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Sample records for shown significant improvement

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Improvement characteristics shown in holistic regeneration of Ballymun toward sustainable community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Yeunsook; Lim, Soohyun; Kim, Gunhyoung [Department of Housing and Interior Design, Yonsei University, Seoul (Korea)

    2010-02-15

    Substantial numbers of urban and residential environments constructed in the 20th century are experiencing degeneration and the importance of challenging to revitalize community holistically is getting more seriously recognized. There, however, has been limitation in grasping the holistic regeneration information as urban regeneration usually goes through a long-term and complicated procedure. Yet, the urban and housing regeneration's direction is required to be holistic in the 21st Century. Any precedent case that had tried the holistic regeneration needs to be checked thoroughly and thereby the result needs to be applied to the future attempts as a reference and knowledge base. The purpose of this study was to delineate improvement characteristics that appeared during the course of holistic regeneration in Ballymun of Ireland. This research is an archival research in nature which also used content analysis technique since it deals with reports and newsletters as archival records that were accumulated on a regular base throughout the whole process. The leading projects continued over ten years of improvement were scrutinized in the perspective of physical, social, economic, cultural, and environmental dimensions of regeneration. The main results were, first, a series of improvement activities and projects to regenerate each of five dimensions were delineated for comprehensive understanding. Second, connected patterns for synergistic improvement were identified and patterns were described to show the detailed contents as examples. This study would provide communities that face holistic regeneration, an insight, planning skills, creative and realistic ideas for implementation, thereby empowers planning capability toward holistic regeneration. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 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 ...

  10. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. What Are We Drinking? Beverages Shown in Adolescents' Favorite Television Shows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Marla E; Larson, Nicole I; Gollust, Sarah E; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne

    2017-05-01

    Media use has been shown to contribute to poor dietary intake; however, little attention has been paid to programming content. The portrayal of health behaviors in television (TV) programming contributes to social norms among viewers, which have been shown to influence adolescent behavior. This study reports on a content analysis of beverages shown in a sample of TV shows popular with a large, diverse group of adolescents, with attention to the types of beverages and differences across shows and characters. Favorite TV shows were assessed in an in-school survey in 2010. Three episodes of each of the top 25 shows were analyzed, using a detailed coding instrument. Beverage incidents (ie, beverage shown or described) were recorded. Beverage types included milk, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), diet beverages, juice, water, alcoholic drinks, and coffee. Characters were coded with regard to gender, age group, race, and weight status. Shows were rated for a youth, general, or adult audience. χ 2 tests were used to compare the prevalence of each type of beverage across show ratings (youth, general, adult), and to compare characteristics of those involved in each type of beverage incident. Beverage incidents were common (mean=7.4 incidents/episode, range=0 to 25). Alcohol was the most commonly shown (38.8%); milk (5.8%) and juice (5.8%) were least common; 11.0% of incidents included SSBs. Significant differences in all types of beverage were found across characters' age groups. Almost half of young adults' (49.2%) or adults' (42.0%) beverage incidents included alcohol. Beverages are often portrayed on TV shows viewed by adolescents, and common beverages (alcohol, SSBs) may have adverse consequences for health. The portrayal of these beverages likely contributes to social norms regarding their desirability; nutrition and health professionals should talk with youth about TV portrayals to prevent the adoption of unhealthy beverage behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Academy of

  16. What are we drinking? Beverages shown in adolescents’ favorite TV shows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Marla E.; Larson, Nicole I.; Gollust, Sarah E.; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne

    2016-01-01

    Background Media use has been shown to contribute to poor dietary intake; however, little attention has been paid to programming content. The portrayal of health behaviors in television (TV) programming contributes to social norms among viewers, which have been shown to influence adolescent behavior. Objective This study reports on a content analysis of beverages shown in a sample of TV shows popular with a large, diverse group of adolescents, with attention to the types of beverages and differences across shows and characters. Design Favorite TV shows were assessed in an in-school survey in 2010. Three episodes of each of the top 25 shows were analyzed using a detailed coding instrument. Key measures Beverage incidents (i.e. beverage shown or described) were recorded. Beverage types included milk, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), diet beverages, juice, water, alcoholic drinks and coffee. Characters were coded with regards to gender, age group, race, and weight status. Shows were rated for a youth, general or adult audience. Statistical analyses Chi-square tests were used to compare the prevalence of each type of beverage across show ratings (youth, general, adult), and to compare characteristics of those involved in each type of beverage incident. Results Beverage incidents were common (mean=7.4 incidents/episode, range=0–25). Alcohol was the most commonly shown (38.8%); milk (5.8%) and juice (5.8%) were least common; 11.0% of incidents included SSB. Significant differences in all types of beverage were found across age groups. Almost half of young adults’ (49.2%) or adults’ (42.0%) beverage incidents included alcohol. Conclusions Beverages are often portrayed on TV shows viewed by adolescents, and common beverages (alcohol, SSB) may have adverse consequences for health. The portrayal of these beverages likely contributes to social norms regarding their desirability; nutrition and health professionals should talk with youth about TV portrayals to prevent the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  3. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Genetic improvement of percids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blonk, R.J.W.; Komen, J.

    2015-01-01

    During the past years, breeding programs for aquaculture have shown fast development. Globally, economically highly relevant species have experienced implementation of large scale breeding programs and it is impossible to imagine life today without them as they significantly improve production

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    KAUST Repository

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. The PROMIS Physical Function item bank was calibrated to a standardized metric and shown to improve measurement efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Matthias; Bjorner, Jakob B; Gandek, Barbara; Bruce, Bonnie; Fries, James F; Ware, John E

    2014-05-01

    To document the development and psychometric evaluation of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function (PF) item bank and static instruments. The items were evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods. A total of 16,065 adults answered item subsets (n>2,200/item) on the Internet, with oversampling of the chronically ill. Classical test and item response theory methods were used to evaluate 149 PROMIS PF items plus 10 Short Form-36 and 20 Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index items. A graded response model was used to estimate item parameters, which were normed to a mean of 50 (standard deviation [SD]=10) in a US general population sample. The final bank consists of 124 PROMIS items covering upper, central, and lower extremity functions and instrumental activities of daily living. In simulations, a 10-item computerized adaptive test (CAT) eliminated floor and decreased ceiling effects, achieving higher measurement precision than any comparable length static tool across four SDs of the measurement range. Improved psychometric properties were transferred to the CAT's superior ability to identify differences between age and disease groups. The item bank provides a common metric and can improve the measurement of PF by facilitating the standardization of patient-reported outcome measures and implementation of CATs for more efficient PF assessments over a larger range. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Progressive significance map and its application to error-resilient image transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yang; Pearlman, William A; Li, Xin

    2012-07-01

    Set partition coding (SPC) has shown tremendous success in image compression. Despite its popularity, the lack of error resilience remains a significant challenge to the transmission of images in error-prone environments. In this paper, we propose a novel data representation called the progressive significance map (prog-sig-map) for error-resilient SPC. It structures the significance map (sig-map) into two parts: a high-level summation sig-map and a low-level complementary sig-map (comp-sig-map). Such a structured representation of the sig-map allows us to improve its error-resilient property at the price of only a slight sacrifice in compression efficiency. For example, we have found that a fixed-length coding of the comp-sig-map in the prog-sig-map renders 64% of the coded bitstream insensitive to bit errors, compared with 40% with that of the conventional sig-map. Simulation results have shown that the prog-sig-map can achieve highly competitive rate-distortion performance for binary symmetric channels while maintaining low computational complexity. Moreover, we note that prog-sig-map is complementary to existing independent packetization and channel-coding-based error-resilient approaches and readily lends itself to other source coding applications such as distributed video coding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Checking the numbers for the labyrinths shown in the SSC [Superconducting Super Collider] conceptual design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cossairt, J.D.

    1987-04-01

    Reviewed are the designs for access labyrinths presently shown in the Conceptual Design Report to see if they are reasonable for radiation protection purposes. This matter was previously studied two years ago in a Fermilab TM (Co85a). The methods used are based upon scaling the results of calculations done by Gollon and Awschalom. Confidence in the results has been fortified by a successful experimental test. The Conceptual Design Report shows two types of access labyrinths which are significantly different. The first type is that at a Sector Service Area, while the second is that provided for personnel entry to the Interaction Regions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Improving the quality of care for patients with hypertension in Moshupa District, Botswana: Quality improvement cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Kande

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although there are no prevalence studies on hypertension in Botswana, this condition is thought to be common and the quality of care to be poor.Aim: The aim of this project was to assess and improve the quality of primary care forhypertension.Setting: Moshupa clinic and catchment area, Botswana.Methods: Quality improvement cycle.Results: Two hundred participants were included in the audit. Sixty-eight per cent were women with a mean age of 55 years. In the baseline audit none of the target standards were met. During the re-audit six months later, six out of nine structural target standards, five out of 11 process target standards and one out of two outcome target standards were achieved. Statistically-significant improvement in performance (p < 0.05 was shown in 10 criteria although the target standard was not always met. In the re-audit, the target of achieving blood pressure control (< 140/90 in 70% of patients was achieved.Conclusion: The quality of care for hypertension was suboptimal in our setting. Simple interventions were designed and implemented to improve the quality of care. These interventions led to significant improvement in structural and process criteria. A corresponding significant improvement in the control of blood pressure was also seen.

  11. The PROMIS Physical Function item bank was calibrated to a standardized metric and shown to improve measurement efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Matthias; Bjørner, Jakob; Gandek, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To document the development and psychometric evaluation of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function (PF) item bank and static instruments. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: The items were evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods. A total...... response model was used to estimate item parameters, which were normed to a mean of 50 (standard deviation [SD]=10) in a US general population sample. RESULTS: The final bank consists of 124 PROMIS items covering upper, central, and lower extremity functions and instrumental activities of daily living...... to identify differences between age and disease groups. CONCLUSION: The item bank provides a common metric and can improve the measurement of PF by facilitating the standardization of patient-reported outcome measures and implementation of CATs for more efficient PF assessments over a larger range....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Deep Learning Methods for Improved Decoding of Linear Codes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachmani, Eliya; Marciano, Elad; Lugosch, Loren; Gross, Warren J.; Burshtein, David; Be'ery, Yair

    2018-02-01

    The problem of low complexity, close to optimal, channel decoding of linear codes with short to moderate block length is considered. It is shown that deep learning methods can be used to improve a standard belief propagation decoder, despite the large example space. Similar improvements are obtained for the min-sum algorithm. It is also shown that tying the parameters of the decoders across iterations, so as to form a recurrent neural network architecture, can be implemented with comparable results. The advantage is that significantly less parameters are required. We also introduce a recurrent neural decoder architecture based on the method of successive relaxation. Improvements over standard belief propagation are also observed on sparser Tanner graph representations of the codes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the neural belief propagation decoder can be used to improve the performance, or alternatively reduce the computational complexity, of a close to optimal decoder of short BCH codes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Creating Significant Learning Experiences across Disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

  5. Confinement improvement with magnetic levitation of a superconducting dipole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnier, D.T.; Mauel, M.E.; Boxer, A.C.; Ellsworth, J.L.; Kesner, J.

    2009-01-01

    We report the first production of high beta plasma confined in a fully levitated laboratory dipole using neutral gas fuelling and electron cyclotron resonance heating. As compared with previous studies in which the internal coil was supported, levitation results in improved confinement that allows higher-density, higher-beta discharges to be maintained at significantly reduced gas fuelling. Contrary to previous supported dipole plasma results which had the stored energy consisting in a hot electron population, a significant plasma stored energy is shown to reside in the bulk plasma. By eliminating supports used in previous studies, cross-field transport becomes the main loss channel for both the hot and the background species. This leads to a significant improvement in bulk plasma confinement and a dramatic peaking of the density profile. Improved particle confinement assures stability of the hot electron component at reduced neutral pressure.

  6. Improved description of metal oxide stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jauho, Thomas Stenbæk; Olsen, Thomas; Bligaard, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The renormalized adiabatic PBE (rAPBE) method has recently been shown to comprise a significant improvement over the random phase approximation (RPA) for total energy calculations of simple solids and molecules. Here we consider the formation energies of 19 group I and II metal oxides and a few...... transition-metal oxides. The mean absolute error relative to experiments is 0.21 eV and 0.38 eV per oxygen atom for rAPBE and RPA, respectively, and thus the rAPBE method greatly improves the description of metal-oxygen bonds across a wide range of oxides. The failure of the RPA can be partly attributed...... to the lack of error cancellation between the correlation energy of the oxide on the one hand and the bulk metal and oxygen molecule on the other hand, which are all separately predicted much too negative by the RPA. We ascribe the improved performance of the rAPBE to its significantly better description...

  7. 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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

    The understanding and mitigation of downhole vibration has been a heavily researched subject in the oil industry as it results in more expensive drilling operations, as vibrations significantly diminish the amount of effective drilling energy available to the bit and generate forces that can push the bit or the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) off its concentric axis of rotation, producing high magnitude impacts with the borehole wall. In order to drill ahead, a sufficient amount of energy must be supplied by the rig to overcome the resistance of the drilling system, including the reactive torque of the system, drag forces, fluid pressure losses and energy dissipated by downhole vibrations, then providing the bit with the energy required to fail the rock. If the drill string enters resonant modes of vibration, not only does it decreases the amount of available energy to drill, but increases the potential for catastrophic downhole equipment and drilling bit failures. In this sense, the mitigation of downhole vibrations will result in faster, smoother, and cheaper drilling operations. A software tool using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed to provide better understanding of downhole vibration phenomena in drilling environments. The software tool calculates the response of the drilling system at various input conditions, based on the design of the wellbore along with the geometry of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) and the drill string. It identifies where undesired levels of resonant vibration will be driven by certain combinations of specific drilling parameters, and also which combinations of drilling parameters will result in lower levels of vibration, so the least shocks, the highest penetration rate and the lowest cost per foot can be achieved. With the growing performance of personal computers, complex software systems modeling the drilling vibrations using FEA has been accessible to a wider audience of field users, further complimenting with real time

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  16. Power plant instrumentation and control. Innovations shown at the Interkama '99 trade fair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullemeyer, M.; Fritz, P.

    2000-01-01

    At the Interkama '99 trade fair, innovative software and hardware solutions for the power industry 'from power plant to the plug' were shown. The report mentions the companies and explains their new developments and systems. (orig./CB) [de

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

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

    OpenAIRE

    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. ...

  19. 38 CFR 3.370 - Pulmonary tuberculosis shown by X-ray in active service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Pulmonary tuberculosis... Rating Considerations Relative to Specific Diseases § 3.370 Pulmonary tuberculosis shown by X-ray in... connection for pulmonary tuberculosis. When under consideration, all available service department films and...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  1. Does quality improvement work in neonatology improve clinical outcomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H

    2017-04-01

    Quality improvement initiatives in neonatology have been promoted as an important way of improving outcomes of newborns. The purpose of this review is to examine the effectiveness of recent quality improvement work in improving the outcomes of infants requiring neonatal intensive care. Quality improvement collaboratives and single-center projects demonstrate improvement of clinical processes and outcomes in neonatology that impact both preterm and term infants. Declines in morbidities, resource use, and length of stay have been associated with reductions in healthcare costs. Recent quality improvement work has shown evidence of improvement in clinical outcomes in neonatal intensive care patients. These improvements have important implications for the reduction of healthcare costs in this population.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  7. How significant is the ‘significant other’? Associations between significant others’ health behaviors and attitudes and young adults’ health outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berge Jerica M

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Having a significant other has been shown to be protective against physical and psychological health conditions for adults. Less is known about the period of emerging young adulthood and associations between significant others’ weight and weight-related health behaviors (e.g. healthy dietary intake, the frequency of physical activity, weight status. This study examined the association between significant others’ health attitudes and behaviors regarding eating and physical activity and young adults’ weight status, dietary intake, and physical activity. Methods This study uses data from Project EAT-III, a population-based cohort study with emerging young adults from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (n = 1212. Logistic regression models examining cross-sectional associations, adjusted for sociodemographics and health behaviors five years earlier, were used to estimate predicted probabilities and calculate prevalence differences. Results Young adult women whose significant others had health promoting attitudes/behaviors were significantly less likely to be overweight/obese and were more likely to eat ≥ 5 fruits/vegetables per day and engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity, compared to women whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Young adult men whose significant other had health promoting behaviors/attitudes were more likely to engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity compared to men whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Conclusions Findings suggest the protective nature of the significant other with regard to weight-related health behaviors of young adults, particularly for young adult women. Obesity prevention efforts should consider the importance of including the significant other in intervention efforts with young adult women and potentially men.

  8. Does an Exercise Intervention Improving Aerobic Capacity Among Construction Workers Also Improve Musculoskeletal Pain, Work Ability, Productivity, Perceived Physical Exertion, and Sick Leave?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gram, Bibi; Holtermann, Andreas; Bültmann, Ute

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE:: To investigate whether an exercise intervention shown to increase aerobic capacity, would also lead to less musculoskeletal pain; improved work ability, productivity, and perceived physical exertion; and less sick leave. METHODS:: Sixty-seven construction workers were randomized...... into an exercise group training 3 × 20 minutes per week and a control group. Questionnaires and text messages were completed before and after the 12-week intervention. RESULTS:: No significant changes were found in musculoskeletal pain, work ability, productivity, perceived physical exertion, and sick leave...... with the intervention. Questionnaires and text messages provided similar results of pain and work ability. CONCLUSIONS:: Although the intervention improved aerobic capacity, it was not successful in improving musculoskeletal pain and other work-related factors. A detectable improvement presumably requires a more...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Employment status, medical support and Income as significant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    significant differences in affordability between individuals who had full time paid employment and those who ... Studies have shown that the direct costs of healthcare services2, travel time, patients' income, and ..... and age was their real ages.

  11. Legal drug content in music video programs shown on Australian television on saturday mornings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Rebecca; Croager, Emma; Pratt, Iain S; Khoo, Natalie

    2013-01-01

    To examine the extent to which legal drug references (alcohol and tobacco) are present in the music video clips shown on two music video programs broadcast in Australia on Saturday mornings. Further, to examine the music genres in which the references appeared and the dominant messages associated with the references. Music video clips shown on the music video programs 'Rage' (ABC TV) and [V] 'Music Video Chart' (Channel [V]) were viewed over 8 weeks from August 2011 to October 2011 and the number of clips containing verbal and/or visual drug references in each program was counted. The songs were classified by genre and the dominant messages associated with drug references were also classified and analysed. A considerable proportion of music videos (approximately one-third) contained drug references. Alcohol featured in 95% of the music videos that contained drug references. References to alcohol generally associated it with fun and humour, and alcohol and tobacco were both overwhelmingly presented in contexts that encouraged, rather than discouraged, their use. In Australia, Saturday morning is generally considered a children's television viewing timeslot, and several broadcaster Codes of Practice dictate that programs shown on Saturday mornings must be appropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages. Despite this, our findings show that music video programs aired on Saturday mornings contain a considerable level of drug-related content.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

    AIM: This study aimed to assess whether error review can improve radiologists' reporting performance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten Consultant Radiologists reported 50 plain radiographs, in which the diagnoses were established. Eighteen of the radiographs were normal, 32 showed an abnormality. The radiologists were shown their errors and then re-reported the series of radiographs after an interval of 4-5 months. The accuracy of the reports to the established diagnoses was assessed. Chi-square test was used to calculate the difference between the viewings. RESULTS: On re-reporting the radiographs, seven radiologists improved their accuracy score, two had a lower score and one radiologist showed no score difference. Mean accuracy pre-education was 82.2%, (range 78-92%) and post-education was 88%, (range 76-96%). Individually, two of the radiologists showed a statistically significant improvement post-education (P < 0.01,P < 0.05). Assessing the group as a whole, there was a trend for improvement post-education but this did not reach statistical significance. Assessing only the radiographs where errors were made on the initial viewing, for the group as a whole there was a 63% improvement post-education. CONCLUSION: We suggest that radiologists benefit from error review, although there was not a statistically significant improvement for the series of radiographs in total. This is partly explained by the fact that some radiologists gave incorrect responses post-education that had initially been correct, thus masking the effect of the educational intervention. Tudor, G.R. and Finlay, D.B. (2001

  14. Functional improvement of antibody fragments using a novel phage coat protein III fusion system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim Bak; Larsen, Martin; Pedersen, Jesper Søndergaard

    2002-01-01

    Functional expressions of proteins often depend on the presence of host specific factors. Frequently recombinant expression strategies of proteins in foreign hosts, such as bacteria, have been associated with poor yields or significant loss of functionality. Improvements in the performance of het......(s) of the filamentous phage coat protein III. Furthermore, it will be shown that the observed effect is neither due to improved stability nor increased avidity....

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Factoring local sequence composition in motif significance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Improving hand hygiene in a paediatric hospital: a multimodal quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamal, Ahmed; O'Grady, G; Harnett, E; Dalton, D; Andresen, D

    2012-02-01

    Effective hand hygiene has long been recognised as an important way to reduce the transmission of bacterial and viral pathogens in healthcare settings. However, many studies have shown that adherence to hand hygiene remains low, and improvement efforts have often not delivered sustainable results. The Children's Hospital at Westmead is the largest tertiary paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia. The hospital participated in a state-wide 'Clean hands save lives' campaign which was initiated in 2006. Strong leadership, good stakeholder engagement, readily accessible alcohol-based hand rub at the point of patient care, a multifaceted education programme, monitoring of staff, adherence to recommended hand hygiene practices and contemporaneous feedback of performance data have significantly improved and maintained compliance with hand hygiene. Hand hygiene compliance has increased from 23% in 2006 to 87% in 2011 (phand hygiene has been evident in the last 4 years. A decline in a set of hospital-acquired infections (including rotavirus, multiresistant organism transmission, and nosocomial bacteraemia) has also been noted as hand hygiene rates have improved. Monthly usage of alcohol-based hand rub has increased from 16 litres/1000 bed days to 51 litres/1000 bed days during this same period. This project has delivered sustained improvement in hand hygiene compliance by establishing a framework of multimodal evidence-based strategies.

  20. TRAVELING TO RELIGIOUS SETTLEMENT – THE MARKET’S DYNAMIC AND CAPACITY AS SHOWN BY A STUDY ON THE ROMANIAN POPULATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca CIORNEA

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Romanian destinations with religious significance are faced with a constant and continuous flow of visitors, many of whom are pilgrims, but these places have also become destinations for mass tourism. The purpose of this paper is to determine the market’s dimensions regarding the travellers whose destinations are Romanian religious settlements, and also some capacity indicators for this particular market. The study is the result of a questionnaire based research applied to over 1500 subjects. The results have shown a high degree of expansion for this type of travel but a low degree of market concentration.

  1. Application of thermal sterilization regimes simulation for improvement of canned foods quality factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stolyanov A.V.

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Results of comparison of optimization methods of thermal sterilization temperature-time regimes have been described. It has been shown that due to simulation the final canned foods’ quality factors are significantly improved, sterilization process time is decreased and energy consumption is reduced without sacrificing actual final lethality value

  2. L-theanine and caffeine improve task switching but not intersensory attention or subjective alertness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einöther, Suzanne J L; Martens, Vanessa E G; Rycroft, Jane A; De Bruin, Eveline A

    2010-04-01

    Tea ingredients L-theanine and caffeine have repeatedly been shown to deliver unique cognitive benefits when consumed in combination. The current randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study compared a combination of L-theanine (97 mg) and caffeine (40 mg) to a placebo on two attention tasks and a self-report questionnaire before, and 10 and 60 min after consumption. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved attention on a switch task as compared to the placebo, while subjective alertness and intersensory attention were not improved significantly. The results support previous evidence that L-theanine and caffeine in combination can improve attention. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Citrus Flavonoid Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance in Trained Athletes

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    Elvera Overdevest, Jeroen A. Wouters, Kevin H.M. Wolfs, Job J.M. van Leeuwen, Sam Possemiers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that polyphenol supplementation may be an effective strategy to improve exercise performance, due to their antioxidant character and ability to stimulate NO production. These properties may contribute to exercise performance, yet no conclusive research has been performed in exploring the direct effects of citrus flavonoids on human exercise performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess whether supplementation of a customized citrus flavonoid (CF extract for 4 weeks improves cycling time-trial performance in trained male athletes. In a double-blind, randomized, parallel study, 39 healthy, trained males were given a daily dose of either 500 mg of a customized citrus flavonoid extract (CF or a placebo for 4 weeks. Exercise performance was tested by means of a time-trial test on a cycle ergometer, during which participants had to generate as much power as possible for duration of 10 minutes. Absolute power output significantly increased with 14.9 ± 3.9 W after 4 weeks of CF supplementation, corresponding with a 5.0% increase, compared to 3.8 ± 3.2 W (1.3% increase in placebo (p < 0.05. In addition, oxygen consumption/power ratio significantly decreased in the CF group compared to placebo (p = 0.001, and a trend was found in the change in peak power output in CF (18.2 ± 23.2 W versus placebo (-28.4 ± 17.6 W; p = 0.116. The current study is the first convincing report that citrus flavonoid supplementation can improve exercise performance, as shown by a significant increase in power output during the exercise test.

  4. Evaluating a questionnaire to measure improvement initiatives in Swedish healthcare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andersson Ann-Christine

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality improvement initiatives have expanded recently within the healthcare sector. Studies have shown that less than 40% of these initiatives are successful, indicating the need for an instrument that can measure the progress and results of quality improvement initiatives and answer questions about how quality initiatives are conducted. The aim of the present study was to develop and test an instrument to measure improvement process and outcome in Swedish healthcare. Methods A questionnaire, founded on the Minnesota Innovation Survey (MIS, was developed in several steps. Items were merged and answer alternatives were revised. Employees participating in a county council improvement program received the web-based questionnaire. Data was analysed by descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. The questionnaire psychometric properties were investigated and an exploratory factor analysis was conducted. Results The Swedish Improvement Measurement Questionnaire consists of 27 items. The Improvement Effectiveness Outcome dimension consists of three items and has a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.67. The Internal Improvement Processes dimension consists of eight sub-dimensions with a total of 24 items. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the complete dimension was 0.72. Three significant item correlations were found. A large involvement in the improvement initiative was shown and the majority of the respondents were satisfied with their work. Conclusions The psychometric property tests suggest initial support for the questionnaire to study and evaluate quality improvement initiatives in Swedish healthcare settings. The overall satisfaction with the quality improvement initiative correlates positively to the awareness of individual responsibilities.

  5. Improvement of the system of management of business processes of the bank

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereverzev Pavel Petrovich

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim is to develop a scientific - methodological and scientific - methodological issues of the effective technologies for managing business processes of the bank. It is shown that the development and implementation of detailed functional models of management for all business processes of the bank, establishing a structural relationship between the functions of planning, organizing, recording, monitoring, analysis, management and improvement of the business process management object, and development of additional management information systems, will significantly increase the level of automation of the bank, to improve the existing banking information system and improve the competitiveness of the bank.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. YH12852, a potent and highly selective 5-HT4 receptor agonist, significantly improves both upper and lower gastrointestinal motility in a guinea pig model of postoperative ileus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Z; Lee, Y J; Yang, H; Jeong, E J; Sim, J Y; Park, H

    2017-10-01

    Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility that commonly develops after abdominal surgery. YH12852, a novel, potent and highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT 4 ) receptor agonist, has been shown to improve both upper and lower GI motility in various animal studies and may have applications for the treatment of POI. Here, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of YH12852 in a guinea pig model of POI to explore its therapeutic potential. The guinea pig model of POI was created by laparotomy, evisceration, and gentle manipulation of the cecum for 60 seconds, followed by closure with sutures under anesthesia. Group 1 received an oral administration of vehicle or YH12852 (1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg) only, while POI Group 2 was intraperitoneally pretreated with vehicle or 5-HT 4 receptor antagonist GR113808 (10 mg/kg) prior to oral dosing of vehicle or YH12852 (3 or 10 mg/kg). Upper GI transit was evaluated by assessing the migration of a charcoal mixture in the small intestine, while lower GI transit was assessed via measurement of fecal pellet output (FPO). YH12852 significantly accelerated upper and lower GI transit at the doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg and reached its maximal effect at 10 mg/kg. These effects were significantly blocked by pretreatment of GR113808 10 mg/kg. Oral administration of YH12852 significantly accelerates and restores delayed upper and lower GI transit in a guinea pig model of POI. This drug may serve as a useful candidate for the treatment of postoperative ileus. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. The Precautionary Principle Has Not Been Shown to Be Incoherent: A Reply to Peterson.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer-Kassem, Thomas

    2017-11-01

    In this journal, I have objected to Peterson's 2006 claim that the precautionary principle is an incoherent decision rule. I defend my objections to Peterson's recent replies, and I still claim that the precautionary principle has not been shown to be incoherent. © 2017 Society for Risk Analysis.

  12. Significant Factors Determining E-government Adoption in Selangor, Malaysia

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    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.

  13. Prognostic significance of XRCC4 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiao-Ying; Yao, Jin-Guang; Wang, Chao; Wei, Zhong-Hong; Ma, Yun; Wu, Xue-Min; Luo, Chun-Ying; Xia, Qiang; Long, Xi-Dai

    2017-01-01

    Background Our previous investigations have shown that the variants of X-ray repair complementing 4 (XRCC4) may be involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatocarcinoma) tumorigenesis. This study aimed to investigate the possible prognostic significance of XRCC4 expression for hepatocarcinoma patients and possible value for the selection of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatment. Materials and Methods We conducted a hospital-based retrospective analysis (including 421 hepatocarcinoma cases) to analyze the effects of XRCC4 on hepatocarcinoma prognosis and TACE. The levels of XRCC4 expression were tested using immunohistochemistry. The sensitivity of cancer cells to anti-cancer drug doxorubicin was evaluated using the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50). Results XRCC4 expression was significantly correlated with pathological features including tumor stage, liver cirrhosis, and micro-vessel density. XRCC4 expression was an independent prognostic factor of hepatocarcinoma, and TACE treatments had no effects on prognosis of hepatocarcinoma patients with high XRCC4 expression. More intriguingly, TACE improved the prognosis of hepatocarcinoma patients with low XRCC4 expression. Functionally, XRCC4 overexpression increased while XRCC4 knockdown reduced the IC50 of cancer cells to doxorubicin. Conclusions These results suggest that XRCC4 may be an independent prognostic factor for hepatocarcinoma patients, and that decreasing XRCC4 expression may be beneficial for post-operative adjuvant TACE treatment in hepatocarcinoma. PMID:29152133

  14. Improving high resolution retinal image quality using speckle illumination HiLo imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaolin; Bedggood, Phillip; Metha, Andrew

    2014-08-01

    Retinal image quality from flood illumination adaptive optics (AO) ophthalmoscopes is adversely affected by out-of-focus light scatter due to the lack of confocality. This effect is more pronounced in small eyes, such as that of rodents, because the requisite high optical power confers a large dioptric thickness to the retina. A recently-developed structured illumination microscopy (SIM) technique called HiLo imaging has been shown to reduce the effect of out-of-focus light scatter in flood illumination microscopes and produce pseudo-confocal images with significantly improved image quality. In this work, we adopted the HiLo technique to a flood AO ophthalmoscope and performed AO imaging in both (physical) model and live rat eyes. The improvement in image quality from HiLo imaging is shown both qualitatively and quantitatively by using spatial spectral analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Improvement of Parallel Algorithm for MATRA Code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seong-Jin; Seo, Kyong-Won; Kwon, Hyouk; Hwang, Dae-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    The feasibility study to parallelize the MATRA code was conducted in KAERI early this year. As a result, a parallel algorithm for the MATRA code has been developed to decrease a considerably required computing time to solve a bigsize problem such as a whole core pin-by-pin problem of a general PWR reactor and to improve an overall performance of the multi-physics coupling calculations. It was shown that the performance of the MATRA code was greatly improved by implementing the parallel algorithm using MPI communication. For problems of a 1/8 core and whole core for SMART reactor, a speedup was evaluated as about 10 when the numbers of used processor were 25. However, it was also shown that the performance deteriorated as the axial node number increased. In this paper, the procedure of a communication between processors is optimized to improve the previous parallel algorithm.. To improve the performance deterioration of the parallelized MATRA code, the communication algorithm between processors was newly presented. It was shown that the speedup was improved and stable regardless of the axial node number

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Clinical significance of neonatal menstruation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Protein engineering of subtilisins to improve stability in detergent formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Osten, C; Branner, S; Hastrup, S; Hedegaard, L; Rasmussen, M D; Bisgård-Frantzen, H; Carlsen, S; Mikkelsen, J M

    1993-03-01

    Microbial proteases are used extensively in a large number of industrial processes and most importantly in detergent formulations facilitating the removal of proteinaceous stains. Site-directed mutagenesis has been employed in the construction of subtilisin variants with improved storage and oxidation stabilities. It is shown that in spite of significant structural homology between subtilisins subjected to protein engineering the effects of specific mutations can be quite different. Mutations that stabilize one subtilisin may destabilize another.

  5. Correlation techniques for the improvement of signal-to-noise ratio in measurements with stochastic processes

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, V R; Reddy, T G; Reddy, P Y; Reddy, K R

    2003-01-01

    An AC modulation technique is described to convert stochastic signal variations into an amplitude variation and its retrieval through Fourier analysis. It is shown that this AC detection of signals of stochastic processes when processed through auto- and cross-correlation techniques improve the signal-to-noise ratio; the correlation techniques serve a similar purpose of frequency and phase filtering as that of phase-sensitive detection. A few model calculations applied to nuclear spectroscopy measurements such as Angular Correlations, Mossbauer spectroscopy and Pulse Height Analysis reveal considerable improvement in the sensitivity of signal detection. Experimental implementation of the technique is presented in terms of amplitude variations of harmonics representing the derivatives of normal spectra. Improved detection sensitivity to spectral variations is shown to be significant. These correlation techniques are general and can be made applicable to all the fields of particle counting where measurements ar...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Improvement of Artistic Cast Production System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Władysiak R.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the technology and organization of the artistic cast production. On the basis of the actual cast production system, the manufacturing process was shown, in particular sand–piece moulding, which is a very important process and a time-consuming part of the entire manufacture of the casts. The current state of the production process as well as the organization of the work and production technology were analysed with the use of methods and techniques of production improvement, the Lean Manufacturing concept and computer systems. The results of the analysis and studies were shown with use of schemes and graphs of the layout of the production resources, a flow chart of the production process, value stream mapping, and a costs table for the production and modernization of the moulding stage. The work has shown that there are possibilities to improve the artistic cast production system. This improvement leads to increased productivity, lower production costs of artistic casts and increased competitiveness of the foundry.

  9. Perception and significance of an assistive technology intervention - the perspectives of relatives of persons with dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alwin, Jenny; Persson, Jan; Krevers, Barbro

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine relatives' perception of an assistive technology intervention aimed at persons with dementia (PwDs) and their relatives, and to examine whether, and how, experiences of the intervention process differed between relatives valuing the intervention to be of high, and relatives perceiving it to be of low significance. A total of 47 relatives of PwDs within the Swedish Technology and Dementia project were interviewed telephonically using a modified version of the Patient perspective on Care and Rehabilitation process instrument. A total of 46 participants were divided into two groups depending on whether they valued the intervention to be of great significance (GS group; N = 33) or of some/no significance (SNS group; N = 13). Several aspects of the intervention were perceived as highly important, e.g. being shown consideration and respect, and having somewhere to turn. The results indicate that relatives in the GS group perceived certain aspects of the intervention process as highly fulfilled to a larger extent than did relatives in the SNS group. This study illustrates how process evaluations can be used to increase the understanding and to identify improvement aspects of interventions. Process evaluation is a good method for understanding how interventions can be improved - a keystone for quality work. Based on relatives' ratings, a high fulfilment of the AT intervention process was associated with the perception of a significant outcome of the intervention.

  10. Enhanced protection against Ebola virus mediated by an improved adenovirus-based vaccine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason S Richardson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids of infected individuals, eliciting death rates as high as 90% among infected humans. Currently, replication defective adenovirus-based Ebola vaccine is being studied in a phase I clinical trial. Another Ebola vaccine, based on an attenuated vesicular stomatitis virus has shown efficacy in post-exposure treatment of nonhuman primates to Ebola infection. In this report, we modified the common recombinant adenovirus serotype 5-based Ebola vaccine expressing the wild-type ZEBOV glycoprotein sequence from a CMV promoter (Ad-CMVZGP. The immune response elicited by this improved expression cassette vector (Ad-CAGoptZGP and its ability to afford protection against lethal ZEBOV challenge in mice was compared to the standard Ad-CMVZGP vector. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Ad-CMVZGP was previously shown to protect mice, guinea pigs and nonhuman primates from an otherwise lethal challenge of Zaire ebolavirus. The antigenic expression cassette of this vector was improved through codon optimization, inclusion of a consensus Kozak sequence and reconfiguration of a CAG promoter (Ad-CAGoptZGP. Expression of GP from Ad-CAGoptZGP was substantially higher than from Ad-CMVZGP. Ad-CAGoptZGP significantly improved T and B cell responses at doses 10 to 100-fold lower than that needed with Ad-CMVZGP. Additionally, Ad-CAGoptZGP afforded full protections in mice against lethal challenge at a dose 100 times lower than the dose required for Ad-CMVZGP. Finally, Ad-CAGoptZGP induced full protection to mice when given 30 minutes post-challenge. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We describe an improved adenovirus-based Ebola vaccine capable of affording post-exposure protection against lethal challenge in mice. The molecular modifications of the new improved vaccine also translated in the induction of significantly enhanced immune responses and complete protection at a dose 100 times lower than with the

  11. Improvement of ultrasonic examination using the Spartacus system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benoist, P.; Chapuis, N.; Cartier, F.; Pincemaille, G.

    1992-01-01

    Improved computer technology and technical advances in data analysis have significantly modified the methods employed to perform ultrasonic inspections. The SPARTACUS system developed by the CEA (French Atomic Agency) in an example of this progress. The nerve center of the system is a graphic workstation. The system permits full digitization of waveform while retaining high data acquisition rates of conventional system. In addition, it enables ultra fast analysis with comprehensive interactive imaging including signal processing (filtering, correlation, deconvolution...), image processing, spectrum analysis, automatic edition of report, 3D presentation. This system is now use during In-Service Inspection with MIS (In-Service Inspection Machine). Some examples of applications are shown: improvement in sizing capabilities, examination of austenitic weldments; thickness measurement (tube applications...), automatic detection

  12. Improving Multi Access Interference Suppression in Optical CDMA by using all-Optical Signal Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Osadola

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the study of a novel all-optical method for processing optical CDMA signals towards improving suppression of multi access interference. The main focus is on incoherent OCDMA systems using multiwavelength 2D-WH/TS codes generated using FBG based encoders and decoders. The MAI suppression capabilities based on its ability to eliminate selective wavelength pulse processing have been shown. A novel transmitter architecture that achieves up to 3dB power saving was also presented. As a result of hardware savings, processing cost will be significantly reduced and power budget improvement resulted in improved performance.

