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Sample records for selectively improving nikkomycin

  1. Selectively improving nikkomycin Z production by blocking the imidazolone biosynthetic pathway of nikkomycin X and uracil feeding in Streptomyces ansochromogenes

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    Yang Haihua

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nikkomycins are a group of peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics and act as potent inhibitors of chitin synthases in fungi and insects. Nikkomycin X and Z are the main components produced by Streptomyces ansochromogenes. Of them, nikkomycin Z is a promising antifungal agent with clinical significance. Since highly structural similarities between nikkomycin Z and X, separation of nikkomycin Z from the culture medium of S. ansochromogenes is difficult. Thus, generating a nikkomycin Z selectively producing strain is vital to scale up the nikkomycin Z yields for clinical trials. Results A nikkomycin Z producing strain (sanPDM was constructed by blocking the imidazolone biosynthetic pathway of nikkomycin X via genetic manipulation and yielded 300 mg/L nikkomycin Z and abolished the nikkomycin X production. To further increase the yield of nikkomycin Z, the effects of different precursors on its production were investigated. Precursors of nucleoside moiety (uracil or uridine had a stimulatory effect on nikkomycin Z production while precursors of peptidyl moiety (L-lysine and L-glutamate had no effect. sanPDM produced the maximum yields of nikkomycin Z (800 mg/L in the presence of uracil at the concentration of 2 g/L and it was approximately 2.6-fold higher than that of the parent strain. Conclusion A high nikkomycin Z selectively producing was obtained by genetic manipulation combined with precursors feeding. The strategy presented here might be applicable in other bacteria to selectively produce targeted antibiotics.

  2. Cloning, reassembling and integration of the entire nikkomycin biosynthetic gene cluster into Streptomyces ansochromogenes lead to an improved nikkomycin production

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    Yang Haihua

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nikkomycins are a group of peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics produced by Streptomyces ansochromogenes. They are competitive inhibitors of chitin synthase and show potent fungicidal, insecticidal, and acaricidal activities. Nikkomycin X and Z are the main components produced by S. ansochromogenes. Generation of a high-producing strain is crucial to scale up nikkomycins production for further clinical trials. Results To increase the yields of nikkomycins, an additional copy of nikkomycin biosynthetic gene cluster (35 kb was introduced into nikkomycin producing strain, S. ansochromogenes 7100. The gene cluster was first reassembled into an integrative plasmid by Red/ET technology combining with classic cloning methods and then the resulting plasmid(pNIKwas introduced into S. ansochromogenes by conjugal transfer. Introduction of pNIK led to enhanced production of nikkomycins (880 mg L-1, 4 -fold nikkomycin X and 210 mg L-1, 1.8-fold nikkomycin Z in the resulting exconjugants comparing with the parent strain (220 mg L-1 nikkomycin X and 120 mg L-1 nikkomycin Z. The exconjugants are genetically stable in the absence of antibiotic resistance selection pressure. Conclusion A high nikkomycins producing strain (1100 mg L-1 nikkomycins was obtained by introduction of an extra nikkomycin biosynthetic gene cluster into the genome of S. ansochromogenes. The strategies presented here could be applicable to other bacteria to improve the yields of secondary metabolites.

  3. A practical and scalable manufacturing process for an anti-fungal agent, Nikkomycin Z.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenland, Christopher J; Lis, Lev G; Schendel, Frederick J; Hahn, Nicholas J; Smart, Mary A; Miller, Amy L; von Keitz, Marc G; Gurvich, Vadim J

    2013-02-15

    A scalable and reliable manufacturing process for Nikkomycin Z HCl on a 170 g scale has been developed and optimized. The process is characterized by a 2.3 g/L fermentation yield, 79% purification yield, and >98% relative purity of the final product. This method is suitable for further scale up and cGMP production. The Streptomyces tendae ΔNikQ strain developed during the course of this study is superior to any previously reported strain in terms of higher yield and purity of Nikkomycin Z.

  4. An improved selective sampling method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyahara, Hiroshi; Iida, Nobuyuki; Watanabe, Tamaki

    1986-01-01

    The coincidence methods which are currently used for the accurate activity standardisation of radio-nuclides, require dead time and resolving time corrections which tend to become increasingly uncertain as countrates exceed about 10 K. To reduce the dependence on such corrections, Muller, in 1981, proposed the selective sampling method using a fast multichannel analyser (50 ns ch -1 ) for measuring the countrates. It is, in many ways, more convenient and possibly potentially more reliable to replace the MCA with scalers and a circuit is described employing five scalers; two of them serving to measure the background correction. Results of comparisons using our new method and the coincidence method for measuring the activity of 60 Co sources yielded agree-ment within statistical uncertainties. (author)

  5. Quality improvement in Vignoles through clonal selection

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    Our goal is to select an improved, loose-clustered clone of Vignoles that will contribute to an integrated approach to disease control. Clonal selection has historically proven useful in reducing cluster compactness through a variety of mechanisms, including decreased berry size, lengthening of the ...

  6. Improving the efficiency of manuscript selection

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    A. Martínez–Abrain

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Science relies strongly on the publication of articles in scientific journals and it is clear that decisions concer¬ning which papers merit publishing should be based on a process of manuscript selection that is as objective, repeatable, reliable and transparent as possible. Manuscript selection, however, has many practical downfalls. There is considerable controversy concerning issues such as whether or not the process should be blind both for authors and reviewers in order to prevent biased selection in relation to country of origin (Budden et al., 2008, sex (Young et al. 2008 or research topic (Michaels, 2008. Another critical point is the imbalance between supply and demand of manuscripts as this likely leads to biased selection (Young et al., 2008. Also important is the issue that following rejection, the editor and reviewers of the new journal selected for would-be publication by the authors start the process from scratch, as if the opus had not already passed through a thorough process of peer review. Such rules of play seem to promote the role of sheer luck in the process of manuscript selection. Authors of a rejected paper have the growing hope of "greater luck" the next time regarding reviewer assignment as they believe in the quality of their work. For the correct advancement of science I consider there should be a common global database available to editors, where each manuscript which has been subjected to an SCI journal is recorded. It should include a copy of the editor’s and reviewers’ comments, and also the authors’ replies. Hochberg et al. (2009 recently expressed their concern regarding the fact that authors usually think that manuscript submittal is a stochastic process, whereas in fact reviewers usually focus on the same set of criticisms. To solve this problem they suggest a having colleagues reviewing a manuscript before submission, and b requiring authors to state in a cover letter that reviewer comments from the

  7. Identification of GIG1, a GlcNAc-induced gene in Candida albicans needed for normal sensitivity to the chitin synthase inhibitor nikkomycin Z.

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    Gunasekera, Angelo; Alvarez, Francisco J; Douglas, Lois M; Wang, Hong X; Rosebrock, Adam P; Konopka, James B

    2010-10-01

    The amino sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is known to be an important structural component of cells from bacteria to humans, but its roles in cell signaling are less well understood. GlcNAc induces two pathways in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. One activates cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling, which stimulates the formation of hyphal cells and the expression of virulence genes, and the other pathway induces genes needed to catabolize GlcNAc. Microarray analysis of gene expression was carried out under four different conditions in order to characterize the transcriptional changes induced by GlcNAc. The most highly induced genes include those that encode a GlcNAc transporter (NGT1) and the GlcNAc catabolic enzymes (HXK1, DAC1, and NAG1). GlcNAc also activated most of the genes whose expression is increased when cells are triggered with other stimuli to form hyphae. Surprisingly, GlcNAc also induced a subset of genes that are regulated by galactose (GAL1, GAL7, and GAL10), which may be due to cross talk between signaling pathways. A novel GlcNAc-induced gene, GIG1, which is not essential for GlcNAc catabolism or the induction of hyphae, was identified. However, a Gig1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein was specifically induced by GlcNAc, and not by other sugars. Gig1-GFP localized to the cytoplasm, where GlcNAc metabolism occurs. Significantly, a gig1Δ mutant displayed increased resistance to nikkomycin Z, which inhibits chitin synthase from converting UDP-GlcNAc into cell wall chitin. Gig1 is highly conserved in fungi, especially those that contain GlcNAc catabolic genes. These results implicate Gig1 in GlcNAc metabolism.

  8. Identification of GIG1, a GlcNAc-Induced Gene in Candida albicans Needed for Normal Sensitivity to the Chitin Synthase Inhibitor Nikkomycin Z▿§

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    Gunasekera, Angelo; Alvarez, Francisco J.; Douglas, Lois M.; Wang, Hong X.; Rosebrock, Adam P.; Konopka, James B.

    2010-01-01

    The amino sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is known to be an important structural component of cells from bacteria to humans, but its roles in cell signaling are less well understood. GlcNAc induces two pathways in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. One activates cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling, which stimulates the formation of hyphal cells and the expression of virulence genes, and the other pathway induces genes needed to catabolize GlcNAc. Microarray analysis of gene expression was carried out under four different conditions in order to characterize the transcriptional changes induced by GlcNAc. The most highly induced genes include those that encode a GlcNAc transporter (NGT1) and the GlcNAc catabolic enzymes (HXK1, DAC1, and NAG1). GlcNAc also activated most of the genes whose expression is increased when cells are triggered with other stimuli to form hyphae. Surprisingly, GlcNAc also induced a subset of genes that are regulated by galactose (GAL1, GAL7, and GAL10), which may be due to cross talk between signaling pathways. A novel GlcNAc-induced gene, GIG1, which is not essential for GlcNAc catabolism or the induction of hyphae, was identified. However, a Gig1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein was specifically induced by GlcNAc, and not by other sugars. Gig1-GFP localized to the cytoplasm, where GlcNAc metabolism occurs. Significantly, a gig1Δ mutant displayed increased resistance to nikkomycin Z, which inhibits chitin synthase from converting UDP-GlcNAc into cell wall chitin. Gig1 is highly conserved in fungi, especially those that contain GlcNAc catabolic genes. These results implicate Gig1 in GlcNAc metabolism. PMID:20675577

  9. Improving the Bandwidth Selection in Kernel Equating

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    Andersson, Björn; von Davier, Alina A.

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the current bandwidth selection methods in kernel equating and propose a method based on Silverman's rule of thumb for selecting the bandwidth parameters. In kernel equating, the bandwidth parameters have previously been obtained by minimizing a penalty function. This minimization process has been criticized by practitioners…

  10. Factor analysis improves the selection of prescribing indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Hanne Marie Skyggedal; Søndergaard, Jens; Sokolowski, Ineta

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To test a method for improving the selection of indicators of general practitioners' prescribing. METHODS: We conducted a prescription database study including all 180 general practices in the County of Funen, Denmark, approximately 472,000 inhabitants. Principal factor analysis was us...... appropriate and inappropriate prescribing, as revealed by the correlation of the indicators in the first factor. CONCLUSION: Correlation and factor analysis is a feasible method that assists the selection of indicators and gives better insight into prescribing patterns....

  11. Improving Genetic Gain with Genomic Selection in Autotetraploid Potato

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    Anthony T. Slater

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Potato ( L. breeders consider a large number of traits during cultivar development and progress in conventional breeding can be slow. There is accumulating evidence that some of these traits, such as yield, are affected by a large number of genes with small individual effects. Recently, significant efforts have been applied to the development of genomic resources to improve potato breeding, culminating in a draft genome sequence and the identification of a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs. The availability of these genome-wide SNPs is a prerequisite for implementing genomic selection for improvement of polygenic traits such as yield. In this review, we investigate opportunities for the application of genomic selection to potato, including novel breeding program designs. We have considered a number of factors that will influence this process, including the autotetraploid and heterozygous genetic nature of potato, the rate of decay of linkage disequilibrium, the number of required markers, the design of a reference population, and trait heritability. Based on estimates of the effective population size derived from a potato breeding program, we have calculated the expected accuracy of genomic selection for four key traits of varying heritability and propose that it will be reasonably accurate. We compared the expected genetic gain from genomic selection with the expected gain from phenotypic and pedigree selection, and found that genetic gain can be substantially improved by using genomic selection.

  12. Gamete selection for forage quality improvement in tall fescue

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    Within the Festuca-Lolium genome complex there is a need for modern breeding approaches that facilitate the rapid development of improved germplasm or cultivars. Traditional recurrent or mass-selection methods for population or synthetic development are labor intensive and time consuming. The use ...

  13. Improving Otolaryngology Residency Selection Using Principles from Personnel Psychology.

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    Bowe, Sarah N; Laury, Adrienne M; Gray, Stacey T

    2017-06-01

    There has been a heightened focus on improving the resident selection process, particularly within highly competitive specialties. Previous research, however, has generally lacked a theoretical background, leading to inconsistent and biased results. Our recently published systematic review examining applicant characteristics and performance in residency can provide historical insight into the predictors (ie, constructs) and outcomes (ie, criteria) previously deemed pertinent by the otolaryngology community. Personnel psychology uses evidence-based practices to identify the most qualified candidates for employment using a variety of selection methods. Extensive research in this discipline has shown that integrity tests, structured interviews, work samples, and conscientiousness offer the greatest increase in validity when combined with general cognitive ability. Blending past research knowledge with the principles of personnel selection can provide the necessary foundation with which to engage in theory-driven, longitudinal studies on otolaryngology resident selection moving forward.

  14. Systematic wavelength selection for improved multivariate spectral analysis

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    Thomas, Edward V.; Robinson, Mark R.; Haaland, David M.

    1995-01-01

    Methods and apparatus for determining in a biological material one or more unknown values of at least one known characteristic (e.g. the concentration of an analyte such as glucose in blood or the concentration of one or more blood gas parameters) with a model based on a set of samples with known values of the known characteristics and a multivariate algorithm using several wavelength subsets. The method includes selecting multiple wavelength subsets, from the electromagnetic spectral region appropriate for determining the known characteristic, for use by an algorithm wherein the selection of wavelength subsets improves the model's fitness of the determination for the unknown values of the known characteristic. The selection process utilizes multivariate search methods that select both predictive and synergistic wavelengths within the range of wavelengths utilized. The fitness of the wavelength subsets is determined by the fitness function F=.function.(cost, performance). The method includes the steps of: (1) using one or more applications of a genetic algorithm to produce one or more count spectra, with multiple count spectra then combined to produce a combined count spectrum; (2) smoothing the count spectrum; (3) selecting a threshold count from a count spectrum to select these wavelength subsets which optimize the fitness function; and (4) eliminating a portion of the selected wavelength subsets. The determination of the unknown values can be made: (1) noninvasively and in vivo; (2) invasively and in vivo; or (3) in vitro.

  15. Efficient Generation and Selection of Combined Features for Improved Classification

    KAUST Repository

    Shono, Ahmad N.

    2014-05-01

    This study contributes a methodology and associated toolkit developed to allow users to experiment with the use of combined features in classification problems. Methods are provided for efficiently generating combined features from an original feature set, for efficiently selecting the most discriminating of these generated combined features, and for efficiently performing a preliminary comparison of the classification results when using the original features exclusively against the results when using the selected combined features. The potential benefit of considering combined features in classification problems is demonstrated by applying the developed methodology and toolkit to three sample data sets where the discovery of combined features containing new discriminating information led to improved classification results.

  16. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

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    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Improved targeted immunization strategies based on two rounds of selection

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    Xia, Ling-Ling; Song, Yu-Rong; Li, Chan-Chan; Jiang, Guo-Ping

    2018-04-01

    In the case of high degree targeted immunization where the number of vaccine is limited, when more than one node associated with the same degree meets the requirement of high degree centrality, how can we choose a certain number of nodes from those nodes, so that the number of immunized nodes will not exceed the limit? In this paper, we introduce a new idea derived from the selection process of second-round exam to solve this problem and then propose three improved targeted immunization strategies. In these proposed strategies, the immunized nodes are selected through two rounds of selection, where we increase the quotas of first-round selection according the evaluation criterion of degree centrality and then consider another characteristic parameter of node, such as node's clustering coefficient, betweenness and closeness, to help choose targeted nodes in the second-round selection. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed strategies, we compare them with the degree immunizations including the high degree targeted and the high degree adaptive immunizations using two metrics: the size of the largest connected component of immunized network and the number of infected nodes. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed strategies based on two rounds of sorting are effective for heterogeneous networks and their immunization effects are better than that of the degree immunizations.

  18. Selection of productivity improvement techniques via mathematical modeling

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    Mahassan M. Khater

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new mathematical model to select an optimal combination of productivity improvement techniques. The proposed model of this paper considers four-stage cycle productivity and the productivity is assumed to be a linear function of fifty four improvement techniques. The proposed model of this paper is implemented for a real-world case study of manufacturing plant. The resulted problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming which can be solved for optimality using traditional methods. The preliminary results of the implementation of the proposed model of this paper indicate that the productivity can be improved through a change on equipments and it can be easily applied for both manufacturing and service industries.

  19. Wind scatterometry with improved ambiguity selection and rain modeling

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    Draper, David Willis

    Although generally accurate, the quality of SeaWinds on QuikSCAT scatterometer ocean vector winds is compromised by certain natural phenomena and retrieval algorithm limitations. This dissertation addresses three main contributors to scatterometer estimate error: poor ambiguity selection, estimate uncertainty at low wind speeds, and rain corruption. A quality assurance (QA) analysis performed on SeaWinds data suggests that about 5% of SeaWinds data contain ambiguity selection errors and that scatterometer estimation error is correlated with low wind speeds and rain events. Ambiguity selection errors are partly due to the "nudging" step (initialization from outside data). A sophisticated new non-nudging ambiguity selection approach produces generally more consistent wind than the nudging method in moderate wind conditions. The non-nudging method selects 93% of the same ambiguities as the nudged data, validating both techniques, and indicating that ambiguity selection can be accomplished without nudging. Variability at low wind speeds is analyzed using tower-mounted scatterometer data. According to theory, below a threshold wind speed, the wind fails to generate the surface roughness necessary for wind measurement. A simple analysis suggests the existence of the threshold in much of the tower-mounted scatterometer data. However, the backscatter does not "go to zero" beneath the threshold in an uncontrolled environment as theory suggests, but rather has a mean drop and higher variability below the threshold. Rain is the largest weather-related contributor to scatterometer error, affecting approximately 4% to 10% of SeaWinds data. A simple model formed via comparison of co-located TRMM PR and SeaWinds measurements characterizes the average effect of rain on SeaWinds backscatter. The model is generally accurate to within 3 dB over the tropics. The rain/wind backscatter model is used to simultaneously retrieve wind and rain from SeaWinds measurements. The simultaneous

  20. Solid Catalyst with Ionic Liquid Layer (SCILL). A concept to improve the selectivity of selective hydrogenations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jess, A.; Korth, W. [Bayreuth Univ. (Germany). Chair of Chemical Engineering

    2011-07-01

    Catalytic hydrogenations are important for refinery processes, petrochemical applications as well as for numerous processes of the fine chemicals industry. In some cases, hydrogenations consist of a sequence of consecutive reactions, and the desired product is the intermediate. An important goal is then a high yield and selectivity to the intermediate, if possible at a high conversion degree. The selectivity to an intermediate primarily depends on the chemical nature of the catalyst, but may also be influenced by diffusion processes. Ionic liquids (ILs) are low melting salts (< 100 C) and represent a promising solvent class. This paper focuses on the concept of a Solid Catalyst with Ionic Liquid Layer (SCILL), where the solid catalyst is coated with a thin IL layer to improve the selectivity. (orig.)

  1. Improving the precision of genotype selection in wheat performance trials

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    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify whether using the Papadakis method improves model assumptions and experimental accuracy in field trials used to determine grain yield for wheat lineages indifferent Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU regions. Grain yield data from 572 field trials at 31 locations in the VCU Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2007-2011 were used. Each trial was run with and without the use of the Papadakis method. The Papadakis method improved the indices of experimental precision measures and reduced the number of experimental repetitions required to predict grain yield performance among the wheat genotypes. There were differences among the wheat adaptation regions in terms of the efficiency of the Papadakis method, the adjustment coefficient of the genotype averages and the increases in the selective accuracy of grain yield.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

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

  3. Selective REM Sleep Deprivation Improves Expectation-Related Placebo Analgesia.

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    Chouchou, Florian; Chauny, Jean-Marc; Rainville, Pierre; Lavigne, Gilles J

    2015-01-01

    The placebo effect is a neurobiological and psychophysiological process known to influence perceived pain relief. Optimization of placebo analgesia may contribute to the clinical efficacy and effectiveness of medication for acute and chronic pain management. We know that the placebo effect operates through two main mechanisms, expectations and learning, which is also influenced by sleep. Moreover, a recent study suggested that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is associated with modulation of expectation-mediated placebo analgesia. We examined placebo analgesia following pharmacological REM sleep deprivation and we tested the hypothesis that relief expectations and placebo analgesia would be improved by experimental REM sleep deprivation in healthy volunteers. Following an adaptive night in a sleep laboratory, 26 healthy volunteers underwent classical experimental placebo analgesic conditioning in the evening combined with pharmacological REM sleep deprivation (clonidine: 13 volunteers or inert control pill: 13 volunteers). Medication was administered in a double-blind manner at bedtime, and placebo analgesia was tested in the morning. Results revealed that 1) placebo analgesia improved with REM sleep deprivation; 2) pain relief expectations did not differ between REM sleep deprivation and control groups; and 3) REM sleep moderated the relationship between pain relief expectations and placebo analgesia. These results support the putative role of REM sleep in modulating placebo analgesia. The mechanisms involved in these improvements in placebo analgesia and pain relief following selective REM sleep deprivation should be further investigated.

  4. Improving inspection reliability through operator selection and training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGrath, Bernard; Carter, Luke

    2013-01-01

    A number of years ago the UK's Health and Safety Executive sponsored a series of three PANI projects investigating the application of manual ultrasonics, which endeavoured to establish the necessary steps that ensure a reliable inspection is performed. The results of the three projects were each reported separately on completion and also presented at number of international conferences. This paper summarises the results of these projects from the point of view of operator performance. The correlation of operator ultrasonic performance with results of aptitude tests is presented along with observations on the impact of training and qualifications of the operators. The results lead to conclusions on how the selection and training of operators could be modified to improve reliability of inspections.

  5. Genomic Selection Improves Heat Tolerance in Dairy Cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, J. B.; Douglas, M. L.; Williams, S. R. O; Wales, W. J.; Marett, L. C.; Nguyen, T. T. T.; Reich, C. M.; Hayes, B. J.

    2016-01-01

    Dairy products are a key source of valuable proteins and fats for many millions of people worldwide. Dairy cattle are highly susceptible to heat-stress induced decline in milk production, and as the frequency and duration of heat-stress events increases, the long term security of nutrition from dairy products is threatened. Identification of dairy cattle more tolerant of heat stress conditions would be an important progression towards breeding better adapted dairy herds to future climates. Breeding for heat tolerance could be accelerated with genomic selection, using genome wide DNA markers that predict tolerance to heat stress. Here we demonstrate the value of genomic predictions for heat tolerance in cohorts of Holstein cows predicted to be heat tolerant and heat susceptible using controlled-climate chambers simulating a moderate heatwave event. Not only was the heat challenge stimulated decline in milk production less in cows genomically predicted to be heat-tolerant, physiological indicators such as rectal and intra-vaginal temperatures had reduced increases over the 4 day heat challenge. This demonstrates that genomic selection for heat tolerance in dairy cattle is a step towards securing a valuable source of nutrition and improving animal welfare facing a future with predicted increases in heat stress events. PMID:27682591

  6. Improving permafrost distribution modelling using feature selection algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    The availability of an increasing number of spatial data on the occurrence of mountain permafrost allows the employment of machine learning (ML) classification algorithms for modelling the distribution of the phenomenon. One of the major problems when dealing with high-dimensional dataset is the number of input features (variables) involved. Application of ML classification algorithms to this large number of variables leads to the risk of overfitting, with the consequence of a poor generalization/prediction. For this reason, applying feature selection (FS) techniques helps simplifying the amount of factors required and improves the knowledge on adopted features and their relation with the studied phenomenon. Moreover, taking away irrelevant or redundant variables from the dataset effectively improves the quality of the ML prediction. This research deals with a comparative analysis of permafrost distribution models supported by FS variable importance assessment. The input dataset (dimension = 20-25, 10 m spatial resolution) was constructed using landcover maps, climate data and DEM derived variables (altitude, aspect, slope, terrain curvature, solar radiation, etc.). It was completed with permafrost evidences (geophysical and thermal data and rock glacier inventories) that serve as training permafrost data. Used FS algorithms informed about variables that appeared less statistically important for permafrost presence/absence. Three different algorithms were compared: Information Gain (IG), Correlation-based Feature Selection (CFS) and Random Forest (RF). IG is a filter technique that evaluates the worth of a predictor by measuring the information gain with respect to the permafrost presence/absence. Conversely, CFS is a wrapper technique that evaluates the worth of a subset of predictors by considering the individual predictive ability of each variable along with the degree of redundancy between them. Finally, RF is a ML algorithm that performs FS as part of its

  7. Selection and application of microorganisms to improve oil recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, P.F.; Moreira, R.S.; Almeida, R.C.C.; Guimaraes, A.K.; Carvalho, A.S. [Laboratorio de Biotecnologia e Ecologia de Microrganismos da Universidade Federal da Bahia, Avenida Reitor Miguel Calmon, s/n, Vale do Canela, CEP 41.160-100 Salvador BA (Brazil); Quintella, C.; Esperidia, M.C.A. [Instituto de Quimica da Universidade Federal da Bahia, Rua Barao de Geremoabo, s/n, Campus Universitario de Ondina, CEP 40.170-290, Salvador BA (Brazil); Taft, C.A. [Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas, Rua Xavier Sigaud, 150, Urca, 22290-180, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2004-08-01

    Microbial enhanced oil recovery (Meor) is an incontestably efficient alternative to improve oil recovery, especially in mature fields and in oil reservoirs with high paraffinic content. This is the case for most oil fields in the Reconcavo basin of Bahia, Brazil. Given the diverse conditions of most oil fields, an approach to apply Meor technology should consider primarily: (i) microbiological studies to select the appropriate microorganisms and (ii) mobilization of oil in laboratory experiments before oil field application. A total of 163 bacterial strains, selectively isolated from various sources, were studied to determine their potential to be used in Meor. A laboratory microbial screening based on physiological and metabolic profiles and growth rates under conditions representative for oil fields and reservoirs revealed that 10 bacterial strains identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (2), Bacillus licheniformis (2), Bacillus brevis (1), Bacillus polymyxa (1), Micrococcus varians (1), Micrococcus sp. (1), and two Vibrio species demonstrated potential to be used in oil recovery. Strains of B. licheniformis and B. polymyxa produced the most active surfactants and proved to be the most anaerobic and thermotolerant among the selected bacteria. Micrococcus and B. brevis were the most salt-tolerant and polymer producing bacteria, respectively, whereas Vibrio sp. and B. polymyxa strains were the most gas-producing bacteria. Three bacterial consortia were prepared with a mixture of bacteria that showed metabolic and technological complementarity and the ability to grow at a wide range of temperatures and salinity characteristics for the oil fields in Bahia, Brazil. Oil mobilization rates in laboratory column experiments using the three consortia of bacteria varied from 11.2 to 18.3 % [v/v] of the total oil under static conditions. Consortia of B. brevis, B. icheniformis and B. polymyxa exhibited the best oil mobilization rates. Using these consortia under anaerobic

  8. Genomic selection improves response to selection in resilience by exploiting genotype by environment interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Mulder

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Genotype by environment interactions (GxE are very common in livestock and hamper genetic improvement. On the other hand, GxE is a source of genetic variation: genetic variation in response to environment, e.g. environmental perturbations such as heat stress or disease. In livestock breeding, there is tendency to ignore GxE because of increased complexity of models for genetic evaluations and lack of accuracy in extreme environments. GxE, however, creates opportunities to increase resilience of animals towards environmental perturbations. The main aim of the paper is to investigate to which extent GxE can be exploited with traditional and genomic selection methods. Furthermore, we investigated the benefit of reaction norm models compared to conventional methods ignoring GxE. The questions were addressed with selection index theory. GxE was modelled according to a linear reaction norm model in which the environmental gradient is the contemporary group mean. Economic values were based on linear and non-linear profit equations.Accuracies of environment-specific (GEBV were highest in intermediate environments and lowest in extreme environments. Reaction norm models had higher accuracies of (GEBV in extreme environments than conventional models ignoring GxE. Genomic selection always resulted in higher response to selection in all environments than sib or progeny testing schemes. The increase in response was with genomic selection between 9% and 140% compared to sib testing and between 11% and 114% compared to progeny testing when the reference population consisted of 1 million animals across all environments. When the aim was to decrease environmental sensitivity, the response in slope of the reaction norm model with genomic selection was between 1.09 and 319 times larger than with sib or progeny testing and in the right direction in contrast to sib and progeny testing that still increased environmental sensitivity. This shows that genomic selection

  9. Selection Criteria for Improving Yield in Chili (Capsicum annuum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Chakrabarty

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The present investigation was carried out to estimate the genetic variability and character association. Significant differences were observed among the genotypes for all the 15 traits for 20 chili genotypes. The highest genotypic coefficient of variation and phenotypic coefficient of variation were found for ten edible fruit weight, number of fruits per plant, fruit yield per plant, ten dry fruit weight, fruit length, fruit width, and weight of seeds per fruit. High heritability coupled with very high genetic advance as per cent of mean was observed for ten edible fruit weight, ten dry fruit weight, fruit length, number of fruits per plant, and fruit yield per plant. Phenotypic correlation coefficient among different traits indicated that fruit yield per plant at green stage had significant and positive association with ten edible green fruit weight, number of primary branches, harvest duration, and first fruit maturity and significant negative correlation with days to first picking. The path coefficient analysis revealed that days to first picking had the maximum positive direct effect on fruit yield per plant followed by harvest duration, ten edible fruit weight, ten dry fruit weight, hundred-seed weight, number of fruits per plant, first fruit maturity, and number of primary branches. Days to first picking had the maximum positive direct effect but significant negative effect with fruit yield per plant which indicated that the trait should be selected to expunge the undesirable indirect effect in order to make use of the direct effect. Therefore, selection should be practiced for ten edible fruit weight, ten dry fruit weight, number of fruits per plant, harvest duration, and hundred-seed weight for direct improvement of fruit yield per plant.

  10. Generalized structural equations improve sexual-selection analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Lombardi

    Full Text Available Sexual selection is an intense evolutionary force, which operates through competition for the access to breeding resources. There are many cases where male copulatory success is highly asymmetric, and few males are able to sire most females. Two main hypotheses were proposed to explain this asymmetry: "female choice" and "male dominance". The literature reports contrasting results. This variability may reflect actual differences among studied populations, but it may also be generated by methodological differences and statistical shortcomings in data analysis. A review of the statistical methods used so far in lek studies, shows a prevalence of Linear Models (LM and Generalized Linear Models (GLM which may be affected by problems in inferring cause-effect relationships; multi-collinearity among explanatory variables and erroneous handling of non-normal and non-continuous distributions of the response variable. In lek breeding, selective pressure is maximal, because large numbers of males and females congregate in small arenas. We used a dataset on lekking fallow deer (Dama dama, to contrast the methods and procedures employed so far, and we propose a novel approach based on Generalized Structural Equations Models (GSEMs. GSEMs combine the power and flexibility of both SEM and GLM in a unified modeling framework. We showed that LMs fail to identify several important predictors of male copulatory success and yields very imprecise parameter estimates. Minor variations in data transformation yield wide changes in results and the method appears unreliable. GLMs improved the analysis, but GSEMs provided better results, because the use of latent variables decreases the impact of measurement errors. Using GSEMs, we were able to test contrasting hypotheses and calculate both direct and indirect effects, and we reached a high precision of the estimates, which implies a high predictive ability. In synthesis, we recommend the use of GSEMs in studies on

  11. Competitive Strategies and Improved Performance of Selected Nigeria Telecommunication Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waidi Adeniyi Akingbad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The influence of globalization in telecommunication companies has greatly increased the level of competition in the industry and they are forced to be competitive to survive. Different types of strategies are put in place in order to be profitable and competitive. All these strategies are directed to attract, retain and maintain customers for continuous profitability. However, majority of them hardly measure the impact of their strategic innovation on their customers. The paper seeks to explore the influence of competitive strategies embarked upon by selected telecommunication companies in Nigeria on their performance. The paper also examines how competitive strategies could be implemented for improved customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. Three null hypotheses were postulated to test the relationship between lower prices and customer satisfaction, uninterrupted trunk services and customer loyalty, and customer complaint handling and retention. Only customers using telephone service were selected as respondents from Lagos State. The state was stratified in to 20 local government council area and questionnaires were distributed to 125 respondents in each of them. The completion rate of the questionnaire in each of them is between 103 and 110. Survey research design was adopted to carry out the study. A structured questionnaire was designed and validated through the construct validity and tested for confirmation using the KMO measure of sampling adequacy. It was also made reliable using Cronbach’s Alpha test. From the study, findings revealed relationship between competitive strategies and customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. The findings revealed that there is a relationship between competitive strategies, its constituents and performance of telecommunication companies. It is recommended that universal mobile telecommunication services (UMTS operators should adopt the culture of competitive strategies since it can

  12. Improving applicant selection: identifying qualities of the unsuccessful otolaryngology resident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badran, Karam W; Kelley, Kanwar; Conderman, Christian; Mahboubi, Hossein; Armstrong, William B; Bhandarkar, Naveen D

    2015-04-01

    To identify the prevalence and management of problematic residents. Additionally, we hope to identify the factors associated with successful remediation of unsuccessful otolaryngology residents. Self-reported Internet and paper-based survey. An anonymous survey was distributed to 152 current and former program directors (PDs) in 2012. The factors associated with unsuccessful otolaryngology residents and those associated with the successful remediation of problematic residents were investigated. An unsuccessful resident is defined as one who quit or was removed from the program for any reason, or one whose actions resulted in criminal action or citation against their medical license after graduation from residency. Remediation is defined as an individualized program implemented to correct documented weaknesses. The overall response rate was 26% (40 PDs). Seventy-three unsuccessful or problematic residents were identified. Sixty-six problematic or unsuccessful residents were identified during residency, with 58 of 66 (88%) undergoing remediation. Thirty-one (47%) residents did not graduate. The most commonly identified factors of an unsuccessful resident were: change in specialty (21.5%), interpersonal and communication skills with health professionals (13.9%), and clinical judgment (10.1%). Characteristics of those residents who underwent successful remediation include: poor performance on in-training examination (17%, P otolaryngology PDs in this sample identified at least one unsuccessful resident. Improved methods of applicant screening may assist in optimizing otolaryngology resident selection. © 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  13. An Improved Nested Sampling Algorithm for Model Selection and Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, X.; Ye, M.; Wu, J.; WANG, D.

    2017-12-01

    Multimodel strategy is a general approach for treating model structure uncertainty in recent researches. The unknown groundwater system is represented by several plausible conceptual models. Each alternative conceptual model is attached with a weight which represents the possibility of this model. In Bayesian framework, the posterior model weight is computed as the product of model prior weight and marginal likelihood (or termed as model evidence). As a result, estimating marginal likelihoods is crucial for reliable model selection and assessment in multimodel analysis. Nested sampling estimator (NSE) is a new proposed algorithm for marginal likelihood estimation. The implementation of NSE comprises searching the parameters' space from low likelihood area to high likelihood area gradually, and this evolution is finished iteratively via local sampling procedure. Thus, the efficiency of NSE is dominated by the strength of local sampling procedure. Currently, Metropolis-Hasting (M-H) algorithm and its variants are often used for local sampling in NSE. However, M-H is not an efficient sampling algorithm for high-dimensional or complex likelihood function. For improving the performance of NSE, it could be feasible to integrate more efficient and elaborated sampling algorithm - DREAMzs into the local sampling. In addition, in order to overcome the computation burden problem of large quantity of repeating model executions in marginal likelihood estimation, an adaptive sparse grid stochastic collocation method is used to build the surrogates for original groundwater model.

  14. Object learning improves feature extraction but does not improve feature selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linus Holm

    Full Text Available A single glance at your crowded desk is enough to locate your favorite cup. But finding an unfamiliar object requires more effort. This superiority in recognition performance for learned objects has at least two possible sources. For familiar objects observers might: 1 select more informative image locations upon which to fixate their eyes, or 2 extract more information from a given eye fixation. To test these possibilities, we had observers localize fragmented objects embedded in dense displays of random contour fragments. Eight participants searched for objects in 600 images while their eye movements were recorded in three daily sessions. Performance improved as subjects trained with the objects: The number of fixations required to find an object decreased by 64% across the 3 sessions. An ideal observer model that included measures of fragment confusability was used to calculate the information available from a single fixation. Comparing human performance to the model suggested that across sessions information extraction at each eye fixation increased markedly, by an amount roughly equal to the extra information that would be extracted following a 100% increase in functional field of view. Selection of fixation locations, on the other hand, did not improve with practice.

  15. Selection procedures in sports: Improving predictions of athletes’ future performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Hartigh, Jan Rudolf; Niessen, Anna; Frencken, Wouter; Meijer, Rob R.

    The selection of athletes has been a central topic in sports sciences for decades. Yet, little consideration has been given to the theoretical underpinnings and predictive validity of the procedures. In this paper, we evaluate current selection procedures in sports given what we know from the

  16. Genomic selection: genome-wide prediction in plant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desta, Zeratsion Abera; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2014-09-01

    Association analysis is used to measure relations between markers and quantitative trait loci (QTL). Their estimation ignores genes with small effects that trigger underpinning quantitative traits. By contrast, genome-wide selection estimates marker effects across the whole genome on the target population based on a prediction model developed in the training population (TP). Whole-genome prediction models estimate all marker effects in all loci and capture small QTL effects. Here, we review several genomic selection (GS) models with respect to both the prediction accuracy and genetic gain from selection. Phenotypic selection or marker-assisted breeding protocols can be replaced by selection, based on whole-genome predictions in which phenotyping updates the model to build up the prediction accuracy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Control room annunciation - problem assessment and selection of improvement priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, P.; Yaraskavitch, E.; Davey, E.

    1998-01-01

    In 1997, Pickering B undertook a project to examine current annunciation practice and identify improvement opportunities and priorities. The objectives and scope of the study were to: document the deficiencies with control room annunciation and the subsequent operational and financial impacts to station operations, develop an operations-based definition of the requirements for annunciation to adequately support control room staff, propose annunciation improvements based on a comparison of the annunciation deficiencies identified and the operational needs to be met, assess the relative operational impact, and financial benefits and costs of the improvement initiatives proposed, and recommend annunciation improvement priorities that offer a mix of operational and financial return for improvement investment. This paper discusses the rationale for the project, outlines the approaches applied in achieving the assessment objectives, reviews the key assessment findings and describes the improvement initiatives recommended. (author)

  18. Local randomization in neighbor selection improves PRM roadmap quality

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Troy

    2012-10-01

    Probabilistic Roadmap Methods (PRMs) are one of the most used classes of motion planning methods. These sampling-based methods generate robot configurations (nodes) and then connect them to form a graph (roadmap) containing representative feasible pathways. A key step in PRM roadmap construction involves identifying a set of candidate neighbors for each node. Traditionally, these candidates are chosen to be the k-closest nodes based on a given distance metric. In this paper, we propose a new neighbor selection policy called LocalRand(k,K\\'), that first computes the K\\' closest nodes to a specified node and then selects k of those nodes at random. Intuitively, LocalRand attempts to benefit from random sampling while maintaining the higher levels of local planner success inherent to selecting more local neighbors. We provide a methodology for selecting the parameters k and K\\'. We perform an experimental comparison which shows that for both rigid and articulated robots, LocalRand results in roadmaps that are better connected than the traditional k-closest policy or a purely random neighbor selection policy. The cost required to achieve these results is shown to be comparable to k-closest. © 2012 IEEE.

  19. Local randomization in neighbor selection improves PRM roadmap quality

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Troy; Jacobs, Sam; Boyd, Bryan; Tapia, Lydia; Amato, Nancy M.

    2012-01-01

    Probabilistic Roadmap Methods (PRMs) are one of the most used classes of motion planning methods. These sampling-based methods generate robot configurations (nodes) and then connect them to form a graph (roadmap) containing representative feasible pathways. A key step in PRM roadmap construction involves identifying a set of candidate neighbors for each node. Traditionally, these candidates are chosen to be the k-closest nodes based on a given distance metric. In this paper, we propose a new neighbor selection policy called LocalRand(k,K'), that first computes the K' closest nodes to a specified node and then selects k of those nodes at random. Intuitively, LocalRand attempts to benefit from random sampling while maintaining the higher levels of local planner success inherent to selecting more local neighbors. We provide a methodology for selecting the parameters k and K'. We perform an experimental comparison which shows that for both rigid and articulated robots, LocalRand results in roadmaps that are better connected than the traditional k-closest policy or a purely random neighbor selection policy. The cost required to achieve these results is shown to be comparable to k-closest. © 2012 IEEE.

  20. Cermet based solar selective absorbers : further selectivity improvement and developing new fabrication technique

    OpenAIRE

    Nejati, Mohammadreza

    2008-01-01

    Spectral selectivity of cermet based selective absorbers were increased by inducing surface roughness on the surface of the cermet layer using a roughening technique (deposition on hot substrates) or by micro-structuring the metallic substrates before deposition of the absorber coating using laser and imprint structuring techniques. Cu-Al2O3 cermet absorbers with very rough surfaces and excellent selectivity were obtained by employing a roughness template layer under the infrared reflective l...

  1. Improving the Air Force Squadron Command Selection Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-19

    8 maturity in the unit, selectively-manned versus non-volunteer members, and individual motivations. These characteristics work in conjunction... maturity among members allows leaders to devote attention to larger problems and issues. Similarly, a solid staff of strong Senior NCOs, NCOs, and...personal interviews combined with psychological testing. Personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Judgement Index, Emotional

  2. The Lean Reference Collection: Improving Functionality through Selection and Weeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Christopher W.

    1991-01-01

    Discusses references collections in academic libraries and offers guidelines for placing materials in a reference collection that focus on their suitability for true reference functions and the expected frequency of use. Problems with poorly managed collections are discussed, and the importance of selection policies and weeding are emphasized. (37…

  3. Selection on resilience improves disease resistance and tolerance to infections

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, H.A.; Rashidi, H.

    2017-01-01

    Response to infection in animals has 2 main mechanisms: resistance (ability to control pathogen burden) and tolerance (ability to maintain performance given the pathogen burden). Selection on disease resistance and tolerance to infections seems a promising avenue to increase productivity of animals

  4. Nutrition Report Cards: an opportunity to improve school lunch selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Wansink

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To explore the feasibility and implementation efficiency of Nutritional Report Cards (NRCs in helping children make healthier food choices at school. METHODS: Pilot testing was conducted in a rural New York school district (K-12. Over a five-week period, 27 parents received a weekly e-mail containing a NRC listing how many meal components (fruits, vegetables, starches, milk, snacks, and a-la-carte foods their child selected. We analyzed choices of students in the NRC group vs. the control group, both prior to and during the intervention period. Point-of-sale system data for a-la-carte items was analyzed using Generalized Least Squares regressions with clustered standard errors. RESULTS: NRCs encouraged more home conversations about nutrition and more awareness of food selections. Despite the small sample, the NRC was associated with reduced selection of some items, such as the percentage of those selecting cookies which decreased from 14.3 to 6.5 percent. Additionally, despite requiring new keys on the check-out registers to generate the NRC, checkout times increased by only 0.16 seconds per transaction, and compiling and sending the NRCs required a total weekly investment of 30 minutes of staff time. CONCLUSIONS: This test of concept suggests that NRCs are a feasible and inexpensive tool to guide children towards healthier choices.

  5. Selection for Dutch postgraduate GP training; time for improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, M.I.; Kuyvenhoven, M.M.; Zuithoff, N.P.; Tromp, F.; Graaf, Y. van der; Pieters, R.H.

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the Netherlands we select candidates for the postgraduate GP training by assessing personal qualities in interviews. Because of differences in the ratio of number of candidates and number of vacancies between the eight departments of GP training we questioned whether the risk of being

  6. Improvement of Selected Logistics Processes Using Quality Engineering Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadzień, Michał; Žarnovský, Jozef

    2018-03-01

    Increase in the number of orders, the increasing quality requirements and the speed of order preparation require implementation of new solutions and improvement of logistics processes. Any disruption that occurs during execution of an order often leads to customer dissatisfaction, as well as loss of his/her confidence. The article presents a case study of the use of quality engineering methods and tools to improve the e-commerce logistic process. This made it possible to identify and prioritize key issues, identify their causes, and formulate improvement and prevention measures.

  7. Adaptive selection of heuristics for improving exam timetables

    OpenAIRE

    Burke, Edmund; Qu, Rong; Soghier, Amr

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a hyper-heuristic approach which hybridises low-level heuristic moves to improve timetables. Exams which cause a soft-constraint violation in the timetable are ordered and rescheduled to produce a better timetable. It is observed that both the order in which exams are rescheduled and the heuristic moves used to reschedule the exams and improve the timetable affect the quality of the solution produced. After testing different combinations in a hybrid hyper-heuristic approac...

  8. Improving catalytic selectivity through control of adsorption orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Simon H.

    In this thesis, we present an investigation, starting from surface science experiments, leading to design of supported catalysts, of how adsorption orientation can be used to affect reaction selectivity of highly functional molecules. The surface chemistry of furfuryl alcohol and benzyl alcohol and their respective aldehydes was studied on a Pd(111) single-crystal surface under ultra-high vacuum conditions. Temperature-programmed desorption experiments showed that synergistic chemistry existed between the aromatic ring and the oxygen-containing functional group, each allowing the other to participate in reaction pathways that a monofunctional molecule could not. Most important of these was a deoxygenation reaction that occurred more readily when the surface was crowded by the highest exposures. High-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy revealed that at these high exposures, molecules were oriented upright on the surface, with the aromatic function extending into vacuum. In contrast, at low exposures, molecules were oriented flat on the surface. The upright adsorption geometry was correlated with deoxygenation, whereas the flat-lying geometry was correlated with decarbonylation. The insight gained from surface science experiments was utilized in catalyst design. Self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates were used to systematically reduce the average surface ensemble size, and the reaction selectivity was tracked. When a sparsely-packed monolayer was used, such as one formed by 1-adamantanethiol, the reactant furfural was still able to lie flat on the surface and the reaction selectivity was similar to that of the uncoated catalyst. However, when a densely-packed monolayer, formed by 1-octadecanethiol, was used, furfural was not able to adsorb flat on the surface and instead adopted an upright conformation, leading to a drastic increase in aldehyde hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation reaction selectivity. Using an even higher sulfur coverage from a

  9. Improving the seed germination of little bluestem with selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapid seed germination is an important characteristic when it comes to plant stand establishment under variable environmental conditions. This research was designed to improve the seed germination of six experimental Syn-0 lines of little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash]. Two cycle...

  10. Improving digital image watermarking by means of optimal channel selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh-The, Thien; Banos Legran, Oresti; Lee, Sungyoung; Yoon, Yongik; Le-Tien, Thuong

    2016-01-01

    Supporting safe and resilient authentication and integrity of digital images is of critical importance in a time of enormous creation and sharing of these contents. This paper presents an improved digital image watermarking model based on a coefficient quantization technique that intelligently

  11. Selection to improve spring fertility in a crossbred sheep population

    OpenAIRE

    Al-Shorepy, Salih Abdu

    1995-01-01

    Reproductive and productive performance of a composite sheep population, containing 50% Dorset, 25% Rambouillet and 25% Finnsheep breeding and under selection for ability to lamb in the fall, was evaluated. Traits considered were spring fertility, faIl litter size, live weights at birth, weaning, and at about 90 and 120 d of age, and scrotal circumference at weaning and at about 90 and 120 d of age. Fertility was defined as 1 or 0 depending upon whether a ewe lambed or failed t...

  12. Modified Anderson-Darling tests with selective power improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Cabaña Nigro, Alejandra

    2001-01-01

    Transformed empirical processes (TEPs) have been used by the authors in a previous paper to construct consistent and selectively efficient goodness-of-fit tests of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov type. A straightforward application of the same ideas to the construction of tests of the Cramér-von-Mises type with the same properties leads to cumbersome computations. This short note of the incovenients encountered, and introduces a new family of quadratic statistics of the Cramér-von Mises type, in order...

  13. Leveraging Python to improve ebook metadata selection, ingest, and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Thompson

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Libraries face many challenges in managing descriptive metadata for ebooks, including quality control, completeness of coverage, and ongoing management. The recent emergence of library management systems that automatically provide descriptive metadata for e-resources activated in system knowledge bases means that ebook management models are moving toward both greater efficiency and more complex implementation and maintenance choices. Automated and data-driven processes for ebook management have always been desirable, but in the current environment, they become necessary. In addition to initial selection of a record source, automation can be applied to quality control processes and ongoing maintenance in order to keep manual, eyes-on work to a minimum while providing the best possible discovery and access. In this article, we describe how we are using Python scripts to address these challenges.

  14. Real-world scenarios help improve selection of radiology employees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, C L; Groff, K; Phillips, M

    1998-01-01

    Choosing the right candidate through the interview process is critical, particularly in light of rapidly changing skills in various technologies. The authors have changed the interviewing process at Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia in order to examine and evaluate multiple objectives simultaneously. To do this, they created an instrument that elicits impromptu responses to real-world radiology situations. Such responses help assess a potential candidate's training, emotional strength, technical experience and growth potential. They also determine how much additional training the potential candidate will need to be effective in the department. Using the instrument helps sharpen the assessment of candidate traits such as face-to-face communication skills and response time. The impact on hiring is positive. Quality staff, improved patient care and improved patient safety are only some of the results. Many of the questions included on the instrument come from past problem situations and help the interviewers to determine whether a candidate understands underlying issues and the seriousness of situations. The goal is to ensure that patient care and productivity are not hampered by unusual situations. When a concrete difference is detected between a candidate's response and the department's needs, it is possible to assess the cost-effectiveness of training for the discrepancy. For entry-level candidates, the question is whether the person is trainable. Consistently using this interview document forces hiring managers to identify specific abilities, traits and experience desirable in the workplace.

  15. Supplier selection based on improved MOGA and its application in nuclear power equipment procurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Zhaojun; Wang Dezhong; Zhou Lei

    2007-01-01

    Considering the fact that there are few objective and available methods supporting the supplier selection in nuclear power equipment purchasing process, a supplier selection method based on improved multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA) is proposed. The simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of this method for the supplier selection in nuclear power equipment procurement process. (authors)

  16. A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR IMPROVED PROJECT SELECTION AND PRIORITISATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. J. Viljoen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available

    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Project portfolio management processes are often designed and operated as a series of stages (or project phases and gates. However, the flow of such a process is often slow, characterised by queues waiting for a gate decision and by repeated work from previous stages waiting for additional information or for re-processing. In this paper the authors propose a conceptual model that applies supply chain and constraint management principles to the project portfolio management process. An advantage of the proposed model is that it provides the ability to select and prioritise projects without undue changes to project schedules. This should result in faster flow through the system.

    AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Prosesse om portefeuljes van projekte te bestuur word normaalweg ontwerp en bedryf as ’n reeks fases en hekke. Die vloei deur so ’n proses is dikwels stadig en word gekenmerk deur toue wat wag vir besluite by die hekke en ook deur herwerk van vorige fases wat wag vir verdere inligting of vir herprosessering. In hierdie artikel word ‘n konseptuele model voorgestel. Die model berus op die beginsels van voorsieningskettings sowel as van beperkingsbestuur, en bied die voordeel dat projekte geselekteer en geprioritiseer kan word sonder onnodige veranderinge aan projekskedules. Dit behoort te lei tot versnelde vloei deur die stelsel.

  17. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (Paluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  18. Selecting fillers on emotional appearance improves lineup identification accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowe, Heather D; Klatt, Thimna; Colloff, Melissa F

    2014-12-01

    Mock witnesses sometimes report using criminal stereotypes to identify a face from a lineup, a tendency known as criminal face bias. Faces are perceived as criminal-looking if they appear angry. We tested whether matching the emotional appearance of the fillers to an angry suspect can reduce criminal face bias. In Study 1, mock witnesses (n = 226) viewed lineups in which the suspect had an angry, happy, or neutral expression, and we varied whether the fillers matched the expression. An additional group of participants (n = 59) rated the faces on criminal and emotional appearance. As predicted, mock witnesses tended to identify suspects who appeared angrier and more criminal-looking than the fillers. This tendency was reduced when the lineup fillers matched the emotional appearance of the suspect. Study 2 extended the results, testing whether the emotional appearance of the suspect and fillers affects recognition memory. Participants (n = 1,983) studied faces and took a lineup test in which the emotional appearance of the target and fillers was varied between subjects. Discrimination accuracy was enhanced when the fillers matched an angry target's emotional appearance. We conclude that lineup member emotional appearance plays a critical role in the psychology of lineup identification. The fillers should match an angry suspect's emotional appearance to improve lineup identification accuracy. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni S

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Siyu Ni,1 Changyan Li,1 Shirong Ni,2 Ting Chen,1 Thomas J Webster3,4 1College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pathophysiology, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 4Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Abstract: The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1 attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05. Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be

  20. Genomic selection improves response to selection in resilience by exploiting genotype by environment interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, Herman

    2016-01-01

    Genotype by environment interactions (GxE) are very common in livestock and hamper genetic improvement. On the other hand, GxE is a source of genetic variation: genetic variation in response to environment, e.g., environmental perturbations such as heat stress or disease. In livestock breeding,

  1. Factors to Consider in Selecting an Organisational Improvement Initiative: Survey Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Musli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Organisations should select the appropriate improvement initiative that will fit with the context of organisation and provide value to the organisation. This paper presents 18 factors to be considered when selecting an organisational improvement initiative. Organisational improvement initiatives are approaches, management systems, tools and/or techniques that can be used for managing and improving organisations, such as Lean, ISO9001, Six Sigma and Improvement Team. A survey was conducted to identify the level of importance of these 18 factors as criteria for selecting an improvement initiative. Purposive sampling was used for this survey involving practitioners, managers, engineers, executives, consultants and/or academicians, who have been involved in the selection and/or implementation of organisational improvement initiatives in Malaysia. Two factors were rated as ‘very high importance’, which involve: (1 The ability to gain top management commitment and support to introduce and implement the initiative successfully, and (2 The initiative is aligned to the vision, mission and/or purpose of the organisation. All these factors can be adopted by the organisations as decision criteria to assist in the selection of the most appropriate improvement initiative based on rational decision making.

  2. Phage display selects for amylases with improved low pH starch-binding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhaert, RMD; Beekwilder, J; Olsthoorn, R; Quax, WJ; Duin, Jan van

    2002-01-01

    Directed evolution of secreted industrial enzymes is hampered by the lack of powerful selection techniques. We have explored surface display to select for enzyme variants with improved binding performance on complex polymeric substrates. By a combination of saturation mutagenesis and phage display

  3. The use of vector bootstrapping to improve variable selection precision in Lasso models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laurin, C.; Boomsma, D.I.; Lubke, G.H.

    2016-01-01

    The Lasso is a shrinkage regression method that is widely used for variable selection in statistical genetics. Commonly, K-fold cross-validation is used to fit a Lasso model. This is sometimes followed by using bootstrap confidence intervals to improve precision in the resulting variable selections.

  4. Improved negative selection protocol for Plasmodium berghei in the rodent malarial model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orr Rachael Y

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract An improved methodology is presented here for transgenic Plasmodium berghei lines that express the negative selectable marker yFCU (a bifunctional protein that combines yeast cytosine deaminase and uridyl phosphoribosyl transferase (UPRT and substitutes delivery of selection drug 5-fluorocytosine (5FC by intraperitoneal injection for administration via the drinking water of the mice. The improved methodology is shown to be as effective, less labour-intensive, reduces animal handling and animal numbers required for successful selection thereby contributing to two of the "three Rs" of animal experimentation, namely refinement and reduction.

  5. An Improved User Selection Algorithm in Multiuser MIMO Broadcast with Channel Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Zhi; Ohtsuki, Tomoaki

    In multiuser MIMO-BC (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Broadcasting) systems, user selection is important to achieve multiuser diversity. The optimal user selection algorithm is to try all the combinations of users to find the user group that can achieve the multiuser diversity. Unfortunately, the high calculation cost of the optimal algorithm prevents its implementation. Thus, instead of the optimal algorithm, some suboptimal user selection algorithms were proposed based on semiorthogonality of user channel vectors. The purpose of this paper is to achieve multiuser diversity with a small amount of calculation. For this purpose, we propose a user selection algorithm that can improve the orthogonality of a selected user group. We also apply a channel prediction technique to a MIMO-BC system to get more accurate channel information at the transmitter. Simulation results show that the channel prediction can improve the accuracy of channel information for user selections, and the proposed user selection algorithm achieves higher sum rate capacity than the SUS (Semiorthogonal User Selection) algorithm. Also we discuss the setting of the algorithm threshold. As the result of a discussion on the calculation complexity, which uses the number of complex multiplications as the parameter, the proposed algorithm is shown to have a calculation complexity almost equal to that of the SUS algorithm, and they are much lower than that of the optimal user selection algorithm.

  6. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabe, Shiori; Yamasaki, Masanori; Ebana, Kaworu; Hayashi, Takeshi; Iwata, Hiroyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS), which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an "island model" inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the potential of genomic

  7. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiori Yabe

    Full Text Available Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS, which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an "island model" inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the

  8. Escape windows to improve the size selectivity in the Baltic cod trawl fishery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Niels; Holst, René; Foldager, L.

    2002-01-01

    A rapid decrease of the stock of Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) has provided the incentive to improve the size selectivity in the trawl fishery. Use of escape windows is permitted in the legislation to give means of improving the size selectivity of cod as an alternative to a traditional standard codend....... The history of the use of escape windows in the Baltic Sea cod fishery is reviewed. The present escape windows do not function optimally. The objective of this new experiment was to compare an improved design of escape window, which is placed in the upper panel, with that of standard codend. Three standard...... of the codend selectivity was formulated to analyse the results and determine the effects of codend type, mesh size and other recorded variables. L50 and SR increased significantly with the mesh size. L50 was significantly increased and SR significantly reduced for a window codend with the same window mesh size...

  9. Improving the baking quality of bread wheat by genomic selection in early generations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Sebastian; Kummer, Christian; Gallee, Martin; Hellinger, Jakob; Ametz, Christian; Akgöl, Batuhan; Epure, Doru; Löschenberger, Franziska; Buerstmayr, Hermann

    2018-02-01

    Genomic selection shows great promise for pre-selecting lines with superior bread baking quality in early generations, 3 years ahead of labour-intensive, time-consuming, and costly quality analysis. The genetic improvement of baking quality is one of the grand challenges in wheat breeding as the assessment of the associated traits often involves time-consuming, labour-intensive, and costly testing forcing breeders to postpone sophisticated quality tests to the very last phases of variety development. The prospect of genomic selection for complex traits like grain yield has been shown in numerous studies, and might thus be also an interesting method to select for baking quality traits. Hence, we focused in this study on the accuracy of genomic selection for laborious and expensive to phenotype quality traits as well as its selection response in comparison with phenotypic selection. More than 400 genotyped wheat lines were, therefore, phenotyped for protein content, dough viscoelastic and mixing properties related to baking quality in multi-environment trials 2009-2016. The average prediction accuracy across three independent validation populations was r = 0.39 and could be increased to r = 0.47 by modelling major QTL as fixed effects as well as employing multi-trait prediction models, which resulted in an acceptable prediction accuracy for all dough rheological traits (r = 0.38-0.63). Genomic selection can furthermore be applied 2-3 years earlier than direct phenotypic selection, and the estimated selection response was nearly twice as high in comparison with indirect selection by protein content for baking quality related traits. This considerable advantage of genomic selection could accordingly support breeders in their selection decisions and aid in efficiently combining superior baking quality with grain yield in newly developed wheat varieties.

  10. The admissible portfolio selection problem with transaction costs and an improved PSO algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Zhang, Wei-Guo

    2010-05-01

    In this paper, we discuss the portfolio selection problem with transaction costs under the assumption that there exist admissible errors on expected returns and risks of assets. We propose a new admissible efficient portfolio selection model and design an improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm because traditional optimization algorithms fail to work efficiently for our proposed problem. Finally, we offer a numerical example to illustrate the proposed effective approaches and compare the admissible portfolio efficient frontiers under different constraints.

  11. An Improved Test Selection Optimization Model Based on Fault Ambiguity Group Isolation and Chaotic Discrete PSO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Lv

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensor data-based test selection optimization is the basis for designing a test work, which ensures that the system is tested under the constraint of the conventional indexes such as fault detection rate (FDR and fault isolation rate (FIR. From the perspective of equipment maintenance support, the ambiguity isolation has a significant effect on the result of test selection. In this paper, an improved test selection optimization model is proposed by considering the ambiguity degree of fault isolation. In the new model, the fault test dependency matrix is adopted to model the correlation between the system fault and the test group. The objective function of the proposed model is minimizing the test cost with the constraint of FDR and FIR. The improved chaotic discrete particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm is adopted to solve the improved test selection optimization model. The new test selection optimization model is more consistent with real complicated engineering systems. The experimental result verifies the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  12. Does attentional selectivity in the flanker task improve discretely or gradually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An important question is whether attentional selectivity improves discretely or continuously during stimulus processing. In a recent study, Hübner, et al. (2010 found that the discrete DSTP model accounted better for flanker-task data than various continuous improvement models. However, in a subsequent study, White, et al. (2011 introduced the continuous SSP model and showed that it was superior to the DSTP model. From this result they concluded that attentional selectivity improves continuously rather than discretely. Because different stimuli and procedures were used in these two studies, though, we questioned that the superiority of the SSP model holds generally. Therefore, we fit the SSP model to Hübner et al.’s data and found that the DSTP model was again superior. A series of four experiments revealed that model superiority depends on the response-stimulus interval (RSI. Together, our results demonstrate that methodological details can be crucial for model selection, and that further comparisons between the models are needed before it can be decided whether attentional selectivity improves continuously or discretely.

  13. Improved social force model based on exit selection for microscopic pedestrian simulation in subway station

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑勋; 李海鹰; 孟令云; 许心越; 陈旭

    2015-01-01

    An improved social force model based on exit selection is proposed to simulate pedestrians’ microscopic behaviors in subway station. The modification lies in considering three factors of spatial distance, occupant density and exit width. In addition, the problem of pedestrians selecting exit frequently is solved as follows: not changing to other exits in the affected area of one exit, using the probability of remaining preceding exit and invoking function of exit selection after several simulation steps. Pedestrians in subway station have some special characteristics, such as explicit destinations, different familiarities with subway station. Finally, Beijing Zoo Subway Station is taken as an example and the feasibility of the model results is verified through the comparison of the actual data and simulation data. The simulation results show that the improved model can depict the microscopic behaviors of pedestrians in subway station.

  14. Working memory load can both improve and impair selective attention: evidence from the Navon paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

    Selective attention to relevant targets has been shown to depend on the availability of working memory (WM). Under conditions of high WM load, processing of irrelevant distractors is enhanced. Here we showed that this detrimental effect of WM load on selective attention efficiency is reversed when the task requires global- rather than local-level processing. Participants were asked to attend to either the local or the global level of a hierarchical Navon stimulus while keeping either a low or a high load in WM. In line with previous findings, during attention to the local level, distractors at the global level produced more interference under high than under low WM load. By contrast, loading WM had the opposite effect of improving selective attention during attention to the global level. The findings demonstrate that the impact of WM load on selective attention is not invariant, but rather is dependent on the level of the to-be-attended information.

  15. Magnetically-focusing biochip structures for high-speed active biosensing with improved selectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Haneul; Lee, Dong Jun; Kim, Daesan; Park, Juhun; Chen, Xing; Hong, Seunghun

    2018-06-01

    We report a magnetically-focusing biochip structure enabling a single layered magnetic trap-and-release cycle for biosensors with an improved detection speed and selectivity. Here, magnetic beads functionalized with specific receptor molecules were utilized to trap target molecules in a solution and transport actively to and away from the sensor surfaces to enhance the detection speed and reduce the non-specific bindings, respectively. Using our method, we demonstrated the high speed detection of IL-13 antigens with the improved detection speed by more than an order of magnitude. Furthermore, the release step in our method was found to reduce the non-specific bindings and improve the selectivity and sensitivity of biosensors. This method is a simple but powerful strategy and should open up various applications such as ultra-fast biosensors for point-of-care services.

  16. Clustering and training set selection methods for improving the accuracy of quantitative laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.; Wiens, Roger C.; Morris, Richard V.; Clegg, Samuel M.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated five clustering and training set selection methods to improve the accuracy of quantitative chemical analysis of geologic samples by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) using partial least squares (PLS) regression. The LIBS spectra were previously acquired for 195 rock slabs and 31 pressed powder geostandards under 7 Torr CO 2 at a stand-off distance of 7 m at 17 mJ per pulse to simulate the operational conditions of the ChemCam LIBS instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. The clustering and training set selection methods, which do not require prior knowledge of the chemical composition of the test-set samples, are based on grouping similar spectra and selecting appropriate training spectra for the partial least squares (PLS2) model. These methods were: (1) hierarchical clustering of the full set of training spectra and selection of a subset for use in training; (2) k-means clustering of all spectra and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each cluster; (3) iterative use of PLS2 to predict sample composition and k-means clustering of the predicted compositions to subdivide the groups of spectra; (4) soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) classification of spectra, and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each class; (5) use of Bayesian information criteria (BIC) to determine an optimal number of clusters and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each cluster. The iterative method and the k-means method using 5 clusters showed the best performance, improving the absolute quadrature root mean squared error (RMSE) by ∼ 3 wt.%. The statistical significance of these improvements was ∼ 85%. Our results show that although clustering methods can modestly improve results, a large and diverse training set is the most reliable way to improve the accuracy of quantitative LIBS. In particular, additional sulfate standards and specifically

  17. Genetic Gain Increases by Applying the Usefulness Criterion with Improved Variance Prediction in Selection of Crosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehermeier, Christina; Teyssèdre, Simon; Schön, Chris-Carolin

    2017-12-01

    A crucial step in plant breeding is the selection and combination of parents to form new crosses. Genome-based prediction guides the selection of high-performing parental lines in many crop breeding programs which ensures a high mean performance of progeny. To warrant maximum selection progress, a new cross should also provide a large progeny variance. The usefulness concept as measure of the gain that can be obtained from a specific cross accounts for variation in progeny variance. Here, it is shown that genetic gain can be considerably increased when crosses are selected based on their genomic usefulness criterion compared to selection based on mean genomic estimated breeding values. An efficient and improved method to predict the genetic variance of a cross based on Markov chain Monte Carlo samples of marker effects from a whole-genome regression model is suggested. In simulations representing selection procedures in crop breeding programs, the performance of this novel approach is compared with existing methods, like selection based on mean genomic estimated breeding values and optimal haploid values. In all cases, higher genetic gain was obtained compared with previously suggested methods. When 1% of progenies per cross were selected, the genetic gain based on the estimated usefulness criterion increased by 0.14 genetic standard deviation compared to a selection based on mean genomic estimated breeding values. Analytical derivations of the progeny genotypic variance-covariance matrix based on parental genotypes and genetic map information make simulations of progeny dispensable, and allow fast implementation in large-scale breeding programs. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  18. Optimized Policies for Improving Fairness of Location-based Relay Selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jimmy Jessen; Olsen, Rasmus Løvenstein; Madsen, Tatiana Kozlova

    2013-01-01

    For WLAN systems in which relaying is used to improve throughput performance for nodes located at the cell edge, node mobility and information collection delays can have a significant impact on the performance of a relay selection scheme. In this paper we extend our existing Markov Chain modeling...... framework for relay selection to allow for efficient calculation of relay policies given either mean throughput or kth throughput percentile as optimization criterium. In a scenario with static access point, static relay, and a mobile destination node, the kth throughput percentile optimization...

