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  1. Human-directed social behaviour in dogs shows significant heritability.

    Persson, M E; Roth, L S V; Johnsson, M; Wright, D; Jensen, P

    2015-04-01

    Through domestication and co-evolution with humans, dogs have developed abilities to attract human attention, e.g. in a manner of seeking assistance when faced with a problem solving task. The aims of this study were to investigate within breed variation in human-directed contact seeking in dogs and to estimate its genetic basis. To do this, 498 research beagles, bred and kept under standardized conditions, were tested in an unsolvable problem task. Contact seeking behaviours recorded included both eye contact and physical interactions. Behavioural data was summarized through a principal component analysis, resulting in four components: test interactions, social interactions, eye contact and physical contact. Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact and age had an effect on eye contact scores. Narrow sense heritabilities (h(2) ) of the two largest components were estimated at 0.32 and 0.23 but were not significant for the last two components. These results show that within the studied dog population, behavioural variation in human-directed social behaviours was sex dependent and that the utilization of eye contact seeking increased with age and experience. Hence, heritability estimates indicate a significant genetic contribution to the variation found in human-directed social interactions, suggesting that social skills in dogs have a genetic basis, but can also be shaped and enhanced through individual experiences. This research gives the opportunity to further investigate the genetics behind dogs' social skills, which could also play a significant part into research on human social disorders such as autism. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  2. Electricity production shows improvement across Canada

    Anon.

    1991-01-01

    In the first half of 1991, electricity production from Canadian utilities improved substantially compared to the first half of 1990. Canada was a net importer of 5332 GWh in January-June 1990 while it was a net exporter of 5250 GWh in January-June 1991. The largest single factor in this reversal is the improved performance of Ontario Hydro's CANDU reactors. Total acid gas emissions by Ontario Hydro for 1991 are expected to total 240,000 tonnes, about the same as 1990, but at much higher capacity factors. A combination of recession, private power generation, and the startup of the Seabrook nuclear station have put a brake on power exports to the USA. New Brunswick Power exports were not only affected by the new capacity at Seabrook but also because of low water conditions at its hydroelectric plants. Hydro-Quebec generated 300 GWh more hydraulic energy in June 1991 than in June 1990 and its Gentilly-2 nuclear station has been operating at 96.7% capacity. The Quebec utility exported 1215 GWh to the USA and 2121 GWh to other Canadian utilities in January-June 1991, compared to 1602 GWh and 2232 GWh resspectively in January-June 1990. 1 tab

  3. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Face and body recognition show similar improvement during childhood.

    Bank, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Read, Ainsley; Jeffery, Linda

    2015-09-01

    Adults are proficient in extracting identity cues from faces. This proficiency develops slowly during childhood, with performance not reaching adult levels until adolescence. Bodies are similar to faces in that they convey identity cues and rely on specialized perceptual mechanisms. However, it is currently unclear whether body recognition mirrors the slow development of face recognition during childhood. Recent evidence suggests that body recognition develops faster than face recognition. Here we measured body and face recognition in 6- and 10-year-old children and adults to determine whether these two skills show different amounts of improvement during childhood. We found no evidence that they do. Face and body recognition showed similar improvement with age, and children, like adults, were better at recognizing faces than bodies. These results suggest that the mechanisms of face and body memory mature at a similar rate or that improvement of more general cognitive and perceptual skills underlies improvement of both face and body recognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Fibrillary glomerulonephritis associated with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance showing lambda-type Bence Jones protein.

    Nagao, Tomoaki; Okura, Takafumi; Miyoshi, Ken-Ichi; Watanabe, Sanae; Manabe, Seiko; Kurata, Mie; Irita, Jun; Fukuoka, Tomikazu; Higaki, Jitsuo

    2005-09-01

    A 79-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of leg edema due to a nephrotic syndrome. Urinary and serum immunoelectrophoresis showed positive for the lambda type of Bence Jones protein. A bone marrow aspiration test revealed mild plasmacytosis (6.4% of the total cells). These findings confirmed her diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Her renal biopsy specimen revealed mild mesangial cell proliferation and an increase in the mesangial matrix. Immunofluorescence studies showed positive staining for IgG, IgA, C3, and kappa and lambda light chains in the capillary wall and mesangium area. Electron microscopy showed that the electron deposits in the thickened basement membrane were formed by randomly arranged 16- to 18-nm nonbranching fibrils. A Congo red stain for amyloid was negative. These findings corresponded with the diagnosis of fibrillary glomerulonephritis. Therefore, this case showed a rare combination of fibrillary glomerulonephritis and MGUS.

  6. An active principle of Nigella sativa L., thymoquinone, showing significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria.

    Randhawa, Mohammad Akram; Alenazy, Awwad Khalaf; Alrowaili, Majed Gorayan; Basha, Jamith

    2017-01-01

    Thymoquinone (TQ) is the major active principle of Nigella sativa seed (black seed) and is known to control many fungi, bacteria, and some viruses. However, the activity of TQ against anaerobic bacteria is not well demonstrated. Anaerobic bacteria can cause severe infections, including diarrhea, aspiration pneumonia, and brain abscess, particularly in immunodeficient individuals. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of TQ against some anaerobic pathogens in comparison to metronidazole. Standard, ATCC, strains of four anaerobic bacteria ( Clostridium difficile , Clostridium perfringens , Bacteroides fragilis , and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron ), were initially isolated on special Brucella agar base (with hemin and vitamin K). Then, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of TQ and metronidazole were determined against these anaerobes when grown in Brucella agar, using serial agar dilution method according to the recommended guidelines for anaerobic organisms instructed by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. TQ showed a significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria although much weaker than metronidazole. MICs of TQ and metronidazole against various anaerobic human pathogens tested were found to be between 10-160 mg/L and 0.19-6.25 mg/L, respectively. TQ controlled the anaerobic human pathogenic bacteria, which supports the use of N. sativa in the treatment of diarrhea in folk medicine. Further investigations are in need for determination of the synergistic effect of TQ in combination with metronidazole and the activity of derivatives of TQ against anaerobic infections.

  7. Citrobacter rodentium is an unstable pathogen showing evidence of significant genomic flux.

    Nicola K Petty

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Citrobacter rodentium is a natural mouse pathogen that causes attaching and effacing (A/E lesions. It shares a common virulence strategy with the clinically significant human A/E pathogens enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC and is widely used to model this route of pathogenesis. We previously reported the complete genome sequence of C. rodentium ICC168, where we found that the genome displayed many characteristics of a newly evolved pathogen. In this study, through PFGE, sequencing of isolates showing variation, whole genome transcriptome analysis and examination of the mobile genetic elements, we found that, consistent with our previous hypothesis, the genome of C. rodentium is unstable as a result of repeat-mediated, large-scale genome recombination and because of active transposition of mobile genetic elements such as the prophages. We sequenced an additional C. rodentium strain, EX-33, to reveal that the reference strain ICC168 is representative of the species and that most of the inactivating mutations were common to both isolates and likely to have occurred early on in the evolution of this pathogen. We draw parallels with the evolution of other bacterial pathogens and conclude that C. rodentium is a recently evolved pathogen that may have emerged alongside the development of inbred mice as a model for human disease.

  8. Synthetic analogs of anoplin show improved antimicrobial activities

    Munk, Jens; Uggerhøj, Lars Erik; Poulsen, Tanja Juul

    2013-01-01

    We present the antimicrobial and hemolytic activities of the decapeptide anoplin and 19 analogs thereof tested against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 33591 (MRSA), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (ATCC...... that increasing the charge and/or hydrophobicity improves antimicrobial activity and increases hemolytic activity. For each strain tested, we identify at least six anoplin analogs with an improved therapeutic index compared with anoplin, the only exception being Enterococcus faecium, against which only few...

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

    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.

  10. Motivationally Significant Stimuli Show Visual Prior Entry: Evidence for Attentional Capture

    West, Greg L.; Anderson, Adam A. K.; Pratt, Jay

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies that have found attentional capture effects for stimuli of motivational significance do not directly measure initial attentional deployment, leaving it unclear to what extent these items produce attentional capture. Visual prior entry, as measured by temporal order judgments (TOJs), rests on the premise that allocated attention…

  11. Fungal communities in wheat grain show significant co-existence patterns among species

    Nicolaisen, M.; Justesen, A. F.; Knorr, K.

    2014-01-01

    identified as ‘core’ OTUs as they were found in all or almost all samples and accounted for almost 99 % of all sequences. The remaining OTUs were only sporadically found and only in small amounts. Cluster and factor analyses showed patterns of co-existence among the core species. Cluster analysis grouped...... the 21 core OTUs into three clusters: cluster 1 consisting of saprotrophs, cluster 2 consisting mainly of yeasts and saprotrophs and cluster 3 consisting of wheat pathogens. Principal component extraction showed that the Fusarium graminearum group was inversely related to OTUs of clusters 1 and 2....

  12. Different histopathological subtypes of Hodgkin lymphoma show significantly different levels of FDG uptake

    Hutchings, Martin; Loft, Annika; Hansen, Mads

    2006-01-01

    ) patients, 20.8 g/ml in 11 mixed cellularity (MC) patients, and 19.5 g/ml in four patients with unclassified classical HL (CHL-NOS), (ANOVA, p = 0.011). Out of 780 sites (600 lymph node regions plus 180 organs), 208 sites were found to be affected with HL. Mean SUV(max) was 8.3 g/ml in the 12 sites with NLP......, 11.2 g/ml in the 147 sites affected with NS, 14.6 g/ml in the 36 sites with MC, and 13.1 g/ml in the 13 sites with CHL-NOS (ANOVA, p = 0.002). There is a significant difference in FDG/glucose uptake between the different histopathological subtypes of HL....

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

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

    2009-02-01

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

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

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

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

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

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

  16. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Polypyridylruthenium(II complexes exert in vitro and in vivo nematocidal activity and show significant inhibition of parasite acetylcholinesterases

    Madhu Sundaraneedi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Over 4.5 billion people are at risk of infection with soil transmitted helminths and there are concerns about the development of resistance to the handful of frontline nematocides in endemic populations. We investigated the anti-nematode efficacy of a series of polypyridylruthenium(II complexes and showed they were active against L3 and adult stages of Trichuris muris, the rodent homologue of the causative agent of human trichuriasis, T. trichiura. One of the compounds, Rubb12-mono, which was among the most potent in its ability to kill L3 (IC50 = 3.1 ± 0.4 μM and adult (IC50 = 5.2 ± 0.3 μM stage worms was assessed for efficacy in a mouse model of trichuriasis by administering 3 consecutive daily oral doses of the drug 3 weeks post infection with the murine whipworm Trichuris muris. Mice treated with Rubb12-mono showed an average 66% reduction (P = 0.015 in faecal egg count over two independent trials. The drugs partially exerted their activity through inhibition of acetylcholinesterases, as worms treated in vitro and in vivo showed significant decreases in the activity of this class of enzymes. Our data show that ruthenium complexes are effective against T. muris, a model gastro-intestinal nematode and soil-transmitted helminth. Further, knowledge of the target of ruthenium drugs can facilitate modification of current compounds to identify analogues which are even more effective and selective against Trichuris and other helminths of human and veterinary importance. Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase, Trichuris muris, Ruthenium complex, Anthelmintic

  20. The cosmopolitan maternal heritage of the Thoroughbred racehorse breed shows a significant contribution from British and Irish native mares.

    Bower, M A; Campana, M G; Whitten, M; Edwards, C J; Jones, H; Barrett, E; Cassidy, R; Nisbet, R E R; Hill, E W; Howe, C J; Binns, M

    2011-04-23

    The paternal origins of Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to a handful of Middle Eastern stallions, imported to the British Isles during the seventeenth century. Yet, few details of the foundation mares were recorded, in many cases not even their names (several different maternal lineages trace back to 'A Royal Mare'). This has fuelled intense speculation over their origins. We examined mitochondrial DNA from 1929 horses to determine the origin of Thoroughbred foundation mares. There is no evidence to support exclusive Arab maternal origins as some historical records have suggested, or a significant importation of Oriental mares (the term used in historic records to refer to Middle East and western Asian breeds including Arab, Akhal-Teke, Barb and Caspian). Instead, we show that Thoroughbred foundation mares had a cosmopolitan European heritage with a far greater contribution from British and Irish Native mares than previously recognized.

  1. The cosmopolitan maternal heritage of the Thoroughbred racehorse breed shows a significant contribution from British and Irish native mares

    Bower, M. A.; Campana, M. G.; Whitten, M.; Edwards, C. J.; Jones, H.; Barrett, E.; Cassidy, R.; Nisbet, R. E. R.; Hill, E. W.; Howe, C. J.; Binns, M.

    2011-01-01

    The paternal origins of Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to a handful of Middle Eastern stallions, imported to the British Isles during the seventeenth century. Yet, few details of the foundation mares were recorded, in many cases not even their names (several different maternal lineages trace back to ‘A Royal Mare’). This has fuelled intense speculation over their origins. We examined mitochondrial DNA from 1929 horses to determine the origin of Thoroughbred foundation mares. There is no evidence to support exclusive Arab maternal origins as some historical records have suggested, or a significant importation of Oriental mares (the term used in historic records to refer to Middle East and western Asian breeds including Arab, Akhal-Teke, Barb and Caspian). Instead, we show that Thoroughbred foundation mares had a cosmopolitan European heritage with a far greater contribution from British and Irish Native mares than previously recognized. PMID:20926431

  2. Diabetes patients show different time-course of myocardial perfusion improvement after coronary artery bypass grafting

    Lee, J. J.; Seok, J. W.; Eo, J. S.

    2005-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes is known to cause microangiopathy. The microangiopathy is hardly detectable on the coronary angiography. Myocardial perfusion imaging shows the resultant perfusion status which reflects the microangiopathy. For patients who underwent revascularization, the microangiopathy could affect the myocardial perfusion improvement. Diabetes patients probably experience the different myocardial perfusion improvement as compared to the non-diabetes patients although they have similar angiographic findings. The aim of this study is to find out whether there is a time-course difference of perfusion improvement between the diabetes and non diabetes patients who showed patent angiographic findings after coronary artery grafting surgery (CABG). A total of 129 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting surgery were enrolled in this study. Myocardial SPECTs performed at previous, short-term (3 month), and mid-term (1 year) to CABG. One-year follow up angiography was done 411±121 days after surgery. Graft patency was determined according to the FitzGibbon et al. Segments were assigned to vascular territories using a 20 segment model. The segments of excellent patency were included in this study. Time course differences of concerned segments were analyzed using RMANOVA. The number of segments enrolled was 764 of diabetes and 1083 of non-diabetes. At short-term follow up, reversibility score was 2.8±8.1% in diabetes and 0.3±7.5% in non-diabetes. At long-term follow up, reversibility score was 1.8±8.0% in diabetes and 0.1±7.3% in non-diabetes. The time-course of reversibility score was significantly different between the diabetes and non diabetes (p<0.001) Diabetic segments showed high residual reversibility score than non-diabetic segments after CABG although the angiographic finding was patent in both groups. This result is maybe attributable to microangiopathy induced by diabetes

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-02-01

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

  6. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Age distribution of human gene families shows significant roles of both large- and small-scale duplications in vertebrate evolution.

    Gu, Xun; Wang, Yufeng; Gu, Jianying

    2002-06-01

    The classical (two-round) hypothesis of vertebrate genome duplication proposes two successive whole-genome duplication(s) (polyploidizations) predating the origin of fishes, a view now being seriously challenged. As the debate largely concerns the relative merits of the 'big-bang mode' theory (large-scale duplication) and the 'continuous mode' theory (constant creation by small-scale duplications), we tested whether a significant proportion of paralogous genes in the contemporary human genome was indeed generated in the early stage of vertebrate evolution. After an extensive search of major databases, we dated 1,739 gene duplication events from the phylogenetic analysis of 749 vertebrate gene families. We found a pattern characterized by two waves (I, II) and an ancient component. Wave I represents a recent gene family expansion by tandem or segmental duplications, whereas wave II, a rapid paralogous gene increase in the early stage of vertebrate evolution, supports the idea of genome duplication(s) (the big-bang mode). Further analysis indicated that large- and small-scale gene duplications both make a significant contribution during the early stage of vertebrate evolution to build the current hierarchy of the human proteome.

  8. Human and Animal Isolates of Yersinia enterocolitica Show Significant Serotype-Specific Colonization and Host-Specific Immune Defense Properties

    Schaake, Julia; Kronshage, Malte; Uliczka, Frank; Rohde, Manfred; Knuuti, Tobias; Strauch, Eckhard; Fruth, Angelika; Wos-Oxley, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is a human pathogen that is ubiquitous in livestock, especially pigs. The bacteria are able to colonize the intestinal tract of a variety of mammalian hosts, but the severity of induced gut-associated diseases (yersiniosis) differs significantly between hosts. To gain more information about the individual virulence determinants that contribute to colonization and induction of immune responses in different hosts, we analyzed and compared the interactions of different human- and animal-derived isolates of serotypes O:3, O:5,27, O:8, and O:9 with murine, porcine, and human intestinal cells and macrophages. The examined strains exhibited significant serotype-specific cell binding and entry characteristics, but adhesion and uptake into different host cells were not host specific and were independent of the source of the isolate. In contrast, survival and replication within macrophages and the induced proinflammatory response differed between murine, porcine, and human macrophages, suggesting a host-specific immune response. In fact, similar levels of the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) were secreted by murine bone marrow-derived macrophages with all tested isolates, but the equivalent interleukin-8 (IL-8) response of porcine bone marrow-derived macrophages was strongly serotype specific and considerably lower in O:3 than in O:8 strains. In addition, all tested Y. enterocolitica strains caused a considerably higher level of secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by porcine than by murine macrophages. This could contribute to limiting the severity of the infection (in particular of serotype O:3 strains) in pigs, which are the primary reservoir of Y. enterocolitica strains pathogenic to humans. PMID:23959720

  9. Fusion of protegrin-1 and plectasin to MAP30 shows significant inhibition activity against dengue virus replication.

    Hussin A Rothan

    Full Text Available Dengue virus (DENV broadly disseminates in tropical and sub-tropical countries and there are no vaccine or anti-dengue drugs available. DENV outbreaks cause serious economic burden due to infection complications that requires special medical care and hospitalization. This study presents a new strategy for inexpensive production of anti-DENV peptide-fusion protein to prevent and/or treat DENV infection. Antiviral cationic peptides protegrin-1 (PG1 and plectasin (PLSN were fused with MAP30 protein to produce recombinant antiviral peptide-fusion protein (PG1-MAP30-PLSN as inclusion bodies in E. coli. High yield production of PG1-MAP30-PLSN protein was achieved by solubilization of inclusion bodies in alkaline buffer followed by the application of appropriate refolding techniques. Antiviral PG1-MAP30-PLSN protein considerably inhibited DENV protease (NS2B-NS3pro with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50 0.5±0.1 μM. The real-time proliferation assay (RTCA and the end-point proliferation assay (MTT assay showed that the maximal-nontoxic dose of the peptide-fusion protein against Vero cells is approximately 0.67±0.2 μM. The cell-based assays showed considerable inhibition of the peptide-fusion protein against binding and proliferating stages of DENV2 into the target cells. The peptide-fusion protein protected DENV2-challeged mice with 100% of survival at the dose of 50 mg/kg. In conclusion, producing recombinant antiviral peptide-fusion protein by combining short antiviral peptide with a central protein owning similar activity could be useful to minimize the overall cost of short peptide production and take advantage of its synergistic antiviral activities.

  10. Human microRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors show significantly different biological patterns: from functions to targets.

    Dong Wang

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs which play essential roles in many important biological processes. Therefore, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and although there is great interest in research into these cancer-associated miRNAs, little is known about them. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets. For example, miRNA oncogenes are located mainly in the amplified regions in human cancers, whereas miRNA tumor suppressors are located mainly in the deleted regions. miRNA oncogenes tend to cleave target mRNAs more frequently than miRNA tumor suppressors. These results indicate that these two types of cancer-associated miRNAs play different roles in cancer formation and development. Moreover, the patterns identified here can discriminate novel miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors with a high degree of accuracy. This study represents the first large-scale bioinformatic analysis of human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Our findings provide help for not only understanding of miRNAs in cancer but also for the specific identification of novel miRNAs as miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition, the data presented in this study will be valuable for the study of both miRNAs and cancer.

  11. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Beltran, William A.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J.; Olivares, Melani B.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Komáromy, András M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2013-01-01

    The first retinal gene therapy in human blindness from RPE65 mutations has focused on safety and efficacy, as defined by improved vision. The disease component not studied, however, has been the fate of photoreceptors in this progressive retinal degeneration. We show that gene therapy improves vision for at least 3 y, but photoreceptor degeneration progresses unabated in humans. In the canine model, the same result occurs when treatment is at the disease stage equivalent to humans. The study ...

  12. Serotonin Transporter Knockout Rats Show Improved Strategy Set-Shifting and Reduced Latent Inhibition

    Nonkes, Lourens J. P.; van de Vondervoort, Ilse I. G. M.; de Leeuw, Mark J. C.; Wijlaars, Linda P.; Maes, Joseph H. R.; Homberg, Judith R.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral flexibility is a cognitive process depending on prefrontal areas allowing adaptive responses to environmental changes. Serotonin transporter knockout (5-HTT[superscript -/-]) rodents show improved reversal learning in addition to orbitofrontal cortex changes. Another form of behavioral flexibility, extradimensional strategy set-shifting…

  13. Prostate cancer patient subsets showing improved bNED control with adjuvant androgen deprivation

    Anderson, Penny R.; Hanlon, Alexandra L.; Movsas, Benjamin; Hanks, Gerald E.

    1997-01-01

    determinations. The median follow-up for the 112 matched case/control patients was 41 months. The median follow-up was 46 months for the RT (range 11-102 months) and 37 months for the RT + H group (range 6-82 months). Results: Univariate analysis according to treatment for the prognostic factors of palpation stage, Gleason score, and pretreatment PSA demonstrates a significant improvement in 3-year bNED control with the addition of hormones for patients with T2C/T3, Gleason score 7-10, or pretreatment PSA >15 ngm/ml. A comparison of bNED control according to treatment demonstrates improvement in 5-year bNED control of 55% for patients treated with RT + H vs. 31% for those patients treated with RT alone (p = 0.0088), although there is not a survival advantage. Multivariate analysis demonstrates that hormonal treatment is a highly significant independent predictor of bNED control (p 0.0006) along with pretreatment PSA (p = 0.0001), palpation stage (p 0.0001), grade (p = 0.0030), and dose (p = 0.0001). Conclusions: (1) Patients with specific adverse pretreatment prognostic factors (i.e., T2C/T3, Gleason score 7-10, pretreatment PSA >15) benefit from adjuvant hormonal therapy. (2) Upon multivariate analysis, hormonal therapy is determined to be a highly significant predictor of bNED control, after adjusting for all other covariates. (3) The 5-year bNED control rates of 55% for RT + H vs. 31% for RT alone represents the magnitude of benefit from adjuvant hormone therapy. (4) The bNED control curves are separated by about 20 months, representing a delay in disease progression with adjuvant hormonal therapy, as there is no overall survival difference

  14. Magnetism reflectometer study shows LiF layers improve efficiency in spin valve devices

    Bardoel, Agatha A [ORNL; Lauter, Valeria [ORNL; Szulczewski, Greg J [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    New, more efficient materials for spin valves - a device used in magnetic sensors, random access memories, and hard disk drives - may be on the way based on research using the magnetism reflectometer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Spin valve devices work by means of two or more conducting magnetic material layers that alternate their electrical resistance depending on the layers alignment. Giant magnetoresistance is a quantum mechanical effect first observed in thin film structures about 20 years ago. The effect is observed as a significant change in electrical resistance, depending on whether the magnetization of adjacent ferromagnetic layers is in a parallel or an antiparallel magnetic alignment. 'What we are doing here is developing new materials. The search for new materials suitable for injecting and transferring carriers with a preferential spin orientation is most important for the development of spintronics,' said Valeria Lauter, lead instrument scientist on the magnetism reflectometer at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), who collaborated on the experiment. The researchers discovered that the conductivity of such materials is improved when an organic polymer semiconductor layer is placed between the magnetic materials. Organic semiconductors are now the material of choice for future spin valve devices because they preserve spin coherence over longer times and distances than conventional semiconductors. While research into spin valves has been ongoing, research into organic semiconductors is recent. Previous research has shown that a 'conductivity mismatch' exists in spin valve systems in which ferromagnetic metal electrodes interface with such organic semiconductors as Alq3 ({pi}-conjugated molecule tris(8-hydroxy-quinoline) aluminium). This mismatch limits the efficient injection of the electrons from the electrodes at the interface with the semiconductor material. However, lithium fluoride (LiF), commonly used in light

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

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

    2016-06-07

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

  16. Preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched formula until 6 months show improved growth and development.

    Jeon, Ga Won; Jung, Yu Jin; Koh, Sun Young; Lee, Yeon Kyung; Kim, Kyung Ah; Shin, Son Moon; Kim, Sung Shin; Shim, Jae Won; Chang, Yun Sil; Park, Won Soon

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of feeding nutrient-enriched preterm formula to preterm infants until 6 months' corrected age (CA) on growth and development in the first 18 months of life. Very low-birthweight preterm infants were fed preterm formula until term (40 weeks CA). Infants were then assigned to one of three groups and were fed term formula until 6 months' CA (group 1, n= 29); preterm formula to 3 months' CA and then term formula to 6 months' CA (group 2, n= 30); or preterm formula until 6 months' CA (group 3, n= 31). Anthropometry was performed at term, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and at s18 months' CA. Mental and psychomotor development were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II at 18 months' CA. Although body weight, length, head circumference and z score for CA at term in group 3 were significantly lower than those of groups 1 and 2, growth rates of these parameters were significantly higher in group 3 up to 18 months CA', as compared to groups 1 and 2. The mental developmental index and psychomotor developmental index of the Bayley test were not significantly different between the three groups. Very low-birthweight preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched preterm formula until 6 months' CA demonstrated significantly improved growth rates for bodyweight, length and head circumference, and comparable mental and psychomotor development throughout the first 18 months of life. © 2011 The Authors. Pediatrics International © 2011 Japan Pediatric Society.

  17. Engineered P450 biocatalysts show improved activity and regio-promiscuity in aromatic nitration.

    Zuo, Ran; Zhang, Yi; Jiang, Chao; Hackett, John C; Loria, Rosemary; Bruner, Steven D; Ding, Yousong

    2017-04-12

    Nitroaromatics are among the most important and commonly used chemicals but their production often suffers from multiple unsolved challenges. We have previously described the development of biocatalytic nitration processes driven by an engineered P450 TxtE fusion construct. Herein we report the creation of improved nitration biocatalysts through constructing and characterizing fusion proteins of TxtE with the reductase domain of CYP102A1 (P450BM3, BM3R). The majority of constructs contained variable linker length while one was rationally designed for optimizing protein-protein interactions. Detailed biochemical characterization identified multiple active chimeras that showed improved nitration activity, increased coupling efficiency and higher total turnover numbers compared with TxtE. Substrate promiscuity of the most active chimera was further assessed with a substrate library. Finally, a biocatalytic nitration process was developed to nitrate 4-Me-DL-Trp. The production of both 4-Me-5-NO 2 -L-Trp and 4-Me-7-NO 2 -L-Trp uncovered remarkable regio-promiscuity of nitration biocatalysts.

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

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

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

  19. The Second Stroke Audit of Catalonia shows improvements in many, but not all quality indicators.

    Abilleira, Sònia; Ribera, Aida; Sánchez, Emília; Tresserras, Ricard; Gallofré, Miquel

    2012-01-01

    Periodic audits allow monitoring of healthcare quality by comparing performances at different time points. Aims To assess quality of in-hospital stroke care in Catalonia in 2007 and compare it with 2005 (post-/preguidelines delivery, respectively). Data on 13 evidence-based performance measures were collected by a retrospective review of medical records of consecutive stroke admissions (January-December 2007) to 47 acute hospitals in Catalonia. Adherence was calculated according to the ratio (patients with documented performance measures' compliance) (valid cases for that measure). Sampling weights were applied to produce estimates of compliance. The proportions of compliance with performance measures in both audits were compared using random-effects logistic regressions, with each performance measure as the dependent variable and audit edition as the explanatory variable to determine whether changes in stroke care quality occurred along time. We analyzed 1767 events distributed among 47 hospitals. In 2007, there was an increase in tissue plasminogen activator administrations (2·8% vs. 5·9%) and stroke unit admissions (16·6% vs. 22·6%) and a reduction in seven-day mortality (9·5% vs. 6·8%). Logistic regression models provided evidence of improved adherences to seven performance measures (screening of dysphagia, management of hyperthermia, baseline computed tomography scan, baseline glycemia, rehabilitation needs, early mobilization, and anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation), but worsening of management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and antithrombotics at discharge. The remaining three performance measures showed no changes. The Second Stroke Audit showed improvements in most dimensions of care, although unexpectedly a few but relevant performance measures became worse. Therefore, periodic stroke audits are needed to check changes in quality of care over time. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2011 World Stroke Organization.

  20. Affect School for chronic benign pain patients showed improved alexithymia assessments with TAS-20

    Thulesius Hans O

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alexithymia is a disturbance associated with psychosomatic disorders, pain syndromes, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. The Affect School (AS based on Tomkins Affect Theory is a therapy focusing on innate affects and their physiological expressions, feelings, emotions and scripts. In this pilot study we tried the AS-intervention method in patients with chronic benign pain. Methods The AS-intervention, with 8 weekly group sessions and 10 individual sessions, was offered to 59 patients with chronic non-malignant pain at a pain rehabilitation clinic in Sweden 2004-2005. Pre and post intervention assessments were done with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20, the Visual Analogue Scale for pain assessment (VAS-pain, the European Quality of Life health barometer (EQoL and the Stress and Crisis Inventory-93 (SCI-93. After the group sessions we used Bergdahl's Questionnaire for assessing changes in interpersonal relations, general well-being and evaluation of AS. Results The AS intervention was completed by 54 out of 59 (92% patients. Significant reductions in total TAS-20 post-test scores (p = 0.0006 as well as TAS-20 DIF and DDF factors (Difficulties Identifying Feelings, and Difficulties Describing Feelings were seen (p = 0.0001, and p = 0.0008 while the EOT factor (Externally Oriented Thinking did not change. Improvements of HAD-depression scores (p = 0.04, EQoL (p = 0.02 and self-assessed changes in relations to others (p Conclusions This pilot study involving 59 patients with chronic benign pain indicates that the alexithymia DIF and DDF, as well as depression, social relations and quality of life may be improved by the Affect School therapeutic intervention.

  1. Human decellularized bone scaffolds from aged donors show improved osteoinductive capacity compared to young donor bone.

    Christopher A Smith

    Full Text Available To improve the safe use of allograft bone, decellularization techniques may be utilized to produce acellular scaffolds. Such scaffolds should retain their innate biological and biomechanical capacity and support mesenchymal stem cell (MSC osteogenic differentiation. However, as allograft bone is derived from a wide age-range, this study aimed to determine whether donor age impacts on the ability an osteoinductive, acellular scaffold produced from human bone to promote the osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSC. BM-MSCs from young and old donors were seeded on acellular bone cubes from young and old donors undergoing osteoarthritis related hip surgery. All combinations resulted in increased osteogenic gene expression, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP enzyme activity, however BM-MSCs cultured on old donor bone displayed the largest increases. BM-MSCs cultured in old donor bone conditioned media also displayed higher osteogenic gene expression and ALP activity than those exposed to young donor bone conditioned media. ELISA and Luminex analysis of conditioned media demonstrated similar levels of bioactive factors between age groups; however, IGF binding protein 1 (IGFBP1 concentration was significantly higher in young donor samples. Additionally, structural analysis of old donor bone indicated an increased porosity compared to young donor bone. These results demonstrate the ability of a decellularized scaffold produced from young and old donors to support osteogenic differentiation of cells from young and old donors. Significantly, the older donor bone produced greater osteogenic differentiation which may be related to reduced IGFBP1 bioavailability and increased porosity, potentially explaining the excellent clinical results seen with the use of allograft from aged donors.

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

    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

  3. Reversible Lansoprazole-Induced Interstitial Lung Disease Showing Improvement after Drug Cessation

    Hwang, Kyu Won; Woo, Ok Hee; Yong, Hwan Seok; Shin, Bong Kyung; Shim, Jae Jeong; Kang, Eun Young

    2008-01-01

    Lansoprazole is an acid proton-pump inhibitor that is similar to omeprazole. It is used to treat duodenal or gastric ulcers, H. pylori infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Common adverse effects of lansoprazole are diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rash and/or itching. Information from U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that this drug can on rare occasion cause cough or cold-like symptoms. The pathophysiological mechanisms of lansoprazole-related pulmonary symptoms are not yet understood. In particular, there are no known reports regarding lansoprazole-induced interstitial lung diseases. We report here a case of interstitial lung disease (ILD) induced by oral administration of lansoprazole, which showed a pattern of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) as detected from a video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy. We believe that this is the first report of a case of pathologically proven lansoprazole-induced ILD for which a surgical lung biopsy was performed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of DI-ILD caused by lansoprazole. The diagnosis was made by considering the radiological, histopathological and clinical findings, including the close temporal relationship between lansoprazole exposure and symptom severity. Other possible causes were excluded due to a lack of a temporal relationship between the symptoms and work history or prednisolone therapy, and no other history of specific allergen exposure. When there is diffuse interstitial lung disease with an unknown etiology, it is important to remember that drugs can be the cause of pulmonary symptoms and it is crucial to take a careful patient history. If there is a recent history of taking lansoprazole in a patient with clinical and radiological findings of diffuse interstitial lung disease, we recommend stopping the medication to see if there is clinical and radiological improvement. That way, one can avoid using invasive procedures to

  4. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Low birth weight (LBW is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction due to a shortage of oxygen and nutrients supply to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (short-term and reference memory (long-term in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed a better reference memory performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, the vLBW piglets fell back less in working memory scores than the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  5. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task.

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Low birth weight (LBW) is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to a shortage of oxygen and supply of nutrients to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW) piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW) siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (WM) (short-term memory) and reference memory (RM) (long-term memory) in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed better RM performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, WM scores in the vLBW were less disrupted than in the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  6. Reversible Lansoprazole-Induced Interstitial Lung Disease Showing Improvement after Drug Cessation

    Hwang, Kyu Won; Woo, Ok Hee; Yong, Hwan Seok; Shin, Bong Kyung; Shim, Jae Jeong; Kang, Eun Young [College of Medicine, Korea University, Guro Hospital, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-04-15

    Lansoprazole is an acid proton-pump inhibitor that is similar to omeprazole. It is used to treat duodenal or gastric ulcers, H. pylori infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Common adverse effects of lansoprazole are diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rash and/or itching. Information from U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that this drug can on rare occasion cause cough or cold-like symptoms. The pathophysiological mechanisms of lansoprazole-related pulmonary symptoms are not yet understood. In particular, there are no known reports regarding lansoprazole-induced interstitial lung diseases. We report here a case of interstitial lung disease (ILD) induced by oral administration of lansoprazole, which showed a pattern of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) as detected from a video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy. We believe that this is the first report of a case of pathologically proven lansoprazole-induced ILD for which a surgical lung biopsy was performed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of DI-ILD caused by lansoprazole. The diagnosis was made by considering the radiological, histopathological and clinical findings, including the close temporal relationship between lansoprazole exposure and symptom severity. Other possible causes were excluded due to a lack of a temporal relationship between the symptoms and work history or prednisolone therapy, and no other history of specific allergen exposure. When there is diffuse interstitial lung disease with an unknown etiology, it is important to remember that drugs can be the cause of pulmonary symptoms and it is crucial to take a careful patient history. If there is a recent history of taking lansoprazole in a patient with clinical and radiological findings of diffuse interstitial lung disease, we recommend stopping the medication to see if there is clinical and radiological improvement. That way, one can avoid using invasive procedures to

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

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan

    2010-02-24

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

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

    Clayton, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Determinants of success of quality improvement collaboratives: what does the literature show?

    Hulscher, M.E.J.L.; Schouten, L.M.T.; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Buchan, H.

    2013-01-01

    CONTEXT: The apparent inconsistency between the widespread use of quality improvement collaboratives and the available evidence heightens the importance of thoroughly understanding the relative strength of the approach. More insight into factors influencing outcome would mean future collaboratives

  10. Showing the Unsayable: Participatory Visual Approaches and the Constitution of 'Patient Experience' in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

    Papoulias, Constantina

    2018-06-01

    This article considers the strengths and potential contributions of participatory visual methods for healthcare quality improvement research. It argues that such approaches may enable us to expand our understanding of 'patient experience' and of its potential for generating new knowledge for health systems. In particular, they may open up dimensions of people's engagement with services and treatments which exceed both the declarative nature of responses to questionnaires and the narrative sequencing of self reports gathered through qualitative interviewing. I will suggest that working with such methods may necessitate a more reflexive approach to the constitution of evidence in quality improvement work. To this end, the article will first consider the emerging rationale for the use of visual participatory methods in improvement before outlining the implications of two related approaches-photo-elicitation and PhotoVoice-for the constitution of 'experience'. It will then move to a participatory model for healthcare improvement work, Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD). It will argue that EBCD exemplifies both the strengths and the limitations of adequating visual participatory approaches to quality improvement ends. The article will conclude with a critical reflection on a small photographic study, in which the author participated, and which sought to harness service user perspectives for the design of psychiatric facilities, as a way of considering the potential contribution of visual participatory methods for quality improvement.

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

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2013-01-01

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

  12. An H minority heating regime in Tore Supra showing improved L mode confinement

    Hoang, G.T.; Monier-Garbet, P.; Aniel, T.

    2000-01-01

    Tore Supra experiments are at present devoted to the study of high density regimes with radiofrequency heating. Recently, an improved L mode confinement regime has been observed in plasmas heated by ion cyclotron hydrogen minority heating, at relatively high densities up to 80% of the Greenwald limit. The quality of energy confinement is as good as that of ELMy H mode. The main physical mechanism of this regime has not been clearly identified. However, some features very similar to those of previous improved confinement modes using neutral beam heating in other tokamaks have been observed. (author)

  13. Complete replication-competent adenovirus 11p vectors with E1 or E3 insertions show improved heat stability

    Mei, Ya-Fang, E-mail: ya-fang.mei@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden); Wu, Haidong, E-mail: haidong.wu@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden); Hultenby, Kjell, E-mail: kjell.hultenby@ki.se [Division of Clinical Research Centre, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute, SE-14186 Stockholm (Sweden); Silver, Jim, E-mail: jim.silver@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden)

    2016-10-15

    Conventional adenovirus vectors harboring E1 or E3 deletions followed by the insertion of an exogenous gene show considerably reduced virion stability. Here, we report strategies to generate complete replication-competent Ad11p(RCAd11p) vectors that overcome the above disadvantage. A GFP cassette was successfully introduced either upstream of E1A or in the E3A region. The resulting vectors showed high expression levels of the hexon and E1genes and also strongly induced the cytopathic effect in targeted cells. When harboring oversized genomes, the RCAd11pE1 and RCAd11pE3 vectors showed significantly improved heat stability in comparison to Ad11pwt;of the three, RCAd11pE3 was the most tolerant to heat treatment. Electron microscopy showed that RCAd11pE3, RCAd11pE1, Ad11pwt, and Ad11pE1 Delmanifested dominant, moderate, minimum, or no full virus particles after heat treatment at 47 °C for 5 h. Our results demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site in the viral genome affect virion stability. -- Highlights: •Replicating adenovirus 11p GFP vectors at the E1 or E3 region were generated. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 vectors manifested significantly improved heat stability. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 showed more full viral particles than Ad11pwt after heating. •We demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site affect virion stability.

  14. Complete replication-competent adenovirus 11p vectors with E1 or E3 insertions show improved heat stability

    Mei, Ya-Fang; Wu, Haidong; Hultenby, Kjell; Silver, Jim

    2016-01-01

    Conventional adenovirus vectors harboring E1 or E3 deletions followed by the insertion of an exogenous gene show considerably reduced virion stability. Here, we report strategies to generate complete replication-competent Ad11p(RCAd11p) vectors that overcome the above disadvantage. A GFP cassette was successfully introduced either upstream of E1A or in the E3A region. The resulting vectors showed high expression levels of the hexon and E1genes and also strongly induced the cytopathic effect in targeted cells. When harboring oversized genomes, the RCAd11pE1 and RCAd11pE3 vectors showed significantly improved heat stability in comparison to Ad11pwt;of the three, RCAd11pE3 was the most tolerant to heat treatment. Electron microscopy showed that RCAd11pE3, RCAd11pE1, Ad11pwt, and Ad11pE1 Delmanifested dominant, moderate, minimum, or no full virus particles after heat treatment at 47 °C for 5 h. Our results demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site in the viral genome affect virion stability. -- Highlights: •Replicating adenovirus 11p GFP vectors at the E1 or E3 region were generated. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 vectors manifested significantly improved heat stability. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 showed more full viral particles than Ad11pwt after heating. •We demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site affect virion stability.

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Crosses between monokaryons of Pleurotus sapidus or Pleurotus florida show an improved biotransformation of (+)-valencene to (+)-nootkatone.

    Omarini, Alejandra B; Plagemann, Ina; Schimanski, Silke; Krings, Ulrich; Berger, Ralf G

    2014-11-01

    Several hundred monokaryotic and new dikaryotic strains derived thereof were established from (+)-valencene tolerant Pleurotus species. When grouped according to their growth rate on agar plates and compared to the parental of Pleurotus sapidus 69, the slowly growing monokaryons converted (+)-valencene more efficiently to the grapefruit flavour compound (+)-nootkatone. The fast growing monokaryons and the slow×slow and the fast×fast dikaryotic crosses showed similar or inferior yields. Some slow×fast dikaryons, however, exceeded the biotransformation capability of the parental dikaryon significantly. The activity of the responsible enzyme, lipoxygenase, showed a weak correlation with the yields of (+)-nootkatone indicating that the determination of enzyme activity using the primary substrate linoleic acid may be misleading in predicting the biotransformation efficiency. This exploratory study indicated that a classical genetics approach resulted in altered and partly improved terpene transformation capability (plus 60%) and lipoxygenase activity of the strains. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

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

  18. Improved meta-analytic methods show no effect of chromium supplements on fasting glucose.

    Bailey, Christopher H

    2014-01-01

    The trace mineral chromium has been extensively researched over the years in its role in glucose metabolism. Dietary supplement companies have attempted to make claims that chromium may be able to treat or prevent diabetes. Previous meta-analyses/systematic reviews have indicated that chromium supplementation results in a significant lowering of fasting glucose in diabetics but not in nondiabetics. A meta-analysis was conducted using an alternative measure of effect size, d(ppc2) in order to account for changes in the control group as well as the chromium group. The literature search included MEDLINE, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and previously published article reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Included studies were randomized, placebo-controlled trials in the English language with subjects that were nonpregnant adults, both with and without diabetes. Sixteen studies with 809 participants (440 diabetics and 369 nondiabetics) were included in the analysis. Screening for publication bias indicated symmetry of the data. Tests of heterogeneity indicated the use of a fixed-effect model (I² = 0 %). The analysis indicated that there was no significant effect of chromium supplementation in diabetics or nondiabetics, with a weighted average effect size of 0.02 (SE = 0.07), p = 0.787, CI 95 % = -0.12 to 0.16. Chromium supplementation appears to provide no benefits to populations where chromium deficiency is unlikely.

