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Sample records for significant sensitivity improvement

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Edmund R; Dozmorov, Mikhail G

    2016-10-06

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

  4. Improving the sensitivity of LISA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nayak, K Rajesh; Pai, A; Dhurandhar, S V; Vinet, J-Y

    2003-01-01

    It has been shown in several recent papers that the six Doppler data streams obtained from a triangular LISA configuration can be combined by appropriately delaying the data streams for cancelling the laser frequency noise. Raw laser noise is several orders of magnitude above the other noises and thus it is essential to bring it down to the level of other noises such as shot, acceleration, etc. A rigorous and systematic formalism using the powerful techniques of computational commutative algebra was developed, which generates in principle all the data combinations cancelling the laser frequency noise. The relevant data combinations form a first module of syzygies. In this paper, we use this formalism to advantage for optimizing the sensitivity of LISA by analysing the noise and signal covariance matrices. The signal covariance matrix is calculated for binaries whose frequency changes at most adiabatically and the signal is averaged over polarizations and directions. We then present the extremal SNR curves for all the data combinations in the module. They correspond to the eigenvectors of the noise and signal covariance matrices. A LISA 'network' SNR is also computed by combining the outputs of the eigenvectors. We show that substantial gains in sensitivity can be obtained by employing these strategies. The maximum SNR curve can yield an improvement up to 70% over the Michelson, mainly at high frequencies, while the improvement using the network SNR ranges from 40% to over 100%. Finally, we describe a simple toy model, in which LISA rotates in a plane. In this analysis, we estimate the improvement in the LISA sensitivity, if one switches from one data combination to another as it rotates. Here the improvement in sensitivity, if one switches optimally over three cyclic data combinations of the eigenvector, is about 55% on average over the LISA bandwidth. The corresponding SNR improvement increases to 60%, if one maximizes over the module

  5. Prevalence of sensitization to 'improver' enzymes in UK supermarket bakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, M; Welch, J; Turvey, J; Cannon, J; Clark, P; Szram, J; Cullinan, P

    2016-07-01

    Supermarket bakers are exposed not only to flour and alpha-amylase but also to other 'improver' enzymes, the nature of which is usually shrouded by commercial sensitivity. We aimed to determine the prevalence of sensitization to 'improver' enzymes in UK supermarket bakers. We examined the prevalence of sensitization to enzymes in 300 bakers, employed by one of two large supermarket bakeries, who had declared work-related respiratory symptoms during routine health surveillance. Sensitization was determined using radioallergosorbent assay to eight individual enzymes contained in the specific 'improver' mix used by each supermarket. The prevalence of sensitization to 'improver' enzymes ranged from 5% to 15%. Sensitization was far more likely if the baker was sensitized also to either flour or alpha-amylase. The prevalence of sensitization to an 'improver' enzyme did not appear to be related to the concentration of that enzyme in the mix. We report substantial rates of sensitization to enzymes other than alpha-amylase in UK supermarket bakers; in only a small proportion of bakers was there evidence of sensitization to 'improver mix' enzymes without sensitization to either alpha-amylase or flour. The clinical significance of these findings needs further investigation, but our findings indicate that specific sensitization in symptomatic bakers may not be identified without consideration of a wide range of workplace antigens. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Tim J.; Munshil, Tulika; Melvang, Heidi Mikkelsen

    2017-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis......Ka culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin....... (MAP) due to slow growth, clumping and low recoverability issues. The principle goal of this study was to evaluate a novel culturing process (TiKa) with unique ability to stimulate MAP growth from low sample loads and dilutions. We demonstrate it was able to stimulate a mean 29-fold increase...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. Research for improved flexible tactile sensor sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yun, Hae Yong; Kim, Ho Chan [Andong National University, Andong (Korea, Republic of); Lee, In Hwan [Chungbuk National University, Chungju (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-11-15

    With the development of robotic technologies, in recent years these technologies have been applied to multidisciplinary fields of study. To operate similarly to a human being, many robot technologies require devices that can receive exterior stimulus, temperature, visual data, and the sense of smell, etc. The robot's hand needs sensor devices that can receive exterior stimuli in order to operate similarly to human skin. The flexible tactile sensor for the robot has to be manufactured to have a shape similar to the shape of human skin. The research studied the development of a system and materials that will enable exterior stimuli to be received effectively. This research used carbon nano tube as a material. Carbon nano tube is used because it has a high electrical conductivity and outstanding mechanical characteristics. In addition, the two composite Materials are used to improve the stimulation sensitivity at different rates, the flexible tactile sensor to measure the sensitivity. Using 3D printing technology, the fabrication of a flexible tactile sensor system is introduced.

  10. Research for improved flexible tactile sensor sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yun, Hae Yong; Kim, Ho Chan; Lee, In Hwan

    2015-01-01

    With the development of robotic technologies, in recent years these technologies have been applied to multidisciplinary fields of study. To operate similarly to a human being, many robot technologies require devices that can receive exterior stimulus, temperature, visual data, and the sense of smell, etc. The robot's hand needs sensor devices that can receive exterior stimuli in order to operate similarly to human skin. The flexible tactile sensor for the robot has to be manufactured to have a shape similar to the shape of human skin. The research studied the development of a system and materials that will enable exterior stimuli to be received effectively. This research used carbon nano tube as a material. Carbon nano tube is used because it has a high electrical conductivity and outstanding mechanical characteristics. In addition, the two composite Materials are used to improve the stimulation sensitivity at different rates, the flexible tactile sensor to measure the sensitivity. Using 3D printing technology, the fabrication of a flexible tactile sensor system is introduced.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. Sensitive "Heritage" of Slavery in a Multicultural Classroom: Pupils' Ideas Regarding Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savenije, Geerte; van Boxtel, Carla; Grever, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Pupils' attribution of significance to sensitive "heritage" of slavery may differ, particularly in multicultural classrooms. Little is known about the ways in which pupils establish a relationship with the present when discussing the significance of heritage of slavery. Starting from theories of historical significance and identity,…

  16. Electrostatic Dust Detector with Improved Sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyle, D.P.; Skinner, C.H.; Roquemore, A.L.

    2008-01-01

    Methods to measure the inventory of dust particles and to remove dust if it approaches safety limits will be required in next-step tokamaks such as ITER. An electrostatic dust detector, based on a fine grid of interlocking circuit traces, biased to 30 or 50 V, has been developed for the detection of dust on remote surfaces in air and vacuum environments. Gaining operational experience of dust detection on surfaces in tokamaks is important, however the level of dust generated in contemporary short-pulse tokamaks is comparatively low and high sensitivity is necessary to measure dust on a shot-by-shot basis. We report on modifications in the detection electronics that have increased the sensitivity of the electrostatic dust detector by a factor of up to 120, - a level suitable for measurements on contemporary tokamaks.

