. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  8. Reduced Treatment-Emergent Sexual Dysfunction as a Potential Target in the Development of New Antidepressants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Baldwin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Pleasurable sexual activity is an essential component of many human relationships, providing a sense of physical, psychological, and social well-being. Epidemiological and clinical studies show that depressive symptoms and depressive illness are associated with impairments in sexual function and satisfaction, both in untreated and treated patients. The findings of randomized placebo-controlled trials demonstrate that most of the currently available antidepressant drugs are associated with the development or worsening of sexual dysfunction, in a substantial proportion of patients. Sexual difficulties during antidepressant treatment often resolve as depression lifts but can endure over long periods and may reduce self-esteem and affect mood and relationships adversely. Sexual dysfunction during antidepressant treatment is typically associated with many possible causes, but the risk and type of dysfunction vary with differing compounds and should be considered when making decisions about the relative merits and drawbacks of differing antidepressants. A range of interventions can be considered when managing patients with sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressants, including the prescription of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, but none of these approaches can be considered “ideal.” As treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction is less frequent with certain drugs, presumably related to differences in their pharmacological properties, and because current management approaches are less than ideal, a reduced burden of treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction represents a tolerability target in the development of novel antidepressants.

  9. Reduced and oxidised scytonemin: theoretical protocol for Raman spectroscopic identification of potential key biomolecules for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G M

    2014-01-03

    Scytonemin is an important UV-radiation protective biomolecule synthesised by extremophilic cyanobacteria in stressed terrestrial environments. Scytonemin and its reduced form have been both isolated experimentally and the Raman spectrum for scytonemin has been assigned and characterised experimentally both in extracts and in living extremophilic cyanobacterial colonies. Scytonemin is recognised as a key biomarker molecule for terrestrial organisms in stressed environments. We propose a new, theoretically plausible structure for oxidised scytonemin which has not been mentioned in the literature hitherto. DFT calculations for scytonemin, reduced scytonemin and the new structure modelled and proposed for oxidised scytonemin are reported along with their Raman spectroscopic data and λmax UV-absorption data obtained theoretically. Comparison of the vibrational spectroscopic assignments allows the three forms of scytonemin to be detected and identified and assist not only in the clarification of the major features in the experimentally observed Raman spectral data for the parent scytonemin but also support a protocol proposed for their analytical discrimination. The results of this study provide a basis for the search for molecules of this type in future astrobiological missions of exploration and the search for extinct and extant life terrestrially. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. POTENTIAL HEALTH RISK REDUCTION ARISING FROM REDUCED MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, T. M.; Lipfert, F. W.; Morris, S. C.; Moskowitz, P. D.

    2001-09-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to regulate mercury (Hg) emissions from coal-fired power plants. EPA has not prepared a quantitative assessment of the reduction in risk that could be achieved through reduction in coal plant emissions of Hg. To address this issue, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) with support from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE FE) prepared a quantitative assessment of the reduction in human health risk that could be achieved through reduction in coal plant emissions of Hg. The primary pathway for Hg exposure is through consumption of fish. The most susceptible population to Hg exposure is the fetus. Therefore the risk assessment focused on consumption of fish by women of child-bearing age. Dose response factors were generated from studies on loss of cognitive abilities (language skills, motor skills, etc.) by young children whose mothers consumed large amounts of fish with high Hg levels. Population risks were estimated for the general population in three regions of the country, (the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast) that were identified by EPA as being heavily impacted by coal emissions. Three scenarios for reducing Hg emissions from coal plants were considered: (1) A base case using current conditions; (2) A 50% reduction; and, (3) A 90% reduction. These reductions in emissions were assumed to translate linearly into a reduction in fish Hg levels of 8.6% and 15.5%, respectively. Population risk estimates were also calculated for two subsistence fisher populations. These groups of people consume substantially more fish than the general public and, depending on location, the fish may contain higher Hg levels than average. Risk estimates for these groups were calculated for the three Hg levels used for the general population analyses. Analysis shows that the general population risks for exposure of the fetus to Hg are small. Estimated risks under current conditions (i.e., no

  11. Effects of limiter biasing on the ATF torsatron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uckan, T.; Baylor, L.R.; Bell, J.D.; Bigelow, T.S.; England, A.C.; Harris, J.H.; Isler, R.C.; Jernigan, T.C.; Lyon, J.F.; Ma, C.H.; Mioduszewski, P.K.; Murakami, M.; Rasmussen, D.A.; Wilgen, J.B.; Aceto, S.C.; Zielinski, J.J.

    1992-09-01

    Positive limiter biasing on the currentless Advanced Toroidal Facility (ATF) torsatron produces a significant increase in the particle confinement with no improvement in the energy confinement. Experiments have been carried out in 1-T plasmas with ∼400 kill of electron cyclotron heating ECM. Two rail limiters located at the last closed flux surface (LCFS), one at the top and one at the bottom of the device, are biased at positive and negative potentials with respect to the vessel. When the limiters are positively biased at up to 300 V, the density increases sharply to the ECH cutoff value. At the same time, the H α radiation drops, indicating that the particle confinement improves. When the density is kept constant, the H α radiation is further reduced and there is almost no change in the plasma stored energy. Under these conditions, the density profile becomes peaked and the electric field becomes outward-pointing outside the LCFS and more negative inside the LCFS. In contrast, negative biasing yields some reduction of the density and stored energy at constant gas feed, and the plasma potential profile remains the same. Biasing has almost no effect on the intrinsic impurity levels in the plasma

  12. The potential for short-rotation woody crops to reduce US CO2 emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.; Wright, L.L.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-01-01

    Short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) could potentially displace fossil fuels and thus mitigate CO 2 buildup in the atmosphere. To determine how much fossil fuel SRWC might displace in the United States and what the associated fossil carbon savings might be, a series of assumptions must be made. These assumptions concern the net SRWC biomass yields per hectare (after losses); the amount of suitable land dedicated to SRWC production; wood conversion efficiencies to electricity or liquid fuels; the energy substitution properties of various fuels; and the amount of fossil fuel used in growing, harvesting, transporting, and converting SRWC biomass. Assuming the current climate, present production, and conversion technologies and considering a conservative estimate of the US land base available for SRWC (14 x 10 6 ha), it is calculated that SRWC energy could displace 33.2 to 73.1 x 10 6 Mg of fossil carbon releases, 3-6% of the current annual US emissions. The carbon mitigation potential per unit of land is larger with the substitution of SRWC for coal-based electricity production than for the substitution of SRWC-derived ethanol for gasoline. Assuming current climate, predicted conversion technology advancements, an optimistic estimate of the US land base available for SRWC (28 x 10 6 ha), and an optimistic average estimate of net SRWC yields (22.4 dry Mg/ha), it is calculate that SRWC energy could displace 148 to 242 x 10 6 Mg of annual fossil fuel carbon releases. Under this scenario, the carbon migration potential of SRWC-based electricity production would be equivalent to about 4.4% of current global fossil fuel emissions and 20% of current US fossil fuel emissions. 21 refs., 5 tabs

  13. Mathematical anxiety is linked to reduced cognitive reflection: a potential road from discomfort in the mathematics classroom to susceptibility to biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morsanyi, Kinga; Busdraghi, Chiara; Primi, Caterina

    2014-09-01

    When asked to solve mathematical problems, some people experience anxiety and threat, which can lead to impaired mathematical performance (Curr Dir Psychol Sci 11:181-185, 2002). The present studies investigated the link between mathematical anxiety and performance on the cognitive reflection test (CRT; J Econ Perspect 19:25-42, 2005). The CRT is a measure of a person's ability to resist intuitive response tendencies, and it correlates strongly with important real-life outcomes, such as time preferences, risk-taking, and rational thinking. In Experiments 1 and 2 the relationships between maths anxiety, mathematical knowledge/mathematical achievement, test anxiety and cognitive reflection were analysed using mediation analyses. Experiment 3 included a manipulation of working memory load. The effects of anxiety and working memory load were analysed using ANOVAs. Our experiments with university students (Experiments 1 and 3) and secondary school students (Experiment 2) demonstrated that mathematical anxiety was a significant predictor of cognitive reflection, even after controlling for the effects of general mathematical knowledge (in Experiment 1), school mathematical achievement (in Experiment 2) and test anxiety (in Experiments 1-3). Furthermore, Experiment 3 showed that mathematical anxiety and burdening working memory resources with a secondary task had similar effects on cognitive reflection. Given earlier findings that showed a close link between cognitive reflection, unbiased decisions and rationality, our results suggest that mathematical anxiety might be negatively related to individuals' ability to make advantageous choices and good decisions.

  14. Mathematical anxiety is linked to reduced cognitive reflection: a potential road from discomfort in the mathematics classroom to susceptibility to biases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background When asked to solve mathematical problems, some people experience anxiety and threat, which can lead to impaired mathematical performance (Curr Dir Psychol Sci 11:181–185, 2002). The present studies investigated the link between mathematical anxiety and performance on the cognitive reflection test (CRT; J Econ Perspect 19:25–42, 2005). The CRT is a measure of a person’s ability to resist intuitive response tendencies, and it correlates strongly with important real-life outcomes, such as time preferences, risk-taking, and rational thinking. Methods In Experiments 1 and 2 the relationships between maths anxiety, mathematical knowledge/mathematical achievement, test anxiety and cognitive reflection were analysed using mediation analyses. Experiment 3 included a manipulation of working memory load. The effects of anxiety and working memory load were analysed using ANOVAs. Results Our experiments with university students (Experiments 1 and 3) and secondary school students (Experiment 2) demonstrated that mathematical anxiety was a significant predictor of cognitive reflection, even after controlling for the effects of general mathematical knowledge (in Experiment 1), school mathematical achievement (in Experiment 2) and test anxiety (in Experiments 1–3). Furthermore, Experiment 3 showed that mathematical anxiety and burdening working memory resources with a secondary task had similar effects on cognitive reflection. Conclusions Given earlier findings that showed a close link between cognitive reflection, unbiased decisions and rationality, our results suggest that mathematical anxiety might be negatively related to individuals’ ability to make advantageous choices and good decisions. PMID:25179230

  15. Reducing status quo bias in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Ole; Ladenburg, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    To secure the validity and applicability of stated preference measures in economic analysis, hypothetical preferences must mimic real life preferences. For instance, people have a propensity to prefer what they already have when presented with alternatives that, all things being equal, seem to be...... preferences in our data based on Swedish ostomates’ preferences for ostomy pouch quality changes....

  16. Impact of chlorophyll bias on the tropical Pacific mean climate in an earth system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Hyung-Gyu; Park, Jong-Yeon; Kug, Jong-Seong

    2017-12-01

    Climate modeling groups nowadays develop earth system models (ESMs) by incorporating biogeochemical processes in their climate models. The ESMs, however, often show substantial bias in simulated marine biogeochemistry which can potentially introduce an undesirable bias in physical ocean fields through biogeophysical interactions. This study examines how and how much the chlorophyll bias in a state-of-the-art ESM affects the mean and seasonal cycle of tropical Pacific sea-surface temperature (SST). The ESM used in the present study shows a sizeable positive bias in the simulated tropical chlorophyll. We found that the correction of the chlorophyll bias can reduce the ESM's intrinsic cold SST mean bias in the equatorial Pacific. The biologically-induced cold SST bias is strongly affected by seasonally-dependent air-sea coupling strength. In addition, the correction of chlorophyll bias can improve the annual cycle of SST by up to 25%. This result suggests a possible modeling approach in understanding the two-way interactions between physical and chlorophyll biases by biogeophysical effects.

  17. Sauroxine reduces memory retention in rats and impairs hippocampal long-term potentiation generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejo, Mariana; Carlini, Valeria; Gabach, Laura; Ortega, M G; L Cabrera, José; de Barioglio, Susana Rubiales; Pérez, Mariela; Agnese, Alicia M

    2017-07-01

    In the present paper it was investigated the role of sauroxine, an alkaloid of Phlegmariurus saururus, as a modulator of some types of learning and memory, considering the potential nootropic properties previously reported for the alkaloid extract and the main alkaloid sauroine. Sauroxine was isolated by means of an alkaline extraction, purified by several chromatographic techniques, and assayed in electrophysiological experiments on rat hippocampus slices, tending towards the elicitation of the long-term potentiation (LTP) phenomena. It was also studied the effects of intrahippocampal administration of sauroxine on memory retention in vivo using a Step-down test. Being the bio distribution of a drug an important parameter to be considered, the concentration of sauroxine in rat brain was determined by GLC-MS. Sauroxine blocked LTP generation at both doses used, 3.65 and 3.610 -2 μM. In the behavioral test, the animals injected with this alkaloid (3.6510 -3 nmol) exhibited a significant decrease on memory retention compared with control animals. It was also showed that sauroxine reached the brain (3.435μg/g tissue), after an intraperitoneal injection, displaying its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Thus, sauroxine demonstrated to exert an inhibition on these mnemonic phenomena. The effect here established for 1 is defeated by other constituents according to the excellent results obtained for P. saururus alkaloid extract as well as for the isolated alkaloid sauroine. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. A comparative assessment of the curative potential of reduced intensity allografts in acute myeloid leukaemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Russell, N H; Kjeldsen, L; Craddock, C

    2015-01-01

    was to determine which approach improved survival and within which prespecified cytogenetic groups. RIC transplants significantly reduced relapse (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.66 (0.50-0.85), P=0.002) compared to chemotherapy The 5-year overall survival from a sibling RIC (61%) was superior to a MUD RIC (37......%; adjusted HR 1.50 (1.01-2.21), P=0.04) due to lower NRM (34 vs 14%, P=0.002) In adjusted analyses, there was a survival benefit for sibling RIC over chemotherapy (59 vs 49%, HR 0.75 (0.57-0.97), P=0.03), with consistent results in intermediate and adverse-risk patients. In patients aged 35-44 years, best...

  19. Sampling of temporal networks: Methods and biases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luis E. C.; Masuda, Naoki; Holme, Petter

    2017-11-01

    Temporal networks have been increasingly used to model a diversity of systems that evolve in time; for example, human contact structures over which dynamic processes such as epidemics take place. A fundamental aspect of real-life networks is that they are sampled within temporal and spatial frames. Furthermore, one might wish to subsample networks to reduce their size for better visualization or to perform computationally intensive simulations. The sampling method may affect the network structure and thus caution is necessary to generalize results based on samples. In this paper, we study four sampling strategies applied to a variety of real-life temporal networks. We quantify the biases generated by each sampling strategy on a number of relevant statistics such as link activity, temporal paths and epidemic spread. We find that some biases are common in a variety of networks and statistics, but one strategy, uniform sampling of nodes, shows improved performance in most scenarios. Given the particularities of temporal network data and the variety of network structures, we recommend that the choice of sampling methods be problem oriented to minimize the potential biases for the specific research questions on hand. Our results help researchers to better design network data collection protocols and to understand the limitations of sampled temporal network data.

  20. Root characteristics of cover crops and their erosion-reducing potential during concentrated runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baets, S.; Poesen, J.

    2009-04-01

    In the loam region in central Belgium, a lot of research has been conducted on the effects of cover crops for preventing splash and interrill erosion and on their nutrient pumping effectiveness. As this is a very effective erosion and environment conservation technique, planting cover crops during the winter season is widely applied in the loess belt. Most of these cover crops freeze at the beginning of the winter period. Consequently, the above-ground biomass becomes less effective in protecting the soil from water erosion. Apart from the effects of the above-ground biomass in protecting the soil against raindrop impacts and reducing flow velocities by the retarding effects of their stems, plant roots also play an important role in improving soil strength. Previous research showed that roots contribute to a large extent to the resistance of topsoils against concentrated flow erosion. Unfortunately, information on root properties of common cover crops (e.g. Sinapis alba, Phacelia tanacetifoli, Lolium perenne, Avena sativa, Secale cereale, Raphanus sativus subsp. oleiferus) is very scarce. Therefore, root density distribution with depth and their erosion-reducing effects during concentrated flow erosion were assessed by conducting root auger measurements and concentrated flow experiments at the end of the growth period (December). The preliminary results indicate that the studied cover crops are not equally effective in preventing soil loss by concentrated flow erosion at the end of the growing season. Cover crops with thick roots, such as Sinapis alba and Raphanus sativus subsp. oleiferus are less effective than cover crops with fine-branched roots such as Phacelia tanacetifoli, Lolium perenne (Ryegrass), Avena sativa (Oats) and Secale cereale (Rye) in preventing soil losses by concentrated flow erosion. These results enable soil managers to select the most suitable crops and maximize soil protection.

  1. Estimating costs and potentials of different methods to reduce the Swedish phosphorus load from agriculture to surface water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmaeus, J M; Karlsson, O M

    2010-01-01

    This paper reviews 17 measures to reduce phosphorus leakage from Swedish agriculture to surface waters. Our aim is to evaluate the possible contribution from agriculture to achieve environmental goals including the Baltic Sea Action Plan. Using a regional approach integrating the variability in field specific characteristics, typical costs and national potential for the included measures may be estimated without identifying, e.g., suitable individual fields for implementation. The result may be helpful to select suitable measures but may also influence the design of environmental targets before they are determined. We find that the cheapest measures are reduced phosphorus content in animal food and fertilizer application supervision in pig farms, both measures with annual potentials of around 50t each, and costs of euro7 to euro11 kg(-1)yr(-1). The total potential of the listed measures is an annual phosphorus reduction to surface waters of 242t. If the most expensive measures are excluded (>euro1000 kg(-1)yr(-1)) and including retention in lakes the phosphorus transport to the sea could be reduced by 165 t yr(-1). This amount can be compared with the Swedish commitment in the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) to reduce input to the Baltic Proper by 290 t yr(-1).

  2. Potential self-selection bias in a nested case-control study on indoor environmental factors and their association with asthma and allergic symptoms among pre-school children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bornehag, Carl-Gustaf; Sundell, Jan; Sigsgaard, T.

    2006-01-01

    , including health, building characteristics of the home, and socioeconomic factors between participating and non-participating families in a nested case-control study on asthma and allergy among children. Information was collected in a baseline questionnaire to the parents of 14,077 children aged 1-6 years...... in a first step. In a second step 2,156 of the children were invited to participate in a case-control study. Of these, 198 cases and 202 controls were finally selected. For identifying potential selection bias, information concerning all invited families in the case-control study was obtained from...

  3. Modeling the potential area of occupancy at fine resolution may reduce uncertainty in species range estimates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Draper, David; Nogues, David Bravo

    2012-01-01

    and maximum entropy modeling to assess whether different sampling (expert versus systematic surveys) may affect AOO estimates based on habitat suitability maps, and the differences between such measurements and traditional coarse-grid methods. Fine-scale models performed robustly and were not influenced...... by survey protocols, providing similar habitat suitability outputs with high spatial agreement. Model-based estimates of potential AOO were significantly smaller than AOO measures obtained from coarse-scale grids, even if the first were obtained from conservative thresholds based on the Minimal Predicted...... permit comparable measures among species. We conclude that estimates of AOO based on fine-resolution distribution models are more robust tools for risk assessment than traditional systems, allowing a better understanding of species ranges at habitat level....

  4. Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lordan, Sinéad; Ross, R. Paul; Stanton, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    The marine environment represents a relatively untapped source of functional ingredients that can be applied to various aspects of food processing, storage, and fortification. Moreover, numerous marine-based compounds have been identified as having diverse biological activities, with some reported to interfere with the pathogenesis of diseases. Bioactive peptides isolated from fish protein hydrolysates as well as algal fucans, galactans and alginates have been shown to possess anticoagulant, anticancer and hypocholesterolemic activities. Additionally, fish oils and marine bacteria are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, while crustaceans and seaweeds contain powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolic compounds. On the basis of their bioactive properties, this review focuses on the potential use of marine-derived compounds as functional food ingredients for health maintenance and the prevention of chronic diseases. PMID:21747748

  5. Ethylene oxide gas sterilization does not reduce the osteoinductive potential of demineralized bone in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solheim, E; Pinholt, E M; Bang, G

    1995-01-01

    It has been shown that different sterilization procedures of demineralized bone may influence its osteoinductive properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ethylene oxide sterilization for 1, 3, and 6 hours on the osteoinductive potential of allogeneic demineralized bone...... implanted heterotopically in rats. Sixty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of four groups, A through D, and four demineralized bone chips (2.8 mg) were implanted in a pouch created between the right oblique abdominal muscles in each animal. In Group A, the demineralized bone was implanted...... without prior sterilization of the material, whereas the demineralized bone implanted in Groups B, C, and D had been sterilized in ethylene oxide gas for 1, 3, or 6 hours, respectively, and aerated for 48 hours. At 4 weeks postoperatively, bone formation was evaluated quantitatively by strontium 85 uptake...

  6. Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Stanton

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The marine environment represents a relatively untapped source of functional ingredients that can be applied to various aspects of food processing, storage, and fortification. Moreover, numerous marine-based compounds have been identified as having diverse biological activities, with some reported to interfere with the pathogenesis of diseases. Bioactive peptides isolated from fish protein hydrolysates as well as algal fucans, galactans and alginates have been shown to possess anticoagulant, anticancer and hypocholesterolemic activities. Additionally, fish oils and marine bacteria are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, while crustaceans and seaweeds contain powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolic compounds. On the basis of their bioactive properties, this review focuses on the potential use of marine-derived compounds as functional food ingredients for health maintenance and the prevention of chronic diseases.

  7. Regional Air Transport in Europe: The Potential Role of the Civil Tiltrotor in Reducing Airside Congestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correnti, Vincenzo; Ignaccolo, Matteo; Capri, Salvatore; Inturri, Giuseppe

    2006-01-01

    The volume of air traffic worldwide is still in constant growth despite unfair events that sometimes occur. The demand for regional air transport is also increasing, thanks in part to the use of new vehicles purposely designed for short range flights which make this means of transport more attractive than in the past. This paper studies the possibility of using aircraft capable of vertical or short takeoff or landing (V/STOL), in particular the tiltrotor, in the regional air transport market and the impact on airport capacity that the use of this craft would have. With this in mind the advantages and disadvantages of using this vehicle are identified, as well as the changes to be made to the air transport system in order to exploit its full potential.