  19. Antisense Oligonucleotides Internally Labeled with Peptides Show Improved Target Recognition and Stability to Enzymatic Degradation

    Taskova, Maria; Madsen, Charlotte S.; Jensen, Knud J.

    2017-01-01

    Specific target binding and stability in diverse biological media is of crucial importance for applications of synthetic oligonucleotides as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. So far, these issues have been addressed by chemical modification of oligonucleotides and by conjugation with a peptide, m...... and makes internally labeled POCs an exciting object of study, i.e., showing high target specificity and simultaneous stability in biological media.......Specific target binding and stability in diverse biological media is of crucial importance for applications of synthetic oligonucleotides as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. So far, these issues have been addressed by chemical modification of oligonucleotides and by conjugation with a peptide......, most often at the terminal position of the oligonucleotide. Herein, we for the first time systematically investigate the influence of internally attached short peptides on the properties of antisense oligonucleotides. We report the synthesis and internal double labeling of 21-mer oligonucleotides...

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

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. DNA Methylation Profiling of Human Prefrontal Cortex Neurons in Heroin Users Shows Significant Difference between Genomic Contexts of Hyper- and Hypomethylation and a Younger Epigenetic Age

    Alexey Kozlenkov

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available We employed Illumina 450 K Infinium microarrays to profile DNA methylation (DNAm in neuronal nuclei separated by fluorescence-activated sorting from the postmortem orbitofrontal cortex (OFC of heroin users who died from heroin overdose (N = 37, suicide completers (N = 22 with no evidence of heroin use and from control subjects who did not abuse illicit drugs and died of non-suicide causes (N = 28. We identified 1298 differentially methylated CpG sites (DMSs between heroin users and controls, and 454 DMSs between suicide completers and controls (p < 0.001. DMSs and corresponding genes (DMGs in heroin users showed significant differences in the preferential context of hyper and hypo DM. HyperDMSs were enriched in gene bodies and exons but depleted in promoters, whereas hypoDMSs were enriched in promoters and enhancers. In addition, hyperDMGs showed preference for genes expressed specifically by glutamatergic as opposed to GABAergic neurons and enrichment for axonogenesis- and synaptic-related gene ontology categories, whereas hypoDMGs were enriched for transcription factor activity- and gene expression regulation-related terms. Finally, we found that the DNAm-based “epigenetic age” of neurons from heroin users was younger than that in controls. Suicide-related results were more difficult to interpret. Collectively, these findings suggest that the observed DNAm differences could represent functionally significant marks of heroin-associated plasticity in the OFC.

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

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

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

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

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

    2017-02-01

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

  10. Significant blockade of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases by MGCD516 (Sitravatinib), a novel small molecule inhibitor, shows potent anti-tumor activity in preclinical models of sarcoma.

    Patwardhan, Parag P; Ivy, Kathryn S; Musi, Elgilda; de Stanchina, Elisa; Schwartz, Gary K

    2016-01-26

    Sarcomas are rare but highly aggressive mesenchymal tumors with a median survival of 10-18 months for metastatic disease. Mutation and/or overexpression of many receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) including c-Met, PDGFR, c-Kit and IGF1-R drive defective signaling pathways in sarcomas. MGCD516 (Sitravatinib) is a novel small molecule inhibitor targeting multiple RTKs involved in driving sarcoma cell growth. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of MGCD516 both in vitro and in mouse xenograft models in vivo. MGCD516 treatment resulted in significant blockade of phosphorylation of potential driver RTKs and induced potent anti-proliferative effects in vitro. Furthermore, MGCD516 treatment of tumor xenografts in vivo resulted in significant suppression of tumor growth. Efficacy of MGCD516 was superior to imatinib and crizotinib, two other well-studied multi-kinase inhibitors with overlapping target specificities, both in vitro and in vivo. This is the first report describing MGCD516 as a potent multi-kinase inhibitor in different models of sarcoma, superior to imatinib and crizotinib. Results from this study showing blockade of multiple driver signaling pathways provides a rationale for further clinical development of MGCD516 for the treatment of patients with soft-tissue sarcoma.

  11. A human intervention study with foods containing natural Ah-receptor agonists does not significantly show AhR-mediated effects as measured in blood cells and urine.

    de Waard, Pim W J; Peijnenburg, Ad A C M; Baykus, Hakan; Aarts, Jac M M J G; Hoogenboom, Ron L A P; van Schooten, Frederik J; de Kok, Theo M C M

    2008-10-22

    Binding and activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is thought to be an essential step in the toxicity of the environmental pollutants dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs. However, also a number of natural compounds, referred to as NAhRAs (natural Ah-receptor agonists), which are present in, for example, fruits and vegetables, can bind and activate this receptor. To study their potential effects in humans, we first investigated the effect of the prototypical AhR agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on gene expression in ex vivo exposed freshly isolated human lymphocytes, and compared the resulting gene expression profile with those caused by the well-known NAhRA indolo[3,2-b]carbazole (ICZ), originating from cruciferous vegetables, and by a hexane extract of NAhRA-containing grapefruit juice (GJE). Only ICZ induced a gene expression profile similar to TCDD in the lymphocytes, and both significantly up-regulated CYP1B1 and TIPARP (TCDD-inducible poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase) mRNA. Next, we performed a human intervention study with NAhRA-containing cruciferous vegetables and grapefruit juice. The expression of the prototypical AhR-responsive genes CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and NQO1 in whole blood cells and in freshly isolated lymphocytes was not significantly affected. Also enzyme activities of CYP1A2, CYP2A6, N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) and xanthine oxidase (XO), as judged by caffeine metabolites in urine, were unaffected, except for a small down-regulation of NAT2 activity by grapefruit juice. Examination of blood plasma with DR CALUX showed a 12% increased AhR agonist activity 3 and 24 h after consumption of cruciferous vegetables, but did not show a significant effect of grapefruit juice consumption. We conclude that intake of NAhRAs from food may result in minor AhR-related effects measurable in human blood and urine.

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

    Helm, David Jay

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-15

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

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

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Flavia Mattioli

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

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

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

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

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

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

    2015-01-02

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

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

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

    2012-07-01

    field monitoring. Vibration prediction diminishes the importance of trial-and-error procedures such as drill-off tests, which are valid only for short sections. It also solves an existing lapse in Mechanical Specific Energy (MSE) real-time drilling control programs applying the theory of Teale, which states that a drilling system is perfectly efficient when it spends the exact energy to overcome the in situ rock strength. Using the proprietary software tool this paper will examine the resonant vibration modes that may be initiated while drilling with different BHA's and drill string designs, showing that the combination of a proper BHA design along with the correct selection of input parameters results in an overall improvement to drilling efficiency. Also, being the BHA predictively analyzed, it will be reduced the potential for vibration or stress fatigue in the drill string components, leading to a safer operation. In the recent years there has been an increased focus on vibration detection, analysis, and mitigation techniques, where new technologies, like the Drilling Dynamics Data Recorders (DDDR), may provide the capability to capture high frequency dynamics data at multiple points along the drilling system. These tools allow the achievement of drilling performance improvements not possible before, opening a whole new array of opportunities for optimization and for verification of predictions calculated by the drill string dynamics modeling software tool. The results of this study will identify how the dynamics from the drilling system, interacting with formation, directly relate to inefficiencies and to the possible solutions to mitigate drilling vibrations in order to improve drilling performance. Software vibration prediction and downhole measurements can be used for non-drilling operations like drilling out casing or reaming, where extremely high vibration levels - devastating to the cutting structure of the bit before it has even touched bottom - have

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

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

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

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-12-13

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

  7. Prognostic Significance of Clinical/Pathological Stage IA Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Showing Partially Solid or Solid Tumours on Radiological Exam

    Matsuura, Yosuke; Nakao, Masayuki; Mun, Mingyon; Nakagawa, Ken; Ishikawa, Yuichi; Okumura, Sakae

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Although curative resection is expected to be effective in patients with clinical (c-) stage IA/pathological (p-) stage IA non-small-cell lung cancers, recurrence is often observed. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify predictors of recurrence. Methods: Between 2005 and 2009, 138 patients with c-stage IA/p-stage IA non-small-cell lung cancers underwent resection. Recurrence and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were compared with clinical, radiographic and pathological findings. Results: The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 97% and the RFS rate was 89% at a median follow-up time of 91 months. Recurrence was observed in 10 patients (7.2%). Significant differences were observed in RFS according to tumour dimensions on the mediastinal window image (>1.5 cm), serum carcinoembryonic antigen levels (>5.0 ng/mL), maximum standardised uptake values (SUVmax >2.5) and angiolymphatic invasion. Patients were grouped according to the number of risk factors for poor RFS. Patients with 0–1 of the identified risk factors had an RFS of 97%, where those with 2–4 factors had an RFS of 68% (p <0.001). Conclusion: Prognosis of patients exhibiting more than two of these risk factors is considerably poor. Thus, close observation and individualised adjuvant therapy may be beneficial to these patients. PMID:25740451

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Ogris Manfred

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Boyce, John M

    2017-05-01

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

  13. A Newly Emergent Turkey Arthritis Reovirus Shows Dominant Enteric Tropism and Induces Significantly Elevated Innate Antiviral and T Helper-1 Cytokine Responses.

    Tamer A Sharafeldin

    Full Text Available Newly emergent turkey arthritis reoviruses (TARV were isolated from tendons of lame 15-week-old tom turkeys that occasionally had ruptured leg tendons. Experimentally, these TARVs induced remarkable tenosynovitis in gastrocnemius tendons of turkey poults. The current study aimed to characterize the location and the extent of virus replication as well as the cytokine response induced by TARV during the first two weeks of infection. One-week-old male turkeys were inoculated orally with TARV (O'Neil strain. Copy numbers of viral genes were estimated in intestines, internal organs and tendons at ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 14 days Post inoculation (dpi. Cytokine profile was measured in intestines, spleen and leg tendons at 0, 4, 7 and 14 dpi. Viral copy number peaked in jejunum, cecum and bursa of Fabricius at 4 dpi. Copy numbers increased dramatically in leg tendons at 7 and 14 dpi while minimal copies were detected in internal organs and blood during the same period. Virus was detected in cloacal swabs at 1-2 dpi, and peaked at 14 dpi indicating enterotropism of the virus and its early shedding in feces. Elevation of IFN-α and IFN-β was observed in intestines at 7 dpi as well as a prominent T helper-1 response (IFN-γ at 7 and 14 dpi. IFN-γ and IL-6 were elevated in gastrocnemius tendons at 14 dpi. Elevation of antiviral cytokines in intestines occurred at 7dpi when a significant decline of viral replication in intestines was observed. T helper-1 response in intestines and leg tendons was the dominant T-helper response. These results suggest the possible correlation between viral replication and cytokine response in early infection of TARV in turkeys. Our findings provide novel insights which help elucidate viral pathogenesis in turkey tendons infected with TARV.

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

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

    2017-05-22

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

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

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-05

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

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

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.

    1976-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

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

    2016-12-12

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

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

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Functional measures show improvements after a home exercise program following supervised balance training in older adults with elevated fall risk.

    Tisher, Kristen; Mann, Kimberly; VanDyke, Sarah; Johansson, Charity; Vallabhajosula, Srikant

    2018-03-05

    Supervised balance training shows immediate benefit for older adults at fall risk. The long-term effectiveness of such training can be enhanced by implementing a safe and simple home exercise program (HEP). We investigated the effects of a12-week unsupervised HEP following supervised clinic-based balance training on functional mobility, balance, fall risk, and gait. Six older adults with an elevated fall risk obtained an HEP and comprised the HEP group (HEPG) and five older adults who were not given an HEP comprised the no HEP group (NoHEPG). The HEP consisted of three static balance exercises: feet-together, single-leg stance, and tandem. Each exercise was to be performed twice for 30-60 s, once per day, 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Participants were educated on proper form, safety, and progression of exercises. Pre- and post-HEP testing included Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up and Go, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) assessments, Activities-Balance Confidence, Late-Life Functional Disability Instrument and instrumented assessments of balance and gait (Limits of Stability, modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance, Gait). A healthy control group (HCG; n = 11) was also tested. For most of the measures, the HEPG improved to the level of HCG. Though task-specific improvements like BBS and SPPB components were seen, the results did not carry over to more dynamic assessments. Results provide proof of concept that a simple HEP can be independently implemented and effective for sustaining and/or improving balance in older adults at elevated fall-risk after they have undergone a clinic-based balance intervention.

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

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

    2018-06-01

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

  7. A ChIP-Seq benchmark shows that sequence conservation mainly improves detection of strong transcription factor binding sites.

    Tony Håndstad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transcription factors are important controllers of gene expression and mapping transcription factor binding sites (TFBS is key to inferring transcription factor regulatory networks. Several methods for predicting TFBS exist, but there are no standard genome-wide datasets on which to assess the performance of these prediction methods. Also, it is believed that information about sequence conservation across different genomes can generally improve accuracy of motif-based predictors, but it is not clear under what circumstances use of conservation is most beneficial. RESULTS: Here we use published ChIP-seq data and an improved peak detection method to create comprehensive benchmark datasets for prediction methods which use known descriptors or binding motifs to detect TFBS in genomic sequences. We use this benchmark to assess the performance of five different prediction methods and find that the methods that use information about sequence conservation generally perform better than simpler motif-scanning methods. The difference is greater on high-affinity peaks and when using short and information-poor motifs. However, if the motifs are specific and information-rich, we find that simple motif-scanning methods can perform better than conservation-based methods. CONCLUSIONS: Our benchmark provides a comprehensive test that can be used to rank the relative performance of transcription factor binding site prediction methods. Moreover, our results show that, contrary to previous reports, sequence conservation is better suited for predicting strong than weak transcription factor binding sites.

  8. Low Intensity Focused tDCS Over the Motor Cortex Shows Inefficacy to Improve Motor Imagery Performance

    Irma N. Angulo-Sherman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a brain stimulation technique that can enhance motor activity by stimulating the motor path. Thus, tDCS has the potential of improving the performance of brain-computer interfaces during motor neurorehabilitation. tDCS effects depend on several aspects, including the current density, which usually varies between 0.02 and 0.08 mA/cm2, and the location of the stimulation electrodes. Hence, testing tDCS montages at several current levels would allow the selection of current parameters for improving stimulation outcomes and the comparison of montages. In a previous study, we found that cortico-cerebellar tDCS shows potential of enhancing right-hand motor imagery. In this paper, we aim to evaluate the effects of the focal stimulation of the motor cortex over motor imagery. In particular, the effect of supplying tDCS with a 4 × 1 ring montage, which consists in placing an anode on the motor cortex and four cathodes around it, over motor imagery was assessed with different current densities. Electroencephalographic (EEG classification into rest or right-hand/feet motor imagery was evaluated on five healthy subjects for two stimulation schemes: applying tDCS for 10 min on the (1 right-hand or (2 feet motor cortex before EEG recording. Accuracy differences related to the tDCS intensity, as well as μ and β band power changes, were tested for each subject and tDCS modality. In addition, a simulation of the electric field induced by the montage was used to describe its effect on the brain. Results show no improvement trends on classification for the evaluated currents, which is in accordance with the observation of variable EEG band power results despite the focused stimulation. The lack of effects is probably related to the underestimation of the current intensity required to apply a particular current density for small electrodes and the relatively short inter-electrode distance. Hence, higher current

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

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Tomislav Hengl

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

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

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Feed addition of curcumin to laying hens showed anticoccidial effect, and improved egg quality and animal health.

    Galli, Gabriela M; Da Silva, Aleksandro S; Biazus, Angelisa H; Reis, João H; Boiago, Marcel M; Topazio, Josué P; Migliorini, Marcos J; Guarda, Naiara S; Moresco, Rafael N; Ourique, Aline F; Santos, Cayane G; Lopes, Leandro S; Baldissera, Matheus D; Stefani, Lenita M

    2018-01-31

    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the addition of curcumin in the diet of commercial laying hens could have an anticoccidial action and improve egg quality. For this, 60 laying hens were divided into three groups: T0 (the control group); T30 and T50 (30 and 50 mg/kg of curcumin in the feed, respectively). Eggs recently laid were collected on days 14 and 21 of the experiment, and stored for 21 days. It was observed increased specific gravity and yolk index in stored eggs of the groups T30 and T50 compared to T0. The yolk color reduced in the eggs stored from groups T30 and T50 compared to T0. Moreover, TBARS levels were lower in fresh and stored eggs from groups T30 and T50. It was observed increased TAC levels in fresh eggs from groups T30 and T50 and in stored eggs from the group T50. The presence of curcumin was not detected by HPLC in the yolk and albumen. Seric levels of albumin and uric acid did not differ between groups, while seric levels of total proteins increased on day 21 on groups T30 and T50. Finally, it was observed a significant reduction on the number of oocysts in fecal samples on days 14 and 21 of T30 and T50 compared to T0. Based on these evidences, it is possible to conclude that the addition of curcumin in the diet of laying hens has an anticoccidial effect and improves egg quality. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    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.

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

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Type 2 Diabetic Rats on Diet Supplemented With Chromium Malate Show Improved Glycometabolism, Glycometabolism-Related Enzyme Levels and Lipid Metabolism

    Feng, Weiwei; Zhao, Ting; Mao, Guanghua; Wang, Wei; Feng, Yun; Li, Fang; Zheng, Daheng; Wu, Huiyu; Jin, Dun; Yang, Liuqing; Wu, Xiangyang

    2015-01-01

    Our previous study showed that chromium malate improved the regulation of blood glucose in mice with alloxan-induced diabetes. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of chromium malate on glycometabolism, glycometabolism-related enzymes and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetic rats. Our results showed that fasting blood glucose, serum insulin level, insulin resistance index and C-peptide level in the high dose group had a significant downward trend when compared with the model group, chromium picolinate group and chromium trichloride group. The hepatic glycogen, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glucokinase, Glut4, phosphor-AMPKβ1 and Akt levels in the high dose group were significantly higher than those of the model, chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride groups. Chromium malate in a high dose group can significantly increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol level while decreasing the total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared with chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride. The serum chromium content in chromium malate and chromium picolinate group is significantly higher than that of the chromium trichloride group. The results indicated that the curative effects of chromium malate on glycometabolism, glycometabolism-related enzymes and lipid metabolism changes are better than those of chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride. Chromium malate contributes to glucose uptake and transport in order to improved glycometabolism and glycometabolism-related enzymes. PMID:25942313

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2000-07-01

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

  4. Adolescents with obstructive sleep apnea adhere poorly to positive airway pressure (PAP, but PAP users show improved attention and school performance.

    Dean W Beebe

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA is associated with medical and neurobehavioral morbidity across the lifespan. Positive airway pressure (PAP treatment has demonstrated efficacy in treating OSA and has been shown to improve daytime functioning in adults, but treatment adherence can be problematic. There are nearly no published studies examining functional outcomes such as academic functioning in adolescents treated with PAP. This study was conducted as an initial step towards determining whether PAP treatment improves daytime functioning among adolescents with OSA.Self-reported academic grades, self- and parent-reported academic quality of life, and objectively-measured attention were assessed before and after PAP was clinically initiated in a sample of 13 obese adolescents with OSA, as well as 15 untreated obese Controls without OSA. Based on adherence data, the treated group was divided into PAP Users (n = 6 and Non-Adherent participants (n = 7.Though demographically similar, the three groups significantly differed in how their academic performance and attention scores changed from baseline to follow-up. Non-Adherent participants showed worsening functioning over time, while PAP Users showed stable or improved functioning, similar to controls.Although many adolescents prescribed PAP for OSA are non-adherent to the treatment, those who adhere to treatment can display improved attention and academic functioning.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Lysko, AA

    2012-09-01

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

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

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

    2007-09-15

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

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

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.

    2001-01-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. The Improvement of Screening the Significant Factors of Oil Blends as Bio lubricant Base Stock

    Noor Hajarul Ashikin Shamsuddin; Rozaini Abdullah; Zainab Hamzah; Siti Jamilah Hanim Mohd Yusof

    2015-01-01

    A new formulation bio lubricant base stock was developed by blending of waste cooking oil (WCO) with Jatropha curcas oil (JCO). The objective of this research is to evaluate significant factors contributing to the production of oil blends for bio lubricant application. The significant factors used in this study were oil ratio (WCO:JCO), agitation times (min) and agitation speed (rpm). The blended oil bio based lubricant was used to determine the saponification, acid, peroxide and iodine values. The experimental design used in this study was the 2 level-factorial design. In this experiment, it was found that the effect of oil ratio and interaction of oil ratio and agitation speed gave the most significant effect in oil blends as bio lubricant base stock. The highest ratio of oil blend 80 %:20 % WCO:JCO, with low agitation speed of 300 rpm and low agitation time of 30 minutes gave the optimum results. The acid, saponification, peroxide and iodine values obtained were 0.517±0.08 mg KOH/ g, 126.23±1.62 mg/ g, 7.5±2.0 m eq/ kg and 50.42±2.85 mg/ g respectively. A higher ratio of waste cooking oil blends was found to be favourable as bio lubricant base stock. (author)

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

    Matthew H. Savoie

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Van Zante, Dale

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-08-01

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

  14. Teaching leadership in trauma resuscitation: Immediate feedback from a real-time, competency-based evaluation tool shows long-term improvement in resident performance.

    Gregg, Shea C; Heffernan, Daithi S; Connolly, Michael D; Stephen, Andrew H; Leuckel, Stephanie N; Harrington, David T; Machan, Jason T; Adams, Charles A; Cioffi, William G

    2016-10-01

    Limited data exist on how to develop resident leadership and communication skills during actual trauma resuscitations. An evaluation tool was developed to grade senior resident performance as the team leader during full-trauma-team activations. Thirty actions that demonstrated the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies were graded on a Likert scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (exceptional). These actions were grouped by their respective core competencies on 5 × 7-inch index cards. In Phase 1, baseline performance scores were obtained. In Phase 2, trauma-focused communication in-services were conducted early in the academic year, and immediate, personalized feedback sessions were performed after resuscitations based on the evaluation tool. In Phase 3, residents received only evaluation-based feedback following resuscitations. In Phase 1 (October 2009 to April 2010), 27 evaluations were performed on 10 residents. In Phase 2 (April 2010 to October 2010), 28 evaluations were performed on nine residents. In Phase 3 (October 2010 to January 2012), 44 evaluations were performed on 13 residents. Total scores improved significantly between Phases 1 and 2 (p = 0.003) and remained elevated throughout Phase 3. When analyzing performance by competency, significant improvement between Phases 1 and 2 (p competencies (patient care, knowledge, system-based practice, practice-based learning) with the exception of "communication and professionalism" (p = 0.56). Statistically similar scores were observed between Phases 2 and 3 in all competencies with the exception of "medical knowledge," which showed ongoing significant improvement (p = 0.003). Directed resident feedback sessions utilizing data from a real-time, competency-based evaluation tool have allowed us to improve our residents' abilities to lead trauma resuscitations over a 30-month period. Given pressures to maximize clinical educational opportunities among work-hour constraints, such a model may help

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

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Progressive degradation of alloy 690 and the development of a significant improvement in alloy 800CR

    Staehle, Roger W.; Arioka, Koji; Tapping, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The present most widely used alloys for tubing in steam generators and structural materials in water cooled reactors are Alloy 690 and Alloy 800. However, both alloys, while improved over Alloy 600 may not meet the needs of longer range applications in the range of 80-100 years. Alloy 690 sustains damage resulting from the formation of cavities at grain boundaries which eventually cover about 50% of the area of the grain boundaries with the remainder covering being covered with carbides. The cavities seem to nucleate on the carbides leaving the grain boundaries a structure of cavities and carbides. Such a structure will lead the Alloy 690 to fail completely. Normal Alloy 800 does not produce such cavities and probably retains a large amount of its corrosion resistance but does sustain progressive SCC at low rate. A new alloy, 800CR, has been developed in a collaboration among Arioka, Tapping, and Staehle. This alloy is based on a Cr composition of 23.5-27% with the remainder retaining the previous Alloy 800 composition. 800CR sustains a crack velocity about 100 times less than Alloy 690 and a negligible rate of initiation. The 800CR, alloy is now seeking a patent. (authors)

  17. Significant improvements of electrical discharge machining performance by step-by-step updated adaptive control laws

    Zhou, Ming; Wu, Jianyang; Xu, Xiaoyi; Mu, Xin; Dou, Yunping

    2018-02-01

    In order to obtain improved electrical discharge machining (EDM) performance, we have dedicated more than a decade to correcting one essential EDM defect, the weak stability of the machining, by developing adaptive control systems. The instabilities of machining are mainly caused by complicated disturbances in discharging. To counteract the effects from the disturbances on machining, we theoretically developed three control laws from minimum variance (MV) control law to minimum variance and pole placements coupled (MVPPC) control law and then to a two-step-ahead prediction (TP) control law. Based on real-time estimation of EDM process model parameters and measured ratio of arcing pulses which is also called gap state, electrode discharging cycle was directly and adaptively tuned so that a stable machining could be achieved. To this end, we not only theoretically provide three proved control laws for a developed EDM adaptive control system, but also practically proved the TP control law to be the best in dealing with machining instability and machining efficiency though the MVPPC control law provided much better EDM performance than the MV control law. It was also shown that the TP control law also provided a burn free machining.

  18. Show and Tell: Video Modeling and Instruction Without Feedback Improves Performance but Is Not Sufficient for Retention of a Complex Voice Motor Skill.

    Look, Clarisse; McCabe, Patricia; Heard, Robert; Madill, Catherine J

    2018-02-02

    Modeling and instruction are frequent components of both traditional and technology-assisted voice therapy. This study investigated the value of video modeling and instruction in the early acquisition and short-term retention of a complex voice task without external feedback. Thirty participants were randomized to two conditions and trained to produce a vocal siren over 40 trials. One group received a model and verbal instructions, the other group received a model only. Sirens were analyzed for phonation time, vocal intensity, cepstral peak prominence, peak-to-peak time, and root-mean-square error at five time points. The model and instruction group showed significant improvement on more outcome measures than the model-only group. There was an interaction effect for vocal intensity, which showed that instructions facilitated greater improvement when they were first introduced. However, neither group reproduced the model's siren performance across all parameters or retained the skill 1 day later. Providing verbal instruction with a model appears more beneficial than providing a model only in the prepractice phase of acquiring a complex voice skill. Improved performance was observed; however, the higher level of performance was not retained after 40 trials in both conditions. Other prepractice variables may need to be considered. Findings have implications for traditional and technology-assisted voice therapy. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2013-02-15

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Deformable Hollow Periodic Mesoporous Organosilica Nanocapsules for Significantly Improved Cellular Uptake.

    Teng, Zhaogang; Wang, Chunyan; Tang, Yuxia; Li, Wei; Bao, Lei; Zhang, Xuehua; Su, Xiaodan; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, Junjie; Wang, Shouju; Zhao, Dongyuan; Lu, Guangming

    2018-01-31

    Mesoporous solids have been widely used in various biomedical areas such as drug delivery and tumor therapy. Although deformability has been recognized as a prime important characteristic influencing cellular uptake, the synthesis of deformable mesoporous solids is still a great challenge. Herein, deformable thioether-, benzene-, and ethane-bridged hollow periodic mesoporous organosilica (HPMO) nanocapsules have successfully been synthesized for the first time by a preferential etching approach. The prepared HPMO nanocapsules possess uniform diameters (240-310 nm), high surface areas (up to 878 m 2 ·g -1 ), well-defined mesopores (2.6-3.2 nm), and large pore volumes (0.33-0.75 m 3 ·g -1 ). Most importantly, the HPMO nanocapsules simultaneously have large hollow cavities (164-270 nm), thin shell thicknesses (20-38 nm), and abundant organic moiety in the shells, which endow a lower Young's modulus (E Y ) of 3.95 MPa than that of solid PMO nanoparticles (251 MPa). The HPMOs with low E Y are intrinsically flexible and deformable in the solution, which has been well-characterized by liquid cell electron microscopy. More interestingly, it is found that the deformable HPMOs can easily enter into human breast cancer MCF-7 cells via a spherical-to-oval morphology change, resulting in a 26-fold enhancement in cellular uptake (43.1% cells internalized with nanocapsules versus 1.65% cells with solid counterparts). The deformable HPMO nanocapsules were further loaded with anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX), which shows high killing effects for MCF-7 cells, demonstrating the promise for biomedical applications.

  5. N-Acylated and d Enantiomer Derivatives of a Nonamer Core Peptide of Lactoferricin B Showing Improved Antimicrobial Activity

    Wakabayashi, Hiroyuki; Matsumoto, Hiroshi; Hashimoto, Koichi; Teraguchi, Susumu; Takase, Mitsunori; Hayasawa, Hirotoshi

    1999-01-01

    N-acylated or d enantiomer peptide derivatives based on the sequence RRWQWRMKK in lactoferricin B demonstrated antimicrobial activities greater than those of lactoferricin B against bacteria and fungi. The most potent peptide, conjugated with an 11-carbon-chain acyl group, showed two to eight times lower MIC than lactoferricin B.

  6. N-Acylated and D enantiomer derivatives of a nonamer core peptide of lactoferricin B showing improved antimicrobial activity.

    Wakabayashi, H; Matsumoto, H; Hashimoto, K; Teraguchi, S; Takase, M; Hayasawa, H

    1999-05-01

    N-acylated or D enantiomer peptide derivatives based on the sequence RRWQWRMKK in lactoferricin B demonstrated antimicrobial activities greater than those of lactoferricin B against bacteria and fungi. The most potent peptide, conjugated with an 11-carbon-chain acyl group, showed two to eight times lower MIC than lactoferricin B.

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

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

    2014-10-20

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

  8. Endothelial Protein C–Targeting Liposomes Show Enhanced Uptake and Improved Therapeutic Efficacy in Human Retinal Endothelial Cells

    Arta, Anthoula; Eriksen, Anne Z.; Melander, Fredrik

    2018-01-01

    PURPOSE. To determine whether human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) express the endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR) and to realize its potential as a targeting moiety by developing novel single and dual corticosteroid–loaded functionalized liposomes that exhibit both enhanced uptake by H...... of cell tube formations in contrast to nontargeting liposomes. CONCLUSIONS. We show that HRECs express EPCR and this receptor could be a promising nanomedicine target in ocular diseases where the endothelial barrier of the retina is compromised....

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

    Lilian eCalderon-Garciduenas

    2013-08-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Population-based study shows improved postnatal growth in preterm very-low-birthweight infants between 1995 and 2010.

    Ofek Shlomai, Noa; Reichman, Brian; Lerner-Geva, Liat; Boyko, Valentina; Bar-Oz, Benjamin

    2014-05-01

    To assess whether the postnatal growth of preterm very-low-birthweight (VLBW) infants, as determined by measures of postnatal growth failure (PNGF), improved during the period 1995-2010 and to evaluate postnatal growth by gestational age (GA) and intrauterine growth groups. The study was based on the Israel national VLBW infant database and comprised 13 531 VLBW infants of 24-32 weeks' GA, discharged at a postmenstrual age of ≤40 weeks. Z-scores were determined for weight at birth and discharge. Severe and mild PNGF was defined as a decrease >2 and 1-2 z-scores, respectively. Three time periods were considered: 1995-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the independent effect of time period on PNGF. Severe PNGF decreased from 11.7% in 1995-2000 to 7.2% in 2001-2005 and 5.2% in 2006-2010. Infants born in 2006-2010 had sixfold lower odds for severe PNGF than babies born in 1995-2000 (adjusted odds ratio 0.17, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.21) and

  12. Amniotic fluid stem cells with low γ-interferon response showed behavioral improvement in Parkinsonism rat model.

    Yu-Jen Chang

    Full Text Available Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs are multipotent stem cells that may be used in transplantation medicine. In this study, AFSCs established from amniocentesis were characterized on the basis of surface marker expression and differentiation potential. To further investigate the properties of AFSCs for translational applications, we examined the cell surface expression of human leukocyte antigens (HLA of these cells and estimated the therapeutic effect of AFSCs in parkinsonian rats. The expression profiles of HLA-II and transcription factors were compared between AFSCs and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs following treatment with γ-IFN. We found that stimulation of AFSCs with γ-IFN prompted only a slight increase in the expression of HLA-Ia and HLA-E, and the rare HLA-II expression could also be observed in most AFSCs samples. Consequently, the expression of CIITA and RFX5 was weakly induced by γ-IFN stimulation of AFSCs compared to that of BMMSCs. In the transplantation test, Sprague Dawley rats with 6-hydroxydopamine lesioning of the substantia nigra were used as a parkinsonian-animal model. Following the negative γ-IFN response AFSCs injection, apomorphine-induced rotation was reduced by 75% in AFSCs engrafted parkinsonian rats but was increased by 53% in the control group after 12-weeks post-transplantation. The implanted AFSCs were viable, and were able to migrate into the brain's circuitry and express specific proteins of dopamine neurons, such as tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter. In conclusion, the relative insensitivity AFSCs to γ-IFN implies that AFSCs might have immune-tolerance in γ-IFN inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, the effective improvement of AFSCs transplantation for apomorphine-induced rotation paves the way for the clinical application in parkinsonian therapy.

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

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Shervin, Shahab

    2018-01-26

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

  16. Empty polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cages in anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) show slow radiographic fusion that reduces clinical improvement: results from the prospective multicenter "PIERCE-PEEK" study.

    Suess, Olaf; Schomaker, Martin; Cabraja, Mario; Danne, Marco; Kombos, Theodoros; Hanna, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a well-established surgical treatment for radiculopathy and myelopathy. Previous studies showed that empty PEEK cages have lower radiographic fusion rates, but the clinical relevance remains unclear. This paper's aim is to provide high-quality evidence on the outcomes of ACDF with empty PEEK cages and on the relevance of radiographic fusion for clinical outcomes. This large prospective multicenter clinical trial performed single-level ACDF with empty PEEK cages on patients with cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy. The main clinical outcomes were VAS (0-10) for pain and NDI (0-100) for functioning. Radiographic fusion was evaluated by two investigators for three different aspects. The median (range) improvement of the VAS pain score was: 3 (1-6) at 6 months, 3 (2-8) at 12 months, and 4 (2-8) at 18 months. The median (range) improvement of the NDI score was: 12 (2-34) at 6 months, 18 (4-46) at 12 months, and 22 (2-44) at 18 months. Complete radiographic fusion was reached by 126 patients (43%) at 6 months, 214 patients (73%) at 12 months, and 241 patients (83%) at 18 months. Radiographic fusion was a highly significant ( p  PEEK cages is slow and insufficient. Lack of complete radiographic fusion leads to less improvement of pain and disability. We recommend against using empty uncoated pure PEEK cages in ACDF. ISRCTN42774128. Retrospectively registered 14 April 2009.

  17. Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients in southern Ethiopia: significance of improved HIV-related care.

    Shimelis, Techalew; Tassachew, Yayehyirad; Lambiyo, Tariku

    2016-05-10

    Intestinal parasitic infections are known to cause gastroenteritis, leading to higher morbidity and mortality, particularly in people living with HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients receiving care at a hospital in Ethiopia where previous available baseline data helps assess if improved HIV-related care has reduced infection rates. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Hawassa University Hospital in southern Ethiopia from May, 2013 to March, 2014. A consecutive sample of 491 HIV- infected patients with diarrhea or a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasites. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University. Physicians managed participants found to be infected with any pathogenic intestinal parasite. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among the study population was 35.8 %. The most prevalent parasites were Cryptosporidium (13.2 %), followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (10.2 %), and Giardia lamblia (7.9 %). The rate of single and multiple infections were 25.5 and 10.3 %, respectively. Patients with a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasitic infection or cryptosporidiosis compared to those with counts ≥ 200 cells/μl, but with some type of diarrhea. The study shows high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the study population. However, the results in the current report are significantly lower compared to previous findings in the same hospital. The observed lower infection rate is encouraging and supports the need to strengthen and sustain the existing intervention measures in order to further reduce intestinal parasitic infections in people living with HIV/AIDS.

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

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

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

    2018-03-30

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Analyses adjusting for selective crossover show improved overall survival with adjuvant letrozole compared with tamoxifen in the BIG 1-98 study

    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...

  6. What do we miss? ASAS non-responders on anti-TNF therapy show improvement in performance-based physical function

    van Weely, S.F.E.; van Denderen, J.C.; Steultjens, M.P.M.; Nurmohamed, M.T.; Dijkmans, B.A.C.; Dekker, J.; van der Horst-Bruinsma, I.E.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: A prospective study was conducted in order to establish whether AS patients, who are defined as non-responders after 3 months of anti-TNF therapy, show improvement on performance-based tests of physical functioning. Methods: At baseline and 3 months after the start of anti-TNF therapy, AS

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-15

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

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

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Jian-Rong Wang

    2015-01-01

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

  13. [A 53-year-old man with herpes encephalitis showing acceleration of improvement in higher brain function after general anesthesia with sevoflurane: a case report].

    Togashi, Naohiko; Kaida, Kenichi; Hongo, Yu; Ogawa, Go; Ishikawa, Yukinobu; Takeda, Katsuhiko; Kamakura, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    We experienced a right-handed 53-year-old man who presented with disturbance of consciousness and fever. Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) was diagnosed based on the detection of herpes simplex virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid. The administration of acyclovir for 42 days improved his consciousness level. Drowsiness, fever and seizures reappeared 20 days after stopping acyclovir treatment (day 67) and he responded well to vidarabine and methylprednisolone pulse therapy. An assessment of aphasia on day 98 revealed transcortical sensory aphasia. Brain MRI showed lesion in the left temporal lobe, bilateral insular cortexes and bilateral frontal lobe. His higher brain dysfunction continued. On day 156, he underwent hip replacement arthroplasty under general anesthesia sevoflurane. His higher brain dysfunction rapidly improved thereafter. We concluded that the accelerated improvement in our patient's higher brain function was related to the protective effect of sevoflurane. Some reports also show the protective effects of sevoflurane in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis by inhibition of T cell activation. These protective and anti-inflammatory effects may explain the accelerated improvement in higher brain function after general anesthesia.

  14. A candidate gene study of serotonergic pathway genes and pain relief during treatment with escitalopram in patients with neuropathic pain shows significant association to serotonin receptor2C (HTR2C)

    Brasch-Andersen, Charlotte; Møller, Malik U; Christiansen, Lene

    2011-01-01

    the association between polymorphisms in genes involved in the serotonergic pathway and the effect of escitalopram on peripheral neuropathic pain. METHODS: We genotyped 34 participants from a placebo-controlled trial of escitalopram in peripheral neuropathic pain for polymorphisms in five genes: the serotonin.......047), with 75% carrying the C allele being responders. The same tendency was seen in women. Similarly, carriership of the C allele at rs6318 was associated with better pain relief during treatment with escitalopram [odds ratio (OR) 15.5, p = 0.014)] Furthermore, there was a tendency of better relief...... with increasing number of short alleles for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter (OR 5.7, p = 0.057). None of the other polymorphisms showed a significant association with treatment response to escitalopram. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that variation in the HTR2C gene is associated...

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

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

    2015-02-01

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

  16. Moderate running and plyometric training during off-season did not show a significant difference on soccer-related high-intensity performances compared with no-training controls.

    Nakamura, Daisuke; Suzuki, Tomohiro; Yasumatsu, Mikinobu; Akimoto, Takayuki

    2012-12-01

    Several investigators have reported the effects of reduced training and interrupted training on athletic performance, but few reports are available for soccer players. The purpose of this study was to examine, using the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 2 (YoYoIR2) test and sprint performance, the effects on soccer players of a reduced training program consisting of either moderate running training, plyometric training. After the completion of a competitive season, 29 male soccer players were divided into 3 groups: the running group (n = 13), the plyometric group (n = 11), and the control group (n = 5). Both training groups completed either running or plyometric training sessions 2 d·wk(-1) for 3 weeks, whereas the control group was not allowed to perform any training. The subjects performed YoYoIR2 and 20-m sprint tests before (pre) and after (post) the experimental period. Neither training group showed any significant training effects on the YoYoIR2 performance or 20-m sprint times compared with the control group. This study suggests that neither endurance running nor plyometric training 2 d·wk(-1) for 3 weeks has a significant effect on high-intensity performance compared with a nontraining regimen. However, our results do not support complete inactivity. These results may have important implications for the management of training cessation for a few weeks.

  17. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

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

    Simon D Angus

    -effecitive means of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

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

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  20. Different surgical strategies for chronic pancreatitis significantly improve long-term outcome: a comparative single center study

    Hildebrand P

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective In general, chronic pancreatitis (CP primarily requires conservative treatment. The chronic pain syndrome and complications make patients seek surgical advice, frequently after years of progression. In the past, surgical procedures involving drainage as well as resection have been employed successfully. The present study compared the different surgical strategies. Patients and Methods From March 2000 until April 2005, a total of 51 patients underwent surgical treatment for CP at the Department of surgery, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck. Out of those 51 patients, 39 (76.5% were operated according to the Frey procedure, and in 12 cases (23.5% the Whipple procedure was performed. Patient data were documented prospectively throughout the duration of the hospital stay. The evaluation of the postoperative pain score was carried out retrospectively with a validated questionnaire. Results Average operating time was 240 minutes for the Frey group and 411 minutes for the Whipple group. The medium number of blood transfusions was 1 in the Frey group and 4.5 in the Whipple group. Overall morbidity was 21% in the Frey group and 42% in the Whipple group. 30-day mortality was zero for all patients. During the median follow-up period of 50 months, an improvement in pain score was observed in 93% of the patients of the Frey group and 67% of the patients treated according to the Whipple procedure. Conclusion The results show that both the Frey procedure as well as partial pancreaticoduodenectomy are capable of improving chronic pain symptoms in CP. As far as later endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is concerned, however, the extended drainage operation according to Frey proves to be advantageous compared to the traditional resection procedure by Whipple. Accordingly, the Frey procedure provides us with an organ-preserving surgical procedure which treats the complications of CP sufficiently, thus being an

  1. A Case of Plummer-Vinson Syndrome Showing Rapid Improvement of Dysphagia and Esophageal Web after Two Weeks of Iron Therapy

    Tomomitsu Tahara

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS is a rare entity characterized by upper esophageal webs and iron deficiency anemia. We report a case of PVS whose esophageal web was rapidly improved by iron therapy. A 77-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with complaints of dysphagia, vomiting, shortness of breath and weight loss for 1 month. Physical examination revealed conjunctival pallor, koilonychia, angular cheilitis and smooth tongue, and laboratory findings were consistent with microcytic hypochromic anemia with iron deficiency. Gastrointestinal endoscopy and barium-swallow esophagography detected a web that prevented passage of the endoscope into the upper portion of the esophagus. The patient received oral iron therapy daily; the hemoglobin concentration rose to 8.9 g/dl and the complaints of dysphagia were dramatically improved after 2 weeks, with improvement of luminal stenosis confirmed by gastrointestinal endoscopy and barium-swallow esophagography. The PVS described in this report had a distinct clinical course, showing very rapid improvement of dysphagia and esophageal web after 2 weeks of oral iron therapy.