  19. Could non-grade based selection improve medical student socio-demographic diversity?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Neill, Lotte Dyhrberg

    2013-01-01

    selected with a non-grade-based or ’non-cognitive’ admission program. The two admission groups were compared on seven social indices (doctor parent, ethnic origin, father’s education, mother’s education, parenthood, parents live together, parent on benefit). Result: Selection strategy made no difference...... to the social diversity of admitted medical students. The non-cognitive admission program studied was not a useful initiative for improving medical student diversity nor did it further disadvantaged educationally vulnerable population groups in these cohorts. Discussion: The social heritage and general...

  20. A TOTAL MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS TECHNIQUE TO SELECT APPROPRIATE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY: CASE STUDY OF A FOOTWEAR FACTORY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gezahegn Tesfaye

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Government of Ethiopia is promoting the manufacturing sector to join the global market in a large scale. Due to its comparative advantages, the Ethiopian leather and leather products industry have been given due attention. To fully utilize such advantages, the country shifted its export items from hides/skins to footwear products. Nevertheless, the performance of the leather sector in general and footwear sub-sector in particular is far below the desired standards. The improvement strategies applied hitherto were mainly to tackle a small portion of their total problems. If the Ethiopian footwear companies have to become globally competitive, their entire business spectrum has to be assessed and appropriate improvement strategies must be selected. In this research, we used a Total manufacturing solutions (TMS technique to identify areas of improvement and improvement strategy of one of Ethiopian footwear companies. For this purpose, we conducted two surveys using structured questionnaire. The first survey was to test the TMS technique against the context of footwear industry. The result proved that the original TMS model can be used to measure the performance of footwear companies. The second survey was done to identify company's total problems, map its current position and select appropriate improvement strategy. The result revealed that the company has company-wide problems and its current position is a plodder. For plodders which have company-wide problems, the improvement strategy must include aggressive application of BPR; and the implementation of best practices to develop workers skills that encourages networking and promotion, a market-led manufacturing strategy, employee involvement and team work cultures. According to the findings of this research, we suggested that a BPR technique followed by a continuous improvement programme could be an appropriate improvement strategy for this company. The company requires long-term improvement

  1. Improving Breeding Selection of Seed Quality Traits for Food-Grade Soybeans

    OpenAIRE

    Escamilla Sanchez, Diana Marcela

    2018-01-01

    Natto and sprout soybeans are produced using small-seeded soybeans and their production is a high value alternative to grow grain soybeans for food in U.S. The development of soybean cultivars with improved natto and sprout quality is crucial for maintaining and increasing the soyfood market. However, there is insufficient information on sprout soybean characteristics. Therefore, the first objective of this study was to evaluate seed and sprout traits as potential selection criteria and study...

  2. Improvement of potato tolerance to salinity using tissue culture techniques and irradiation with in vitro selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Safadi, B.; Arabi, M. I. E.

    2006-01-01

    A mutation breeding program was conducted to improve potato (Solanum tuberosum) tolerance to salinity. In vitro cultured explants from potato cvs. Draga, Diamant, Spunta were irradiated with gamma doses 25, 30, and 35 Gy. Mutants were isolated to get rid of chimeral tissues and subsequently propagated for in vitro and pot selection pressure. Cultivar Sponta produced the highest number of tolerant plants (4) and only one plant was obtained from Diamant. (authors)

  3. Improving the Quality of Recycled Fine Aggregate by Selective Removal of Brittle Defects

    OpenAIRE

    Ogawa, Hideo; Nawa, Toyoharu

    2012-01-01

    Crushed recycled aggregate contains particles with brittle defects such as cracks, pores, and voids. This study presents a method for improving the quality of recycled fine aggregate by selectively removing these defects. Fourteen recycled fine aggregates were manufactured by three types of processors including a jaw crusher, ball mill, and granulator. The influence of the recycled fine aggregate on the flowability and strength of the mortar was evaluated by multivariate analysis. The results...

  4. Improvement of resistance to rust through recurrent selection in pearl millet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tapsoba, H. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States); Wilson, J.P.; Hanna, W.W. [Univ. of Georgia Coastal Plain Experimental Station, Tifton, GA (United States)

    1997-04-01

    Two pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br. = P. typhoides (Burm.) Staff & Hubb., P. americanum (L.) K. Schum.] bulk populations, Tift No. 2 and Tift No. 5, served as base populations for four cycles of recurrent selection against susceptibility to Puccinia substriata Ell. & Barth, var. indica Ramachar & Cumm. A bulk inoculum of the pathogen was used. The objectives were to evaluate the progress achieved regarding overall resistance to the pathogen in the field and resistance to different races of the pathogen, and also to evaluate changes in unselected traits. During selection, the frequency of rust resistant plants continuously increased from about 30% in each base population to more than 85% by the third cycle of selection in both populations. An average increase of about 21 and 18% per cycle was obtained in Tift No. 2 and Tift No. 5, respectively. A continuous increase of the frequency of plants resistant to some races of the pathogen was also obtained. In Tift No. 5, 80% of the plants were resistant to eight races by the third cycle of selection. The accumulation of resistance observed in the seedlings was manifested in the field, both in 1993 and 1994, by a reduction of the final rust severity from the base population to the fourth selection cycle of both populations. This improvement in resistance to the rust pathogen was accompanied by an increase in the frequency of plants resistant to Pyricularia grisea (Cooke) Sacc. only in Tift No. 2. Despite the improvement in the selected character, genetic variability for agronomic traits such as plant height, number of culms/plant, flowering date, and panicle length was successfully maintained within each population. 20 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs.

  5. Improved Selectivity From a Wavelength Addressable Device for Wireless Stimulation of Neural Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elif Ç. Seymour

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Electrical neural stimulation with micro electrodes is a promising technique for restoring lost functions in the central nervous system as a result of injury or disease. One of the problems related to current neural stimulators is the tissue response due to the connecting wires and the presence of a rigid electrode inside soft neural tissue. We have developed a novel, optically activated, microscale photovoltaic neurostimulator based on a custom layered compound semiconductor heterostructure that is both wireless and has a comparatively small volume. Optical activation provides a wireless means of energy transfer to the neurostimulator, eliminating wires and the associated complications. This neurostimulator was shown to evoke action potentials and a functional motor response in the rat spinal cord. In this work, we extend our design to include wavelength selectivity and thus allowing independent activation of devices. As a proof of concept, we fabricated two different microscale devices with different spectral responsivities in the near-infrared region. We assessed the improved addressability of individual devices via wavelength selectivity as compared to spatial selectivity alone through on-bench optical measurements of the devices in combination with an in vivo light intensity profile in the rat cortex obtained in a previous study. We show that wavelength selectivity improves the individual addressability of the floating stimulators, thus increasing the number of devices that can be implanted in close proximity to each other.

  6. An improved discriminative filter bank selection approach for motor imagery EEG signal classification using mutual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Shiu; Sharma, Alok; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko

    2017-12-28

    Common spatial pattern (CSP) has been an effective technique for feature extraction in electroencephalography (EEG) based brain computer interfaces (BCIs). However, motor imagery EEG signal feature extraction using CSP generally depends on the selection of the frequency bands to a great extent. In this study, we propose a mutual information based frequency band selection approach. The idea of the proposed method is to utilize the information from all the available channels for effectively selecting the most discriminative filter banks. CSP features are extracted from multiple overlapping sub-bands. An additional sub-band has been introduced that cover the wide frequency band (7-30 Hz) and two different types of features are extracted using CSP and common spatio-spectral pattern techniques, respectively. Mutual information is then computed from the extracted features of each of these bands and the top filter banks are selected for further processing. Linear discriminant analysis is applied to the features extracted from each of the filter banks. The scores are fused together, and classification is done using support vector machine. The proposed method is evaluated using BCI Competition III dataset IVa, BCI Competition IV dataset I and BCI Competition IV dataset IIb, and it outperformed all other competing methods achieving the lowest misclassification rate and the highest kappa coefficient on all three datasets. Introducing a wide sub-band and using mutual information for selecting the most discriminative sub-bands, the proposed method shows improvement in motor imagery EEG signal classification.

  7. Action video games and improved attentional control: Disentangling selection- and response-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-10-01

    Research has demonstrated that experience with action video games is associated with improvements in a host of cognitive tasks. Evidence from paradigms that assess aspects of attention has suggested that action video game players (AVGPs) possess greater control over the allocation of attentional resources than do non-video-game players (NVGPs). Using a compound search task that teased apart selection- and response-based processes (Duncan, 1985), we required participants to perform an oculomotor capture task in which they made saccades to a uniquely colored target (selection-based process) and then produced a manual directional response based on information within the target (response-based process). We replicated the finding that AVGPs are less susceptible to attentional distraction and, critically, revealed that AVGPs outperform NVGPs on both selection-based and response-based processes. These results not only are consistent with the improved-attentional-control account of AVGP benefits, but they suggest that the benefit of action video game playing extends across the full breadth of attention-mediated stimulus-response processes that impact human performance.

  8. A New Manufacturing Service Selection and Composition Method Using Improved Flower Pollination Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenyu Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With an increasing number of manufacturing services, the means by which to select and compose these manufacturing services have become a challenging problem. It can be regarded as a multiobjective optimization problem that involves a variety of conflicting quality of service (QoS attributes. In this study, a multiobjective optimization model of manufacturing service composition is presented that is based on QoS and an environmental index. Next, the skyline operator is applied to reduce the solution space. And then a new method called improved Flower Pollination Algorithm (FPA is proposed for solving the problem of manufacturing service selection and composition. The improved FPA enhances the performance of basic FPA by combining the latter with crossover and mutation operators of the Differential Evolution (DE algorithm. Finally, a case study is conducted to compare the proposed method with other evolutionary algorithms, including the Genetic Algorithm, DE, basic FPA, and extended FPA. The experimental results reveal that the proposed method performs best at solving the problem of manufacturing service selection and composition.

  9. Genetic characterization of Russian honey bee stock selected for improved resistance to Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, A Lelania; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2009-06-01

    Maintenance of genetic diversity among breeding lines is important in selective breeding and stock management. The Russian Honey Bee Breeding Program has strived to maintain high levels of heterozygosity among its breeding lines since its inception in 1997. After numerous rounds of selection for resistance to tracheal and varroa mites and improved honey production, 18 lines were selected as the core of the program. These lines were grouped into three breeding blocks that were crossbred to improve overall heterozygosity levels of the population. Microsatellite DNA data demonstrated that the program has been successful. Heterozygosity and allelic richness values are high and there are no indications of inbreeding among the three blocks. There were significant levels of genetic structure measured among the three blocks. Block C was genetically distinct from both blocks A and B (F(ST) = 0.0238), whereas blocks A and B did not differ from each other (F(ST) = 0.0074). The same pattern was seen for genic (based on numbers of alleles) differentiation. Genetic distance, as measured by chord distance, indicates that all of the 18 lines are equally distant, with minimal clustering. The data indicate that the overall design of the breeding program has been successful in maintaining high levels of diversity and avoiding problems associated with inbreeding.

  10. An improved culture method for selective isolation of Campylobacter jejuni from wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyong Kim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading foodborne pathogens worldwide. C. jejuni is isolated from a wide range of foods, domestic animals, wildlife, and environmental sources. The currently-available culture-based isolation methods are not highly effective for wastewater samples due to the low number of C. jejuni in the midst of competing bacteria. To detect and isolate C. jejuni from wastewater samples, in this study, we evaluated a few different enrichment conditions using five different antibiotics (i.e., cefoperazone, vancomycin, trimethoprim, polymyxin B, and rifampicin, to which C. jejuni is intrinsically resistant. The selectivity of each enrichment condition was measured with Ct value using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR, and multiplex PCR to determine Campylobacter species. In addition, the efficacy of Campylobacter isolation on different culture media after selective enrichment was examined by growing on Bolton and Preston agar plates. The addition of polymyxin B, rifampicin, or both to the Bolton selective supplements enhanced the selective isolation of C. jejuni. In particular, rifampicin supplementation and an increased culture temperature (i.e., 42°C had a decisive effect on the selective enrichment of C. jejuni from wastewater. The results of 16S rDNA sequencing also revealed that Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are major competing bacteria in the enrichment conditions. Although it is known to be difficult to isolate Campylobacter from samples with heavy contamination, this study well exhibited that the manipulation of antibiotic selective pressure improves the isolation efficiency of fastidious Campylobacter from wastewater.

  11. Clustering and training set selection methods for improving the accuracy of quantitative laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Ryan B., E-mail: randerson@astro.cornell.edu [Cornell University Department of Astronomy, 406 Space Sciences Building, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Bell, James F., E-mail: Jim.Bell@asu.edu [Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration, Bldg.: INTDS-A, Room: 115B, Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Wiens, Roger C., E-mail: rwiens@lanl.gov [Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663 MS J565, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Morris, Richard V., E-mail: richard.v.morris@nasa.gov [NASA Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058 (United States); Clegg, Samuel M., E-mail: sclegg@lanl.gov [Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663 MS J565, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)

    2012-04-15

    We investigated five clustering and training set selection methods to improve the accuracy of quantitative chemical analysis of geologic samples by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) using partial least squares (PLS) regression. The LIBS spectra were previously acquired for 195 rock slabs and 31 pressed powder geostandards under 7 Torr CO{sub 2} at a stand-off distance of 7 m at 17 mJ per pulse to simulate the operational conditions of the ChemCam LIBS instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. The clustering and training set selection methods, which do not require prior knowledge of the chemical composition of the test-set samples, are based on grouping similar spectra and selecting appropriate training spectra for the partial least squares (PLS2) model. These methods were: (1) hierarchical clustering of the full set of training spectra and selection of a subset for use in training; (2) k-means clustering of all spectra and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each cluster; (3) iterative use of PLS2 to predict sample composition and k-means clustering of the predicted compositions to subdivide the groups of spectra; (4) soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) classification of spectra, and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each class; (5) use of Bayesian information criteria (BIC) to determine an optimal number of clusters and generation of PLS2 models based on the training samples within each cluster. The iterative method and the k-means method using 5 clusters showed the best performance, improving the absolute quadrature root mean squared error (RMSE) by {approx} 3 wt.%. The statistical significance of these improvements was {approx} 85%. Our results show that although clustering methods can modestly improve results, a large and diverse training set is the most reliable way to improve the accuracy of quantitative LIBS. In particular, additional sulfate standards and

  12. Improving Naive Bayes with Online Feature Selection for Quick Adaptation to Evolving Feature Usefulness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pon, R K; Cardenas, A F; Buttler, D J

    2007-09-19

    The definition of what makes an article interesting varies from user to user and continually evolves even for a single user. As a result, for news recommendation systems, useless document features can not be determined a priori and all features are usually considered for interestingness classification. Consequently, the presence of currently useless features degrades classification performance [1], particularly over the initial set of news articles being classified. The initial set of document is critical for a user when considering which particular news recommendation system to adopt. To address these problems, we introduce an improved version of the naive Bayes classifier with online feature selection. We use correlation to determine the utility of each feature and take advantage of the conditional independence assumption used by naive Bayes for online feature selection and classification. The augmented naive Bayes classifier performs 28% better than the traditional naive Bayes classifier in recommending news articles from the Yahoo! RSS feeds.

  13. Improved time series prediction with a new method for selection of model parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jade, A M; Jayaraman, V K; Kulkarni, B D

    2006-01-01

    A new method for model selection in prediction of time series is proposed. Apart from the conventional criterion of minimizing RMS error, the method also minimizes the error on the distribution of singularities, evaluated through the local Hoelder estimates and its probability density spectrum. Predictions of two simulated and one real time series have been done using kernel principal component regression (KPCR) and model parameters of KPCR have been selected employing the proposed as well as the conventional method. Results obtained demonstrate that the proposed method takes into account the sharp changes in a time series and improves the generalization capability of the KPCR model for better prediction of the unseen test data. (letter to the editor)

  14. Road network selection for small-scale maps using an improved centrality-based algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy Weiss

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The road network is one of the key feature classes in topographic maps and databases. In the task of deriving road networks for products at smaller scales, road network selection forms a prerequisite for all other generalization operators, and is thus a fundamental operation in the overall process of topographic map and database production. The objective of this work was to develop an algorithm for automated road network selection from a large-scale (1:10,000 to a small-scale database (1:200,000. The project was pursued in collaboration with swisstopo, the national mapping agency of Switzerland, with generic mapping requirements in mind. Preliminary experiments suggested that a selection algorithm based on betweenness centrality performed best for this purpose, yet also exposed problems. The main contribution of this paper thus consists of four extensions that address deficiencies of the basic centrality-based algorithm and lead to a significant improvement of the results. The first two extensions improve the formation of strokes concatenating the road segments, which is crucial since strokes provide the foundation upon which the network centrality measure is computed. Thus, the first extension ensures that roundabouts are detected and collapsed, thus avoiding interruptions of strokes by roundabouts, while the second introduces additional semantics in the process of stroke formation, allowing longer and more plausible strokes to built. The third extension detects areas of high road density (i.e., urban areas using density-based clustering and then locally increases the threshold of the centrality measure used to select road segments, such that more thinning takes place in those areas. Finally, since the basic algorithm tends to create dead-ends—which however are not tolerated in small-scale maps—the fourth extension reconnects these dead-ends to the main network, searching for the best path in the main heading of the dead-end.

  15. Rac1 selective activation improves retina ganglion cell survival and regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Lorenzetto

    Full Text Available In adult mammals, after optic nerve injury, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs do not regenerate their axons and most of them die by apoptosis within a few days. Recently, several strategies that activate neuronal intracellular pathways were proposed to prevent such degenerative processes. The rho-related small GTPase Rac1 is part of a complex, still not fully understood, intracellular signaling network, mediating in neurons many effects, including axon growth and cell survival. However, its role in neuronal survival and regeneration in vivo has not yet been properly investigated. To address this point we intravitreally injected selective cell-penetrating Rac1 mutants after optic nerve crush and studied the effect on RGC survival and axonal regeneration. We injected two well-characterized L61 constitutively active Tat-Rac1 fusion protein mutants, in which a second F37A or Y40C mutation confers selectivity in downstream signaling pathways. Results showed that, 15 days after crush, both mutants were able to improve survival and to prevent dendrite degeneration, while the one harboring the F37A mutation also improved axonal regeneration. The treatment with F37A mutant for one month did not improve the axonal elongation respect to 15 days. Furthermore, we found an increase of Pak1 T212 phosphorylation and ERK1/2 expression in RGCs after F37A treatment, whereas ERK1/2 was more activated in glial cells after Y40C administration. Our data suggest that the selective activation of distinct Rac1-dependent pathways could represent a therapeutic strategy to counteract neuronal degenerative processes in the retina.

  16. Spectral Collection of Polyethylene Pellets at nearly Cryogenic Temperature to Improve Selectivity of Raman Measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Saetbyeol; Lee, Sanguk; Hwang, Jinyoung; Chung, Hoeil

    2010-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy has been extensively used for analysis of diverse polymer samples. Normally, Raman spectral collection of samples is routinely performed at room temperature for convenience. However, the feasibility of improving spectral selectivity and the resulting quantitative accuracy, when samples are measured at nearly cryogenic temperature, has not been investigated. For this purpose, we attempted to measure the density of polyethylene (PE) pellets at cryogenic temperatures and the resulting accuracies were compared with that from room temperature measurement. Initially, each of 25 PE sample was allowed to cool down to cryogenic temperature and the corresponding Raman spectra were continuously collected while the temperature of sample increased. When the temperature of sample was at cryogenic temperature, the resulting band widths were narrower compared to those at room temperature, thereby improving the accuracy of density measurement. In overall, the proposed Raman scheme is simple and efficient; therefore, it could be further applied for analysis of other polymers.

  17. Physiological improvement in the copepod Eurytemora affinis through thermal and multi-generational selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souissi, Anissa; Souissi, Sami; Hansen, Benni Winding

    2016-01-01

    As a major part of fish larval diet in nature, copepods constitute an appropriate live prey for aquaculture purposes. Considering the difficulty of mastering copepod mass production, studies on their growth performance at different environmental conditions are needed to improve their productivity....... In this study a new selective approach based on temperature control is proposed to improve the physiological (body size, fecundity and lipid storage) performance of copepods. The estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis known to have a high genetic variance in temperature tolerance was used as a biological model....... First two different copepod lines were obtained after long-term culture at constant cold (7°C) and warm (20°C) temperatures. Then both populations were transferred to a higher temperature of 24°C appropriate for aquaculture use and followed during five generations. During the first two generations (F1–F...

  18. Post-CMOS selective electroplating technique for the improvement of CMOS-MEMS accelerometers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Yu-Chia; Tsai, Ming-Han; Fang, Weileun; Tang, Tsung-Lin

    2011-01-01

    This study presents a simple approach to improve the performance of the CMOS-MEMS capacitive accelerometer by means of the post-CMOS metal electroplating process. The metal layer can be selectively electroplated on the MEMS structures at low temperature and the thickness of the metal layer can be easily adjusted by this process. Thus the performance of the capacitive accelerometer (i.e. sensitivity, noise floor and the minimum detectable signal) can be improved. In application, the proposed accelerometers have been implemented using (1) the standard CMOS 0.35 µm 2P4M process by CMOS foundry, (2) Ti/Au seed layers deposition/patterning by MEMS foundry and (3) in-house post-CMOS electroplating and releasing processes. Measurements indicate that the sensitivity is improved 2.85-fold, noise is decreased near 1.7-fold and the minimum detectable signal is improved from 1 to 0.2 G after nickel electroplating. Moreover, unwanted structure deformation due to the temperature variation is significantly suppressed by electroplated nickel.

  19. Prioritization and selection of electrical vehicle systems to improve its performances: An AHP approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larrode, E.; Muerza, V.; Arroyo, J.B.

    2016-07-01

    In the study of the improvement of urban transport in terms of energy efficiency and environmental improvement, one of the best options is the use of electric vehicles for both passengers and freight distribution. Depending on the type of transport operation to be performed, it is necessary to select the most appropriate vehicle that meets the necessary requirements, so that the result is an improvement in energy efficiency and low environmental impact. It is therefore necessary to design architectures for electric vehicles, specially adapted to the different scenarios in which are to be used, and where they can optimize the transport operation in both reducing energy consumption and reducing emissions, maintaining a cost competitive with current vehicle operation. The electrical vehicles (EV) are composed of different systems. A typical EV structure involves five subsystems: (i) drive system, (ii) power system, (iii) control system, (iv) vehicle structure and (v) auxiliary systems. This paper focuses on the development of a multicriteria decision procedure based on the use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), to prioritize among the five vehicle systems, in which the design efforts should be guided to improve the vehicle. (Author)

  20. Wind power forecast using wavelet neural network trained by improved Clonal selection algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chitsaz, Hamed; Amjady, Nima; Zareipour, Hamidreza

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Presenting a Morlet wavelet neural network for wind power forecasting. • Proposing improved Clonal selection algorithm for training the model. • Applying Maximum Correntropy Criterion to evaluate the training performance. • Extensive testing of the proposed wind power forecast method on real-world data. - Abstract: With the integration of wind farms into electric power grids, an accurate wind power prediction is becoming increasingly important for the operation of these power plants. In this paper, a new forecasting engine for wind power prediction is proposed. The proposed engine has the structure of Wavelet Neural Network (WNN) with the activation functions of the hidden neurons constructed based on multi-dimensional Morlet wavelets. This forecast engine is trained by a new improved Clonal selection algorithm, which optimizes the free parameters of the WNN for wind power prediction. Furthermore, Maximum Correntropy Criterion (MCC) has been utilized instead of Mean Squared Error as the error measure in training phase of the forecasting model. The proposed wind power forecaster is tested with real-world hourly data of system level wind power generation in Alberta, Canada. In order to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method, it is compared with several other wind power forecast techniques. The obtained results confirm the validity of the developed approach

  1. Improved performance of molecular bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic cells through predictable selection of solvent additives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, Kenneth R.; Wieruszewski, Patrick M.; Stalder, Romain; Mei, Jianguo [The George and Josephine Butler, Polymer Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry and Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (United States); Hartel, Michael J.; So, Franky [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Reynolds, John R. [The George and Josephine Butler, Polymer Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry and Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (United States); School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Materials Science and Engineering and Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0400 (United States)

    2012-11-21

    Solvent additives provide an effective means to alter the morphology and thereby improve the performance of organic bulk-heterojunction photovoltaics, although guidelines for selecting an appropriate solvent additive remain relatively unclear. Here, a family of solvent additives spanning a wide range of Hansen solubility parameters is applied to a molecular bulk-heterojunction system consisting of an isoindigo and thiophene containing oligomer as the electron donor and [6,6]-phenyl-C{sub 61}-butyric acid methyl ester (PC{sub 61}BM) as the electron acceptor. Hansen solubility parameters are calculated using the group contribution method and compared with the measured solubilities for use as a screening method in solvent additive selection. The additives are shown to alter the morphologies in a semipredictable manner, with the poorer solvents generally resulting in decreased domain sizes, increased hole mobilities, and improved photovoltaic performance. The additives with larger hydrogen bonding parameters, namely triethylene glycol (TEG) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), are demonstrated to increase the open circuit voltage by 0.2 V. Combining a solvent additive observed to increase short circuit current, poly(dimethylsiloxane), with TEG results in an increase in power conversion efficiency from 1.4 to 3.3%. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  2. Improvement of potato tolerance to salinity using tissue culture techniques and irradiation with in vitro selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Safadi, B.; Arabi, M. I. E.

    2005-06-01

    A mutation breeding program was conducted to improve potato (Solanum tuberosum) tolerance to salinity. In vitro cultured explants from potato cvs. Draga, Diamant, Spunta were irradiated with gamma doses 25, 30, and 35 Gy.Growing shoots were cut and re-cultured every 2 weeks until the 4th generation (MV 4 ) to make sure no chimeral tissues still existed in the mutant material. Plantlets were subsequently propagated to obtain enough explants for in vitro selection pressure. Around 3000 plantlets from the three cultivars were subjected to selection pressure. MV 4 explants were cultured on MS medium supplemented with the NaCl in varying concentrations ranging between 50 to 200 mM. Surviving plantlets were propagated and re-cultured on a similar medium to insure their tolerance to salinity. Tolerant plantlets were acclimatized and transferred to pots and grown under glasshouse conditions. Plants were later subjected to another selection pressure, by irrigating them using water containing NaCl in concentrations ranging between 50-250 mM in addition to controls irrigated with normal water. Cultivar Spunta produced the highest number of tolerant plants. Four plants of Spunta appeared to be tolerant to salinity whereas only one plant from Diamant and was tolerant and no plants from cultivar Draga were tolerant. Mutant plants varied in number of produced minitubers from 8 - 14. Also, weight of these minitubers varied from less than 1 to 31 grams. (author)

  3. Hand placement near the visual stimulus improves orientation selectivity in V2 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio, Lauren E.; Crawford, J. Douglas; Fallah, Mazyar

    2015-01-01

    Often, the brain receives more sensory input than it can process simultaneously. Spatial attention helps overcome this limitation by preferentially processing input from a behaviorally-relevant location. Recent neuropsychological and psychophysical studies suggest that attention is deployed to near-hand space much like how the oculomotor system can deploy attention to an upcoming gaze position. Here we provide the first neuronal evidence that the presence of a nearby hand enhances orientation selectivity in early visual processing area V2. When the hand was placed outside the receptive field, responses to the preferred orientation were significantly enhanced without a corresponding significant increase at the orthogonal orientation. Consequently, there was also a significant sharpening of orientation tuning. In addition, the presence of the hand reduced neuronal response variability. These results indicate that attention is automatically deployed to the space around a hand, improving orientation selectivity. Importantly, this appears to be optimal for motor control of the hand, as opposed to oculomotor mechanisms which enhance responses without sharpening orientation selectivity. Effector-based mechanisms for visual enhancement thus support not only the spatiotemporal dissociation of gaze and reach, but also the optimization of vision for their separate requirements for guiding movements. PMID:25717165

  4. Improving breast cancer classification with mammography, supported on an appropriate variable selection analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Noel; Guevara, Miguel A.; Silva, Augusto

    2013-02-01

    This work addresses the issue of variable selection within the context of breast cancer classification with mammography. A comprehensive repository of feature vectors was used including a hybrid subset gathering image-based and clinical features. It aimed to gather experimental evidence of variable selection in terms of cardinality, type and find a classification scheme that provides the best performance over the Area Under Receiver Operating Characteristics Curve (AUC) scores using the ranked features subset. We evaluated and classified a total of 300 subsets of features formed by the application of Chi-Square Discretization, Information-Gain, One-Rule and RELIEF methods in association with Feed-Forward Backpropagation Neural Network (FFBP), Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Decision Tree J48 (DTJ48) Machine Learning Algorithms (MLA) for a comparative performance evaluation based on AUC scores. A variable selection analysis was performed for Single-View Ranking and Multi-View Ranking groups of features. Features subsets representing Microcalcifications (MCs), Masses and both MCs and Masses lesions achieved AUC scores of 0.91, 0.954 and 0.934 respectively. Experimental evidence demonstrated that classification performance was improved by combining image-based and clinical features. The most important clinical and image-based features were StromaDistortion and Circularity respectively. Other less important but worth to use due to its consistency were Contrast, Perimeter, Microcalcification, Correlation and Elongation.

  5. Comment ameliorer la selection et le traitement des messages verbaux? (How to Improve the Selection and Processing of Verbal Messages)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rivenez, Marie; Darwin, Chris; Guillaume, Anne

    2005-01-01

    L'objectif de cette recherche est d'ameliorer la selection des messages verbaux. Nous cherchons a determiner les facteurs influencant le traitement d'un message verbal lorsque l'attention est portee sur un autre message...

  6. Improved feature selection based on genetic algorithms for real time disruption prediction on JET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rattá, G.A.; Vega, J.; Murari, A.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► A new signal selection methodology to improve disruption prediction is reported. ► The approach is based on Genetic Algorithms. ► An advanced predictor has been created with the new set of signals. ► The new system obtains considerably higher prediction rates. - Abstract: The early prediction of disruptions is an important aspect of the research in the field of Tokamak control. A very recent predictor, called “Advanced Predictor Of Disruptions” (APODIS), developed for the “Joint European Torus” (JET), implements the real time recognition of incoming disruptions with the best success rate achieved ever and an outstanding stability for long periods following training. In this article, a new methodology to select the set of the signals’ parameters in order to maximize the performance of the predictor is reported. The approach is based on “Genetic Algorithms” (GAs). With the feature selection derived from GAs, a new version of APODIS has been developed. The results are significantly better than the previous version not only in terms of success rates but also in extending the interval before the disruption in which reliable predictions are achieved. Correct disruption predictions with a success rate in excess of 90% have been achieved 200 ms before the time of the disruption. The predictor response is compared with that of JET's Protection System (JPS) and the ADODIS predictor is shown to be far superior. Both systems have been carefully tested with a wide number of discharges to understand their relative merits and the most profitable directions of further improvements.

  7. Improved feature selection based on genetic algorithms for real time disruption prediction on JET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ratta, G.A., E-mail: garatta@gateme.unsj.edu.ar [GATEME, Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Avda. San Martin 1109 (O), 5400 San Juan (Argentina); JET EFDA, Culham Science Centre, OX14 3DB Abingdon (United Kingdom); Vega, J. [Asociacion EURATOM/CIEMAT para Fusion, Avda. Complutense, 40, 28040 Madrid (Spain); JET EFDA, Culham Science Centre, OX14 3DB Abingdon (United Kingdom); Murari, A. [Associazione EURATOM-ENEA per la Fusione, Consorzio RFX, 4-35127 Padova (Italy); JET EFDA, Culham Science Centre, OX14 3DB Abingdon (United Kingdom)

    2012-09-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A new signal selection methodology to improve disruption prediction is reported. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The approach is based on Genetic Algorithms. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An advanced predictor has been created with the new set of signals. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The new system obtains considerably higher prediction rates. - Abstract: The early prediction of disruptions is an important aspect of the research in the field of Tokamak control. A very recent predictor, called 'Advanced Predictor Of Disruptions' (APODIS), developed for the 'Joint European Torus' (JET), implements the real time recognition of incoming disruptions with the best success rate achieved ever and an outstanding stability for long periods following training. In this article, a new methodology to select the set of the signals' parameters in order to maximize the performance of the predictor is reported. The approach is based on 'Genetic Algorithms' (GAs). With the feature selection derived from GAs, a new version of APODIS has been developed. The results are significantly better than the previous version not only in terms of success rates but also in extending the interval before the disruption in which reliable predictions are achieved. Correct disruption predictions with a success rate in excess of 90% have been achieved 200 ms before the time of the disruption. The predictor response is compared with that of JET's Protection System (JPS) and the ADODIS predictor is shown to be far superior. Both systems have been carefully tested with a wide number of discharges to understand their relative merits and the most profitable directions of further improvements.

  8. Using Deep Learning for Targeted Data Selection, Improving Satellite Observation Utilization for Model Initialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Y. J.; Bonfanti, C. E.; Trailovic, L.; Etherton, B.; Govett, M.; Stewart, J.

    2017-12-01

    At present, a fraction of all satellite observations are ultimately used for model assimilation. The satellite data assimilation process is computationally expensive and data are often reduced in resolution to allow timely incorporation into the forecast. This problem is only exacerbated by the recent launch of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16 satellite and future satellites providing several order of magnitude increase in data volume. At the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) we are researching the use of machine learning the improve the initial selection of satellite data to be used in the model assimilation process. In particular, we are investigating the use of deep learning. Deep learning is being applied to many image processing and computer vision problems with great success. Through our research, we are using convolutional neural network to find and mark regions of interest (ROI) to lead to intelligent extraction of observations from satellite observation systems. These targeted observations will be used to improve the quality of data selected for model assimilation and ultimately improve the impact of satellite data on weather forecasts. Our preliminary efforts to identify the ROI's are focused in two areas: applying and comparing state-of-art convolutional neural network models using the analysis data from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) weather model, and using these results as a starting point to optimize convolution neural network model for pattern recognition on the higher resolution water vapor data from GOES-WEST and other satellite. This presentation will provide an introduction to our convolutional neural network model to identify and process these ROI's, along with the challenges of data preparation, training the model, and parameter optimization.

  9. Improving the fatigue performance of porous metallic biomaterials produced by Selective Laser Melting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hooreweder, Brecht; Apers, Yanni; Lietaert, Karel; Kruth, Jean-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    This paper provides new insights into the fatigue properties of porous metallic biomaterials produced by additive manufacturing. Cylindrical porous samples with diamond unit cells were produced from Ti6Al4V powder using Selective Laser Melting (SLM). After measuring all morphological and quasi-static properties, compression-compression fatigue tests were performed to determine fatigue strength and to identify important fatigue influencing factors. In a next step, post-SLM treatments were used to improve the fatigue life of these biomaterials by changing the microstructure and by reducing stress concentrators and surface roughness. In particular, the influence of stress relieving, hot isostatic pressing and chemical etching was studied. Analytical and numerical techniques were developed to calculate the maximum local tensile stress in the struts as function of the strut diameter and load. With this method, the variability in the relative density between all samples was taken into account. The local stress in the struts was then used to quantify the exact influence of the applied post-SLM treatments on the fatigue life. A significant improvement of the fatigue life was achieved. Also, the post-SLM treatments, procedures and calculation methods can be applied to different types of porous metallic structures and hence this paper provides useful tools for improving fatigue performance of metallic biomaterials. Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques such as Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are increasingly being used for producing customized porous metallic biomaterials. These biomaterials are regularly used for biomedical implants and hence a long lifetime is required. In this paper, a set of post-built surface and heat treatments is presented that can be used to significantly improve the fatigue life of porous SLM-Ti6Al4V samples. In addition, a novel and efficient analytical local stress method was developed to accurately quantify the influence of the post

  10. The Use of Variable Q1 Isolation Windows Improves Selectivity in LC-SWATH-MS Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Bilbao, Aivett; Bruderer, Tobias; Luban, Jeremy; Strambio-De-Castillia, Caterina; Lisacek, Frédérique; Hopfgartner, Gérard; Varesio, Emmanuel

    2015-10-02

    As tryptic peptides and metabolites are not equally distributed along the mass range, the probability of cross fragment ion interference is higher in certain windows when fixed Q1 SWATH windows are applied. We evaluated the benefits of utilizing variable Q1 SWATH windows with regards to selectivity improvement. Variable windows based on equalizing the distribution of either the precursor ion population (PIP) or the total ion current (TIC) within each window were generated by an in-house software, swathTUNER. These two variable Q1 SWATH window strategies outperformed, with respect to quantification and identification, the basic approach using a fixed window width (FIX) for proteomic profiling of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). Thus, 13.8 and 8.4% additional peptide precursors, which resulted in 13.1 and 10.0% more proteins, were confidently identified by SWATH using the strategy PIP and TIC, respectively, in the MDDC proteomic sample. On the basis of the spectral library purity score, some improvement warranted by variable Q1 windows was also observed, albeit to a lesser extent, in the metabolomic profiling of human urine. We show that the novel concept of "scheduled SWATH" proposed here, which incorporates (i) variable isolation windows and (ii) precursor retention time segmentation further improves both peptide and metabolite identifications.

  11. Improvements in recall and food choices using a graphical method to deliver information of select nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, Nathan S; Ellison, Brenna D; Benjamin, Aaron S; Nakamura, Manabu T

    2016-01-01

    Consumers have difficulty using nutrition information. We hypothesized that graphically delivering information of select nutrients relative to a target would allow individuals to process information in time-constrained settings more effectively than numerical information. Objectives of the study were to determine the efficacy of the graphical method in (1) improving memory of nutrient information and (2) improving consumer purchasing behavior in a restaurant. Values of fiber and protein per calorie were 2-dimensionally plotted alongside a target box. First, a randomized cued recall experiment was conducted (n=63). Recall accuracy of nutrition information improved by up to 43% when shown graphically instead of numerically. Second, the impact of graphical nutrition signposting on diner choices was tested in a cafeteria. Saturated fat and sodium information was also presented using color coding. Nutrient content of meals (n=362) was compared between 3 signposting phases: graphical, nutrition facts panels (NFP), or no nutrition label. Graphical signposting improved nutrient content of purchases in the intended direction, whereas NFP had no effect compared with the baseline. Calories ordered from total meals, entrées, and sides were significantly less during graphical signposting than no-label and NFP periods. For total meal and entrées, protein per calorie purchased was significantly higher and saturated fat significantly lower during graphical signposting than the other phases. Graphical signposting remained a predictor of calories and protein per calorie purchased in regression modeling. These findings demonstrate that graphically presenting nutrition information makes that information more available for decision making and influences behavior change in a realistic setting. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Improvement of chemical shift selective saturation (CHESS) pulse for MR angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishimori, Yoshiyuki; Sashie, Hiroyuki; Hiraga, Akira; Matsuda, Tsuyoshi

    2000-01-01

    We improved the fat suppression technique based on chemical shift selective saturation (CHESS). To do this, we shortened the duration of the CHESS pulse to achieve a short repetition time (TR) for MR angiography (MRA). A short-duration CHESS pulse causes broad frequency band saturation, creating extensive offset from the resonance frequency of water. In our phantom experiment, the best parameters of the short-duration CHESS pulse were 3.84 ms in duration, -650 Hz in offset frequency from water resonance, and had a 130-degree flip angle. With this technique, MRA will be able to be carried out without a significant increase in TR. Thus, better vessel contrast will be maintained in time-of-flight (TOF) MRA or contrast-enhanced MRA when using the maximum intensity projection (MIP) method. (author)

  13. In situ product removal in fermentation systems: improved process performance and rational extractant selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dafoe, Julian T; Daugulis, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    The separation of inhibitory compounds as they are produced in biotransformation and fermentation systems is termed in situ product removal (ISPR). This review examines recent ISPR strategies employing several classes of extractants including liquids, solids, gases, and combined extraction systems. Improvement through the simple application of an auxiliary phase are tabulated and summarized to indicate the breadth of recent ISPR activities. Studies within the past 5 years that have highlighted and have discussed "second phase" properties, and that have an effect on fermentation performance, are particular focus of this review. ISPR, as a demonstrably effective processing strategy, continues to be widely adopted as more applications are explored; however, focus on the properties of extractants and their rational selection based on first principle considerations will likely be key to successfully applying ISPR to more challenging target molecules.

  14. SELECTION OF BUSINESS STRATEGIES FOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT USING FUZZY ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasun Das

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Fuzzy linguistic concepts are often used to enhance the traditional analytic hierarchy process (AHP in capturing the fuzziness and subjectiveness of decision makers' judgments. In this paper, fuzzy AHP methodology is adopted for selection of the strategies for business improvement in an Indian industry as a decision making problem. Due to simplicity and effectiveness, triangular fuzzy numbers are adopted as a reference to indicate the influence strength of each element in the hierarchy structure. The confidence level and the optimistic levels of multiple decision makers are captured by using ? -cut based fuzzy number methods. This fuzzy set theory based multi-attribute decision making method is found to be quite useful and effective in industrial environment.

  15. Cell Adhesion Selectivity of Stent Material to improve Bio-functionality by Ion Beam Modification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jaesang; Park, JUngchan; Jung, Myunghwan; Kim, Yongki [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Junkyu [Bio alpha., Co. Ltd., Gimhae (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He{sup +} ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He{sup +} ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft.

  16. Cell Adhesion Selectivity of Stent Material to improve Bio-functionality by Ion Beam Modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jaesang; Park, JUngchan; Jung, Myunghwan; Kim, Yongki; Park, Junkyu

    2014-01-01

    In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He + ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He + ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft

  17. Improving probe set selection for microbial community analysis by leveraging taxonomic information of training sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Tao

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Population levels of microbial phylotypes can be examined using a hybridization-based method that utilizes a small set of computationally-designed DNA probes targeted to a gene common to all. Our previous algorithm attempts to select a set of probes such that each training sequence manifests a unique theoretical hybridization pattern (a binary fingerprint to a probe set. It does so without taking into account similarity between training gene sequences or their putative taxonomic classifications, however. We present an improved algorithm for probe set selection that utilizes the available taxonomic information of training gene sequences and attempts to choose probes such that the resultant binary fingerprints cluster into real taxonomic groups. Results Gene sequences manifesting identical fingerprints with probes chosen by the new algorithm are more likely to be from the same taxonomic group than probes chosen by the previous algorithm. In cases where they are from different taxonomic groups, underlying DNA sequences of identical fingerprints are more similar to each other in probe sets made with the new versus the previous algorithm. Complete removal of large taxonomic groups from training data does not greatly decrease the ability of probe sets to distinguish those groups. Conclusions Probe sets made from the new algorithm create fingerprints that more reliably cluster into biologically meaningful groups. The method can readily distinguish microbial phylotypes that were excluded from the training sequences, suggesting novel microbes can also be detected.

  18. Improving probe set selection for microbial community analysis by leveraging taxonomic information of training sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruegger, Paul M; Della Vedova, Gianluca; Jiang, Tao; Borneman, James

    2011-10-10

    Population levels of microbial phylotypes can be examined using a hybridization-based method that utilizes a small set of computationally-designed DNA probes targeted to a gene common to all. Our previous algorithm attempts to select a set of probes such that each training sequence manifests a unique theoretical hybridization pattern (a binary fingerprint) to a probe set. It does so without taking into account similarity between training gene sequences or their putative taxonomic classifications, however. We present an improved algorithm for probe set selection that utilizes the available taxonomic information of training gene sequences and attempts to choose probes such that the resultant binary fingerprints cluster into real taxonomic groups. Gene sequences manifesting identical fingerprints with probes chosen by the new algorithm are more likely to be from the same taxonomic group than probes chosen by the previous algorithm. In cases where they are from different taxonomic groups, underlying DNA sequences of identical fingerprints are more similar to each other in probe sets made with the new versus the previous algorithm. Complete removal of large taxonomic groups from training data does not greatly decrease the ability of probe sets to distinguish those groups. Probe sets made from the new algorithm create fingerprints that more reliably cluster into biologically meaningful groups. The method can readily distinguish microbial phylotypes that were excluded from the training sequences, suggesting novel microbes can also be detected.

  19. Improving Selectivity of 1D Bragg Resonator Using Coupling of Propagating and Trapped Waves

    CERN Document Server

    Ginzburg, N S; Peskov, Nikolay Yu; Sergeev, A S

    2004-01-01

    A novel 1D Bragg resonator based on coupling propagated and locked (quasi cut-off) modes should be tested in a JINR- IAP FEM-oscillator to improve selectivity over the transverse mode index. In this scheme the electron beam interacts with only propagating wave, and the latter is coupled with a quasi cut-off mode. This coupling can be realized by either helical or azimuthally-symmetric corrugation. The quasi cut-off mode provides the feedback in the system leading to the absolute instability and the self-excitation of the whole system while efficiency in the steady-state regime of generation is almost completely determined by the propagating mode, synchronous to the beam. Analytical consideration and numerical simulation show that the efficiency of such an FEM can be rather high. The main advantage of this scheme is provision of higher selectivity over the transverse mode index than traditional scheme of Bragg FEL that encourage increasing operating frequency for fixed transverse size of the interaction space.

  20. A Very Compact AES-SPIHT Selective Encryption Computer Architecture Design with Improved S-Box

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Hao Kong

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The “S-box” algorithm is a key component in the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES due to its nonlinear property. Various implementation approaches have been researched and discussed meeting stringent application goals (such as low power, high throughput, low area, but the ultimate goal for many researchers is to find a compact and small hardware footprint for the S-box circuit. In this paper, we present our version of minimized S-box with two separate proposals and improvements in the overall gate count. The compact S-box is adopted with a compact and optimum processor architecture specifically tailored for the AES, namely, the compact instruction set architecture (CISA. To further justify and strengthen the purpose of the compact crypto-processor’s application, we have also presented a selective encryption architecture (SEA which incorporates the CISA as a part of the encryption core, accompanied by the set partitioning in hierarchical trees (SPIHT algorithm as a complete selective encryption system.

  1. Improving the selective cancer killing ability of ZnO nanoparticles using Fe doping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Aaron; Wingett, Denise G; Rasmussen, John W; Layne, Janet; Johnson, Lydia; Tenne, Dmitri A; Zhang, Jianhui; Hanna, Charles B; Punnoose, Alex

    2012-06-01

    This work reports a new method to improve our recent demonstration of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) selectively killing certain human cancer cells, achieved by incorporating Fe ions into the NPs. Thoroughly characterized cationic ZnO NPs (∼6 nm) doped with Fe ions (Zn(1-x )Fe (x) O, x = 0-0.15) were used in this work, applied at a concentration of 24 μg/ml. Cytotoxicity studies using flow cytometry on Jurkat leukemic cancer cells show cell viability drops from about 43% for undoped ZnO NPs to 15% for ZnO NPs doped with 7.5% Fe. However, the trend reverses and cell viability increases with higher Fe concentrations. The non-immortalized human T cells are markedly more resistant to Fe-doped ZnO NPs than cancerous T cells, confirming that Fe-doped samples still maintain selective toxicity to cancer cells. Pure iron oxide samples displayed no appreciable toxicity. Reactive oxygen species generated with NP introduction to cells increased with increasing Fe up to 7.5% and decreased for >7.5% doping.

  2. Spectroelectrochemistry as a Strategy for Improving Selectivity of Sensors for Security and Defense Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heineman, William R.; Seliskar, Carl J.; Morris, Laura K.; Bryan, Samuel A.

    2012-12-19

    Spectroelectrochemistry provides improved selectivity for sensors by electrochemically modulating the optical signal associated with the analyte. The sensor consists of an optically transparent electrode (OTE) coated with a film that preconcentrates the target analyte. The OTE functions as an optical waveguide for attenuated total reflectance (ATR) spectroscopy, which detects the analyte by absorption. Alternatively, the OTE can serve as the excitation light for fluorescence detection, which is generally more sensitive than absorption. The analyte partitions into the film, undergoes an electrochemical redox reaction at the OTE surface, and absorbs or emits light in its oxidized or reduced state. The change in the optical response associated with electrochemical oxidation or reduction at the OTE is used to quantify the analyte. Absorption sensors for metal ion complexes such as [Fe(CN)6]4- and [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and fluorescence sensors for [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon 1-hydroxypyrene have been developed. The sensor concept has been extended to binding assays for a protein using avidin–biotin and 17β-estradiol–anti-estradiol antibodies. The sensor has been demonstrated to measure metal complexes in complex samples such as nuclear waste and natural water. This sensor has qualities needed for security and defense applications that require a high level of selectivity and good detection limits for target analytes in complex samples. Quickly monitoring and designating intent of a nuclear program by measuring the Ru/Tc fission product ratio is such an application.

  3. An Efficient Adaptive Window Size Selection Method for Improving Spectrogram Visualization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shibli Nisar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT is an important technique for the time-frequency analysis of a time varying signal. The basic approach behind it involves the application of a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT to a signal multiplied with an appropriate window function with fixed resolution. The selection of an appropriate window size is difficult when no background information about the input signal is known. In this paper, a novel empirical model is proposed that adaptively adjusts the window size for a narrow band-signal using spectrum sensing technique. For wide-band signals, where a fixed time-frequency resolution is undesirable, the approach adapts the constant Q transform (CQT. Unlike the STFT, the CQT provides a varying time-frequency resolution. This results in a high spectral resolution at low frequencies and high temporal resolution at high frequencies. In this paper, a simple but effective switching framework is provided between both STFT and CQT. The proposed method also allows for the dynamic construction of a filter bank according to user-defined parameters. This helps in reducing redundant entries in the filter bank. Results obtained from the proposed method not only improve the spectrogram visualization but also reduce the computation cost and achieves 87.71% of the appropriate window length selection.

  4. Improved detection limits for phthalates by selective solid-phase micro-extraction

    KAUST Repository

    Zia, Asif I.

    2016-03-30

    Presented research reports on an improved method and enhanced limits of detection for phthalates; a hazardous additive used in the production of plastics by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) polymer in comparison to molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MISPE) polymer. The polymers were functionalized on an interdigital capacitive sensor for selective binding of phthalate molecules from a complex mixture of chemicals. Both polymers owned predetermined selectivity by formation of valuable molecular recognition sites for Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Polymers were immobilized on planar electrochemical sensor fabricated on a single crystal silicon substrate with 500 nm sputtered gold electrodes fabricated using MEMS fabrication techniques. Impedance spectra were obtained using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to determine sample conductance for evaluation of phthalate concentration in the spiked sample solutions with various phthalate concentrations. Experimental results revealed that the ability of SPME polymer to adsorb target molecules on the sensing surface is better than that of MISPE polymer for phthalates in the sensing system. Testing the extracted samples using high performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detectors validated the results.

  5. Optimization of dipeptidic inhibitors of cathepsin L for improved Toxoplasma gondii selectivity and CNS permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwicker, Jeffery D; Diaz, Nicolas A; Guerra, Alfredo J; Kirchhoff, Paul D; Wen, Bo; Sun, Duxin; Carruthers, Vern B; Larsen, Scott D

    2018-06-01

    The neurotropic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is the second leading cause of death due to foodborne illness in the US, and has been designated as one of five neglected parasitic infections by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, no treatment options exist for the chronic dormant-phase Toxoplasma infection in the central nervous system (CNS). T. gondii cathepsin L (TgCPL) has recently been implicated as a novel viable target for the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis. In this study, we report the first body of SAR work aimed at developing potent inhibitors of TgCPL with selectivity vs the human cathepsin L. Starting from a known inhibitor of human cathepsin L, and guided by structure-based design, we were able to modulate the selectivity for Toxoplasma vs human CPL by nearly 50-fold while modifying physiochemical properties to be more favorable for metabolic stability and CNS penetrance. The overall potency of our inhibitors towards TgCPL was improved from 2 μM to as low as 110 nM and we successfully demonstrated that an optimized analog 18b is capable of crossing the BBB (0.5 brain/plasma). This work is an important first step toward development of a CNS-penetrant probe to validate TgCPL as a feasible target for the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Novel Mahalanobis-based feature selection improves one-class classification of early hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomaz, Ricardo de Lima; Carneiro, Pedro Cunha; Bonin, João Eliton; Macedo, Túlio Augusto Alves; Patrocinio, Ana Claudia; Soares, Alcimar Barbosa

    2018-05-01

    Detection of early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is responsible for increasing survival rates in up to 40%. One-class classifiers can be used for modeling early HCC in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), but demand the specific knowledge pertaining to the set of features that best describes the target class. Although the literature outlines several features for characterizing liver lesions, it is unclear which is most relevant for describing early HCC. In this paper, we introduce an unconstrained GA feature selection algorithm based on a multi-objective Mahalanobis fitness function to improve the classification performance for early HCC. We compared our approach to a constrained Mahalanobis function and two other unconstrained functions using Welch's t-test and Gaussian Data Descriptors. The performance of each fitness function was evaluated by cross-validating a one-class SVM. The results show that the proposed multi-objective Mahalanobis fitness function is capable of significantly reducing data dimensionality (96.4%) and improving one-class classification of early HCC (0.84 AUC). Furthermore, the results provide strong evidence that intensity features extracted at the arterial to portal and arterial to equilibrium phases are important for classifying early HCC.

  7. Improved Screening Method for the Selection of Wine Yeasts Based on Their Pigment Adsorption Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Caridi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to improve an existing low-cost and simple but consistent culturing technique for measuring the adsorption of grape skin pigments on yeasts, comprising: (i growing yeasts in Petri dishes on chromogenic grape-skin-based medium, (ii photographing the yeast biomass, (iii measuring its red, green, and blue colour components, and (iv performing the statistical analysis of the data. Twenty strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were grown on different lots of the chromogenic medium, prepared using grape skins from dark cultivars Greco Nero, Magliocco and Nero d’Avola. Microscale wine fermentation trials were also performed. Wide and significant differences among wine yeasts were observed. The chromogenic grape-skin-based medium can be prepared using any grape cultivar, thus allowing the specific selection of the most suitable strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for each grape must, mainly for red winemaking. The research provides a useful tool to characterize wine yeasts in relation to pigment adsorption, allowing the improvement of wine colour.

  8. Quality Improvement in Critical Care: Selection and Development of Quality Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Claudio M.; Project, The Quality Improvement in Critical Care

    2016-01-01

    Background. Caring for critically ill patients is complex and resource intensive. An approach to monitor and compare the function of different intensive care units (ICUs) is needed to optimize outcomes for patients and the health system as a whole. Objective. To develop and implement quality indicators for comparing ICU characteristics and performance within and between ICUs and regions over time. Methods. Canadian jurisdictions with established ICU clinical databases were invited to participate in an iterative series of face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, and web conferences. Eighteen adult intensive care units across 14 hospitals and 5 provinces participated in the process. Results. Six domains of ICU function were identified: safe, timely, efficient, effective, patient/family satisfaction, and staff work life. Detailed operational definitions were developed for 22 quality indicators. The feasibility was demonstrated with the collection of 3.5 years of data. Statistical process control charts and graphs of composite measures were used for data display and comparisons. Medical and nursing leaders as well as administrators found the system to be an improvement over prior methods. Conclusions. Our process resulted in the selection and development of 22 indicators representing 6 domains of ICU function. We have demonstrated the feasibility of such a reporting system. This type of reporting system will demonstrate variation between units and jurisdictions to help identify and prioritize improvement efforts. PMID:27493476

  9. Using Improved Entropy-Cloud Model to Select High-Speed Railway Express Freight Train Service Sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wencheng Huang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available High-speed railway (HSR express freight train service sites selection is critical to the development of China’s Third Party Logistics market. In this paper, we formulate an improved entropy-cloud model based approach to solve the HSR express sites selection problem for the first time. The basic data of the indicators, for example, existing railway network conditions, traffic environment, express freight market demand, and policy, will be used as the inputs. We apply improved entropy method to obtain each subindicator’s weight. The cloud model will be used to select and classify each station under evaluation.

  10. Single-layer centrifugation through colloid selects improved quality of epididymal cat sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatdarong, K; Thuwanut, P; Morrell, J M

    2010-06-01

    The objectives were to determine the: 1) extent of epithelial and red blood cell contamination in epididymal cat sperm samples recovered by the cutting method; 2) efficacy of simple washing, single-layer centrifugation (SLC), and swim-up for selecting epididymal cat sperm; and 3) effects of freezing and thawing on cat sperm selected by various techniques. Ten unit samples were studied; each contained sperm from the cauda epididymides of four cats (total, approximately 200 x 10(6) sperm) and was equally allocated into four treatments: 1) simple washing, 2) single-layer centrifugation through colloid prior to cryopreservation (SLC-PC), 3) single-layer centrifugation through colloid after cryopreservation (SLC-AC), and 4) swim-up. Centrifugation (300 x g for 20 min) was done for all methods. The SLC-PC had a better recovery rate than the SLC-AC and swim-up methods (mean+/-SD of 16.4+/-8.7, 10.7+/-8.9, and 2.3+/-1.7%, respectively; Pblood cell contamination than simple washed samples (0.02+/-0.01, 0.02+/-0.04, 0.03+/-0.04, and 0.44+/-0.22 x 10(6) cells/mL, respectively; P0.05), SLC-PC yielded the highest percentage of sperm with normal midpieces and tails (P0.05). In conclusion, both SLC-PC and swim-up improved the quality of epididymal cat sperm, including better morphology, membrane and DNA integrity, and removal of cellular contamination. However, SLC had a better sperm recovery rate than swim-up. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Supplier selection in manufacturing innovation chain-oriented public procurement based on improved PSO method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Xu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: At the dynamic innovation market, it is very difficult for an enterprise to accomplish innovation individually; technology innovation is shifting towards collaborative R&D chain mode. Thus, supplier selection based on individually innovation efficiency of enterprise is inapplicable to construct collaborative R&D innovation chain. This study is seeking to address how to select R&D innovation chain supplier in manufacturing industry. Design/methodology/approach: Firstly, Delphi method and AHP method are applied to establish an index system evaluating the suppliers of innovation chain, and then each index is weighted by experts with AHP method. Thirdly, optimized PSO algorithm is put forwarded based on the optimal efficiency of innovation chain to discriminate ideal suppliers meeting realistic conditions. Fourthly, innovation chain construction at generator manufacturing industry was taken as empirical case study to testify the improved PSO model. Findings: The innovation chain is comprised up by several enterprises, innovation performance of a single enterprise is not always positively correlated to that of one innovation chain, and the proposed model is capable to find out the best combination to construct an innovation chain. Research limitations/implications: The relations between these constructs with other variables of interest to the academicals fields were analyzed by a precise and credible data with a clear and concise description of the supply chain integration measurement scales. Practical implications: providing scales that are valid as a diagnostic tool for best practices, as well as providing a benchmark with which to compare the score for each individual plant against a chain of industrial innovation from machinery. Originality/value: Innovation chain integration is an important factor in explaining the innovation performance of companies. The vast range of results obtained is due to the fact that there is no exactness to

  12. Improved CT-detection of acute bowel ischemia using frequency selective non-linear image blending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneeweiss, Sven; Esser, Michael; Thaiss, Wolfgang; Boesmueller, Hans; Ditt, Hendrik; Nikolau, Konstantin; Horger, Marius

    2017-07-01

    Computed tomography (CT) as a fast and reliable diagnostic technique is the imaging modality of choice for acute bowel ischemia. However, diagnostic is often difficult mainly due to low attenuation differences between ischemic and perfused segments. To compare the diagnostic efficacy of a new post-processing tool based on frequency selective non-linear blending with that of conventional linear contrast-enhanced CT (CECT) image blending for the detection of bowel ischemia. Twenty-seven consecutive patients (19 women; mean age = 73.7 years, age range = 50-94 years) with acute bowel ischemia were scanned using multidetector CT (120 kV; 100-200 mAs). Pre-contrast and portal venous scans (65-70 s delay) were acquired. All patients underwent surgery for acute bowel ischemia and intraoperative diagnosis as well as histologic evaluation of explanted bowel segments was considered "gold standard." First, two radiologists read the conventional CECT images in which linear blending was adapted for optimal contrast, and second (three weeks later) the frequency selective non-linear blending (F-NLB) image. Attenuation values were compared, both in the involved and non-involved bowel segments creating ratios between unenhanced and CECT. The mean attenuation difference between ischemic and non-ischemic wall in the portal venous scan was 69.54 HU (reader 2 = 69.01 HU) higher for F-NLB compared with conventional CECT. Also, the attenuation ratio between contrast-enhanced and pre-contrast CT data for the non-ischemic walls showed significantly higher values for the F-NLB image (CECT: reader 1 = 2.11 (reader 2 = 3.36), F-NLB: reader 1 = 4.46 (reader 2 = 4.98)]. Sensitivity in detecting ischemic areas increased significantly for both readers using F-NLB (CECT: reader 1/2 = 53%/65% versus F-NLB: reader 1/2 = 62%/75%). Frequency selective non-linear blending improves detection of bowel ischemia compared with conventional CECT by increasing

  13. Hydrazinonicotinic acid derivatization for selective ionization and improved glycan structure characterization by MALDI-MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Jing; Yang, Lijun; Zhang, Ying; Lu, Haojie

    2015-08-21

    The analysis of glycan is important for understanding cell biology and disease processes because the glycans play a key role in many important biological behaviors, such as cell division, cellular localization, tumor immunology and inflammation. Nevertheless, it is still hard work to analyze glycans by MALDI-MS, which generally stems from the inherent low abundance and the low ionization efficiency of glycans. Moreover, the difficulty in generating informative fragmentations further hinders glycans structure characterization. In this work, hydrazinonicotinic acid (HYNIC) was used as a novel derivatized reagent for improved and selective detection of glycans. Through tagging the reducing terminus of glycans with the diazanyl group of HYNIC, significant enhancement of the ionization efficiency of glycans was achieved. After derivatization, the signal to noise ratio (S/N) of the maltoheptaose was improved by more than one order of magnitude in positive mode. HYNIC derivatization also allowed the sensitive detection of sialylated glycan in negative mode, with a 15 fold enhancement of S/N. Interestingly, it is noteworthy that the HYNIC reagent not only effectively labeled the reducing end of glycans in the presence of tryptic peptides, but also suppressed the ionization of peptides, enabling the direct detection of glycans from glycoprotein without separation. Therefore, analysis of glycans became easier due to the omission of a pre-separation step. Importantly, by using different acid reagents as the catalyst, derivatized product signals corresponding to [M + Na](+) or [M + H](+) were obtained respectively, which yield complementary fragmentation patterns for the structure elucidation of glycans. Finally, more than 40 N-glycans were successfully detected in 10 μL human serum using this method.

  14. An improved method of crafting a multi-electrode spiral cuff for the selective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozman, Janez; Pečlin, Polona; Ribarič, Samo; Godec, Matjaž; Burja, Jaka

    2018-01-17

    This article reviews an improved methodology and technology for crafting a multi-electrode spiral cuff for the selective activation of nerve fibres in particular superficial regions of a peripheral nerve. The analysis, structural and mechanical properties of the spot welds used for the interconnections between the stimulating electrodes and stainless-steel lead wires are presented. The cuff consisted of 33 platinum electrodes embedded within a self-curling 17-mm-long silicone spiral sheet with a nominal internal diameter of 2.5 mm. The weld was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and nanohardness tests, while the interconnection was investigated using destructive load tests. The functionality of the cuff was tested in an isolated porcine vagus nerve. The results of the scanning electron microscopy show good alloying and none of the typical welding defects that occur between the wire and the platinum foil. The results of the destructive load tests show that the breaking loads were between 3.22 and 5 N. The results of the nanohardness testing show that the hardness of the weld was different for the particular sites on the weld sample. Finally, the results of the functional testing show that for different stimulation intensities both the compound action potential deflection and the shape are modulated.

  15. THE USE OF SELECTED ANAESTHETIC DRUGS IN SEARCH OF A METHOD FOR IMPROVING EARTHWORMS’ WELFARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Podolak-Machowska

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes selected effects of body contact of earthworms Dendrobaena veneta Rosa with local anaesthetic (LA drugs used for human anesthesia (lidocaine and prilocaine and anaesthetics for aquatic animals (MS-222. The findings showed safe and effective immobilization of earthworms with prilocaine at a concentration of 0.25-1%. At the applied concentrations lidocaine was safe, but less effective. On the other hand, MS-222, at the applied concentrations had a strongly irritating effect for earthworms and induced convulsive body movements connected with a discharge of coelomic fluid. The results may be relevant both for improving the welfare of earthworms during experiments and for the organization of research involving testing drugs on invertebrates. In this case, by using earthworms as an experimental model and by applying the method for measuring their mobility after contact with anaesthetics, which has been described in this article, it might be possible to replace experiments on guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and mice, which are expensive and require an approval of an ethics committee, with laboratory tests on earthworms.

  16. Improved Medium for Selecting Nitrate-Nonutilizing (nit) Mutants of Verticillium dahliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korolev, N; Katan, T

    1997-10-01

    ABSTRACT Nitrate-nonutilizing (nit) mutants are commonly used to determine vegetative compatibility between isolates of Verticillium dahliae by complementation (heterokaryon) testing. These mutants emerge spontaneously as chlorate-resistant sectors growing out of partially restricted, wild-type colonies on chlorate-amended media. The commonly used chlorate media are based on minimal medium (MMC) or cornmeal agar (CMC), amended with potassium chlorate. nit mutants recovered on these media constituted 10 to 36%(on MMC) and 25 to 45%(on CMC) of the apparently resistant sectors. An improved water agar chlorate medium (WAC) is described that is more effective for selecting chlorate-resistant nit mutants. WAC medium consists of agar (2%), glucose (0.02%), and potassium chlorate (2 to 5%). On WAC, growth of most V. dahliae isolates was strongly inhibited, and 66 to 100%(average >80%) of the chlorate-resistant sectors formed were nit mutants. Most mutants were characterized as nit1, and about 6% as NitM.