  8. Does social presence or the potential for interaction reduce social gaze in online social scenarios? Introducing the "live lab" paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Nicola J; Antolin, Jastine V

    2018-05-01

    Research has shown that people's gaze is biased away from faces in the real world but towards them when they are viewed onscreen. Non-equivalent stimulus conditions may have represented a confound in this research, however, as participants viewed onscreen stimuli as pre-recordings where interaction was not possible compared with real-world stimuli which were viewed in real time where interaction was possible. We assessed the independent contributions of online social presence and ability for interaction on social gaze by developing the "live lab" paradigm. Participants in three groups ( N = 132) viewed a confederate as (1) a live webcam stream where interaction was not possible (one-way), (2) a live webcam stream where an interaction was possible (two-way), or (3) a pre-recording. Potential for interaction, rather than online social presence, was the primary influence on gaze behaviour: participants in the pre-recorded and one-way conditions looked more to the face than those in the two-way condition, particularly, when the confederate made "eye contact." Fixation durations to the face were shorter when the scene was viewed live, particularly, during a bid for eye contact. Our findings support the dual function of gaze but suggest that online social presence alone is not sufficient to activate social norms of civil inattention. Implications for the reinterpretation of previous research are discussed.

  9. Reduced graphene oxide–silver nanoparticle nanocomposite: a potential anticancer nanotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gurunathan S

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, Jae Woong Han, Jung Hyun Park, Eunsu Kim, Yun-Jung Choi, Deug-Nam Kwon, Jin-Hoi Kim Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea Background: Graphene and graphene-based nanocomposites are used in various research areas including sensing, energy storage, and catalysis. The mechanical, thermal, electrical, and biological properties render graphene-based nanocomposites of metallic nanoparticles useful for several biomedical applications. Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is the fifth most deadly cancer in women; most tumors initially respond to chemotherapy, but eventually acquire chemoresistance. Consequently, the development of novel molecules for cancer therapy is essential. This study was designed to develop a simple, non-toxic, environmentally friendly method for the synthesis of reduced graphene oxide–silver (rGO–Ag nanoparticle nanocomposites using Tilia amurensis plant extracts as reducing and stabilizing agents. The anticancer properties of rGO–Ag were evaluated in ovarian cancer cells. Methods: The synthesized rGO–Ag nanocomposite was characterized using various analytical techniques. The anticancer properties of the rGO–Ag nanocomposite were evaluated using a series of assays such as cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase leakage, reactive oxygen species generation, cellular levels of malonaldehyde and glutathione, caspase-3 activity, and DNA fragmentation in ovarian cancer cells (A2780. Results: AgNPs with an average size of 20 nm were uniformly dispersed on graphene sheets. The data obtained from the biochemical assays indicate that the rGO–Ag nanocomposite significantly inhibited cell viability in A2780 ovarian cancer cells and increased lactate dehydrogenase leakage, reactive oxygen species generation, caspase-3 activity, and DNA fragmentation compared with other tested nanomaterials such as graphene oxide, rGO, and AgNPs. Conclusion: T. amurensis plant extract

  10. Benefits of being biased!

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Administrator

    Journal of Genetics, Vol. 83, No. 2, August 2004. Keywords. codon bias; alcohol dehydrogenase; Darwinian ... RESEARCH COMMENTARY. Benefits of being biased! SUTIRTH DEY*. Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, Evolutionary & Organismal Biology Unit,. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research,.

  11. Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, D.E.; Morrow, C.A.; Byerlee, J.D.

    1982-01-01

    The injection of swelling-clay slurries into joints or faults at a deep-burial nuclear waste disposal site may result in signficant permeability reductions for the effective containment of radioactive wastes. In an experiment conducted to illustrate the permeability change accompanying clay swelling, a coarse stone with interconnected pore spaces was injected with a clay-electrolyte slurry, modelling the pressure-grouting of a fractured repository rock. Subsequently, solutions with lower electroylte concentrations were driven through the clay-filled stone, corresponding to migration of lower salinity ground-waters through the clay-grouted fracture. The initial injection procedure reduced the permeability of the stone from 1--10 darcies to 700 nanodarcies; the changes in solution composition decreased permeability by more than 2 additional orders of magnitude to 3 nanodarcies. For application at a nuclear waste repository, the electrolyte concentration of the injected clay slurry should be made higher than that of the ground-water in the host rock. Subesquent interaction of the ground-water with the clays would initiate swelling and create the additional, post-injection permeability reductions that may be important in preventing the escape of buried radioactive wastes. The measured permeability of the clay filling is considerably lower than that of cement tested for borehole plugging. Clays also have the advantage over cement and chemical grouts in that they are geologically stable at relatively low temperatures and have a high capacity for radionuclide adsorption

  12. Lacosamide reduces HDAC levels in the brain and improves memory: Potential for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Shraddha R; Ambavade, Shirishkumar D; Jagdale, Priti G; Adkar, Prafulla P; Waghmare, Arun B; Ambavade, Prashant D

    2015-07-01

    Lacosamide, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy. Some HDAC inhibitors have been proven effective for the treatment of memory disorders. The present investigation was designed to evaluate the effect of lacosamide on memory and brain HDAC levels. The effect on memory was evaluated in animals with scopolamine-induced amnesia using the elevated plus maze, object recognition test, and radial arm maze. The levels of acetylcholinesterase and HDAC in the cerebral cortex were evaluated. Lacosamide at doses of 10 and 30mg/kg significantly reduced the transfer latency in the elevated plus maze. Lacosamide at a dose of 30mg/kg significantly increased the time spent with a familiar object in the object recognition test at the 24h interval and decreased the time spent in the baited arm. Moreover, at this dose, the number of errors in the radial arm maze at 3 and 24h intervals was minimized and a reduction in the level of HDAC1, but not acetylcholinesterase, was observed in the cerebral cortex. These effects of lacosamide are equivalent to those of piracetam at a dose of 300mg/kg. These results suggest that lacosamide at a 30mg/kg dose improves disrupted memory, possibly by inhibiting HDAC, and could be used to treat amnesic symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The potential role of alcohol fuels in reducing carbon dioxide emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duff, S.J.B.

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric concentrations of CO 2 have increased from 280 to 350 mg/l over the past two hundred years. One of the principal causes has been the increased reliance on combustion of fossil fuels to generate energy. Higher CO 2 levels have been historically correlated with warming of the earth. While attempts have been made to quantify and model the relationships between carbon dioxide emissions, atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, and global climate changes, the state of the current knowledge base is such that large uncertainties persist. It is precisely these uncertainties which has evoked justifiable concern among the scientific community. The use of biomass fuels such as alcohols can provide a partial solution to the problem of increasing emissions of CO 2 . Combustion of biomass fuels releases carbon previously sequestered from the atmosphere during growth. There is a cycling of carbon, with net additions to the atmosphere resulting only from losses, or the use of fossil fuels for process energy. Alcohol fuels can make their biggest impact in the transportation sector, which, in industrial nations, contributes up to 32% of CO 2 emissions. While not the complete answer, alcohol fuels can make a significant impact, and will no doubt be one factor in a multidimensional approach to reducing CO 2 emissions. 17 refs., 4 figs., 10 tabs

  14. Rust dissolution and removal by iron-reducing bacteria: A potential rehabilitation of rusted equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starosvetsky, J.; Kamari, R.; Farber, Y.; Bilanović, D.; Armon, R.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • The present study demonstrated the high reductive capacity of both strains: the collection S. oneidensis and the wild strain Geobacter spp. (soil isolate). • The experimental strains were successful in Fe 3+ reduction for both states: soluble and crystalline (originally prepared from rust). • Rust dissolution can be improved by: addition of AFC at low concentration (0.2 g/l), increasing bacterial initial inoculum and rust reactive surface. • Both experimental IRB strains were able to completely remove previously formed rust on carbon steel coupons. • Additional results (not showed) revealed that culture S. oneidensis and the environmental isolate Geobacter spp., apparently have a different mechanism of iron reduction that requires further study. - Abstract: Iron reducing bacteria (IRB), to be used in rust dissolution and removal, have been isolated and enriched from different environmental sources. Comparative measurements revealed that a soil isolate (Geobacter sulfurreducens sp.) had the highest reductive activity equivalent to Shewanella oneidensis (strain CIP 106686, pure culture). Both reductive microorganisms can use Fe 3+ ions as electron acceptors from soluble as well as from crystalline sources. In nutrient medium containing soluble Fe 3+ , the highest reductive activity obtained for G. sulfurreducens sp. and S. oneidensis was 93 and 97% respectively. Successful removal of rust from carbon steel coupons has been achieved with both experimental bacteria.

  15. Current Government Actions and Potential Policy Options for Reducing Obesity in Queensland Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naser A. Alsharairi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available School nutrition policies provide promising avenues towards the improvement of children’s eating habits and the prevention of obesity. Childhood obesity rates and related chronic diseases are increasing in Queensland, in part as a result of unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity. There is a very high investment by the Queensland government in maintaining healthy weight and promoting nutrition and physical activity among schoolchildren through delivering a range of initiatives across the state. However, there is a lack of evidence concerning the effectiveness of nutrition/physical education and parental involvement programs addressing obesity delivered in Queensland schools. This paper can be used to guide government and policy-makers regarding the most effective policy options that will promote healthy eating and physical activity among Queensland schoolchildren. The aim of this paper is to: (i summarize current evidence on Queensland government responses to obesity; and (ii discuss potential policy options that could support healthy eating and regular physical activity, and examine the evidence base for each option and suggest new areas for future research.

  16. State Sukuk Potential in Reducing Indonesia Budget Deficit, 2009-2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ima Amaliah

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to identify potential retail state sukuk as part of state bonds that are used to replace foreign debt and lower the government's budget deficit. This study is important because the government's budget deficit continues to rise each year due to the increase of foreign debt. The increase in the debt itself is closely related to exchange rate fluctuations. Therefore, it is important for the government to develop a relatively secure funding in facing exchange rate fluctuations as well as parts of interest rate. The government has developed state securities based on sharia (SBSN which can be used not only to close finance deficit but also to alternatively finance the infrastructure development. The population consists of budget deficit, retail state sukuk, corporate sukuk, and foreign debt. It uses purposive sampling to get the sample during 2009 -2015. This research uses descriptive quantitative method of secondary data published by Bank Indonesia, ministry Finance and Jakarta Islamic Index. The result shows that the proportion of retail state sukuk against sharia state securities increases over time (over 50% but the proportion of corporate sukuk numbers is still relatively small (below 25%.

  17. Elucidation of bacteria found in car interiors and strategies to reduce the presence of potential pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Rachel E.; Gutierrez, Daniel; Peters, Cindy; Nichols, Mark; Boles, Blaise R.

    2014-01-01

    The human microbiome is influenced by a number of factors, including environmental exposure to microbes. Because many humans spend a large amount of time in built environments, it can be expected that the microbial ecology of these environments will influence the human microbiome. In an attempt to further understand the microbial ecology of built environments, the microbiota of car interiors was analyzed using culture dependent and culture independent methods. While it was found that the number and type of bacteria varied widely among the cars and sites tested, Staphylococcus and Propionibacterium were nearly always the dominant genera found at the locations sampled. Because Staphylococcus is of particular concern to human health, the characteristics of this genus found in car interiors were investigated. Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, and S. warnerii were the most prevalent staphylococcal species found, and 22.6% of S. aureus strains isolated from shared community vehicles were resistant to methicillin. The reduction in the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in cars by using silver-based antimicrobial surface coatings was also evaluated. Coatings containing 5% silver ion additives were applied to steering wheels, placed in cars for five months and were found to eliminate the presence of culturable pathogenic bacteria recovered from these sites relative to controls. Together, these results provide new insight into the microbiota found in an important built environment, the automobile, and potential strategies for controlling the presence of human pathogens. PMID:24564823

  18. Isolation of potential probiotic Lactobacillus oris HMI68 from mother's milk with cholesterol-reducing property.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anandharaj, Marimuthu; Sivasankari, Balayogan

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the probiotic properties of Lactobacillus strains isolated from mother's milk and their effects on cholesterol assimilation. In this study 120 isolates from mother's milk were phenotypically and genotypically characterized. Among these, only 6 predominant strains were identified as Lactobacillus spp. The following parameters were selected as important test variables in model stomach passage survival trials: acid and bile tolerance, antimicrobial activity, antibiotic susceptibility and cholesterol reduction. Results showed that the considerable variation existed among six strains. Moreover, the strain HMI68 is the most acid-tolerant and the HMI28 and HMI74 is the most acid-sensitive of all strains tested. HMI118 did not grow at 0.5% and 1% bile concentration after 5 h but the HMI68 and HMI43 showed some tolerance to such bile concentration. The differences found in the growth rate were not significant (P > 0.05). HMI68 showed resistance to most of the antibiotics as well as antagonistic activity against the tested pathogens. The amount of cholesterol reduction is increased when the media supplemented with bile salts. HMI68 assimilate 61.05 ± 0.05 μg/ml cholesterol with the presence of 0.3% bile salt this could be significantly decreased by 25.41 ± 1.09 μg/ml without bile salt. HMI68 was identified to be Lactobacillus oris HMI68 and 16S rRNA sequence was deposited in the National Center for Biotechnological Information (GenBank). For the first time the cholesterol-reducing property of L. oris isolated from mother's milk were investigated in this study. Therefore the effective L. oris HMI68 strain was regarded as a candidate probiotic. Copyright © 2014 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Recognizing protein–protein interfaces with empirical potentials and reduced amino acid alphabets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wodak Shoshana

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In structural genomics, an important goal is the detection and classification of protein–protein interactions, given the structures of the interacting partners. We have developed empirical energy functions to identify native structures of protein–protein complexes among sets of decoy structures. To understand the role of amino acid diversity, we parameterized a series of functions, using a hierarchy of amino acid alphabets of increasing complexity, with 2, 3, 4, 6, and 20 amino acid groups. Compared to previous work, we used the simplest possible functional form, with residue–residue interactions and a stepwise distance-dependence. We used increased computational ressources, however, constructing 290,000 decoys for 219 protein–protein complexes, with a realistic docking protocol where the protein partners are flexible and interact through a molecular mechanics energy function. The energy parameters were optimized to correctly assign as many native complexes as possible. To resolve the multiple minimum problem in parameter space, over 64000 starting parameter guesses were tried for each energy function. The optimized functions were tested by cross validation on subsets of our native and decoy structures, by blind tests on series of native and decoy structures available on the Web, and on models for 13 complexes submitted to the CAPRI structure prediction experiment. Results Performance is similar to several other statistical potentials of the same complexity. For example, the CAPRI target structure is correctly ranked ahead of 90% of its decoys in 6 cases out of 13. The hierarchy of amino acid alphabets leads to a coherent hierarchy of energy functions, with qualitatively similar parameters for similar amino acid types at all levels. Most remarkably, the performance with six amino acid classes is equivalent to that of the most detailed, 20-class energy function. Conclusion This suggests that six carefully chosen amino

  20. Algal biodiesel production from power plant exhaust and its potential to replace petrodiesel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    OpenAIRE

    K. Hundt; B.V. Reddy

    2011-01-01

    The production of biofuels and other products from algae is a technology that is rapidly developing. This paper presents an overview of algae, its benefits over other biofuel sources and the technology involved in producing algal biofuel. The case study in this report looks at the potential of algal biodiesel, produced using power plant exhaust, to replace our current petrodiesel supply and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The results suggest that using 60% of all coal and gas po...

  1. Potential for reducing air-pollutants while achieving 2 °C global temperature change limit target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanaoka, Tatsuya; Akashi, Osamu; Fujiwara, Kazuya; Motoki, Yuko; Hibino, Go

    2014-12-01

    This study analyzes the potential to reduce air pollutants while achieving the 2 °C global temperature change limit target above pre-industrial levels, by using the bottom-up optimization model, AIM/Enduse[Global]. This study focuses on; 1) estimating mitigation potentials and costs for achieving 2 °C, 2.5 °C, and 3 °C target scenarios, 2) assessing co-benefits of reducing air pollutants such as NOx, SO2, BC, PM, and 3) analyzing features of sectoral attributions in Annex I and Non-Annex I groups of countries. The carbon tax scenario at 50 US$/tCO2-eq in 2050 can reduce GHG emissions more than the 3 °C target scenario, but a higher carbon price around 400 US$/tCO2-eq in 2050 is required to achieve the 2 °C target scenario. However, there is also a co-benefit of large reduction potential of air pollutants, in the range of 60-80% reductions in 2050 from the reference scenario while achieving the 2 °C target. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The Potential Role of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Programs in Reducing Teen Dating Violence and Intimate Partner Violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Inverno, Ashley Schappell; Kearns, Megan C; Reidy, Dennis E

    2016-12-01

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are growing fields that provide job stability, financial security, and health prosperity for professionals in these fields. Unfortunately, females are underrepresented in STEM, which is potentially both a consequence and precipitant of gender inequity in the United States. In addition to the financial and health benefits, increasing the number of girls and women in STEM fields may also indirectly prevent and/or reduce teen dating violence and intimate partner violence by: (1) increasing women's financial independence, thereby reducing dependence on potentially abusive partners; (2) decreasing household poverty and financial stress, which may lead to reductions in relationship discord; and (3) increasing attitudes and beliefs about women as equals, thereby increasing gender equity. In this commentary, we discuss the potential role of primary and secondary school STEM programs in reducing violence against women. We review the literature on existing evaluations of STEM programs for educational outcomes, discuss the limitations of these evaluations, and offer suggestions for future research.

  3. Total Reducing Capacity in Aquifer Minerals and Sediments: Quantifying the Potential to Attenuate Cr(VI) in Groundwater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sisman, S. Lara

    2015-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), is present in the environment as a byproduct of industrial processes. Due to its mobility and toxicity, it is crucial to attenuate or remove Cr(VI) from the environment. The objective of this investigation was to quantify potential natural attenuation, or reduction capacity, of reactive minerals and aquifer sediments. Samples of reduced-iron containing minerals such as ilmenite, as well as Puye Formation sediments representing a contaminated aquifer in New Mexico, were reacted with chromate. The change in Cr(VI) during the reaction was used to calculate reduction capacity. This study found that minerals that contain reduced iron, such as ilmenite, have high reducing capacities. The data indicated that sample history may impact reduction capacity tests due to surface passivation. Further, this investigation identified areas for future research including: a) refining the relationships between iron content, magnetic susceptibility and reduction capacity, and b) long term kinetic testing using fresh aquifer sediments.

  4. Total Reducing Capacity in Aquifer Minerals and Sediments: Quantifying the Potential to Attenuate Cr(VI) in Groundwater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sisman, S. Lara [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States); Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2015-07-20

    Hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), is present in the environment as a byproduct of industrial processes. Due to its mobility and toxicity, it is crucial to attenuate or remove Cr(VI) from the environment. The objective of this investigation was to quantify potential natural attenuation, or reduction capacity, of reactive minerals and aquifer sediments. Samples of reduced-iron containing minerals such as ilmenite, as well as Puye Formation sediments representing a contaminated aquifer in New Mexico, were reacted with chromate. The change in Cr(VI) during the reaction was used to calculate reduction capacity. This study found that minerals that contain reduced iron, such as ilmenite, have high reducing capacities. The data indicated that sample history may impact reduction capacity tests due to surface passivation. Further, this investigation identified areas for future research including: a) refining the relationships between iron content, magnetic susceptibility and reduction capacity, and b) long term kinetic testing using fresh aquifer sediments.