  2. A patient with Cotard syndrome who showed an improvement in single photon emission computed tomography findings after successful treatment with antidepressants.

    Hashioka, Sadayuki; Monji, Akira; Sasaki, Masayuki; Yoshida, Ichiro; Baba, Kanji; Tashiro, Nobutada

    2002-01-01

    We report the case of a presenile woman with Cotard syndrome, in the context of major depression, who showed an improvement in bilateral frontal hypoperfusion in a SPECT study using 99mTc-HMPAO after undergoing successful treatment with antidepressant therapy. We also retrospectively evaluated her clinical course based on the clinical stages. The symptoms of Cotard syndrome have been reported to change dramatically according to the stages. This peculiarity made it difficult for us to rapidly diagnose Cotard syndrome in the context of major depression, and not dementia, and thereby adequately treat the patient in our case. Differences in the reduced blood flow regions and a time lag from psychiatric remission were observed before the improvement in the SPECT findings when comparing our case with a previously reported case of Cotard syndrome. These differences suggest that the mechanism of Cotard syndrome is still not well understood at the present time.

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

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-10

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Investigation of productivity in a south Indian Malabari goat herd shows opportunities for planned animal health management to improve food security.

    Sargison, N D; Ivil, S A J; Abraham, J; Abubaker, S P S; Hopker, A M; Mazeri, S; Otter, I A; Otter, N

    2017-03-18

    Here the authors report the objective veterinary clinical measurement of productivity in a representative south Indian Malabari goat herd. The authors show failure to meet pragmatic production targets that are commensurate with the animals' genetic potential or adequate to meet the demands of global food security. The authors suggest that this situation may have arisen as a consequence of animal husbandry constraints and protein undernutrition and imply the involvement of nematode parasitism. Benzimidazole resistance was detected in Haemonchus species, showing the need for better understanding of the principles of sustainable helminth parasite control within the southern Indian context. This study highlights the need to understand the true costs of goat production in seasonally resource-poor environments, while also considering its impact on the overall ecosystem in which the animals are placed. They conclude that pragmatic opportunities for improvements in goat production efficiency lie in the development of problem-focused planned animal health and nutrition management. British Veterinary Association.

  7. Extended-release niacin/laropiprant significantly improves lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus irrespective of baseline glycemic control

    Bays HE

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Harold E Bays,1 Eliot A Brinton,2 Joseph Triscari,3 Erluo Chen,3 Darbie Maccubbin,3 Alexandra A MacLean,3 Kendra L Gibson,3 Rae Ann Ruck,3 Amy O Johnson-Levonas,3 Edward A O’Neill,3 Yale B Mitchel3 1Louisville Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center (L-MARC, Louisville, KY, USA; 2Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 3Merck & Co, Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA Background: The degree of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM may alter lipid levels and may alter the efficacy of lipid-modifying agents. Objective: Evaluate the lipid-modifying efficacy of extended-release niacin/laropiprant (ERN/LRPT in subgroups of patients with T2DM with better or poorer glycemic control. Methods: Post hoc analysis of clinical trial data from patients with T2DM who were randomized 4:3 to double-blind ERN/LRPT or placebo (n=796, examining the lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT in patients with glycosylated hemoglobin or fasting plasma glucose levels above and below median baseline levels. Results: At Week 12 of treatment, ERN/LRPT significantly improved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein (a, compared with placebo, with equal efficacy in patients above or below median baseline glycemic control. Compared with placebo, over 36 weeks of treatment more patients treated with ERN/LRPT had worsening of their diabetes and required intensification of antihyperglycemic medication, irrespective of baseline glycemic control. Incidences of other adverse experiences were generally low in all treatment groups. Conclusion: The lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT are independent of the degree of baseline glycemic control in patients with T2DM (NCT00485758. Keywords: lipid-modifying agents, hyperglycemia, LDL, HDL, triglycerides

  8. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Amphoteric Ion-Exchange Membranes with Significantly Improved Vanadium Barrier Properties for All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.

    Nibel, Olga; Rojek, Tomasz; Schmidt, Thomas J; Gubler, Lorenz

    2017-07-10

    All-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) have attracted considerable interest as promising energy-storage devices that can allow the efficient utilization of renewable energy sources. The membrane, which separates the porous electrodes in a redox flow cell, is one of the key components in VRBs. High rates of crossover of vanadium ions and water through the membrane impair the efficiency and capacity of a VRB. Thus, membranes with low permeation rate of vanadium species and water are required, also characterized by low resistance and stability in the VRB environment. Here, we present a new design concept for amphoteric ion-exchange membranes, based on radiation-induced grafting of vinylpyridine into an ethylene tetrafluoroethylene base film and a two-step functionalization to introduce cationic and anionic exchange sites, respectively. During long-term cycling, redox flow cells containing these membranes showed higher efficiency, less pronounced electrolyte imbalance, and significantly reduced capacity decay compared to the cells with the benchmark material Nafion 117. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Bettina Boerner

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

  11. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

    Kaindoa, Emmanuel W; Matowo, Nancy S; Ngowo, Halfan S; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

  12. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania

    Matowo, Nancy S.; Ngowo, Halfan S.; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O.

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania. PMID:28542335

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

    Nishimura Sumiko

    2011-03-01

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

  14. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

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

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in evergreen coniferous forests and its significance in carbon and water fluxes modeling

    Wang, R.; Chen, J. M.; Luo, X.

    2016-12-01

    Modeling of carbon and water fluxes at the continental and global scales requires remotely sensed LAI as inputs. For evergreen coniferous forests (ENF), severely underestimated winter LAI has been one of the issues for mostly available remote sensing products, which could cause negative bias in the modeling of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Unlike deciduous trees which shed all the leaves in winter, conifers retains part of their needles and the proportion of the retained needles depends on the needle longevity. In this work, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) was used to model GPP and ET at eight FLUXNET Canada ENF sites. Two sets of LAI were used as the model inputs: the 250m 10-day University of Toronto (U of T) LAI product Version 2 and the corrected LAI based on the U of T LAI product and the needle longevity of the corresponding tree species at individual sites. Validating model daily GPP (gC/m2) against site measurements, the mean RMSE over eight sites decreases from 1.85 to 1.15, and the bias changes from -0.99 to -0.19. For daily ET (mm), mean RMSE decreases from 0.63 to 0.33, and the bias changes from -0.31 to -0.16. Most of the improvements occur in the beginning and at the end of the growing season when there is large correction of LAI and meanwhile temperature is still suitable for photosynthesis and transpiration. For the dormant season, the improvement in ET simulation mostly comes from the increased interception of precipitation brought by the elevated LAI during that time. The results indicate that model performance can be improved by the application the corrected LAI. Improving the winter RS LAI can make a large impact on land surface carbon and energy budget.

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

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

    2017-09-16

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

  18. The patient's safety - For a dynamics of improvement. Nr 3. How to analyze your significant radiation protection events?

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this publication is to present event analysis methods which are the most frequently used by radiotherapy departments. After an indication of key figures concerning radiotherapy patients, sessions and events, the document indicates the objectives and steps of an event analysis. It presents various analysis methods: Ishikawa diagram (or 5M method or causes-effects diagram), the cause tree, the ALARM method (association of litigation and risk management), the ORION method. It proposes a comparison between these five methods, their possibilities, their limits. Good practices are outlined in terms of data acquisition, method choice, event analysis, and improvement actions. The use of the cause tree analysis is commented by members of the Limoges hospital radiotherapy department, and that of the Ishikawa method by a member of the Beauvais hospital

  19. Significant improvement of bone mineral density by denosumab treatment in Japanese osteoporotic patients following breast cancer treatment

    Nakamura Y

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Yukio Nakamura,1,2 Mikio Kamimura,3 Akio Morikawa,4 Akira Taguchi,5 Takako Suzuki,1 Hiroyuki Kato1 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 3Center for Osteoporosis and Spinal Disorders, Kamimura Orthopaedic Clinic, Matsumoto, 4Department of Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University, Shiojiri, Japan Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of denosumab in patients with osteoporosis (OP and non-metastatic breast cancer following treatment of 1 surgery, 2 surgery and aromatase inhibitors, and 3 surgery, aromatase inhibitors, and anti-cancer agents, compared with those in primary OP patients. Patients and methods: In this retrospective 24-month study, patients were divided into the primary OP group (34 cases or OP receiving breast cancer treatment group (breast cancer group; 17 cases. We measured serum calcium, whole parathyroid hormone (PTH, 1,25OH2D3, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRACP-5b, and bone mineral density (BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral total hips (H-BMD for 24 months. Results: The percent changes of serum calcium in the breast cancer group were significantly lower than those in the primary OP group at 1 week, 1 and 12 months. The percent changes of whole PTH in the primary OP group were significantly lower than those in the breast cancer group at 2 and 4 months. Significant differences were found between the groups at 18 months (-34.5% in the primary OP group and -52.6% in the breast cancer group, respectively for the percent changes of BAP. Significant differences were found between the groups at 12, 18, and 24 months (-39.7% in the primary OP group and -64.0% in the breast cancer group at 24 months, respectively for the percent

  20. Physiological investigation of C4-phosphoenolpyruvate-carboxylase-introduced rice line shows that sucrose metabolism is involved in the improved drought tolerance.

    Zhang, Chen; Li, Xia; He, Yafei; Zhang, Jinfei; Yan, Ting; Liu, Xiaolong

    2017-06-01

    We compared the drought tolerance of wild-type (WT) and transgenic rice plants (PC) over-expressing the maize C 4 PEPC gene, which encodes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC, EC 4.1.1.31) gene, and evaluated the roles of saccharide and sugar-related enzymes in the drought response. Pot-grown seedlings were subjected to real drought conditions outdoors, and the yield components were compared between PC and untransformed wild-type (WT) plants. The stable yield from PC plants was associated with higher net photosynthetic rate under the real drought treatment. The physiological characters of WT and PC seedlings under a simulated drought treatment (25% (w/v) polyethylene glycol-6000 for 3 h; PEG 6000 treatment) were analyzed in detail for the early response of drought. The relative water content was higher in PC than in WT, and PEPC activity and the C 4 -PEPC transcript level in PC were elevated under the simulated drought conditions. The endogenous saccharide responses also differed between PC and WT under simulated drought stress. The higher sugar decomposition rate in PC than in WT under drought analog stress was related to the increased activities of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase, acid invertase, and neutral invertase, increased transcript levels of VIN1, CIN1, NIN1, SUT2, SUT4, and SUT5, and increased activities of superoxide dismutase and peroxidase in the leaves. The greater antioxidant defense capacity of PC and its relationship with saccharide metabolism was one of the reasons for the improved drought tolerance. In conclusion, PEPC effectively alleviated oxidative damage and enhanced the drought tolerance in rice plants, which were more related to the increase of the endogenous saccharide decomposition. These findings show that components of C 4 photosynthesis can be used to increase the yield of rice under drought conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. A wild 'albino' bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L. from Slovenia shows three bottlenecks in the anthocyanin pathway and significant differences in the expression of several regulatory genes compared to the common blue berry type.

    Zala Zorenc

    Full Text Available Relative expressions of structural genes and a number of transcription factors of the anthocyanin pathway relevant in Vaccinium species, and related key enzyme activities were compared with the composition and content of metabolites in skins of ripe fruits of wild albino and blue bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus found in Slovenia. Compared to the common blue type, the albino variant had a 151-fold lower total anthocyanin and a 7-fold lower total phenolic content in their berry skin, which correlated with lower gene expression of flavonoid 3-O-glycosyltransferase (FGT; 33-fold, flavanone 3-hydroxylase (FHT; 18-fold, anthocyanidin synthase (ANS; 11-fold, chalcone synthase (CHS, 7.6-fold and MYBPA1 transcription factor (22-fold. The expression of chalcone isomerase (CHI, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR, leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR, anthocyanidin reductase (ANR and MYBC2 transcription factor was reduced only by a factor of 1.5-2 in the albino berry skins, while MYBR3 and flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H were increased to a similar extent. Expression of the SQUAMOSA class transcription factor TDR4, in contrast, was independent of the color type and does therefore not seem to be correlated with anthocyanin formation in this variant. At the level of enzymes, significantly lower FHT and DFR activities, but not of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL and CHS/CHI, were observed in the fruit skins of albino bilberries. A strong increase in relative hydroxycinnamic acid derivative concentrations indicates the presence of an additional bottleneck in the general phenylpropanoid pathway at a so far unknown step between PAL and CHS.

  2. Significant Improvement Selected Mediators of Inflammation in Phenotypes of Women with PCOS after Reduction and Low GI Diet

    Małgorzata Szczuko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Many researchers suggest an increased risk of atherosclerosis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In the available literature, there are no studies on the mediators of inflammation in women with PCOS, especially after dietary intervention. Eicosanoids (HETE and HODE were compared between the biochemical phenotypes of women with PCOS (normal and high androgens and after the 3-month reduction diet. Eicosanoid profiles (9(S-HODE, 13(S-HODE, 5(S-HETE, 12(S-HETE, 15(S-HETE, 5(S-oxoETE, 16(R-HETE, 16(S-HETE and 5(S, 6(R-lipoxin A4, 5(S, 6(R, 15(R-lipoxin A4 were extracted from 0.5 ml of plasma using solid-phase extraction RP-18 SPE columns. The HPLC separations were performed on a 1260 liquid chromatograph. No significant differences were found in the concentration of analysed eicosanoids in phenotypes of women with PCOS. These women, however, have significantly lower concentration of inflammatory mediators than potentially healthy women from the control group. Dietary intervention leads to a significant (p<0.01 increase in the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators, reaching similar levels as in the control group. The development of inflammatory reaction in both phenotypes of women with PCOS is similar. The pathways for synthesis of proinflammatory mediators in women with PCOS are dormant, but can be stimulated through a reduction diet. Three-month period of lifestyle change may be too short to stimulate the pathways inhibiting inflammatory process.

  3. A case report of motor neuron disease in a patient showing significant level of DDTs, HCHs and organophosphate metabolites in hair as well as levels of hexane and toluene in blood

    Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tzatzarakis, Manolis N.; Mastorodemos, Vasileios; Plaitakis, Andreas; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M.

    2011-01-01

    Motor neuron disease is a devastating neurodegenerative condition, with the majority of sporadic, non-familial cases being of unknown etiology. Several epidemiological studies have suggested that occupational exposure to chemicals may be associated with disease pathogenesis. We report the case of a patient developing progressive motor neuron disease, who was chronically exposed to pesticides and organic solvents. The patient presented with leg spasticity and developed gradually clinical signs suggestive of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which was supported by the neurophysiologic and radiological findings. Our report is an evidence based case of combined exposure to organochlorine (DDTs), organophosphate pesticides (OPs) and organic solvents as confirmed by laboratory analysis in samples of blood and hair confirming systematic exposure. The concentration of non-specific dialkylphosphates metabolites (DAPs) of OPs in hair (dimethyphopshate (DMP) 1289.4 pg/mg and diethylphosphate (DEP) 709.4 pg/mg) and of DDTs (opDDE 484.0 pg/mg, ppDDE 526.6 pg/mg, opDDD 448.4 pg/mg, ppDDD + opDDT 259.9 pg/mg and ppDDT 573.7 pg/mg) were considerably significant. Toluene and n-hexane were also detected in blood on admission at hospital and quantified (1.23 and 0.87 μg/l, respectively), while 3 months after hospitalization blood testing was found negative for toluene and n-hexane and hair analysis was provided decrease levels of HCHs, DDTs and DAPs. -- Highlights: ► Exposure to pesticides and organic solvents might be a risk factor for sporadic MND. ► We report a patient who developed progressive upper and lower motor neuron disease. ► The patient had a history of occupational exposure to pesticides and solvents. ► High DDTs’ levels and increased levels of DMP and DEP were measured in his hair. ► The patients’ exposure to chemicals might have played a role in MND development.

  4. A case report of motor neuron disease in a patient showing significant level of DDTs, HCHs and organophosphate metabolites in hair as well as levels of hexane and toluene in blood

    Kanavouras, Konstantinos [Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Tzatzarakis, Manolis N. [Center of Toxicology Science and Research, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Mastorodemos, Vasileios; Plaitakis, Andreas [Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Tsatsakis, Aristidis M., E-mail: aris@med.uoc.gr [Center of Toxicology Science and Research, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete (Greece)

    2011-11-15

    Motor neuron disease is a devastating neurodegenerative condition, with the majority of sporadic, non-familial cases being of unknown etiology. Several epidemiological studies have suggested that occupational exposure to chemicals may be associated with disease pathogenesis. We report the case of a patient developing progressive motor neuron disease, who was chronically exposed to pesticides and organic solvents. The patient presented with leg spasticity and developed gradually clinical signs suggestive of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which was supported by the neurophysiologic and radiological findings. Our report is an evidence based case of combined exposure to organochlorine (DDTs), organophosphate pesticides (OPs) and organic solvents as confirmed by laboratory analysis in samples of blood and hair confirming systematic exposure. The concentration of non-specific dialkylphosphates metabolites (DAPs) of OPs in hair (dimethyphopshate (DMP) 1289.4 pg/mg and diethylphosphate (DEP) 709.4 pg/mg) and of DDTs (opDDE 484.0 pg/mg, ppDDE 526.6 pg/mg, opDDD 448.4 pg/mg, ppDDD + opDDT 259.9 pg/mg and ppDDT 573.7 pg/mg) were considerably significant. Toluene and n-hexane were also detected in blood on admission at hospital and quantified (1.23 and 0.87 {mu}g/l, respectively), while 3 months after hospitalization blood testing was found negative for toluene and n-hexane and hair analysis was provided decrease levels of HCHs, DDTs and DAPs. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Exposure to pesticides and organic solvents might be a risk factor for sporadic MND. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We report a patient who developed progressive upper and lower motor neuron disease. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The patient had a history of occupational exposure to pesticides and solvents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer High DDTs' levels and increased levels of DMP and DEP were measured in his hair. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The patients' exposure to chemicals might

  5. A study to determine whether targeted education significantly improves the perception of human torture in medical students in India.

    Husain, Munawwar; Ghaffar, Usama B; Usmani, Jawed Ahmad; Rivzi, Shameem Jahan

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to find out the knowledge of torture in MBBS students. A fair comparison was done by selecting two groups of medical students; one, to whom torture was not taught ie, pretaught group (PrTG, n = 125), and second, to whom torture was taught in classroom ie, post-taught group (PoTG, n = 110) in more than one sessions. The topic on torture was taught under many headings maximising the effort to cover as much as possible; namely, definition, geographical distribution, types of torture (physical, psychological and sexual), post-torture sequelae, sociopolitical environment prevailing in the country, doctors' involvement in torture, rehabilitation of torture victims and the UNO's role in containment of torture. In all a questionnaire was designed having MCQ types on these aspects. It was found that significant level of difference in perception and knowledge about torture existed amongst the groups, and this was further accentuated in medical and non-medical intratopics. 'P' value of each question was computed separately. It was found that the study was statistically significant and reestablished the need of fortifying the gossameric firmament of education specific to torture.

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

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-07-15

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Towards an improved prediction of the free radical scavenging potency of flavonoids: the significance of double PCET mechanisms.

    Amić, Ana; Marković, Zoran; Dimitrić Marković, Jasmina M; Stepanić, Višnja; Lučić, Bono; Amić, Dragan

    2014-01-01

    The 1H(+)/1e(-) and 2H(+)/2e(-) proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes of free radical scavenging by flavonoids were theoretically studied for aqueous and lipid environments using the PM6 and PM7 methods. The results reported here indicate that the significant contribution of the second PCET mechanism, resulting in the formation of a quinone/quinone methide, effectively discriminates the active from inactive flavonoids. The predictive potency of descriptors related to the energetics of second PCET mechanisms (the second O-H bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE2) related to hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism, and the second electron transfer enthalpy (ETE2) related to sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) mechanism) are superior to the currently used indices, which are related to the first 1H(+)/1e(-) processes, and could serve as primary descriptors in development of the QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) of flavonoids. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Combined use of serum MCP-1/IL-10 ratio and uterine artery Doppler index significantly improves the prediction of preeclampsia.

    Cui, Shihong; Gao, Yanan; Zhang, Linlin; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Lindong; Liu, Pingping; Liu, Ling; Chen, Juan

    2017-10-01

    Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1, or CCL2) is a member of the chemokine subfamily involved in recruitment of monocytes in inflammatory tissues. IL-10 is a key regulator for maintaining the balance of anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory milieu at the feto-maternal interface. Doppler examination has been routinely performed for the monitoring and management of preeclampsia patients. This study evaluates the efficiency of these factors alone, or in combination, for the predication of preeclampsia. The serum levels of MCP-1 and IL-10 in 78 preeclampsia patients and 143 age-matched normal controls were measured. The Doppler ultrasonography was performed and Artery Pulsatility Index (PI) and Resistance Index (RI) were calculated for the same subjects. It was found that while the second-trimester serum MCP-1, IL-10, MCP-1/IL-10 ratio, PI, and RI showed some power in predicting preeclampsia, the combination of MCP-1/IL-10 and PI and RI accomplishes the highest efficiency, achieving an AUC of 0.973 (95% CI, 0.000-1.000, Ppreeclampsia. Future studies using a larger sample can be conducted to construct an algorithm capable of quantitative assessment on the risk of preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  12. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection.

    Sanne Terryn

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate, when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield.

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-11-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1-T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20-30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  15. Marrying Step Feed with Secondary Clarifier Improvements to Significantly Increase Peak Wet Weather Treatment Capacity: An Integrated Methodology.

    Daigger, Glen T; Siczka, John S; Smith, Thomas F; Frank, David A; McCorquodale, J A

    2017-08-01

      The need to increase the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of the City of Akron, Ohio, Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) provided the opportunity to test an integrated methodology for maximizing the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of activated sludge systems. An initial investigation, consisting of process modeling of the secondary treatment system and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of the existing relatively shallow secondary clarifiers (3.3 and 3.7 m sidewater depth in 30.5 m diameter units), indicated that a significant increase in capacity from 416 000 to 684 000 m3/d or more was possible by adding step feed capabilities to the existing bioreactors and upgrading the existing secondary clarifiers. One of the six treatment units at the WRF was modified, and an extensive 2-year testing program was conducted to determine the total peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity achievable. The results demonstrated that a peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity approaching 974 000 m3/d is possible as long as secondary clarifier solids and hydraulic loadings could be separately controlled using the step feed capability provided. Excellent sludge settling characteristics are routinely experienced at the City of Akron WRF, raising concerns that the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity could not be maintained should sludge settling characteristics deteriorate for some reason. Computational fluid dynamics analysis indicated that the impact of the deterioration of sludge settling characteristics could be mitigated and the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity maintained by further use of the step feed capability provided to further reduce secondary clarifier solids loading rates at the identified high surface overflow rates. The results also demonstrated that effluent limits not only for total suspended solids (TSS) and five-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD5) could be

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

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Prospective trial of angiography and embolization for all grade III to V blunt splenic injuries: nonoperative management success rate is significantly improved.

    Miller, Preston R; Chang, Michael C; Hoth, J Jason; Mowery, Nathan T; Hildreth, Amy N; Martin, R Shayn; Holmes, James H; Meredith, J Wayne; Requarth, Jay A

    2014-04-01

    Nonoperative management (NOM) of blunt splenic injury is well accepted. Substantial failure rates in higher injury grades remain common, with one large study reporting rates of 19.6%, 33.3%, and 75% for grades III, IV, and V, respectively. Retrospective data show angiography and embolization can increase salvage rates in these severe injuries. We developed a protocol requiring referral of all blunt splenic injuries, grades III to V, without indication for immediate operation for angiography and embolization. We hypothesized that angiography and embolization of high-grade blunt splenic injury would reduce NOM failure rates in this population. This was a prospective study at our Level I trauma center as part of a performance-improvement project. Demographics, injury characteristics, and outcomes were compared with historic controls. The protocol required all stable patients with grade III to V splenic injuries be referred for angiography and embolization. In historic controls, referral was based on surgeon preference. From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, there were 168 patients with grades III to V spleen injuries admitted; NOM was undertaken in 113 (67%) patients. The protocol was followed in 97 patients, with a failure rate of 5%. Failure rate in the 16 protocol deviations was 25% (p = 0.02). Historic controls from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009 were compared with the protocol group. One hundred and fifty-three patients with grade III to V injuries were admitted during this period, 80 (52%) patients underwent attempted NOM. Failure rate was significantly higher than for the protocol group (15%, p = 0.04). Use of a protocol requiring angiography and embolization for all high-grade spleen injuries slated for NOM leads to a significantly decreased failure rate. We recommend angiography and embolization as an adjunct to NOM for all grade III to V splenic injuries. Copyright © 2014 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Storytelling Slide Shows to Improve Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Knowledge and Self-Efficacy: Three-Year Results among Community Dwelling Older African Americans

    Bertera, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    This study combined the African American tradition of oral storytelling with the Hispanic medium of "Fotonovelas." A staggered pretest posttest control group design was used to evaluate four Storytelling Slide Shows on health that featured community members. A total of 212 participants were recruited for the intervention and 217 for the…

  19. Phase 1 trial of vamorolone, a first-in-class steroid, shows improvements in side effects via biomarkers bridged to clinical outcomes.

    Hoffman, Eric P; Riddle, Valerie; Siegler, Maxime A; Dickerson, Daniel; Backonja, Miroslav; Kramer, William G; Nagaraju, Kanneboyina; Gordish-Dressman, Heather; Damsker, Jesse M; McCall, John M

    2018-06-01

    Glucocorticoid drugs are highly effective anti-inflammatory agents, but chronic use is associated with extensive pharmacodynamic safety concerns that have a considerable negative impact on patient quality of life. Vamorolone (VBP15) is a first-in-class steroidal multi-functional drug that shows potent inhibition of pro-inflammatory NFkB pathways via high-affinity binding to the glucocorticoid receptor, high affinity antagonism for the mineralocorticoid receptor, and membrane stabilization properties. Pre-clinical data in multiple mouse models of inflammation showed retention of anti-inflammatory efficacy, but loss of most or all side effects. We report first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trials (86 healthy adult males), with single ascending doses (0.1-20.0 mg/kg), and multiple ascending doses (1.0-20 mg/kg/day; 14 days treatment). Vamorolone was well-tolerated at all dose levels. Vamorolone showed pharmacokinetic and metabolism profiles similar to prednisone. Biomarker studies showed loss of side effects of traditional glucocorticoid drugs (bone fragility, metabolic disturbance, immune suppression). Suppression of the adrenal axis was 10-fold less than prednisone. The crystallographic structure of vamorolone was solved, and compared to prednisone and dexamethasone. There was overlap in structure, but differences in conformation at the C-ring where glucocorticoids interact with Asn564 of the glucocorticoid receptor. The predicted loss of Asn564 binding to vamorolone may underlie the loss of gene transcriptional activity. Vamorolone is a dissociative steroid that retains high affinity binding and nuclear translocation of both glucocorticoid (agonist) and mineralocorticoid (antagonist) receptors, but does not show pharmacodynamic safety concerns of existing glucocorticoid drugs at up to 20 mg/kg/day. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A 70-year-old male with peripheral neuropathy, ataxia and antigliadin antibodies shows improvement in neuropathy, but not ataxia, after intravenous immunoglobulin and gluten-free diet

    Dharshan Anandacoomaraswamy

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Dharshan Anandacoomaraswamy1, Jagdeesh Ullal2, Aaron I Vinik21Department of Internal Medicine, Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, USA; 2Strelitz Diabetes Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USAAbstract: This is a case of a 70-year-old man with severe peripheral neuropathy, type 2 diabetes and progressively worsening cerebellar ataxia. He was found to have circulating antigliadin and antireticulin antibodies compatible with celiac disease in the absence of intestinal pathology. The peripheral neuropathy improved with a gluten-free diet, antioxidants and intravenous immunoglobulin, whereas the ataxia did not. This case illustrates the need to test for celiac disease in patients with idiopathic ataxia and peripheral neuropathy and the need for alternative therapies for ataxia. Keywords: celiac disease, peripheral neuropathy, autoimmune disease, cerebellar ataxia, type 2 diabetes

  1. Program impact pathway analysis of a social franchise model shows potential to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam.

    Nguyen, Phuong H; Menon, Purnima; Keithly, Sarah C; Kim, Sunny S; Hajeebhoy, Nemat; Tran, Lan M; Ruel, Marie T; Rawat, Rahul

    2014-10-01

    By mapping the mechanisms through which interventions are expected to achieve impact, program impact pathway (PIP) analysis lays out the theoretical causal links between program activities, outcomes, and impacts. This study examines the pathways through which the Alive & Thrive (A&T) social franchise model is intended to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in Vietnam. Mixed methods were used, including qualitative interviews with franchise management board members (n = 12), surveys with health providers (n = 120), counseling observations (n = 160), and household surveys (n = 2045). Six PIP components were assessed: 1) franchise management, 2) training and IYCF knowledge of health providers, 3) service delivery, 4) program exposure and utilization, 5) maternal behavioral determinants (knowledge, beliefs, and intentions) toward optimal IYCF practices, and 6) IYCF practices. Data were collected from A&T-intensive areas (A&T-I; mass media + social franchise) and A&T-nonintensive areas (A&T-NI; mass media only) by using a cluster-randomized controlled trial design. Data from 2013 were compared with baseline where similar measures were available. Results indicate that mechanisms are in place for effective management of the franchise system, despite challenges to routine monitoring. A&T training was associated with increased capacity of providers, resulting in higher-quality IYCF counseling (greater technical knowledge and communication skills during counseling) in A&T-I areas. Franchise utilization increased from 10% in 2012 to 45% in 2013 but fell below the expected frequency of 9-15 contacts per mother-child dyad. Improvements in breastfeeding knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and practices were greater among mothers in A&T-I areas than among those in A&T-NI areas. In conclusion, there are many positive changes along the impact pathway of the franchise services, but challenges in utilization and demand creation should be addressed to achieve the full

  2. A randomized crossover clinical study showing that methylphenidate-SODAS improves attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in adolescents with substance use disorder

    C.M. Szobot

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of a long-acting formulation of methylphenidate (MPH-SODAS on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD symptoms in an outpatient sample of adolescents with ADHD and substance use disorders (SUD. Secondary goals were to evaluate the tolerability and impact on drug use of MPH-SODAS. This was a 6-week, single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing efficacy of escalated doses of MPH-SODAS on ADHD symptoms in 16 adolescents with ADHD/SUD. Participants were randomly allocated to either group A (weeks 1-3 on MPH-SODAS, weeks 4-6 on placebo or group B (reverse order. The primary outcome measures were the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham Scale, version IV (SNAP-IV and the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI. We also evaluated the adverse effects of MPH-SODAS using the Barkley Side Effect Rating Scale and subject reports of drug use during the study. The sample consisted of marijuana (N = 16; 100% and cocaine users (N = 7; 43.8%. Subjects had a significantly greater reduction in SNAP-IV and CGI scores (P < 0.001 for all analyses during MPH-SODAS treatment compared to placebo. No significant effects for period or sequence were found in analyses with the SNAP-IV and CGI scales. There was no significant effect on drug use. MPH-SODAS was well tolerated but was associated with more severe appetite reduction than placebo (P < 0.001. MPH-SODAS was more effective than placebo in reducing ADHD symptoms in a non-abstinent outpatient sample of adolescents with comorbid SUD. Randomized clinical trials, with larger samples and SUD intervention, are recommended.

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

    Hager, Alfred; Schubert, Stephan; Ewert, Peter

    2017-01-01

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

  4. An increased flip angle in late phase Gd-EOB-DTPA MRI shows improved performance in bile duct visualization compared to T2w-MRCP

    Stelter, Lars, E-mail: lars.stelter@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); Freyhardt, Patrick, E-mail: patrick.freyhardt@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); Grieser, Christian, E-mail: christian.grieser@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); Walter, Thula, E-mail: thula.walter@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); Geisel, Dominik, E-mail: dominik.geisel@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); Baur, Alexander, E-mail: alexander.baur@charite.de [Klinik für Radiologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (Germany); and others

    2014-10-15

    Highlights: • EOB-MRC acquired with a flip angle of 35° revealed a better diagnostic performance compared to T2w-MRCP. • EOB-MRC increased the readers’ confidence in identifying anatomic variations of the biliary tree. • As EOB-MRC comprises functional information it is a valuable adjunct to T2w-MRCP. - Abstract: Objectives: To estimate the additional value of an increased flip angle of 35° in late phase Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiography, as compared to T2w-MRCP. Methods: 40 adult patients underwent Gd-EOB-DTPA enhanced MRI of the liver including a T2-weighted 3D TSE MRCP (T2w-MRCP) as well as a late phase T1-weighted THRIVE sequences applying a flip angle of 35° (fa35). Two experienced observers evaluated the images regarding the delineation of the different biliary regions using a three-point grading system. A five-point scale was applied to determine the readers’ confidence in identifying anatomical variations of the biliary tree. ROI analysis was performed to compare the signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) ratios. Results: The quality for visualizing the biliary tree differed between T2w-MRCP and fa35 (p = <0.001). Late phase EOB-MRC was rated as good for delineating the entire biliary system, whereas T2w-MRCP received an overall poor rating. Especially the depiction of the intrahepatic bile ducts was estimated as problematic in T2w-MRCP. T2w-MRCP and fa35 revealed a discordant assessment of anatomical variations in 12.5% of the cases, comprising a generally higher confidence level for fa35 (4.0 ± 1.1 vs. 2.2 ± 1.2, p = <0.001). SNR proofed to be significantly higher in fa35 (p = <0.001), whereas T2w-MRCP revealed a significantly higher CNR (<0.001). Conclusions: Gd-EOB-DTPA enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiography acquired with a flip angle of 35° revealed a better diagnostic performance compared to T2w-MRCP and might be a valuable adjunct in assessing functional bile duct abnormalities.

  5. An Evidence-Based Education Program For Adults About Child Sexual Abuse (“Prevent It!” Significantly Improves Behaviours As Well As Attitudes And Knowledge

    Erin K Martin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA, called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behaviour of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes towards it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85% agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behaviour (our primary outcome variable. Behavioural questions asked individuals to select behaviours used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking how many times in the previous 3-months have you talked about healthy sexual development or child sexual abuse with a child you know; suspected a child was sexually abused; taken steps to protect a child; or reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 – 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behaviour and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from 25% at baseline

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

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

    2017-08-29

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. Creating Significant Learning Experiences across Disciplines

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Improved Calibration Shows Images True Colors

    2015-01-01

    Innovative Imaging and Research, located at Stennis Space Center, used a single SBIR contract with the center to build a large-scale integrating sphere, capable of calibrating a whole array of cameras simultaneously, at a fraction of the usual cost for such a device. Through the use of LEDs, the company also made the sphere far more efficient than existing products and able to mimic sunlight.

  11. Dual Component Removable Partial Denture shows improved ...

    Dual Component Removable Partial Denture (DuCo RPD) is composed of a double base; lower and upper. The lower base, where the artificial teeth are attached, acts as a support and is in contact with the alveolar ridges and oral mucosa. Clasps are designed on the upper base, which acts towards the retention and ...

  12. Dual Component Removable Partial Denture shows improved ...

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-02-18

    Feb 18, 2009 ... 2Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. 3Department of ... an example of poor oral condition caused mainly by periodontitis, and ... working model of the Dual Component Removable Partial Denture.

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

    Takako Suzuki

    2018-02-01

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

  14. Significant mobility improvement of amorphous In-Ga-Zn-O thin-film transistors annealed in a low temperature wet ambient environment

    Jallorina, Michael Paul A.; Bermundo, Juan Paolo S.; Fujii, Mami N.; Ishikawa, Yasuaki; Uraoka, Yukiharu

    2018-05-01

    Transparent amorphous oxide semiconducting materials such as amorphous InGaZnO used in thin film transistors (TFTs) are typically annealed at temperatures higher than 250 °C to remove any defects present and improve the electrical characteristics of the device. Previous research has shown that low cost and low temperature methods improve the electrical characteristics of the TFT. With the aid of surface and bulk characterization techniques in comparison to the device characteristics, this work aims to elucidate further on the improvement mechanisms of wet and dry annealing ambients that affect the electrical characteristics of the device. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry results show that despite outward diffusion of -H and -OH species, humid annealing ambients counteract outward diffusion of these species, leading to defect sites which can be passivated by the wet ambient. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy results show that for devices annealed for only 30 min in a wet annealing environment, the concentration of metal-oxide bonds increased by as much as 21.8% and defects such as oxygen vacancies were reduced by as much as 18.2% compared to an unannealed device. Our work shows that due to the oxidizing power of water vapor, defects are reduced, and overall electrical characteristics are improved as evidenced with the 150 °C wet O2, 30 min annealed sample which exhibited the highest mobility of 5.00 cm2/V s, compared to 2.36 cm2/V s for a sample that was annealed at 150 °C in a dry ambient atmospheric environment for 2 h.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Obesity in show cats.

    Corbee, R J

    2014-12-01

    Obesity is an important disease with a high prevalence in cats. Because obesity is related to several other diseases, it is important to identify the population at risk. Several risk factors for obesity have been described in the literature. A higher incidence of obesity in certain cat breeds has been suggested. The aim of this study was to determine whether obesity occurs more often in certain breeds. The second aim was to relate the increased prevalence of obesity in certain breeds to the official standards of that breed. To this end, 268 cats of 22 different breeds investigated by determining their body condition score (BCS) on a nine-point scale by inspection and palpation, at two different cat shows. Overall, 45.5% of the show cats had a BCS > 5, and 4.5% of the show cats had a BCS > 7. There were significant differences between breeds, which could be related to the breed standards. Most overweight and obese cats were in the neutered group. It warrants firm discussions with breeders and cat show judges to come to different interpretations of the standards in order to prevent overweight conditions in certain breeds from being the standard of beauty. Neutering predisposes for obesity and requires early nutritional intervention to prevent obese conditions. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  17. This research is to study the factors which influence the business success of small business ‘processed rotan’. The data employed in the study are primary data within the period of July to August 2013, 30 research observations through census method. Method of analysis used in the study is multiple linear regressions. The results of analysis showed that the factors of labor, innovation and promotion have positive and significant influence on the business success of small business ‘processed rotan’ simultaneously. The analysis also showed that partially labor has positive and significant influence on the business success, yet innovation and promotion have insignificant and positive influence on the business success.

    Nasution, Inggrita Gusti Sari; Muchtar, Yasmin Chairunnisa

    2013-01-01

    This research is to study the factors which influence the business success of small business ‘processed rotan’. The data employed in the study are primary data within the period of July to August 2013, 30 research observations through census method. Method of analysis used in the study is multiple linear regressions. The results of analysis showed that the factors of labor, innovation and promotion have positive and significant influence on the business success of small busine...

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Mingfeng Li

    2013-12-01

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

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Féfé Khuabi Matondo

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

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

    2017-08-04

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

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

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

    2017-07-01

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

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. Showing Value (Editorial

    Denise Koufogiannakis

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available When Su Cleyle and I first decided to start Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, one of the things we agreed upon immediately was that the journal be open access. We knew that a major obstacle to librarians using the research literature was that they did not have access to the research literature. Although Su and I are both academic librarians who can access a wide variety of library and information literature from our institutions, we belong to a profession where not everyone has equal access to the research in our field. Without such access to our own body of literature, how can we ever hope for practitioners to use research evidence in their decision making? It would have been contradictory to the principles of evidence based library and information practice to do otherwise.One of the specific groups we thought could use such an open access venue for discovering research literature was school librarians. School librarians are often isolated and lacking access to the research literature that may help them prove to stakeholders the importance of their libraries and their role within schools. Certainly, school libraries have been in decline and the use of evidence to show value is needed. As Ken Haycock noted in his 2003 report, The Crisis in Canada’s School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Reinvestment, “Across the country, teacher-librarians are losing their jobs or being reassigned. Collections are becoming depleted owing to budget cuts. Some principals believe that in the age of the Internet and the classroom workstation, the school library is an artifact” (9. Within this context, school librarians are looking to our research literature for evidence of the impact that school library programs have on learning outcomes and student success. They are integrating that evidence into their practice, and reflecting upon what can be improved locally. They are focusing on students and showing the impact of school libraries and

  8. Low- and high-volume of intensive endurance training significantly improves maximal oxygen uptake after 10-weeks of training in healthy men.

    Arnt Erik Tjønna

    Full Text Available Regular exercise training improves maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, but the optimal intensity and volume necessary to obtain maximal benefit remains to be defined. A growing body of evidence suggests that exercise training with low-volume but high-intensity may be a time-efficient means to achieve health benefits. In the present study, we measured changes in VO2max and traditional cardiovascular risk factors after a 10 wk. training protocol that involved three weekly high-intensity interval sessions. One group followed a protocol which consisted of 4×4 min at 90% of maximal heart rate (HRmax interspersed with 3 min active recovery at 70% HRmax (4-AIT, the other group performed a single bout protocol that consisted of 1×4 min at 90% HRmax (1-AIT. Twenty-six inactive but otherwise healthy overweight men (BMI: 25-30, age: 35-45 y were randomized to either 1-AIT (n = 11 or 4-AIT (n = 13. After training, VO2max increased by 10% (∼5.0 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 and 13% (∼6.5 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively (group difference, p = 0.08. Oxygen cost during running at a sub-maximal workload was reduced by 14% and 13% after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively. Systolic blood pressure decreased by 7.1 and 2.6 mmHg after 1-AIT and 4-AIT respectively, while diastolic pressure decreased by 7.7 and 6.1 mmHg (group difference, p = 0.84. Both groups had a similar ∼5% decrease in fasting glucose. Body fat, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and ox-LDL cholesterol only were significantly reduced after 4-AIT. Our data suggest that a single bout of AIT performed three times per week may be a time-efficient strategy to improve VO2max and reduce blood pressure and fasting glucose in previously inactive but otherwise healthy middle-aged individuals. The 1-AIT type of exercise training may be readily implemented as part of activities of daily living and could easily be translated into programs designed to improve public health

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Show-Bix &

    2014-01-01

    The anti-reenactment 'Show-Bix &' consists of 5 dias projectors, a dial phone, quintophonic sound, and interactive elements. A responsive interface will enable the Dias projectors to show copies of original dias slides from the Show-Bix piece ”March på Stedet”, 265 images in total. The copies are...