  17. Highly improved sensibility and selectivity ethanol sensor of mesoporous Fe-doped NiO nanowires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, X. Q.; Wei, J. Q.; Xu, J. C.; Jin, H. X.; Jin, D. F.; Peng, X. L.; Hong, B.; Li, J.; Yang, Y. T.; Ge, H. L.; Wang, Xinqing

    2017-12-01

    In this paper, nickel oxides (NiO) and iron (Fe)-doped NiO nanowires (NWs) with the various doping content (from 1 to 9 at%) were synthesized by using SBA-15 templates with the nanocasting method. All samples were synthesized in the same conditions and exhibited the same mesoporous-structures, uniform diameter, and defects. Mesoporous-structures with high surface area created more active sites for the adsorption of oxygen on the surface of all samples, resulting in the smaller surface resistance in air. The impurity energy levels from the donor Fe-doping provided electrons to neutralize the holes of p-type Fe-doped NiO NWs, which greatly enhanced the total resistance. The comparative gas-sensing study between NiO NWs and Fe-doped NiO NWs indicated that the high-valence donor Fe-doping obviously improved the ethanol sensitivity and selectivity for Fe-doped NiO NWs. And Ni0.94Fe0.06O1.03 NWs sensor presented the highest sensitivity of 14.30 toward ethanol gas at 320 °C for the high-valence metal-doping.

  18. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan Qiu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  19. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Nan; Ma, Weiyi; Fan, Xin; Zhang, Youjin; Li, Yi; Yan, Yuening; Zhou, Zhongliang; Li, Fali; Gong, Diankun; Yao, Dezhong

    2018-01-01

    A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG) offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA) associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  20. Performance Improvements of Selective Emitters by Laser Openings on Large-Area Multicrystalline Si Solar Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Shih Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on the laser opening technique used to form a selective emitter (SE structure on multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si. This technique can be used in the large-area (156 × 156 mm2 solar cells. SE process of this investigation was performed using 3 samples SE1–SE3. Laser fluences can vary in range of 2–5 J/cm2. The optimal conversion efficiency of 15.95% is obtained with the SE3 (2 J/cm2 fluence after laser opening with optimization of heavy and light dopant, which yields a gain of 0.48%abs compared with that of a reference cell (without fluence. In addition, this optimal SE3 cell displays improved characteristics compared with other cells with a higher average value of external quantum efficiency (EQEavg = 68.6% and a lower average value of power loss (Ploss = 2.33 mW/cm2. For the fabrication of solar cells, the laser opening process comprises fewer steps than traditional photolithography does. Furthermore, the laser opening process decreases consumption of chemical materials; therefore, the laser opening process decreases both time and cost. Therefore, SE process is simple, cheap, and suitable for commercialization. Moreover, the prominent features of the process render it effective means to promote overall performance in the photovoltaic industry.

  1. Frequency Selective Non-Linear Blending to Improve Image Quality in Liver CT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongers, M N; Bier, G; Kloth, C; Schabel, C; Fritz, J; Nikolaou, K; Horger, M

    2016-12-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a new frequency selective non-linear blending (NLB) algorithm on the contrast resolution of liver CT with low intravascular concentration of iodine contrast. Materials and Methods: Our local ethics committee approved this retrospective study. The informed consent requirement was waived. CT exams of 25 patients (60 % female, mean age: 65 ± 16 years of age) with late phase CT scans of the liver were included as a model for poor intrahepatic vascular contrast enhancement. Optimal post-processing settings to enhance the contrast of hepatic vessels were determined. Outcome variables included signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) of hepatic vessels and SNR of liver parenchyma of standard and post-processed images. Image quality was quantified by two independent readers using Likert scales. Results: The post-processing settings for the visualization of hepatic vasculature were optimal at a center of 115HU, delta of 25HU, and slope of 5. Image noise was statistically indifferent between standard and post-processed images. The CNR between the hepatic vasculature (HV) and liver parenchyma could be significantly increased for liver veins (CNR Standard 1.62 ± 1.10, CNR NLB 3.6 ± 2.94, p = 0.0002) and portal veins (CNR Standard 1.31 ± 0.85, CNR NLB 2.42 ± 3.03, p = 0.046). The SNR of liver parenchyma was significantly higher on post-processed images (SNR NLB 11.26 ± 3.16, SNR Standard 8.85 ± 2.27, p = 0.008). The overall image quality and depiction of HV were significantly higher on post-processed images (NLB DHV : 4 [3 - 4.75], S tandardDHV : 2 [1.3 - 2.5], p = algorithm increases the contrast resolution of liver CT and can improve the visibility of the hepatic vasculature in the setting of a low contrast ratio between vessels and the parenchyma. Key Points: • Using the new frequency selective non-linear blending algorithm is feasible in contrast

  2. Effects of genomic selection on genetic improvement, inbreeding, and merit of young versus proven bulls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos, de A.P.W.; Schrooten, C.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Arendonk, van J.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    Genomic selection has the potential to revolutionize dairy cattle breeding because young animals can be accurately selected as parents, leading to a much shorter generation interval and higher rates of genetic gain. The aims of this study were to assess the effects of genomic selection and reduction

  3. Statistical Redundancy Testing for Improved Gene Selection in Cancer Classification Using Microarray Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Sunil Rao

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In gene selection for cancer classifi cation using microarray data, we define an eigenvalue-ratio statistic to measure a gene’s contribution to the joint discriminability when this gene is included into a set of genes. Based on this eigenvalueratio statistic, we define a novel hypothesis testing for gene statistical redundancy and propose two gene selection methods. Simulation studies illustrate the agreement between statistical redundancy testing and gene selection methods. Real data examples show the proposed gene selection methods can select a compact gene subset which can not only be used to build high quality cancer classifiers but also show biological relevance.

  4. Frequency selective non-linear blending to improve image quality in liver CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bongers, M.N.; Bier, G.; Kloth, C.; Schabel, C.; Nikolaou, K.; Horger, M.; Fritz, J.

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of a new frequency selective non-linear blending (NLB) algorithm on the contrast resolution of liver CT with low intravascular concentration of iodine contrast. Our local ethics committee approved this retrospective study. The informed consent requirement was waived. CT exams of 25 patients (60% female, mean age: 65±16 years of age) with late phase CT scans of the liver were included as a model for poor intrahepatic vascular contrast enhancement. Optimal post-processing settings to enhance the contrast of hepatic vessels were determined. Outcome variables included signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) of hepatic vessels and SNR of liver parenchyma of standard and post-processed images. Image quality was quantified by two independent readers using Likert scales. The post-processing settings for the visualization of hepatic vasculature were optimal at a center of 115HU, delta of 25HU, and slope of 5. Image noise was statistically indifferent between standard and post-processed images. The CNR between the hepatic vasculature (HV) and liver parenchyma could be significantly increased for liver veins (CNR Standard 1.62±1.10, CNR NLB 3.6±2.94, p=0.0002) and portal veins (CNR Standard 1.31±0.85, CNR NLB 2.42±3.03, p=0.046). The SNR of liver parenchyma was significantly higher on post-processed images (SNR NLB 11.26±3.16, SNR Standard 8.85± 2.27, p=0.008). The overall image quality and depiction of HV were significantly higher on post-processed images (NLB DHV : 4 [3-4.75], S tandardDHV : 2 [1.3-2.5], p=<0.0001; NLBIQ : 4 [4-4], StandardIQ : 2 [2-3], p=<0.0001). The use of a frequency selective non-linear blending algorithm increases the contrast resolution of liver CT and can improve the visibility of the hepatic vasculature in the setting of a low contrast ratio between vessels and the parenchyma.

  5. Frequency selective non-linear blending to improve image quality in liver CT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bongers, M.N.; Bier, G.; Kloth, C.; Schabel, C.; Nikolaou, K.; Horger, M. [University Hospital of Tuebingen (Germany). Dept. of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; Fritz, J. [Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (United States). Russell H. Morgan Dept. of Radiology and Radiological Science

    2016-12-15

    To evaluate the effects of a new frequency selective non-linear blending (NLB) algorithm on the contrast resolution of liver CT with low intravascular concentration of iodine contrast. Our local ethics committee approved this retrospective study. The informed consent requirement was waived. CT exams of 25 patients (60% female, mean age: 65±16 years of age) with late phase CT scans of the liver were included as a model for poor intrahepatic vascular contrast enhancement. Optimal post-processing settings to enhance the contrast of hepatic vessels were determined. Outcome variables included signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) of hepatic vessels and SNR of liver parenchyma of standard and post-processed images. Image quality was quantified by two independent readers using Likert scales. The post-processing settings for the visualization of hepatic vasculature were optimal at a center of 115HU, delta of 25HU, and slope of 5. Image noise was statistically indifferent between standard and post-processed images. The CNR between the hepatic vasculature (HV) and liver parenchyma could be significantly increased for liver veins (CNR{sub Standard} 1.62±1.10, CNR{sub NLB} 3.6±2.94, p=0.0002) and portal veins (CNR{sub Standard} 1.31±0.85, CNR{sub NLB} 2.42±3.03, p=0.046). The SNR of liver parenchyma was significantly higher on post-processed images (SNR{sub NLB} 11.26±3.16, SNR{sub Standard} 8.85± 2.27, p=0.008). The overall image quality and depiction of HV were significantly higher on post-processed images (NLB{sub DHV}: 4 [3-4.75], S{sub tandardDHV}: 2 [1.3-2.5], p=<0.0001; {sub NLBIQ}: 4 [4-4], {sub StandardIQ}: 2 [2-3], p=<0.0001). The use of a frequency selective non-linear blending algorithm increases the contrast resolution of liver CT and can improve the visibility of the hepatic vasculature in the setting of a low contrast ratio between vessels and the parenchyma.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Improving mass candidate detection in mammograms via feature maxima propagation and local feature selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melendez, Jaime; Sánchez, Clara I; van Ginneken, Bram; Karssemeijer, Nico

    2014-08-01

    Mass candidate detection is a crucial component of multistep computer-aided detection (CAD) systems. It is usually performed by combining several local features by means of a classifier. When these features are processed on a per-image-location basis (e.g., for each pixel), mismatching problems may arise while constructing feature vectors for classification, which is especially true when the behavior expected from the evaluated features is a peaked response due to the presence of a mass. In this study, two of these problems, consisting of maxima misalignment and differences of maxima spread, are identified and two solutions are proposed. The first proposed method, feature maxima propagation, reproduces feature maxima through their neighboring locations. The second method, local feature selection, combines different subsets of features for different feature vectors associated with image locations. Both methods are applied independently and together. The proposed methods are included in a mammogram-based CAD system intended for mass detection in screening. Experiments are carried out with a database of 382 digital cases. Sensitivity is assessed at two sets of operating points. The first one is the interval of 3.5-15 false positives per image (FPs/image), which is typical for mass candidate detection. The second one is 1 FP/image, which allows to estimate the quality of the mass candidate detector's output for use in subsequent steps of the CAD system. The best results are obtained when the proposed methods are applied together. In that case, the mean sensitivity in the interval of 3.5-15 FPs/image significantly increases from 0.926 to 0.958 (p < 0.0002). At the lower rate of 1 FP/image, the mean sensitivity improves from 0.628 to 0.734 (p < 0.0002). Given the improved detection performance, the authors believe that the strategies proposed in this paper can render mass candidate detection approaches based on image location classification more robust to feature

  8. NERBio: using selected word conjunctions, term normalization, and global patterns to improve biomedical named entity recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung Hsieh-Chuan

    2006-12-01

    -based Bio-NER system, we employ conditional random fields, which have performed effectively in several well-known tasks, as our underlying ML model. Adding selected conjunction features, applying numerical normalization, and employing pattern-based post-processing improve the F-scores by 1.67%, 1.04%, and 0.57%, respectively. The combined increase of 3.28% yields a total score of 72.98%, which is better than the baseline system that only uses singleton features. Conclusion We demonstrate the benefits of using the sequential forward search algorithm to select effective conjunction feature groups. In addition, we show that numerical normalization can effectively reduce the number of redundant and unseen features. Furthermore, the Smith-Waterman local alignment algorithm can help ML-based Bio-NER deal with difficult cases that need longer context windows.

  9. NERBio: using selected word conjunctions, term normalization, and global patterns to improve biomedical named entity recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Richard Tzong-Han; Sung, Cheng-Lung; Dai, Hong-Jie; Hung, Hsieh-Chuan; Sung, Ting-Yi; Hsu, Wen-Lian

    2006-12-18

    random fields, which have performed effectively in several well-known tasks, as our underlying ML model. Adding selected conjunction features, applying numerical normalization, and employing pattern-based post-processing improve the F-scores by 1.67%, 1.04%, and 0.57%, respectively. The combined increase of 3.28% yields a total score of 72.98%, which is better than the baseline system that only uses singleton features. We demonstrate the benefits of using the sequential forward search algorithm to select effective conjunction feature groups. In addition, we show that numerical normalization can effectively reduce the number of redundant and unseen features. Furthermore, the Smith-Waterman local alignment algorithm can help ML-based Bio-NER deal with difficult cases that need longer context windows.

  10. Uniformity index measurement technology using thermocouples to improve performance in urea-selective catalytic reduction systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sangki; Oh, Jungmo

    2018-05-01

    The current commonly used nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission reduction techniques employ hydrocarbons (HCs), urea solutions, and exhaust gas emissions as the reductants. Two of the primary denitrification NOx (DeNOx) catalyst systems are the HC-lean NOx trap (HC-LNT) catalyst and urea-selective catalytic reduction (urea-SCR) catalyst. The secondary injection method depends on the type of injector, injection pressure, atomization, and spraying technique. In addition, the catalyst reaction efficiency is directly affected by the distribution of injectors; hence, the uniformity index (UI) of the reductant is very important and is the basis for system optimization. The UI of the reductant is an indicator of the NOx conversion efficiency (NCE), and good UI values can reduce the need for a catalyst. Therefore, improving the UI can reduce the cost of producing a catalytic converter, which are expensive due to the high prices of the precious metals contained therein. Accordingly, measurement of the UI is an important process in the development of catalytic systems. Two of the commonly used methods for measuring the reductant UI are (i) measuring the exhaust emissions at many points located upstream/downstream of the catalytic converter and (ii) acquisition of a reductant distribution image on a section of the exhaust pipe upstream of the catalytic converter. The purpose of this study is to develop a system and measurement algorithms to measure the exothermic response distribution in the exhaust gas as the reductant passes through the catalytic converter of the SCR catalyst system using a set of thermocouples downstream of the SCR catalyst. The system is used to measure the reductant UI, which is applied in real-time to the actual SCR system, and the results are compared for various types of mixtures for various engine operating conditions and mixer types in terms of NCE.

  11. Towards Integrated Health Technology Assessment for Improving Decision Making in Selected Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oortwijn, Wija; Determann, Domino; Schiffers, Krijn; Tan, Siok Swan; van der Tuin, Jeroen

    2017-09-01

    To assess the level of comprehensiveness of health technology assessment (HTA) practices around the globe and to formulate recommendations for enhancing legitimacy and fairness of related decision-making processes. To identify best practices, we developed an evaluation framework consisting of 13 criteria on the basis of the INTEGRATE-HTA model (integrative perspective on assessing health technologies) and the Accountability for Reasonableness framework (deliberative appraisal process). We examined different HTA systems in middle-income countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand) and high-income countries (Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Scotland, and South Korea). For this purpose, desk research and structured interviews with relevant key stakeholders (N = 32) in the selected countries were conducted. HTA systems in Canada, England, and Scotland appear relatively well aligned with our framework, followed by Australia, Germany, and France. Argentina and South Korea are at an early stage, whereas Brazil and Thailand are at an intermediate level. Both desk research and interviews revealed that scoping is often not part of the HTA process. In contrast, providing evidence reports for assessment is well established. Indirect and unintended outcomes are increasingly considered, but there is room for improvement. Monitoring and evaluation of the HTA process is not well established across countries. Finally, adopting transparent and robust processes, including stakeholder consultation, takes time. This study presents a framework for assessing the level of comprehensiveness of the HTA process in a country. On the basis of applying the framework, we formulate recommendations on how the HTA community can move toward a more integrated decision-making process using HTA. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Oxytocin administration selectively improves olfactory detection thresholds for lyral in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, J D; Lam, O; Chuang, B; Ford, J M; Mathalon, D H; Vinogradov, S

    2015-03-01

    Olfaction plays an important role in mammalian social behavior. Olfactory deficits are common in schizophrenia and correlate with negative symptoms and low social drive. Despite their prominence and possible clinical relevance, little is understood about the pathological mechanisms underlying olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and there are currently no effective treatments for these deficits. The prosocial neuropeptide oxytocin may affect the olfactory system when administered intranasally to humans and there is growing interest in its therapeutic potential in schizophrenia. To examine this model, we administered 40IU of oxytocin and placebo intranasally to 31 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and 34 age-matched healthy control participants in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. On each test day, participants completed an olfactory detection threshold test for two different odors: (1) lyral, a synthetic fragrance compound for which patients with schizophrenia have specific olfactory detection threshold deficits, possibly related to decreased cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signaling; and (2) anise, a compound for which olfactory detection thresholds change with menstrual cycle phase in women. On the placebo test day, patients with schizophrenia did not significantly differ from healthy controls in detection of either odor. We found that oxytocin administration significantly and selectively improved olfactory detection thresholds for lyral but not for anise in patients with schizophrenia. In contrast, oxytocin had no effect on detection of either odor in healthy controls. Our data indicate that oxytocin administration may ameliorate olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and suggest the effects of intranasal oxytocin may extend to influencing the olfactory system. Given that oxytocin has been found to increase cAMP signaling in vitro a possible mechanism for these effects is discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. A Holistic Quality Evaluation, Selection and Improvement Approach driven by Multilevel Goals and Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belen Rivera

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Organizations should establish business goals and check for their achievement in a systematic and disciplined way. In order to know if a business goal is achieved, it should be necessary to consider information need goals that also can require satisfying measurement and evaluation goals at operational level. Furthermore, if measurement and evaluation goals are not aligned with top-level business goals such as tactical or strategic level goals, the organization could waste its effort and resources. Usually, the different goals established in an organization are operationalized through projects. For a given project, strategies should be used in order to help in the goal achievement. A strategy defines a set of activities and methods to be followed for a specific goal purpose. Ultimately, to engineering all these issues in a systematic way, organizations should adopt a holistic evaluation approach supported by a set of integrated strategies. By means of a systematic literature review as research method, we have observed that very few approaches support integrated strategies and multilevel goals. To bridge this gap, we have developed a holistic quality multilevel and multipurpose evaluation approach that ties together multilevel goals, projects and integrated strategies. As contributions, this paper discusses an enhanced conceptual base (specified by ontologies for linking business and information need goal concepts with project, strategy and nonfunctional requirements concepts. Then, it defines the step by step of our holistic quality evaluation approach, by listing the necessary activities to establish goals and projects at different organizational levels. Lastly, it specifies and illustrates evaluation scenarios for business/information need goal purposes such as understanding, improving, monitoring and controlling, comparing and selecting entities, which are supported by strategies and strategy patterns.

  14. An improved method for fast and selective separation of carotenoids by LC-MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abate-Pella, Daniel; Freund, Dana M; Slovin, Janet P; Hegeman, Adrian D; Cohen, Jerry D

    2017-11-01

    Carotenoids are a large class of compounds that are biosynthesized by condensation of isoprene units in plants, fungi, bacteria, and some animals. They are characteristically highly conjugated through double bonds, which lead to many isomers as well susceptibility to oxidation and other chemical modifications. Carotenoids are important because of their potent antioxidant activity and are the pigments responsible for color in a wide variety of foods. Human consumption is correlated to many health benefits including prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related disease. Extreme hydrophobicity, poor stability, and low concentration in biological samples make these compounds difficult to analyze and difficult to develop analytical methods for aimed towards identification and quantification. Examples in the literature frequently report the use of exotic stationary phases, solvents, and additives, such as ethyl acetate, dichloromethane, and methyl tert-butyl ether that are incompatible with liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). In order to address these issues, we implemented the use of LC-MS friendly conditions using a low-hydrophobicity cyano-propyl column (Agilent Zorbax SB-CN). We successfully differentiated between isomeric carotenoids by optimizing two gradient methods and using a mixture of 11 standards and LC-MS in positive ionization mode. Three complex biological samples from strawberry leaf, chicken feed supplement, and the photosynthetic bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus were analyzed and several carotenoids were resolved in these diverse backgrounds. Our results show this methodology is a significant improvement over other alternatives for analyzing carotenoids because of its ease of use, rapid analysis time, high selectivity, and, most importantly, its compatibility with typical LC-MS conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Selection of methanogenic microbial by gamma irradiation on improvement of unaerobic digestion efficiency on biogas formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M Yazid; Aris Bastianudin

    2011-01-01

    Selection of methanogenic microbial by gamma irradiation as an effort on improvement of efficiency process on biogas formation has been done. The objectives of this research is to obtain the methanogenic microbial isolate with high specific growth constant (μ), there for will be applicable for increasing the efficiency of biogas formation process. The microbial content sludge sample was taken from the digester tank conventional biogas installation located in Marangan village, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman and the sludge was irradiated using Co-60 gamma irradiator with varied dosage dose of 0-25 KGy. Microbial culture formation is conducted in growing media with 30% liquid rumen content in un-aerobe condition by addition of 80% H2 and 20% CO_2 gas mixture. Analysis of colony growth was performed by observation using long-wave ultraviolet rays (UV rays), while the microbial growth was by spectro-photometric analysis. Determination of gas methane product was done using gas chromatographic method. The result shown that 4 isolated methanogenic microbial (RB10, RB15, RB20 and RB25) that grown on 10-25 kGy gamma irradiation. The identification result shows that isolate RB10 and RB25 are belong to Methanobacterium genus, while isolate RB15 and RB20 are belong to Methanosarcina and Methanospirillum genus respectively. The specific growth constant (μ) values of the 4 bacterial isolates are in the range between 0.022 - 0.031. On the other hand, the efficiency of methane gas production for each isolates is in the range of 53.4%. - 67.6%. It can be concluded that isolate RB25 was the isolate with the highest specific growth constant (μ) value 0.031 and its efficiency of methane gas production was 67.6%. (author)

  16. Impact of genetically improved fish species and technology on selected hatchery and fish production in Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MS Islam

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The study was carried out in IAPP commanding areas from July to September 2015. A total of 8 hatchery and 240 farmers were selected for this study from Rangpur and Barisal region. About 153% Tilapia production increased which was from 34 to 86 lakh, which was 148% in Rangpur district. Thai koi production was increased about 320% in Rangpur and it was 152% in Barisal. It was observed that, per hatchery Tilapia profit was Tk. 17.35 lakh and Tk. 17.18 lakh in Rangpur and Barisal, respectively. While, total profit was 3.9 times more for Thai koi in Rangpur and it was about 1.7 times more in Barisal after IAPP-BFRI project implementation. Impact of improved germplasm on grow out system was estimated. Finding shows that before IAPP-BFRI project the average harvesting weight of tilapia fish was 122g but after using IAPP-BFRI germplasm, it increased to 194g in Rangpur district. In case of Thai Koi, the harvesting weight gain was 26% in Rangpur district and it was statistically significant at 1% level. Survey results also show that per acre profit was only Tk.86671 for Tilapia farming before IAPP whereas it was increased to Tk. 234853 after IAPP-BFRI intervention. At the same time, profit from Thai Koi was increased about 189% after IAPPBFRI activities. Similarly, profit was increased about 86% in case of Pangus farming and this positive impact was statistically significant at 1% level. Therefore, it may conclude that, farmers can significantly increase Tilapia, Thai Koi and Pangus production as well as can maximize profit using IAPP technology.

  17. A Hypothesis and Review of the Relationship between Selection for Improved Production Efficiency, Coping Behavior, and Domestication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy M. Rauw

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Coping styles in response to stressors have been described both in humans and in other animal species. Because coping styles are directly related to individual fitness they are part of the life history strategy. Behavioral styles trade off with other life-history traits through the acquisition and allocation of resources. Domestication and subsequent artificial selection for production traits specifically focused on selection of individuals with energy sparing mechanisms for non-production traits. Domestication resulted in animals with low levels of aggression and activity, and a low hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA axis reactivity. In the present work, we propose that, vice versa, selection for improved production efficiency may to some extent continue to favor docile domesticated phenotypes. It is hypothesized that both domestication and selection for improved production efficiency may result in the selection of reactive style animals. Both domesticated and reactive style animals are characterized by low levels of aggression and activity, and increased serotonin neurotransmitter levels. However, whereas domestication quite consistently results in a decrease in the functional state of the HPA axis, the reactive coping style is often found to be dominated by a high HPA response. This may suggest that fearfulness and coping behavior are two independent underlying dimensions to the coping response. Although it is generally proposed that animal welfare improves with selection for calmer animals that are less fearful and reactive to novelty, animals bred to be less sensitive with fewer desires may be undesirable from an ethical point of view.

  18. A Reinforcement Learning Approach to Improve the Argument Selection Effectiveness in Argumentation-based Negotiation

    OpenAIRE

    Amandi, Analia Adriana; Monteserin, Ariel José

    2016-01-01

    Argument selection is considered the essence of the strategy in argumentation-based negotiation. An agent, which is arguing during a negotiation, must decide what arguments are the best to persuade the opponent. In fact, in each negotiation step, the agent must select an argument from a set of candidate arguments by applying some selection policy. Following this policy, the agent observes some factors of the negotiation context, for instance: trust in the opponent and expected utility of the...

  19. Improved Frame Mode Selection for AMR-WB+ Based on Decision Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong Kyu; Kim, Nam Soo

    In this letter, we propose a coding mode selection method for the AMR-WB+ audio coder based on a decision tree. In order to reduce computation while maintaining good performance, decision tree classifier is adopted with the closed loop mode selection results as the target classification labels. The size of the decision tree is controlled by pruning, so the proposed method does not increase the memory requirement significantly. Through an evaluation test on a database covering both speech and music materials, the proposed method is found to achieve a much better mode selection accuracy compared with the open loop mode selection module in the AMR-WB+.

  20. Improving the sun drying of apricots (Prunus armeniaca) with photo-selective dryer cabinet materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photo-selective materials have been studied for their effects on the pre-harvest quality of horticultural crops, but little work has been done on potential post-harvest effects. The aim of this work was to characterize the effects of 5 different photo-selective acrylic materials (used as the lid to...

  1. Simultaneous improvement of grain yield and protein content in durum wheat by different phenotypic indices and genomic selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapp, M; Lein, V; Lacoudre, F; Lafferty, J; Müller, E; Vida, G; Bozhanova, V; Ibraliu, A; Thorwarth, P; Piepho, H P; Leiser, W L; Würschum, T; Longin, C F H

    2018-06-01

    Simultaneous improvement of protein content and grain yield by index selection is possible but its efficiency largely depends on the weighting of the single traits. The genetic architecture of these indices is similar to that of the primary traits. Grain yield and protein content are of major importance in durum wheat breeding, but their negative correlation has hampered their simultaneous improvement. To account for this in wheat breeding, the grain protein deviation (GPD) and the protein yield were proposed as targets for selection. The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of different indices to simultaneously improve grain yield and protein content in durum wheat and to evaluate their genetic architecture towards genomics-assisted breeding. To this end, we investigated two different durum wheat panels comprising 159 and 189 genotypes, which were tested in multiple field locations across Europe and genotyped by a genotyping-by-sequencing approach. The phenotypic analyses revealed significant genetic variances for all traits and heritabilities of the phenotypic indices that were in a similar range as those of grain yield and protein content. The GPD showed a high and positive correlation with protein content, whereas protein yield was highly and positively correlated with grain yield. Thus, selecting for a high GPD would mainly increase the protein content whereas a selection based on protein yield would mainly improve grain yield, but a combination of both indices allows to balance this selection. The genome-wide association mapping revealed a complex genetic architecture for all traits with most QTL having small effects and being detected only in one germplasm set, thus limiting the potential of marker-assisted selection for trait improvement. By contrast, genome-wide prediction appeared promising but its performance strongly depends on the relatedness between training and prediction sets.

  2. Marker-assisted selection for improving quantitative traits of forage crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolstra, O.; Denneboom, C.; Vos, Ab L.F. de; Loo, E.N. van

    2007-01-01

    This chapter provides an example of using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for breeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), a pasture species. A mapping study had shown the presence of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seven component traits of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The NUE-related QTL clustered in five chromosomal regions. These QTL were validated through divergent marker selection in an F 2 population. The criterion used for plant selection was a summation index based on the number of positive QTL alleles. The evaluation studies showed a strong indirect response of marker selection on NUE. Marker selection using a summation index such as applied here proved to be very effective for difficult and complex quantitative traits such as NUE. The strategy is easily applicable in outbreeding crops to raise the frequency of several desirable alleles simultaneously. (author)

  3. Selecting Health Care Improvement Projects: A Methodology Integrating Cause-and-Effect Diagram and Analytical Hierarchy Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testik, Özlem Müge; Shaygan, Amir; Dasdemir, Erdi; Soydan, Guray

    It is often vital to identify, prioritize, and select quality improvement projects in a hospital. Yet, a methodology, which utilizes experts' opinions with different points of view, is needed for better decision making. The proposed methodology utilizes the cause-and-effect diagram to identify improvement projects and construct a project hierarchy for a problem. The right improvement projects are then prioritized and selected using a weighting scheme of analytical hierarchy process by aggregating experts' opinions. An approach for collecting data from experts and a graphical display for summarizing the obtained information are also provided. The methodology is implemented for improving a hospital appointment system. The top-ranked 2 major project categories for improvements were identified to be system- and accessibility-related causes (45%) and capacity-related causes (28%), respectively. For each of the major project category, subprojects were then ranked for selecting the improvement needs. The methodology is useful in cases where an aggregate decision based on experts' opinions is expected. Some suggestions for practical implementations are provided.

  4. Does sex-selective abortion improve girls' well-being? Evidence from India

    OpenAIRE

    Hu, Luojia; Schlosser, Analía

    2010-01-01

    The paper studies the impact of prenatal sex selection on the well-being of girls by analyzing changes in children's nutritional status and mortality during the years since the diffusion of prenatal sex determination technologies in India. We use the ratio of male to female births in the year and state in which a child was born as a proxy for parental access to prenatal sex-selection. We find that an increase in the practice of prenatal sex selection appears to be associated with a reduction ...

  5. Selectivity/Specificity Improvement Strategies in Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS is a powerful technique for the discrimination, identification, and potential quantification of certain compounds/organisms. However, its real application is challenging due to the multiple interference from the complicated detection matrix. Therefore, selective/specific detection is crucial for the real application of SERS technique. We summarize in this review five selective/specific detection techniques (chemical reaction, antibody, aptamer, molecularly imprinted polymers and microfluidics, which can be applied for the rapid and reliable selective/specific detection when coupled with SERS technique.

  6. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2012-01-01

    Kostons, D., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2012). Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(2), 121-132. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.08.004

  7. Selection by mating competitiveness improves the performance of Anastrepha ludens males of the genetic sexing strain Tapachula-7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero-Fong, L; Toledo, J; Ruiz, L; Rendón, P; Orozco-Dávila, D; Cruz, L; Liedo, P

    2016-10-01

    The sexual performance of Anastrepha ludens males of the Tapachula-7 genetic sexing strain, produced via selection based on mating success, was compared with that of males produced without selection in competition with wild males. Mating competition, development time, survival, mass-rearing quality parameters and pheromone production were compared. The results showed that selection based on mating competitiveness significantly improved the sexual performance of offspring. Development time, survival of larvae, pupae and adults, and weights of larvae and pupae increased with each selection cycle. Differences in the relative quantity of the pheromone compounds (Z)-3-nonenol and anastrephin were observed when comparing the parental males with the F4 and wild males. The implications of this colony management method on the sterile insect technique are discussed.

  8. Improving accuracy of overhanging structures for selective laser melting through reliability characterization of single track formation on thick powder beds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohanty, Sankhya; Hattel, Jesper Henri

    2016-01-01

    Repeatability and reproducibility of parts produced by selective laser melting is a standing issue, and coupled with a lack of standardized quality control presents a major hindrance towards maturing of selective laser melting as an industrial scale process. Consequently, numerical process...... modelling has been adopted towards improving the predictability of the outputs from the selective laser melting process. Establishing the reliability of the process, however, is still a challenge, especially in components having overhanging structures.In this paper, a systematic approach towards...... establishing reliability of overhanging structure production by selective laser melting has been adopted. A calibrated, fast, multiscale thermal model is used to simulate the single track formation on a thick powder bed. Single tracks are manufactured on a thick powder bed using same processing parameters...

  9. Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakkas, Denny; Ramalingam, Mythili; Garrido, Nicolas; Barratt, Christopher L.R.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND In natural conception only a few sperm cells reach the ampulla or the site of fertilization. This population is a selected group of cells since only motile cells can pass through cervical mucus and gain initial entry into the female reproductive tract. In animals, some studies indicate that the sperm selected by the reproductive tract and recovered from the uterus and the oviducts have higher fertilization rates but this is not a universal finding. Some species show less discrimination in sperm selection and abnormal sperm do arrive at the oviduct. In contrast, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) utilize a more random sperm population. In this review we contrast the journey of the spermatozoon in vivo and in vitro and discuss this in the context of developing new sperm preparation and selection techniques for ART. METHODS A review of the literature examining characteristics of the spermatozoa selected in vivo is compared with recent developments in in vitro selection and preparation methods. Contrasts and similarities are presented. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS New technologies are being developed to aid in the diagnosis, preparation and selection of spermatozoa in ART. To date progress has been frustrating and these methods have provided variable benefits in improving outcomes after ART. It is more likely that examining the mechanisms enforced by nature will provide valuable information in regard to sperm selection and preparation techniques in vitro. Identifying the properties of those spermatozoa which do reach the oviduct will also be important for the development of more effective tests of semen quality. In this review we examine the value of sperm selection to see how much guidance for ART can be gleaned from the natural selection processes in vivo. PMID:26386468

  10. Recurrent Selection and Participatory Plant Breeding for Improvement of Two Organic Open-Pollinated Sweet Corn (Zea mays L. Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne C. Shelton

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Organic growers face unique challenges when raising sweet corn, and benefit from varieties that maintain high eating quality, germinate consistently, deter insect pests, and resist diseases. Genotype by environment rank changes can occur in the performance of cultivars grown on conventional and organic farms, yet few varieties have been bred specifically for organic systems. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the changes made to open-pollinated sweet corn populations using recurrent selection and a participatory plant breeding (PPB methodology. From 2008 to 2011, four cycles of two open-pollinated (OP sweet corn populations were selected on a certified organic farm in Minnesota using a modified ear-to-row recurrent selection scheme. Selections were made in collaboration with an organic farmer, with selection criteria based on traits identified by the farmer. In 2012 and 2013, the population cycles were evaluated in a randomized complete block design in two certified organic locations in Wisconsin, with multiple replications in each environment. Significant linear trends were found among cycles of selection for quantitative and qualitative traits, suggesting the changes were due to recurrent selection and PPB methodology for these populations. However, further improvement is necessary to satisfy the requirements for a useful cultivar for organic growers.

  11. Supplier selection or collaboration? Determining factors of performance improvement when outsourcing manufacturing

    OpenAIRE

    Dabhilkar, Mandar; Bengtsson, Lars; Haartman, Robin von; Åhlström, Pär

    2009-01-01

    An empirical study was designed to determine factors of performance improvement when outsourcing manufacturing. Findings from a survey of 136 manufacturing plants in Sweden show that most of them achieve their outsourcing motives, but not without trade-offs. Factors of performance improvements such as economies of scale or operations in low-cost countries can improve one performance dimension, such as product cost, yet negatively impact volume flexibility, speed or product innovation. The res...

  12. Component Selection, Accelerated Testing, and Improved Modeling of AMTEC Systems for Space Power (abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R. M.; Jeffries-Nakamura, B.; Ryan, M. A.; Underwood, M. L.; Suitor, J.; O'Connor, D.

    1993-01-01

    Alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC) designs for space power are numerous, but selection of materials for construction of long-lived AMTEC devices has been limited to electrodes, current collectors, and the solid electrolyte. AMTEC devices with lifetimes greater than 5 years require careful selection and life testing of all hot-side components. The likely selection of a remote condensed design for initial flight test and probable use with a GPHS in AMTEC powered outer planet probes requires the device to be constructed to tolerate T greater than 1150K, as well as exposure to Na(sub (g)), and Na(sub (liq)) on the high pressure side. The temperatures involved make critical high strength and chemical resistance to Na containing Na(sub 2)O. Selection among materials which can be worked should not be driven by ease of fabricability, as high temperature stability is the critical issue. These concepts drive the selection of Mo alloys for Na(sub (liq)) containment in AMTEC cells for T to 1150K operation, as they are significantly stronger than comparable NB or Ta alloys, are less soluble in Na(sub (liq)) containing dissolved Na(sub 2)O, are workable compared to W alloys (which might be used for certain components), and are ductile at the T greater than 500K of proposed AMTEC modules in space applications.

  13. Selection for production-related traits in Pelargonium zonale: improved design and analysis make all the difference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Heike; Glawe, Martin; Boehm, Robert; Piepho, Hans-Peter

    2017-01-01

    Ornamental plant variety improvement is limited by current phenotyping approaches and neglected use of experimental designs. The present study was conducted to show the benefits of using an experimental design and corresponding analysis in ornamental breeding regarding simulated response to selection in Pelargonium zonale for production-related traits. This required establishment of phenotyping protocols for root formation and stem cutting counts, with which 974 genotypes were assessed in a two-phase experimental design. The present paper evaluates this protocol. The possibility of varietal improvement through indirect selection on secondary traits such as branch count and flower count was assessed by genetic correlations. Simulated response to selection varied greatly, depending on the genotypic variances of the breeding population and traits. A varietal improvement of over 20% is possible for stem cutting count, root formation, branch count and flower count. In contrast, indirect selection of stem cutting count by branch count or flower count was found to be ineffective. The established phenotypic protocols and two-phase experimental designs are valuable tools for breeding of P. zonale .

  14. Genetic improvement of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus (Litopenaeus vannamei: perspectives for genomic selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor eCastillo-Juárez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of breeding programs for the Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus (Litopenaeus vannamei based on mixed linear models with pedigreed data are described. The application of these classic breeding methods yielded continuous progress of great value to increase the profitability of the shrimp industry in several countries. Recent advances in such areas as genomics in shrimp will allow for the development of new breeding programs in the near future that will increase genetic progress. In particular, these novel techniques may help increase disease resistance to specific emerging diseases, which is today a very important component of shrimp breeding programs. Thanks to increased selection accuracy, simulated genetic advance using genomic selection for survival to a disease challenge was up to 2.6 times that of phenotypic sib selection.

  15. Slim by design: serving healthy foods first in buffet lines improves overall meal selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wansink, Brian; Hanks, Andrew S

    2013-01-01

    Each day, tens of millions of restaurant goers, conference attendees, college students, military personnel, and school children serve themselves at buffets--many being all-you-can-eat buffets. Knowing how the food order at a buffet triggers what a person selects could be useful in guiding diners to make healthier selections. The breakfast food selections of 124 health conference attendees were tallied at two separate seven-item buffet lines (which included cheesy eggs, potatoes, bacon, cinnamon rolls, low-fat granola, low-fat yogurt, and fruit). The food order between the two lines was reversed (least healthy to most healthy, and vise-versa). Participants were randomly assigned to choose their meal from one line or the other, and researchers recorded what participants selected. With buffet foods, the first ones seen are the ones most selected. Over 75% of diners selected the first food they saw, and the first three foods a person encountered in the buffet comprised 66% of all the foods they took. Serving the less healthy foods first led diners to take 31% more total food items (pselection of healthier foods was less common. Three words summarize these results: First foods most. What ends up on a buffet diner's plate is dramatically determined by the presentation order of food. Rearranging food order from healthiest to least healthy can nudge unknowing or even resistant diners toward a healthier meal, helping make them slim by design. Health-conscious diners, can proactively start at the healthier end of the line, and this same basic principle of "first foods most" may be relevant in other contexts - such as when serving or passing food at family dinners.

  16. Risk selection and risk adjustment: improving insurance in the individual and small group markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baicker, Katherine; Dow, William H

    2009-01-01

    Insurance market reforms face the key challenge of addressing the threat that risk selection poses to the availability, of stable, high-value insurance policies that provide long-term risk protection. Many of the strategies in use today fail to address this breakdown in risk pooling, and some even exacerbate it. Flexible risk adjustment schemes are a promising avenue for promoting market stability and limiting insurer cream-skimming, potentially providing greater benefits at lower cost. Reforms intended to increase insurance coverage and the value of care delivered will be much more effective if implemented in conjunction with policies that address these fundamental selection issues.

  17. An improved wavelength selection scheme for Monte Carlo solvers applied to hypersonic plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldick, Andrew; Modest, Michael F.

    2011-01-01

    A new databasing scheme is developed for Monte Carlo Ray Tracing methods applied to hypersonic planetary entry. In this scheme, the complex relationships for the emission wavelength selection of atomic and molecular species in nonequilibrium flows are simplified by developing random number relationships for individual transitions, as opposed to using relationships for the spectral emission coefficient of a given species. These new techniques speed up wavelength selection by about 2 orders of magnitude, and offer flexibility for use in weighted or part-spectrum Monte Carlo solvers.

  18. Exercise training improves selected aspects of daytime functioning in adults with obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Christopher E; Ewing, Gary B; Burch, James B; Blair, Steven N; Durstine, J Larry; Davis, J Mark; Youngstedt, Shawn D

    2012-08-15

    To explore the utility of exercise training for improving daytime functioning in adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Forty-three sedentary and overweight/obese adults aged 18-55 years with at least moderate-severity untreated OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15) were randomized to 12 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise training (n = 27) or low-intensity stretching control treatment (n = 16). As part of a trial investigating the efficacy of exercise training on OSA severity, daytime functioning was assessed before and following the intervention. Sleepiness, functional impairment due to sleepiness, depressive symptoms, mood, and quality of life (QOL) were evaluated with validated questionnaires, and cognitive function was assessed with a neurobehavioral performance battery. OSA severity was measured with one night of laboratory polysomnography before and following the intervention. Compared with stretching control, exercise training resulted in significant improvements in depressive symptoms, fatigue and vigor, and aspects of QOL (p improved following exercise versus control to a similar degree in terms of effect sizes (d > 0.5), though these changes were not statistically significant. No neurobehavioral performance improvements were found. Reduced fatigue following exercise training was mediated by a reduction in OSA severity, but changes in OSA severity did not significantly mediate improvement in any other measure of daytime functioning. These data provide preliminary evidence that exercise training may be helpful for improving aspects of daytime functioning of adults with OSA. Larger trials are needed to further verify the observed improvements.

  19. Assisted selection in the improvement of soy for human consumption in the State of Tocantins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aristoteles Capone

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Soy in human food has several health benefits, but finds resistance to its consumption by the western ones due to the flavor caused by the lipoxygenases enzymes. The objective of this study was to select soybean TN (Triple Null hybrids in a population of the fourth self-fertilization cycle (F4 using techniques that use molecular markers. The experiment was conducted in the experimental area of the Federal University of Tocantins Campus Gurupi - TO. Hybridizations between soybean progenitors adapted to Tocantins and TN were performed. Obtained the F1 population in the greenhouse, F2, F3 and F4 were planted in the field, in the F4 generation was selection of superior hybrid for DNA analysis in order to identify hybrids with the trait complete absence of Lox2 and 3. We selected one hundred seventy-one hybrid, made up of DNA extraction and PCR of all. It was concluded that the highest percentage of TN hybrids was obtained at the intersection BRSMG 790A (TN X GB874. Lox2 and Lox3 amplification primers confirmed as an essential tool in a soybean breeding program for human consumption. We selected 34 TN hybrids with the desired agronomic characteristics.

  20. Selective cyclooxygenase-1 inhibition improves collateral vascular reactivity in biliary cirrhotic rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ching-Chih Chang

    2013-10-01

    Conclusion: There was no significant hemodynamic change and renal toxicity after acute administration of COX inhibitor in the FBDL-induced cirrhotic rats. Preincubation of selective COX-1, but not COX-2, inhibitor could enhance collateral vascular response to AVP, indicating that COX-1 plays a major role in the collateral vascular reactivity.

  1. Auditory Stream Segregation Improves Infants' Selective Attention to Target Tones Amid Distracters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nicholas A.; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the role of auditory stream segregation in the selective attention to target tones in infancy. Using a task adapted from Bregman and Rudnicky's 1975 study and implemented in a conditioned head-turn procedure, infant and adult listeners had to discriminate the temporal order of 2,200 and 2,400 Hz target tones presented alone,…

  2. Selective Narrowing of Social Networks across Adulthood is Associated with Improved Emotional Experience in Daily Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L.

    2014-01-01

    Past research has documented age differences in the size and composition of social networks that suggest that networks grow smaller with age and include an increasingly greater proportion of well-known social partners. According to socioemotional selectivity theory, such changes in social network composition serve an antecedent emotion regulatory…

  3. Improvement of fragment and primer selection for mutation detection by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, Y; Hayes, VM; Osinga, J; Mulder, IM; Looman, MWG; Buys, CHCM; Hofstra, RMW

    1998-01-01

    Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) is one of the most powerful methods for mutation detection currently available. For successful application the appropriate selection of PCR fragments and PCR primers is crucial. The sequence of interest should always be within the domain with the lowest

  4. Improving Classification of Protein Interaction Articles Using Context Similarity-Based Feature Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yifei; Sun, Yuxing; Han, Bing-Qing

    2015-01-01

    Protein interaction article classification is a text classification task in the biological domain to determine which articles describe protein-protein interactions. Since the feature space in text classification is high-dimensional, feature selection is widely used for reducing the dimensionality of features to speed up computation without sacrificing classification performance. Many existing feature selection methods are based on the statistical measure of document frequency and term frequency. One potential drawback of these methods is that they treat features separately. Hence, first we design a similarity measure between the context information to take word cooccurrences and phrase chunks around the features into account. Then we introduce the similarity of context information to the importance measure of the features to substitute the document and term frequency. Hence we propose new context similarity-based feature selection methods. Their performance is evaluated on two protein interaction article collections and compared against the frequency-based methods. The experimental results reveal that the context similarity-based methods perform better in terms of the F1 measure and the dimension reduction rate. Benefiting from the context information surrounding the features, the proposed methods can select distinctive features effectively for protein interaction article classification.

  5. Space Projects: Improvements Needed in Selecting Future Projects for Private Financing

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and NASA jointly selected seven projects for commercialization to reduce NASA's fiscal year 1990 budget request and to help achieve the goal of increasing private sector involvement in space. However, the efforts to privately finance these seven projects did not increase the commercial sector's involvement in space to the extent desired. The General Accounting Office (GAO) determined that the projects selected were not a fair test of the potential of increasing commercial investment in space at an acceptable cost to the government, primarily because the projects were not properly screened. That is, neither their suitability for commercialization nor the economic consequences of seeking private financing for them were adequately evaluated before selection. Evaluations and market tests done after selection showed that most of the projects were not viable candidates for private financing. GAO concluded that projects should not be removed from NASA's budget for commercial development until after careful screening has been done to determine whether adequate commercial demand exists, development risks are commercially acceptable and private financing is found or judged to be highly likely, and the cost effectiveness of such a decision is acceptable. Premature removal of projects from NASA's budget ultimately can cause project delays and increased costs when unsuccessful commercialization candidates must be returned to the budget. NASA also needs to ensure appropriate comparisons of government and private financing options for future commercialization projects.

  6. Slim by design: serving healthy foods first in buffet lines improves overall meal selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Wansink

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Each day, tens of millions of restaurant goers, conference attendees, college students, military personnel, and school children serve themselves at buffets--many being all-you-can-eat buffets. Knowing how the food order at a buffet triggers what a person selects could be useful in guiding diners to make healthier selections. METHOD: The breakfast food selections of 124 health conference attendees were tallied at two separate seven-item buffet lines (which included cheesy eggs, potatoes, bacon, cinnamon rolls, low-fat granola, low-fat yogurt, and fruit. The food order between the two lines was reversed (least healthy to most healthy, and vise-versa. Participants were randomly assigned to choose their meal from one line or the other, and researchers recorded what participants selected. RESULTS: With buffet foods, the first ones seen are the ones most selected. Over 75% of diners selected the first food they saw, and the first three foods a person encountered in the buffet comprised 66% of all the foods they took. Serving the less healthy foods first led diners to take 31% more total food items (p<0.001. Indeed, diners in this line more frequently chose less healthy foods in combinations, such as cheesy eggs and bacon (r = 0.47; p<0.001 or cheesy eggs and fried potatoes (r= 0.37; p<0.001. This co-selection of healthier foods was less common. CONCLUSIONS: Three words summarize these results: First foods most. What ends up on a buffet diner's plate is dramatically determined by the presentation order of food. Rearranging food order from healthiest to least healthy can nudge unknowing or even resistant diners toward a healthier meal, helping make them slim by design. Health-conscious diners, can proactively start at the healthier end of the line, and this same basic principle of "first foods most" may be relevant in other contexts - such as when serving or passing food at family dinners.

  7. Improved detection limits for phthalates by selective solid-phase micro-extraction

    KAUST Repository

    Zia, Asif I.; Afsarimanesh, Nasrin; Xie, Li; Nag, Anindya; Al-Bahadly, I. H.; Yu, P. L.; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2016-01-01

    Presented research reports on an improved method and enhanced limits of detection for phthalates; a hazardous additive used in the production of plastics by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) polymer in comparison to molecularly imprinted solid

  8. Milk progesterone measures to improve genomic selection for fertility in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tenghe, Amabel Manyu Mefru

    2017-01-01

    Improved reproductive performance has a substantial benefit for the overall profitability of dairy cattle farming by decreasing insemination and veterinary treatment costs, shortening calving intervals, and lowering the rate of involuntary culling. Unfortunately, the low heritability of classical

  9. Genomic selection to improve livestock production in developing countries with a focus on India

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kadarmideen, Haja; Do, Duy Ngoc

    2015-01-01

    growth will increase the demand for food as well as animal products, particularly in emerging economic giants like India. Moreover, the urbanization has considerable impact on patterns of food consumption in general and on demand for livestock products, in particular and the increased income growth led......Global livestock production has increased substantially during the last decades, in both number of animals and productivity. Meanwhile, the human population is projected to reach 9.6 billions by 2050 and most of the increase in the projection takes place in developing countries. Rapid population...... production (OPU-IVP) of embryos will have a considerable impact in the future. This paper attempts to provide basic concepts of using genomic tools for livestock production with the focus on genomic prediction and selection methods and discuss about the potential application of genomic selection to increase...

  10. An Improved SPEA2 Algorithm with Adaptive Selection of Evolutionary Operators Scheme for Multiobjective Optimization Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuqing Zhao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A fixed evolutionary mechanism is usually adopted in the multiobjective evolutionary algorithms and their operators are static during the evolutionary process, which causes the algorithm not to fully exploit the search space and is easy to trap in local optima. In this paper, a SPEA2 algorithm which is based on adaptive selection evolution operators (AOSPEA is proposed. The proposed algorithm can adaptively select simulated binary crossover, polynomial mutation, and differential evolution operator during the evolutionary process according to their contribution to the external archive. Meanwhile, the convergence performance of the proposed algorithm is analyzed with Markov chain. Simulation results on the standard benchmark functions reveal that the performance of the proposed algorithm outperforms the other classical multiobjective evolutionary algorithms.

  11. Material Selection for Cable Gland to Improved Reliability of the High-hazard Industries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashchuk, S. P.; Slobodyan, S. M.; Deeva, V. S.; Vashchuk, D. S.

    2018-01-01

    The sealed cable glands (SCG) are available to ensure safest connection sheathed single wire for the hazard production facility (nuclear power plant and others) the same as pilot cable, control cables, radio-frequency cables et al. In this paper, we investigate the specifics of the material selection of SCG with the express aim of hazardous man-made facility. We discuss the safe working conditions for cable glands. The research indicates the sintering powdered metals cables provide the reliability growth due to their properties. A number of studies have demonstrated the verification of material selection. On the face of it, we make findings indicating that double glazed sealed units could enhance reliability. We had evaluated sample reliability under fire conditions, seismic load, and pressure containment failure. We used the samples mineral insulated thermocouple cable.

  12. A Novel Fault Line Selection Method Based on Improved Oscillator System of Power Distribution Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowei Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel method of fault line selection based on IOS is presented. Firstly, the IOS is established by using math model, which adopted TZSC signal to replace built-in signal of duffing chaotic oscillator by selecting appropriate parameters. Then, each line’s TZSC decomposed by db10 wavelet packet to get CFB with the maximum energy principle, and CFB was solved by IOS. Finally, maximum chaotic distance and average chaotic distance on the phase trajectory are used to judge fault line. Simulation results show that the proposed method can accurately judge fault line and healthy line in strong noisy background. Besides, the nondetection zones of proposed method are elaborated.

  13. An Improved Particle Swarm Optimization for Selective Single Machine Scheduling with Sequence Dependent Setup Costs and Downstream Demands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates a special single machine scheduling problem derived from practical industries, namely, the selective single machine scheduling with sequence dependent setup costs and downstream demands. Different from traditional single machine scheduling, this problem further takes into account the selection of jobs and the demands of downstream lines. This problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming model and an improved particle swarm optimization (PSO is proposed to solve it. To enhance the exploitation ability of the PSO, an adaptive neighborhood search with different search depth is developed based on the decision characteristics of the problem. To improve the search diversity and make the proposed PSO algorithm capable of getting out of local optimum, an elite solution pool is introduced into the PSO. Computational results based on extensive test instances show that the proposed PSO can obtain optimal solutions for small size problems and outperform the CPLEX and some other powerful algorithms for large size problems.

  14. Improving the size- and species selectivity of cod (Gadus morhua) in demersal mixed-species trawl fisheries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krag, Ludvig Ahm

    have been published in scientific journals and Paper 3 has been submitted to Fisheries Research. This review will take a broader perspective and will examine the capturing process, which is the basis for the selection process. Moreover, it discusses the existing methods and knowledge in the fields...... different species, including cod, are caught together. Demersal trawling is the predominant fishing method in Denmark, as measured by both catch value and volume. Demersal trawls also account for the highest discard rates of juvenile fish, including cod. The focus of this work was on improving......, and openings. The results show that the morphology-based simulations of size selectivity of cod can be used to explain a large part of both the within-haul and the between-haul variations previously reported from sea trials. The method can further predict the selection parameters (L50 and SR) for cod...

  15. Selective Narrowing of Social Networks Across Adulthood is Associated With Improved Emotional Experience in Daily Life

    OpenAIRE

    English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L.

    2014-01-01

    Past research has documented age differences in the size and composition of social networks that suggest that networks grow smaller with age and include an increasingly greater proportion of well-known social partners. According to socioemotional selectivity theory, such changes in social network composition serve an antecedent emotion regulatory function that supports an age-related increase in the priority that people place on emotional well-being. The present study employed a longitudinal ...

  16. Improving preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) reliability by selection of sperm donor with the most informative haplotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcov, Mira; Gold, Veronica; Peleg, Sagit; Frumkin, Tsvia; Azem, Foad; Amit, Ami; Ben-Yosef, Dalit; Yaron, Yuval; Reches, Adi; Barda, Shimi; Kleiman, Sandra E; Yogev, Leah; Hauser, Ron

    2017-04-26

    The study is aimed to describe a novel strategy that increases the accuracy and reliability of PGD in patients using sperm donation by pre-selecting the donor whose haplotype does not overlap the carrier's one. A panel of 4-9 informative polymorphic markers, flanking the mutation in carriers of autosomal dominant/X-linked disorders, was tested in DNA of sperm donors before PGD. Whenever the lengths of donors' repeats overlapped those of the women, additional donors' DNA samples were analyzed. The donor that demonstrated the minimal overlapping with the patient was selected for IVF. In 8 out of 17 carriers the markers of the initially chosen donors overlapped the patients' alleles and 2-8 additional sperm donors for each patient were haplotyped. The selection of additional sperm donors increased the number of informative markers and reduced misdiagnosis risk from 6.00% ± 7.48 to 0.48% ±0.68. The PGD results were confirmed and no misdiagnosis was detected. Our study demonstrates that pre-selecting a sperm donor whose haplotype has minimal overlapping with the female's haplotype, is critical for reducing the misdiagnosis risk and ensuring a reliable PGD. This strategy may contribute to prevent the transmission of affected IVF-PGD embryos using a simple and economical procedure. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. DNA testing of donors was approved by the institutional Helsinki committee (registration number 319-08TLV, 2008). The present study was approved by the institutional Helsinki committee (registration number 0385-13TLV, 2013).

  17. A New Manufacturing Service Selection and Composition Method Using Improved Flower Pollination Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Wenyu; Yang, Yushu; Zhang, Shuai; Yu, Dejian; Xu, Yangbing

    2016-01-01

    With an increasing number of manufacturing services, the means by which to select and compose these manufacturing services have become a challenging problem. It can be regarded as a multiobjective optimization problem that involves a variety of conflicting quality of service (QoS) attributes. In this study, a multiobjective optimization model of manufacturing service composition is presented that is based on QoS and an environmental index. Next, the skyline operator is applied to reduce the s...

  18. Optimizing Stem Length To Improve Ligand Selectivity in a Structure-Switching Cocaine-Binding Aptamer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Miguel A D; Shoara, Aron A; Reinstein, Oren; Abbasi Borhani, Okty; Martin, Taylor R; Johnson, Philip E

    2017-10-27

    Understanding how aptamer structure and function are related is crucial in the design and development of aptamer-based biosensors. We have analyzed a series of cocaine-binding aptamers with different lengths of their stem 1 in order to understand the role that this stem plays in the ligand-induced structure-switching binding mechanism utilized in many of the sensor applications of this aptamer. In the cocaine-binding aptamer, the length of stem 1 controls whether the structure-switching binding mechanism for this aptamer occurs or not. We varied the length of stem 1 from being one to seven base pairs long and found that the structural transition from unfolded to folded in the unbound aptamer is when the aptamer elongates from 3 to 4 base pairs in stem 1. We then used this knowledge to achieve new binding selectivity of this aptamer for quinine over cocaine by using an aptamer with a stem 1 two base pairs long. This selectivity is achieved by means of the greater affinity quinine has for the aptamer compared with cocaine. Quinine provides enough free energy to both fold and bind the 2-base pair-long aptamer while cocaine does not. This tuning of binding selectivity of an aptamer by reducing its stability is likely a general mechanism that could be used to tune aptamer specificity for tighter binding ligands.

  19. Improvement of selective removal of heavy metals in cyanobacteria by NaOH treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, Hiroyasu; Inthorn, Duangrat; Oda, Aiko; Nishimura, Jun; Kajiwara, Yumiko; Park, Myong-Oku; Hirata, Kazumasa; Miyamoto, Kazuhisa

    2005-04-01

    In the freshwater cyanobacterium, Tolypothrix tenuis, treatment with 0.1 M NaOH increased its Cd-selective adsorption ability in the presence of Ca(2+) or Mg(2+). The selective adsorption was also achieved by other alkaline treatments. Energy-distributed spectroscopy analysis revealed that Cd(2+) was found mainly on the surface of non-treated cells, whereas it was distributed throughout the cell after NaOH treatment. The alkaline treatment was effective in increasing the selective adsorption ability of the cyanobacterium for other bivalent heavy metals such as Cu(2+), Pb(2+) and Zn(2+). The treatment was also applicable to Anabaena variabilis and Microcystis aeruginosa, which are typical cyanobacteria causing algal blooms. The main binding site of Cd(2+) in NaOH-treated cells is assumed to be the carboxyl groups because the binding ability of the cells was diminished by the esterification of carboxyl groups. These results suggest that alkaline treatment of cyanobacteria is a useful technique for producing biosorbents having highly specific binding abilities for heavy metals.

  20. Improving the time efficiency of the Fourier synthesis method for slice selection in magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahayori, B; Khaneja, N; Johnston, L A; Farrell, P M; Mareels, I M Y

    2016-01-01

    The design of slice selective pulses for magnetic resonance imaging can be cast as an optimal control problem. The Fourier synthesis method is an existing approach to solve these optimal control problems. In this method the gradient field as well as the excitation field are switched rapidly and their amplitudes are calculated based on a Fourier series expansion. Here, we provide a novel insight into the Fourier synthesis method via representing the Bloch equation in spherical coordinates. Based on the spherical Bloch equation, we propose an alternative sequence of pulses that can be used for slice selection which is more time efficient compared to the original method. Simulation results demonstrate that while the performance of both methods is approximately the same, the required time for the proposed sequence of pulses is half of the original sequence of pulses. Furthermore, the slice selectivity of both sequences of pulses changes with radio frequency field inhomogeneities in a similar way. We also introduce a measure, referred to as gradient complexity, to compare the performance of both sequences of pulses. This measure indicates that for a desired level of uniformity in the excited slice, the gradient complexity for the proposed sequence of pulses is less than the original sequence. Copyright © 2015 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Wavenumber selection based analysis in Raman spectroscopy improves skin cancer diagnostic specificity at high sensitivity levels (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jianhua; Zeng, Haishan; Kalia, Sunil; Lui, Harvey

    2017-02-01

    Background: Raman spectroscopy is a non-invasive optical technique which can measure molecular vibrational modes within tissue. A large-scale clinical study (n = 518) has demonstrated that real-time Raman spectroscopy could distinguish malignant from benign skin lesions with good diagnostic accuracy; this was validated by a follow-up independent study (n = 127). Objective: Most of the previous diagnostic algorithms have typically been based on analyzing the full band of the Raman spectra, either in the fingerprint or high wavenumber regions. Our objective in this presentation is to explore wavenumber selection based analysis in Raman spectroscopy for skin cancer diagnosis. Methods: A wavenumber selection algorithm was implemented using variably-sized wavenumber windows, which were determined by the correlation coefficient between wavenumbers. Wavenumber windows were chosen based on accumulated frequency from leave-one-out cross-validated stepwise regression or least and shrinkage selection operator (LASSO). The diagnostic algorithms were then generated from the selected wavenumber windows using multivariate statistical analyses, including principal component and general discriminant analysis (PC-GDA) and partial least squares (PLS). A total cohort of 645 confirmed lesions from 573 patients encompassing skin cancers, precancers and benign skin lesions were included. Lesion measurements were divided into training cohort (n = 518) and testing cohort (n = 127) according to the measurement time. Result: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) improved from 0.861-0.891 to 0.891-0.911 and the diagnostic specificity for sensitivity levels of 0.99-0.90 increased respectively from 0.17-0.65 to 0.20-0.75 by selecting specific wavenumber windows for analysis. Conclusion: Wavenumber selection based analysis in Raman spectroscopy improves skin cancer diagnostic specificity at high sensitivity levels.

  2. Stochastic weather inputs for improved urban water demand forecasting: application of nonlinear input variable selection and machine learning methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilty, J.; Adamowski, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Urban water supply systems are often stressed during seasonal outdoor water use as water demands related to the climate are variable in nature making it difficult to optimize the operation of the water supply system. Urban water demand forecasts (UWD) failing to include meteorological conditions as inputs to the forecast model may produce poor forecasts as they cannot account for the increase/decrease in demand related to meteorological conditions. Meteorological records stochastically simulated into the future can be used as inputs to data-driven UWD forecasts generally resulting in improved forecast accuracy. This study aims to produce data-driven UWD forecasts for two different Canadian water utilities (Montreal and Victoria) using machine learning methods by first selecting historical UWD and meteorological records derived from a stochastic weather generator using nonlinear input variable selection. The nonlinear input variable selection methods considered in this work are derived from the concept of conditional mutual information, a nonlinear dependency measure based on (multivariate) probability density functions and accounts for relevancy, conditional relevancy, and redundancy from a potential set of input variables. The results of our study indicate that stochastic weather inputs can improve UWD forecast accuracy for the two sites considered in this work. Nonlinear input variable selection is suggested as a means to identify which meteorological conditions should be utilized in the forecast.

  3. Improved production of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli by selective codon substitutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørholm, Morten H.H.; Toddo, Stephen; Virkki, Minttu T.I.

    2013-01-01

    Membrane proteins are extremely challenging to produce in sufficient quantities for biochemical and structural analysis and there is a growing demand for solutions to this problem. In this study we attempted to improve expression of two difficult-to-express coding sequences (araH and narK) for me......Membrane proteins are extremely challenging to produce in sufficient quantities for biochemical and structural analysis and there is a growing demand for solutions to this problem. In this study we attempted to improve expression of two difficult-to-express coding sequences (araH and nar......K) for membrane transporters. For both coding sequences, synonymous codon substitutions in the region adjacent to the AUG start led to significant improvements in expression, whereas multi-parameter sequence optimization of codons throughout the coding sequence failed. We conclude that coding sequences can be re...

  4. Efficiency-improving fossil fuel technologies for electricity generation: Data selection and trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lanzi, Elisa [Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Italy); Verdolini, Elena, E-mail: elena.verdolini@feem.it [Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Italy); Universita Cattolica, del Sacro Cuore di Milano (Italy); Hascic, Ivan [OECD Environment Directorate (France)

    2011-11-15

    This paper studies patenting dynamics in efficiency improving electricity generation technologies as an important indicator of innovation activity. We build a novel database of worldwide patent applications in efficiency-improving fossil fuel technologies for electricity generation and then analyse patenting trends over time and across countries. We find that patenting has mostly been stable over time, with a recent decreasing trend. OECD countries represent the top innovators and the top markets for technology. Some non-OECD countries, and particularly China, are also very active in terms of patenting activity in this sector. The majority of patents are first filed in OECD countries and only then in BRIC and other non-OECD countries. BRIC and other non-OECD countries apply for patents that are mostly marketed domestically, but BRIC countries represent important markets for patent duplication of OECD inventions. These results are indicative of significant technology transfer in the field of efficiency-improving technologies for electricity production. - Highlights: > We study innovation in efficiency-improving electricity generation technologies. > Relevant patents are identified and used as an indicator of innovation. > We show that there is significant technology transfer in this field. > Most patents are first filed in OECD countries and then in non-OECD countries. > Patents in non-OECD countries are mostly marketed domestically.

  5. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. Downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In the present study we sought to further...

  6. Advancement of Tools Supporting Improvement of Work Safety in Selected Industrial Company

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gembalska-Kwiecień, Anna

    2018-03-01

    In the presented article, the advancement of tools to improve the safety of work in the researched industrial company was taken into consideration. Attention was paid to the skillful analysis of the working environment, which includes the available technologies, work organization and human capital. These factors determine the development of the best prevention activities to minimize the number of accidents.