  5. Hypotheses and fundamental study design characteristics for evaluating potential reduced-risk tobacco products. Part I: Heuristic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murrelle, Lenn; Coggins, Christopher R E; Gennings, Chris; Carchman, Richard A; Carter, Walter H; Davies, Bruce D; Krauss, Marc R; Lee, Peter N; Schleef, Raymond R; Zedler, Barbara K; Heidbreder, Christian

    2010-06-01

    The risk-reducing effect of a potential reduced-risk tobacco product (PRRP) can be investigated conceptually in a long-term, prospective study of disease risks among cigarette smokers who switch to a PRRP and in appropriate comparison groups. Our objective was to provide guidance for establishing the fundamental design characteristics of a study intended to (1) determine if switching to a PRRP reduces the risk of lung cancer (LC) compared with continued cigarette smoking, and (2) compare, using a non-inferiority approach, the reduction in LC risk among smokers who switched to a PRRP to the reduction in risk among smokers who quit smoking entirely. Using standard statistical methods applied to published data on LC incidence after smoking cessation, we show that the sample size and duration required for a study designed to evaluate the potential for LC risk reduction for an already marketed PRRP, compared with continued smoking, varies depending on the LC risk-reducing effectiveness of the PRRP, from a 5-year study with 8000-30,000 subjects to a 15-year study with <5000 to 10,000 subjects. To assess non-inferiority to quitting, the required sample size tends to be about 10 times greater, again depending on the effectiveness of the PRRP. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Sugar and hexokinase suppress expression of PIP aquaporins and reduce leaf hydraulics that preserves leaf water potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Gilor; Sade, Nir; Doron-Faigenboim, Adi; Lerner, Stephen; Shatil-Cohen, Arava; Yeselson, Yelena; Egbaria, Aiman; Kottapalli, Jayaram; Schaffer, Arthur A; Moshelion, Menachem; Granot, David

    2017-07-01

    Sugars affect central aspects of plant physiology, including photosynthesis, stomatal behavior and the loss of water through the stomata. Yet, the potential effects of sugars on plant aquaporins (AQPs) and water conductance have not been examined. We used database and transcriptional analyses, as well as cellular and whole-plant functional techniques to examine the link between sugar-related genes and AQPs. Database analyses revealed a high level of correlation between the expression of AQPs and that of sugar-related genes, including the Arabidopsis hexokinases 1 (AtHXK1). Increased expression of AtHXK1, as well as the addition of its primary substrate, glucose (Glc), repressed the expression of 10 AQPs from the plasma membrane-intrinsic proteins (PIP) subfamily (PIP-AQPs) and induced the expression of two stress-related PIP-AQPs. The osmotic water permeability of mesophyll protoplasts of AtHXK1-expressing plants and the leaf hydraulic conductance of those plants were significantly reduced, in line with the decreased expression of PIP-AQPs. Conversely, hxk1 mutants demonstrated a higher level of hydraulic conductance, with increased water potential in their leaves. In addition, the presence of Glc reduced leaf water potential, as compared with an osmotic control, indicating that Glc reduces the movement of water from the xylem into the mesophyll. The production of sugars entails a significant loss of water and these results suggest that sugars and AtHXK1 affect the expression of AQP genes and reduce leaf water conductance, to coordinate sugar levels with the loss of water through transpiration. © 2017 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Reducing intratumour acute hypoxia through bevacizumab treatment, referring to the response of quiescent tumour cells and metastatic potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masunaga, S; Liu, Y; Tanaka, H; Sakurai, Y; Suzuki, M; Kondo, N; Maruhashi, A; Ono, K

    2011-01-01

    Objectives The aim was to evaluate the influence of bevacizumab on intratumour oxygenation status and lung metastasis following radiotherapy, with specific reference to the response of quiescent (Q) cell populations within irradiated tumours. Methods B16-BL6 melanoma tumour-bearing C57BL/6 mice were continuously given 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label all proliferating (P) cells. They received γ-ray irradiation following treatment with the acute hypoxia-releasing agent nicotinamide or local mild temperature hyperthermia (MTH) with or without the administration of bevacizumab under aerobic conditions or totally hypoxic conditions, achieved by clamping the proximal end of the tumours. Immediately after the irradiation, cells from some tumours were isolated and incubated with a cytokinesis blocker. The responses of the Q and total (P + Q) cell populations were assessed based on the frequency of micronuclei using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU. In the other tumour-bearing mice, macroscopic lung metastases were enumerated 17 days after irradiation. Results 3 days after bevacizumab administration, acute hypoxia-rich total cell population in the tumour showed a remarkably enhanced radiosensitivity to γ-rays, and the hypoxic fraction (HF) was reduced, even after MTH treatment. However, the hypoxic fraction was not reduced after nicotinamide treatment. With or without γ-ray irradiation, bevacizumab administration showed some potential to reduce the number of lung metastases as well as nicotinamide treatment. Conclusion Bevacizumab has the potential to reduce perfusion-limited acute hypoxia and some potential to cause a decrease in the number of lung metastases as well as nicotinamide. PMID:21586505

  8. Acute stress reduces wound-induced activation of microbicidal potential of ex vivo isolated human monocyte-derived macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Kuebler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Psychological stress delays wound healing but the precise underlying mechanisms are unclear. Macrophages play an important role in wound healing, in particular by killing microbes. We hypothesized that (a acute psychological stress reduces wound-induced activation of microbicidal potential of human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM, and (b that these reductions are modulated by stress hormone release. METHODS: Fourty-one healthy men (mean age 35 ± 13 years were randomly assigned to either a stress or stress-control group. While the stress group underwent a standardized short-term psychological stress task after catheter-induced wound infliction, stress-controls did not. Catheter insertion was controlled. Assessing the microbicidal potential, we investigated PMA-activated superoxide anion production by HMDM immediately before and 1, 10 and 60 min after stress/rest. Moreover, plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine and salivary cortisol were repeatedly measured. In subsequent in vitro studies, whole blood was incubated with norepinephrine in the presence or absence of phentolamine (norepinephrine blocker before assessing HMDM microbicidal potential. RESULTS: Compared with stress-controls, HMDM of the stressed subjects displayed decreased superoxide anion-responses after stress (p's <.05. Higher plasma norepinephrine levels statistically mediated lower amounts of superoxide anion-responses (indirect effect 95% CI: 4.14-44.72. Norepinephrine-treated HMDM showed reduced superoxide anion-production (p<.001. This effect was blocked by prior incubation with phentolamine. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that acute psychological stress reduces wound-induced activation of microbicidal potential of HMDM and that this reduction is mediated by norepinephrine. This might have implications for stress-induced impairment in wound healing.

  9. Addiction Potential of Cigarettes With Reduced Nicotine Content in Populations With Psychiatric Disorders and Other Vulnerabilities to Tobacco Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Stephen T; Heil, Sarah H; Sigmon, Stacey C; Tidey, Jennifer W; Gaalema, Diann E; Hughes, John R; Stitzer, Maxine L; Durand, Hanna; Bunn, Janice Y; Priest, Jeff S; Arger, Christopher A; Miller, Mollie E; Bergeria, Cecilia L; Davis, Danielle R; Streck, Joanna M; Reed, Derek D; Skelly, Joan M; Tursi, Lauren

    2017-10-01

    A national policy is under consideration to reduce the nicotine content of cigarettes to lower nicotine addiction potential in the United States. To examine how smokers with psychiatric disorders and other vulnerabilities to tobacco addiction respond to cigarettes with reduced nicotine content. A multisite, double-blind, within-participant assessment of acute response to research cigarettes with nicotine content ranging from levels below a hypothesized addiction threshold to those representative of commercial cigarettes (0.4, 2.3, 5.2, and 15.8 mg/g of tobacco) at 3 academic sites included 169 daily smokers from the following 3 vulnerable populations: individuals with affective disorders (n = 56) or opioid dependence (n = 60) and socioeconomically disadvantaged women (n = 53). Data were collected from March 23, 2015, through April 25, 2016. After a brief smoking abstinence, participants were exposed to the cigarettes with varying nicotine doses across fourteen 2- to 4-hour outpatient sessions. Addiction potential of the cigarettes was assessed using concurrent choice testing, the Cigarette Purchase Task (CPT), and validated measures of subjective effects, such as the Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Scale. Among the 169 daily smokers included in the analysis (120 women [71.0%] and 49 men [29.0%]; mean [SD] age, 35.6 [11.4] years), reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes decreased the relative reinforcing effects of smoking in all 3 populations. Across populations, the 0.4-mg/g dose was chosen significantly less than the 15.8-mg/g dose in concurrent choice testing (mean [SEM] 30% [0.04%] vs 70% [0.04%]; Cohen d = 0.40; P vulnerable to tobacco addiction. Smokers with psychiatric conditions and socioeconomic disadvantage are more addicted and less likely to quit and experience greater adverse health impacts. Policies to reduce these disparities are needed; reducing the nicotine content in cigarettes should be a policy focus.

  10. Loud preimpact tones reduce the cervical multifidus muscle response during rear-end collisions: a potential method for reducing whiplash injuries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mang, Daniel W H; Siegmund, Gunter P; Brown, Harrison J; Goonetilleke, Samanthi C; Blouin, Jean-Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Neck muscle responses after unexpected rear-end collisions consist of a stereotypical combination of postural and startle responses. Prior work using surface electromyography (EMG) has shown that the superficial neck muscle responses can be attenuated when a loud tone (105 dB) is presented 250 milliseconds before impact, but the accompanying response of the deeper multifidus muscles remains unknown. Quantifying this response in multifidus is important because this muscle attaches directly to the cervical facet capsule and can potentially increase the strain in the capsule during an impact and contribute to whiplash injury. To investigate if a loud preimpact tone decreases the cervical multifidus muscle response during rear-end perturbations. After approval by the University Clinical Ethics Review Board, human volunteers experienced a series of three whiplash-like perturbations. Twelve subjects with no history of neurologic disorders or whiplash injury were recruited to participate in this experiment. Bilateral indwelling EMG of multifidus at the C4 and C6 levels, surface EMG of sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and C4 paraspinals (PARAs), and kinematics of the head/neck were measured. Subjects experienced three whiplash-like perturbations (peak acceleration of 19.5 m/s(2)) preceded by either no tone or a loud tone (105 dB) presented 250 milliseconds before sled acceleration onset. The loud tone decreased the muscle activity of C6 multifidus (42%) and C4 PARAs (30%), but did not affect the C4 multifidus or SCM activity. Peak head kinematic responses (extension angle: 6%, retraction: 9%, linear forward acceleration: 9%, and angular acceleration in extension: 13%) were also decreased by the loud preimpact tone. The attenuation of peak C6 multifidus activity and head kinematic responses suggests that a loud preimpact tone may reduce the strain in the cervical facet capsule, which may reduce the risk of whiplash injury during rear-end collisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc

  11. Oxidation of naturally reduced uranium in aquifer sediments by dissolved oxygen and its potential significance to uranium plume persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, J. A.; Smith, R. L.; Bohlke, J. K.; Jemison, N.; Xiang, H.; Repert, D. A.; Yuan, X.; Williams, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The occurrence of naturally reduced zones is common in alluvial aquifers in the western U.S.A. due to the burial of woody debris in flood plains. Such reduced zones are usually heterogeneously dispersed in these aquifers and characterized by high concentrations of organic carbon, reduced mineral phases, and reduced forms of metals, including uranium(IV). The persistence of high concentrations of dissolved uranium(VI) at uranium-contaminated aquifers on the Colorado Plateau has been attributed to slow oxidation of insoluble uranium(IV) mineral phases found in association with these reducing zones, although there is little understanding of the relative importance of various potential oxidants. Four field experiments were conducted within an alluvial aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River near Rifle, CO, wherein groundwater associated with the naturally reduced zones was pumped into a gas-impermeable tank, mixed with a conservative tracer (Br-), bubbled with a gas phase composed of 97% O2 and 3% CO2, and then returned to the subsurface in the same well from which it was withdrawn. Within minutes of re-injection of the oxygenated groundwater, dissolved uranium(VI) concentrations increased from less than 1 μM to greater than 2.5 μM, demonstrating that oxygen can be an important oxidant for uranium in such field systems if supplied to the naturally reduced zones. Dissolved Fe(II) concentrations decreased to the detection limit, but increases in sulfate could not be detected due to high background concentrations. Changes in nitrogen species concentrations were variable. The results contrast with other laboratory and field results in which oxygen was introduced to systems containing high concentrations of mackinawite (FeS), rather than the more crystalline iron sulfides found in aged, naturally reduced zones. The flux of oxygen to the naturally reduced zones in the alluvial aquifers occurs mainly through interactions between groundwater and gas phases at the water table

  12. Good practices for quantitative bias analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lash, Timothy L; Fox, Matthew P; MacLehose, Richard F; Maldonado, George; McCandless, Lawrence C; Greenland, Sander

    2014-12-01

    more widespread use of bias analysis to estimate the potential magnitude and direction of biases, as well as the uncertainty in estimates potentially influenced by the biases. © The Author 2014; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.

  13. Interwell Radiative Recombination in the Presence of Random Potential Fluctuations in GaAs/AlGaAs Biased Double Quantum Wells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Timofeev, V.B.; Larionov, A.V.; Ioselevich, A.S.

    1999-01-01

    The interwell luminescence (PL) of spatially separated e-h pairs exhibits systematic narrowing with temperature increase which are explained in terms of lateral thermo-activated tunneling of e-h pairs localized by random potential fluctuations (RPF). At critical temperatures the quasi-equilibrium......The interwell luminescence (PL) of spatially separated e-h pairs exhibits systematic narrowing with temperature increase which are explained in terms of lateral thermo-activated tunneling of e-h pairs localized by random potential fluctuations (RPF). At critical temperatures the quasi......-equilibrium of carriers, undergoes an abrupt transition. This occurs with significant redistribution of the electrical field inside the structure and give rise to a low frequency noice appearing in the luminescence. Below critical temperature the new steady state results in the accumulation of 2DEG in one of the well....

  14. Biochar amendment reduces paddy soil nitrogen leaching but increases net global warming potential in Ningxia irrigation, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongsheng; Liu, Yansui; Liu, Ruliang; Zhang, Aiping; Yang, Shiqi; Liu, Hongyuan; Zhou, Yang; Yang, Zhengli

    2017-05-09

    The efficacy of biochar as an environmentally friendly agent for non-point source and climate change mitigation remains uncertain. Our goal was to test the impact of biochar amendment on paddy rice nitrogen (N) uptake, soil N leaching, and soil CH 4 and N 2 O fluxes in northwest China. Biochar was applied at four rates (0, 4.5, 9 and13.5 t ha -1 yr -1 ). Biochar amendment significantly increased rice N uptake, soil total N concentration and the abundance of soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), but it significantly reduced the soil NO 3 - -N concentration and soil bulk density. Biochar significantly reduced NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N leaching. The C2 and C3 treatments significantly increased the soil CH 4 flux and reduced the soil N 2 O flux, leading to significantly increased net global warming potential (GWP). Soil NO 3 - -N rather than NH 4 + -N was the key integrator of the soil CH 4 and N 2 O fluxes. Our results indicate that a shift in abundance of the AOA community and increased rice N uptake are closely linked to the reduced soil NO 3 - -N concentration under biochar amendment. Furthermore, soil NO 3 - -N availability plays an important role in regulating soil inorganic N leaching and net GWP in rice paddies in northwest China.

  15. Dissolution of arsenic minerals mediated by dissimilatory arsenate reducing bacteria: estimation of the physiological potential for arsenic mobilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasz, Drewniak; Liwia, Rajpert; Aleksandra, Mantur; Aleksandra, Sklodowska

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was characterization of the isolated dissimilatory arsenate reducing bacteria in the context of their potential for arsenic removal from primary arsenic minerals through reductive dissolution. Four strains, Shewanella sp. OM1, Pseudomonas sp. OM2, Aeromonas sp. OM4, and Serratia sp. OM17, capable of anaerobic growth with As (V) reduction, were isolated from microbial mats from an ancient gold mine. All of the isolated strains: (i) produced siderophores that promote dissolution of minerals, (ii) were resistant to dissolved arsenic compounds, (iii) were able to use the dissolved arsenates as the terminal electron acceptor, and (iii) were able to use copper minerals containing arsenic minerals (e.g., enargite) as a respiratory substrate. Based on the results obtained in this study, we postulate that arsenic can be released from some As-bearing polymetallic minerals (such as copper ore concentrates or middlings) under reductive conditions by dissimilatory arsenate reducers in indirect processes.

  16. Dissolution of Arsenic Minerals Mediated by Dissimilatory Arsenate Reducing Bacteria: Estimation of the Physiological Potential for Arsenic Mobilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drewniak Lukasz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was characterization of the isolated dissimilatory arsenate reducing bacteria in the context of their potential for arsenic removal from primary arsenic minerals through reductive dissolution. Four strains, Shewanella sp. OM1, Pseudomonas sp. OM2, Aeromonas sp. OM4, and Serratia sp. OM17, capable of anaerobic growth with As (V reduction, were isolated from microbial mats from an ancient gold mine. All of the isolated strains: (i produced siderophores that promote dissolution of minerals, (ii were resistant to dissolved arsenic compounds, (iii were able to use the dissolved arsenates as the terminal electron acceptor, and (iii were able to use copper minerals containing arsenic minerals (e.g., enargite as a respiratory substrate. Based on the results obtained in this study, we postulate that arsenic can be released from some As-bearing polymetallic minerals (such as copper ore concentrates or middlings under reductive conditions by dissimilatory arsenate reducers in indirect processes.

  17. Rotational excitation of H2O by para-H2 from an adiabatically reduced dimensional potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scribano, Yohann; Faure, Alexandre; Lauvergnat, David

    2012-03-07

    Cross sections and rate coefficients for low lying rotational transitions in H(2)O colliding with para-hydrogen pH(2) are computed using an adiabatic approximation which reduces the dimensional dynamics from a 5D to a 3D problem. Calculations have been performed at the close-coupling level using the recent potential of Valiron et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 129, 134306 (2008)]. A good agreement is found between the reduced adiabatic calculations and the 5D exact calculations, with an impressive time saving and memory gain. This adiabatic reduction of dimensionality seems very promising for scattering studies involving the excitation of a heavy target molecule by a light molecular projectile. © 2012 American Institute of Physics

  18. Bias-limited extraction of cosmological parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shimon, Meir; Itzhaki, Nissan; Rephaeli, Yoel, E-mail: meirs@wise.tau.ac.il, E-mail: nitzhaki@post.tau.ac.il, E-mail: yoelr@wise.tau.ac.il [School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel)

    2013-03-01

    It is known that modeling uncertainties and astrophysical foregrounds can potentially introduce appreciable bias in the deduced values of cosmological parameters. While it is commonly assumed that these uncertainties will be accounted for to a sufficient level of precision, the level of bias has not been properly quantified in most cases of interest. We show that the requirement that the bias in derived values of cosmological parameters does not surpass nominal statistical error, translates into a maximal level of overall error O(N{sup −½}) on |ΔP(k)|/P(k) and |ΔC{sub l}|/C{sub l}, where P(k), C{sub l}, and N are the matter power spectrum, angular power spectrum, and number of (independent Fourier) modes at a given scale l or k probed by the cosmological survey, respectively. This required level has important consequences on the precision with which cosmological parameters are hoped to be determined by future surveys: in virtually all ongoing and near future surveys N typically falls in the range 10{sup 6}−10{sup 9}, implying that the required overall theoretical modeling and numerical precision is already very high. Future redshifted-21-cm observations, projected to sample ∼ 10{sup 14} modes, will require knowledge of the matter power spectrum to a fantastic 10{sup −7} precision level. We conclude that realizing the expected potential of future cosmological surveys, which aim at detecting 10{sup 6}−10{sup 14} modes, sets the formidable challenge of reducing the overall level of uncertainty to 10{sup −3}−10{sup −7}.

  19. CPI Bias in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chul Chung

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available We estimate the CPI bias in Korea by employing the approach of Engel’s Law as suggested by Hamilton (2001. This paper is the first attempt to estimate the bias using Korean panel data, Korean Labor and Income Panel Study(KLIPS. Following Hamilton’s model with non­linear specification correction, our estimation result shows that the cumulative CPI bias over the sample period (2000-2005 was 0.7 percent annually. This CPI bias implies that about 21 percent of the inflation rate during the period can be attributed to the bias. In light of purchasing power parity, we provide an interpretation of the estimated bias.

  20. Long Term Sugarcane Crop Residue Retention Offers Limited Potential to Reduce Nitrogen Fertilizer Rates in Australian Wet Tropical Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Elizabeth A; Thorburn, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    The warming of world climate systems is driving interest in the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the agricultural sector, practices that mitigate GHG emissions include those that (1) reduce emissions [e.g., those that reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions by avoiding excess nitrogen (N) fertilizer application], and (2) increase soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks (e.g., by retaining instead of burning crop residues). Sugarcane is a globally important crop that can have substantial inputs of N fertilizer and which produces large amounts of crop residues ('trash'). Management of N fertilizer and trash affects soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, and hence GHG emissions. Trash has historically been burned at harvest, but increasingly is being retained on the soil surface as a 'trash blanket' in many countries. The potential for trash retention to alter N fertilizer requirements and sequester SOC was investigated in this study. The APSIM model was calibrated with data from field and laboratory studies of trash decomposition in the wet tropics of northern Australia. APSIM was then validated against four independent data sets, before simulating location × soil × fertilizer × trash management scenarios. Soil carbon increased in trash blanketed soils relative to SOC in soils with burnt trash. However, further increases in SOC for the study region may be limited because the SOC in trash blanketed soils could be approaching equilibrium; future GHG mitigation efforts in this region should therefore focus on N fertilizer management. Simulated N fertilizer rates were able to be reduced from conventional rates regardless of trash management, because of low yield potential in the wet tropics. For crops subjected to continuous trash blanketing, there was substantial immobilization of N in decomposing trash so conventional N fertilizer rates were required for up to 24 years after trash blanketing commenced. After this period, there was potential to reduce N fertilizer

  1. Long term sugarcane crop residue retention offers limited potential to reduce nitrogen fertilizer rates in Australian wet tropical environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Anne Meier

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The warming of world climate systems is driving interest in the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. In the agricultural sector, practices that mitigate GHG emissions include those that (1 reduce emissions (e.g. those that reduce nitrous oxide (N2O emissions by avoiding excess nitrogen (N fertilizer application, and (2 increase soil organic carbon (SOC stocks (e.g. by retaining instead of burning crop residues. Sugarcane is a globally important crop that can have substantial inputs of N fertilizer and which produces large amounts of crop residues (‘trash’. Management of N fertilizer and trash affects soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, and hence GHG emissions. Trash has historically been burned at harvest, but increasingly is being retained on the soil surface as a ‘trash blanket’ in many countries. The potential for trash retention to alter N fertilizer requirements and sequester SOC was investigated in this study. The APSIM model was calibrated with data from field and laboratory studies of trash decomposition in the wet tropics of northern Australia. APSIM was then validated against four independent data sets, before simulating location  soil  fertilizer  trash management scenarios. Soil carbon increased in trash blanketed soils relative to SOC in soils with burnt trash. However, further increases in SOC for the study region may be limited because the SOC in trash blanketed soils could be approaching equilibrium; future GHG mitigation efforts in this region should therefore focus on N fertilizer management. Simulated N fertilizer rates were able to be reduced from conventional rates regardless of trash management, because of low yield potential in the wet tropics. For crops subjected to continuous trash blanketing, there was substantial immobilization of N in decomposing trash so conventional N fertilizer rates were required for up to 24 yr after trash blanketing commenced. After this period, there was potential to

  2. Characterization of cadmium-resistant bacteria and their potential for reducing accumulation of cadmium in rice grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Xiaoyan; Mou, Renxiang; Cao, Zhaoyun; Xu, Ping; Wu, Xiaoliang; Zhu, Zhiwei; Chen, Mingxue

    2016-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd) pollution is a serious widespread environmental problem that not only destroys the microbial ecology of soil and decreases crop production, but also poses a serious risk to human health. Many methods have been used for the remediation of Cd pollution but none of these is totally satisfactory. Microbial remediation strategies have attracted increasing interest since they are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. In the present study, three Cd-resistant bacteria were isolated and evaluated for potential application in Cd bioremediation. Based on their morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics, together with 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, bacteria were identified as Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila (2#), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9#) and Delftia tsuruhatensis (12#). Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed very high tolerance to metals, especially Cd (2200 mg/L), Zn (1800 mg/L) and Pb (1200 mg/L), and is thought to be a multi-metal-resistant bacterium. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also sensitive to 13 different antibiotics. The effects of the bacterial strains on the growth of rice plants and their ability to reduce Cd accumulation from Cd-contaminated soils in pot experiments were also evaluated. For Oryza sativa L. A grown in contaminated soil (3 mg/kg Cd), the accumulation of Cd was decreased by 31.2 and 25.5% in brown rice and polished rice, respectively, by strain 9#; Pseudomonas aeruginosa was more effective in reducing Cd accumulation in rice grains than a mixture of strains. For Oryza sativa L. B, a mixture of strains acting synergistically was more effective than a single strain in reducing Cd accumulation; treatment with mixed strains (strains + 3 mg/kg Cd) resulted in 41.3, 35.9, and 32.6% reductions in Cd accumulation in unhulled rice, brown rice and polished rice, respectively. Although different results were obtained for two rice varieties, it can still be concluded that Cd-resistant bacteria are suitable for reducing Cd