  13. The Precautionary Principle Has Not Been Shown to Be Incoherent: A Reply to Peterson : Response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boyer-Kassem, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    In this journal, I have objected to Peterson's 2006 claim that the precautionary principle is an incoherent decision rule. I defend my objections to Peterson's recent replies, and I still claim that the precautionary principle has not been shown to be incoherent.

  14. Intelligent process mapping through systematic improvement of heuristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ieumwananonthachai, Arthur; Aizawa, Akiko N.; Schwartz, Steven R.; Wah, Benjamin W.; Yan, Jerry C.

    1992-01-01

    The present system for automatic learning/evaluation of novel heuristic methods applicable to the mapping of communication-process sets on a computer network has its basis in the testing of a population of competing heuristic methods within a fixed time-constraint. The TEACHER 4.1 prototype learning system implemented or learning new postgame analysis heuristic methods iteratively generates and refines the mappings of a set of communicating processes on a computer network. A systematic exploration of the space of possible heuristic methods is shown to promise significant improvement.

  15. Improving depth resolutions in positron beam spectroscopy by concurrent ion-beam sputtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Marco; Dalla, Ayham; Ibrahim, Alaa M.; Anwand, Wolfgang; Wagner, Andreas; Böttger, Roman; Krause-Rehberg, Reinhard

    2018-05-01

    The depth resolution of mono-energetic positron annihilation spectroscopy using a positron beam is shown to improve by concurrently removing the sample surface layer during positron beam spectroscopy. During ion-beam sputtering with argon ions, Doppler-broadening spectroscopy is performed with energies ranging from 3 keV to 5 keV allowing for high-resolution defect studies just below the sputtered surface. With this technique, significantly improved depth resolutions could be obtained even at larger depths when compared to standard positron beam experiments which suffer from extended positron implantation profiles at higher positron energies. Our results show that it is possible to investigate layered structures with a thickness of about 4 microns with significantly improved depth resolution. We demonstrated that a purposely generated ion-beam induced defect profile in a silicon sample could be resolved employing the new technique. A depth resolution of less than 100 nm could be reached.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Four-phonon scattering significantly reduces intrinsic thermal conductivity of solids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tianli; Lindsay, Lucas; Ruan, Xiulin

    2017-10-01

    For decades, the three-phonon scattering process has been considered to govern thermal transport in solids, while the role of higher-order four-phonon scattering has been persistently unclear and so ignored. However, recent quantitative calculations of three-phonon scattering have often shown a significant overestimation of thermal conductivity as compared to experimental values. In this Rapid Communication we show that four-phonon scattering is generally important in solids and can remedy such discrepancies. For silicon and diamond, the predicted thermal conductivity is reduced by 30% at 1000 K after including four-phonon scattering, bringing predictions in excellent agreement with measurements. For the projected ultrahigh-thermal conductivity material, zinc-blende BAs, a competitor of diamond as a heat sink material, four-phonon scattering is found to be strikingly strong as three-phonon processes have an extremely limited phase space for scattering. The four-phonon scattering reduces the predicted thermal conductivity from 2200 to 1400 W/m K at room temperature. The reduction at 1000 K is 60%. We also find that optical phonon scattering rates are largely affected, being important in applications such as phonon bottlenecks in equilibrating electronic excitations. Recognizing that four-phonon scattering is expensive to calculate, in the end we provide some guidelines on how to quickly assess the significance of four-phonon scattering, based on energy surface anharmonicity and the scattering phase space. Our work clears the decades-long fundamental question of the significance of higher-order scattering, and points out ways to improve thermoelectrics, thermal barrier coatings, nuclear materials, and radiative heat transfer.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Virtual sensory feedback for gait improvement in neurological patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoram eBaram

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We review a treatment modality for movement disorders by sensory feedback. The natural closed-loop sensory-motor feedback system is imitated by a wearable virtual reality apparatus, employing body-mounted inertial sensors and responding dynamically to the patient’s own motion. Clinical trials have shown a significant gait improvement in patients with Parkinson's disease using the apparatus. In contrast to open-loop devices, which impose constant-velocity visual cues in a treadmill fashion, or rhythmic auditory cues in a metronome fashion, requiring constant vigilance and attention strategies, and in some cases, instigating freezing in Parkinson’s patients, the closed-loop device improved gait parameters and eliminated freezing in most patients, without side effects. Patients with multiple sclerosis, previous stroke, senile gait and cerebral palsy using the device also improved their balance and gait substantially. Training with the device has produced a residual improvement, suggesting virtual sensory feedback for the treatment of neurological movement disorders.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Significance of human retinal optic disk localization in various retinal eye diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basit, A.

    2011-01-01

    Optic Disk is one of the prominent features in human fundus images. Automatic localization and segmentation of optic disk can help in early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathies and preventing vision loss. In this paper robust method for optic disk detection and extraction of optic disk boundary is proposed based on morphological operations, smoothing filters and markers controlled watershed transform. This method has shown significant improvements in terms of detection and boundaries extraction of optic disk. This method used two types of markers: internal marker and external marker. These markers first modified the gradient magnitude image and then watershed transformation is applied on this modified gradient magnitude image for boundary extraction. The proposed method has optic disk detection success rate of 100% for Shifa and 87.6% for DIARETDB1 databases. Proposed method achieved average overlap of 51.19% for DIARETDB1 database and 73.98% for Shifa database which is higher than currents methods. Experimental results clearly demonstrate an efficient performance of the proposed algorithm. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colleoni, Marco; Giobbie-Hurder, Anita; Regan, Meredith M

    2011-01-01

    Among postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive breast cancer, the aromatase inhibitor letrozole, when compared with tamoxifen, has been shown to significantly improve disease-free survival (DFS) and time to distant recurrence (TDR). We investigated whether letrozole monotherapy prolonged ov...

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. On Improvements of Cyclic MUSIC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Howard Fan

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Many man-made signals encountered in communications exhibit cyclostationarity. By exploiting cyclostationarity, cyclic MUSIC has been shown to be able to separate signals with different cycle frequencies, thus, to be able to perform signal selective direction of-arrival (DOA estimation. However, as will be shown in this paper, the DOA estimation of cyclic MUSIC is actually biased. We show in this paper that by properly choosing the frequency for evaluating the steering vector, the bias of DOA estimation can be substantially reduced and the performance can be improved. Furthermore, we propose another algorithm exploiting cyclic conjugate correlation to further improve the performance of DOA estimation. Simulation results show the effectiveness of both of our methods.

  14. When Does Air Resistance Become Significant in Projectile Motion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohazzabi, Pirooz

    2018-01-01

    In an article in this journal, it was shown that air resistance could never be a significant source of error in typical free-fall experiments in introductory physics laboratories. Since projectile motion is the two-dimensional version of the free-fall experiment and usually follows the former experiment in such laboratories, it seemed natural to…

  15. Does bariatric surgery improve adipose tissue function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frikke-Schmidt, H.; O’Rourke, R. W.; Lumeng, C. N.; Sandoval, D. A.; Seeley, R. J.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Not only do these types of surgeries produce significant weight loss but also they improve insulin sensitivity and whole body metabolic function. The aim of this review is to explore how altered physiology of adipose tissue may contribute to the potent metabolic effects of some of these procedures. This includes specific effects on various fat depots, the function of individual adipocytes and the interaction between adipose tissue and other key metabolic tissues. Besides a dramatic loss of fat mass, bariatric surgery shifts the distribution of fat from visceral to the subcutaneous compartment favoring metabolic improvement. The sensitivity towards lipolysis controlled by insulin and catecholamines is improved, adipokine secretion is altered and local adipose inflammation as well as systemic inflammatory markers decreases. Some of these changes have been shown to be weight loss independent, and novel hypothesis for these effects includes include changes in bile acid metabolism, gut microbiota and central regulation of metabolism. In conclusion bariatric surgery is capable of improving aspects of adipose tissue function and do so in some cases in ways that are not entirely explained by the potent effect of surgery. PMID:27272117

  16. Improvement of thermostability and activity of firefly luciferase through [TMG][Ac] ionic liquid mediator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Mehdi; Hosseinkhani, Saman; Heydari, Akbar; Khavari-Nejad, Ramazan Ali; Akbari, Jafar

    2012-10-01

    Firefly luciferase catalyzes production of light from luciferin in the presence of Mg(2+)-ATP and oxygen. This enzyme has wide range of applications in biotechnology and development of biosensors. The low thermal stability of wild-type firefly luciferase is a limiting factor in most applications. Improvements in activity and stability of few enzymes in the presence of ionic liquids were shown in many reports. In this study, kinetic and thermal stability of firefly luciferase from Photinus pyralis in the presence of three tetramethylguanidine-based ionic liquids was investigated. The enzyme has shown improved activity in the presence of [1, 1, 3, 3-tetramethylguanidine][acetate], but in the presence of [TMG][trichloroacetate] and [TMG][triflouroacetate] activity, it decreased or unchanged significantly. Among these ionic liquids, only [TMG][Ac] has increased the thermal stability of luciferase. Incubation of [TMG][Ac] with firefly luciferase brought about with decrease of K(m) for ATP.

  17. Global gravity field from recent satellites (DTU15) - Arctic improvements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, O. B.; Knudsen, P.; Kenyon, S.

    2017-01-01

    Global marine gravity field modelling using satellite altimetry is currently undergoing huge improvement with the completion of the Jason-1 end-of-life geodetic mission, but particularly with the continuing Cryosat-2 mission. These new satellites provide three times as many geodetic mission...... altimetric sea surface height observations as ever before. The impact of these new geodetic mission data is a dramatic improvement of particularly the shorter wavelength of the gravity field (10-20 km) which is now being mapped at significantly higher accuracy. The quality of the altimetric gravity field...... is in many places surpassing the quality of gravity fields derived using non-commercial marine gravity observations. Cryosat-2 provides for the first time altimetry throughout the Arctic Ocean up to 88°N. Here, the huge improvement in marine gravity mapping is shown through comparison with high quality...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Physical improvement and its impact on the health of students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konova L.A.

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The directions of physical improvement in personal and individual approach and its impact on the health of students. The definitions of the concept of physical perfection and its main components: strength, speed, endurance, agility, flexibility. Special attention is paid to the importance of physical perfection as part of positive self-identity. Outlines the theory of the acquisition of physical improvement in the availability of a clear human motivation. It is noted that physical perfection is in need of motivation on the part of the student, the proper selection of a complex exercise and may be based only on a personal and individual approach based on the physical abilities of each student. Show the direction of their own physical fitness improvement during the self-study. It is shown that promoting the harmonious development of all-round, avoiding harmful habits, improve mental and physical performance and confidence in their own ability to significantly change the person's self esteem.

  20. Significance of arterial stiffness in Tridosha analysis: A pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Venkata Giri Kumar

    2017-10-01

    Conclusion: The SI and RI acquired using Nadi Tarangini have shown significant variations across Tridosha locations. The framework developed to measure the arterial stiffness across Tridosha locations can be used for the interventional studies in Ayurveda which in turn can help in disease diagnosis and treatment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. No significant fuel failures (NSFF)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Co-overexpression of OsSIZ1 and AVP1 in cotton substantially improves cotton growth and development under multiple-stress conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental stresses such as salt, drought, and heat cause significant losses in crop production. Our laboratories employ genetic engineering to modify gene expression of selected genes to improve plant performance under environmental stress conditions. Previous studies by our group have shown tha...

  4. Significance evaluation in factor graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  5. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  6. Adult education as information and help in forming opinions shown from the example of nuclear power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wild, W.; Markus, B.; Dietrich, T.; Schmitt Glaeser, W.

    1977-01-01

    The lectures printed here, partly in revised form, were given at a University meeting for teachers in adult education on July 9th and 10th 1976 in Bayreuth, with the main theme of 'Adult education as information and help in forming opinions shown from the subject of nuclear power'. It should be shown by examples related to this problem, which urgently requires more objectivity, and which will be freed of emotional opinions with extraordinary difficulty, how complex such objects can be and how many different aspects have to be taken into account. The grouping of scientific referees, a teacher, a nuclear physicist, a radiation biologist and a lawyer, makes the plurality of the aspects quite clear. Themes: 1) The contribution of adult education to de-idealogising the population, 2) The scientific and technical basis of generation and use of nuclear power, 3)Radiation stresses of living organismus, particularly human being. 4) Smug authorities, protesting citizens, overload judges. (GL) [de

  7. Antigen-capturing nanoparticles improve the abscopal effect and cancer immunotherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Yuanzeng; Roche, Kyle C.; Tian, Shaomin; Eblan, Michael J.; McKinnon, Karen P.; Caster, Joseph M.; Chai, Shengjie; Herring, Laura E.; Zhang, Longzhen; Zhang, Tian; Desimone, Joseph M.; Tepper, Joel E.; Vincent, Benjamin G.; Serody, Jonathan S.; Wang, Andrew Z.

    2017-09-01

    Immunotherapy holds tremendous promise for improving cancer treatment. To administer radiotherapy with immunotherapy has been shown to improve immune responses and can elicit the 'abscopal effect'. Unfortunately, response rates for this strategy remain low. Herein we report an improved cancer immunotherapy approach that utilizes antigen-capturing nanoparticles (AC-NPs). We engineered several AC-NP formulations and demonstrated that the set of protein antigens captured by each AC-NP formulation is dependent on the NP surface properties. We showed that AC-NPs deliver tumour-specific proteins to antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and significantly improve the efficacy of αPD-1 (anti-programmed cell death 1) treatment using the B16F10 melanoma model, generating up to a 20% cure rate compared with 0% without AC-NPs. Mechanistic studies revealed that AC-NPs induced an expansion of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and increased both CD4+T/Treg and CD8+T/Treg ratios (Treg, regulatory T cells). Our work presents a novel strategy to improve cancer immunotherapy with nanotechnology.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  9. Improved chemical identification from sensor arrays using intelligent algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roppel, Thaddeus A.; Wilson, Denise M.

    2001-02-01

    Intelligent signal processing algorithms are shown to improve identification rates significantly in chemical sensor arrays. This paper focuses on the use of independently derived sensor status information to modify the processing of sensor array data by using a fast, easily-implemented "best-match" approach to filling in missing sensor data. Most fault conditions of interest (e.g., stuck high, stuck low, sudden jumps, excess noise, etc.) can be detected relatively simply by adjunct data processing, or by on-board circuitry. The objective then is to devise, implement, and test methods for using this information to improve the identification rates in the presence of faulted sensors. In one typical example studied, utilizing separately derived, a-priori knowledge about the health of the sensors in the array improved the chemical identification rate by an artificial neural network from below 10 percent correct to over 99 percent correct. While this study focuses experimentally on chemical sensor arrays, the results are readily extensible to other types of sensor platforms.

  10. Online Classrooms: Powerful Tools for Rapid-Iteration Pedagogical Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S.; Anbar, A.; Buxner, S.

    2015-11-01

    Online education offers the opportunity to reach a variety of students including non-traditional and geographically diverse students. Research has shown that online courses modeled after traditional lecture-exam courses are ineffective. Over the past three years, Arizona State University developed and offered Habitable Worlds, an online-only astrobiology lab course featuring active learning tools. The course is offered in an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that records a wealth of student data. In analyzing data from the Fall 2013 offering of the course, we were able to identify pre-post quiz results that were suboptimal and where in the lesson and how precisely students were missing concepts. The problem areas were redesigned, and the improved lessons were deployed a few months later. We saw significant improvements in our pre-post quiz results due to the implemented changes. This demonstrates the effectiveness of using robust ITS not only to present content online, but to provide instantaneous data for rapid iteration and improvement of existing content.

  11. Enhanced protection against Ebola virus mediated by an improved adenovirus-based vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Jason S; Yao, Michel K; Tran, Kaylie N; Croyle, Maria A; Strong, James E; Feldmann, Heinz; Kobinger, Gary P

    2009-01-01

    The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids of infected individuals, eliciting death rates as high as 90% among infected humans. Currently, replication defective adenovirus-based Ebola vaccine is being studied in a phase I clinical trial. Another Ebola vaccine, based on an attenuated vesicular stomatitis virus has shown efficacy in post-exposure treatment of nonhuman primates to Ebola infection. In this report, we modified the common recombinant adenovirus serotype 5-based Ebola vaccine expressing the wild-type ZEBOV glycoprotein sequence from a CMV promoter (Ad-CMVZGP). The immune response elicited by this improved expression cassette vector (Ad-CAGoptZGP) and its ability to afford protection against lethal ZEBOV challenge in mice was compared to the standard Ad-CMVZGP vector. Ad-CMVZGP was previously shown to protect mice, guinea pigs and nonhuman primates from an otherwise lethal challenge of Zaire ebolavirus. The antigenic expression cassette of this vector was improved through codon optimization, inclusion of a consensus Kozak sequence and reconfiguration of a CAG promoter (Ad-CAGoptZGP). Expression of GP from Ad-CAGoptZGP was substantially higher than from Ad-CMVZGP. Ad-CAGoptZGP significantly improved T and B cell responses at doses 10 to 100-fold lower than that needed with Ad-CMVZGP. Additionally, Ad-CAGoptZGP afforded full protections in mice against lethal challenge at a dose 100 times lower than the dose required for Ad-CMVZGP. Finally, Ad-CAGoptZGP induced full protection to mice when given 30 minutes post-challenge. We describe an improved adenovirus-based Ebola vaccine capable of affording post-exposure protection against lethal challenge in mice. The molecular modifications of the new improved vaccine also translated in the induction of significantly enhanced immune responses and complete protection at a dose 100 times lower than with the previous generation adenovirus-based Ebola vaccine. Understanding and improving the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Improving the workplace environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gledhill, Irvy MA

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that companies with more diversity and a better workplace perform better. So what makes a good workplace in physics, where women and men can work to their full potential? In the Improving the Workplace Environment workshop...

  15. Socioeconomic significance of mangroves for coastal people of India: A changing scenario

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Untawale, A.G.; Jagtap, T.G.

    Mangrove Protected Areas (MPA), ecotourism, aquaculture and agriculture have shown great significance. Although the economic grains for coastal people have increased through these activities, the mangrove ecosystem itself has become endangered in certain...

  16. Focused R&D For Electrochromic Smart Windowsa: Significant Performance and Yield Enhancements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mark Burdis; Neil Sbar

    2003-01-31

    There is a need to improve the energy efficiency of building envelopes as they are the primary factor governing the heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation requirements of buildings--influencing 53% of building energy use. In particular, windows contribute significantly to the overall energy performance of building envelopes, thus there is a need to develop advanced energy efficient window and glazing systems. Electrochromic (EC) windows represent the next generation of advanced glazing technology that will (1) reduce the energy consumed in buildings, (2) improve the overall comfort of the building occupants, and (3) improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. ''Switchable'' EC windows provide, on demand, dynamic control of visible light, solar heat gain, and glare without blocking the view. As exterior light levels change, the window's performance can be electronically adjusted to suit conditions. A schematic illustrating how SageGlass{reg_sign} electrochromic windows work is shown in Figure I.1. SageGlass{reg_sign} EC glazings offer the potential to save cooling and lighting costs, with the added benefit of improving thermal and visual comfort. Control over solar heat gain will also result in the use of smaller HVAC equipment. If a step change in the energy efficiency and performance of buildings is to be achieved, there is a clear need to bring EC technology to the marketplace. This project addresses accelerating the widespread introduction of EC windows in buildings and thus maximizing total energy savings in the U.S. and worldwide. We report on R&D activities to improve the optical performance needed to broadly penetrate the full range of architectural markets. Also, processing enhancements have been implemented to reduce manufacturing costs. Finally, tests are being conducted to demonstrate the durability of the EC device and the dual pane insulating glass unit (IGU) to be at least equal to that of conventional

  17. Pancreas Oxygen Persufflation Increases ATP Levels as Shown by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, W.E.; Weegman, B.P.; Ferrer-Fabrega, J.; Stein, S.A.; Anazawa, T.; Kirchner, V.A.; Rizzari, M.D.; Stone, J.; Matsumoto, S.; Hammer, B.E.; Balamurugan, A.N.; Kidder, L.S.; Suszynski, T.M.; Avgoustiniatos, E.S.; Stone, S.G.; Tempelman, L.A.; Sutherland, D.E.R.; Hering, B.J.; Papas, K.K.

    2010-01-01

    Background Islet transplantation is a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes. Due to a shortage of suitable human pancreata, high cost, and the large dose of islets presently required for long-term diabetes reversal; it is important to maximize viable islet yield. Traditional methods of pancreas preservation have been identified as suboptimal due to insufficient oxygenation. Enhanced oxygen delivery is a key area of improvement. In this paper, we explored improved oxygen delivery by persufflation (PSF), ie, vascular gas perfusion. Methods Human pancreata were obtained from brain-dead donors. Porcine pancreata were procured by en bloc viscerectomy from heparinized donation after cardiac death donors and were either preserved by either two-layer method (TLM) or PSF. Following procurement, organs were transported to a 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) system for 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate their bioenergetic status by measuring the ratio of adenosine triphosphate to inorganic phosphate (ATP:Pi) and for assessing PSF homogeneity by MRI. Results Human and porcine pancreata can be effectively preserved by PSF. MRI showed that pancreatic tissue was homogeneously filled with gas. TLM can effectively raise ATP:Pi levels in rat pancreata but not in larger porcine pancreata. ATP:Pi levels were almost undetectable in porcine organs preserved with TLM. When human or porcine organs were preserved by PSF, ATP:Pi was elevated to levels similar to those observed in rat pancreata. Conclusion The methods developed for human and porcine pancreas PSF homogeneously deliver oxygen throughout the organ. This elevates ATP levels during preservation and may improve islet isolation outcomes while enabling the use of marginal donors, thus expanding the usable donor pool. PMID:20692395

  18. Skin optical clearing for improvement of laser tattoo removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashkatov, A. N.; Genina, E. A.; Tuchin, V. V.; Altshuler, G. B.

    2009-06-01

    The possibility of improvement of laser tattoo removal due to the optical clearing of human skin is investigated. It is shown experimentally that previously perforation of skin stratum corneum allows increasing tattoo image contrast at topical administration of immersion agent in contrast with non-perforated skin. Computer Monte Carlo simulation shows that at the optical clearing of upper skin layers the tattoo image contrast and the photon fraction absorbed in the tattoo area at the depths of 0.5 or 1.0 mm increase, that allows significant decreasing of the power of laser radiation used at laser thermolysis.

  19. Improved Droop Control Strategy for Grid-Connected Inverters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abusara, Mohammad; Sharkh, Suleiman; Guerrero, Josep M.

    2015-01-01

    An improved control strategy for grid-connected inverters within microgrids is presented in this paper. The strategy is based on the classical P-ω and Q-V droop method. The improvement in the proposed control strategy is twofold: Firstly, the transient response of the droop controller is improved...... by replacing the traditional method of measuring average power, which is based on using a first order low pass filter, by a real time integration filter. This is shown to reduce the imported transient energy when connecting to the grid. Secondly, the steady state output current quality is improved by utilising...... a virtual inductance, which is shown to reject grid voltage harmonics disturbance and thus improve the output current THD. A small signal model of the inverter based on the transfer function approach is developed to analyse is stability and determine droop gains. Simulation and experimental results...

  20. Auditory-cognitive training improves language performance in prelingually deafened cochlear implant recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingvalson, Erin M; Young, Nancy M; Wong, Patrick C M

    2014-10-01

    Phonological and working memory skills have been shown to be important for the development of spoken language. Children who use a cochlear implant (CI) show performance deficits relative to normal hearing (NH) children on all constructs: phonological skills, working memory, and spoken language. Given that phonological skills and working memory have been shown to be important for spoken language development in NH children, we hypothesized that training these foundational skills would result in improved spoken language performance in CI-using children. Nineteen prelingually deafened CI-using children aged 4- to 7-years-old participated. All children had been using their implants for at least one year and were matched on pre-implant hearing thresholds, hearing thresholds at study enrollment, and non-verbal IQ. Children were assessed on expressive vocabulary, listening language, spoken language, and composite language. Ten children received four weeks of training on phonological skills including rhyme, sound blending, and sound discrimination and auditory working memory. The remaining nine children continued with their normal classroom activities for four weeks. Language assessments were repeated following the training/control period. Children who received combined phonological-working memory training showed significant gains on expressive and composite language scores. Children who did not receive training showed no significant improvements at post-test. On average, trained children had gain scores of 6.35 points on expressive language and gain scores of 6.15 points whereas the untrained children had test-retest gain scores of 2.89 points for expressive language and 2.56 for composite language. Our results suggest that training to improve the phonological and working memory skills in CI-using children may lead to improved language performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Improved interpretation of satellite altimeter data using genetic algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messa, Kenneth; Lybanon, Matthew

    1992-01-01

    Genetic algorithms (GA) are optimization techniques that are based on the mechanics of evolution and natural selection. They take advantage of the power of cumulative selection, in which successive incremental improvements in a solution structure become the basis for continued development. A GA is an iterative procedure that maintains a 'population' of 'organisms' (candidate solutions). Through successive 'generations' (iterations) the population as a whole improves in simulation of Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'. GA's have been shown to be successful where noise significantly reduces the ability of other search techniques to work effectively. Satellite altimetry provides useful information about oceanographic phenomena. It provides rapid global coverage of the oceans and is not as severely hampered by cloud cover as infrared imagery. Despite these and other benefits, several factors lead to significant difficulty in interpretation. The GA approach to the improved interpretation of satellite data involves the representation of the ocean surface model as a string of parameters or coefficients from the model. The GA searches in parallel, a population of such representations (organisms) to obtain the individual that is best suited to 'survive', that is, the fittest as measured with respect to some 'fitness' function. The fittest organism is the one that best represents the ocean surface model with respect to the altimeter data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Health care in China: improvement, challenges, and reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chen; Rao, Keqin; Wu, Sinan; Liu, Qian

    2013-02-01

    Over the past 2 decades, significant progress has been made in improving the health-care system and people's health conditions in China. Following rapid economic growth and social development, China's health-care system is facing new challenges, such as increased health-care demands and expenditure, inefficient use of health-care resources, unsatisfying implementation of disease management guidelines, and inadequate health-care insurance. Facing these challenges, the Chinese government carried out a national health-care reform in 2009. A series of policies were developed and implemented to improve the health-care insurance system, the medical care system, the public health service system, the pharmaceutical supply system, and the health-care institution management system in China. Although these measures have shown promising results, further efforts are needed to achieve the ultimate goal of providing affordable and high-quality care for both urban and rural residents in China. This article not only covers the improvement, challenges, and reform of health care in general in China, but also highlights the status of respiratory medicine-related issues.

  4. Predicting significant torso trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Angus

    -effecitive means of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    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...

  10. Regularities of socially significant functions formation in pupils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrebniak N.P.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The article focused on the results of carried out research of the functional state of the pupils’ organism in a process of edu­cational activity. It has been shown that formative influence of activity is manifested on the different levels of develop­ment of socially important functions: the actual developmental zone (priority development of indicators, which have the main significance in the activity and the proximal developmental zone (tendency of activation of the key functions.

  11. A short executive function training program improves preschoolers’ working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eBlakey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years – a time when executive functions undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session executive function training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent three months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning three months later, indicating that training executive functions during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging.

  12. Corticosteroid therapy for duchenne muscular dystrophy: improvement of psychomotor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yuko; Yamauchi, Akemi; Urano, Mari; Kondo, Eri; Saito, Kayoko

    2014-01-01

    Of the numerous clinical trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, only the corticosteroid prednisolone has shown potential for temporal improvement in motor ability. In this study, the effects of prednisolone on intellectual ability are examined in 29 cases of Duchenne muscular dystrophy because little information has been reported. And also, motor functions and cardiac functions were evaluated. The treated group was administered prednisolone (0.75 mg/kg) orally on alternate days and the compared with the untreated control group. Gene mutations were investigated. The patients were examined for intelligence quotient adequate for age, brain natriuretic peptide, creatine kinase, and manual muscle testing before treatment and after the period 6 months to 2 years. Intelligence quotient scores of the treated increased to 6.5 ± 11.9 (mean ± standard deviation) were compared with the controls 2.1 ± 4.9 (P = 0.009). Intelligence quotient scores of the patients with nonsense point mutations improved significantly (21.0 ± 7.9) more than those with deletion or duplication (1.9 ± 9.0; P = 0.015). Motor function, such as time to stand up, of those treated improved significantly and brain natriuretic peptide level was reduced to a normal level after treatment in 15 patients (73%). Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of prednisolone in improving intellectual impairment as well as in preserving motor function and brain natriuretic peptide levels. We presume that prednisolone has a read-through effect on the stop codons in the central nervous systems of Duchenne muscular dystrophy because intelligence quotient of point mutation case was improved significantly. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/ sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles.

  14. Medication Adherence Improvements in Employees Participating in a Pharmacist-Run Risk Reduction Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallory C. McKenzie

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate the medication adherence of individuals participating in a pharmacist-run employee health Cardiovascular and Diabetes Risk Reduction Program. Design: Retrospective analysis of medication adherence using pharmacy refill data. Setting: A medium sized university located in the Midwest United States and the organization's outpatient pharmacy. Participants: 38 participants ≥ 18 years of age, employed and receiving their health insurance through the organization, and have a diagnosis of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, or a combination thereof. Intervention: Participation in the risk reduction program that emphasizes medication therapy management (MTM, lifestyle medicine and care coordination. Main Outcome Measures: The Proportion of Days Covered (PDC and the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR. Results: PDC and MPR analysis showed a statistically significant improvement in medication adherence for 180 days and 360 days post enrollment versus the 180 days prior to enrollment (P<0.01. The PDC analysis demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the number of medications that achieved a PDC ≥ 80% (high adherence for the 180 days post enrollment versus the 180 days prior to enrollment (+30%, P<0.01. The MPR analysis showed a non-statistically significant improvement in the number of medications that achieved an MPR ≥ 80% (high adherence pre enrollment versus post enrollment (+10%, P=0.086. The percentage of participants in the program that reached a PDC and MPR adherence rate ≥ 80% at 180 days post enrollment was 78.9% and 94.4%, respectively which exceeds that of a matched cohort that reached a PDC and MPR adherence rate ≥ 80% of 66.4% and 82.8%, respectively. Conclusion: Pharmacists can improve medication adherence as measured by PDC and MPR when working with employees enrolled in a novel pharmacist-run employee health risk reduction program. Medication adherence was shown to be sustainable for

  15. Clinical significance of dental root canal microflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. No significant effect of prefrontal tDCS on working memory performance in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonna eNilsson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS has been put forward as a non-pharmacological alternative for alleviating cognitive decline in old age. Although results have shown some promise, little is known about the optimal stimulation parameters for modulation in the cognitive domain. In this study, the effects of tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC on working memory performance were investigated in thirty older adults. An N-back task assessed working memory before, during and after anodal tDCS at a current strength of 1mA and 2mA, in addition to sham stimulation. The study used a single-blind, cross-over design. The results revealed no significant effect of tDCS on accuracy or response times during or after stimulation, for any of the current strengths. These results suggest that a single session of tDCS over the dlPFC is unlikely to improve working memory, as assessed by an N-back task, in old age.

  18. The significance of pancreatic juice trace-element concentration in chronic pancreatitis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Persigehl, M.; Loeffler, A.; Hoeck, A.

    1979-01-01

    The diagnosis of exocrine pancreas insufficiency in patients with chronic pancreatitis is still not easy. The best-suited method to confirm the diagnosis seems to be the secretin pancreozymin test (SPT). As previous results have shown, the determination of trace elements in the pancreatic juice can improve the diagnostic value of the SPT. During the SPT, the concentrations of Zn, Fe, Rb, Co, Cr, Se, Sb, Cs, Sc and Ag were measured in the duodenal aspirate of 50 patients by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Of the 50 patients, 24 suffered from pancreatic insufficiency in chronic pancreatitis and 26 had no signs of pancreatic insufficiency. Only the concentration of zinc differed significantly in the two groups; the other elements showed a similar behaviour. In patients without disease of the exocrine pancreas the zinc content of the pancreatic juice during the SPT ws 0.46+-0.13μg/ml, whereas in patients with pancreatic insufficiency it was only 0.18+-0.07μg/ml. The corresponding output was 171+-49.3μg zinc in controls and 41+-17.4μg in patients. After stimulation with pancreozymin the concentrations of zinc increased in normal patients to 1.13+-0.14μg/ml and to 0.22+-0.12μg/ml in patients with pancreatic insufficiency. The data demonstrate that the measurement of zinc in the duodenal juice during the SPT improves the diagnostic value of the test and that zinc should also be determined in doubtful cases of pancreatic insufficiency. (author)

  19. Simple techniques for improving deep neural network outcomes on commodity hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colina, Nicholas Christopher A.; Perez, Carlos E.; Paraan, Francis N. C.

    2017-08-01

    We benchmark improvements in the performance of deep neural networks (DNN) on the MNIST data test upon imple-menting two simple modifications to the algorithm that have little overhead computational cost. First is GPU parallelization on a commodity graphics card, and second is initializing the DNN with random orthogonal weight matrices prior to optimization. Eigenspectra analysis of the weight matrices reveal that the initially orthogonal matrices remain nearly orthogonal after training. The probability distributions from which these orthogonal matrices are drawn are also shown to significantly affect the performance of these deep neural networks.

  20. Improvements in the order, isotropy and electron density of glypican-1 crystals by controlled dehydration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Awad, Wael [Lund University, Box 124, 221 00 Lund (Sweden); Cairo University, Cairo (Egypt); Svensson Birkedal, Gabriel [Lund University, Biomedical Center A13, 221 84 Lund (Sweden); Thunnissen, Marjolein M. G. M. [Lund University, Box 124, 221 00 Lund (Sweden); Lund University, Box 188, 221 00 Lund (Sweden); Mani, Katrin [Lund University, Biomedical Center A13, 221 84 Lund (Sweden); Logan, Derek T., E-mail: derek.logan@biochemistry.lu.se [Lund University, Box 124, 221 00 Lund (Sweden)

    2013-12-01

    The anisotropy of crystals of glypican-1 was significantly reduced by controlled dehydration using the HC1 device, allowing the building of previously disordered parts of the structure. The use of controlled dehydration for improvement of protein crystal diffraction quality is increasing in popularity, although there are still relatively few documented examples of success. A study has been carried out to establish whether controlled dehydration could be used to improve the anisotropy of crystals of the core protein of the human proteoglycan glypican-1. Crystals were subjected to controlled dehydration using the HC1 device. The optimal protocol for dehydration was developed by careful investigation of the following parameters: dehydration rate, final relative humidity and total incubation time T{sub inc}. Of these, the most important was shown to be T{sub inc}. After dehydration using the optimal protocol the crystals showed significantly reduced anisotropy and improved electron density, allowing the building of previously disordered parts of the structure.

  1. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not

  2. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M., E-mail: c.heemskerk@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Eendebak, P.T. [TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands); Schropp, G.Y.R. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Hermes, H.V. [TU Eindhoven (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, B.S.Q. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, P.O. Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Magielsen, A.J. [NRG, P.O. Box 25, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not.

  3. An Empirical Study of Critical Soft Factors for Quality Improvement in The Electrical and Electronics Firms in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Madi Abdullah

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Soft factors are important aspect that sustains the organizations in their efforts towards continuous quality improvement (QI and customer satisfaction. The conventional wisdom states that quality improvement in organizations increases profits and productivity. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to examine the influence of critical soft factors (CSF on quality improvement (QI. For that purpose, this study examine: (i the relationship between the CSF and QI and (ii to what extent the six CSF explain QI. The study used survey data from 255 electrical and electronics (E&E firms in Malaysia. The individual managers representing the each firm made the unit of analysis of the study. The finding reveals that QI was significantly influenced by the following soft factors: management commitment, customer focus, employee involvement, training & education, and reward & recognition. Supplier relationship was not a significant predictor of quality improvement. Finally, this study has empirically shown that quality improvement will increase when the organizations emphasize more on soft factors.Keywords: Critical soft factors, quality improvement, Electrical and Electronics firms

  4. Improving adherence to the Epic Beacon ambulatory workflow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chackunkal, Ellen; Dhanapal Vogel, Vishnuprabha; Grycki, Meredith; Kostoff, Diana

    2017-06-01

    Computerized physician order entry has been shown to significantly improve chemotherapy safety by reducing the number of prescribing errors. Epic's Beacon Oncology Information System of computerized physician order entry and electronic medication administration was implemented in Henry Ford Health System's ambulatory oncology infusion centers on 9 November 2013. Since that time, compliance to the infusion workflow had not been assessed. The objective of this study was to optimize the current workflow and improve the compliance to this workflow in the ambulatory oncology setting. This study was a retrospective, quasi-experimental study which analyzed the composite workflow compliance rate of patient encounters from 9 to 23 November 2014. Based on this analysis, an intervention was identified and implemented in February 2015 to improve workflow compliance. The primary endpoint was to compare the composite compliance rate to the Beacon workflow before and after a pharmacy-initiated intervention. The intervention, which was education of infusion center staff, was initiated by ambulatory-based, oncology pharmacists and implemented by a multi-disciplinary team of pharmacists and nurses. The composite compliance rate was then reassessed for patient encounters from 2 to 13 March 2015 in order to analyze the effects of the determined intervention on compliance. The initial analysis in November 2014 revealed a composite compliance rate of 38%, and data analysis after the intervention revealed a statistically significant increase in the composite compliance rate to 83% ( p < 0.001). This study supports a pharmacist-initiated educational intervention can improve compliance to an ambulatory, oncology infusion workflow.