  7. Efficiency-improving fossil fuel technologies for electricity generation: Data selection and trends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lanzi, Elisa; Verdolini, Elena; Hascic, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    This paper studies patenting dynamics in efficiency improving electricity generation technologies as an important indicator of innovation activity. We build a novel database of worldwide patent applications in efficiency-improving fossil fuel technologies for electricity generation and then analyse patenting trends over time and across countries. We find that patenting has mostly been stable over time, with a recent decreasing trend. OECD countries represent the top innovators and the top markets for technology. Some non-OECD countries, and particularly China, are also very active in terms of patenting activity in this sector. The majority of patents are first filed in OECD countries and only then in BRIC and other non-OECD countries. BRIC and other non-OECD countries apply for patents that are mostly marketed domestically, but BRIC countries represent important markets for patent duplication of OECD inventions. These results are indicative of significant technology transfer in the field of efficiency-improving technologies for electricity production. - Highlights: → We study innovation in efficiency-improving electricity generation technologies. → Relevant patents are identified and used as an indicator of innovation. → We show that there is significant technology transfer in this field. → Most patents are first filed in OECD countries and then in non-OECD countries. → Patents in non-OECD countries are mostly marketed domestically.

  8. Improving the Classification Accuracy for Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Chinese Salvia miltiorrhiza Using Local Variable Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianqing Zhu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to improve the classification accuracy of Chinese Salvia miltiorrhiza using near-infrared spectroscopy, a novel local variable selection strategy is thus proposed. Combining the strengths of the local algorithm and interval partial least squares, the spectra data have firstly been divided into several pairs of classes in sample direction and equidistant subintervals in variable direction. Then, a local classification model has been built, and the most proper spectral region has been selected based on the new evaluation criterion considering both classification error rate and best predictive ability under the leave-one-out cross validation scheme for each pair of classes. Finally, each observation can be assigned to belong to the class according to the statistical analysis of classification results of the local classification model built on selected variables. The performance of the proposed method was demonstrated through near-infrared spectra of cultivated or wild Salvia miltiorrhiza, which are collected from 8 geographical origins in 5 provinces of China. For comparison, soft independent modelling of class analogy and partial least squares discriminant analysis methods are, respectively, employed as the classification model. Experimental results showed that classification performance of the classification model with local variable selection was obvious better than that without variable selection.

  9. Improvement in genetic characteristics and oil yield of selected soybean progenies from octuple crosses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamawaki Osvaldo Toshiyuki

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to evaluate 44 soybean octuple crosses in the F4:3[8] and F5:3[8] generations in order to select progenies superior for seed oil yield (OY and other important agronomic characteristics. Octuple crosses were hybridized in a chain mating system. In one group, crosses were carried out for three generations with the adapted x exotic parents until octuple crosses with 75% adapted genes and 25% exotic genes were obtained. In a second group, hybridization of adapted x adapted parents originated crosses with 100% adapted genes. During the growing season 1994/95, the progenies F4:3[8] were evaluated by using the augmented block design. The progenies F5:3[8] were evaluated during the growing season 1995/96 in three experiments using augmented block design without repetition. The octuple crosses gave origin to superior progenies for all the characters studied. In the C22 cross, OY values were 707 kg/ha. The estimates of heritability in relation to the crosses average resulted in the following mean, minimum and maximum values, respectively: number of days to maturity (52.35%, 3.71%, 84.23%; agronomic value (26.69%, 1.62%, 61.28% and grain yield (29.28%, 1.52%, 61.06%. The observed genetic gains for grain yield in the early, intermediate and late F5:3[8] progenies were superior to the expected genetic gains and the observed genetic gains for OY were more expressive in the early and late F5:[8] progenies. The genetic variability remaining in the selected progenies of some crosses suggests that further genetic gains for grain yield and OY might be possible with advanced selection cycles.

  10. Improving feature selection process resistance to failures caused by curse-of-dimensionality effects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Somol, Petr; Grim, Jiří; Novovičová, Jana; Pudil, P.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 3 (2011), s. 401-425 ISSN 0023-5954 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0572; GA ČR GA102/08/0593 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) 2C06019 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10750506 Keywords : feature selection * curse of dimensionality * over-fitting * stability * machine learning * dimensionality reduction Subject RIV: IN - Informatics, Computer Science Impact factor: 0.454, year: 2011 http://library.utia.cas.cz/separaty/2011/RO/somol-0368741.pdf

  11. Chelating extractants of improved selectivity. Progress report, September 1, 1976--October 31, 1977

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freiser, H.

    1977-07-01

    New means of characterizing metal chelating reagent selectivity have been developed and incorporated into a theoretical factor analysis of the chelate stability constants of 24 metal ions with 14 ligands of the EDTA family. The factor analysis will be extended to extracting ligand families. A computer-controlled automated metal chelate stability constant apparatus has been assembled and successfully tested. A high performance liquid chromatograph has been set up and preliminary examination of comparison of reversed phase chromatographic separation of metal ions with their solvent extraction behavior begun

  12. Improved selection criteria for H II regions, based on IRAS sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qing-Zeng; Xu, Ye; Walsh, A. J.; Macquart, J. P.; MacLeod, G. C.; Zhang, Bo; Hancock, P. J.; Chen, Xi; Tang, Zheng-Hong

    2018-05-01

    We present new criteria for selecting H II regions from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) Point Source Catalogue (PSC), based on an H II region catalogue derived manually from the all-sky Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The criteria are used to augment the number of H II region candidates in the Milky Way. The criteria are defined by the linear decision boundary of two samples: IRAS point sources associated with known H II regions, which serve as the H II region sample, and IRAS point sources at high Galactic latitudes, which serve as the non-H II region sample. A machine learning classifier, specifically a support vector machine, is used to determine the decision boundary. We investigate all combinations of four IRAS bands and suggest that the optimal criterion is log(F_{60}/F_{12})≥ ( -0.19 × log(F_{100}/F_{25})+ 1.52), with detections at 60 and 100 {μ}m. This selects 3041 H II region candidates from the IRAS PSC. We find that IRAS H II region candidates show evidence of evolution on the two-colour diagram. Merging the WISE H II catalogue with IRAS H II region candidates, we estimate a lower limit of approximately 10 200 for the number of H II regions in the Milky Way.

  13. FDG-PET improves the staging and selection of patients with recurrent colorectal cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lonneux, Max; Reffad, Abdel-Malek; Pauwels, Stanislas; Detry, Roger; Kartheuser, Alex; Gigot, Jean-Francois

    2002-01-01

    Whole-body fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) has proved effective in the diagnosis and staging of recurrent colorectal cancer. In this study, we analysed how PET affects the management of patients with recurrent colorectal cancer by permitting more accurate selection of candidates for curative resection. The data of 79 patients with known or suspected recurrent colorectal cancer were analysed. Conventional imaging modalities (CIM) and PET results were compared with regard to their accuracy in determining the extent and the resectability of tumour recurrence. Recurrence was demonstrated in 68 of the 79 patients. The data indicate that PET was superior to CIM for detection of recurrence at all sites except the liver. Based on the CIM+PET staging, surgery with curative intent was proposed in 39 patients and was indeed achieved in 31 of them (80%). PET was more accurate than CIM alone in predicting the resectability or non-resectability of the recurrence (82% vs 68%, P=0.02). It is concluded that whole-body FDG-PET is highly sensitive for both the diagnosis and the staging of patients with recurrent colorectal cancer. Its use in conjunction with conventional imaging procedures results in a more accurate selection of patients for surgical treatment with curative intent. (orig.)

  14. Code-specific learning rules improve action selection by populations of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Johannes; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter

    2014-08-01

    Population coding is widely regarded as a key mechanism for achieving reliable behavioral decisions. We previously introduced reinforcement learning for population-based decision making by spiking neurons. Here we generalize population reinforcement learning to spike-based plasticity rules that take account of the postsynaptic neural code. We consider spike/no-spike, spike count and spike latency codes. The multi-valued and continuous-valued features in the postsynaptic code allow for a generalization of binary decision making to multi-valued decision making and continuous-valued action selection. We show that code-specific learning rules speed up learning both for the discrete classification and the continuous regression tasks. The suggested learning rules also speed up with increasing population size as opposed to standard reinforcement learning rules. Continuous action selection is further shown to explain realistic learning speeds in the Morris water maze. Finally, we introduce the concept of action perturbation as opposed to the classical weight- or node-perturbation as an exploration mechanism underlying reinforcement learning. Exploration in the action space greatly increases the speed of learning as compared to exploration in the neuron or weight space.

  15. COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS – A TOOL TO IMPROVE RECRUITMENT, SELECTION AND EMPLOYMENT IN ORGANIZATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoleta Valentina FLOREA

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Human resource is a major source for organization to obtain competitive advantage and can be very important in obtaining long-term performance. The limits of recruitment process are the cost, the choice made, time and legislation. Any organization looks for minimizing the human resources recruitment, selection and employment costs. This article presents the importance of cost in choosing the best practices of recruitment, selection, employment and integration of new employees in the organization, though, the cost is an important variable for analysis. In this article is presented the research made in large organizations from Dambovita County, Romania, and are also presented the costs and their consequences on medium and long-term over the organization activities These activities are discrimination, sexual harassment, ethics, low performance and results, by choosing the “wrong” people, and implicitly diminishing the level of qualifications, knowledge and abilities, by growing the absenteeism, the direct and indirect costs of these processes and the direct consequences over the time management.

  16. FTIR gas analysis with improved sensitivity and selectivity for CWA and TIC detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Charles M.; Tan, Huwei

    2010-04-01

    This presentation describes the use of an FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared)-based spectrometer designed to continuously monitor ambient air for the presence of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). The necessity of a reliable system capable of quickly and accurately detecting very low levels of CWAs and TICs while simultaneously retaining a negligible false alarm rate will be explored. Technological advancements in FTIR sensing have reduced noise while increasing selectivity and speed of detection. These novel analyzer design characteristics are discussed in detail and descriptions are provided which show how optical throughput, gas cell form factor, and detector response are optimized. The hardware and algorithms described here will explain why this FTIR system is very effective for the simultaneous detection and speciation of a wide variety of toxic compounds at ppb concentrations. Analytical test data will be reviewed demonstrating the system's sensitivity to and selectivity for specific CWAs and TICs; this will include recent data acquired as part of the DHS ARFCAM (Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor) project. These results include analyses of the data from live agent testing for the determination of CWA detection limits, immunity to interferences, detection times, residual noise analysis and false alarm rates. Sensing systems such as this are critical for effective chemical hazard identification which is directly relevant to the CBRNE community.

  17. Selection of Strategy Positioning and Formulation Strategies for Improving Business Performance of Bakery XYZ

    OpenAIRE

    Siregar, Yigal Allon; Toha, Mohamad

    2012-01-01

    Economic growth will increase competition among companies in industry, and it happen in Bandung area, with current growth in economic and tourism industry also influence competition level in culinary business in Bandung. Bakery XYZ, that already in Bandung since 1991 affected of the current competition in culinary business. Currently Bakery XYZ is facing decreasing sales volume due to increasing competitors. To improve its business performance, is required to analysis Bakery XYZ's business s...

  18. Study on Quality Improvement Effect and Separate Character of Soybean Male Sterile (MS1) Recurrent Selection Population

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Shuang-jin; ZHANG Meng-chen; JIANG Chun-zhi; YANG Chun-yan; LIU Bing-qiang; CUI Jue

    2007-01-01

    To solve the problem that soybean has narrow genetic base, we constructed a series of male sterile recurrent selection populations, and studied the effects of quality improvement and practical value. An LD-base population, which fits to our ecology type was constructed by 6 years' gene enrichment through the introduction of new genes from 23 local varieties and recurrent selection. The LD-base populations were then improved by making crosses with high protein and high oil genotypes. As a result we obtained a high protein sub-population (db) and a high oil sub-population (gy). For the db sub-population, the protein content is 1.18% higher than the base population, 22.38% of the individuals contain 45% or more of protein, which is 10.99% higher than the base population. For the gy sub-population, oil content is 0.24% higher than the base population. Individuals with oil content of 20% or more are 11.05% higher than the base population. The quantitative characters such as flowering date, mature date, pod habit, and hilum color, etc., all showed wide range of separation, and the segregation ratio approached balance. The c.v. of branch number of ms1 recurrent population (72.8%) is higher than general cross-population (57.3%), and the c.v. of 100 seed weight of ms1 (18.1%) is higher than general cross population (16.5%), the coefficient of variation of plant height, pods per plant, and seeds per pod were not significantly different. It was demonstrated in this paper that the quality character of ms1 male sterile recurrent selection population was improved by adding new genes. And the segregation of other characters widened, making the populations suitable for the objective of soybean breeding. In this paper, we also discussed the breeding method, key technology, and selection effect of soybean ms1 population.

  19. Fasxiator, a novel factor XIa inhibitor from snake venom, and its site-specific mutagenesis to improve potency and selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, W; Carvalho, L P D; Chan, M Y; Kini, R M; Kang, T S

    2015-02-01

    Bleeding remains a major limitation of standard anticoagulant drugs that target the extrinsic and common coagulation pathways. Recently, intrinsic coagulation factors are increasingly being investigated as alternative targets for developing anticoagulant drugs with lower bleeding risk. Goals were to (i) identify novel anticoagulants selectively targeting intrinsic coagulation pathway and (ii) characterize and further improve the properties of the identified anticoagulants. We have isolated and sequenced a specific factor XIa (FXIa) inhibitor, henceforth named Fasxiator, from the venom of the banded krait snake, Bungarus fasciatus. It is a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor that prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time without significant effects on prothrombin time. Fasxiator was recombinantly expressed (rFasxiator), purified, and characterized to be a slow-type inhibitor of FXIa that exerts its anticoagulant activities (doubled activated partial thromboplastin time at ~ 3 μmol L(-1) ) by selectively inhibiting human FXIa in in vitro assays. A series of mutants were subsequently generated to improve the potency and selectivity of recombinant rFasxiator. rFasxiatorN17R,L19E showed the best balance between potency (IC50 ~ 1 nmol L(-1) ) and selectivity (> 100 times). rFasxiatorN17R,L19E is a competitive slow-type inhibitor of FXIa (Ki  = 0.86 nmol L(-1) ), possesses anticoagulant activity that is ~ 10 times stronger in human plasma than in murine plasma, and prolonged the occlusion time of mice carotid artery in FeCl3 -induced thrombosis models. We have isolated an exogenous FXIa specific inhibitor, engineered it to improve its potency by ~ 1000 times and demonstrated its in vitro and in vivo efficacy. These proof-of-principle data supported the further development of Fasxiator as a novel anticoagulant candidate. © 2014 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  20. Four minutes of in-class high-intensity interval activity improves selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jasmin K; Le Mare, Lucy; Gurd, Brendon J

    2015-03-01

    The amount of time allocated to physical activity in schools is declining. Time-efficient physical activity solutions that demonstrate their impact on academic achievement-related outcomes are needed to prioritize physical activity within the school curricula. "FUNtervals" are 4-min, high-intensity interval activities that use whole-body actions to complement a storyline. The purpose of this study was to (i) explore whether FUNtervals can improve selective attention, an executive function posited to be essential for learning and academic success; and (ii) examine whether this relationship is predicted by students' classroom off-task behaviour. Seven grade 3-5 classes (n = 88) were exposed to a single-group, repeated cross-over design where each student's selective attention was compared between no-activity and FUNtervals days. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and FUNterval activities, and baseline off-task behaviour was observed. In both weeks 2 and 3 students completed the d2 test of attention following either a FUNterval break or a no-activity break. The order of these breaks was randomized and counterbalanced between weeks. Neither motor nor passive off-task behaviour predicted changes in selective attention following FUNtervals; however, a weak relationship was observed for verbal off-task behaviour and improvements in d2 test performance. More importantly, students made fewer errors during the d2 test following FUNtervals. In supporting the priority of physical activity inclusion within schools, FUNtervals, a time efficient and easily implemented physical activity break, can improve selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.

  1. Mirnacle: machine learning with SMOTE and random forest for improving selectivity in pre-miRNA ab initio prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Yuri Bento; de Paiva Oliveira, Alcione; Ribeiro Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Cerqueira, Fabio Ribeiro

    2016-12-15

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key gene expression regulators in plants and animals. Therefore, miRNAs are involved in several biological processes, making the study of these molecules one of the most relevant topics of molecular biology nowadays. However, characterizing miRNAs in vivo is still a complex task. As a consequence, in silico methods have been developed to predict miRNA loci. A common ab initio strategy to find miRNAs in genomic data is to search for sequences that can fold into the typical hairpin structure of miRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs). The current ab initio approaches, however, have selectivity issues, i.e., a high number of false positives is reported, which can lead to laborious and costly attempts to provide biological validation. This study presents an extension of the ab initio method miRNAFold, with the aim of improving selectivity through machine learning techniques, namely, random forest combined with the SMOTE procedure that copes with imbalance datasets. By comparing our method, termed Mirnacle, with other important approaches in the literature, we demonstrate that Mirnacle substantially improves selectivity without compromising sensitivity. For the three datasets used in our experiments, our method achieved at least 97% of sensitivity and could deliver a two-fold, 20-fold, and 6-fold increase in selectivity, respectively, compared with the best results of current computational tools. The extension of miRNAFold by the introduction of machine learning techniques, significantly increases selectivity in pre-miRNA ab initio prediction, which optimally contributes to advanced studies on miRNAs, as the need of biological validations is diminished. Hopefully, new research, such as studies of severe diseases caused by miRNA malfunction, will benefit from the proposed computational tool.

  2. Exponential Improvement in Photon Storage Fidelities Using Subradiance and “Selective Radiance” in Atomic Arrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Asenjo-Garcia

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available A central goal within quantum optics is to realize efficient, controlled interactions between photons and atomic media. A fundamental limit in nearly all applications based on such systems arises from spontaneous emission, in which photons are absorbed by atoms and then rescattered into undesired channels. In typical theoretical treatments of atomic ensembles, it is assumed that this rescattering occurs independently, and at a rate given by a single isolated atom, which in turn gives rise to standard limits of fidelity in applications such as quantum memories for light or photonic quantum gates. However, this assumption can in fact be dramatically violated. In particular, it has long been known that spontaneous emission of a collective atomic excitation can be significantly suppressed through strong interference in emission between atoms. While this concept of “subradiance” is not new, thus far the techniques to exploit the effect have not been well understood. In this work, we provide a comprehensive treatment of this problem. First, we show that in ordered atomic arrays in free space, subradiant states acquire an elegant interpretation in terms of optical modes that are guided by the array, which only emit due to scattering from the ends of the finite system. We also go beyond the typically studied regime of a single atomic excitation and elucidate the properties of subradiant states in the many-excitation limit. Finally, we introduce the new concept of “selective radiance.” Whereas subradiant states experience a reduced coupling to all optical modes, selectively radiant states are tailored to simultaneously radiate efficiently into a desired channel while scattering into undesired channels is suppressed, thus enabling an enhanced atom-light interface. We show that these states naturally appear in chains of atoms coupled to nanophotonic structures, and we analyze the performance of photon storage exploiting such states. We find

  3. Performance improvement of multi-class detection using greedy algorithm for Viola-Jones cascade selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tereshin, Alexander A.; Usilin, Sergey A.; Arlazarov, Vladimir V.

    2018-04-01

    This paper aims to study the problem of multi-class object detection in video stream with Viola-Jones cascades. An adaptive algorithm for selecting Viola-Jones cascade based on greedy choice strategy in solution of the N-armed bandit problem is proposed. The efficiency of the algorithm on the problem of detection and recognition of the bank card logos in the video stream is shown. The proposed algorithm can be effectively used in documents localization and identification, recognition of road scene elements, localization and tracking of the lengthy objects , and for solving other problems of rigid object detection in a heterogeneous data flows. The computational efficiency of the algorithm makes it possible to use it both on personal computers and on mobile devices based on processors with low power consumption.

  4. New frontiers in oncolytic viruses: optimizing and selecting for virus strains with improved efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lundstrom K

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Kenneth Lundstrom PanTherapeutics, Lutry, Switzerland Abstract: Oncolytic viruses have demonstrated selective replication and killing of tumor cells. Different types of oncolytic viruses – adenoviruses, alphaviruses, herpes simplex viruses, Newcastle disease viruses, rhabdoviruses, Coxsackie viruses, and vaccinia viruses – have been applied as either naturally occurring or engineered vectors. Numerous studies in animal-tumor models have demonstrated substantial tumor regression and prolonged survival rates. Moreover, clinical trials have confirmed good safety profiles and therapeutic efficacy for oncolytic viruses. Most encouragingly, the first cancer gene-therapy drug – Gendicine, based on oncolytic adenovirus type 5 – was approved in China. Likewise, a second-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus-based drug for the treatment of melanoma has been registered in the US and Europe as talimogene laherparepvec. Keywords: immunotherapy, viral vectors, clinical trials, drug approval

  5. Selecting and Improving Quasi-Experimental Designs in Effectiveness and Implementation Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Margaret A; Lyles, Courtney R; McCulloch, Charles; Cattamanchi, Adithya

    2018-04-01

    Interventional researchers face many design challenges when assessing intervention implementation in real-world settings. Intervention implementation requires holding fast on internal validity needs while incorporating external validity considerations (such as uptake by diverse subpopulations, acceptability, cost, and sustainability). Quasi-experimental designs (QEDs) are increasingly employed to achieve a balance between internal and external validity. Although these designs are often referred to and summarized in terms of logistical benefits, there is still uncertainty about (a) selecting from among various QEDs and (b) developing strategies to strengthen the internal and external validity of QEDs. We focus here on commonly used QEDs (prepost designs with nonequivalent control groups, interrupted time series, and stepped-wedge designs) and discuss several variants that maximize internal and external validity at the design, execution and implementation, and analysis stages.

  6. Selected Aspects of Assessment/Improvement of Academic Research Quality, Also of Industrial Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jemala Marek

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In terms of publishing and commercialisation of academic research results, there may be more preferred qualitative research in the long term. But, not every research can be focused only on the quality of its outputs, but each output of the research, however, should have an adequate quality and added value. The main research question of this article may be determined as follows – How can the quality of academic research be better evaluated and thus improved, also in the area of Industrial management? It is not the intention of this article to perform statistical research in the field yet, but this study is based on empirical data and results.

  7. Selective critique of risk assessments with recommendations for improving methodology and practise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aven, Terje

    2011-01-01

    Risk assessments are often criticised for defending activities that could harm the environment and human health. The risk assessments produce numbers which are used to prove that the risk associated with the activity is acceptable. In this way, risk assessments seem to be a tool generally serving business. Government agencies have based their regulations on the use of risk assessment and the prevailing practise is supported by the regulations. In this paper, we look more closely into this critique. Are risk assessments being misused or are risk assessments simply not a suitable tool for guiding decision-making in the face of risks and uncertainties? Is the use of risk assessments not servicing public interests? We argue that risk assessments may provide useful decision support but the quality of the risk assessments and the associated risk assessment processes need to be improved. In this paper, three main improvement areas (success factors) are identified and discussed: (1) the scientific basis of the risk assessments needs to be strengthened, (2) the risk assessments need to provide a much broader risk picture than what is typically the case today. Separate uncertainty analyses should be carried out, extending the traditional probabilistic-based analyses and (3) the cautionary and precautionary principles need to be seen as rational risk management approaches, and their application would, to a large extent, be based on risk and uncertainty assessments.

  8. Can a More User-Friendly Medicare Plan Finder Improve Consumers' Selection of Medicare Plans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martino, Steven C; Kanouse, David E; Miranda, David J; Elliott, Marc N

    2017-10-01

    To evaluate the efficacy for consumers of two potential enhancements to the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF)-a simplified data display and a "quick links" home page designed to match the specific tasks that users seek to accomplish on the MPF. Participants (N = 641) were seniors and adult caregivers of seniors who were recruited from a national online panel. Participants browsed a simulated version of the MPF, made a hypothetical plan choice, and reported on their experience. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions in a fully factorial design: 2 home pages (quick links, current MPF home page) × 2 data displays (simplified, current MPF display) × 2 plan types (stand-alone prescription drug plan [PDP], Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage [MA-PD]). The quick links page resulted in more favorable perceptions of the MPF, improved users' understanding of the information, and increased the probability of choosing the objectively best plan. The simplified data display resulted in a more favorable evaluation of the website, better comprehension of the displayed information, and, among those choosing a PDP only, an increased probability of choosing the best plan. Design enhancements could markedly improve average website users' understanding, ability to use, and experience of using the MPF. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  9. Modeling coverage gaps in haplotype frequencies via Bayesian inference to improve stem cell donor selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louzoun, Yoram; Alter, Idan; Gragert, Loren; Albrecht, Mark; Maiers, Martin

    2018-05-01

    Regardless of sampling depth, accurate genotype imputation is limited in regions of high polymorphism which often have a heavy-tailed haplotype frequency distribution. Many rare haplotypes are thus unobserved. Statistical methods to improve imputation by extending reference haplotype distributions using linkage disequilibrium patterns that relate allele and haplotype frequencies have not yet been explored. In the field of unrelated stem cell transplantation, imputation of highly polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes has an important application in identifying the best-matched stem cell donor when searching large registries totaling over 28,000,000 donors worldwide. Despite these large registry sizes, a significant proportion of searched patients present novel HLA haplotypes. Supporting this observation, HLA population genetic models have indicated that many extant HLA haplotypes remain unobserved. The absent haplotypes are a significant cause of error in haplotype matching. We have applied a Bayesian inference methodology for extending haplotype frequency distributions, using a model where new haplotypes are created by recombination of observed alleles. Applications of this joint probability model offer significant improvement in frequency distribution estimates over the best existing alternative methods, as we illustrate using five-locus HLA frequency data from the National Marrow Donor Program registry. Transplant matching algorithms and disease association studies involving phasing and imputation of rare variants may benefit from this statistical inference framework.

  10. Transporter-Guided Delivery of Nanoparticles to Improve Drug Permeation across Cellular Barriers and Drug Exposure to Selective Cell Types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longfa Kou

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Targeted nano-drug delivery systems conjugated with specific ligands to target selective cell-surface receptors or transporters could enhance the efficacy of drug delivery and therapy. Transporters are expressed differentially on the cell-surface of different cell types, and also specific transporters are expressed at higher than normal levels in selective cell types under pathological conditions. They also play a key role in intestinal absorption, delivery via non-oral routes (e.g., pulmonary route and nasal route, and transfer across biological barriers (e.g., blood–brain barrier and blood–retinal barrier. As such, the cell-surface transporters represent ideal targets for nano-drug delivery systems to facilitate drug delivery to selective cell types under normal or pathological conditions and also to avoid off-target adverse side effects of the drugs. There is increasing evidence in recent years supporting the utility of cell-surface transporters in the field of nano-drug delivery to increase oral bioavailability, to improve transfer across the blood–brain barrier, and to enhance delivery of therapeutics in a cell-type selective manner in disease states. Here we provide a comprehensive review of recent advancements in this interesting and important area. We also highlight certain key aspects that need to be taken into account for optimal development of transporter-assisted nano-drug delivery systems.

  11. Variable selection based on clustering analysis for improvement of polyphenols prediction in green tea using synchronous fluorescence spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Jiajia; Wang, Xue; Zhou, Hao; Han, Shuqing; Riza, Dimas Firmanda Al; Kondo, Naoshi

    2018-04-01

    Synchronous fluorescence spectra, combined with multivariate analysis were used to predict flavonoids content in green tea rapidly and nondestructively. This paper presented a new and efficient spectral intervals selection method called clustering based partial least square (CL-PLS), which selected informative wavelengths by combining clustering concept and partial least square (PLS) methods to improve models’ performance by synchronous fluorescence spectra. The fluorescence spectra of tea samples were obtained and k-means and kohonen-self organizing map clustering algorithms were carried out to cluster full spectra into several clusters, and sub-PLS regression model was developed on each cluster. Finally, CL-PLS models consisting of gradually selected clusters were built. Correlation coefficient (R) was used to evaluate the effect on prediction performance of PLS models. In addition, variable influence on projection partial least square (VIP-PLS), selectivity ratio partial least square (SR-PLS), interval partial least square (iPLS) models and full spectra PLS model were investigated and the results were compared. The results showed that CL-PLS presented the best result for flavonoids prediction using synchronous fluorescence spectra.

  12. Characterizing the Suitability of Selected Indigenous Soil Improving Legumes in a Humid Tropical Environment Using Shoot and Root Attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anikwe, MAN.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available We studied the biomass accumulation, root length, nodulation, and chemical composition of roots and shoot of ten indigenous soil improving legumes in a humid tropical ecosystem with the view to selecting species for soil improvement programmes. Two cultivars of Vigna unguiculata, and one each of Glycine max, Arachis hypogaea, Crotararia ochroleuca, Cajanus cajan, Pueraria phaseoloides, Lablab purpureus, Mucuna pruriens and Vigna subterranea as treatments were planted in 20 kg pots containing soil from an Oxic paleustalf in Nigeria. The pots were arranged in randomized complete block layout with three replications in a greenhouse at IITA Ibadan, Nigeria. Results from the work show that M. pruriens and C. cajan produced the highest quantity of biomass. Root elongation was highest in M. pruriens whereas A. hypogaea produced the most root nodules with native rhizobia. The highest quantity of nodule dry weight was produced by A. hypogaea and P. phaseoloides whereas most of the legumes except G. max and P. phaseoloides had high and statistically comparable N content of between 2.36 and 3.34 mg.kg-1 N. The results show that the legumes have different root and shoot characteristics, which should be taken into consideration when selecting species for soil improvement programmes.

  13. Experience from a multi-country initiative to improve the monitoring of selected reproductive health indicators in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreix, Maria; Tunçalp, Özge; Mutombo, Namuunda; Adegboyega, Ayotunde A; Say, Lale

    2017-05-01

    Universal access to sexual and reproductive health remains part of the unfinished business of global development in Africa. To achieve it, health interventions should be monitored using programmatic indicators. WHO's Strengthening Measurement of Reproductive Health Indicators in Africa initiative, implemented in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, aimed to improve national information systems for routine monitoring of reproductive health indicators. Participating countries developed action plans employing a two-pronged strategy: (1) revising, standardizing, and harmonizing existing reproductive health indicators captured through routine information-systems; and (2) building data-collection capacity through training and supervision at select pilot sites. Country teams evaluated existing and new indicators, and outlined barriers to strengthening routine measurement. Activities included updating abortion-care guidelines (spontaneous and induced abortions), providing training on laws surrounding induced abortions, and improving feedback mechanisms. The country teams updated monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and attempted to build recording/reporting capacity in selected pilot areas. Barriers to implementing the initiative that were encountered included restrictive induced-abortion laws, staff turn-over, and administrative delays, including low capacity among healthcare staff and competing priorities for staff time. The areas identified for further improvement were up-scaling programs to a national level, creating scorecards to record data, increasing collaborations with the private sector, conducting related costing exercises, and performing ex-post evaluations. © 2017 World Health Organization; licensed by Wiley on behalf of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

  14. Improvement of selected strains through gamma irradiation for enhanced lipolytic potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iftikhar, T.; Mubashir, N.; Hussain, Y.; Abbas, S.Q.; Ashraf, I.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to enhance the production of industrially important enzyme lipase by subjecting the wild lipase producing fungal strains i.e. Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus microsporus and Penicillium atrovenetum to various doses of gamma irradiation (20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 Gy). The isolation and lipolytic activity of selected mutant derived strains is described in this paper. Among all the mutants tested, MBL-5 obtained at 140Gy of Aspergillus niger strain showed highest extracellular lipase activity (13.75 +- 0.15 U mL/sup -1/) while MBL-1 Rhizopus microsporus at the rate 20Gy showed the lowest activity i.e., 1.06 +- 0.11 U mL/sup -1/. A range of pH 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 was used to check the lipolytic potential of various mutants along with their wild type. It was observed that MBL-5 (Aspergillus niger) and MBL-2 (Rhizopus microsporus) showed enhanced extracellular lipase activity at pH 11 while MBL-3 (Penicillium atrovenetum) showed the highest extracellular lipase activity 22.53 +- 0.21 U mL/sup -1/ at pH 9. It indicates a possible role for the MBL-2, MBL-3 and MBL-5 mutant strains in the detergent industry for the development of eco-friendly technologies. (author)

  15. Selective memory retrieval can impair and improve retrieval of other memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T; Samenieh, Anuscheh

    2012-03-01

    Research from the past decades has shown that retrieval of a specific memory (e.g., retrieving part of a previous vacation) typically attenuates retrieval of other memories (e.g., memories for other details of the event), causing retrieval-induced forgetting. More recently, however, it has been shown that retrieval can both attenuate and aid recall of other memories (K.-H. T. Bäuml & A. Samenieh, 2010). To identify the circumstances under which retrieval aids recall, the authors examined retrieval dynamics in listwise directed forgetting, context-dependent forgetting, proactive interference, and in the absence of any induced memory impairment. They found beneficial effects of selective retrieval in listwise directed forgetting and context-dependent forgetting but detrimental effects in all the other conditions. Because context-dependent forgetting and listwise directed forgetting arguably reflect impaired context access, the results suggest that memory retrieval aids recall of memories that are subject to impaired context access but attenuates recall in the absence of such circumstances. The findings are consistent with a 2-factor account of memory retrieval and suggest the existence of 2 faces of memory retrieval. 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  16. Multiclass Classification of Cardiac Arrhythmia Using Improved Feature Selection and SVM Invariants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustaqeem, Anam; Anwar, Syed Muhammad; Majid, Muahammad

    2018-01-01

    Arrhythmia is considered a life-threatening disease causing serious health issues in patients, when left untreated. An early diagnosis of arrhythmias would be helpful in saving lives. This study is conducted to classify patients into one of the sixteen subclasses, among which one class represents absence of disease and the other fifteen classes represent electrocardiogram records of various subtypes of arrhythmias. The research is carried out on the dataset taken from the University of California at Irvine Machine Learning Data Repository. The dataset contains a large volume of feature dimensions which are reduced using wrapper based feature selection technique. For multiclass classification, support vector machine (SVM) based approaches including one-against-one (OAO), one-against-all (OAA), and error-correction code (ECC) are employed to detect the presence and absence of arrhythmias. The SVM method results are compared with other standard machine learning classifiers using varying parameters and the performance of the classifiers is evaluated using accuracy, kappa statistics, and root mean square error. The results show that OAO method of SVM outperforms all other classifiers by achieving an accuracy rate of 81.11% when used with 80/20 data split and 92.07% using 90/10 data split option.

  17. Improving the efficiency of spatially selective operations for agricultural robotics in cropping field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cropping fields often have well-defined poor-performing patches due to spatial and temporal variability. In an attempt to increase crop performance on poor patches, spatially selective field operations may be performed by agricultural robotics to apply additional inputs with targeted requirements. This paper addresses the route planning problem for an agricultural robot that has to treat some poor-patches in a field with row crops, with respect to the minimization of the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance. The traversal of patches in the field is expressed as the traversal of a mixed weighted graph, and then the problem of finding an optimal patch sequence is formulated as an asymmetric traveling salesman problem and solved by the partheno-genetic algorithm. The proposed method is applied on a cropping field located in Northwestern China. Research results show that by using optimum patch sequences, the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance can be reduced. But the savings on the non-working distance inside the field interior depend on the size and location of patches in the field, and the introduction of agricultural robotics is beneficial to increase field efficiency.

  18. The Luna stain, an improved selective stain for detection of microsporidian spores in histologic sections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Tracy S.; Spitsbergen, Jan M.; Feist, Stephen W.; Kent, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Microsporidia in histologic sections are most often diagnosed by observing spores in host tissues. Spores are easy to identify if they occur in large aggregates or xenomas when sections are stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). However, individual spores are not frequently detected in host tissues with conventional H&E staining, particularly if spores are scattered within the tissues, areas of inflammation or small spores in nuclei (i.e., Nucleospora salmonis). Hence, a variety of selective stains that enhance visualization of spores are recommended. We discovered that the Luna stain, used to highlight eosinophils, red blood cells and chitin in arthropods and other invertebrates, also stains spores of Pseudoloma neurophilia. We compared this stain to the Gram, Fite’s acid fast, Giemsa, and H&E stains on eight aquatic microsporidian organisms that were readily available in our two laboratories: Loma salmonae, Glugea anomala, Pseudoloma neurophilia, Pleistophora hyphessobryconis, Pleistophora vermiformis, Glugea sp., Steinhausia mytilovum and an unidentified microsporidian from E. sinensis, UK. Based on tinctorial properties and background staining, the Luna stain performed better for detection of 6 of the 8 microsporidia. Gram stain was superior for the two microsporidia from invertebrates, Steinhausia mytilovum and the unidentified microsporidian from E. sinensis. PMID:21848126

  19. A selective cannabinoid CB2 agonist attenuates damage and improves memory retention following stroke in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronca, Richard D; Myers, Alyssa M; Ganea, Doina; Tuma, Ronald F; Walker, Ellen A; Ward, Sara Jane

    2015-10-01

    We have recently demonstrated that treatment with a cannabinoid CB2 agonist was protective in a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. The present study aimed to determine whether these protective effects of CB2 agonism would extend to a mouse photoinjury model of permanent ischemia and determine associated alterations in cognition and infarct size. Mice received three injections of the CB2 selective agonist O-1966 or vehicle 1h prior to and 2 and 5days following induction of stroke. Infarct size was assessed at 1, 3, or 7days post-injury and learning and memory effects of injury and O-1966 treatment were assessed on days 6 and 7 using a novel object recognition task and an operant acquisition and retention procedure. O-1966 treated mice had significantly smaller infarct volumes compared with vehicle treated mice. Photoinjury was also associated with a significant memory impairment on day 7 post-injury, and this deficit was reversed with O-1966 treatment. Surprisingly, sham-operated mice receiving O-1966 treatment showed a significant learning deficit in both the recognition and operant tasks compared with vehicle treated sham mice. We conclude that CB2 activation is protective against cognitive deficits and tissue damage following permanent ischemia, but may dysregulate glial or neuronal function of learning and memory circuits in the absence of injury and/or inflammation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving the efficiency of spatially selective operations for agricultural robotics in cropping field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Y. L.; Yi, S. P.

    2013-05-01

    Cropping fields often have well-defined poor-performing patches due to spatial and temporal variability. In an attempt to increase crop performance on poor patches, spatially selective field operations may be performed by agricultural robotics to apply additional inputs with targeted requirements. This paper addresses the route planning problem for an agricultural robot that has to treat some poor-patches in a field with row crops, with respect to the minimization of the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance. The traversal of patches in the field is expressed as the traversal of a mixed weighted graph, and then the problem of finding an optimal patch sequence is formulated as an asymmetric traveling salesman problem and solved by the parthenogenetic algorithm. The proposed method is applied on a cropping field located in Northwestern China. Research results show that by using optimum patch sequences, the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance can be reduced. But the savings on the non-working distance inside the field interior depend on the size and location of patches in the field, and the introduction of agricultural robotics is beneficial to increase field efficiency. (Author) 21 refs.

  1. Improving the antioxidant properties of quinoa flour through fermentation with selected autochthonous lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzello, Carlo Giuseppe; Lorusso, Anna; Russo, Vito; Pinto, Daniela; Marzani, Barbara; Gobbetti, Marco

    2017-01-16

    Lactic acid bacteria strains, previously isolated from the same matrix, were used to ferment quinoa flour aiming at exploiting the antioxidant potential. As in vitro determined on DPPH and ABTS radicals, the scavenging activity of water/salt-soluble extracts (WSE) from fermented doughs was significantly (Pquinoa dough fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum T0A10. The corresponding WSE was subjected to Reverse Phase Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography, and 32 fractions were collected and subjected to in vitro assays. The most active fraction was resistant to further hydrolysis by digestive enzymes. Five peptides, having sizes from 5 to 9 amino acid residues, were identified by nano-Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionisation-Mass Spectra/Mass Spectra. The sequences shared compositional features which are typical of antioxidant peptides. As shown by determining cell viability and radical scavenging activity (MTT and DCFH-DA assays, respectively), the purified fraction showed antioxidant activity on human keratinocytes NCTC 2544 artificially subjected to oxidative stress. This study demonstrated the capacity of autochthonous lactic acid bacteria to release peptides with antioxidant activity through proteolysis of native quinoa proteins. Fermentation of the quinoa flour with a selected starter might be considered suitable for novel applications as functional food ingredient, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Heuristic and probabilistic wind power availability estimation procedures: Improved tools for technology and site selection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nigim, K.A. [University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont. (Canada). Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Parker, Paul [University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont. (Canada). Department of Geography, Environmental Studies

    2007-04-15

    The paper describes two investigative procedures to estimate wind power from measured wind velocities. Wind velocity data are manipulated to visualize the site potential by investigating the probable wind power availability and its capacity to meet a targeted demand. The first procedure is an availability procedure that looks at the wind characteristics and its probable energy capturing profile. This profile of wind enables the probable maximum operating wind velocity profile for a selected wind turbine design to be predicted. The structured procedures allow for a consequent adjustment, sorting and grouping of the measured wind velocity data taken at different time intervals and hub heights. The second procedure is the adequacy procedure that investigates the probable degree of availability and the application consequences. Both procedures are programmed using MathCAD symbolic mathematical software. The math tool is used to generate a visual interpolation of the data as well as numerical results from extensive data sets that exceed the capacity of conventional spreadsheet tools. Two sites located in Southern Ontario, Canada are investigated using the procedures. Successful implementation of the procedures supports informed decision making where a hill site is shown to have much higher wind potential than that measured at the local airport. The process is suitable for a wide spectrum of users who are considering the energy potential for either a grid-tied or off-grid wind energy system. (author)

  3. Animal movement constraints improve resource selection inference in the presence of telemetry error

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brost, Brian M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Small, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple factors complicate the analysis of animal telemetry location data. Recent advancements address issues such as temporal autocorrelation and telemetry measurement error, but additional challenges remain. Difficulties introduced by complicated error structures or barriers to animal movement can weaken inference. We propose an approach for obtaining resource selection inference from animal location data that accounts for complicated error structures, movement constraints, and temporally autocorrelated observations. We specify a model for telemetry data observed with error conditional on unobserved true locations that reflects prior knowledge about constraints in the animal movement process. The observed telemetry data are modeled using a flexible distribution that accommodates extreme errors and complicated error structures. Although constraints to movement are often viewed as a nuisance, we use constraints to simultaneously estimate and account for telemetry error. We apply the model to simulated data, showing that it outperforms common ad hoc approaches used when confronted with measurement error and movement constraints. We then apply our framework to an Argos satellite telemetry data set on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Gulf of Alaska, a species that is constrained to move within the marine environment and adjacent coastlines.

  4. Selecting optimal monochromatic level with spectral CT imaging for improving imaging quality in hepatic venography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Jun; Luo Xianfu; Wang Shou'an; Wang Jun; Sun Jiquan; Wang Zhijun; Wu Jingtao

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of spectral CT monochromatic images for improving imaging quality in hepatic venography. Methods: Thirty patients underwent spectral CT examination on a GE Discovery CT 750 HD scanner. During portal phase, 1.25 mm slice thickness polychromatic images and optimal monochromatic images were obtained, and volume rendering and maximum intensity projection were created to show the hepatic veins respectively. The overall imaging quality was evaluated on a five-point scale by two radiologists. Inter-observer agreement in subjective image quality grading was assessed by Kappa statistics. Paired-sample t test were used to compare hepatic vein attenuation, hepatic parenchyma attenuation, CT value difference between the hepatic vein and the liver parenchyma, image noise, vein-to-liver contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), the image quality score of hepatic venography between the two image data sets. Results: The monochromatic images at 50 keV were found to demonstrate the best CNR for hepatic vein.The hepatic vein attenuation [(329 ± 47) HU], hepatic parenchyma attenuation [(178 ± 33) HU], CT value difference between the hepatic vein and the liver parenchyma [(151 ± 33) HU], image noise (17.33 ± 4.18), CNR (9.13 ± 2.65), the image quality score (4.2 ± 0.6) of optimal monochromatic images were significantly higher than those of polychromatic images [(149 ± 18) HU], [(107 ± 14) HU], [(43 ±11) HU], 12.55 ± 3.02, 3.53 ± 1.03, 3.1 ± 0.8 (t values were 24.79, 13.95, 18.85, 9.07, 13.25 and 12.04, respectively, P < 0.01). In the comparison of image quality, Kappa value was 0.81 with optimal monochromatic images and 0.69 with polychromatic images. Conclusion: Monochromatic images of spectral CT could improve CNR for displaying hepatic vein and improve the image quality compared to the conventional polychromatic images. (authors)

  5. Analysis and Alternate Selection of Nanopowder Modifiers to Improve a Special Protective Coating System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. P. Bardakhanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a practical approach for rational choice of silica nanopowders as modifiers to control and improve the performance of protective coating systems operating in harsh environmental conditions. The approach is based on the multiparameter analysis of nanoparticle reactivity of similar silica synthesized by using chemical and physical methods. The analysis indicates distinct adsorption centers due to the differences in the particles formation; the features of the formation and adsorption mechanisms lead to higher diffusion capacity of the nanoparticles, synthesized by physical methods, into a paint material and finally result in stronger chemical bonds between the system elements. The approach allows reducing the consumption of paint materials by 30% or more, at least 2-3 times increasing of the coating adhesion and hence the system life. Validity of the approach is illustrated through the data obtained from comparative modeling, factory testing, and practical use of modified systems.

  6. Low concentrations of Rhodamine-6G selectively destroy tumor cells and improve survival of melanoma transplanted mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutushov, M; Gorelik, O

    2013-01-01

    Rhodamine-6G is a fluorescent dye binding to mitochondria, thus reducing the intact mitochondria number and inhibiting mitochondrial metabolic activity. Resultantly, the respiratory chain functioning becomes blocked, the cell "suffocated" and eventually destroyed. Unlike normal cells, malignant cells demonstrate a priori reduced mitochondrial numbers and aberrant metabolism. Therefore, a turning point might exist, when Rhodamine-induced loss of active mitochondria would selectively destroy malignant, but spare normal cells. Various malignant vs. non-malignant cell lines were cultured with Rhodamine-6G at different concentrations. In addition, C57Bl mice were implanted with B16-F10 melanoma and treated with Rhodamine-6G at different dosage/time regimens. Viability and proliferation of cultured tumor cells were time and dose-dependently inhibited, up to 90%, by Rhodamine-6G, with profound histological signs of cell death. By contrast, inhibition of normal control cell proliferation hardly exceeded 15-17%. Melanoma-transplanted mice receiving Rhodamine-6G demonstrated prolonged survival, improved clinical parameters, inhibited tumor growth and metastases count, compared to their untreated counterparts. Twice-a-week 10-6M Rhodamine-6G regimen yielded the most prominent results. We conclude that malignant, but not normal, cells are selectively destroyed by low doses of Rhodamine-6G. In vivo, such treatment selectively suppresses tumor progression and dissemination, thus improving prognosis. We suggest that selective anti-tumor properties of Rhodamine-6G are based on unique physiologic differences in energy metabolism between malignant and normal cells. If found clinically relevant, low concentrations of Rhodamine-6G might be useful for replacing, or backing up, more aggressive nonselective chemotherapeutic compounds.

  7. Using traffic light labels to improve food selection in recreation and sport facility eating environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olstad, Dana Lee; Vermeer, Julianne; McCargar, Linda J; Prowse, Rachel J L; Raine, Kim D

    2015-08-01

    Many recreation and sports facilities have unhealthy food environments, however managers are reluctant to offer healthier foods because they perceive patrons will not purchase them. Preliminary evidence indicates that traffic light labeling (TLL) can increase purchase of healthy foods in away-from-home food retail settings. We examined the effectiveness of TLL of menus in promoting healthier food purchases by patrons of a recreation and sport facility concession, and among various sub-groups. TLL of all menu items was implemented for a 1-week period and sales were assessed for 1-week pre- and 1-week post-implementation of TLL (n = 2101 transactions). A subset of consumers completed a survey during the baseline (n = 322) and intervention (n = 313) periods. We assessed change in the proportion of patrons' purchases that were labeled with green, yellow and red lights from baseline to the TLL intervention, and association with demographic characteristics and other survey responses. Change in overall revenues was also assessed. There was an overall increase in sales of green (52.2% to 55.5%; p sales of red (30.4% to 27.2%; p revenues did not differ between the baseline and TLL periods. TLL of menus increased purchase of healthy, and reduced purchase of unhealthy foods in a publicly funded recreation and sport facility, with no loss of revenue. Policymakers should consider extending menu labeling laws to public buildings such as recreation and sports facilities to promote selection of healthier items. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Single-atom catalysts for CO2 electroreduction with significant activity and selectivity improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Seoin; Lim, Juhyung; Kim, Na-Young; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Jung, Yousung

    2017-02-01

    A single-atom catalyst (SAC) has an electronic structure that is very different from its bulk counterparts, and has shown an unexpectedly high specific activity with a significant reduction in noble metal usage for CO oxidation, fuel cell and hydrogen evolution applications, although physical origins of such performance enhancements are still poorly understood. Herein, by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we for the first time investigate the great potential of single atom catalysts for CO 2 electroreduction applications. In particular, we study a single transition metal atom anchored on defective graphene with single or double vacancies, denoted M@sv-Gr or M@dv-Gr, where M = Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rh or Ru, as a CO 2 reduction catalyst. Many SACs are indeed shown to be highly selective for the CO 2 reduction reaction over a competitive H 2 evolution reaction due to favorable adsorption of carboxyl (*COOH) or formate (*OCHO) over hydrogen (*H) on the catalysts. On the basis of free energy profiles, we identified several promising candidate materials for different products; Ni@dv-Gr (limiting potential U L = -0.41 V) and Pt@dv-Gr (-0.27 V) for CH 3 OH production, and Os@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) and Ru@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) for CH 4 production. In particular, the Pt@dv-Gr catalyst shows remarkable reduction in the limiting potential for CH 3 OH production compared to any existing catalysts, synthesized or predicted. To understand the origin of the activity enhancement of SACs, we find that the lack of an atomic ensemble for adsorbate binding and the unique electronic structure of the single atom catalysts as well as orbital interaction play an important role, contributing to binding energies of SACs that deviate considerably from the conventional scaling relation of bulk transition metals.

  9. Short communication. Evaluation of castor (Ricinus communis L.) induced mutants for possible selection in the improvement of seed yield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarwar, G.; Boota Chaudhry, M.

    2008-07-01

    The aim of the present work was to determine selection criteria suitable for developing castor ideotypes with high yield potentials. Nineteen M4 generation castor mutants were obtained by gamma irradiation (100 to 1000 Gy) of DS30 castor seeds, and evaluated alongside this reference variety over 2006-07 for their possible use in the improvement of castor seed yield. Days to ripening, plant height, number of spikes/plant, length of main spike, number of main spike capsules, capsule weight, 100-seed weight and seed yield per plant were recorded for each mutant. Correlation coefficients were calculated, path analyses performed, and the genetic features of the different traits were determined. A significant, positive correlation was seen between capsule weight and seed yield. The 100-seed weight showed a positive but non-significant phenotypic relationship plus a significant genotypic relationship with seed yield. Capsule weight also showed a strong direct effect on seed yield, plus a strong positive and significant genotypic correlation with this variable. More than 50% heritability was observed for all the traits studied except the 100-seed weight and capsule weight. The number of main spike capsules showed the greatest genetic advance, followed by spike length and number of spikes. Traits such as the number of capsules, spike length and number of spikes showed strong heritability and good genetic advance. These traits are therefore governed by additive genes, and for the improvement of seed yield selection may be based directly on these attributes. In conclusion, for the improvement of seed yield the main emphasis should be placed on the number of spikes and capsule weight, via the selection of the highest yielding mutants among those tested. However, spike length and 100-seed weight should also be taken into account. (Author) 18 refs.

  10. Data-Driven Derivation of an "Informer Compound Set" for Improved Selection of Active Compounds in High-Throughput Screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paricharak, Shardul; IJzerman, Adriaan P; Jenkins, Jeremy L; Bender, Andreas; Nigsch, Florian

    2016-09-26

    Despite the usefulness of high-throughput screening (HTS) in drug discovery, for some systems, low assay throughput or high screening cost can prohibit the screening of large numbers of compounds. In such cases, iterative cycles of screening involving active learning (AL) are employed, creating the need for smaller "informer sets" that can be routinely screened to build predictive models for selecting compounds from the screening collection for follow-up screens. Here, we present a data-driven derivation of an informer compound set with improved predictivity of active compounds in HTS, and we validate its benefit over randomly selected training sets on 46 PubChem assays comprising at least 300,000 compounds and covering a wide range of assay biology. The informer compound set showed improvement in BEDROC(α = 100), PRAUC, and ROCAUC values averaged over all assays of 0.024, 0.014, and 0.016, respectively, compared to randomly selected training sets, all with paired t-test p-values agnostic fashion. This approach led to a consistent improvement in hit rates in follow-up screens without compromising scaffold retrieval. The informer set is adjustable in size depending on the number of compounds one intends to screen, as performance gains are realized for sets with more than 3,000 compounds, and this set is therefore applicable to a variety of situations. Finally, our results indicate that random sampling may not adequately cover descriptor space, drawing attention to the importance of the composition of the training set for predicting actives.

  11. Site selection process for new nuclear power plants - a method to support decision making and improving public participation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martins, Vivian B.; Cunha, Tatiana S. da; Simoes Filho, Francisco Fernando Lamego; Lapa, Celso Marcelo F.

    2011-01-01

    The Brazilian Energy Plan (PNE 2030) that guides the Government in formulating its strategy for expanding energy supply by 2030 highlights the need for the Brazilian electrical system have more than 4,000 MW from nuclear sources by 2025. Therefore, the Government presented a proposal to build four more nuclear power plants with capacity of 1,000 MW each, at first, two in the Northeast and two in Southeast. The selection and site assessment are key parts of the installation process of a nuclear plant and may significantly affect the cost, public acceptance and safety of the facility during its entire life cycle. The result of this initial stage, it can even seriously affect program success. Wrong decisions in the process of site selection may also require a financial commitment to higher planned in a later phase of the project, besides causing extensive and expensive downtime. Select the location where these units will be built is not a trivial process, because involves the consideration of multiple criteria and judgments in addition to obtaining, organizing and managing a diverse range of data, both qualitative and quantitative, to assist in decision making and ensure that the site selected is the most appropriate in relation to safety and technical, economic and environmental feasibility. This paper presents an overview of the site selection process and its stages, the criteria involved in each step, the tools to support decision making that can be used and the difficulties in applying a formal process of decision making. Also discussed are ways to make the process more transparent and democratic, increasing public involvement as a way to improve acceptance and reduce opposition from various sectors of society, trying to minimize the expense and time involved in the implementation of undertakings of this kind. (author)

  12. Application of AVK and selective encryption in improving performance of quantum cryptography and networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhunia, C.T.

    2006-07-01

    The subject of quantum cryptography has emerged as an important area of research. Reported theoretical and practical investigations have conclusively established the reliable quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols with a higher level of security. For perfect security, the implementation of a time variant key is essential. The nature of cost and operation involved in quantum key distribution to distribute a time variant key from session to session/message to message has yet to be addressed from an implementation angle, yet it is understood to be hard with current available technology. Besides, the disadvantages of the subject quantum cryptanalysis, in the name of 'quantum cheating' and quantum error are demonstrated in the literature. This calls for an investigation for an affordable hybrid solution using QKD with conventional classical methods of key distribution to implement a time variant key. The paper proposes a hybrid solution towards this investigation. The solutions suggested will improve the performance of computer networks for secure transport of data in general. (author)

  13. Microbiological evaluation of sludge during an improvement process applying the washing technique (selective pressure)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Molina P, Francisco; Gonzalez, Maria Elena; Gonzalez, Luz Catalina

    2001-01-01

    In this investigation, the microbial consortiums were evaluated by using characterization by trophic groups and related groups by their sensibility to oxygen, as well as the specific methanogenic activity (SMA) of an acclimated sludge, starting from an aerobium sludge corning from a residual water treatment plant. Later, the technique of improvement by washing was applicated to this sludge, getting inoculum for the starting of an anaerobic reactor of the kind UASB (treatment reactor). At the same time, a control reactor was operated, inoculated with acclimated sludge. Both reactors were operated during 120 days, using brown sugar as substrate, the experimental phase included dates up to 70 operation days, characterizing the sludge at the end of this period. The SMA was analysed using acetic and formic acids as substrates. The results showed activities between 0,45 and 1,39 g DQO-CH 4 /SSV -d. for both substrates. At the end of the experimental phase of the UASB reactor, the sulphate reducer bacteria from the acetate and the lactate were observed as predominant group, followed by the methanogenic hydrogenophilic bacteria. It is important to notice that, with the application of the sludge washing technique, all the tropic groups were increased, with the exception of the lactate fermentative bacteria

  14. A selective study of Information technologies to improve operations efficiency in construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konikov Alexandr

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Today, information technologies (IT are used in almost every production industry. While the aspects of IT are well studied and discussed in relevant monographs, articles, web sources, etc., this paper reviews the performance improvement options in the construction industry by leveraging IT. From a wide range of information technologies the author has picked the most relevant solutions, from his point of view, based on several considerations, the most important one being the lack of adequate attention to these technologies specifically in the construction industry. The paper covers the following technologies: Big Data (a smart technology for high-speed processing of huge and diverse data arrays; situation centers (SC for construction and operations projects (SCs are successfully used in other industries for operating control of sophisticated facilities; data warehouses (DW for the construction industry (DWs are viewed as a standalone project rather than a supplement to Data Mining or Big Data; operational and dispatch radio communication service (radio communication can ensure instant connectivity between several subscribers; VSAT (a satellite technology for prompt connection of a distant construction site with the 'outer world' when no alternatives are available. The paper briefly presents the essence of each technology, describes the pre-requisites for its use in construction, outlines the key advantages, limits and shortcomings, and lists construction projects where it shall be worthwhile to use a specific technology projects.

  15. Selective and validated data processing techniques for performance improvement of automatic lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D’Aponte Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Optimization of the data processing techniques of accelerometers and force transducers allowed to get information about actions in order to improve the behavior of a cutting stage of a converting machinery for diapers production. In particular, different mechanical configurations have been studied and compared in order to reduce the solicitations due to the impacts between knives and anvil, to get clean and accurate cuts and to reduce wear of knives themselves. Reducing the uncertainty of measurements allowed to correctly individuate the best configuration for the pneumatic system that realize the coupling between anvil and knife. The size of pipes, the working pressure and the type of the fluid used in the coupling system have been examined. Experimental results obtained by means of acceleration and force measurements allowed to identify in a reproducible and coherent way the geometry of the pushing device and the working pressure range of the hydraulic fluid. The remarkable reduction of knife and anvil vibrations is expected to strongly reduce the wear of the cutting stage components.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanyu Sun

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

  17. Acute personalized habitual caffeine doses improve attention and have selective effects when considering the fractionation of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanini, Juliana; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Pompéia, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is widely used, often consumed with food, and improves simple and complex/executive attention under fasting conditions. We investigated whether these cognitive effects are observed when personalized habitual doses of caffeine are ingested by caffeine consumers, whether they are influenced by nutriments and if various executive domains are susceptible to improvement. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 60 young, healthy, rested males randomly assigned to one of four treatments: placebo fasting, caffeine fasting, placebo meal and caffeine meal. Caffeine doses were individualized for each participant based on their self-reported caffeine consumption at the time of testing (morning). The test battery included measures of simple and sustained attention, executive domains (inhibiting, updating, shifting, dual tasking, planning and accessing long-term memory), control measures of subjective alterations, glucose and insulin levels, skin conductance, heart rate and pupil dilation. Regardless of meal intake, acute habitual doses of caffeine decreased fatigue, and improved simple and sustained attention and executive updating. This executive effect was not secondary to the habitual weekly dose consumed, changes in simple and sustained attention, mood, meal ingestion and increases in cognitive effort. We conclude that the morning caffeine "fix" has positive attentional effects and selectively improved executive updating whether or not caffeine is consumed with food. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Improving the food waste composting facilities site selection for sustainable development using a hybrid modified MADM model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kung-Ming; Lin, Sheng-Hau; Hsieh, Jing-Chzi; Tzeng, Gwo-Hshiung

    2018-05-01

    With the growth of population and the development of urbanization, waste management has always been a critical global issue. Recently, more and more countries have found that food waste constitutes the majority of municipal waste, if they are disposed of properly, will bring more benefits in sustainable development. Regarding the issue of selecting and improving the location to make the disposal facility towards achieving the aspiration level for sustainable development, since it involves multiple and complicated interaction factors about environment, society, and economy which have to be considered properly in the decision-making process of mutual influence relationship. It is basically a multiple attribute decision making (MADM) issue, a difficult problem which has been obsessing the governments of many countries is widely studied and discussed. This study uses the new hybrid modified MADM model, as follows, first to build an influential network relation map (INRM) via DEMATEL technique, next to confirm the influential weightings via DANP (DEMATEL-based ANP), and then to construct a decision-making model via a hybrid modified VIKOR method to improve and select the location for remaining the best disposal facilities. Finally, an empirical case study is illustrated to demonstrate that the proposed model can be effective and useful. In finding the process of decision making, environmental pollution is the main concern of many people in the area, but actually it is the resistance by the general public that has to be considered with first priority. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. From Extraction of Local Structures of Protein Energy Landscapes to Improved Decoy Selection in Template-Free Protein Structure Prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhter, Nasrin; Shehu, Amarda

    2018-01-19

    Due to the essential role that the three-dimensional conformation of a protein plays in regulating interactions with molecular partners, wet and dry laboratories seek biologically-active conformations of a protein to decode its function. Computational approaches are gaining prominence due to the labor and cost demands of wet laboratory investigations. Template-free methods can now compute thousands of conformations known as decoys, but selecting native conformations from the generated decoys remains challenging. Repeatedly, research has shown that the protein energy functions whose minima are sought in the generation of decoys are unreliable indicators of nativeness. The prevalent approach ignores energy altogether and clusters decoys by conformational similarity. Complementary recent efforts design protein-specific scoring functions or train machine learning models on labeled decoys. In this paper, we show that an informative consideration of energy can be carried out under the energy landscape view. Specifically, we leverage local structures known as basins in the energy landscape probed by a template-free method. We propose and compare various strategies of basin-based decoy selection that we demonstrate are superior to clustering-based strategies. The presented results point to further directions of research for improving decoy selection, including the ability to properly consider the multiplicity of native conformations of proteins.

  20. An improved strategy for skin lesion detection and classification using uniform segmentation and feature selection based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasir, Muhammad; Attique Khan, Muhammad; Sharif, Muhammad; Lali, Ikram Ullah; Saba, Tanzila; Iqbal, Tassawar

    2018-02-21

    Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer with highest mortality rate. However, the annihilation in early stage implies a high survival rate therefore, it demands early diagnosis. The accustomed diagnosis methods are costly and cumbersome due to the involvement of experienced experts as well as the requirements for highly equipped environment. The recent advancements in computerized solutions for these diagnoses are highly promising with improved accuracy and efficiency. In this article, we proposed a method for the classification of melanoma and benign skin lesions. Our approach integrates preprocessing, lesion segmentation, features extraction, features selection, and classification. Preprocessing is executed in the context of hair removal by DullRazor, whereas lesion texture and color information are utilized to enhance the lesion contrast. In lesion segmentation, a hybrid technique has been implemented and results are fused using additive law of probability. Serial based method is applied subsequently that extracts and fuses the traits such as color, texture, and HOG (shape). The fused features are selected afterwards by implementing a novel Boltzman Entropy method. Finally, the selected features are classified by Support Vector Machine. The proposed method is evaluated on publically available data set PH2. Our approach has provided promising results of sensitivity 97.7%, specificity 96.7%, accuracy 97.5%, and F-score 97.5%, which are significantly better than the results of existing methods available on the same data set. The proposed method detects and classifies melanoma significantly good as compared to existing methods. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. From Extraction of Local Structures of Protein Energy Landscapes to Improved Decoy Selection in Template-Free Protein Structure Prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasrin Akhter

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to the essential role that the three-dimensional conformation of a protein plays in regulating interactions with molecular partners, wet and dry laboratories seek biologically-active conformations of a protein to decode its function. Computational approaches are gaining prominence due to the labor and cost demands of wet laboratory investigations. Template-free methods can now compute thousands of conformations known as decoys, but selecting native conformations from the generated decoys remains challenging. Repeatedly, research has shown that the protein energy functions whose minima are sought in the generation of decoys are unreliable indicators of nativeness. The prevalent approach ignores energy altogether and clusters decoys by conformational similarity. Complementary recent efforts design protein-specific scoring functions or train machine learning models on labeled decoys. In this paper, we show that an informative consideration of energy can be carried out under the energy landscape view. Specifically, we leverage local structures known as basins in the energy landscape probed by a template-free method. We propose and compare various strategies of basin-based decoy selection that we demonstrate are superior to clustering-based strategies. The presented results point to further directions of research for improving decoy selection, including the ability to properly consider the multiplicity of native conformations of proteins.

  2. Marker-assisted selection as a potential tool for genetic improvement in developing countries: debating the issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, J.; Ruane, J.