  3. Characterization of cadmium-resistant bacteria and their potential for reducing accumulation of cadmium in rice grains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Xiaoyan; Mou, Renxiang; Cao, Zhaoyun; Xu, Ping; Wu, Xiaoliang; Zhu, Zhiwei; Chen, Mingxue, E-mail: cmingxue@126.com

    2016-11-01

    Cadmium (Cd) pollution is a serious widespread environmental problem that not only destroys the microbial ecology of soil and decreases crop production, but also poses a serious risk to human health. Many methods have been used for the remediation of Cd pollution but none of these is totally satisfactory. Microbial remediation strategies have attracted increasing interest since they are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. In the present study, three Cd-resistant bacteria were isolated and evaluated for potential application in Cd bioremediation. Based on their morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics, together with 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, bacteria were identified as Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila (2#), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9#) and Delftia tsuruhatensis (12#). Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed very high tolerance to metals, especially Cd (2200 mg/L), Zn (1800 mg/L) and Pb (1200 mg/L), and is thought to be a multi-metal-resistant bacterium. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also sensitive to 13 different antibiotics. The effects of the bacterial strains on the growth of rice plants and their ability to reduce Cd accumulation from Cd-contaminated soils in pot experiments were also evaluated. For Oryza sativa L. A grown in contaminated soil (3 mg/kg Cd), the accumulation of Cd was decreased by 31.2 and 25.5% in brown rice and polished rice, respectively, by strain 9#; Pseudomonas aeruginosa was more effective in reducing Cd accumulation in rice grains than a mixture of strains. For Oryza sativa L. B, a mixture of strains acting synergistically was more effective than a single strain in reducing Cd accumulation; treatment with mixed strains (strains + 3 mg/kg Cd) resulted in 41.3, 35.9, and 32.6% reductions in Cd accumulation in unhulled rice, brown rice and polished rice, respectively. Although different results were obtained for two rice varieties, it can still be concluded that Cd-resistant bacteria are suitable for reducing Cd

  4. California scrub-jays reduce visual cues available to potential pilferers by matching food colour to caching substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Laura A; Clayton, Nicola S

    2017-07-01

    Some animals hide food to consume later; however, these caches are susceptible to theft by conspecifics and heterospecifics. Caching animals can use protective strategies to minimize sensory cues available to potential pilferers, such as caching in shaded areas and in quiet substrate. Background matching (where object patterning matches the visual background) is commonly seen in prey animals to reduce conspicuousness, and caching animals may also use this tactic to hide caches, for example, by hiding coloured food in a similar coloured substrate. We tested whether California scrub-jays ( Aphelocoma californica ) camouflage their food in this way by offering them caching substrates that either matched or did not match the colour of food available for caching. We also determined whether this caching behaviour was sensitive to social context by allowing the birds to cache when a conspecific potential pilferer could be both heard and seen (acoustic and visual cues present), or unseen (acoustic cues only). When caching events could be both heard and seen by a potential pilferer, birds cached randomly in matching and non-matching substrates. However, they preferentially hid food in the substrate that matched the food colour when only acoustic cues were present. This is a novel cache protection strategy that also appears to be sensitive to social context. We conclude that studies of cache protection strategies should consider the perceptual capabilities of the cacher and potential pilferers. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Impact of the Z potential technique on reducing the sperm DNA fragmentation index, fertilization rate and embryo development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Carlos; Núñez, Víctor; Wong, Yat; Vivar, Carlos; Benites, Elder; Rodriguez, Urso; Vergara, Carlos; Ponce, Jorge

    2017-12-01

    In assisted reproduction procedures, we need to develop and enhance new protocols to optimize sperm selection. The aim of this study is to evaluate the ability of the Z potential technique to select sperm with intact DNA in non-normospermic patients and evaluate the impact of this selection on embryonic development. We analyzed a total of 174 human seminal samples with at least one altered parameter. We measured basal, post density gradients, and post density gradients + Z potential DNA fragmentation index. To evaluate the impact of this technique on embryo development, 54 cases were selected. The embryo development parameters evaluated were fertilization rate, cleavage rate, top quality embryos at the third day and blastocysts rate. We found significant differences in the study groups when we compared the sperm fragmentation index by adding the Z potential technique to density gradient selection vs. density gradients alone. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the embryo development parameters between the low sperm fragmentation index group vs. the moderate and high sperm fragmentation index groups, when selecting sperms with this new technique. The Z potential technique is a very useful tool for sperm selection; it significantly reduces the DNA fragmentation index and improves the parameters of embryo development. This technique could be considered routine for its simplicity and low cost.

  6. Simulation-Based Analysis of the Potential of Alternative Fuels towards Reducing CO2 Emissions from Aviation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karsten Kieckhäfer

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The mid-term framework of global aviation is shaped by air travel demand growth rates of 2–5% p.a. and ambitious targets to reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions by up to 50% until 2050. Alternative jet fuels such as bio- or electrofuels can be considered as a potential means towards low-emission aviation. While these fuels offer significant emission reduction potential, their market success depends on manifold influencing factors like the maturity of the production technology or the development of the price of conventional jet fuel. To study the potential for adoption of alternative jet fuels in aviation and the extent to which alternative fuels can contribute to the reduction targets, we deploy a System Dynamics approach. The results indicate that the adoption of alternative fuels and therefore their potential towards low-emissions aviation is rather limited in most scenarios considered since current production processes do not allow for competitive prices compared to conventional jet fuel. This calls for the development of new production processes that allow for economic feasibility of converting biomass or hydrogen into drop-in fuels as well as political measures to promote the adoption of alternative fuels.

  7. Exogenous S1P Exposure Potentiates Ischemic Stroke Damage That Is Reduced Possibly by Inhibiting S1P Receptor Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Eunjung; Han, Jeong Eun; Jeon, Sejin; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Choi, Ji Woong; Chun, Jerold

    2015-01-01

    Initial and recurrent stroke produces central nervous system (CNS) damage, involving neuroinflammation. Receptor-mediated S1P signaling can influence neuroinflammation and has been implicated in cerebral ischemia through effects on the immune system. However, S1P-mediated events also occur within the brain itself where its roles during stroke have been less well studied. Here we investigated the involvement of S1P signaling in initial and recurrent stroke by using a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion (M/R) model combined with analyses of S1P signaling. Gene expression for S1P receptors and involved enzymes was altered during M/R, supporting changes in S1P signaling. Direct S1P microinjection into the normal CNS induced neuroglial activation, implicating S1P-initiated neuroinflammatory responses that resembled CNS changes seen during initial M/R challenge. Moreover, S1P microinjection combined with M/R potentiated brain damage, approximating a model for recurrent stroke dependent on S1P and suggesting that reduction in S1P signaling could ameliorate stroke damage. Delivery of FTY720 that removes S1P signaling with chronic exposure reduced damage in both initial and S1P-potentiated M/R-challenged brain, while reducing stroke markers like TNF-α. These results implicate direct S1P CNS signaling in the etiology of initial and recurrent stroke that can be therapeutically accessed by S1P modulators acting within the brain.

  8. Exploring the potential of a conditional cash transfer intervention to reduce HIV risk among young women in Iringa, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Caitlin E; Brahmbhatt, Heena; Likindikoki, Samuel; Beckham, Sarah W; Mbwambo, Jessie K; Kerrigan, Deanna

    2014-01-01

    Cash transfer programs seek to alter structural determinants of HIV risk such as poverty and gender inequality. We sought to explore the feasibility and potential effectiveness of a cash transfer intervention for young women as part of combination HIV prevention in Iringa, Tanzania. Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with 116 stakeholders and residents from the region, including key informants, service delivery users, and members of key populations. Most respondents felt a cash transfer program would assist young women in Iringa to have more control over sexual decision-making and reduce poverty-driven transactional sex. Respondents were divided on who should receive funds: young women themselves, their parents/guardians, or community leaders. Cash amounts and suggested target groups varied, and several respondents suggested providing microcredit or small business capital instead of cash. Potential concerns included jealousy, dependency, and corruption. However, most respondents felt that some intervention was needed to address underlying poverty driving some sexual risk behavior. A cash transfer program could fill this role, ultimately reducing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. As increased attention is given to economic and structural interventions for HIV prevention, local input and knowledge should be considered in a program design.

  9. Generation of future potential scenarios in an Alpine Catchment by applying bias-correction techniques, delta-change approaches and stochastic Weather Generators at different spatial scale. Analysis of their influence on basic and drought statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collados-Lara, Antonio-Juan; Pulido-Velazquez, David; Pardo-Iguzquiza, Eulogio

    2017-04-01

    Assessing impacts of potential future climate change scenarios in precipitation and temperature is essential to design adaptive strategies in water resources systems. The objective of this work is to analyze the possibilities of different statistical downscaling methods to generate future potential scenarios in an Alpine Catchment from historical data and the available climate models simulations performed in the frame of the CORDEX EU project. The initial information employed to define these downscaling approaches are the historical climatic data (taken from the Spain02 project for the period 1971-2000 with a spatial resolution of 12.5 Km) and the future series provided by climatic models in the horizon period 2071-2100 . We have used information coming from nine climate model simulations (obtained from five different Regional climate models (RCM) nested to four different Global Climate Models (GCM)) from the European CORDEX project. In our application we have focused on the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 emissions scenario, which is the most unfavorable scenario considered in the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For each RCM we have generated future climate series for the period 2071-2100 by applying two different approaches, bias correction and delta change, and five different transformation techniques (first moment correction, first and second moment correction, regression functions, quantile mapping using distribution derived transformation and quantile mapping using empirical quantiles) for both of them. Ensembles of the obtained series were proposed to obtain more representative potential future climate scenarios to be employed to study potential impacts. In this work we propose a non-equifeaseble combination of the future series giving more weight to those coming from models (delta change approaches) or combination of models and techniques that provides better approximation to the basic

  10. Biases in Drosophila melanogaster protein trap screens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Ilka

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to localise or follow endogenous proteins in real time in vivo is of tremendous utility for cell biology or systems biology studies. Protein trap screens utilise the random genomic insertion of a transposon-borne artificial reporter exon (e.g. encoding the green fluorescent protein, GFP into an intron of an endogenous gene to generate a fluorescent fusion protein. Despite recent efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive coverage of the genes encoded in the Drosophila genome, the repertoire of genes that yield protein traps is still small. Results We analysed the collection of available protein trap lines in Drosophila melanogaster and identified potential biases that are likely to restrict genome coverage in protein trap screens. The protein trap screens investigated here primarily used P-element vectors and thus exhibit some of the same positional biases associated with this transposon that are evident from the comprehensive Drosophila Gene Disruption Project. We further found that protein trap target genes usually exhibit broad and persistent expression during embryonic development, which is likely to facilitate better detection. In addition, we investigated the likely influence of the GFP exon on host protein structure and found that protein trap insertions have a significant bias for exon-exon boundaries that encode disordered protein regions. 38.8% of GFP insertions land in disordered protein regions compared with only 23.4% in the case of non-trapping P-element insertions landing in coding sequence introns (p -4. Interestingly, even in cases where protein domains are predicted, protein trap insertions frequently occur in regions encoding surface exposed areas that are likely to be functionally neutral. Considering the various biases observed, we predict that less than one third of intron-containing genes are likely to be amenable to trapping by the existing methods. Conclusion Our analyses suggest that the

  11. The Potential of Integrating Provitamin A-Biofortified Maize in Smallholder Farming Systems to Reduce Malnourishment in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mthokozisi K. Zuma

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Biofortification interventions have the potential to combat malnutrition. This review explored the use of provitamin A-biofortified maize (PVABM as a vitamin A deficiency (VAD reduction agricultural-based strategy. Maize has been identified as one of the key staple crops for biofortification to reduce hidden hunger in Africa. Most nutrition interventions have not been successful in reducing hunger because rural communities, who mainly rely on agriculture, have been indirectly excluded. The biofortification intervention proposed here aims to be an inclusive strategy, based on smallholder farming systems. Vitamin A is a micronutrient essential for growth, immune function, reproduction and vision, and its deficiency results in VAD. VAD is estimated to affect more than 250 million children in developing countries. In Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food for rural communities, consumed by most household members. Due to carotenoids, PVABM presents an orange color. This color has been reported to lead to negative perceptions about PVABM varieties. The perceived agronomic traits of this maize by smallholder farmers have not been explored. Adoption and utilization of PVABM varieties relies on both acceptable consumer attributes and agronomic traits, including nutritional value. It is therefore important to assess farmers’ perceptions of and willingness to adopt the varieties, and the potential markets for PVABM maize. It is essential to establish on-farm trials and experiments to evaluate the response of PVABM under different climatic conditions, fertilizer levels and soils, and its overall agronomic potential. For the better integration of PVABM with smallholder farming systems, farmer training and workshops about PVABM should be part of any intervention. A holistic approach would enhance farmers’ knowledge about PVABM varieties and that their benefits out-compete other existing maize varieties.

  12. Sampler bias -- Phase 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanchard, R.J.

    1995-01-01

    This documents Phase 1 determinations on sampler induced bias for four sampler types used in tank characterization. Each sampler, grab sampler or bottle-on-a-string, auger sampler, sludge sampler and universal sampler, is briefly discussed and their physical limits noted. Phase 2 of this document will define additional testing and analysis to further define Sampler Bias

  13. Photovoltaic Bias Generator

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-01

    Department of the Army position unless so designated by other authorized documents. Citation of manufacturer’s or trade names does not constitute an... Interior view of the photovoltaic bias generator showing wrapped-wire side of circuit board...3 Fig. 4 Interior view of the photovoltaic bias generator showing component side of circuit board

  14. Biases in categorization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das-Smaal, E.A.

    1990-01-01

    On what grounds can we conclude that an act of categorization is biased? In this chapter, it is contended that in the absence of objective norms of what categories actually are, biases in categorization can only be specified in relation to theoretical understandings of categorization. Therefore, the

  15. Characterization of cadmium-resistant bacteria and their potential for reducing accumulation of cadmium in rice grains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiaoyan; Mou, Renxiang; Cao, Zhaoyun; Xu, Ping; Wu, Xiaoliang; Zhu, Zhiwei; Chen, Mingxue

    2016-11-01

    Cadmium (Cd) pollution is a serious widespread environmental problem that not only destroys the microbial ecology of soil and decreases crop production, but also poses a serious risk to human health. Many methods have been used for the remediation of Cd pollution but none of these is totally satisfactory. Microbial remediation strategies have attracted increasing interest since they are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. In the present study, three Cd-resistant bacteria were isolated and evaluated for potential application in Cd bioremediation. Based on their morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics, together with 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, bacteria were identified as Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila (2#), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9#) and Delftia tsuruhatensis (12#). Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed very high tolerance to metals, especially Cd (2200mg/L), Zn (1800mg/L) and Pb (1200mg/L), and is thought to be a multi-metal-resistant bacterium. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also sensitive to 13 different antibiotics. The effects of the bacterial strains on the growth of rice plants and their ability to reduce Cd accumulation from Cd-contaminated soils in pot experiments were also evaluated. For Oryza sativa L. A grown in contaminated soil (3mg/kg Cd), the accumulation of Cd was decreased by 31.2 and 25.5% in brown rice and polished rice, respectively, by strain 9#; Pseudomonas aeruginosa was more effective in reducing Cd accumulation in rice grains than a mixture of strains. For Oryza sativa L. B, a mixture of strains acting synergistically was more effective than a single strain in reducing Cd accumulation; treatment with mixed strains (strains+3mg/kg Cd) resulted in 41.3, 35.9, and 32.6% reductions in Cd accumulation in unhulled rice, brown rice and polished rice, respectively. Although different results were obtained for two rice varieties, it can still be concluded that Cd-resistant bacteria are suitable for reducing Cd accumulation in

  16. Analysis of Potential Impacts of Inclusion of Locally Supplied Services into Reduced VAT Rate on the Suppliers of these Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kateřina Randová

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Member States of the European Union are in accordance with the Community law allowed to include locally supplied services into reduced value added tax rates (hereinafter referred to as “VAT rates” without time restriction. In the Czech Republic there has not yet been a sufficient political will to implement this possibility into the legislation. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the potential impact of the relevant Directive implementation into the Czech VAT Act on the tax liability of the suppliers of these services. The paper is based on the comparison of the national legislation and the Community law, and their analysis. Moreover, the deductive method is used in this paper.

  17. Attentional bias mediates the effect of neurostimulation on emotional vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nigel T M; Basanovic, Julian; Notebaert, Lies; MacLeod, Colin; Clarke, Patrick J F

    2017-10-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique which has garnered recent interest in the potential treatment for emotion-based psychopathology. While accumulating evidence suggests that tDCS may attenuate emotional vulnerability, critically, little is known about underlying mechanisms of this effect. The present study sought to clarify this by examining the possibility that tDCS may affect emotional vulnerability via its capacity to modulate attentional bias towards threatening information. Fifty healthy participants were randomly assigned to receive either anodal tDCS (2 mA/min) stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or sham. Participants were then eye tracked during a dual-video stressor task designed to elicit emotional reactivity, while providing a concurrent in-vivo measure of attentional bias. Greater attentional bias towards threatening information was associated with greater emotional reactivity to the stressor task. Furthermore, the active tDCS group showed reduced attentional bias to threat, compared to the sham group. Importantly, attentional bias was found to statistically mediate the effect of tDCS on emotional reactivity, while no direct effect of tDCS on emotional reactivity was observed. The findings are consistent with the notion that the effect of tDCS on emotional vulnerability may be mediated by changes in attentional bias, holding implications for the application of tDCS in emotion-based psychopathology. The findings also highlight the utility of in-vivo eye tracking measures in the examination of the mechanisms associated with DLPFC neuromodulation in emotional vulnerability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Hydroxychloroquine reduces heart rate by modulating the hyperpolarization-activated current If: Novel electrophysiological insights and therapeutic potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capel, Rebecca A.; Herring, Neil; Kalla, Manish; Yavari, Arash; Mirams, Gary R.; Douglas, Gillian; Bub, Gil; Channon, Keith; Paterson, David J.; Terrar, Derek A.; Burton, Rebecca-Ann B.

    2015-01-01

    Background Bradycardic agents are of interest for the treatment of ischemic heart disease and heart failure, as heart rate is an important determinant of myocardial oxygen consumption. Objectives The purpose of this study was to investigate the propensity of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to cause bradycardia. Methods We assessed the effects of HCQ on (1) cardiac beating rate in vitro (mice); (2) the “funny” current (If) in isolated guinea pig sinoatrial node (SAN) myocytes (1, 3, 10 µM); (3) heart rate and blood pressure in vivo by acute bolus injection (rat, dose range 1–30 mg/kg), (4) blood pressure and ventricular function during feeding (mouse, 100 mg/kg/d for 2 wk, tail cuff plethysmography, anesthetized echocardiography). Results In mouse atria, spontaneous beating rate was significantly (P < .05) reduced (by 9% ± 3% and 15% ± 2% at 3 and 10 µM HCQ, n = 7). In guinea pig isolated SAN cells, HCQ conferred a significant reduction in spontaneous action potential firing rate (17% ± 6%, 1 μM dose) and a dose-dependent reduction in If (13% ± 3% at 1 µM; 19% ± 2% at 3 µM). Effects were also observed on L-type calcium ion current (ICaL) (12% ± 4% reduction) and rapid delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) (35% ± 4%) at 3 µM. Intravenous HCQ decreased heart rate in anesthetized rats (14.3% ± 1.1% at 15mg/kg; n = 6) without significantly reducing mean arterial blood pressure. In vivo feeding studies in mice showed no significant change in systolic blood pressure nor left ventricular function. Conclusions We have shown that HCQ acts as a bradycardic agent in SAN cells, in atrial preparations, and in vivo. HCQ slows the rate of spontaneous action potential firing in the SAN through multichannel inhibition, including that of If. PMID:26025323

  19. Mode selection of China's urban heating and its potential for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Xia; Wang, Li; Tong, Lige; Sun, Shufeng; Yue, Xianfang; Yin, Shaowu; Zheng, Lifang

    2014-01-01

    China's carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emission ranks the highest in the world. CO 2 emission from urban central heating, which has an average annual growth rate of 10.3%, is responsible for 4.4% of China's total CO 2 emission. The current policy for improving urban central heating focuses on replacing coal with natural gas. This paper analyzes the existing situation and problems pertaining to urban heating, and evaluates the potential for reducing energy consumption and CO 2 emission by heat pump heating. The results show that the current policy of replacing coal with natural gas for urban central heating decreases energy consumption and CO 2 emission by 16.6% and 63.5%, respectively. On the other hand, replacing coal-based urban central heating with heat pump heating is capable of decreasing energy consumption and CO 2 emission by 57.6% and 81.4%, respectively. Replacing both urban central and decentralized heating with heat pump heating can lead to 67.7% and 85.8% reduction in energy consumption and CO 2 emission, respectively. The decreases in CO 2 emission will account for 24.5% of China's target to reduce total CO 2 emission by 2020. - Highlights: • Existing situation and problems of urban heating in China. • Feasibility of heat pump heating in China. • Potential of energy saving and emission reduction for heat pump heating. • China should adjust urban heating strategy. • Replacing urban central heating and decentralized heating with heat pump heating

  20. Exogenous S1P Exposure Potentiates Ischemic Stroke Damage That Is Reduced Possibly by Inhibiting S1P Receptor Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunjung Moon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Initial and recurrent stroke produces central nervous system (CNS damage, involving neuroinflammation. Receptor-mediated S1P signaling can influence neuroinflammation and has been implicated in cerebral ischemia through effects on the immune system. However, S1P-mediated events also occur within the brain itself where its roles during stroke have been less well studied. Here we investigated the involvement of S1P signaling in initial and recurrent stroke by using a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion (M/R model combined with analyses of S1P signaling. Gene expression for S1P receptors and involved enzymes was altered during M/R, supporting changes in S1P signaling. Direct S1P microinjection into the normal CNS induced neuroglial activation, implicating S1P-initiated neuroinflammatory responses that resembled CNS changes seen during initial M/R challenge. Moreover, S1P microinjection combined with M/R potentiated brain damage, approximating a model for recurrent stroke dependent on S1P and suggesting that reduction in S1P signaling could ameliorate stroke damage. Delivery of FTY720 that removes S1P signaling with chronic exposure reduced damage in both initial and S1P-potentiated M/R-challenged brain, while reducing stroke markers like TNF-α. These results implicate direct S1P CNS signaling in the etiology of initial and recurrent stroke that can be therapeutically accessed by S1P modulators acting within the brain.