  17. Sensitivity improvement techniques for micromechanical vibrating accelerometers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vtorushin Sergey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the problems of detecting a desired signal generated by micromechanical vibrating accelerometer. Three detection methods, namely frequency, amplitude and phase are considered in this paper. These methods are used in micromechanical vibrating accelerometers that incorporate a force sensitive element which transforms measured acceleration into the output signal. Investigations are carried out using the ANSYS finite element program and MATLAB/Simulink support package. Investigation results include the comparative analysis of the output signal characteristics obtained by the different detection methods.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Sensitivity and Resolution Improvement in RGBW Color Filter Array Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seunghoon Jee

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Recently, several red-green-blue-white (RGBW color filter arrays (CFAs, which include highly sensitive W pixels, have been proposed. However, RGBW CFA patterns suffer from spatial resolution degradation owing to the sensor composition having more color components than the Bayer CFA pattern. RGBW CFA demosaicing methods reconstruct resolution using the correlation between white (W pixels and pixels of other colors, which does not improve the red-green-blue (RGB channel sensitivity to the W channel level. In this paper, we thus propose a demosaiced image post-processing method to improve the RGBW CFA sensitivity and resolution. The proposed method decomposes texture components containing image noise and resolution information. The RGB channel sensitivity and resolution are improved through updating the W channel texture component with those of RGB channels. For this process, a cross multilateral filter (CMF is proposed. It decomposes the smoothness component from the texture component using color difference information and distinguishes color components through that information. Moreover, it decomposes texture components, luminance noise, color noise, and color aliasing artifacts from the demosaiced images. Finally, by updating the texture of the RGB channels with the W channel texture components, the proposed algorithm improves the sensitivity and resolution. Results show that the proposed method is effective, while maintaining W pixel resolution characteristics and improving sensitivity from the signal-to-noise ratio value by approximately 4.5 dB.

  3. 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

  4. Dichoptic training improves contrast sensitivity in adults with amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinrong; Spiegel, Daniel P; Hess, Robert F; Chen, Zidong; Chan, Lily Y L; Deng, Daming; Yu, Minbin; Thompson, Benjamin

    2015-09-01

    Dichoptic training is designed to promote binocular vision in patients with amblyopia. Initial studies have found that the training effects transfer to both binocular (stereopsis) and monocular (recognition acuity) visual functions. The aim of this study was to assess whether dichoptic training effects also transfer to contrast sensitivity (CS) in adults with amblyopia. We analyzed CS data from 30 adults who had taken part in one of two previous dichoptic training studies and assessed whether the changes in CS exceeded the 95% confidence intervals for change based on test-retest data from a separate group of observers with amblyopia. CS was measured using Gabor patches (0.5, 3 and 10cpd) before and after 10days of dichoptic training. Training was delivered using a dichoptic video game viewed through video goggles (n=15) or on an iPod touch equipped with a lenticular overlay screen (n=15). In the iPod touch study, training was combined with anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the visual cortex. We found that dichoptic training significantly improved CS across all spatial frequencies tested for both groups. These results suggest that dichoptic training modifies the sensitivity of the neural systems that underpin monocular CS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Sensitivity and specificity of radionuclide equilibrium angiocardiography for detection of hemodynamically significant secundum atrial septal defect

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brunotte, F.; Laurens, M.H.; Itty, C.; Robert, J.; Cloez, J.L.; Marcon, F.; Pernot, C.

    1986-12-01

    To determine the value, of gated equilibrium angiography in secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) in children, the first pass pulmonic/systemic flow ratio (Qp/Qs) was compared with diastolic count ratio (DCR) and stroke count ratio (SCR) of the two ventricles. In 50 children we have found a correlation between Qp/Qs and DCR (r=0.71) and between Qp/Qs and SCR (r=0.66). For detection of significant atrial shunt (Qp/Qs>1.5) the sensitivity of DCR>2 was 0.81 and the specificity 0.75. For SCR>1.5 we sensitivity and specificity values of 0.87 and 0.71 respectively. Left and right ventricular ejection fractions were normal (0.67+-0.08 and 0.50+-0.07).

  6. Nano-CL-20/HMX Cocrystal Explosive for Significantly Reduced Mechanical Sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongwei An

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Spray drying method was used to prepare cocrystals of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20 and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX. Raw materials and cocrystals were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Impact and friction sensitivity of cocrystals were tested and analyzed. Results show that, after preparation by spray drying method, microparticles were spherical in shape and 0.5–5 µm in size. Particles formed aggregates of numerous tiny plate-like cocrystals, whereas CL-20/HMX cocrystals had thicknesses of below 100 nm. Cocrystals were formed by C–H⋯O bonding between –NO2 (CL-20 and –CH2– (HMX. Nanococrystal explosives exhibited drop height of 47.3 cm, and friction demonstrated explosion probability of 64%. Compared with raw HMX, cocrystals displayed significantly reduced mechanical sensitivity.

  7. Systematic comparative and sensitivity analyses of additive and outranking techniques for supporting impact significance assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cloquell-Ballester, Vicente-Agustin; Monterde-Diaz, Rafael; Cloquell-Ballester, Victor-Andres; Santamarina-Siurana, Maria-Cristina

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the significance of environmental impacts is one of the most important and all together difficult processes of Environmental Impact Assessment. This is largely due to the multicriteria nature of the problem. To date, decision techniques used in the process suffer from two drawbacks, namely the problem of compensation and the problem of identification of the 'exact boundary' between sub-ranges. This article discusses these issues and proposes a methodology for determining the significance of environmental impacts based on comparative and sensitivity analyses using the Electre TRI technique. An application of the methodology for the environmental assessment of a Power Plant project within the Valencian Region (Spain) is presented, and its performance evaluated. It is concluded that contrary to other techniques, Electre TRI automatically identifies those cases where allocation of significance categories is most difficult and, when combined with sensitivity analysis, offers greatest robustness in the face of variation in weights of the significance attributes. Likewise, this research demonstrates the efficacy of systematic comparison between Electre TRI and sum-based techniques, in the solution of assignment problems. The proposed methodology can therefore be regarded as a successful aid to the decision-maker, who will ultimately take the final decision

  8. Significance of genetic predisposition and genomic instability for individual sensitivity to radiation. Implications for radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, H.

    2001-01-01

    At its closed-door meeting on 20/21 January 2000 the Radiation Protection Committee dedicated much of its attention to the significance of genetic predisposition and genetic instability for individual radiation sensitivity and to the implication of this for radiation protection. The statements and contributions to the closing plenary discussion touched on many aspects of ethics, personal rights, occupational medicine and insurance issues relating to this subject, all of which extend far beyond the purely technical issues of radiation protection. The present volume contains the lecture manuscripts of the meeting as well as a summarising assessment by the Radiation Protection Committee [de

  9. Tactile sensitivity of blind and visually impaired children and adolescents. The significance of swimming exercises

    OpenAIRE

    Rostkowska, Elżbieta; Maśnik, Elżbieta

    2001-01-01

    The im of the study is to compare the tactile sensitivity threshold (TST) of the blind children who practice swimming and those who do not practice any sports with the TST of healthy people of similar age. TST was measured on the pad of he index finger of the dominant hand using an aesthesiometer. Lower TST was found in blind girls compared to healthy girls as well as lower TST in blind girls who practice swimming compared to the blind girls who do not practice ane sports. A significant lower...