  5. Municipal landfill leachates: A significant source for new and emerging pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggen, Trine, E-mail: Trine.Eggen@bioforsk.no [Bioforsk, Vest Saerheim, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Postveien 213, N-4353 Klepp st. (Norway); Moeder, Monika [Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Permoserstrasse 15, D-04318 Leipzig (Germany); Arukwe, Augustine [Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Hogskoleringen 5, 7491 Trondheim (Norway)

    2010-10-01

    Landfills have historically remained the most common methods of organized waste disposal and still remain so in many regions of the world. Thus, they may contain wastes resulting from several decades of disposal and decomposition with subsequent release of organic compounds that may have environmental, wildlife and human health consequences. Products containing different types of additives with unique beneficial improvement properties are in daily use. However, when these products are decomposed, additives are release into the environment, some of which have been shown to have negative environmental impacts, resulting in the ban or at least restricted application of some chemicals. New and emerging compounds are continuously discovered in the environment. Herein, we report qualitative and quantitative data on the occurrence of new and emerging compounds with increasing environmental and public health concern in water- and particle phase of landfill leachates. Under normal environmental conditions, several of these chemicals are persistent high-volume products. Identified chemicals in the leachates at nanogram (ng) or microgram ({mu}g) per liter levels include - chlorinated alkylphosphates such as tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP), N-butyl benzensulfonamide (NBBS), the insect repellent diethyl toluamide (DEET) and personal care products such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen and polycyclic musk compounds. Among new and emerging contaminants, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were measured in the water phase at concentrations up to 6231 ng/L. Compared with the other chemicals, PFCs were primarily distributed in water phase. An effective removal method for PFCs and other polar and persistent compounds from landfill leachates has been a major challenge, since commonly used treatment technologies are based on aeration and sedimentation. Thus, the present study has shown that municipal landfill leachates may represent a significant source of

  6. Municipal landfill leachates: A significant source for new and emerging pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggen, Trine; Moeder, Monika; Arukwe, Augustine

    2010-01-01

    Landfills have historically remained the most common methods of organized waste disposal and still remain so in many regions of the world. Thus, they may contain wastes resulting from several decades of disposal and decomposition with subsequent release of organic compounds that may have environmental, wildlife and human health consequences. Products containing different types of additives with unique beneficial improvement properties are in daily use. However, when these products are decomposed, additives are release into the environment, some of which have been shown to have negative environmental impacts, resulting in the ban or at least restricted application of some chemicals. New and emerging compounds are continuously discovered in the environment. Herein, we report qualitative and quantitative data on the occurrence of new and emerging compounds with increasing environmental and public health concern in water- and particle phase of landfill leachates. Under normal environmental conditions, several of these chemicals are persistent high-volume products. Identified chemicals in the leachates at nanogram (ng) or microgram (μg) per liter levels include - chlorinated alkylphosphates such as tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP), N-butyl benzensulfonamide (NBBS), the insect repellent diethyl toluamide (DEET) and personal care products such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen and polycyclic musk compounds. Among new and emerging contaminants, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were measured in the water phase at concentrations up to 6231 ng/L. Compared with the other chemicals, PFCs were primarily distributed in water phase. An effective removal method for PFCs and other polar and persistent compounds from landfill leachates has been a major challenge, since commonly used treatment technologies are based on aeration and sedimentation. Thus, the present study has shown that municipal landfill leachates may represent a significant source of

  7. On the Diverse Outcome of Communication Partner Training of Significant Others of People with Aphasia: An Experimental Study of Six Cases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, Karin; Hartelius, Lena; Saldert, Charlotta

    2016-01-01

    Background: Communication partner training (CPT) has been shown to improve the communicative environment of people with aphasia. Interaction-focused training is one type of training that provides an individualized intervention to participants. Although shown to be effective, outcomes have mostly been evaluated in non-experimental case studies.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Relationships among Ocular Blood Flow Shown by Laser Speckle Flowgraphy, Retinal Arteriosclerotic Change, and Chorioretinal Circulation Time Obtained by Fluorescein Angiography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hironori Osamura

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To determine the correlations among the mean blur rate (MBR in the optic nerve head (ONH shown by laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG, retinal arteriosclerosis, and the circulation time obtained by fluorescein angiography (FA. Method. We evaluated 118 patients and assessed their time of choroidal flush, arm-to-retina time, and early and late phases of retinal circulation time (RT: sec obtained by FA. The severity of retinal arteriosclerosis was classified according to the Scheie classification. The MBR values throughout the ONH (MBR-A, in the tissue (MBR-T, and in the vessels (MBR-V were analyzed. Results. Patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO showed prolonged early and late phases of RT compared to other ocular diseases. Single and multiple regression analyses showed that the MBR-V and Scheie classification were significantly associated with both the choroidal flush and arm-to-retina times. The incidences of RVO and MVR-V were significantly associated with the early phase of RT, and the incidences of RVO, MBR-V, Scheie classification, and gender were revealed to be factors independently contributing to the late phase of RT. Conclusion. MBR-V in the ONH and retinal arteriosclerosis are important contributing factors for the circulation time of each stage obtained by FA.

  10. An Improved Wavelet‐Based Multivariable Fault Detection Scheme

    KAUST Repository

    Harrou, Fouzi

    2017-07-06

    Data observed from environmental and engineering processes are usually noisy and correlated in time, which makes the fault detection more difficult as the presence of noise degrades fault detection quality. Multiscale representation of data using wavelets is a powerful feature extraction tool that is well suited to denoising and decorrelating time series data. In this chapter, we combine the advantages of multiscale partial least squares (MSPLSs) modeling with those of the univariate EWMA (exponentially weighted moving average) monitoring chart, which results in an improved fault detection system, especially for detecting small faults in highly correlated, multivariate data. Toward this end, we applied EWMA chart to the output residuals obtained from MSPLS model. It is shown through simulated distillation column data the significant improvement in fault detection can be obtained by using the proposed methods as compared to the use of the conventional partial least square (PLS)‐based Q and EWMA methods and MSPLS‐based Q method.

  11. Significant Returns in Engagement and Performance with a Free Teaching App

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Pedagogical research shows that teaching methods other than traditional lectures may result in better outcomes. However, lecture remains the dominant method in economics, likely due to high implementation costs of methods shown to be effective in the literature. In this article, the author shows significant benefits of using a teaching app for…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Computational reduction of specimen noise to enable improved thermography characterization of flaws in graphite polymer composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, William P.; Howell, Patricia A.; Zalameda, Joseph N.

    2014-05-01

    Flaw detection and characterization with thermographic techniques in graphite polymer composites are often limited by localized variations in the thermographic response. Variations in properties such as acceptable porosity, fiber volume content and surface polymer thickness result in variations in the thermal response that in general cause significant variations in the initial thermal response. These result in a "noise" floor that increases the difficulty of detecting and characterizing deeper flaws. A method is presented for computationally removing a significant amount of the "noise" from near surface porosity by diffusing the early time response, then subtracting it from subsequent responses. Simulations of the thermal response of a composite are utilized in defining the limitations of the technique. This method for reducing the data is shown to give considerable improvement characterizing both the size and depth of damage. Examples are shown for data acquired on specimens with fabricated delaminations and impact damage.

  14. Computational Reduction of Specimen Noise to Enable Improved Thermography Characterization of Flaws in Graphite Polymer Composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, William P.; Howell, Patricia A.; Zalameda, Joseph N.

    2014-01-01

    Flaw detection and characterization with thermographic techniques in graphite polymer composites are often limited by localized variations in the thermographic response. Variations in properties such as acceptable porosity, fiber volume content and surface polymer thickness result in variations in the thermal response that in general cause significant variations in the initial thermal response. These result in a "noise" floor that increases the difficulty of detecting and characterizing deeper flaws. A method is presented for computationally removing a significant amount of the "noise" from near surface porosity by diffusing the early time response, then subtracting it from subsequent responses. Simulations of the thermal response of a composite are utilized in defining the limitations of the technique. This method for reducing the data is shown to give considerable improvement characterizing both the size and depth of damage. Examples are shown for data acquired on specimens with fabricated delaminations and impact damage.

  15. An Improved SIFT Algorithm for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, J M; Yan, D M; Wang, G; Zhang, L

    2014-01-01

    The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform has the benefits of low cost and convenience compared with satellites. Recently, UAVs have shown a wide range of applications such as land use change, mineral resources management and local topographic mapping. Because of the instability of the UAV air gesture, an image matching method is necessary to match different images of an object or scene. Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features are invariant to image scaling, rotation and translation. However, the main drawback of a SIFT algorithm is its significant memory consumption and low computational speed, particularly in the case of high-resolution imagery. In this study, in order to overcome these drawbacks, we have analysed the construction of the scale-space in the SIFT algorithm and selected new parameters to construct the SIFT scale-space to improve the memory consumption and computational speed for the processing of UAV imagery. Here, we propose a restriction on the number of octaves and levels for Gaussian image pyramids. Our experiment shows that the proposed algorithm effectively reduces memory consumption and significantly improves the operational efficiency of the feature point extraction and matching under the premise of maintaining the precision of the extracted feature points

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Multi-scale enhancement of climate prediction over land by improving the model sensitivity to vegetation variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alessandri, A.; Catalano, F.; De Felice, M.; Hurk, B. V. D.; Doblas-Reyes, F. J.; Boussetta, S.; Balsamo, G.; Miller, P. A.

    2017-12-01

    Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that the implementation of a realistic representation of vegetation in Earth System Models (ESMs) can significantly improve climate simulation and prediction across multiple time-scales. The effective sub-grid vegetation fractional coverage vary seasonally and at interannual time-scales in response to leaf-canopy growth, phenology and senescence. Therefore it affects biophysical parameters such as the surface resistance to evapotranspiration, albedo, roughness lenght, and soil field capacity. To adequately represent this effect in the EC-Earth ESM, we included an exponential dependence of the vegetation cover on the Leaf Area Index.By comparing two sets of simulations performed with and without the new variable fractional-coverage parameterization, spanning from centennial (20th Century) simulations and retrospective predictions to the decadal (5-years), seasonal (2-4 months) and weather (4 days) time-scales, we show for the first time a significant multi-scale enhancement of vegetation impacts in climate simulation and prediction over land. Particularly large effects at multiple time scales are shown over boreal winter middle-to-high latitudes over Canada, West US, Eastern Europe, Russia and eastern Siberia due to the implemented time-varying shadowing effect by tree-vegetation on snow surfaces. Over Northern Hemisphere boreal forest regions the improved representation of vegetation-cover consistently correct the winter warm biases, improves the climate change sensitivity, the decadal potential predictability as well as the skill of forecasts at seasonal and weather time-scales. Significant improvements of the prediction of 2m temperature and rainfall are also shown over transitional land surface hot spots. Both the potential predictability at decadal time-scale and seasonal-forecasts skill are enhanced over Sahel, North American Great Plains, Nordeste Brazil and South East Asia, mainly related to improved performance in

  18. Soil physicochemical properties and their significance for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  19. The energetic significance of cooking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Significance of ISO 9000 Quality Management System for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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.

  1. Opportunities to improve the conversion of food waste to lactate: Fine-tuning secondary factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    RedCorn, Raymond; Engelberth, Abigail S

    2017-11-01

    Extensive research has demonstrated the potential for bioconversion of food waste to lactate, with major emphasis on adjusting temperature, pH, and loading rate of the fermentation. Each of these factors has a significant effect on lactate production; however, additional secondary factors have received little attention. Here we investigate three additional factors where opportunities exist for process improvement: freezing of samples during storage, discontinuous pH control, and holdover of fermentation broth between fermentations. Freezing samples prior to fermentation was shown to reduce the production rate of lactate by 8%, indicating freeze-thaw should be avoided in experiments. Prior work indicated a trade-off in pH control strategies, where discontinuous pH control correlated with higher lactate accumulation while continuous pH control correlated with higher production rate. Here we demonstrate that continuous pH control can achieve both higher lactate accumulation and higher production rate. Finally, holding over fermentation broth was shown to be a simple method to improve production rate (by 18%) at high food waste loading rates (>140 g volatile solids L -1 ) but resulted in lower lactate accumulation (by 17%). The results inform continued process improvements within the waste treatment of food waste through fermentation to lactic acid.

  2. Small subchondral drill holes improve marrow stimulation of articular cartilage defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldracher, Mona; Orth, Patrick; Cucchiarini, Magali; Pape, Dietrich; Madry, Henning

    2014-11-01

    Subchondral drilling is an established marrow stimulation technique. Osteochondral repair is improved when the subchondral bone is perforated with small drill holes, reflecting the physiological subchondral trabecular distance. Controlled laboratory study. A rectangular full-thickness chondral defect was created in the trochlea of adult sheep (n = 13) and treated with 6 subchondral drillings of either 1.0 mm (reflective of the trabecular distance) or 1.8 mm in diameter. Osteochondral repair was assessed after 6 months in vivo by macroscopic, histological, and immunohistochemical analyses and by micro-computed tomography. The application of 1.0-mm subchondral drill holes led to significantly improved histological matrix staining, cellular morphological characteristics, subchondral bone reconstitution, and average total histological score as well as significantly higher immunoreactivity to type II collagen and reduced immunoreactivity to type I collagen in the repair tissue compared with 1.8-mm drill holes. Analysis of osteoarthritic changes in the cartilage adjacent to the defects revealed no significant differences between treatment groups. Restoration of the microstructure of the subchondral bone plate below the chondral defects was significantly improved after 1.0-mm compared to 1.8-mm drilling, as shown by higher bone volume and reduced thickening of the subchondral bone plate. Likewise, the microarchitecture of the drilled subarticular spongiosa was better restored after 1.0-mm drilling, indicated by significantly higher bone volume and more and thinner trabeculae. Moreover, the bone mineral density of the subchondral bone in 1.0-mm drill holes was similar to the adjacent subchondral bone, whereas it was significantly reduced in 1.8-mm drill holes. No significant correlations existed between cartilage and subchondral bone repair. Small subchondral drill holes that reflect the physiological trabecular distance improve osteochondral repair in a translational

  3. Cell Matrix Remodeling Ability Shown by Image Spatial Correlation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Chi-Li; Digman, Michelle A.; Gratton, Enrico

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is a critical step of many biological and pathological processes. However, most of the studies to date lack a quantitative method to measure ECM remodeling at a scale comparable to cell size. Here, we applied image spatial correlation to collagen second harmonic generation (SHG) images to quantitatively evaluate the degree of collagen remodeling by cells. We propose a simple statistical method based on spatial correlation functions to determine the size of high collagen density area around cells. We applied our method to measure collagen remodeling by two breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7), which display different degrees of invasiveness, and a fibroblast cell line (NIH/3T3). We found distinct collagen compaction levels of these three cell lines by applying the spatial correlation method, indicating different collagen remodeling ability. Furthermore, we quantitatively measured the effect of Latrunculin B and Marimastat on MDA-MB-231 cell line collagen remodeling ability and showed that significant collagen compaction level decreases with these treatments. PMID:23935614

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Integrating Participatory Design and Health Literacy to Improve Research and Interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhauser, Linda

    2017-01-01

    Health communication is an essential health promotion strategy to convert scientific findings into actionable, empowering information for the public. Health communication interventions have shown positive outcomes, but many efforts have been disappointing. A key weakness is that expert-designed health communication is often overly generic and not adequately aligned with the abilities, preferences and life situations of specific audiences. The emergence of the field of health literacy is providing powerful theoretical guidance and practice strategies. Health literacy, in concert with other determinants of health, has greatly advanced understanding of factors that facilitate or hinder health promotion at individual, organizational and community settings. However, health literacy models are incomplete and interventions have shown only modest success to date. A challenge is to move beyond the current focus on individual comprehension and address deeper factors of motivation, self-efficacy and empowerment, as well as socio-environmental influences, and their impact to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. Integrating participatory design theory and methods drawn from social sciences and design sciences can significantly improve health literacy models and interventions. Likewise, researchers and practitioners using participatory design can greatly benefit from incorporating health literacy principles into their efforts. Such interventions at multiple levels are showing positive health outcomes and reduction of health disparities, but this approach is complex and not yet widespread. This chapter focuses on research findings about health literacy and participatory design to improve health promotion, and practical guidance and case examples for researchers, practitioners and policymakers.

  6. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  13. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. AUTOMATIC SUMMARIZATION OF WEB FORUMS AS SOURCES OF PROFESSIONALLY SIGNIFICANT INFORMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. I. Buraya

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Subject of Research.The competitive advantage of a modern specialist is the widest possible coverage of informationsources useful from the point of view of obtaining and acquisition of relevant professionally significant information. Among these sources professional web forums occupy a significant place. The paperconsiders the problem of automaticforum text summarization, i.e. identification ofthose fragments that contain professionally relevant information. Method.The research is based on statistical analysis of texts of forums by means of machine learning. Six web forums were selected for research considering aspects of technologies of various subject domains as their subject-matter. The marking of forums was carried out by an expert way. Using various methods of machine learning the models were designed reflecting functional communication between the estimated characteristics of PSI extraction quality and signs of posts. The cumulative NDCG metrics and its dispersion were used for an assessment of quality of models.Main Results. We have shown that an important role in an assessment of PSI extraction efficiency is played by requestcontext. The contexts of requestshave been selected,characteristic of PSI extraction, reflecting various interpretations of information needs of users, designated by terms relevance and informational content. The scales for their estimates have been designed corresponding to worldwide approaches. We have experimentally confirmed that results of the summarization of forums carried out by experts manually significantly depend on requestcontext. We have shown that in the general assessment of PSI extraction efficiency relevance is rather well described by a linear combination of features, and the informational content assessment already requires their nonlinear combination. At the same time at a relevance assessment the leading role is played by the features connected with keywords, and at an informational content

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  5. Improved Casting Furnace Conceptual Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fielding, Randall Sidney [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Tolman, David Donald [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2017-02-01

    In an attempt to ensure more consistent casting results and remove some schedule variance associated with casting, an improved casting furnace concept has been developed. The improved furnace uses the existing arc melter hardware and glovebox utilities. The furnace concept was designed around physical and operational requirements such as; a charge sized of less than 30 grams, high heating rates and minimal additional footprint. The conceptual model is shown in the report as well as a summary of how the requirements were met.

  6. Radiological significance of thorium processing in manufacturing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Improved control rod drive handling equipment for BWRs [boiling-water reactors]: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, A.P.L.; Gorman, J.A.

    1987-08-01

    Improved equipment for removing and replacing control rod drives (CRDs) in BWR plants has been designed, built and tested. Control rod drives must be removed from the reactor periodically for servicing. Removal and replacement of CRDs using equipment originally supplied with the plant has long been recognized as one of the more difficult and highest radiation exposure maintenance operations that must be performed at BWR plants. The improved equipment was used for the first time at Quad Cities, Unit 2, during a Fall 1986 outage. The trial of the equipment was highly successful, and it was shown that the new equipment significantly improves CRD handling operations. The new equipment significantly simplifies the sequence of operations required to lower a CRD from its housing, upend it to a horizontal orientation, and transport it out of the reactor containment. All operations of the new equipment are performed from the undervessel equipment handling platform, thus, eliminating the requirement for a person to work on the lower level of the undervessel gallery which is often highly contaminated. Typically, one less person is required to operate the equipment than were used with the older equipment. The new equipment incorporates a number of redundant and fail safe features that improve operations and reduce the chances for accidents

  9. Acute acetaminophen (paracetamol) ingestion improves time to exhaustion during exercise in the heat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauger, Alexis R; Taylor, Lee; Harding, Christopher; Wright, Benjamin; Foster, Josh; Castle, Paul C

    2014-01-01

    Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a commonly used over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic and has previously been shown to improve exercise performance through a reduction in perceived pain. This study sought to establish whether its antipyretic action may also improve exercise capacity in the heat by moderating the increase in core temperature. On separate days, 11 recreationally active participants completed two experimental time-to-exhaustion trials on a cycle ergometer in hot conditions (30°C, 50% relative humidity) after ingesting a placebo control or an oral dose of acetaminophen in a randomized, double-blind design. Following acetaminophen ingestion, participants cycled for a significantly longer period of time (acetaminophen, 23 ± 15 min versus placebo, 19 ± 13 min; P = 0.005; 95% confidence interval = 90-379 s), and this was accompanied by significantly lower core (-0.15°C), skin (-0.47°C) and body temperatures (0.19°C; P 0.05). This is the first study to demonstrate that an acute dose of acetaminophen can improve cycling capacity in hot conditions, and that this may be due to the observed reduction in core, skin and body temperature and the subjective perception of thermal comfort. These findings suggest that acetaminophen may reduce the thermoregulatory strain elicited from exercise, thus improving time to exhaustion.

  10. Optimization of the tumor microenvironment and nanomedicine properties simultaneously to improve tumor therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo; Shi, Wei; Jiang, Ting; Wang, Lanting; Mei, Heng; Lu, Heng; Hu, Yu; Pang, Zhiqing

    2016-09-20

    Effective delivery of nanomedicines to tumor tissues depends on both the tumor microenvironment and nanomedicine properties. Accordingly, tumor microenvironment modification or advanced design of nanomedicine was emerging to improve nanomedicine delivery to tumors. However, few studies have emphasized the necessity to optimize the tumor microenvironment and nanomedicine properties simultaneously to improve tumor treatment. In the present study, imatinib mesylate (IMA) was used to normalize the tumor microenvironment including platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β expression inhibition, tumor vessel normalization, and tumor perfusion improvement as demonstrated by immunofluorescence staining. In addition, the effect of tumor microenvironment normalization on tumor delivery of nanomedicines with different sizes was carefully investigated. It was shown that IMA treatment significantly reduced the accumulation of nanoparticles (NPs) around 110 nm but enhanced the accumulation of micelles around 23 nm by in vivo fluorescence imaging experiment. Furthermore, IMA treatment limited the distribution of NPs inside tumors but increased that of micelles with a more homogeneous pattern. Finally, the anti-tumor efficacy study displayed that IMA pretreatment could significantly increase the therapeutic effects of paclitaxel-loaded micelles. All-together, a new strategy to improve nanomedicine delivery to tumor was provided by optimizing both nanomedicine size and the tumor microenvironment simultaneously, and it will have great potential in clinics for tumor treatment.

  11. A novel phytoremediation technology shown to remediate petroleum hydrocarbons from soils in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, X.D.; Yu, X.M.; Gerhardt, K.; Glick, B.; Greenberg, B [Waterloo Environmental Biotechnology Inc., Hamilton, ON (Canada); Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2009-04-01

    This article described a newly developed, advanced microbe-enhanced phytoremediation system that can be used to remediate lands polluted by hydrocarbons, salts and metals. The technology uses 3 complementary processes to achieve effective remediation of strongly bound persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from soil. The remediation process involves physical soil treatment, photochemical photooxidation, microbial remediation and growth of plants treated with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). The PGPR-enhanced phytoremediation system (PEPS) alleviates plant stress and increases biodegradation activities, thereby accelerating plant growth in the presence of POPs or poor soils. The PEPS has been used successfully to remove petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) from impacted soils in situ at several sites across Canada. Studies have shown that the PHCs are degraded in the rhizosphere. This article also presented a summary of the work conducted at 3 sites in Alberta. It took only 2 years to remediate the 3 sites to levels required for site closure under Alberta Tier 1 guidelines. It was concluded that PEPS is equally effective for total PHC and Fraction 3 CCME hydrocarbons. 1 tab., 3 figs.

  12. Automatic Emotion Recognition in Speech: Possibilities and Significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milana Bojanić

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Automatic speech recognition and spoken language understanding are crucial steps towards a natural humanmachine interaction. The main task of the speech communication process is the recognition of the word sequence, but the recognition of prosody, emotion and stress tags may be of particular importance as well. This paper discusses thepossibilities of recognition emotion from speech signal in order to improve ASR, and also provides the analysis of acoustic features that can be used for the detection of speaker’s emotion and stress. The paper also provides a short overview of emotion and stress classification techniques. The importance and place of emotional speech recognition is shown in the domain of human-computer interactive systems and transaction communication model. The directions for future work are given at the end of this work.

  13. Autogenic-feedback training improves pilot performance during emergency flying conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellar, Michael A.; Folen, Raymond A.; Cowings, Patricia S.; Toscano, William B.; Hisert, Glen L.

    1994-01-01

    Studies have shown that autonomous mode behavior is one cause of aircraft fatalities due to pilot error. In such cases, the pilot is in a high state of psychological and physiological arousal and tends to focus on one problem, while ignoring more critical information. This study examined the effect of training in physiological self-recognition and regulation, as a means of improving crew cockpit performance. Seventeen pilots were assigned to the treatment and control groups matched for accumulated flight hours. The treatment group comprised three pilots of HC-130 Hercules aircraft and four HH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilots; the control group comprised three pilots of HC-130's and six Dolphin helicopter pilots. During an initial flight, physiological data were recorded for each crew member and individual crew performance was rated by an instructor pilot. Eight crewmembers were then taught to regulate their own physiological response levels using Autogenic-Feedback Training (AFT). The remaining subjects received no training. During a second flight, treatment subjects showed significant improvement in performance, while controls did not improve. The results indicate that AFT management of high states of physiological arousal may improve pilot performance during emergency flying conditions.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  15. The ReACH Collaborative--improving quality home care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Patricia Simino; Pace, Karen B; Lauder, Bonnie; Solomon, Debra A

    2007-08-01

    Research on quality of care has shown that vigorous leadership, clear goals, and compatible incentive systems are critical factors in influencing successful change (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Quality improvement is a complex process, and clinical quality improvement applications are more likely to be effective in organizations that are ready for change and have strong leaders, who are committed to creating and reinforcing a work environment that supports quality goals (Shortell, 1998). Key leadership roles include providing clear and sustained direction, articulating a coherent set of values and incentives to guide group and individual activities, aligning and integrating improvement efforts into organizational priorities, obtaining or freeing up resources to implement improvement activities, and creating a culture of "continuous improvement" that encourages and rewards the pursuit and achievement of shared quality aims (Institute of Medicine, 2001, 70-71). In summary, home health care is a significant and growing sector of the health care system that provides care to millions of vulnerable patients. There seems little doubt that home health agencies want to focus on quality of care issues and provide optimal care to home-based patients. Furthermore, there is a growing awareness of the value for adapting innovative, effective models for improving the culture of home care practice. This awareness stems from the notion that some agencies see quality improvement activities as a way for them to distinguish themselves not only to regulators and customers, but also to meet the cultural and transformational needs to remain viable in a constantly evolving and competitive health care industry.

  16. Improvement of arm solutions via step width self-tuning algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Shinobu

    1993-09-01

    This paper is concerned with the significant numerical problems encountered in solving the manipulator inverse kinematics. That is, essential difficulties occurred in linearized calculations such as dependence on initial guess or narrow search region are improved with great success by means of a step width self-tuning algorithm. In a practical optimization model based on the reduction of dimensionality and linearized approximation, it is shown that the desired arm solutions are found out at a faster rate over a wider application range. Also, the capability of finding solutions via a traditional Newton method is enhanced to a large extent by combined application of the proposed idea and simplex method. (author)

  17. Use of Savitzky-Golay Filter for Performances Improvement of SHM Systems Based on Neural Networks and Distributed PZT Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Mario A; Araujo, Nelcileno V S; da Silva, Rodolfo N; da Silva, Tony I; Epaarachchi, Jayantha

    2018-01-08

    A considerable amount of research has focused on monitoring structural damage using Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technologies, which has had recent advances. However, it is important to note the challenges and unresolved problems that disqualify currently developed monitoring systems. One of the frontline SHM technologies, the Electromechanical Impedance (EMI) technique, has shown its potential to overcome remaining problems and challenges. Unfortunately, the recently developed neural network algorithms have not shown significant improvements in the accuracy of rate and the required processing time. In order to fill this gap in advanced neural networks used with EMI techniques, this paper proposes an enhanced and reliable strategy for improving the structural damage detection via: (1) Savitzky-Golay (SG) filter, using both first and second derivatives; (2) Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN); and, (3) Simplified Fuzzy ARTMAP Network (SFAN). Those three methods were employed to analyze the EMI data experimentally obtained from an aluminum plate containing three attached PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) patches. In this present study, the damage scenarios were simulated by attaching a small metallic nut at three different positions in the aluminum plate. We found that the proposed method achieves a hit rate of more than 83%, which is significantly higher than current state-of-the-art approaches. Furthermore, this approach results in an improvement of 93% when considering the best case scenario.

  18. Use of Savitzky–Golay Filter for Performances Improvement of SHM Systems Based on Neural Networks and Distributed PZT Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Nelcileno V. S.; da Silva, Rodolfo N.; da Silva, Tony I.; Epaarachchi, Jayantha

    2018-01-01

    A considerable amount of research has focused on monitoring structural damage using Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technologies, which has had recent advances. However, it is important to note the challenges and unresolved problems that disqualify currently developed monitoring systems. One of the frontline SHM technologies, the Electromechanical Impedance (EMI) technique, has shown its potential to overcome remaining problems and challenges. Unfortunately, the recently developed neural network algorithms have not shown significant improvements in the accuracy of rate and the required processing time. In order to fill this gap in advanced neural networks used with EMI techniques, this paper proposes an enhanced and reliable strategy for improving the structural damage detection via: (1) Savitzky–Golay (SG) filter, using both first and second derivatives; (2) Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN); and, (3) Simplified Fuzzy ARTMAP Network (SFAN). Those three methods were employed to analyze the EMI data experimentally obtained from an aluminum plate containing three attached PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) patches. In this present study, the damage scenarios were simulated by attaching a small metallic nut at three different positions in the aluminum plate. We found that the proposed method achieves a hit rate of more than 83%, which is significantly higher than current state-of-the-art approaches. Furthermore, this approach results in an improvement of 93% when considering the best case scenario. PMID:29316693

  19. Use of Savitzky–Golay Filter for Performances Improvement of SHM Systems Based on Neural Networks and Distributed PZT Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario A. de Oliveira

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A considerable amount of research has focused on monitoring structural damage using Structural Health Monitoring (SHM technologies, which has had recent advances. However, it is important to note the challenges and unresolved problems that disqualify currently developed monitoring systems. One of the frontline SHM technologies, the Electromechanical Impedance (EMI technique, has shown its potential to overcome remaining problems and challenges. Unfortunately, the recently developed neural network algorithms have not shown significant improvements in the accuracy of rate and the required processing time. In order to fill this gap in advanced neural networks used with EMI techniques, this paper proposes an enhanced and reliable strategy for improving the structural damage detection via: (1 Savitzky–Golay (SG filter, using both first and second derivatives; (2 Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN; and, (3 Simplified Fuzzy ARTMAP Network (SFAN. Those three methods were employed to analyze the EMI data experimentally obtained from an aluminum plate containing three attached PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate patches. In this present study, the damage scenarios were simulated by attaching a small metallic nut at three different positions in the aluminum plate. We found that the proposed method achieves a hit rate of more than 83%, which is significantly higher than current state-of-the-art approaches. Furthermore, this approach results in an improvement of 93% when considering the best case scenario.

  20. Austrian contributions to fuel rod failure models shown at the International Standard Problem ISP-14

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sdouz, G.

    1984-04-01

    The computer code BALON-2A was improved to perform the International Standard Problem ISP-14. The main extensions are the implementation of input-options and the development of a model to predict the pressure in the fuel rod gap. With these improvements and some calculations for input values satisfying results have been obtained. This is remarkable because loss of coolant accident analyses are performed usually with larger computer codes. (Author) [de

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Improved lumped models for transient combined convective and radiative cooling of multi-layer composite slabs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An Chen; Su Jian

    2011-01-01

    Improved lumped parameter models were developed for the transient heat conduction in multi-layer composite slabs subjected to combined convective and radiative cooling. The improved lumped models were obtained through two-point Hermite approximations for integrals. Transient combined convective and radiative cooling of three-layer composite slabs was analyzed to illustrate the applicability of the proposed lumped models, with respect to different values of the Biot numbers, the radiation-conduction parameter, the dimensionless thermal contact resistances, the dimensionless thickness, and the dimensionless thermal conductivity. It was shown by comparison with numerical solution of the original distributed parameter model that the higher order lumped model (H 1,1 /H 0,0 approximation) yielded significant improvement of average temperature prediction over the classical lumped model. In addition, the higher order (H 1,1 /H 0,0 ) model was applied to analyze the transient heat conduction problem of steel-concrete-steel sandwich plates. - Highlights: → Improved lumped models for convective-radiative cooling of multi-layer slabs were developed. → Two-point Hermite approximations for integrals were employed. → Significant improvement over classical lumped model was achieved. → The model can be applied to high Biot number and high radiation-conduction parameter. → Transient heat conduction in steel-concrete-steel sandwich pipes was analyzed as an example.

  3. Financial impact of improved pressure ulcer staging in the acute hospital with use of a new tool, the NE1 Wound Assessment Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Daniel L; Shen, Jay J; Estocado, Nancy; Landers, Merrill R

    2012-04-01

    The NE1 Wound Assessment Tool (NE1 WAT; Medline Industries, Inc, Mundelein, Illinois), previously called the N.E. One Can Stage, was shown to significantly improve accuracy of pressure ulcer (PrU) staging. Improved PrU staging has many potential benefits, including improved care for the patient and better reimbursement. Medicare has incentivized good care and accurate identification of PrUs in the acute care hospital through an additional payment, the Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group (MS-DRG). This article examines the financial impact of NE1 WAT use on the acute care hospital relative to MS-DRG reimbursement. PrU staging accuracy with and without use of the NE1 WAT from previous data was compared with acute care hospital PrU rates obtained from the 2006 National Inpatient Sample. Hill-Rom International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey data were used to estimate the number of MS-DRG-eligible PrUs. There are between 390,000 and 130,000 MS-DRG-eligible PrUs annually. Given current PrU staging accuracy, approximately $209 million in MS-DRG money is being collected. With the improved staging afforded by the NE1 WAT, this figure is approximately $763.9 million. Subtracting the 2 reveals $554.9 million in additional reimbursement that could be generated by using the NE1 WAT. There is a tremendous financial incentive to improve PrU staging. The NE1 WAT has been shown to improve PrU staging accuracy significantly. This improvement has the potential to improve the financial health of acute care hospitals caring for patients with PrUs.

  4. Improving Novice Radiology Trainees' Perception Using Fine Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Thomas Rob; Kelleher, Michael

    2017-10-01

    To determine if fine art perception training improved performance in novice radiology trainees. On the first day of their residency, 15 radiology residents underwent a basic radiology perception test in which they were shown 15 different radiographs that each had a significant abnormality. This was followed by a focused session of interpretation training at a local art gallery where art experts taught the trainees how to thoroughly analyze a painting. After this fine art session, the residents were once again shown 15 different radiographs and asked, in the same manner as before, to identify the location of the abnormality. The results of both radiograph assessments were then compared. The 15 residents correctly identified the areas of abnormality on 35 of 225 cases pre-art training with a mean score of 2.33 and a SD of 1.4. After art training, the figure for correctly identifying the area of abnormality rose to 94 of 225 cases with a mean score of 6.27 and a SD of 1.79 (P art gallery may be a novel, effective transitional starting point for novice radiology trainees. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Improving Reliability and Operational Availability of Military Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Koehn, Phillip

    2004-01-01

    ...: overhaul and prognostics asset management strategies. It is shown that the prognostics approach leads to improved operational availability by anticipating failure and reducing administrative and logistics delays...

  6. Development of an adhesive surgical ward round checklist: a technique to improve patient safety.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Dhillon, P

    2012-02-01

    Checklists have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Checklist use is seen in the pre-operative to post-operative phases of the patient pathway. An adhesive checklist was developed for ward rounds due to the positive impact it could have on improving patient safety. Over an eight day period data were collected from five consultant-led teams that were randomly selected from the surgical department and divided into sticker groups and control groups. Across the board percentage adherence to the Good Surgical Practice Guidelines (GSPG) was markedly higher in the sticker study group, 1186 (91%) in comparison with the control group 718 (55%). There was significant improvement of documentation across all areas measured. An adhesive checklist for ward round note taking is a simple and cost-effective way to improve documentation, communication, hand-over, and patient safety. Successfully implemented in a tertiary level centre in Dublin, Ireland it is easily transferable to other surgical departments globally.

  7. [Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and improving chess performance in promising young chess-players].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Francisco J; Luciano, Carmen

    2009-08-01

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is shown to be effective in relatively distant fields from the so-called psychological disorders. One of these areas is sport performance improvement. The aim of the current study is to expand the application of brief ACT protocols to improve chess-players' performance. In a previous study, a brief protocol was applied to international-level adult chess-players that was effective. The current study aims to apply an equivalent brief ACT protocol, but in this case, applied in a group format to promising young chess-players. In addition, this brief protocol is compared to a non-intervention control condition. Results show that the ACT brief protocol improved the performance in 5 out of 7 participants, and that none of the chess-players in the control condition reached the established change criterion. The differences between the conditions in chess performance were statistically significant. The results are discussed, emphasizing the replicated impact of a brief ACT protocol on the improvement of chess-players' performance.

  8. Relevance of sexual polyploidization for crop improvement - A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramanna, M.S.; Jacobsen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Colchicine induced polyploids have not directly contributed for crop improvement in the past. On the other hand, the so-called natural polyploids, derived from the functioning of numerically unreduced (2n) gametes have been shown to be more relevant for crop improvement in many cases. Different

  9. Improving performances of the knee replacement surgery process by applying DMAIC principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Improta, Giovanni; Balato, Giovanni; Romano, Maria; Ponsiglione, Alfonso Maria; Raiola, Eliana; Russo, Mario Alessandro; Cuccaro, Patrizia; Santillo, Liberatina Carmela; Cesarelli, Mario

    2017-12-01

    The work is a part of a project about the application of the Lean Six Sigma to improve health care processes. A previously published work regarding the hip replacement surgery has shown promising results. Here, we propose an application of the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control) cycle to improve quality and reduce costs related to the prosthetic knee replacement surgery by decreasing patients' length of hospital stay (LOS) METHODS: The DMAIC cycle has been adopted to decrease the patients' LOS. The University Hospital "Federico II" of Naples, one of the most important university hospitals in Southern Italy, participated in this study. Data on 148 patients who underwent prosthetic knee replacement between 2010 and 2013 were used. Process mapping, statistical measures, brainstorming activities, and comparative analysis were performed to identify factors influencing LOS and improvement strategies. The study allowed the identification of variables influencing the prolongation of the LOS and the implementation of corrective actions to improve the process of care. The adopted actions reduced the LOS by 42%, from a mean value of 14.2 to 8.3 days (standard deviation also decreased from 5.2 to 2.3 days). The DMAIC approach has proven to be a helpful strategy ensuring a significant decreasing of the LOS. Furthermore, through its implementation, a significant reduction of the average costs of hospital stay can be achieved. Such a versatile approach could be applied to improve a wide range of health care processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Improved scaling of temperature-accelerated dynamics using localization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shim, Yunsic; Amar, Jacques G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606 (United States)

    2016-07-07

    While temperature-accelerated dynamics (TAD) is a powerful method for carrying out non-equilibrium simulations of systems over extended time scales, the computational cost of serial TAD increases approximately as N{sup 3} where N is the number of atoms. In addition, although a parallel TAD method based on domain decomposition [Y. Shim et al., Phys. Rev. B 76, 205439 (2007)] has been shown to provide significantly improved scaling, the dynamics in such an approach is only approximate while the size of activated events is limited by the spatial decomposition size. Accordingly, it is of interest to develop methods to improve the scaling of serial TAD. As a first step in understanding the factors which determine the scaling behavior, we first present results for the overall scaling of serial TAD and its components, which were obtained from simulations of Ag/Ag(100) growth and Ag/Ag(100) annealing, and compare with theoretical predictions. We then discuss two methods based on localization which may be used to address two of the primary “bottlenecks” to the scaling of serial TAD with system size. By implementing both of these methods, we find that for intermediate system-sizes, the scaling is improved by almost a factor of N{sup 1/2}. Some additional possible methods to improve the scaling of TAD are also discussed.