  11. Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin (GO Inclusion to Induction Chemotherapy Eliminates Leukemic Initiating Cells and Significantly Improves Survival in Mouse Models of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Cathy C Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO is an anti-CD33 antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML. Although GO shows a narrow therapeutic window in early clinical studies, recent reports detailing a modified dosing regimen of GO can be safely combined with induction chemotherapy, and the combination provides significant survival benefits in AML patients. Here we tested whether the survival benefits seen with the combination arise from the enhanced reduction of chemoresidual disease and leukemic initiating cells (LICs. Herein, we use cell line and patient-derived xenograft (PDX AML models to evaluate the combination of GO with daunorubicin and cytarabine (DA induction chemotherapy on AML blast growth and animal survival. DA chemotherapy and GO as separate treatments reduced AML burden but left significant chemoresidual disease in multiple AML models. The combination of GO and DA chemotherapy eliminated nearly all AML burden and extended overall survival. In two small subsets of AML models, chemoresidual disease following DA chemotherapy displayed hallmark markers of leukemic LICs (CLL1 and CD34. In vivo, the two chemoresistant subpopulations (CLL1+/CD117− and CD34+/CD38+ showed higher ability to self-renewal than their counterpart subpopulations, respectively. CD33 was coexpressed in these functional LIC subpopulations. We demonstrate that the GO and DA induction chemotherapy combination more effectively eliminates LICs in AML PDX models than either single agent alone. These data suggest that the survival benefit seen by the combination of GO and induction chemotherapy, nonclinically and clinically, may be attributed to the enhanced reduction of LICs.

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

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. Physiologically-based, predictive analytics using the heart-rate-to-Systolic-Ratio significantly improves the timeliness and accuracy of sepsis prediction compared to SIRS.

    Danner, Omar K; Hendren, Sandra; Santiago, Ethel; Nye, Brittany; Abraham, Prasad

    2017-04-01

    Enhancing the efficiency of diagnosis and treatment of severe sepsis by using physiologically-based, predictive analytical strategies has not been fully explored. We hypothesize assessment of heart-rate-to-systolic-ratio significantly increases the timeliness and accuracy of sepsis prediction after emergency department (ED) presentation. We evaluated the records of 53,313 ED patients from a large, urban teaching hospital between January and June 2015. The HR-to-systolic ratio was compared to SIRS criteria for sepsis prediction. There were 884 patients with discharge diagnoses of sepsis, severe sepsis, and/or septic shock. Variations in three presenting variables, heart rate, systolic BP and temperature were determined to be primary early predictors of sepsis with a 74% (654/884) accuracy compared to 34% (304/884) using SIRS criteria (p < 0.0001)in confirmed septic patients. Physiologically-based predictive analytics improved the accuracy and expediency of sepsis identification via detection of variations in HR-to-systolic ratio. This approach may lead to earlier sepsis workup and life-saving interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Polyethylene imine/graphene oxide layer-by-layer surface functionalization for significantly improved limit of detection and binding kinetics of immunoassays on acrylate surfaces.

    Miyazaki, Celina M; Mishra, Rohit; Kinahan, David J; Ferreira, Marystela; Ducrée, Jens

    2017-10-01

    Antibody immobilization on polymeric substrates is a key manufacturing step for microfluidic devices that implement sample-to-answer automation of immunoassays. In this work, a simple and versatile method to bio-functionalize poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), a common material of such "Lab-on-a-Chip" systems, is proposed; using the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) technique, we assemble nanostructured thin films of poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) and graphene oxide (GO). The wettability of PMMA surfaces was significantly augmented by the surface treatment with (PEI/GO) 5 film, with an 81% reduction of the contact angle, while the surface roughness increased by 600%, thus clearly enhancing wettability and antibody binding capacity. When applied to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), the limit of detection of PMMA surface was notably improved from 340pgmL -1 on commercial grade polystyrene (PS) and 230pgmL -1 on plain PMMA surfaces to 130pgmL -1 on (PEI/GO) 5 treated PMMA. Furthermore, the accelerated antibody adsorption kinetics on the LbL films of GO allowed to substantially shorten incubation times, e.g. for anti-rat IgG adsorption from 2h down to 15min on conventional and treated surfaces, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Talking with TV shows

    Sandvik, Kjetil; Laursen, Ditte

    2014-01-01

    User interaction with radio and television programmes is not a new thing. However, with new cross-media production concepts such as X Factor and Voice, this is changing dramatically. The second-screen logic of these productions encourages viewers, along with TV’s traditional one-way communication...... mode, to communicate on interactive (dialogue-enabling) devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Using the TV show Voice as our example, this article shows how the technological and situational set-up of the production invites viewers to engage in new ways of interaction and communication...

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

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

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Talk Show Science.

    Moore, Mitzi Ruth

    1992-01-01

    Proposes having students perform skits in which they play the roles of the science concepts they are trying to understand. Provides the dialog for a skit in which hot and cold gas molecules are interviewed on a talk show to study how these properties affect wind, rain, and other weather phenomena. (MDH)

  18. Honored Teacher Shows Commitment.

    Ratte, Kathy

    1987-01-01

    Part of the acceptance speech of the 1985 National Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year, this article describes the censorship experience of this honored social studies teacher. The incident involved the showing of a videotape version of the feature film entitled "The Seduction of Joe Tynan." (JDH)

  19. The energy show

    1988-01-01

    The Energy Show is a new look at the problems of world energy, where our supplies come from, now and in the future. The programme looks at how we need energy to maintain our standards of living. Energy supply is shown as the complicated set of problems it is - that Fossil Fuels are both raw materials and energy sources, that some 'alternatives' so readily suggested as practical options are in reality a long way from being effective. (author)

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

    Anne G. Ekeland

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Ekeland, Anne G

    2015-01-22

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

  2. Achieving a “Grand Convergence” in Global Health by 2035: Rwanda Shows the Way; Comment on “Improving the World’s Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives From Rwanda”

    Gavin Yamey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Global Health 2035, the report of The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, laid out a bold, highly ambitious framework for making rapid progress in improving global public health outcomes. It showed that with the right health investments, the international community could achieve a “grand convergence” in global health—a reduction in avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels—within a generation. Rwanda’s success in rapidly reducing such deaths over the last 20 years shows that convergence is feasible. Binagwaho and Scott have argued that 5 lessons from this success are the importance of equity, quality health services, evidence-informed policy, intersectoral collaboration, and effective collaboration between countries and multilateral agencies. This article re-examines these lessons through the lens of the Global Health 2035 report to analyze how the experience in Rwanda might be generalized for other countries to making progress towards achieving a grand convergence.

  3. Kinetics of improved 1,4-alpha-D-glucan glucohydrolase biosynthesis from a newly isolated Aspergillus oryzae IIB-6 and parameter significance analysis by 2-factorial design.

    Fatima, Bilqees; Ali, Sikander

    2012-01-01

    Sixteen different mould cultures viz. Aspergillus, Alternaria, Arthroderma, Trichoderma, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Chochliobolus were isolated from the soil samples of Qatar by serial dilution method. The preliminary screening of isolates was done by selecting initial colonies showing relatively bigger zones of starch hydrolysis on nutrient agar plates. The isolates were then subjected to secondary screening by submerged fermentation (SmF). The 1,4-α-D-glucan glucohydrolase (GGH) activity ranged from 1.906-12.675 U/ml/min. The product yield was analysed in dependence of mycelial morphology, biomass level and protein content. The isolate Aspergillus oryzae llB-6 which gave maximum enzyme production was incubated in M3 medium containing 20 g/l starch, 10 g/l lactose, 8.5 g/l yeast extract, 6 g/l corn steep liquor (CSL), 1.2 g/l MgSO4.7H2O, 1.3 g/l NH4Cl, 0.6 g/l CaCl2.2H2O, pH 5 at 30±2°C and 200 rpm. On the basis of kinetic variables, notably Qp (0.058±0.01(a) U/g/h), Yp/s (0.308±0.03(ab) U/g) and qp (0.210±0.032(abc) U/g fungal biomass/h), A. oryzae IIB-6 was found to be a hyper producer of GGH (LSD 0.0345) compared to A. kawachii IIB-2. A noticeable enhancement in enzyme activity of over 30% was observed (13.917±1.01 U/ml/min) when the process parameters viz. cultural conditions (pH 5, incubation period 72 h) and nutritional requirements (6 g/l CSL, 9.5 g/l yeast extract, 10 g/l starch, 20 g/l lactose) were further optimized using a 2-factorial Plackett-Burman design. The model terms were found to be highly significant (HS, p≤0.05), indicating the potential utility of the culture (dof~3).

  4. Rescreening for abnormal vaginal flora in pregnancy and re-treating with clindamycin vaginal cream significantly increases cure and improvement rates

    Lamont, R F; Taylor-Robinson, D; Bassett, P

    2012-01-01

    We investigated 199 pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) who received clindamycin vaginal cream (CVC) for three days and compared with 205 women treated with placebo. The vaginal flora was assessed at each visit. At the second visit, 71% in the CVC group were cured/improved, compared...

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

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Florian Hiermeier

    2017-11-01

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

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

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

    2016-12-15

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

  8. Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve prostate cancer detection at initial biopsy in a total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml.

    Ferro, Matteo; Bruzzese, Dario; Perdonà, Sisto; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; D'Esposito, Vittoria; Cosimato, Vincenzo; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Musi, Gennaro; De Cobelli, Ottavio; Chun, Felix K; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa) at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC) of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA) were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77) was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76) and PCA3 (0.73) with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247). These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60), % fPSA (AUC = 0.62) and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63). At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume) increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS) compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (pphi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2-10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA.

  9. Improving the Comprehension of Students with Significant Developmental Disabilities: Systematic Instruction on the Steps for Completing and Using a Graphic Organizer

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

    A single-subject, multiple-baseline across participants design was used to examine the functional relation between systematic instruction and the ability to complete a graphic organizer and recall facts about informational texts by students with significant development disabilities. Four high school students enrolled in an adapted academic program…

  10. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer.

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-13

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC 71 BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  11. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-01

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC71BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  12. Low-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear reactors. Volume 1. Recommendations for technology developments with potential to significantly improve low-level radioactive waste management

    Rodgers, B.R.; Jolley, R.L.

    1986-02-01

    The overall task of this program was to provide an assessment of currently available technology for treating commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), to initiate development of a methodology for choosing one technology for a given application, and to identify research needed to improve current treatment techniques and decision methodology. The resulting report is issued in four volumes. Volume 1 provides an executive summary and a general introduction to the four-volume set, in addition to recommendations for research and development (R and D) for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) treatment. Generic, long-range, and/or high-risk programs identified and prioritized as needed R and D in the LLRW field include: (1) systems analysis to develop decision methodology; (2) alternative processes for dismantling, decontaminating, and decommissioning; (3) ion exchange; (4) incinerator technology; (5) disposal technology; (6) demonstration of advanced technologies; (7) technical assistance; (8) below regulatory concern materials; (9) mechanical treatment techniques; (10) monitoring and analysis procedures; (11) radical process improvements; (12) physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes; (13) fundamental chemistry; (14) interim storage; (15) modeling; and (16) information transfer. The several areas are discussed in detail

  13. Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Home Vegetable Gardening Intervention among Older Cancer Survivors Shows Feasibility, Satisfaction, and Promise in Improving Vegetable and Fruit Consumption, Reassurance of Worth, and the Trajectory of Central Adiposity.

    Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy; Cases, Mallory G; Cantor, Alan B; Frugé, Andrew D; Smith, Kerry P; Locher, Julie; Cohen, Harvey J; Tsuruta, Yuko; Daniel, Michael; Kala, Rishabh; De Los Santos, Jennifer F

    2018-04-01

    Holistic approaches are sought to improve lifestyle behaviors and health of cancer survivors long term. Our aim was to explore whether a home-based vegetable gardening intervention is feasible and whether it improves diet and other health-related outcomes among older cancer survivors. We conducted a feasibility trial in which cancer survivors were randomized to receive a year-long gardening intervention immediately or to a wait-list control arm. Home visits at baseline and 1 year assessed physical performance, anthropometric indices, behavioral and psychosocial outcomes, and biomarkers. Participants included 46 older (aged 60+ years) survivors of locoregionally staged cancers across Alabama from 2014 to 2016. Forty-two completed 1-year follow-up. Cooperative extension master gardeners delivered guidance to establish three seasonal vegetable gardens at survivors' homes. Plants, seeds, and gardening supplies were provided. Primary outcomes were feasibility targets of 80% accrual and retention, and an absence of serious adverse events; other outcomes were secondary and explored potential benefits. Baseline to follow-up changes were assessed within and between arms using paired t, McNemar's, and χ 2 tests. This trial proved to be safe and demonstrated 91.3% retention; 70% of intervention participants rated their experience as "excellent," and 85% would "do it again." Data suggest significantly increased reassurance of worth (+0.49 vs -0.45) and attenuated increases in waist circumference (+2.30 cm vs +7.96 cm) in the gardening vs control arms (P=0.02). Vegetable and fruit consumption increased by approximately 1 serving/day within the gardening arm from baseline to follow-up (mean [standard error]=1.34 [1.2] to 2.25 [1.9] servings/day; P=0.02)] compared to controls (1.22 [1.1] to 1.12 [0.7]; P=0.77; between-arm P=0.06). The home vegetable gardening intervention among older cancer survivors was feasible and suggested improvements in vegetable and fruit consumption

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

    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...

  15. Combined use of hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine significantly improves hemodynamic characteristics in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled study.

    ZheFeng Quan

    Full Text Available To observe the hemodynamic changes of parturients in the combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg and hypobaric (6 mg ropivacaine during spinal anesthesia for caesarean section in this randomized double-blind study.Parturients (n = 136 undergoing elective cesarean delivery were randomly and equally allocated to receive either combined hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine (Group A or hyperbaric ropivacaine (Group B. Outcome measures were: hemodynamic characteristics, maximum height of sensory block, time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level, incidence of complications, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, and neonatal blood gas analysis.Group A had a lower level of sensory blockade (T6 [T6-T7] and longer time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level (8 ± 1.3 min than did patients in Group B (T3 [T2-T4] and 5 ± 1.0 min, respectively; P < 0.001, both. The incidence rates for hypotension, nausea, and vomiting were significantly lower in Group A (13%, 10%, and 3%, respectively than Group B (66%, 31%, and 13%; P < 0.001, P = 0.003, P = 0.028.Combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg and hypobaric (6 mg ropivacaine significantly decreased the incidences of hypotension and complications in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section by extending induction time and decreasing the level of sensory blockade.Chinese Clinical Trial Register ChiCTR-TRC-13004622.

  16. Disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction significantly improves the erythroid defect in a mouse model for Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

    Jaako, P; Debnath, S; Olsson, K; Zhang, Y; Flygare, J; Lindström, M S; Bryder, D; Karlsson, S

    2015-11-01

    Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital erythroid hypoplasia caused by haploinsufficiency of genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). Perturbed ribosome biogenesis in DBA has been shown to induce a p53-mediated ribosomal stress response. However, the mechanisms of p53 activation and its relevance for the erythroid defect remain elusive. Previous studies have indicated that activation of p53 is caused by the inhibition of mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2), the main negative regulator of p53, by the 5S ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP). Meanwhile, it is not clear whether this mechanism solely mediates the p53-dependent component found in DBA. To approach this question, we crossed our mouse model for RPS19-deficient DBA with Mdm2(C305F) knock-in mice that have a disrupted 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Upon induction of the Rps19 deficiency, Mdm2(C305F) reversed the p53 response and improved expansion of hematopoietic progenitors in vitro, and ameliorated the anemia in vivo. Unexpectedly, disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction also led to selective defect in erythropoiesis. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of erythroid progenitor cells to aberrations in p53 homeostasis mediated by the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that physiological activation of the 5S RNP-Mdm2-p53 pathway may contribute to functional decline of the hematopoietic system in a cell-autonomous manner over time.

  17. Cognitive cooperation groups mediated by computers and internet present significant improvement of cognitive status in older adults with memory complaints: a controlled prospective study

    Rodrigo de Rosso Krug

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective To estimate the effect of participating in cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE percent variation of outpatients with memory complaints attending two memory clinics. Methods A prospective controlled intervention study carried out from 2006 to 2013 with 293 elders. The intervention group (n = 160 attended a cognitive cooperation group (20 sessions of 1.5 hours each. The control group (n = 133 received routine medical care. Outcome was the percent variation in the MMSE. Control variables included gender, age, marital status, schooling, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypothyroidism, depression, vascular diseases, polymedication, use of benzodiazepines, exposure to tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and functional capacity. The final model was obtained by multivariate linear regression. Results The intervention group obtained an independent positive variation of 24.39% (CI 95% = 14.86/33.91 in the MMSE compared to the control group. Conclusion The results suggested that cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, are associated with cognitive status improvement of older adults in memory clinics.

  18. Significantly improved surface morphology of N-polar GaN film grown on SiC substrate by the optimization of V/III ratio

    Deng, Gaoqiang; Zhang, Yuantao; Yu, Ye; Yan, Long; Li, Pengchong; Han, Xu; Chen, Liang; Zhao, Degang; Du, Guotong

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, N-polar GaN films with different V/III ratios were grown on vicinal C-face SiC substrates by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. During the growth of N-polar GaN film, the V/III ratio was controlled by adjusting the molar flow rate of ammonia while keeping the trimethylgallium flow rate unchanged. The influence of the V/III ratio on the surface morphology of N-polar GaN film has been studied. We find that the surface root mean square roughness of N-polar GaN film over an area of 20 × 20 μm2 can be reduced from 8.13 to 2.78 nm by optimization of the V/III ratio. Then, using the same growth conditions, N-polar InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were grown on the rough and the smooth N-polar GaN templates, respectively. Compared with the LED grown on the rough N-polar GaN template, dramatically improved interface sharpness and luminescence uniformity of the InGaN/GaN MQWs are achieved for the LED grown on the smooth N-polar GaN template.

  19. A clinically based prognostic index for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a cut-off at 70 years of age significantly improves prognostic stratification

    Gang, Anne O.; Pedersen, Michael; d'Amore, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of rituximab and generally improved health among elderly patients have increased the survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The International Prognostic Index (IPI) from 1992 is based on pre-rituximab data from clinical trials including several lymphoma ...... dehydrogenase (LDH), stage and albumin level, and (2) a separate age-adjusted DLBCL-PI for patients 1 extranodal lesion, however excluding stage....... subtypes. We applied IPI factors to a population-based rituximab-treated cohort of 1990 patients diagnosed 2000-2010 and explored new factors and the optimal prognostic age cut-off for DLBCL. Multivariate-analyses (MVA) confirmed the prognostic value of all IPI factors except the presence of > 1 extranodal...... lesion. The optimal age cut-off was 70 years. In a MVA of albumin, lymphocyte count, sex, immunoglobulin G, bulky disease, hemoglobin and B-symptoms, only albumin was prognostic. We propose: (1) a modified DLBCL prognostic index (DLBCL-PI) including: age (70 years), performance status (PS), lactate...

  20. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. Prevention measures for avoiding unexpected drifting of marine component in recovery equipment of significant metals from sea water. Positioning and monitoring system for marine component and improvement of its positioning accuracy

    Tamada, Masao; Kasai, Noboru; Seko, Noriaki; Hasegawa, Shin; Takeda, Hayato; Katakai, Akio; Sugo, Takanobu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Kawabata, Yukiya [Ebara Reseach Co., Ltd., Fujisawa, Kanagawa (Japan); Onuma, Kenji [Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    2001-11-01

    Positioning and monitoring system for marine component in recovery equipment of significant metals from seawater with adsorbent was designed and assembled to avoid unexpected drifting accident. This system which was set on float part of the marine component obtains the positioning data from GPS satellites and sends them to Takasaki and Mutsu establishments through satellite communication. In both establishments, the position data were shown in computer displays. As characteristic test for 20 days in the real sea, 262 data were obtained every 2 hours. The twice of the distance root mean square (2DRMS) was 223.7 m. To improve this performance, three new functions were added to the present firmware. There are to raise positioning resolutions in longitude and latitude from 0.001 to 0.00001 degree, to remove the reflection of GPS signal from sea surface, and to average remaining three positioning data after maximum and minimum data were omitted from continuous five positioning data. The improved system shows the 2DRMS positioning of 15.5 m. This performance is enough to prevent marine component from its drifting accident. (author)

  2. The binding affinity of a soluble TCR-Fc fusion protein is significantly improved by crosslinkage with an anti-C{beta} antibody

    Ozawa, Tatsuhiko; Horii, Masae; Kobayashi, Eiji [Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194 (Japan); Jin, Aishun [Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194 (Japan); Department of Immunology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Harbin Medical University, 157 Baojian Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150081 (China); Kishi, Hiroyuki, E-mail: immkishi@med.u-toyama.ac.jp [Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194 (Japan); Muraguchi, Atsushi [Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194 (Japan)

    2012-06-01

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A novel soluble TCR composed of TCR V and C regions with Ig Fc region is generated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TCR-Fc protein immobilized by an anti-C{beta} antibody bound to a p/MHC tetramer. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Binding affinity of TCR-Fc was markedly increased by binding with anti-C{beta} antibody. -- Abstract: The identification and cloning of tumor antigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) and the production of the soluble form of the TCR (sTCR) contributed to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools for cancer. Recently, several groups have reported the development of technologies for the production of sTCRs. The native sTCR has a very low binding affinity for the antigenic peptide/MHC (p/MHC) complex. In this study, we established a technology to produce high affinity, functional sTCRs. We generated a novel sTCR-Fc fusion protein composed of the TCR V and C regions of the TCR linked to the immunoglobulin (Ig) Fc region. A Western blot analysis revealed that the molecular weight of the fusion protein was approximately 60 kDa under reducing conditions and approximately 100-200 kDa under non-reducing conditions. ELISAs using various antibodies showed that the structure of each domain of the TCR-Fc protein was intact. The TCR-Fc protein immobilized by an anti-C{beta} antibody effectively bound to a p/MHC tetramer. An SPR analysis showed that the TCR-Fc protein had a low binding affinity (KD; 1.1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -5} M) to the p/MHC monomer. Interestingly, when the TCR-Fc protein was pre-incubated with an anti-C{beta} antibody, its binding affinity for p/MHC increased by 5-fold (2.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} M). We demonstrated a novel method for constructing a functional soluble TCR using the Ig Fc region and showed that the binding affinity of the functional sTCR-Fc was markedly increased by an anti-C{beta} antibody, which is probably due to the stabilization of the V

  3. Insulin-Like growth factor-II (IGF-II) prevents proinflammatory cytokine-induced apoptosis and significantly improves islet survival after transplantation.

    Hughes, Amy; Mohanasundaram, Daisy; Kireta, Svjetlana; Jessup, Claire F; Drogemuller, Chris J; Coates, P Toby H

    2013-03-15

    The early loss of functional islet mass (50-70%) due to apoptosis after clinical transplantation contributes to islet allograft failure. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II is an antiapoptotic protein that is highly expressed in β-cells during development but rapidly decreases in postnatal life. We used an adenoviral (Ad) vector to overexpress IGF-II in isolated rat islets and investigated its antiapoptotic action against exogenous cytokines interleukin-1β- and interferon-γ-induced islet cell death in vitro. Using an immunocompromised marginal mass islet transplant model, the ability of Ad-IGF-II-transduced rat islets to restore euglycemia in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient diabetic recipients was assessed. Ad-IGF-II transduction did not affect islet viability or function. Ad-IGF-II cytokine-treated islets exhibited decreased cell death (40% ± 2.8%) versus Ad-GFP and untransduced control islets (63.2% ± 2.5% and 53.6% ± 2.3%, respectively). Ad-IGF-II overexpression during cytokine treatment resulted in a marked reduction in terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling-positive apoptotic cells (8.3% ± 1.4%) versus Ad-GFP control (41% ± 4.2%) and untransduced control islets (46.5% ± 6.2%). Western blot analysis confirmed that IGF-II inhibits apoptosis via activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Transplantation of IGF-II overexpressing islets under the kidney capsule of diabetic mice restored euglycemia in 77.8% of recipients compared with 18.2% and 47.5% of Ad-GFP and untransduced control islet recipients, respectively (Pislet transplant outcomes in vivo. Antiapoptotic gene transfer is a potentially powerful tool to improve islet survival after transplantation.

  4. Significant reduction of radiation exposure to operator and staff during cardiac interventions by analysis of radiation leakage and improved lead shielding.

    Kuon, Eberhard; Schmitt, Moritz; Dahm, Johannes B

    2002-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to disclose and to reduce occupational radiation leakage in invasive cardiology. Prospectively, we analyzed various dose parameters for 330 coronary procedures. We used a Rando phantom to measure scatter entrance skin air kerma to the operator (S-ESAK-O) during fluoroscopy for all standard tube angulations, and to plot isodose lines for 0 degrees /0 degrees -posterior anterior angulation. The patient's measured dose area product due to diagnostic catheterization and elective percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty was 6.2 and 10.4 Gycm(2), which represents 11% and 13% of currently typical values, respectively. With use of 0.5- and 1.0-mm overcouch and undercouch shielding, it was possible to reduce the mean of 4,686 nSv/Gycm(2) to 677 and 277 nSv/Gycm(2), respectively. Closure of radiation leakage up to 897 microSv/hour at the operator's gonadal height (80 to 105 cm), not heretofore described, was achieved by an additional 1.0-mm, lead-equivalent undercouch-top and overcouch-flap adjacent to the table, down to a S-ESAK-O/dose area product level of 47.5 nSv/Gycm(2). With use of a 0.5-mm lead apron, collar, glasses, foot-switch shield and 1.0-mm lead cover around the patient's thighs, the operator received a mean S-ESAK-O of 8.5, while his forehead, eyes, thyroid, chest, gonads, and hands were exposed to 68.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 0.8, and 58.2 nSv/Gycm(2), respectively. In conclusion, radiation-attenuating intervention techniques and improved lead protection can effectively contribute to a new state of the art in invasive cardiology, with reduction of operator radiation exposure to 0.8% of typical S-ESAK-O levels in advanced catheterization laboratories.

  5. A new optical method improves fluorescence guided diagnosis of bladder tumor in the outpatient department and reveals significant photo bleaching problems in established inpatients PDD techniques

    Lindvold, Lars R.; Hermann, Gregers G.

    2013-03-01

    Photo dynamic diagnosis (PDD) is a convenient and well-documented procedure for diagnosis of bladder cancer and tumours using endoscopic techniques. At present, this procedure is available only for routine use in an operating room (OR) and often with substantial photobleaching effects of the photosensitizer. We present a novel optical design of the endoscopic PDD procedure that allows the procedure to be performed in the outpatient department (OPD) and not only in the OR. Thereby, inpatient procedures lasting 1-2 days may be replaced by a few hours lasting procedure in the OPD. Urine blurs the fluorescence during PDD used in the OPD. Urine contains fluorescent metabolites that are excited by blue light giving an opaque green fluorescence confounding the desired red fluorescence (PDD) from the tumour tissue. Measurements from the clinical situation has shown that some systems for PPD based on blue light illumination (PDD mode) and white light illumination used for bladder tumour diagnosis and surgery suffers some inherent disadvantages, i.e., photo bleaching in white light that impairs the possibility for PDD as white light usually is used before the blue light for PDD. Based on spectroscopic observations of urine and the photoactive dye Protoporphyrin IX used in PDD a novel optical system for use with the cystoscope has been devised that solves the problem of green fluorescence from urine. This and the knowledge of photo-bleaching pitfalls in established systems make it possible to perform PDD of bladder tumours in the OPD and to improve PDD in the OR.

  6. Improving lifetime trajectories for vulnerable young children and families living with significant stress and social disadvantage: the early years education program randomised controlled trial.

    Jordan, Brigid; Tseng, Yi-Ping; Coombs, Nichola; Kennedy, Anne; Borland, Jeff

    2014-09-17

    Children who experience neglect and abuse are likely to have impaired brain development and entrenched learning deficiencies. Early years interventions such as intensive education and care for these children are known to have the potential to increase their human capital. The Early Years Education Program (EYEP) is a new program offered by the Children's Protection Society (CPS) in Melbourne, Australia. EYEP is targeted at the needs of children who have been or are at risk of being abused or neglected. It has the dual focus of seeking to address the consequences of abuse and neglect on children's brain development and redressing their learning deficiencies. Our objective is to determine whether EYEP can improve school readiness by conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of its impacts. The RCT is being conducted with 90 participants (45 intervention and 45 control). Eligible children must be aged under three years and assessed as having two or more risk factors as defined in the Department of Human Services Best Interest Case Practice Model. The intervention group participate for three years (or until school entry) in EYEP. The trial does not provide any early years education or care to the control group. Data are being collected on outcome measures for participants in EYEP and the control group at the baseline, at yearly intervals for three years, and six months after commencing the first year of school. Outcome measures encompass children's health and development, academic ability and emotional and behavioural regulation; and quality of parenting practices. The study will evaluate the impact of EYEP on these outcomes, and undertake a benefit-cost analysis of the program. Findings from the study have the potential to influence the quality of care and education for the large population of children in Australia who are at risk of abuse and neglect, as well as for children in mainstream childcare. The study will provide up-to-date evidence on the impact of an

  7. Physicochemical state of the nanotopographic surface of commercially pure titanium following anodization-hydrothermal treatment reveals significantly improved hydrophilicity and surface energy profiles.

    Takebe, Jun; Ito, Shigeki; Miura, Shingo; Miyata, Kyohei; Ishibashi, Kanji

    2012-01-01

    A method of coating commercially pure titanium (cpTi) implants with a highly crystalline, thin hydroxyapatite (HA) layer using discharge anodic oxidation followed by hydrothermal treatment (Spark discharged Anodic oxidation treatment ; SA-treated cpTi) has been reported for use in clinical dentistry. We hypothesized that a thin HA layer with high crystallinity and nanostructured anodic titanium oxide film on such SA-treated cpTi implant surfaces might be a crucial function of their surface-specific potential energy. To test this, we analyzed anodic oxide (AO) cpTi and SA-treated cpTi disks by SEM and AFM. Contact angles and surface free energy of each disk surface was measured using FAMAS software. High-magnification SEM and AFM revealed the nanotopographic structure of the anodic titanium oxide film on SA-treated cpTi; however, this was not observed on the AO cpTi surface. The contact angle and surface free energy measurements were also significantly different between AO cpTi and SA-treated cpTi surfaces (Tukey's, P<0.05). These data indicated that the change of physicochemical properties of an anodic titanium oxide film with HA crystals on an SA-treated cpTi surface may play a key role in the phenomenon of osteoconduction during the process of osseointegration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Combined use of hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine significantly improves hemodynamic characteristics in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled study.

    Quan, ZheFeng; Tian, Ming; Chi, Ping; Li, Xin; He, HaiLi; Luo, Chao

    2015-01-01

    To observe the hemodynamic changes of parturients in the combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine during spinal anesthesia for caesarean section in this randomized double-blind study. Parturients (n = 136) undergoing elective cesarean delivery were randomly and equally allocated to receive either combined hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine (Group A) or hyperbaric ropivacaine (Group B). Outcome measures were: hemodynamic characteristics, maximum height of sensory block, time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level, incidence of complications, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, and neonatal blood gas analysis. Group A had a lower level of sensory blockade (T6 [T6-T7]) and longer time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level (8 ± 1.3 min) than did patients in Group B (T3 [T2-T4] and 5 ± 1.0 min, respectively; P hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine significantly decreased the incidences of hypotension and complications in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section by extending induction time and decreasing the level of sensory blockade. Chinese Clinical Trial Register ChiCTR-TRC-13004622.

  9. Multimeric recombinant M2e protein-based ELISA: a significant improvement in differentiating avian influenza infected chickens from vaccinated ones.

    Farshid Hadifar

    Full Text Available Killed avian influenza virus (AIV vaccines have been used to control H5N1 infections in countries where the virus is endemic. Distinguishing vaccinated from naturally infected birds (DIVA in such situations however, has become a major challenge. Recently, we introduced the recombinant ectodomain of the M2 protein (M2e of H5N1 subtype as a novel tool for an ELISA based DIVA test. Despite being antigenic in natural infection the monomer form of the M2e used in ELISA had limited antigenicity and consequently poor diagnostic capability. To address this shortcoming, we evaluated the use of four tandem copies of M2e (tM2e for increased efficiency of M2e antibody detection. The tM2e gene of H5N1 strain from Indonesia (A/Indonesia/CDC540/2006 was cloned into a pMAL- p4x expression vector and expressed in E.coli as a recombinant tM2e-MBP or M2e-MBP proteins. Both of these, M2e and tM2e antigens reacted with sera obtained from chickens following live H5N1 infection but not with sera from vaccinated birds. A significantly stronger M2e antibody reaction was observed with the tM2e compared to M2e antigen. Western blotting also supported the superiority of tM2e over M2e in detection of specific M2e antibodies against live H5N1 infection. Results from this study demonstrate that M2e tetramer is a better antigen than single M2e and could be more suitable for an ELISA based DIVA test.

  10. Improving sensitivity of linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression deconvolution with per-gene vs. global significance threshold.

    Glass, Edmund R; Dozmorov, Mikhail G

    2016-10-06

    The goal of many human disease-oriented studies is to detect molecular mechanisms different between healthy controls and patients. Yet, commonly used gene expression measurements from blood samples suffer from variability of cell composition. This variability hinders the detection of differentially expressed genes and is often ignored. Combined with cell counts, heterogeneous gene expression may provide deeper insights into the gene expression differences on the cell type-specific level. Published computational methods use linear regression to estimate cell type-specific differential expression, and a global cutoff to judge significance, such as False Discovery Rate (FDR). Yet, they do not consider many artifacts hidden in high-dimensional gene expression data that may negatively affect linear regression. In this paper we quantify the parameter space affecting the performance of linear regression (sensitivity of cell type-specific differential expression detection) on a per-gene basis. We evaluated the effect of sample sizes, cell type-specific proportion variability, and mean squared error on sensitivity of cell type-specific differential expression detection using linear regression. Each parameter affected variability of cell type-specific expression estimates and, subsequently, the sensitivity of differential expression detection. We provide the R package, LRCDE, which performs linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression (deconvolution) detection on a gene-by-gene basis. Accounting for variability around cell type-specific gene expression estimates, it computes per-gene t-statistics of differential detection, p-values, t-statistic-based sensitivity, group-specific mean squared error, and several gene-specific diagnostic metrics. The sensitivity of linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression detection differed for each gene as a function of mean squared error, per group sample sizes, and variability of the proportions

  11. Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) Significantly Improve Prostate Cancer Detection at Initial Biopsy in a Total PSA Range of 2–10 ng/ml

    Perdonà, Sisto; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; D’Esposito, Vittoria; Cosimato, Vincenzo; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Musi, Gennaro; De Cobelli, Ottavio; Chun, Felix K.; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa) at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2–10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC) of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA) were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77) was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76) and PCA3 (0.73) with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247). These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60), % fPSA (AUC = 0.62) and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63). At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume) increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS) compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, both phi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2–10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA. PMID:23861782

  12. Prostate Health Index (Phi and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3 significantly improve prostate cancer detection at initial biopsy in a total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml.

    Matteo Ferro

    Full Text Available Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3 have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77 was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76 and PCA3 (0.73 with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247. These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60, % fPSA (AUC = 0.62 and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63. At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively. In conclusion, both phi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2-10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA.

  13. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

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

  14. Predicting significant torso trauma.

    Nirula, Ram; Talmor, Daniel; Brasel, Karen

    2005-07-01

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

  15. Big data integration shows Australian bush-fire frequency is increasing significantly.

    Dutta, Ritaban; Das, Aruneema; Aryal, Jagannath

    2016-02-01

    Increasing Australian bush-fire frequencies over the last decade has indicated a major climatic change in coming future. Understanding such climatic change for Australian bush-fire is limited and there is an urgent need of scientific research, which is capable enough to contribute to Australian society. Frequency of bush-fire carries information on spatial, temporal and climatic aspects of bush-fire events and provides contextual information to model various climate data for accurately predicting future bush-fire hot spots. In this study, we develop an ensemble method based on a two-layered machine learning model to establish relationship between fire incidence and climatic data. In a 336 week data trial, we demonstrate that the model provides highly accurate bush-fire incidence hot-spot estimation (91% global accuracy) from the weekly climatic surfaces. Our analysis also indicates that Australian weekly bush-fire frequencies increased by 40% over the last 5 years, particularly during summer months, implicating a serious climatic shift.

  16. 47 CFR 76.54 - Significantly viewed signals; method to be followed for special showings.

    2010-10-01

    ... located, in whole or in part, and on all other system community units, franchisees, and franchise.... 339(d). (j) Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, the signal of a television broadcast...

  17. The first F-ring modified ciguatoxin analogue showing significant toxicity.

    Ishihara, Yuuki; Lee, Nayoung; Oshiro, Naomasa; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Yamashita, Shuji; Inoue, Masayuki; Hirama, Masahiro

    2010-05-07

    Ciguatoxins, the principal causative toxins of ciguatera seafood poisoning, are potent neurotoxic polycyclic ethers. We report herein the total synthesis of a 10-membered F-ring analogue of 51-hydroxyCTX3C, which constitutes the first example of an F-ring modified ciguatoxin that exhibits potent cytotoxicity as well as mouse acute toxicity.

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

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

    2018-02-01

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

  19. Nano-textured W shows improvement of thermionic emission properties

    Barmina, E.V.; Serkov, A.A.; Shafeev, G.A. [General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Wave Research Center of A.M. Prokhorov, Moscow (Russian Federation); Stratakis, E. [Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas, (IESL-FORTH), Heraklion (Greece); University of Crete, Materials Science and Technology Department, Heraklion (Greece); Fotakis, C. [Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas, (IESL-FORTH), Heraklion (Greece); University of Crete, Physics Department, Heraklion (Greece); Stolyarov, V.N.; Stolyarov, I.N. [Roentgenprom, Protvino, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2012-01-15

    Laser-assisted nano-texturing of W substrates cathodes via ablation in liquid environment is experimentally realized. Two laser sources are used, either a Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser or a Nd:YAG laser with pulse duration of 350 ps. Laser exposure of W results in the formation of hemi-spherical nanostructures situated on top of periodic ripples. Nano-textured thermionic W cathode demonstrates the decrease of the efficient work function by 0.3 eV compared to pristine surface. (orig.)

  20. Risk Aversion in Game Shows

    Andersen, Steffen; Harrison, Glenn W.; Lau, Morten I.

    2008-01-01

    We review the use of behavior from television game shows to infer risk attitudes. These shows provide evidence when contestants are making decisions over very large stakes, and in a replicated, structured way. Inferences are generally confounded by the subjective assessment of skill in some games......, and the dynamic nature of the task in most games. We consider the game shows Card Sharks, Jeopardy!, Lingo, and finally Deal Or No Deal. We provide a detailed case study of the analyses of Deal Or No Deal, since it is suitable for inference about risk attitudes and has attracted considerable attention....

  1. Measuring performance at trade shows

    Hansen, Kåre

    2004-01-01

    Trade shows is an increasingly important marketing activity to many companies, but current measures of trade show performance do not adequately capture dimensions important to exhibitors. Based on the marketing literature's outcome and behavior-based control system taxonomy, a model is built...... that captures a outcome-based sales dimension and four behavior-based dimensions (i.e. information-gathering, relationship building, image building, and motivation activities). A 16-item instrument is developed for assessing exhibitors perceptions of their trade show performance. The paper presents evidence...

  2. Meaning and significance of

    Ph D Student Roman Mihaela

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The concept of "public accountability" is a challenge for political science as a new concept in this area in full debate and developement ,both in theory and practice. This paper is a theoretical approach of displaying some definitions, relevant meanings and significance odf the concept in political science. The importance of this concept is that although originally it was used as a tool to improve effectiveness and eficiency of public governance, it has gradually become a purpose it itself. "Accountability" has become an image of good governance first in the United States of America then in the European Union.Nevertheless,the concept is vaguely defined and provides ambiguous images of good governance.This paper begins with the presentation of some general meanings of the concept as they emerge from specialized dictionaries and ancyclopaedies and continues with the meanings developed in political science. The concept of "public accontability" is rooted in economics and management literature,becoming increasingly relevant in today's political science both in theory and discourse as well as in practice in formulating and evaluating public policies. A first conclusin that emerges from, the analysis of the evolution of this term is that it requires a conceptual clarification in political science. A clear definition will then enable an appropriate model of proving the system of public accountability in formulating and assessing public policies, in order to implement a system of assessment and monitoring thereof.

  3. Significant improvement in performances of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 through surface modification with high ordered Al-doped ZnO electro-conductive layer

    Sun, Hongdan; Xia, Bingbo; Liu, Weiwei; Fang, Guoqing; Wu, Jingjing; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Ruixue; Kaneko, Shingo; Zheng, Junwei; Wang, Hongyu; Li, Decheng

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows excellent rate capability and a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature. - Highlights: • Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by a traditional sol–gel method. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. • At a high rate of 10 C, the discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can reach 114 mAh g −1 . • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) modification improved cyclic performance of LNMO at high temperatures. - Abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that AZO layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. The results of electrochemical performance measurements reveal that the AZO-coated LNMO electrode displays the best rate capability compared with the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, even at a high rate of 10 C. The discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can still reach 114.3 mAh g −1 , about 89% of its discharge capacity at 0.1 C. Moreover, AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature due to the protective effect of AZO coating layer. The electrode delivers a capacity of 120.3 mAh g −1 with the capacity retention of 95% at 5 C in 50 cycles at 50 °C. The analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicates that AZO-coated LNMO possesses the lowest charge transfer resistance compared to the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, which may be responsible for improved rate capability

  4. Significant improvement in performances of LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} through surface modification with high ordered Al-doped ZnO electro-conductive layer

    Sun, Hongdan; Xia, Bingbo [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Liu, Weiwei [Changzhou Institute of Energy Storage Materials & Devices, Changzhou 213000 (China); Fang, Guoqing; Wu, Jingjing; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Ruixue [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Kaneko, Shingo [Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Zheng, Junwei [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Wang, Hongyu [Changzhou Institute of Energy Storage Materials & Devices, Changzhou 213000 (China); Li, Decheng, E-mail: lidecheng@suda.edu.cn [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China)

    2015-03-15

    Graphical abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows excellent rate capability and a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature. - Highlights: • Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by a traditional sol–gel method. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. • At a high rate of 10 C, the discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can reach 114 mAh g{sup −1}. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) modification improved cyclic performance of LNMO at high temperatures. - Abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that AZO layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. The results of electrochemical performance measurements reveal that the AZO-coated LNMO electrode displays the best rate capability compared with the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, even at a high rate of 10 C. The discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can still reach 114.3 mAh g{sup −1}, about 89% of its discharge capacity at 0.1 C. Moreover, AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature due to the protective effect of AZO coating layer. The electrode delivers a capacity of 120.3 mAh g{sup −1} with the capacity retention of 95% at 5 C in 50 cycles at 50 °C. The analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicates that AZO-coated LNMO possesses the lowest charge transfer resistance compared to the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, which may be responsible for improved rate capability.