  10. DNA Antenna Tile-Associated Deoxyribozyme Sensor with Improved Sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Amanda J; Bengtson, Hillary N; Gerasimova, Yulia V; Rohde, Kyle H; Kolpashchikov, Dmitry M

    2016-11-03

    Some natural enzymes increase the rate of diffusion-limited reactions by facilitating substrate flow to their active sites. Inspired by this natural phenomenon, we developed a strategy for efficient substrate delivery to a deoxyribozyme (DZ) catalytic sensor. This resulted in a three- to fourfold increase in sensitivity and up to a ninefold improvement in the detection limit. The reported strategy can be used to enhance catalytic efficiency of diffusion-limited enzymes and to improve sensitivity of enzyme-based biosensors. © 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. The Significance of Ultrasound in Determining Whether SHPT Patients Are Sensitive to Calcitriol Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing-xin Liang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was to explore the significance of ultrasound in determining whether the patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT are sensitive to calcitriol treatment. According to the decrease value of parathyroid hormone (PTH, 42 SHPT patients were divided into two groups: drug susceptible group and drug insusceptible group. These 42 SHPT patients’ ultrasound images were retrospectively analyzed. The morphology, size, number, blood flow, elastic modulus, and perfusion of the parathyroid glands were correlated with drug therapeutic outcome (oral calcitriol. Most SHPT patients with drug susceptible showed volume <438.50 mm3 and number ≤2, with 0-1 structural and vascular patterns, associated with Relative Maximum Intensity (RIMAX <1.59 and elastic modulus <18.8 kPa, whereas most SHPT patients with drug insusceptible showed volume ≥438.50 mm3 and number ≥3, with 2-3 structural and vascular patterns, associated with Relative Maximum Intensity (RIMAX ≥1.59 and elastic modulus ≥18.8 kPa. Therefore, ultrasonography in SHPT allows an accurate definition of the morphology, size, number, blood flow, elastic modulus, and perfusion of the parathyroid glands and is useful in determining whether SHPT patients are sensitive to calcitriol treatment.

  12. Use of immunoblotting assay improves the sensitivity of paracoccidioidomycosis diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. F. Silva

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this work was to evaluate two serological assays: double immunodiffusion (DI and immunoblotting (IB in immunodiagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM. We evaluated by IB assay 23 sera samples from patients with clinical confirmation of PCM, all of them with negative DI results against culture filtrate from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolate 113. For IB, as well as for comparative DI assay, we employed soluble components of the cell wall outer surface (SCCWOS from P. brasiliensis isolate 113 cultivated at 36°C in Fava-Neto's agar medium for 5 and 10 days. Among the 20 sera samples analyzed by DI, 13 (65% were negative and 7 (35% were positive against SCCWOS obtained on the 5th and 10th days. By IB assay, 95.4% and 100% of sera reacted against gp43 and gp70 present in SCCWOS from the 5th day and 95.6% recognized these fractions when evaluated against SCCWOS from the 10th day. Our results demonstrated that the use of an immunoenzymatic assay significantly improves the sensitivity of PCM immunodiagnosis and also suggests that at least two serological tests for antibody detection should be adopted in cases of questionable diagnosis.

  13. Improved Extreme Learning Machine based on the Sensitivity Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Licheng; Zhai, Huawei; Wang, Benchao; Qu, Zengtang

    2018-03-01

    Extreme learning machine and its improved ones is weak in some points, such as computing complex, learning error and so on. After deeply analyzing, referencing the importance of hidden nodes in SVM, an novel analyzing method of the sensitivity is proposed which meets people’s cognitive habits. Based on these, an improved ELM is proposed, it could remove hidden nodes before meeting the learning error, and it can efficiently manage the number of hidden nodes, so as to improve the its performance. After comparing tests, it is better in learning time, accuracy and so on.

  14. On the Exploitation of Sensitivity Derivatives for Improving Sampling Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yanzhao; Hussaini, M. Yousuff; Zang, Thomas A.

    2003-01-01

    Many application codes, such as finite-element structural analyses and computational fluid dynamics codes, are capable of producing many sensitivity derivatives at a small fraction of the cost of the underlying analysis. This paper describes a simple variance reduction method that exploits such inexpensive sensitivity derivatives to increase the accuracy of sampling methods. Three examples, including a finite-element structural analysis of an aircraft wing, are provided that illustrate an order of magnitude improvement in accuracy for both Monte Carlo and stratified sampling schemes.

  15. Improved Sensitivity Relations in State Constrained Optimal Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bettiol, Piernicola; Frankowska, Hélène; Vinter, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

    Sensitivity relations in optimal control provide an interpretation of the costate trajectory and the Hamiltonian, evaluated along an optimal trajectory, in terms of gradients of the value function. While sensitivity relations are a straightforward consequence of standard transversality conditions for state constraint free optimal control problems formulated in terms of control-dependent differential equations with smooth data, their verification for problems with either pathwise state constraints, nonsmooth data, or for problems where the dynamic constraint takes the form of a differential inclusion, requires careful analysis. In this paper we establish validity of both ‘full’ and ‘partial’ sensitivity relations for an adjoint state of the maximum principle, for optimal control problems with pathwise state constraints, where the underlying control system is described by a differential inclusion. The partial sensitivity relation interprets the costate in terms of partial Clarke subgradients of the value function with respect to the state variable, while the full sensitivity relation interprets the couple, comprising the costate and Hamiltonian, as the Clarke subgradient of the value function with respect to both time and state variables. These relations are distinct because, for nonsmooth data, the partial Clarke subdifferential does not coincide with the projection of the (full) Clarke subdifferential on the relevant coordinate space. We show for the first time (even for problems without state constraints) that a costate trajectory can be chosen to satisfy the partial and full sensitivity relations simultaneously. The partial sensitivity relation in this paper is new for state constraint problems, while the full sensitivity relation improves on earlier results in the literature (for optimal control problems formulated in terms of Lipschitz continuous multifunctions), because a less restrictive inward pointing hypothesis is invoked in the proof, and because

  16. Clinical significance of high-sensitivity C- reactive protein in systemic sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Nevskaya

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To determine diagnostic and prognostic significance of high-sensitivity Creactive protein (hsCRP in systemic sclerosis (SS, to define relationship of this factor with activity of the disease and cardiovascular pathology, to assess role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in induction of acute phase proteins synthesis in SS.Material and methods. Serum levels of hsCRP, interleukin (IL 6, IL 1β, IL1ra, IL 10, sIL2r were evaluated by enzyme immunoassay (EIA in 40 pts with SS and 24 subjects of control group. Relationship with clinical features of the disease, endothelial dysfunction, capillaries structure changes, sub-clinical atherosclerosis, total coronary risk and some traditional cardiovascular risk factors was analyzed. Instrumental assessment included nailfold capillaroscopy, sonographic duplex examination of carotids , brachial arte ry sonographic examination. HsCRP prognostic significance was assessed in 51 pts with SS.Results. Elevated levels of hsCRP were found in 32% of SS pts and correlated with activity and severity of the disease, HAQ and SHAQ. Direct correlation of hsCRP with skin fibrosis distribution, interstitial lung disease, arthritis, laboratory indices of SS activity (ESR, sIL2r and Scl-70 was revealed. HsCRP concentration in SS did not depend on character and intensity of cardiovascular pathology, subclinical atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction and proinflammatory cytokines production.Conclusion. HsCRP in SS reflects intensity of immuno-inflammatory process, correlates with T-cell activation markers and can be used as index of the disease activity, severity of skin and lung fibrosis.