  11. Improved scaling of temperature-accelerated dynamics using localization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shim, Yunsic; Amar, Jacques G.

    2016-01-01

    While temperature-accelerated dynamics (TAD) is a powerful method for carrying out non-equilibrium simulations of systems over extended time scales, the computational cost of serial TAD increases approximately as N 3 where N is the number of atoms. In addition, although a parallel TAD method based on domain decomposition [Y. Shim et al., Phys. Rev. B 76, 205439 (2007)] has been shown to provide significantly improved scaling, the dynamics in such an approach is only approximate while the size of activated events is limited by the spatial decomposition size. Accordingly, it is of interest to develop methods to improve the scaling of serial TAD. As a first step in understanding the factors which determine the scaling behavior, we first present results for the overall scaling of serial TAD and its components, which were obtained from simulations of Ag/Ag(100) growth and Ag/Ag(100) annealing, and compare with theoretical predictions. We then discuss two methods based on localization which may be used to address two of the primary “bottlenecks” to the scaling of serial TAD with system size. By implementing both of these methods, we find that for intermediate system-sizes, the scaling is improved by almost a factor of N 1/2 . Some additional possible methods to improve the scaling of TAD are also discussed.

  12. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  13. The significance of vector magnetic field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagyard, M. J.

    1990-01-01

    Observations of four flaring solar active regions, obtained during 1980-1986 with the NASA Marshall vector magnetograph (Hagyard et al., 1982 and 1985), are presented graphically and characterized in detail, with reference to nearly simultaneous Big Bear Solar Observatory and USAF ASW H-alpha images. It is shown that the flares occurred where local photospheric magnetic fields differed most from the potential field, with initial brightening on either side of a magnetic-neutral line near the point of maximum angular shear (rather than that of maximum magnetic-field strength, typically 1 kG or greater). Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that these significant nonpotential features were detected only by measuring all three components of the vector magnetic field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. The CRASH trial protocol (Corticosteroid randomisation after significant head injury [ISRCTN74459797

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Worldwide, millions of people are treated each year for significant head injury. A substantial proportion die, and many more are disabled. If short term corticosteroid infusion could be reliably shown to reduce these risks by just a few percent then this might affect the treatment of a few hundred thousand patients a year, protecting thousands from death or long term disability. Study design CRASH is a large simple, placebo-controlled trial of the effects of a 48-hour infusion of corticosteroids on death and on neurological disability, among adults with head injury and some impairment of consciousness. Head injured patients with impaired consciousness who are judged to be 16 years or older are eligible if the responsible doctor is, for any reason, substantially uncertain whether or not to use corticosteroids. Organisation The CRASH trial will determine reliably the effects on death and disability of a short corticosteroid infusion following significant head injury. To detect or refute improvements of only a few percent in outcome, many thousands of acute head injury patients must be randomised between control and steroid infusions. Such large numbers will be possible only if hundreds of doctors and nurses can collaborate in the participating emergency departments. Since they are busy, and working in emergency situations, the trial involves them in almost no extra work: no special investigations or changes to usual management are required, and data collection is absolutely minimal. The trial is on-going and new collaborators are welcome. Further information about the trial is available at http://www.crash.lshtm.ac.uk

  16. Music-Based Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting to Improve Patient Comfort During MRI Exams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Dan; Pierre, Eric Y.; Jiang, Yun; Schluchter, Mark D.; Setsompop, Kawin; Gulani, Vikas; Griswold, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The unpleasant acoustic noise is an important drawback of almost every magnetic resonance imaging scan. Instead of reducing the acoustic noise to improve patient comfort, a method is proposed to mitigate the noise problem by producing musical sounds directly from the switching magnetic fields while simultaneously quantifying multiple important tissue properties. Theory and Methods MP3 music files were converted to arbitrary encoding gradients, which were then used with varying flip angles and TRs in both 2D and 3D MRF exam. This new acquisition method named MRF-Music was used to quantify T1, T2 and proton density maps simultaneously while providing pleasing sounds to the patients. Results The MRF-Music scans were shown to significantly improve the patients' comfort during the MRI scans. The T1 and T2 values measured from phantom are in good agreement with those from the standard spin echo measurements. T1 and T2 values from the brain scan are also close to previously reported values. Conclusions MRF-Music sequence provides significant improvement of the patient's comfort as compared to the MRF scan and other fast imaging techniques such as EPI and TSE scans. It is also a fast and accurate quantitative method that quantifies multiple relaxation parameter simultaneously. PMID:26178439

  17. The Development of an Internet-Based Treatment for Problem Gamblers and Concerned Significant Others: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Anders; Magnusson, Kristoffer; Carlbring, Per; Andersson, Gerhard; Gumpert, Clara Hellner

    2018-06-01

    Problem gambling creates significant harm for the gambler and for concerned significant others (CSOs). While several studies have investigated the effects of individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for problem gambling, less is known about the effects of involving CSOs in treatment. Behavioral couples therapy (BCT) has shown promising results when working with substance use disorders by involving both the user and a CSO. This pilot study investigated BCT for problem gambling, as well as the feasibility of performing a larger scale randomized controlled trial. 36 participants, 18 gamblers and 18 CSOs, were randomized to either BCT or individual CBT for the gambler. Both interventions were Internet-delivered self-help interventions with therapist support. Both groups of gamblers improved on all outcome measures, but there were no differences between the groups. The CSOs in the BCT group lowered their scores on anxiety and depression more than the CSOs of those randomized to the individual CBT group did. The implications of the results and the feasibility of the trial are discussed.

  18. Improved algorithms and advanced features of the CAD to MC conversion tool McCad

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, L.; Fischer, U.; Pereslavtsev, P.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •The latest improvements of the McCad conversion approach including decomposition and void filling algorithms is presented. •An advanced interface for the materials editing and assignment has been developed and added to the McCAD GUI. •These improvements have been tested and successfully applied to DEMO and ITER NBI (Neutral Beam Injector) applications. •The performance of the CAD model conversion process is shown to be significantly improved. -- Abstract: McCad is a geometry conversion tool developed at KIT to enable the automatic bi-directional conversions of CAD models into the Monte Carlo (MC) geometries utilized for neutronics calculations (CAD to MC) and, reversed (MC to CAD), for visualization purposes. The paper presents the latest improvements of the conversion algorithms including improved decomposition, void filling and an advanced interface for the materials editing and assignment. The new implementations and features were tested on fusion neutronics applications to the DEMO and ITER NBI (Neutral Beam Injector) models. The results demonstrate greater stability and enhanced efficiency of McCad conversion process

  19. Psychological Benefits of Nonpharmacological Methods Aimed for Improving Balance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rastislav Šumec

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is a serious condition with a major negative impact on patient’s physical and mental health. Postural instability is one of the cardinal difficulties reported by patients to deal with. Neuroanatomical, animal, and clinical studies on nonparkinsonian and parkinsonian subjects suggest an important correlation between the presence of balance dysfunction and multiple mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and apathy. Considering that balance dysfunction is a very common symptom in PD, we can presume that by its management we could positively influence patient’s state of mind too. This review is an analysis of nonpharmacological methods shown to be effective and successful for improving balance in patients suffering from PD. Strategies such as general exercise, robotic assisted training, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, dance (such as tango or ballet, box, virtual reality-based, or neurofeedback-based techniques and so forth can significantly improve the stability in these patients. Beside this physical outcome, many methods have also shown effect on quality of life, depression level, enjoyment, and motivation to continue in practicing the method independently. The purpose of this review is to provide information about practical and creative methods designed to improve balance in PD and highlight their positive impact on patient’s psychology.

  20. Short-term endurance training after coronary artery bypass grafting improves insulin resistance parameters in patients with hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowicz-Bieńkowska, Sławomira; Przywarska, Izabela; Dylewicz, Piotr; Pilaczyńska-Szcześniak, Łucja; Rychlewski, Tadeusz; Wilk, Małgorzata; Rózańska, Anna

    2004-05-01

    It has been shown that short-term exercise training improves insulin resistance parameters in patients with ischaemic heart disease. The effects of such a rehabilitation programme in patients with hypertension have not been well established. To assess whether short-term endurance training after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) may improve metabolic parameters and reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. The study group consisted of 30 male patients (15 with hypertension and 15 normotensive) aged 55+/-2.1 years who underwent CABG 1 to 6 months before the initiation of a 3-week endurance training. Glucose, insulin and C-peptide blood levels as well as binding and degradation of 125I-insulin by erythrocyte receptors were assessed before and after the training programme. The effects of training on blood pressure values were also evaluated. A significant improvement (phypertension. This was accompanied by a significant (phypertension, both the exercise systolic and diastolic pressures decreased significantly (pendurance training was especially effective in patients with hypertension in whom beneficial changes in some metabolic risk factors of ischaemic heart disease as well as the reduction in the blood pressure values were observed.

  1. Improved Global Ocean Color Using Polymer Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Francois; Ramon, Didier; Deschamps, ierre-Yves; Stum, Jacques

    2010-12-01

    A global ocean color product has been developed based on the use of the POLYMER algorithm to correct atmospheric scattering and sun glint and to process the data to a Level 2 ocean color product. Thanks to the use of this algorithm, the coverage and accuracy of the MERIS ocean color product have been significantly improved when compared to the standard product, therefore increasing its usefulness for global ocean monitor- ing applications like GLOBCOLOUR. We will present the latest developments of the algorithm, its first application to MODIS data and its validation against in-situ data from the MERMAID database. Examples will be shown of global NRT chlorophyll maps produced by CLS with POLYMER for operational applications like fishing or oil and gas industry, as well as its use by Scripps for a NASA study of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  4. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  5. Nanoemulsion formulation of fisetin improves bioavailability and antitumour activity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragelle, Héloïse; Crauste-Manciet, Sylvie; Seguin, Johanne; Brossard, Denis; Scherman, Daniel; Arnaud, Philippe; Chabot, Guy G

    2012-05-10

    The natural flavonoid fisetin (3,3',4',7-tetrahydroxyflavone) has shown antitumour activity but its administration is complicated by its low water solubility. Our aim was to incorporate fisetin into a nanoemulsion to improve its pharmacokinetics and therapeutic efficacy. Solubility and emulsification tests allowed to develop an optimal nanoemulsion composed of Miglyol 812N/Labrasol/Tween 80/Lipoid E80/water (10%/10%/2.5%/1.2%/76.3%). The nanoemulsion had an oil droplet diameter of 153 ± 2 nm, a negative zeta potential (-28.4 ± 0.6 mV) and a polydispersity index of 0.129. The nanoemulsion was stable at 4 °C for 30 days, but phase separation occurred at 20 °C. Pharmacokinetic studies in mice revealed that the fisetin nanoemulsion injected intravenously (13 mg/kg) showed no significant difference in systemic exposure compared to free fisetin. However, when the fisetin nanoemulsion was administered intraperitoneally, a 24-fold increase in fisetin relative bioavailability was noted, compared to free fisetin. Additionally, the antitumour activity of the fisetin nanoemulsion in Lewis lung carcinoma bearing mice occurred at lower doses (36.6 mg/kg) compared to free fisetin (223 mg/kg). In conclusion, we have developed a stable nanoemulsion of fisetin and have shown that it could improve its relative bioavailability and antitumour activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  8. Relationship between Metabolic Syndrome and Ocular Microcirculation Shown by Laser Speckle Flowgraphy in a Hospital Setting Devoted to Sleep Apnea Syndrome Diagnostics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoaki Shiba

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To clarify whether the incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS and the overlap of MetS components are affecting the ocular circulation shown by laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG. Materials and Methods. We studied 76 consistent patients. Blowout score (BOS and blowout time (BOT, which are the pulse waveform analysis parameters, and mean blur rate (MBR using LSFG in the optic nerve head (ONH and choroid were evaluated. Throughout, the ONH was separated out from the vessels and tissue for analysis and MBRs in the ONH were divided into four sections (superior, temporal, inferior, and nasal. Results. Thirty-two patients were diagnosed having Mets. MBR-Tissue (P=0.003, MBR-All (P=0.01, MBR-Choroid (P=0.04, and BOS-Choroid (P=0.03 were significantly lower in patients with MetS than in the patients without MetS. Multiple-regression analysis revealed the temporal side of MBR-Tissue and BOS-Choroid which were identified as factors contributing independently to the overlap of the MetS components. Multiple-regression analysis also revealed that the MetS components were identified to be factors independently contributing to the BOS-Choroid and temporal side of MBR-Tissue. Conclusion. Our study clarified that the incidence of MetS and the overlap of the MetS components are significantly affecting the ONH and choroidal microcirculation.

  9. Three nights leg thermal therapy could improve sleep quality in patients with chronic heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawatari, Hiroyuki; Nishizaka, Mari K; Miyazono, Mami; Ando, Shin-Ichi; Inoue, Shujiro; Takemoto, Masao; Sakamoto, Takafumi; Goto, Daisuke; Furumoto, Tomoo; Kinugawa, Shintaro; Hashiguchi, Nobuko; Rahmawati, Anita; Chishaki, Hiroaki; Ohkusa, Tomoko; Magota, Chie; Tsutsui, Hiroyuki; Chishaki, Akiko

    2018-02-01

    Sleep quality is often impaired in patients with chronic heart failure (HF), which may worsen their quality of life and even prognosis. Leg thermal therapy (LTT), topical leg warming, has been shown to improve endothelial function, oxidative stress, and cardiac function in patients with HF. However, its short-term influence to sleep quality has not been evaluated in HF patients. Eighteen of 23 patients with stable HF received LTT (15 min of warming at 45 °C and 30 min of insulation) at bedtime for 3 consecutive nights and 5 patients served as control. Subjective sleep quality was evaluated by St. Mary's Hospital Sleep Questionnaire, Oguri-Shirakawa-Azumi Sleep Inventory, and Epworth sleepiness scale, and also objectively evaluated by polysomnography. LTT significantly improved subjective sleep quality indicated by depth of sleep (p quality (p improve subjective and objective sleep quality in patients with HF. LTT can be a complimentary therapy to improve sleep quality in these patients.

  10. Sub-piexl methods for improving vector quality in echo PIV flow, imaging technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lili; Wang, Jing; Qian, Ming; Zheng, Hairong

    2009-01-01

    Developments of many cardiovascular problems have been shown to have a close relationship with arterial flow conditions. An ultrasound-based particle image velocimetry technique(Echo PIV) was recently developed to measure multi-component velocity vectors and local shear rates in arteries and opaque fluid flows by identifying and tracking flow tracers (ultrasound contrast microbubbles) within these flow fields. To improve the measurement accuracy, sub-pixel calculation method was adopted in this paper to maximize the ultrasound RF signal and B mode image correlation accuracy and increase the image spatial resolution. This algorithm is employed in processing both computer-generated particle image patterns and the B-mode images of microbubbles in rotating flows obtained by a high frame rate (up to 1000 frames per second) ultrasound imaging system. The results show the correlation of particle patterns and individual flow vector quality are improved and the overall flow mappings are also improved significantly. This would help the Echo PIV system to provide better multi-component velocity accuracy.

  11. IMPROVED ESTIMATION OF FIBER LENGTH FROM 3-DIMENSIONAL IMAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Ohser

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A new method is presented for estimating the specific fiber length from 3D images of macroscopically homogeneous fiber systems. The method is based on a discrete version of the Crofton formula, where local knowledge from 3x3x3-pixel configurations of the image data is exploited. It is shown that the relative error resulting from the discretization of the outer integral of the Crofton formula amonts at most 1.2%. An algorithmic implementation of the method is simple and the runtime as well as the amount of memory space are low. The estimation is significantly improved by considering 3x3x3-pixel configurations instead of 2x2x2, as already studied in literature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. A healthy lifestyle composite measure: Significance and potential uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Mary L; Katz, David L; Shenson, Douglas

    2016-03-01

    Our objective was to create and explore potential uses of a composite "Healthy Lifestyle" measure based on Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) Objectives for behaviors shown to be associated with morbidity and mortality. Data were from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (N=412,942) on five modifiable behaviors with HP2020 Objectives (leisure time exercise, eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times/day, getting ≥7h of sleep/24h, not smoking and not drinking excessively). These indicators were combined to form an all-or-none composite Healthy Lifestyle (HLS) measure. Associations between the HLS measure and demographic and other measures, plus details of component measures, were reported. Results indicated that only 7.7% of adults reported a HLS with wide variation among states and demographic groups. Both unadjusted and logistic regression results found associations between a HLS and better health, lower rates of chronic disease and better access to health care. Over one fourth of all respondents (28.0%) needed to only improve fruit and vegetable consumption to be practicing a HLS. In conclusion, few adults were practicing five behaviors that are generally recognized as healthy. All-or-none metrics like this HLS measure offer a fresh perspective on modifiable behaviors and the need for improvement. Examination of measure components can help explain demographic differences and identify strategies for improvement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Yoga-based postoperative cardiac rehabilitation program for improving quality of life and stress levels: Fifth-year follow-up through a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eraballi Amaravathi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This study was aimed to assess the efficacy of yoga-based lifestyle program (YLSP in improving quality of life (QOL and stress levels in patients after 5 years of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG. Methodology: Three hundred patients posted for elective CABG in Narayana Hrudayalaya Super Speciality Hospital, Bengaluru, were randomized into two groups: YLSP and conventional lifestyle program (CLSP, and follow-up was done for 5 years. Intervention: In YLSP group, all practices of integrative approach of yoga therapy such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, and meditation were used as an add-on to conventional cardiac rehabilitation. The control group (CLSP continued conventional cardiac rehabilitation only. Outcome Measures: World Health Organization (WHO-QOL BREF Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS were assessed before surgery and at the end of the 5th year after CABG. As data were not normally distributed, Mann–Whitney U-test was used for between-group comparisons and Wilcoxon's signed-rank test was used for within-group comparisons. Results: At the end of 5 years, mental health (P = 0.05, perceived stress (P = 0.01, and negative affect (NA (P = 0.05 have shown significant improvements. WHO-QOL BREF score has shown improvements in physical health (P = 0.046, environmental health (P = 0.04, perceived stress (P = 0.001, and NA (P = 0.02 in YLSP than CLSP. Positive affect has significantly improved in CLSP than YLSP. Other domains of WHO-QOL-BREF, PANAS, and HADS did not reveal any significant between-group differences. Conclusion: Addition of long-term YLSP to conventional cardiac rehabilitation brings better improvements in QOL and reduction in stress levels at the end of 5 years after CABG.

  17. Photocoagulation treatment for clinically significant radiation macular oedema

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinyoun, J.L.; Zamber, R.W.; Lawrence, B.S.; Barlow, W.E.; Arnold, A.M. [Washington Univ., Seattle, WA (United States)

    1995-02-01

    Macular oedema is a leading cause of vision loss in patients with radiation retinopathy. In an effort to find an effective treatment for this vision threatening complication, 12 eyes (eight patients) were treated with photocoagulation for clinically significant radiation macular oedema (CSRMO) defined as central macular thickening, exudates threatening the macular centre, or one disc area of thickening in the macula. Median visual acuity improved from 20/100 pre-operatively to 20/90 at the initial post-operative examination (mean follow up 5 months) and to 20/75 at the final post-operative examination (mean follow up 39 months). At the final post-operative examination, visual acuity had improved in eight (67%) eyes and six (50%) eyes had complete resolution of the CSRMO; two (17%) other eyes had improved anatomically in that fewer CSRMO criteria were present. These results suggest that macular photocoagulation is effective in decreasing macular oedema and improving vision in eyes with CSRMO. (author).

  18. Photocoagulation treatment for clinically significant radiation macular oedema

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinyoun, J.L.; Zamber, R.W.; Lawrence, B.S.; Barlow, W.E.; Arnold, A.M.

    1995-01-01

    Macular oedema is a leading cause of vision loss in patients with radiation retinopathy. In an effort to find an effective treatment for this vision threatening complication, 12 eyes (eight patients) were treated with photocoagulation for clinically significant radiation macular oedema (CSRMO) defined as central macular thickening, exudates threatening the macular centre, or one disc area of thickening in the macula. Median visual acuity improved from 20/100 pre-operatively to 20/90 at the initial post-operative examination (mean follow up 5 months) and to 20/75 at the final post-operative examination (mean follow up 39 months). At the final post-operative examination, visual acuity had improved in eight (67%) eyes and six (50%) eyes had complete resolution of the CSRMO; two (17%) other eyes had improved anatomically in that fewer CSRMO criteria were present. These results suggest that macular photocoagulation is effective in decreasing macular oedema and improving vision in eyes with CSRMO. (author)

  19. Biological, ecological and agronomic significance of plant phenolic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our understanding of some phenolic compounds in the last few decades has greatly improved. However, their biological, ecological and agronomical significance in the rhizosphere of most symbiotic legumes is much less clear. Further understanding of these biomolecules will increase our knowledge of their contribution in ...

  20. Genetically modified parthenocarpic eggplants: improved fruit productivity under both greenhouse and open field cultivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pandolfini Tiziana

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parthenocarpy, or fruit development in the absence of fertilization, has been genetically engineered in eggplant and in other horticultural species by using the DefH9-iaaM gene. The iaaM gene codes for tryptophan monoxygenase and confers auxin synthesis, while the DefH9 controlling regions drive expression of the gene specifically in the ovules and placenta. A previous greenhouse trial for winter production of genetically engineered (GM parthenocarpic eggplants demonstrated a significant increase (an average of 33% increase in fruit production concomitant with a reduction in cultivation costs. Results GM parthenocarpic eggplants have been evaluated in three field trials. Two greenhouse spring trials have shown that these plants outyielded the corresponding untransformed genotypes, while a summer trial has shown that improved fruit productivity in GM eggplants can also be achieved in open field cultivation. Since the fruits were always seedless, the quality of GM eggplant fruits was improved as well. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the DefH9-iaaM gene is expressed during late stages of fruit development. Conclusions The DefH9-iaaM parthenocarpic gene is a biotechnological tool that enhances the agronomic value of all eggplant genotypes tested. The main advantages of DefH9-iaaM eggplants are: i improved fruit productivity (at least 30–35% under both greenhouse and open field cultivation; ii production of good quality (marketable fruits during different types of cultivation; iii seedless fruit with improved quality. Such advantages have been achieved without the use of either male or female sterility genes.

  1. 78 FR 75370 - Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Flood...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ... Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande... Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). SUMMARY: Pursuant to... Significant Impact for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande Canalization Project in Vado, New Mexico...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Improvements in the detection of airborne plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryden, D.J.

    1981-02-01

    It is shown how it is possible to compensate individually for each of the background components on the filter paper used to collect samples. Experimentally it has been shown that the resulting compensated background count-rate averages zero with a standard deviation very close to the fundamental limit set by random statistical variations. Considerable improvements in the sensitivity of detecting airborne plutonium have been achieved. Two new plutonium-in-air monitors which use the compensation schemes described in this report are now available. Both have operated successfully in high concentrations of radon daughters. (author)

  5. Audiovisual biofeedback improves motion prediction accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Sean; Lee, Danny; Keall, Paul; Kim, Taeho

    2013-04-01

    The accuracy of motion prediction, utilized to overcome the system latency of motion management radiotherapy systems, is hampered by irregularities present in the patients' respiratory pattern. Audiovisual (AV) biofeedback has been shown to reduce respiratory irregularities. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that AV biofeedback improves the accuracy of motion prediction. An AV biofeedback system combined with real-time respiratory data acquisition and MR images were implemented in this project. One-dimensional respiratory data from (1) the abdominal wall (30 Hz) and (2) the thoracic diaphragm (5 Hz) were obtained from 15 healthy human subjects across 30 studies. The subjects were required to breathe with and without the guidance of AV biofeedback during each study. The obtained respiratory signals were then implemented in a kernel density estimation prediction algorithm. For each of the 30 studies, five different prediction times ranging from 50 to 1400 ms were tested (150 predictions performed). Prediction error was quantified as the root mean square error (RMSE); the RMSE was calculated from the difference between the real and predicted respiratory data. The statistical significance of the prediction results was determined by the Student's t-test. Prediction accuracy was considerably improved by the implementation of AV biofeedback. Of the 150 respiratory predictions performed, prediction accuracy was improved 69% (103/150) of the time for abdominal wall data, and 78% (117/150) of the time for diaphragm data. The average reduction in RMSE due to AV biofeedback over unguided respiration was 26% (p biofeedback improves prediction accuracy. This would result in increased efficiency of motion management techniques affected by system latencies used in radiotherapy.

  6. Improving Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long Duration Space Flight by Enhancing Vestibular Information Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulavara, A. P.; Kofman, I. S.; De Dios, Y. E; Galvan, R.; Goel, R.; Miller, C.; Peters, B.; Cohen, H. S.; Jeevarajan, J.; Reschke, M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Crewmember adapted to the microgravity state may need to egress the vehicle within a few minutes for safety and operational reasons after gravitational transitions. The transition from one sensorimotor state to another consists of two main mechanisms: strategic and plastic-adaptive and have been demonstrated in astronauts returning after long duration space flight. Strategic modifications represent "early adaptation" - immediate and transitory changes in control that are employed to deal with short-term changes in the environment. If these modifications are prolonged then plastic-adaptive changes are evoked that modify central nervous system function, automating new behavioral responses. More importantly, this longer term adaptive recovery mechanism was significantly associated with their strategic ability to recover on the first day after return to Earth G. We are developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance information transfer by improving the brain's ability to detect vestibular signals (Vestibular Stochastic Resonance, VSR) especially when combined with balance training exercises such as sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training for rapid improvement in functional skill, for standing and mobility. This countermeasure to improve detection of vestibular signals is a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing low imperceptible levels of white noise based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation). To determine efficacy of vestibular stimulation on physiological and perceptual responses during otolith-canal conflicts and dynamic perturbations we have conducted a series of studies: We have shown that imperceptible binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system across the mastoids enhances balance performance in the mediolateral (ML) plane while standing on an unstable surface. We have followed up on the previous study showing VSR stimulation improved balance

  7. Improvements in Defense in Depth in French Nuclear Power Plants Following Fukushima Accidents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barbaud, J. [EDF SEPTEN, Villeurbanne Cedex (France); Pouget-Abadie, X., E-mail: jean.barbaud@edf.fr [EDF DIN Headquarters, Saint-Denis (France)

    2014-10-15

    The accidents which occurred in the nuclear power plants in Fukushima-Daiichi resulted in a complementary safety assessment (CSA or stress-tests) of all French NPPs to confirm their compliance with their design bases and to evaluate their behaviour beyond it. They have shown that nuclear facilities have a satisfactory level of safety, but it had been decided to significantly improve their robustness to extreme situations, beyond the safety margins they have already. Planned improvements include several parts, where the main ones are the implementation of a hardened safety core (HSC) of key components for the management of extreme situations resulting from a hazard beyond the design and deployment of a nuclear rapid response force (FARN). The hardened safety core aims to avoid massive releases and lasting effects in the environment. It relies on existing or new components designed or verified to hazards with significant margins compared to the design levels of NPP beyond. It also includes provisions allowing crisis management, including crisis centre and communication means. The FARN complements the HSC and the crisis organization to bring from off-site sufficient human and material resources to increase the autonomy of the site. All these improvement contribute to a better defence in depth. (author)

  8. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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.

  9. Five years of lifestyle intervention improved self-reported mental and physical health in a general population: the Inter99 study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pisinger, Charlotte; Ladelund, Steen; Glümer, Charlotte

    2009-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Self-reported health has been shown to predict mortality. We lack knowledge on whether a lifestyle intervention can improve self-reported mental and physical health in a general population. METHODS: Inter99, Denmark (1999-2006) is a randomised population-based intervention study. We...... of the intervention on self-reported health over time. RESULTS: At baseline men had higher physical health-component scores (PCS) than women. Living with a partner, being employed, and being healthy was associated with high PCS. The mental health-component scores (MCS) showed the same socio-demographic differences......, except that MCS increased with age. Significantly fewer participants in the intervention groups had decreased their PCS and MCS compared with the control group. Adjusted multilevel analyses confirmed that the intervention significantly improved physical- (p=0.008) and mental health (p...

  10. Improvement in momentum resolution of parent particles using mass constraint in the rest frame

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bingül, Ahmet

    2017-01-01

    In particle physics, uncertainties in the reconstructed momentum of parent particles are introduced due to detector resolution. Traditionally, the momentum resolution of the parent particle is improved by minimizing a non-linear chi-square function via iterative methods. In this study, it is shown that the same chi-square minimization procedure results in a set of linear equations which can be solved non-iteratively in the center of mass frame of the parent particle. By using ALEPH full simulation data, the performance of the new method is compared with relatively slower iterative method for several decay channels. No significant difference between them is obtained in terms of improvement in momentum resolution. However, the new approach is found to be simple to implement and faster than that of traditional iterative method.

  11. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-ling Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extracellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study confirmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca 2+ concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug.

  12. Implementing a customer focused continual business improvement program to improve the maintenance process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kharshafdjian, G.; Fisher, C.; Beres, T.; Brooks, S.; Forbes, S.; Krause, M.; McAuley, K.; Wendorf, M.

    2006-01-01

    Global market pressures and increasing competition demands that successful companies establish a continual business improvement program as part of implementing its business strategy. Such programs must be driven by the definition of quality from the customer's perspective. This customer quality focus often requires a change in all aspects of the business including products, services, processes and culture. This paper will describe how Atomic Energy of Canada Limited implemented a Continual Business Improvement Program in their Nuclear Laboratories Business Unit. In particular, to review how the techniques were applied to improve the maintenance process and the status of the project. Customer (internal users of the processes at CRL) feedback has shown repeatedly there is dissatisfaction of the maintenance process. Customers complain about jobs not getting done to schedule or being deferred. A project has been launched with the following goals: to improve the maintenance process customer satisfaction and increase trades wrench time by 30 minutes / trade / day. DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) methodology was applied to find out the Root Cause(s) of the problem, provide solutions, and implement improvements. The expected Operational Benefits include: Executing work efficiently to quality standards and business performance of the site, improve maintenance efficiencies, reduce cycle time for maintenance process and improve process yield, and improve customer and employee satisfaction. (author)

  13. Implementing a customer focused continual business improvement program to improve the maintenance process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kharshafdjian, G.; Fisher, C.; Beres, T.; Brooks, S.; Forbes, S.; Krause, M.; McAuley, K.; Wendorf, M. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    Global market pressures and increasing competition demands that successful companies establish a continual business improvement program as part of implementing its business strategy. Such programs must be driven by the definition of quality from the customer's perspective. This customer quality focus often requires a change in all aspects of the business including products, services, processes and culture. This paper will describe how Atomic Energy of Canada Limited implemented a Continual Business Improvement Program in their Nuclear Laboratories Business Unit. In particular, to review how the techniques were applied to improve the maintenance process and the status of the project. Customer (internal users of the processes at CRL) feedback has shown repeatedly there is dissatisfaction of the maintenance process. Customers complain about jobs not getting done to schedule or being deferred. A project has been launched with the following goals: to improve the maintenance process customer satisfaction and increase trades wrench time by 30 minutes / trade / day. DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) methodology was applied to find out the Root Cause(s) of the problem, provide solutions, and implement improvements. The expected Operational Benefits include: Executing work efficiently to quality standards and business performance of the site, improve maintenance efficiencies, reduce cycle time for maintenance process and improve process yield, and improve customer and employee satisfaction. (author)

  14. Improving accuracy and capabilities of X-ray fluorescence method using intensity ratios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garmay, Andrey V., E-mail: andrew-garmay@yandex.ru; Oskolok, Kirill V.

    2017-04-15

    An X-ray fluorescence analysis algorithm is proposed which is based on a use of ratios of X-ray fluorescence lines intensities. Such an analytical signal is more stable and leads to improved accuracy. Novel calibration equations are proposed which are suitable for analysis in a broad range of matrix compositions. To apply the algorithm to analysis of samples containing significant amount of undetectable elements a use of a dependence of a Rayleigh-to-Compton intensity ratio on a total content of these elements is suggested. The technique's validity is shown by analysis of standard steel samples, model metal oxides mixture and iron ore samples.

  15. An Instructional Design Framework to Improve Student Learning in a First-Year Engineering Class

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Yelamarthi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, numerous universities have identified benefits of flipped learning environments and have been encouraging instructors to adapt such methodologies in their respective classrooms, at a time when departments are facing significant budget constraints. This article proposes an instructional design framework utilized to strategically enhance traditional flipped methodologies in a first-year engineering course, by using low-cost technology aids and proven pedagogical techniques to enhance student learning. Implemented in a first-year engineering course, this modified flipped model demonstrated an improved student awareness of essential engineering concepts and improved academic performance through collaborative and active learning activities, including flipped learning methodologies, without the need for expensive, formal active learning spaces. These findings have been validated through two studies and have shown similar results confirming that student learning is improved by the implementation of multi-pedagogical strategies in-formed by the use of an instructional design in a traditional classroom setting.

  16. Method of improving the performance of lenses for use in thermal infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, M. W.; Klee, H. W.

    1980-10-01

    A method is described whereby the field performance of an all-germanium triplet, as used for imaging radiation in the 8 to 13 micron waveband, can be improved. The principle of the method, which could also be used to improve the performance of achromatic triplets or aspherized doublets, involves the use of a field flattener lens which replaces the germanium window of the detector. The curvature of this lens can be optimized to minimize field curvature, which together with chromatic aberration is one of the most serious residuals of thermal imaging systems with relative apertures of around f/0.7. It is also shown that for such relative apertures, and for typical fields of less than 15 degrees, at 100 mm focal length, the location of the aperture stop is not a significant design parameter. This arises as a result of the intrinsic optical properties of germanium.

  17. The significance of Campylobacter jejuni infection in poultry: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shane, S M

    1992-01-01

    Campylobacter is a significant cause of enterocolitis in consumers of undercooked poultry meat. Campylobacter jejuni is the most significant of the three thermophilic Campylobacter species, and is responsible for intestinal colonization in poultry and food-borne enteritis in humans. Generally, C. jejuni is apathogenic in poultry, although newly hatched chicks and turkeys may develop a transient diarrhoea following infection. Modern intensive poultry production favours the introduction of infection into commercial growing units, resulting in intestinal colonization during the second to fourth weeks inclusive. Routes of infection include contaminated fomites, infected water supply, rodents, insects, and free-living birds. Vertical transmission is considered unlikely. Contamination of poultry meat is enhanced by deficiencies in transport and processing of broilers and turkeys. Scalding, defeathering and evisceration represent the significant points of cross-contamination during processing. Epidemiological correlation has been established between consumption of contaminated chicken and outbreaks of human campylobacteriosis. Amelioration of infection by application of improved standards of hygiene and decontamination is possible in the context of commercial poultry production. Improvement in washing of carcasses, and the application of chemical disinfectants and gamma irradiation have the potential to reduce the prevalence of C. jejuni contamination in poultry meat. These innovations, together with improved storage and handling of meat products, will reduce the risk of campylobacteriosis to consumers.

  18. Adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells transplantation via portal vein improves microcirculation and ameliorates liver fibrosis induced by CCl4 in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Yu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs, carrying the similar characteristics to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, only much more abundant and easier to obtain, may be a promising treatment for liver fibrosis. We aim to investigate the therapeutic potential of ADMSCs transplantation in liver fibrosis caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 in rats as well as its underlying mechanism, and to further explore the appropriate infusion pathway. Methods ADMSCs were isolated, cultured and identified. Placebo and ADMSCs were transplanted via portal vein and tail vein respectively into carbon tetrachloride (CCl4-induced liver fibrosis rats. Computed tomography (CT perfusion scan and microvessel counts were performed to measure the alteration of liver microcirculation after therapy. Liver function tests and histological findings were estimated. Results CT perfusion scan shown significant decrease of hepatic arterial perfusion index, significant increased portal vein perfusion, total liver perfusion in rats receiving ADMSCs from portal vein, and Factor VIII (FVIII immunohistochemical staining shown significant decrease of microvessels in rats receiving ADMSCs from portal vein, indicating microcirculation improvement in portal vein group. Vascular endothelial growth Factor (VEGF was significantly up-regulated in fibrosis models, and decreased after ADMSCs intraportal transplantation. A significant improvement of liver functional test and histological findings in portal vein group were observed. No significance was found in rats receiving ADMSCs from tail vein. Conclusions ADMSCs have a therapeutic effect against CCl4-mediated liver fibrosis. ADMSCs may benefit the fibrotic liver through alteration of microcirculation, evidenced by CT perfusion scan and down-regulation of VEGF. Intraportal transplantation is a better pathway than tail vein transplantation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Disaster Impacts on Human Capital Accumulation Shown in the Typhoon Haiyan Case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özceylan Aubrecht, Dilek; Aubrecht, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    School children and their school environment are increasingly exposed to all kinds of hazards. Many disaster events have shown the extent of disaster impacts on the education sector which this study also highlights in the Typhoon Haiyan Case. Disasters do not only cause loss of lives or damage to educational facilities, they also entail significant economic and social consequences on human capital development in the short and long-run. While the trend of short term disaster impact can easily be analyzed in rapid post disaster assessments taking destroyed assets as proxy, usually analyses of medium and long-term effects of disasters include large inherent uncertainties and are of less tangible nature, require more time and complex methods and can often not give comprehensive results. The consequences of disasters especially in developing countries are therefore to a certain extent often left unknown. Generally, economic and social effects of disasters on human capital seem to be ambiguous and to some degree these effects are related to economic, social and institutional well-being. Thus, clear understanding is crucial to interpret its complex effects on human capital accumulation. This essential nature of medium and long-term effects has not been reflected in many analyses. Focus has mostly been given on the extent of physical damage, displacements, lives and assets lost instead of targeting resilience of social and economic characteristics of communities in terms of preventing human capital accumulation disruption. Main objective of this study is to provide a conceptual framework illustrating the impacts of disasters on schooling which might help in assessing such effects, as one of the fundamental components of human capital accumulation (Ozceylan Aubrecht, 2013). The dimensions of human capital building and its relationship to disasters under the light of past disaster events are discussed with a special focus on the recent Typhoon Haiyan that struck the

  1. Significant enhancement of magnetoresistance with the reduction of particle size in nanometer scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Kalipada; Dasgupta, P.; Poddar, A.; Das, I.