  1. Assessing consumer responses to potential reduced-exposure tobacco products: a review of tobacco industry and independent research methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Vaughan W; Kreslake, Jennifer M; Cummings, K Michael; O'Connor, Richard J; Hatsukami, Dorothy K; Parascandola, Mark; Shields, Peter G; Connolly, Gregory N

    2009-12-01

    Internal tobacco industry documents and the mainstream literature are reviewed to identify methods and measures for evaluating tobacco consumer response. The review aims to outline areas in which established methods exist, identify gaps in current methods for assessing consumer response, and consider how these methods might be applied to evaluate potentially reduced exposure tobacco products and new products. Internal industry research reviewed included published articles, manuscript drafts, presentations, protocols, and instruments relating to consumer response measures were identified and analyzed. Peer-reviewed research was identified using PubMed and Scopus. Industry research on consumer response focuses on product development and marketing. To develop and refine new products, the tobacco industry has developed notable strategies for assessing consumers' sensory and subjective responses to product design characteristics. Independent research is often conducted to gauge the likelihood of future product adoption by measuring consumers' risk perceptions, responses to product, and product acceptability. A model that conceptualizes consumer response as comprising the separate, but interacting, domains of product perceptions and response to product is outlined. Industry and independent research supports the dual domain model and provides a wide range of methods for assessment of the construct components of consumer response. Further research is needed to validate consumer response constructs, determine the relationship between consumer response and tobacco user behavior, and improve reliability of consumer response measures. Scientifically rigorous consumer response assessment methods will provide a needed empirical basis for future regulation of potentially reduced-exposure tobacco products and new products, to counteract tobacco industry influence on consumers, and enhance the public health.

  2. Reducing the potential for migration of radioactive waste: Aqueous thermal degradation of the chelating agent disodium EDTA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boles, J.S.; Ritchie, K.; Crerar, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a common component of cleaning solutions used for decontamination of radioactive equipment, has been associated with increased migration of radionuclides into local groundwaters at some radwaste disposal sites. It has been proposed that predisposal thermal degradation of EDTA-containing aqueous solutions may reduce the potential for chelate-enhanced mobilization of radionuclides at these sites. Aqueous thermal degradation experiments with disodium EDTA have shown that the compound degrades rapidly at 200 0 C with an activation energy of 114.3 +- 7.87 kJ/mol, and forms the decomposition product methyliminodiacetic acid (MIDA). A comparison of the values for stability constants of transition metal and actinide complexes with EDTA, MIDA, and two other reported degradation products, indicates that the chelating efficiency of the degradation products is 6 to 22 orders of magnitude lower than that of EDTA at 25 0 C. It is concluded that aqueous thermal degradation should significantly reduce the overall chelating efficiency of EDTA-containing solutions

  3. Placebo effect studies are susceptible to response bias and to other types of biases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hróbjartsson, Asbjørn; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Miller, Franklin G

    2011-01-01

    Investigations of the effect of placebo are often challenging to conduct and interpret. The history of placebo shows that assessment of its clinical significance has a real potential to be biased. We analyze and discuss typical types of bias in studies on placebo....

  4. Bias correction of daily satellite precipitation data using genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratama, A. W.; Buono, A.; Hidayat, R.; Harsa, H.

    2018-05-01

    Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) was producted by blending Satellite-only Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation (CHIRP) with Stasion observations data. The blending process was aimed to reduce bias of CHIRP. However, Biases of CHIRPS on statistical moment and quantil values were high during wet season over Java Island. This paper presented a bias correction scheme to adjust statistical moment of CHIRP using observation precipitation data. The scheme combined Genetic Algorithm and Nonlinear Power Transformation, the results was evaluated based on different season and different elevation level. The experiment results revealed that the scheme robustly reduced bias on variance around 100% reduction and leaded to reduction of first, and second quantile biases. However, bias on third quantile only reduced during dry months. Based on different level of elevation, the performance of bias correction process is only significantly different on skewness indicators.

  5. Assessment of some straw-derived materials for reducing the leaching potential of Metribuzin residues in the soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cara, Irina Gabriela, E-mail: coroirina@yahoo.com [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, 3M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania); Trincă, Lucia Carmen, E-mail: lctrinca@uaiasi.ro [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3 M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania); Trofin, Alina Elena, E-mail: aetrofin@yahoo.com [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3 M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania); Cazacu, Ana, E-mail: anagarlea@gmail.com [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3 M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania); Ţopa, Denis, E-mail: topadennis@yahoo.com [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, 3M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania); Peptu, Cătălina Anişoara, E-mail: catipeptu@yahoo.co.uk [“Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Protection, 73 D. Mangeron Street, 700050 Iasi (Romania); Jităreanu, Gerard, E-mail: gerardj@uaiasi.ro [“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, 3M. Sadoveanu Alley, 700490 Iasi (Romania)

    2015-12-15

    Highlights: • Surface characteristics of activated straw (wheat, corn, soybean) were assessed. • Modification methods to enhance materials sorption were presented. • Adsorption mechanism of metribuzin was revealed and discussed. - Abstract: Biomass (straw waste) can be used as raw to obtain materials for herbicide removal from wastewater. These by-products have some important advantages, being environmentally friendly, easily available, presenting low costs, and requiring little processing to increase their adsorptive capacity. In the present study, some materials derived from agricultural waste (wheat, corn and soybean straw) were investigated as potential adsorbents for metribuzin removal from aqueous solutions. The straw wastes were processed by grinding, mineralisation (850 °C) and KOH activation in order to improve their functional surface activity. The materials surface characteristics were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The adsorbents capacity was evaluated using batch sorption tests and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for herbicide determination. For adsorption isotherms, the equilibrium time considered was 3 h. The experimental adsorption data were modelled by Freundlich and Langmuir models. The activated straw and ash-derived materials from wheat, corn and soybean increased the adsorption capacity of metribuzin with an asymmetrical behaviour. Overall, our results sustain that activated ash-derived from straw and activated straw materials can be a valuable solution for reducing the leaching potential of metribuzin through soil.

  6. Assessment of some straw-derived materials for reducing the leaching potential of Metribuzin residues in the soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cara, Irina Gabriela; Trincă, Lucia Carmen; Trofin, Alina Elena; Cazacu, Ana; Ţopa, Denis; Peptu, Cătălina Anişoara; Jităreanu, Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Surface characteristics of activated straw (wheat, corn, soybean) were assessed. • Modification methods to enhance materials sorption were presented. • Adsorption mechanism of metribuzin was revealed and discussed. - Abstract: Biomass (straw waste) can be used as raw to obtain materials for herbicide removal from wastewater. These by-products have some important advantages, being environmentally friendly, easily available, presenting low costs, and requiring little processing to increase their adsorptive capacity. In the present study, some materials derived from agricultural waste (wheat, corn and soybean straw) were investigated as potential adsorbents for metribuzin removal from aqueous solutions. The straw wastes were processed by grinding, mineralisation (850 °C) and KOH activation in order to improve their functional surface activity. The materials surface characteristics were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The adsorbents capacity was evaluated using batch sorption tests and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for herbicide determination. For adsorption isotherms, the equilibrium time considered was 3 h. The experimental adsorption data were modelled by Freundlich and Langmuir models. The activated straw and ash-derived materials from wheat, corn and soybean increased the adsorption capacity of metribuzin with an asymmetrical behaviour. Overall, our results sustain that activated ash-derived from straw and activated straw materials can be a valuable solution for reducing the leaching potential of metribuzin through soil.

  7. Potential for biological nitrification inhibition to reduce nitrification and N2O emissions in pasture crop-livestock systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subbarao, G V; Rao, I M; Nakahara, K; Sahrawat, K L; Ando, Y; Kawashima, T

    2013-06-01

    Agriculture and livestock production systems are two major emitters of greenhouse gases. Methane with a GWP (global warming potential) of 21, and nitrous oxide (N2O) with a GWP of 300, are largely emitted from animal production agriculture, where livestock production is based on pasture and feed grains. The principal biological processes involved in N2O emissions are nitrification and denitrification. Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) is the natural ability of certain plant species to release nitrification inhibitors from their roots that suppress nitrifier activity, thus reducing soil nitrification and N2O emission. Recent methodological developments (e.g. bioluminescence assay to detect BNIs in plant root systems) have led to significant advances in our ability to quantify and characterize the BNI function. Synthesis and release of BNIs from plants is a highly regulated process triggered by the presence of NH4 + in the rhizosphere, which results in the inhibitor being released precisely where the majority of the soil-nitrifier population resides. Among the tropical pasture grasses, the BNI function is strongest (i.e. BNI capacity) in Brachiaria sp. Some feed-grain crops such as sorghum also have significant BNI capacity present in their root systems. The chemical identity of some of these BNIs has now been established, and their mode of inhibitory action on Nitrosomonas has been characterized. The ability of the BNI function in Brachiaria pastures to suppress N2O emissions and soil nitrification potential has been demonstrated; however, its potential role in controlling N2O emissions in agro-pastoral systems is under investigation. Here we present the current status of our understanding on how the BNI functions in Brachiaria pastures and feed-grain crops such as sorghum can be exploited both genetically and, from a production system's perspective, to develop low-nitrifying and low N2O-emitting production systems that would be economically profitable and

  8. Nitrate accumulation and leaching potential reduced by coupled water and nitrogen management in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ping; Zhang, Jiabao; Zhu, Anning; Li, Xiaopeng; Ma, Donghao; Xin, Xiuli; Zhang, Congzhi; Wu, Shengjun; Garland, Gina; Pereira, Engil Isadora Pujol

    2018-01-01

    Irrigation and nitrogen (N) fertilization in excess of crop requirements are responsible for substantial nitrate accumulation in the soil profile and contamination of groundwater by nitrate leaching during intensive agricultural production. In this on-farm field trial, we compared 16 different water and N treatments on nitrate accumulation and its distribution in the soil profile (0-180cm), nitrate leaching potential, and groundwater nitrate concentration within a summer-maize (Zea mays L.) and winter-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain over five cropping cycles (2006-2010). The results indicated that nitrate remaining in the soil profile after crop harvest and nitrate concentration of soil solutions at two depths (80cm and 180cm) declined with increasing irrigation amounts and increased greatly with increasing N application rates, especially for seasonal N application rates higher than 190kgNha -1 . During the experimental period, continuous torrential rainfall was the main cause for nitrate leaching beyond the root zone (180cm), which could pose potential risks for contamination of groundwater. Nitrate concentration of groundwater varied from 0.2 to 2.9mgL -1 , which was lower than the limit of 10mgL -1 as the maximum safe level for drinking water. In view of the balance between grain production and environmental consequences, seasonal N application rates of 190kgNha -1 and 150kgNha -1 were recommended for winter wheat and summer maize, respectively. Irrigation to the field capacity of 0-40cm and 0-60cm soil depth could be appropriate for maize and wheat, respectively. Therefore, taking grain yields, mineral N accumulation in the soil profile, nitrate leaching potential, and groundwater quality into account, coupled water and N management could provide an opportunity to promote grain production while reducing negative environmental impacts in this region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Sex-biased phoretic mite load on two seaweed flies: Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilburn, Andre S; Stewart, Katie M; Edward, Dominic A

    2009-12-01

    Two hypotheses explain male-biased parasitism. Physiological costs of male sexually selected characteristics can reduce immunocompetence. Alternatively, ecological differences could generate male-biased parasitism. One method of comparing the importance of the two theories is to investigate patterns of phoresy, which are only likely to be generated by ecological rather than immunological differences between the sexes. Here we studied the pattern of phoresy of the mite, Thinoseius fucicola, on two species of seaweed fly hosts, Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes. We found a highly male-biased pattern of phoresy of T. fucicola on both species. These are the first reported instances of sex-biased phoresy in a solely phoretic parasite. We also show the first two cases of size-biased phoresy. We suggest that ecological factors, particularly, male mate searching, generated male biased patterns of phoresy. We highlight the potential importance of studies of phoresy in determining the relative roles of the immunocompetence and ecological theories in generating male-biased parasitism. We suggest that more studies of patterns of phoresy are carried out to allow detailed comparisons with patterns of parasitism.

  10. Girl child and gender bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhry, D P

    1995-01-01

    This article identifies gender bias against female children and youth in India. Gender bias is based on centuries-old religious beliefs and sayings from ancient times. Discrimination is reflected in denial or ignorance of female children's educational, health, nutrition, and recreational needs. Female infanticide and selective abortion of female fetuses are other forms of discrimination. The task of eliminating or reducing gender bias will involve legal, developmental, political, and administrative measures. Public awareness needs to be created. There is a need to reorient the education and health systems and to advocate for gender equality. The government of India set the following goals for the 1990s: to protect the survival of the girl child and practice safe motherhood; to develop the girl child in general; and to protect vulnerable girl children in different circumstances and in special groups. The Health Authorities should monitor the laws carefully to assure marriage after the minimum age, ban sex determination of the fetus, and monitor the health and nutrition of pre-school girls and nursing and pregnant mothers. Mothers need to be encouraged to breast feed, and to breast feed equally between genders. Every village and slum area needs a mini health center. Maternal mortality must decline. Primary health centers and hospitals need more women's wards. Education must be universally accessible. Enrollments should be increased by educating rural tribal and slum parents, reducing distances between home and school, making curriculum more relevant to girls, creating more female teachers, and providing facilities and incentives for meeting the needs of girl students. Supplementary income could be provided to families for sending girls to school. Recreational activities must be free of gender bias. Dowry, sati, and devdasi systems should be banned.

  11. Simulated building energy demand biases resulting from the use of representative weather stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burleyson, Casey D.; Voisin, Nathalie; Taylor, Z. Todd; Xie, Yulong; Kraucunas, Ian

    2018-01-01

    Numerical building models are typically forced with weather data from a limited number of “representative cities” or weather stations representing different climate regions. The use of representative weather stations reduces computational costs, but often fails to capture spatial heterogeneity in weather that may be important for simulations aimed at understanding how building stocks respond to a changing climate. We quantify the potential reduction in bias from using an increasing number of weather stations over the western U.S. The approach is based on deriving temperature and load time series using incrementally more weather stations, ranging from 8 to roughly 150, to capture weather across different seasons. Using 8 stations, one from each climate zone, across the western U.S. results in an average absolute summertime temperature bias of 7.2°F with respect to a spatially-resolved gridded dataset. The mean absolute bias drops to 2.8°F using all available weather stations. Temperature biases of this magnitude could translate to absolute summertime mean simulated load biases as high as 13.8%, a significant error for capacity expansion planners who may use these types of simulations. Increasing the size of the domain over which biases are calculated reduces their magnitude as positive and negative biases may cancel out. Using 8 representative weather stations can lead to a 20-40% overestimation of peak building loads during both summer and winter. Using weather stations close to population centers reduces both mean and peak load biases. This approach could be used by others designing aggregate building simulations to understand the sensitivity to their choice of weather stations used to drive the models.

  12. Bias aware Kalman filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drecourt, J.-P.; Madsen, H.; Rosbjerg, Dan

    2006-01-01

    This paper reviews two different approaches that have been proposed to tackle the problems of model bias with the Kalman filter: the use of a colored noise model and the implementation of a separate bias filter. Both filters are implemented with and without feedback of the bias into the model state....... The colored noise filter formulation is extended to correct both time correlated and uncorrelated model error components. A more stable version of the separate filter without feedback is presented. The filters are implemented in an ensemble framework using Latin hypercube sampling. The techniques...... are illustrated on a simple one-dimensional groundwater problem. The results show that the presented filters outperform the standard Kalman filter and that the implementations with bias feedback work in more general conditions than the implementations without feedback. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  13. Biases in casino betting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Sundali

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available We examine two departures of individual perceptions of randomness from probability theory: the hot hand and the gambler's fallacy, and their respective opposites. This paper's first contribution is to use data from the field (individuals playing roulette in a casino to demonstrate the existence and impact of these biases that have been previously documented in the lab. Decisions in the field are consistent with biased beliefs, although we observe significant individual heterogeneity in the population. A second contribution is to separately identify these biases within a given individual, then to examine their within-person correlation. We find a positive and significant correlation across individuals between hot hand and gambler's fallacy biases, suggesting a common (root cause of the two related errors. We speculate as to the source of this correlation (locus of control, and suggest future research which could test this speculation.

  14. Introduction to Unconscious Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, Joan T.

    2010-05-01

    We all have biases, and we are (for the most part) unaware of them. In general, men and women BOTH unconsciously devalue the contributions of women. This can have a detrimental effect on grant proposals, job applications, and performance reviews. Sociology is way ahead of astronomy in these studies. When evaluating identical application packages, male and female University psychology professors preferred 2:1 to hire "Brian” over "Karen” as an assistant professor. When evaluating a more experienced record (at the point of promotion to tenure), reservations were expressed four times more often when the name was female. This unconscious bias has a repeated negative effect on Karen's career. This talk will introduce the concept of unconscious bias and also give recommendations on how to address it using an example for a faculty search committee. The process of eliminating unconscious bias begins with awareness, then moves to policy and practice, and ends with accountability.

  15. Oral treatment with essential oil of Hyptis spicigera Lam. (Lamiaceae) reduces acute pain and inflammation in mice: Potential interactions with transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, Róli Rodrigues; Coelho, Igor Dos Santos; Junqueira, Stella Célio; Pigatto, Glauce Regina; Salvador, Marcos José; Santos, Adair Roberto Soares; de Faria, Felipe Meira

    2017-03-22

    The genus Hyptis comprehends almost 400 species widespread in tropical and temperate regions of America. The use of Hyptis spicigera Lam. (Lamiaceae) is reported in traditional medicine due to its gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The rationale of this study was to investigate the potential use of the essential oil of H. spicigera (EOHs) as analgesic. The antinociceptive effect of EOHs was verified analyzing acute nocifensive behavior of mice induced by chemical noxious stimuli [i.e., formalin and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels agonists]. We also verified the effects of EOHs on locomotor activity and motor performance in mice. Finally, we investigate the involvement of central afferent C-fibers with EOHs analgesic effect. EOHs presented antinociceptive effect at 300 and 1000mg/kg on formalin-induced pain behavior model, presenting 50% and 72% of inhibition during the first phase (ED 50 =292mg/kg), and 85% and 100% during de second phase (ED 50 =205mg/kg), respectively. Temperature of the hind paw was reduced by EOHs treatment in a dose-dependent manner; oedema was diminished only by EOHs 1000mg/kg. EOHs does not impaired locomotor activity or motor performance. For mice injected with capsaicin, a TRPV1 activator, EOHs (1000mg/kg, ED 50 =660mg/kg) showed decreased (63%) nociceptive behavior. When injected with cinnamaldehyde (TRPA1 activator), mice treated with EOHs showed 23%, 43% and 66% inhibition on nociceptive behavior (100, 300 and 1000mg/kg, respectively; ED 50 402mg/kg). When mice were injected with menthol (TRPM8 activator), EOHs showed 29%, 59% and 98% inhibition of nociceptive behavior (100, 300 and 1000mg/kg, respectively; with ED 50 =198mg/kg. Finally, when desensitized mice were injected with menthol, EOHs (300mg/kg) does not show antinociceptive effect. This study demonstrated the efficacy of EOHs on experimental models of nociception. We have found the involvement of TRP channels V1, A1 and M8 with EOHs

  16. Australia's Bond Home Bias

    OpenAIRE

    Anil V. Mishra; Umaru B. Conteh

    2014-01-01

    This paper constructs the float adjusted measure of home bias and explores the determinants of bond home bias by employing the International Monetary Fund's high quality dataset (2001 to 2009) on cross-border bond investment. The paper finds that Australian investors' prefer investing in countries with higher economic development and more developed bond markets. Exchange rate volatility appears to be an impediment for cross-border bond investment. Investors prefer investing in countries with ...

  17. Potential for reducing GHG emissions and energy consumption from implementing the aluminum intensive vehicle fleet in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du, J.D.; Han, W.J.; Peng, Y.H.; Gu, C.C.

    2010-01-01

    The automobile industry in China has rapidly developed in recent years which resulted in an increase in gasoline usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Focus on climate change has also accelerated to grow pressure on reducing vehicle weight and improving fuel efficiency. Aluminum (Al) as a light metal has demonstrated a great potential for weight savings in applications such as engine blocks, cylinder heads, wheels, hoods, tailgates etc. However, primary Al production requires intensive energy and the cost of Al is more than traditional steel, which may affect the total benefits realized from using Al in automobiles. Therefore, it is very essential to conduct a study to quantify the life cycle GHG emissions and energy consumption if the plan is to achieve fleet-wide Al intensive vehicles. This paper describes a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and the general modeling assumptions used to evaluate the impact of Al intensive vehicle on GHG emissions and energy consumption. The results indicated that the reductions in life cycle GHG emissions and energy consumption were not significant when the maximum Al content in an automobile is 145 kg, which is the average level of Al usage in automobiles in North America. A neural network methodology was used to forecast the vehicle stock in China from 2010 to 2020 and a vehicle fleet model was established to track GHG emissions and energy consumption of the vehicle fleet. A material availability factor was also introduced into the LCA methodology to further assist decision makers in providing rational proposals for a widespread implementation of Al in automobiles. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to study the impact of the Al content in a vehicle on the final outcomes. The GHG emissions and energy consumption could be further reduced when the Al content in an automobile increases.