  5. Tokyo Motor Show 2003; Tokyo Motor Show 2003

    Joly, E.

    2004-01-01

    The text which follows present the different techniques exposed during the 37. Tokyo Motor Show. The report points out the great tendencies of developments of the Japanese automobile industry. The hybrid electric-powered vehicles or those equipped with fuel cells have been highlighted by the Japanese manufacturers which allow considerable budgets in the research of less polluting vehicles. The exposed models, although being all different according to the manufacturer, use always a hybrid system: fuel cell/battery. The manufacturers have stressed too on the intelligent systems for navigation and safety as well as on the design and comfort. (O.M.)

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

    Fakhreldin, Marwa; Elmasry, Karim

    2016-02-03

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

  7. Reality show: um paradoxo nietzschiano

    Ilana Feldman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available

    O fenômeno dos reality shows - e a subseqüente relação entre imagem e verdade - assenta-se sobre uma série de paradoxos. Tais paradoxos podem ser compreendidos à luz do pensamento do filósofo alemão Friedrich Nietzsche, que, através dos usos de formulações paradoxais, concebia a realidade como um mundo de pura aparência e a verdade como um acréscimo ficcional, como um efeito. A ficção é então tomada, na filosofia de Nietzsche, não em seu aspecto falsificante e desrealizador - como sempre pleiteou nossa tradição metafísica -, mas como condição necessária para que certa espécie de invenção possa operar como verdade. Sendo assim, a própria expressão reality show, através de sua formulação paradoxal, engendra explicitamente um mundo de pura aparência, em que a verdade, a parte reality da proposição, é da ordem do suplemento, daquilo que se acrescenta ficcionalmente - como um adjetivo - a show. O ornamento, nesse caso, passa a ocupar o lugar central, apontando para o efeito produzido: o efeito-de-verdade. Seguindo, então, o pensamento nietzschiano e sua atualização na contemporaneidade, investigaremos de que forma os televisivos “shows de realidade” operam paradoxalmente, em consonância com nossas paradoxais práticas culturais.

  8. Biomass route shows lower cost

    Taffe, P

    1980-11-21

    There has been much discussion concerning the economics of using biomass for the production of substitute fuels and it has been argued that the net energy gain could be small or even negative. The development of the ATPAL process is described and it is claimed that only one quarter of the energy equivalent contained in the alcohol will be consumed in the total process. Both the pilot plant and a commercial scale plant with some modifications are described. The most significant advantage claimed for the ATPAL process is in its low process energy savings resulting from mechanical vapour recompression, recycling the heat and production of a low volume of effluent.

  9. First-line endoscopic treatment with over-the-scope clips significantly improves the primary failure and rebleeding rates in high-risk gastrointestinal bleeding: A single-center experience with 100 cases.

    Richter-Schrag, Hans-Jürgen; Glatz, Torben; Walker, Christine; Fischer, Andreas; Thimme, Robert

    2016-11-07

    To evaluate rebleeding, primary failure (PF) and mortality of patients in whom over-the-scope clips (OTSCs) were used as first-line and second-line endoscopic treatment (FLET, SLET) of upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB, LGIB). A retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database identified all patients with UGIB and LGIB in a tertiary endoscopic referral center of the University of Freiburg, Germany, from 04-2012 to 05-2016 ( n = 93) who underwent FLET and SLET with OTSCs. The complete Rockall risk scores were calculated from patients with UGIB. The scores were categorized as < or ≥ 7 and were compared with the original Rockall data. Differences between FLET and SLET were calculated. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to evaluate the factors that influenced rebleeding after OTSC placement. Primary hemostasis and clinical success of bleeding lesions (without rebleeding) was achieved in 88/100 (88%) and 78/100 (78%), respectively. PF was significantly lower when OTSCs were applied as FLET compared to SLET (4.9% vs 23%, P = 0.008). In multivariate analysis, patients who had OTSC placement as SLET had a significantly higher rebleeding risk compared to those who had FLET (OR 5.3; P = 0.008). Patients with Rockall risk scores ≥ 7 had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality compared to those with scores < 7 (35% vs 10%, P = 0.034). No significant differences were observed in patients with scores < or ≥ 7 in rebleeding and rebleeding-associated mortality. Our data show for the first time that FLET with OTSC might be the best predictor to successfully prevent rebleeding of gastrointestinal bleeding compared to SLET. The type of treatment determines the success of primary hemostasis or primary failure.

  10. OnabotulinumtoxinA 100U provides significant improvements in overactive bladder symptoms in patients with urinary incontinence regardless of the number of anticholinergic therapies used or reason for inadequate management of overactive bladder.

    Sievert, K-D; Chapple, C; Herschorn, S; Joshi, M; Zhou, J; Nardo, C; Nitti, V W

    2014-10-01

    A prespecified pooled analysis of two placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials evaluated whether the number of prior anticholinergics used or reason for their discontinuation affected the treatment response to onabotulinumtoxinA 100U in overactive bladder (OAB) patients with urinary incontinence (UI). Patients with symptoms of OAB received intradetrusor injections of onabotulinumtoxinA 100U or placebo, sparing the trigone. Change from baseline at week 12 in UI episodes/day, proportion of patients reporting a positive response ('greatly improved' or 'improved') on the treatment benefit scale (TBS), micturition and urgency were evaluated by number of prior anticholinergics (1, 2 or ≥ 3) and reason for their discontinuation (insufficient efficacy or side effects). Adverse events (AE) were assessed. Patients had taken an average of 2.4 anticholinergics before study enrolment. OnabotulinumtoxinA reduced UI episodes/day from baseline vs. placebo, regardless of the number of prior anticholinergics (-2.82 vs. -1.52 for one prior anticholinergic; -2.58 vs. -0.58 for two prior anticholinergics; and -2.92 vs. -0.73 for three or more prior anticholinergics; all p reason for discontinuation. OnabotulinumtoxinA reduced the episodes of urgency and frequency of micturition vs. placebo in all groups. AEs were well tolerated, with a comparable incidence in all groups. In patients with symptoms of OAB who were inadequately managed by one or more anticholinergics, onabotulinumtoxinA 100U provided significant and similar treatment benefit and safety profile regardless of the number of prior anticholinergics used or reason for inadequate management of OAB. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00910845, NCT00910520. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Clinical Practice published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Significant accomplishments, 2009

    2009-01-01

    BTS data is vital to improve transportation decision making, as well as evaluations of performance and what works in the nations transportation systems. As BTS continues its course of producing relevant, accurate, and timely transportation d...

  12. Determining Semantically Related Significant Genes.

    Taha, Kamal

    2014-01-01

    GO relation embodies some aspects of existence dependency. If GO term xis existence-dependent on GO term y, the presence of y implies the presence of x. Therefore, the genes annotated with the function of the GO term y are usually functionally and semantically related to the genes annotated with the function of the GO term x. A large number of gene set enrichment analysis methods have been developed in recent years for analyzing gene sets enrichment. However, most of these methods overlook the structural dependencies between GO terms in GO graph by not considering the concept of existence dependency. We propose in this paper a biological search engine called RSGSearch that identifies enriched sets of genes annotated with different functions using the concept of existence dependency. We observe that GO term xcannot be existence-dependent on GO term y, if x- and y- have the same specificity (biological characteristics). After encoding into a numeric format the contributions of GO terms annotating target genes to the semantics of their lowest common ancestors (LCAs), RSGSearch uses microarray experiment to identify the most significant LCA that annotates the result genes. We evaluated RSGSearch experimentally and compared it with five gene set enrichment systems. Results showed marked improvement.

  13. Kefir drink causes a significant yet similar improvement in serum lipid profile, compared with low-fat milk, in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial.

    Fathi, Yasamin; Ghodrati, Naeimeh; Zibaeenezhad, Mohammad-Javad; Faghih, Shiva

    Controversy exists as to whether the lipid-lowering properties of kefir drink (a fermented probiotic dairy product) in animal models could be replicated in humans. To assess and compare the potential lipid-lowering effects of kefir drink with low-fat milk in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women. In this 8-week, single-center, multiarm, parallel-group, outpatient, randomized controlled trial, 75 eligible Iranian women aged 25 to 45 years were randomly allocated to kefir, milk, or control groups. Women in the control group received a weight-maintenance diet containing 2 servings/d of low-fat dairy products, whereas subjects in the milk and kefir groups received a similar diet containing 2 additional servings/d (a total of 4 servings/d) of dairy products from low-fat milk or kefir drink, respectively. At baseline and study end point, serum levels/ratios of total cholesterol (TC), low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC and HDLC), triglyceride, Non-HDLC, TC/HDLC, LDLC/HDLC, and triglyceride/LDLC were measured as outcome measures. After 8 weeks, subjects in the kefir group had significantly lower serum levels/ratios of lipoproteins than those in the control group (mean between-group differences were -10.4 mg/dL, -9.7 mg/dL, -11.5 mg/dL, -0.4, and -0.3 for TC, LDLC, non-HDLC, TC/HDLC, and LDLC/HDLC, respectively; all P < .05). Similar results were observed in the milk group. However, no such significant differences were found between the kefir and milk groups. Kefir drink causes a significant yet similar improvement in serum lipid profile, compared with low-fat milk, in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women. Copyright © 2016 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Factoring local sequence composition in motif significance analysis.

    Ng, Patrick; Keich, Uri

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Detecting Novelty and Significance

    Ferrari, Vera; Bradley, Margaret M.; Codispoti, Maurizio; Lang, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of cognition often use an “oddball” paradigm to study effects of stimulus novelty and significance on information processing. However, an oddball tends to be perceptually more novel than the standard, repeated stimulus as well as more relevant to the ongoing task, making it difficult to disentangle effects due to perceptual novelty and stimulus significance. In the current study, effects of perceptual novelty and significance on ERPs were assessed in a passive viewing context by presenting repeated and novel pictures (natural scenes) that either signaled significant information regarding the current context or not. A fronto-central N2 component was primarily affected by perceptual novelty, whereas a centro-parietal P3 component was modulated by both stimulus significance and novelty. The data support an interpretation that the N2 reflects perceptual fluency and is attenuated when a current stimulus matches an active memory representation and that the amplitude of the P3 reflects stimulus meaning and significance. PMID:19400680

  16. Significant NRC Enforcement Actions

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission — This dataset provides a list of Nuclear Regulartory Commission (NRC) issued significant enforcement actions. These actions, referred to as "escalated", are issued by...

  17. News Teaching: The epiSTEMe project: KS3 maths and science improvement Field trip: Pupils learn physics in a stately home Conference: ShowPhysics welcomes fun in Europe Student numbers: Physics numbers increase in UK Tournament: Physics tournament travels to Singapore Particle physics: Hadron Collider sets new record Astronomy: Take your classroom into space Forthcoming Events

    2010-05-01

    Teaching: The epiSTEMe project: KS3 maths and science improvement Field trip: Pupils learn physics in a stately home Conference: ShowPhysics welcomes fun in Europe Student numbers: Physics numbers increase in UK Tournament: Physics tournament travels to Singapore Particle physics: Hadron Collider sets new record Astronomy: Take your classroom into space Forthcoming Events

  18. IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation

    Mbofung Carl MF

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A recent in vitro study indicates that IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the traditional West African food plant Irvingia gabonensis, favorably impacts adipogenesis through a variety of critical metabolic pathways including PPAR gamma, leptin, adiponectin, and glycerol-3 phosphate dehydrogenase. This study was therefore aimed at evaluating the effects of IGOB131, an extract of Irvingia gabonensis, on body weight and associated metabolic parameters in overweight human volunteers. Methods The study participants comprised of 102 healthy, overweight and/or obese volunteers (defined as BMI > 25 kg/m2 randomly divided into two groups. The groups received on a daily basis, either 150 mg of IGOB131 or matching placebo in a double blinded fashion, 30–60 minutes before lunch and dinner. At baseline, 4, 8 and 10 weeks of the study, subjects were evaluated for changes in anthropometrics and metabolic parameters to include fasting lipids, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin. Results Significant improvements in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference as well as plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin and leptin levels were observed in the IGOB131 group compared with the placebo group. Conclusion Irvingia gabonensis administered 150 mg twice daily before meals to overweight and/or obese human volunteers favorably impacts body weight and a variety of parameters characteristic of the metabolic syndrome. This is the first double blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial regarding the anti-obesity and lipid profile modulating effects of an Irvingia gabonensis extract. The positive clinical results, together with our previously published mechanisms of gene expression modulation related to key metabolic pathways in lipid metabolism, provide impetus for much larger clinical studies. Irvingia gabonensis extract may prove to be a useful tool in dealing with the

  19. Signifikante Verbesserungen eines klinischen Untersuchungskurses nach einfachen strukturierten Veränderungen des Lehrinhalts und der Lehrmethoden [Significant improvement of a clinical training course in physical examination after basic structural changes in the teaching content and methods

    Bott-Flügel, Lorenz

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available [english] Background: Regular student evaluations at the Technical University Munich indicate the necessity for improvement of the clinical examination course. The aim of this study was to examine if targeted measures to restructure and improve a clinical examination course session lead to a higher level of student satisfaction as well as better self-assessment of the acquired techniques of clinical examination.Methods: At three medical departments of the Technical University Munich during the 2010 summer semester, the quantitative results of 49 student evaluations (ratings 1-6, German scholastic grading system of the clinical examination course were compared for a course before and a course after structured measures for improvement. These measures included structured teaching instructions, handouts and additional material from the Internet.Results: 47 evaluations were completed before and 34 evaluations after the measures for improvement. The measures named above led to a significant improvement of the evaluative ratings in the following areas: short introduction to the topic of each clinical examination course (from 2.4±1.2 to1.7±1.0; p=0.0020 and to basic measures of hygiene (from 3.8±1.9 to 2.5±1.8; p=0.004, structured demonstration of each clinical examination step (from 2.9±1.5 to 1.8±1.0; p=0.001, sufficient practice of each clinical examination step (from 3.1±1.8 to 2.2±1.4; p=0.030 structured feedback on each clinical examination step (from 3.0±1.4 to 2.3±1.0; p=0.0070, use of handouts (from 5.2±1.4 to 1.8±1.4; p[german] Hintergrund: Die regelmäßigen Evaluationen der Studierenden der Technischen Universität München deuten auf einen Verbesserungsbedarf des klinischen Untersuchungskurses hin. Ziel der vorliegenden Studie war es, zu prüfen, ob gezielte Maßnahmen zur Umstrukturierung und Verbesserung eines Untersuchungskurstages zu einer höheren Zufriedenheit der Studierenden und zu einer besseren Selbsteinschätzung der

  20. Detection of significant protein coevolution.

    Ochoa, David; Juan, David; Valencia, Alfonso; Pazos, Florencio

    2015-07-01

    The evolution of proteins cannot be fully understood without taking into account the coevolutionary linkages entangling them. From a practical point of view, coevolution between protein families has been used as a way of detecting protein interactions and functional relationships from genomic information. The most common approach to inferring protein coevolution involves the quantification of phylogenetic tree similarity using a family of methodologies termed mirrortree. In spite of their success, a fundamental problem of these approaches is the lack of an adequate statistical framework to assess the significance of a given coevolutionary score (tree similarity). As a consequence, a number of ad hoc filters and arbitrary thresholds are required in an attempt to obtain a final set of confident coevolutionary signals. In this work, we developed a method for associating confidence estimators (P values) to the tree-similarity scores, using a null model specifically designed for the tree comparison problem. We show how this approach largely improves the quality and coverage (number of pairs that can be evaluated) of the detected coevolution in all the stages of the mirrortree workflow, independently of the starting genomic information. This not only leads to a better understanding of protein coevolution and its biological implications, but also to obtain a highly reliable and comprehensive network of predicted interactions, as well as information on the substructure of macromolecular complexes using only genomic information. The software and datasets used in this work are freely available at: http://csbg.cnb.csic.es/pMT/. pazos@cnb.csic.es Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. A novel self-micro-emulsifying delivery system (SMEDS) formulation significantly improves the fasting absorption of EPA and DHA from a single dose of an omega-3 ethyl ester concentrate.

    Qin, Yan; Nyheim, Hilde; Haram, Else Marie; Moritz, Joseph M; Hustvedt, Svein Olaf

    2017-10-16

    Absorption of EPA and DHA from Omega-3-acid ethyl ester (EE) concentrate supplements occurs most efficiently when taken in context of a fatty meal; adequate fat intake is required to release bile salts that emulsify and pancreatic enzymes that digest omega-3-containing lipids in the intestine. Current guidelines recommend reduction in fat intake and therefore there is a need to optimize the absorption of Omega-3 in those consuming low-fat or no-fat meals. To this end, BASF has developed an Absorption Acceleration Technology, a novel self-micro-emulsifying delivery system (SMEDS) formulation of highly concentrated Omega-3-acid EE which enables rapid emulsification and microdroplet formation upon entering the aqueous environment of the gut therefore enhances the absorption. Two separate single dose, crossover studies were conducted to determine the relative bioavailability of omega-3-acid EE concentrate, either as a novel SMEDS formulation (PRF-021) or as control, in healthy fasted male and female adults at two dose levels (Study 1 "low dose": 630 mg EPA + DHA in PRF-021 vs. 840 mg EPA + DHA in control; Study 2 "high dose": 1680 mg EPA + DHA in PRF-021 vs. 3360 mg EPA + DHA in control). Blood samples were collected immediately before supplementation and at defined time intervals for 48 h. Plasma concentration of total EPA and DHA were determined for pharmacokinetic analysis, area under the curve (AUC) and maximum observed concentration (C max ) was determined. Total EPA plus DHA absorption from SMEDS formulation PRF-021 were 6.4 and 11.5 times higher compared to control in low- and high-dose studies respectively, determined as the ratio of baseline corrected, dose normalized AUC 0-24h of PRF-021 over that of control. EPA and DHA individually showed differing levels of enhancement: the AUC 0-24h ratio for EPA was 23.8 and 25.7 in low and high dose studies, respectively, and the AUC 0-24h ratio for DHA was 3.6 and 5.6 in low and high dose studies

  2. The significance of relationships

    Burningham, Kate

    2017-12-01

    Understanding individual energy use can inform interventions for energy conservation. A longitudinal qualitative interview study shows that energy use behaviour is not simply a matter of individual choice, but rather is influenced by unique personal circumstances and familial and social relationships, which change over time.

  3. Significant Tsunami Events

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1994-03-01

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

  5. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1992-11-01

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

  6. Testing Significance Testing

    Joachim I. Krueger

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The practice of Significance Testing (ST remains widespread in psychological science despite continual criticism of its flaws and abuses. Using simulation experiments, we address four concerns about ST and for two of these we compare ST’s performance with prominent alternatives. We find the following: First, the 'p' values delivered by ST predict the posterior probability of the tested hypothesis well under many research conditions. Second, low 'p' values support inductive inferences because they are most likely to occur when the tested hypothesis is false. Third, 'p' values track likelihood ratios without raising the uncertainties of relative inference. Fourth, 'p' values predict the replicability of research findings better than confidence intervals do. Given these results, we conclude that 'p' values may be used judiciously as a heuristic tool for inductive inference. Yet, 'p' values cannot bear the full burden of inference. We encourage researchers to be flexible in their selection and use of statistical methods.

  7. Safety significance evaluation system

    Lew, B.S.; Yee, D.; Brewer, W.K.; Quattro, P.J.; Kirby, K.D.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG and E), in cooperation with ABZ, Incorporated and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), investigated the use of artificial intelligence-based programming techniques to assist utility personnel in regulatory compliance problems. The result of this investigation is that artificial intelligence-based programming techniques can successfully be applied to this problem. To demonstrate this, a general methodology was developed and several prototype systems based on this methodology were developed. The prototypes address U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) event reportability requirements, technical specification compliance based on plant equipment status, and quality assurance assistance. This collection of prototype modules is named the safety significance evaluation system

  8. Gas revenue increasingly significant

    Megill, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    This paper briefly describes the wellhead prices of natural gas compared to crude oil over the past 70 years. Although natural gas prices have never reached price parity with crude oil, the relative value of a gas BTU has been increasing. It is one of the reasons that the total amount of money coming from natural gas wells is becoming more significant. From 1920 to 1955 the revenue at the wellhead for natural gas was only about 10% of the money received by producers. Most of the money needed for exploration, development, and production came from crude oil. At present, however, over 40% of the money from the upstream portion of the petroleum industry is from natural gas. As a result, in a few short years natural gas may become 50% of the money revenues generated from wellhead production facilities

  9. Asymptomatic proteinuria. Clinical significance.

    Papper, S

    1977-09-01

    Patients with asymptomatic proteinuria have varied reasons for the proteinuria and travel diverse courses. In the individual with normal renal function and no systemic cause, ie, idiopathic asymptomatic proteinuria, the outlook is generally favorable. Microscopic hematuria probably raises some degree of question about prognosis. The kidney shows normal glomeruli, subtle changes, or an identifiable lesion. The initial approach includes a clinical and laboratory search for systemic disease, repeated urinalyses, quantitative measurements of proteinuria, determination of creatinine clearance, protein electrophoresis where indicated, and intravenous pyelography. The need for regularly scheduled follow-up evaluation is emphasized. Although the initial approach need not include renal biopsy, a decline in creatinine clearance, an increase in proteinuria, or both are indications for biopsy and consideration of drug therapy.

  10. Significance evaluation in factor graphs

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Tumor significant dose

    Supe, S.J.; Nagalaxmi, K.V.; Meenakshi, L.

    1983-01-01

    In the practice of radiotherapy, various concepts like NSD, CRE, TDF, and BIR are being used to evaluate the biological effectiveness of the treatment schedules on the normal tissues. This has been accepted as the tolerance of the normal tissue is the limiting factor in the treatment of cancers. At present when various schedules are tried, attention is therefore paid to the biological damage of the normal tissues only and it is expected that the damage to the cancerous tissues would be extensive enough to control the cancer. Attempt is made in the present work to evaluate the concent of tumor significant dose (TSD) which will represent the damage to the cancerous tissue. Strandquist in the analysis of a large number of cases of squamous cell carcinoma found that for the 5 fraction/week treatment, the total dose required to bring about the same damage for the cancerous tissue is proportional to T/sup -0.22/, where T is the overall time over which the dose is delivered. Using this finding the TSD was defined as DxN/sup -p/xT/sup -q/, where D is the total dose, N the number of fractions, T the overall time p and q are the exponents to be suitably chosen. The values of p and q are adjusted such that p+q< or =0.24, and p varies from 0.0 to 0.24 and q varies from 0.0 to 0.22. Cases of cancer of cervix uteri treated between 1978 and 1980 in the V. N. Cancer Centre, Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital, Coimbatore, India were analyzed on the basis of these formulations. These data, coupled with the clinical experience, were used for choice of a formula for the TSD. Further, the dose schedules used in the British Institute of Radiology fraction- ation studies were also used to propose that the tumor significant dose is represented by DxN/sup -0.18/xT/sup -0.06/

  12. Uranium chemistry: significant advances

    Mazzanti, M.

    2011-01-01

    The author reviews recent progress in uranium chemistry achieved in CEA laboratories. Like its neighbors in the Mendeleev chart uranium undergoes hydrolysis, oxidation and disproportionation reactions which make the chemistry of these species in water highly complex. The study of the chemistry of uranium in an anhydrous medium has led to correlate the structural and electronic differences observed in the interaction of uranium(III) and the lanthanides(III) with nitrogen or sulfur molecules and the effectiveness of these molecules in An(III)/Ln(III) separation via liquid-liquid extraction. Recent work on the redox reactivity of trivalent uranium U(III) in an organic medium with molecules such as water or an azide ion (N 3 - ) in stoichiometric quantities, led to extremely interesting uranium aggregates particular those involved in actinide migration in the environment or in aggregation problems in the fuel processing cycle. Another significant advance was the discovery of a compound containing the uranyl ion with a degree of oxidation (V) UO 2 + , obtained by oxidation of uranium(III). Recently chemists have succeeded in blocking the disproportionation reaction of uranyl(V) and in stabilizing polymetallic complexes of uranyl(V), opening the way to to a systematic study of the reactivity and the electronic and magnetic properties of uranyl(V) compounds. (A.C.)

  13. Resultados histológicos e detecção do HPV em mulheres com células escamosas atípicas de significado indeterminado e lesão escamosa intra-epitelial de baixo grau na colpocitologia oncológica Histological results and HPV detection in women with pap smear showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion

    André Luis Ferreira Santos

    2004-07-01

    cells of unknown significance (ASCUS or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL. METHODS: a cross-sectional study comprising 161 women referred to the Taubaté University Hospital due to ASCUS/LSIL, between August 2000 and September 2002. All women responded to a questionnaire regarding sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics and were subjected to gynecological examination with specimen collection for Pap test and HCII, along with colposcopy and eventual cervical biopsy. The relationship between HCII results and age, use of condom, oral hormonal contraception, and smoking were evaluated by the chi-square test. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of both Pap test and HCII were calculated. All calculations were performed within 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: sixty-seven percent of the women that tested positive for HPV were less than 30 years old. Pap smear and HCII showed the same 82% sensitivity in detecting CIN2/3 when the threshold for a positive Pap result was ASCUS, LSIL or HSIL. Pap smear specificity and positive predictive values were substantially increased when only HSIL results were considered as positive (from 29 to 95% and 12 to 50%, respectively. These figures were superior to those of HCII, but at the expense of an expressive loss of sensitivity (from 82% to 41%. CONCLUSIONS: our results substantiate the potential of HCII in detecting CIN2/3 among women referred due to ASCUS/LSIL.

  14. Significant Radionuclides Determination

    Jo A. Ziegler

    2001-07-31

    The purpose of this calculation is to identify radionuclides that are significant to offsite doses from potential preclosure events for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste expected to be received at the potential Monitored Geologic Repository (MGR). In this calculation, high-level radioactive waste is included in references to DOE SNF. A previous document, ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' (CRWMS M&O 1999b), calculated the source terms and offsite doses for Department of Energy (DOE) and Naval SNF for use in design basis event analyses. This calculation reproduces only DOE SNF work (i.e., no naval SNF work is included in this calculation) created in ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' and expands the calculation to include DOE SNF expected to produce a high dose consequence (even though the quantity of the SNF is expected to be small) and SNF owned by commercial nuclear power producers. The calculation does not address any specific off-normal/DBE event scenarios for receiving, handling, or packaging of SNF. The results of this calculation are developed for comparative analysis to establish the important radionuclides and do not represent the final source terms to be used for license application. This calculation will be used as input to preclosure safety analyses and is performed in accordance with procedure AP-3.12Q, ''Calculations'', and is subject to the requirements of DOE/RW-0333P, ''Quality Assurance Requirements and Description'' (DOE 2000) as determined by the activity evaluation contained in ''Technical Work Plan for: Preclosure Safety Analysis, TWP-MGR-SE-000010'' (CRWMS M&O 2000b) in accordance with procedure AP-2.21Q, ''Quality Determinations and Planning for Scientific, Engineering, and Regulatory Compliance Activities''.

  15. Double polymer sheathed carbon nanotube supercapacitors show enhanced cycling stability

    Zhao, Wenqi; Wang, Shanshan; Wang, Chunhui; Wu, Shiting; Xu, Wenjing; Zou, Mingchu; Ouyang, An; Cao, Anyuan; Li, Yibin

    2015-12-01

    Pseudo-materials are effective in boosting the specific capacitance of supercapacitors, but during service their degradation may also be very strong, causing reduced cycling stability. Here, we show that a carbon nanotube sponge grafted by two conventional pseudo-polymer layers in sequence can serve as a porous supercapacitor electrode with significantly enhanced cycling stability compared with single polymer grafting. Creating conformal polymer coatings on the nanotube surface and the resulting double-sheath configuration are important structural factors leading to the enhanced performance. Combining different polymers as double sheaths as reported here might be a potential route to circumvent the dilemma of pseudo-materials, and to simultaneously improve the capacitance and stability for various energy storage devices.Pseudo-materials are effective in boosting the specific capacitance of supercapacitors, but during service their degradation may also be very strong, causing reduced cycling stability. Here, we show that a carbon nanotube sponge grafted by two conventional pseudo-polymer layers in sequence can serve as a porous supercapacitor electrode with significantly enhanced cycling stability compared with single polymer grafting. Creating conformal polymer coatings on the nanotube surface and the resulting double-sheath configuration are important structural factors leading to the enhanced performance. Combining different polymers as double sheaths as reported here might be a potential route to circumvent the dilemma of pseudo-materials, and to simultaneously improve the capacitance and stability for various energy storage devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr05978j

  16. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1993-09-01

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

  17. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1990-05-01

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

  18. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1991-05-01

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

  19. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1991-02-01

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

  20. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1990-03-01

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

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1990-11-01

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

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1992-08-01

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

  3. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1990-09-01

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

  4. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1993-06-01

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

  5. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1992-05-01

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

  6. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1993-12-01

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

  7. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1993-03-01

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

  8. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1991-07-01

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

  9. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1991-11-01

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

  10. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1992-03-01

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

  11. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1989-06-01

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

  12. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    1989-12-01

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

  13. The energetic significance of cooking.

    Carmody, Rachel N; Wrangham, Richard W

    2009-10-01

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

  14. Elaborate strategy for preparing Li4Ti5O12-based anode materials with significantly improved lithium storage: TiO2 nanodots in-situ decoration and hierarchical structure construction

    Xu, Hui; Tian, Qinghua; Huang, Jun; Bao, Dongmei; Zhang, Zhengxi; Yang, Li

    2017-11-01

    Spinel Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) has attracted extensive attention as potential anode materials for power lithium-ion batteries due to its outstanding structural stability and remarkable safety. However, it's practical application yet be limited by such disadvantages of dissatisfied specific capacity, poor electron conductivity and low lithium-ion diffusion coefficient. Thus, design and preparation of LTO anodes with desirable performance is still a challenge. Herein, we have successfully and greatly improved the performance of LTO anodes, in terms of rate capability, life and specific capacity in particular via dot-to-face anatase TiO2in-situ decoration and hierarchical structure construction under a facile approach (directly using the tetrabutyl titanate as titanium source instead of specially prepared titanium oxide precursors). The as-prepared LTO-based anode (denoted as T-LTO) delivers an ultra-high reversible specific capacity of 196.5 mAh g-1 after 300 cycles at 20 mA g-1, and superior rate performance and even ultra-long life of more than 145.8 mAh g-1 at 28.5C between 1.0 and 3.0 V. The achieved outstanding electrochemical performance largely surpasses that of reportedly state-of-the-art LTO-based anode materials. This work may open up a broader vision into developing advanced LTO-based anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.

  15. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals

    Bull, Tim J.; Munshil, Tulika; Melvang, Heidi Mikkelsen

    2017-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis......Ka culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin....... (MAP) due to slow growth, clumping and low recoverability issues. The principle goal of this study was to evaluate a novel culturing process (TiKa) with unique ability to stimulate MAP growth from low sample loads and dilutions. We demonstrate it was able to stimulate a mean 29-fold increase...

  16. Solvothermal-assisted evaporation-induced self-assembly process for significant improvement in the textural properties of γ-Al2O3, and study dye adsorption efficiency

    Sourav Ghosh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A comparative study of the textural properties of γ-Al2O3 prepared by solvothermal-assisted evaporation-induced self-assembly (SA-EISA and conventional evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA processes has been carried out using aluminum isopropoxide, triblock copolymer-type nonionic surfactant (Pluronic P123 and ethanol. The solvothermal reaction was carried out at 100 °C for 24 h followed by slow drying at 60 °C for 48 h. The synthesized products were characterized by thermogravimetry analysis (TGA, differential thermal analysis (DTA, X-ray diffraction (XRD analysis, N2 adsorption–desorption study and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. The γ-Al2O3 prepared by SA-EISA process became stable up to 1000 °C. The powder prepared by SA-EISA process resulted in a significant increase in textural properties (BET surface area, pore volume and pore diameter compared to that prepared by conventional EISA process. A better adsorption capacity for Congo red, a carcinogenic dye used in textile industry, was exhibited by the powders prepared by SA-EISA process. A proposed mechanism was illustrated for the formation of mesoporous γ-Al2O3 obtained by EISA and SA-EISA processes.

  17. Bacteriophages show promise as antimicrobial agents.

    Alisky, J; Iczkowski, K; Rapoport, A; Troitsky, N

    1998-01-01

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has prompted interest in alternatives to conventional drugs. One possible option is to use bacteriophages (phage) as antimicrobial agents. We have conducted a literature review of all Medline citations from 1966-1996 that dealt with the therapeutic use of phage. There were 27 papers from Poland, the Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S.A. The Polish and Soviets administered phage orally, topically or systemically to treat a wide variety of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in both adults and children. Infections included suppurative wound infections, gastroenteritis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, dermatitis, empyemas and pneumonia; pathogens included Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Escherichia, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Shigella and Salmonella spp. Overall, the Polish and Soviets reported success rates of 80-95% for phage therapy, with rare, reversible gastrointestinal or allergic side effects. However, efficacy of phage was determined almost exclusively by qualitative clinical assessment of patients, and details of dosages and clinical criteria were very sketchy. There were also six British reports describing controlled trials of phage in animal models (mice, guinea pigs and livestock), measuring survival rates and other objective criteria. All of the British studies raised phage against specific pathogens then used to create experimental infections. Demonstrable efficacy against Escherichia, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus spp. was noted in these model systems. Two U.S. papers dealt with improving the bioavailability of phage. Phage is sequestered in the spleen and removed from circulation. This can be overcome by serial passage of phage through mice to isolate mutants that resist sequestration. In conclusion, bacteriophages may show promise for treating antibiotic resistant pathogens. To facilitate further progress, directions for future research are discussed and a directory of authors from the reviewed

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    ... Conditions Drug Guide Conditions Dictionary Just for Kids Library School Tools Videos Virtual Allergist Education & Training Careers in ... Support the AAAAI Foundation Donate Utility navigation Español Journals Annual Meeting Member Login / My Membership Search navigation ...

  20. marker development for two novel rice genes showing differential ...

    2014-08-19

    Aug 19, 2014 ... School of Crop Improvement, College of PostGraduate Studies, Central Agricultural University, ... from the root transcriptome data for tolerance to low P. .... Values show a representative result of three independent experiments ...

  1. Moral significance of phenomenal consciousness.

    Levy, Neil; Savulescu, Julian

    2009-01-01

    Recent work in neuroimaging suggests that some patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state are actually conscious. In this paper, we critically examine this new evidence. We argue that though it remains open to alternative interpretations, it strongly suggests the presence of consciousness in some patients. However, we argue that its ethical significance is less than many people seem to think. There are several different kinds of consciousness, and though all kinds of consciousness have some ethical significance, different kinds underwrite different kinds of moral value. Demonstrating that patients have phenomenal consciousness--conscious states with some kind of qualitative feel to them--shows that they are moral patients, whose welfare must be taken into consideration. But only if they are subjects of a sophisticated kind of access consciousness--where access consciousness entails global availability of information to cognitive systems--are they persons, in the technical sense of the word employed by philosophers. In this sense, being a person is having the full moral status of ordinary human beings. We call for further research which might settle whether patients who manifest signs of consciousness possess the sophisticated kind of access consciousness required for personhood.

  2. The cosmopolitan maternal heritage of the Thoroughbred racehorse breed shows a significant contribution from British and Irish native mares

    Bower, M. A.; Campana, M. G.; Whitten, M.; Edwards, C. J.; Jones, H.; Barrett, E.; Cassidy, R.; Nisbet, R. E. R.; Hill, E. W.; Howe, C. J.; Binns, M.

    2010-01-01

    The paternal origins of Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to a handful of Middle Eastern stallions, imported to the British Isles during the seventeenth century. Yet, few details of the foundation mares were recorded, in many cases not even their names (several different maternal lineages trace back to ‘A Royal Mare’). This has fuelled intense speculation over their origins. We examined mitochondrial DNA from 1929 horses to determine the origin of Thoroughbred foundation mares. There is no e...

  3. Secukinumab shows significant efficacy in two patients with difficult-to-treat areas of psoriasis: a Greek experience.

    Platsidaki, Eftychia; Kostopoulos, Nikolaos; Marnelakis, Ioannis; Panagakis, Pantelis

    2018-03-15

    Psoriasis is one of the most frequently occurring chronic inflammatory skin diseases. There are some specialized regions of the body that are considered difficult to treat. Secukinumab is a human monoclonal immunoglobulin G antibody that blocks the interleukin 17A ligand and has been shown to be highly efficacious in treating moderate-to-severe psoriasis. We studied two Greek patients, one with scalp psoriasis and the other with palmoplantar psoriasis, both resistant to treatment. Patients were treated with secukinumab and efficacy and safety were recorded. The patient with severe, refractory palmoplantar psoriasis achieved complete clearance at the end of the 4-week treatment period with secukinumab. The patient with moderate to severe, chronic scalp psoriasis was successfully treated with secukinumab, obtaining complete clearance of symptoms and remission of disease after approximately 16 weeks. In both cases clinical response was maintained through week 52. Secukinumab has been shown to be highly efficacious in the treatment of psoriasis of specific anatomical sites with an acceptable safety profile.

  4. Oilsands for the USA : while environmental groups ask for a shutdown, new study shows significant resulting economic benefits in America

    Cook, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    The United States is beginning to appreciate the value of having massive oil sands resources located in relatively close proximity to their northern border. This article discussed a recent study conducted by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) to assess the impact of Canada's oil sands development on the economy of the United States. The study forecasted that the demand for oil sands-related goods and services from American companies will continue to increase as the industry expands. The top national-level goods and services impacts will be derived from increases in manufacturing; finance; insurance; real estate; and professional, scientific, and technical services. Accommodation and food services in the United States will also benefit from the growth of the oil sands industry. The United States may not risk pushing ahead with strict carbon-cutting legislation targeting the oil sands when policy-makers consider the potential impacts of Canada selling its resources to China. 1 fig.

  5. Sphagnum mosses from 21 ombrotrophic bogs in the athabasca bituminous sands region show no significant atmospheric contamination of "heavy metals".

    Shotyk, William; Belland, Rene; Duke, John; Kempter, Heike; Krachler, Michael; Noernberg, Tommy; Pelletier, Rick; Vile, Melanie A; Wieder, Kelman; Zaccone, Claudio; Zhang, Shuangquan

    2014-11-04

    Sphagnum moss was collected from 21 ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peat bogs surrounding open pit mines and upgrading facilities of Athabasca bituminous sands in Alberta (AB). In comparison to contemporary Sphagnum moss from four bogs in rural locations of southern Germany (DE), the AB mosses yielded lower concentrations of Ag, Cd, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Tl, similar concentrations of Mo, but greater concentrations of Ba, Th, and V. Except for V, in comparison to the "cleanest", ancient peat samples ever tested from the northern hemisphere (ca. 6000-9000 years old), the concentrations of each of these metals in the AB mosses are within a factor of 3 of "natural, background" values. The concentrations of "heavy metals" in the mosses, however, are proportional to the concentration of Th (a conservative, lithophile element) and, therefore, contributed to the plants primarily in the form of mineral dust particles. Vanadium, the single most abundant trace metal in bitumen, is the only anomaly: in the AB mosses, V exceeds that of ancient peat by a factor of 6; it is therefore enriched in the mosses, relative to Th, by a factor of 2. In comparison to the surface layer of peat cores collected in recent years from across Canada, from British Columbia to New Brunswick, the Pb concentrations in the mosses from AB are far lower.

  6. Worldwide trends show oropharyngeal cancer rates increasing

    NCI scientists report that the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer significantly increased during the period 1983-2002 among people in countries that are economically developed. Oropharyngeal cancer occurs primarily in the middle part of the throat behind t

  7. UV Photography Shows Hidden Sun Damage

    ... mcat1=de12", ]; for (var c = 0; c UV photography shows hidden sun damage A UV photograph gives ... developing skin cancer and prematurely aged skin. Normal photography UV photography 18 months of age: This boy's ...

  8. Educational Outreach: The Space Science Road Show

    Cox, N. L. J.

    2002-01-01

    The poster presented will give an overview of a study towards a "Space Road Show". The topic of this show is space science. The target group is adolescents, aged 12 to 15, at Dutch high schools. The show and its accompanying experiments would be supported with suitable educational material. Science teachers at schools can decide for themselves if they want to use this material in advance, afterwards or not at all. The aims of this outreach effort are: to motivate students for space science and engineering, to help them understand the importance of (space) research, to give them a positive feeling about the possibilities offered by space and in the process give them useful knowledge on space basics. The show revolves around three main themes: applications, science and society. First the students will get some historical background on the importance of space/astronomy to civilization. Secondly they will learn more about novel uses of space. On the one hand they will learn of "Views on Earth" involving technologies like Remote Sensing (or Spying), Communication, Broadcasting, GPS and Telemedicine. On the other hand they will experience "Views on Space" illustrated by past, present and future space research missions, like the space exploration missions (Cassini/Huygens, Mars Express and Rosetta) and the astronomy missions (Soho and XMM). Meanwhile, the students will learn more about the technology of launchers and satellites needed to accomplish these space missions. Throughout the show and especially towards the end attention will be paid to the third theme "Why go to space"? Other reasons for people to get into space will be explored. An important question in this is the commercial (manned) exploration of space. Thus, the questions of benefit of space to society are integrated in the entire show. It raises some fundamental questions about the effects of space travel on our environment, poverty and other moral issues. The show attempts to connect scientific with

  9. 2008 LHC Open Days Physics: the show

    2008-01-01

    A host of events and activities await visitors to the LHC Open Days on 5 and 6 April. A highlight will be the physics shows funded by the European Physical Society (EPS), which are set to surprise and challenge children and adults alike! School children use their experience of riding a bicycle to understand how planets move around the sun (Copyright : Circus Naturally) Participating in the Circus Naturally show could leave a strange taste in your mouth! (Copyright : Circus Naturally) The Rino Foundation’s experiments with liquid nitrogen can be pretty exciting! (Copyright: The Rino Foundation)What does a bicycle have in common with the solar system? Have you ever tried to weigh air or visualise sound? Ever heard of a vacuum bazooka? If you want to discover the answers to these questions and more then come to the Physics Shows taking place at the CERN O...