    2007-01-01

    Marker-assisted selection (MAS) is a complementary technology, for use in conjunction with more established conventional methods of genetic selection, for plant and animal improvement. It has generated a good deal of expectations, many of which have yet to be realized. Although documentation is limited, the current impact of MAS on products delivered to farmers seems small. While the future possibilities and potential impacts of MAS are considerable, there are also obstacles to its use, particularly in developing countries. Principal among these are issues relating to current high costs of the technology and its appropriateness, given that publicly funded agricultural research in many developing countries is suboptimal and development priorities do not necessarily include genetic improvement programmes. Other potential obstacles to the uptake of MAS in developing countries include limited infrastructure, the absence of conventional selection and breeding programmes, poor private sector involvement and lack of research on specific crops of importance in developing countries. Intellectual property rights may also be an important constraint to development and uptake of MAS in the developing world. It is hoped that through partnerships between developing and developed country institutions and individuals, including public-private sector collaboration, MAS costs can be reduced, resources pooled and shared and capacity developed. With the assistance of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and international organizations such as FAO, developing countries can benefit more from MAS. These were some of the outcomes of a moderated e-mail conference, entitled 'Molecular Marker- Assisted Selection as a Potential Tool for Genetic Improvement of Crops, Forest Trees, Livestock and Fish in Developing Countries', that FAO hosted at the end of 2003. During the four-week conference, 627 people subscribed and 85 messages were posted, about 60 percent

  3. Improving the economy-of-scale of small organic rankine cycle systems through appropriate working fluid selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Martin; Sayma, Abdulnaser I.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Novel system model coupling turbine and ORC system performance. • Contour plots to characterise working fluid and turbine performance. • Changing working fluid can expand pump and turbine operating envelope. • Possible to improve the economy-of-scale through optimal working fluid selection. - Abstract: Organic Rankine cycles (ORC) are becoming a major research area within the field of sustainable energy systems. However, a major challenge facing the widespread implementation of small and mini-scale ORC systems is the economy-of-scale. To overcome this challenge requires single components that can be manufactured in large volumes and then implemented into a wide variety of different applications where the heat source conditions may vary. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether working fluid selection can improve the current economy-of-scale by enabling the same system components to be used in multiple ORC systems. This is done through coupling analysis and optimisation of the energy process, with a performance map for a small-scale ORC radial turbine. The performance map, obtained using CFD, is adapted to account for additional loss mechanisms not accounted for in the original CFD simulation before being non-dimensionalised using a modified similitude theory developed for subsonic ORC turbines. The updated performance map is then implemented into a thermodynamic model, enabling the construction of a single performance contour that displays the range of heat source conditions that can be accommodated by the existing turbine whilst using a particular working fluid. Constructing this performance map for a range of working fluids, this paper demonstrates that through selecting a suitable working fluid, the same turbine can efficiently utilise heat sources between 360 and 400 K, with mass flow rates ranging between 0.5 and 2.75 kg/s respectively. This corresponds to using the same turbine in ORC applications where the heat available ranges

  4. Selectivity improvement of positive photoionization ion mobility spectrometry for rapid detection of organophosphorus pesticides by switching dopant concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qinghua; Li, Jia; Wang, Bin; Wang, Shuang; Li, Haiyang; Chen, Jinyuan

    2018-01-01

    Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) opened a potential avenue for the rapid detection of organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs), though an improved selectivity of stand-alone IMS was still in high demand. In this study, a stand-alone positive photoionization ion mobility spectrometry (PP-IMS) apparatus was constructed for the rapid detection of OPPs with acetone as dopant. The photoionization of acetone molecules was induced by the ultraviolet irradiation to produce the reactant ions (Ac) 2 H + , which were employed to ionize the OPPs including fenthion, imidan, phosphamidon, dursban, dimethoate and isocarbophos via the proton transfer reaction. Due to the difference in proton affinity, the tested OPPs exhibited the different dopant-dependent manners. Based on this observation, the switching of dopant concentration was implemented to improve the selectivity of PP-IMS for OPPs detection. For instance, a mixture of fenthion, dursban and dimethoate was tested. By switching the concentration of doped acetone from 0.07 to 2.33 to 19.94mgL -1 , the ion peaks of fenthion and dursban were inhibited in succession, achieving the selective detection of dimethoate at last. In addition, another mixture of imidan and phosphamidon was initially detected by PP-IMS with a dose of 0.07mgL -1 acetone, indicating that their ion peaks were severely overlapped; when the concentration of doped acetone was switched to 19.94mgL -1 , the inhibition of imidan signals promised the accurate identification of phosphamidon in mixture. Finally, the PP-IMS in combination of switching dopant concentration was applied to detect the mixed fenthion, dursban and dimethoate in Chinese cabbage, demonstrating the applicability of proposed method to real samples. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Differential Mobility Spectrometry for Improved Selectivity in Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Daniel G.

    2017-08-01

    Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are neurotoxins produced by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans. PST quantitation by LC-MS is challenging because of their high polarity, lability as gas-phase ions, and large number of potentially interfering analogues. Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) has the potential to improve the performance of LC-MS methods for PSTs in terms of selectivity and limits of detection. This work describes a comprehensive investigation of the separation of 16 regulated PSTs by DMS and the development of highly selective LC-DMS-MS methods for PST quantitation. The effects of all DMS parameters on the separation of PSTs from one another were first investigated in detail. The labile nature of 11α-gonyautoxin epimers gave unique insight into fragmentation of labile analytes before, during, and after the DMS analyzer. Two sets of DMS parameters were identified that either optimized the resolution of PSTs from one another or transmitted them at a limited number of compensation voltage (CV) values corresponding to structural subclasses. These were used to develop multidimensional LC-DMS-MS/MS methods using existing HILIC-MS/MS parameters. In both cases, improved selectivity was observed when using DMS, and the quantitative capabilities of a rapid UPLC-DMS-MS/MS method were evaluated. Limits of detection of the developed method were similar to those without DMS, and differences were highly analyte-dependant. Analysis of shellfish matrix reference materials showed good agreement with established methods. The developed methods will be useful in cases where specific matrix interferences are encountered in the LC-MS/MS analysis of PSTs in complex biological samples.

  6. A novel method of selective removal of human DNA improves PCR sensitivity for detection of Salmonella Typhi in blood samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liqing; Pollard, Andrew J

    2012-07-27

    Enteric fever is a major public health problem, causing an estimated 21million new cases and 216,000 or more deaths every year. Current diagnosis of the disease is inadequate. Blood culture only identifies 45 to 70% of the cases and is time-consuming. Serological tests have very low sensitivity and specificity. Clinical samples obtained for diagnosis of enteric fever in the field generally have blood, so that even PCR-based methods, widely used for detection of other infectious diseases, are not a straightforward option in typhoid diagnosis. We developed a novel method to enrich target bacterial DNA by selective removal of human DNA from blood samples, enhancing the sensitivity of PCR tests. This method offers the possibility of improving PCR assays directly using clinical specimens for diagnosis of this globally important infectious disease. Blood samples were mixed with ox bile for selective lysis of human blood cells and the released human DNA was then digested with addition of bile resistant micrococcal nuclease. The intact Salmonella Typhi bacteria were collected from the specimen by centrifugation and the DNA extracted with QIAamp DNA mini kit. The presence of Salmonella Typhi bacteria in blood samples was detected by PCR with the fliC-d gene of Salmonella Typhi as the target. Micrococcal nuclease retained activity against human blood DNA in the presence of up to 9% ox bile. Background human DNA was dramatically removed from blood samples through the use of ox bile lysis and micrococcal nuclease for removal of mammalian DNA. Consequently target Salmonella Typhi DNA was enriched in DNA preparations and the PCR sensitivity for detection of Salmonella Typhi in spiked blood samples was enhanced by 1,000 fold. Use of a combination of selective ox-bile blood cell lysis and removal of human DNA with micrococcal nuclease significantly improves PCR sensitivity and offers a better option for improved typhoid PCR assays directly using clinical specimens in diagnosis of

  7. The robust corrective action priority-an improved approach for selecting competing corrective actions in FMEA based on principle of robust design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutrisno, Agung; Gunawan, Indra; Vanany, Iwan

    2017-11-01

    In spite of being integral part in risk - based quality improvement effort, studies improving quality of selection of corrective action priority using FMEA technique are still limited in literature. If any, none is considering robustness and risk in selecting competing improvement initiatives. This study proposed a theoretical model to select risk - based competing corrective action by considering robustness and risk of competing corrective actions. We incorporated the principle of robust design in counting the preference score among corrective action candidates. Along with considering cost and benefit of competing corrective actions, we also incorporate the risk and robustness of corrective actions. An example is provided to represent the applicability of the proposed model.

  8. State updating and calibration period selection to improve dynamic monthly streamflow forecasts for an environmental flow management application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Matthew S.; McInerney, David; Humphrey, Greer; Thyer, Mark A.; Maier, Holger R.; Dandy, Graeme C.; Kavetski, Dmitri

    2018-02-01

    Monthly to seasonal streamflow forecasts provide useful information for a range of water resource management and planning applications. This work focuses on improving such forecasts by considering the following two aspects: (1) state updating to force the models to match observations from the start of the forecast period, and (2) selection of a shorter calibration period that is more representative of the forecast period, compared to a longer calibration period traditionally used. The analysis is undertaken in the context of using streamflow forecasts for environmental flow water management of an open channel drainage network in southern Australia. Forecasts of monthly streamflow are obtained using a conceptual rainfall-runoff model combined with a post-processor error model for uncertainty analysis. This model set-up is applied to two catchments, one with stronger evidence of non-stationarity than the other. A range of metrics are used to assess different aspects of predictive performance, including reliability, sharpness, bias and accuracy. The results indicate that, for most scenarios and metrics, state updating improves predictive performance for both observed rainfall and forecast rainfall sources. Using the shorter calibration period also improves predictive performance, particularly for the catchment with stronger evidence of non-stationarity. The results highlight that a traditional approach of using a long calibration period can degrade predictive performance when there is evidence of non-stationarity. The techniques presented can form the basis for operational monthly streamflow forecasting systems and provide support for environmental decision-making.

  9. Selecting an optimal number of binding site waters to improve virtual screening enrichments against the adenosine A2A receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenselink, Eelke B; Beuming, Thijs; Sherman, Woody; van Vlijmen, Herman W T; IJzerman, Adriaan P

    2014-06-23

    A major challenge in structure-based virtual screening (VS) involves the treatment of explicit water molecules during docking in order to improve the enrichment of active compounds over decoys. Here we have investigated this in the context of the adenosine A2A receptor, where water molecules have previously been shown to be important for achieving high enrichment rates with docking, and where the positions of some binding site waters are known from a high-resolution crystal structure. The effect of these waters (both their presence and orientations) on VS enrichment was assessed using a carefully curated set of 299 high affinity A2A antagonists and 17,337 decoys. We show that including certain crystal waters greatly improves VS enrichment and that optimization of water hydrogen positions is needed in order to achieve the best results. We also show that waters derived from a molecular dynamics simulation - without any knowledge of crystallographic waters - can improve enrichments to a similar degree as the crystallographic waters, which makes this strategy applicable to structures without experimental knowledge of water positions. Finally, we used decision trees to select an ensemble of structures with different water molecule positions and orientations that outperforms any single structure with water molecules. The approach presented here is validated against independent test sets of A2A receptor antagonists and decoys from the literature. In general, this water optimization strategy could be applied to any target with waters-mediated protein-ligand interactions.

  10. Traits and selection strategies to improve root systems and water uptake in water-limited wheat crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasson, A P; Richards, R A; Chatrath, R; Misra, S C; Prasad, S V Sai; Rebetzke, G J; Kirkegaard, J A; Christopher, J; Watt, M

    2012-05-01

    Wheat yields globally will depend increasingly on good management to conserve rainfall and new varieties that use water efficiently for grain production. Here we propose an approach for developing new varieties to make better use of deep stored water. We focus on water-limited wheat production in the summer-dominant rainfall regions of India and Australia, but the approach is generally applicable to other environments and root-based constraints. Use of stored deep water is valuable because it is more predictable than variable in-season rainfall and can be measured prior to sowing. Further, this moisture is converted into grain with twice the efficiently of in-season rainfall since it is taken up later in crop growth during the grain-filling period when the roots reach deeper layers. We propose that wheat varieties with a deeper root system, a redistribution of branch root density from the surface to depth, and with greater radial hydraulic conductivity at depth would have higher yields in rainfed systems where crops rely on deep water for grain fill. Developing selection systems for mature root system traits is challenging as there are limited high-throughput phenotyping methods for roots in the field, and there is a risk that traits selected in the lab on young plants will not translate into mature root system traits in the field. We give an example of a breeding programme that combines laboratory and field phenotyping with proof of concept evaluation of the trait at the beginning of the selection programme. This would greatly enhance confidence in a high-throughput laboratory or field screen, and avoid investment in screens without yield value. This approach requires careful selection of field sites and years that allow expression of deep roots and increased yield. It also requires careful selection and crossing of germplasm to allow comparison of root expression among genotypes that are similar for other traits, especially flowering time and disease and toxicity

  11. Improving the phenotypic expression of rice genotypes: Rethinking “intensification” for production systems and selection practices for rice breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman Uphoff

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Intensification in rice crop production is generally understood as requiring increased use of material inputs: water, inorganic fertilizers, and agrochemicals. However, this is not the only kind of intensification available. More productive crop phenotypes, with traits such as more resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and shorter crop cycles, are possible through modifications in the management of rice plants, soil, water, and nutrients, reducing rather than increasing material inputs. Greater factor productivity can be achieved through the application of new knowledge and more skill, and (initially more labor, as seen from the System of Rice Intensification (SRI, whose practices are used in various combinations by as many as 10 million farmers on about 4 million hectares in over 50 countries. The highest yields achieved with these management methods have come from hybrids and improved rice varieties, confirming the importance of making genetic improvements. However, unimproved varieties are also responsive to these changes, which induce better growth and functioning of rice root systems and more abundance, diversity, and activity of beneficial soil organisms. Some of these organisms as symbiotic endophytes can affect and enhance the expression of rice plants' genetic potential as well as their phenotypic resilience to multiple stresses, including those of climate change. SRI experience and data suggest that decades of plant breeding have been selecting for the best crop genetic endowments under suboptimal growing conditions, with crowding of plants that impedes their photosynthesis and growth, flooding of rice paddies that causes roots to degenerate and forgoes benefits derived from aerobic soil organisms, and overuse of agrochemicals that adversely affect these organisms as well as soil and human health. This review paper reports evidence from research in India and Indonesia that changes in crop and water management can improve the

  12. Selection criteria for the improvement of seed yield and its components in advances generations of lentil (lens culinaris medik)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashraf, S.; Hanif, M.; Sadiq, S.; Abbas, G.; Asghar, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Present study was conducted at Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad during the years 2006 and 2007 with the objectives; to study the inheritance of seed yield and related traits in both hybridized (F6) and mutated (M6) populations of lentil and to determine the best selection criterion for the improvement of seed yield. Different genetic parameters (variances, heritabilities, genetic gains and correlations) were computed to study the inheritance pattern and interrelationships of different traits. High heritability was observed for days to flower (97.40%), plant height (90.80%), pods per plant (86.20%), hundred seed weight (83.50%) and seed yield per plant (91.80%) in F6 and for days to flower (96.9%), days to mature (91.8%), hundred seed weight (89.0%) and seed yield per plant (94.0%) in M6 generation. High heritability coupled with moderate to high genetic advance was noted for plant height (90.8%, 16.29) pods per plant (86.20%, 25.53) hundred seed weight (83.50%, 35.67) and seed yield per plant (91.80%, 35.84) in F6 generation and for days to flower (96.9%, 25.08), hundred seed weight (89.0%, 25.56) and seed yield per plant (94.0%, 37.01) in M6 generation. The traits mentioned were found to be under the control of additive genes. Seed yield had positive and significant correlation with pods per plant in M6 and with seed weight in both generations. It was concluded that seed weight and pods per plant may be used as selection criterion in both hybridized and mutated populations for the improvement of seed yield. (author)

  13. Multiple model analysis with discriminatory data collection (MMA-DDC): A new method for improving measurement selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, C.; Ferre, P. A.; Vrugt, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    Hydrologic models are developed, tested, and refined based on the ability of those models to explain available hydrologic data. The optimization of model performance based upon mismatch between model outputs and real world observations has been extensively studied. However, identification of plausible models is sensitive not only to the models themselves - including model structure and model parameters - but also to the location, timing, type, and number of observations used in model calibration. Therefore, careful selection of hydrologic observations has the potential to significantly improve the performance of hydrologic models. In this research, we seek to reduce prediction uncertainty through optimization of the data collection process. A new tool - multiple model analysis with discriminatory data collection (MMA-DDC) - was developed to address this challenge. In this approach, multiple hydrologic models are developed and treated as competing hypotheses. Potential new data are then evaluated on their ability to discriminate between competing hypotheses. MMA-DDC is well-suited for use in recursive mode, in which new observations are continuously used in the optimization of subsequent observations. This new approach was applied to a synthetic solute transport experiment, in which ranges of parameter values constitute the multiple hydrologic models, and model predictions are calculated using likelihood-weighted model averaging. MMA-DDC was used to determine the optimal location, timing, number, and type of new observations. From comparison with an exhaustive search of all possible observation sequences, we find that MMA-DDC consistently selects observations which lead to the highest reduction in model prediction uncertainty. We conclude that using MMA-DDC to evaluate potential observations may significantly improve the performance of hydrologic models while reducing the cost associated with collecting new data.

  14. Dynamic, continuous multitasking training leads to task-specific improvements but does not transfer across action selection tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Angela D.; Filmer, Hannah L.; Naughtin, Claire K.; Dux, Paul E.

    2017-12-01

    The ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently is an ever-increasing requirement in our information-rich world. Despite this, multitasking typically compromises performance due to the processing limitations associated with cognitive control and decision-making. While intensive dual-task training is known to improve multitasking performance, only limited evidence suggests that training-related performance benefits can transfer to untrained tasks that share overlapping processes. In the real world, however, coordinating and selecting several responses within close temporal proximity will often occur in high-interference environments. Over the last decade, there have been notable reports that training on video action games that require dynamic multitasking in a demanding environment can lead to transfer effects on aspects of cognition such as attention and working memory. Here, we asked whether continuous and dynamic multitasking training extends benefits to tasks that are theoretically related to the trained tasks. To examine this issue, we asked a group of participants to train on a combined continuous visuomotor tracking task and a perceptual discrimination task for six sessions, while an active control group practiced the component tasks in isolation. A battery of tests measuring response selection, response inhibition, and spatial attention was administered before and immediately after training to investigate transfer. Multitasking training resulted in substantial, task-specific gains in dual-task ability, but there was no evidence that these benefits generalized to other action control tasks. The findings suggest that training on a combined visuomotor tracking and discrimination task results in task-specific benefits but provides no additional value for untrained action selection tasks.

  15. A moving story: Whole-body motor training selectively improves the appraisal of action meanings in naturalistic narratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Sedeño, Lucas; Birba, Agustina; Ibáñez, Agustín; García, Adolfo M

    2017-10-02

    This study examined whether systematic whole-body stimulation and increased attention to visuospatial motion patterns can enhance the appraisal of action meanings evoked by naturalistic texts. Participants listened to action and neutral (non-action) narratives before and after videogame-based bodily training, and responded to questions on information realized by verbs (denoting abstract and action processes) and circumstances (conveying locative or temporal details, for example). Strategically, we worked with dyslexic children, whose potential comprehension deficits could give room to post-training improvements. Results showed a selective boost in understanding of action information, even when controlling for baseline performance. Also, this effect proved uninfluenced by short-term memory skills, and it was absent when training relied on non-action videogames requiring minimal bodily engagement. Of note, the movements described in the texts did not match those performed by participants, suggesting that well-established effector- and direction-specific language embodiment effects may be accompanied by more coarse-grained sensorimotor resonance, driven by activation of motor and visuospatial sensory systems. In sum, the stimulation of movement-related mechanisms seems to selectively boost the appraisal of actions evoked by naturalistic texts. By demonstrating such links between two real-life activities, our study offers an empirical tie between embodied and situated accounts of cognition.

  16. Solid-State NMR on bacterial cells: selective cell wall signal enhancement and resolution improvement using dynamic nuclear polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Bardet, Michel; De Paepe, Gael; Hediger, Sabine; Ayala, Isabel; Simorre, Jean-Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has recently emerged as a powerful technique for the study of material surfaces. In this study, we demonstrate its potential to investigate cell surface in intact cells. Using Bacillus subtilis bacterial cells as an example, it is shown that the polarizing agent 1-(TEMPO-4-oxy)-3-(TEMPO-4-amino)propan-2-ol (TOTAPOL) has a strong binding affinity to cell wall polymers (peptidoglycan). This particular interaction is thoroughly investigated with a systematic study on extracted cell wall materials, disrupted cells, and entire cells, which proved that TOTAPOL is mainly accumulating in the cell wall. This property is used on one hand to selectively enhance or suppress cell wall signals by controlling radical concentrations and on the other hand to improve spectral resolution by means of a difference spectrum. Comparing DNP-enhanced and conventional solid-state NMR, an absolute sensitivity ratio of 24 was obtained on the entire cell sample. This important increase in sensitivity together with the possibility of enhancing specifically cell wall signals and improving resolution really opens new avenues for the use of DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR as an on-cell investigation tool. (authors)

  17. Solid-state NMR on bacterial cells: selective cell wall signal enhancement and resolution improvement using dynamic nuclear polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Ayala, Isabel; Bardet, Michel; De Paëpe, Gaël; Simorre, Jean-Pierre; Hediger, Sabine

    2013-04-03

    Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has recently emerged as a powerful technique for the study of material surfaces. In this study, we demonstrate its potential to investigate cell surface in intact cells. Using Bacillus subtilis bacterial cells as an example, it is shown that the polarizing agent 1-(TEMPO-4-oxy)-3-(TEMPO-4-amino)propan-2-ol (TOTAPOL) has a strong binding affinity to cell wall polymers (peptidoglycan). This particular interaction is thoroughly investigated with a systematic study on extracted cell wall materials, disrupted cells, and entire cells, which proved that TOTAPOL is mainly accumulating in the cell wall. This property is used on one hand to selectively enhance or suppress cell wall signals by controlling radical concentrations and on the other hand to improve spectral resolution by means of a difference spectrum. Comparing DNP-enhanced and conventional solid-state NMR, an absolute sensitivity ratio of 24 was obtained on the entire cell sample. This important increase in sensitivity together with the possibility of enhancing specifically cell wall signals and improving resolution really opens new avenues for the use of DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR as an on-cell investigation tool.

  18. Mechanical properties' improvement of a tricalcium phosphate scaffold with poly-l-lactic acid in selective laser sintering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Defu; Zhuang, Jingyu; Shuai, Cijun; Peng, Shuping

    2013-01-01

    To improve the mechanical properties of a scaffold fabricated via selective laser sintering (SLS), a small amount (0.5–3 wt%) of poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) is added to the β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) powder. The fracture toughness of the scaffold prepared with the mixture powder containing 1 wt% PLLA increases by 18.18% and the compressive strength increases by 4.45% compared to the scaffold prepared from the β-TCP powder. The strengthening and toughening is related to the enhancement of β-TCP sintering characteristics via introducing a transient liquid phase in SLS. Moreover, the microcracks caused by the volume expansion due to the β–α phase transformation of TCP are reduced because of the PLLA inhibition function on the phase transformation. However, PLLA additive above 1 wt% would lead to a PLLA residue which will decrease the mechanical properties. The experimental results show that PLLA is an effective sintering aid to improve the mechanical properties of a TCP scaffold. (paper)

  19. Process signal selection method to improve the impact mitigation of sensor broken for diagnosis using machine learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minowa, Hirotsugu; Gofuku, Akio

    2014-01-01

    Accidents of industrial plants cause large loss on human, economic, social credibility. In recent, studies of diagnostic methods using techniques of machine learning are expected to detect early and correctly abnormality occurred in a plant. However, the general diagnostic machines are generated generally to require all process signals (hereafter, signals) for plant diagnosis. Thus if trouble occurs such as process sensor is broken, the diagnostic machine cannot diagnose or may decrease diagnostic performance. Therefore, we propose an important process signal selection method to improve impact mitigation without reducing the diagnostic performance by reducing the adverse effect of noises on multi-agent diagnostic system. The advantage of our method is the general-purpose property that allows to be applied to various supervised machine learning and to set the various parameters to decide termination of search. The experiment evaluation revealed that diagnostic machines generated by our method using SVM improved the impact mitigation and did not reduce performance about the diagnostic accuracy, the velocity of diagnosis, predictions of plant state near accident occurrence, in comparison with the basic diagnostic machine which diagnoses by using all signals. This paper reports our proposed method and the results evaluated which our method was applied to the simulated abnormal of the fast-breeder reactor Monju. (author)

  20. Validation of candidate gene markers for marker-assisted selection of potato cultivars with improved tuber quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; Tacke, Eckhard; Hofferbert, Hans-Reinhardt; Lübeck, Jens; Strahwald, Josef; Draffehn, Astrid M; Walkemeier, Birgit; Gebhardt, Christiane

    2013-04-01

    Tuber yield, starch content, starch yield and chip color are complex traits that are important for industrial uses and food processing of potato. Chip color depends on the quantity of reducing sugars glucose and fructose in the tubers, which are generated by starch degradation. Reducing sugars accumulate when tubers are stored at low temperatures. Early and efficient selection of cultivars with superior yield, starch yield and chip color is hampered by the fact that reliable phenotypic selection requires multiple year and location trials. Application of DNA-based markers early in the breeding cycle, which are diagnostic for superior alleles of genes that control natural variation of tuber quality, will reduce the number of clones to be evaluated in field trials. Association mapping using genes functional in carbohydrate metabolism as markers has discovered alleles of invertases and starch phosphorylases that are associated with tuber quality traits. Here, we report on new DNA variants at loci encoding ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and the invertase Pain-1, which are associated with positive or negative effect with chip color, tuber starch content and starch yield. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) and marker validation were performed in tetraploid breeding populations, using various combinations of 11 allele-specific markers associated with tuber quality traits. To facilitate MAS, user-friendly PCR assays were developed for specific candidate gene alleles. In a multi-parental population of advanced breeding clones, genotypes were selected for having different combinations of five positive and the corresponding negative marker alleles. Genotypes combining five positive marker alleles performed on average better than genotypes with four negative alleles and one positive allele. When tested individually, seven of eight markers showed an effect on at least one quality trait. The direction of effect was as expected. Combinations of two to three marker alleles were

  1. Improving the selection and development of influenza vaccine viruses - Report of a WHO informal consultation on improving influenza vaccine virus selection, Hong Kong SAR, China, 18-20 November 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampson, Alan; Barr, Ian; Cox, Nancy; Donis, Ruben O; Siddhivinayak, Hirve; Jernigan, Daniel; Katz, Jacqueline; McCauley, John; Motta, Fernando; Odagiri, Takato; Tam, John S; Waddell, Anthony; Webby, Richard; Ziegler, Thedi; Zhang, Wenqing

    2017-02-22

    Since 2010 the WHO has held a series of informal consultations to explore ways of improving the currently highly complex and time-pressured influenza vaccine virus selection and development process. In November 2015 experts from around the world met to review the current status of efforts in this field. Discussion topics included strengthening influenza surveillance activities to increase the availability of candidate vaccine viruses and improve the extent, timeliness and quality of surveillance data. Consideration was also given to the development and potential application of newer laboratory assays to better characterize candidate vaccine viruses, the potential importance of antibodies directed against influenza virus neuraminidase, and the role of vaccine effectiveness studies. Advances in next generation sequencing and whole genome sequencing of influenza viruses were also discussed, along with associated developments in synthetic genomics technologies, evolutionary analysis and predictive mathematical modelling. Discussions were also held on the late emergence of an antigenic variant influenza A(H3N2) virus in mid-2014 that could not be incorporated in time into the 2014-15 northern hemisphere vaccine. There was broad recognition that given the current highly constrained influenza vaccine development and production timeline it would remain impossible to incorporate any variant virus which emerged significantly long after the relevant WHO biannual influenza vaccine composition meetings. Discussions were also held on the development of pandemic and broadly protective vaccines, and on associated regulatory and manufacturing requirements and constraints. With increasing awareness of the health and economic burdens caused by seasonal influenza, the ever-present threat posed by zoonotic influenza viruses, and the significant impact of the 2014-15 northern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccine mismatch, this consultation provided a very timely opportunity to share

  2. Empirical Selection of Informative Microsatellite Markers within Co-ancestry Pig Populations Is Required for Improving the Individual Assignment Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. H. Li

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The Lanyu is a miniature pig breed indigenous to Lanyu Island, Taiwan. It is distantly related to Asian and European pig breeds. It has been inbred to generate two breeds and crossed with Landrace and Duroc to produce two hybrids for laboratory use. Selecting sets of informative genetic markers to track the genetic qualities of laboratory animals and stud stock is an important function of genetic databases. For more than two decades, Lanyu derived breeds of common ancestry and crossbreeds have been used to examine the effectiveness of genetic marker selection and optimal approaches for individual assignment. In this paper, these pigs and the following breeds: Berkshire, Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire, Meishan and Taoyuan, TLRI Black Pig No. 1, and Kaohsiung Animal Propagation Station Black pig are studied to build a genetic reference database. Nineteen microsatellite markers (loci provide information on genetic variation and differentiation among studied breeds. High differentiation index (FST and Cavalli-Sforza chord distances give genetic differentiation among breeds, including Lanyu’s inbred populations. Inbreeding values (FIS show that Lanyu and its derived inbred breeds have significant loss of heterozygosity. Individual assignment testing of 352 animals was done with different numbers of microsatellite markers in this study. The testing assigned 99% of the animals successfully into their correct reference populations based on 9 to 14 markers ranking D-scores, allelic number, expected heterozygosity (HE or FST, respectively. All miss-assigned individuals came from close lineage Lanyu breeds. To improve individual assignment among close lineage breeds, microsatellite markers selected from Lanyu populations with high polymorphic, heterozygosity, FST and D-scores were used. Only 6 to 8 markers ranking HE, FST or allelic number were required to obtain 99% assignment accuracy. This result suggests empirical examination of assignment-error rates

  3. Tagging of blast resistance gene(s) to DNA markers and marker-assisted selection (MAS) in rice improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuang, J.Y.; Lu, J.; Qian, H.R.; Lin, H.X.; Zheng, K.L.

    1998-01-01

    This paper reports progress made on the tagging of blast resistance gene(s) to DNA markers and on the initiation of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for blast resistance in rice improvement. A pair of near isogenic lines, K8OR and K79S, were developed using a Chinese landrace Hong-jiao-zhan as the resistance donor. Ten putatively positive markers were identified by screening 177 mapped DNA markers. Using the F 2 population of 143 plants and the derived F 3 lines, three Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) markers (RG81, RG869 and RZ397) on chromosome 12 of rice were identified to be closely linked to the blast resistance gene Pi-12(t). The genetic distance between Pi-12(t) and the closest marker RG869 was 5.1 cM. By employing the bulk segregant analysis (BSA) procedure, six of 199 arbitrary primers were found to produce positive Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) bands. Tight linkage between Pi-12(t) and three RAPD bands, each from a different primer, was confirmed after amplification of DNA of all F 2 individuals. Two fragments were cloned and sequenced, and two sequence characterised amplified re-ion (SCAR) markers were established. In two other F 3 populations, Xian-feng I/Tetep and Xian-feng, 1/Hong-jiao-zhan, the blast resistance was found to be controlled by interactions of two or more genes. One resistance gene was located in the vicinity of RG81 in both populations. Work to identify other gene(s) is currently under way. Marker assisted selection for blast resistance was initiated. Crosses were made between elite varieties and blast resistance donors to develop populations for DNA marker-assisted selection of blast resistance. In addition, 48 varieties widely used in current rice breeding programs were provided by rice breeders. DNA marker-based polymorphism among, these varieties and resistance donors were analysed to produce a database for future MAS program. (author)

  4. External carotid compression: a novel technique to improve cerebral perfusion during selective antegrade cerebral perfusion for aortic arch surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grocott, Hilary P; Ambrose, Emma; Moon, Mike

    2016-10-01

    Selective antegrade cerebral perfusion (SACP) involving cannulation of either the axillary or innominate artery is a commonly used technique for maintaining cerebral blood flow (CBF) during the use of hypothermic cardiac arrest (HCA) for operations on the aortic arch. Nevertheless, asymmetrical CBF with hypoperfusion of the left cerebral hemisphere is a common occurrence during SACP. The purpose of this report is to describe an adjunctive maneuver to improve left hemispheric CBF during SACP by applying extrinsic compression to the left carotid artery. A 77-yr-old male patient with a history of aortic valve replacement presented for emergent surgical repair of an acute type A aortic dissection of a previously known ascending aortic aneurysm. His intraoperative course included cannulation of the right axillary artery, which was used as the aortic inflow during cardiopulmonary bypass and also allowed for subsequent SACP during HCA. After the onset of HCA, the innominate artery was clamped at its origin to allow for SACP. Shortly thereafter, however, the left-sided cerebral oxygen saturation (SrO2) began to decrease. Augmenting the PaO2, PaCO2 and both SACP pressure and flow failed to increase left hemispheric SrO2. Following the use of ultrasound guidance to confirm the absence of atherosclerotic disease in the carotid artery, external pressure was applied partially compressing the artery. With the carotid compression, the left cerebral saturation abruptly increased, suggesting pressurization of the left cerebral hemispheric circulation and augmentation of CBF. Direct ultrasound visualization and cautious partial compression of the left carotid artery may address asymmetrical CBF that occurs with SACP during HCA for aortic arch surgery. This strategy may lead to improved symmetry of CBF and corresponding cerebral oximetry measurements during aortic arch surgery.

  5. Platelet-rich preparations to improve healing. Part II: platelet activation and enrichment, leukocyte inclusion, and other selection criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Vicki L; Abukabda, Alaeddin B; Radio, Nicholas M; Witt-Enderby, Paula A; Clafshenkel, William P; Cairone, J Vito; Rutkowski, James L

    2014-08-01

    Multiple platelet-rich preparations have been reported to improve wound and bone healing, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet rich fibrin (PRF). The different methods employed during their preparation are important, as they influence the quality of the product applied to a wound or surgical site. Besides the general protocol for preparing the platelet-rich product (discussed in Part 1 of this review), multiple choices need to be considered during its preparation. For example, activation of the platelets is required for the release and enmeshment of growth factors, but the method of activation may influence the resulting matrix, growth factor availability, and healing. Additionally, some methods enrich leukocytes as well as platelets, but others are designed to be leukocyte-poor. Leukocytes have many important roles in healing and their inclusion in PRP results in increased platelet concentrations. Platelet and growth factor enrichment reported for the different types of platelet-rich preparations are also compared. Generally, TGF-β1 and PDGF levels were higher in preparations that contain leukocytes compared to leukocyte-poor PRP. However, platelet concentration may be the most reliable criterion for comparing different preparations. These and other criteria are described to help guide dental and medical professionals, in large and small practices, in selecting the best procedures for their patients. The healing benefits of platelet-rich preparations along with the low risk and availability of simple preparation procedures should encourage more clinicians to incorporate platelet-rich products in their practice to accelerate healing, reduce adverse events, and improve patient outcomes.

  6. Chloroform-assisted phenol extraction improving proteome profiling of maize embryos through selective depletion of high-abundance storage proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erhui Xiong

    Full Text Available The presence of abundant storage proteins in plant embryos greatly impedes seed proteomics analysis. Vicilin (or globulin-1 is the most abundant storage protein in maize embryo. There is a need to deplete the vicilins from maize embryo extracts for enhanced proteomics analysis. We here reported a chloroform-assisted phenol extraction (CAPE method for vicilin depletion. By CAPE, maize embryo proteins were first extracted in an aqueous buffer, denatured by chloroform and then subjected to phenol extraction. We found that CAPE can effectively deplete the vicilins from maize embryo extract, allowing the detection of low-abundance proteins that were masked by vicilins in 2-DE gel. The novelty of CAPE is that it selectively depletes abundant storage proteins from embryo extracts of both monocot (maize and dicot (soybean and pea seeds, whereas other embryo proteins were not depleted. CAPE can significantly improve proteome profiling of embryos and extends the application of chloroform and phenol extraction in plant proteomics. In addition, the rationale behind CAPE depletion of abundant storage proteins was explored.

  7. Improving the Selectivity of the ISOLDE Resonance Ionization Laser Ion Source and In-Source Laser Spectroscopy of Polonium

    CERN Document Server

    Fink, Daniel Andreas; Jochim, Selim

    Exotic atomic nuclei far away from stability are fascinating objects to be studied in many scientic elds such as atomic-, nuclear-, and astrophysics. Since these are often short-lived isotopes, it is necessary to couple their production with immediate extraction and delivery to an experiment. This is the purpose of the on-line isotope separator facility, ISOLDE, at CERN. An essential aspect of this laboratory is the Resonance Ionization Laser Ion Source (RILIS) because it provides a fast and highly selective means of ionizing the reaction products. This technique is also a sensitive laser-spectroscopy tool for the development and improvement of electron excitation schemes for the resonant laser photoionization and the study of the nuclear structure or fundamental atomic physics. Each of these aspects of the RILIS applications are subjects of this thesis work: a new device for the suppression of unwanted surface ionized contaminants in RILIS ion beams, known as the Laser Ion Source and Trap (LIST), was impleme...

  8. Visual training paired with electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain improves orientation-selective visual acuity in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jun Il; Groleau, Marianne; Dotigny, Florence; Giguère, Hugo; Vaucher, Elvire

    2014-07-01

    The cholinergic afferents from the basal forebrain to the primary visual cortex play a key role in visual attention and cortical plasticity. These afferent fibers modulate acute and long-term responses of visual neurons to specific stimuli. The present study evaluates whether this cholinergic modulation of visual neurons results in cortical activity and visual perception changes. Awake adult rats were exposed repeatedly for 2 weeks to an orientation-specific grating with or without coupling this visual stimulation to an electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain. The visual acuity, as measured using a visual water maze before and after the exposure to the orientation-specific grating, was increased in the group of trained rats with simultaneous basal forebrain/visual stimulation. The increase in visual acuity was not observed when visual training or basal forebrain stimulation was performed separately or when cholinergic fibers were selectively lesioned prior to the visual stimulation. The visual evoked potentials show a long-lasting increase in cortical reactivity of the primary visual cortex after coupled visual/cholinergic stimulation, as well as c-Fos immunoreactivity of both pyramidal and GABAergic interneuron. These findings demonstrate that when coupled with visual training, the cholinergic system improves visual performance for the trained orientation probably through enhancement of attentional processes and cortical plasticity in V1 related to the ratio of excitatory/inhibitory inputs. This study opens the possibility of establishing efficient rehabilitation strategies for facilitating visual capacity.

  9. Public sector scale-up of zinc and ORS improves coverage in selected districts in Bihar, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Christa L Fischer; Taneja, Sunita; Lamberti, Laura M; Black, Robert E; Mazumder, Sarmila

    2015-12-01

    In Bihar, India, a new initiative to enhance diarrhea treatment with zinc and ORS in the public sector was rolled out in selected districts. We conducted an external evaluation to measure changes in diarrhea careseeking and treatment in intervention districts. We conducted baseline and endline household surveys among caregivers of children 2-59 months of age. We calculated summary statistics for household characteristics, knowledge, careseeking and treatments given to children with a diarrhea episode in the last 14 days and built logistic regression models to compare baseline and endline values. Caregivers named a public health center as an appropriate source of care for childhood diarrhea more often at endline (71.3%) compared to baseline (38.4%) but did not report increased careseeking to public sector providers for the current diarrhea episode. In logistic regression analyses, the odds of receiving zinc, with or without oral rehydration salts (ORS), increased at endline by more than 2.7 as compared to baseline. Children who were taken to the public sector for care were more likely to receive zinc (odds ratio, OR = 3.93) and zinc in addition to ORS (OR = 6.10) compared to children who were not taken to the public sector. Coverage of zinc and ORS can improve with public sector programs targeted at training and increasing product availability, but demand creation may be needed to increase public sector careseeking in areas where the private sector has historically provided much of the care.

  10. Particle swarm optimization based feature enhancement and feature selection for improved emotion recognition in speech and glottal signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthusamy, Hariharan; Polat, Kemal; Yaacob, Sazali

    2015-01-01

    In the recent years, many research works have been published using speech related features for speech emotion recognition, however, recent studies show that there is a strong correlation between emotional states and glottal features. In this work, Mel-frequency cepstralcoefficients (MFCCs), linear predictive cepstral coefficients (LPCCs), perceptual linear predictive (PLP) features, gammatone filter outputs, timbral texture features, stationary wavelet transform based timbral texture features and relative wavelet packet energy and entropy features were extracted from the emotional speech (ES) signals and its glottal waveforms(GW). Particle swarm optimization based clustering (PSOC) and wrapper based particle swarm optimization (WPSO) were proposed to enhance the discerning ability of the features and to select the discriminating features respectively. Three different emotional speech databases were utilized to gauge the proposed method. Extreme learning machine (ELM) was employed to classify the different types of emotions. Different experiments were conducted and the results show that the proposed method significantly improves the speech emotion recognition performance compared to previous works published in the literature.

  11. Public sector scale–up of zinc and ORS improves coverage in selected districts in Bihar, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christa L. Fischer Walker

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In Bihar, India, a new initiative to enhance diarrhea treatment with zinc and ORS in the public sector was rolled out in selected districts. We conducted an external evaluation to measure changes in diarrhea careseeking and treatment in intervention districts. We conducted baseline and endline household surveys among caregivers of children 2–59 months of age. We calculated summary statistics for household characteristics, knowledge, careseeking and treatments given to children with a diarrhea episode in the last 14 days and built logistic regression models to compare baseline and endline values. Caregivers named a public health center as an appropriate source of care for childhood diarrhea more often at endline (71.3% compared to baseline (38.4% but did not report increased careseeking to public sector providers for the current diarrhea episode. In logistic regression analyses, the odds of receiving zinc, with or without oral rehydration salts (ORS, increased at endline by more than 2.7 as compared to baseline. Children who were taken to the public sector for care were more likely to receive zinc (odds ratio, OR = 3.93 and zinc in addition to ORS (OR = 6.10 compared to children who were not taken to the public sector. Coverage of zinc and ORS can improve with public sector programs targeted at training and increasing product availability, but demand creation may be needed to increase public sector careseeking in areas where the private sector has historically provided much of the care.

  12. Improvement in abdominal and flank contouring by a novel adipocyte-selective non-contact radiofrequency device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sun Young; Kim, Young Jae; Kim, So Yeon; Lee, Woo Jin; Chang, Sung Eun; Lee, Mi Woo; Choi, Jee Ho; Won, Chonghyun

    2018-05-07

    The demand for undergoing subcutaneous fat reduction has been gradually increasing, and there are many methods and devices for performing non-surgical and non-invasive fat reduction, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound, cryolipolysis, radiofrequency (RF) devices, and lasers. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a novel adipocyte-selective non-contact RF device for improving abdominal contouring in Asian subjects. Twenty-four Asian subjects with abundant subcutaneous abdominal and love handle fat tissues were enrolled in this prospective clinical study. They received six 45-min weekly treatments with an RF field device over the abdominal and love handle regions. The body mass index and abdominal circumference were measured at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks post the last treatment. The thickness of the abdomen and depth of subcutaneous abdominal fat tissue were respectively assessed using calipers and abdominal ultrasonography. A subset of 15 subjects was selected by randomization for fat volume measurement via abdominal CT. For safety evaluation, serum lipid, and liver-related blood tests were performed at baseline and at the sixth treatment session. Subjects rated their heat perception level using a four point scale and their pain score using an 11-point visual analog scale during RF treatment. Twenty-four subjects (21 females and 3 males) completed this study with an 8-week follow-up. The average decreases in abdominal circumference at 4 and 8 weeks post treatment were 3.48 ± 2.11 cm (P < 0.001) and 5.12 ± 0.47 cm (P < 0.001), respectively. The average decreases in abdominal fat thickness at 4 and 8 weeks treatment were 0.27 ± 0.61 cm (P = 0.041) and 0.47 ± 0.60 cm (P = 0.001), respectively. The average decreases in subcutaneous fat tissue depth at 4 and 8 weeks post treatment were 0.16 ± 0.43 cm (P = 0.091) and 0.34 ± 0.39 cm (P < 0.001), respectively. However, there was no

  13. Novel, non-steroidal, selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) with anabolic activity in bone and muscle and improved safety profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, J; Negro-Vilar, A

    2002-03-01

    A novel approach to the treatment of osteoporosis in men, and possibly women, is the development of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) that can stimulate formation of new bone with substantially diminished proliferative activity in the prostate, as well as reduced virilizing activity in women. Over the last several years, we have developed a program to discover and develop novel, non-steroidal, orally-active selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) that provide improved therapeutic benefits and reduce risk and side effects. In recent studies, we have used a skeletally mature orchiectomized (ORX) male rat as an animal model of male hypogonadism for assessing the efficacy of LGD2226, a nonsteroidal, non-aromatizable, and non-5alpha-reducible SARM. We assessed the activity of LGD2226 on bone turnover, bone mass and bone strength, and also evaluated the effects exerted on classic androgen-dependent targets, such as prostate, seminal vesicles and muscle. A substantial loss of bone density was observed in ORX animals, and this loss was prevented by SARMs, as well as standard androgens. Biochemical markers of bone turnover revealed an early increase of bone resorption in androgen-deficient rats that was repressed in ORX animals treated with the oral SARM, LGD2226, during a 4-month treatment period. Differences in architectural properties and bone strength were detected by histomorphometric and mechanical analyses, demonstrating beneficial effects of LGD2226 on bone quality in androgen-deficient rats. Histomorphometric analysis of cortical bone revealed distinct anabolic activity of LGD2226 in periosteal bone. LGD2226 was able to prevent bone loss and maintain bone quality in ORX rats by stimulating bone formation, while also inhibiting bone turnover. LGD2226 also exerted anabolic activity on the levator ani muscle. Taken together, these results suggest that orally-active, non-steroidal SARMs may be useful therapeutics for both muscle and bone in elderly

  14. Genomic selection for the improvement of antibody response to Newcastle disease and avian influenza virus in chickens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianfei Liu

    Full Text Available Newcastle disease (ND and avian influenza (AI are the most feared diseases in the poultry industry worldwide. They can cause flock mortality up to 100%, resulting in a catastrophic economic loss. This is the first study to investigate the feasibility of genomic selection for antibody response to Newcastle disease virus (Ab-NDV and antibody response to Avian Influenza virus (Ab-AIV in chickens. The data were collected from a crossbred population. Breeding values for Ab-NDV and Ab-AIV were estimated using a pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction model (BLUP and a genomic best linear unbiased prediction model (GBLUP. Single-trait and multiple-trait analyses were implemented. According to the analysis using the pedigree-based model, the heritability for Ab-NDV estimated from the single-trait and multiple-trait models was 0.478 and 0.487, respectively. The heritability for Ab-AIV estimated from the two models was 0.301 and 0.291, respectively. The estimated genetic correlation between the two traits was 0.438. A four-fold cross-validation was used to assess the accuracy of the estimated breeding values (EBV in the two validation scenarios. In the family sample scenario each half-sib family is randomly allocated to one of four subsets and in the random sample scenario the individuals are randomly divided into four subsets. In the family sample scenario, compared with the pedigree-based model, the accuracy of the genomic prediction increased from 0.086 to 0.237 for Ab-NDV and from 0.080 to 0.347 for Ab-AIV. In the random sample scenario, the accuracy was improved from 0.389 to 0.427 for Ab-NDV and from 0.281 to 0.367 for Ab-AIV. The multiple-trait GBLUP model led to a slightly higher accuracy of genomic prediction for both traits. These results indicate that genomic selection for antibody response to ND and AI in chickens is promising.

  15. A 21 day Daniel Fast improves selected biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress in men and women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Canale Robert E

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dietary modification via both caloric and nutrient restriction is associated with multiple health benefits, some of which are related to an improvement in antioxidant status and a decrease in the production of reactive oxygen species. The Daniel Fast is based on the Biblical book of Daniel, is commonly partaken for 21 days, and involves food intake in accordance with a stringent vegan diet. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of a 21 day Daniel Fast on biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress. Methods 43 subjects (13 men; 30 women; 35 ± 1 yrs; range: 20-62 yrs completed a 21 day Daniel Fast following the guidelines provided by investigators. Subjects reported to the lab in a 12 hour post-absorptive state both pre fast (day 1 and post fast (day 22. At each visit, blood was collected for determination of malondialdehyde (MDA, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, nitrate/nitrite (NOx, Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC, and Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC. Subjects recorded dietary intake during the 7 day period immediately prior to the fast and during the final 7 days of the fast. Results A decrease was noted in MDA (0.66 ± 0.0.03 vs. 0.56 ± 0.02 μmol L-1; p = 0.004, while H2O2 demonstrated a trend for lowering (4.42 ± 0.32 vs. 3.78 ± 0.21 μmol L-1; p = 0.074. Both NOx (18.79 ± 1.92 vs. 26.97 ± 2.40 μmol L-1; p = 0.003 and TEAC (0.47 ± 0.01 vs. 0.51 ± 0.01 mmol L-1; p = 0.001 increased from pre to post fast, while ORAC was unchanged (5243 ± 103 vs. 5249 ± 183 μmol L-1 TE; p = 0.974. As expected, multiple differences in dietary intake were noted (p Conclusion Modification of dietary intake in accordance with the Daniel Fast is associated with an improvement in selected biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress, including metabolites of nitric oxide (i.e., NOx.

  16. GEBR-7b, a novel PDE4D selective inhibitor that improves memory in rodents at non-emetic doses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, O; Fedele, E; Prickaerts, J; Parker, L A; Canepa, E; Brullo, C; Cavallero, A; Gardella, E; Balbi, A; Domenicotti, C; Bollen, E; Gijselaers, H J M; Vanmierlo, T; Erb, K; Limebeer, C L; Argellati, F; Marinari, U M; Pronzato, M A; Ricciarelli, R

    2011-12-01

    Strategies designed to enhance cerebral cAMP have been proposed as symptomatic treatments to counteract cognitive deficits. However, pharmacological therapies aimed at reducing PDE4, the main class of cAMP catabolizing enzymes in the brain, produce severe emetic side effects. We have recently synthesized a 3-cyclopentyloxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde derivative, structurally related to rolipram, and endowed with selective PDE4D inhibitory activity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of the new drug, namely GEBR-7b, on memory performance, nausea, hippocampal cAMP and amyloid-β (Aβ) levels. To measure memory performance, we performed object recognition tests on rats and mice treated with GEBR-7b or rolipram. The emetic potential of the drug, again compared with rolipram, was evaluated in rats using the taste reactivity test and in mice using the xylazine/ketamine anaesthesia test. Extracellular hippocampal cAMP was evaluated by intracerebral microdialysis in freely moving rats. Levels of soluble Aβ peptides were measured in hippocampal tissues and cultured N2a cells by elisa. GEBR-7b increased hippocampal cAMP, did not influence Aβ levels and improved spatial, as well as object memory performance in the object recognition tests. The effect of GEBR-7b on memory was 3 to 10 times more potent than that of rolipram, and its effective doses had no effect on surrogate measures of emesis in rodents. Our results demonstrate that GEBR-7b enhances memory functions at doses that do not cause emesis-like behaviour in rodents, thus offering a promising pharmacological perspective for the treatment of memory impairment. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  17. Use of Physics Innovative Device for Improving Students‟ Motivation and Performance in Learning Selected Concepts in Physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Songalia Sobremisana

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This research was focused on the development and evaluation of physics innovative device in enhancing students’ motivation and performance in learning selected concepts in physics. The Physics innovative device was developed based upon research on student difficulties in learning relevant concepts in physics and their attitudes toward the subject. Basic concepts in mechanics were also made as baselines in the development of the locally-produced Physics innovative learning device. Such learning devices are valuable resources when used either in lecture or demonstration classes. The developmental, descriptive and quasi-experimental research methods were utilized to determine the effectiveness, in terms of motivation and performance, of the innovative device in Physics. The instruments used for the data collection were the Instructional Materials Motivational Scale (IMMS developed by Keller and the students’ performance test. Pretest and posttest mean scores were measured to determine if there is a mean gain score difference between the experimental and control groups. The study revealed that the group taught with the Physics innovative device performed significantly better than those taught in the traditional method and also the use of Physics innovative device generally improved students’ understanding of concepts and led to higher academic achievements. Analysis of the students’ level of motivation showed that their interests were captured, the instructions they received were relevant to their personal goals and motives, their confidence to learn on their own were build-up, and learning for them was rewarding and important. In the four dimensions (ARCS of IMMS students were found to be attentive, confident, and in agreement in using the fun-learning tool having realize its applicability and relevance in learning their Physics lessons. Results of the study disclosed students and teachers consider the novel device acceptable because it is

  18. Evaluation of an Improved Branch-Site Likelihood Method for Detecting Positive Selection at the Molecular Level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jianzhi; Nielsen, Rasmus; Yang, Ziheng

    2005-01-01

    of interest, while test 2 had acceptable false-positive rates and appeared robust against violations of model assumptions. As test 2 is a direct test of positive selection on the lineages of interest, it is referred to as the branch-site test of positive selection and is recommended for use in real data......Detecting positive Darwinian selection at the DNA sequence level has been a subject of considerable interest. However, positive selection is difficult to detect because it often operates episodically on a few amino acid sites, and the signal may be masked by negative selection. Several methods have...... been developed to test positive selection that acts on given branches (branch methods) or on a subset of sites (site methods). Recently, Yang, Z., and R. Nielsen (2002. Codon-substitution models for detecting molecular adaptation at individual sites along specific lineages. Mol. Biol. Evol. 19...

  19. Improved methods in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of almond using positive (mannose/pmi) or negative (kanamycin resistance) selection-based protocols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, Sunita A; Kaiser, Brent N; Franks, Tricia; Collins, Graham; Sedgley, Margaret

    2006-08-01

    A protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with either kanamycin or mannose selection was developed for leaf explants of the cultivar Prunus dulcis cv. Ne Plus Ultra. Regenerating shoots were selected on medium containing 15 muM kanamycin (negative selection), while in the positive selection strategy, shoots were selected on 2.5 g/l mannose supplemented with 15 g/l sucrose. Transformation efficiencies based on PCR analysis of individual putative transformed shoots from independent lines relative to the initial numbers of leaf explants tested were 5.6% for kanamycin/nptII and 6.8% for mannose/pmi selection, respectively. Southern blot analysis on six randomly chosen PCR-positive shoots confirmed the presence of the nptII transgene in each, and five randomly chosen lines identified to contain the pmi transgene by PCR showed positive hybridisation to a pmi DNA probe. The positive (mannose/pmi) and the negative (kanamycin) selection protocols used in this study have greatly improved transformation efficiency in almond, which were confirmed with PCR and Southern blot. This study also demonstrates that in almond the mannose/pmi selection protocol is appropriate and can result in higher transformation efficiencies over that of kanamycin/nptII selection protocols.

  20. Addressing catch mechanisms in gillnets improves modeling of selectivity and estimates of mortality rates: a case study using survey data on an endangered stock of Arctic char

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonsson, T.; Setzer, M.; Pope, John George

    2013-01-01

    Estimation of fish stock size distributions from survey data requires knowledge about gear selectivity. However, selectivity models rest on assumptions that seldom are analyzed. Departures from these can lead to misinterpretations and biased management recommendations. Here, we use survey data...... and asymmetric, with poor model fits. Removing potentially nonmeshed fish had the greatest positive effect on model fit, resulting in much narrower and less asymmetric selection curves, while attempting to take nonisometric growth into account, by using girth rather than length, improved model fit...

  1. A modified Janus cassette (Sweet Janus to improve allelic replacement efficiency by high-stringency negative selection in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Li

    Full Text Available The Janus cassette permits marker-free allelic replacement or knockout in streptomycin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus through sequential positive and negative selection. Spontaneous revertants of Janus can lead to high level of false-positives during negative selection, which necessitate a time-consuming post-selection screening process. We hypothesized that an additional counter-selectable marker in Janus would decrease the revertant frequency and reduce false-positives, since simultaneous reversion of both counter-selectable makers is much less likely. Here we report a modified cassette, Sweet Janus (SJ, in which the sacB gene from Bacillus subtilis conferring sucrose sensitivity is added to Janus. By using streptomycin and sucrose simultaneously as selective agents, the frequency of SJ double revertants was about 105-fold lower than the frequency of Janus revertants. Accordingly, the frequency of false-positives in the SJ-mediated negative selection was about 100-fold lower than what was seen for Janus. Thus, SJ enhances negative selection stringency and can accelerate allelic replacement in pneumococcus, especially when transformation frequency is low due to strain background or suboptimal transformation conditions. Results also suggested the sacB gene alone can function as a counter-selectable marker in the Gram-positive pneumococcus, which will have the advantage of not requiring a streptomycin-resistant strain for allelic replacement.

  2. Direct phase selection of initial phases from single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) for the improvement of electron density and ab initio structure determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Chung-De; Huang, Yen-Chieh; Chiang, Hsin-Lin; Hsieh, Yin-Cheng; Guan, Hong-Hsiang; Chuankhayan, Phimonphan; Chen, Chun-Jung

    2014-01-01

    A novel direct phase-selection method to select optimized phases from the ambiguous phases of a subset of reflections to replace the corresponding initial SAD phases has been developed. With the improved phases, the completeness of built residues of protein molecules is enhanced for efficient structure determination. Optimization of the initial phasing has been a decisive factor in the success of the subsequent electron-density modification, model building and structure determination of biological macromolecules using the single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) method. Two possible phase solutions (ϕ 1 and ϕ 2 ) generated from two symmetric phase triangles in the Harker construction for the SAD method cause the well known phase ambiguity. A novel direct phase-selection method utilizing the θ DS list as a criterion to select optimized phases ϕ am from ϕ 1 or ϕ 2 of a subset of reflections with a high percentage of correct phases to replace the corresponding initial SAD phases ϕ SAD has been developed. Based on this work, reflections with an angle θ DS in the range 35–145° are selected for an optimized improvement, where θ DS is the angle between the initial phase ϕ SAD and a preliminary density-modification (DM) phase ϕ DM NHL . The results show that utilizing the additional direct phase-selection step prior to simple solvent flattening without phase combination using existing DM programs, such as RESOLVE or DM from CCP4, significantly improves the final phases in terms of increased correlation coefficients of electron-density maps and diminished mean phase errors. With the improved phases and density maps from the direct phase-selection method, the completeness of residues of protein molecules built with main chains and side chains is enhanced for efficient structure determination

  3. Improving the selectivity of beam trawls in The Netherlands: the effect of large mesh top panels on the catch rates of sole, plaice, cod and whiting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marlen, van B.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents the results of experiments aimed to improve the selectivity of beam trawls in the North Sea for roundfish whilst minimizing losses on target flatfish. Large-meshed top panels were designed for the tickler chain type of beam trawls used in this fishery. The design process involved

  4. Rate of improvement during and across three treatments for panic disorder with or without agoraphobia : Cognitive behavioral therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or both combined

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Apeldoorn, Franske J.; Van Hout, Wiljo J. P. J.; Timmerman, Marieke E.; Mersch, Peter Paul A.; den Boer, Johan A.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Existing literature on panic disorder (PD) yields no data regarding the differential rates of improvement during Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) or both combined (CBT+SSRI). Method: Patients were randomized to CBT, SSRI or CBT+SSRI which

  5. Theoretical investigation of generator-collector microwell arrays for improving electroanalytical selectivity: application to selective dopamine detection in the presence of ascorbic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleinick, Alexander; Zhu, Feng; Yan, Jiawei; Mao, Bingwei; Svir, Irina; Amatore, Christian

    2013-06-24

    Recessed generator-collector assemblies consisting of an array of recessed disks (generator electrodes) with a gold layer (collector electrode) deposited over the top-plane insulator reportedly allow increased selectivity and sensitivity during electrochemical detection of dopamine (DA) in the presence of ascorbic acid (AA), a situation which is frequently encountered. In sensor design, the potential of the disk electrodes is set to the wave plateau of DA, whereas the plane electrode is biased at the irreversible wave plateau of AA before the onset of the DA oxidation wave. Thus, AA is scavenged but DA is allowed to enter the nanocavities to be oxidized at the disk electrodes, and its signal is further amplified by redox cycling between disk and plane electrodes. Several different theoretical approaches are elaborated herein to analyze the behavior of the system, and their conclusions are successfully tested by experiments. This reveals the crucial role of the plane-electrode area which screens access to the recessed disks (i.e. acts as a diffusional Faraday cage) and simultaneously contributes to amplification of the analyte signal through positive feedback, as occurs in interdigitated arrays and scanning electrochemical microscopy. Simulations also allow for the evaluation of the benefits of different geometries inspired by the above design and different operating modes for increasing the sensor performance. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Design of Soybean Seed Selecting Machine and Its Improvement%大豆种子清选机的设计及改进

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张军

    2015-01-01

    在简介国内外大豆清选技术的基础上,设计3LD-ZP型大豆种子清选机。介绍大豆种子清选机的结构组成、工作过程及主要影响因素,提出结构改进方案,为提高大豆种子的分选质量提供适用机具。%In the article, it designed type 3LD-ZP soybean seed selecting machine on the basis of briefly introducing the technology of soybean selecting at home and abroad. It introduced structure components, operating process and main influence factors of soybean seed selecting machine, raised improvement plan for the structure, in order to provide suitable machinery for increasing selecting quality of soybean seed.

  7. An improved hybrid multi-criteria/multidimensional model for strategic industrial location selection: Casablanca industrial zones as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutkhoum, Omar; Hanine, Mohamed; Agouti, Tarik; Tikniouine, Abdessadek

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we examine the issue of strategic industrial location selection in uncertain decision making environments for implanting new industrial corporation. In fact, the industrial location issue is typically considered as a crucial factor in business research field which is related to many calculations about natural resources, distributors, suppliers, customers, and most other things. Based on the integration of environmental, economic and social decisive elements of sustainable development, this paper presents a hybrid decision making model combining fuzzy multi-criteria analysis with analytical capabilities that OLAP systems can provide for successful and optimal industrial location selection. The proposed model mainly consists in three stages. In the first stage, a decision-making committee has been established to identify the evaluation criteria impacting the location selection process. In the second stage, we develop fuzzy AHP software based on the extent analysis method to assign the importance weights to the selected criteria, which allows us to model the linguistic vagueness, ambiguity, and incomplete knowledge. In the last stage, OLAP analysis integrated with multi-criteria analysis employs these weighted criteria as inputs to evaluate, rank and select the strategic industrial location for implanting new business corporation in the region of Casablanca, Morocco. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the impact of criteria weights and the preferences given by decision makers on the final rankings of strategic industrial locations.

  8. Improved selectivity towards NO₂ of phthalocyanine-based chemosensors by means of original indigo/nanocarbons hybrid material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunet, J; Pauly, A; Dubois, M; Rodriguez-Mendez, M L; Ndiaye, A L; Varenne, C; Guérin, K

    2014-09-01

    A new and original gas sensor-system dedicated to the selective monitoring of nitrogen dioxide in air and in the presence of ozone, has been successfully achieved. Because of its high sensitivity and its partial selectivity towards oxidizing pollutants (nitrogen dioxide and ozone), copper phthalocyanine-based chemoresistors are relevant. The selectivity towards nitrogen dioxide results from the implementation of a high efficient and selective ozone filter upstream the sensing device. Thus, a powdered indigo/nanocarbons hybrid material has been developed and investigated for such an application. If nanocarbonaceous material acts as a highly permeable matrix with a high specific surface area, immobilized indigo nanoparticles are involved into an ozonolysis reaction with ozone leading to the selective removal of this analytes from air sample. The filtering yields towards each gas have been experimentally quantified and establish the complete removal of ozone while having the concentration of nitrogen dioxide unchanged. Long-term gas exposures reveal the higher durability of hybrid material as compared to nanocarbons and indigo separately. Synthesis, characterizations by many complementary techniques and tests of hybrid filters are detailed. Results on sensor-system including CuPc-based chemoresistors and indigo/carbon nanotubes hybrid material as in-line filter are illustrated. Sensing performances will be especially discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Genetic selection and improvement of hard wood tree species for fuelwood production on sodic soil with particular reference to Prosopis juliflora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goel, V.L.; Behl, H.M. [National Botanical Research Inst., Lucknow (India). Dept. of Tree Biology

    2001-07-01

    This study is part of a research programme on selection and improvement of fast growing tree species suitable for wood fuel production on sodic wastelands (pH 8.6-10.5). Field trials of nine legumes (Acacia auriculiformis, A. nilotica, Albizia lebbeck, A. procera, Dalbergia sissoo, Leucaena leucocephala, Pongamia pinnata, Prosopis juliflora, Pithecellobium dulce) and three other tree species (Azadirachta indica, Eucalyptus tereticornis and Terminalai arjuna) were selected for this study. Prosopis juliflora was the most promising species in terms of its biomass productivity (68.7 t ha{sup -1}) and fuel value index (148.8) after 8-yr of growth. Acacia nilotica ranked second. Intra-specific variations were screened at provenance and individual tree level in order to improve fuelwood production potential of P. juliflora through selection and breeding. Successful populations (gene pools) and individuals (genotypes) were closed and conserved in clonal gardens to produce quality germplasm for plantations on sodic wastelands. Genetic testing, selection and multiplication of selected material are under progress. This will optimise gains in future afforestation programmes on sodic soils. (Author)

  10. Improved Variable Selection Algorithm Using a LASSO-Type Penalty, with an Application to Assessing Hepatitis B Infection Relevant Factors in Community Residents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Pi; Zeng, Fangfang; Hu, Xiaomin; Zhang, Dingmei; Zhu, Shuming; Deng, Yu; Hao, Yuantao

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In epidemiological studies, it is important to identify independent associations between collective exposures and a health outcome. The current stepwise selection technique ignores stochastic errors and suffers from a lack of stability. The alternative LASSO-penalized regression model can be applied to detect significant predictors from a pool of candidate variables. However, this technique is prone to false positives and tends to create excessive biases. It remains challenging to develop robust variable selection methods and enhance predictability. Material and methods Two improved algorithms denoted the two-stage hybrid and bootstrap ranking procedures, both using a LASSO-type penalty, were developed for epidemiological association analysis. The performance of the proposed procedures and other methods including conventional LASSO, Bolasso, stepwise and stability selection models were evaluated using intensive simulation. In addition, methods were compared by using an empirical analysis based on large-scale survey data of hepatitis B infection-relevant factors among Guangdong residents. Results The proposed procedures produced comparable or less biased selection results when compared to conventional variable selection models. In total, the two newly proposed procedures were stable with respect to various scenarios of simulation, demonstrating a higher power and a lower false positive rate during variable selection than the compared methods. In empirical analysis, the proposed procedures yielding a sparse set of hepatitis B infection-relevant factors gave the best predictive performance and showed that the procedures were able to select a more stringent set of factors. The individual history of hepatitis B vaccination, family and individual history of hepatitis B infection were associated with hepatitis B infection in the studied residents according to the proposed procedures. Conclusions The newly proposed procedures improve the identification of

  11. Improving observational study estimates of treatment effects using joint modeling of selection effects and outcomes: the case of AAA repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, A James; Cotterill, Philip; Schermerhorn, Marc L; Landon, Bruce E

    2011-12-01

    When 2 treatment approaches are available, there are likely to be unmeasured confounders that influence choice of procedure, which complicates estimation of the causal effect of treatment on outcomes using observational data. To estimate the effect of endovascular (endo) versus open surgical (open) repair, including possible modification by institutional volume, on survival after treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm, accounting for observed and unobserved confounding variables. Observational study of data from the Medicare program using a joint model of treatment selection and survival given treatment to estimate the effects of type of surgery and institutional volume on survival. We studied 61,414 eligible repairs of intact abdominal aortic aneurysms during 2001 to 2004. The outcome, perioperative death, is defined as in-hospital death or death within 30 days of operation. The key predictors are use of endo, transformed endo and open volume, and endo-volume interactions. There is strong evidence of nonrandom selection of treatment with potential confounding variables including institutional volume and procedure date, variables not typically adjusted for in clinical trials. The best fitting model included heterogeneous transformations of endo volume for endo cases and open volume for open cases as predictors. Consistent with our hypothesis, accounting for unmeasured selection reduced the mortality benefit of endo. The effect of endo versus open surgery varies nonlinearly with endo and open volume. Accounting for institutional experience and unmeasured selection enables better decision-making by physicians making treatment referrals, investigators evaluating treatments, and policy makers.