  17. Improved support films for electron microscopy of beam sensitive specimens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, J.R.; Glaeser, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    Preliminary results indicate that technical innovations can address the problem of beam-induced movement and provide improved prospects for high resolution imaging of beam-sensitive specimens. Second-generation experiments with microgrid supports are in progress with efforts focusing on the objectives of maximizing the contact between the carbon film and its microgrid support and on improving the flatness of microgrids. When more robust support films are available they will be used in conjunction with small spot illumination. 4 refs., 2 figs

  18. 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

  19. Improvement in Sensitivity of an Inductive Oil Palm Fruit Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norhisam Misron

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Among palm oil millers, the ripeness of oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB is determined through visual inspection. To increase the productivity of the millers, many researchers have proposed with a new detection method to replace the conventional one. The sensitivity of such a sensor plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the method. In our preliminary study a novel oil palm fruit sensor to detect the maturity of oil palm fruit bunches is proposed. The design of the proposed air coil sensor based on an inductive sensor is further investigated to improve its sensitivity. This paper investigates the results pertaining to the effects of the air coil structure of an oil palm fruit sensor, taking consideration of the used copper wire diameter ranging from 0.10 mm to 0.18 mm with 60 turns. The flat-type shape of air coil was used on twenty samples of fruitlets from two categories, namely ripe and unripe. Samples are tested with frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 120 MHz. The sensitivity of the sensor between air to fruitlet samples increases as the coil diameter increases. As for the sensitivity differences between ripe and unripe samples, the 5 mm air coil length with the 0.12 mm coil diameter provides the highest percentage difference between samples and it is amongst the highest deviation value between samples. The result from this study is important to improve the sensitivity of the inductive oil palm fruit sensor mainly with regards to the design of the air coil structure. The efficiency of the sensor to determine the maturity of the oil palm FFB and the ripening process of the fruitlet could further be enhanced.

  20. 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.

  1. Sensitivity analysis for improving nanomechanical photonic transducers biosensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fariña, D; Álvarez, M; Márquez, S; Lechuga, L M; Dominguez, C

    2015-01-01

    The achievement of high sensitivity and highly integrated transducers is one of the main challenges in the development of high-throughput biosensors. The aim of this study is to improve the final sensitivity of an opto-mechanical device to be used as a reliable biosensor. We report the analysis of the mechanical and optical properties of optical waveguide microcantilever transducers, and their dependency on device design and dimensions. The selected layout (geometry) based on two butt-coupled misaligned waveguides displays better sensitivities than an aligned one. With this configuration, we find that an optimal microcantilever thickness range between 150 nm and 400 nm would increase both microcantilever bending during the biorecognition process and increase optical sensitivity to 4.8   ×   10 −2  nm −1 , an order of magnitude higher than other similar opto-mechanical devices. Moreover, the analysis shows that a single mode behaviour of the propagating radiation is required to avoid modal interference that could misinterpret the readout signal. (paper)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The diagnostic sensitivity of dengue rapid test assays is significantly enhanced by using a combined antigen and antibody testing approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott R Fry

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Serological tests for IgM and IgG are routinely used in clinical laboratories for the rapid diagnosis of dengue and can differentiate between primary and secondary infections. Dengue virus non-structural protein 1 (NS1 has been identified as an early marker for acute dengue, and is typically present between days 1-9 post-onset of illness but following seroconversion it can be difficult to detect in serum. AIMS: To evaluate the performance of a newly developed Panbio® Dengue Early Rapid test for NS1 and determine if it can improve diagnostic sensitivity when used in combination with a commercial IgM/IgG rapid test. METHODOLOGY: The clinical performance of the Dengue Early Rapid was evaluated in a retrospective study in Vietnam with 198 acute laboratory-confirmed positive and 100 negative samples. The performance of the Dengue Early Rapid in combination with the IgM/IgG Rapid test was also evaluated in Malaysia with 263 laboratory-confirmed positive and 30 negative samples. KEY RESULTS: In Vietnam the sensitivity and specificity of the test was 69.2% (95% CI: 62.8% to 75.6% and 96% (95% CI: 92.2% to 99.8 respectively. In Malaysia the performance was similar with 68.9% sensitivity (95% CI: 61.8% to 76.1% and 96.7% specificity (95% CI: 82.8% to 99.9% compared to RT-PCR. Importantly, when the Dengue Early Rapid test was used in combination with the IgM/IgG test the sensitivity increased to 93.0%. When the two tests were compared at each day post-onset of illness there was clear differentiation between the antigen and antibody markers. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights that using dengue NS1 antigen detection in combination with anti-glycoprotein E IgM and IgG serology can significantly increase the sensitivity of acute dengue diagnosis and extends the possible window of detection to include very early acute samples and enhances the clinical utility of rapid immunochromatographic testing for dengue.

  5. Low Complexity Models to improve Incomplete Sensitivities for Shape Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanciu, Mugurel; Mohammadi, Bijan; Moreau, Stéphane

    2003-01-01

    The present global platform for simulation and design of multi-model configurations treat shape optimization problems in aerodynamics. Flow solvers are coupled with optimization algorithms based on CAD-free and CAD-connected frameworks. Newton methods together with incomplete expressions of gradients are used. Such incomplete sensitivities are improved using reduced models based on physical assumptions. The validity and the application of this approach in real-life problems are presented. The numerical examples concern shape optimization for an airfoil, a business jet and a car engine cooling axial fan.

  6. Nano-CL-20/HMX Cocrystal Explosive for Significantly Reduced Mechanical Sensitivity

    OpenAIRE

    An, Chongwei; Li, Hequn; Ye, Baoyun; Wang, Jingyu

    2017-01-01

    Spray drying method was used to prepare cocrystals of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20) and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX). Raw materials and cocrystals were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Impact and friction sensitivity of cocrystals were tested and analyzed. Results show that, after preparation by spray drying method, microparticles were sph...

  7. Sensitive Troponin I Assay in Patients with Chest Pain - Association with Significant Coronary Lesions with or Without Renal Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeiro, Alexandre de Matos; Gualandro, Danielle Menosi; Bossa, Aline Siqueira; Zullino, Cindel Nogueira; Biselli, Bruno; Soeiro, Maria Carolina Feres de Almeida; Leal, Tatiana de Carvalho Andreucci Torres; Serrano, Carlos Vicente; Oliveira Junior, Mucio Tavares de

    2018-01-01

    Despite having higher sensitivity as compared to conventional troponins, sensitive troponins have lower specificity, mainly in patients with renal failure. Study aimed at assessing the sensitive troponin I levels in patients with chest pain, and relating them to the existence of significant coronary lesions. Retrospective, single-center, observational. This study included 991 patients divided into two groups: with (N = 681) and without (N = 310) significant coronary lesion. For posterior analysis, the patients were divided into two other groups: with (N = 184) and without (N = 807) chronic renal failure. The commercial ADVIA Centaur® TnI-Ultra assay (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics) was used. The ROC curve analysis was performed to identify the sensitivity and specificity of the best cutoff point of troponin as a discriminator of the probability of significant coronary lesion. The associations were considered significant when p renal failure, the areas under the ROC curve were 0.703 (95% CI: 0.66 - 0.74) and 0.608 (95% CI: 0.52 - 0.70), respectively. The best cutoff points to discriminate the presence of significant coronary lesion were: in the general population, 0.605 ng/dL (sensitivity, 63.4%; specificity, 67%); in patients without renal failure, 0.605 ng/dL (sensitivity, 62.7%; specificity, 71%); and in patients with chronic renal failure, 0.515 ng/dL (sensitivity, 80.6%; specificity, 42%). In patients with chest pain, sensitive troponin I showed a good correlation with significant coronary lesions when its level was greater than 0.605 ng/dL. In patients with chronic renal failure, a significant decrease in specificity was observed in the correlation of troponin levels and severe coronary lesions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Sensitivity and parametric evaluations of significant aspects of burnup credit for PWR spent fuel packages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeHart, M.D.