  10. Online Italian fandoms of American TV shows

    Eleonora Benecchi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Internet has changed media fandom in two main ways: it helps fans connect with each other despite physical distance, leading to the formation of international fan communities; and it helps fans connect with the creators of the TV show, deepening the relationship between TV producers and international fandoms. To assess whether Italian fan communities active online are indeed part of transnational online communities and whether the Internet has actually altered their relationship with the creators of the original text they are devoted to, qualitative analysis and narrative interviews of 26 Italian fans of American TV shows were conducted to explore the fan-producer relationship. Results indicated that the online Italian fans surveyed preferred to stay local, rather than using geography-leveling online tools. Further, the sampled Italian fans' relationships with the show runners were mediated or even absent.

  11. Tomato Fruits Show Wide Phenomic Diversity but Fruit Developmental Genes Show Low Genomic Diversity.

    Vijee Mohan

    Full Text Available Domestication of tomato has resulted in large diversity in fruit phenotypes. An intensive phenotyping of 127 tomato accessions from 20 countries revealed extensive morphological diversity in fruit traits. The diversity in fruit traits clustered the accessions into nine classes and identified certain promising lines having desirable traits pertaining to total soluble salts (TSS, carotenoids, ripening index, weight and shape. Factor analysis of the morphometric data from Tomato Analyzer showed that the fruit shape is a complex trait shared by several factors. The 100% variance between round and flat fruit shapes was explained by one discriminant function having a canonical correlation of 0.874 by stepwise discriminant analysis. A set of 10 genes (ACS2, COP1, CYC-B, RIN, MSH2, NAC-NOR, PHOT1, PHYA, PHYB and PSY1 involved in various plant developmental processes were screened for SNP polymorphism by EcoTILLING. The genetic diversity in these genes revealed a total of 36 non-synonymous and 18 synonymous changes leading to the identification of 28 haplotypes. The average frequency of polymorphism across the genes was 0.038/Kb. Significant negative Tajima'D statistic in two of the genes, ACS2 and PHOT1 indicated the presence of rare alleles in low frequency. Our study indicates that while there is low polymorphic diversity in the genes regulating plant development, the population shows wider phenotype diversity. Nonetheless, morphological and genetic diversity of the present collection can be further exploited as potential resources in future.

  12. Duchenne muscular dystrophy models show their age

    Chamberlain, Jeffrey S.

    2010-01-01

    The lack of appropriate animal models has hampered efforts to develop therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A new mouse model lacking both dystrophin and telomerase (Sacco et al., 2010) closely mimics the pathological progression of human DMD and shows that muscle stem cell activity is a key determinant of disease severity.

  13. Show Them You Really Want the Job

    Perlmutter, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Showing that one really "wants" the job entails more than just really wanting the job. An interview is part Broadway casting call, part intellectual dating game, part personality test, and part, well, job interview. When there are 300 applicants for a position, many of them will "fit" the required (and even the preferred) skills listed in the job…

  14. A Talk Show from the Past.

    Gallagher, Arlene F.

    1991-01-01

    Describes a two-day activity in which elementary students examine voting rights, the right to assemble, and women's suffrage. Explains the game, "Assemble, Reassemble," and a student-produced talk show with five students playing the roles of leaders of the women's suffrage movement. Profiles Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan…

  15. Laser entertainment and light shows in education

    Sabaratnam, Andrew T.; Symons, Charles

    2002-05-01

    Laser shows and beam effects have been a source of entertainment since its first public performance May 9, 1969, at Mills College in Oakland, California. Since 1997, the Photonics Center, NgeeAnn Polytechnic, Singapore, has been using laser shows as a teaching tool. Students are able to exhibit their creative skills and learn at the same time how lasers are used in the entertainment industry. Students will acquire a number of skills including handling three- phase power supply, operation of cooling system, and laser alignment. Students also acquire an appreciation of the arts, learning about shapes and contours as they develop graphics for the shows. After holography, laser show animation provides a combination of the arts and technology. This paper aims to briefly describe how a krypton-argon laser, galvanometer scanners, a polychromatic acousto-optic modulator and related electronics are put together to develop a laser projector. The paper also describes how students are trained to make their own laser animation and beam effects with music, and at the same time have an appreciation of the operation of a Class IV laser and the handling of optical components.

  16. The Last Great American Picture Show

    Elsaesser, Thomas; King, Noel; Horwath, Alexander

    2004-01-01

    The Last Great American Picture Show brings together essays by scholars and writers who chart the changing evaluations of the American cinema of the 1970s, sometimes referred to as the decade of the lost generation, but now more and more recognized as the first New Hollywood, without which the

  17. Economically Significant Sites - OSPR [ds356

    California Natural Resource Agency — This point data set shows locations of Economically Significant Sites along the California coast from Del Norte to San Diego counties. Data for locating these points...

  18. Time dependent patient no-show predictive modelling development.

    Huang, Yu-Li; Hanauer, David A

    2016-05-09

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop evident-based predictive no-show models considering patients' each past appointment status, a time-dependent component, as an independent predictor to improve predictability. Design/methodology/approach - A ten-year retrospective data set was extracted from a pediatric clinic. It consisted of 7,291 distinct patients who had at least two visits along with their appointment characteristics, patient demographics, and insurance information. Logistic regression was adopted to develop no-show models using two-thirds of the data for training and the remaining data for validation. The no-show threshold was then determined based on minimizing the misclassification of show/no-show assignments. There were a total of 26 predictive model developed based on the number of available past appointments. Simulation was employed to test the effective of each model on costs of patient wait time, physician idle time, and overtime. Findings - The results demonstrated the misclassification rate and the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic gradually improved as more appointment history was included until around the 20th predictive model. The overbooking method with no-show predictive models suggested incorporating up to the 16th model and outperformed other overbooking methods by as much as 9.4 per cent in the cost per patient while allowing two additional patients in a clinic day. Research limitations/implications - The challenge now is to actually implement the no-show predictive model systematically to further demonstrate its robustness and simplicity in various scheduling systems. Originality/value - This paper provides examples of how to build the no-show predictive models with time-dependent components to improve the overbooking policy. Accurately identifying scheduled patients' show/no-show status allows clinics to proactively schedule patients to reduce the negative impact of patient no-shows.

  19. Reality, ficción o show

    Sandra Ruíz Moreno

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Para tener un punto de vista claro y objetivo frente a la polémica establecida en torno al programa “Protagonistas de novela” y la tendiente proliferación de los reality show en las parrillas de programación de la televisión colombiana, se realizó un análisis de texto y contenido de dicho programa, intentando definirlo desde sus posibilidades de realidad, ficción y show. Las unidades de análisis y el estudio de su tratamiento arrojaron un alto contenido que gira en torno a las emociones del ser humano relacionadas con la convivencia, tratadas a manera de show y con algunos aportes textuales de ficción, pero sin su elemento mediador básico, el actor, quitándole toda la posibilidad de tener un tratamiento con la profundidad, distancia y ética que requieren los temas de esta índole. El resultado es un formato que sólo busca altos índices de sintonía y que pertenece más a la denominada televisión “trash”, que a una búsqueda de realidad del hombre y mucho menos de sociedad.

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

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

  1. Carbon dioxide exchange in three tundra sites show a dissimilar response to environmental variables

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Lund, Magnus; Christensen, Torben Røjle

    2015-01-01

    variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...... Lake. Growing season NEE correlated mainly to cumulative radiation and temperature-related variables at Zackenberg, while at Daring Lake the same variables showed significant correlations with the partitioned fluxes (GPP and Re). Stordalen was temperature dependent during the growing season. This study...

  2. Chocolate: A Heart-healthy Food? Show Me the Science!

    Hannum, Sandra M.; Schmitz, Harold H.; Keen, Carl L.

    2002-01-01

    Cocoa and chocolate foods produced by appropriate methods can contribute significant amounts of heart-healthy flavanols to the diet. These flavanols may enhance cardiovascular health by delaying blood clotting, improving vascular endothelial function, and helping to moderate inflammation. The benefits of chocolate can be enjoyed without guilt as part of a healthful balanced diet.

  3. US nuclear cleanup shows signs of progress

    Renner, R.

    1997-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy's program for dealing with the radioactive and hazardous wastes at its former nuclear weapons production sites and at the national laboratories has been criticized for its expense and slow pace of cleanup. The largest environmental restoration and waste management program in the world faces formidable technical and scientific problems and these, according to numerous investigative committees and commissions, have been compounded by poor management, misuse of technology, and failure to appreciate the need for new basic scientific knowledge to solve many of the cleanup problems. In the past three years, DOE's Office of Environmental Management (EM), often spurred by congressional action, has begun to trim costs and accomplish more. New measures have been introduced to improve contract efficiency, better utilize existing remediation technologies, renegotiate compliance agreements, and begin basic research. Environmental Management Assistant Undersecretary Alvin Alm, appointed in May 1996, is seeking to solidify these changes into an ambitious plan to clean up most of DOE's 130 sites by 2006. But there are widespread doubts that EM has the money, skill, and will to turn itself around. There are also concerns that, in the name of efficiency and economy, EM may be negotiating lower cleanup standards and postponing some difficult cleanup tasks. This article discusses these issues. 7 refs

  4. Myopes show increased susceptibility to nearwork aftereffects.

    Ciuffreda, K J; Wallis, D M

    1998-09-01

    Some aspects of accommodation may be slightly abnormal (or different) in myopes, compared with accommodation in emmetropes and hyperopes. For example, the initial magnitude of accommodative adaptation in the dark after nearwork is greatest in myopes. However, the critical test is to assess this initial accommodative aftereffect and its subsequent decay in the light under more natural viewing conditions with blur-related visual feedback present, if a possible link between this phenomenon and clinical myopia is to be considered. Subjects consisted of adult late- (n = 11) and early-onset (n = 13) myopes, emmetropes (n = 11), and hyperopes (n = 9). The distance-refractive state was assessed objectively using an autorefractor immediately before and after a 10-minute binocular near task at 20 cm (5 diopters [D]). Group results showed that myopes were most susceptible to the nearwork aftereffect. It averaged 0.35 D in initial magnitude, with considerably faster posttask decay to baseline in the early-onset (35 seconds) versus late-onset (63 seconds) myopes. There was no myopic aftereffect in the remaining two refractive groups. The myopes showed particularly striking accommodatively related nearwork aftereffect susceptibility. As has been speculated and found by many others, transient pseudomyopia may cause or be a precursor to permanent myopia or myopic progression. Time-integrated increased retinal defocus causing axial elongation is proposed as a possible mechanism.

  5. Historical Significant Volcanic Eruption Locations

    Department of Homeland Security — A significant eruption is classified as one that meets at least one of the following criteriacaused fatalities, caused moderate damage (approximately $1 million or...

  6. ODSCC algorithm shows correlation with degradation

    Prabhu, P.J.; Rootham, M.W.; Zupetic, N.L.

    1998-01-01

    Over the last few years we have attempted to develop an algorithm to evaluate the impact of secondary water chemistry on tube degradation in PWR steam generators. Effects of individual factors were assessed and then consolidated to form an algorithm for ODSCC propensity. The algorithm utilizes secondary water chemistry data to calculate ODSCC propensity as a variable named Mega PHI. Prior attempts to correlate algorithm calculations with actual degradation in operating steam generators have resulted in very disappointing results. Recent modifications to the algorithm have demonstrated improved correlation between Mega PHI (calculated result from the algorithm) and actual degradation history from operating plants. The recent modifications involve the inclusion of the synergistic effect of boric acid application of secondary water and of high silica concentration in steam generator toward inhibiting ODSCC. Data from several plants with mill annealed alloy 600 tubing in the steam generators and operating with the primary coolant inlet temperature in the range of 608 to 624 degrees F (320 to 329 degrees C) were evaluated and the results compared with actual degradation reported from in-service inspections. The population of plants includes those with very few tubes repaired and those with hundreds of tubes repaired due to ODSCC at tube support plates. The observation of substantial correlation between the algorithm calculation and actual degradation signifies the roles of boric acid and silica in inhibiting ODSCC. It is recommended that further evaluation of the role of these chemical species be performed using more extensive data. The goal is to modify secondary water chemistry guidelines with the ultimate aim of minimizing corrosion of steam generator tubes. (author)

  7. Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair

    Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Christensen, Torben R

    2007-01-01

    -term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence...... geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in ancient microbes for the most likely mechanism, active DNA repair, or for the metabolic activity necessary to sustain it. In this paper, we couple PCR and enzymatic treatment of DNA with direct respiration measurements to investigate long...... that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability....

  8. Microbiological and environmental issues in show caves.

    Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2012-07-01

    Cultural tourism expanded in the last half of the twentieth century, and the interest of visitors has come to include caves containing archaeological remains. Some show caves attracted mass tourism, and economical interests prevailed over conservation, which led to a deterioration of the subterranean environment and the rock art. The presence and the role of microorganisms in caves is a topic that is often ignored in cave management. Knowledge of the colonisation patterns, the dispersion mechanisms, and the effect on human health and, when present, over rock art paintings of these microorganisms is of the utmost importance. In this review the most recent advances in the study of microorganisms in caves are presented, together with the environmental implications of the findings.

  9. The thresholds for statistical and clinical significance

    Jakobsen, Janus Christian; Gluud, Christian; Winkel, Per

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Thresholds for statistical significance are insufficiently demonstrated by 95% confidence intervals or P-values when assessing results from randomised clinical trials. First, a P-value only shows the probability of getting a result assuming that the null hypothesis is true and does...... not reflect the probability of getting a result assuming an alternative hypothesis to the null hypothesis is true. Second, a confidence interval or a P-value showing significance may be caused by multiplicity. Third, statistical significance does not necessarily result in clinical significance. Therefore...... of the probability that a given trial result is compatible with a 'null' effect (corresponding to the P-value) divided by the probability that the trial result is compatible with the intervention effect hypothesised in the sample size calculation; (3) adjust the confidence intervals and the statistical significance...

  10. NASA GIBS Use in Live Planetarium Shows

    Emmart, C. B.

    2015-12-01

    The American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium was rebuilt in year 2000 as an immersive theater for scientific data visualization to show the universe in context to our planet. Specific astrophysical movie productions provide the main daily programming, but interactive control software, developed at AMNH allows immersive presentation within a data aggregation of astronomical catalogs called the Digital Universe 3D Atlas. Since 2006, WMS globe browsing capabilities have been built into a software development collaboration with Sweden's Linkoping University (LiU). The resulting Uniview software, now a product of the company SCISS, is operated by about fifty planetariums around that world with ability to network amongst the sites for global presentations. Public presentation of NASA GIBS has allowed authoritative narratives to be presented within the range of data available in context to other sources such as Science on a Sphere, NASA Earth Observatory and Google Earth KML resources. Specifically, the NOAA supported World Views Network conducted a series of presentations across the US that focused on local ecological issues that could then be expanded in the course of presentation to national and global scales of examination. NASA support of for GIBS resources in an easy access multi scale streaming format like WMS has tremendously enabled particularly facile presentations of global monitoring like never before. Global networking of theaters for distributed presentations broadens out the potential for impact of this medium. Archiving and refinement of these presentations has already begun to inform new types of documentary productions that examine pertinent, global interdependency topics.

  11. Significant Lactic Acidosis from Albuterol

    Deborah Diercks

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Lactic acidosis is a clinical entity that demands rapid assessment and treatment to prevent significant morbidity and mortality. With increased lactate use across many clinical scenarios, lactate values themselves cannot be interpreted apart from their appropriate clinical picture. The significance of Type B lactic acidosis is likely understated in the emergency department (ED. Given the mortality that sepsis confers, a serum lactate is an important screening study. That said, it is with extreme caution that we should interpret and react to the resultant elevated value. We report a patient with a significant lactic acidosis. Though he had a high lactate value, he did not require aggressive resuscitation. A different classification scheme for lactic acidosis that focuses on the bifurcation of the “dangerous” and “not dangerous” causes of lactic acidosis may be of benefit. In addition, this case is demonstrative of the potential overuse of lactates in the ED.

  12. Geoscience is Important? Show Me Why

    Boland, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    "The public" is not homogenous and no single message or form of messaging will connect the entire public with the geosciences. One approach to promoting trust in, and engagement with, the geosciences is to identify specific sectors of the public and then develop interactions and communication products that are immediately relevant to that sector's interests. If the content and delivery are appropriate, this approach empowers people to connect with the geosciences on their own terms and to understand the relevance of the geosciences to their own situation. Federal policy makers are a distinct and influential subgroup of the general public. In preparation for the 2016 presidential election, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) in collaboration with its 51 member societies prepared Geoscience for America's Critical Needs: Invitation to a National Dialogue, a document that identified major geoscience policy issues that should be addressed in a national policy platform. Following the election, AGI worked with eight other geoscience societies to develop Geoscience Policy Recommendations for the New Administration and the 115th Congress, which outlines specific policy actions to address national issues. State and local decision makers are another important subgroup of the public. AGI has developed online content, factsheets, and case studies with different levels of technical complexity so people can explore societally-relevant geoscience topics at their level of technical proficiency. A related webinar series is attracting a growing worldwide audience from many employment sectors. Partnering with government agencies and other scientific and professional societies has increased the visibility and credibility of these information products with our target audience. Surveys and other feedback show that these products are raising awareness of the geosciences and helping to build reciprocal relationships between geoscientists and decision makers. The core message of all

  13. The historical significance of oak

    J. V. Thirgood

    1971-01-01

    A brief history of the importance of oak in Europe, contrasting the methods used in France and Britain to propagate the species and manage the forests for continued productivity. The significance of oak as a strategic resource during the sailing-ship era is stressed, and mention is made of the early development of oak management in North America. The international...

  14. DAST in Flight Showing Diverging Wingtip Oscillations

    1980-01-01

    Two BQM-34 Firebee II drones were modified with supercritical airfoils, called the Aeroelastic Research Wing (ARW), for the Drones for Aerodynamic and Structural Testing (DAST) program, which ran from 1977 to 1983. In this view of DAST-1 (Serial # 72-1557), taken on June 12, 1980, severe wingtip flutter is visible. Moments later, the right wing failed catastrophically and the vehicle crashed near Cuddeback Dry Lake. Before the drone was lost, it had made two captive and two free flights. Its first free flight, on October 2, 1979, was cut short by an uplink receiver failure. The drone was caught in midair by an HH-3 helicopter. The second free flight, on March 12, 1980, was successful, ending in a midair recovery. The third free flight, made on June 12, was to expand the flutter envelope. All of these missions launched from the NASA B-52. From 1977 to 1983, the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, (under two different names) conducted the DAST Program as a high-risk flight experiment using a ground-controlled, pilotless aircraft. Described by NASA engineers as a 'wind tunnel in the sky,' the DAST was a specially modified Teledyne-Ryan BQM-34E/F Firebee II supersonic target drone that was flown to validate theoretical predictions under actual flight conditions in a joint project with the Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. The DAST Program merged advances in electronic remote control systems with advances in airplane design. Drones (remotely controlled, missile-like vehicles initially developed to serve as gunnery targets) had been deployed successfully during the Vietnamese conflict as reconnaissance aircraft. After the war, the energy crisis of the 1970s led NASA to seek new ways to cut fuel use and improve airplane efficiency. The DAST Program's drones provided an economical, fuel-conscious method for conducting in-flight experiments from a remote ground site. DAST explored the technology required to build wing structures with less than

  15. Significance of perceptually relevant image decolorization for scene classification

    Viswanathan, Sowmya; Divakaran, Govind; Soman, Kutti Padanyl

    2017-11-01

    Color images contain luminance and chrominance components representing the intensity and color information, respectively. The objective of this paper is to show the significance of incorporating chrominance information to the task of scene classification. An improved color-to-grayscale image conversion algorithm that effectively incorporates chrominance information is proposed using the color-to-gray structure similarity index and singular value decomposition to improve the perceptual quality of the converted grayscale images. The experimental results based on an image quality assessment for image decolorization and its success rate (using the Cadik and COLOR250 datasets) show that the proposed image decolorization technique performs better than eight existing benchmark algorithms for image decolorization. In the second part of the paper, the effectiveness of incorporating the chrominance component for scene classification tasks is demonstrated using a deep belief network-based image classification system developed using dense scale-invariant feature transforms. The amount of chrominance information incorporated into the proposed image decolorization technique is confirmed with the improvement to the overall scene classification accuracy. Moreover, the overall scene classification performance improved by combining the models obtained using the proposed method and conventional decolorization methods.

  16. Synthetic definition of biological significance

    Buffington, J.D.

    1975-01-01

    The central theme of the workshop is recounted and the views of the authors are summarized. Areas of broad agreement or disagreement, unifying principles, and research needs are identified. Authors' views are consolidated into concepts that have practical utility for the scientist making impact assessments. The need for decision-makers and managers to be cognizant of the recommendations made herein is discussed. Finally, bringing together the diverse views of the workshop participants, a conceptual definition of biological significance is synthesized

  17. Clinical significance of neonatal menstruation.

    Brosens, Ivo; Benagiano, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Past studies have clearly shown the existence of a spectrum of endometrial progesterone responses in neonatal endometrium, varying from proliferation to full decidualization with menstrual-like shedding. The bleedings represent, similar to what occurs in adult menstruation, a progesterone withdrawal bleeding. Today, the bleeding is completely neglected and considered an uneventful episode of no clinical significance. Yet clinical studies have linked the risk of bleeding to a series of events indicating fetal distress. The potential link between the progesterone response and major adolescent disorders requires to be investigated by prospective studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Clinical significance of the fabella

    Dodevski, A.; Lazarova-Tosovska, D.; Zhivadinovik, J.; Lazareska, M.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: Introduction: There is variable number of sesamoid bones in the human body; one of them is fabella, located in the tendon of the gastrocnemius muscle. Aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of occurrence of fabella in the Macedonian population and to discuss about clinical importance of this bone. Materials and methods: We retrospectively examined radiographs of 53 patients who had knee exams undertaken for a variety of clinical reasons, performed as a part of their medical treatment. Over a time span of six months, 53 patients (38 males and 15 females, age range 19-60 years, mean age of 36.7±12.3 years) were examined. Results: In seven (13.2%) patients of 53 analyzed reports, fabella was found in the lateral tendon of gastrocnemius muscle. We did not find a significant gender or side difference in the appearance of fabella. Conclusion: Although anatomic studies emphasized a lack of significance of the fabella, this bone has been associated with a spectrum of pathology affecting the knee as fabellar syndrome, perineal nerve injury and fracture. We should think of this sesamoid bone while performing diagnostic and surgical procedures

  19. Using television shows to teach communication skills in internal medicine residency.

    Wong, Roger Y; Saber, Sadra S; Ma, Irene; Roberts, J Mark

    2009-02-03

    To address evidence-based effective communication skills in the formal academic half day curriculum of our core internal medicine residency program, we designed and delivered an interactive session using excerpts taken from medically-themed television shows. We selected two excerpts from the television show House, and one from Gray's Anatomy and featured them in conjunction with a brief didactic presentation of the Kalamazoo consensus statement on doctor-patient communication. To assess the efficacy of this approach a set of standardized questions were given to our residents once at the beginning and once at the completion of the session. Our residents indicated that their understanding of an evidence-based model of effective communication such as the Kalamazoo model, and their comfort levels in applying such model in clinical practice increased significantly. Furthermore, residents' understanding levels of the seven essential competencies listed in the Kalamazoo model also improved significantly. Finally, the residents reported that their comfort levels in three challenging clinical scenarios presented to them improved significantly. We used popular television shows to teach residents in our core internal medicine residency program about effective communication skills with a focus on the Kalamazoo's model. The results of the subjective assessment of this approach indicated that it was successful in accomplishing our objectives.

  20. Using television shows to teach communication skills in internal medicine residency

    Ma Irene

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To address evidence-based effective communication skills in the formal academic half day curriculum of our core internal medicine residency program, we designed and delivered an interactive session using excerpts taken from medically-themed television shows. Methods We selected two excerpts from the television show House, and one from Gray's Anatomy and featured them in conjunction with a brief didactic presentation of the Kalamazoo consensus statement on doctor-patient communication. To assess the efficacy of this approach a set of standardized questions were given to our residents once at the beginning and once at the completion of the session. Results Our residents indicated that their understanding of an evidence-based model of effective communication such as the Kalamazoo model, and their comfort levels in applying such model in clinical practice increased significantly. Furthermore, residents' understanding levels of the seven essential competencies listed in the Kalamazoo model also improved significantly. Finally, the residents reported that their comfort levels in three challenging clinical scenarios presented to them improved significantly. Conclusion We used popular television shows to teach residents in our core internal medicine residency program about effective communication skills with a focus on the Kalamazoo's model. The results of the subjective assessment of this approach indicated that it was successful in accomplishing our objectives.

  1. The significance of small streams

    Wohl, Ellen

    2017-09-01

    Headwaters, defined here as first- and secondorder streams, make up 70%‒80% of the total channel length of river networks. These small streams exert a critical influence on downstream portions of the river network by: retaining or transmitting sediment and nutrients; providing habitat and refuge for diverse aquatic and riparian organisms; creating migration corridors; and governing connectivity at the watershed-scale. The upstream-most extent of the channel network and the longitudinal continuity and lateral extent of headwaters can be difficult to delineate, however, and people are less likely to recognize the importance of headwaters relative to other portions of a river network. Consequently, headwaters commonly lack the legal protections accorded to other portions of a river network and are more likely to be significantly altered or completely obliterated by land use.

  2. No significant fuel failures (NSFF)

    Domaratzki, Z.

    1979-01-01

    It has long been recognized that no emergency core cooling system (ECCS) could be absolutely guaranteed to prevent fuel failures. In 1976 the Atomic Energy Control Board decided that the objective for an ECCS should be to prevent fuel failures, but if the objective could not be met it should be shown that the consequences are acceptable for dual failures comprising any LOCA combined with an assumed impairment of containment. Out of the review of the Bruce A plant came the definition of 'no significant fuel failures': for any postulated LOCA combined with any one mode of containment impairment the resultant dose to a person at the edge of the exclusion zone is less than the reference dose limits for dual failures

  3. Ritual Significance in Mycenaean Hairstyles

    Hsu, Florence Sheng-chieh

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the frescoes excavated from Bronze Age sites on the Greek mainland provide evidence for female figures in the Mycenaean society, the hairstyles of these figures have not been studied in detail. As in many other ancient cultures, hairstyles were not only an exhibition of beauty and fashion, but they also represented certain age groups or a person’s social status. The Mycenaeans inherited many of their hairstyles from their Minoan predecessors, although differences existed as well. It is also possible there may have been a shift in meaning for seemingly similar looking hairstyles from the Minoan to the Mycenaean periods. Female figures, which compose most of the Mycenaean figures in frescoes known to date, are fine examples for discussing the artistic representation and potential significance of Mycenaean hairstyles. By comparing with Minoan hairstyles, discussions of Mycenaean examples lead to conclusions in the relationship between hairstyles and ritual activities in the Mycenaean society.

  4. Diagnostic significance of CT discography

    Nishiyama, Toru; Tomita, Yu; Maeda, Katsuhisa; Takayama, Atsuya; Takada, Shunichi; Murakami, Masazumi; Saito, Yasufumi.

    1986-01-01

    In a total of 179 patients, comprising 161 with intervertebral disorder and 18 with spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, CT discographic findings of 456 intervertebral discs were reviewed. Computed tomographic discography showed the direction of herniation, the size of hernial masses, and the deformity of the intervertebral disc and joint, being helpful in deciding indications for surgery and selecting surgical procedures. Computed tomographic discographic patterns of disk deformity were classified as types A, B, and C. This classification almost concurred with the findings of conventional discography. Discography or CT discography is recommended to be used when deformity at the L5-S1 level may be missed on myelography and there is extraforaminal lateral disc herniation. Combined use of myelography, discography, and CT discography would increase the diagnostic accuracy for lumbar diseases. (Namekawa, K.)

  5. Significance of unilateral radiation nephropathy

    Kim, T.H.; Freeman, C.R.; Webster, J.H.

    1980-01-01

    Thirteen patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with residual disease in the abdomen were treated by irradiation to the whole abdomen and left upper quadrant. The entire or half of the left kidney received between 2550 rad in 6 weeks and 4900 rad in 5 weeks. Seven of 12 patients evaluated showed functional and/or morphological changes in the left kidney on renal function studies and renal scan at various intervals. None of these patients clinically demonstrated overt acute radiation nephropathy. Three patients developed elevated blood pressure; the plasma renin level was markedly elevated in one of these patients. With the possible exception of one patient, no patient was discovered to have any functional morphological changes in the right kidney. The lymphoma in the abdomen was under control in 12 out of 13 patients treated at this writing

  6. Discovering the Significance of Scientific Design Practice

    Pries-Heje, Jan; Baskerville, Richard

    This paper aims at discussing and defining what it is that makes design science research significant. First it reviews the values and processes of old science and how this attacks complexity through analysis. It then shows how new science attacks complexity through synthesis. Then the paper argue...

  7. Significant biases affecting abundance determinations

    Wesson, Roger

    2015-08-01

    I have developed two highly efficient codes to automate analyses of emission line nebulae. The tools place particular emphasis on the propagation of uncertainties. The first tool, ALFA, uses a genetic algorithm to rapidly optimise the parameters of gaussian fits to line profiles. It can fit emission line spectra of arbitrary resolution, wavelength range and depth, with no user input at all. It is well suited to highly multiplexed spectroscopy such as that now being carried out with instruments such as MUSE at the VLT. The second tool, NEAT, carries out a full analysis of emission line fluxes, robustly propagating uncertainties using a Monte Carlo technique.Using these tools, I have found that considerable biases can be introduced into abundance determinations if the uncertainty distribution of emission lines is not well characterised. For weak lines, normally distributed uncertainties are generally assumed, though it is incorrect to do so, and significant biases can result. I discuss observational evidence of these biases. The two new codes contain routines to correctly characterise the probability distributions, giving more reliable results in analyses of emission line nebulae.

  8. Astrobiological significance of chemolithoautotrophic acidophiles

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2004-02-01

    For more than a century (since Winogradsky discovered lithautotrophic bacteria) there has been a dilemma in microbiology about life that first inhabited the Earth. Which types of life forms first appeared in the primordial oceans during the earliest geological period on Earth as the primary ancestors of modern biological diversity? How did a metabolism of ancestors evolve: from lithoautotrophic to lithoheterotrophic and organoheterotrophic or from organoheterotrophic to organautotrophic and lithomixotrophic types? At the present time, it is known that chemolithoheterotrophic and chemolithoautotrophic metabolizing bacteria are wide spread in different ecosystems. On Earth the acidic ecosystems are associated with geysers, volcanic fumaroles, hot springs, deep sea hydrothermal vents, caves, acid mine drainage and other technogenic ecosystems. Bioleaching played a significant roel on a global geological scale during the Earth's formation. This important feature of bacteria has been successfully applied in industry. The lithoautotrophs include Bacteria and Archaea belonging to diverse genera containing thermophilic and mesophilic species. In this paper we discuss the lithotrophic microbial acidophiles and present some data with a description of new acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacterium isolated from the Chena Hot Springs in Alaska. We also consider the possible relevance of microbial acidophiles to Venus, Io, and acidic inclusions in glaciers and icy moons.

  9. Statistically significant relational data mining :

    Berry, Jonathan W.; Leung, Vitus Joseph; Phillips, Cynthia Ann; Pinar, Ali; Robinson, David Gerald; Berger-Wolf, Tanya; Bhowmick, Sanjukta; Casleton, Emily; Kaiser, Mark; Nordman, Daniel J.; Wilson, Alyson G.

    2014-02-01

    This report summarizes the work performed under the project (3z(BStatitically significant relational data mining.(3y (BThe goal of the project was to add more statistical rigor to the fairly ad hoc area of data mining on graphs. Our goal was to develop better algorithms and better ways to evaluate algorithm quality. We concetrated on algorithms for community detection, approximate pattern matching, and graph similarity measures. Approximate pattern matching involves finding an instance of a relatively small pattern, expressed with tolerance, in a large graph of data observed with uncertainty. This report gathers the abstracts and references for the eight refereed publications that have appeared as part of this work. We then archive three pieces of research that have not yet been published. The first is theoretical and experimental evidence that a popular statistical measure for comparison of community assignments favors over-resolved communities over approximations to a ground truth. The second are statistically motivated methods for measuring the quality of an approximate match of a small pattern in a large graph. The third is a new probabilistic random graph model. Statisticians favor these models for graph analysis. The new local structure graph model overcomes some of the issues with popular models such as exponential random graph models and latent variable models.

  10. Statistical Significance for Hierarchical Clustering

    Kimes, Patrick K.; Liu, Yufeng; Hayes, D. Neil; Marron, J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Cluster analysis has proved to be an invaluable tool for the exploratory and unsupervised analysis of high dimensional datasets. Among methods for clustering, hierarchical approaches have enjoyed substantial popularity in genomics and other fields for their ability to simultaneously uncover multiple layers of clustering structure. A critical and challenging question in cluster analysis is whether the identified clusters represent important underlying structure or are artifacts of natural sampling variation. Few approaches have been proposed for addressing this problem in the context of hierarchical clustering, for which the problem is further complicated by the natural tree structure of the partition, and the multiplicity of tests required to parse the layers of nested clusters. In this paper, we propose a Monte Carlo based approach for testing statistical significance in hierarchical clustering which addresses these issues. The approach is implemented as a sequential testing procedure guaranteeing control of the family-wise error rate. Theoretical justification is provided for our approach, and its power to detect true clustering structure is illustrated through several simulation studies and applications to two cancer gene expression datasets. PMID:28099990

  11. Improving employee productivity through improved health.

    Mitchell, Rebecca J; Ozminkowski, Ronald J; Serxner, Seth

    2013-10-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate productivity-related savings associated with employee participation in health promotion programs. Propensity score weighting and multiple regression techniques were used to estimate savings. These techniques were adjusted for demographic and health status differences between participants who engaged in one or more telephonic health management programs and nonparticipants who were eligible for but did not engage in these programs. Employees who participated in a program and successfully improved their health care or lifestyle showed significant improvements in lost work time. These employees saved an average of $353 per person per year. This reflects about 10.3 hours in additional productive time annually, compared with similar, but nonparticipating employees. Participating in health promotion programs can help improve productivity levels among employees and save money for their employers.

  12. Clinical significance of lymphadenectomy in patients with gastric cancer.

    Tóth, Dezső; Plósz, János; Török, Miklós

    2016-02-15

    Approximately thirty percent of patients with gastric cancer undergo an avoidable lymph node dissection with a higher rate of postoperative complication. Comparing the D1 and D2 dissections, it was found that there is a significant difference in morbidity, favoured D1 dissection without any difference in overall survival. Subgroup analysis of patients with T3 tumor shows a survival difference favoring D2 lymphadenectomy, and there is a better gastric cancer-related death and non-statistically significant improvement of survival for node-positive disease in patients with D2 dissection. However, the extended lymphadenectomy could improve stage-specific survival owing to the stage migration phenomenon. The deployment of centralization and application of national guidelines could improve the surgical outcomes. The Japanese and European guidelines enclose the D2 lymphadenectomy as the gold standard in R0 resection. In the individualized, stage-adapted gastric cancer surgery the Maruyama computer program (MCP) can estimate lymph node involvement preoperatively with high accuracy and in addition the Maruyama Index less than 5 has a better impact on survival, than D-level guided surgery. For these reasons, the preoperative application of MCP is recommended routinely, with an aim to perform "low Maruyama Index surgery". The sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) may decrease the number of redundant lymphadenectomy intraoperatively with a high detection rate (93.7%) and an accuracy of 92%. More accurate stage-adapted surgery could be performed using the MCP and SNB in parallel fashion in gastric cancer.

  13. Increasing the statistical significance of entanglement detection in experiments.

    Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Sönke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Gühne, Otfried; Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Yu-Ao; Chen, Zeng-Bing; Pan, Jian-Wei

    2010-05-28

    Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the Mermin and Ardehali inequality for different levels of noise. Furthermore, we provide a way to develop entanglement tests with high statistical significance.

  14. Show Horse Welfare: Horse Show Competitors' Understanding, Awareness, and Perceptions of Equine Welfare.

    Voigt, Melissa A; Hiney, Kristina; Richardson, Jennifer C; Waite, Karen; Borron, Abigail; Brady, Colleen M

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of stock-type horse show competitors' understanding of welfare and level of concern for stock-type show horses' welfare. Data were collected through an online questionnaire that included questions relating to (a) interest and general understanding of horse welfare, (b) welfare concerns of the horse show industry and specifically the stock-type horse show industry, (c) decision-making influences, and (d) level of empathic characteristics. The majority of respondents indicated they agree or strongly agree that physical metrics should be a factor when assessing horse welfare, while fewer agreed that behavioral and mental metrics should be a factor. Respondent empathy levels were moderate to high and were positively correlated with the belief that mental and behavioral metrics should be a factor in assessing horse welfare. Respondents indicated the inhumane practices that most often occur at stock-type shows include excessive jerking on reins, excessive spurring, and induced excessive unnatural movement. Additionally, respondents indicated association rules, hired trainers, and hired riding instructors are the most influential regarding the decisions they make related to their horses' care and treatment.

  15. Operating experience feedback from safety significant events at research reactors

    Shokr, A.M. [Atomic Energy Authority, Abouzabal (Egypt). Egypt Second Research Reactor; Rao, D. [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai (India)

    2015-05-15

    Operating experience feedback is an effective mechanism to provide lessons learned from the events and the associated corrective actions to prevent recurrence of events, resulting in improving safety in the nuclear installations. This paper analyzes the events of safety significance that have been occurred at research reactors and discusses the root causes and lessons learned from these events. Insights from literature on events at research reactors and feedback from events at nuclear power plants that are relevant to research reactors are also presented along with discussions. The results of the analysis showed the importance of communication of safety information and exchange of operating experience are vital to prevent reoccurrences of events. The analysis showed also the need for continued attention to human factors and training of operating personnel, and the need for establishing systematic ageing management programmes of reactor facilities, and programmes for safety management of handling of nuclear fuel, core components, and experimental devices.

  16. Operating experience feedback from safety significant events at research reactors

    Shokr, A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Operating experience feedback is an effective mechanism to provide lessons learned from the events and the associated corrective actions to prevent recurrence of events, resulting in improving safety in the nuclear installations. This paper analyzes the events of safety significance that have been occurred at research reactors and discusses the root causes and lessons learned from these events. Insights from literature on events at research reactors and feedback from events at nuclear power plants that are relevant to research reactors are also presented along with discussions. The results of the analysis showed the importance of communication of safety information and exchange of operating experience are vital to prevent reoccurrences of events. The analysis showed also the need for continued attention to human factors and training of operating personnel, and the need for establishing systematic ageing management programmes of reactor facilities, and programmes for safety management of handling of nuclear fuel, core components, and experimental devices.

  17. flexural improvement of plain concrete beams strengthened

    Muhammad Nura Isa

    Results show significant improvement in both stiffness and load bearing capacity of plain concrete ... Various methods have been developed to increase their strength capacity by using .... obtained by carrying out uniaxial direct tensile strength.

  18. Metabolic remodeling agents show beneficial effects in the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse model

    Jahnke Vanessa E

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease involving a severe muscle wasting that is characterized by cycles of muscle degeneration/regeneration and culminates in early death in affected boys. Mitochondria are presumed to be involved in the regulation of myoblast proliferation/differentiation; enhancing mitochondrial activity with exercise mimetics (AMPK and PPAR-delta agonists increases muscle function and inhibits muscle wasting in healthy mice. We therefore asked whether metabolic remodeling agents that increase mitochondrial activity would improve muscle function in mdx mice. Methods Twelve-week-old mdx mice were treated with two different metabolic remodeling agents (GW501516 and AICAR, separately or in combination, for 4 weeks. Extensive systematic behavioral, functional, histological, biochemical, and molecular tests were conducted to assess the drug(s' effects. Results We found a gain in body and muscle weight in all treated mice. Histologic examination showed a decrease in muscle inflammation and in the number of fibers with central nuclei and an increase in fibers with peripheral nuclei, with significantly fewer activated satellite cells and regenerating fibers. Together with an inhibition of FoXO1 signaling, these results indicated that the treatments reduced ongoing muscle damage. Conclusions The three treatments produced significant improvements in disease phenotype, including an increase in overall behavioral activity and significant gains in forelimb and hind limb strength. Our findings suggest that triggering mitochondrial activity with exercise mimetics improves muscle function in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice.

  19. Machine-Learning-Based No Show Prediction in Outpatient Visits

    Carlos Elvira

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A recurring problem in healthcare is the high percentage of patients who miss their appointment, be it a consultation or a hospital test. The present study seeks patient’s behavioural patterns that allow predicting the probability of no- shows. We explore the convenience of using Big Data Machine Learning models to accomplish this task. To begin with, a predictive model based only on variables associated with the target appointment is built. Then the model is improved by considering the patient’s history of appointments. In both cases, the Gradient Boosting algorithm was the predictor of choice. Our numerical results are considered promising given the small amount of information available. However, there seems to be plenty of room to improve the model if we manage to collect additional data for both patients and appointments.

  20. Best in show but not best shape: a photographic assessment of show dog body condition.

    Such, Z R; German, A J

    2015-08-01

    Previous studies suggest that owners often wrongly perceive overweight dogs to be in normal condition. The body shape of dogs attending shows might influence owners' perceptions, with online images of overweight show winners having a negative effect. This was an observational in silico study of canine body condition. 14 obese-prone breeds and 14 matched non-obese-probe breeds were first selected, and one operator then used an online search engine to identify 40 images, per breed, of dogs that had appeared at a major national UK show (Crufts). After images were anonymised and coded, a second observer subjectively assessed body condition, in a single sitting, using a previously validated method. Of 1120 photographs initially identified, 960 were suitable for assessing body condition, with all unsuitable images being from longhaired breeds. None of the dogs (0 per cent) were underweight, 708 (74 per cent) were in ideal condition and 252 (26 per cent) were overweight. Pugs, basset hounds and Labrador retrievers were most likely to be overweight, while standard poodles, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Hungarian vizslas and Dobermanns were least likely to be overweight. Given the proportion of show dogs from some breeds that are overweight, breed standards should be redefined to be consistent with a dog in optimal body condition. British Veterinary Association.