  12. Improving selection of markers in nutrition research: evaluation of the criteria proposed by the ILSI Europe Marker Validation Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calder, Philip C; Boobis, Alan; Braun, Deborah; Champ, Claire L; Dye, Louise; Einöther, Suzanne; Greyling, Arno; Matthys, Christophe; Putz, Peter; Wopereis, Suzan; Woodside, Jayne V; Antoine, Jean-Michel

    2017-06-01

    The conduct of high-quality nutrition research requires the selection of appropriate markers as outcomes, for example as indicators of food or nutrient intake, nutritional status, health status or disease risk. Such selection requires detailed knowledge of the markers, and consideration of the factors that may influence their measurement, other than the effects of nutritional change. A framework to guide selection of markers within nutrition research studies would be a valuable tool for researchers. A multidisciplinary Expert Group set out to test criteria designed to aid the evaluation of candidate markers for their usefulness in nutrition research and subsequently to develop a scoring system for markers. The proposed criteria were tested using thirteen markers selected from a broad range of nutrition research fields. The result of this testing was a modified list of criteria and a template for evaluating a potential marker against the criteria. Subsequently, a semi-quantitative system for scoring a marker and an associated template were developed. This system will enable the evaluation and comparison of different candidate markers within the same field of nutrition research in order to identify their relative usefulness. The ranking criteria of proven, strong, medium or low are likely to vary according to research setting, research field and the type of tool used to assess the marker and therefore the considerations for scoring need to be determined in a setting-, field- and tool-specific manner. A database of such markers, their interpretation and range of possible values would be valuable to nutrition researchers.

  13. Improving the Faculty Selection Process in Higher Education: A Case for the Analytic Hierarchy Process. IR Applications. Volume 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandzol, John R.

    2005-01-01

    The selection of faculty in academic institutions is an important process--one that has long-lasting effects on an institution's ability to fulfill its mission. Faculty influence the quality of the education delivered, the effectiveness of the programs and activities offered, and the financial efficiency of the delivery processes. Failed searches…

  14. The Effect of Implementing Knowledge Management System in Supplier Selection Content to Improve Learning Performance of Online Travel Agencies Staff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariya, Pakinee; Chakpitak, Nopasit; Sureepong, Pradorn

    2016-01-01

    Supplier selection knowledge of OTAs businesses is one of the most valuable and significant knowledge since OTAs now operate businesses that gain their benefits from having many kinds of tourism products and services for customers to browse from in their own online booking systems. The better the suppliers, the more successful will OTAs be. The…

  15. Effects of Improvement on Selective Attention: Developing Appropriate Somatosensory Video Game Interventions for Institutional-Dwelling Elderly with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Ti; Chiang, I-Tsun; Liu, Eric Zhi-Feng; Chang, Maiga

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop appropriate somatosensory video game interventions on enhancing selective attention of institutional-dwelling elderly with disabilities. Fifty-eight participants aged 65[approximately]92 were recruited and divided into four groups, 4-week and 8-week experimental and two control groups, for evaluating the…

  16. Automated intelligent rotor tine cultivation and punch planting to improve the selectivity of mechanical intra-row weed control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jesper; Griepentrog, Hans W.; Nielsen, Jon

    2012-01-01

    in sugar beet and carrot crops showed no synergistic effects between plant establishment procedures and selectivity of post-emergence weed harrowing. Even if punch planting and automated intelligent rotor tine cultivation were not combined, the results indicated that there was no reason to believe...... that mainly work through soil burial....

  17. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills : A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    For self-regulated learning to be effective, students need to be able to accurately assess their own performance on a learning task and use this assessment for the selection of a new learning task. Evidence suggests, however, that students have difficulties with accurate self-assessment and task

  18. Selection of Sperm Based on Hypo-Osmotic Swelling May Improve ICSI Outcome: A Preliminary Prospective Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasim Charehjooy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI technique selects sperm according to morphology and motility. However, these parameters cannot predict the chromatin integrity of sperm. Considering the detrimental effects of DNA-damaged sperm on reproductive outcomes, novel sperm selection procedures have been proposed to circumvent the possibility of inseminating DNA-damaged sperm. It has been shown that different potential hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST patterns possess the potential to differentiate between sperm that have intact or damaged chromatin. Therefore, for the first time, this preliminary study evaluates the role of HOST as a sperm selection procedure in a clinical setting. Materials and Methods: In this preliminary prospective clinical trial study, we divided infertile couples diagnosed with male infertility into two groups. In the treatment group (n=39, half of the oocytes were inseminated by sperm selected following density gradient centrifugation (DGC group. The remaining oocytes from the treatment group were inseminated by sperm chosen according to HOST pattern (c, d or e following DGC processing (HOST group. In the control group (n=63, all oocytes were inseminated by sperm chosen after DGC. Results: There was a significantly higher percentage of embryos that had good quality, implantation, and chemical pregnancy rates in the HOST group compared to the DGC group (p≤0.05. Conclusion: This study has shown that selecting sperm according to membrane functionality (HOST pattern rather morphology and viability may open a new window in our approach for determining the appropriate sperm for ICSI, particularly in individuals with severe male infertility (Registration Number: IRCT201307087223N2.

  19. Selection of indicators for continuous monitoring of patient safety: recommendations of the project 'safety improvement for patients in Europe'

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Solvejg; Mainz, Jan; Bartels, Paul

    2009-01-01

    such as culture, infections, surgical complications, medication errors, obstetrics, falls and specific diagnostic areas. CONCLUSION: The patient safety indicators recommended present a set of possible measures of patient safety. One of the future perspectives of implementing patient safety indicators...... for systematic monitoring is that it will be possible to continuously estimate the prevalence and incidence of patient safety quality problems. The lesson learnt from quality improvement is that it will pay off in terms of improving patient safety....

  20. Improving Blast Resistance of a Thermo-Sensitive Genic Male Sterile Rice Line GD-8S by Molecular Marker-Assisted Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-ge LIU

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The broad-spectrum blast resistance gene Pi-1, from donor line BL122, was introduced into a thermo-sensitive genic male sterile rice line GD-8S, which possessed good grain quality but high susceptibility to rice blast, by using backcross breeding and molecular marker-assisted selection. Five elite improved male sterile lines, RGD8S-1, RGD8S-2, RGD8S-3, RGD8S-4 and RGD8S-5, were selected based on the results of molecular marker analysis, spikelet sterility, recovery rate of genetic background and agronomic traits. Thirty-three representative blast isolates collected from Guangdong Province, China were used to inoculate the improved lines and the original line GD-8S artificially. The resistance frequencies of the improved lines ranged from 76.47% to 100%, much higher than that of the original line GD-8S (9.09%. On the agronomic characters, there were no significant differences between the improved lines and GD-8S except for flag leaf length and panicle number per plant. The improved lines could be used for breeding hybrid rice with high blast resistance.

  1. Improved room-temperature-selectivity between Nd and Fe in Nd recovery from Nd-Fe-B magnet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kataoka, Y.; Kitagawa, J., E-mail: j-kitagawa@fit.ac.jp [Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Fukuoka Institute of Technology, 3-30-1 Wajiro-higashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 811-0295 (Japan); Ono, T.; Tsubota, M. [Physonit Inc., 6-10 Minami-Horikawa, Kaita Aki, Hiroshima 736-0044 (Japan)

    2015-11-15

    The sustainable society requires the recycling of rare metals. Rare earth Nd is one of rare metals, accompanying huge consumption especially in Nd-Fe-B magnets. Although the wet process using acid is in practical use in the in-plant recycle of sludge, higher selectivity between Nd and Fe at room temperature is desired. We have proposed a pretreatment of corrosion before the dissolution into HCl and the oxalic acid precipitation. The corrosion produces γ-FeOOH and a Nd hydroxide, which have high selectivity for HCl solution at room temperature. Nd can be recovered as Mn{sub 2}O{sub 3}-type Nd{sub 2}O{sub 3}. The estimated recovery-ratio of Nd reaches to 97%.

  2. Improved room-temperature-selectivity between Nd and Fe in Nd recovery from Nd-Fe-B magnet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Kataoka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The sustainable society requires the recycling of rare metals. Rare earth Nd is one of rare metals, accompanying huge consumption especially in Nd-Fe-B magnets. Although the wet process using acid is in practical use in the in-plant recycle of sludge, higher selectivity between Nd and Fe at room temperature is desired. We have proposed a pretreatment of corrosion before the dissolution into HCl and the oxalic acid precipitation. The corrosion produces γ-FeOOH and a Nd hydroxide, which have high selectivity for HCl solution at room temperature. Nd can be recovered as Mn2O3-type Nd2O3. The estimated recovery-ratio of Nd reaches to 97%.

  3. Multivariate analysis and determination of the best indirect selection criteria to genetic improvement the biological nitrogen fixation ability in common bean genotypes (Phaseolus vulgaris L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Golparvar Reza Ahmad

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to determine the best indirect selection criteria for genetic improvement of biological nitrogen fixation, sixty four common bean genotypes were cultivated in two randomized complete block design. Genotypes were inoculated with bacteria Rhizobium legominosarum biovar Phaseoli isolate L-109 only in one of the experiments. The second experiment was considered as check for the first. Correlation analysis showed positive and highly significant correlation of majority of the traits with percent of nitrogen fixation. Step-wise regression designated that traits percent of total nitrogen of shoot, number of nodule per plant and biological yield accounted for 92.3 percent of variation exist in percent of nitrogen fixation. Path analysis indicated that these traits have direct and positive effect on percent of nitrogen fixation. Hence, these traits are promising indirect selection criteria for genetic improvement of nitrogen fixation capability in common bean genotypes especially in early generations.

  4. Direct phase selection of initial phases from single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) for the improvement of electron density and ab initio structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chung-De; Huang, Yen-Chieh; Chiang, Hsin-Lin; Hsieh, Yin-Cheng; Guan, Hong-Hsiang; Chuankhayan, Phimonphan; Chen, Chun-Jung

    2014-09-01

    Optimization of the initial phasing has been a decisive factor in the success of the subsequent electron-density modification, model building and structure determination of biological macromolecules using the single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) method. Two possible phase solutions (φ1 and φ2) generated from two symmetric phase triangles in the Harker construction for the SAD method cause the well known phase ambiguity. A novel direct phase-selection method utilizing the θ(DS) list as a criterion to select optimized phases φ(am) from φ1 or φ2 of a subset of reflections with a high percentage of correct phases to replace the corresponding initial SAD phases φ(SAD) has been developed. Based on this work, reflections with an angle θ(DS) in the range 35-145° are selected for an optimized improvement, where θ(DS) is the angle between the initial phase φ(SAD) and a preliminary density-modification (DM) phase φ(DM)(NHL). The results show that utilizing the additional direct phase-selection step prior to simple solvent flattening without phase combination using existing DM programs, such as RESOLVE or DM from CCP4, significantly improves the final phases in terms of increased correlation coefficients of electron-density maps and diminished mean phase errors. With the improved phases and density maps from the direct phase-selection method, the completeness of residues of protein molecules built with main chains and side chains is enhanced for efficient structure determination.

  5. Validating the Kinematic Wave Approach for Rapid Soil Erosion Assessment and Improved BMP Site Selection to Enhance Training Land Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-01

    installation based on a Euclidean distance allocation and assigned that installation’s threshold values. The second approach used a thin - plate spline ...installation critical nLS+ thresholds involved spatial interpolation. A thin - plate spline radial basis functions (RBF) was selected as the...the interpolation of installation results using a thin - plate spline radial basis function technique. 6.5 OBJECTIVE #5: DEVELOP AND

  6. An Evidence-Based Cue-Selection Guide and Logic Model to Improve Pressure Ulcer Prevention in Long Term Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tracey L.; Kennerly, Susan M.; Bergstrom, Nancy; Hudak, Sandra L.; Horn, Susan D.

    2015-01-01

    Pressure ulcers (PrUs) have consistently resisted prevention efforts in long term care (LTC) facilities nationwide. Recent research has described cueing innovations that – when selected according to the assumptions and resources of particular facilities – support best practices of PrU prevention. This paper synthesizes that research into a unified, dynamic logic model to facilitate effective staff implementation of a PrU prevention program. PMID:26066791

  7. Body condition score of Nellore beef cows: a heritable measure to improve the selection of reproductive and maternal traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, A F A; Neves, H H R; Carvalheiro, R; Oliveira, J A; Queiroz, S A

    2015-08-01

    Despite the economic importance of beef cattle production in Brazil, female reproductive performance, which is strongly associated with production efficiency, is not included in the selection index of most breeding programmes due to low heritability and difficulty in measure. The body condition score (BCS) could be used as an indicator of these traits. However, so far little is known about the feasibility of using BCS as a selection tool for reproductive performance in beef cattle. In this study, we investigated the sources of variation in the BCS of Nellore beef cows, quantified its association with reproductive and maternal traits and estimated its heritability. BCS was analysed using a logistic model that included the following effects: contemporary group at weaning, cow weight and hip height, calving order, reconception together with the weight and scores of conformation and early finishing assigned to calves at weaning. In the genetic analysis, variance components of BCS were estimated through Bayesian inference by fitting an animal model that also included the aforementioned effects. The results showed that BCS was significantly associated with all of the reproductive and maternal variables analysed. The estimated posterior mean of heritability of BCS was 0.24 (highest posterior density interval at 95%: 0.093 to 0.385), indicating an involvement of additive gene action in its determination. The present findings show that BCS can be used as a selection criterion for Nellore females.

  8. Comparing the Selection and Placement of Best Management Practices in Improving Water Quality Using a Multiobjective Optimization and Targeting Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Chi Chiang

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Suites of Best Management Practices (BMPs are usually selected to be economically and environmentally efficient in reducing nonpoint source (NPS pollutants from agricultural areas in a watershed. The objective of this research was to compare the selection and placement of BMPs in a pasture-dominated watershed using multiobjective optimization and targeting methods. Two objective functions were used in the optimization process, which minimize pollutant losses and the BMP placement areas. The optimization tool was an integration of a multi-objective genetic algorithm (GA and a watershed model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool—SWAT. For the targeting method, an optimum BMP option was implemented in critical areas in the watershed that contribute the greatest pollutant losses. A total of 171 BMP combinations, which consist of grazing management, vegetated filter strips (VFS, and poultry litter applications were considered. The results showed that the optimization is less effective when vegetated filter strips (VFS are not considered, and it requires much longer computation times than the targeting method to search for optimum BMPs. Although the targeting method is effective in selecting and placing an optimum BMP, larger areas are needed for BMP implementation to achieve the same pollutant reductions as the optimization method.

  9. Time-lapse culture with morphokinetic embryo selection improves pregnancy and live birth chances and reduces early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pribenszky, Csaba; Nilselid, Anna-Maria; Montag, Markus

    2017-11-01

    Embryo evaluation and selection is fundamental in clinical IVF. Time-lapse follow-up of embryo development comprises undisturbed culture and the application of the visual information to support embryo evaluation. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was carried out to study whether time-lapse monitoring with the prospective use of a morphokinetic algorithm for selection of embryos improves overall clinical outcome (pregnancy, early pregnancy loss, stillbirth and live birth rate) compared with embryo selection based on single time-point morphology in IVF cycles. The meta-analysis of five randomized controlled trials (n = 1637) showed that the application of time-lapse monitoring was associated with a significantly higher ongoing clinical pregnancy rate (51.0% versus 39.9%), with a pooled odds ratio of 1.542 (P loss (15.3% versus 21.3%; OR: 0.662; P = 0.019) and a significantly increased live birth rate (44.2% versus 31.3%; OR 1.668; P = 0.009). Difference in stillbirth was not significant between groups (4.7% versus 2.4%). Quality of the evidence was moderate to low owing to inconsistencies across the studies. Selective application and variability were also limitations. Although time-lapse is shown to significantly improve overall clinical outcome, further high-quality evidence is needed before universal conclusions can be drawn. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Genetic Gains in Yield and Yield Related Traits under Drought Stress and Favorable Environments in a Maize Population Improved Using Marker Assisted Recurrent Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Folusho Bankole

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of marker assisted recurrent selection (MARS is to increase the frequency of favorable marker alleles in a population before inbred line extraction. This approach was used to improve drought tolerance and grain yield (GY in a biparental cross of two elite drought tolerant lines. The testcrosses of randomly selected 50 S1 lines from each of the three selection cycles (C0, C1, C2 of the MARS population, parental testcrosses and the cross between the two parents (F1 were evaluated under drought stress (DS and well watered (WW well as under rainfed conditions to determine genetic gains in GY and other agronomic traits. Also, the S1 lines derived from each selection types were genotyped with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers. Testcrosses derived from C2 produced significantly higher grain field under DS than those derived from C0 with a relative genetic gain of 7% per cycle. Also, the testcrosses of S1 lines from C2 showed an average genetic gain of 1% per cycle under WW condition and 3% per cycle under rainfed condition. Molecular analysis revealed that the frequency of favorable marker alleles increased from 0.510 at C0 to 0.515 at C2, while the effective number of alleles (Ne per locus decreased from C0 (1.93 to C2 (1.87. Our results underscore the effectiveness of MARS for improvement of GY under DS condition.

  11. Self-selected music-induced reduction of perceived exertion during moderate-intensity exercise does not interfere with post-exercise improvements in inhibitory control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Daichi; Tsukamoto, Hayato; Suga, Tadashi; Takenaka, Saki; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Hashimoto, Takeshi; Isaka, Tadao

    2018-05-26

    Acute aerobic exercise improves inhibitory control (IC). This improvement is often associated with increases in perceived exertion during exercise. However, listening to music during aerobic exercise mitigates an exercise-induced increase in perceived exertion. Thus, it is hypothesized that such effects of music may interfere with exercise-induced improvements in IC. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of music on post-exercise IC improvements that were induced by moderate-intensity exercise. Fifteen healthy young men performed cycle ergometer exercise with music or non-music. The exercise was performed using a moderate-intensity of 60% of VO 2 peak for 30 min. The music condition was performed while listening to self-selected music. The non-music condition involved no music. To evaluate IC, the Stroop task was administered before exercise, immediately after exercise, and during the 30-min post-exercise recovery period. The rate of perceived exertion immediately before moderate-intensity exercise completed was significantly lower in music condition than in non-music condition. The IC significantly improved immediately after exercise and during the post-exercise recovery period compared to before exercise in both music and non-music conditions. The post-exercise IC improvements did not significantly differ between the two conditions. These findings indicate that self-selected music-induced mitigation of the increase in perceived exertion during moderate-intensity exercise dose not interfere with exercise-induced improvements in IC. Therefore, we suggest that listening to music may be a beneficial strategy in mitigating the increase in perceived exertion during aerobic exercise without decreasing the positive effects on IC. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. School District Leadership Styles and School Improvement: Evidence from Selected School Principals in the Eastern Cape Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorosi, Pontso; Bantwini, Bongani D.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how leadership styles in the Eastern Cape school districts support school improvement. Mixed methods research was employed and data was collected through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with school principals in various districts. The study was guided by the following questions:…

  13. International Science Education: A Study of UNESCO Science Education Improvement Projects in Selected Anglophone Countries of Africa: Project Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichter, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Discusses some of the problems faced by technical advisors implementing projects for the improvement of science education in Africa and reasons for these problems. Problem areas considered include underdevelopment, underestimating the process, finances, personality conflict and motivation, and opposition from key groups. (A list of major UNESCO…

  14. Surface modification of imprinted polymer microspheres with ultrathin hydrophilic shells to improve selective recognition of glutathione in aqueous media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Renyuan, E-mail: songrenyuan0726@163.com; Hu, Xiaoling; Guan, Ping; Li, Ji; Du, Chunbao; Qian, Liwei; Wang, Chaoli

    2016-03-01

    A universal, effective approach addressing the classical limitations of hydrophobic molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) microspheres was described. Two water-compatible MIP microspheres with ultrathin hydrophilic shells were synthesized by controllable surface-graft polymerization using a charged monomer (methacrylic acid) and uncharged monomer (N-isopropylacrylamide) as the hydrophilic functional monomers for the recognition of glutathione in the aqueous medium. The morphological and chemical characteristics of the as-prepared water-compatible MIP microspheres were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. Their selective recognition properties were investigated by static binding tests and compared with those of the ungrafted MIP microspheres. The results of this study showed that the both as-prepared water-compatible MIP microspheres effectively decreased non-specific binding and enhanced the imprinting factor significantly, and the water-compatible MIP microspheres prepared using N-isopropylacrylamide as monomer exhibited a more remarkable recognition property. In addition, the thickness of surface-grafted hydrophilic layer was well controlled by adjusting the irradiation time to obtain the excellent recognition property. Finally, the applicability of the as-prepared water-compatible MIP microspheres as solid-phase extraction materials was investigated by competitive binding tests using a mixture of glutathione and its analogs. - Highlights: • Ultrathin hydrophilic shell was synthesized by controllable SIP approach. • Low nonspecific binding, high imprinting factor and selectivity were achieved. • Value of imprinting factor was controlled by adjusting irradiation time. • Selective solid-phase extraction of glutathione from a mixed solution of peptides.

  15. An Unusual Ligand Coordination Gives Rise to a New Family of Rhodium Metalloinsertors with Improved Selectivity and Potency

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Rhodium metalloinsertors are octahedral complexes that bind DNA mismatches with high affinity and specificity and exhibit unique cell-selective cytotoxicity, targeting mismatch repair (MMR)-deficient cells over MMR-proficient cells. Here we describe a new generation of metalloinsertors with enhanced biological potency and selectivity, in which the complexes show Rh–O coordination. In particular, it has been found that both Δ- and Λ-[Rh(chrysi)(phen)(DPE)]2+ (where chrysi =5,6 chrysenequinone diimmine, phen =1,10-phenanthroline, and DPE = 1,1-di(pyridine-2-yl)ethan-1-ol) bind to DNA containing a single CC mismatch with similar affinities and without racemization. This is in direct contrast with previous metalloinsertors and suggests a possible different binding disposition for these complexes in the mismatch site. We ascribe this difference to the higher pKa of the coordinated immine of the chrysi ligand in these complexes, so that the complexes must insert into the DNA helix with the inserting ligand in a buckled orientation; spectroscopic studies in the presence and absence of DNA along with the crystal structure of the complex without DNA support this assignment. Remarkably, all members of this new family of compounds have significantly increased potency in a range of cellular assays; indeed, all are more potent than cisplatin and N-methyl-N′-nitro-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG, a common DNA-alkylating chemotherapeutic agent). Moreover, the activities of the new metalloinsertors are coupled with high levels of selective cytotoxicity for MMR-deficient versus proficient colorectal cancer cells. PMID:25254630

  16. Selection for intramuscular fat and lean meat yield will improve the bloomed colour of Australian lamb loin meat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calnan, H B; Jacob, R H; Pethick, D W; Gardner, G E

    2017-09-01

    The colour of bloomed m. longissimus was measured 24h post slaughter for 8165 lamb carcasses produced over 5years across 8 sites in Australia. Intramuscular fat across a 2 to 8% range and shortloin fat weight were positively associated with meat lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), hue and chroma (Pmeat colour parameters (Pmeat yield will have neutral or positive effects on meat colour, while selection for increased intramuscular fat will make the bloomed colour of lamb meat lighter and redder. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Addressing Flooding and SuDS when Improving Drainage and Sewerage Systems—A Comparative Study of Selected Scandinavian Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geir Torgersen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Pluvial flooding already challenges the capacity of drainage and sewerage system in urban areas in Scandinavia. For system owners this requires a stricter prioritization when improving the systems. Experts seem to agree that a regime shift from improving old combined sewers by piped solutions to more sustainable drainage systems (SuDS, must take place. In this paper results from an investigation amongst the largest cities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden concerning drivers and preferred methods for improving the old system are presented. The results indicate that Norway ranks flood prevention lower than the other Scandinavian countries. During the last decades, Norwegian authorities have had a strong focus on pollution from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP. The attention to drainage and sewerage system regarding flooding, water leaks, infiltration or pollution has been neglected. Renewal or rate of investment in relation to existing drainage and sewerage system is easy to register, and provides a measure of the activity. In order to optimize flood prevention, and may be promoting the use of SuDS, the cities should be required to measure the efficiency, either by monitoring or modeling the impact of stormwater to the system. Lack of such requirements from Norwegian authorities seem to be a plausible explanation to why Norwegian cities are less focused on flood prevention compared to Swedish and Danish cities.

  18. Using StorAge Selection Functions to Improve Simulation of Groundwater Nitrate Lag Times in the SWAT Modeling Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilusz, D. C.; Fuka, D.; Cho, C.; Ball, W. P.; Easton, Z. M.; Harman, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Intensive agriculture and atmospheric deposition have dramatically increased the input of reactive nitrogen into many watersheds worldwide. Reactive nitrogen can leach as nitrate into groundwater, which is stored and eventually released over years to decades into surface waters, potentially degrading water quality. To simulate the fate and transport of groundwater nitrate, many researchers and practitioners use the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) or an enhanced version of SWAT that accounts for topographically-driven variable source areas (TopoSWAT). Both SWAT and TopoSWAT effectively assume that nitrate in the groundwater reservoir is well-mixed, which is known to be a poor assumption at many sites. In this study, we describe modifications to TopoSWAT that (1) relax the assumption of groundwater well-mixedness, (2) more flexibly parameterize groundwater transport as a time-varying distribution of travel times using the recently developed theory of rank StorAge Selection (rSAS) functions, and (3) allow for groundwater age to be represented by position on the hillslope or hydrological distance from the stream. The approach conceptualizes the groundwater aquifer as a population of water parcels entering as recharge with a particular nitrate concentration, aging as they move through storage, and eventually exiting as baseflow. The rSAS function selects the distribution of parcel ages that exit as baseflow based on a parameterized probability distribution; this distribution can be adjusted to preferentially select different distributions of young and old parcels in storage so as to reproduce (in principle) any form of transport. The modified TopoSWAT model (TopoSWAT+rSAS) is tested at a small agricultural catchment in the Eastern Shore, MD with an extensive hydrologic and hydrochemical data record for calibration and evaluation. The results examine (1) the sensitivity of TopoSWAT+rSAS modeling of nitrate transport to assumptions about the distribution of travel

  19. Composites of ionic liquid and amine-modified SAPO 34 improve CO2 separation of CO2-selective polymer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Leiqing; Cheng, Jun; Li, Yannan; Liu, Jianzhong; Zhang, Li; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2017-07-01

    Mixed matrix membranes with ionic liquids and molecular sieve particles had high CO2 permeabilities, but CO2 separation from small gas molecules such as H2 was dissatisfied because of bad interfacial interaction between ionic liquid and molecular sieve particles. To solve that, amine groups were introduced to modify surface of molecular sieve particles before loading with ionic liquid. SAPO 34 was adopted as the original filler, and four mixed matrix membranes with different fillers were prepared on the outer surface of ceramic hollow fibers. Both surface voids and hard agglomerations disappeared, and the surface became smooth after SAPO 34 was modified by amine groups and ionic liquid [P66614][2-Op]. Mixed matrix membranes with composites of amine-modified SAPO 34 and ionic liquid exhibited excellent CO2 permeability (408.9 Barrers) and CO2/H2 selectivity (22.1).

  20. Improvement of Aspergillus niger 55, a raw corn meal saccharifying enzyme hyperproducer, through mutation and selective screening techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oh, S.H.; O, P.S.

    1991-01-01

    Mutation experiments were performed to select the mutant of Aspergillus niger 55, which had lost almost all the ability to produce transglucosidases but retained that of high productivity of raw meal saccharifying enzyme, by means of successive induction with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine(MNNG), ultraviolet(UV) light, and γ-rays. Also, we used the mutant enrichment techniques, such as liquid culture-filtration procedure and differential heat sensitivity of conidia, in order to increase the possibility of obtaining a mutant. The glucoamylase productivity of mutant PFST-38 was 11 times higher than that of the parent strain. The mutant PFST-38 was morphologically identical to the parent strain, except for the size of conidia, the tendency to form conidia and the length of conidiophore. Asp. niger mutant PFST-38 appeared to be useful for the submerged production of the raw corn meal saccharifying enzyme

  1. Improving the Response of Copper(II) Selective PVC Membrane Electrode by Modification of N2S2 Donor Ligand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinić, Slobodan; Buzuk, Marijo; Generalić, Eni; Bralić, Marija

    2010-06-01

    S,S'-bis(2-aminophenyl)ethanebis(thioate), (APhET), is reported as N2S2 ligand which form chelate with copper of high stability as compared to the other metals. Two modification of APhET, simpler 1,2-di-(o-aminophenylthio)ethane (DAPhTE), and the complex one 1,2-di-(o-salicylaldiminophenylthio)ethane (SAPhTE), were examined as the active material for copper(II) ion selective PVC membrane electrodes, and observed results are correlated. The obtained results with DAPhTE based electrodes show that only coordination abilities of ligand are insufficient for preparing the efficient membrane material. On the other hand, the results that are achieved with electrodes based on SAPhTE actuate interaction of ligand with polymer membrane matrix and necessity of ionophore immobilization in membrane. Optimized SAPhTE based membrane electrode has a linear range down to 10-6 mol L-1, with slope of 27.0 mV per decade, very rapid response time (under 5 seconds) and detection limit of 5.1 × 10-7 mol L-1. Such electrode is suitable for determination of copper(II) in analytical measurements by direct potentiometry and in potentiometric titrations, within pH between 2 and 7. The electrode is selective for copper(II) ions over a large number of metal ions, with the exception on Hg2+ ion when is present in concentrations above 2 × 10-5 mol L-1.

  2. What can we learn from the neutron clinical experience for improving ion-beam techniques and high-LET patient selection?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wambersie, A.; Jones, D.T.L.; Gueulette, J.; Gahbauer, R.; DeLuca, P.M.

    2010-01-01

    Historically, improvements in radiotherapy have been mainly due to improvements in physical selectivity: beam penetration, collimation, dosimetry, treatment planning; and advances in imaging. Neutrons were the first high-LET (linear energy transfer) radiation to be used clinically and showed improvement in the differential response of radiation resistant tumors and normal tissues. The benefits of fast neutrons (and other forms of high LET radiations) are due to their biological effects: a reduction of the OER, a reduction in the differential cell radiosensitivity related to their position in the mitotic cycle, and a reduction in cellular repair capacity (thus less importance of fractionation). The poor physical selectivity of the early neutron therapy beams introduced a systematic bias in comparison with the photon treatments and created a negative perception for neutron therapy. However, significant improvements in the neutron therapy equipment resulted in a physical selectivity similar to modern MV photon therapy. The tumor types or sites where the best therapeutic results were obtained included inoperable or recurrent salivary gland tumors locally extended prostatic adenocarcinomas, and slowly growing well-differentiated sarcomas. The benefit of neutrons for some other well-defined groups of patients was demonstrated in randomized trials. It was estimated that about 20 % of all radiotherapy patients could benefit from fast neutrons (if neutrons are delivered under satisfactory physical conditions). An important issue for fast neutron therapy is the selection of the types of patients who could most benefit from high-LET radiations. The same issue is raised today with other high-LET radiations (e.g., 12 C ions). It is reasonable to assume that the same types of patients would benefit from 12 C irradiation. Of course the better physical selectivity of ion beams enhances the treatment possibilities but this is true for both the high-LET and low-LET radiations (i

  3. Improving sperm banking efficiency in endangered species through the use of a sperm selection method in brown bear (Ursus arctos) thawed sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-Lopez, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Morrell, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-06-26

    Sperm selection methods such as Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) have been demonstrated to be a useful tool to improve the quality of sperm samples and therefore to increase the efficiency of other artificial reproductive techniques in several species. This procedure could help to improve the quality of genetic resource banks, which is essential for endangered species. In contrast, these sperm selection methods are optimized and focused on farm animals, where the recovery task is not as important as in endangered species because of their higher sperm availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate two centrifugation methods (300 x g/20 min and 600 x g/10 min) and three concentrations of SLC media (Androcoll-Bear -80, 65 and 50%) to optimise the procedure in order to recover as many sperm with the highest quality as possible. Sperm morphology could be important in the hydrodynamic relationship between the cell and centrifugation medium and thus the effect of sperm head morphometry on sperm yield and its hydrodynamic relationship were studied. The samples selected with Androcoll-Bear 65% showed a very good yield (53.1 ± 2.9) although the yield from Androcoll-Bear 80% was lower (19.3 ± 3.3). The latter showed higher values of motility than the control immediately after post-thawing selection. However, both concentrations of colloid (65 and 80%) showed higher values of viable sperm and viable sperm with intact acrosome than the control. After an incubation of 2 h at 37 °C, the samples from Androcoll-Bear 80% had higher kinematics and proportion of viable sperm with intact acrosome. In the morphometric analysis, the sperm selected by the Androcoll-Bear 80% showed a head with a bigger area which was more elongated than the sperm from other treatments. We conclude that sperm selection with Androcoll-Bear at either 65% or 80% is a suitable technique that allows a sperm population with better quality than the initial sample to be obtained. We recommend the

  4. Genetic Gains in Grain Yield of a Maize Population Improved through Marker Assisted Recurrent Selection under Stress and Non-stress Conditions in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rekiya O. Abdulmalik

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS is a breeding method used to accumulate favorable alleles that for example confer tolerance to drought in inbred lines from several genomic regions within a single population. A bi-parental cross formed from two parents that combine resistance to Striga hermonthica with drought tolerance, which was improved through MARS, was used to assess changes in the frequency of favorable alleles and its impact on inbred line improvement. A total of 200 testcrosses of randomly selected S1 lines derived from the original (C0 and advanced selection cycles of this bi-parental population, were evaluated under drought stress (DS and well-watered (WW conditions at Ikenne and under artificial Striga infestation at Abuja and Mokwa in Nigeria in 2014 and 2015. Also, 60 randomly selected S1 lines each derived from the four cycles (C0, C1, C2, C3 were genotyped with 233 SNP markers using KASP assay. The results showed that the frequency of favorable alleles increased with MARS in the bi-parental population with none of the markers showing fixation. The gain in grain yield was not significant under DS condition due to the combined effect of DS and armyworm infestation in 2015. Because the parents used for developing the bi-parental cross combined tolerance to drought with resistance to Striga, improvement in grain yield under DS did not result in undesirable changes in resistance to the parasite in the bi-parental maize population improved through MARS. MARS increased the mean number of combinations of favorable alleles in S1 lines from 114 in C0 to 124 in C3. The level of heterozygosity decreased by 15%, while homozygosity increased by 13% due to the loss of some genotypes in the population. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of MARS in increasing the frequency of favorable alleles for tolerance to drought without disrupting the level of resistance to Striga in a bi-parental population targeted as a source of improved

  5. Genetic Gains in Grain Yield of a Maize Population Improved through Marker Assisted Recurrent Selection under Stress and Non-stress Conditions in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulmalik, Rekiya O; Menkir, Abebe; Meseka, Silvestro K; Unachukwu, Nnanna; Ado, Shehu G; Olarewaju, Joseph D; Aba, Daniel A; Hearne, Sarah; Crossa, Jose; Gedil, Melaku

    2017-01-01

    Marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) is a breeding method used to accumulate favorable alleles that for example confer tolerance to drought in inbred lines from several genomic regions within a single population. A bi-parental cross formed from two parents that combine resistance to Striga hermonthica with drought tolerance, which was improved through MARS, was used to assess changes in the frequency of favorable alleles and its impact on inbred line improvement. A total of 200 testcrosses of randomly selected S 1 lines derived from the original (C 0 ) and advanced selection cycles of this bi-parental population, were evaluated under drought stress (DS) and well-watered (WW) conditions at Ikenne and under artificial Striga infestation at Abuja and Mokwa in Nigeria in 2014 and 2015. Also, 60 randomly selected S 1 lines each derived from the four cycles (C 0 , C 1 , C 2 , C 3 ) were genotyped with 233 SNP markers using KASP assay. The results showed that the frequency of favorable alleles increased with MARS in the bi-parental population with none of the markers showing fixation. The gain in grain yield was not significant under DS condition due to the combined effect of DS and armyworm infestation in 2015. Because the parents used for developing the bi-parental cross combined tolerance to drought with resistance to Striga , improvement in grain yield under DS did not result in undesirable changes in resistance to the parasite in the bi-parental maize population improved through MARS. MARS increased the mean number of combinations of favorable alleles in S 1 lines from 114 in C 0 to 124 in C 3 . The level of heterozygosity decreased by 15%, while homozygosity increased by 13% due to the loss of some genotypes in the population. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of MARS in increasing the frequency of favorable alleles for tolerance to drought without disrupting the level of resistance to Striga in a bi-parental population targeted as a source of improved

  6. Exploration of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis to Improve Animal Welfare by Means of Genetic Selection: Lessons from the South African Merino

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schalk Cloete

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available It is a difficult task to improve animal production by means of genetic selection, if the environment does not allow full expression of the animal’s genetic potential. This concept may well be the future for animal welfare, because it highlights the need to incorporate traits related to production and robustness, simultaneously, to reach sustainable breeding goals. This review explores the identification of potential genetic markers for robustness within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA, since this axis plays a vital role in the stress response. If genetic selection for superior HPAA responses to stress is possible, then it ought to be possible to breed robust and easily managed genotypes that might be able to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions whilst expressing a high production potential. This approach is explored in this review by means of lessons learnt from research on Merino sheep, which were divergently selected for their multiple rearing ability. These two selection lines have shown marked differences in reproduction, production and welfare, which makes this breeding programme ideal to investigate potential genetic markers of robustness. The HPAA function is explored in detail to elucidate where such genetic markers are likely to be found.

  7. Improving the selectivity and sensitivity for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin in rabbit tissues by using basic mobile phases and negative ionization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Aimin; Gu, Guifen; Gui, Xuan; Wu, Yanxin; Bolger, Gordon; Licollari, Albert; Fanaras, John C

    2018-01-01

    Previously reported LC-MS methods for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin (a marker residue of tiamulin) in tissues all used a pseudo MRM transition (from protonated molecular ion to protonated molecular ion, m/z 337→337) due to difficulties in finding a product ion, leading to suboptimal selectivity and sensitivity for detection. By using electrospray negative ionization in a basic medium, we, for the first time, found a highly selective and sensitive true MRM transition for 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin, m/z 335→179. With this newly found MRM transition and the use of pleuromutilin as the internal standard, a very sensitive, selective, and robust LC-MS/MS method has been developed and validated for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin in rabbit tissues (muscle, liver, kidney, and fat). In comparison with the previously published methods, the selectivity and sensitivity were significantly improved. For the concentration range validated (0.2-10ppm or 0.2-10μg/g), the within-run and between-run accuracies (% bias) ranged from -5.0 to 3.1 and -4.9 to 3.0, respectively. The% CV ranged from 2.2 to 6.6 and 4.7 to 8.3 for within-run and between-run precisions, respectively. The validated method was successfully used to support two GLP tissue residue depletion studies in rabbits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 13C spin relaxation measurements in RNA: Sensitivity and resolution improvement using spin-state selective correlation experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boisbouvier, Jerome; Brutscher, Bernhard; Simorre, Jean-Pierre; Marion, Dominique

    1999-01-01

    A set of new NMR pulse sequences has been designed for the measurement of 13 C relaxation rate constants in RNA and DNA bases: the spin-lattice relaxation rate constant R(C z ), the spin-spin relaxation rate constant R(C + ), and the CSA-dipolar cross-correlated relaxation rate constant Γ C,CH xy . The use of spin-state selective correlation techniques provides increased sensitivity and spectral resolution. Sensitivity optimised C-C filters are included in the pulse schemes for the suppression of signals originating from undesired carbon isotopomers. The experiments are applied to a 15% 13 C-labelled 33-mer RNA-theophylline complex. The measured R(C + )/Γ C,CH xy ratios indicate that 13 C CSA tensors do not vary significantly for the same type of carbon (C 2 , C 6 , C 8 ), but that they differ from one type to another. In addition, conformational exchange effects in the RNA bases are detected as a change in the relaxation decay of the narrow 13 C doublet component when varying the spacing of a CPMG pulse train. This new approach allows the detection of small exchange effects with a higher precision compared to conventional techniques

  9. Improvement of Depth Profiling into Biotissues Using Micro Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy on a Needle with Selective Passivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Joho; Kim, Hyeon Woo; Lee, Jong-Hyun

    2016-12-21

    A micro electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)-on-a-needle for depth profiling (μEoN-DP) with a selective passivation layer (SPL) on a hypodermic needle was recently fabricated to measure the electrical impedance of biotissues along with the penetration depths. The SPL of the μEoN-DP enabled the sensing interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) to contribute predominantly to the measurement by reducing the relative influence of the connection lines on the sensor output. The discrimination capability of the μEoN-DP was verified using phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at various concentration levels. The resistance and capacitance extracted through curve fitting were similar to those theoretically estimated based on the mixing ratio of PBS and deionized water; the maximum discrepancies were 8.02% and 1.85%, respectively. Depth profiling was conducted using four-layered porcine tissue to verify the effectiveness of the discrimination capability of the μEoN-DP. The magnitude and phase between dissimilar porcine tissues (fat and muscle) were clearly discriminated at the optimal frequency of 1 MHz. Two kinds of simulations, one with SPL and the other with complete passivation layer (CPL), were performed, and it was verified that the SPL was advantageous over CPL in the discrimination of biotissues in terms of sensor output.

  10. Marker-assisted selection in crop and livestock improvement: how to strengthen national research capacity and international partnerships

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopes, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    It is generally recognized that marker-assisted selection (MAS) is a tool that breeders can use to accelerate the speed and precision of crop and livestock breeding in developing countries. However, its practical application has been more difficult than previously expected. Although advances in molecular marker technology have uncovered many possibilities for transferring genes into desired crops and livestock through MAS, more methodological development and better planning and implementation strategies will be needed for its successful and expeditious application to breeding programmes. Also, this technology should not be regarded as an end in itself, but as an interacting part of complex strategies and decision-making processes. An appropriate mix of technologies and capabilities together with effective approaches to networking must be viewed as key ingredients for its correct development and application to breeding programmes. This chapter describes some strategies to guide decisions about structures, methods and capacities that may contribute to enhancing the access and successful use of MAS in developing countries. (author)

  11. Selection of effective cocrystals former for dissolution rate improvement of active pharmaceutical ingredients based on lipoaffinity index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cysewski, Piotr; Przybyłek, Maciej

    2017-09-30

    New theoretical screening procedure was proposed for appropriate selection of potential cocrystal formers possessing the ability of enhancing dissolution rates of drugs. The procedure relies on the training set comprising 102 positive and 17 negative cases of cocrystals found in the literature. Despite the fact that the only available data were of qualitative character, performed statistical analysis using binary classification allowed to formulate quantitative criterions. Among considered 3679 molecular descriptors the relative value of lipoaffinity index, expressed as the difference between values calculated for active compound and excipient, has been found as the most appropriate measure suited for discrimination of positive and negative cases. Assuming 5% precision, the applied classification criterion led to inclusion of 70% positive cases in the final prediction. Since lipoaffinity index is a molecular descriptor computed using only 2D information about a chemical structure, its estimation is straightforward and computationally inexpensive. The inclusion of an additional criterion quantifying the cocrystallization probability leads to the following conjunction criterions H mix 3.61, allowing for identification of dissolution rate enhancers. The screening procedure was applied for finding the most promising coformers of such drugs as Iloperidone, Ritonavir, Carbamazepine and Enthenzamide. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Alkylation of phosphorothioated thrombin binding aptamers improves the selectivity of inhibition of tumor cell proliferation upon anticoagulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiantao; Zhu, Yuejie; Wang, Chao; Guan, Zhu; Zhang, Lihe; Yang, Zhenjun

    2017-07-01

    Recently, aptamers have been extensively researched for therapy and diagnostic applications. Thrombin-binding aptamer is a 15nt deoxyribonucleic acid screened by SELEX, it can specifically bind to thrombin and inhibit blood coagulation. Since it is also endowed with excellent antitumor activity, the intrinsic anticoagulation advantage converted to a main potential side effect for its further application in antiproliferative therapy. Site-specific alkylation was conducted through nucleophilic reaction of phosphorothioated TBAs using bromide reagents. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements were used to evaluate anticoagulation activity, and a CCK-8 assay was used to determine cell proliferation activity. The CD spectra of the modified TBAs were weakened, and their affinity for thrombin was dramatically reduced, as reflected by the K D values. On the other hand, their inhibition of A549 cells was retained. Incorporation of different alkyls apparently disrupted the binding of TBA to thrombin while maintaining the antitumor activity. A new modification strategy was established for the use of TBA as a more selective antitumor agent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Directed evolution of toluene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas putida for improved selectivity toward cis-indandiol during indene bioconversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, N; Stewart, B G; Moore, J C; Greasham, R L; Robinson, D K; Buckland, B C; Lee, C

    2000-10-01

    Toluene dioxygenase (TDO) from Pseudomonas putida F1 converts indene to a mixture of cis-indandiol (racemic), 1-indenol, and 1-indanone. The desired product, cis-(1S,2R)-indandiol, is a potential key intermediate in the chemical synthesis of indinavir sulfate (Crixivan), Merck's HIV-1 protease inhibitor for the treatment of AIDS. To reduce the undesirable byproducts 1-indenol and 1-indanone formed during indene bioconversion, the recombinant TDO expressed in Escherichia coli was evolved by directed evolution using the error-prone polymerase chain reaction (epPCR) method. High-throughput fluorometric and spectrophotometric assays were developed for rapid screening of the mutant libraries in a 96-well format. Mutants with reduced 1-indenol by-product formation were identified, and the individual indene bioconversion product profiles of the selected mutants were confirmed by HPLC. Changes in the amino acid sequence of the mutant enzymes were identified by analyzing the nucleotide sequence of the genes. A mutant with the most desirable product profile from each library, defined as the most reduced 1-indenol concentration and with the highest cis-(1S,2R)-indandiol enantiomeric excess, was used to perform each subsequent round of mutagenesis. After three rounds of mutagenesis and screening, mutant 1C4-3G was identified to have a threefold reduction in 1-indenol formation over the wild type (20% vs 60% of total products) and a 40% increase of product (cis-indandiol) yield.

  14. Improvement of Depth Profiling into Biotissues Using Micro Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy on a Needle with Selective Passivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joho Yun

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A micro electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS-on-a-needle for depth profiling (μEoN-DP with a selective passivation layer (SPL on a hypodermic needle was recently fabricated to measure the electrical impedance of biotissues along with the penetration depths. The SPL of the μEoN-DP enabled the sensing interdigitated electrodes (IDEs to contribute predominantly to the measurement by reducing the relative influence of the connection lines on the sensor output. The discrimination capability of the μEoN-DP was verified using phosphate-buffered saline (PBS at various concentration levels. The resistance and capacitance extracted through curve fitting were similar to those theoretically estimated based on the mixing ratio of PBS and deionized water; the maximum discrepancies were 8.02% and 1.85%, respectively. Depth profiling was conducted using four-layered porcine tissue to verify the effectiveness of the discrimination capability of the μEoN-DP. The magnitude and phase between dissimilar porcine tissues (fat and muscle were clearly discriminated at the optimal frequency of 1 MHz. Two kinds of simulations, one with SPL and the other with complete passivation layer (CPL, were performed, and it was verified that the SPL was advantageous over CPL in the discrimination of biotissues in terms of sensor output.

  15. A Compact Via-free Composite Right/Left Handed Low-pass Filter with Improved Selectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ashish; Choudhary, Dilip Kumar; Chaudhary, Raghvendra Kumar

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, a compact via-free low pass filter is designed based on composite right/left handed (CRLH) concept. The structure uses open ended concept. Rectangular slots are etched on signal transmission line (TL) to suppress the spurious band without altering the performance and size of filter. The filter is designed for low pass frequency band with cut-off frequency of 3.5 GHz. The proposed metamaterial structure has several prominent advantages in term of selectivity up to 34 dB/GHz and compactness with average insertion loss less than 0.4 dB. It has multiple applications in wireless communication (such as GSM900, global navigation satellite system (1.559-1.610 GHz), GSM1800, WLAN/WiFi (2.4-2.49 GHz) and WiMAX (2.5-2.69 GHz)). The design parameters have been measured and compared with the simulated results and found excellent agreement. The electrical size of proposed filter is 0.14λ0× 0.11λ0 (where λ0 is free space wavelength at zeroth order resonance (ZOR) frequency 2.7 GHz).

  16. Selective Activation of AMPK β1-Containing Isoforms Improves Kidney Function in a Rat Model of Diabetic Nephropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salatto, Christopher T; Miller, Russell A; Cameron, Kimberly O; Cokorinos, Emily; Reyes, Allan; Ward, Jessica; Calabrese, Matthew F; Kurumbail, Ravi G; Rajamohan, Francis; Kalgutkar, Amit S; Tess, David A; Shavnya, Andre; Genung, Nathan E; Edmonds, David J; Jatkar, Aditi; Maciejewski, Benjamin S; Amaro, Marina; Gandhok, Harmeet; Monetti, Mara; Cialdea, Katherine; Bollinger, Eliza; Kreeger, John M; Coskran, Timothy M; Opsahl, Alan C; Boucher, Germaine G; Birnbaum, Morris J; DaSilva-Jardine, Paul; Rolph, Tim

    2017-05-01

    Diabetic nephropathy remains an area of high unmet medical need, with current therapies that slow down, but do not prevent, the progression of disease. A reduced phosphorylation state of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been correlated with diminished kidney function in both humans and animal models of renal disease. Here, we describe the identification of novel, potent, small molecule activators of AMPK that selectively activate AMPK heterotrimers containing the β 1 subunit. After confirming that human and rodent kidney predominately express AMPK β 1, we explore the effects of pharmacological activation of AMPK in the ZSF1 rat model of diabetic nephropathy. Chronic administration of these direct activators elevates the phosphorylation of AMPK in the kidney, without impacting blood glucose levels, and reduces the progression of proteinuria to a greater degree than the current standard of care, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril. Further analyses of urine biomarkers and kidney tissue gene expression reveal AMPK activation leads to the modulation of multiple pathways implicated in kidney injury, including cellular hypertrophy, fibrosis, and oxidative stress. These results support the need for further investigation into the potential beneficial effects of AMPK activation in kidney disease. Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  17. NESS038C6, a novel selective CB1 antagonist agent with anti-obesity activity and improved molecular profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastinu, Andrea; Pira, Marilena; Pani, Luca; Pinna, Gérard Aimè; Lazzari, Paolo

    2012-10-01

    The present work aims to study the effects induced by a chronic treatment with a novel CB1 antagonist (NESS038C6) in C57BL/6N diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice. Mice treated with NESS038C6 and fed with a fat diet (NESS038C6 FD) were compared with the following three reference experimental groups: DIO mice fed with the same fat diet used for NESS038C6 and treated with vehicle or the reference CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant, "VH FD" and "SR141716 FD", respectively; DIO mice treated with vehicle and switched to a normal diet (VH ND). NESS038C6 chronic treatment (30 mg/kg/day for 31 days) determined a significant reduction in DIO mice weight relative to that of VH FD. The entity of the effect was comparable to that detected in both SR141716 FD and VH ND groups. Moreover, if compared to VH FD, NESS038C6 FD evidenced: (i) improvement of cardiovascular risk factors; (ii) significant decrease in adipose tissue leptin expression; (iii) increase in mRNA expression of hypothalamic orexigenic peptides and a decrease of anorexigenic peptides; (iv) expression increase of metabolic enzymes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α in the liver; (v) normalization of monoaminergic transporters and neurotrophic expression in mesolimbic area. However, in contrast to the case of rimonabant, the novel CB1 antagonist improved the disrupted expression profile of genes linked to the hunger-satiety circuit, without altering monoaminergic transmission. In conclusion, the novel CB1 antagonist compound NESS038C6 may represent a useful candidate agent for the treatment of obesity and its metabolic complications, without or with reduced side effects relative to those instead observed with rimonabant. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. [Application of a continual improvement approach to selecting diagnostic markers for acute pancreatitis in an emergency department].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, María; Flores, Emilio; López-Garrigós, Maite; Díaz, Elena; Esteban, Patricia; Leiva-Salinas, Carlos

    2017-01-01

    To apply a continual improvement model to develop an algorithm for ordering laboratory tests to diagnose acute pancreatitis in a hospital emergency department. Quasi-experimental study using the continual improvement model (plan, do, check, adjust cycles) in 2 consecutive phases in emergency patients: amylase and lipase results were used to diagnose acute pancreatitis in the first phase; in the second, only lipase level was first determined; amylase testing was then ordered only if the lipase level fell within a certain range. We collected demographic data, number amylase and lipase tests ordered and the findings, final diagnosis, and the results of a questionnaire to evaluate satisfaction with emergency care. The first phase included 517 patients, of whom 20 had acute pancreatitis. For amylase testing sensitivity was 0.70; specificity, 0.85; positive predictive value (PPV), 17; and negative predictive value (NPV), 0.31. For lipase testing these values were sensitivity, 0.85; specificity, 0.96; PPV, 21, and NPV, 0.16. When both tests were done, sensitivity was 0.85; specificity 0.99; PPV, 85; and NPV, 0.15. The second phase included data for 4815 patients, 118 of whom had acute pancreatitis. The measures of diagnostic yield for the new algorithm were sensitivity, 0.92; specificity, 0.98; PPV, 46; and NPV, 0.08]. This study demonstrates a process for developing a protocol to guide laboratory testing in acute pancreatitis in the hospital emergency department. The proposed sequence of testing for pancreatic enzyme levels can be effective for diagnosing acute pancreatitis in patients with abdominal pain.

  19. Anthropogenic resource subsidies determine space use by Australian arid zone dingoes: an improved resource selection modelling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas M Newsome

    Full Text Available Dingoes (Canis lupus dingo were introduced to Australia and became feral at least 4,000 years ago. We hypothesized that dingoes, being of domestic origin, would be adaptable to anthropogenic resource subsidies and that their space use would be affected by the dispersion of those resources. We tested this by analyzing Resource Selection Functions (RSFs developed from GPS fixes (locations of dingoes in arid central Australia. Using Generalized Linear Mixed-effect Models (GLMMs, we investigated resource relationships for dingoes that had access to abundant food near mine facilities, and for those that did not. From these models, we predicted the probability of dingo occurrence in relation to anthropogenic resource subsidies and other habitat characteristics over ∼ 18,000 km(2. Very small standard errors and subsequent pervasively high P-values of results will become more important as the size of data sets, such as our GPS tracking logs, increases. Therefore, we also investigated methods to minimize the effects of serial and spatio-temporal correlation among samples and unbalanced study designs. Using GLMMs, we accounted for some of the correlation structure of GPS animal tracking data; however, parameter standard errors remained very small and all predictors were highly significant. Consequently, we developed an alternative approach that allowed us to review effect sizes at different spatial scales and determine which predictors were sufficiently ecologically meaningful to include in final RSF models. We determined that the most important predictor for dingo occurrence around mine sites was distance to the refuse facility. Away from mine sites, close proximity to human-provided watering points was predictive of dingo dispersion as were other landscape factors including palaeochannels, rocky rises and elevated drainage depressions. Our models demonstrate that anthropogenically supplemented food and water can alter dingo-resource relationships. The

  20. The rational design of a novel potent analogue of the 5’-AMP-activated protein kinase inhibitor compound C with improved selectivity and cellular activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machrouhi, Fouzia; Ouhamou, Nouara; Laderoute, Keith; Calaoagan, Joy; Bukhtiyarova, Marina; Ehrlich, Paula J.; Klon, Anthony E.

    2010-01-01

    We have designed and synthesized analogues of compound C, a non-specific inhibitor of 5’-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), using a computational fragment-based drug design (FBDD) approach. Synthesizing only twenty-seven analogues yielded a compound that was equipotent to compound C in the inhibition of the human AMPK (hAMPK) α2 subunit in the heterotrimeric complex in vitro, exhibited significantly improved selectivity against a subset of relevant kinases, and demonstrated enhanced cellular inhibition of AMPK. PMID:20932747

  1. Improvement of Toluene Selectivity via the Application of an Ethanol Oxidizing Catalytic Cell Upstream of a YSZ-Based Sensor for Air Monitoring Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Tomoaki; Breedon, Michael; Miura, Norio

    2012-01-01

    The sensing characteristics of a yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)-based sensor utilizing a NiO sensing-electrode (SE) towards toluene (C7H8) and interfering gases (C3H6, H2, CO, NO2 and C2H5OH) were evaluated with a view to selective C7H8 monitoring in indoor atmospheres. The fabricated YSZ-based sensor showed preferential responses toward 480 ppb C2H5OH, rather than the target 50 ppb C7H8 at an operational temperature of 450 °C under humid conditions (RH ≃ 32%). To overcome this limitation, the catalytic activity of Cr2O3, SnO2, Fe2O3 and NiO powders were evaluated for their selective ethanol oxidation ability. Among these oxides, SnO2 was found to selectively oxidize C2H5OH, thus improving C7H8 selectivity. An inline pre-catalytic cell loaded with SnO2 powder was installed upstream of the YSZ-based sensor utilizing NiO-SE, which enabled the following excellent abilities by selectively catalyzing common interfering gases; sensitive ppb level detection of C7H8 lower than the established Japanese Guideline value; low interferences from 50 ppb C3H6, 500 ppb H2, 100 ppb CO, 40 ppb NO2, as well as 480 ppb C2H5OH. These operational characteristics are all indicative that the developed sensor may be suitable for real-time C7H8 concentration monitoring in indoor environments. PMID:22666053

  2. Morpholinoethanesulfonic acid-based buffer system for improved detection limit and stability of the fluoride ion selective electrode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fouskaki, M.; Sotiropoulou, S.; Koci, M.; Chaniotakis, N.A.

    2002-01-01

    The zwitterionic morpholinoethanesulfonic acid (MES) is used as the basis for the development of a new total ionic strength adjustor buffer system for improving the analytical characteristics of fluoride sensor. Impedance analysis, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dissolution studies of the LaF 3 crystal, together with the potential stability and sensor sensitivity over time have aided in the elucidation of the processes that take place at the surface of the LaF 3 crystal, that seem to determine the sensor behaviour. Even though AFM analysis shows that both buffers used (MES or acetate) cause a similar increase in surface roughness, the data from the other studies suggest that in the first case there is a reversible ion exchange process at the interface, while in the second case this process is irreversible, leading to fast poisoning of the crystal surface. The use of 0.5 M MES and NaCl buffer adjusted to pH 5.50 allows for the continuous operation of the sensor under flow injection analysis conditions for at least 5 days with sensitivity of 60 mV per decade [F - ], detection limit of 2.1x10 -7 M [F - ] and fast response time

  3. Selective Acid Etching Improves the Bond Strength of Universal Adhesive to Sound and Demineralized Enamel of Primary Teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoniazzi, Bruna Feltrin; Nicoloso, Gabriel Ferreira; Lenzi, Tathiane Larissa; Soares, Fabio Zovico Maxnuck; Rocha, Rachel de Oliveira

    To evaluate the influence of enamel condition and etching strategy on bond strength of a universal adhesive in primary teeth. Thirty-six primary molars were randomly assigned to six groups (n = 6) according to the enamel condition (sound [S] and demineralized [DEM]/cariogenic challenge by pH cycling prior to restorative procedures) and adhesive system (Scotchbond Universal Adhesive [SBU]) used in either etch-and-rinse (ER) or selfetching (SE) mode, with Clearfil SE Bond as the self-etching control. The adhesives were applied to flat enamel surfaces and composite cylinders (0.72 mm2) were built up. After 24-h storage in water, specimens were subjected to the microshear test. Bond strength (MPa) data were analyzed using two-way ANOVA and Tukey's post-hoc tests (α = 0.05). Significant differences were found considering the factors adhesive system (p = 0.003) and enamel condition (p = 0.001). Demineralized enamel negatively affected the bond strength, with μSBS values approximately 50% lower than those obtained for sound enamel. SBU performed better in etch-and-rinse mode, and the bond strength found for SBU applied in self-etching mode was similar to that of CSE. Enamel etching with phosphoric acid improves the bond strength of a universal adhesive system to primary enamel. Demineralized primary enamel results in lower bond strength.

  4. TaGS5-3A, a grain size gene selected during wheat improvement for larger kernel and yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lin; Li, Tian; Hao, Chenyang; Wang, Yuquan; Chen, Xinhong; Zhang, Xueyong

    2016-05-01

    Grain size is a dominant component of grain weight in cereals. Earlier studies have shown that OsGS5 plays a major role in regulating both grain size and weight in rice via promotion of cell division. In this study, we isolated TaGS5 homoeologues in wheat and mapped them on chromosomes 3A, 3B and 3D. Temporal and spatial expression analysis showed that TaGS5 homoeologues were preferentially expressed in young spikes and developing grains. Two alleles of TaGS5-3A, TaGS5-3A-T and TaGS5-3A-G were identified in wheat accessions, and a functional marker was developed to discriminate them. Association analysis revealed that TaGS5-3A-T was significantly correlated with larger grain size and higher thousand kernel weight. Biochemical assays showed that TaGS5-3A-T possesses a higher enzymatic activity than TaGS5-3A-G. Transgenic rice lines overexpressing TaGS5-3A-T also exhibited larger grain size and higher thousand kernel weight than TaGS5-3A-G lines, and the transcript levels of cell cycle-related genes in TaGS5-3A-T lines were higher than those in TaGS5-3A-G lines. Furthermore, systematic evolution analysis in diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid wheat showed that TaGS5-3A underwent strong artificial selection during wheat polyploidization events and the frequency changes of two alleles demonstrated that TaGS5-3A-T was favoured in global modern wheat cultivars. These results suggest that TaGS5-3A is a positive regulator of grain size and its favoured allele TaGS5-3A-T exhibits a larger potential application in wheat high-yield breeding. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Marker-assisted selection as a tool for genetic improvement of crops, livestock, forestry and fish in developing countries: an overview of the issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruane, R.; Sonnino, A.

    2007-01-01

    This chapter provides an overview of the techniques, current status and issues involved in using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for genetic improvement in developing countries. Molecular marker maps, the necessary framework for any MAS programme, have been constructed for the majority of agriculturally important species, although the density of the maps varies considerably among species. Despite the considerable resources that have been invested in this field and despite the enormous potential it still represents, with few exceptions, MAS has not yet delivered its expected benefits in commercial breeding programmes for crops, livestock, forest trees or farmed fish in the developed world. When evaluating the potential merits of applying MAS as a tool for genetic improvement in developing countries, some of the issues that should be considered are its economic costs and benefits, its potential benefits compared with conventional breeding or with application of other biotechnologies, and the potential impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on the development and application of MAS. (author)

  6. EVP-6124, a novel and selective α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, improves memory performance by potentiating the acetylcholine response of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prickaerts, Jos; van Goethem, Nick P; Chesworth, Richard; Shapiro, Gideon; Boess, Frank G; Methfessel, Christoph; Reneerkens, Olga A H; Flood, Dorothy G; Hilt, Dana; Gawryl, Maria; Bertrand, Sonia; Bertrand, Daniel; König, Gerhard

    2012-02-01

    EVP-6124, (R)-7-chloro-N-quinuclidin-3-yl)benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide, is a novel partial agonist of α7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that was evaluated here in vitro and in vivo. In binding and functional experiments, EVP-6124 showed selectivity for α7 nAChRs and did not activate or inhibit heteromeric α4β2 nAChRs. EVP-6124 had good brain penetration and an adequate exposure time. EVP-6124 (0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly restored memory function in scopolamine-treated rats (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) in an object recognition task (ORT). Although donepezil at 0.1 mg/kg, p.o. or EVP-6124 at 0.03 mg/kg, p.o. did not improve memory in this task, co-administration of these sub-efficacious doses fully restored memory. In a natural forgetting test, an ORT with a 24 h retention time, EVP-6124 improved memory at 0.3 mg/kg, p.o. This improvement was blocked by the selective α7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (0.3 mg/kg, i.p. or 10 μg, i.c.v.). In co-application experiments of EVP-6124 with acetylcholine, sustained exposure to EVP-6124 in functional investigations in oocytes caused desensitization at concentrations greater than 3 nM, while lower concentrations (0.3-1 nM) caused an increase in the acetylcholine-evoked response. These actions were interpreted as representing a co-agonist activity of EVP-6124 with acetylcholine on α7 nAChRs. The concentrations of EVP-6124 that resulted in physiological potentiation were consistent with the free drug concentrations in brain that improved memory performance in the ORT. These data suggest that the selective partial agonist EVP-6124 improves memory performance by potentiating the acetylcholine response of α7 nAChRs and support new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cognitive impairment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Recruitment strategies should not be randomly selected: empirically improving recruitment success and diversity in developmental psychology research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, Nicole A.; Moulson, Margaret C.

    2015-01-01

    Psychological and developmental research have been critiqued for the lack of diversity of research samples. Because differences in culture, race, and ethnicity can influence participant behavior, limited diversity limits the generalizability of the findings. These differences may also impact how participants behave in response to recruitment attempts, which suggests that recruitment itself may be leveraged to increase sample diversity. The goal of the current study was to determine what factors, within a recruitment interaction, could be leveraged to increase success and diversity when recruiting families with children for developmental research. Study 1 found three factors influenced success: (1) recruitment was more successful when other potential participants were also interested (i.e., recruiters were busy), (2) recruiters of particular races were more successful than recruiters of other races, and (3) differences in success were related to what the recruiter said to engage the potential participant (i.e., the script). The latter two factors interacted, suggesting some recruiters were using less optimal scripts. To improve success rates, study 2 randomly assigned scripts to recruiters and encouraged them to recruit more vigorously during busy periods. Study 2 found that two factors influenced success: (1) some scripts were more successful than others and (2) we were more successful at recruiting non-White potential participants than White participants. These two interacted, with some scripts being more successful with White and other scripts being more successful with non-White families. This intervention significantly increased recruitment success rate by 8.1% and the overall number of families recruited by 15.3%. These findings reveal that empirically evaluating and tailoring recruitment efforts based on the most successful strategies is effective in boosting diversity through increased participation of children from non-White families. PMID:25972829

  8. An improved chaotic fruit fly optimization based on a mutation strategy for simultaneous feature selection and parameter optimization for SVM and its applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Fei; Lou, Xin Yuan; Sun, Lin Fu

    2017-01-01

    This paper proposes a new support vector machine (SVM) optimization scheme based on an improved chaotic fly optimization algorithm (FOA) with a mutation strategy to simultaneously perform parameter setting turning for the SVM and feature selection. In the improved FOA, the chaotic particle initializes the fruit fly swarm location and replaces the expression of distance for the fruit fly to find the food source. However, the proposed mutation strategy uses two distinct generative mechanisms for new food sources at the osphresis phase, allowing the algorithm procedure to search for the optimal solution in both the whole solution space and within the local solution space containing the fruit fly swarm location. In an evaluation based on a group of ten benchmark problems, the proposed algorithm's performance is compared with that of other well-known algorithms, and the results support the superiority of the proposed algorithm. Moreover, this algorithm is successfully applied in a SVM to perform both parameter setting turning for the SVM and feature selection to solve real-world classification problems. This method is called chaotic fruit fly optimization algorithm (CIFOA)-SVM and has been shown to be a more robust and effective optimization method than other well-known methods, particularly in terms of solving the medical diagnosis problem and the credit card problem.