  18. The chemopreventive potential of Curcuma purpurascens rhizome in reducing azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouhollahi, Elham; Moghadamtousi, Soheil Zorofchian; Al-Henhena, Nawal; Kunasegaran, Thubasni; Hasanpourghadi, Mohadeseh; Looi, Chung Yeng; Abd Malek, Sri Nurestri; Awang, Khalijah; Abdulla, Mahmood Ameen; Mohamed, Zahurin

    2015-01-01

    Curcuma purpurascens BI. rhizome, a member of the Zingiberaceae family, is a popular spice in Indonesia that is traditionally used in assorted remedies. Dichloromethane extract of C. purpurascens BI. rhizome (DECPR) has previously been shown to have an apoptosis-inducing effect on colon cancer cells. In the present study, we examined the potential of DECPR to prevent colon cancer development in rats treated with azoxymethane (AOM) (15 mg/kg) by determining the percentage inhibition in incidence of aberrant crypt foci (ACF). Starting from the day immediately after AOM treatment, three groups of rats were orally administered once a day for 2 months either 10% Tween 20 (5 mL/kg, cancer control), DECPR (250 mg/kg, low dose), or DECPR (500 mg/kg, high dose). Meanwhile, the control group was intraperitoneally injected with 5-fluorouracil (35 mg/kg) for 5 consecutive days. After euthanizing the rats, the number of ACF was enumerated in colon tissues. Bax, Bcl-2, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expressions were examined using immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses. Antioxidant enzymatic activity was measured in colon tissue homogenates and associated with malondialdehyde level. The percentage inhibition of ACF was 56.04% and 68.68% in the low- and high-dose DECPR-treated groups, respectively. The ACF inhibition in the treatment control group was 74.17%. Results revealed that DECPR exposure at both doses significantly decreased AOM-induced ACF formation, which was accompanied by reduced expression of PCNA. Upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 suggested the involvement of apoptosis in the chemopreventive effect of DECPR. In addition, the oxidative stress resulting from AOM treatment was significantly attenuated after administration of DECPR, which was shown by the elevated antioxidant enzymatic activity and reduced malondialdehyde level. Taken together, the present data clearly indicate that DECPR significantly inhibits ACF formation

  19. Characterization and Potential Applications of a Selenium Nanoparticle Producing and Nitrate Reducing Bacterium Bacillus oryziterrae sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Peng; Xiao, Ke-Qing; Wang, Hui-Jiao; Xu, Hao; Xu, Peng-Peng; Jia, Yan; Häggblom, Max M.; Zhu, Yong-Guan

    2016-09-01

    A novel nitrate- and selenite reducing bacterium strain ZYKT was isolated from a rice paddy soil in Dehong, Yunnan, China. Strain ZYKT is a facultative anaerobe and grows in up to 150, 000 ppm O2. The comparative genomics analysis of strain ZYKT implies that it shares more orthologues with B. subtilis subsp. subtilis NCIB 3610T (ANIm values, 85.4-86.7%) than with B. azotoformans NBRC 15712T (ANIm values, 84.4-84.7%), although B. azotoformans NBRC 15712T (96.3% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity) is the closest Bacillus species according to 16S rRNA gene comparison. The major cellular fatty acids of strain ZYKT were iso-C14:0 (17.8%), iso-C15:0 (17.8%), and C16:0 (32.0%). The polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and an unidentified aminophospholipid. Based on physiological, biochemical and genotypic properties, the strain was considered to represent a novel species of the genus Bacillus, for which the name Bacillus oryziterrae sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is ZYKT (=DSM 26460T =CGMCC 1.5179T). Strain ZYKT can reduce nitrate to nitrite and ammonium and possesses metabolic genes for nitrate reduction including nar, nap and nrf. Biogenic selenium nanoparticles of strain ZYKT show a narrow size distribution and agree with the gaussian distribution. These selenium nanoparticles show significant dose-dependent inhibition of the lung cancer cell line H157, which suggests potential for application in cancer therapy.

  20. The potential of dual-energy virtual monochromatic imaging in reducing renal cyst pseudoenhancement. A phantom study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamada, Sachiko; Ueguchi, Takashi; Ukai, Isao; Nagai, Yumiko; Yamakawa, Masanobu; Shimosegawa, Eku; Shimazu, Takeshi; Hatazawa, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Renal cyst pseudoenhancement, an artifactual increase of computed tomography (CT) attenuation for cysts with increased iodine concentrations in the renal parenchyma, complicates the classification of cysts and may thus lead to the mischaracterization of a benign non-enhancing lesion as an enhancing mass. The purpose of this study was to use a phantom model to assess the ability of dual-energy virtual monochromatic imaging to reduce renal pseudoenhancement. A water-filled cylindrical cyst model suspended in varying concentrations of iodine solution, to simulate varying levels of parenchymal enhancement, was scanned with a dual-energy CT scanner using the following three scanning protocols with different combinations of tube voltage: 80 and 140 kV; 80 and 140 kV with tin filter; and 100 and 140 kV with tin filter. Virtual monochromatic images were then synthesized for each dual-energy scan. Single-energy scan with a tube voltage of 120 kV was also performed to obtain polychromatic images as controls. Mean attenuation values (in Hounsfield units) of cyst proxies were measured on both polychromatic and virtual monochromatic images. Pseudoenhancement was considered to be present when the cyst attenuation level increased by more than 10 HU (Hounsfield Unit) as the background iodine concentration increased from 0.0% to 0.4%, 1.5%, or 2.5%. Our results revealed that pseudoenhancement was not observed on any of the monochromatic images, but appeared on polychromatic images at a background iodine concentration of 2.5%. We thus conclude that dual-energy virtual monochromatic images have a potential to reduce renal pseudoenhancement. (author)

  1. Emotional event-related potentials are larger to figures than scenes but are similarly reduced by inattention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nordström Henrik

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In research on event-related potentials (ERP to emotional pictures, greater attention to emotional than neutral stimuli (i.e., motivated attention is commonly indexed by two difference waves between emotional and neutral stimuli: the early posterior negativity (EPN and the late positive potential (LPP. Evidence suggests that if attention is directed away from the pictures, then the emotional effects on EPN and LPP are eliminated. However, a few studies have found residual, emotional effects on EPN and LPP. In these studies, pictures were shown at fixation, and picture composition was that of simple figures rather than that of complex scenes. Because figures elicit larger LPP than do scenes, figures might capture and hold attention more strongly than do scenes. Here, we showed negative and neutral pictures of figures and scenes and tested first, whether emotional effects are larger to figures than scenes for both EPN and LPP, and second, whether emotional effects on EPN and LPP are reduced less for unattended figures than scenes. Results Emotional effects on EPN and LPP were larger for figures than scenes. When pictures were unattended, emotional effects on EPN increased for scenes but tended to decrease for figures, whereas emotional effects on LPP decreased similarly for figures and scenes. Conclusions Emotional effects on EPN and LPP were larger for figures than scenes, but these effects did not resist manipulations of attention more strongly for figures than scenes. These findings imply that the emotional content captures attention more strongly for figures than scenes, but that the emotional content does not hold attention more strongly for figures than scenes.

  2. Emotional event-related potentials are larger to figures than scenes but are similarly reduced by inattention

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background In research on event-related potentials (ERP) to emotional pictures, greater attention to emotional than neutral stimuli (i.e., motivated attention) is commonly indexed by two difference waves between emotional and neutral stimuli: the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP). Evidence suggests that if attention is directed away from the pictures, then the emotional effects on EPN and LPP are eliminated. However, a few studies have found residual, emotional effects on EPN and LPP. In these studies, pictures were shown at fixation, and picture composition was that of simple figures rather than that of complex scenes. Because figures elicit larger LPP than do scenes, figures might capture and hold attention more strongly than do scenes. Here, we showed negative and neutral pictures of figures and scenes and tested first, whether emotional effects are larger to figures than scenes for both EPN and LPP, and second, whether emotional effects on EPN and LPP are reduced less for unattended figures than scenes. Results Emotional effects on EPN and LPP were larger for figures than scenes. When pictures were unattended, emotional effects on EPN increased for scenes but tended to decrease for figures, whereas emotional effects on LPP decreased similarly for figures and scenes. Conclusions Emotional effects on EPN and LPP were larger for figures than scenes, but these effects did not resist manipulations of attention more strongly for figures than scenes. These findings imply that the emotional content captures attention more strongly for figures than scenes, but that the emotional content does not hold attention more strongly for figures than scenes. PMID:22607397

  3. Bio-methanol potential in Indonesia: Forest biomass as a source of bio-energy that reduces carbon emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suntana, Asep S. [Forest Systems and Bio-Energy Program, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100 (United States); Indonesian Ecolabeling Institute/Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia (LEI), Taman Bogor Baru Blok BIV No. 12, Bogor 16152 (Indonesia); Vogt, Kristiina A. [Forest Systems and Bio-Energy Program, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100 (United States); Interforest LLC, Holderness, NH 03245 (United States); Renewol LLC, 63260 Overtree Road, Bend, OR 97701 (United States); Turnblom, Eric C. [Forest Biometrics Program, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100, WA 98195-2100 (United States); Upadhye, Ravi [ARU Associates, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (United States)

    2009-11-15

    Since Indonesia has significant land area in different forest types that could be used to produce biofuels, the potential to sustainably collect and convert forest materials to methanol for use in energy production was examined. Using the annually available aboveground forest biomass, from 40 to 168 billion l of bio-methanol could be produced for use as a transportation fuel and/or to supply fuel cells to produce electricity. When a lower forest biomass availability estimate was used to determine how much electricity (methanol fed into fuel cells) could be produced in Indonesia, more than 10 million households or about 12,000 villages (20% of the total rural villages in Indonesia) would be supplied annually with electricity. Collecting forest biomass at the higher end of the estimated available biomass and converting it to methanol to supply fuel cells could provide electricity to more than 42 million households annually. This would be approximately 52,000 villages, or 86% of the total rural villages in Indonesian. When electricity is produced with bio-methanol/fuel cells, it could potentially supply from half to all of the current electricity consumed in Indonesia. By generating electricity using bio-methanol/fuel cells instead of from fossil fuels, from 9 to 38% of the total carbon currently emitted each year in Indonesia could be avoided. In contrast, substituting this same amount of bio-methanol for gasoline could provide all of the annual gasoline needs of Indonesia and contribute towards reducing their carbon emissions by about 8-35%. (author)

  4. Wind Erosion Caused by Land Use Changes Significantly Reduces Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Carbon Sequestration Potentials in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P.; Chi, Y. G.; Wang, J.; Liu, L.

    2017-12-01

    Wind erosion exerts a fundamental influence on the biotic and abiotic processes associated with ecosystem carbon (C) cycle. However, how wind erosion under different land use scenarios will affect ecosystem C balance and its capacity for future C sequestration are poorly quantified. Here, we established an experiment in a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, and simulated different intensity of land uses: control, 50% of aboveground vegetation removal (50R), 100% vegetation removal (100R) and tillage (TI). We monitored lateral and vertical carbon flux components and soil characteristics from 2013 to 2016. Our study reveals three key findings relating to the driving factors, the magnitude and consequence of wind erosion on ecosystem C balance: (1) Frequency of heavy wind exerts a fundamental control over the severity of soil erosion, and its interaction with precipitation and vegetation characteristics explained 69% variation in erosion intensity. (2) With increases in land use intensity, the lateral C flux induced by wind erosion increased rapidly, equivalent to 33%, 86%, 111% and 183% of the net ecosystem exchange of the control site under control, 50R, 100R and TI sites, respectively. (3) After three years' treatment, erosion induced decrease in fine fractions led to 31%, 43%, 85% of permanent loss of C sequestration potential in the surface 5cm soil for 50R, 100R and TI sites. Overall, our study demonstrates that lateral C flux associated with wind erosion is too large to be ignored. The loss of C-enriched fine particles not only reduces current ecosystem C content, but also results in irreversible loss of future soil C sequestration potential. The dynamic soil characteristics need be considered when projecting future ecosystem C balance in aeolian landscape. We also propose that to maintain the sustainability of grassland ecosystems, land managers should focus on implementing appropriate land use rather than rely on subsequent managements on degraded soils.

  5. Electrophysiology of blunted emotional bias in psychopathic personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolan, Patrick L; Jaspers-Fayer, Fern; Asmaro, Deyar T; Douglas, Kevin S; Liotti, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Diminished emotional capacity is a core characteristic of psychopathic personality. We examined behavioral and electrophysiological differences in attentional bias to emotional material in 34 healthy individuals rated high or low in psychopathic traits using the short form of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (18 high-trait, 16 low-trait). While performing an emotional Stroop task, high-trait participants displayed reduced emotional modulation of the late positive potential (LPP, 400-600 ms), and early anterior positivity (EAP, 200-300 ms) amplitudes. Results suggest blunted bias to affective content in psychopathic personality, characterized by diminished early capture to emotional salience (EAP) and dampened cognitive emotional processing (LPP). Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  6. Automation bias in electronic prescribing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyell, David; Magrabi, Farah; Raban, Magdalena Z; Pont, L G; Baysari, Melissa T; Day, Richard O; Coiera, Enrico

    2017-03-16

    Clinical decision support (CDS) in e-prescribing can improve safety by alerting potential errors, but introduces new sources of risk. Automation bias (AB) occurs when users over-rely on CDS, reducing vigilance in information seeking and processing. Evidence of AB has been found in other clinical tasks, but has not yet been tested with e-prescribing. This study tests for the presence of AB in e-prescribing and the impact of task complexity and interruptions on AB. One hundred and twenty students in the final two years of a medical degree prescribed medicines for nine clinical scenarios using a simulated e-prescribing system. Quality of CDS (correct, incorrect and no CDS) and task complexity (low, low + interruption and high) were varied between conditions. Omission errors (failure to detect prescribing errors) and commission errors (acceptance of false positive alerts) were measured. Compared to scenarios with no CDS, correct CDS reduced omission errors by 38.3% (p < .0001, n = 120), 46.6% (p < .0001, n = 70), and 39.2% (p < .0001, n = 120) for low, low + interrupt and high complexity scenarios respectively. Incorrect CDS increased omission errors by 33.3% (p < .0001, n = 120), 24.5% (p < .009, n = 82), and 26.7% (p < .0001, n = 120). Participants made commission errors, 65.8% (p < .0001, n = 120), 53.5% (p < .0001, n = 82), and 51.7% (p < .0001, n = 120). Task complexity and interruptions had no impact on AB. This study found evidence of AB omission and commission errors in e-prescribing. Verification of CDS alerts is key to avoiding AB errors. However, interventions focused on this have had limited success to date. Clinicians should remain vigilant to the risks of CDS failures and verify CDS.

  7. Bias-Correction in Vector Autoregressive Models: A Simulation Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Engsted

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the properties of various methods for bias-correcting parameter estimates in both stationary and non-stationary vector autoregressive models. First, we show that two analytical bias formulas from the existing literature are in fact identical. Next, based on a detailed simulation study, we show that when the model is stationary this simple bias formula compares very favorably to bootstrap bias-correction, both in terms of bias and mean squared error. In non-stationary models, the analytical bias formula performs noticeably worse than bootstrapping. Both methods yield a notable improvement over ordinary least squares. We pay special attention to the risk of pushing an otherwise stationary model into the non-stationary region of the parameter space when correcting for bias. Finally, we consider a recently proposed reduced-bias weighted least squares estimator, and we find that it compares very favorably in non-stationary models.

  8. Reducing GHG emissions while improving diet quality: exploring the potential of reduced meat, cheese and alcoholic and soft drinks consumption at specific moments during the day.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Kamp, Mirjam E; Seves, S Marije; Temme, Elisabeth H M

    2018-02-20

    The typical Western diet is associated with high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and with obesity and other diet-related diseases. This study aims to determine the impact of adjustments to the current diet at specific moments of food consumption, to lower GHG emissions and improve diet quality. Food consumption in the Netherlands was assessed by two non-consecutive 24-h recalls for adults aged 19-69 years (n = 2102). GHG emission of food consumption was evaluated with the use of life cycle assessments. The population was stratified by gender and according to tertiles of dietary GHG emission. Scenarios were developed to lower GHG emissions of people in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emission; 1) reducing red and processed meat consumed during dinner by 50% and 75%, 2) replacing 50% and 100% of alcoholic and soft drinks (including fruit and vegetable juice and mineral water) by tap water, 3) replacing cheese consumed in between meals by plant-based alternatives and 4) two combinations of these scenarios. Effects on GHG emission as well as nutrient content of the diet were assessed. The mean habitual daily dietary GHG emission in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emission was 6.7 kg CO 2 -equivalents for men and 5.1 kg CO 2 -equivalents for women. The scenarios with reduced meat consumption and/or replacement of all alcoholic and soft drinks were most successful in reducing dietary GHG emissions (ranging from - 15% to - 34%) and also reduced saturated fatty acid intake and/or sugar intake. Both types of scenarios lead to reduced energy and iron intakes. Protein intake remained adequate. Reducing the consumption of red and processed meat during dinner and of soft and alcoholic drinks throughout the day leads to significantly lower dietary GHG emissions of people in the Netherlands in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emissions, while also having health benefits. For subgroups of the population not meeting energy or iron requirements as a

  9. Reducing GHG emissions while improving diet quality: exploring the potential of reduced meat, cheese and alcoholic and soft drinks consumption at specific moments during the day

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjam E. van de Kamp

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The typical Western diet is associated with high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG emissions and with obesity and other diet-related diseases. This study aims to determine the impact of adjustments to the current diet at specific moments of food consumption, to lower GHG emissions and improve diet quality. Methods Food consumption in the Netherlands was assessed by two non-consecutive 24-h recalls for adults aged 19–69 years (n = 2102. GHG emission of food consumption was evaluated with the use of life cycle assessments. The population was stratified by gender and according to tertiles of dietary GHG emission. Scenarios were developed to lower GHG emissions of people in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emission; 1 reducing red and processed meat consumed during dinner by 50% and 75%, 2 replacing 50% and 100% of alcoholic and soft drinks (including fruit and vegetable juice and mineral water by tap water, 3 replacing cheese consumed in between meals by plant-based alternatives and 4 two combinations of these scenarios. Effects on GHG emission as well as nutrient content of the diet were assessed. Results The mean habitual daily dietary GHG emission in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emission was 6.7 kg CO2-equivalents for men and 5.1 kg CO2-equivalents for women. The scenarios with reduced meat consumption and/or replacement of all alcoholic and soft drinks were most successful in reducing dietary GHG emissions (ranging from − 15% to − 34% and also reduced saturated fatty acid intake and/or sugar intake. Both types of scenarios lead to reduced energy and iron intakes. Protein intake remained adequate. Conclusions Reducing the consumption of red and processed meat during dinner and of soft and alcoholic drinks throughout the day leads to significantly lower dietary GHG emissions of people in the Netherlands in the highest tertile of dietary GHG emissions, while also having health benefits. For subgroups of the

  10. Biases in GNSS-Data Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaer, S. C.; Dach, R.; Lutz, S.; Meindl, M.; Beutler, G.

    2010-12-01

    Within the Global Positioning System (GPS) traditionally different types of pseudo-range measurements (P-code, C/A-code) are available on the first frequency that are tracked by the receivers with different technologies. For that reason, P1-C1 and P1-P2 Differential Code Biases (DCB) need to be considered in a GPS data processing with a mix of different receiver types. Since the Block IIR-M series of GPS satellites also provide C/A-code on the second frequency, P2-C2 DCB need to be added to the list of biases for maintenance. Potential quarter-cycle biases between different phase observables (specifically L2P and L2C) are another issue. When combining GNSS (currently GPS and GLONASS), careful consideration of inter-system biases (ISB) is indispensable, in particular when an adequate combination of individual GLONASS clock correction results from different sources (using, e.g., different software packages) is intended. Facing the GPS and GLONASS modernization programs and the upcoming GNSS, like the European Galileo and the Chinese Compass, an increasing number of types of biases is expected. The Center for Orbit Determination in Europe (CODE) is monitoring these GPS and GLONASS related biases for a long time based on RINEX files of the tracking network of the International GNSS Service (IGS) and in the frame of the data processing as one of the global analysis centers of the IGS. Within the presentation we give an overview on the stability of the biases based on the monitoring. Biases derived from different sources are compared. Finally, we give an outlook on the potential handling of such biases with the big variety of signals and systems expected in the future.

  11. The potential for reducing the radiological consequences of reactor decommissioning through selection of construction materials for activated components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woollam, P.B.

    1984-08-01

    This report considers whether it may be possible to reduce the radiological consequences of reactor decommissioning by careful attention to the specification of the elemental concentration of materials used in the reactor's construction. In particular, consideration is given to the potential for reduction of the concentration of elements known to activate to long lived daughter isotopes. Two particular areas are addressed, both applied to Sizewell 'B' PWR. The first is the choice of raw materials for the construction of the concrete bioshield to minimise future waste arisings. The second is the specification of some trace element concentrations in the steel pressure vessel and reactor internal structures to minimise personnel exposure at decommissioning time. The report presents extensive analyses of many of the candidate raw materials for Sizewell 'B' concrete, including PFA, and derives the radiological consequences for the eventual disposal of these materials to a hypothetical municipal land fill waste site. Data are also presented on the concentrations of important elements activating to gamma emitting daughters in type 304 stainless steels, leading to an assessment of likely dose equivalent rates at decommissioning time from the pressure vessel and from the internal components. (author)

  12. Correction to: Ephedra Herb extract activates/desensitizes transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and reduces capsaicin-induced pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamori, Shunsuke; Takahashi, Jun; Hyuga, Sumiko; Tanaka-Kagawa, Toshiko; Jinno, Hideto; Hyuga, Masashi; Hakamatsuka, Takashi; Odaguchi, Hiroshi; Goda, Yukihiro; Hanawa, Toshihiko; Kobayashi, Yoshinori

    2018-03-01

    The article Ephedra Herb extract activates/desensitizes transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and reduces capsaicin-induced pain, written by Shunsuke Nakamori, Jun Takahashi, Sumiko Hyuga, Toshiko Tanaka-Kagawa, Hideto Jinno, Masashi Hyuga, Takashi Hakamatsuka, Hiroshi Odaguchi, Yukihiro Goda, Toshihiko Hanawa and Yoshinori Kobayashi, was originally published Online First without open access. After publication in volume 71, issue 1, page 105-113 the author decided to opt for Open Choice and to make the article an open access publication. Therefore, the copyright of the article has been changed to © The Author(s) 2018 and the article is forthwith distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

  13. Opinion dynamics with confirmation bias.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armen E Allahverdyan

    Full Text Available Confirmation bias is the tendency to acquire or evaluate new information in a way that is consistent with one's preexisting beliefs. It is omnipresent in psychology, economics, and even scientific practices. Prior theoretical research of this phenomenon has mainly focused on its economic implications possibly missing its potential connections with broader notions of cognitive science.We formulate a (non-Bayesian model for revising subjective probabilistic opinion of a confirmationally-biased agent in the light of a persuasive opinion. The revision rule ensures that the agent does not react to persuasion that is either far from his current opinion or coincides with it. We demonstrate that the model accounts for the basic phenomenology of the social judgment theory, and allows to study various phenomena such as cognitive dissonance and boomerang effect. The model also displays the order of presentation effect-when consecutively exposed to two opinions, the preference is given to the last opinion (recency or the first opinion (primacy -and relates recency to confirmation bias. Finally, we study the model in the case of repeated persuasion and analyze its convergence properties.The standard Bayesian approach to probabilistic opinion revision is inadequate for describing the observed phenomenology of persuasion process. The simple non-Bayesian model proposed here does agree with this phenomenology and is capable of reproducing a spectrum of effects observed in psychology: primacy-recency phenomenon, boomerang effect and cognitive dissonance. We point out several limitations of the model that should motivate its future development.