  1. Dictionary Pruning with Visual Word Significance for Medical Image Retrieval.

    Zhang, Fan; Song, Yang; Cai, Weidong; Hauptmann, Alexander G; Liu, Sidong; Pujol, Sonia; Kikinis, Ron; Fulham, Michael J; Feng, David Dagan; Chen, Mei

    2016-02-12

    Content-based medical image retrieval (CBMIR) is an active research area for disease diagnosis and treatment but it can be problematic given the small visual variations between anatomical structures. We propose a retrieval method based on a bag-of-visual-words (BoVW) to identify discriminative characteristics between different medical images with Pruned Dictionary based on Latent Semantic Topic description. We refer to this as the PD-LST retrieval. Our method has two main components. First, we calculate a topic-word significance value for each visual word given a certain latent topic to evaluate how the word is connected to this latent topic. The latent topics are learnt, based on the relationship between the images and words, and are employed to bridge the gap between low-level visual features and high-level semantics. These latent topics describe the images and words semantically and can thus facilitate more meaningful comparisons between the words. Second, we compute an overall-word significance value to evaluate the significance of a visual word within the entire dictionary. We designed an iterative ranking method to measure overall-word significance by considering the relationship between all latent topics and words. The words with higher values are considered meaningful with more significant discriminative power in differentiating medical images. We evaluated our method on two public medical imaging datasets and it showed improved retrieval accuracy and efficiency.

  2. Dolphin shows and interaction programs: benefits for conservation education?

    Miller, L J; Zeigler-Hill, V; Mellen, J; Koeppel, J; Greer, T; Kuczaj, S

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short- and long-term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior. Participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs demonstrated a significant short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Three months following the experience, participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs retained the knowledge learned during their experience and reported engaging in more conservation-related behaviors. Additionally, the number of dolphin shows attended in the past was a significant predictor of recent conservation-related behavior suggesting that repetition of these types of experiences may be important in inspiring people to conservation action. These results suggest that both dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs can be an important part of a conservation education program for visitors of zoological facilities. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Significance and radioimmunoassay of gastric inhibitory polypeptide

    Zheng Ping; Zeng Minde; Yuan Jimin

    1995-01-01

    We have established the GIP Radioimmunoassay which has high sensitivity and specificity by labelling with iodogen and purified with HPLC. Using this method, the plasma GIP level was measured in 64 cases of which there are 10 normal individuals, 25 cases of diabetes and 29 cases of liver cirrhosis . The results showed that the plasma GIP level was significantly increased in patients with liver cirrhosis and correlated to degree of glucose tolerance damage

  4. Showing a model's eye movements in examples does not improve learning of problem-solving tasks

    van Marlen, Tim; van Wermeskerken, Margot; Jarodzka, Halszka; van Gog, Tamara

    2016-01-01

    Eye movement modeling examples (EMME) are demonstrations of a computer-based task by a human model (e.g., a teacher), with the model's eye movements superimposed on the task to guide learners' attention. EMME have been shown to enhance learning of perceptual classification tasks; however, it is an

  5. Birds protected by national legislation show improved population trends in Eastern Europe

    Koleček, Jaroslav; Schleuning, M.; Burfield, I. J.; Báldi, A.; Böhning-Gaese, K.; Devictor, V.; Fernández-García, J. M.; Hořák, D.; Van Turnhout, C. A. M.; Hnatyna, O.; Reif, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 172, April (2014), s. 109-116 ISSN 0006-3207 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Conservation effectiveness * Ecological trait * Environmental legislation * Global change * Life history strategy * Population growth rate Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.762, year: 2014

  6. An expanded evaluation of protein function prediction methods shows an improvement in accuracy

    Jiang, Yuxiang; Oron, Tal Ronnen; Clark, Wyatt T.; Bankapur, Asma R.; Andrea, D' Daniel; Lepore, Rosalba; Funk, Christopher S.; Kahanda, Indika; Verspoor, Karin M.; Ben-Hur, Asa; Koo, Da Chen Emily; Penfold-Brown, Duncan; Shasha, Dennis; Youngs, Noah; Bonneau, Richard; Lin, Alexandra; Sahraeian, Sayed M.E.; Martelli, Pier Luigi; Profiti, Giuseppe; Casadio, Rita; Cao, Renzhi; Zhong, Zhaolong; Cheng, Jianlin; Altenhoff, Adrian; Skunca, Nives; Dessimoz, Christophe; Dogan, Tunca; Hakala, Kai; Kaewphan, Suwisa; Mehryary, Farrokh; Salakoski, Tapio; Ginter, Filip; Fang, Hai; Smithers, Ben; Oates, Matt; Gough, Julian; Törönen, Petri; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Chen, Ching Tai; Hsu, Wen Lian; Bryson, Kevin; Cozzetto, Domenico; Minneci, Federico; Jones, David T.; Chapman, Samuel; BKC, Dukka; Khan, Ishita K.; Kihara, Daisuke; Ofer, Dan; Rappoport, Nadav; Stern, Amos; Cibrian-Uhalte, Elena; Denny, Paul; Foulger, Rebecca E.; Hieta, Reija; Legge, Duncan; Lovering, Ruth C.; Magrane, Michele; Melidoni, Anna N.; Mutowo-Meullenet, Prudence; Pichler, Klemens; Shypitsyna, Aleksandra; Li, Biao; Zakeri, Pooya; ElShal, Sarah; Tranchevent, Léon Charles; Das, Sayoni; Dawson, Natalie L.; Lee, David; Lees, Jonathan G.; Sillitoe, Ian; Bhat, Prajwal; Nepusz, Tamás; Romero, Alfonso E.; Sasidharan, Rajkumar; Yang, Haixuan; Paccanaro, Alberto; Gillis, Jesse; Sedeño-Cortés, Adriana E.; Pavlidis, Paul; Feng, Shou; Cejuela, Juan M.; Goldberg, Tatyana; Hamp, Tobias; Richter, Lothar; Salamov, Asaf; Gabaldon, Toni; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Supek, Fran; Gong, Qingtian; Ning, Wei; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Toppo, Stefano; Ferrari, Carlo; Giollo, Manuel; Piovesan, Damiano; Tosatto, Silvio C.E.; Pozo, del Angela; Fernández, José M.; Maietta, Paolo; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L.; Benso, Alfredo; Carlo, Di Stefano; Politano, Gianfranco; Savino, Alessandro; Rehman, Hafeez Ur; Re, Matteo; Mesiti, Marco; Valentini, Giorgio; Bargsten, Joachim W.; Dijk, van Aalt-Jan; Gemovic, Branislava; Glisic, Sanja; Perovic, Vladmir; Veljkovic, Veljko; Veljkovic, Nevena; Almeida-e-Silva, Danillo C.; Vencio, Ricardo Z.N.; Sharan, Malvika; Vogel, Jörg; Kansakar, Lakesh; Zhang, Shanshan; Vucetic, Slobodan; Wang, Zheng; Sternberg, Michael J.E.; Wass, Mark N.; Huntley, Rachael P.; Martin, Maria J.; O'Donovan, Claire; Robinson, Peter N.; Moreau, Yves; Tramontano, Anna; Babbitt, Patricia C.; Brenner, Steven E.; Linial, Michal; Orengo, Christine A.; Rost, Burkhard; Greene, Casey S.; Mooney, Sean D.; Friedberg, Iddo; Radivojac, Predrag

    2016-01-01

    Background: A major bottleneck in our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life is the assignment of function to proteins. While molecular experiments provide the most reliable annotation of proteins, their relatively low throughput and restricted purview have led to an increasing role

  7. Handgrip strength shows no improvements in geriatric patients with persistent inflammation during hospitalization

    Norheim, Kristoffer Larsen; Bautmans, Ivan; Kjaer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hospital-associated deconditioning due to a combination of illness and inactivity is a serious problem for elderly adults. Here we investigate whether persistence in inflammatory status affects changes in physical function during short-term hospitalization. METHODS: This was a prospective...... observational study in elderly medical patients at a geriatric department. Measurements were obtained at admission and one week after admission and included de Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) test, 30-second chair stand test (30-s CST), 4-m gait speed (4-m GST) test, handgrip strength, activity levels determined...... with ActivPALs, and concentrations of circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) from blood samples. Only patients with inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥10mg·L(-1)) at admission were included in this study. They were divided into those with continued inflammation (CI: CRP remained ≥10mg·L(-1)) and those...

  8. PVP-coated silver nanoparticles showing antifungal improved activity against dermatophytes

    Silva, Edgar; Saraiva, Sofia M.; Miguel, Sónia P.; Correia, Ilídio J.

    2014-11-01

    Fungal infections affecting human beings have increased during the last years and the currently available treatments, when administered for long periods, trigger microbial resistance. Such demands the development of new viable therapeutic alternatives. Silver is known since the antiquity by its antimicrobial properties and, herein, it was used to produce two types of nanoparticles (NPs), uncoated and coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), which were aimed to be used in fungal infection treatment. NPs properties were characterized by Transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis, Dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared, and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Furthermore, in vitro studies were also performed to evaluate NPs cytotoxic profile and antifungal activity. The results obtained revealed that the produced nanoparticles are biocompatible and have a good potential for being used in the treatment of common skin infections caused by Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes, being PVP-coated silver NPs the most suitable ones.

  9. Preliminary Analyses Showed Short-Term Mental Health Improvements after a Single-Day Manager Training.

    Boysen, Elena; Schiller, Birgitta; Mörtl, Kathrin; Gündel, Harald; Hölzer, Michael

    2018-01-10

    Psychosocial working conditions attract more and more attention when it comes to mental health in the workplace. Trying to support managers to deal with their own as well as their employees' psychological risk factors, we conducted a specific manager training. Within this investigation, we wanted to learn about the training's effects and acceptance. A single-day manager training was provided in a large industrial company in Germany. The participants were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their own physical and mental health condition as well as their working situation. Questionnaires were distributed at baseline, 3-month, and 12-month follow-up. At this point of time the investigation is still ongoing. The current article focuses on short-term preliminary effects. Analyses only included participants that already completed baseline and three months follow-up. Preliminary results from three-month follow-up survey ( n = 33, nmale = 30, Mage = 47.5) indicated positive changes in the manager's mental health condition measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire for depression (PHQ-9: Mt1 = 3.82, Mt2 = 3.15). Training managers about common mental disorders and risk factors at the workplace within a single-day workshop seems to promote positive effects on their own mental health. Especially working with the managers on their own early stress symptoms might have been an important element.

  10. Opinion polls show Lithuania's improving moods / Vladas Gaidys ; interviewed by Linas Jegelevicius

    Gaidys, Vladas, 1952-

    2011-01-01

    Leedu turu-uuringute keskuse pikaaegne juht räägib leedulaste hoiakutest, avaliku arvamuse küsitlustest, parteidest, president Dalia Grybauskaitest, ekspresidentidest ja märgib, et uuringud ei ole ära ostetavad

  11. AREVA: Operating performance shows distinct improvement; Results heavily impacted by the cost of remedial measures

    2016-01-01

    The 2015 results illustrate the progress AREVA made in 2015 and open up favorable prospects for 2016 and the following years in view of its fundamentals. The group's competitiveness plan had a very positive impact on its costs and cash, despite the heavy net loss situation which continues and in a market environment that remained difficult in 2015. Half of this loss of 2 billion Euro is due to additional provisions for OL3 and half to provisions for restructuring and impairment related to market conditions. Concerning the group's liquidity, 2016 is funded and the capital increase which will be launched in the coming months will enable AREVA to gradually regain the group's positive profile. A new phase awaits the Group in 2016 with clarity and confidence in the implementation of the restructuring announced in 2015 and in particular the autonomy of AREVA NP and the creation of New AREVA

  12. Substituted aminopyrimidine protein kinase B (PknB) inhibitors show activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Chapman, Timothy M.; Bouloc, Nathalie; Buxton, Roger S.; Chugh, Jasveen; Lougheed, Kathryn E.A.; Osborne, Simon A.; Saxty, Barbara; Smerdon, Stephen J.; Taylor, Debra L.; Whalley, David

    2012-01-01

    A high-throughput screen against PknB, an essential serine–threonine protein kinase present in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), allowed the identification of an aminoquinazoline inhibitor which was used as a starting point for SAR investigations. Although a significant improvement in enzyme affinity was achieved, the aminoquinazolines showed little or no cellular activity against M. tuberculosis. However, switching to an aminopyrimidine core scaffold and the introduction of a basic amine side chain afforded compounds with nanomolar enzyme binding affinity and micromolar minimum inhibitory concentrations against M. tuberculosis. Replacement of the pyrazole head group with pyridine then allowed equipotent compounds with improved selectivity against a human kinase panel to be obtained. PMID:22469702

  13. Significance of Tc-99m pyrophosphate accumulation in unstable angina

    Tange, Shoichi; Kondo, Chisato; Ohta, Yoshiko; Kusakabe, Kiyoko; Shigeta, Akiko; Uchida, Tatsuro; Sumiyoshi, Tetsuya; Kaneko, Noboru; Hosoda, Saichi

    1993-01-01

    Tc-99m pyrophosphate (PYP) and Tl-201 simultaneous dual energy single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) were performed in 33 patients with clinically unstable angina. According to the presence or absence of PYP accumulation in the myocardium, the patients were classified as PYP (+) group (n=22) and PYP (-) group (n=11). Clinical features, types of unstable angina, ECG changes, and serial creatine kinase (CK) data were compared in the two groups. The 'new angina at rest' type of unstable angina was more significantly common in the PYP (+) group (16/22) than the PYP (-) group (2/11). The remaining 6 patients in the PYP (+) group and 2 patients in the PYP (-) group had 'angina of effort with changing pattern'. There was a significant difference in the occurrence of ST elevation and ST depression between the group: 59% in the PYP (+) group vs. 18% in the PYP (-) group for ST elevation and 23% in the PYP (+) group vs. 64% in the PYP (-) group for ST depression. The PYP (+) group showed significant improvement in ejection fraction in the stable state (57±12%) as compared with the unstable state (62±11%), although there was no difference between the stable and unstable state in the PYP (-) group. Although wall motion abnormality index (WMI) was poorer in the PYP (+) group than the PYP (-) group, it improved to the same degree as the PYP (-) group one month later. These data suggest that the area showing PYP (+) may reflect stunned myocardium and that Tc-99m PYP accumulation may correlate with clinical features of unstable angina. (N.K.)

  14. Genoa Boat Show – Good Example of Event Management

    Dunja Demirović

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available International Boat Show, a business and tourist event, has been held annually in Italian city of Genoa since 1962. The fair is one of the oldest, largest and best known in the field of boating industry worldwide, primarily due to good management of the event and it can serve as case study for domestic fair organizers to improve the quality of their business and services. Since Belgrade is the city of fairs, but compared to Genoa still underdeveloped in terms of trade shows, the following tasks imposed naturally in this study: to determine the relationship of the organizers of Genoa Boat Show in the sector of preparation and fair offer, in the sector of selection and communication with specific target groups (especially visitors, services during the fair and functioning of the city during the fair. During the research the authors have mostly used historical method, comparison, synthesis and the interview method. The results of theoretical research, in addition, may help not only managers of fair shows and of exhibitions, but also to organizers of other events in our country

  15. Significance of Lead Residues in Mallard Tissues

    Longcore, J.R.; Locke, L.N.; Bagley, George E.; Andrews, R.

    1974-01-01

    Tissues of adult, lead-dosed mallards that either died or were sacrificed were analyzed for lead. Lead levels in brains, tibiae, and breast muscle of ducks that died and in tibiae of ducks that were sacrificed increased significantly from dosage until death. Lead in the heart, lung, and blood from sacrificed ducks decreased significantly from dosage until death. Lead concentrations in tissues from ducks in the two groups were not significantly different except for the liver, kidney, and lung. Average lead levels in the livers and kidneys of ducks that died were significantly higher than those in ducks that were sacrificed. The mean concentration of lead in the lungs of the ducks sacrificed was significantly higher than the mean level in the lungs of ducks that died. Measurements of the lead concentrations in this study, when compared with lead levels reported in the literature for avian and non-avian species, showed that arbitrary diagnostic levels indicating lead poisoning could be set. In mallard ducks, lead levels exceeding 3 ppm in the brain, 6 to 20 ppm in the kidney or liver, or 10 ppm in clotted blood from the heart indicated acute exposure to lead.

  16. Eccentric muscle challenge shows osteopontin polymorphism modulation of muscle damage.

    Barfield, Whitney L; Uaesoontrachoon, Kitipong; Wu, Chung-Sheih; Lin, Stephen; Chen, Yue; Wang, Paul C; Kanaan, Yasmine; Bond, Vernon; Hoffman, Eric P

    2014-08-01

    A promoter polymorphism of the osteopontin (OPN) gene (rs28357094) has been associated with multiple inflammatory states, severity of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and muscle size in healthy young adults. We sought to define the mechanism of action of the polymorphism, using allele-specific in vitro reporter assays in muscle cells, and a genotype-stratified intervention in healthy controls. In vitro reporter constructs showed the G allele to respond to estrogen treatment, whereas the T allele showed no transcriptional response. Young adult volunteers (n = 187) were enrolled into a baseline study, and subjects with specific rs28357094 genotypes enrolled into an eccentric muscle challenge intervention [n = 3 TT; n = 3 GG/GT (dominant inheritance model)]. Female volunteers carrying the G allele showed significantly greater inflammation and increased muscle volume change as determined by magnetic resonance imaging T1- and T2-weighted images after eccentric challenge, as well as greater decrement in biceps muscle force. Our data suggest a model where the G allele enables enhanced activities of upstream enhancer elements due to loss of Sp1 binding at the polymorphic site. This results in significantly greater expression of the pro-inflammatory OPN cytokine during tissue remodeling in response to challenge in G allele carriers, promoting muscle hypertrophy in normal females, but increased damage in DMD patients. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. Cross wavelet analysis: significance testing and pitfalls

    D. Maraun

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a detailed evaluation of cross wavelet analysis of bivariate time series. We develop a statistical test for zero wavelet coherency based on Monte Carlo simulations. If at least one of the two processes considered is Gaussian white noise, an approximative formula for the critical value can be utilized. In a second part, typical pitfalls of wavelet cross spectra and wavelet coherency are discussed. The wavelet cross spectrum appears to be not suitable for significance testing the interrelation between two processes. Instead, one should rather apply wavelet coherency. Furthermore we investigate problems due to multiple testing. Based on these results, we show that coherency between ENSO and NAO is an artefact for most of the time from 1900 to 1995. However, during a distinct period from around 1920 to 1940, significant coherency between the two phenomena occurs.

  18. Regional and global significance of nuclear energy

    Schilling, H.D.

    1995-01-01

    Measures to combat poverty and improve the standard of living in countries of the Third World will inevitably boost global demand for energy, and energy conservation measures will not be able to offset this increase. Nuclear energy will regain significance in the framework of approaches adopted to resolve the energy problem, which primarily is an ecologic problem created by an extremely large flow of materials. The extraordinarily high energy density of nuclear fuels can contribute to markedly reduce the flow of materials; and at that, electric energy is an efficient substitute for primary energy forms. Thus nuclear electricity generation is of double benefit to the ecology. Engineering goals in nuclear technology thus gain a service aspect, with progress in power plant engineering and design aiming not only at enhanced engineered safety, but also at regaining public acceptance of and confidence in nuclear power plant technology. (orig./UA) [de

  19. Assessing the significance of Heidegger's Black Notebooks

    J. Malpas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The publication of Heidegger's Black Notebooks (Schwarze Hefte has provoked a storm of controversy. Much of this has centred on the pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic comments the volumes contain. But these aspects of the Notebooks are perhaps the least surprising and important. This essay offers a summary overview of the issues to which the Notebooks give rise, at the same time as it also aims to provide a preliminary assessment of their overall significance, especially in relation to what they show about the nature and development of Heidegger's thinking from the early 1930s to the late 1940s.

  20. Detecting significant changes in protein abundance

    Kai Kammers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We review and demonstrate how an empirical Bayes method, shrinking a protein's sample variance towards a pooled estimate, leads to far more powerful and stable inference to detect significant changes in protein abundance compared to ordinary t-tests. Using examples from isobaric mass labelled proteomic experiments we show how to analyze data from multiple experiments simultaneously, and discuss the effects of missing data on the inference. We also present easy to use open source software for normalization of mass spectrometry data and inference based on moderated test statistics.

  1. Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation.

    Kumar, Amit; Epley, Nicholas

    2018-06-01

    Expressing gratitude improves well-being for both expressers and recipients, but we suggest that an egocentric bias may lead expressers to systematically undervalue its positive impact on recipients in a way that could keep people from expressing gratitude more often in everyday life. Participants in three experiments wrote gratitude letters and then predicted how surprised, happy, and awkward recipients would feel. Recipients then reported how receiving an expression of gratitude actually made them feel. Expressers significantly underestimated how surprised recipients would be about why expressers were grateful, overestimated how awkward recipients would feel, and underestimated how positive recipients would feel. Expected awkwardness and mood were both correlated with participants' willingness to express gratitude. Wise decisions are guided by an accurate assessment of the expected value of action. Underestimating the value of prosocial actions, such as expressing gratitude, may keep people from engaging in behavior that would maximize their own-and others'-well-being.

  2. Preschoolers show less trust in physically disabled or obese informants

    Sara eJaffer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research examined whether preschool-aged children show less trust in physically disabled or obese informants. In Study 1, when learning about novel physical activities and facts, 4- and 5-year-olds preferred to endorse the testimony of a physically abled, non-obese informant rather than a physically disabled or obese one. In Study 2, after seeing that the physically disabled or obese informant was previously reliable whereas the physically abled, non-obese one was unreliable, 4- and 5-year-olds did not show a significant preference for either informant. We conclude that in line with the literature on children’s negative stereotypes of physically disabled or obese others, preschoolers are biased against these individuals as potential sources of new knowledge. This bias is robust in that past reliability might undermine its effect on children, but cannot reverse it.

  3. Airline Overbooking Problem with Uncertain No-Shows

    Chunxiao Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper considers an airline overbooking problem of a new single-leg flight with discount fare. Due to the absence of historical data of no-shows for a new flight, and various uncertain human behaviors or unexpected events which causes that a few passengers cannot board their aircraft on time, we fail to obtain the probability distribution of no-shows. In this case, the airlines have to invite some domain experts to provide belief degree of no-shows to estimate its distribution. However, human beings often overestimate unlikely events, which makes the variance of belief degree much greater than that of the frequency. If we still regard the belief degree as a subjective probability, the derived results will exceed our expectations. In order to deal with this uncertainty, the number of no-shows of new flight is assumed to be an uncertain variable in this paper. Given the chance constraint of social reputation, an overbooking model with discount fares is developed to maximize the profit rate based on uncertain programming theory. Finally, the analytic expression of the optimal booking limit is obtained through a numerical example, and the results of sensitivity analysis indicate that the optimal booking limit is affected by flight capacity, discount, confidence level, and parameters of the uncertainty distribution significantly.

  4. Increasing the statistical significance of entanglement detection in experiments

    Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Soenke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Guehne, Otfried [Institut fuer Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation, Innsbruck (Austria); Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Zeng-Bing [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Chen, Yu-Ao; Pan, Jian-Wei [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. We show this to be the case for an error model in which the variance of an observable is interpreted as its error and for the standard error model in photonic experiments. Specifically, we demonstrate that the Mermin inequality yields a Bell test which is statistically more significant than the Ardehali inequality in the case of a photonic four-qubit state that is close to a GHZ state. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the above inequalities for different levels of noise.

  5. Bayesian analysis of repairable systems showing a bounded failure intensity

    Guida, Maurizio; Pulcini, Gianpaolo

    2006-01-01

    The failure pattern of repairable mechanical equipment subject to deterioration phenomena sometimes shows a finite bound for the increasing failure intensity. A non-homogeneous Poisson process with bounded increasing failure intensity is then illustrated and its characteristics are discussed. A Bayesian procedure, based on prior information on model-free quantities, is developed in order to allow technical information on the failure process to be incorporated into the inferential procedure and to improve the inference accuracy. Posterior estimation of the model-free quantities and of other quantities of interest (such as the optimal replacement interval) is provided, as well as prediction on the waiting time to the next failure and on the number of failures in a future time interval is given. Finally, numerical examples are given to illustrate the proposed inferential procedure

  6. Herbarium specimens show contrasting phenological responses to Himalayan climate.

    Hart, Robbie; Salick, Jan; Ranjitkar, Sailesh; Xu, Jianchu

    2014-07-22

    Responses by flowering plants to climate change are complex and only beginning to be understood. Through analyses of 10,295 herbarium specimens of Himalayan Rhododendron collected by plant hunters and botanists since 1884, we were able to separate these responses into significant components. We found a lack of directional change in mean flowering time over the past 45 y of rapid warming. However, over the full 125 y of collections, mean flowering time shows a significant response to year-to-year changes in temperature, and this response varies with season of warming. Mean flowering advances with annual warming (2.27 d earlier per 1 °C warming), and also is delayed with fall warming (2.54 d later per 1 °C warming). Annual warming may advance flowering through positive effects on overwintering bud formation, whereas fall warming may delay flowering through an impact on chilling requirements. The lack of a directional response suggests that contrasting phenological responses to temperature changes may obscure temperature sensitivity in plants. By drawing on large collections from multiple herbaria, made over more than a century, we show how these data may inform studies even of remote localities, and we highlight the increasing value of these and other natural history collections in understanding long-term change.

  7. [How children show positive and negative relationships on their drawings].

    Gramel, Sabine

    2005-01-01

    This study analyses, whether pictures of children showing a positive relationship are significantly different from those showing a negative one with respect to several criteria. The study involved a random selection of 45 children aged 4;6 to 11;6 years. The children painted a picture with themselves and a person they liked and a picture of themselves with someone they disliked. For the most part, the children drew pictures of themselves with peers both with respect to positive as well as negative images. In an interview afterwards, the children specified the criteria in their drawings by which the quality of the particular relationship can be identified. Positive and negative relationship paintings differ in the character of activity described. The sun as an element in children's paintings is painted not more frequent on positive compared to negative pictures. The colour black is used more often in the drawings signifying negative relationships. While girls used more colour in negative relationship drawings, boys used more colour in the positive ones. There was no significant difference in the use of favourite colours and decorative elements between the two groups. Only in negative relationship drawings people were looking away from each other. Smiling individuals were more common in the positive relationship pictures and in pictures painted by the 6 to 8 year olds. A greater distance between the individuals emerged on negative relationship drawings of the girls.

  8. Significance of postoperative irradiation for breast cancer

    Murai, Nobuko; Ogami, Koji; Nishikawa, Kiyoshi; Koga, Kenji; Waki, Norio; Higashi, Hidefumi; Hayashi, Asami; Shibata, Koichiro; Watanabe, Katsuji

    1986-01-01

    From 1978 through 1983, 27 patients were treated with surgery followed by irradiation (irradiated group) and 29 with surery alone (non-irradiated group). In the irradiated group, 10 had stage II and 17 stage III; in the non-irradiated group, 25 had stage II and 4 stage III. The most common histology was medullary tubular carcinoma (MTC). There was no significant difference in survivals at 3 years and 5 years between the groups. Similarly, no significant difference was seen among stage II patients. Patients with MTC tended to have worse survivals in the irradiated group than in the non-irradiated group, with no statistically significant difference. Among stage II patients, no major differences in local recurrence were seen between the groups; the incidence of distant metastases tended to be high in the irradiated group. The incidence of both local recurrence and distant metastases for stage III patients showed a tendency to be higher in the irradiated group than in the non-irradiated group. The results indicated no apparent benifit of postoperative irradiation for breast cancer. A randomized clinical trial is needed for the evaluation of postoperative irradiation for breast cancer. (Namekawa, K.)

  9. Clinical significance of dental root canal microflora.

    Gomes, B P; Lilley, J D; Drucker, D B

    1996-01-01

    Previous work by this group has shown that a significant association exists between pain and the presence of either Prevotella or Peptostreptococcus spp. in dental root canals. The aim of this study was to examine a more extensive series of canals microbiologically, to determine whether any other particular endodontic symptoms or clinical signs showed specific associations with individual bacterial species. Seventy root canals were examined microbiologically and clinical data collected to investigate in detail such associations. Of the canals studied, 37 were associated with pain, 49 with tenderness to percussion, 23 with swelling, six with purulent exudate and 57 presented with wet root canals. Anaerobes were isolated from 70.3% of painful canals and from 29.7% of pain-free canals. Significant associations were found between (a) pain and either Prevotella spp. or peptostreptococci, both with P spp. (P Eubacterium spp. (P spp. or Pstr. micros, both with P spp. (each P Eubacterium, Peptostreptococcus, Prevotella or Propionibacterium (each P < 0.05). It was concluded that several different endodontic clinical signs and symptoms are significantly associated with specific bacterial species.

  10. Functional significance of cardiac reinnervation in heart transplant recipients.

    Schwaiblmair, M; von Scheidt, W; Uberfuhr, P; Ziegler, S; Schwaiger, M; Reichart, B; Vogelmeier, C

    1999-09-01

    There is accumulating evidence of structural sympathetic reinnervation after human cardiac transplantation. However, the functional significance of reinnervation in terms of exercise capacity has not been established as yet; we therefore investigated the influence of reinnervation on cardiopulmonary exercise testing. After orthotopic heart transplantation 35 patients (mean age, 49.1 +/- 8.4 years) underwent positron emission tomography with scintigraphically measured uptake of C11-hydroxyephedrine (HED), lung function testing, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Two groups were defined based on scintigraphic findings, indicating a denervated group (n = 15) with a HED uptake of 5.45%/min and a reinnervated group (n = 20) with a HED uptake of 10.59%/min. The two study groups did not show significant differences with regard to anthropometric data, number of rejection episodes, preoperative hemodynamics, and postoperative lung function data. The reinnervated group had a significant longer time interval from transplantation (1625 +/- 1069 versus 800 +/- 1316 days, p exercise (137 +/- 15 versus 120 +/- 20 beats/min, p = .012), peak oxygen uptake (21.0 +/- 4 versus 16.1 +/- 5 mL/min/kg, p = .006), peak oxygen pulse (12.4 +/- 2.9 versus 10.2 +/- 2.7 mL/min/beat, p = .031), and anaerobic threshold (11.2 +/- 1.8 versus 9.5 +/- 2.1 mL/min, p = .046) were significantly increased in comparison to denervated transplant recipients. Additionally, a decreased functional dead space ventilation (0.24 +/- 0.05 versus 0.30 +/- 0.05, p = .004) was observed in the reinnervated group. Our study results support the hypothesis that partial sympathetic reinnervation after cardiac transplantation is of functional significance. Sympathetic reinnervation enables an increased peak oxygen uptake. This is most probably due to partial restoration of the chronotropic and inotropic competence of the heart as well as an improved oxygen delivery to the exercising muscles and a reduced ventilation

  11. Apparent diffusion coefficient ratio correlates significantly with prostate cancer gleason score at final pathology

    Boesen, Lars; Chabanova, Elizaveta; Løgager, Vibeke

    2015-01-01

    PURPOSE: To evaluate the correlation between apparent diffusion coefficient measurements (ADCtumor and ADCratio ) and the Gleason score from radical prostatectomy specimens. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-one patients with clinically localized prostate cancer scheduled for radical prostatectomy...... correlated with the Gleason score from the prostatectomy specimens. RESULTS: The association between ADC measurements and Gleason score showed a significant negative correlation (P ... ) and 0.90 (ADCratio ) when discriminating Gleason score ≤7(3+4) from Gleason score ≥7(4+3). CONCLUSION: ADC measurements showed a significant correlation with tumor Gleason score at final pathology. The ADCratio demonstrated the best correlation compared to the ADCtumor value and radically improved...

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

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

  13. Intracerebral metastasis showing restricted diffusion: Correlation with histopathologic findings

    Duygulu, G. [Radiology Department, Ege University Medicine School, Izmir (Turkey); Ovali, G. Yilmaz [Radiology Department, Celal Bayar University Medicine School, Manisa (Turkey)], E-mail: gulgun.yilmaz@bayar.edu.tr; Calli, C.; Kitis, O.; Yuenten, N. [Radiology Department, Ege University Medicine School, Izmir (Turkey); Akalin, T. [Pathology Department, Ege University Medicine School, Izmir (Turkey); Islekel, S. [Neurosurgery Department, Ege University Medicine School, Izmir (Turkey)

    2010-04-15

    Objective: We aimed to detect the frequency of restricted diffusion in intracerebral metastases and to find whether there is correlation between the primary tumor pathology and diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) findings of these metastases. Material and methods: 87 patients with intracerebral metastases were examined with routine MR imaging and DWI. 11 hemorrhagic metastatic lesions were excluded. The routine MR imaging included three plans before and after contrast enhancement. The DWI was performed with spin-echo EPI sequence with three b values (0, 500 and 1000), and ADC maps were calculated. 76 patients with metastases were grouped according to primary tumor histology and the ratios of restricted diffusion were calculated according to these groups. ADCmin values were measured within the solid components of the tumors and the ratio of metastases with restricted diffusion to that which do not show restricted diffusion were calculated. Fisher's exact and Mann-Whitney U tests were used for the statistical analysis. Results: Restricted diffusion was observed in a total of 15 metastatic lesions (19, 7%). Primary malignancy was lung carcinoma in 10 of these cases (66, 6%) (5 small cell carcinoma, 5 non-small cell carcinoma), and breast carcinoma in three cases (20%). Colon carcinoma and testicular teratocarcinoma were the other two primary tumors in which restricted diffusion in metastasis was detected. There was no statistical significant difference between the primary pathology groups which showed restricted diffusion (p > 0.05). ADCmin values of solid components of the metastasis with restricted diffusion and other metastasis without restricted diffusion also showed no significant statistical difference (0.72 {+-} 0.16 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/s and 0.78 {+-} 21 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/s respectively) (p = 0.325). Conclusion: Detection of restricted diffusion on DWI in intracerebral metastasis is not rare, particularly if the primary tumor is lung or breast

  14. Latest data shows long-term security of uranium supply

    2010-01-01

    Full text: According to Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand just published by the OECD Nuclear En ergy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), uranium resources, production and demand are all on the rise. Exploration efforts have increased recently in line with the expected expansion of nuclear energy in the coming years. Total identified resources have grown but so too have costs of production. Worldwide exploration and mine development expenditures have more than doubled since the publication of the previous edition, Uranium 2007: Resources, Production and Demand. These expenditures have increased despite declining uranium market prices since mid- 2007. The uranium resources presented in this edition, reflecting the situation as of 1 January 2009, show that total identified resources amounted to 6 306 300 tU, an increase of about 15% compared to 2007, including those reported in the high-cost category (< USD 260/kgU or < USD 100/lbU O), reintroduced for the first time since the 1980s. This high-cost 3 8 category was used in the 2009 edition in response to the generally increased market prices for uranium in recent years, despite the decline since mid-2007, expectations of increasing demand as new nuclear power plants are being planned and built, and increased mining costs. Although total identified resources have increased overall, there has been a significant reduction in lower-cost resources owing to increased mining costs. At 2008 rates of consumption, total identified resources are sufficient for over 100 years of supply. The recognition by an increasing number of governments that nuclear power can produce competitively priced, baseload electricity that is essentially free of greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with the role that nuclear can play in enhancing security of energy supply, increases the prospects for growth in nuclear generating capacity, although the magnitude of that growth remains to be determined. According to

  15. Quantifying the Clinical Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal

    Allsop, David J.; Copeland, Jan; Norberg, Melissa M.; Fu, Shanlin; Molnar, Anna; Lewis, John; Budney, Alan J.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Questions over the clinical significance of cannabis withdrawal have hindered its inclusion as a discrete cannabis induced psychiatric condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV). This study aims to quantify functional impairment to normal daily activities from cannabis withdrawal, and looks at the factors predicting functional impairment. In addition the study tests the influence of functional impairment from cannabis withdrawal on cannabis use during and after an abstinence attempt. Methods and Results A volunteer sample of 49 non-treatment seeking cannabis users who met DSM-IV criteria for dependence provided daily withdrawal-related functional impairment scores during a one-week baseline phase and two weeks of monitored abstinence from cannabis with a one month follow up. Functional impairment from withdrawal symptoms was strongly associated with symptom severity (p = 0.0001). Participants with more severe cannabis dependence before the abstinence attempt reported greater functional impairment from cannabis withdrawal (p = 0.03). Relapse to cannabis use during the abstinence period was associated with greater functional impairment from a subset of withdrawal symptoms in high dependence users. Higher levels of functional impairment during the abstinence attempt predicted higher levels of cannabis use at one month follow up (p = 0.001). Conclusions Cannabis withdrawal is clinically significant because it is associated with functional impairment to normal daily activities, as well as relapse to cannabis use. Sample size in the relapse group was small and the use of a non-treatment seeking population requires findings to be replicated in clinical samples. Tailoring treatments to target withdrawal symptoms contributing to functional impairment during a quit attempt may improve treatment outcomes. PMID:23049760

  16. Quantifying the clinical significance of cannabis withdrawal.

    David J Allsop

    Full Text Available Questions over the clinical significance of cannabis withdrawal have hindered its inclusion as a discrete cannabis induced psychiatric condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV. This study aims to quantify functional impairment to normal daily activities from cannabis withdrawal, and looks at the factors predicting functional impairment. In addition the study tests the influence of functional impairment from cannabis withdrawal on cannabis use during and after an abstinence attempt.A volunteer sample of 49 non-treatment seeking cannabis users who met DSM-IV criteria for dependence provided daily withdrawal-related functional impairment scores during a one-week baseline phase and two weeks of monitored abstinence from cannabis with a one month follow up. Functional impairment from withdrawal symptoms was strongly associated with symptom severity (p=0.0001. Participants with more severe cannabis dependence before the abstinence attempt reported greater functional impairment from cannabis withdrawal (p=0.03. Relapse to cannabis use during the abstinence period was associated with greater functional impairment from a subset of withdrawal symptoms in high dependence users. Higher levels of functional impairment during the abstinence attempt predicted higher levels of cannabis use at one month follow up (p=0.001.Cannabis withdrawal is clinically significant because it is associated with functional impairment to normal daily activities, as well as relapse to cannabis use. Sample size in the relapse group was small and the use of a non-treatment seeking population requires findings to be replicated in clinical samples. Tailoring treatments to target withdrawal symptoms contributing to functional impairment during a quit attempt may improve treatment outcomes.

  17. Immunophenotyping in leukemia and its diagnostic significance

    S. B. Kresno

    2004-09-01

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

  18. Showing Off in Humans: Male Generosity as a Mating Signal

    Wendy Iredale

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available We examined people's charity contributions while in the presence of an observer of the same sex, opposite sex, or no observer. Inspired by costly signaling theory, we hypothesized that men would be more generous in the presence of a potential mate. Men and women played a number of experimental games in which they could earn money. On completion of these games participants were asked what percentage of their earned money they would be willing to donate to charity. Our results show that men contribute more to charity when observed by a member of the opposite sex than by a member of the same sex or no observer. Conversely, female charity donations did not significantly vary across the three observer conditions. Findings support the notion that men's generosity might have evolved as a mating signal.

  19. Significance and popularity in music production

    Monechi, Bernardo; Gravino, Pietro; Servedio, Vito D. P.; Tria, Francesca; Loreto, Vittorio

    2017-07-01

    Creative industries constantly strive for fame and popularity. Though highly desirable, popularity is not the only achievement artistic creations might ever acquire. Leaving a longstanding mark in the global production and influencing future works is an even more important achievement, usually acknowledged by experts and scholars. `Significant' or `influential' works are not always well known to the public or have sometimes been long forgotten by the vast majority. In this paper, we focus on the duality between what is successful and what is significant in the musical context. To this end, we consider a user-generated set of tags collected through an online music platform, whose evolving co-occurrence network mirrors the growing conceptual space underlying music production. We define a set of general metrics aiming at characterizing music albums throughout history, and their relationships with the overall musical production. We show how these metrics allow to classify albums according to their current popularity or their belonging to expert-made lists of important albums. In this way, we provide the scientific community and the public at large with quantitative tools to tell apart popular albums from culturally or aesthetically relevant artworks. The generality of the methodology presented here lends itself to be used in all those fields where innovation and creativity are in play.

  20. Significance and popularity in music production.

    Monechi, Bernardo; Gravino, Pietro; Servedio, Vito D P; Tria, Francesca; Loreto, Vittorio

    2017-07-01

    Creative industries constantly strive for fame and popularity. Though highly desirable, popularity is not the only achievement artistic creations might ever acquire. Leaving a longstanding mark in the global production and influencing future works is an even more important achievement, usually acknowledged by experts and scholars. 'Significant' or 'influential' works are not always well known to the public or have sometimes been long forgotten by the vast majority. In this paper, we focus on the duality between what is successful and what is significant in the musical context. To this end, we consider a user-generated set of tags collected through an online music platform, whose evolving co-occurrence network mirrors the growing conceptual space underlying music production. We define a set of general metrics aiming at characterizing music albums throughout history, and their relationships with the overall musical production. We show how these metrics allow to classify albums according to their current popularity or their belonging to expert-made lists of important albums. In this way, we provide the scientific community and the public at large with quantitative tools to tell apart popular albums from culturally or aesthetically relevant artworks. The generality of the methodology presented here lends itself to be used in all those fields where innovation and creativity are in play.

  1. Traditional Indian spices and their health significance.

    Krishnaswamy, Kamala

    2008-01-01

    India has been recognized all over the world for spices and medicinal plants. Both exhibit a wide range of physiological and pharmacological properties. Current biomedical efforts are focused on their scientific merits, to provide science-based evidence for the traditional uses and to develop either functional foods or nutraceuticals. The Indian traditional medical systems use turmeric for wound healing, rheumatic disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, deworming, rhinitis and as a cosmetic. Studies in India have explored its anti-inflammatory, cholekinetic and anti-oxidant potentials with the recent investigations focusing on its preventive effect on precarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti atherosclerotic effects in biological systems both under in vitro and in vivo conditions in animals and humans. Both turmeric and curcumin were found to increase detoxifying enzymes, prevent DNA damage, improve DNA repair, decrease mutations and tumour formation and exhibit antioxidative potential in animals. Limited clinical studies suggest that turmeric can significantly impact excretion of mutagens in urine in smokers and regress precancerous palatal lesions. It reduces DNA adducts and micronuclei in oral epithelial cells. It prevents formation of nitroso compounds both in vivo and in vitro. It delays induced cataract in diabetes and reduces hyperlipidemia in obese rats. Recently several molecular targets have been identified for therapeutic / preventive effects of turmeric. Fenugreek seeds, a rich source of soluble fiber used in Indian cuisine reduces blood glucose and lipids and can be used as a food adjuvant in diabetes. Similarly garlic, onions, and ginger have been found to modulate favourably the process of carcinogenesis.