  9. An improved chaotic fruit fly optimization based on a mutation strategy for simultaneous feature selection and parameter optimization for SVM and its applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Xin Yuan; Sun, Lin Fu

    2017-01-01

    This paper proposes a new support vector machine (SVM) optimization scheme based on an improved chaotic fly optimization algorithm (FOA) with a mutation strategy to simultaneously perform parameter setting turning for the SVM and feature selection. In the improved FOA, the chaotic particle initializes the fruit fly swarm location and replaces the expression of distance for the fruit fly to find the food source. However, the proposed mutation strategy uses two distinct generative mechanisms for new food sources at the osphresis phase, allowing the algorithm procedure to search for the optimal solution in both the whole solution space and within the local solution space containing the fruit fly swarm location. In an evaluation based on a group of ten benchmark problems, the proposed algorithm’s performance is compared with that of other well-known algorithms, and the results support the superiority of the proposed algorithm. Moreover, this algorithm is successfully applied in a SVM to perform both parameter setting turning for the SVM and feature selection to solve real-world classification problems. This method is called chaotic fruit fly optimization algorithm (CIFOA)-SVM and has been shown to be a more robust and effective optimization method than other well-known methods, particularly in terms of solving the medical diagnosis problem and the credit card problem. PMID:28369096

  10. Strengthening the influenza vaccine virus selection and development process: Report of the 3rd WHO Informal Consultation for Improving Influenza Vaccine Virus Selection held at WHO headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 1-3 April 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampofo, William K; Azziz-Baumgartner, Eduardo; Bashir, Uzma; Cox, Nancy J; Fasce, Rodrigo; Giovanni, Maria; Grohmann, Gary; Huang, Sue; Katz, Jackie; Mironenko, Alla; Mokhtari-Azad, Talat; Sasono, Pretty Multihartina; Rahman, Mahmudur; Sawanpanyalert, Pathom; Siqueira, Marilda; Waddell, Anthony L; Waiboci, Lillian; Wood, John; Zhang, Wenqing; Ziegler, Thedi

    2015-08-26

    Despite long-recognized challenges and constraints associated with their updating and manufacture, influenza vaccines remain at the heart of public health preparedness and response efforts against both seasonal and potentially pandemic influenza viruses. Globally coordinated virological and epidemiological surveillance is the foundation of the influenza vaccine virus selection and development process. Although national influenza surveillance and reporting capabilities are being strengthened and expanded, sustaining and building upon recent gains has become a major challenge. Strengthening the vaccine virus selection process additionally requires the continuation of initiatives to improve the timeliness and representativeness of influenza viruses shared by countries for detailed analysis by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). Efforts are also continuing at the national, regional, and global levels to better understand the dynamics of influenza transmission in both temperate and tropical regions. Improved understanding of the degree of influenza seasonality in tropical countries of the world should allow for the strengthening of national vaccination policies and use of the most appropriate available vaccines. There remain a number of limitations and difficulties associated with the use of HAI assays for the antigenic characterization and selection of influenza vaccine viruses by WHOCCs. Current approaches to improving the situation include the more-optimal use of HAI and other assays; improved understanding of the data produced by neutralization assays; and increased standardization of serological testing methods. A number of new technologies and associated tools have the potential to revolutionize influenza surveillance and response activities. These include the increasingly routine use of whole genome next-generation sequencing and other high-throughput approaches. Such approaches could not only become key elements in outbreak

  11. Visible-light-driven N-(BiO)2CO3/Graphene oxide composites with improved photocatalytic activity and selectivity for NOx removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Meijuan; Huang, Yu; Yao, Jie; Cao, Jun-ji; Liu, Yuan

    2018-02-01

    N-doped (BiO)2CO3 (NBOC)/graphene oxide (GO) composite obtained from three-dimensional hierarchical microspheres is successfully synthesized by one-pot hydrothermal method for the first time. In this synthesis, citrate ion plays a critical role in N doping. The obtained samples are used to degrade gaseous nitrogen oxides (NOx) at parts-per-billion (ppb) level under visible-light irradiation. NBOC-GO composite with 1.0 wt% graphene oxide (GO) displays the highest photocatalytic NO removal efficiency, which is 4.3 times higher than that of pristine (BiO)2CO3. Moreover, NBOC-GO composite significantly inhibits toxic NO2 intermediate production, indicating its high selectivity for NO conversion. Compared with regular GO, N doping considerably improves the catalytic performance of NBOC-GO composite, which increases NO removal by 74.6% and fully inhibits NO2 generation. The improved photocatalytic activity is mainly ascribed to extended optical absorption ability and enhanced separation efficiency of photogenerated charge carriers over NBOC-GO composite. Both results of electron spin resonance and theoretical analysis of band structure indicate that NO removal is dominated by oxidation with rad OH and rad O2- radicals. The photocatalytic activity improvement mechanism over the NBOC-GO composite is proposed accordingly based on systematic characterizations. This study demonstrates a feasible route to fabricating Bi-containing composites with high selectivity and stability for air pollution control and provides a new insight into the associated photocatalytic mechanisms.

  12. Training-induced improvement of response selection and error detection in aging assessed by task switching: Effects of cognitive, physical and relaxation training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Darius Gajewski

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive control functions decline with increasing age. One of them is response selection that forms the link between the goals and the motor system and is therefore crucial for performance outcomes in cognitive tasks. The present study examines if different types of group-based and trainer-guided training effectively enhance performance of older adults in a task switching task, and how this expected enhancement is reflected in electrophysiological brain activity, as measured in event-related potentials (ERPs. 141 healthy participants aged 65 years and older were randomly assigned to one of four groups: physical training (combined aerobic and strength-training, cognitive training (paper-pencil and computer-aided, relaxation and wellness (social control group and a no-contact control group that did not receive any intervention. Training sessions took place twice a week for 90 minutes for a period of 4 months.The results showed a greater improvement of performance for attendants of the cognitive training group compared to the other groups. This improvement was evident in a reduction of mixing costs in accuracy and intraindividual variability of speed, indexing improved maintenance of multiple task-sets in working memory and an enhanced coherence of neuronal processing. These findings were supported by event-related brain potentials (ERP which showed higher amplitudes in a number of potentials associated with response selection (N2, allocation of cognitive resources (P3b and error detection (Ne.Taken together, our findings suggest neurocognitive plasticity of aging brains which can be stimulated by broad and multilayered cognitive training and assessed in detail by electrophysiological methods.

  13. Improving influenza vaccine virus selection: report of a WHO informal consultation held at WHO headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 14-16 June 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampofo, William K; Baylor, Norman; Cobey, Sarah; Cox, Nancy J; Daves, Sharon; Edwards, Steven; Ferguson, Neil; Grohmann, Gary; Hay, Alan; Katz, Jacqueline; Kullabutr, Kornnika; Lambert, Linda; Levandowski, Roland; Mishra, A C; Monto, Arnold; Siqueira, Marilda; Tashiro, Masato; Waddell, Anthony L; Wairagkar, Niteen; Wood, John; Zambon, Maria; Zhang, Wenqing

    2012-03-01

    • For almost 60 years, the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) has been the key player in monitoring the evolution and spread of influenza viruses and recommending the strains to be used in human influenza vaccines. The GISRS has also worked to continually monitor and assess the risk posed by potential pandemic viruses and to guide appropriate public health responses. • The expanded and enhanced role of the GISRS following the adoption of the International Health Regulations (2005), recognition of the continuing threat posed by avian H5N1 and the aftermath of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic provide an opportune time to critically review the process by which influenza vaccine viruses are selected. In addition to identifying potential areas for improvement, such a review will also help to promote greater appreciation by the wider influenza and policy-making community of the complexity of influenza vaccine virus selection. • The selection process is highly coordinated and involves continual year-round integration of virological data and epidemiological information by National Influenza Centres (NICs), thorough antigenic and genetic characterization of viruses by WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs) as part of selecting suitable candidate vaccine viruses, and the preparation of suitable reassortants and corresponding reagents for vaccine standardization by WHO Essential Regulatory Laboratories (ERLs). • Ensuring the optimal effectiveness of vaccines has been assisted in recent years by advances in molecular diagnosis and the availability of more extensive genetic sequence data. However, there remain a number of challenging constraints including variations in the assays used, the possibility of complications resulting from non-antigenic changes, the limited availability of suitable vaccine viruses and the requirement for recommendations to be made up to a year in advance of the peak of influenza season because of production constraints.

  14. Training-induced improvement of response selection and error detection in aging assessed by task switching: effects of cognitive, physical, and relaxation training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajewski, Patrick D; Falkenstein, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive control functions decline with increasing age. The present study examines if different types of group-based and trainer-guided training effectively enhance performance of older adults in a task switching task, and how this expected enhancement is reflected in changes of cognitive functions, as measured in electrophysiological brain activity (event-related potentials). One hundred forty-one healthy participants aged 65 years and older were randomly assigned to one of four groups: physical training (combined aerobic and strength training), cognitive training (paper-pencil and computer-aided), relaxation and wellness (social control group), and a control group that did not receive any intervention. Training sessions took place twice a week for 90 min for a period of 4 months. The results showed a greater improvement of performance for attendants of the cognitive training group compared to the other groups. This improvement was evident in a reduction of mixing costs in accuracy and intraindividual variability of speed, indexing improved maintenance of multiple task sets in working memory, and an enhanced coherence of neuronal processing. These findings were supported by event-related brain potentials which showed higher amplitudes in a number of potentials associated with response selection (N2), allocation of cognitive resources (P3b), and error detection (Ne). Taken together, our findings suggest neurocognitive plasticity of aging brains which can be stimulated by broad and multilayered cognitive training and assessed in detail by electrophysiological methods.

  15. International trends in patient selection for elective endovascular aneurysm repair: sicker patients with safer anatomy leading to improved 1-year survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitridge, Robert A; Boult, Margaret; Mackillop, Clare; De Loryn, Tania; Barnes, Mary; Cowled, Prue; Thompson, Matthew M; Holt, Peter J; Karthikesalingam, Alan; Sayers, Robert D; Choke, Edward; Boyle, Jonathan R; Forbes, Thomas L; Novick, Teresa V

    2015-02-01

    To review the trends in patient selection and early death rate for patients undergoing elective endovascular repair of infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR) in 3 countries. For this study, audit data from 4,163 patients who had undergone elective infrarenal EVAR were amalgamated. The data originated from Australia, Canada (Ontario), and England (London, Cambridge, and Leicester). Statistical analyses were undertaken to determine whether patient characteristics and early death rate varied between and within study groups and over time. The study design was retrospective analysis of data collected prospectively between 1999 and 2012. One-year survival improved over time (P = 0.0013). Canadian patients were sicker than those in Australia or England (P international comparison, several trends were noted including improved 1-year survival despite declining patient health (as measured by increasing ASA status). This may reflect greater knowledge regarding EVAR that centers from different countries have gained over the last decade and improved medical management of patients with aneurysmal disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Surface passivation of mixed-halide perovskite CsPb(BrxI1-x)3 nanocrystals by selective etching for improved stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Qiang; Zhang, Mian; Huang, Xiang; Ren, Xiaoming; Wang, Peng; Lu, Zhenda

    2017-06-08

    In recent years, there has been an unprecedented rise in the research of halide perovskites because of their important optoelectronic applications, including photovoltaic cells, light-emitting diodes, photodetectors and lasers. The most pressing question concerns the stability of these materials. Here faster degradation and PL quenching are observed at higher iodine content for mixed-halide perovskite CsPb(Br x I 1-x ) 3 nanocrystals, and a simple yet effective method is reported to significantly enhance their stability. After selective etching with acetone, surface iodine is partially etched away to form a bromine-rich surface passivation layer on mixed-halide perovskite nanocrystals. This passivation layer remarkably stabilizes the nanocrystals, making their PL intensity improved by almost three orders of magnitude. It is expected that a similar passivation layer can also be applied to various other kinds of perovskite materials with poor stability issues.

  17. Improved intact soil-core carbon determination applying regression shrinkage and variable selection techniques to complete spectrum laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bricklemyer, Ross S; Brown, David J; Turk, Philip J; Clegg, Sam M

    2013-10-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) provides a potential method for rapid, in situ soil C measurement. In previous research on the application of LIBS to intact soil cores, we hypothesized that ultraviolet (UV) spectrum LIBS (200-300 nm) might not provide sufficient elemental information to reliably discriminate between soil organic C (SOC) and inorganic C (IC). In this study, using a custom complete spectrum (245-925 nm) core-scanning LIBS instrument, we analyzed 60 intact soil cores from six wheat fields. Predictive multi-response partial least squares (PLS2) models using full and reduced spectrum LIBS were compared for directly determining soil total C (TC), IC, and SOC. Two regression shrinkage and variable selection approaches, the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and sparse multivariate regression with covariance estimation (MRCE), were tested for soil C predictions and the identification of wavelengths important for soil C prediction. Using complete spectrum LIBS for PLS2 modeling reduced the calibration standard error of prediction (SEP) 15 and 19% for TC and IC, respectively, compared to UV spectrum LIBS. The LASSO and MRCE approaches provided significantly improved calibration accuracy and reduced SEP 32-55% over UV spectrum PLS2 models. We conclude that (1) complete spectrum LIBS is superior to UV spectrum LIBS for predicting soil C for intact soil cores without pretreatment; (2) LASSO and MRCE approaches provide improved calibration prediction accuracy over PLS2 but require additional testing with increased soil and target analyte diversity; and (3) measurement errors associated with analyzing intact cores (e.g., sample density and surface roughness) require further study and quantification.

  18. Bare eye detection of Hg(II) ions based on enzyme inhibition and using mercaptoethanol as a reagent to improve selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Liuying; Lu, Yuexiang; Wang, Feiyang; Gao, Xinxin; Chen, Ying; Liu, Yueying

    2018-02-13

    The authors describe a colorimetric method for the determination of Hg 2+ ions based on the inhibition of the activity of the enzyme urease. The pH value of solution increases when urease hydrolyzes urea, which can be visualized by adding a pH indicator such as Phenol Red (PhR). Mercaptoethanol as a typical thiol is added to the system to improve selectivity because it binds metal ions and then - unlike the Hg 2+ mercaptoethanol complex - does not inhibit urease. Hence, the color of the pH indicator PhR turns from yellow to pink as the solution becomes alkaline. The Hg 2+ mercaptoethanol complex, in contrast, strongly inhibits urease and the color of the solution remains yellow. The findings were used to design a photometric assay based on the measurement of the ratio of absorptions of PhR at 558 nm and 430 nm. It has a linear response over the 25 to 40 nM Hg 2+ concentration range and a 5 nM detection limit. This is well below the guideline values of Hg 2+ specified by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization for drinking water (10 nM and 30 nM, respectively). The method was employed to the determination of Hg 2+ in water samples spiked with 10 nM levels of Hg 2+ where color changes still can be observed visually. Graphical Abstract Schematic presentation of a colorimetric method for the ultrasensitive detection of Hg 2+ based on the inhibition of urease activity. Mercaptoethanol is used to improve the selectivity. Even at Hg 2+ concentrations as low as 5 nM, the color change still can be easily observed by bare eyes.

  19. Improvement of the Uranium Sequestration Ability of a Chlamydomonas sp. (ChlSP Strain) Isolated From Extreme Uranium Mine Tailings Through Selection for Potential Bioremediation Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baselga-Cervera, Beatriz; Romero-López, Julia; García-Balboa, Camino; Costas, Eduardo; López-Rodas, Victoria

    2018-01-01

    The extraction and processing of uranium (U) have polluted large areas worldwide, rendering anthropogenic extreme environments inhospitable to most species. Noticeably, these sites are of great interest for taxonomical and applied bioprospection of extremotolerant species successfully adapted to U tailings contamination. As an example, in this work we have studied a microalgae species that inhabits extreme U tailings ponds at the Saelices mining site (Salamanca, Spain), characterized as acidic (pH between 3 and 4), radioactive (around 4 μSv h -1 ) and contaminated with metals, mainly U (from 25 to 48 mg L -1 ) and zinc (from 17 to 87 mg L -1 ). After isolation of the extremotolerant ChlSP strain, morphological characterization and internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-5.8S gene sequences placed it in the Chlamydomonadaceae , but BLAST analyses identity values, against the nucleotide datasets at the NCBI database, were very low (tailings waters based on newly evolved extremotolerants and outline the potential of artificial selection in the improvement of desired features in microalgae by experimental adaptation and selection.

  20. Improvement of the Uranium Sequestration Ability of a Chlamydomonas sp. (ChlSP Strain) Isolated From Extreme Uranium Mine Tailings Through Selection for Potential Bioremediation Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baselga-Cervera, Beatriz; Romero-López, Julia; García-Balboa, Camino; Costas, Eduardo; López-Rodas, Victoria

    2018-01-01

    The extraction and processing of uranium (U) have polluted large areas worldwide, rendering anthropogenic extreme environments inhospitable to most species. Noticeably, these sites are of great interest for taxonomical and applied bioprospection of extremotolerant species successfully adapted to U tailings contamination. As an example, in this work we have studied a microalgae species that inhabits extreme U tailings ponds at the Saelices mining site (Salamanca, Spain), characterized as acidic (pH between 3 and 4), radioactive (around 4 μSv h−1) and contaminated with metals, mainly U (from 25 to 48 mg L−1) and zinc (from 17 to 87 mg L−1). After isolation of the extremotolerant ChlSP strain, morphological characterization and internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-5.8S gene sequences placed it in the Chlamydomonadaceae, but BLAST analyses identity values, against the nucleotide datasets at the NCBI database, were very low (microalgae growth curve; ChlSG cells removed close to 4 mg L−1 of U in 24 days. These findings open up promising prospects for sustainable management of U tailings waters based on newly evolved extremotolerants and outline the potential of artificial selection in the improvement of desired features in microalgae by experimental adaptation and selection. PMID:29662476

  1. Optimizing antiretroviral product selection: a sample approach to improving patient outcomes, saving money, and scaling-up health services in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amole, Carolyn D; Brisebois, Catherine; Essajee, Shaffiq; Koehler, Erin; Levin, Andrew D; Moore, Meredith C; Brown Ripin, David H; Sickler, Joanna J; Singh, Inder R

    2011-08-01

    Over the last decade, increased funding to support HIV treatment programs has enabled millions of new patients in developing countries to access the medications they need. Today, although demand for antiretrovirals continues to grow, the financial crisis has severely constrained funding leaving countries with difficult choices on program prioritization. Product optimization is one solution countries can pursue to continue to improve patient care while also uncovering savings that can be used for further scale up or other health system needs. Program managers can make procurement decisions that actually reduce program costs by considering additional factors beyond World Health Organization guidelines when making procurement decisions. These include in-country product availability, convenience, price, and logistics such as supply chain implications and laboratory testing requirements. Three immediate product selection opportunities in the HIV space include using boosted atazanavir in place of lopinovir for second-line therapy, lamivudine instead of emtricitabine in both first-line and second-line therapy, and tenofovir + lamivudine over abacavir + didanosine in second-line therapy. If these 3 opportunities were broadly implemented in sub-Saharan Africa and India today, approximately $300 million of savings would be realized over the next 5 years, enabling hundreds of thousands of additional patients to be treated. Although the discussion herein is specific to antriretrovirals, the principles of product selection are generalizable to diseases with multiple treatment options and fungible commodity procurement. Identifying and implementing approaches to overcome health system inefficiencies will help sustain and may expand quality care in resource-limited settings.

  2. Improvements of the Vis-NIRS Model in the Prediction of Soil Organic Matter Content Using Spectral Pretreatments, Sample Selection, and Wavelength Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Z. D.; Wang, Y. B.; Wang, R. J.; Wang, L. S.; Lu, C. P.; Zhang, Z. Y.; Song, L. T.; Liu, Y.

    2017-07-01

    A total of 130 topsoil samples collected from Guoyang County, Anhui Province, China, were used to establish a Vis-NIR model for the prediction of organic matter content (OMC) in lime concretion black soils. Different spectral pretreatments were applied for minimizing the irrelevant and useless information of the spectra and increasing the spectra correlation with the measured values. Subsequently, the Kennard-Stone (KS) method and sample set partitioning based on joint x-y distances (SPXY) were used to select the training set. Successive projection algorithm (SPA) and genetic algorithm (GA) were then applied for wavelength optimization. Finally, the principal component regression (PCR) model was constructed, in which the optimal number of principal components was determined using the leave-one-out cross validation technique. The results show that the combination of the Savitzky-Golay (SG) filter for smoothing and multiplicative scatter correction (MSC) can eliminate the effect of noise and baseline drift; the SPXY method is preferable to KS in the sample selection; both the SPA and the GA can significantly reduce the number of wavelength variables and favorably increase the accuracy, especially GA, which greatly improved the prediction accuracy of soil OMC with Rcc, RMSEP, and RPD up to 0.9316, 0.2142, and 2.3195, respectively.

  3. Multi-Satellite MIMO Communications at Ku-Band and Above: Investigations on Spatial Multiplexing for Capacity Improvement and Selection Diversity for Interference Mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liolis Konstantinos P

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the applicability of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO technology to satellite communications at the Ku-band and above. After introducing the possible diversity sources to form a MIMO matrix channel in a satellite environment, particular emphasis is put on satellite diversity. Two specific different topics from the field of MIMO technology applications to satellite communications at these frequencies are further analyzed: (i capacity improvement achieved by MIMO spatial multiplexing systems and (ii interference mitigation achieved by MIMO diversity systems employing receive antenna selection. In the first case, a single-user capacity analysis of a satellite MIMO spatial multiplexing system is presented and a useful analytical closed form expression is derived for the outage capacity achieved. In the second case, a satellite MIMO diversity system with receive antenna selection is considered, adjacent satellite cochannel interference on its forward link is studied and an analytical model predicting the interference mitigation achieved is presented. In both cases, an appropriate physical MIMO channel model is assumed which takes into account the propagation phenomena related to the frequencies of interest, such as clear line-of-sight operation, high antenna directivity, the effect of rain fading, and the slant path lengths difference. Useful numerical results obtained through the analytical expressions derived are presented to compare the performance of multi-satellite MIMO systems to relevant single-input single-output (SISO ones.

  4. Ductility improvement due to martensite α' decomposition in porous Ti-6Al-4V parts produced by selective laser melting for orthopedic implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallica-Leva, E; Caram, R; Jardini, A L; Fogagnolo, J B

    2016-02-01

    Ti-6Al-4V parts obtained by selective laser melting typically have an acicular α' martensitic microstructure whose ductility is low. Thus, post-heat treatments are useful for increasing ductility. In this work, the effects of sub-β-transus heat treatments on the mechanical properties of Ti-6Al-4V parts with porous structures are correlated with martensite α' phase decomposition. The precipitation of β phase and the gradual transformation of α' into α phase by the diffusion of excess vanadium from α' to β phase are proposed to be the main events of martensite α' phase decomposition in parts fabricated by selective laser melting. The heat treatment performed at 650°C for 1h produced no microstructural changes, but the samples treated for at the same temperature 2h showed a fine precipitation of β phase along the α' needle boundaries. The heat treatment performed at 800°C for 1 or 2h produced a fine α+β microstructure, in which β phase are present as particles fewer in number and larger in size, when compared with the ones present in the sample heat-treated at 650°C for 2h. Heat-treatment of the parts at 800°C for 2h proved to be the best condition, which improved the ductility of the samples while only slightly reducing their strength. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. An improved method to prepare an injectable microemulsion of the galanin-receptor 3 selective antagonist, SNAP 37889, using Kolliphor® HS 15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, Karlene J.; Williams, Spencer J.; Lawrence, Andrew J.; Jarrott, Bevyn; Djouma, Elvan

    2014-01-01

    Research into the galanin-3 (GAL3) receptor has many challenges, including the lack of commercially available selective ligands. While the identification of non-peptidergic GAL3 receptor-selective antagonists, 1-phenyl-3-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]iminoindol-2-one (SNAP 37889) and 1-[3-(2-pyrrolidin-1-ylethoxy)phenyl]-3-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]iminoindol-2-one (SNAP 398299) have implicated a role for GAL3 receptors in anxiety, depression and drug-seeking behaviour, a major limitation of their use is poor aqueous solubility. Previously we have used 5% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with 1% hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose in saline to dissolve SNAP 37889 for intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of rats; however this produced a micro-suspension that was not ideal. The injectable formulation of SNAP 37889 was improved as follows:•30% (w/v) Kolliphor® HS 15 (Solutol HS® 15) and sodium phosphate buffer (0.01 M, pH 7.4) were used as vehicles.•A smooth glass mortar and pestle was used to triturate the Kolliphor® HS 15 and SNAP 37889 into a paste before addition to the sodium phosphate buffer at room temperature (RT).•The resulting mixture was vortexed until the paste was fully dissolved and the microemulsion was allowed to sit for 20 min to allow air bubbles to coalesce. PMID:26150955

  6. Better Measurement for Performance Improvement in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI) Experience of Conceptual Framework Development and Indicator Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veillard, Jeremy; Cowling, Krycia; Bitton, Asaf; Ratcliffe, Hannah; Kimball, Meredith; Barkley, Shannon; Mercereau, Laure; Wong, Ethan; Taylor, Chelsea; Hirschhorn, Lisa R; Wang, Hong

    2017-12-01

    Policy Points: Strengthening accountability through better measurement and reporting is vital to ensure progress in improving quality primary health care (PHC) systems and achieving universal health coverage (UHC). The Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI) provides national decision makers and global stakeholders with opportunities to benchmark and accelerate performance improvement through better performance measurement. Results from the initial PHC performance assessments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are helping guide PHC reforms and investments and improve the PHCPI's instruments and indicators. Findings from future assessment activities will further amplify cross-country comparisons and peer learning to improve PHC. New indicators and sources of data are needed to better understand PHC system performance in LMICs. The Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI), a collaboration between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The World Bank, and the World Health Organization, in partnership with Ariadne Labs and Results for Development, was launched in 2015 with the aim of catalyzing improvements in primary health care (PHC) systems in 135 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), in order to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage. Through more comprehensive and actionable measurement of quality PHC, the PHCPI stimulates peer learning among LMICs and informs decision makers to guide PHC investments and reforms. Instruments for performance assessment and improvement are in development; to date, a conceptual framework and 2 sets of performance indicators have been released. The PHCPI team developed the conceptual framework through literature reviews and consultations with an advisory committee of international experts. We generated 2 sets of performance indicators selected from a literature review of relevant indicators, cross-referenced against indicators available from international sources, and evaluated through

  7. Preoperative Y-90 microsphere selective internal radiation treatment for tumor downsizing and future liver remnant recruitment: a novel approach to improving the safety of major hepatic resections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulec, Seza A; Pennington, Kenneth; Hall, Michael; Fong, Yuman

    2009-01-08

    Extended liver resections are being performed more liberally than ever. The extent of resection of liver metastases, however, is restricted by the volume of the future liver remnant (FLR). An intervention that would both accomplish tumor control and induce compensatory hypertrophy, with good patient tolerability, could improve clinical outcomes. A 53-year-old woman with a history of cervical cancer presented with a large liver mass. Subsequent biopsy indicated poorly differentiated carcinoma with necrosis suggestive of squamous cell origin. A decision was made to proceed with pre-operative chemotherapy and Y-90 microsphere SIRT with the intent to obtain systemic control over the disease, downsize the hepatic lesion, and improve the FLR. A surgical exploration was performed six months after the first SIRT (three months after the second). There was no extrahepatic disease. The tumor was found to be significantly decreased in size with central and peripheral scarring. The left lobe was satisfactorily hypertrophied. A formal right hepatic lobectomy was performed with macroscopic negative margins. Selective internal radiation treatment (SIRT) with yttrium-90 (Y-90) microspheres has emerged as an effective liver-directed therapy with a favorable therapeutic ratio. We present this case report to suggest that the portal vein radiation dose can be substantially increased with the intent of inducing portal/periportal fibrosis. Such a therapeutic manipulation in lobar Y-90 microsphere treatment could accomplish the end points of PVE with avoidance of the concern regarding tumor progression.

  8. Effect of Selective Temporary Anaesthesia in Combination with Sensory Re-Education on Improvement of Hand Sensibility after Median and Ulnar Nerve Repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roghayeh Hasan-Zadeh

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The results of sensory improvement from nerve repair in adult are often poor. To confirm with previous results and this hypothesis that forearm deafferentation would enhance the sensory outcome by increasing the cortical hand representation, this study is aimed to investigate the effect of repeated sessions of cutaneous forearm anaesthesia of the injured limb, in combination with sensory re-education on the sensory outcome in the hand after median or ulnar nerve repair. Materials & Methods: This experimental study was designed as a double-blind randomized clinical trial. 13 patients that they had been undergoing surgery of hand nerves repaire were selected probability and assigned to examination (n=6 and control (n=7 group. During a 2 week period, a topical anaesthetic cream (Lidocaine for examination group and a placebo for control group was applied repeatedly (twice a week for 1 hour onto the flexor aspect of the forearm of injured hand and combined with sensory re-education. Assessments of sensory function were performed prior to the experiment and after the fourth application of Lidocaine/placebo. For analysis of data, Wilcoxon singed rank and Mann - Whitney U-tests were used. Results: Perception of touch that was measured with SWMs, had been improved significantly in the Lidocaine group in comparison with placebo group (P=0/03. Conclusion: This finding suggests that forearm deafferentation of injured limb, in combination with sensory re-education, can enhance sensory reover after nerve repair.

  9. Seed improvement by selection and invigoration Seleção e envigoramento como técnicas para o aprimoramento do desempenho de sementes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A. Powell

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available The basis of differences in seed quality are described for two groups of crops, grain legumes and vegetables and approaches to the improvement of quality are proposed. In grain legumes the major factors affecting seed quality are imbibition damage, seed ageing and their interaction. It is proposed that use of seed vigour tests, specifically the electrical conductivity test, to identify the incidence of imbibition damage and ageing allows the selection of seed lots for sale and for use under different field conditions. Alternatively in grain legume species in which there is a genotypic influence on predisposition to imbibition damage the approach to seed improvement may lie through selection in breeding programmes. Thus identification of testa characteristics that favour slow imbibition would enable selection for these characteristics. Seed ageing is also the major cause of reduced seed quality in vegetable species, leading to slow and asynchronous germination. An approach to their seed improvement has been the development of seed invigoration treatments based on seed hydration. The principle of these treatments is described and several treatments outlined, with emphasis being given to aerated hydration, a treatment completed within 36h. The physiological basis of improvement by invigoration is discussed.Neste trabalho, são descritas diferenças básicas na qualidade de sementes de leguminosas e hortaliças, e propostos procedimentos para a melhoria de seu desempenho. Os principais fatores que afetam a qualidade de sementes de leguminosas são as injurias durante a embebição, o envelhecimento e a interação entre esses fatores. Considera-se que a utilização de testes de vigor, principalmente o de condutividade elétrica, para a identificação de injurias durante a embebição e o grau de envelhecimento, permite a seleção de lotes para a comercialização e uso sob diferentes condições de campo. A alternativa, em leguminosas, onde h

  10. Improved bioactivity of selective laser melting titanium: Surface modification with micro-/nano-textured hierarchical topography and bone regeneration performance evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jia-Yun; Chen, Xian-Shuai; Zhang, Chun-Yu; Liu, Yun; Wang, Jing; Deng, Fei-Long

    2016-11-01

    Selective laser melting (SLM) titanium requires surface modification to improve its bioactivity. The microrough surface of it can be utilized as the micro primary substrate to create a micro-/nano-textured topography for improved bone regeneration. In this study, the microrough SLM titanium substrate was optimized by sandblasting, and nano-porous features of orderly arranged nanotubes and disorderly arranged nanonet were produced by anodization (SAN) and alkali-heat treatment (SAH), respectively. The results were compared with the control group of an untreated surface (native-SLM) and a microtopography only surface treated by acid etching (SLA). The effects of the different topographies on cell functions and bone formation performance were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. It was found that micro-/nano-textured topographies of SAN and SAH showed enhanced cell behaviour relative to the microtopography of SLA with significantly higher proliferation on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th day (P<0.05) and higher total protein contents on the 14th day (P<0.05). In vivo, SAN and SAH formed more successively regenerated bone, which resulted in higher bone-implant contact (BIC%) and bone-bonding force than native-SLM and SLA. In addition, the three-dimensional nanonet of SAH was expected to be more similar to native extracellular matrix (ECM) and thus led to better bone formation. The alkaline phosphatase activity of SAH was significantly higher than the other three groups at an earlier stage of the 7th day (P<0.05) and the BIC% was nearly double that of native-SLM and SLA in the 8th week. In conclusion, the addition of nano-porous features on the microrough SLM titanium surface is effective in improving the bioactivity and bone regeneration performance, in which the ECM-like nanonet with a disorderly arranged biomimetic feature is suggested to be more efficient than nanotubes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Design of a new therapy for patients with chronic kidney disease: use of microarrays for selective hemoadsorption of uremic wastes and toxins to improve homeostasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahidi Bonjar MR

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mohammad Rashid Shahidi Bonjar,1 Leyla Shahidi Bonjar2 1School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran; 2Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran Abstract: The hypothesis proposed here would provide near to optimum homeostasis for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD without the need for hemodialysis. This strategy has not been described previously in the scientific literature. It involves a targeted therapy that may prevent progression of the disease and help to improve the well-being of CKD patients. It proposes a nanotechnological device, ie, a microarray-oriented homeostasis provider (MOHP, to improve homeostasis in CKD patients. MOHP would be an auxiliary kidney aid, and would improve the filtration functions that impaired kidneys cannot perform by their own. MOHP is composed of two main computer-oriented components, ie, a quantitative microarray detector (QMD and a homeostasis-oriented microarray column (HOMC. QMD detects and HOMC selectively removes defined quantities of uremic wastes, toxins and any other metabolites which is programmed for. The QMD and HOMC would accomplish this with the help of a peristaltic blood pump that would circulate blood aseptically in an extracorporeal closed circuit. During the passage of blood through the QMD, this microarray detector would quantitatively monitor all of the blood compounds that accumulate in the blood of a patient with impaired glomerular filtration, including small-sized, middle-sized and large-sized molecules. The electronic information collected by QMD would be electronically transmitted to the HOMC, which would adjust the molecules to the concentrations they are electronically programmed for and/or receive from QMD. This process of monitoring and removal of waste continues until the programmed homeostasis criteria are reached. Like a conventional kidney machine, MOHP can be used in hospitals and

  12. Design of a new therapy for patients with chronic kidney disease: use of microarrays for selective hemoadsorption of uremic wastes and toxins to improve homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahidi Bonjar, Mohammad Rashid; Shahidi Bonjar, Leyla

    2015-01-01

    The hypothesis proposed here would provide near to optimum homeostasis for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) without the need for hemodialysis. This strategy has not been described previously in the scientific literature. It involves a targeted therapy that may prevent progression of the disease and help to improve the well-being of CKD patients. It proposes a nanotechnological device, ie, a microarray-oriented homeostasis provider (MOHP), to improve homeostasis in CKD patients. MOHP would be an auxiliary kidney aid, and would improve the filtration functions that impaired kidneys cannot perform by their own. MOHP is composed of two main computer-oriented components, ie, a quantitative microarray detector (QMD) and a homeostasis-oriented microarray column (HOMC). QMD detects and HOMC selectively removes defined quantities of uremic wastes, toxins and any other metabolites which is programmed for. The QMD and HOMC would accomplish this with the help of a peristaltic blood pump that would circulate blood aseptically in an extracorporeal closed circuit. During the passage of blood through the QMD, this microarray detector would quantitatively monitor all of the blood compounds that accumulate in the blood of a patient with impaired glomerular filtration, including small-sized, middle-sized and large-sized molecules. The electronic information collected by QMD would be electronically transmitted to the HOMC, which would adjust the molecules to the concentrations they are electronically programmed for and/or receive from QMD. This process of monitoring and removal of waste continues until the programmed homeostasis criteria are reached. Like a conventional kidney machine, MOHP can be used in hospitals and homes under the supervision of a trained technician. The main advantages of this treatment would include improved homeostasis, a reduced likelihood of side effects and of the morbidity resulting from CKD, slower progression of kidney impairment, prevention of

  13. Org 214007-0: a novel non-steroidal selective glucocorticoid receptor modulator with full anti-inflammatory properties and improved therapeutic index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lierop, Marie-José C; Alkema, Wynand; Laskewitz, Anke J; Dijkema, Rein; van der Maaden, Hans M; Smit, Martin J; Plate, Ralf; Conti, Paolo G M; Jans, Christan G J M; Timmers, C Marco; van Boeckel, Constant A A; Lusher, Scott J; McGuire, Ross; van Schaik, Rene C; de Vlieg, Jacob; Smeets, Ruben L; Hofstra, Claudia L; Boots, Annemieke M H; van Duin, Marcel; Ingelse, Benno A; Schoonen, Willem G E J; Grefhorst, Aldo; van Dijk, Theo H; Kuipers, Folkert; Dokter, Wim H A

    2012-01-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) such as prednisolone are potent immunosuppressive drugs but suffer from severe adverse effects, including the induction of insulin resistance. Therefore, development of so-called Selective Glucocorticoid Receptor Modulators (SGRM) is highly desirable. Here we describe a non-steroidal Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR)-selective compound (Org 214007-0) with a binding affinity to GR similar to that of prednisolone. Structural modelling of the GR-Org 214007-0 binding site shows disturbance of the loop between helix 11 and helix 12 of GR, confirmed by partial recruitment of the TIF2-3 peptide. Using various cell lines and primary human cells, we show here that Org 214007-0 acts as a partial GC agonist, since it repressed inflammatory genes and was less effective in induction of metabolic genes. More importantly, in vivo studies in mice indicated that Org 214007-0 retained full efficacy in acute inflammation models as well as in a chronic collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model. Gene expression profiling of muscle tissue derived from arthritic mice showed a partial activity of Org 214007-0 at an equi-efficacious dosage of prednisolone, with an increased ratio in repression versus induction of genes. Finally, in mice Org 214007-0 did not induce elevated fasting glucose nor the shift in glucose/glycogen balance in the liver seen with an equi-efficacious dose of prednisolone. All together, our data demonstrate that Org 214007-0 is a novel SGRMs with an improved therapeutic index compared to prednisolone. This class of SGRMs can contribute to effective anti-inflammatory therapy with a lower risk for metabolic side effects.

  14. Improved bioactivity of selective laser melting titanium: Surface modification with micro-/nano-textured hierarchical topography and bone regeneration performance evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Jia-yun [Department of Oral Implantology, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stomatology, Guangzhou 510055 (China); Chen, Xian-shuai; Zhang, Chun-yu [Guangzhou Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, Guangzhou 511458 (China); Liu, Yun; Wang, Jing [Department of Oral Implantology, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stomatology, Guangzhou 510055 (China); Deng, Fei-long, E-mail: drdfl@163.com [Department of Oral Implantology, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stomatology, Guangzhou 510055 (China)

    2016-11-01

    Selective laser melting (SLM) titanium requires surface modification to improve its bioactivity. The microrough surface of it can be utilized as the micro primary substrate to create a micro-/nano-textured topography for improved bone regeneration. In this study, the microrough SLM titanium substrate was optimized by sandblasting, and nano-porous features of orderly arranged nanotubes and disorderly arranged nanonet were produced by anodization (SAN) and alkali-heat treatment (SAH), respectively. The results were compared with the control group of an untreated surface (native-SLM) and a microtopography only surface treated by acid etching (SLA). The effects of the different topographies on cell functions and bone formation performance were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. It was found that micro-/nano-textured topographies of SAN and SAH showed enhanced cell behaviour relative to the microtopography of SLA with significantly higher proliferation on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th day (P < 0.05) and higher total protein contents on the 14th day (P < 0.05). In vivo, SAN and SAH formed more successively regenerated bone, which resulted in higher bone-implant contact (BIC%) and bone-bonding force than native-SLM and SLA. In addition, the three-dimensional nanonet of SAH was expected to be more similar to native extracellular matrix (ECM) and thus led to better bone formation. The alkaline phosphatase activity of SAH was significantly higher than the other three groups at an earlier stage of the 7th day (P < 0.05) and the BIC% was nearly double that of native-SLM and SLA in the 8th week. In conclusion, the addition of nano-porous features on the microrough SLM titanium surface is effective in improving the bioactivity and bone regeneration performance, in which the ECM-like nanonet with a disorderly arranged biomimetic feature is suggested to be more efficient than nanotubes. - Highlights: • SLM titanium is modified by adding nano-porous features to the microrough substrate

  15. Improved bioactivity of selective laser melting titanium: Surface modification with micro-/nano-textured hierarchical topography and bone regeneration performance evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Jia-yun; Chen, Xian-shuai; Zhang, Chun-yu; Liu, Yun; Wang, Jing; Deng, Fei-long

    2016-01-01

    Selective laser melting (SLM) titanium requires surface modification to improve its bioactivity. The microrough surface of it can be utilized as the micro primary substrate to create a micro-/nano-textured topography for improved bone regeneration. In this study, the microrough SLM titanium substrate was optimized by sandblasting, and nano-porous features of orderly arranged nanotubes and disorderly arranged nanonet were produced by anodization (SAN) and alkali-heat treatment (SAH), respectively. The results were compared with the control group of an untreated surface (native-SLM) and a microtopography only surface treated by acid etching (SLA). The effects of the different topographies on cell functions and bone formation performance were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. It was found that micro-/nano-textured topographies of SAN and SAH showed enhanced cell behaviour relative to the microtopography of SLA with significantly higher proliferation on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th day (P < 0.05) and higher total protein contents on the 14th day (P < 0.05). In vivo, SAN and SAH formed more successively regenerated bone, which resulted in higher bone-implant contact (BIC%) and bone-bonding force than native-SLM and SLA. In addition, the three-dimensional nanonet of SAH was expected to be more similar to native extracellular matrix (ECM) and thus led to better bone formation. The alkaline phosphatase activity of SAH was significantly higher than the other three groups at an earlier stage of the 7th day (P < 0.05) and the BIC% was nearly double that of native-SLM and SLA in the 8th week. In conclusion, the addition of nano-porous features on the microrough SLM titanium surface is effective in improving the bioactivity and bone regeneration performance, in which the ECM-like nanonet with a disorderly arranged biomimetic feature is suggested to be more efficient than nanotubes. - Highlights: • SLM titanium is modified by adding nano-porous features to the microrough substrate

  16. Improvement of catalytic activity in selective oxidation of styrene with H{sub 2}O{sub 2} over spinel Mg–Cu ferrite hollow spheres in water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tong, Jinhui, E-mail: jinhuitong@126.com [Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou 730070 (China); Key Laboratory of Gansu Polymer Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070 (China); Cai, Xiaodong; Wang, Haiyan; Zhang, Qianping [Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou 730070 (China); Key Laboratory of Gansu Polymer Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070 (China)

    2014-07-01

    Graphical abstract: Uniform spinel Mg–Cu ferrite hollow spheres were prepared using carbon spheres as templates. Solid spinel Mg{sub 0.5}Cu{sub 0.5}Fe{sub 2}O{sub 4} ferrite nanocrystals were also prepared by sol–gel auto-combustion, hydrothermal and coprecipitation methods for comparison. The samples were found to be efficient catalysts for oxidation of styrene using hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. Especially, in the case of Mg{sub 0.5}Cu{sub 0.5}Fe{sub 2}O{sub 4} hollow spheres, obvious improvement on catalytic activity was observed and 21.2% of styrene conversion and 75.2% of selectivity for benzaldehyde were obtained at 80 °C for 6 h reaction in water. The catalyst can be magnetically separated easily for reuse and no obvious loss of activity was observed when reused in six consecutive runs. - Highlights: • Uniform spinel ferrite hollow spheres were prepared by a simple method. • The catalyst has been proved much more efficient for styrene oxidation than the reported analogues. • The catalyst can be easily separated by external magnetic field and has exhibited excellent reusability. • The catalytic system is environmentally friendly. - Abstract: Uniform spinel Mg–Cu ferrite hollow spheres were prepared using carbon spheres as templates. For comparison, solid Mg–Cu ferrite nanocrystals were also prepared by sol–gel auto-combustion, hydrothermal and coprecipitation methods. All the samples were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FT-IR), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and N{sub 2} physisorption. The samples were found to be efficient catalysts for oxidation of styrene using hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. Especially, in the case of Mg{sub 0.5}Cu{sub 0.5}Fe{sub 2}O{sub 4} hollow spheres, obvious improvement on catalytic activity was observed, and 21.2% of styrene conversion and 75.2% of selectivity for benzaldehyde were obtained at 80 °C for 6 h reaction in water. The catalyst can be

  17. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  18. Developed beverage from roselle calyx and selected fruits modulates β-cell function, improves insulin sensitivity, and attenuates hyperlipidaemia in diabetic rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ochuko L. Erukainure

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to report the antidiabetic properties of a beverage developed from roselle calyx and selected fruits in male albino rats. The beverage was designed to contain 30% pawpaw (Carica papaya L., 10% grapefruit (Citrus paradisi, 20% guava leaves (Psidium guajava L. and 40% roselle calyx aqueous extracts. Four groups of five rats each were acclimatized on pelletized mouse chow for seven days, after which diabetes was induced by a single ip injection of alloxan in all groups except group 1, which served as control. Group 2 served as negative control while groups 3 and 4 were treated with the beverage at 2.5 and 5 ml/kg bw respectively. Food intake, body weight, and blood glucose levels were monitored. They were sacrificed by cervical dislocation after a 2 week treatment. Blood serum was analysed to evaluate insulin levels, β cell function, insulin resistance and lipid profile. Histological studies were carried out on pancreatic tissues. Treatment with both doses of the beverage led to a significant reduction (p < 0.05 in blood glucose, total cholesterol triglyceride, LDL and increased HDL levels. It also improved serum insulin levels, β cell function, reduced insulin resistance and restored pancreatic beta cells compared to the diabetic group. These antidiabetic properties may be as a consequence of modulation of the β-cell function, reduction of insulin resistance and preservation/restoration of β-cell integrity. However, treatment with the single dose showed signs of hyperinsulinaemia.

  19. Improved reaction kinetics and selectivity by the TiO2-embedded carbon nanofiber support for electro-oxidation of ethanol on PtRu nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Nobuyoshi; Ito, Yudai; Tsujiguchi, Takuya; Ishitobi, Hirokazu

    2014-02-01

    The electro-oxidation of ethanol by the catalyst of PtRu nanoparticles supported on a TiO2-embedded carbon nanofiber (PtRu/TECNF), which has recently been proposed by the authors as a highly active catalyst for methanol oxidation, is investigated by cyclic voltammetry using a glassy carbon electrode and by operating a direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) with the catalyst. The mass activity obtained from the cyclic voltammogram for the ethanol oxidation is compared to that for the methanol oxidation reported in our recent paper. The mass activity for the ethanol oxidation is comparable or slightly higher than that for the methanol oxidation, and the relationship between the TECNF composition, i.e., the Ti/C mass ratio, and the activity are also similar to that for the methanol oxidation. A DEFC fabricated with the PtRu/TECNF shows a higher power output compared to that with the commercial PtRu/C catalyst. An analysis of the reaction products by a simple two-step reaction model reveals that the PtRu/TECNF increases the rate constant for the reaction steps from ethanol to acetaldehyde and subsequently to CO2, but decreases that from acetaldehyde to acetic acid. This means that the PtRu/TECNF improves not only the kinetics, but also the selectivity to acetaldehyde.

  20. Dual-view inverted selective plane illumination microscopy (diSPIM) with improved background rejection for accurate 3D digital pathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bihe; Bolus, Daniel; Brown, J. Quincy

    2018-02-01

    Current gold-standard histopathology for cancerous biopsies is destructive, time consuming, and limited to 2D slices, which do not faithfully represent true 3D tumor micro-morphology. Light sheet microscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for 3D imaging of cancer biospecimens. Here, we utilize the versatile dual-view inverted selective plane illumination microscopy (diSPIM) to render digital histological images of cancer biopsies. Dual-view architecture enabled more isotropic resolution in X, Y, and Z; and different imaging modes, such as adding electronic confocal slit detection (eCSD) or structured illumination (SI), can be used to improve degraded image quality caused by background signal of large, scattering samples. To obtain traditional H&E-like images, we used DRAQ5 and eosin (D&E) staining, with 488nm and 647nm laser illumination, and multi-band filter sets. Here, phantom beads and a D&E stained buccal cell sample have been used to verify our dual-view method. We also show that via dual view imaging and deconvolution, more isotropic resolution has been achieved for optical cleared human prostate sample, providing more accurate quantitation of 3D tumor architecture than was possible with single-view SPIM methods. We demonstrate that the optimized diSPIM delivers more precise analysis of 3D cancer microarchitecture in human prostate biopsy than simpler light sheet microscopy arrangements.

  1. Strain Improvement of Fungi by Induced Mutation through Gamma Irradiation and Selection for Animal Feed Enzymes Production and its Fermentation Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konsue, Parichart; Piadang, Nattayana; Kitpreechavanich, Vichien

    2006-09-01

    Ten from eighty-nine strains of thermophilic fungi Thermomyces lanuginosus produced high level insoluble xylan degrading enzyme when cultured in submerge condition using untreated corncob as a substrate. Strain of T. lanuginosus THKU56 produced high level of insoluble xylan degrading enzyme with the most stable which was remained 28.2 and 58.9 % after treated at pH 3.5 and 70 o C for 1 h, respectively. To improve xylanase production, the strain was subjected to mutate using gamma ray at 0.4 - 1.6 kGy. The result showed the mutant strains produced insoluble xylanase activity lesser than wild type. Thus wild type strain THKU56 was then selected as potent strains for enzyme production and medium optimization was investigated using a central composite design. The four components, corncobs, yeast extract, KH 2 PO 4 and Tween 8 0, were parameters of this study. It was found that corncobs and yeast extract were discovered to affect on the xylanase production. The optimal concentration of the active nutrients for xylanase production were 41 g/l of corncobs and 24 g/l of yeast extract, which gave a predicted yield of 526.7 units/ml after 5 days culture at a temperature of 50 o C. The xylanase activity obtained from the experiment was 541 units/ml that was close to the predicted value

  2. Using genomic DNA-based probe-selection to improve the sensitivity of high-density oligonucleotide arrays when applied to heterologous species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Townsend Henrik J

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract High-density oligonucleotide (oligo arrays are a powerful tool for transcript profiling. Arrays based on GeneChip® technology are amongst the most widely used, although GeneChip® arrays are currently available for only a small number of plant and animal species. Thus, we have developed a method to improve the sensitivity of high-density oligonucleotide arrays when applied to heterologous species and tested the method by analysing the transcriptome of Brassica oleracea L., a species for which no GeneChip® array is available, using a GeneChip® array designed for Arabidopsis thaliana (L. Heynh. Genomic DNA from B. oleracea was labelled and hybridised to the ATH1-121501 GeneChip® array. Arabidopsis thaliana probe-pairs that hybridised to the B. oleracea genomic DNA on the basis of the perfect-match (PM probe signal were then selected for subsequent B. oleracea transcriptome analysis using a .cel file parser script to generate probe mask files. The transcriptional response of B. oleracea to a mineral nutrient (phosphorus; P stress was quantified using probe mask files generated for a wide range of gDNA hybridisation intensity thresholds. An example probe mask file generated with a gDNA hybridisation intensity threshold of 400 removed > 68 % of the available PM probes from the analysis but retained >96 % of available A. thaliana probe-sets. Ninety-nine of these genes were then identified as significantly regulated under P stress in B. oleracea, including the homologues of P stress responsive genes in A. thaliana. Increasing the gDNA hybridisation intensity thresholds up to 500 for probe-selection increased the sensitivity of the GeneChip® array to detect regulation of gene expression in B. oleracea under P stress by up to 13-fold. Our open-source software to create probe mask files is freely available http://affymetrix.arabidopsis.info/xspecies/ and may be used to facilitate transcriptomic analyses of a wide range of plant and animal

  3. Combination photodynamic therapy using 5-fluorouracil and aminolevulinate enhances tumor-selective production of protoporphyrin IX and improves treatment efficacy of squamous skin cancers and precancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maytin, Edward V.; Anand, Sanjay

    2016-03-01

    In combination photodynamic therapy (cPDT), a small-molecule drug is used to modulate the physiological state of tumor cells prior to giving aminolevulinate (ALA; a precursor for protoporphyrin IX, PpIX). In our laboratory we have identified three agents (methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, and vitamin D) that can enhance therapeutic effectiveness of ALAbased photodynamic therapy for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). However, only one (5-fluorouracil; 5-FU) is FDA-approved for skin cancer management. Here, we describe animal and human studies on 5-FU mechanisms of action, in terms of how 5-FU pretreatment leads to enhanced PpIX accumulation and improves selectivity of ALA-PDT treatment. In A431 subcutaneous tumors in mice, 5-FU changed expression of heme enzyme (upregulating coproporphyrinogen oxidase, and down-regulating ferrochelatase), inhibited tumor cell proliferation (Ki-67), enhanced differentiation (E-cadherin), and led to strong, tumor-selective increases in apoptosis. Interestingly, enhancement of apoptosis by 5-FU correlated strongly with an increased accumulation of p53 in tumor cells that persisted for 24 h post- PDT. In a clinical trial using a split-body, bilaterally controlled study design, human subjects with actinic keratoses (AK; preneoplastic precursors of SCC) were pretreated on one side of the face, scalp, or forearms with 5-FU cream for 6 days, while the control side received no 5-FU. On the seventh day, the levels of PpIX in 4 test lesions were measured by noninvasive fluorescence dosimetry, and then all lesions were treated with PDT using methyl-aminolevulinate (MAL) and red light (635 nm). Relative amounts of PpIX were found to be increased ~2-fold in 5-FU pretreated lesions relative to controls. At 3 months after PDT, the overall clinical response to PDT (reduction in lesion counts) was 2- to 3-fold better for the 5-FU pretreated lesions, a clinically important result. In summary, 5-FU is a useful adjuvant to aminolevulinate-based PDT

  4. Improving Results of Elective Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair at a Low-Volume Hospital by Risk-Adjusted Selection of Treatment in the Endovascular Era

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wibmer, Andreas; Meyer, Bernhard; Albrecht, Thomas; Buhr, Heinz-Johannes; Kruschewski, Martin

    2009-01-01

    open repair was reduced from 8.5% to 3.7% (p = 0.414). In conclusion, by risk-adjusted selection of treatment and frequent application of EVAR, it is possible to improve perioperative outcome of elective AAA repair at a low-volume hospital. Mortality figures are similar to those of recent trials at high-volume centers, as reported in the literature.

  5. Improving the stability and ethanol electro-oxidation activity of Pt catalysts by selectively anchoring Pt particles on carbon-nanotubes-supported-SnO{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, J.J.; Wang, J.S.; Zhao, J.H.; Song, C.Y.; Wang, L.C. [School of Chemical Engineering and Energy, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou (China); Guo, X. [Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing (China)

    2012-10-15

    To improve the stability and activity of Pt catalysts for ethanol electro-oxidation, Pt nanoparticles were selectively deposited on carbon-nanotubes (CNTs)-supported-SnO{sub 2} to prepare Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs and Pt/CNTs was prepared by impregnation method for reference study. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to confirm the crystalline structures of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs and Pt/CNTs. The stabilities of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs and Pt/CNTs were compared by analyzing the Pt size increase amplitude using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images recorded before and after cyclic voltammetry (CV) sweeping. The results showed that the Pt size increase amplitude is evidently smaller for Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs, indicating the higher stability of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs. Although both catalysts exhibit degradation of electrochemical active surface area (EAS) after CV sweeping, the EAS degradation for the former is lower, further confirming the higher stability of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs. CV and potentiostatic current-time curves were recorded for ethanol electro-oxidation on both catalysts before and after CV sweeping and the results showed that the mass specific activity of Pt/CNTs increases more than that of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs, indicating that Pt/CNTs experiences more severe evolution and is less stable. The calculated area specific activity of Pt/SnO{sub 2}/CNTs is larger than that of Pt/CNTs, indicating SnO{sub 2} can co-catalyze Pt due to plenty of interfaces between SnO{sub 2} and Pt. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. The positive effect of hot isostatic pressing on improving the anisotropies of bending and impact properties in selective laser melted Ti-6Al-4V alloy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Ming-Wei; Lai, Pang-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Selective laser melting (SLM) is a versatile additive manufacturing process for fabricating solid or porous metallic materials with complicated three-dimensional shapes. SLM Ti alloys, particularly Ti-6Al-4V, and other alloys have been manufactured and analyzed in numerous studies. However, the high anisotropy of the microstructures and inconsistent mechanical properties of SLM materials have been extensively reported, and these disadvantages could prohibit its widespread use. To clarify how to alleviate the anisotropic behaviors of SLM materials, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the influences of hot isostatic pressing (HIP) on the microstructure, densification, bending strength, impact toughness, and fracture behavior of the as-built Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The results showed that the vertical and horizontal building directions obviously affect the bending and impact properties of as-built alloys. The transverse rupture strength (TRS) and impact energy of the horizontally-built alloy were respectively found to be 48% and 100% higher than those of the vertically-built one. In the vertically-built alloy, disc-shaped building defects, identified by X-ray computed tomography (CT) and microscopy, obviously reduce the effective load-bearing cross-section and deteriorate the bending and impact performances. After HIP at 1000 °C/150 MPa, the α′-martensite structure in the as-built alloy is transformed into an α+β lamellar one, and the disc-shaped building defects are evidently eliminated. As a result, the impact energies of as-built vertical and horizontal specimens are improved by 28 J (560%) and 19 J (190%), respectively, and the TRS of the as-built vertical alloy is raised by 550 MPa (37%). Consequently, the discrepancies in TRS and impact energy between the HIPed vertical and horizontal specimens are merely 3% and 14%, respectively, and the anisotropic behaviors of the SLM Ti-6Al-4V alloy are thus substantially lessened.

  7. Tile-based Fisher-ratio software for improved feature selection analysis of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marney, Luke C; Siegler, W Christopher; Parsons, Brendon A; Hoggard, Jamin C; Wright, Bob W; Synovec, Robert E

    2013-10-15

    Comprehensive two-dimensional (2D) gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOFMS) is a highly capable instrumental platform that produces complex and information-rich multi-dimensional chemical data. The data can be initially overwhelming, especially when many samples (of various sample classes) are analyzed with multiple injections for each sample. Thus, the data must be analyzed in such a way as to extract the most meaningful information. The pixel-based and peak table-based Fisher ratio algorithmic approaches have been used successfully in the past to reduce the multi-dimensional data down to those chemical compounds that are changing between the sample classes relative to those that are not changing (i.e., chemical feature selection). We report on the initial development of a computationally fast novel tile-based Fisher-ratio software that addresses the challenges due to 2D retention time misalignment without explicitly aligning the data, which is often a shortcoming for both pixel-based and peak table-based algorithmic approaches. Concurrently, the tile-based Fisher-ratio algorithm significantly improves the sensitivity contrast of true positives against a background of potential false positives and noise. In this study, eight compounds, plus one internal standard, were spiked into diesel at various concentrations. The tile-based F-ratio algorithmic approach was able to "discover" all spiked analytes, within the complex diesel sample matrix with thousands of potential false positives, in each possible concentration comparison, even at the lowest absolute spiked analyte concentration ratio of 1.06, the ratio between the concentrations in the spiked diesel sample to the native concentration in diesel. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The positive effect of hot isostatic pressing on improving the anisotropies of bending and impact properties in selective laser melted Ti-6Al-4V alloy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Ming-Wei, E-mail: mwwu@ntut.edu.tw; Lai, Pang-Hsin

    2016-03-21

    Selective laser melting (SLM) is a versatile additive manufacturing process for fabricating solid or porous metallic materials with complicated three-dimensional shapes. SLM Ti alloys, particularly Ti-6Al-4V, and other alloys have been manufactured and analyzed in numerous studies. However, the high anisotropy of the microstructures and inconsistent mechanical properties of SLM materials have been extensively reported, and these disadvantages could prohibit its widespread use. To clarify how to alleviate the anisotropic behaviors of SLM materials, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the influences of hot isostatic pressing (HIP) on the microstructure, densification, bending strength, impact toughness, and fracture behavior of the as-built Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The results showed that the vertical and horizontal building directions obviously affect the bending and impact properties of as-built alloys. The transverse rupture strength (TRS) and impact energy of the horizontally-built alloy were respectively found to be 48% and 100% higher than those of the vertically-built one. In the vertically-built alloy, disc-shaped building defects, identified by X-ray computed tomography (CT) and microscopy, obviously reduce the effective load-bearing cross-section and deteriorate the bending and impact performances. After HIP at 1000 °C/150 MPa, the α′-martensite structure in the as-built alloy is transformed into an α+β lamellar one, and the disc-shaped building defects are evidently eliminated. As a result, the impact energies of as-built vertical and horizontal specimens are improved by 28 J (560%) and 19 J (190%), respectively, and the TRS of the as-built vertical alloy is raised by 550 MPa (37%). Consequently, the discrepancies in TRS and impact energy between the HIPed vertical and horizontal specimens are merely 3% and 14%, respectively, and the anisotropic behaviors of the SLM Ti-6Al-4V alloy are thus substantially lessened.

  9. High-protein diet selectively reduces fat mass and improves glucose tolerance in Western-type diet-induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stengel, Andreas; Goebel-Stengel, Miriam; Wang, Lixin; Hu, Eugenia; Karasawa, Hiroshi; Pisegna, Joseph R.

    2013-01-01

    Obesity is an increasing health problem. Because drug treatments are limited, diets remain popular. High-protein diets (HPD) reduce body weight (BW), although the mechanisms are unclear. We investigated physiological mechanisms altered by switching diet induced obesity (DIO) rats from Western-type diet (WTD) to HPD. Male rats were fed standard (SD) or WTD (45% calories from fat). After developing DIO (50% of rats), they were switched to SD (15% calories from protein) or HPD (52% calories from protein) for up to 4 weeks. Food intake (FI), BW, body composition, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and intestinal hormone plasma levels were monitored. Rats fed WTD showed an increased FI and had a 25% greater BW gain after 9 wk compared with SD (P Diet-induced obese rats switched from WTD to HPD reduced daily FI by 30% on day 1, which lasted to day 9 (−9%) and decreased BW during the 2-wk period compared with SD/SD (P < 0.05). During these 2 wk, WTD/HPD rats lost 72% more fat mass than WTD/SD (P < 0.05), whereas lean mass was unaltered. WTD/HPD rats had lower blood glucose than WTD/SD at 30 min postglucose gavage (P < 0.05). The increase of pancreatic polypeptide and peptide YY during the 2-h dark-phase feeding was higher in WTD/HPD compared with WTD/SD (P < 0.05). These data indicate that HPD reduces BW in WTD rats, which may be related to decreased FI and the selective reduction of fat mass accompanied by improved glucose tolerance, suggesting relevant benefits of HPD in the treatment of obesity. PMID:23883680

  10. YH12852, a potent and highly selective 5-HT4 receptor agonist, significantly improves both upper and lower gastrointestinal motility in a guinea pig model of postoperative ileus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Z; Lee, Y J; Yang, H; Jeong, E J; Sim, J Y; Park, H

    2017-10-01

    Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility that commonly develops after abdominal surgery. YH12852, a novel, potent and highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT 4 ) receptor agonist, has been shown to improve both upper and lower GI motility in various animal studies and may have applications for the treatment of POI. Here, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of YH12852 in a guinea pig model of POI to explore its therapeutic potential. The guinea pig model of POI was created by laparotomy, evisceration, and gentle manipulation of the cecum for 60 seconds, followed by closure with sutures under anesthesia. Group 1 received an oral administration of vehicle or YH12852 (1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg) only, while POI Group 2 was intraperitoneally pretreated with vehicle or 5-HT 4 receptor antagonist GR113808 (10 mg/kg) prior to oral dosing of vehicle or YH12852 (3 or 10 mg/kg). Upper GI transit was evaluated by assessing the migration of a charcoal mixture in the small intestine, while lower GI transit was assessed via measurement of fecal pellet output (FPO). YH12852 significantly accelerated upper and lower GI transit at the doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg and reached its maximal effect at 10 mg/kg. These effects were significantly blocked by pretreatment of GR113808 10 mg/kg. Oral administration of YH12852 significantly accelerates and restores delayed upper and lower GI transit in a guinea pig model of POI. This drug may serve as a useful candidate for the treatment of postoperative ileus. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Development of a Numerical Fish Surrogate for Improved Selection of Fish Passage Design and Operation Alternatives for Lower Granite Dam: Phase I

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nestler, John

    2000-01-01

    .... The overall goal of this research is to develop and apply an approach for integrating biological and hydraulic information to support selection of optimum designs and project operations for Surface...

  12. Data Analysis and Data-Driven Decision-Making Strategies Implemented by Elementary Teachers in Selected Exited Program Improvement Safe Harbor Schools in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senger, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purposes of this study were to investigate and describe how elementary teachers in exited Program Improvement-Safe Harbor schools acquire student achievement data through assessments, the strategies and reflections utilized to make sense of the data to improve student achievement, ensure curriculum and instructional goals are aligned,…

  13. The Right Student: An Exploration of the Qualities Desired in the Next Generation of Nursing Students, Leading to Improved Selection Processes within Nursing and Midwifery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrie, Peter; Day, Jacqui; Ford, Karen; Knifton, Christopher; Welyczko, Nicola; Harrison, Penny; Robson, Elizabeth; Tremayne, Penny

    2012-01-01

    This project explored ways in which student selection in nursing can be developed. Original research was undertaken throughout the United Kingdom using qualitative interviews with a range of academic staff and partners from practice. A conceptual framework was produced which identified five categories which can confidently be seen as…

  14. Dendritic cells used in anti-HIV immunotherapy showed different modulation in anti-HIV genes expression: New concept for the improvement of patients' selection criteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Pontillo

    2016-11-01

    Conclusions: These results suggest that the actual selection of HIV+ individual for immunotherapy, based on clinical features, did not ensure the same DC product, and that less “activated/exhausted” DC could positively affect the outcome of immunotherapy.