    1996-05-01

    Spent fuel transportation and storage cask designs based on a burnup credit approach must consider issues that are not relevant in casks designed under a fresh-fuel loading assumption. For example, the spent fuel composition must be adequately characterized and the criticality analysis model can be complicated by the need to consider axial burnup variations. Parametric analyses are needed to characterize the importance of fuel assembly and fuel cycle parameters on spent fuel composition and reactivity. Numerical models must be evaluated to determine the sensitivity of criticality safety calculations to modeling assumptions. The purpose of this report is to describe analyses and evaluations performed in order to demonstrate the effect physical parameters and modeling assumptions have on the criticality analysis of spent fuel. The analyses in this report include determination and ranking of the most important actinides and fission products; study of the effect of various depletion scenarios on subsequent criticality calculations; establishment of trends in neutron multiplication as a function of fuel enrichment, burnup, cooling time- and a parametric and modeling evaluation of three-dimensional effects (e.g., axially varying burnup and temperature/density effects) in a conceptual cask design. The sensitivity and parametric evaluations were performed with the consideration of two different burnup credit approaches: (1) only actinides in the fuel are considered in the criticality analysis, and (2) both actinides and fission products are considered. Calculations described in this report were performed using the criticality and depletion sequences available in the SCALE code system and the SCALE 27-group burnup library. Although the results described herein do not constitute a validation of SCALE for use in spent fuel analysis, independent validation efforts have been completed and are described in other reports

  11. Sensitivity and parametric evaluations of significant aspects of burnup credit for PWR spent fuel packages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeHart, M.D.

    1996-05-01

    Spent fuel transportation and storage cask designs based on a burnup credit approach must consider issues that are not relevant in casks designed under a fresh-fuel loading assumption. For example, the spent fuel composition must be adequately characterized and the criticality analysis model can be complicated by the need to consider axial burnup variations. Parametric analyses are needed to characterize the importance of fuel assembly and fuel cycle parameters on spent fuel composition and reactivity. Numerical models must be evaluated to determine the sensitivity of criticality safety calculations to modeling assumptions. The purpose of this report is to describe analyses and evaluations performed in order to demonstrate the effect physical parameters and modeling assumptions have on the criticality analysis of spent fuel. The analyses in this report include determination and ranking of the most important actinides and fission products; study of the effect of various depletion scenarios on subsequent criticality calculations; establishment of trends in neutron multiplication as a function of fuel enrichment, burnup, cooling time- and a parametric and modeling evaluation of three-dimensional effects (e.g., axially varying burnup and temperature/density effects) in a conceptual cask design. The sensitivity and parametric evaluations were performed with the consideration of two different burnup credit approaches: (1) only actinides in the fuel are considered in the criticality analysis, and (2) both actinides and fission products are considered. Calculations described in this report were performed using the criticality and depletion sequences available in the SCALE code system and the SCALE 27-group burnup library. Although the results described herein do not constitute a validation of SCALE for use in spent fuel analysis, independent validation efforts have been completed and are described in other reports.

  12. 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.

  13. Improvement of sensitivity in high-resolution Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashimoto, H.; Nakajima, K.; Suzuki, M.; Kimura, K.; Sasakawa, K.

    2011-01-01

    The sensitivity (limit of detection) of high-resolution Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (HRBS) is mainly determined by the background noise of the spectrometer. There are two major origins of the background noise in HRBS, one is the stray ions scattered from the inner wall of the vacuum chamber of the spectrometer and the other is the dark noise of the microchannel plate (MCP) detector which is commonly used as a focal plane detector of the spectrometer in HRBS. In order to reject the stray ions, several barriers are installed inside the spectrometer and a thin Mylar foil is mounted in front of the detector. The dark noise of the MCP detector is rejected by the coincidence measurement with the secondary electrons emitted from the Mylar foil upon the ion passage. After these improvements, the background noise is reduced by a factor of 200 at a maximum. The detection limit can be improved down to 10 ppm for As in Si at a measurement time of 1 h under ideal conditions.

  14. Surrogate indicators of sensitivity in gynecologic cytology: Can they be used to improve the measurement of sensitivity in the laboratory?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renshaw Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Measuring the sensitivity of screening in gynecologic cytology in real life is problematic. However, other quality measures may correlate with sensitivity, including the atypical squamous cells (ASC/squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL ratio. Whether these other measures can function as "surrogate indicators" for sensitivity and improve the assessment of sensitivity in the laboratory is not known. Materials and Methods: We compared multiple quality measures with true screening sensitivity in a variety of situations. Results: The abnormal rate, ASC rate, and ASC/SIL ratio were all highly correlated (r = .83 or greater with sensitivity when the overall laboratory sensitivity was low (85% but became less correlated (.64 or less or uncorrelated when the screening sensitivity was higher (88% or 95%, respectively. Sensitivity was more highly correlated with the abnormal rate than the ASC/SIL ratio at low screening sensitivity. While thresholds could be set that were highly sensitive and specific for suboptimal screening, these thresholds were often less than one standard deviation away from the mean. Conclusion: The correlation of the abnormal rate and the ASC/SIL ratio with sensitivity depends on overall sensitivity. Standards to define minimum screening sensitivity can be defined, but these standards are relatively narrow. These features may limit the utility of these quality measures as surrogates for sensitivity.

  15. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Improves Olfaction Sensitivity in Morbidly Obese Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancı, Deniz; Altun, Huseyin; Altun, Hasan; Batman, Burcin; Karip, Aziz Bora; Serin, Kursat Rahmi

    2016-03-01

    Olfactory abilities of the patients are known to be altered by eating and metabolic disorders, including obesity. There are only a number of studies investigating the effect of obesity on olfaction, and there is limited data on the changes in olfactory abilities of morbidly obese patients after surgical treatment. Here we investigated the changes in olfactory abilities of 54 morbidly obese patients (M/F, 22/32; age range 19-57 years; body mass index (BMI) range 30.5-63.0 kg/m(2)) after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy was performed by the same surgeon using five-port technique. Olfactory abilities were tested preoperatively and 1, 3, and 6 months after the surgery using a standardized Sniffin' Sticks Extended Test kit. Analyses of variance indicated statistically significant improvement in T, D, and I scores of morbidly obese patients within time factors (preoperative vs. 1, 3, and 6 months; 1 vs. 3 and 6 months; and 3 vs. 6 months; p < 0.001 for all). There was a statistically significant improvement in overall TDI scores with an increase from 25 to 41 during the 6 months follow-up period (p < 0.001 for all). Here, for the first time in literature, we were able to show the significant improvement in olfactory abilities of morbidly obese patients after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

  16. A novel 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase from Rahnella aquatilis with significantly reduced glyphosate sensitivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ri-He Peng

    Full Text Available The 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS; EC 2.5.1.19 is a key enzyme in the shikimate pathway for the production of aromatic amino acids and chorismate-derived secondary metabolites in plants, fungi, and microorganisms. It is also the target of the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate. Natural glyphosate resistance is generally thought to occur within microorganisms in a strong selective pressure condition. Rahnella aquatilis strain GR20, an antagonist against pathogenic agrobacterial strains of grape crown gall, was isolated from the rhizosphere of grape in glyphosate-contaminated vineyards. A novel gene encoding EPSPS was identified from the isolated bacterium by complementation of an Escherichia coli auxotrophic aroA mutant. The EPSPS, named AroA(R. aquatilis, was expressed and purified from E. coli, and key kinetic values were determined. The full-length enzyme exhibited higher tolerance to glyphosate than the E. coli EPSPS (AroA(E. coli, while retaining high affinity for the substrate phosphoenolpyruvate. Transgenic plants of AroA(R. aquatilis were also observed to be more resistant to glyphosate at a concentration of 5 mM than that of AroA(E. coli. To probe the sites contributing to increased tolerance to glyphosate, mutant R. aquatilis EPSPS enzymes were produced with the c-strand of subdomain 3 and the f-strand of subdomain 5 (Thr38Lys, Arg40Val, Arg222Gln, Ser224Val, Ile225Val, and Gln226Lys substituted by the corresponding region of the E. coli EPSPS. The mutant enzyme exhibited greater sensitivity to glyphosate than the wild type R. aquatilis EPSPS with little change of affinity for its first substrate, shikimate-3-phosphate (S3P and phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP. The effect of the residues on subdomain 5 on glyphosate resistance was more obvious.