  2. [The significance of meat quality in marketing].

    Kallweit, E

    1994-07-01

    Food quality in general and meat quality in particular are not only evaluated by means of objective quality traits but the entire production process is gaining more attention by the modern consumer. Due to this development quality programs were developed to define the majority of the processes in all production and marketing steps which are again linked by contracts. Not all of these items are quality relevant, but are concessions to ethic principles (animal welfare etc.). This is demonstrated by the example of Scharrel-pork production. The price differentiation at the pork market is still influenced predominantly by quantitative carcass traits. On the European market quality programs still are of minor significance. Premiums which are paid for high quality standards are more or less compensated by higher production costs and lower lean meat percentages, which must be expected in stress susceptible strains. The high efforts to establish quality programs, however, help to improve the quality level in general, and secure the market shares for local producers.

  3. The measure and significance of Bateman's principles.

    Collet, Julie M; Dean, Rebecca F; Worley, Kirsty; Richardson, David S; Pizzari, Tommaso

    2014-05-07

    Bateman's principles explain sex roles and sexual dimorphism through sex-specific variance in mating success, reproductive success and their relationships within sexes (Bateman gradients). Empirical tests of these principles, however, have come under intense scrutiny. Here, we experimentally show that in replicate groups of red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, mating and reproductive successes were more variable in males than in females, resulting in a steeper male Bateman gradient, consistent with Bateman's principles. However, we use novel quantitative techniques to reveal that current methods typically overestimate Bateman's principles because they (i) infer mating success indirectly from offspring parentage, and thus miss matings that fail to result in fertilization, and (ii) measure Bateman gradients through the univariate regression of reproductive over mating success, without considering the substantial influence of other components of male reproductive success, namely female fecundity and paternity share. We also find a significant female Bateman gradient but show that this likely emerges as spurious consequences of male preference for fecund females, emphasizing the need for experimental approaches to establish the causal relationship between reproductive and mating success. While providing qualitative support for Bateman's principles, our study demonstrates how current approaches can generate a misleading view of sex differences and roles.

  4. CT diagnostic significance of tuboovarian abscess

    Du Tieqiao; Dong Jie; Xu Quanying; An Haiqin; Sang Chunyu

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To analyze computed tomographic (CT) imaging features of tuboovarian abscess as well as to discuss CT diagnostic significance. Methods: Ten patients with tuboovarian abscess were performed CT enhancing scans. Results: Ten patients manifested thick-walled, cystic-solid complex adnexal mass and indistinct margins on CT imaging. Internal thick septations and layered enhancement of the mass border on CT contrast images were common. Associated findings of CT included thickening of' the uterosacral ligaments in 9 of 10 patients, increased attenuation of the presacral and perirectal fat secondary to edema in 9 patients, serpiginous structure corresponding to a dilated, pus-filled fallopian tube in 6 patients and fluid-filled within uterine cavity in 4 patients. On CT scans, the inflammatory infiltration of adnexal abscesses involved pelvic structure included adhesion with borders of uterus in 9 patients, adhesion with rectal or sigmoid in 4 patients and pelvic wall or bowel loop in 3 patients. Two cases with peritoneal thicken showed ascites on CT images and right adnexal tuboovarian abscess in 2 patients were associated with appendicitis. Conclusion: CT can reveal pelvic adjacent organs involvement or adhesion and inflammatory infihration of pelvic floor soft-tissues or fascial planes except showing cystic solid complex mass of adnexal location so that indicating characteristics and the extent of the suspected pelvic inflammatory diseases. CT can be valuable in difficult cases of gynecologic infective diseases. (authors)

  5. Evolutionary significance of ageing in the wild.

    Kowald, Axel; Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2015-11-01

    Human lifespan has risen dramatically over the last 150 years, leading to a significant increase in the fraction of aged people in the population. Until recently it was believed that this contrasted strongly with the situation in wild populations of animals, where the likelihood of encountering demonstrably senescent individuals was believed to be negligible. Over the recent years, however, a series of field studies has appeared that shows ageing can also be observed for many species in the wild. We discuss here the relevance of this finding for the different evolutionary theories of ageing, since it has been claimed that ageing in the wild is incompatible with the so-called non-adaptive (non-programmed) theories, i.e. those in which ageing is presumed not to offer a direct selection benefit. We show that a certain proportion of aged individuals in the population is fully compatible with the antagonistic pleiotropy and the disposable soma theories, while it is difficult to reconcile with the mutation accumulation theory. We also quantify the costs of ageing using life history data from recent field studies and a range of possible metrics. We discuss the merits and problems of the different metrics and also introduce a new metric, yearly death toll, that aims directly at quantifying the deaths caused by the ageing process. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Variation in the peacock's train shows a genetic component.

    Petrie, Marion; Cotgreave, Peter; Pike, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    Female peafowl (Pavo cristatus) show a strong mating preference for males with elaborate trains. This, however, poses something of a paradox because intense directional selection should erode genetic variation in the males' trains, so that females will no longer benefit by discriminating among males on the basis of these traits. This situation is known as the 'lek paradox', and leads to the theoretical expectation of low heritability in the peacock's train. We used two independent breeding experiments, involving a total of 42 sires and 86 of their male offspring, to estimate the narrow sense heritabilities of male ornaments and other morphometric traits. Contrary to expectation, we found significant levels of heritability in a trait known to be used by females during mate choice (train length), while no significant heritabilities were evident for other, non-fitness related morphological traits (tarsus length, body weight or spur length). This study adds to the building body of evidence that high levels of additive genetic variance can exist in secondary sexual traits under directional selection, but further emphasizes the main problem of what maintains this variation.

  7. Cold thyroid nodules show a marked increase in proliferation markers.

    Krohn, Knut; Stricker, Ingo; Emmrich, Peter; Paschke, Ralf

    2003-06-01

    Thyroid follicular adenomas and adenomatous thyroid nodules are a frequent finding in geographical areas with iodine deficiency. They occur as hypofunctioning (scintigraphically cold) or hyperfunctioning (scintigraphically hot) nodules. Their predominant clonal origin suggests that they result from clonal expansion of a single cell, which is very likely the result of a prolonged increase in proliferation compared with non-affected surrounding cells. To test whether increased cell proliferation is detectable in cold thyroid nodules, we studied paraffin-embedded tissue from 40 cold thyroid nodules and their surrounding normal thyroid tissue for the occurrence of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67 (MIB-1 antibody) epitopes as markers for cell proliferation. All 40 thyroid nodules were histologically well characterized and have been studied for molecular characteristics before. The labeling index (number of labeled cells versus total cell number) for nodular and surrounding tissue was calculated. In 33 cold thyroid nodules a significant (p thyroid nodules a significant (p thyroid epithelial cell proliferation is a uniform feature common to most cold nodules. However, the increase of proliferation markers shows a heterogeneity that is not correlated with histopathologic, molecular, or clinical characteristics.

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

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

    2012-06-01

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

  9. Significant Factors Determining E-government Adoption in Selangor, Malaysia

    Siti Hajar Mohd Idris

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Studies have shown that low adoption rate among citizens has been hindering the optimization of e-Government services especially in developing countries. Hence, one of the critical measures that has to be undertaken is to identify and overcome possible barriers to further facilitate a higher rate of adoption. A multistage stratified sampling was used in this study to collect data from 1000 respondents, both user and non-user residing in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. This state was chosen as to provide a better understanding of low adoption when issues of basic facilities have been successfully overcome. An exploratory factor analysis was performed to identify latent constructs and seven key factors were identified. A multiple regression model was subsequently used to analyze significant factors in determining the willingness to use e-Government services. The determinants are language barrier, educational level, secure, format, easy to use, enjoyable, reliable, visual appeal and infrastructure. The result shows significant variables that act as barriers to adoption are reliable, enjoyable, easy to use, secure, and language used. The constraints pointed out in the open ended questions mainly focus on the issue of accessibility, ease of use and awareness. Overcoming these obstacles is therefore crucial in order to enhance the usage of e-Government services which consequently will improve the quality of public administration in Malaysia.

  10. Clinical significance of lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer

    Deng, Jing-Yu; Liang, Han

    2014-01-01

    Gastric cancer, one of the most common malignancies in the world, frequently reveals lymph node, peritoneum, and liver metastases. Most of gastric cancer patients present with lymph node metastasis when they were initially diagnosed or underwent surgical resection, which results in poor prognosis. Both the depth of tumor invasion and lymph node involvement are considered as the most important prognostic predictors of gastric cancer. Although extended lymphadenectomy was not considered a survival benefit procedure and was reported to be associated with high mortality and morbidity in two randomized controlled European trials, it showed significant superiority in terms of lower locoregional recurrence and disease related deaths compared to limited lymphadenectomy in a 15-year follow-up study. Almost all clinical investigators have reached a consensus that the predictive efficiency of the number of metastatic lymph nodes is far better than the extent of lymph node metastasis for the prognosis of gastric cancer worldwide, but other nodal metastatic classifications of gastric cancer have been proposed as alternatives to the number of metastatic lymph nodes for improving the predictive efficiency for patient prognosis. It is still controversial over whether the ratio between metastatic and examined lymph nodes is superior to the number of metastatic lymph nodes in prognostic evaluation of gastric cancer. Besides, the negative lymph node count has been increasingly recognized to be an important factor significantly associated with prognosis of gastric cancer. PMID:24744586

  11. Prognostic significance of macrophage invasion in hilar cholangiocarcinoma

    Atanasov, Georgi; Hau, Hans-Michael; Dietel, Corinna; Benzing, Christian; Krenzien, Felix; Brandl, Andreas; Wiltberger, Georg; Matia, Ivan; Prager, Isabel; Schierle, Katrin; Robson, Simon C.; Reutzel-Selke, Anja; Pratschke, Johann; Schmelzle, Moritz; Jonas, Sven

    2015-01-01

    Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) promote tumor progression and have an effect on survival in human cancer. However, little is known regarding their influence on tumor progression and prognosis in human hilar cholangiocarcinoma. We analyzed surgically resected tumor specimens of hilar cholangiocarcinoma (n = 47) for distribution and localization of TAMs, as defined by expression of CD68. Abundance of TAMs was correlated with clinicopathologic characteristics, tumor recurrence and patients’ survival. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software. Patients with high density of TAMs in tumor invasive front (TIF) showed significantly higher local and overall tumor recurrence (both ρ < 0.05). Furthermore, high density of TAMs was associated with decreased overall (one-year 83.6 % vs. 75.1 %; three-year 61.3 % vs. 42.4 %; both ρ < 0.05) and recurrence-free survival (one-year 93.9 % vs. 57.4 %; three-year 59.8 % vs. 26.2 %; both ρ < 0.05). TAMs in TIF and tumor recurrence, were confirmed as the only independent prognostic variables in the multivariate survival analysis (all ρ < 0.05). Overall survival and recurrence free survival of patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma significantly improved in patients with low levels of TAMs in the area of TIF, when compared to those with a high density of TAMs. These observations suggest their utilization as valuable prognostic markers in routine histopathologic evaluation, and might indicate future therapeutic approaches by targeting TAMs

  12. Safety significance of steam generator tube degradation mechanisms

    Roussel, G; Mignot, P [AIB-Vincotte Nuclear - AVN, Brussels (Belgium)

    1991-07-01

    Steam generator (SG) tube bundle is a part of the Reactor Coolant Pressure Boundary (RCPB): this means that its integrity must be maintained. However, operating experience shows various types of tube degradation to occur in the SG tubing, which may lead to SG tube leaks or SG tube ruptures and create a loss of primary system coolant through the SG, therefore providing a direct path to the environment outside the primary containment structure. In this paper, the major types of known SG tube degradations are described and analyzed in order to assess their safety significance with regard to SG tube integrity. In conclusion: The operational reliability and the safety of the PWR steam generator s requires a sufficient knowledge of the degradation mechanisms to determine the amount of degradation that a tube can withstand and the time that it may remain in operation. They also require the availability of inspection techniques to accurately detect and characterize the various degradations. The status of understanding of the major types of degradation summarized in this paper shows and justifies why efforts are being performed to improve the management of the steam generator tube defects.

  13. Prolonged hypoxia increases survival even in Zebrafish (Danio rerio showing cardiac arrhythmia.

    Renate Kopp

    Full Text Available Tolerance towards hypoxia is highly pronounced in zebrafish. In this study even beneficial effects of hypoxia, specifically enhanced survival of zebrafish larvae, could be demonstrated. This effect was actually more pronounced in breakdance mutants, which phenotypically show cardiac arrhythmia. Breakdance mutants (bre are characterized by chronically reduced cardiac output. Despite an about 50% heart rate reduction, they become adults, but survival rate significantly drops to 40%. Normoxic bre animals demonstrate increased hypoxia inducible factor 1 a (Hif-1α expression, which indicates an activated hypoxic signaling pathway. Consequently, cardiovascular acclimation, like cardiac hypertrophy and increased erythrocyte concentration, occurs. Thus, it was hypothesized, that under hypoxic conditions survival might be even more reduced. When bre mutants were exposed to hypoxic conditions, they surprisingly showed higher survival rates than under normoxic conditions and even reached wildtype values. In hypoxic wildtype zebrafish, survival yet exceeded normoxic control values. To specify physiological acclimation, cardiovascular and metabolic parameters were measured before hypoxia started (3 dpf, when the first differences in survival rate occurred (7 dpf and when survival rate plateaued (15 dpf. Hypoxic animals expectedly demonstrated Hif-1α accumulation and consequently enhanced convective oxygen carrying capacity. Moreover, bre animals showed a significantly enhanced heart rate under hypoxic conditions, which reached normoxic wildtype values. This improvement in convective oxygen transport ensured a sufficient oxygen and nutrient supply and was also reflected in the significantly higher mitochondrial activity. The highly optimized energy metabolism observed in hypoxic zebrafish larvae might be decisive for periods of higher energy demand due to organ development, growth and increased activity. However, hypoxia increased survival only during a

  14. Novel cytokinin derivatives do not show negative effects on root growth and proliferation in submicromolar range.

    Kateřina Podlešáková

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When applied to a nutrition solution or agar media, the non-substituted aromatic cytokinins caused thickening and shortening of the primary root, had an inhibitory effect on lateral root branching, and even showed some negative effects on development of the aerial part at as low as a 10 nanomolar concentration. Novel analogues of aromatic cytokinins ranking among topolins substituted on N9-atom of adenine by tetrahydropyranyl or 4-chlorobutyl group have been prepared and tested in standardized cytokinin bioassays [1]. Those showing comparable activities with N(6-benzylaminopurine were further tested in planta. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The main aim of the study was to explain molecular mechanism of function of novel cytokinin derivatives on plant development. Precise quantification of cytokinin content and profiling of genes involved in cytokinin metabolism and perception in treated plants revealed several aspects of different action of m-methoxytopolin base and its substituted derivative on plant development. In contrast to standard cytokinins, N9- tetrahydropyranyl derivative of m-topolin and its methoxy-counterpart showed the negative effects on root development only at three orders of magnitude higher concentrations. Moreover, the methoxy-derivative demonstrates a positive effect on lateral root branching and leaf emerging in a nanomolar range of concentrations, in comparison with untreated plants. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Tetrahydropyranyl substitution at N9-position of cytokinin purine ring significantly enhances acropetal transport of a given cytokinins. Together with the methoxy-substitution, impedes accumulation of non-active cytokinin glucoside forms in roots, allows gradual release of the active base, and has a significant effect on the distribution and amount of endogenous isoprenoid cytokinins in different plant tissues. The utilization of novel aromatic cytokinin derivatives can distinctively improve expected

  15. Utilidad de los puntajes clínicos para mejorar la predicción de enfermedad coronaria significativa después de una prueba de esfuerzo convencional Usefulness of clinical scores to improve prediction of significant coronary heart disease after conventional treadmill exercise testing

    Fernando A Guerrero

    2008-10-01

    comparing patients with and without outcomes, the first ones classified more frequently as having higher probability than those that had not, with statistically significant differences (Morise: p = 0,0002 and Duke: 0,0005. In the Morise score with cutoff value 48, 92% sensitivity and 68% specificity was achieved. In Duke, with cutoff value 38, it was 100% and 31% respectively. Discussion: concordance for Morise is better than for the other evaluated methods. The addition of clinical scores to the exercise testing interpretation improves its operative characteristics without any cost increment, achieving savings of 10% to 18%. Conclusions: clinical scores increase sensitivity and specificity, and for this reason they should be used as routine in the conventional exercise testing report. Nevertheless, it is necessary to look for solutions to improve its performance even further.

  16. Impact significance determination-Back to basics

    Lawrence, David P.

    2007-01-01

    Impact significance determination is widely recognized as a vital and critical EIA activity. But impact significance related concepts are poorly understood. And the quality of approaches for impact significance determination in EIA practice remains highly variable. This article seeks to help establish a sound and practical conceptual foundation for formulating and evaluating impact significance determination approaches. It addresses the nature (what is impact significance?), the core characteristics (what are the major properties of significance determination?), the rationale (why are impact significance determinations necessary?), the procedural and substantive objectives (what do impact significance determinations seek to achieve?), and the process for making impact significance judgments (how is impact significance determination conducted?). By identifying fundamental attributes and key distinctions associated with impact significance determinations, a basis is provided for designing and evaluating impact significance determination procedures at both the regulatory and applied levels

  17. Radiological significance of thorium processing in manufacturing

    Davis, M.W.

    1985-01-01

    The study of thorium processing in manufacturing comprised monitoring programs at a plant where thorium dioxide was in use and another where the use of thorium nitrate had been discontinued. The measurements of the solubility in simulated lung fluid proved that both materials belonged in the Y Class with dissolution half-times greater than 500 days. Bioassay measurements of 20 subjects from both facilities proved that in vitro monitoring methods, urine, feces, hair and nails analysis were not sufficient indicators of thorium uptake. In vivo monitoring by phoswich and large sodium iodide detectors were proven to be good methods of determining thorium lung burdens. The thoron in breath technique was shown to have a lower limit of sensitivity than lung counting, however, due to lack of information regarding the thoron escape rate from the thorium particles in the lungs the method is not as accurate as lung counting. Two subjects at the thorium dioxide facility had lung burdens of 21+- 16 Bq and 29+- 24 Bq Th 232 and one at the thorium nitrate facility had a lung burden of 37+- 13 Bq. Improvements in the procedures and use of a glove box were among the recommendations to reduce the inhalation of thorium by workers at the thorium dioxide facility. Decontamination of several rooms at the thorium nitrate facility and sealing of the walls and floors were recommended in order to reduce the escape of thoron gas into the room air. The risk to non Atomic Radiation Workers was primarily due to thoron daughters in air while gamma radiation and thorium in air were less important. Conversely, at the thorium dioxide facility the inhalation of thorium in air was the most significant exposure pathway

  18. Low LET protons focused to submicrometer shows enhanced radiobiological effectiveness

    Schmid, T E; Zlobinskaya, O; Michalski, D; Molls, M; Multhoff, G; Greubel, C; Hable, V; Girst, S; Siebenwirth, C; Dollinger, G; Schmid, E

    2012-01-01

    This study shows that enhanced radiobiological effectiveness (RBE) values can be generated focusing low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation and thus changing the microdose distribution. 20 MeV protons (LET = 2.65 keV µm −1 ) are focused to submicrometer diameter at the ion microprobe superconducting nanoprobe for applied nuclear (Kern) physics experiments of the Munich tandem accelerator. The RBE values, as determined by measuring micronuclei (RBE MN = 1.48 ± 0.07) and dicentrics (RBE D = 1.92 ± 0.15), in human–hamster hybrid (A L ) cells are significantly higher when 117 protons were focused to a submicrometer irradiation field within a 5.4 × 5.4 µm 2 matrix compared to quasi homogeneous in a 1 × 1 µm 2 matrix applied protons (RBE MN = 1.28 ± 0.07; RBE D = 1.41 ± 0.14) at the same average dose of 1.7 Gy. The RBE values are normalized to standard 70 kV (dicentrics) or 200 kV (micronuclei) x-ray irradiation. The 117 protons applied per point deposit the same amount of energy like a 12 C ion with 55 MeV total energy (4.48 MeV u −1 ). The enhancements are about half of that obtained for 12 C ions (RBE MN = 2.20 ± 0.06 and RBE D = 3.21 ± 0.10) and they are attributed to intertrack interactions of the induced damages. The measured RBE values show differences from predictions of the local effect model (LEM III) that is used to calculate RBE values for irradiation plans to treat tumors with high LET particles. (paper)

  19. Low LET protons focused to submicrometer shows enhanced radiobiological effectiveness

    Schmid, T. E.; Greubel, C.; Hable, V.; Zlobinskaya, O.; Michalski, D.; Girst, S.; Siebenwirth, C.; Schmid, E.; Molls, M.; Multhoff, G.; Dollinger, G.

    2012-10-01

    This study shows that enhanced radiobiological effectiveness (RBE) values can be generated focusing low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation and thus changing the microdose distribution. 20 MeV protons (LET = 2.65 keV µm-1) are focused to submicrometer diameter at the ion microprobe superconducting nanoprobe for applied nuclear (Kern) physics experiments of the Munich tandem accelerator. The RBE values, as determined by measuring micronuclei (RBEMN = 1.48 ± 0.07) and dicentrics (RBED = 1.92 ± 0.15), in human-hamster hybrid (AL) cells are significantly higher when 117 protons were focused to a submicrometer irradiation field within a 5.4 × 5.4 µm2 matrix compared to quasi homogeneous in a 1 × 1 µm2 matrix applied protons (RBEMN = 1.28 ± 0.07; RBED = 1.41 ± 0.14) at the same average dose of 1.7 Gy. The RBE values are normalized to standard 70 kV (dicentrics) or 200 kV (micronuclei) x-ray irradiation. The 117 protons applied per point deposit the same amount of energy like a 12C ion with 55 MeV total energy (4.48 MeV u-1). The enhancements are about half of that obtained for 12C ions (RBEMN = 2.20 ± 0.06 and RBED = 3.21 ± 0.10) and they are attributed to intertrack interactions of the induced damages. The measured RBE values show differences from predictions of the local effect model (LEM III) that is used to calculate RBE values for irradiation plans to treat tumors with high LET particles.

  20. Arcuate foramen and its clinical significance

    Cakmark, O.; Gurdal, E.; Cavdar, S.; Ekinci, G.; Yildiz, E.

    2005-01-01

    The present study determines the degree of ossification of the posterior atlanto-occipital membrane in dry bone, plane lateral cervical spine radiographs and computer tomography (CT). The average length, width and the area of the arcuate foramen were measured on dry bone and on cervical CT. Further, age, gender and complaints of the patients of shoulder and arm pain, neck pain, headache, vertigo, and lacrimation in relation to the presence of bony complete or incomplete arcuate foramen were evaluated. From February 2004 to January 2005 60 dry atlases were obtained from the Anatomy Department, University of Marmara, Istanbul, Turkey and 416 lateral cervical spine radiographs were obtained from the Radiology department for neurological and orthopedic evaluations. Each complete arcuate foramen was calculated with the aid of Clemex Vision PE demo version computer program. Among the 60 dry atlases examined 7 (11.7%) had complete and 2 (3.3 %) had incomplete bony bridge formation. Of the 416 plane lateral cervical spine radiographs examined, 30 (7.2%) had complete and 26 (6.25%) had incomplete bony bridge formation. Of the 30 complete arcuate foramen 24 (80%) were females and 6 (20%) were males. The frequency of having a complete arcuate foramen in females was 8.45%, and in males it was 4.55%. Further, of the 26 incomplete arcuate foramen 20 (76.9%) were females and 6 (23.1%) were males. The frequency of having an incomplete arcuate foramen in females was 7%, and in males was 4.55%. The statistical evaluations showed that patients with complete arcuate foramen had significant complaints of shoulder-arm pain (p=0.0072), neck pain (p=0.0072) and vertigo (p=0.0598) compared to patients with incomplete arcuate foramen. The patients with complete arcuate foramen had a headache ratio of 12:30 and this ratio was 2:26 in patients with incomplete arcuate foramen and the difference between complete and incomplete arcuate foramen was statistically significant (p=0.0062). Further

  1. Targeted Therapy Shows Benefit in Rare Type of Thyroid Cancer

    Treatment with the multitargeted agent vandetanib (Caprelsa) improved progression-free survival in patients with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), according to findings from a randomized clinical trial.

  2. Alzheimer's-associated Aβ oligomers show altered structure, immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity with low doses of oleocanthal

    Pitt, Jason; Roth, William; Lacor, Pascale; Smith, Amos B.; Blankenship, Matthew; Velasco, Pauline; De Felice, Fernanda; Breslin, Paul; Klein, William L.

    2009-01-01

    It now appears likely that soluble oligomers of amyloid-β 1-42 peptide, rather than insoluble fibrils, act as the primary neurotoxin in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, compounds capable of altering the assembly state of these oligomers (referred to as ADDLs) may have potential for AD therapeutics. Phenolic compounds are of particular interest for their ability to disrupt Aβ oligomerization and reduce pathogenicity. This study has focused on oleocanthal (OC), a naturally-occurring phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil. OC increased the immunoreactivity of soluble Aβ species, when assayed with both sequence- and conformation-specific Aβ antibodies, indicating changes in oligomer structure. Analysis of oligomers in the presence of OC showed an upward shift in MW and a ladder-like distribution of SDS-stable ADDL subspecies. In comparison with control ADDLs, oligomers formed in the presence of OC (Aβ-OC) showed equivalent colocalization at synapses but exhibited greater immunofluorescence as a result of increased antibody recognition. The enhanced signal at synapses was not due to increased synaptic binding, as direct detection of fluorescently-labeled ADDLs showed an overall reduction in ADDL signal in the presence of OC. Decreased binding to synapses was accompanied by significantly less synaptic deterioration assayed by drebrin loss. Additionally, treatment with OC improved antibody clearance of ADDLs. These results indicate oleocanthal is capable of altering the oligomerization state of ADDLs while protecting neurons from the synaptopathological effects of ADDLs and suggest OC as a lead compound for development in AD therapeutics.

  3. Expression and significance of GRHL2 in esophageal cancer

    Shao CC

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Chengcheng Shao,1 Chushu Ji,1 Xiaoqiu Wang,2 Bing Hu1 1Department of Medical Oncology, 2Department of Pathology, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Esophageal cancer (EC is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality in the world. Although much effort has been made to improve the 5-year survival rate of patients with EC, it still remains low due to diagnosis at an advanced stage, aggressive local invasion, early metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy. Although grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2 has attracted interest since it has been recently identified as a novel suppressor of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, clinical values of GRHL2 and its relationship with the metastasis-related factors, such as hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, remain unclear. In order to investigate the expression of GRHL2, HIF-1α, and VEGF, and their correlation with angiogenesis in EC, 63 patients with EC were examined. The expression of GRHL2, HIF-1α, and VEGF in tumor tissues was higher than that in adjacent tissues and was associated with tumor differentiation. GRHL2 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis and invasion depth, whereas VEGF expression was associated with tumor (TNM stage. A significant correlation was found between the expression of GRHL2 and HIF-1α. The patients expressing low GRHL2 and high HIF-1α showed significant reduction in both overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate. The results demonstrated that abnormal expression of GRHL2 is common in EC, and low expression of GRHL2 accompanied by a high expression of HIF-1α indicates poor prognosis. Keywords: esophageal neoplasms, GRHL2, HIF-1α, VEGF, MVD

  4. Individual patient data meta-analysis shows a significant association between the ATM rs1801516 SNP and toxicity after radiotherapy in 5456 breast and prostate cancer patients

    Andreassen, Christian Nicolaj; Rosenstein, Barry S; Kerns, Sarah L

    2016-01-01

    PURPOSE: Several small studies have indicated that the ATM rs1801516 SNP is associated with risk of normal tissue toxicity after radiotherapy. However, the findings have not been consistent. In order to test this SNP in a well-powered study, an individual patient data meta-analysis was carried ou...

  5. Immunofluorescence Analysis of Testicular Biopsies With Germ Cell and Sertoli Cell Markers Shows Significant MVH Negative Germ Cell Depletion With Older Age of Orchidopexy

    Li, Ruili; Thorup, Jørgen Mogens; Sun, Cong

    2014-01-01

    Undescended testis is the most common defect in newborn boys. It is associated with increased risks of infertility and testicular malignancy due to abnormal germ cell development in these testes. Early surgery may limit such risks. The aim of our study was to analyse germ cell development verses ...... age of orchidopexy using a germ cell marker and a Sertoli cell marker on testicular biopsies.......Undescended testis is the most common defect in newborn boys. It is associated with increased risks of infertility and testicular malignancy due to abnormal germ cell development in these testes. Early surgery may limit such risks. The aim of our study was to analyse germ cell development verses...

  6. Reducing dietary protein in pond production of hybrid striped bass - study shows a significant reduction is possible in digestible protein level in commercial diets

    In previous work, we demonstrated that diets containing 40% digestible protein (DP) (45% crude protein) and 18 %lipid supplemented with Met and Lys resulted in superior performance and nutrient retentions in hybrid striped bass compared to less energy-dense diets when rearing hybrid striped bass at ...

  7. Cladodes, leaf-like organs in Asparagus, show the significance of co-option of pre-existing genetic regulatory circuit for morphological diversity of plants.

    Nakayama, Hokuto; Yamaguchi, Takahiro; Tsukaya, Hirokazu

    2012-08-01

    Plants in the genus Asparagus have determinate leaf-like organs called cladodes in the position of leaf axils. Because of their leaf-like morphology, axillary position, and morphological variation, it has been unclear how this unusual organ has evolved and diversified. In the previous study, we have shown that cladodes in the genus Asparagus are modified axillary shoots and proposed a model that cladodes have arisen by co-option and deployment of genetic regulatory circuit (GRC) involved in leaf development. Moreover, we proposed that the alteration of the expression pattern of genes involved in establishment of adaxial/abaxial polarity has led to the morphological diversification from leaf-like to rod-like form of cladodes in the genus. Thus, these results indicated that the co-option and alteration of pre-existing GRC play an important role in acquisition and subsequent morphological diversification. Here, we present data of further expression analysis of A. asparagoides. The results suggested that only a part of the GRC involved in leaf development appears to have been co-opted into cladode development. Based on our study and several examples of the morphological diversification, we briefly discuss the importance of co-option of pre-existing GRC and its genetic modularity in the morphological diversity of plants during evolution.

  8. A human intervention study with foods containing natural Ah-receptor agonists does not significantly show AhR-mediated effects as measured in blood cells and urine

    Waard, de W.J.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Baykus, H.; Aarts, H.J.M.; Hoogenboom, L.A.P.; Schooten, van F.J.; Kok, E.J.

    2008-01-01

    Binding and activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is thought to be an essential step in the toxicity of the environmental pollutants dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs. However, also a number of natural compounds, referred to as NAhRAs (natural Ah-receptor agonists), which are present in, for

  9. PROMPT Ia SUPERNOVAE ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DELAYED

    Raskin, Cody; Scannapieco, Evan; Rhoads, James; Della Valle, Massimo

    2009-01-01

    The time delay between the formation of a population of stars and the onset of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) sets important limits on the masses and nature of SN Ia progenitors. Here, we use a new observational technique to measure this time delay by comparing the spatial distributions of SNe Ia to their local environments. Previous work attempted such analyses encompassing the entire host of each SN Ia, yielding inconclusive results. Our approach confines the analysis only to the relevant portions of the hosts, allowing us to show that even so-called prompt SNe Ia that trace star formation on cosmic timescales exhibit a significant delay time of 200-500 million years. This implies that either the majority of Ia companion stars have main-sequence masses less than 3 M sun , or that most SNe Ia arise from double white dwarf binaries. Our results are also consistent with a SNe Ia rate that traces the white dwarf formation rate, scaled by a fixed efficiency factor.

  10. Significance and popularity in music production

    Gravino, Pietro; Servedio, Vito D. P.; Tria, Francesca; Loreto, Vittorio

    2017-01-01

    Creative industries constantly strive for fame and popularity. Though highly desirable, popularity is not the only achievement artistic creations might ever acquire. Leaving a longstanding mark in the global production and influencing future works is an even more important achievement, usually acknowledged by experts and scholars. ‘Significant’ or ‘influential’ works are not always well known to the public or have sometimes been long forgotten by the vast majority. In this paper, we focus on the duality between what is successful and what is significant in the musical context. To this end, we consider a user-generated set of tags collected through an online music platform, whose evolving co-occurrence network mirrors the growing conceptual space underlying music production. We define a set of general metrics aiming at characterizing music albums throughout history, and their relationships with the overall musical production. We show how these metrics allow to classify albums according to their current popularity or their belonging to expert-made lists of important albums. In this way, we provide the scientific community and the public at large with quantitative tools to tell apart popular albums from culturally or aesthetically relevant artworks. The generality of the methodology presented here lends itself to be used in all those fields where innovation and creativity are in play. PMID:28791169

  11. Significant and Basic Innovations in Urban Planning

    Kolyasnikov, V. A.

    2017-11-01

    The article considers the development features of the innovative urban planning in the USSR and Russia in XVIII - XX centuries. Innovative urban planning is defined as an activity on innovations creation and their implementation to obtain a socio-economic, political, environmental or other effect. In the course of urban development history this activity represents a cyclic wave process in which there are phases of rise and fall. The study of cyclic waves in the development of innovative urban planning uses the concept of basic and epochal innovations selection. This concept was developed by scientists for the study of cyclic wave processes in economics. Its adaptation to the conditions of innovative urban planning development allows one to introduce the concept of “basic innovation” and “significant innovation” in the theory and practice of settlement formation and their systems as well as to identify opportunities to highlight these innovations in the history of Russian urban planning. From these positions, six innovation waves committed to the urban development over the past 300 years are being investigated. The observed basic innovations in the domestic urban area show that urban development is a vital area for ensuring the country’s geopolitical security. Basic innovations are translated in time and modernized under new conditions of urban planning development. In this regard, we can predict the development of four basic innovations in post-Soviet Russia.

  12. Benthic communities under anthropogenic pressure show resilience across the Quaternary.

    Martinelli, Julieta C; Soto, Luis P; González, Jorge; Rivadeneira, Marcelo M

    2017-09-01

    The Southeast Pacific is characterized by rich upwelling systems that have sustained and been impacted by human groups for at least 12 ka. Recent fishing and aquaculture practices have put a strain on productive coastal ecosystems from Tongoy Bay, in north-central Chile. We use a temporal baseline to determine whether potential changes to community structure and composition over time are due to anthropogenic factors, natural climatic variations or both. We compiled a database ( n  = 33 194) with mollusc species abundances from the Mid-Pleistocene, Late Pleistocene, Holocene, dead shell assemblages and live-sampled communities. Species richness was not significantly different, neither were diversity and evenness indices nor rank abundance distributions. There is, however, an increase in relative abundance for the cultured scallop Argopecten , while the previously dominant clam Mulinia is locally very rare. Results suggest that impacts from both natural and anthropogenic stressors need to be better understood if benthic resources are to be preserved. These findings provide the first Pleistocene temporal baseline for the south Pacific that shows that this highly productive system has had the ability to recover from past alterations, suggesting that if monitoring and management practices continue to be implemented, moderately exploited communities from today have hopes for recovery.

  13. Active explorers show low learning performance in a social insect

    Eve UDINO; Margot PEREZ; Claudio CARERE; Patrizia d'ETTORRE

    2017-01-01

    An intriguing question in behavioral biology is whether consistent individual differences (called animal personalities) relate to variation in cognitive performance because commonly measured personality traits may be associated with risk-reward trade-offs.Social insects,whose learning abilities have been extensively characterized,show consistent behavioral variability,both at colony and at individual level.We investigated the possible link between personality traits and learning performance in the carpenter ant Camponotus aethiops.Exploratory activity,sociability,and aggression were assessed twice in ant foragers.Behaviors differed among individuals,they were partly repeatable across time and exploratory activity correlated positively with aggression.Learning abilities were quantified by differential conditioning of the maxilla-labium extension response,a task that requires cue perception and information storage.We found that exploratory activity of individual ants significantly predicted learning performance:"active-explorers" were slower in learning the task than "inactive-explorers".The results suggest for the first time a link between a personality trait and cognitive performance in eusocial insects,and that the underlying individual variability could affect colony performance and success.

  14. The Oral Antimalarial Drug Tafenoquine Shows Activity against Trypanosoma brucei.

    Carvalho, Luis; Martínez-García, Marta; Pérez-Victoria, Ignacio; Manzano, José Ignacio; Yardley, Vanessa; Gamarro, Francisco; Pérez-Victoria, José M

    2015-10-01

    The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, a neglected tropical disease that requires new, safer, and more effective treatments. Repurposing oral drugs could reduce both the time and cost involved in sleeping sickness drug discovery. Tafenoquine (TFQ) is an oral antimalarial drug belonging to the 8-aminoquinoline family which is currently in clinical phase III. We show here that TFQ efficiently kills different T. brucei spp. in the submicromolar concentration range. Our results suggest that TFQ accumulates into acidic compartments and induces a necrotic process involving cell membrane disintegration and loss of cytoplasmic content, leading to parasite death. Cell lysis is preceded by a wide and multitarget drug action, affecting the lysosome, mitochondria, and acidocalcisomes and inducing a depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential, elevation of intracellular Ca(2+), and production of reactive oxygen species. This is the first report of an 8-aminoquinoline demonstrating significant in vitro activity against T. brucei. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Limonene hydroperoxide analogues show specific patch test reactions.

    Christensson, Johanna Bråred; Hellsén, Staffan; Börje, Anna; Karlberg, Ann-Therese

    2014-05-01

    The fragrance terpene R-limonene is a very weak sensitizer, but forms allergenic oxidation products upon contact with air. The primary oxidation products of oxidized limonene, the hydroperoxides, have an important impact on the sensitizing potency of the oxidation mixture. One analogue, limonene-1-hydroperoxide, was experimentally shown to be a significantly more potent sensitizer than limonene-2-hydroperoxide in the local lymph node assay with non-pooled lymph nodes. To investigate the pattern of reactivity among consecutive dermatitis patients to two structurally closely related limonene hydroperoxides, limonene-1-hydroperoxide and limonene-2-hydroperoxide. Limonene-1-hydroperoxide, limonene-2-hydroperoxide, at 0.5% in petrolatum, and oxidized limonene 3.0% pet. were tested in 763 consecutive dermatitis patients. Of the tested materials, limonene-1-hydroperoxide gave most reactions, with 2.4% of the patients showing positive patch test reactions. Limonene-2-hydroperoxide and oxidized R-limonene gave 1.7% and 1.2% positive patch test reactions, respectively. Concomitant positive patch test reactions to other fragrance markers in the baseline series were frequently noted. The results are in accordance with the experimental studies, as limonene-1-hydroperoxide gave more positive patch test reactions in the tested patients than limonene-2-hydroperoxide. Furthermore, the results support the specificity of the allergenic activity of the limonene hydroperoxide analogues and the importance of oxidized limonene as a cause of contact allergy. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Benthic communities under anthropogenic pressure show resilience across the Quaternary

    Martinelli, Julieta C.; Soto, Luis P.; González, Jorge; Rivadeneira, Marcelo M.

    2017-09-01

    The Southeast Pacific is characterized by rich upwelling systems that have sustained and been impacted by human groups for at least 12 ka. Recent fishing and aquaculture practices have put a strain on productive coastal ecosystems from Tongoy Bay, in north-central Chile. We use a temporal baseline to determine whether potential changes to community structure and composition over time are due to anthropogenic factors, natural climatic variations or both. We compiled a database (n = 33 194) with mollusc species abundances from the Mid-Pleistocene, Late Pleistocene, Holocene, dead shell assemblages and live-sampled communities. Species richness was not significantly different, neither were diversity and evenness indices nor rank abundance distributions. There is, however, an increase in relative abundance for the cultured scallop Argopecten, while the previously dominant clam Mulinia is locally very rare. Results suggest that impacts from both natural and anthropogenic stressors need to be better understood if benthic resources are to be preserved. These findings provide the first Pleistocene temporal baseline for the south Pacific that shows that this highly productive system has had the ability to recover from past alterations, suggesting that if monitoring and management practices continue to be implemented, moderately exploited communities from today have hopes for recovery.

  17. Active Learning with Rationales for Identifying Operationally Significant Anomalies in Aviation

    Sharma, Manali; Das, Kamalika; Bilgic, Mustafa; Matthews, Bryan; Nielsen, David Lynn; Oza, Nikunj C.

    2016-01-01

    A major focus of the commercial aviation community is discovery of unknown safety events in flight operations data. Data-driven unsupervised anomaly detection methods are better at capturing unknown safety events compared to rule-based methods which only look for known violations. However, not all statistical anomalies that are discovered by these unsupervised anomaly detection methods are operationally significant (e.g., represent a safety concern). Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have to spend significant time reviewing these statistical anomalies individually to identify a few operationally significant ones. In this paper we propose an active learning algorithm that incorporates SME feedback in the form of rationales to build a classifier that can distinguish between uninteresting and operationally significant anomalies. Experimental evaluation on real aviation data shows that our approach improves detection of operationally significant events by as much as 75% compared to the state-of-the-art. The learnt classifier also generalizes well to additional validation data sets.

  18. Two cases of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome showing interesting CT findings

    Abe, Masahiro; Hara, Yuzo; Ito, Noritaka; Nishimura, Mieko; Onishi, Yoshitaka; Hasuo, Kanehiro

    1982-01-01

    CT showed the lesion at the orbital apex in both of the 2 cases of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. Steroid therapy resulted in improvement of clinical symptoms and regression of the lesion which was confirmed by CT. (Chiba, N.)

  19. A case showing a blistering disorder in radiation dermatitis during radiation therapy

    Nonoshita, Takeshi; Nakamura, Katsumasa; Shioyama, Yoshiyuki

    2007-01-01

    We experienced a case showing a blistering disorder in radiation dermatitis during radiation therapy for thymic cancer. Application of steroid to the lesion improved blisters. The literature on bullous eruption including radiation-induced bullous pemhigoid was critically reviewed. (author)

  20. 23 CFR 630.1010 - Significant projects.

    2010-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Significant projects. 630.1010 Section 630.1010 Highways... PRECONSTRUCTION PROCEDURES Work Zone Safety and Mobility § 630.1010 Significant projects. (a) A significant project is one that, alone or in combination with other concurrent projects nearby is anticipated to cause...