  15. An Evidence-Based Cue-Selection Guide and Logic Model to Improve Pressure Ulcer Prevention in Long-term Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tracey L; Kennerly, Susan M; Bergstrom, Nancy; Hudak, Sandra L; Horn, Susan D

    2016-01-01

    Pressure ulcers have consistently resisted prevention efforts in long-term care facilities nationwide. Recent research has described cueing innovations that-when selected according to the assumptions and resources of particular facilities-support best practices of pressure ulcer prevention. This article synthesizes that research into a unified, dynamic logic model to facilitate effective staff implementation of a pressure ulcer prevention program.

  16. Improving the quality of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) for dairy cows by selecting for fast clearing and/or degradable neutral detergent fiber

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taweel, H.Z.; Tas, B.M.; Smit, H.J.; Elgersma, A.; Dijkstra, J.; Tamminga, S.

    2005-01-01

    Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) fractional clearance rate (Kcl) and fractional degradation rate (kd) of six varieties of perennial ryegrass were measured to examine the possibility of selecting for varieties with fast degradable NDF. The experiment was conducted in 2000 and repeated in 2001. In each

  17. An Initial Seed Selection Algorithm for K-means Clustering of Georeferenced Data to Improve Replicability of Cluster Assignments for Mapping Application

    OpenAIRE

    Khan, Fouad

    2016-01-01

    K-means is one of the most widely used clustering algorithms in various disciplines, especially for large datasets. However the method is known to be highly sensitive to initial seed selection of cluster centers. K-means++ has been proposed to overcome this problem and has been shown to have better accuracy and computational efficiency than k-means. In many clustering problems though -such as when classifying georeferenced data for mapping applications- standardization of clustering methodolo...

  18. Enhancement of the spectral selectivity of complex samples by measuring them in a frozen state at low temperatures in order to improve accuracy for quantitative analysis. Part II. Determination of viscosity for lube base oils using Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mooeung; Chung, Hoeil

    2013-03-07

    The use of selectivity-enhanced Raman spectra of lube base oil (LBO) samples achieved by the spectral collection under frozen conditions at low temperatures was effective for improving accuracy for the determination of the kinematic viscosity at 40 °C (KV@40). A collection of Raman spectra from samples cooled around -160 °C provided the most accurate measurement of KV@40. Components of the LBO samples were mainly long-chain hydrocarbons with molecular structures that were deformable when these were frozen, and the different structural deformabilities of the components enhanced spectral selectivity among the samples. To study the structural variation of components according to the change of sample temperature from cryogenic to ambient condition, n-heptadecane and pristane (2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane) were selected as representative components of LBO samples, and their temperature-induced spectral features as well as the corresponding spectral loadings were investigated. A two-dimensional (2D) correlation analysis was also employed to explain the origin for the improved accuracy. The asynchronous 2D correlation pattern was simplest at the optimal temperature, indicating the occurrence of distinct and selective spectral variations, which enabled the variation of KV@40 of LBO samples to be more accurately assessed.

  19. Evaluation of a quality improvement intervention for obstetric and neonatal care in selected public health facilities across six states of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarin, Enisha; Kole, Subir K; Patel, Rachana; Sooden, Ankur; Kharwal, Sanchit; Singh, Rashmi; Rahimzai, Mirwais; Livesley, Nigel

    2017-05-02

    While increase in the number of women delivering in health facilities has been rapid, the quality of obstetric and neonatal care continues to be poor in India, contributing to high maternal and neonatal mortality. The USAID ASSIST Project supported health workers in 125 public health facilities (delivering approximately 180,000 babies per year) across six states to use quality improvement (QI) approaches to provide better care to women and babies before, during and immediately after delivery. As part of this intervention, each month, health workers recorded data related to nine elements of routine care alongside data on perinatal mortality. We aggregated facility level data and conducted segmented regression to analyse the effect of the intervention over time. Care improved to 90-99% significantly (p improving provision of routine care, yet these approaches are underused in the Indian health system. We discuss the implications of this for policy makers.

  20. Analyses adjusting for selective crossover show improved overall survival with adjuvant letrozole compared with tamoxifen in the BIG 1-98 study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colleoni, Marco; Giobbie-Hurder, Anita; Regan, Meredith M

    2011-01-01

    Among postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive breast cancer, the aromatase inhibitor letrozole, when compared with tamoxifen, has been shown to significantly improve disease-free survival (DFS) and time to distant recurrence (TDR). We investigated whether letrozole monotherapy prolonged ov...

  1. A Feasibility Assessment of Behavioral-based Interviewing to Improve Candidate Selection for a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatem, Geneva; Kokas, Maria; Smith, Cathy L; DiGiovine, Bruno

    2017-04-01

    Traditional interviews for residency and fellowship training programs are an important component in the selection process, but can be of variable value due to a nonstandardized approach. We redesigned the candidate interview process for our large pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship program in the United States using a behavioral-based interview (BBI) structure. The primary goal of this approach was to standardize the assessment of candidates within noncognitive domains with the goal of selecting those with the best fit for our institution's fellowship program. Eight faculty members attended two BBI workshops. The first workshop identified our program's "best fit" criteria using the framework of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's six core competencies and additional behaviors that fit within our programs. BBI questions were then selected from a national database and refined based on the attributes deemed most important by our faculty. In the second workshop, faculty practiced the BBI format in mock interviews with third-year fellows. The interview process was further refined based on feedback from the interviewees, and then applied with fellowship candidates for the 2014 recruitment season. The 1-year pilot of behavioral-based interviewing allowed us to achieve consensus on the traits sought for our incoming fellows and to standardize the interview process for our program using the framework of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies. Although the effects of this change on the clinical performance of our fellows have not yet been assessed, this description of our development and implementation processes may be helpful for programs seeking to redesign their applicant interviews.

  2. Vertical mammaplasty associated with accelerated partial breast radiotherapy: how oncoplastic surgery techniques associated with modern techniques of radiotherapy can improve the aesthetic outcome in selected patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Couto, Henrique Lima, E-mail: enriquecouto@hotmail.com [Santa Fe Women' s and Maternity Hospital, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Amorim, Washington Cancado; Guimaraes, Rodrigo [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Hospital Geral; Ramires, Leandro Cruz; Castilho, Marcus Simoes [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Fac. de Medicina; Dominguez, Lorena Lima Coto [Universidade Estacio de Sa (UNESA), Rio de Janeiro, EJ (Brazil)

    2014-07-15

    Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world, being the most common among women, responsible for 22% of new cases each year. It's surgical and radiation treatment evolved from radical procedures (Halsted radical mastectomy and total external breast radiotherapy) to less radical and more conservative procedures. With the use of modern oncoplastic surgery techniques and accelerated partial breast radiotherapy, selected patients can benefit with better aesthetic results, fewer side effects, and more comfortable and brief treatments. (author)

  3. Vertical mammaplasty associated with accelerated partial breast radiotherapy: how oncoplastic surgery techniques associated with modern techniques of radiotherapy can improve the aesthetic outcome in selected patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Couto, Henrique Lima; Amorim, Washington Cancado; Guimaraes, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world, being the most common among women, responsible for 22% of new cases each year. It's surgical and radiation treatment evolved from radical procedures (Halsted radical mastectomy and total external breast radiotherapy) to less radical and more conservative procedures. With the use of modern oncoplastic surgery techniques and accelerated partial breast radiotherapy, selected patients can benefit with better aesthetic results, fewer side effects, and more comfortable and brief treatments. (author)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wen; Bao, Li; Yang, Shaoxing

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Collaborative Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaltoft, Rasmus

    The thesis data have been collected in the EU-sponsored project: Collaborative Improvement Tool for the Extended Manufacturing Enterprise, CO-IMPROVE. In this project four universities (Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and The Netherlands), two software vendors (Greece and Sweden) and three companies...... (Denmark, Italy and The Netherlands) each with three to five suppliers were involved. The CO-IMPROVE project and the thesis is based on “action research” and “action learning”. The main aim of the whole project is through actual involvement and actions make the researchers, companies and selected suppliers...... learn how to improve operations in (hopefully) a win-win like manner through collaboration....

  6. 3-[2,4-Dimethoxybenzylidene]anabaseine (DMXB) selectively activates rat alpha7 receptors and improves memory-related behaviors in a mecamylamine-sensitive manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, E M; Tay, E T; Papke, R L; Meyers, C; Huang, G L; de Fiebre, C M

    1997-09-12

    The alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonist 3-[2,4-dimethoxybenzylidene]anabaseine (DMXB; GTS-21) was investigated for its ability to: (1) activate a variety of nicotinic receptor subtypes in Xenopus oocytes; (2) improve passive avoidance and spatial Morris water task performances in mecamylamine-sensitive manners in bilaterally nucleus basalis lesioned rats; and (3) elevate high-affinity [3H]acetylcholine (ACh) and high-affinity alpha-[125I]bungarotoxin binding in rat neocortex following 2 weeks of daily injections. DMXB (100 microM) activated alpha7 homo-oligomeric receptors, without significant activity at alpha2-, alpha3- and alpha4-containing subtypes. Mecamylamine blocked rat alpha7 receptors weakly if co-administered with agonist, but much more potently when pre-applied. Bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the nucleus basalis interfered with passive avoidance and spatial memory-related behaviors. DMXB (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) improved passive avoidance behavior in lesioned animals in a mecamylamine-sensitive manner. DMXB (0.5 mg/kg 15 min before each session) also improved performance in the training and probe components of the Morris water task. DMXB-induced improvement in the probe component but not the training phase was mecamylamine-sensitive. [3H]ACh binding was elevated after 14 days of daily i.p. injections with 0.2 mg/kg nicotine but not after 1 mg/kg DMXB. Neither drug elevated high-affinity alpha-[125I]bungarorotoxin binding over this interval.

  7. A review of selected pumping systems in nature and engineering--potential biomimetic concepts for improving displacement pumps and pulsation damping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach, D; Schmich, F; Masselter, T; Speck, T

    2015-09-03

    The active transport of fluids by pumps plays an essential role in engineering and biology. Due to increasing energy costs and environmental issues, topics like noise reduction, increase of efficiency and enhanced robustness are of high importance in the development of pumps in engineering. The study compares pumps in biology and engineering and assesses biomimetic potentials for improving man-made pumping systems. To this aim, examples of common challenges, applications and current biomimetic research for state-of-the art pumps are presented. The biomimetic research is helped by the similar configuration of many positive displacement pumping systems in biology and engineering. In contrast, the configuration and underlying pumping principles for fluid dynamic pumps (FDPs) differ to a greater extent in biology and engineering. However, progress has been made for positive displacement as well as for FDPs by developing biomimetic devices with artificial muscles and cilia that improve energetic efficiency and fail-safe operation or reduce noise. The circulatory system of vertebrates holds a high biomimetic potential for the damping of pressure pulsations, a common challenge in engineering. Damping of blood pressure pulsation results from a nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of the artery walls which represent a complex composite material. The transfer of the underlying functional principle could lead to an improvement of existing technical solutions and be used to develop novel biomimetic damping solutions. To enhance efficiency or thrust of man-made fluid transportation systems, research on jet propulsion in biology has shown that a pulsed jet can be tuned to either maximize thrust or efficiency. The underlying principle has already been transferred into biomimetic applications in open channel water systems. Overall there is a high potential to learn from nature in order to improve pumping systems for challenges like the reduction of pressure pulsations, increase of jet

  8. Learning from Past Classification Errors: Exploring Methods for Improving the Performance of a Deep Learning-based Building Extraction Model through Quantitative Analysis of Commission Errors for Optimal Sample Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swan, B.; Laverdiere, M.; Yang, L.

    2017-12-01

    In the past five years, deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have been increasingly favored for computer vision applications due to their high accuracy and ability to generalize well in very complex problems; however, details of how they function and in turn how they may be optimized are still imperfectly understood. In particular, their complex and highly nonlinear network architecture, including many hidden layers and self-learned parameters, as well as their mathematical implications, presents open questions about how to effectively select training data. Without knowledge of the exact ways the model processes and transforms its inputs, intuition alone may fail as a guide to selecting highly relevant training samples. Working in the context of improving a CNN-based building extraction model used for the LandScan USA gridded population dataset, we have approached this problem by developing a semi-supervised, highly-scalable approach to select training samples from a dataset of identified commission errors. Due to the large scope this project, tens of thousands of potential samples could be derived from identified commission errors. To efficiently trim those samples down to a manageable and effective set for creating additional training sample, we statistically summarized the spectral characteristics of areas with rates of commission errors at the image tile level and grouped these tiles using affinity propagation. Highly representative members of each commission error cluster were then used to select sites for training sample creation. The model will be incrementally re-trained with the new training data to allow for an assessment of how the addition of different types of samples affects the model performance, such as precision and recall rates. By using quantitative analysis and data clustering techniques to select highly relevant training samples, we hope to improve model performance in a manner that is resource efficient, both in terms of training process

  9. Treatment with non-selective beta blockers is associated with reduced severity of systemic inflammation and improved survival of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mookerjee, Rajeshwar P; Pavesi, Marco; Thomsen, Karen Louise

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Non-selective beta blockers (NSBBs) have been shown to have deleterious outcomes in patients with refractory ascites, alcoholic hepatitis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis leading many physicians to stop the drug in these cases. Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF......) is characterized by systemic inflammation and high mortality. As NSBBs may have beneficial effects on gut motility and permeability and, systemic inflammation, the aims of this prospective, observational study were to determine whether ongoing use of NSBBs reduced 28-day mortality in ACLF patients. METHODS...... at enrollment significantly associated with treatment and mortality were taken into account as potential confounders to adjust for treatment effect. A logistic regression model was fitted. RESULTS: 164 (47%) ACLF patients received NSBBs whereas 185 patients did not. Although the CLIF-C ACLF scores were similar...

  10. Receptor-Targeted Nipah Virus Glycoproteins Improve Cell-Type Selective Gene Delivery and Reveal a Preference for Membrane-Proximal Cell Attachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben R Bender

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Receptor-targeted lentiviral vectors (LVs can be an effective tool for selective transfer of genes into distinct cell types of choice. Moreover, they can be used to determine the molecular properties that cell surface proteins must fulfill to act as receptors for viral glycoproteins. Here we show that LVs pseudotyped with receptor-targeted Nipah virus (NiV glycoproteins effectively enter into cells when they use cell surface proteins as receptors that bring them closely enough to the cell membrane (less than 100 Å distance. Then, they were flexible in receptor usage as demonstrated by successful targeting of EpCAM, CD20, and CD8, and as selective as LVs pseudotyped with receptor-targeted measles virus (MV glycoproteins, the current standard for cell-type specific gene delivery. Remarkably, NiV-LVs could be produced at up to two orders of magnitude higher titers compared to their MV-based counterparts and were at least 10,000-fold less effectively neutralized than MV glycoprotein pseudotyped LVs by pooled human intravenous immunoglobulin. An important finding for NiV-LVs targeted to Her2/neu was an about 100-fold higher gene transfer activity when particles were targeted to membrane-proximal regions as compared to particles binding to a more membrane-distal epitope. Likewise, the low gene transfer activity mediated by NiV-LV particles bound to the membrane distal domains of CD117 or the glutamate receptor subunit 4 (GluA4 was substantially enhanced by reducing receptor size to below 100 Å. Overall, the data suggest that the NiV glycoproteins are optimally suited for cell-type specific gene delivery with LVs and, in addition, for the first time define which parts of a cell surface protein should be targeted to achieve optimal gene transfer rates with receptor-targeted LVs.

  11. EDITORIAL: Nanotechnological selection Nanotechnological selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demming, Anna

    2013-01-01

    across the channel. The aim of achieving selectivity encompasses a huge range of fields in nanotechnology research, from sensing and medicine to nanoelectronics and self-assembly. As our understanding of how nanosystems behave deepens, so too does the hunger to improve our capabilities, allowing greater precision and control in manipulating these systems. Selectivity is far from trivial when shrinking to systems of nanoscale dimensions, but the range of opportunities it brings just keeps on growing. References [1] Gong X, Li J, Guo C, Xu K and Hui Y 2012 Molecular switch for tuning ions across nanopores by an external electric field Nanotechnology 24 025502 [2] Brannon-Peppas L and Blanchette J O 2004 Nanoparticle and targeted systems for cancer therapy Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev 56 1649-59 [3] Lukianova-Hleb E Y, Hanna E Y, Hafner J H and Lapotko D O 2010 Tunable plasmonic nanobubbles for cell theranostics Nanotechnology 21 085102 [4] Zhang T, Mubeen S, Myung N V and Deshusses M A 2008 Recent progress in carbon nanotube-based gas sensors Nanotechnology 19 332001 [5] Mangu R, Rajaputra S and Singh V P 2011 MWCNT-polymer composites as highly sensitive and selective room temperature gas sensors Nanotechnology 22 215502 [6]Meller A, Nivon L, Brandin E, Golovchenko J and Branton D 2000 Rapid nanopore discrimination between single polynucleotide molecules Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 97 1079-84 [7] Asghar W, Ilyas A, Deshmukh R R, Sumitsawan S, Timmons R B and Iqbal S M 2011 Pulsed plasma polymerization for controlling shrinkage and surface composition of nanopores Nanotechnology 22 285304

  12. Weight loss is coupled with improvements to affective state in obese participants engaged in behavior change therapy based on incremental, self-selected "small changes".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxman, Jenny R; Hall, Anna C; Harden, Charlotte J; O'Keeffe, Jean; Simper, Trevor N

    2011-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a group behavior change intervention involving self-selected, contextualized, and mediated goal setting on anthropometric, affective, and dietary markers of health. It was hypothesized that the intervention would elicit changes consistent with accepted health recommendations for obese individuals. A rolling program of 12-week "Small Changes" interventions during 24 months recruited 71 participants; each program accommodated 10 to 13 adults (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 30 kg/m²). Fifty-eight participants completed Small Changes. Repeated measures were made at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Anthropometric measures included height and weight (to calculate BMI), body composition, waist circumference, and blood pressure. Affective state was monitored using relevant validated questionnaires. Dietary assessment used 3-day household measures food diaries with Schofield equations to monitor underreporting. Relevant blood measures were recorded throughout. Across the measurement period, Small Changes elicited a significant reduction in body weight (baseline, 102.95 ± 15.47 vs 12 weeks 100.09 ± 16.01 kg, P framing the future of weight management. Long-term follow-up of Small Changes is warranted. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Improving the prognosis of diabetic patients: evaluating the role of intensive versus moderate blood pressure control with selective angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin P Bedigian

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available The ABCD (Appropriate Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes and ABCD-2V (Part 2 with Valsartan are prospective, randomised clinical trials which will provide important data on the impact of intensive vs. moderate blood pressure (BP control on microvascular and macrovascular complications in normotensive and hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM. The ABCD trial was a five-year study that compared the effects of intensive vs. moderate BP control on the endpoints of nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, and cardiovascular disease events using a calcium channel blocker (CCB and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE inhibitor as the primary antihypertensive agents. The recently published results of the hypertensive cohort of ABCD are reviewed herein. The follow-up study, ABCD-2V, is ongoing and was designed to compare intensive vs. moderate BP control on the same endpoints as the ABCD study, using the highly selective angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB valsartan as the primary antihypertensive agent. First results of ABCD-2V are expected in 2004. The baseline characteristics for the patients enrolled thus far in the hypertensive cohort of ABCD-2V are reviewed. These studies will provide insight into the role of intensive vs. moderate BP control in the management of normotensive and hypertensive patients with type 2 DM.

  14. Improved antifouling properties and selective biofunctionalization of stainless steel by employing heterobifunctional silane-polyethylene glycol overlayers and avidin-biotin technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynninen, Ville; Vuori, Leena; Hannula, Markku; Tapio, Kosti; Lahtonen, Kimmo; Isoniemi, Tommi; Lehtonen, Elina; Hirsimäki, Mika; Toppari, J. Jussi; Valden, Mika; Hytönen, Vesa P.

    2016-01-01

    A straightforward solution-based method to modify the biofunctionality of stainless steel (SS) using heterobifunctional silane-polyethylene glycol (silane-PEG) overlayers is reported. Reduced nonspecific biofouling of both proteins and bacteria onto SS and further selective biofunctionalization of the modified surface were achieved. According to photoelectron spectroscopy analyses, the silane-PEGs formed less than 10 Å thick overlayers with close to 90% surface coverage and reproducible chemical compositions. Consequently, the surfaces also became more hydrophilic, and the observed non-specific biofouling of proteins was reduced by approximately 70%. In addition, the attachment of E. coli was reduced by more than 65%. Moreover, the potential of the overlayer to be further modified was demonstrated by successfully coupling biotinylated alkaline phosphatase (bAP) to a silane-PEG-biotin overlayer via avidin-biotin bridges. The activity of the immobilized enzyme was shown to be well preserved without compromising the achieved antifouling properties. Overall, the simple solution-based approach enables the tailoring of SS to enhance its activity for biomedical and biotechnological applications. PMID:27381834

  15. Improvement of soluble coffee aroma using an integrated process of supercritical CO2 extraction with selective removal of the pungent volatiles by adsorption on activates carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Lucas

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper a two-step integrated process consisting of CO2 supercritical extraction of volatile coffee compounds (the most valuable from roasted and milled coffee, and a subsequent step of selective removal of pungent volatiles by adsorption on activated carbon is presented. Some experiments were carried out with key compounds from roasted coffee aroma in order to study the adsorption step: ethyl acetate as a desirable compound and furfural as a pungent component. Operational parameters such as adsorption pressure and temperature and CO2 flowrate were optimized. Experiments were conducted at adsorption pressures of 12-17 MPa, adsorption temperatures of 35-50ºC and a solvent flow rate of 3-5 kg/h. In all cases, the solute concentration and the activated particle size were kept constant. Results show that low pressures (12 MPa, low temperatures (35ºC and low CO2 flowrates (3 kg/h are suitable for removing the undesirable pungent and smell components (e.g. furfural and retaining the desirable aroma compounds (e.g. ethyl acetate. The later operation with real roasted coffee has corroborated the previous results obtained with the key compounds.

  16. Improved antifouling properties and selective biofunctionalization of stainless steel by employing heterobifunctional silane-polyethylene glycol overlayers and avidin-biotin technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynninen, Ville; Vuori, Leena; Hannula, Markku; Tapio, Kosti; Lahtonen, Kimmo; Isoniemi, Tommi; Lehtonen, Elina; Hirsimäki, Mika; Toppari, J. Jussi; Valden, Mika; Hytönen, Vesa P.

    2016-07-01

    A straightforward solution-based method to modify the biofunctionality of stainless steel (SS) using heterobifunctional silane-polyethylene glycol (silane-PEG) overlayers is reported. Reduced nonspecific biofouling of both proteins and bacteria onto SS and further selective biofunctionalization of the modified surface were achieved. According to photoelectron spectroscopy analyses, the silane-PEGs formed less than 10 Å thick overlayers with close to 90% surface coverage and reproducible chemical compositions. Consequently, the surfaces also became more hydrophilic, and the observed non-specific biofouling of proteins was reduced by approximately 70%. In addition, the attachment of E. coli was reduced by more than 65%. Moreover, the potential of the overlayer to be further modified was demonstrated by successfully coupling biotinylated alkaline phosphatase (bAP) to a silane-PEG-biotin overlayer via avidin-biotin bridges. The activity of the immobilized enzyme was shown to be well preserved without compromising the achieved antifouling properties. Overall, the simple solution-based approach enables the tailoring of SS to enhance its activity for biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  17. Positive end expiratory pressure during one-lung ventilation: Selecting ideal patients and ventilator settings with the aim of improving arterial oxygenation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoftman Nir

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP in treating intraoperative hypoxemia during one-lung ventilation (OLV remains in question given conflicting results of prior studies. This study aims to (1 evaluate the efficacy of PEEP during OLV, (2 assess the utility of preoperative predictors of response to PEEP, and (3 explore optimal intraoperative settings that would maximize the effects of PEEP on oxygenation. Forty-one thoracic surgery patients from a single tertiary care university center were prospectively enrolled in this observational study. After induction of general anesthesia, a double-lumen endotracheal tube was fiberoptically positioned and OLV initiated. Intraoperatively, PEEP = 5 and 10 cmH 2 O were sequentially applied to the ventilated lung during OLV. Arterial oxygenation, cardiovascular performance parameters, and proposed perioperative variables that could predict or enhance response to PEEP were analysed. T-test and c2 tests were utilized for continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Multivariate analyses were carried out using a classification tree model of binary recursive partitioning. PEEP improved arterial oxygenation by ≥20% in 29% of patients (n = 12 and failed to do so in 71% (n = 29; however, no cardiovascular impact was noted. Among the proposed clinical predictors, only intraoperative tidal volume per kilogram differed significantly between responders to PEEP and non-responders (mean 6.6 vs. 5.7 ml/kg, P = 0.013; no preoperative variable predicted response to PEEP. A multivariate analysis did not yield a clinically significant model for predicting PEEP responsiveness. PEEP improved oxygenation in a subset of patients; larger, although still protective tidal volumes favored a positive response to PEEP. No preoperative variables, however, could be identified as reliable predictors for PEEP responders.

  18. Evaluation of Selected Borrelia burgdorferi lp54 Plasmid-Encoded Gene Products Expressed during Mammalian Infection as Antigens To Improve Serodiagnostic Testing for Early Lyme Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Zachary P.; Crew, Rebecca M.; Brandt, Kevin S.; Ullmann, Amy J.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Molins, Claudia R.

    2015-01-01

    Laboratory testing for the diagnosis of Lyme disease is performed primarily by serologic assays and is accurate for detection beyond the acute stage of the infection. Serodiagnostic assays to detect the early stages of infection, however, are limited in their sensitivity, and improvement is warranted. We analyzed a series of Borrelia burgdorferi proteins known to be induced within feeding ticks and/or during mammalian infection for their utility as serodiagnostic markers against a comprehensive panel of Lyme disease patient serum samples. The antigens were assayed for IgM and IgG reactivity in line immunoblots and separately by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with a focus on reactivity against early Lyme disease with erythema migrans (EM), early disseminated Lyme neuroborreliosis, and early Lyme carditis patient serum samples. By IgM immunoblotting, we found that recombinant proteins BBA65, BBA70, and BBA73 reacted with early Lyme EM samples at levels comparable to those of the OspC antigen used in the current IgM blotting criteria. Additionally, these proteins reacted with serum samples from patients with early neuroborreliosis and early carditis, suggesting value in detecting early stages of this disease progression. We also found serological reactivity against recombinant proteins BBA69 and BBA73 with early-Lyme-disease samples using IgG immunoblotting and ELISA. Significantly, some samples that had been scored negative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended 2-tiered testing algorithm demonstrated positive reactivity to one or more of the antigens by IgM/IgG immunoblot and ELISA. These results suggest that incorporating additional in vivo-expressed antigens into the current IgM/IgG immunoblotting tier in a recombinant protein platform assay may improve the performance of early-Lyme-disease serologic testing. PMID:26376927

  19. Selective improvement of pulmonary arterial hypertension with a dual ETA/ETB receptors antagonist in the apolipoprotein E-/- model of PAH and atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renshall, Lewis; Arnold, Nadine; West, Laura; Braithwaite, Adam; Pickworth, Josephine; Walker, Rachel; Alfaidi, Mabruka; Chamberlain, Janet; Casbolt, Helen; Thompson, A A Roger; Holt, Cathy; Iglarz, Marc; Francis, Sheila; Lawrie, Allan

    2018-01-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is increasingly diagnosed in elderly patients who also have an increased risk of co-morbid atherosclerosis. Apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE -/- ) mice develop atherosclerosis with severe PAH when fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and have increased levels of endothelin (ET)-1. ET-1 receptor antagonists (ERAs) are used for the treatment of PAH but less is known about whether ERAs are beneficial in atherosclerosis. We therefore examined whether treatment of HFD-ApoE -/- mice with macitentan, a dual ET A /ET B receptor antagonist, would have any effect on both atherosclerosis and PAH. ApoE -/- mice were fed chow or HFD for eight weeks. After four weeks of HFD, mice were randomized to a four-week treatment of macitentan by food (30 mg/kg/day dual ET A /ET B antagonist), or placebo groups. Echocardiography and closed-chest right heart catheterization were used to determine PAH phenotype and serum samples were collected for cytokine analysis. Thoracic aortas were harvested to assess vascular reactivity using wire myography, and histological analyses were performed on the brachiocephalic artery and aortic root to assess atherosclerotic burden. Macitentan treatment of HFD-fed ApoE -/- mice was associated with a beneficial effect on the PAH phenotype and led to an increase in endothelial-dependent relaxation in thoracic aortae. Macitentan treatment was also associated with a significant reduction in interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentration but there was no significant effect on atherosclerotic burden. Dual blockade of ET A /ET B receptors improves endothelial function and improves experimental PAH but had no significant effect on atherosclerosis.

  20. Evaluation of Selected Borrelia burgdorferi lp54 Plasmid-Encoded Gene Products Expressed during Mammalian Infection as Antigens To Improve Serodiagnostic Testing for Early Lyme Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Zachary P; Crew, Rebecca M; Brandt, Kevin S; Ullmann, Amy J; Schriefer, Martin E; Molins, Claudia R; Gilmore, Robert D

    2015-11-01

    Laboratory testing for the diagnosis of Lyme disease is performed primarily by serologic assays and is accurate for detection beyond the acute stage of the infection. Serodiagnostic assays to detect the early stages of infection, however, are limited in their sensitivity, and improvement is warranted. We analyzed a series of Borrelia burgdorferi proteins known to be induced within feeding ticks and/or during mammalian infection for their utility as serodiagnostic markers against a comprehensive panel of Lyme disease patient serum samples. The antigens were assayed for IgM and IgG reactivity in line immunoblots and separately by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with a focus on reactivity against early Lyme disease with erythema migrans (EM), early disseminated Lyme neuroborreliosis, and early Lyme carditis patient serum samples. By IgM immunoblotting, we found that recombinant proteins BBA65, BBA70, and BBA73 reacted with early Lyme EM samples at levels comparable to those of the OspC antigen used in the current IgM blotting criteria. Additionally, these proteins reacted with serum samples from patients with early neuroborreliosis and early carditis, suggesting value in detecting early stages of this disease progression. We also found serological reactivity against recombinant proteins BBA69 and BBA73 with early-Lyme-disease samples using IgG immunoblotting and ELISA. Significantly, some samples that had been scored negative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended 2-tiered testing algorithm demonstrated positive reactivity to one or more of the antigens by IgM/IgG immunoblot and ELISA. These results suggest that incorporating additional in vivo-expressed antigens into the current IgM/IgG immunoblotting tier in a recombinant protein platform assay may improve the performance of early-Lyme-disease serologic testing. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Improvement of the butanol production selectivity and butanol to acetone ratio (B:A) by addition of electron carriers in the batch culture of a new local isolate of Clostridium acetobutylicum YM1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasser Al-Shorgani, Najeeb Kaid; Kalil, Mohd Sahaid; Wan Yusoff, Wan Mohtar; Shukor, Hafiza; Hamid, Aidil Abdul

    2015-12-01

    Improvement in the butanol production selectivity or enhanced butanol:acetone ratio (B:A) is desirable in acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by Clostridium strains. In this study, artificial electron carriers were added to the fermentation medium of a new isolate of Clostridium acetobutylicum YM1 in order to improve the butanol yield and B:A ratio. The results revealed that medium supplementation with electron carriers changed the metabolism flux of electron and carbon in ABE fermentation by YM1. A decrease in acetone production, which subsequently improved the B:A ratio, was observed. Further improvement in the butanol production and B:A ratios were obtained when the fermentation medium was supplemented with butyric acid. The maximum butanol production (18.20 ± 1.38 g/L) was gained when a combination of methyl red and butyric acid was added. Although the addition of benzyl viologen (0.1 mM) and butyric acid resulted in high a B:A ratio of 16:1 (800% increment compared with the conventional 2:1 ratio), the addition of benzyl viologen to the culture after 4 h resulted in the production of 18.05 g/L butanol. Manipulating the metabolic flux to butanol through the addition of electron carriers could become an alternative strategy to achieve higher butanol productivity and improve the B:A ratio. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Atomoxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, improves short-term histological outcomes after hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in the neonatal male rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toshimitsu, Masatake; Kamei, Yoshimasa; Ichinose, Mari; Seyama, Takahiro; Imada, Shinya; Iriyama, Takayuki; Fujii, Tomoyuki

    2018-03-30

    Despite the recent progress of perinatal medicine, perinatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) insult remains an important cause of brain injury in neonates, and is pathologically characterized by neuronal loss and the presence of microglia. Neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine (NE) and glutamate, are involved in the pathogenesis of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy via the interaction between neurons and microglia. Although it is well known that the monoamine neurotransmitter NE acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the brain under pathological conditions, its effects on perinatal HI insult remains elusive. Atomoxetine, a selective NE reuptake inhibitor, has been used clinically for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Here, we investigated whether the enhancement of endogenous NE by administration of atomoxetine could protect neonates against HI insult by using the neonatal male rat model. We also examined the involvement of microglia in this process. Unilateral HI brain injury was induced by the combination of left carotid artery dissection followed by ligation and hypoxia (8% O 2 , 2 h) in postnatal day 7 (P7) male rat pups. The pups were randomized into three groups: the atomoxetine treatment immediately after HI insult, the atomoxetine treatment at 3 h after HI insult, or the vehicle treatment group. The pups were euthanized on P8 and P14, and the brain regions including the cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and thalamus were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. HI insult resulted in severe brain damage in the ipsilateral hemisphere at P14. Atomoxetine treatment immediately after HI insult significantly increased NE levels in the ipsilateral hemisphere at 1 h after HI insult and reduced the neuronal damage via the increased phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) in all brain regions examined. In addition, the number of microglia was maintained under atomoxetine treatment compared with that of the vehicle

  3. The selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) raloxifene and tamoxifen improve ANP levels and decrease nuclear translocation of NF-kB in estrogen-deficient rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamas, Aline Z; Nascimento, Andrews M; Medeiros, Ana Raquel S; Caliman, Izabela F; Dalpiaz, Polyana L M; Firmes, Luciana B; Sousa, Glauciene J; Oliveira, Phablo Wendell C; Andrade, Tadeu U; Reis, Adelina M; Gouvea, Sônia A; Bissoli, Nazaré S

    2017-08-01

    The selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) raloxifene and tamoxifen are used for the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer, respectively, in women. The impairment of both the Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP) cell signaling system and the translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) to the cell nucleus are associated with detrimental cardiovascular effects and inflammation. The effects of SERMs on these parameters in the cardiac tissue of estrogen-deficient rats has not been reported. We investigated the effects of raloxifene and tamoxifen on ANP signaling, p65 NF-kB nuclear translocation, cardiac histology and contractility. Female rats were divided into five groups: control (SHAM), ovariectomized (OVX), OVX-treated 17-β-estradiol (E), OVX-treated raloxifene (RLX) and OVX-treated tamoxifen (TAM). The treatments started 21days after ovariectomy and continued for 14days. Ovariectomy reduced ANP mRNA in the left atrium (LA), decreased the content of ANP protein in the LA and in plasma, and increased the level of p65 NF-kB nuclear translocation in the left ventricle. Both 17-β-estradiol and SERMs were able to reverse these alterations, which were induced by the estrogen deficient state. The hemodynamic and cardiac structural parameters analyzed in the present work were not modified by the interventions. Our study demonstrates, for the first time, the additional benefits of raloxifene and tamoxifen in an estrogen-deficient state. These include the normalization of plasmatic and cardiac ANP levels and cardiac p65 NF-kB translocation. Therefore, these treatments promote cardiovascular protection and may contribute to the prevention of cardiac dysfunction observed long-term in postmenopausal women. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o.

  4. IMPROVED log(gf ) VALUES OF SELECTED LINES IN Mn I AND Mn II FOR ABUNDANCE DETERMINATIONS IN FGK DWARFS AND GIANTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Den Hartog, E. A.; Lawler, J. E.; Sobeck, J. S.; Sneden, C.; Cowan, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of the present work is to produce transition probabilities with very low uncertainties for a selected set of multiplets of Mn I and Mn II. Multiplets are chosen based upon their suitability for stellar abundance analysis. We report on new radiative lifetime measurements for 22 levels of Mn I from the e 8 D, z 6 P, z 6 D, z 4 F, e 8 S, and e 6 S terms and six levels of Mn II from the z 5 P and z 7 P terms using time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence on a slow atom/ion beam. New branching fractions for transitions from these levels, measured using a Fourier-transform spectrometer, are reported. When combined, these measurements yield transition probabilities for 47 transitions of Mn I and 15 transitions of Mn II. Comparisons are made to data from the literature and to Russell-Saunders (LS) theory. In keeping with the goal of producing a set of transition probabilities with the highest possible accuracy and precision, we recommend a weighted mean result incorporating our measurements on Mn I and II as well as independent measurements or calculations that we view as reliable and of a quality similar to ours. In a forthcoming paper, these Mn I/II transition probability data will be utilized to derive the Mn abundance in stars with spectra from both space-based and ground-based facilities over a 4000 A wavelength range. With the employment of a local thermodynamic equilibrium line transfer code, the Mn I/II ionization balance will be determined for stars of different evolutionary states.

  5. Improved selectivity and cytotoxic effects of irinotecan via liposomal delivery: A comparative study on Hs68 and HeLa cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casadó, Ana; Mora, Margarita; Sagristá, Maria Lluïsa; Rello-Varona, Santi; Acedo, Pilar; Stockert, Juan Carlos; Cañete, Magdalena; Villanueva, Angeles

    2017-11-15

    Irinotecan (CPT-11) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent widely used to treat different cancers. Otherwise, the liposomal delivery of anti-tumor agents has been shown to be a promising strategy. The aim of this study has been to analyze the effect of liposomal CPT-11 (CPT-11lip) on two human cell lines (Hs68 and HeLa) to establish the suitability of this CPT-11 nanocarrier. We have demonstrated the highest uptake of CPT-11lip in comparison with that of CPT-11sol, in lactate buffer, and that CPT-11lip was internalized in the cells through an endocytic process whereas CPT-11sol does so by passive diffusion. CPT-11lip was not cytotoxic to normal fibroblast Hs68 cells, but induced a massive apoptosis accompanied by cell senescence in HeLa cells. CPT-11lip treatment modified the morphology of HeLa cells, induced different cell cycle alterations and accumulated into lysosomes in both cell lines. In particular, CPT-11lip treatment showed that surviving HeLa cells remained in a state of senescence whereas only a temporal growth arrest was induced in Hs68 cells. Results of RT-PCR indicated that the different responses in Hs68 (survival) and HeLa cells (apoptotic death), seemed to be induced by a p53- and p53- independent mechanism, respectively. An analysis of DNA damage also determined that released CPT-11 from liposomes was able to reach the nucleus and exert a genotoxic effect in both cell lines, which was repaired in Hs68 but not in HeLa cells. All results indicate that phospholipid-cholesterol liposomes possess optimum properties for CPT-11 delivery, being biocompatible and selectively cytotoxic against HeLa tumorigenic cells. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. GLPG0492, a novel selective androgen receptor modulator, improves muscle performance in the exercised-mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzoli, Anna; Capogrosso, Roberta Francesca; Sblendorio, Valeriana Teresa; Dinardo, Maria Maddalena; Jagerschmidt, Catherine; Namour, Florence; Camerino, Giulia Maria; De Luca, Annamaria

    2013-06-01

    Anabolic drugs may counteract muscle wasting and dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); however, steroids have unwanted side effects. We focused on GLPG0492, a new non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator that is currently under development for musculo-skeletal diseases such as sarcopenia and cachexia. GLPG0492 was tested in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD in a 4-week trial at a single high dose (30 mg/kg, 6 day/week s.c.), and the results were compared with those from the administration of α-methylprednisolone (PDN; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) and nandrolone (NAND, 5 mg/kg, s.c.). This assessment was followed by a 12-week dose-dependence study (0.3-30 mg/kg s.c.). The outcomes were evaluated in vivo and ex vivo on functional, histological and biochemical parameters. Similar to PDN and NAND, GLPG0492 significantly increased mouse strength. In acute exhaustion tests, a surrogate of the 6-min walking test used in DMD patients, GLPG0492 preserved running performance, whereas vehicle- or comparator-treated animals showed a significant increase in fatigue (30-50%). Ex vivo, all drugs resulted in a modest but significant increase of diaphragm force. In parallel, a decrease in the non-muscle area and markers of fibrosis was observed in GLPG0492- and NAND-treated mice. The drugs exerted minor effects on limb muscles; however, electrophysiological biomarkers were ameliorated in extensor digitorum longus muscle. The longer dose-dependence study confirmed the effect on mdx mouse strength and resistance to fatigue and demonstrated the efficacy of lower drug doses on in vivo and ex vivo functional parameters. These results support the interest of further studies of GLPG0492 as a potential treatment for DMD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Consideraciones y criterios para la selección de procesos para la mejora: Procesos Diana/Considerations and criteria for the selection of processes for the improvement: Diana processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Medina-León

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Para implementar un procedimiento de Gestión y Mejora de Procesos, la literatura muestra una amplia revisión de procedimientos o metodologías, todas coincidentes con la necesidad de seleccionar los procesos a mejorar. La presente investigación hace énfasis en los criterios más comúnmente utilizados en la valoración para la selección del orden en que se realizará la mejora, lo que resultó en la recomendación de los criterios: impacto en los objetivos estratégicos y la repercusión en el cliente en cualquier condición existente; además del impacto a corto plazo, la variabilidad y la repetitividad, en dependencia de las necesidades de la organización. Este proceso de selección se sustenta en la utilización de herramientas como el análisis multivariado, el método Kendall para la selección de los procesos relevantes y la Matriz para la selección de los procesos Diana./There is a wealth of literature on procedures and methodologies for the implementation of a procedure of Process Management and Improvement, and all of them coincide with the need for selecting the processes that are going to be improved. This paper stresses the most commonly used criteria in the appraisal for the selection of the order in which the improvement will be made. As a result, there were recommended the following criteria: impact on the strategic objectives and the repercussion on the customer under any existing condition; as well as the short-term impact, the variability and the repetition, depending on the organization needs. This selection process is based on the utilization of instruments such as the multivariate analysis, the Kendall method for the selection of the relevant processes and the Matrix for the selection of the Diana processes.

  8. Improving the electrical contact at a Pt/TiO2 nanowire interface by selective application of focused femtosecond laser irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Songling; Lin, Luchan; Zou, Guisheng; Liu, Lei; Peng, Peng; Wu, Aiping; Duley, Walter W.; Zhou, Y. Norman

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, we show that tightly focused femtosecond laser irradiation is effective in improving nanojoining of an oxide nanowire (NW) (TiO2) to a metal electrode (Pt), and how this process can be used to modify contact states. Enhanced chemical bondings are created due to localized plasmonically enhanced optical absorption at the Pt/TiO2 interface as confirmed by finite element simulations of the localized field distribution during irradiation. Nano Auger electron spectroscopy shows that the resulting heterojunction is depleted in oxygen, suggesting that a TiO2-x layer is formed between the Pt electrode and the TiO2 NW. The presence of this redox layer at the metal/oxide interface plays an important role in decreasing the Schottky barrier height and in facilitating chemical bonding. After laser irradiation at the cathode for 10 s at a fluence of 5.02 mJ cm-2, the Pt/TiO2 NW/Pt structure displays different electrical properties under forward and reverse bias voltage, respectively. The creation of this asymmetric electrical characteristic shows the way in which modification of the electronic interface by laser engineering can replace the electroforming process in resistive switching devices and how it can be used to control contact states in a metal/oxide interface.

  9. Selectively improving the bio-oil quality by catalytic fast pyrolysis of heavy-metal-polluted biomass: take copper (Cu) as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wu-Jun; Tian, Ke; Jiang, Hong; Zhang, Xue-Song; Ding, Hong-Sheng; Yu, Han-Qing

    2012-07-17

    Heavy-metal-polluted biomass derived from phytoremediation or biosorption is widespread and difficult to be disposed of. In this work, simultaneous conversion of the waste woody biomass into bio-oil and recovery of Cu in a fast pyrolysis reactor were investigated. The results show that Cu can effectively catalyze the thermo-decomposition of biomass. Both the yield and high heating value (HHV) of the Cu-polluted fir sawdust biomass (Cu-FSD) derived bio-oil are significantly improved compared with those of the fir sawdust (FSD) derived bio-oil. The results of UV-vis and (1)H NMR spectra of bio-oil indicate pyrolytic lignin is further decomposed into small-molecular aromatic compounds by the catalysis of Cu, which is in agreement with the GC-MS results that the fractions of C7-C10 compounds in the bio-oil significantly increase. Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses of the migration and transformation of Cu in the fast pyrolysis process show that more than 91% of the total Cu in the Cu-FSD is enriched in the char in the form of zerovalent Cu with a face-centered cubic crystalline phase. This study gives insight into catalytic fast pyrolysis of heavy metals, and demonstrates the technical feasibility of an eco-friendly process for disposal of heavy-metal-polluted biomass.

  10. Beneficial metabolic effects of selected probiotics on diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice are associated with improvement of dysbiotic gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alard, Jeanne; Lehrter, Véronique; Rhimi, Moez; Mangin, Irène; Peucelle, Véronique; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Mariadassou, Mahendra; Maguin, Emmanuelle; Waligora-Dupriet, Anne-Judith; Pot, Bruno; Wolowczuk, Isabelle; Grangette, Corinne

    2016-05-01

    Alterations in gut microbiota composition and diversity were suggested to play a role in the development of obesity, a chronic subclinical inflammatory condition. We here evaluated the impact of oral consumption of a monostrain or multi-strain probiotic preparation in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. We observed a strain-specific effect and reported dissociation between the capacity of probiotics to dampen adipose tissue inflammation and to limit body weight gain. A multi-strain mixture was able to improve adiposity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia through adipose tissue immune cell-remodelling, mainly affecting macrophages. At the gut level, the mixture modified the uptake of fatty acids and restored the expression level of the short-chain fatty acid receptor GPR43. These beneficial effects were associated with changes in the microbiota composition, such as the restoration of the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila and Rikenellaceae and the decrease of other taxa like Lactobacillaceae. Using an in vitro gut model, we further showed that the probiotic mixture favours the production of butyrate and propionate. Our findings provide crucial clues for the design and use of more efficient probiotic preparations in obesity management and may bring new insights into the mechanisms by which host-microbe interactions govern such protective effects. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Magnesium implant alloy with low levels of strontium and calcium: The third element effect and phase selection improve bio-corrosion resistance and mechanical performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bornapour, M., E-mail: mandana.bornapour@mail.mcgill.ca [Light Metals and Advanced Magnesium Materials, Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2 (Canada); Biointerface Lab, Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2 (Canada); Celikin, M. [Light Metals and Advanced Magnesium Materials, Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2 (Canada); Cerruti, M. [Biointerface Lab, Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2 (Canada); Pekguleryuz, M. [Light Metals and Advanced Magnesium Materials, Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2 (Canada)

    2014-02-01

    behavior of metallic alloys. - Highlights: • The addition of low level of Sr and Ca improves the corrosion resistance of Mg. • Their combined addition is more effective due to the third element effect. • Ternary globular Ca/Sr-rich phases form in the Mg–0.3Sr–0.3Ca alloy. • Compact hydroxyapatite layer forms on the surface and slows down degradation.

  12. Selection and Breeding of Cattle in Asia: Strategies and Criteria for Improved Breeding. Prepared under the Framework of an RCA Project with the Technical Support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-10-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific Region (RCA), with the technical support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, implemented a Technical Cooperation (TC) project entitled Integrated Approach for Improving Livestock Production Using Indigenous Resources and Conserving the Environment (RAS/5/044). The 23 project counterparts and the IAEA technical officer, based on the lack of standard practices in the region with regard to selection of cattle for breeding purposes, and the need to properly manage the genetic resources within each country for improving the productivity of the existing stock while maintaining the unique and beneficial genetic characteristics of the indigenous breeds, agreed during the first meeting to request the IAEA to recruit a group of experts with the task of preparing guidelines for the selection and breeding of cattle and buffalo on the Asian continent. To address these recommendations, an experts meeting on Selection Criteria for Breeding Heifers was organized and held in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. The meeting was hosted by the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) from 6 to 10 February 2006. It was attended by six foreign experts and two local experts, and was supported by the technical officer of RAS/5/044. The experts from countries participating in RAS/5/044 gave presentations on the current state of cattle breeding in their countries and two experts working in industrialized countries within the region (New Zealand and Australia) informed the participants about the existing cattle breeding programmes in their respective countries and offered their perspectives on how similar approaches could be transferred to the Member States participating in RAS/5/044. All experts also made a field visit to a prominent dairy-producing region, to experience at first-hand some of the current programmes

  13. [Selective mutism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ytzhak, A; Doron, Y; Lahat, E; Livne, A

    2012-10-01

    Selective mutism is an uncommon disorder in young children, in which they selectively don't speak in certain social situations, while being capable of speaking easily in other social situations. Many etiologies were proposed for selective mutism including psychodynamic, behavioral and familial etc. A developmental etiology that includes insights from all the above is gaining support. Accordingly, mild language impairment in a child with an anxiety trait may be at the root of developing selective mutism. The behavior will be reinforced by an avoidant pattern in the family. Early treatment and followup for children with selective mutism is important. The treatment includes non-pharmacological therapy (psychodynamic, behavioral and familial) and pharmacologic therapy--mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

  14. Improved patient selection by stratified surgical intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Miao; Bünger, Cody E; Li, Haisheng

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Choosing the best surgical treatment for patients with spinal metastases remains a significant challenge for spine surgeons. There is currently no gold standard for surgical treatments. The Aarhus Spinal Metastases Algorithm (ASMA) was established to help surgeons choose...... the most appropriate surgical intervention for patients with spinal metastases. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of stratified surgical interventions based on the ASMA, which combines life expectancy and the anatomical classification of patients with spinal metastases...... survival times in the five surgical groups determined by the ASMA were 2.1 (TS 0-4, TC 1-7), 5.1 (TS 5-8, TC 1-7), 12.1 (TS 9-11, TC 1-7 or TS 12-15, TC 7), 26.0 (TS 12-15, TC 4-6), and 36.0 (TS 12-15, TC 1-3) months. The 30-day mortality rate was 7.5%. Postoperative neurological function was maintained...

  15. Moringa stenopetala Tree Species Improved Selected Soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/star.v4i2.10 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL · AJOL's Partners · Terms and Conditions of Use · Contact AJOL · News. OTHER RESOURCES... for Researchers · for Journals · for Authors · for Policy Makers ...

  16. Site selection

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1968-01-01

    To help resolve the problem of site selection for the proposed 300 GeV machine, the Council selected "three wise men" (left to right, J H Bannier of the Netherlands, A Chavanne of Switzerland and L K Boggild of Denmark).

  17. Benchmark selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hougaard, Jens Leth; Tvede, Mich

    2002-01-01

    Within a production theoretic framework, this paper considers an axiomatic approach to benchmark selection. It is shown that two simple and weak axioms; efficiency and comprehensive monotonicity characterize a natural family of benchmarks which typically becomes unique. Further axioms are added...... in order to obtain a unique selection...

  18. Hydrological scenarios for two selected Alpine catchments for the 21st century using a stochastic weather generator and enhanced process understanding for modelling of seasonal snow and glacier melt for improved water resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Schneeberger, Klaus; Dabhi, Hetal; Dubrovsky, Martin; Hanzer, Florian; Marke, Thomas; Oberguggenberger, Michael; Rössler, Ole; Schmieder, Jan; Rotach, Mathias; Stötter, Johann; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    The overall objective of HydroGeM³ is to quantify and assess both water demand and water supply in two coupled human-environment mountain systems, i.e. Lütschine in Switzerland and Ötztaler Ache in Austria. Special emphasis is laid on the analysis of possible future seasonal water scarcity. The hydrological response of high Alpine catchments is characterised by a strong seasonal variability with low runoff in winter and high runoff in spring and summer. Climate change is expected to cause a seasonal shift of the runoff regime and thus it has significant impact on both amount and timing of the release of the available water resources, and thereof, possible future water conflicts. In order to identify and quantify the contribution of snow and ice melt as well as rain to runoff, streamflow composition will be analysed with natural tracers. The results of the field investigations will help to improve the snow and ice melt and runoff modules of two selected hydrological models (i.e. AMUNDSEN and WaSiM) which are used to investigate the seasonal water availability under current and future climate conditions. Together, they comprise improved descriptions of boundary layer and surface melt processes (AMUNDSEN), and of streamflow runoff generation (WaSiM). Future meteorological forcing for the modelling until the end of the century will be provided by both a stochastic multi-site weather generator, and downscaled climate model output. Both approches will use EUROCORDEX data as input. The water demand in the selected study areas is quantified for the relevant societal sectors, e.g. agriculture, hydropower generation and (winter) tourism. The comparison of water availability and water demand under current and future climate conditions will allow the identification of possible seasonal bottlenecks of future water supply and resulting conflicts. Thus these investigations can provide a quantitative basis for the development of strategies for sustainable water management in

  19. AVN-322 is a Safe Orally Bio-Available Potent and Highly Selective Antagonist of 5-HT6R with Demonstrated Ability to Improve Impaired Memory in Animal Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivachtchenko, Alexandre V; Ivanenkov, Yan A; Veselov, Mark S; Okun, I M

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, 5-hydroxytryptamine subtype 6 receptor (5-HT6 receptor, 5- HT6R) has emerged as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of neuropathological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia. 5-HT6 receptors were hypothesized to be implicated in the processes of learning, memory, and cognition with 5-HT6R antagonists being effective in animal models of cognition and memory impairment. Several selective 5-HT6R ligands are currently undergoing clinical trials for treatment of AD. We describe results of preclinical development of a novel and highly selective and potent 5- HT6R antagonist, AVN-322, as a clinical candidate for the treatment of AD to improve concurrent debilitation of memory and cognition in the AD patients, and schizophrenia as a substance with antipsychotic effect. In the manuscript, we present its in vitro and vivo efficacy, ADME, pharmacokinetics in animals and in humans, and toxicity. While having high binding affinity in medium picomolar range, the lead compound demonstrates substantially better selectivity index then the reference drug candidates currently being tested in clinical studies. AVN-322 showed high oral bioavailability and favorable blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration. In vivo testing revealed its clear cognition enhancing effect. AVN-322 significantly restored both scopolamine- and MK-801-induced cognitive dysfunction and demonstrated antipsychotic potential. Taking into account its good safety profile and favorable pharmacokinetics, AVN-322 can be reasonably considered as a novel drug candidate for the treatment of neurological disorders such as AD and/or schizophrenia. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  20. Identification of 5-(1-Methyl-5-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)thiophene-2-Carboxamides as Novel and Selective Monoamine Oxidase B Inhibitors Used to Improve Memory and Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Alan P; Keenan, Terence; Scott, Roderick; Zhou, Xianbo; Bourchouladze, Rusiko; McRiner, Andrew J; Wilson, Mark E; Romashko, Darlene; Miller, Regina; Bletsch, Matthew; Anderson, Gary; Stanley, Jennifer; Zhang, Adia; Lee, Dong; Nikpur, John

    2017-12-20

    Initial work in Drosophila and mice demonstrated that the transcription factor cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB) is a master control gene for memory formation. The relationship between CREB and memory has also been found to be true in other species, including aplysia and rats. It is thus well-established that CREB activation plays a central role in memory enhancement and that CREB is activated during memory formation. On the basis of these findings, a phenotypic high-throughput screening campaign utilizing a CRE-luciferase (CRE-Luci) SK-N-MC cell line was performed to identify compounds that enhance transcriptional activation of the CRE promoter with a suboptimal dose of forskolin. A number of small-molecule hits of unknown mechanisms of action were identified in the screening campaign, including HT-0411. Follow-up studies suggested that the CREB activation by HT-0411 is attributed to its specific and selective inhibition of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). Further, HT-0411 was shown to improve 24 h memory in rodents in a contextual fear conditioning model. This report describes the lead optimization of a series of 5-(1-methyl-5-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-3-yl) thiophene-2-carboxamides that were identified as novel, potent, and selective inhibitors of MAO-B. Extensive SAR studies and in vivo behavioral evaluations of this and other related analogue series identified a number of potential clinical development candidates; ultimately, compound 8f was identified as a candidate molecule with high selectivity toward MAO-B (29-56 nM) over MAO-A (19% inhibition at a screening concentration of 50 μM), an excellent profile against a panel of other enzymes and receptors, good pharmacokinetic properties in rodents and dogs, and efficacy in multiple rodent memory models.

  1. Selective mutism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Alexandra; Major, Nili

    2016-02-01

    Selective mutism is a disorder in which an individual fails to speak in certain social situations though speaks normally in other settings. Most commonly, this disorder initially manifests when children fail to speak in school. Selective mutism results in significant social and academic impairment in those affected by it. This review will summarize the current understanding of selective mutism with regard to diagnosis, epidemiology, cause, prognosis, and treatment. Studies over the past 20 years have consistently demonstrated a strong relationship between selective mutism and anxiety, most notably social phobia. These findings have led to the recent reclassification of selective mutism as an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. In addition to anxiety, several other factors have been implicated in the development of selective mutism, including communication delays and immigration/bilingualism, adding to the complexity of the disorder. In the past few years, several randomized studies have supported the efficacy of psychosocial interventions based on a graduated exposure to situations requiring verbal communication. Less data are available regarding the use of pharmacologic treatment, though there are some studies that suggest a potential benefit. Selective mutism is a disorder that typically emerges in early childhood and is currently conceptualized as an anxiety disorder. The development of selective mutism appears to result from the interplay of a variety of genetic, temperamental, environmental, and developmental factors. Although little has been published about selective mutism in the general pediatric literature, pediatric clinicians are in a position to play an important role in the early diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating condition.

  2. Sarpogrelate hydrochloride, a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine(2A) antagonist, augments autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell implantation-induced improvement in endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with critical limb ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higashi, Yukihito; Miyazaki, Masanori; Goto, Chikara; Sanada, Hiroaki; Sueda, Taijiro; Chayama, Kazuaki

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a combination of bone marrow mononuclear cell (BM-MNC) implantation and sarpogrelate, a selective 5-HT(2A) antagonist, on endothelial function in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). We evaluated the leg blood flow (LBF) responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside before and after BM-MNC implantation in 16 patients with CLI. We divided patients with CLI into 2 groups: those cotreated with sarpogrelate orally for 12 weeks (sarpogrelate group, n = 8) and those who remained on conventional therapy (control group, n = 8). LBF was measured by strain gauge plethysmography. BM-MNC implantation improved ankle brachial pressure index, transcutaneous oxygen pressure, and pain-free walking time. There was no significant difference in these parameters between the 2 groups. Before BM-MNC implantation, LBF responses to ACh were similar in the sarpogrelate group and control group. Twelve weeks of BM-MNC implantation enhanced LBF responses to ACh in the sarpogrelate and control groups. After 12 weeks of BM-MNC implantation, LBF response to ACh was significantly greater in the sarpogrelate group than in the control group. BM-MNC implantation did not alter the LBF responses to sodium nitroprusside in either group. These findings suggest that BM-MNC implantation improved not only limb ischemic symptoms but also endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with CLI. A combination of BM-MNC implantation and sarpogrelate had a more beneficial effect on vascular function in these patients.

  3. MO-FG-CAMPUS-JeP2-01: 4D-MRI with 3D Radial Sampling and Self-Gating-Based K-Space Sorting: Image Quality Improvement by Slab-Selective Excitation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng, Z; Pang, J; Tuli, R; Fraass, B; Fan, Z [Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Yang, W [Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Bi, X [Siemens Healthcare, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Hakimian, B [Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles CA (United States); Li, D [Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: A recent 4D MRI technique based on 3D radial sampling and self-gating-based K-space sorting has shown promising results in characterizing respiratory motion. However due to continuous acquisition and potentially drastic k-space undersampling resultant images could suffer from low blood-to-tissue contrast and streaking artifacts. In this study 3D radial sampling with slab-selective excitation (SS) was proposed in attempt to enhance blood-to-tissue contrast by exploiting the in-flow effect and to suppress the excess signal from the peripheral structures particularly in the superior-inferior direction. The feasibility of improving image quality by using this approach was investigated through a comparison with the previously developed non-selective excitation (NS) approach. Methods: Two excitation approaches SS and NS were compared in 5 cancer patients (1 lung 1 liver 2 pancreas and 1 esophagus) at 3Tesla. Image artifact was assessed in all patients on a 4-point scale (0: poor; 3: excellent). Signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) of the blood vessel (aorta) at the center of field-of-view and its nearby tissue were measured in 3 of the 5 patients (1 liver 2 pancreas) and blood-to-tissue contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were then determined. Results: Compared with NS the image quality of SS was visually improved with overall higher signal in all patients (2.6±0.55 vs. 3.4±0.55). SS showed an approximately 2-fold increase of SNR in the blood (aorta: 16.39±1.95 vs. 32.19±7.93) and slight increase in the surrounding tissue (liver/pancreas: 16.91±1.82 vs. 22.31±3.03). As a result the blood-totissue CNR was dramatically higher in the SS method (1.20±1.20 vs. 9.87±6.67). Conclusion: The proposed 3D radial sampling with slabselective excitation allows for reduced image artifact and improved blood SNR and blood-to-tissue CNR. The success of this technique could potentially benefit patients with cancerous tumors that have invaded the surrounding blood vessels where radiation

  4. MO-FG-CAMPUS-JeP2-01: 4D-MRI with 3D Radial Sampling and Self-Gating-Based K-Space Sorting: Image Quality Improvement by Slab-Selective Excitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng, Z; Pang, J; Tuli, R; Fraass, B; Fan, Z; Yang, W; Bi, X; Hakimian, B; Li, D

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: A recent 4D MRI technique based on 3D radial sampling and self-gating-based K-space sorting has shown promising results in characterizing respiratory motion. However due to continuous acquisition and potentially drastic k-space undersampling resultant images could suffer from low blood-to-tissue contrast and streaking artifacts. In this study 3D radial sampling with slab-selective excitation (SS) was proposed in attempt to enhance blood-to-tissue contrast by exploiting the in-flow effect and to suppress the excess signal from the peripheral structures particularly in the superior-inferior direction. The feasibility of improving image quality by using this approach was investigated through a comparison with the previously developed non-selective excitation (NS) approach. Methods: Two excitation approaches SS and NS were compared in 5 cancer patients (1 lung 1 liver 2 pancreas and 1 esophagus) at 3Tesla. Image artifact was assessed in all patients on a 4-point scale (0: poor; 3: excellent). Signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) of the blood vessel (aorta) at the center of field-of-view and its nearby tissue were measured in 3 of the 5 patients (1 liver 2 pancreas) and blood-to-tissue contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were then determined. Results: Compared with NS the image quality of SS was visually improved with overall higher signal in all patients (2.6±0.55 vs. 3.4±0.55). SS showed an approximately 2-fold increase of SNR in the blood (aorta: 16.39±1.95 vs. 32.19±7.93) and slight increase in the surrounding tissue (liver/pancreas: 16.91±1.82 vs. 22.31±3.03). As a result the blood-totissue CNR was dramatically higher in the SS method (1.20±1.20 vs. 9.87±6.67). Conclusion: The proposed 3D radial sampling with slabselective excitation allows for reduced image artifact and improved blood SNR and blood-to-tissue CNR. The success of this technique could potentially benefit patients with cancerous tumors that have invaded the surrounding blood vessels where radiation

  5. Genetic improvement of vegetables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaramillo Vasquez, J.G.

    2001-01-01

    Some genetic bases of the improvement of vegetables are given. The objectives of the genetic improvement and the fundamental stages of this process are done. The sources of genetic variation are indicated and they are related the reproduction systems of the main horticultural species. It is analyzed the concept of genetic inheritance like base to determine the procedures more appropriate of improvement. The approaches are discussed, has more than enough phenotypic value, genetic action and genotypic variance; Equally the heredability concepts and value of improvement. The conventional methods of improvement are described, like they are: the introduction of species or varieties, the selection, the pure line, the pedigree method, the selection for families, the recurrent selection, the selection for unique seed, the haploids method, the selection for heterosis and the synthetic varieties

  6. Selective oxidation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes Henao, Luis F.; Castro F, Carlos A.

    2000-01-01

    It is presented a revision and discussion about the characteristics and factors that relate activity and selectivity in the catalytic and not catalytic partial oxidation of methane and the effect of variables as the temperature, pressure and others in the methane conversion to methanol. It thinks about the zeolites use modified for the catalytic oxidation of natural gas

  7. Selective gossip

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Üstebay, D.; Castro, R.M.; Rabbat, M.

    2009-01-01

    Motivated by applications in compression and distributed transform coding, we propose a new gossip algorithm called Selective Gossip to efficiently compute sparse approximations of network data. We consider running parallel gossip algorithms on the elements of a vector of transform coefficients.

  8. Improved selectivity for Pb(II) by sulfur, selenium and tellurium analogues of 1,8-anthraquinone-18-crown-5: synthesis, spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and computational studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariappan, Kadarkaraisamy; Alaparthi, Madhubabu; Hoffman, Mariah; Rama, Myriam Alcantar; Balasubramanian, Vinothini; John, Danielle M; Sykes, Andrew G

    2015-07-14

    We report here a series of heteroatom-substituted macrocycles containing an anthraquinone moiety as a fluorescent signaling unit and a cyclic polyheteroether chain as the receptor. Sulfur, selenium, and tellurium derivatives of 1,8-anthraquinone-18-crown-5 (1) were synthesized by reacting sodium sulfide (Na2S), sodium selenide (Na2Se) and sodium telluride (Na2Te) with 1,8-bis(2-bromoethylethyleneoxy)anthracene-9,10-dione in a 1 : 1 ratio. The optical properties of the new compounds are examined and the sulfur and selenium analogues produce an intense green emission enhancement upon association with Pb(II) in acetonitrile. Selectivity for Pb(II) is markedly improved as compared to the oxygen analogue 1 which was also competitive for Ca(II) ion. UV-Visible and luminescence titrations reveal that 2 and 3 form 1 : 1 complexes with Pb(II), confirmed by single-crystal X-ray studies where Pb(II)