  17. 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

  18. Harmonic detection of magnetic resonance for sensitivity improvement of optical atomic magnetometers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ranjbaran, M. [Laser and Plasma Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Tehranchi, M.M., E-mail: teranchi@sbu.ac.ir [Laser and Plasma Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Physics Department, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Hamidi, S.M. [Laser and Plasma Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Khalkhali, S.M.H. [Physics Department, Kharazmi University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-02-15

    Highly sensitive atomic magnetometers use optically detected magnetic resonance of atomic spins to measure extremely weak magnetic field changes. The magnetometer sensitivity is directly proportional to the ratio of intensity to line-shape of the resonance signal. To obtain narrower resonance signal, we implemented harmonic detection of magnetic resonance method in M{sub x} configuration. The nonlinear spin polarization dynamics in detection of the higher harmonics were employed in phenomenological Bloch equations. The measured and simulated harmonic components of the resonance signals in frequency domain yielded significantly narrower line-width accompanying much improved sensitivity. Our results confirm the sensitivity improvement by a factor of two in optical atomic magnetometer via second harmonic signal which can open a new insight in the weak magnetic field measurement system design. - Highlights: • Highly sensitive atomic magnetometers have been used to measure weak magentic filed. • To obtain narrower resonance signal, we impalnted harmonic detection of magnetic resonance. • The nonlinear spin polarization dynamics in detetion of the higher harmonics were imployed.

  19. Improved Sensitivity of Spectroscopic Quantification of Stable Isotope Content Using Capillary Absorption Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J.; Wilcox Freeburg, E.; Kriesel, J.; Linley, T. J.; Kelly, J.; Coleman, M. L.; Christensen, L. E.; Vance, S.

    2016-12-01

    Spectroscopy-based platforms have recently risen to the forefront for making stable isotope measurements of methane, carbon dioxide, water, or other analytes. These spectroscopy systems can be relatively straightforward to operate (versus a mass spectrometry platform), largely relieve the analyst of mass interference artifacts, and many can be used in the field. Despite these significant advantages, however, existing spectroscopy techniques suffer from a lack of measurement sensitivity that can ultimately limit select applications including spatially resolved and compound-specific measurements. Here we present a capillary absorption spectroscopy (CAS) system that is designed to mitigate sensitivity issues in spectroscopy-based stable isotope evaluation. The system uses mid-wave infrared excitation generated from a continuous wave quantum cascade laser. Importantly, the sample `chamber' is a flexible capillary with a total volume of less than one cc. Proprietary coatings on the internal surface of the fiber improve optical performance, guiding the light to a detector and facilitating high levels of interaction between the laser beam and gaseous analytes. We present data demonstrating that a tapered hollow fiber cell, with an internal diameter that broadens toward the detector, reduces optical feedback to further improve measurement sensitivity. Sensitivity of current hollow fiber / CAS systems enable measurements of only 10's of picomoles CO2 while theoretical improvements should enable measurements of as little as 10's of femtomoles. Continued optimization of sample introduction and improvements to optical feedback are being explored. Software is being designed to provide rapid integration of data and generation of processed isotope measurements using a graphical user interface. Taken together, the sensitivity improvements of the CAS system under development could, when coupled to a laser ablation sampling device, enable up to 2 µm spatial resolution (roughly the

  20. TOF spectrometer with improved sensitivity for ERDA of light isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siketic, Z.; Bogdanovic Radovic, I.; Jaksic, M.

    2009-01-01

    Time-of-Flight Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (TOF ERDA) is a well established and powerful ion beam analytical technique. It is used for simultaneous and quantitative analysis of elemental depth distributions of light and medium mass elements in both light and heavy matrices. Contrary to silicon particle detectors, the efficiency of the carbon-foil MCP time detectors in TOF system depends on energy and electronic stopping power of analyzing recoil atoms in the C foil and it is often less than 100% for light elements (H, He, Li). This is particularly critical for hydrogen isotopes where detection efficiency can be drastically reduced (∼ 10%). Therefore, TOF ERDA spectrometers were so far not the best choice for depth profiling and quantification of light elements. To improve the detection efficiency of TOF ERDA, the electron emission of C foils (∼ 0.3 μg/cm 2 ) has been enhanced by evaporating a thin LiF layer on the foil. That procedure improved significantly detection efficiency of hydrogen and other light elements, making TOF ERDA spectrometer more suitable for multielemental analysis applications. The capabilities of upgraded spectrometer were demonstrated on samples with well known as well as unknown concentration and depth distribution of H and D.(author)

  1. An enhanced electronic topology aimed at improving the phase sensitivity of GMI sensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costa Silva, E; Gusmão, L A P; Hall Barbosa, C R; Costa Monteiro, E

    2014-01-01

    The giant magnetoimpedance effect (GMI) is used in the most recent technologies developed for the detection of magnetic fields, showing potential to be applied in the measurement of ultra-weak fields. GMI samples exhibit a huge dependency of their electrical impedance on the magnetic field, which makes them excellent magnetic sensors. In spite of GMI magnetometers being mostly based on magnitude impedance characteristics, it was previously verified that sensitivity could be significantly increased by reading the impedance phase. Pursuing this idea, a phase-based GMI magnetometer has been already developed as well as an electronic configuration capable of improving the phase sensitivity of GMI samples. However, when using this topology, it was noted that the sensitivity improvement comes at the cost of reduced voltage levels in the reading terminal, degrading the signal-to-noise ratio. Another drawback of the electronic configuration was that it was not capable of enforcing a linear behavior of the impedance phase in the function of the magnetic field in a given operation region. Aiming at overcoming those issues and then optimizing the behavior of the circuit developed to improve the phase sensitivity, this paper mathematically describes a completely new methodology, presents an enhanced newly developed electronic topology and exemplifies its application. (paper)

  2. Improving radiochromic film's sensitivity by wrapping it with UV phosphor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geso, Moshi; Ackerly, Trevor; Patterson, William

    2004-01-01

    The main advantage of radiochromic-film dosimeters is the coupling of rapid full planar-acquisition, high-spatial resolution and dose linearity. Their main limitation, however, is their low radiation sensitivity. This precludes their application to measuring doses below a few Gy. Radiochromic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. In this note the results of exposing radiochromic films to x rays through an UV imaging cassette, which converts and amplifies x rays to UV radiation, are presented. These results indicate a clear increase (around 50%) in radiochromic film's sensitivity to MV x rays (6, 10, and 18 MV) when exposed through the UV phosphor

  3. Axial asymmetry for improved sensitivity in MEMS piezoresistors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuvra, Pranoy Deb; McNamara, Shamus; Lin, Ji-Tzuoh; Alphenaar, Bruce; Walsh, Kevin; Davidson, Jim

    2016-01-01

    The strain induced resistance change is compared for asymmetric, symmetric and diffused piezoresistive elements. Finite element analysis is used to simulate the performance of a T-shaped piezoresistive MEMS cantilever, including a lumped parameter model to show the effect of geometric asymmetry on the piezoresistor sensitivity. Asymmetric piezoresistors are found to be much more sensitive to applied load than the typical symmetric design producing about two orders of magnitude higher resistance change. This is shown to be due to the difference in the stress distribution in the symmetric and asymmetric geometries resulting in less resistance change cancellation in the asymmetric design. Although still less sensitive than diffused piezoresistors, asymmetric piezoresistors are sensitive enough for many applications, and are much easier to fabricate and integrate into MEMS devices. (paper)

  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. Sound improves diminished visual temporal sensitivity in schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer-Schellekens, L.; Stekelenburg, J.J.; Maes, J.P.; van Gool, A.R.; Vroomen, J.