  14. Simulating publication bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paldam, Martin

    is censoring: selection by the size of estimate; SR3 selects the optimal combination of fit and size; and SR4 selects the first satisficing result. The last four SRs are steered by priors and result in bias. The MST and the FAT-PET have been developed for detection and correction of such bias. The simulations......Economic research typically runs J regressions for each selected for publication – it is often selected as the ‘best’ of the regressions. The paper examines five possible meanings of the word ‘best’: SR0 is ideal selection with no bias; SR1 is polishing: selection by statistical fit; SR2...... are made by data variation, while the model is the same. It appears that SR0 generates narrow funnels much at odds with observed funnels, while the other four funnels look more realistic. SR1 to SR4 give the mean a substantial bias that confirms the prior causing the bias. The FAT-PET MRA works well...

  15. Reward sensitivity, attentional bias, and executive control in early adolescent alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Wiers, Reinout W

    2015-01-01

    This study examined whether attentional bias for alcohol stimuli was associated with alcohol use in young adolescents, and whether the frequently demonstrated relationship between reward sensitivity and adolescent alcohol use would be partly mediated by attentional bias for alcohol cues. In addition, this study investigated the potential moderating role of executive control (EC), and tested whether the relationship between alcohol-related attentional bias and alcohol use was especially present in young adolescents with weak EC. Participants were 86 adolescents (mean age=14.86), who completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) as an index of attentional bias, a flanker-task based Attention Network Task (ANT) as an index of EC, the sensitivity of punishment and sensitivity of reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as an index of reward sensitivity, and an alcohol use questionnaire. High reward sensitivity, high alcohol-related attentional bias, and weak EC were all related to alcohol use. The relationship between reward sensitivity and alcohol use was not mediated by alcohol-related attentional bias. As hypothesized, attentional bias was only associated with alcohol use in participants with weak EC. Together, the present findings are consistent with the view that high reward sensitivity and low EC may be considered as risk factors for adolescent alcohol use. The independent contribution of reward sensitivity and attentional bias might suggest that adolescents who are highly reward sensitive and display an attentional bias for alcohol cues are at even higher risk for excessive alcohol use and developing alcohol abuse problems. Future research using a longitudinal approach would allow an examination of these risk factors on subsequent alcohol use. Treatment implications are discussed, including the importance of strengthening EC and reducing the rewarding value of alcohol use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Bias in iterative reconstruction of low-statistics PET data: benefits of a resolution model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walker, M D; Asselin, M-C; Julyan, P J; Feldmann, M; Matthews, J C [School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences, Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, MAHSC, University of Manchester, Manchester M20 3LJ (United Kingdom); Talbot, P S [Mental Health and Neurodegeneration Research Group, Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, MAHSC, University of Manchester, Manchester M20 3LJ (United Kingdom); Jones, T, E-mail: matthew.walker@manchester.ac.uk [Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, Christie Hospital, University of Manchester, Manchester M20 4BX (United Kingdom)

    2011-02-21

    Iterative image reconstruction methods such as ordered-subset expectation maximization (OSEM) are widely used in PET. Reconstructions via OSEM are however reported to be biased for low-count data. We investigated this and considered the impact for dynamic PET. Patient listmode data were acquired in [{sup 11}C]DASB and [{sup 15}O]H{sub 2}O scans on the HRRT brain PET scanner. These data were subsampled to create many independent, low-count replicates. The data were reconstructed and the images from low-count data were compared to the high-count originals (from the same reconstruction method). This comparison enabled low-statistics bias to be calculated for the given reconstruction, as a function of the noise-equivalent counts (NEC). Two iterative reconstruction methods were tested, one with and one without an image-based resolution model (RM). Significant bias was observed when reconstructing data of low statistical quality, for both subsampled human and simulated data. For human data, this bias was substantially reduced by including a RM. For [{sup 11}C]DASB the low-statistics bias in the caudate head at 1.7 M NEC (approx. 30 s) was -5.5% and -13% with and without RM, respectively. We predicted biases in the binding potential of -4% and -10%. For quantification of cerebral blood flow for the whole-brain grey- or white-matter, using [{sup 15}O]H{sub 2}O and the PET autoradiographic method, a low-statistics bias of <2.5% and <4% was predicted for reconstruction with and without the RM. The use of a resolution model reduces low-statistics bias and can hence be beneficial for quantitative dynamic PET.

  17. The choice of cement for the manufacture of concrete to be activated: the potential for reducing the radiological consequences of reactor decommissioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woollam, P.B.

    1985-05-01

    This report presents trace element analyses of some candidate cements which might be used in the manufacture of Sizewell 'B' concrete. It completes a programme of work whose aim was to investigate the potential for reducing the radiological consequences of reactor decommissioning through selection of construction materials for activated components. In particular, consideration has been given to the potential for reducing the concentration of elements known to activate to long lived daughters. (U.K.)

  18. Upregulation of CRABP1 in human neuroblastoma cells overproducing the Alzheimer-typical Aβ42 reduces their differentiation potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weninger Annette

    2008-12-01

    conclude that increasing the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio up-regulates CRABP1, which in turn reduces the differentiation potential of the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y, but increases cell proliferation. This work might contribute to the better understanding of AD neurogenesis, currently a controversial topic.

  19. Visually Evoked 3-5 Hz Membrane Potential Oscillations Reduce the Responsiveness of Visual Cortex Neurons in Awake Behaving Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einstein, Michael C; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Tran, Duy T; Golshani, Peyman

    2017-05-17

    Low-frequency membrane potential ( V m ) oscillations were once thought to only occur in sleeping and anesthetized states. Recently, low-frequency V m oscillations have been described in inactive awake animals, but it is unclear whether they shape sensory processing in neurons and whether they occur during active awake behavioral states. To answer these questions, we performed two-photon guided whole-cell V m recordings from primary visual cortex layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in awake mice during passive visual stimulation and performance of visual and auditory discrimination tasks. We recorded stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations where the V m baseline hyperpolarized as the V m underwent high amplitude rhythmic fluctuations lasting 1-2 s in duration. When 3-5 Hz V m oscillations coincided with visual cues, excitatory neuron responses to preferred cues were significantly reduced. Despite this disruption to sensory processing, visual cues were critical for evoking 3-5 Hz V m oscillations when animals performed discrimination tasks and passively viewed drifting grating stimuli. Using pupillometry and animal locomotive speed as indicators of arousal, we found that 3-5 Hz oscillations were not restricted to unaroused states and that they occurred equally in aroused and unaroused states. Therefore, low-frequency V m oscillations play a role in shaping sensory processing in visual cortical neurons, even during active wakefulness and decision making. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A neuron's membrane potential ( V m ) strongly shapes how information is processed in sensory cortices of awake animals. Yet, very little is known about how low-frequency V m oscillations influence sensory processing and whether they occur in aroused awake animals. By performing two-photon guided whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the visual cortex of awake behaving animals, we found visually evoked stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations that disrupt

  20. Measuring Agricultural Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Henning Tarp; Robinson, Sherman; Tarp, Finn

    The measurement issue is the key issue in the literature on trade policy-induced agri-cultural price incentive bias. This paper introduces a general equilibrium effective rate of protection (GE-ERP) measure, which extends and generalizes earlier partial equilibrium nominal protection measures...... shares and intersectoral linkages - are crucial for determining the sign and magnitude of trade policy bias. The GE-ERP measure is therefore uniquely suited to capture the full impact of trade policies on agricultural price incentives. A Monte Carlo procedure confirms that the results are robust....... For the 15 sample countries, the results indicate that the agricultural price incentive bias, which was generally perceived to exist during the 1980s, was largely eliminated during the 1990s. The results also demonstrate that general equilibrium effects and country-specific characteristics - including trade...

  1. Potential of thorium-based fuel cycle for PWR core to reduce plutonium and long-term toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joo, Hyung Kook; Kim, Taek Kyum; Kim, Young Jin [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea)

    1999-01-01

    The cross section libraries and calculation methods of the participants were inter-compared through the first stage benchmark calculation. The multiplication factor of unit cell benchmark are in good agreement, but there is significant discrepancies of 2.3 to 3.5 %k at BOC and at EOC between the calculated infinite multiplication factors of each participants for the assembly benchmark. Our results with HELIOS show a reasonable agreement with the others except the MTC value at EOC. To verify the potential of the thorium-based fuel to consume the plutonium and to reduce the radioactivity from the spent fuel, the conceptual core with ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} or MOX fuel were constructed. The composition and quantity of plutonium isotopes and the radioactivity level of spent fuel for conceptual cores were analyzed, and the neutronic characteristics of conceptual cores were also calculated. The nuclear characteristics for ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} thorium fueled core was similar to MOX fueled core, mainly due to the same seed fuel material, plutonium. For the capability of plutonium consumption, ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} thorium fuel can consume plutonium 2.1-2.4 times MOX fuel. The fraction of fissile plutonium in the spent ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} thorium fuel is more favorable in view of plutonium consumption and non-proliferation than MOX fuel. The radioactivity of spent ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} thorium and MOX fuel batches were calculated. Since plutonium isotopes are dominant for the long-term radioactivity, ThO{sub 2}-PuO{sub 2} thorium has almost the same level of radioactivity as in MOX fuel for a long-term perspective. (author). 22 figs., 11 tabs.

  2. Potential of Demand Side Management to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions Associated with the Operation of Heat Pumps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel J. G. Cooper

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This work considers the potential reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the operation of Air Source Heat Pump which could be achieved by using demand side management. In order to achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, it is widely envisioned that electrification of the heating sector will need to be combined with decarbonisation of the electrical supply. By influencing the times at when electric heat pumps operate such that they coincide more with electricity generation which has a low marginal carbon emissions factor, it has been suggested that these emissions could be reduced further. In order to investigate this possibility, models of the UK electrical grid based on scenarios for 2020 to 2050 have been combined with a dynamic model of an air source heat pump unit and thermal models of a population of dwellings. The performance and carbon dioxide emissions associated with the heat pumps are compared both with and without demand side management interventions intended to give preference to operation when the marginal emissions factor of the electricity being generated is low. It is found that these interventions are unlikely to be effective at achieving further reductions in emissions. A reduction of around 3% was observed in scenarios based around 2035 but in other scenarios the reduction was insignificant. In the scenarios with high wind generation (2050, the DSM scheme considered here tends to improve thermal comfort (with minimal increases in emissions rather than achieving a decrease in emissions. The reasons for this are discussed and further recommendations are made.

  3. Exploring the potential of expatriate social networks to reduce HIV and STI transmission: a protocol for a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Gemma; Bowser, Nicole Jasmine; Brown, Graham Ernest; Maycock, Bruce Richard

    2013-01-01

    HIV diagnoses acquired among Australian men working or travelling overseas including  Southeast Asia are increasing. This change within transmission dynamics means traditional approaches to prevention need to be considered in new contexts. The significance and role of social networks in mediating sexual risk behaviours may be influential. Greater understanding of expatriate and traveller behaviour is required to understand how local relationships are formed, how individuals enter and are socialised into networks, and how these networks may affect sexual intentions and behaviours. This paper describes the development of a qualitative protocol to investigate how social networks of Australian expatriates and long-term travellers might support interventions to reduce transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. To explore the interactions of male expatriates and long-term travellers within and between their environments, symbolic interactionism will be the theoretical framework used. Grounded theory methods provide the ability to explain social processes through the development of explanatory theory. The primary data source will be interviews conducted in several rounds in both Australia and Southeast Asia. Purposive and theoretical sampling will be used to access participants whose data can provide depth and individual meaning. The role of expatriate and long-term traveller networks and their potential to impact health are uncertain. This study seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the Australian expatriate culture, behavioural contexts and experiences within social networks in  Southeast Asia. This research will provide tangible recommendations for policy and practice as the findings will be disseminated to health professionals and other stakeholders, academics and the community via local research and evaluation networks, conference presentations and online forums. The Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee has granted approval for this

  4. Running Reduces Uncontrollable Stress-Evoked Serotonin and Potentiates Stress-Evoked Dopamine Concentrations in the Rat Dorsal Striatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Clark

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence from both the human and animal literature indicates that exercise reduces the negative consequences of stress. The neurobiological etiology for this stress protection, however, is not completely understood. Our lab reported that voluntary wheel running protects rats from expressing depression-like instrumental learning deficits on the shuttle box escape task after exposure to unpredictable and inescapable tail shocks (uncontrollable stress. Impaired escape behavior is a result of stress-sensitized serotonin (5-HT neuron activity in the dorsal raphe (DRN and subsequent excessive release of 5-HT into the dorsal striatum following exposure to a comparatively mild stressor. However, the possible mechanisms by which exercise prevents stress-induced escape deficits are not well characterized. The purpose of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that exercise blunts the stress-evoked release of 5-HT in the dorsal striatum. Changes to dopamine (DA levels were also examined, since striatal DA signaling is critical for instrumental learning and can be influenced by changes to 5-HT activity. Adult male F344 rats, housed with or without running wheels for 6 weeks, were either exposed to tail shock or remained undisturbed in laboratory cages. Twenty-four hours later, microdialysis was performed in the medial (DMS and lateral (DLS dorsal striatum to collect extracellular 5-HT and DA before, during, and following 2 mild foot shocks. We report wheel running prevents foot shock-induced elevation of extracellular 5-HT and potentiates DA concentrations in both the DMS and DLS approximately 24 h following exposure to uncontrollable stress. These data may provide a possible mechanism by which exercise prevents depression-like instrumental learning deficits following exposure to acute stress.

  5. Exploring the potential of expatriate social networks to reduce HIV and STI transmission: a protocol for a qualitative study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Gemma; Bowser, Nicole Jasmine; Brown, Graham Ernest; Maycock, Bruce Richard

    2013-01-01

    Introduction HIV diagnoses acquired among Australian men working or travelling overseas including  Southeast Asia are increasing. This change within transmission dynamics means traditional approaches to prevention need to be considered in new contexts. The significance and role of social networks in mediating sexual risk behaviours may be influential. Greater understanding of expatriate and traveller behaviour is required to understand how local relationships are formed, how individuals enter and are socialised into networks, and how these networks may affect sexual intentions and behaviours. This paper describes the development of a qualitative protocol to investigate how social networks of Australian expatriates and long-term travellers might support interventions to reduce transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Methods and analysis To explore the interactions of male expatriates and long-term travellers within and between their environments, symbolic interactionism will be the theoretical framework used. Grounded theory methods provide the ability to explain social processes through the development of explanatory theory. The primary data source will be interviews conducted in several rounds in both Australia and Southeast Asia. Purposive and theoretical sampling will be used to access participants whose data can provide depth and individual meaning. Ethics and dissemination The role of expatriate and long-term traveller networks and their potential to impact health are uncertain. This study seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the Australian expatriate culture, behavioural contexts and experiences within social networks in  Southeast Asia. This research will provide tangible recommendations for policy and practice as the findings will be disseminated to health professionals and other stakeholders, academics and the community via local research and evaluation networks, conference presentations and online forums. The Curtin University Human

  6. Stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, and sad bias in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder or depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, Chad M.; Hudziak, James J.; Gaffrey, Michael S.; Barch, Deanna M.; Luby, Joan L.

    2015-01-01

    Attention biases towards threatening and sad stimuli are associated with pediatric anxiety and depression, respectively. The basic cognitive mechanisms associated with attention biases in youth, however, remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that threat bias (selective attention for threatening versus neutral stimuli) but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. We collected measures of stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, sad bias, and current clinical symptoms in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder and/or depression (ANX/DEP; n=40) as well as healthy controls (HC; n=33). Stimulus-driven attention was measured with a non-emotional spatial orienting task, while threat bias and sad bias were measured at a short time interval (150 ms) with a spatial orienting task using emotional faces and at a longer time interval (500 ms) using a dot-probe task. In ANX/DEP but not HC, early attention bias towards threat was negatively correlated with later attention bias to threat, suggesting that early threat vigilance was associated with later threat avoidance. Across all subjects, stimulus-driven orienting was not correlated with early threat bias but was negatively correlated with later threat bias, indicating that rapid stimulus-driven orienting is linked to later threat avoidance. No parallel relationships were detected for sad bias. Current symptoms of depression but not anxiety were related to decreased stimulus-driven attention. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat bias but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. These results inform the design of attention bias modification programs that aim to reverse threat biases and reduce symptoms associated with pediatric anxiety and depression. PMID:25702927

  7. Stimulus-Driven Attention, Threat Bias, and Sad Bias in Youth with a History of an Anxiety Disorder or Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, Chad M; Hudziak, James J; Gaffrey, Michael S; Barch, Deanna M; Luby, Joan L

    2016-02-01

    Attention biases towards threatening and sad stimuli are associated with pediatric anxiety and depression, respectively. The basic cognitive mechanisms associated with attention biases in youth, however, remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that threat bias (selective attention for threatening versus neutral stimuli) but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. We collected measures of stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, sad bias, and current clinical symptoms in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder and/or depression (ANX/DEP; n = 40) as well as healthy controls (HC; n = 33). Stimulus-driven attention was measured with a non-emotional spatial orienting task, while threat bias and sad bias were measured at a short time interval (150 ms) with a spatial orienting task using emotional faces and at a longer time interval (500 ms) using a dot-probe task. In ANX/DEP but not HC, early attention bias towards threat was negatively correlated with later attention bias to threat, suggesting that early threat vigilance was associated with later threat avoidance. Across all subjects, stimulus-driven orienting was not correlated with early threat bias but was negatively correlated with later threat bias, indicating that rapid stimulus-driven orienting is linked to later threat avoidance. No parallel relationships were detected for sad bias. Current symptoms of depression but not anxiety were related to decreased stimulus-driven attention. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat bias but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. These results inform the design of attention bias modification programs that aim to reverse threat biases and reduce symptoms associated with pediatric anxiety and depression.

  8. Asymmetrical effects of adaptation to left- and right-shifting prisms depends on pre-existing attentional biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goedert, Kelly M; Leblanc, Andrew; Tsai, Sen-Wei; Barrett, Anna M

    2010-09-01

    Proposals that adaptation with left-shifting prisms induces neglect-like symptoms in normal individuals rely on a dissociation between the postadaptation performance of individuals trained with left- versus right-shifting prisms (e.g., Colent, Pisella, & Rossetti, 2000). A potential problem with this evidence is that normal young adults have an a priori leftward bias (e.g., Jewell & McCourt, 2000). In Experiment 1, we compared the line bisection performance of young adults to that of aged adults, who as a group may lack a leftward bias in line bisection. Participants trained with both left- and right-shifting prisms. Consistent with our hypothesis, while young adults demonstrated aftereffects for left, but not right prisms, aged adults demonstrated reliable aftereffects for both prisms. In Experiment 2, we recruited a larger sample of young adults, some of whom were right-biased at baseline. We observed an interaction between baseline bias and prism-shift, consistent with the results of Experiment 1: Left-biased individuals showed a reduced aftereffect when training with right-shifting prisms and right-biased individuals showed a reduced aftereffect when training with left-shifting prisms. These results suggest that previous failures to find generalizable aftereffects with right-shifting prisms may be driven by participants' baseline biases rather than specific effects of the prism itself.

  9. Cognitive bias in symptomatic and recovered agoraphobics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoler, L S; McNally, R J

    1991-01-01

    Symptomatic agoraphobics, recovered agoraphobics, and normal control subjects completed a series of sentence stems that had either ambiguous or unambiguous meanings, and had either a potentially threatening or a nonthreatening connotation. The written completions made by subjects to these stems were classified as indicating either a biased (i.e. threat-related) or unbiased interpretation of the meaning of the stem, and if a biased interpretation was made, whether the subject indicated efforts at adaptive coping with the perceived threat. Results indicated that symptomatic agoraphobics exhibited strong biases for interpreting information as threatening, relative to normal control subjects. Moreover, recovered agoraphobics resembled symptomatic agoraphobics more than normal control subjects, thus indicating that cognitive biases may persist following cessation of panic attacks and reductions in avoidance behavior. However, recovered agoraphobics also exhibited tendencies to cope adaptively with perceived threats whereas symptomatic agoraphobics did not.

  10. Further exploration of dissemination bias in qualitative research required to facilitate assessment within qualitative evidence syntheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toews, Ingrid; Booth, Andrew; Berg, Rigmor C; Lewin, Simon; Glenton, Claire; Munthe-Kaas, Heather M; Noyes, Jane; Schroter, Sara; Meerpohl, Joerg J

    2017-08-01

    To conceptualise and discuss dissemination bias in qualitative research. It is likely that the mechanisms leading to dissemination bias in quantitative research, including time lag, language, gray literature, and truncation bias also contribute to dissemination bias in qualitative research. These conceptual considerations have informed the development of a research agenda. Further exploration of dissemination bias in qualitative research is needed, including the extent of non-dissemination and related dissemination bias, and how to assess dissemination bias within qualitative evidence syntheses. We also need to consider the mechanisms through which dissemination bias in qualitative research could occur to explore approaches for reducing it. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Recent Advances in Attention Bias Modification for Substance Addictions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melvyn Weibin Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Research on attentional bias modification has increased since 2014. A recent meta-analysis demonstrates evidence for bias modification for substance disorders, including alcohol and tobacco use disorders. Several pharmacological trials have shown that pharmacological agents can attenuate and modify such attentional bias. The pharmacological trials that have appeared to date have produced mixed results, which has clinical implications. Developments in Internet and mobile technologies have transformed how attention bias modification is currently being achieved. There remains great potential for further research that examines the efficacy of technology-aided attention bias interventions.