    2016-01-01

    The Physics of materials with large magnetoresistance (MR), defined as the percentage change of electrical resistance with the application of external magnetic field, has been an active field of research for quite some times. In addition to the fundamental interest, large MR has widespread application that includes the field of magnetic field sensor technology. New materials with large MR is interesting. However it is more appealing to vast scientific community if a method describe to achieve many fold enhancement of MR of already known materials. Our study on several manganite samples [La1−xCaxMnO3 (x = 0.52, 0.54, 0.55)] illustrates the method of significant enhancement of MR with the reduction of the particle size in nanometer scale. Our experimentally observed results are explained by considering model consisted of a charge ordered antiferromagnetic core and a shell having short range ferromagnetic correlation between the uncompensated surface spins in nanoscale regime. The ferromagnetic fractions obtained theoretically in the nanoparticles has been shown to be in the good agreement with the experimental results. The method of several orders of magnitude improvement of the magnetoresistive property will have enormous potential for magnetic field sensor technology. PMID:26837285

  2. Improving Logistics Management Using Foldable/Collapsible Containers: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yapa Mahinda Bandara

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Foldable containers have the potential to enhance the cost efficiency of the logistics industry and improve the problem of space allocation at seaports. Using primary and secondary data sources the pros and cons of using foldable containers as compared to standard containers are identified, and it is shown that a port can gain cost efficiencies by using foldable containers. A simulation for the Port of Melbourne (Australia demonstrates that using foldable containers would reduce the projected total number of containers handled by the port in 2035 from 7.057 million to 5.817 million, with an 80% decrease in the number of empty containers. Foldable containers can therefore have a significant impact on the reformation of the transport and logistics systems.

  3. Lithium Surface Coatings for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kugel, H W; Ahn, J -W; Allain, J P; Bell, R; Boedo, J; Bush, C; Gates, D; Gray, T; Kaye, S; Kaita, R; LeBlanc, B; Maingi, R; Majeski, R; Mansfield, D; Menard, J; Mueller, D; Ono, M; Paul, S; Raman, R; Roquemore, A L; Ross, P W; Sabbagh, S; Schneider, H; Skinner, C H; Soukhanovskii, V; Stevenson, T; Timberlake, J; Wampler, W R

    2008-02-19

    NSTX high-power divertor plasma experiments have shown, for the first time, significant and frequent benefits from lithium coatings applied to plasma facing components. Lithium pellet injection on NSTX introduced lithium pellets with masses 1 to 5 mg via He discharges. Lithium coatings have also been applied with an oven that directed a collimated stream of lithium vapor toward the graphite tiles of the lower center stack and divertor. Lithium depositions from a few mg to 1 g have been applied between discharges. Benefits from the lithium coating were sometimes, but not always seen. These improvements sometimes included decreases plasma density, inductive flux consumption, and ELM frequency, and increases in electron temperature, ion temperature, energy confinement and periods of MHD quiescence. In addition, reductions in lower divertor D, C, and O luminosity were measured.

  4. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Improved Activity of a Thermophilic Cellulase, Cel5A, from Thermotoga maritima on Ionic Liquid Pretreated Switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhiwei; Pereira, Jose H.; Liu, Hanbin; Tran, Huu M.; Hsu, Nathan S. Y.; Dibble, Dean; Singh, Seema; Adams, Paul D.; Sapra, Rajat; Hadi, Masood Z.; Simmons, Blake A.; Sale, Kenneth L.

    2013-01-01

    Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass has been shown to greatly reduce the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass, resulting in improved sugar yields after enzymatic saccharification. However, even under these improved saccharification conditions the cost of enzymes still represents a significant proportion of the total cost of producing sugars and ultimately fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Much of the high cost of enzymes is due to the low catalytic efficiency and stability of lignocellulolytic enzymes, especially cellulases, under conditions that include high temperatures and the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals, such as acids, organic solvents, bases, or ionic liquids. Improving the efficiency of the saccharification process on ionic liquid pretreated biomass will facilitate reduced enzyme loading and cost. Thermophilic cellulases have been shown to be stable and active in ionic liquids but their activity is typically at lower levels. Cel5A_Tma, a thermophilic endoglucanase from Thermotoga maritima, is highly active on cellulosic substrates and is stable in ionic liquid environments. Here, our motivation was to engineer mutants of Cel5A_Tma with higher activity on 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]) pretreated biomass. We developed a robotic platform to screen a random mutagenesis library of Cel5A_Tma. Twelve mutants with 25–42% improvement in specific activity on carboxymethyl cellulose and up to 30% improvement on ionic-liquid pretreated switchgrass were successfully isolated and characterized from a library of twenty thousand variants. Interestingly, most of the mutations in the improved variants are located distally to the active site on the protein surface and are not directly involved with substrate binding. PMID:24244549

  8. Improved activity of a thermophilic cellulase, Cel5A, from Thermotoga maritima on ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwei Chen

    Full Text Available Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass has been shown to greatly reduce the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass, resulting in improved sugar yields after enzymatic saccharification. However, even under these improved saccharification conditions the cost of enzymes still represents a significant proportion of the total cost of producing sugars and ultimately fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Much of the high cost of enzymes is due to the low catalytic efficiency and stability of lignocellulolytic enzymes, especially cellulases, under conditions that include high temperatures and the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals, such as acids, organic solvents, bases, or ionic liquids. Improving the efficiency of the saccharification process on ionic liquid pretreated biomass will facilitate reduced enzyme loading and cost. Thermophilic cellulases have been shown to be stable and active in ionic liquids but their activity is typically at lower levels. Cel5A_Tma, a thermophilic endoglucanase from Thermotoga maritima, is highly active on cellulosic substrates and is stable in ionic liquid environments. Here, our motivation was to engineer mutants of Cel5A_Tma with higher activity on 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc] pretreated biomass. We developed a robotic platform to screen a random mutagenesis library of Cel5A_Tma. Twelve mutants with 25-42% improvement in specific activity on carboxymethyl cellulose and up to 30% improvement on ionic-liquid pretreated switchgrass were successfully isolated and characterized from a library of twenty thousand variants. Interestingly, most of the mutations in the improved variants are located distally to the active site on the protein surface and are not directly involved with substrate binding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Dispersion tolerance enhancement using an improved offset-QAM OFDM scheme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jian; Townsend, Paul D

    2015-06-29

    Discrete-Fourier transform (DFT) based offset quadrature amplitude modulation (offset-QAM) orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) without cyclic prefix (CP) was shown to offer a dispersion tolerance the same as that of conventional OFDM with ~20% CP overhead. In this paper, we analytically study the fundamental mechanism limiting the dispersion tolerance of this conventional scheme. It is found that the signal and the crosstalk from adjacent subcarriers, which are orthogonal with π/2 phase difference at back to back, can be in-phase when the dispersion increases to a certain value. We propose a novel scheme to overcome this limitation and significantly improve the dispersion tolerance to that of one subcarrier. Simulations show that the proposed scheme can support a 224-Gb/s polarization-division-multiplexed offset-4QAM OFDM signal over 160,000 ps/nm without any CP under 128 subcarriers, and this tolerance scales with the square of the number of subcarriers. It is also shown that this scheme exhibits advantages of greatly enhanced spectral efficiency, larger dispersion tolerance, and/or reduced complexity compared to the conventional CP-OFDM and reduced-guard-interval OFDM using frequency domain equalization.

  11. Acute exercise improves motor memory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Kasper Christen; Roig, Marc; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2014-01-01

    We have recently shown that a single bout of acute cardiovascular exercise improves motor skill learning through an optimization of long-term motor memory. Here we expand this previous finding, to explore potential exercise-related biomarkers and their association with measures of motor memory...... practice whereas lactate correlated with better retention 1 hour as well as 24 hours and 7 days after practice. Thus, improvements in motor skill acquisition and retention induced by acute cardiovascular exercise are associated with increased concentrations of biomarkers involved in memory and learning...... processes. More mechanistic studies are required to elucidate the specific role of each biomarker in the formation of motor memory....

  12. Essential pre-pregnancy and pregnancy interventions for improved maternal, newborn and child health

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The statistics related to pregnancy and its outcomes are staggering: annually, an estimated 250000-280000 women die during childbirth. Unfortunately, a large number of women receive little or no care during or before pregnancy. At a period of critical vulnerability, interventions can be effectively delivered to improve the health of women and their newborns and also to make their pregnancy safe. This paper reviews the interventions that are most effective during preconception and pregnancy period and synergistically improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. Among pre-pregnancy interventions, family planning and advocating pregnancies at appropriate intervals; prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections including HIV; and peri-conceptual folic-acid supplementation have shown significant impact on reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. During pregnancy, interventions including antenatal care visit model; iron and folic acid supplementation; tetanus Immunisation; prevention and management of malaria; prevention and management of HIV and PMTCT; calcium for hypertension; anti-Platelet agents (low dose aspirin) for prevention of Pre-eclampsia; anti-hypertensives for treating severe hypertension; management of pregnancy-induced hypertension/eclampsia; external cephalic version for breech presentation at term (>36 weeks); management of preterm, premature rupture of membranes; management of unintended pregnancy; and home visits for women and children across the continuum of care have shown maximum impact on reducing the burden of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. All of the interventions summarized in this paper have the potential to improve maternal mortality rates and also contribute to better health care practices during preconception and periconception period. PMID:25178042

  13. Suspension Matrices for Improved Schwann-Cell Survival after Implantation into the Injured Rat Spinal Cord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Vivek; Joseph, Gravil; Patel, Amit; Patel, Samik; Bustin, Devin; Mawson, David; Tuesta, Luis M.; Puentes, Rocio; Ghosh, Mousumi

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Trauma to the spinal cord produces endogenously irreversible tissue and functional loss, requiring the application of therapeutic approaches to achieve meaningful restoration. Cellular strategies, in particular Schwann-cell implantation, have shown promise in overcoming many of the obstacles facing successful repair of the injured spinal cord. Here, we show that the implantation of Schwann cells as cell suspensions with in-situ gelling laminin:collagen matrices after spinal-cord contusion significantly enhances long-term cell survival but not proliferation, as well as improves graft vascularization and the degree of axonal in-growth over the standard implantation vehicle, minimal media. The use of a matrix to suspend cells prior to implantation should be an important consideration for achieving improved survival and effectiveness of cellular therapies for future clinical application. PMID:20144012

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. UBRIZSY SAVOIA

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal zones. These Iris species are a significant component of Mediterranean floristic diversity. Their conservation and use in traditional Mediterranean landscape gardening are emphasised.

  16. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. PIGNATTI

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal zones. These Iris species are a significant component of Mediterranean floristic diversity. Their conservation and use in traditional Mediterranean landscape gardening are emphasised.

  17. Approach to Improve Speed of Sound Calculation within PC-SAFT Framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liang, Xiaodong; Maribo-Mogensen, Bjørn; Thomsen, Kaj

    2012-01-01

    An extensive comparison of SRK, CPA and PC-SAFT for speed of sound in normal alkanes has been performed. The results reveal that PC-SAFT captures the curvature of speed of sound better than cubic EoS but the accuracy is not satisfactory. Two approaches have been proposed to improve PC-SAFT’s accu...... keeping acceptable accuracy for the primary properties, i.e. vapor pressure (2.1%) and liquid density (1.5%). The two approaches have also been applied to methanol, and both give very good results.......An extensive comparison of SRK, CPA and PC-SAFT for speed of sound in normal alkanes has been performed. The results reveal that PC-SAFT captures the curvature of speed of sound better than cubic EoS but the accuracy is not satisfactory. Two approaches have been proposed to improve PC......-SAFT’s accuracy for speed of sound: (i) putting speed of sound data into parameter estimation; (ii) putting speed of sound data into both universal constants regression and parameter estimation. The results have shown that the second approach can significantly improve the speed of sound (3.2%) prediction while...

  18. ECG Markers of Hemodynamic Improvement in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Waligóra

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Several diagnostic tests have been recommended for risk assessment in pulmonary hypertension (PH, but the role of electrocardiography (ECG in monitoring of PH patients has not been yet established. Therefore the aim of the study was to evaluate which ECG patterns characteristic for pulmonary hypertension can predict hemodynamic improvement in patients treated with targeted therapies. Methods. Consecutive patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH or chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH were eligible to be included if they had had performed two consecutive right heart catheterization (RHC procedures before and after starting of targeted therapies. Patients were followed up from June 2009 to July 2017. ECG patterns of right ventricular hypertrophy according to American College of Cardiology Foundation were assessed. Results. We enrolled 80 patients with PAH and 11 patients with inoperable CTEPH. The follow-up RHC was performed within 12.6±10.0 months after starting therapy. Based on median change of pulmonary vascular resistance, we divided our patients into two subgroups: with and without significant hemodynamic improvement. RV1, max⁡RV1,2 + max⁡SI,aVL-SV1, and PII improved along with the improvement of hemodynamic parameters including PVR. They predicted hemodynamic improvement with similarly good accuracy as shown in ROC analysis: RV1 (AUC: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.63–0.84, PII (AUC: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.56–0.77, and max⁡RV1,2+max⁡SI,aVL-SV1 (0.73; 95% CI: 0.63–0.82. In Cox regression only change in RV1 remained significant mortality predictor (HR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.01–1.24. Conclusion. Electrocardiogram may be useful in predicting hemodynamic effects of targeted therapy in precapillary pulmonary hypertension. Decrease of RV1, max⁡RV1,2+max⁡SI,aVL-SV1, and PII corresponds with hemodynamic improvement after treatment. Of these changes a decrease of R wave amplitude in V1 is associated with better

  19. Significance of FIZ Technik Databases in nuclear safety and environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, N.K.

    1993-01-01

    The language of the abstracts of the FIZ Technik databases is primarly German (e.g. DOMA 80%, SDIM 70%). Furthermore FIZ Technik offers licence databases on engineering and technology, management, manufacturers, products, contacts, standards and specifications, geosciences and natural resources. The contents and structure of the databases are described in the FIZ Technik bluesheets and the database news. With some examples the significance of the FIZ Technik databases DOMA, ZDEE, SDIM, SILI and MEDI in nuclear safety and environmental protection is shown. (orig.)

  20. Collapsed optical fiber: A novel method for improving thermoluminescence response of optical fiber

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahdiraji, G. Amouzad, E-mail: ghafour@um.edu.my [Integrated Lightwave Research Group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Adikan, F.R. Mahamd [Integrated Lightwave Research Group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Bradley, D.A. [Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH (United Kingdom); Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    2015-05-15

    A new technique is shown to provide improved thermoluminescence (TL) response from optical fibers, based on collapsing down hollow capillary optical fibers (COF) into flat fibers (FF), producing fused inner walls and consequent defects generation. Four different fused silica preform tubes are used to fabricate in-house COFs and FFs, i.e., ultra-pure (F300), relatively pure silica (PS), germanium-doped (Ge), and Ge–Boron-doped (GeB). The optical fibers are then subjected to 6 MeV electron irradiation. While the results show similar TL response from F300-COF and -FF, the TL response of PS-COF is improved by a factor of 6 by collapsing it down to a FF. By doping Ge into the F300 tube, the TL response of the resultant Ge-COF shows an improvement of 3 times over that of F300-COF, while an improvement of a factor of 12 is obtained by producing a Ge-FF. In GeB preform, by collapsing the capillary fiber into a FF, an improvement in TL response of 31 times that of GeB-COF is obtained. TL glow curve analysis shows an additional peak to be generated in the FFs compared to that observed in the COFs. The TL intensity value of the new peak is significantly increased in the doped FFs compared to the undoped FFs. The results suggest that defects generation occurs as a result of the fusing/collapsing technique, providing a TL response from the optical fibers that can substantially improve upon that of existing TL system sensitivities. - Highlights: • A new method for increasing TL response of optical fiber is presented. • By collapsing capillary fiber wall surface, TL response of the fiber increased. • By adding impurity in the collapsing area, TL response significantly improved.

  1. Chloroquine use improves dengue-related symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Carvalho Borges

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Dengue is the most important arboviral disease in the world. As chloroquine, an antimalarial agent, has shown some antiviral effects, this study evaluated its effect in patients with dengue. A randomised, double-blind study was performed by administering chloroquine or placebo for three days to 129 patients with dengue-related symptoms. Of these patients, 37 were confirmed as having dengue and completed the study; in total, 19 dengue patients received chloroquine and 18 received placebo. There was no significant difference in the duration of the disease or the degree and days of fever. However, 12 patients (63% with confirmed dengue reported a substantial decrease in pain intensity and a great improvement in their ability to perform daily activities (p = 0.0004 while on the medication and the symptoms returned immediately after these patients stopped taking the medication. The same effect was not observed in patients with diseases other than dengue. Therefore, this study shows that patients with dengue treated with chloroquine had an improvement in their quality of life and were able to resume their daily activities. However, as chloroquine did not alter the duration of the disease or the intensity and days of fever, further studies are necessary to confirm the clinical effects and to assess the side effects of chloroquine in dengue patients.

  2. The Improvement of Students’ Leadership Ethic in Studying History by Using Baratayuda Audio Visual Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendhy Rachmadhany

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to know the improvement of students’ leadership ethic in studying History after the implementation of Baratayuda Audio Visual Media. The population of this research is XI-Social Science-1 Class of SMAN 1 Pare, Kediri Regency, in academic year 2016/2017, consisted of 39 students. This Classroom Action Research (CAR is arranged by Pre-test, Cycle-1 and Cycle-2 which consisted by some steps, such like; planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. Collecting the data is by using questionnaire of leadership ethic, interview, and documentation. The method of data analysis in this research is descriptive analysis by comparing the improvement from one cycle to another. The result of the research is showing that: There is an improvement of leadership ethic in studying History after the implementation of Baratayuda Audio Visual media. It is shown by the results as follows; Pre-test indicates that the passing score is about 17, 95%. On Cycle-1 indicates 46, 1% and on Cycle-2 indicates a significant improvement about 71, 83%.

  3. Developing and improving human capital and productivity in public companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nozipho Sithole

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This article assesses the impact of the Assisted Education Programme (AEP in developing, improving human capital and productivity specifically for eThekwini Municipality employee human resource. This programme offers funding to employees to further their studies in higher learning institutions, which are in partnership with and recognized by eThekwini Municipality. The core function of this programme is to improve and develop employee capabilities in order to enhance municipal productivity. However, different factors have prohibited the programme from reaching required funding polity objectives. Participants filled in questionnaires and from them data were collected. The study used quantitative research as a method of research. The target population for this study consisted of 100 participants. The study sample size were 64 participants which were randomly selected out of the Durban Solid Waste Unit, specifically general assistants. The study analyzed data using SPSS (version 23.0. A significant percentage of respondents indicated to a lack of transparency and poor consistency in the process of awarding the funding and to insufficient information, which detailed the criteria for eligibility of applicants. Henceforth, the study concluded that municipal employee underutilized the AEP because of being ill informed about it. This resulted in the employee perception that the programme had little or no benefit to them and that it had no value in improving their human capital development. This finding is shown by a Chi-square goodness of fit test to be statistically significant (std=1.49150; mean=2.7500; p=.000

  4. Improvement in remote sensing of low vegetation cover in arid regions by correcting vegetation indices for soil ''noise''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Escadafal, R.; Huete, A.

    1991-01-01

    The variations of near-infrared red reflectance ratios of ten aridic soil samples were correlated with a ''redness index'' computed from red and green spectral bands. These variations have been shown to limit the performances of vegetation indices (NDVI and SAVI) in discriminating low vegetation covers. The redness index is used to adjust for this ''soil noise''. Dala simulated for vegetation densities of 5 to 15% cover showed that the sensitivity of the corrected vegetation indices was significantly improved. Specifically, the ''noise-corrected'' SAVI was able to assess vegetation amounts with an error four times smaller than the uncorrected NDVI. These promising results should lead to a significant improvement in assessing biomass in arid lands from remotely sensed data. (author) [fr

  5. A simple intervention to improve patient safety, save time and improve staff experience in the AMU procedure room.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misselbrook, Gary Peter; Kause, Juliane; Yeoh, Su-Ann

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, operating theatres and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) have established systematic methods for performing procedures on patients that have been shown to reduce complications and improve patient safety. Whilst the use of procedure rooms on Acute Medicine Units (AMUs) is highly recommended by patient safety groups and Royal College publications, they are not universally available or appropriately utilised. In this article we discuss a quality improvement project that was undertaken on an AMU at a large university teaching hospital in the United Kingdom, highlighting its successes and challenges.

  6. Decision Aggregation in Distributed Classification by a Transductive Extension of Maximum Entropy/Improved Iterative Scaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Kesidis

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In many ensemble classification paradigms, the function which combines local/base classifier decisions is learned in a supervised fashion. Such methods require common labeled training examples across the classifier ensemble. However, in some scenarios, where an ensemble solution is necessitated, common labeled data may not exist: (i legacy/proprietary classifiers, and (ii spatially distributed and/or multiple modality sensors. In such cases, it is standard to apply fixed (untrained decision aggregation such as voting, averaging, or naive Bayes rules. In recent work, an alternative transductive learning strategy was proposed. There, decisions on test samples were chosen aiming to satisfy constraints measured by each local classifier. This approach was shown to reliably correct for class prior mismatch and to robustly account for classifier dependencies. Significant gains in accuracy over fixed aggregation rules were demonstrated. There are two main limitations of that work. First, feasibility of the constraints was not guaranteed. Second, heuristic learning was applied. Here, we overcome these problems via a transductive extension of maximum entropy/improved iterative scaling for aggregation in distributed classification. This method is shown to achieve improved decision accuracy over the earlier transductive approach and fixed rules on a number of UC Irvine datasets.

  7. Workshop III: Improving the Workplace Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gledhill, Igle; Butcher, Gillian

    2015-12-01

    Research has shown that companies with more diversity and a better workplace perform better. So what makes a good workplace in physics, where women and men can work to their full potential? In the Improving the Workplace Environment workshop of the 5th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics, participants heard about initiatives taking place in Canada, the UK, Japan, and India to improve the workplace environment and shared good practices from around the world. Some of the less tangible aspects of the workplace environment, such as unconscious bias and accumulation of advantage and disadvantage, were explored.

  8. Do clinical safety charts improve paramedic key performance indicator results? (A clinical improvement programme evaluation).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebbs, Phillip; Middleton, Paul M; Bonner, Ann; Loudfoot, Allan; Elliott, Peter

    2012-07-01

    Is the Clinical Safety Chart clinical improvement programme (CIP) effective at improving paramedic key performance indicator (KPI) results within the Ambulance Service of New South Wales? The CIP intervention area was compared with the non-intervention area in order to determine whether there was a statistically significant improvement in KPI results. The CIP was associated with a statistically significant improvement in paramedic KPI results within the intervention area. The strategies used within this CIP are recommended for further consideration.

  9. Chiropractic manipulative therapy of the thoracic spine in combination with stretch and strengthening exercises, in improving postural kyphosis in woman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Castello Branco

    2016-12-01

    Conclusion: The study showed that all three treatment protocols for Groups 1, 2, and 3 were effective. However, Group 1 had not shown a great improvement in their postural kyphosis, Group 3 had shown a relatively good improvement in their posture, while Group 2 had shown the best results with regards to improvement of the participants' posture. Therefore, in conclusion, Groups 2 and 3 treatment protocols can be used effectively to treat postural kyphosis but Group 2's treatment protocol, consisting of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy to the thoracic spine in combination with stretch and strengthening exercises, will yield the best results.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. Contextual Cueing Improves Attentional Guidance, Even When Guidance Is Supposedly Optimal

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, A. M.; Remington, R. W.

    2017-01-01

    Visual search through previously encountered contexts typically produces reduced reaction times compared with search through novel contexts. This contextual cueing benefit is well established, but there is debate regarding its underlying mechanisms. Eye-tracking studies have consistently shown reduced number of fixations with repetition, supporting improvements in attentional guidance as the source of contextual cueing. However, contextual cueing benefits have been shown in conditions in whic...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  13. The program of continuous improvements in factory in Juzbado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prieto, M.

    2015-01-01

    This articles describes the historical development of the continuous improvement program at Juzbado Factory, since its beginning to nowadays. The evolution throughout the ideas of Total Quality, ISO, EFQM, Six Sigma, and so on, leading to the present situation in which all these tools and methodologies live together is shown. all this has led to a philosophy and business culture focused on safety, quality and continuous improvement. (Author)

  14. Optimization Techniques for Improving the Performance of Silicone-Based Dielectric Elastomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Anne Ladegaard; Yu, Liyun

    2017-01-01

    the electro-mechanical performance of dielectric elastomers are highlighted. Various optimization methods for improved energy transduction are investigated and discussed, with special emphasis placed on the promise each method holds. The compositing and blending of elastomers are shown to be simple, versatile...... methods that can solve a number of optimization issues. More complicated methods, involving chemical modification of the silicone backbone as well as controlling the network structure for improved mechanical properties, are shown to solve yet more issues. From the analysis, it is obvious...... that there is not a single optimization technique that will lead to the universal optimization of dielectric elastomer films, though each method may lead to elastomers with certain features, and thus certain potentials....

  15. Significant Revisions to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neitzel, Dennis K

    2015-06-01

    The updated OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 requirements are significant for assisting employers in their efforts to protect their employees from electrical hazards. In addition, OSHA based these revisions on the latest consensus standards and improvements in electrical safety technology. Together, the updated regulation creates a unified and up-to-date set of requirements to help employers more effectively establish safe work practices to protect their workers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  17. Initial experience with the NRC significance determination process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madison, A.L.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revamped its inspection, assessment, and enforcement programs for commercial nuclear power plants. The new oversight process uses more objective, timely, and safety-significant criteria in assessing performance, while seeking to more effectively and efficiently regulate the industry. The NRC tested the new process at thirteen reactors at nine sites across the country on a pilot basis in 1999 to identify what things worked well and what improvements were called for before beginning Initial Implementation at all US nuclear power plants on April 2, 2000. After a year of experience has been gained with the new oversight process at all US plants, the NRC anticipates making further improvements based on this wider experience. (author)

  18. Initial experience with the NRC significance determination process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madison, A.L. [Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (United States)

    2001-07-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revamped its inspection, assessment, and enforcement programs for commercial nuclear power plants. The new oversight process uses more objective, timely, and safety-significant criteria in assessing performance, while seeking to more effectively and efficiently regulate the industry. The NRC tested the new process at thirteen reactors at nine sites across the country on a pilot basis in 1999 to identify what things worked well and what improvements were called for before beginning Initial Implementation at all US nuclear power plants on April 2, 2000. After a year of experience has been gained with the new oversight process at all US plants, the NRC anticipates making further improvements based on this wider experience. (author)

  19. Improving Students’ Mastery on Simple Present Tense Through Climbing Grammar Mountain Game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fadilla Taslim

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to determine whether the use of Climbing Grammar Mountain Game gave significant improvement on students in learning simple present tense. Classroom action research was used in this study where the data were analyzed by using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The population of the study was the students of grade eleventh at SMPN 1 Luak 50 Kota. There were 21 students in this class. Six kinds of instruments were used to collect data, namely teaching ,scenario, observation sheet, questionnaire, test, interview, and teacher’s journal. This study ran for two cycles. In the second cycle, it was shown that there was gradual improvement from the previous cycle which changed from 64 (insufficient to 79 (sufficient of the mean score. it was more than criteria of the students’ mean score which were determined in this study and it was significant because it proved that the students enthusiasm to study simple present tense, it mean that the students liked and were not bored again so this was a motivation for them to more concentrate to study simple present tense and they could use it in daily life for communication. They understand that simple present tense is important in learning English because it is used in daily life, either in writing and spoken language. It could be concluded that Climbing Grammar Mountain Game could improve the ability of the students in class VII B of SMPN 1 Luak 50 Kota in using Simple Present Tense.

  20. Does improving surface cleaning and disinfection reduce health care-associated infections?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donskey, Curtis J

    2013-05-01

    Contaminated environmental surfaces provide an important potential source for transmission of health care-associated pathogens. In recent years, a variety of interventions have been shown to be effective in improving cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. This review examines the evidence that improving environmental disinfection can reduce health care-associated infections. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  1. Improvements in the energy resolution and high-count-rate performance of bismuth germanate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koehler, P.E.; Wender, S.A.; Kapustinsky, J.S.

    1985-01-01

    Several methods for improving the energy resolution of bismuth germanate (BGO) have been investigated. It is shown that some of these methods resulted in a substantial improvement in the energy resolution. In addition, a method to improve the performance of BGO at high counting rates has been systematically studied. The results of this study are presented and discussed

  2. Context in Quality of Care: Improving Teamwork and Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawfik, Daniel S; Sexton, John Bryan; Adair, Kathryn C; Kaplan, Heather C; Profit, Jochen

    2017-09-01

    Quality improvement in health care is an ongoing challenge. Consideration of the context of the health care system is of paramount importance. Staff resilience and teamwork climate are key aspects of context that drive quality. Teamwork climate is dynamic, with well-established tools available to improve teamwork for specific tasks or global applications. Similarly, burnout and resilience can be modified with interventions such as cultivating gratitude, positivity, and awe. A growing body of literature has shown that teamwork and burnout relate to quality of care, with improved teamwork and decreased burnout expected to produce improved patient quality and safety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Improved power quality based high brightness LED lamp driver

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    consists of a PFC Cuk DC-DC converter which operates in continuous conduction mode (CCM) to improve the ... In proposed LED driver as shown in Figure 1, a Cuk buck boost AC-DC converter ... Design and Analysis of Proposed LED Driver.

  4. Improving surgical outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Walia

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Outcomes of cataract surgery are worse than we would like them to be. Community-based studies show that up to 40% of eyes have a postoperative presenting vision of < 6/60. Eyes with intraocular lenses (IOLs do better; however, it has been shown that even in prosperous middle-income countries, such as Venezuela, in 20% of pseudophakic eyes presenting vision was < 6/60 and in 15% best corrected vision was worse than 6/60.Poor outcomes matter. Patients deserve improved vision whenever possible and poor outcomes deter prospective patients from coming for surgery and probably reduce their willingness to pay for their treatment – particularly if they have to pay in advance!In this article, we offer some suggestions for improving the quality of cataract surgery. We admit that there is little evidence base for most of these suggestions and that some of them are controversial. However, we hope to stimulate debate.

  5. Reduced visual surround suppression in schizophrenia shown by measuring contrast detection thresholds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio eSerrano-Pedraza

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Visual perception in schizophrenia is attracting a broad interest given the deep knowledge that we have about the visual system in healthy population. In visual science it is known that the visibility of a grating located in the visual periphery is impaired by the presence of a surrounding grating of the same spatial frequency and orientation. Previous studies have suggested abnormal visual surround suppression in patients with schizophrenia. Given that schizophrenia patients have cortical alterations including hypofunction of NMDA receptors and reduced concentration of GABA neurotransmitter, which affect lateral inhibitory connections, then they should perform better than controls in visual suppression tasks. We tested this hypothesis by measuring contrast detection thresholds using a new stimulus configuration. We tested two groups: 21 schizophrenia patients and 24 healthy subjects. Thresholds were obtained using Bayesian staircases in a 4AFC detection task where the target was a grating within a 3 deg Butterworth window that appeared in one of four possible positions at 5 deg eccentricity. We compared three conditions, a target with no surround (NS, b target on top of a surrounding grating of 20 deg diameter and 25% contrast with same spatial frequency and orthogonal orientation (OS, and c target on top of a surrounding grating with parallel (same orientation (PS. Our results show significantly lower thresholds for controls than for patients in NS and OS conditions. We also found significant lower suppression ratios PS/NS in patients. Our results support the hypothesis that inhibitory lateral connections in early visual cortex are impaired in schizophrenia patients.

  6. Microbial Resources and Enological Significance: Opportunities and Benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Petruzzi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Among the innovative trends in the wine sector, the continuous exploration of enological properties associated with wine microbial resources represents a cornerstone driver of quality improvement. Since the advent of starter cultures technology, the attention has been focused on intraspecific biodiversity within the primary species responsible for alcoholic fermentation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and, subsequently, for the so-called ‘malolactic fermentation’ (Oenococcus oeni. However, in the last decade, a relevant number of studies proposed the enological exploitation of an increasing number of species (e.g., non-Saccharomyces yeasts associated with spontaneous fermentation in wine. These new species/strains may provide technological solutions to specific problems and/or improve sensory characteristics, such as complexity, mouth-feel and flavors. This review offers an overview of the available information on the enological/protechnological significance of microbial resources associated with winemaking, summarizing the opportunities and the benefits associated with the enological exploitation of this microbial potential. We discuss proposed solutions to improve quality and safety of wines (e.g., alternative starter cultures, multistrains starter cultures and future perspectives.

  7. Microbial Resources and Enological Significance: Opportunities and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruzzi, Leonardo; Capozzi, Vittorio; Berbegal, Carmen; Corbo, Maria R.; Bevilacqua, Antonio; Spano, Giuseppe; Sinigaglia, Milena

    2017-01-01

    Among the innovative trends in the wine sector, the continuous exploration of enological properties associated with wine microbial resources represents a cornerstone driver of quality improvement. Since the advent of starter cultures technology, the attention has been focused on intraspecific biodiversity within the primary species responsible for alcoholic fermentation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and, subsequently, for the so-called ‘malolactic fermentation’ (Oenococcus oeni). However, in the last decade, a relevant number of studies proposed the enological exploitation of an increasing number of species (e.g., non-Saccharomyces yeasts) associated with spontaneous fermentation in wine. These new species/strains may provide technological solutions to specific problems and/or improve sensory characteristics, such as complexity, mouth-feel and flavors. This review offers an overview of the available information on the enological/protechnological significance of microbial resources associated with winemaking, summarizing the opportunities and the benefits associated with the enological exploitation of this microbial potential. We discuss proposed solutions to improve quality and safety of wines (e.g., alternative starter cultures, multistrains starter cultures) and future perspectives. PMID:28642742

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Formal Nutritional Education Improves Weight Loss in Bariatric Patients Following Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangieri, Christopher Wesley; Strode, Matthew A

    2016-12-01

    Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is an increasingly performed procedure in the bariatric surgery armamentarium. This study evaluates our experience with LSG at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center (DDEAMC) during the time period of 2008-2010. We found that the inclusion of formal nutritional education significantly increased our weight loss results following LSG. This is a retrospective review from our LSG caseload from 2008 to 2010. During that time, we performed 159 LSG. In our review, we performed comparative data of all operative years during 2008-2010 for up to 3 years postoperatively. Our main focus was in regard to weight loss as measured by percentage of excess body weight loss (%EWL), percentage of total weight loss (%TWL), and percentage of excess BMI loss (%EBL). We also evaluated the effect of LSG on diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) postoperatively. We found an improvement in our %EWL, %TWL, and %EBL rates in our LSG cases following the inclusion of formal nutritional education. There was a mean increase in %EWL of 15 %, %TWL of 7 %, and %EBL of 21 %, which were statistically significant, that was present at all postoperative years of follow-up. We determined the only variable that changed in our bariatric program starting in 2010 was the inclusion of formal nutritional education. We also found a statistically significant improvement in resolution of HTN with the inclusion of formal nutritional education. The addition of formal nutritional education can enhance weight loss following bariatric surgery. We have shown a significant improvement in weight loss results following LSG with the implementation of formal nutritional education; this is the only study to our knowledge evaluating formal nutritional education and LSG.

  10. Improving hospital weekend handover: a user-centered, standardised approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehra, Avi; Henein, Christin

    2014-01-01

    Clinical Handover remains one of the most perilous procedures in medicine (1). Weekend handover has emerged as a key area of concern with high variability in handover processes across hospitals (1,2,4, 5-10). Studying weekend handover processes within medicine at an acute teaching hospital revealed huge variability in documented content and structure. A total of 12 different pro formas were in use by the medical day-team to handover to the weekend team on-call. A Likert-survey of doctors revealed 93% felt the current handover system needed improvement with 71% stating that it did not ensure patient safety (Chi-squared, p-value RCP) guidelines (2), with direct end-user input. Results following implementation revealed a considerable improvement in documented ceiling of care, urgency of task and team member assignment with 100% uptake of the new proforma at both 4-week and 6-month post-implementation analyses. 88% of doctors surveyed perceived that the new proforma improved patient safety (p<0.01, n=25), with 62% highlighting that it allowed doctors to work more efficiently. Results also revealed that 44% felt further improvements were needed and highlighted electronic solutions and handover training as main priorities. Handover briefing was subsequently incorporated into junior doctor induction and education modules delivered, with good feedback. Following collaboration with key stakeholders and with end-user input, integrated electronic handover software was designed and funding secured. The software is currently under final development. Introducing a standardized handover proforma can be an effective initial step in improving weekend handover. Handover education and end-user involvement are key in improving the process. Electronic handover solutions have been shown to significantly increase the quality of handover and are worth considering (9, 10).

  11. Improving employee productivity through improved health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Rapid Classification and Identification of Multiple Microorganisms with Accurate Statistical Significance via High-Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Gelio; Wang, Guanghui; Ogurtsov, Aleksey Y; Drake, Steven K; Gucek, Marjan; Sacks, David B; Yu, Yi-Kuo

    2018-06-05

    Rapid and accurate identification and classification of microorganisms is of paramount importance to public health and safety. With the advance of mass spectrometry (MS) technology, the speed of identification can be greatly improved. However, the increasing number of microbes sequenced is complicating correct microbial identification even in a simple sample due to the large number of candidates present. To properly untwine candidate microbes in samples containing one or more microbes, one needs to go beyond apparent morphology or simple "fingerprinting"; to correctly prioritize the candidate microbes, one needs to have accurate statistical significance in microbial identification. We meet these challenges by using peptide-centric representations of microbes to better separate them and by augmenting our earlier analysis method that yields accurate statistical significance. Here, we present an updated analysis workflow that uses tandem MS (MS/MS) spectra for microbial identification or classification. We have demonstrated, using 226 MS/MS publicly available data files (each containing from 2500 to nearly 100,000 MS/MS spectra) and 4000 additional MS/MS data files, that the updated workflow can correctly identify multiple microbes at the genus and often the species level for samples containing more than one microbe. We have also shown that the proposed workflow computes accurate statistical significances, i.e., E values for identified peptides and unified E values for identified microbes. Our updated analysis workflow MiCId, a freely available software for Microorganism Classification and Identification, is available for download at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CBBresearch/Yu/downloads.html . Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  13. [Dietary approach to improving the nutritional status in institutionalized elderly hemodialysis patients with a poor dietary intake: a single-arm pilot study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Makiko; Komatsu, Rieko; Maruyama, Yuko; Takaki, Tomoyuki; Ichinose, Hiroshi; Sasaki, Osamu; Sawase, Kenji; Harada, Takashi; Funakoshi, Satoshi

    2018-01-01

    The hemodialysis (HD) diet, which is a high-calorie and high-fat regimen, may inadvertently lead to an inadequate dietary intake, resulting in undernutrition among elderly HD patients. Therefore, an attempt was made to improve the dietary intake by implementing a modified diet regimen in eligible elderly HD patients. Elderly HD patients who had ingested nutritional index [GNRI], 83.5±8.3; normalized protein catabolic ratio [nPCR], 0.78±0.14). The modified diet regimen, which involved reducing food portion sizes and incorporating a liquid diet, led to a significant increase in their dietary intake from 48.1% at baseline to 97.1% of the meals provided 3 months after the start of the modified HD diet regimen. Their GNRI also significantly increased from 83.5±8.3 to 86.1±10.2, and their serum albumin levels significantly increased from 3.2±0.2 g/dL to 3.4±0.4 g/dL, suggesting improvements in their nutritional status. The attempted dietary approach for elderly HD patients was shown to potentially increase their dietary intake and improve their nutritional status without affecting the efficiency of HD being implemented.