    2014-01-01

    Visual temporal processing and multisensory integration (MSI) of sound and vision were examined in individuals with schizophrenia using a visual temporal order judgment (TOJ) task. Compared to a non-psychiatric control group, persons with schizophrenia were less sensitive judging the temporal order

  6. Total sensitivity and uncertainty analysis for LWR pin-cells with improved UNICORN code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Chenghui; Cao, Liangzhi; Wu, Hongchun; Shen, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • A new model is established for the total sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. • The NR approximation applied in S&U analysis can be avoided by the new model. • Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis is performed to PWR pin-cells by the new model. • The effects of the NR approximation for the PWR pin-cells are quantified. - Abstract: In this paper, improvements to the multigroup cross-section perturbation model have been proposed and applied in the self-developed UNICORN code, which is capable of performing the total sensitivity and total uncertainty analysis for the neutron-physics calculations by applying the direct numerical perturbation method and the statistical sampling method respectively. The narrow resonance (NR) approximation was applied in the multigroup cross-section perturbation model, implemented in UNICORN. As improvements to the NR approximation to refine the multigroup cross-section perturbation model, an ultrafine-group cross-section perturbation model has been established, in which the actual perturbations are applied to the ultrafine-group cross-section library and the reconstructions of the resonance cross sections are performed by solving the neutron slowing-down equation. The total sensitivity and total uncertainty analysis were then applied to the LWR pin-cells, using both the multigroup and the ultrafine-group cross-section perturbation models. The numerical results show that the NR approximation overestimates the relative sensitivity coefficients and the corresponding uncertainty results for the LWR pin-cells, and the effects of the NR approximation are significant for σ_(_n_,_γ_) and σ_(_n_,_e_l_a_s_) of "2"3"8U. Therefore, the effects of the NR approximation applied in the total sensitivity and total uncertainty analysis for the neutron-physics calculations of LWR should be taken into account.

  7. Extensive Gustatory Cortex Lesions Significantly Impair Taste Sensitivity to KCl and Quinine but Not to Sucrose in Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle B Bales

    Full Text Available Recently, we reported that large bilateral gustatory cortex (GC lesions significantly impair taste sensitivity to salts in rats. Here we extended the tastants examined to include sucrose and quinine in rats with ibotenic acid-induced lesions in GC (GCX and in sham-operated controls (SHAM. Presurgically, immediately after drinking NaCl, rats received a LiCl or saline injection (i.p., but postsurgical tests indicated a weak conditioned taste aversion (CTA even in controls. The rats were then trained and tested in gustometers to discriminate a tastant from water in a two-response operant taste detection task. Psychometric functions were derived for sucrose, KCl, and quinine. Our mapping system was used to determine placement, size, and symmetry of the lesions (~91% GC damage on average. For KCl, there was a significant rightward shift (ΔEC50 = 0.57 log10 units; p<0.001 in the GCX psychometric function relative to SHAM, replicating our prior work. There was also a significant lesion-induced impairment (ΔEC50 = 0.41 log10 units; p = 0.006 in quinine sensitivity. Surprisingly, taste sensitivity to sucrose was unaffected by the extensive lesions and was comparable between GCX and SHAM rats. The fact that such large bilateral GC lesions did not shift sucrose psychometric functions relative to SHAM, but did significantly compromise quinine and KCl sensitivity suggests that the neural circuits responsible for the detection of specific taste stimuli are partially dissociable. Lesion-induced impairments were observed in expression of a postsurgical CTA to a maltodextrin solution as assessed in a taste-oriented brief-access test, but were not reflected in a longer term 46-h two-bottle test. Thus, deficits observed in rats after extensive damage to the GC are also dependent on the test used to assess taste function. In conclusion, the degree to which the GC is necessary for the maintenance of normal taste detectability apparently depends on the chemical and

  8. Sensitivity and response time improvements in millimeter-wave spectrometers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kolbe, W.F.; Leskovar, B.

    1980-09-01

    A new version of a microwave spectrometer for the detection of gaseous pollutants and other atmospheric constituents is described. The spectrometer, which operates in the vicinity of 70 GHz, employs a Fabry-Perot resonator as a sample cell and uses superhetrodyne detection for high sensitivity. The spectrometer has been modified to incorporate a frequency doubler modulated at 30 MHz to permit operation with a single Gunn oscillator source. As a result, faster response time and somewhat greater sensitivity are obtained. The spectrometer is capable of detecting a minimum concentration of 1 ppM of SO 2 diluted in air with a 1 second time constant. For OCS diluted in air, the minimum detectable concentration is 800 ppB and with a 10 second time constant 300 ppB

  9. 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.

  10. An Improved Method to Watermark Images Sensitive to Blocking Artifacts

    OpenAIRE

    Afzel Noore

    2007-01-01

    A new digital watermarking technique for images that are sensitive to blocking artifacts is presented. Experimental results show that the proposed MDCT based approach produces highly imperceptible watermarked images and is robust to attacks such as compression, noise, filtering and geometric transformations. The proposed MDCT watermarking technique is applied to fingerprints for ensuring security. The face image and demographic text data of an individual are used as multi...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Auditory-somatosensory temporal sensitivity improves when the somatosensory event is caused by voluntary body movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norimichi Kitagawa

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available When we actively interact with the environment, it is crucial that we perceive a precise temporal relationship between our own actions and sensory effects to guide our body movements.Thus, we hypothesized that voluntary movements improve perceptual sensitivity to the temporal disparity between auditory and movement-related somatosensory events compared to when they are delivered passively to sensory receptors. In the voluntary condition, participants voluntarily tapped a button, and a noise burst was presented at various onset asynchronies relative to the button press. The participants made either 'sound-first' or 'touch-first' responses. We found that the performance of temporal order judgment (TOJ in the voluntary condition (as indexed by the just noticeable difference was significantly better (M=42.5 ms ±3.8 s.e.m than that when their finger was passively stimulated (passive condition: M=66.8 ms ±6.3 s.e.m. We further examined whether the performance improvement with voluntary action can be attributed to the prediction of the timing of the stimulation from sensory cues (sensory-based prediction, kinesthetic cues contained in voluntary action, and/or to the prediction of stimulation timing from the efference copy of the motor command (motor-based prediction. When the participant’s finger was moved passively to press the button (involuntary condition and when three noise bursts were presented before the target burst with regular intervals (predictable condition, the TOJ performance was not improved from that in the passive condition. These results suggest that the improvement in sensitivity to temporal disparity between somatosensory and auditory events caused by the voluntary action cannot be attributed to sensory-based prediction and kinesthetic cues. Rather, the prediction from the efference copy of the motor command would be crucial for improving the temporal sensitivity.