  12. Matrilateral Bias in Human Grandmothering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Daly

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Children receive more care and resources from their maternal grandmothers than from their paternal grandmothers. This asymmetry is the “matrilateral bias” in grandmaternal investment. Here, we synopsize the evolutionary theories that predict such a bias, and review evidence of its cross-cultural generality and magnitude. Evolutionists have long maintained that investing in a daughter’s child yields greater fitness returns, on average, than investing in a son’s child because of paternity uncertainty: the son’s putative progeny may have been sired by someone else. Recent theoretical work has identified an additional natural selective basis for the matrilateral bias that may be no less important: supporting grandchildren lightens the load on their mother, increasing her capacity to pursue her fitness in other ways, and if she invests those gains either in her natal relatives or in children of a former or future partner, fitness returns accrue to the maternal, but not the paternal, grandmother. In modern democracies, where kinship is reckoned bilaterally and no postmarital residence norms restrict grandmaternal access to grandchildren, many studies have found large matrilateral biases in contact, childcare, and emotional closeness. In other societies, patrilineal ideology and postmarital residence with the husband’s kin (virilocality might be expected to have produced a patrilateral bias instead, but the available evidence refutes this hypothesis. In hunter-gatherers, regardless of professed norms concerning kinship and residence, mothers get needed help at and after childbirth from their mothers, not their mothers-in-law. In traditional agricultural and pastoral societies, patrilineal and virilocal norms are common, but young mothers still turn to their natal families for crucial help, and several studies have documented benefits, including reduced child mortality, associated with access to maternal, but not paternal, grandmothers. Even

  13. Measuring agricultural policy bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Henning Tarp; Robinson, Sherman; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    Measurement is a key issue in the literature on price incentive bias induced by trade policy. We introduce a general equilibrium measure of the relative effective rate of protection, which generalizes earlier protection measures. For our fifteen sample countries, results indicate that the agricul...

  14. Potential for reduction of burden and local elimination of malaria by reducing Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission: a mathematical modelling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Jamie T; Bhatt, Samir; Sinka, Marianne E; Gething, Peter W; Lynch, Michael; Patouillard, Edith; Shutes, Erin; Newman, Robert D; Alonso, Pedro; Cibulskis, Richard E; Ghani, Azra C

    2016-04-01

    Rapid declines in malaria prevalence, cases, and deaths have been achieved globally during the past 15 years because of improved access to first-line treatment and vector control. We aimed to assess the intervention coverage needed to achieve further gains over the next 15 years. We used a mathematical model of the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria to explore the potential effect on case incidence and malaria mortality rates from 2015 to 2030 of five different intervention scenarios: remaining at the intervention coverage levels of 2011-13 (Sustain), for which coverage comprises vector control and access to treatment; two scenarios of increased coverage to 80% (Accelerate 1) and 90% (Accelerate 2), with a switch from quinine to injectable artesunate for management of severe disease and seasonal malaria chemoprevention where recommended for both Accelerate scenarios, and rectal artesunate for pre-referral treatment at the community level added to Accelerate 2; a near-term innovation scenario (Innovate), which included longer-lasting insecticidal nets and expansion of seasonal malaria chemoprevention; and a reduction in coverage to 2006-08 levels (Reverse). We did the model simulations at the first administrative level (ie, state or province) for the 80 countries with sustained stable malaria transmission in 2010, accounting for variations in baseline endemicity, seasonality in transmission, vector species, and existing intervention coverage. To calculate the cases and deaths averted, we compared the total number of each under the five scenarios between 2015 and 2030 with the predicted number in 2015, accounting for population growth. With an increase to 80% coverage, we predicted a reduction in case incidence of 21% (95% credible intervals [CrI] 19-29) and a reduction in mortality rates of 40% (27-61) by 2030 compared with 2015 levels. Acceleration to 90% coverage and expansion of treatment at the community level was predicted to reduce case incidence by

  15. Attention bias modification training under working memory load increases the magnitude of change in attentional bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Patrick J F; Branson, Sonya; Chen, Nigel T M; Van Bockstaele, Bram; Salemink, Elske; MacLeod, Colin; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) procedures have shown promise as a therapeutic intervention, however current ABM procedures have proven inconsistent in their ability to reliably achieve the requisite change in attentional bias needed to produce emotional benefits. This highlights the need to better understand the precise task conditions that facilitate the intended change in attention bias in order to realise the therapeutic potential of ABM procedures. Based on the observation that change in attentional bias occurs largely outside conscious awareness, the aim of the current study was to determine if an ABM procedure delivered under conditions likely to preclude explicit awareness of the experimental contingency, via the addition of a working memory load, would contribute to greater change in attentional bias. Bias change was assessed among 122 participants in response to one of four ABM tasks given by the two experimental factors of ABM training procedure delivered either with or without working memory load, and training direction of either attend-negative or avoid-negative. Findings revealed that avoid-negative ABM procedure under working memory load resulted in significantly greater reductions in attentional bias compared to the equivalent no-load condition. The current findings will require replication with clinical samples to determine the utility of the current task for achieving emotional benefits. These present findings are consistent with the position that the addition of a working memory load may facilitate change in attentional bias in response to an ABM training procedure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Toward a synthesis of cognitive biases: how noisy information processing can bias human decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbert, Martin

    2012-03-01

    A single coherent framework is proposed to synthesize long-standing research on 8 seemingly unrelated cognitive decision-making biases. During the past 6 decades, hundreds of empirical studies have resulted in a variety of rules of thumb that specify how humans systematically deviate from what is normatively expected from their decisions. Several complementary generative mechanisms have been proposed to explain those cognitive biases. Here it is suggested that (at least) 8 of these empirically detected decision-making biases can be produced by simply assuming noisy deviations in the memory-based information processes that convert objective evidence (observations) into subjective estimates (decisions). An integrative framework is presented to show how similar noise-based mechanisms can lead to conservatism, the Bayesian likelihood bias, illusory correlations, biased self-other placement, subadditivity, exaggerated expectation, the confidence bias, and the hard-easy effect. Analytical tools from information theory are used to explore the nature and limitations that characterize such information processes for binary and multiary decision-making exercises. The ensuing synthesis offers formal mathematical definitions of the biases and their underlying generative mechanism, which permits a consolidated analysis of how they are related. This synthesis contributes to the larger goal of creating a coherent picture that explains the relations among the myriad of seemingly unrelated biases and their potential psychological generative mechanisms. Limitations and research questions are discussed.

  17. Sampling bias in an internet treatment trial for depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donkin, L; Hickie, I B; Christensen, H; Naismith, S L; Neal, B; Cockayne, N L; Glozier, N

    2012-10-23

    Internet psychological interventions are efficacious and may reduce traditional access barriers. No studies have evaluated whether any sampling bias exists in these trials that may limit the translation of the results of these trials into real-world application. We identified 7999 potentially eligible trial participants from a community-based health cohort study and invited them to participate in a randomized controlled trial of an online cognitive behavioural therapy programme for people with depression. We compared those who consented to being assessed for trial inclusion with nonconsenters on demographic, clinical and behavioural indicators captured in the health study. Any potentially biasing factors were then assessed for their association with depression outcome among trial participants to evaluate the existence of sampling bias. Of the 35 health survey variables explored, only 4 were independently associated with higher likelihood of consenting-female sex (odds ratio (OR) 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.19), speaking English at home (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.15-1.90) higher education (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.46-1.92) and a prior diagnosis of depression (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.22-1.55). The multivariate model accounted for limited variance (C-statistic 0.6) in explaining participation. These four factors were not significantly associated with either the primary trial outcome measure or any differential impact by intervention arm. This demonstrates that, among eligible trial participants, few factors were associated with the consent to participate. There was no indication that such self-selection biased the trial results or would limit the generalizability and translation into a public or clinical setting.

  18. Application of Probabilistic Multiple-Bias Analyses to a Cohort- and a Case-Control Study on the Association between Pandemrix™ and Narcolepsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaatje Bollaerts

    Full Text Available An increase in narcolepsy cases was observed in Finland and Sweden towards the end of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Preliminary observational studies suggested a temporal link with the pandemic influenza vaccine Pandemrix™, leading to a number of additional studies across Europe. Given the public health urgency, these studies used readily available retrospective data from various sources. The potential for bias in such settings was generally acknowledged. Although generally advocated by key opinion leaders and international health authorities, no systematic quantitative assessment of the potential joint impact of biases was undertaken in any of these studies.We applied bias-level multiple-bias analyses to two of the published narcolepsy studies: a pediatric cohort study from Finland and a case-control study from France. In particular, we developed Monte Carlo simulation models to evaluate a potential cascade of biases, including confounding by age, by indication and by natural H1N1 infection, selection bias, disease- and exposure misclassification. All bias parameters were evidence-based to the extent possible.Given the assumptions used for confounding, selection bias and misclassification, the Finnish rate ratio of 13.78 (95% CI: 5.72-28.11 reduced to a median value of 6.06 (2.5th- 97.5th percentile: 2.49-15.1 and the French odds ratio of 5.43 (95% CI: 2.6-10.08 to 1.85 (2.5th-97.5th percentile: 0.85-4.08.We illustrate multiple-bias analyses using two studies on the Pandemrix™-narcolepsy association and advocate their use to better understand the robustness of study findings. Based on our multiple-bias models, the observed Pandemrix™-narcolepsy association consistently persists in the Finnish study. For the French study, the results of our multiple-bias models were inconclusive.

  19. Methodologies for Measuring Judicial Performance: The Problem of Bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Elek

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Concerns about gender and racial bias in the survey-based evaluations of judicial performance common in the United States have persisted for decades. Consistent with a large body of basic research in the psychological sciences, recent studies confirm that the results from these JPE surveys are systematically biased against women and minority judges. In this paper, we explain the insidious manner in which performance evaluations may be biased, describe some techniques that may help to reduce expressions of bias in judicial performance evaluation surveys, and discuss the potential problem such biases may pose in other common methods of performance evaluation used in the United States and elsewhere. We conclude by highlighting the potential adverse consequences of judicial performance evaluation programs that rely on biased measurements. Durante décadas ha habido una preocupación por la discriminación por género y racial en las evaluaciones del rendimiento judicial basadas en encuestas, comunes en Estados Unidos. De acuerdo con un gran corpus de investigación básica en las ciencias psicológicas, estudios recientes confirman que los resultados de estas encuestas de evaluación del rendimiento judicial están sistemáticamente sesgados contra las mujeres y los jueces de minorías. En este artículo se explica la manera insidiosa en que las evaluaciones de rendimiento pueden estar sesgadas, se describen algunas técnicas que pueden ayudar a reducir las expresiones de sesgo en los estudios de evaluación del rendimiento judicial, y se debate el problema potencial que estos sesgos pueden plantear en otros métodos comunes de evaluación del rendimiento utilizados en Estados Unidos y otros países. Se concluye destacando las posibles consecuencias adversas de los programas de evaluación del rendimiento judicial que se basan en mediciones sesgadas. DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2533937

  20. Awareness and minimisation of systematic bias in research.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Malone, Helen

    2014-03-01

    A major goal of nursing and midwifery is the delivery of evidence-based practice. Consequently, it is essential for the quality and safety of patient\\/client care that policy makers, educators and practitioners are aware of the presence of potential systematic bias in research practice and research publications so that only sound evidence translates into practice. The main aim of this paper is to highlight the need for ongoing awareness of the potential presence of systematic bias in research practice, to explore commonly reported types of systematic bias and to report some methods that can be applied to minimise systematic bias in research.

  1. Optimum biasing of integral equations in Monte Carlo calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoogenboom, J.E.

    1979-01-01

    In solving integral equations and estimating average values with the Monte Carlo method, biasing functions may be used to reduce the variancee of the estimates. A simple derivation was used to prove the existence of a zero-variance collision estimator if a specific biasing function and survival probability are applied. This optimum biasing function is the same as that used for the well known zero-variance last-event estimator

  2. Procedures for Dealing with Optimism Bias in Transport Planning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flyvbjerg, Bent; Glenting, Carsten; Rønnest, Arne Kvist

    of the document are to provide empirically based optimism bias up-lifts for selected reference classes of transport infrastructure projects and provide guidance on using the established uplifts to produce more realistic forecasts for the individual project's capital expenditures. Furthermore, the underlying...... causes and institutional context for optimism bias in British transport projects are discussed and some possibilities for reducing optimism bias in project preparation and decision-making are identified....

  3. Gender Bias Affects Forests Worldwide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlène Elias

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Gender biases persist in forestry research and practice. These biases result in reduced scientific rigor and inequitable, ineffective, and less efficient policies, programs, and interventions. Drawing from a two-volume collection of current and classic analyses on gender in forests, we outline five persistent and inter-related themes: gendered governance, tree tenure, forest spaces, division of labor, and ecological knowledge. Each emerges across geographic regions in the northern and southern hemisphere and reflects inequities in women’s and men’s ability to make decisions about and benefit from trees, forests, and their products. Women’s ability to participate in community-based forest governance is typically less than men’s, causing concern for social equity and forest stewardship. Women’s access to trees and their products is commonly more limited than men’s, and mediated by their relationship with their male counterparts. Spatial patterns of forest use reflect gender norms and taboos, and men’s greater access to transportation. The division of labor results in gender specialization in the collection of forest products, with variations in gender roles across regions. All these gender differences result in ecological knowledge that is distinct but also complementary and shifting across the genders. The ways gender plays out in relation to each theme may vary across cultures and contexts, but the influence of gender, which intersects with other factors of social differentiation in shaping forest landscapes, is global.

  4. Potential for the Use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts to Reduce Energy Consumption and Provide Energy and Cost Savings in Non-Building Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, Charles; Green, Andrew S.; Dahle, Douglas; Barnett, John; Butler, Pat; Kerner, David

    2013-08-01

    The findings of this study indicate that potential exists in non-building applications to save energy and costs. This potential could save billions of federal dollars, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, increase energy independence and security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Federal Government has nearly twenty years of experience with achieving similar energy cost reductions, and letting the energy costs savings pay for themselves, by applying energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) inits buildings. Currently, the application of ESPCs is limited by statute to federal buildings. This study indicates that ESPCs can be a compatible and effective contracting tool for achieving savings in non-building applications.

  5. Experiences with Lean Six Sigma as improvement strategy to reduce parenteral medication administration errors and associated potential risk of harm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Plas, Afke; Slikkerveer, Mariëlle; Hoen, Saskia; Schrijnemakers, Rick; Driessen, Johanna; de Vries, Frank; van den Bemt, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    In this controlled before-after study the effect of improvements, derived from Lean Six Sigma strategy, on parenteral medication administration errors and the potential risk of harm was determined. During baseline measurement, on control versus intervention ward, at least one administration error occurred in 14 (74%) and 6 (46%) administrations with potential risk of harm in 6 (32%) and 1 (8%) administrations. Most administration errors with high potential risk of harm occurred in bolus injections: 8 (57%) versus 2 (67%) bolus injections were injected too fast with a potential risk of harm in 6 (43%) and 1 (33%) bolus injections on control and intervention ward. Implemented improvement strategies, based on major causes of too fast administration of bolus injections, were: Substitution of bolus injections by infusions, education, availability of administration information and drug round tabards. Post intervention, on the control ward in 76 (76%) administrations at least one error was made (RR 1.03; CI95:0.77-1.38), with a potential risk of harm in 14 (14%) administrations (RR 0.45; CI95:0.20-1.02). In 40 (68%) administrations on the intervention ward at least one error occurred (RR 1.47; CI95:0.80-2.71) but no administrations were associated with a potential risk of harm. A shift in wrong duration administration errors from bolus injections to infusions, with a reduction of potential risk of harm, seems to have occurred on the intervention ward. Although data are insufficient to prove an effect, Lean Six Sigma was experienced as a suitable strategy to select tailored improvements. Further studies are required to prove the effect of the strategy on parenteral medication administration errors.

  6. Investigation of the geothermal state of sedimentary basins using oil industry thermal data: case study from Northern Alberta exhibiting the need to systematically remove biased data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allan Gray, D; Majorowicz, Jacek; Unsworth, Martyn

    2012-01-01

    Subsurface temperature data from industrial sources may contain significant biases that greatly reduce their overall quality. However, if these biases can be identified and removed, the data can provide a good preliminary source of information for further studies. In this paper, industrial thermal data from three sources: bottom hole temperatures, annual pool pressure tests and drill stem tests are evaluated to provide an updated view of the subsurface temperatures below the oil sand regions of Northern Alberta. The study highlights some of the potentially large systematic biases inherent in industrial temperature data which affect estimates of geothermal gradient and regional mapping of the geothermal field. (paper)

  7. The generalizability of gender bias: Testing the effects of contextual, explicit, and implicit sexism on labor arbitration decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girvan, Erik J; Deason, Grace; Borgida, Eugene

    2015-10-01

    Decades of social-psychological research show that gender bias can result from features of the social context and from individual-level psychological predispositions. Do these sources of bias impact legal decisions, which are frequently made by people subject to factors that have been proposed to reduce bias (training and accountability)? To answer the question, we examined the potential for 3 major social-psychological theories of gender bias (role-congruity theory, ambivalent sexism, and implicit bias) to predict outcomes of labor arbitration decisions. In the first study, undergraduate students and professional arbitrators made decisions about 2 mock arbitration cases in which the gender of the employee-grievants was experimentally manipulated. Student participants' decisions showed the predicted gender bias, whereas the decisions of experienced professionals did not. Individual-level attitudes did not predict the extent of the observed bias and accountability did not attenuate it. In the second study, arbitrators' explicit and implicit gender attitudes were significant predictors of their decisions in published cases. The laboratory and field results suggest that context, expertise, and implicit and explicit attitudes are relevant to legal decision-making, but that laboratory experiments alone may not fully capture the nature of their effect on legal professionals' decisions in real cases. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Reduced rates of controlled-release fertilizer lower potential nitrogen leaching from a Wisconsin bare-root tree nursery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryosuke Fujinuma; Nick J. Balster; Hyung-Kyung. Lee

    2011-01-01

    Controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) typically increases nitrogen (N) fertilizer uptake and lowers N lost from the rooting zone via leaching. However, questions remain as to whether lower rates of CRF could further increase this efficiency, especially in sandy bare-root nurseries in Wisconsin. We hypothesized that: 1) a reduced CRF application at 60 percent of the...

  9. Facile synthesis of reduced graphene oxide/peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate composite and its potential energy storage application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciszewski, Mateusz; Benke, Grzegorz; Leszczynska-Sejda, Katarzyna; Kopyto, Dorota [Institute of Non Ferrous Metals, Department of Hydrometallurgy, Gliwice (Poland)

    2017-11-15

    A new energy storage material based on molybdate active species has been presented. Molybdenum seems to be a perspective material in supercapacitors because of numerous possible metal oxidation states, electrolyte storage by means of various chemical reactions and availability in comparison to other refractory metals. Material synthesized within this research was composed of reduced graphene oxide matrix and peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate active dimers. It was showed that peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate structure enhanced electrochemical activity of symmetric supercapacitor. Simple methodology was used to synthesize a composite with pH adjustment as the key step. The specific capacity calculated from galvanostatic charge/discharge curves was as high as 250 F/g. Material was distinguished by good cyclability with 5% capacity loss after 1000 cycles. The increase in charge transfer resistance, induced by metal-oxygen compound within the carbon matrix was relatively low, compared to parent reduced graphene oxide. Amorphous structure of peroxomolybdate(VI)-modified material was observed with slight increase in the interlayer distance in comparison to parent reduced graphene oxide. The height and lateral size of crystallites were also determined. Significant decrease in the specific surface area of peroxomolybdate(VI)-modified composite was observed, in comparison to the parent reduced graphene oxide. (orig.)

  10. Facile synthesis of reduced graphene oxide/peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate composite and its potential energy storage application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciszewski, Mateusz; Benke, Grzegorz; Leszczynska-Sejda, Katarzyna; Kopyto, Dorota

    2017-01-01

    A new energy storage material based on molybdate active species has been presented. Molybdenum seems to be a perspective material in supercapacitors because of numerous possible metal oxidation states, electrolyte storage by means of various chemical reactions and availability in comparison to other refractory metals. Material synthesized within this research was composed of reduced graphene oxide matrix and peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate active dimers. It was showed that peroxomolybdate(VI)-citrate structure enhanced electrochemical activity of symmetric supercapacitor. Simple methodology was used to synthesize a composite with pH adjustment as the key step. The specific capacity calculated from galvanostatic charge/discharge curves was as high as 250 F/g. Material was distinguished by good cyclability with 5% capacity loss after 1000 cycles. The increase in charge transfer resistance, induced by metal-oxygen compound within the carbon matrix was relatively low, compared to parent reduced graphene oxide. Amorphous structure of peroxomolybdate(VI)-modified material was observed with slight increase in the interlayer distance in comparison to parent reduced graphene oxide. The height and lateral size of crystallites were also determined. Significant decrease in the specific surface area of peroxomolybdate(VI)-modified composite was observed, in comparison to the parent reduced graphene oxide. (orig.)

  11. Nonmarket benefits of reducing environmental effects of potential wildfires in beetle-killed trees: A contingent valuation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maryam Tabatabaei; John B. Loomis; Daniel W. McCollum

    2015-01-01

    We estimated Colorado households’ nonmarket values for two forest management options for reducing intensity of future wildfires and associated nonmarket environmental effects wildfires. The first policy is the traditional harvesting of pine beetle-killed trees and burning of the slash piles of residual materials on-site. The second involves harvesting but moving the...

  12. Bias Correction for the Maximum Likelihood Estimate of Ability. Research Report. ETS RR-05-15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinming

    2005-01-01

    Lord's bias function and the weighted likelihood estimation method are effective in reducing the bias of the maximum likelihood estimate of an examinee's ability under the assumption that the true item parameters are known. This paper presents simulation studies to determine the effectiveness of these two methods in reducing the bias when the item…

  13. Experiences with Lean Six Sigma as improvement strategy to reduce parenteral medication administration errors and associated potential risk of harm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Plas, Afke; Slikkerveer, Mariëlle; Hoen, Saskia; Schrijnemakers, Rick; Driessen, Johanna; de Vries, Frank; van den Bemt, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    In this controlled before-after study the effect of improvements, derived from Lean Six Sigma strategy, on parenteral medication administration errors and the potential risk of harm was determined. During baseline measurement, on control versus intervention ward, at least one administration error

  14. The potential of blue energy for reducing emissions of CO2 and non-CO2 greenhouse gases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuleszo, J.; Kroeze, C.; Post, J.; Fekete, B.M.

    2010-01-01

    Salinity gradient power (or blue energy) is a renewable energy source mentioned in the literature since the 1950s. It refers to the production of electricity by mixing of two solutions with different salt concentrations, for example river and sea water. The global potential of salinity power has

  15. Strategies to reduce the environmental impact caused by the potential losses of N in soil amended with organic residues