  14. Student nurses need more than maths to improve their drug calculating skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Kerri

    2007-05-01

    Nurses need to be able to calculate accurate drug calculations in order to safely administer drugs to their patients (NMC, 2002). Studies have shown however that nurses do not always have the necessary skills to calculate accurate drug dosages and are potentially administering incorrect dosages of drugs to their patients (Hutton, M. 1998. Nursing Mathematics: the importance of application. Nursing Standard 13(11), 35-38; Kapborg, I. 1994. Calculation and administration of drug dosage by Swedish nurses, Student Nurses and Physicians. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 6(4), 389-395; O'Shea, E. 1999. Factors contributing to medication errors: a literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing 8, 496-504; Wilson, A. 2003. Nurses maths: researching a practical approach. Nursing Standard 17(47), 33-36). The literature indicates that in order to improve drug calculations strategies need to focus on both the mathematical skills and conceptual skills of student nurses so they can interpret clinical data into drug calculations to be solved. A study was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of implementing several strategies which focussed on developing the mathematical and conceptual skills of student nurses to improve their drug calculation skills. The study found that implementing a range of strategies which addressed these two developmental areas significantly improved the drug calculation skills of nurses. The study also indicates that a range of strategies has the potential ensuring that the skills taught are retained by the student nurses. Although the strategies significantly improved the drug calculation skills of student nurses, the fact that only 2 students were able to achieve 100% in their drug calculation test indicates a need for further research into this area.

  15. Improving Earth/Prediction Models to Improve Network Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    The United States Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS) primaryseismic network consists of a relatively small number of arrays andthree-component stations. The relatively small number of stationsin the USAEDS primary network make it both necessary and feasibleto optimize both station and network processing.Station processing improvements include detector tuning effortsthat use Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves to helpjudiciously set acceptable Type 1 (false) vs. Type 2 (miss) errorrates. Other station processing improvements include the use ofempirical/historical observations and continuous background noisemeasurements to compute time-varying, maximum likelihood probabilityof detection thresholds.The USAEDS network processing software makes extensive use of theazimuth and slowness information provided by frequency-wavenumberanalysis at array sites, and polarization analysis at three-componentsites. Most of the improvements in USAEDS network processing aredue to improvements in the models used to predict azimuth, slowness,and probability of detection. Kriged travel-time, azimuth andslowness corrections-and associated uncertainties-are computedusing a ground truth database. Improvements in station processingand the use of improved models for azimuth, slowness, and probabilityof detection have led to significant improvements in USADES networkprocessing.

  16. Lentivirus-ABCG1 instillation reduces lipid accumulation and improves lung compliance in GM-CSF knock-out mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malur, Anagha; Huizar, Isham; Wells, Greg; Barna, Barbara P.; Malur, Achut G.; Thomassen, Mary Jane

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: ► Lentivirus-ABCG1 reduces lipid accumulation in lungs of GM-CSF knock-out mice. ► Up-regulation of ABCG1 improves lung function. ► Upregulation of ABCG1 improves surfactant metabolism. -- Abstract: We have shown decreased expression of the nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) and the PPARγ-regulated ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) in alveolar macrophages from patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP). PAP patients also exhibit neutralizing antibodies to granulocyte–macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an upregulator of PPARγ. In association with functional GM-CSF deficiency, PAP lung is characterized by surfactant-filled alveolar spaces and lipid-filled alveolar macrophages. Similar pathology characterizes GM-CSF knock-out (KO) mice. We reported previously that intratracheal instillation of a lentivirus (lenti)-PPARγ plasmid into GM-CSF KO animals elevated ABCG1 and reduced alveolar macrophage lipid accumulation. Here, we hypothesized that instillation of lenti-ABCG1 might be sufficient to decrease lipid accumulation and improve pulmonary function in GM-CSF KO mice. Animals received intratracheal instillation of lenti-ABCG1 or control lenti-enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (eGFP) plasmids and alveolar macrophages were harvested 10 days later. Alveolar macrophage transduction efficiency was 79% as shown by lenti-eGFP fluorescence. Quantitative PCR analyses indicated a threefold (p = 0.0005) increase in ABCG1 expression with no change of PPARγ or ABCA1 in alveolar macrophages of lenti-ABCG1 treated mice. ABCG1 was unchanged in control lenti-eGFP and PBS-instilled groups. Oil Red O staining detected reduced intracellular neutral lipid in alveolar macrophages from lenti-ABCG1 treated mice. Extracellular cholesterol and phospholipids were also decreased as shown by analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Lung compliance was diminished in untreated GMCSF KO mice

  17. Visual Acuity Improvement of Amblyopia in an Adult With Levodopa/Carbidopa Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orge, Faruk H; Dar, Suhail A

    2015-09-09

    Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual loss in children, affecting 2% to 3% of the population. Occlusion of the dominant eye is the primary and best treatment, although efficacy decreases after 6 years of age. As a result, levodopa/carbidopa has been explored as an adjunct to conventional therapy and has been shown to have an immediate impact on visual acuity. Several studies to date have shown mixed results on the benefit of supplementing occlusion therapy with levodopa/carbidopa, although they have primarily studied children. The authors describe the oldest patient (46 years old) documented in the literature to have shown improvement in visual acuity using levodopa/carbidopa. He was given a 16-week course at a dose in line with previous studies while being effectively occluded full time due to a glaucomatous right eye with no light perception. On 3-month follow-up, his left eye improved two lines and stabilized at 6 months. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  18. Active video gaming to improve balance in the elderly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamoth, C.J.; Caljouw, S.R.; Postema, K.

    2011-01-01

    The combination of active video gaming and exercise (exergaming) is suggested to improve elderly people's balance, thereby decreasing fall risk. Exergaming has been shown to increase motivation during exercise therapy, due to the enjoyable and challenging nature, which could support long-term

  19. Interdisciplinary treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: improvement of their health-related quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Josune; Torre, Fernando; Padierna, Angel; Aguirre, Urko; González, Nerea; Matellanes, Begoña; Quintana, José M

    2014-11-01

    To assess whether an interdisciplinary intervention is more effective than usual care for improving the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with fibromyalgia (FM), and to identify variables that were predictors of improvement in HRQoL. In a randomized controlled clinical trial carried out on an outpatient basis in a hospital pain management unit, 153 patients with FM were randomly allocated to an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG). Participants completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) at baseline and 6 months after the intervention. The EG received an interdisciplinary treatment (12 sessions for 6 weeks) which consisted of coordinated psychological, medical, educational, and physiotherapeutic interventions while the CG received standard-of-care pharmacologic treatment. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Chi square and Fisher tests and generalized linear models were used for data analysis. Six months after the intervention, statistically significant improvements in HRQoL were observed in physical functioning (P = 0.01), pain (P = 0.03) and total FIQ score (P = 0.04) in the EG compared to the CG. The number of physical illnesses was identified as a predictor for improvement. This interdisciplinary intervention has shown effectiveness in improving the HRQoL of this sample of patients with FM. The number of physical illnesses was identified as a predictor of that improvement. © 2013 World Institute of Pain.

  20. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The nuclear industry has made a significant commitment to improve training through the implementation of performance-based training programs. Senior management expects that human performance improvement will result from this significant resource allocation. The author examines this hypothesis and discusses other issues that may interfere with enhancing human performance through training. The integration of quality improvement concepts to support training is also discussed by the author, who was a pioneer facilitator during the development of Florida Power and Light Company's Quality Improvement Program. Critical success factors are proposed based on the author's experience as a plant manager, training manager and quality facilitator

  1. Evidence or eminence in abdominal surgery: Recent improvements in perioperative care

    OpenAIRE

    Segelman, Josefin; Nygren, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    Repeated surveys from Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand have shown that adherence to an evidence-based perioperative care protocol, such as Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS), has been generally low. It is of great importance to support the implementation of the ERAS protocol as it has been shown to improve outcomes after a number of surgical procedures, including major abdominal surgery. However, despite an increasing awareness of the importance of structured perioper...

  2. Low Impedance Voice Coils for Improved Loudspeaker Efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Niels Elkjær; Knott, Arnold; Andersen, Michael A. E.

    2015-01-01

    In modern audio systems utilizing switch-mode amplifiers the total efficiency is dominated by the rather poor efficiency of the loudspeaker. For decades voice coils have been designed so that nominal resistances of 4 to 8 Ohms is obtained, despite modern audio amplifiers, using switch-mode techno...... responses are estimated. For this woofer it is shown that the sensitivity can be improved approximately 1 dB, corresponding to a 30% efficiency improvement, just by increasing the fill factor using a low impedance voice coil with rectangular wire....

  3. A novel telemonitoring device for improving diabetes control: protocol and results from a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pressman, Alice R; Kinoshita, Linda; Kirk, Susan; Barbosa, Gina Monraz; Chou, Cathy; Minkoff, Jerome

    2014-02-01

    Telemedicine is one approach to managing patients with chronic illness. Several telephone-based monitoring studies of diabetes patients have shown improved glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure (BP), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an investigational in-home telemetry device for improving glucose and BP control over 6 months for patients with type 2 diabetes. The device was used to transmit weekly blood glucose, weight, and BP readings to a diabetes care manager. We conducted a two-arm, parallel-comparison, single-blind, randomized controlled trial among Kaiser Permanente Northern California members 18-75 years old with type 2 diabetes mellitus and entry HbA1c levels between 7.5% and 10.0%. Participants were randomly assigned to either the telemonitoring arm or the usual care arm. We observed very small, nonsignificant changes in fructosamine (telemonitoring, -54.9 μmol; usual care, -59.4 μmol) and systolic BP (telemonitoring, -6.3 mm Hg; usual care, -3.2 mm Hg) from baseline to 6 weeks in both groups. At 6 months, we observed no significant intergroup differences in change from baseline for HbA1c, fructosamine, or self-efficacy. However, LDL cholesterol in the telemonitoring arm decreased more than in the usual care arm (-17.1 mg/dL versus -5.4 mg/dL; P=0.045). Although HbA1c improved significantly over 6 months in both groups, the difference in improvement between the groups was not significant. This lack of significance may be due to the relatively healthy status of the volunteers in our study and to the high level of care provided by the care managers in the Santa Rosa, CA clinic. Further study in subgroups of less healthy diabetes patients is recommended.

  4. Intensive inpatient treatment for bulimia nervosa: Statistical and clinical significance of symptom changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Alice; Schlegl, Sandra; Greetfeld, Martin; Fumi, Markus; Voderholzer, Ulrich

    2018-03-01

    This study examines the statistical and clinical significance of symptom changes during an intensive inpatient treatment program with a strong psychotherapeutic focus for individuals with severe bulimia nervosa. 295 consecutively admitted bulimic patients were administered the Structured Interview for Anorexic and Bulimic Syndromes-Self-Rating (SIAB-S), the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at treatment intake and discharge. Results indicated statistically significant symptom reductions with large effect sizes regarding severity of binge eating and compensatory behavior (SIAB-S), overall eating disorder symptom severity (EDI-2), overall psychopathology (BSI), and depressive symptom severity (BDI-II) even when controlling for antidepressant medication. The majority of patients showed either reliable (EDI-2: 33.7%, BSI: 34.8%, BDI-II: 18.1%) or even clinically significant symptom changes (EDI-2: 43.2%, BSI: 33.9%, BDI-II: 56.9%). Patients with clinically significant improvement were less distressed at intake and less likely to suffer from a comorbid borderline personality disorder when compared with those who did not improve to a clinically significant extent. Findings indicate that intensive psychotherapeutic inpatient treatment may be effective in about 75% of severely affected bulimic patients. For the remaining non-responding patients, inpatient treatment might be improved through an even stronger focus on the reduction of comorbid borderline personality traits.

  5. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    OpenAIRE

    A. UBRIZSY SAVOIA; S. PIGNATTI; S. VAROLI PIAZZA

    2000-01-01

    The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Clinical significance of lymphadenectomy in patients with gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Improving precipitation measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strangeways, Ian

    2004-09-01

    Although rainfall has been measured for centuries scientifically and in isolated brief episodes over millennia for agriculture, it is still not measured adequately even today for climatology, water resources, and other precise applications. This paper outlines the history of raingauges, their errors, and describes the field testing over 3 years of a first guess design for an aerodynamic rain collector proposed by Folland in 1988. Although shown to have aerodynamic advantage over a standard 5 gauge, the new rain collector was found to suffer from outsplash in heavy rain. To study this problem, and to derive general basic design rules for aerodynamic gauges, its performance was investigated in turbulent, real-world conditions rather than in the controlled and simplified environment of a wind tunnel or mathematical model as in the past. To do this, video records were made using thread tracers to indicate the path of the wind, giving new insight into the complex flow of natural wind around and within raingauges. A new design resulted, and 2 years of field testing have shown that the new gauge has good aerodynamic and evaporative characteristics and minimal outsplash, offering the potential for improved precipitation measurement.

  9. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of participatory ergonomic low back pain training on workplace improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajiki, Shigeyuki; Izumi, Hiroyuki; Hayashida, Kenshi; Kusumoto, Akira; Nagata, Tomohisa; Mori, Koji

    2017-05-25

    This study aimed to determine the effects of participatory workplace improvement (PWI) -based provision of ergonomic training and ergonomic action checklists (ACLs) to on-site managers on workplace improvement activities for low back pain (LBP). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted at a manufacturing company in Japan. Teams entered in the study were randomly assigned to a control and an intervention group. A total of three interventional training sessions on methods of ergonomics were provided to on-site managers in the intervention group, with 1-month intervals between sessions. Ergonomic ACLs were provided at the same time. After completion of the training sessions, each team then provided a report of improvements each month for the next 10 months. Two people in charge of safety and health chose two major objectives of the implemented activities from the five categories. The reported number of improvements was analyzed using a Poisson regression model. In the intervention group, although the incident rate ratio (IRR) of PWIs in countermeasures for the LBP category was significantly elevated after the training sessions, the IRR of improvements decreased over time during the 10-month follow-up period. No significant difference was observed in the IRR of total PWIs in either the control or intervention group. PWI-based provision of ergonomic training sessions and ergonomics ACLs to on-site managers was shown to be effective for workplace improvement activities targeted at LBP. However, because the effects decrease over time, efforts should be made to maintain the effects through regular interventions.

  10. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of participatory ergonomic low back pain training on workplace improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajiki, Shigeyuki; Izumi, Hiroyuki; Hayashida, Kenshi; Kusumoto, Akira; Nagata, Tomohisa; Mori, Koji

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effects of participatory workplace improvement (PWI) -based provision of ergonomic training and ergonomic action checklists (ACLs) to on-site managers on workplace improvement activities for low back pain (LBP). Methods: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted at a manufacturing company in Japan. Teams entered in the study were randomly assigned to a control and an intervention group. A total of three interventional training sessions on methods of ergonomics were provided to on-site managers in the intervention group, with 1-month intervals between sessions. Ergonomic ACLs were provided at the same time. After completion of the training sessions, each team then provided a report of improvements each month for the next 10 months. Two people in charge of safety and health chose two major objectives of the implemented activities from the five categories. The reported number of improvements was analyzed using a Poisson regression model. Results: In the intervention group, although the incident rate ratio (IRR) of PWIs in countermeasures for the LBP category was significantly elevated after the training sessions, the IRR of improvements decreased over time during the 10-month follow-up period. No significant difference was observed in the IRR of total PWIs in either the control or intervention group. Conclusions: PWI-based provision of ergonomic training sessions and ergonomics ACLs to on-site managers was shown to be effective for workplace improvement activities targeted at LBP. However, because the effects decrease over time, efforts should be made to maintain the effects through regular interventions. PMID:28320978

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  12. Development and Application of a Numerical Framework for Improving Building Foundation Heat Transfer Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruis, Nathanael J. F.

    Heat transfer from building foundations varies significantly in all three spatial dimensions and has important dynamic effects at all timescales, from one hour to several years. With the additional consideration of moisture transport, ground freezing, evapotranspiration, and other physical phenomena, the estimation of foundation heat transfer becomes increasingly sophisticated and computationally intensive to the point where accuracy must be compromised for reasonable computation time. The tools currently available to calculate foundation heat transfer are often either too limited in their capabilities to draw meaningful conclusions or too sophisticated to use in common practices. This work presents Kiva, a new foundation heat transfer computational framework. Kiva provides a flexible environment for testing different numerical schemes, initialization methods, spatial and temporal discretizations, and geometric approximations. Comparisons within this framework provide insight into the balance of computation speed and accuracy relative to highly detailed reference solutions. The accuracy and computational performance of six finite difference numerical schemes are verified against established IEA BESTEST test cases for slab-on-grade heat conduction. Of the schemes tested, the Alternating Direction Implicit (ADI) scheme demonstrates the best balance between accuracy, performance, and numerical stability. Kiva features four approaches of initializing soil temperatures for an annual simulation. A new accelerated initialization approach is shown to significantly reduce the required years of presimulation. Methods of approximating three-dimensional heat transfer within a representative two-dimensional context further improve computational performance. A new approximation called the boundary layer adjustment method is shown to improve accuracy over other established methods with a negligible increase in computation time. This method accounts for the reduced heat transfer

  13. Improved streaming analysis technique: spherical harmonics expansion of albedo data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albert, T.E.; Simmons, G.L.

    1979-01-01

    An improved albedo scattering technique was implemented with a three-dimensional Monte Carlo transport code for use in analyzing radiation streaming problems. The improvement was based on a shifted spherical Harmonics expansion of the doubly differential albedo data base. The result of the improvement was a factor of 3 to 10 reduction in data storage requirements and approximately a factor of 3 to 6 increase in computational speed. Comparisons of results obtained using the technique with measurements are shown for neutron streaming in one- and two-legged square concrete ducts

  14. Significance of perceptually relevant image decolorization for scene classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Improved Optical Fiber Chemical Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egalon, Claudio O.; Rogowski, Robert S.

    1994-01-01

    Calculations, based on exact theory of optical fiber, have shown how to increase optical efficiency sensitivity of active-core, step-index-profile optical-fiber fluorosensor. Calculations result of efforts to improve efficiency of optical-fiber chemical sensor of previous concept described in "Making Optical-Fiber Chemical Sensors More Sensitive" (LAR-14525). Optical fiber chemical detector of enhanced sensitivity made in several configurations. Portion of fluorescence or chemiluminescence generated in core, and launched directly into bound electromagnetic modes that propagate along core to photodetector.

  16. Bracing can reduce high degree curves and improve aesthetics immediately after the end of growth. Final results of a retrospective case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrini, Stefano; Donzelli, Sabrina; Lusini, Monia; Zaina, Fabio

    2012-01-01

    Recently it has been shown that idiopathic scoliosis (IS) curves can be reduced with bracing, and it has been proposed that this could be useful in non-surgically treated high degree curves even after Risser 3. Moreover, bracing has been shown to be able to improve aesthetics, and this could be another reason to treat some patients with cosmetic needs. Our aim is to preliminary check if results can be obtained in IS patients after Risser 3. Design. Retrospective uncontrolled cohort study. Inclusion criteria. All IS patients treated on a voluntary basis for aesthetic reasons and/or for curve reduction; Risser 4-5 at start; end of treatment reached. Population. 34 females and 2 males, age 16.2±1.6 years, Cobb angle 27.6°±8.9°. Treatment. Lyon or SPoRT braces 18 to 24 hours/day, specific SEAS exercises, rapid weaning (2-3 hours every 6 months). Outcome criteria: SRS (unchanged; worsened over 6°; over 45° at the end of treatment; surgically treated), radiographic and clinical. Statistics. ANOVA and chi-test. The reported compliance during the 2.8 ± 1.1 treatment years was 95.1%, while residual growth was 0.9 ± 1.1 cm. Improvements were found in 39% of this cohort, (46% in curves over 30°). Only 1 patient progressed 6°. We found highly statistically significant reductions of maximal (-4.4°), thoracic (-6.0°) and thoracolumbar (-6.6°) curves. Statistically significant improvements were found for Aesthetic Index. Before 20 years of age, even in skeletally mature patients, it is possible to reach radiographic and aesthetic improvements, although not as good as during growth. Correction is based on bone growth, but ligaments and neuromuscular control of posture can also be involved.

  17. Motor cortex tRNS improves pain, affective and cognitive impairment in patients with fibromyalgia: preliminary results of a randomised sham-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curatolo, Massimiliano; La Bianca, Giuseppe; Cosentino, Giuseppe; Baschi, Roberta; Salemi, Giuseppe; Talotta, Rossella; Romano, Marcello; Triolo, Giovanni; De Tommaso, Marina; Fierro, Brigida; Brighina, Filippo

    2017-01-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a clinical syndrome characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, cognitive deficits, and sleep and mood disorders. The effectiveness of most pharmacological treatments is limited, and there is a need for new, effective and well-tolerated therapies. It has recently been shown that transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) of the motor cortex reduces pain, and that tDCS of the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) improves anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment in FM patients. The new technique of transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) using randomly changing alternating currents has very recently been shown to improve working memory and pain in limited series of patients with FM or neuropathic pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effects of primary motor cortex (M1) tRNS in FM patients. Twenty female FM patients aged 26-67 years were randomised to undergo active (real) or placebo (sham) tRNS sessions on five days a week (Monday-Friday) for two weeks. Each patient was evaluated before and after treatment using a visual analogue scale (VAS), the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Trail Making Test (TMT), the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), the Forward and Backward Digit Span test, and the FAS verbal fluency test. In comparison with sham treatment, active tRNS of M1 induced a general improvement in the clinical picture of FM, with a significant reduction in pain, depression, anxiety and FIQ scores and a significant improvement in TMT (A), RAVLT and FAS scores. These findings suggest that tRNS of M1 can be very effective in relieving FM symptoms. Unlike motor cortex tDCS, it seems to counteract both pain and cognitive disturbances, possibly because the invoked mechanism of stochastic resonance synchronises neural firing and thus leads to more widespread and lasting effects.

  18. Donepezil improves gait performance in older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease: a phase II clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Muir-Hunter, Susan W; Oteng-Amoako, Afua; Gopaul, Karen; Islam, Anam; Borrie, Michael; Wells, Jennie; Speechley, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Gait deficits are prevalent in people with dementia and increase their fall risk and future disability. Few treatments exist for gait impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) but preliminary studies have shown that cognitive enhancers may improve gait in this population. To determine the efficacy of donepezil, a cognitive enhancer that improves cholinergic activity, on gait in older adults newly diagnosed with AD. Phase II clinical trial in 43 seniors with mild AD who received donepezil. Participants had not previously received treatment with cognitive enhancers. Primary outcome variables were gait velocity (GV) and stride time variability (STV) under single and dual-task conditions measured using an electronic walkway. Secondary outcomes included attention and executive function. After four months of treatment, participants with mild AD improved their GV from 108.4 ± 18.6 to 113.3 ± 19.5 cm/s, p = 0.010; dual-task GV from 80.6 ± 23.0 to 85.3 ± 22.3 cm/s, p = 0.028. Changes in STV were in the expected direction although not statistically significant. Participants also showed improvements in Trail Making Tests A (p = 0.030), B (p = 0.001), and B-A (p = 0.042). Donepezil improved gait in participants with mild AD. The enhancement of dual-task gait suggests the positive changes achieved in executive function as a possible causal mechanism. This study yielded a clinically significant estimate of effect size; as well, the findings are relevant to the feasibility and ethics considerations for the design of a Phase III clinical trial.

  19. Rhythmic Haptic Stimuli Improve Short-Term Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shusheng; Wang, Dangxiao; Afzal, Naqash; Zhang, Yuru; Wu, Ruilin

    2016-01-01

    Brainwave entrainment using rhythmic visual and/or auditory stimulation has shown its efficacy in modulating neural activities and cognitive ability. In the presented study, we aim to investigate whether rhythmic haptic stimulation could enhance short-term attention. An experiment with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) increasing protocol was performed in which participants were presented sinusoidal vibrotactile stimulus of 15 Hz on their palm. Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) was performed before and after the stimulating session. Electroencephalograph (EEG) was recorded across the stimulating session and the two attention test sessions. SMR band power manifested a significant increase after stimulation. Results of T.O.V.A. tests indicated an improvement in the attention of participants who had received the stimulation compared to the control group who had not received the stimulation. The D prime score of T.O.V.A. reveals that participants performed better in perceptual sensitivity and sustaining attention level compared to their baseline performance before the stimulating session. These findings highlight the potential value of using haptics-based brainwave entrainment for cognitive training.

  20. Bio-gasification of post transesterified microalgae residues: A route to improving overall process renewabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehimen, Ehiazesebhor Augustine

    Using results from experiments and process modelling tools, a renewability assessment was carried out for the use of the conventional and in-situ transesterification processes for a large scale microalgae biodiesel production. In a present day scenario, all the transesterification processes were...... shown to be non-renewable. The process renewability of biodiesel production from microalgae was found to significantly improve with the use of renewable electricity, reacting alcohols from biomass fermentation and process heating and biomass drying using heat from wood pellet combustion or heat pump...... technology. The anaerobic digestion of the microalgae residues to generate methane from was further seen to lead to positive renewabilities for the considered microalgae-biodiesel processes....

  1. Short term wave forecasting, using digital filters, for improved control of Wave Energy Converters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tedd, James; Frigaard, Peter

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a Digital Filter method for real time prediction of waves incident upon a Wave Energy device. The method transforms waves measured at a point ahead of the device, to expected waves incident on the device. The relationship between these incident waves and power capture is derived...... experimentally. Results are shown form measurements taken on the Wave Dragon prototype device, a floating overtopping device situated in Northern Denmark. In this case the method is able to accurately predict the surface elevation at the device 11.2 seconds before the measurement is made. This is sufficient...... to allow advanced control systems to be developed using this knowledge to significantly improve power capture....

  2. Short term wave forecasting, using digital filters, for improved control of Wave Energy Converters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tedd, J.; Frigaard, P. [Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Aalborg (Denmark)

    2007-07-01

    This paper presents a Digital Filter method for real time prediction of waves incident upon a Wave Energy device. The method transforms waves measured at a point ahead of the device, to expected waves incident on the device. The relationship between these incident waves and power capture is derived experimentally. Results are shown form measurements taken on the Wave Dragon prototype device, a floating overtopping device situated in Northern Denmark. In this case the method is able to accurately predict the surface elevation at the device 11.2 seconds before the measurement is made. This is sufficient to allow advanced control systems to be developed using this knowledge to significantly improve power capture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Improved predictions of nuclear reaction rates with the TALYS reaction code for astrophysical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goriely, S.; Hilaire, S.; Koning, A.J

    2008-01-01

    Context. Nuclear reaction rates of astrophysical applications are traditionally determined on the basis of Hauser-Feshbach reaction codes. These codes adopt a number of approximations that have never been tested, such as a simplified width fluctuation correction, the neglect of delayed or multiple-particle emission during the electromagnetic decay cascade, or the absence of the pre-equilibrium contribution at increasing incident energies. Aims. The reaction code TALYS has been recently updated to estimate the Maxwellian-averaged reaction rates that are of astrophysical relevance. These new developments enable the reaction rates to be calculated with increased accuracy and reliability and the approximations of previous codes to be investigated. Methods. The TALYS predictions for the thermonuclear rates of relevance to astrophysics are detailed and compared with those derived by widely-used codes for the same nuclear ingredients. Results. It is shown that TALYS predictions may differ significantly from those of previous codes, in particular for nuclei for which no or little nuclear data is available. The pre-equilibrium process is shown to influence the astrophysics rates of exotic neutron-rich nuclei significantly. For the first time, the Maxwellian- averaged (n, 2n) reaction rate is calculated for all nuclei and its competition with the radiative capture rate is discussed. Conclusions. The TALYS code provides a new tool to estimate all nuclear reaction rates of relevance to astrophysics with improved accuracy and reliability. (authors)

  5. Program improvement and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hink, M.; Imke, U.; Pfrang, W.; Porscha, B.; Struwe, D.; Zimmerer, W.; Allan, P.

    1995-01-01

    An account is given about further improvements of the SAS4A-Ref. 94.R0 version of the HCDA code. They concern in particular the DEFORM fuel rod deformation module. For a validation of the new code version, various CABRI experiments have been calculated, especially tests with high burnup fuel rods. Progress was shown to be achieved, but the precise timing and location of the observed fuel failures is still hard to calculate. The work was performed in close cooperation with partners in France, Britain, and Japan. An important application concerns the CAPRA project of a reactor for actinide burning. Its behavior under ULOF conditions was analyzed using the improved SAS4A Ref. 94 R0 code. The core design turned out to tend toward a long-term coolable configuration even more so than the EFR core design would do in an ULOF. (orig.)

  6. Zeaxanthin-based dietary supplement and topical serum improve hydration and reduce wrinkle count in female subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Steve; Frank, Emily; Gierhart, Dennis; Simpson, Paula; Frumento, Robert

    2016-12-01

    the week 4 visit compared to placebo for both active groups. Statistically significant differences from baseline scores for average wrinkles severity were seen for week 12 visit for both active groups compared to placebo. We have shown that the combination of zeaxanthin-based dietary supplement plus a topical formulation produces superior hydration to that of placebo. Additionally, we have shown that the combination of oral and topical combination vs. oral alone has superior abilities to improve parameters associated with facial lines and wrinkles compared to placebo, although the dietary supplement alone proved most effective in reducing wrinkle count and severity. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Nanoscale Light Manipulation for Improved Organic Solar Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Brett

    Organic Solar Cells can be made to be flexible, semi-transparent, and low-cost making them ideal for novel energy harvesting applications such as in greenhouses. However, the main disadvantage of this technology is its low energy conversion efficiency (technologies, such as thinfilm GaAs (>30% Efficiency), and Si-based (>20% Efficiency), solar cells, where recombination within these technologies is much less than Organic Solar Cells. There are still many challenges to overcome to improve the efficiency of Organic Solar Cells. Some of these challenges include: Maximising the absorption of the solar spectrum; improving the charge dynamics; and increasing the lifetime of the devices. One method to address some of these challenges is to include plasmonic nanoparticles into the devices, which has been shown to increase the absorption through scattering, and improve the charge dynamic through localised surface plasmon resonance effects. However, including nanoparticles into Organic Solar Cells has shown to adversely affect the performance of the devices in other ways, such as increasing the recombination of excitons. To address this, an additional (insulating) coating around the nanoparticles supresses this increase, and has shown to be able to increase the performance of the solar cells. In this work, we demonstrate the use of our all-inclusive optical model in the design and optimisation of bespoke colour-specific windows (i.e. Red, Green, and Blue), where the solar cells can be made to have a specific transparency and colour, whilst maximizing their efficiency. For example, we could specify that we wish the colour to be red, with 50% transmissivity; the model will then maximise the Power Conversion Efficiency. We also demonstrate how our extension to Mie theory can simulate nanoparticle systems and can be used to tune the plasmon resonance utilising different coatings, and configurations thereof.

  8. The corporate culture's significance toorganization management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    In modern organization management, the organization culture is gradually drawn attention by the entrepreneurs and the CEO or managers of the enterprises. Theclose relationship between culture management and organization successis constantly beingproved to be true that culture is indeed one of the vital elements of organization management.Although it is not simple to research the culture impact on management in all respects, this essay attempts to illustrate that culture management is very significant to a successful organization,and the recommendation of how organizational culture management improving the enterprise performance as well as making the companies successful are provided.

  9. A Novel Strategy of Ambiguity Correction for the Improved Faraday Rotation Estimator in Linearly Full-Polarimetric SAR Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinhui Li

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR missions operating at low frequencies, such as L-band or P-band, are significantly influenced by the ionosphere. As one of the serious ionosphere effects, Faraday rotation (FR is a remarkable distortion source for the polarimetric SAR (PolSAR application. Various published FR estimators along with an improved one have been introduced to solve this issue, all of which are implemented by processing a set of PolSAR real data. The improved estimator exhibits optimal robustness based on performance analysis, especially in term of the system noise. However, all published estimators, including the improved estimator, suffer from a potential FR angle (FRA ambiguity. A novel strategy of the ambiguity correction for those FR estimators is proposed and shown as a flow process, which is divided into pixel-level and image-level correction. The former is not yet recognized and thus is considered in particular. Finally, the validation experiments show a prominent performance of the proposed strategy.

  10. A Novel Strategy of Ambiguity Correction for the Improved Faraday Rotation Estimator in Linearly Full-Polarimetric SAR Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinhui; Ji, Yifei; Zhang, Yongsheng; Zhang, Qilei; Huang, Haifeng; Dong, Zhen

    2018-04-10

    Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) missions operating at low frequencies, such as L-band or P-band, are significantly influenced by the ionosphere. As one of the serious ionosphere effects, Faraday rotation (FR) is a remarkable distortion source for the polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) application. Various published FR estimators along with an improved one have been introduced to solve this issue, all of which are implemented by processing a set of PolSAR real data. The improved estimator exhibits optimal robustness based on performance analysis, especially in term of the system noise. However, all published estimators, including the improved estimator, suffer from a potential FR angle (FRA) ambiguity. A novel strategy of the ambiguity correction for those FR estimators is proposed and shown as a flow process, which is divided into pixel-level and image-level correction. The former is not yet recognized and thus is considered in particular. Finally, the validation experiments show a prominent performance of the proposed strategy.

  11. [The prognostic significance of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for phobic anxiety disorders, vegetative and cognitive impairments during conservative treatment including adaptol of some functional and organic diseases of nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhivolupov, S A; Samartsev, I N; Marchenko, A A; Puliatkina, O V

    2012-01-01

    We have studied the efficacy of adaptol in the treatment of 45 patients with somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and 30 patients with closed head injury. The condition of patients during the treatment was evaluated with clinical and neuropsychological scales. The serum level of BDNF before and after the treatment has been studied as well. Adaptol has been shown to enhance the production of BDNF, reduce significantly the intensity of anxiety, autonomic disorders and improve intellectual processes. The dose-dependent effect of the drug has been demonstrated. In conclusion, adaptol can be recommended for treatment of diseases that demand stimulation of neuroplasticity in the CNS.

  12. Improving of the Drones Group Control System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Yurievna Morozova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the problem of drone group control, in particular, the problem of formation damage drone ensure safe movement of the group. To solve this problem is proposed to use multi-agent approach to the implementation of the overall strategy of management and metric routing algorithm for communication and the formation of the group. In general, the action of the control algorithms are shown and controlled drones in the formation of groups and roles. The conditions for the safe distance of the drone relative to each other in the group. It is shown that the combined use of these mechanisms can improve the efficiency of group management drone resistance groups to failures and failures, resulting in an increased probability of the assignment.

  13. Evolutionary significance of seed structure in Alpinioideae (Zingiberaceae): Seed Structure in Alpinioideae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benedict, John C. [Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI (United States); Smith, Selena Y. [Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI (United States); Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI (United States); Collinson, Margaret E. [Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London (United Kingdom); Leong-Škorničková, Jana [Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board (Singapore); Specht, Chelsea D. [Department of Plant and Microbial Biology & University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley CA (United States); Fife, Julie L. [Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen (Switzerland); Marone, Federica [Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen (Switzerland); Xiao, Xianghui [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS); Parkinson, Dilworth Y. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Advanced Light Source (ALS)

    2015-03-09

    Alpinioideae is the largest of the four subfamilies of Zingiberaceae and is widely distributed throughout the New and Old World tropics. Recent molecular studies have shown that, although Alpinioideae is a strongly supported monophyletic subfamily with two distinct tribes (Alpinieae and Riedelieae), large genera, such as Alpinia and Amomum, are polyphyletic and are in need of revision. Alpinia and Amomum have been shown to form seven and three distinct clades, respectively, but, for many of these clades, traditional vegetative and floral synapomorphies have not been found. A broad survey of seeds in Alpinioideae using light microscopy and synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy has shown that many clades have distinctive seed structures that serve as distinctive apomorphies. Tribes Riedelieae and Alpinieae can be distinguished on the basis of operculum structure, with the exception of three taxa analysed. The most significant seed characters were found to be various modifications of the micropylar and chalazal ends, the cell shape of the endotesta and exotesta, and the location of an endotestal gap. A chalazal chamber and hilar rim are reported for the first time in Zingiberaceae. In addition to characterizing clades of extant lineages, these data offer insights into the taxonomic placement of many fossil zingiberalean seeds that are critical to understanding the origin and evolution of Alpinioideae and Zingiberales as a whole.(c) 2015 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2015, 178, 441-466..

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. Bioactive Compound Synthetic Capacity and Ecological Significance of Marine Bacterial Genus Pseudoalteromonas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. Bowman

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The genus Pseudoalteromonas is a marine group of bacteria belonging to theclass Gammaproteobacteria that has come to attention in the natural product andmicrobial ecology science fields in the last decade. Pigmented species of the genus havebeen shown to produce an array of low and high molecular weight compounds withantimicrobial, anti-fouling, algicidal and various pharmaceutically-relevant activities.Compounds formed include toxic proteins, polyanionic exopolymers, substitutedphenolic and pyrolle-containing alkaloids, cyclic peptides and a range of bromine-substituted compounds. Ecologically, Pseudoalteromonas appears significant and to datehas been shown to influence biofilm formation in various marine econiches; involved inpredator-like interactions within the microbial loop; influence settlement, germinationand metamorphosis of various invertebrate and algal species; and may also be adopted bymarine flora and fauna as defensive agents. Studies have been so far limited to arelatively small subset of strains compared to the known diversity of the genussuggesting that many more discoveries of novel natural products as well as ecologicalconnections these may have in the marine ecosystem remain to be made.

  16. Imatinib prevents beta cell death in vitro but does not improve islet transplantation outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Aileen J F; Griffiths, Lisa A; Persaud, Shanta J; Jones, Peter M; Howell, Simon L; Welsh, Nils

    2016-05-01

    Introduction Improving islet transplantation outcome could not only bring benefits to individual patients but also widen the patient pool to which this life-changing treatment is available. Imatinib has previously been shown to protect beta cells from apoptosis in a variety of in vitro and in vivo models. The aim of this study was to investigate whether imatinib could be used to improve islet transplantation outcome. Methods Islets were isolated from C57Bl/6 mice and pre-cultured with imatinib prior to exposure to streptozotocin and cytokines in vitro. Cell viability and glucose-induced insulin secretion were measured. For transplantation experiments, islets were pre-cultured with imatinib for either 72 h or 24 h prior to transplantation into streptozotocin-diabetic C57Bl/6 mice. In one experimental series mice were also administered imatinib after islet transplantation. Results Imatinib partially protected islets from beta cell death in vitro. However, pre-culturing islets in imatinib or administering the drug to the mice in the days following islet transplantation did not improve blood glucose concentrations more than control-cultured islets. Conclusion Although imatinib protected against beta cell death from cytokines and streptozotocin in vitro, it did not significantly improve syngeneic islet transplantation outcome.

  17. ELABELA Improves Cardio-Renal Outcome in Fatal Experimental Septic Shock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coquerel, David; Chagnon, Frédéric; Sainsily, Xavier; Dumont, Lauralyne; Murza, Alexandre; Côté, Jérôme; Dumaine, Robert; Sarret, Philippe; Marsault, Éric; Salvail, Dany; Auger-Messier, Mannix; Lesur, Olivier

    2017-11-01

    Apelin-13 was recently proposed as an alternative to the recommended β-adrenergic drugs for supporting endotoxin-induced myocardial dysfunction. Since Apelin-13 signals through its receptor (Apelin peptide jejunum) to exert singular inotropic/vasotropic actions and to optimize body fluid balance, this candidate pathway might benefit septic shock management. Whether the newly discovered ELABELA (ELA), a second endogenous ligand of the Apelin peptide jejunum receptor highly expressed in the kidney, further improves cardio-renal impairment remains unknown. Interventional study in a rat model of septic shock (128 adult males) to assess the effects of ELA and Apelin-13 on vascular and cardio-renal function. Experiments were performed in a tertiary care University-based research institute. Polymicrobial sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction was produced by cecal ligation puncture to assess hemodynamic efficacy, cardioprotection, and biomechanics under acute or continuous infusions of the apelinergic agonists ELA or Apelin-13 (39 and 15 µg/kg/hr, respectively) versus normal saline. Apelinergic agonists improved 72-hour survival after sepsis induction, with ELA providing the best clinical outcome after 24 hours. Apelinergic agonist infusion counteracted cecal ligation puncture-induced myocardial dysfunction by improving left ventricular pressure-volume relationship. ELA-treated cecal ligation puncture rats were the only group to 1) display a significant improvement in left ventricular filling as shown by increased E-wave velocity and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, 2) exhibit a higher plasma volume, and 3) limit kidney injury and free-water clearance. These beneficial renal effects were superior to Apelin-13, likely because full-length ELA enabled a distinctive regulation of pituitary vasopressin release. Activation of the apelinergic system by exogenous ELA or Apelin-13 infusion improves cardiovascular function and survival after cecal ligation puncture

  18. Incentives for cooperation in quality improvement among hospitals--the impact of the reimbursement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesteloot, K; Voet, N

    1998-12-01

    Up to now, few analytical models have studied the incentives for cooperation in quality improvements among hospitals. Only those dealing with reimbursement systems have shown that, from the point of view of individual or competing hospitals, retrospective reimbursement is more likely to encourage quality improvements than prospective financing, while the reverse holds for efficiency improvements. This paper studies the incentives to improve the quality of hospital care, in an analytical model, taking into account the possibility of cooperative agreements, price besides non-price (quality) competition and quality improvements that may simultaneously increase demand, increase or reduce costs and spill over to rival hospitals. In this setting quality improvement efforts rise with the rate of prospective reimbursement, while the impact of the rate of retrospective reimbursement is ambiguous, but likely to be negative for quality improvements that are highly cost-reducting and create large spillovers. Cooperation may lead to more or less quality improvement than non-cooperative conduct, depending on the magnitude of spillovers and the degree of product market competition, relative to the net effect of quality on profits and the share of costs that is reimbursed retrospectively. Finally, the stability of cooperative agreements, supported by grim trigger strategies, is shown to depend upon exactly the opposite interaction between these factors.

  19. Hunger can be taught: Hunger Recognition regulates eating and improves energy balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciampolini, Mario; Lovell-Smith, H David; Kenealy, Timothy; Bianchi, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    A set of spontaneous hunger sensations, Initial Hunger (IH), has been associated with low blood glucose concentration (BG). These sensations may arise pre-meal or can be elicited by delaying a meal. With self-measurement of BG, subjects can be trained to formally identify and remember these sensations (Hunger Recognition). Subjects can then be trained to ensure that IH is present pre-meal for most meals and that their pre-meal BG is therefore low consistently (IH Meal Pattern). IH includes the epigastric Empty Hollow Sensation (the most frequent and recognizable) as well as less specific sensations such as fatigue or light-headedness which is termed inanition. This report reviews the method for identifying IH and the effect of the IH Meal Pattern on energy balance. In adults, the IH Meal Pattern has been shown to significantly decrease energy intake by one-third, decrease preprandial BG, reduce glycosylated hemoglobin, and reduce insulin resistance and weight in those who are insulin resistant or overweight. Young children as well as adults can be trained in Hunger Recognition, giving them an elegant method for achieving energy balance without the stress of restraint-type dieting. The implications of improving insulin sensitivity through improved energy balance are as wide as improving immune activity. PMID:23825928

  20. Storage systems for improved grid integration of photovoltaic systems; Speichersysteme fuer eine verbesserte Netzintegration von Photovoltaikanlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ying, Shaoqing [Brandenburgische Technische Univ. Cottbus (Germany). CEBra-Research

    2013-07-15

    Since the enactment of the Renewable Energy Law in the year 2000 Germany has seen a massive increase in capacity for energy production from renewable resources. Of these, wind power and photovoltaics show heavily fluctuating supply profiles, with significant impact on energy supply grids. One approach to lessening the load on power grids, aside from their expansion, is to install energy storage systems. Recent studies on the use of such storage systems for improved grid integration of photovoltaic systems have shown the viability of this approach for ground-mounted plants connected to the medium or high voltage level as well as for roof-mounted plants for the low-voltage level.

  1. Evidence for the functional significance of diazotroph community structure in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shi-Fang; Buckley, Daniel H

    2009-01-01

    Microbial ecologists continue to seek a greater understanding of the factors that govern the ecological significance of microbial community structure. Changes in community structure have been shown to have functional significance for processes that are mediated by a narrow spectrum of organisms, such as nitrification and denitrification, but in some cases, functional redundancy in the community seems to buffer microbial ecosystem processes. The functional significance of microbial community structure is frequently obscured by environmental variation and is hard to detect in short-term experiments. We examine the functional significance of free-living diazotrophs in a replicated long-term tillage experiment in which extraneous variation is minimized and N-fixation rates can be related to soil characteristics and diazotroph community structure. Soil characteristics were found to be primarily impacted by tillage management, whereas N-fixation rates and diazotroph community structure were impacted by both biomass management practices and interactions between tillage and biomass management. The data suggest that the variation in diazotroph community structure has a greater impact on N-fixation rates than do soil characteristics at the site. N-fixation rates displayed a saturating response to increases in diazotroph community diversity. These results show that the changes in the community structure of free-living diazotrophs in soils can have ecological significance and suggest that this response is related to a change in community diversity.

  2. Improvement of Accuracy for Background Noise Estimation Method Based on TPE-AE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itai, Akitoshi; Yasukawa, Hiroshi

    This paper proposes a method of a background noise estimation based on the tensor product expansion with a median and a Monte carlo simulation. We have shown that a tensor product expansion with absolute error method is effective to estimate a background noise, however, a background noise might not be estimated by using conventional method properly. In this paper, it is shown that the estimate accuracy can be improved by using proposed methods.

  3. Improvement of communications in nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Depigny, C.; Ghertman, F.; Lestien, A.

    1986-01-01

    Since 1983, Electricite de France (EDF) has been engaged in a major project to improve nuclear power plant communications. This project was launched following a series of incidents in which inappropriate communications practices and equipment were shown to be an aggravating, or in some cases, the determining factor. This paper presents the program established by EDF to resolve communications problems in its nuclear power stations

  4. Moving forward in fall prevention: an intervention to improve balance among patients in a quasi-experimental study of hospitalized patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villafañe, Jorge H; Pirali, Caterina; Buraschi, Riccardo; Arienti, Chiara; Corbellini, Camilo; Negrini, Stefano

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the effectiveness of three different rehabilitative programs: group exercise, individual core stability or balance training intervention with a stabilometric platform to improve balance ability in elderly hospitalized patients. We used a prospective quasi-experimental study design. Twenty-eight patients, 39.3% women [age (mean±SD) 72.4±6.5 years], known to have had at least a fall in the last 12 months, were consecutively assigned to one of the following three groups: group exercise intervention, individual core stability or balance training with a stabilometric platform (five sessions a week for 3 weeks in each group). Outcomes were collected at baseline and immediately following the intervention period. In each intervention group, patients showed improvement in balance and mobility, shown as an improvement in the three functional tests score (the Tinetti scale, the Berg Balance Scale, and the Time Up and Go test) (all, PFall Risk Test) were not significant for all the interventions. No significant group-by-time interaction was detected for any of the intervention groups, which suggests that the groups improved in the same way. These findings indicate that participation in an exercise program can improve balance and functional mobility, which might contribute toward the reductions of the falls of elderly hospitalized patients and the subsequent fall-related costs. Functional scales might be more appropriate than an instrumental test (Postural Stability Test and Fall Risk Test of the Biodex Balance System) in detecting the functional improvement because of a rehabilitative intervention.

  5. [Johann Sebastian Bach: life, oeuvre and his significance for the cardiology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trappe, H-J

    2014-12-01

    Johann Sebastian Bach was born on 1685 in Eisenach. By the time he turned 10, Bach found himself an orphan after the death of both of his parents. After working in Weimar, Arnstadt, Mühlhausen, and Köthen Bach signed a contract to become the new organist and teacher at St. Thomas Church Leipzig in 1723 and stayed there until his death. In 1749, Bach tried to fix his failing sight by having surgery the following year, but the operation ended up leaving him completely blind. Few months later, Bach suffered a stroke. He died in Leipzig on July 28, 1750. In recent years, there were some questions whether music of different styles can directly alter cardiovascular parameters, particularly by using Bach's music. In some studies it has been shown that cardiovascular parameters (blood pressure, heart rate) are influenced by music. Listening to classic music (Bach) leads to positive erffects, also music by Italian composters. In contrast, "modern" music, vocal music or songs had no positive effects on cardiovascular parameters. In addition, positive effects on cardiovascular parameters and behavioural patters have been shown in an animal study recently, by Bach's music. Recent studies showed clearly that music influences cardiovascular parameters. It is obvious that classical music (Bach) has benefitial effects, both in humans and in animals. Therefore, the music of the "Thomaskantor" will improve both, quality of life and cardiovascular health. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  6. How to Improve the Quality of Screening Endoscopy in Korea: National Endoscopy Quality Improvement Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yu Kyung

    2016-07-01

    In Korea, gastric cancer screening, either esophagogastroduodenoscopy or upper gastrointestinal series (UGIS), is performed biennially for adults aged 40 years or older. Screening endoscopy has been shown to be associated with localized cancer detection and better than UGIS. However, the diagnostic sensitivity of detecting cancer is not satisfactory. The National Endoscopy Quality Improvement (QI) program was initiated in 2009 to enhance the quality of medical institutions and improve the effectiveness of the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP). The Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy developed quality standards through a broad systematic review of other endoscopic quality guidelines and discussions with experts. The standards comprise five domains: qualifications of endoscopists, endoscopic unit facilities and equipment, endoscopic procedure, endoscopy outcomes, and endoscopic reprocessing. After 5 years of the QI program, feedback surveys showed that the perception of QI and endoscopic practice improved substantially in all domains of quality, but the quality standards need to be revised. How to avoid missing cancer in endoscopic procedures in daily practice was reviewed, which can be applied to the mass screening endoscopy. To improve the quality and effectiveness of NCSP, key performance indicators, acceptable quality standards, regular audit, and appropriate reimbursement are necessary.

  7. Improvement of the wear resistance of electroplated Au-Ni coatings by Zr ion bombardment of Ni-B sublayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyazgin, Alexander; Shugurov, Artur; Sergeev, Viktor; Neufeld, Vasily; Panin, Alexey; Shesterikov, Evgeny

    2015-01-01

    The effect of bombardment of the Ni-B sublayer by Zr ion beams on the surface morphology and tribomechanical properties of Au-Ni coatings was investigated. It was found that the treatment has no significant effect on the surface roughness and grain size of the Au-Ni coatings, while it provides essential reducing of their friction coefficient and improvement of wear resistance. It is shown that increased wear resistance of these coatings was caused by their strain hardening resulted from localization of plastic strain. The optimal Zr fluence were determined that provide the maximum reduction of linear wear of the coatings

  8. Functional-Strengthening: A Pilot Study on Balance Control Improvement in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micah D. Josephson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Adults over the age of 65 have a 1 in 3 chance of falling; in 2012, more than $30 billion was spent on medical costs due to these falls. The division of resistance training and neuromotor training balance improvement interventions has shown to yield low to moderate results. Athletes combine both resistance training and skill development (function training to improve skilled performance. Older adults may not be performing high-level sports activities, but still require strength, power, and functional fitness levels to perform relatively high-level skills. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of combining resistance and functional training into functional-strength training on dynamic balance control in moderately active older adults. Eighteen healthy older adults were divided into three groups; functional resistance, standard resistance, and control. All groups met for their intervention twice a week for six weeks. Dynamic balance was assessed using the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale (0-40. Results of individual paired T-tests showed a significant improvement in balance control in the functional resistance group (t(5 =-3.492, p=.017 and a very large effect size (d=1.33 whereas neither the standard resistance nor control group had a significant reduction in the risk of falls. Manipulating multidimensional, neuromotor function during resistance training exercises is an effective method of applying the overload principle in order to reduce falls risk in moderately active seniors.

  9. Smoking improves divided attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlers, Eike; Hahn, Eric; Ta, Thi Minh Tam; Goudarzi, Elnaz; Dettling, Michael; Neuhaus, Andres H

    2014-10-01

    Smoking is highly prevalent in schizophrenia, and there is evidence for beneficial effects on neurocognition. Smoking is therefore hypothesized a self-medication in schizophrenia. Although much effort is devoted to characterize those cognitive domains that potentially benefit from smoking, divided attention has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze the interactional effects of diagnosis of schizophrenia and smoking history on divided attention. We investigated behavioral measures of divided attention in a sample of 48 schizophrenic patients and 48 controls (24 current smokers and non-smokers each) carefully matched for age, sex, education, verbal IQ, and smoking status with general linear models. Most important within the scope of this study, significant interactions were found for valid reactions and errors of omission: Performance substantially increased in smoking schizophrenic patients, but not in controls. Further, these interactions were modified by sex, driven by female schizophrenic patients who showed a significant behavioral advantage of smokers over non-smokers, other than male schizophrenic patients or healthy controls who did not express this sex-specific pattern. Results suggest a positive effect of smoking history on divided attention in schizophrenic patients. This study provides first evidence that the complex attention domain of divided attention is improved by smoking, which further substantiates the self-medication hypothesis of smoking in schizophrenia, although this has been shown mainly for sustained and selective attention. Gender-specific effects on cognition need to be further investigated.

  10. Improved learning in U.S. history and decision competence with decision-focused curriculum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Jacobson

    Full Text Available Decision making is rarely taught in high school, even though improved decision skills could benefit young people facing life-shaping decisions. While decision competence has been shown to correlate with better life outcomes, few interventions designed to improve decision skills have been evaluated with rigorous quantitative measures. A randomized study showed that integrating decision making into U.S. history instruction improved students' history knowledge and decision-making competence, compared to traditional history instruction. Thus, integrating decision training enhanced academic performance and improved an important, general life skill associated with improved life outcomes.

  11. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fentahun Moges Kasie

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview and observation of records. The methodology is to evaluate business performances of sampled manufacturing companies and the extent of utilization of crucial non-financial (lagging and non-financial (leading performance measures. The positive correlation between financial business performance and practice of MCPM is clearly shown using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Findings –This research paper indicates that companies which measure their performance using important financial and non-financial measures achieve better business performance. Even though certain companies are currently using non-financial measures, the researchers have learned that these financial measures were not integrated with each other, financial measures and strategic objectives. Research limitations/implications: The limitation of this paper is that the number of surveyed companies is small to make generalization and they are found in a single country. Further researches which incorporate a large number of companies from various developing nations are suggested to minimize the limitation of this research.Practical Implication: The paper shows that multi-dimensional performance measures with the inclusion of key leading indicator are essential to predict the future environment. But cost-accounting based financial measures are inadequate to do so. These are shown practically using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Originality/value: The significance of multi

  12. Significant role of the cardiopostural interaction in blood pressure regulation during standing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Da; Verma, Ajay K; Garg, Amanmeet; Bruner, Michelle; Fazel-Rezai, Reza; Blaber, Andrew P; Tavakolian, Kouhyar

    2017-09-01

    Cardiovascular and postural control systems have been studied independently despite the increasing evidence showing the importance of cardiopostural interaction in blood pressure regulation. In this study, we aimed to assess the role of the cardiopostural interaction in relation to cardiac baroreflex in blood pressure regulation under orthostatic stress before and after mild exercise. Physiological variables representing cardiovascular control (heart rate and systolic blood pressure), lower limb muscle activation (electromyography), and postural sway (center of pressure derived from force and moment data during sway) were measured from 17 healthy participants (25 ± 2 yr, 9 men and 8 women) during a sit-to-stand test before and after submaximal exercise. The cardiopostural control (characterized by baroreflex-mediated muscle-pump effect in response to blood pressure changes, i.e., muscle-pump baroreflex) was assessed using wavelet transform coherence and causality analyses in relation to the baroreflex control of heart rate. Significant cardiopostural blood pressure control was evident counting for almost half of the interaction time with blood pressure changes that observed in the cardiac baroreflex (36.6-72.5% preexercise and 34.7-53.9% postexercise). Thus, cardiopostural input to blood pressure regulation should be considered when investigating orthostatic intolerance. A reduction of both cardiac and muscle-pump baroreflexes in blood pressure regulation was observed postexercise and was likely due to the absence of excessive venous pooling and a less stressed system after mild exercise. With further studies using more effective protocols evoking venous pooling and muscle-pump activity, the cardiopostural interaction could improve our understanding of the autonomic control system and ultimately lead to a more accurate diagnosis of cardiopostural dysfunctions. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We examined the interaction between cardiovascular and postural control systems during

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Evaluation of a multicomponent workplace health promotion program conducted in Japan for improving employees' cardiovascular disease risk factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, T; Yamauchi, K

    2001-12-01

    The long-term effectiveness of multicomponent worksite health promotion programs targeting cardiovascular disease risk factors remains unclear in Japan. This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of such a health promotion program consisting of a main program provided over 4 days and a follow-up program provided over 1 year. The subjects of this randomized controlled trial were male employees working for a building maintenance company in Japan. The intervention group (n = 152) and the control group (n = 150) consisted of employees having abnormal findings in at least one of the following items at baseline health examination: body mass index (BMI), systolic (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose. Evaluation was conducted at 18 months after the main program. BMI, SBP, total cholesterol, and triglycerides improved significantly in the intervention group compared with the control group (P < 0.05). When comparisons were limited to those who showed abnormality at baseline, BMI, total cholesterol, and triglycerides improved significantly in the intervention group (P < 0.05). The multicomponent health promotion program provided to employees was shown to be effective in improving obesity, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia when evaluated 18 months after the main intervention program. Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science.

  16. Improved CFD Model to Predict Flow and Temperature Distributions in a Blast Furnace Hearth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komiyama, Keisuke M.; Guo, Bao-Yu; Zughbi, Habib; Zulli, Paul; Yu, Ai-Bing

    2014-10-01

    The campaign life of a blast furnace is limited by the erosion of hearth refractories. Flow and temperature distributions of the liquid iron have a significant influence on the erosion mechanism. In this work, an improved three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model is developed to simulate the flow and heat transfer phenomena in the hearth of BlueScope's Port Kembla No. 5 Blast Furnace. Model improvements feature more justified input parameters in turbulence modeling, buoyancy modeling, wall boundary conditions, material properties, and modeling of the solidification of iron. The model is validated by comparing the calculated temperatures with the thermocouple data available, where agreements are established within ±3 pct. The flow distribution in the hearth is discussed for intact and eroded hearth profiles, for sitting and floating coke bed states. It is shown that natural convection affects the flow in several ways: for example, the formation of (a) stagnant zones preventing hearth bottom from eroding or (b) the downward jetting of molten liquid promoting side wall erosion, or (c) at times, a vortex-like peripheral flow, promoting the "elephant foot" type erosion. A significant influence of coke bed permeability on the macroscopic flow pattern and the refractory temperature is observed.

  17. The efficacy of psycho training on improvement of organizational ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: One of the most important issues of organizations in the modern age is to maximize their efficiency via improvement of organizational behavior. Organizational behavior is directly linked to mental health and recent studies have shown the major role of religion in maintaining mental health of people. The aim of ...

  18. Balance of plant improvements for future reactor projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollingshaus, H.

    1987-01-01

    Many studies have shown that improvements in portions of the plant other than the reactor systems can yield large cost savings during the design, construction, and operation of future reactor power plants. This portion is defined as the Balance of Plant which includes virtually everything except the equipment furnished by the Nuclear Steam Supply System manufacturer. It normally includes the erection of the entire plant including the NSSS. Cost of BOP equipment, engineering and construction work is therefore most of the cost of the plant. Improvements in the BOP have been identified that will substantially reduce nuclear plant cost and construction time while at the same time increasing availability and operability and improving safety. Improvements achieved through standardizatoin, simplification, three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design, modular construction, innovative construction techniques, and applications for Artificial Intelligence Systems are described. (author)

  19. An adjoint-based scheme for eigenvalue error improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merton, S.R.; Smedley-Stevenson, R.P.; Pain, C.C.; El-Sheikh, A.H.; Buchan, A.G.

    2011-01-01

    A scheme for improving the accuracy and reducing the error in eigenvalue calculations is presented. Using a rst order Taylor series expansion of both the eigenvalue solution and the residual of the governing equation, an approximation to the error in the eigenvalue is derived. This is done using a convolution of the equation residual and adjoint solution, which is calculated in-line with the primal solution. A defect correction on the solution is then performed in which the approximation to the error is used to apply a correction to the eigenvalue. The method is shown to dramatically improve convergence of the eigenvalue. The equation for the eigenvalue is shown to simplify when certain normalizations are applied to the eigenvector. Two such normalizations are considered; the rst of these is a fission-source type of normalisation and the second is an eigenvector normalisation. Results are demonstrated on a number of demanding elliptic problems using continuous Galerkin weighted nite elements. Moreover, the correction scheme may also be applied to hyperbolic problems and arbitrary discretization. This is not limited to spatial corrections and may be used throughout the phase space of the discrete equation. The applied correction not only improves fidelity of the calculation, it allows assessment of the reliability of numerical schemes to be made and could be used to guide mesh adaption algorithms or to automate mesh generation schemes. (author)

  20. EFFECTIVENESS OF TRUNK TRAINING EXERCISES VERSUS SWISS BALL EXERCISES FOR IMPROVING SITTING BALANCE AND GAIT PARAMETERS IN ACUTE STROKE SUBJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kothalanka Viswaja

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of trunk training and Swiss ball exercises in acute stroke subjects. Trunk is often neglected part in the stroke rehabilitation, trunk training exercises and Swiss ball exercises result in better recruitment of trunk muscles thus improving sitting balance and gait parameters in acute stroke subjects. However literature evidences for trunk training exercises and Swiss ball exercises in improving sitting balance and gait are scarce in acute stroke population. Methods: A total of 60 subjects who met the inclusion criteria were recruited from department of physiotherapy, G.S.L general hospital and were randomly allocated into 2 groups with 30 subjects in each group. Initially all of them were screened for balance and gait using trunk impairment scale and by assessing gait parameters, after that they were given a 30min of trunk training and Swiss ball exercises for 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Both the groups received conventional physiotherapy for 4 weeks. Results: Post intervention there was no significant difference between the two groups. There was improvement post treatment in trunk training group (P0.5. Conclusion: The results had shown that both groups noted significant difference. But when comparing between these two groups there is no statistical significance noted. So this study concluded that there is no significant difference between trunk training exercises and Swiss ball exercises on sitting balance and gait parameters in subjects with stroke.

  1. Chiropractic manipulative therapy of the thoracic spine in combination with stretch and strengthening exercises, in improving postural kyphosis in woman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim C. Branco

    2016-10-01

    Method: A randomised study design with thirty female participants between the ages of twenty and  thirty nine was selected. Group 1 (n = 10 received chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy to the thoracic spine. Group 2 (n = 10 received chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy to the thoracic spine as well as stretch and strengthening exercises i.e. stretching the pectoralis major muscles and strengthening the rhomboid, middle and inferior trapezius muscles. Group 3 (n = 10 received stretch and strengthening exercises. The stretch and strengthening exercises were performed in the consultation rooms to ensure that the participants were complying with the treatment and doing the exercises properly. The study consisted of seven consultations for Group 1 (they received treatment once a week for six weeks and for Groups 2 and 3 there were nineteen consultations (they received three treatments a week for six weeks. Objective data was recorded at the beginning of the first, fourth and seventh consultations for Group 1, and the first, tenth and nineteenth consultations for Groups 2 and 3. On the seventh consultation (for Group 1 and nineteenth consultation for Groups 2 and 3, only data collection was done. Objective data were obtained by using the Flexicurve® Ruler measurements for the angle of kyphosis. Visual analysis was done by taking lateral (sagittal view photographs at the beginning of the initial and final consultations. Results: Statistical analysis revealed significant statistical changes for the intragroup results for all three groups. No significant statistical difference was found between the groups for the inter-group analysis. Conclusion: The study showed that all three treatment protocols for Groups 1, 2, and 3 were effective. However, Group 1 had not shown a great improvement in their postural kyphosis, Group 3 had shown a relatively good improvement in their posture, while Group 2 had shown the best results with regards to improvement of the

  2. Prognosis of non-significant coronary atherosclerotic disease detected by coronary artery tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barros, Marcio Vinicius Lins; Siqueira, Bruna Pinto; Guimaraes, Carolina Camargos Braichi; Cruz, David Filipe Silva; Guimaraes, Leiziane Assuncao Alves; Lima, Maicom Marcio Perigolo, E-mail: marciovlbarros@gmail.com [Faculdade de Saude e Ecologia Humana, Vespasiano, MG (Brazil); Nunes, Maria do Carmo Pereira [Universidade de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Faculdade de Medicina; Siqueira, Maria Helena Albernaz [Hospital Materdei, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)

    2015-07-15

    Introduction: Although studies have shown high diagnostic accuracy of coronary tomography (CT) in detecting coronary artery disease (CAD), data on the prognostic value of this method in patients with no significant coronary obstruction are limited. Objective: To evaluate the value of CT in predicting adverse events in patients with suspected CAD and no significant coronary obstruction. Methods: We prospectively evaluated 440 patients between January 2008 and July 2013 by MDCT, diagnosed with no significant obstruction or no atherosclerotic coronary obstruction with an average follow-up of 33 months. The outcomes evaluated were: cardiac death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina associated with hospitalization or coronary artery bypass grafting. Results: Of the 440 patients studied, 295 (67%) were men with mean age 55.9 ± 12.0 years. Non-significant obstruction was found in 152 (35%) of the patients and there were 49 (11%) outcomes. In the multivariate analysis using the Cox regression model, the predictors of clinical outcomes were non-significant obstruction on CT (hazard ratio 3.51; 95% CI 1.73 - 7.8; p <0.01), age and hypertension. Non-significant obstruction on CT was associated with adverse clinical outcomes and survival analysis showed a significant difference (log-rank 24.6; p <0.01) in predicting these outcomes. Conclusion: The detection of non-significant atherosclerotic obstruction by CT was associated with the presence of adverse events in patients with suspected CAD, which may prove useful in the risk stratification of these patients. (author)

  3. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Service Blueprint for Improving Clinical Guideline Adherence via Mobile Health Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Y. O'Connor; C. Heavin; S. O' Connor; J. Gallagher; J. Wu; J. O'Donoghue

    2015-01-01

    Background: To improve the delivery of paediatric healthcare in low resource settings, Community Health Workers (CHW) have been provided with a paper-based set of protocols known as Community Case Management (CCM). Yet research has shown that CHW adherence to CCM guidelines is poor, ultimately impacting health service delivery. Digitising the CCM guidelines via mobile technology is argued in extant literature to improve CHW adherence. However, little research exist which ...

  5. Improved oxidation of air pollutants in a non-thermal plasma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roland, U.; Holzer, F.; Kopinke, F.-D.

    2002-01-01

    The performance of non-thermal plasma (NTP) for the removal of organic air pollutants (especially in low concentrations) is improved by the introduction of ferroelectric and catalytically active materials into the discharge zone of an NTP reactor. Experiments with model systems (various contaminants and packed-bed materials) have shown that such a modification of a homogeneous gas-phase plasma can overcome the most serious restrictions of the NTP technique at its present state of the art: the incomplete total oxidation (i.e. the low selectivity to CO 2 ) and the energetic inefficiency. Placing a ferroelectric packed-bed material in the discharge zone was shown to result in a lowering of the energy input required. The main effects of plasma catalysis enabled by the introduction of a catalytically active material were an enhanced conversion of pollutants and a higher CO 2 selectivity. These improvements are based on the presence of short-lived oxidising species in the inner volume of porous catalysts. Additionally, the formation of a reservoir of adsorbed oxidants in the NTP zone could be shown. The combination of both modifications (ferroelectric packed-bed materials and plasma catalysis) is a promising method to support the NTP-initiated oxidation of air pollutants

  6. Piracetam improves cognitive deficits caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhi; Liao, Yun; Zheng, Min; Zeng, Fan-Dian; Guo, Lian-Jun

    2008-06-01

    Piracetam is the derivate of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which improves the cognition,memory,consciousness, and is widely applied in the clinical treatment of brain dysfunction. In the present experiments, we study the effects of piracetam on chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats and observe its influence on amino acids, synaptic plasticity in the Perforant path-CA3 pathway and apoptosis in vivo. Cerebral hypoperfusion for 30 days by occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries induced marked amnesic effects along with neuron damage, including: (1) spatial learning and memory deficits shown by longer escape latency and shorter time spent in the target quadrant; (2) significant neuronal loss and nuclei condensation in the cortex and hippocampus especially in CA1 region; (3) lower induction rate of long term potentiation, overexpression of BAX and P53 protein, and lower content of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in hippocampus. Oral administration of piracetam (600 mg/kg, once per day for 30 days) markedly improved the memory impairment, increased the amino acid content in hippocampus, and attenuated neuronal damage. The ability of piracetam to attenuate memory deficits and neuronal damage after hypoperfusion may be beneficial in cerebrovascular type dementia.

  7. an improved structural model for seismic analysis of tall frames

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Obe

    ABSTRACT. This paper proposed and examined an improved structural model ... The equation of motion of multI-storey building shown in fig. 2 can be ... The response of the nth mode at any time t of the MDOF system demands the solution of ...

  8. The role of improved fusion concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, D.B.; Linford, R.K.; Liu, C.S.; Logan, B.G.; Rose, P.H.

    1985-01-01

    The U.S. Dept. of Energy discusses concept improvement in the tokamak and concept improvement in the mirror. Controlled Thermonuclear Research comments on what constitutes an attractive fusion reactor, and provides a table of achieved parameters of RFP, FRC and the spheromak experiments. GA Technologies Inc. remarks on the direction which industry must take in the fusion program. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory concentrates on commercial reactor studies. Spectra Technology focuses on problems dealing with fusion proponents making a convincing and clear economic argument for fusion based on a mils per kilowat basis, and the large costs of flagship experiments. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory remarks on the need for an economic energy source for fusion. A table of cost of electricity contours is shown

  9. The role of improved fusion concepts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, D.B.; Linford, R.K.; Liu, C.S.; Logan, B.G.; Rose, P.H.

    1985-06-01

    The U.S. Dept. of Energy discusses concept improvement in the tokamak and concept improvement in the mirror. Controlled Thermonuclear Research comments on what constitutes an attractive fusion reactor, and provides a table of achieved parameters of RFP, FRC and the spheromak experiments. GA Technologies Inc. remarks on the direction which industry must take in the fusion program. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory concentrates on commercial reactor studies. Spectra Technology focuses on problems dealing with fusion proponents making a convincing and clear economic argument for fusion based on a mils per kilowat basis, and the large costs of flagship experiments. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory remarks on the need for an economic energy source for fusion. A table of cost of electricity contours is shown.

  10. Increasing the statistical significance of entanglement detection in experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Host-derived probiotics Enterococcus casseliflavus improves resistance against Streptococcus iniae infection in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) via immunomodulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Safari, Reza; Adel, Milad; Lazado, Carlo Cabacang

    2016-01-01

    The present study evaluated the benefits of dietary administration of host-derived candidate probiotics Enterococcus casseliflavus in juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Experimental diets were prepared by incorporating the microorganisms in the basal feed at 3 inclusion levels (i.e. 107...... CFU g-1 of feed [T1], 108 CFU g-1 of feed [T2], 109 CFU g-1 of feed [T3]). The probiotic feeds were administered for 8 weeks, with a group fed with the basal diet serving as control. The effects on growth performance, gut health, innate immunity and disease resistance were evaluated.Results showed...... that growth performance parameters were significantly improved in T2 and T3 groups. Activities of digestive enzymes such as trypsin and lipase were significantly higher in these two groups as well. Gut micro-ecology was influenced by probiotic feeding as shown by the significant increase in intestinal lactic...

  12. Manipulation of Ovarian Function Significantly Influenced Sarcopenia in Postreproductive-Age Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhett L. Peterson

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Previously, transplantation of ovaries from young cycling mice into old postreproductive-age mice increased life span. We anticipated that the same factors that increased life span could also influence health span. Female CBA/J mice received new (60 d ovaries at 12 and 17 months of age and were evaluated at 16 and 25 months of age, respectively. There were no significant differences in body weight among any age or treatment group. The percentage of fat mass was significantly increased at 13 and 16 months of age but was reduced by ovarian transplantation in 16-month-old mice. The percentages of lean body mass and total body water were significantly reduced in 13-month-old control mice but were restored in 16- and 25-month-old recipient mice by ovarian transplantation to the levels found in six-month-old control mice. In summary, we have shown that skeletal muscle mass, which is negatively influenced by aging, can be positively influenced or restored by reestablishment of active ovarian function in aged female mice. These findings provide strong incentive for further investigation of the positive influence of young ovaries on restoration of health in postreproductive females.

  13. Intralabyrinthine schwannoma shown by magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saeed, S.R.; Birzgalis, A.R.; Ramsden, R.T.

    1994-01-01

    Intralabyrinthine schwannomas are rare benign tumours which present with progressive or fluctuant audiovestibular symptoms and may mimic Menieres disease. The size and position of these lesions make preoperative diagnosis unusual and most are discovered incidentally at labyrinthectomy. A case is reported which was diagnosed on magnetic resonance imaging and confirmed at surgery. (orig.)

  14. Organolead compounds shown to be genetically active

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahlberg, J; Ramel, C; Wachtmeister, C A

    1972-01-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether alkyllead compounds would cause a genetic effect similar to that caused by alkyl mercury compounds. Experiments were conducted on Allium cepa (onion) in order to determine the effect of lead compounds on the spindle fiber mechanism. Results indicate that disturbances of the spindle fiber mechanism occur even at very low concentrations. The lowest concentration at which such effects are observed seems to be between 10/sup -6/ and 10/sup -7/ M for the organic compounds. Although no effect can be observed on the spindle fibers at lower dosages, the mitotic index is changed even at a dose of 10/sup -7/ M with dimethyllead. A preliminary experiment was made on Drosophila with triethyllead in order to investigate whether the effects which were observed on mitoses in Allium would also be observed in a meiotic cell system in an animal.

  15. Hypervascularisation in diabetic patients shown by angiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reinhardt, K.

    1981-11-01

    Two diabetic patients are described who showed widened and tortuous arteries, increased blood flow and increased filling of small arteries, which simultaneous filling of arteries and veins (increased flow through arterio-venous anastomoses). In one patient, during an observation period of four years, occlusion of both common iliacs developed, as well as a block of one femoral artery and mural changes in the other. In the second patient, areas of occlusion and hypervascularisation co-existed. The first patient showed osteolytic changes, also involving the joints, whereas the second patient developed diffuse rarefaction of the bones in the leg and foot. Ischaemic necroses developed in the soft tissues in both patients and leg amputation was therefore carried out. The angiographic and skeletal findings, however, suggest that the soft tissues suffered trophic changes which should be regarded as a secondary complication of the ischaemia.

  16. Teaching vs. Preaching: Complex Climate Shown Simply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unger, M.; Besser, N.

    2013-12-01

    Stepping outside of traditional educational venues to reach people in ways they can relate to is critical in engaging the public in topics that are complex and subtle, particularly those that have become polarized and misunderstood. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) recently designed a visitor center for its new supercomputing facility that incorporates a variety of elements intended to draw visitors in, pique their curiosity, and invite them to explore the world of climate science from a fresh perspective. We made use of video storytelling, highlighting the people at the heart of the research, to present information in a conversational tone while captivating visitors with stunning images and music. We also designed interactive games to illustrate concepts like parallel processing, and how those, in turn, apply to understanding climate. And in addition to more traditional kinesthetic displays, we are exploring ways to use social media as a means of interacting with our audiences. One of the newer modes of communication we've adopted has been cartoon storytelling. Two dimensional cartoon animation has strong cultural connotations of levity and fun. For this reason it has proven to be a particularly useful tool in communicating climate science as it disarms the viewer from the apprehension of trying to understand a great deal of scientific jargon. By crafting key concepts into scripts and using appropriate metaphors with a dash of humor we have been able to reach a far broader audience without sacrificing the science or the message.

  17. Single doses of Panax ginseng (G115) reduce blood glucose levels and improve cognitive performance during sustained mental activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reay, Jonathon L; Kennedy, David O; Scholey, Andrew B

    2005-07-01

    Single doses of the traditional herbal treatment Panax ginseng have recently been shown to elicit cognitive improvements in healthy young volunteers. The mechanisms by which ginseng improves cognitive performance are not known. However, they may be related to the glycaemic properties of some Panax species. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced crossover design, 30 healthy young adults completed a 10 min test battery at baseline, and then six times in immediate succession commencing 60 min after the day's treatment (placebo, 200mg G115 or 400mg G115). The 10 min battery comprised a Serial Threes subtraction task (2 min); a Serial Sevens task (2 min); a Rapid Visual Information Processing task (5 min); then a 'mental fatigue' visual analogue scale. Blood glucose was measured prior to each day's treatment, and before, during and after the post-dose completions of the battery. Both the 200mg and 400mg treatments led to significant reductions in blood glucose levels at all three post-treatment measurements (p 0.005 in all cases). The most notable behavioural effects were associated with 200mg of ginseng and included significantly improved Serial Sevens subtraction task performance and significantly reduced subjective mental fatigue throughout all (with the exception of one time point in each case) of the post-dose completions of the 10 min battery (p 0.05). Overall these data suggest that Panax ginseng can improve performance and subjective feelings of mental fatigue during sustained mental activity. This effect may be related to the acute gluco-regulatory properties of the extract.

  18. Improved word recognition for observers with age-related maculopathies using compensation filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri B.

    1988-01-01

    A method for improving word recognition for people with age-related maculopathies, which cause a loss of central vision, is discussed. It is found that the use of individualized compensation filters based on an person's normalized contrast sensitivity function can improve word recognition for people with age-related maculopathies. It is shown that 27-70 pct more magnification is needed for unfiltered words compared to filtered words. The improvement in word recognition is positively correlated with the severity of vision loss.

  19. Whole-body vibration improves cognitive functions of an adult with ADHD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; van den Bos, Meinris; Regterschot, G Ruben H; Zeinstra, Edzard B; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; van der Zee, Eddy A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, which were shown to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Current treatment strategies, such as stimulant drug treatment, were demonstrated to effectively improve cognitive

  20. Biofeedback efficacy to improve clinical symptoms and endoscopic signs of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forootan, Mojgan; Shekarchizadeh, Masood; Farmanara, Hamedreza; Esfahani, Ahmad Reza Shekarchizadeh; Esfahani, Mansooreh Shekarchizadeh

    2018-01-12

    Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is often resistant to medical and surgical treatment. This study assessed the effect of biofeedback in decreasing the symptoms and the healing of endoscopic signs in SRUS patients. Before starting the treatment, endoscopy and colorectal manometry was performed to evaluate dyssynergic defecation. Patients were followed every four weeks, and during each visit their response to treatment was evaluated regarding to manometry pattern. After at least 50% improvement in manometry parameters, recipients underwent rectosigmoidoscopy. Endoscopic response to biofeedback treatment and clinical symptoms were investigated. Duration of symptoms was 43.11±36.42 months in responder and 63.9 ± 45.74 months in non-responder group (P=0.22). There were more ulcers in non-responder group than responder group (1.50 ±0.71 versus 1.33±- 0.71 before and 1.30 ± 0.95 versus 0.67 ±0.50 after biofeedback), although the difference was not significant (P=0.604, 0.10 respectively). The most prevalent symptoms were constipation (79%), rectal bleeding (68%) and anorectal pain (53%). The most notable improvement in symptoms after biofeedback occured in abdominal pain and incomplete evacuation, and the least was seen in mucosal discharge and toilet waiting as shown in the bar chart. Endoscopic cure was observed in 4 of 10 patients of the non-responder group while 8 patients in responder group experienced endoscopic improvement. It seems that biofeedback has significant effect for pathophysiologic symptoms such as incomplete evacuation and obstructive defecation. Improvement of clinical symptoms does not mean endoscopic cure; so to demonstrate remission the patients have to go under rectosigmoidoscopy.

  1. Biofeedback efficacy to improve clinical symptoms and endoscopic signs of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojgan Forootan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS is often resistant to medical and surgical treatment. This study assessed the effect of biofeedback in decreasing the symptoms and the healing of endoscopic signs in SRUS patients. Before starting the treatment, endoscopy and colorectal manometry was performed to evaluate dyssynergic defecation. Patients were followed every four weeks, and during each visit their response to treatment was evaluated regarding to manometry pattern. After at least 50% improvement in manometry parameters, recipients underwent rectosigmoidoscopy. Endoscopic response to biofeedback treatment and clinical symptoms were investigated. Duration of symptoms was 43.11±36.42 months in responder and 63.9±45.74 months in non-responder group (P=0.22. There were more ulcers in non-responder group than responder group (1.50±0.71 versus 1.33±-0.71 before and 1.30 ± 0.95 versus 0.67±0.50 after biofeedback, although the difference was not significant (P=0.604, 0.10 respectively. The most prevalent symptoms were constipation (79%, rectal bleeding (68% and anorectal pain (53%. The most notable improvement in symptoms after biofeedback occured in abdominal pain and incomplete evacuation, and the least was seen in mucosal discharge and toilet waiting as shown in the bar chart. Endoscopic cure was observed in 4 of 10 patients of the non-responder group while 8 patients in responder group experienced endoscopic improvement. It seems that biofeedback has significant effect for pathophysiologic symptoms such as incomplete evacuation and obstructive defecation. Improvement of clinical symptoms does not mean endoscopic cure; so to demonstrate remission the patients have to go under rectosigmoidoscopy.

  2. Expression of reductases in continuous mammal cell cultures and its significance for the activation of nitroaromatics shown for the example of 1.6 dinitropyrene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reuter, U.

    1993-01-01

    The aim of the first part of the work was to establish the metabolism of 1,3- and 1,6-DNP in intact cells. This gave rise to the following questions. What metabolites are formed in cell lines with different enzyme outfits? What influence does the induction of P450 have on the metabolism of the two nitroaromates? Does the metabolism found in the different test cell lines permit any conclusions as to the activating mechanism of 1,6- and 1,3-DNP. In the second part these test cell lines were studied with respect to the expression of the reductases that might be involved in the metabolism of aromates. The following questions were of focal interest: Are cytochrome reductase, DT diaphorase and xanthine-oxidase expressed in the cell lines? If so, to what extent? Can these enzymes be induced in the test cell lines? In the last part the enzymes that reduce 1,6-DNP to gene-toxic products were identified. This required clarifying the following: What role do the above-mentioned reductases play in the activation of 1,6-DNP in individual cell lines? Are there other enzymes responsible for the activation of 1,6-DNP? (MG) [de

  3. Improving care at cystic fibrosis centers through quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraynack, Nathan C; McBride, John T

    2009-10-01

    Quality improvement (QI) using a clinical microsystems approach provides cystic fibrosis (CF) centers the opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the health of their patients. The availability of center-specific outcomes data and the support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are important advantages for these quality improvement efforts. This article illustrates how the clinical microsystems methodology can improve care delivery and outcomes by describing the gradual application of quality improvement principles over the past 5 years by the CF team at the Lewis Walker Cystic Fibrosis Center at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Using the example of a project to improve the pulmonary function of the pediatric patients at our center as a framework, we describe the QI process from the initial team-building phase, through the assessment of care processes, standardization of care, and developing a culture of continuous improvement. We outline how enthusiastic commitment from physician leadership, clinical managers and central administration, the availability of coaches, and an appreciation of the importance of measurement, patient involvement, communication, and standardization are critical components for successful process improvement. Copyright Thieme Medical Publishers.

  4. Improving Loop Dependence Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Nicklas Bo; Karlsson, Sven

    2017-01-01

    Programmers can no longer depend on new processors to have significantly improved single-thread performance. Instead, gains have to come from other sources such as the compiler and its optimization passes. Advanced passes make use of information on the dependencies related to loops. We improve th...

  5. Improved meal presentation increases food intake and decreases readmission rate in hospitalized patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Daniela Abigail; Boaz, Mona; Krause, Ilan; Elis, Avishay; Chernov, Karina; Giabra, Mursi; Levy, Miriam; Giboreau, Agnes; Kosak, Sigrid; Mouhieddine, Mohamed; Singer, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    Reduced food intake is a frequent problem at a hospital setting, being a cause and/or consequence of malnutrition. Food presentation can affect food intake and induce nutritional benefit. To investigate the effect of improved meal presentation supported by gastronomy expertise on the food intake in adults hospitalized in internal medicine departments. Controlled before and after study. Two hundred and six newly hospitalized patients in internal medicine departments were included and divided in two groups, a) control: receiving the standard lunch from the hospital and b) experimental: receiving a lunch improved in terms of presentation by the advices received by the Institut Paul Bocuse, Ecully, Lyon, France together with the hospital kitchen of the Beilinson Hospital, without change in the composition of the meal. The amount of food left at the participants' plates was estimated using the Digital Imaging Method, which consisted in photographing the plates immediately to previous tray collection by the researcher. In addition, the nutritionDay questionnaire was used to measure other variables concerned to their food intake during hospitalization. Charlson Comorbidity Index was calculated. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding demography or Charlson Comorbidity Index. Patients who received the meal with the improved presentation showed significantly higher food intake than those who received the standard meal, despite reported loss in appetite. Participants from the experimental group left on their plate less starch (0.19 ± 0.30 vs. 0.52 + 0.41) (p  0.05). Both of the groups were asked how hungry they were before the meal and no significance was shown. More participants from the experimental group reported their meal to be tasty in comparison to those in the control group (49.5% vs. 33.7% p < 0.005). Length of stay was not different but readmission rate decreased significantly in the study group (p < 0.02) from 31.2% to 13

  6. Improving the driver-automation interaction: an approach using automation uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beller, Johannes; Heesen, Matthias; Vollrath, Mark

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether communicating automation uncertainty improves the driver-automation interaction. A false system understanding of infallibility may provoke automation misuse and can lead to severe consequences in case of automation failure. The presentation of automation uncertainty may prevent this false system understanding and, as was shown by previous studies, may have numerous benefits. Few studies, however, have clearly shown the potential of communicating uncertainty information in driving. The current study fills this gap. We conducted a driving simulator experiment, varying the presented uncertainty information between participants (no uncertainty information vs. uncertainty information) and the automation reliability (high vs.low) within participants. Participants interacted with a highly automated driving system while engaging in secondary tasks and were required to cooperate with the automation to drive safely. Quantile regressions and multilevel modeling showed that the presentation of uncertainty information increases the time to collision in the case of automation failure. Furthermore, the data indicated improved situation awareness and better knowledge of fallibility for the experimental group. Consequently, the automation with the uncertainty symbol received higher trust ratings and increased acceptance. The presentation of automation uncertaintythrough a symbol improves overall driver-automation cooperation. Most automated systems in driving could benefit from displaying reliability information. This display might improve the acceptance of fallible systems and further enhances driver-automation cooperation.

  7. Latex improvement of recycled asphalt pavement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drennon, C.

    1982-08-01

    The performance of a single unmodified milled recycled asphalt concrete was compared to milled asphalt concrete modified by addition of three types of rubber latex. Latex was added at 2, 3, 5, and 8 percent latex by weight of asphalt in the asphalt concrete. Lattices used were a styrene butadiene (SBR), a natural rubber (NR), an acrylonitrile butadiene (NBR), and four varieties of out of specification SBR lattices. Marshall tests, while indecisive, showed a modest improvement in properties of SBR and NR added material at 3 and 5 percent latex. Addition of NBR latex caused deterioration in Marshall stability and flow over that of control. Repeated load tests were run using the indirect tensile test, analyzed by the VESYS program, which computes life of pavements. Repeated load tests showed improvement in asphalt concrete life when 3 and 5 percent SBR was added. Improvement was also shown by the out of specification SBR.

  8. [Conversation analysis for improving nursing communication].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Myungsun

    2007-08-01

    Nursing communication has become more important than ever before because quality of nursing services largely depends on the quality of communication in a very competitive health care environment. This article was to introduce ways to improve nursing communication using conversation analysis. This was a review study on conversation analysis, critically examining previous studies in nursing communication and interpersonal relationships. This study provided theoretical backgrounds and basic assumptions of conversation analysis which was influenced by ethnomethodology, phenomenology, and sociolinguistic. In addition, the characteristics and analysis methods of conversation analysis were illustrated in detail. Lastly, how conversation analysis could help improve communication was shown, by examining researches using conversation analysis not only for ordinary conversations but also for extraordinary or difficult conversations such as conversations between patients with dementia and their professional nurses. Conversation analysis can help in improving nursing communication by providing various structures and patterns as well as prototypes of conversation, and by suggesting specific problems and problem-solving strategies in communication.

  9. Tailored cognitive-behavioural therapy and exercise training improves the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Koulil, S; van Lankveld, W; Kraaimaat, F W; van Helmond, T; Vedder, A; van Hoorn, H; Donders, A R T; Wirken, L; Cats, H; van Riel, P L C M; Evers, A W M

    2011-12-01

    Patients with fibromyalgia have diminished levels of physical fitness, which may lead to functional disability and exacerbating complaints. Multidisciplinary treatment comprising cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise training has been shown to be effective in improving physical fitness. However, due to the high drop-out rates and large variability in patients' functioning, it was proposed that a tailored treatment approach might yield more promising treatment outcomes. High-risk fibromyalgia patients were randomly assigned to a waiting list control group (WLC) or a treatment condition (TC), with the treatment consisting of 16 twice-weekly sessions of CBT and exercise training tailored to the patient's cognitive-behavioural pattern. Physical fitness was assessed with two physical tests before and 3 months after treatment and at corresponding intervals in the WLC. Treatment effects were evaluated using linear mixed models. The level of physical fitness had improved significantly in the TC compared with the WLC. Attrition rates were low, effect sizes large and reliable change indices indicated a clinically relevant improvement among the TC. A tailored multidisciplinary treatment approach for fibromyalgia consisting of CBT and exercise training is well tolerated, yields clinically relevant changes, and appears a promising approach to improve patients' physical fitness. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT00268606.

  10. High-rise construction in Russia as one of the objectives of improving the management mechanism for living standards of the population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeeva, Svetlana; Komyshova, Lyudmila; Nagibina, Natalia

    2018-03-01

    The article is aimed at determining the significance of solving the problem of high-rise construction in Russia as one of the tasks of improving the mechanism of managing the living standards of the population. To determine the effectiveness of measures aimed at improving the quality of life management mechanism, the expert evaluation method is used. The paper presents the measures to improve the quality of life and consequently the migration attractiveness of the region. Despite a number of actual difficulties and lack of sufficient experience, there is an interest in the development of high-rise construction. The result of the analysis of the general demographic dynamics for the last fifteen years is shown. Migration is the most mobile tool for managing short-term demographic processes; therefore, great attention should be paid to this component. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account other consequences of migration.

  11. Lentivirus-ABCG1 instillation reduces lipid accumulation and improves lung compliance in GM-CSF knock-out mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malur, Anagha; Huizar, Isham [Program in Lung Cell Biology and Translational Research, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States); Wells, Greg [Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States); Barna, Barbara P. [Program in Lung Cell Biology and Translational Research, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States); Malur, Achut G. [Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States); Thomassen, Mary Jane, E-mail: thomassenm@ecu.edu [Program in Lung Cell Biology and Translational Research, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States); Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (United States)

    2011-11-18

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Lentivirus-ABCG1 reduces lipid accumulation in lungs of GM-CSF knock-out mice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Up-regulation of ABCG1 improves lung function. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Upregulation of ABCG1 improves surfactant metabolism. -- Abstract: We have shown decreased expression of the nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR{gamma}) and the PPAR{gamma}-regulated ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) in alveolar macrophages from patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP). PAP patients also exhibit neutralizing antibodies to granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an upregulator of PPAR{gamma}. In association with functional GM-CSF deficiency, PAP lung is characterized by surfactant-filled alveolar spaces and lipid-filled alveolar macrophages. Similar pathology characterizes GM-CSF knock-out (KO) mice. We reported previously that intratracheal instillation of a lentivirus (lenti)-PPAR{gamma} plasmid into GM-CSF KO animals elevated ABCG1 and reduced alveolar macrophage lipid accumulation. Here, we hypothesized that instillation of lenti-ABCG1 might be sufficient to decrease lipid accumulation and improve pulmonary function in GM-CSF KO mice. Animals received intratracheal instillation of lenti-ABCG1 or control lenti-enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (eGFP) plasmids and alveolar macrophages were harvested 10 days later. Alveolar macrophage transduction efficiency was 79% as shown by lenti-eGFP fluorescence. Quantitative PCR analyses indicated a threefold (p = 0.0005) increase in ABCG1 expression with no change of PPAR{gamma} or ABCA1 in alveolar macrophages of lenti-ABCG1 treated mice. ABCG1 was unchanged in control lenti-eGFP and PBS-instilled groups. Oil Red O staining detected reduced intracellular neutral lipid in alveolar macrophages from lenti-ABCG1 treated mice. Extracellular cholesterol and phospholipids were also decreased as shown by

  12. Organisational patient management, as shown by the radiology department of a hospital

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schluechtermann, J.

    1990-01-01

    For years now, rationalization has been the prime goal that put hospitals under pressure to establish appropriate procedures. Work scheduling is of great significance in this context, especially in the light of modified framework conditions of the hospital's financing terms. The book in hand comprehensively discusses the problem of patient flow control, which has to serve two somewhat contradictory purposes, namely to achieve best possible capacity utilization in terms of equipment and personnel, and shortest possible waiting time for patients. The contributions offered by methods of the quantitative operations analysis for problem solving are set forth, as well as the role of computerized information systems in patient-related work scheduling. As both approaches reveal considerable weak points, a concept is presented that aims at integrating patient-related appointment methods into hospital information systems. The concept is explained by the example of a radiology department. Some scheduling heuristics are set up and are verified by empirical data. (orig./HSCH) [de

  13. Improving the Crossing-SIBTEST Statistic for Detecting Non-uniform DIF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalmers, R Philip

    2018-06-01

    This paper demonstrates that, after applying a simple modification to Li and Stout's (Psychometrika 61(4):647-677, 1996) CSIBTEST statistic, an improved variant of the statistic could be realized. It is shown that this modified version of CSIBTEST has a more direct association with the SIBTEST statistic presented by Shealy and Stout (Psychometrika 58(2):159-194, 1993). In particular, the asymptotic sampling distributions and general interpretation of the effect size estimates are the same for SIBTEST and the new CSIBTEST. Given the more natural connection to SIBTEST, it is shown that Li and Stout's hypothesis testing approach is insufficient for CSIBTEST; thus, an improved hypothesis testing procedure is required. Based on the presented arguments, a new chi-squared-based hypothesis testing approach is proposed for the modified CSIBTEST statistic. Positive results from a modest Monte Carlo simulation study strongly suggest the original CSIBTEST procedure and randomization hypothesis testing approach should be replaced by the modified statistic and hypothesis testing method.

  14. Oxytocin improves facial emotion recognition in young adults with antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Marion; Jeung, Haang; Schmitt, Ruth; Boll, Sabrina; Freitag, Christine M; Bertsch, Katja; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2017-11-01

    Deficient facial emotion recognition has been suggested to underlie aggression in individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). As the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been shown to improve facial emotion recognition, it might also exert beneficial effects in individuals providing so much harm to the society. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial, 22 individuals with ASPD and 29 healthy control (HC) subjects (matched for age, sex, intelligence, and education) were intranasally administered either OT (24 IU) or a placebo 45min before participating in an emotion classification paradigm with fearful, angry, and happy faces. We assessed the number of correct classifications and reaction times as indicators of emotion recognition ability. Significant group×substance×emotion interactions were found in correct classifications and reaction times. Compared to HC, individuals with ASPD showed deficits in recognizing fearful and happy faces; these group differences were no longer observable under OT. Additionally, reaction times for angry faces differed significantly between the ASPD and HC group in the placebo condition. This effect was mainly driven by longer reaction times in HC subjects after placebo administration compared to OT administration while individuals with ASPD revealed descriptively the contrary response pattern. Our data indicate an improvement of the recognition of fearful and happy facial expressions by OT in young adults with ASPD. Particularly the increased recognition of facial fear is of high importance since the correct perception of distress signals in others is thought to inhibit aggression. Beneficial effects of OT might be further mediated by improved recognition of facial happiness probably reflecting increased social reward responsiveness. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Short term (14 days) consumption of insoluble wheat bran fibre-containing breakfast cereals improves subjective digestive feelings, general wellbeing and bowel function in a dose dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Clare L; Walton, Jenny; Hoyland, Alexa; Howarth, Elaine; Allan, Peter; Chesters, David; Dye, Louise

    2013-04-22

    This study investigated whether increasing insoluble (predominantly wheat bran) fibre over 14 days improves subjective digestive feelings, general wellbeing and bowel function. A single centre, multi-site, open, within subjects design with a 14 day non-intervention (baseline) monitoring period followed by a 14 day fibre consumption (intervention) period was performed. 153 low fibre consumers (breakfast cereal containing at least 5.4 g fibre (3.5 g from wheat bran) for 14 days and completed a daily symptom diary. Significant improvements were demonstrated in subjective perception of bowel function (e.g., ease of defecation) and digestive feelings (bloating, constipation, feeling sluggish and digestive discomfort). Significant improvements were also found in subjective perception of general wellbeing (feeling less fat, more mentally alert, slim, happy and energetic whilst experiencing less stress, mental and physical tiredness, difficulty concentrating and fewer headaches). In general, improvements in study outcomes increased with increasing cereal/fibre consumption. However, consuming an additional minimum 5.4 g of fibre (3.5 g wheat bran) per day was shown to deliver measurable and significant benefits for digestive health, comfort and wellbeing. Encouraging consumption of relatively small amounts of wheat bran could also provide an effective method of increasing overall fibre consumption.

  16. Potential of irradiation technology for improved shellfish sanitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mallett, J.C.; Beghian, L.E.; Metcalf, T.G.; Kaylor, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    Ionizing radiation is shown capable of serving as an effective sanitizing treatment improving the sanitary quality of shellfish and providing an increased margin of safety for shellfish consumers. 60Co irradiation of the hard-shelled clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, and the oyster, Crassostrea virginica, significantly reduced virus carriage numbers without unduly affecting shellfish survival rates or desirable organoleptic qualities. A D10 value of 2 kGy was determined for depletion of hepatitis A virus in clams and oysters as measured by in situ hybridization fluorescent foci and cytopathology enumeration methods. A D10 value of 2.4 kGy was determined for depletion of rotavirus SA11 in clams and oysters as measured by a plaque forming unit enumeration method. Study results showed ionizing radiation capable of providing an extra, highly effective safeguard of shellfish sanitary quality when combined with traditional depuration treatment. Data drawn from other studies is introduced which shows D10 values as low as 1.0 kGy effectively eliminate Vibrio cholerae, and V. parahemolyticus, from shellfish

  17. Purex Process Improvements for Pu and NP Control in Total Actinide Recycle Flowsheets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkett, J.E.; Carrott, M.J.; Crooks, G.; Fox, O.D.; Maher, C.J.; Taylor, R.J.; Woodhead, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Significant improvements are required in the Purex process to optimise it for Advanced Fuel Cycles. Two key challenges we have identified are, firstly, developing more efficient methods for U/Pu separations especially at elevated Pu concentrations and, secondly, improving recovery, control and routing of Np in a modified Purex process. A series of Purex-like flowsheets for improved Pu separations based on hydroxamic acids and are reported. Purex-like flowsheets have been tested on a glovebox-housed 30-stage miniature centrifugal contactor train. A series of trials have been performed to demonstrate the processing of feeds with varying Pu contents ranging from 7 - 40% by weight. These flowsheets have demonstrated hydroxamic acids are excellent reagents for complexant stripping of Pu being able to achieve high decontamination factors (DF) on both the U and Pu product streams and co - recover Np with Pu. The advantages of a complexant-based approach are shown to be especially relevant when AFC scenarios are considered, where the Pu content of the fuel is expected to b e significantly higher. Recent results towards modifying the Purex process to improve recovery and control of Np in short residence time contactors are reported. Work on the development of chemical and process models to describe the complicated behaviour of Np under primary separation conditions (i.e. the HA extraction contactor) is described. To test the performance of the model a series of experiments were performed including testing of flowsheets on a fume-hood housed miniature centrifugal contactor train. The flowsheet was designed to emulate the conditions of a primar y separations contactor with the Np split between the U-solvent product and aqueous raffinate. In terms of Np routing the process model showed good agreement with flowsheet trial however much further work is required to fully understand this complex system. (authors)

  18. Power training using pneumatic machines vs. plate-loaded machines to improve muscle power in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balachandran, Anoop T; Gandia, Kristine; Jacobs, Kevin A; Streiner, David L; Eltoukhy, Moataz; Signorile, Joseph F

    2017-11-01

    Power training has been shown to be more effective than conventional resistance training for improving physical function in older adults; however, most trials have used pneumatic machines during training. Considering that the general public typically has access to plate-loaded machines, the effectiveness and safety of power training using plate-loaded machines compared to pneumatic machines is an important consideration. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of high-velocity training using pneumatic machines (Pn) versus standard plate-loaded machines (PL). Independently-living older adults, 60years or older were randomized into two groups: pneumatic machine (Pn, n=19) and plate-loaded machine (PL, n=17). After 12weeks of high-velocity training twice per week, groups were analyzed using an intention-to-treat approach. Primary outcomes were lower body power measured using a linear transducer and upper body power using medicine ball throw. Secondary outcomes included lower and upper body muscle muscle strength, the Physical Performance Battery (PPB), gallon jug test, the timed up-and-go test, and self-reported function using the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and an online video questionnaire. Outcome assessors were blinded to group membership. Lower body power significantly improved in both groups (Pn: 19%, PL: 31%), with no significant difference between the groups (Cohen's d=0.4, 95% CI (-1.1, 0.3)). Upper body power significantly improved only in the PL group, but showed no significant difference between the groups (Pn: 3%, PL: 6%). For balance, there was a significant difference between the groups favoring the Pn group (d=0.7, 95% CI (0.1, 1.4)); however, there were no statistically significant differences between groups for PPB, gallon jug transfer, muscle muscle strength, timed up-and-go or self-reported function. No serious adverse events were reported in either of the groups. Pneumatic and plate

  19. Application of High-Density Electropulsing to Improve the Performance of Metallic Materials: Mechanisms, Microstructure and Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yinying; Hua, Youlu; Zhao, Xueyang; Chen, Lianxi; Zhou, Hanyu; Wang, James; Berndt, Christopher C.; Li, Wei

    2018-01-01

    The technology of high-density electropulsing has been applied to increase the performance of metallic materials since the 1990s and has shown significant advantages over traditional heat treatment in many aspects. However, the microstructure changes in electropulsing treatment (EPT) metals and alloys have not been fully explored, and the effects vary significantly on different material. When high-density electrical pulses are applied to metals and alloys, the input of electric energy and thermal energy generally leads to structural rearrangements, such as dynamic recrystallization, dislocation movements and grain refinement. The enhanced mechanical properties of the metals and alloys after high-density electropulsing treatment are reflected by the significant improvement of elongation. As a result, this technology holds great promise in improving the deformation limit and repairing cracks and defects in the plastic processing of metals. This review summarizes the effect of high-density electropulsing treatment on microstructural properties and, thus, the enhancement in mechanical strength, hardness and corrosion performance of metallic materials. It is noteworthy that the change of some properties can be related to the structure state before EPT (quenched, annealed, deformed or others). The mechanisms for the microstructural evolution, grain refinement and formation of oriented microstructures of different metals and alloys are presented. Future research trends of high-density electrical pulse technology for specific metals and alloys are highlighted. PMID:29364844

  20. Protein blend ingestion before allogeneic stem cell transplantation improves protein-energy malnutrition in patients with leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Guangxu; Zhang, Jianping; Li, Minghua; Yi, Suqin; Xie, Jin; Zhang, Hongru; Wang, Jing

    2017-10-01

    Severe protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and skeletal muscle wasting are commonly observed in patients with acute leukemia. Recently, the ingestion of a soy-whey protein blend has been shown to promote muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Thus, we tested the hypothesis that the ingestion of a soy-whey blended protein (BP) may improve the PEM status and muscle mass in acute leukemia patients. In total, 24 patients from the same treatment group were randomly assigned to the natural diet plus soy-whey blended protein (BP) group and the natural diet only (ND) group. Our data showed that protein and energy intake decreased significantly (P protein) were observed in the majority (>50%) of the patients. However, 66% of the patients who ingested the BP before transplantation showed obvious increases in arm muscle area. The gripping power value (△ post-pre or △ post-baseline ) was significantly higher in the BP group than in the ND group (P protein to different extents. Notably, the average time to stem cell engraftment was significantly shorter for patients in the BP group (12.2 ± 2.0 days) than for patients in the ND group (15.1 ± 2.9 days). Collectively, our data supported that soy-whey protein can improve PEM status and muscle mass in leukemia patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Application of High-Density Electropulsing to Improve the Performance of Metallic Materials: Mechanisms, Microstructure and Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinying Sheng

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The technology of high-density electropulsing has been applied to increase the performance of metallic materials since the 1990s and has shown significant advantages over traditional heat treatment in many aspects. However, the microstructure changes in electropulsing treatment (EPT metals and alloys have not been fully explored, and the effects vary significantly on different material. When high-density electrical pulses are applied to metals and alloys, the input of electric energy and thermal energy generally leads to structural rearrangements, such as dynamic recrystallization, dislocation movements and grain refinement. The enhanced mechanical properties of the metals and alloys after high-density electropulsing treatment are reflected by the significant improvement of elongation. As a result, this technology holds great promise in improving the deformation limit and repairing cracks and defects in the plastic processing of metals. This review summarizes the effect of high-density electropulsing treatment on microstructural properties and, thus, the enhancement in mechanical strength, hardness and corrosion performance of metallic materials. It is noteworthy that the change of some properties can be related to the structure state before EPT (quenched, annealed, deformed or others. The mechanisms for the microstructural evolution, grain refinement and formation of oriented microstructures of different metals and alloys are presented. Future research trends of high-density electrical pulse technology for specific metals and alloys are highlighted.

  2. Application of High-Density Electropulsing to Improve the Performance of Metallic Materials: Mechanisms, Microstructure and Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yinying; Hua, Youlu; Wang, Xiaojian; Zhao, Xueyang; Chen, Lianxi; Zhou, Hanyu; Wang, James; Berndt, Christopher C; Li, Wei

    2018-01-24

    The technology of high-density electropulsing has been applied to increase the performance of metallic materials since the 1990s and has shown significant advantages over traditional heat treatment in many aspects. However, the microstructure changes in electropulsing treatment (EPT) metals and alloys have not been fully explored, and the effects vary significantly on different material. When high-density electrical pulses are applied to metals and alloys, the input of electric energy and thermal energy generally leads to structural rearrangements, such as dynamic recrystallization, dislocation movements and grain refinement. The enhanced mechanical properties of the metals and alloys after high-density electropulsing treatment are reflected by the significant improvement of elongation. As a result, this technology holds great promise in improving the deformation limit and repairing cracks and defects in the plastic processing of metals. This review summarizes the effect of high-density electropulsing treatment on microstructural properties and, thus, the enhancement in mechanical strength, hardness and corrosion performance of metallic materials. It is noteworthy that the change of some properties can be related to the structure state before EPT (quenched, annealed, deformed or others). The mechanisms for the microstructural evolution, grain refinement and formation of oriented microstructures of different metals and alloys are presented. Future research trends of high-density electrical pulse technology for specific metals and alloys are highlighted.

  3. Effectiveness of improved treatment of inflamatory bowel disiseases in infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marushko RV

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Actually is required to improve the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel disease in infants on the principles of safety of therapeutic interventions and the impact on the basic pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the formation of the pathology of the bowel. Purpose — to evaluate the effectiveness of improved treatment of chronic non"specific non"ulcered colitis in infants using functional foods (pro", prebiotics, omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, L-carnitine, hepatoprotectors and alternative formulas. Patients and methods. A total of 114 infants (from 9 months up to 3 years of life with chronic non-specific non-ulcerated (unidentified colitis were studded. Researched the effectiveness of improved treatment using pro-, prebiotics, omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, L-carnitine, hepatoprotectors and semi-elemental formula of chronic non-specific non-ulcerated colitis on the basis of clinical and laboratory research methods, including bacteriological and immunological (TNF-α, ITF in serum, SIgA in coprofiltrates. Were used chronic non-specific non-ulcerated colitis activity index and the index of endoscopic changes of the intestinal mucosa during the treatment in infants. Results. It is shown that the use of functional foods as multiprobiotics, prebiotics, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and enhancing cellular energy provitamins as well as hepatoprotectors and alternative formulas in the treatment of chronic colitis in infants contributes to a significant improvement in the results of chronic non-specific non-ulcerated colitis treatment, more rapidly elimination of main symptoms and increase the number of positive results of treatment in infants with chronic non-specific non-ulcerated colitis (80.4% versus 55.2%. Conclusions. Results of the study allow us to recommend the use of elaborated improved treatment in infants with chronic non-specific non-ulcerated colitis on different levels of child healthcare.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jaako, Pekka; Debnath, Shubhranshu; Olsson, Karin; Zhang, Y; Flygare, Johan; Lindström, M S; Bryder, David; Karlsson, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    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 Mdm2, the main negative regulator of p53, by the 5S ribonucleoprot...

  5. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuyan An

    Full Text Available 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA, a natural and environmentally friendly plant growth regulator, can improve plant tolerance to various environmental stresses. However, whether ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of ALA pretreatment on the waterlogging-induced damage of fig (Ficus carica Linn. plants, which often suffer from waterlogging stress. ALA pretreatment significantly alleviated stress-induced morphological damage, increased leaf relative water content (RWC, and reduced leaf superoxide anion ([Formula: see text] production rate and malonaldehyde (MDA content in fig leaves, indicating ALA mitigates waterlogging stress of fig plants. We further demonstrated that ALA pretreatment largely promoted leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic electron transfer ability, and photosynthetic performance index, indicating ALA significantly improves plant photosynthetic efficiency under waterlogging stress. Moreover, ALA pretreatment significantly increased activities of leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD and peroxidase (POD, root vigor, and activities of root alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, indicating ALA also significantly improves antioxidant ability and root function of fig plants under waterlogging stress. Taken together, ALA pretreatment improves waterlogging tolerance of fig plants significantly, and the promoted root respiration, leaf photosynthesis, and antioxidant ability may contribute greatly to this improvement. Our data firstly shows that ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  7. A quality improvement project to improve admission temperatures in very low birth weight infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, H C; Ho, Q T; Rhine, W D

    2008-11-01

    To review the results of a quality improvement (QI) project to improve admission temperatures of very low birth weight inborn infants. The neonatal intensive care unit at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital underwent a QI project to address hypothermic preterm newborns by staff education and implementing processes such as polyethylene wraps and chemical warming mattresses. We performed retrospective chart review of all inborn infants with birth weight project. The improvement was consistent and persisted over a 15-month period. After risk adjustment, the strongest predictor of hypothermia was being born in the period before implementation of the QI project (odds ratio 8.12, 95% confidence interval 4.63, 14.22). Although cesarean delivery was a strong risk factor for hypothermia prior to the project, it was no longer significant after the project. There was no significant difference in death or intraventricular hemorrhage detected between periods. There was a significant improvement in admission temperatures after a QI project, which persisted beyond the initial implementation period. Although there was no difference in mortality or intraventricular hemorrhage rates, we did not have sufficient power to detect small differences in these outcomes.

  8. A quality improvement approach to reducing use of meperidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, D B; Jones, H D; Goshman, L M; Foley, D K; Bland, S E

    2000-12-01

    In 1991 the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics formed a pain management QI team whose goal was to improve pain management through education, outcome monitoring, and the development of programs intended to improve clinical practice. Longitudinal monitoring mechanisms were established to audit medical records and survey patients to examine both staff practice patterns and patient outcomes. The QI team targeted use of meperidine, one of the most widely used opioid analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, which is now discouraged as a first-line agent for most painful conditions. A QI process was implemented using a traditional plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model, resulting in a successful and sustained reduction of inappropriate meperidine use. A cause-and-effect diagram helped highlight the multiple factors contributing to the drug's overuse and was used to prioritize targets for action. A flow chart helped to uncover some of the interrelationships between the myths about meperidine and the resultant customary prescribing and administration practices. While most of the strategies were implemented in 1996 (formulary guideline release, change in stock supply and physician orders, staff education and feedback), a significant impact in practice was not seen until late 1997. Ongoing tracking and feedback loops were established to ensure continued low use of meperidine. Use of a QI approach in pain management has been shown to affect the visibility of pain as a clinical priority, enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, facilitate the implementation of clinical guidelines at the bedside, and improve the quality of care for patients.

  9. Clonidine reduces norepinephrine and improves bone marrow function in a rodent model of lung contusion, hemorrhagic shock, and chronic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamo, Ines G; Kannan, Kolenkode B; Ramos, Harry; Loftus, Tyler J; Efron, Philip A; Mohr, Alicia M

    2017-03-01

    Propranolol has been shown previously to restore bone marrow function and improve anemia after lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock. We hypothesized that daily clonidine administration would inhibit central sympathetic outflow and restore bone marrow function in our rodent model of lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock with chronic stress. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent 6 days of restraint stress after lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock during which the animals received clonidine (75 μg/kg) after the restraint stress. On postinjury day 7, we assessed urine norepinephrine, blood hemoglobin, plasma granulocyte colony stimulating factor, and peripheral blood mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells, as well as bone marrow cellularity and erythroid progenitor cell growth. The addition of clonidine to lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock with chronic restraint stress significantly decreased urine norepinephrine levels, improved bone marrow cellularity, restored erythroid progenitor colony growth, and improved hemoglobin (14.1 ± 0.6 vs 10.8 ± 0.6 g/dL). The addition of clonidine to lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock with chronic restraint stress significantly decreased hematopoietic progenitor cells mobilization and restored granulocyte colony stimulating factor levels. After lung contusion/hemorrhagic shock with chronic restraint stress, daily administration of clonidine restored bone marrow function and improved anemia. Alleviating chronic stress and decreasing norepinephrine is a key therapeutic target to improve bone marrow function after severe injury. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved Chemotherapeutic Activity by Morus alba Fruits through Immune Response of Toll-Like Receptor 4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Yoon Chang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Morus alba L. fruits have long been used in traditional medicine by many cultures. Their medicinal attributes include cardiovascular, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory actions. However, their mechanism of macrophage activation and anti-cancer effects remain unclear. The present study investigated the molecular mechanisms of immune stimulation and improved chemotherapeutic effect of M. alba L. fruit extract (MFE. MFE stimulated the production of cytokines, nitric oxide (NO and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and tumoricidal properties of macrophages. MFE activated macrophages through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKinase and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB signaling pathways downstream from toll-like receptor (TLR 4. MFE was shown to exhibit cytotoxicity of CT26 cells via the activated macrophages, even though MFE did not directly affect CT26 cells. In a xenograft mouse model, MFE significantly enhanced anti-cancer activity combined with 5-fluorouracil and markedly promoted splenocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK cell activity, cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL activity and IFN-γ production. Immunoglobulin G (IgG antibody levels were significantly increased. These results indicate the indirect anti-cancer activity of MFE through improved immune response mediated by TLR4 signaling. M. alba L. fruit extract might be a potential anti-tumor immunomodulatory candidate chemotherapy agent.

  11. Improved Chemotherapeutic Activity by Morus alba Fruits through Immune Response of Toll-Like Receptor 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Bo Yoon; Kim, Seon Beom; Lee, Mi Kyeong; Park, Hyun; Kim, Sung Yeon

    2015-10-13

    Morus alba L.