  16. Yellow filters can improve magnocellular function: motion sensitivity, convergence, accommodation, and reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, N J; Fowler, S; Stein, J F

    2005-04-01

    The magnocellular system plays an important role in visual motion processing, controlling vergence eye movements, and in reading. Yellow filters may boost magnocellular activity by eliminating inhibitory blue input to this pathway. It was found that wearing yellow filters increased motion sensitivity, convergence, and accommodation in many children with reading difficulties, both immediately and after three months using the filters. Motion sensitivity was not increased using control neutral density filters. Moreover, reading-impaired children showed significant gains in reading ability after three months wearing the filters compared with those who had used a placebo. It was concluded that yellow filters can improve magnocellular function permanently. Hence, they should be considered as an alternative to corrective lenses, prisms, or exercises for treating poor convergence and accommodation, and also as an aid for children with reading problems.

  17. Reduce the Sensitivity of CL-20 by Improving Thermal Conductivity Through Carbon Nanomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuang; An, Chongwei; Wang, Jingyu; Ye, Baoyun

    2018-03-27

    The graphene (rGO) and carbon nanotube (CNT) were adopted to enhance the thermal conductivity of CL-20-based composites as conductive fillers. The microstructure features were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), and tested the properties by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), static electricity accumulation, special height, thermal conductivity, and detonation velocity. The results showed that the mixture of rGO and CNT had better effect in thermal conductivity than rGO or CNT alone under the same loading (1 wt%) and it formed a three-dimensional heat-conducting network structure to improve the heat property of the system. Besides, the linear fit proved that the thermal conductivity of the CL-20-based composites were negatively correlated with the impact sensitivity, which also explained that the impact sensitivity was significantly reduced after the thermal conductivity increased and the explosive still maintained better energy.

  18. Reduce the Sensitivity of CL-20 by Improving Thermal Conductivity Through Carbon Nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuang; An, Chongwei; Wang, Jingyu; Ye, Baoyun

    2018-03-01

    The graphene (rGO) and carbon nanotube (CNT) were adopted to enhance the thermal conductivity of CL-20-based composites as conductive fillers. The microstructure features were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), and tested the properties by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), static electricity accumulation, special height, thermal conductivity, and detonation velocity. The results showed that the mixture of rGO and CNT had better effect in thermal conductivity than rGO or CNT alone under the same loading (1 wt%) and it formed a three-dimensional heat-conducting network structure to improve the heat property of the system. Besides, the linear fit proved that the thermal conductivity of the CL-20-based composites were negatively correlated with the impact sensitivity, which also explained that the impact sensitivity was significantly reduced after the thermal conductivity increased and the explosive still maintained better energy.

  19. 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).

  20. Improved insulin sensitivity after exercise: focus on insulin signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frøsig, Christian; Richter, Erik

    2009-01-01

    After a single bout of exercise, the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake is markedly improved locally in the previously active muscles. This makes exercise a potent stimulus counteracting insulin resistance characterizing type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is believed that at least part...... of the mechanism relates to an improved ability of insulin to stimulate translocation of glucose transporters (GLUT4) to the muscle membrane after exercise. How this is accomplished is still unclear; however, an obvious possibility is that exercise interacts with the insulin signaling pathway to GLUT4...... translocation allowing for a more potent insulin response. Parallel to unraveling of the insulin signaling cascade, this has been investigated within the past 25 years. Reviewing existing studies clearly indicates that improved insulin action can occur independent of interactions with proximal insulin signaling...

  1. 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

  2. Microcirculatory Improvement Induced by Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Is Related to Insulin Sensitivity Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ministrini, Stefano; Fattori, Chiara; Ricci, Maria Anastasia; Bianconi, Vanessa; Paltriccia, Rita; Boni, Marcello; Paganelli, Maria Teresa; Vaudo, Gaetano; Lupattelli, Graziana; Pasqualini, Leonella

    2018-05-12

    Microvascular dysfunction is a potential factor explaining the association of obesity, insulin resistance, and vascular damage in morbidly obese subjects. The purpose of the study was to evaluate possible determinants of microcirculatory improvement 1 year after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) intervention. Thirty-seven morbidly obese subjects eligible for bariatric surgery were included in the study. Post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) of the forearm skin was measured as area of hyperemia (AH) by laser-Doppler flowmetry before LSG and after a 1-year follow-up. After intervention, we observed a significant reduction in BMI, HOMA index, HbA1c, and a significant increase of AH in all patients after surgery; this variation was significant only in those patients having insulin resistance or prediabetes/diabetes. Although significant correlation between the increase of AH and the reduction of both BMI, HOMA index, and HbA1c was observed, BMI was the only independent predictor of AH variation after LSG at the linear regression analysis. Our study shows that LSG intervention is correlated with a significant improvement in the microvascular function of morbidly obese subjects; this improvement seems to be related to the baseline degree of insulin-resistance and to the retrieval of insulin-sensitivity post-intervention.

  3. Some problems connected with boron determination by atomic absorption spectroscopy and the sensitivity improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JELENA J. SAVOVIC

    2001-08-01

    Full Text Available Two atomizers were compared: an N2O–C2H2 flame and a stabilized U-shaped DC arc with aerosol supply. Both the high plasma temperature and the reducing atmosphere obtained by acetylene addition to the argon stream substantially increase the sensitivity of boron determination by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS when the arc atomizer is used. The results were compared with those for silicon as a control element. The experimental characteristic concentrations for both elements were compared with the computed values. The experimentally obtained characteristic concentration for boron when using the arc atomizer was in better agreement with the calculated value. It was estimated that the influence of stable monoxide formation on the sensitivity for both elements was about the same, but reduction of analyte and formation of non-volatile carbide particles was more important for boron, which is the main reason for the low sensitivity of boron determination using a flame atomizer. The use of an arc atomizer suppresses this interference and significantly improves the sensitivity of the determination.

  4. 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.

  5. Significance of uncertainties derived from settling tank model structure and parameters on predicting WWTP performance - A global sensitivity analysis study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramin, Elham; Sin, Gürkan; Mikkelsen, Peter Steen

    2011-01-01

    Uncertainty derived from one of the process models – such as one-dimensional secondary settling tank (SST) models – can impact the output of the other process models, e.g., biokinetic (ASM1), as well as the integrated wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) models. The model structure and parameter...... and from the last aerobic bioreactor upstream to the SST (Garrett/hydraulic method). For model structure uncertainty, two one-dimensional secondary settling tank (1-D SST) models are assessed, including a first-order model (the widely used Takács-model), in which the feasibility of using measured...... uncertainty of settler models can therefore propagate, and add to the uncertainties in prediction of any plant performance criteria. Here we present an assessment of the relative significance of secondary settling model performance in WWTP simulations. We perform a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) based...

  6. 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.

  7. The Improved Sensitivity to Crossmodal Asynchrony Caused by Voluntary Action: Comparing Combinations of Sensory Modalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norimichi Kitagawa

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The brain has to assess the fine temporal relationship between voluntary actions and their sensory effects to achieve precise spatiotemporal control of body movement. Recently we found that voluntary action improved the subsequent perceptual temporal discrimination between somatosensory and auditory events. In voluntary condition, participants actively pressed a button and a noise burst was presented at various onset asynchronies relative to the button press. The participants made either ‘sound-first’ or ‘touch-first’ responses. We found that the temporal order judgment performance in the voluntary condition (as indexed by just noticeable difference was significantly better than that when their finger was passively stimulated (passive condition. Temporal attention and comparable involuntary movement did not explain the improvement caused by the voluntary action. The results suggest that predicting sensory consequences via a ‘forward’ model enhances perceptual temporal resolution for precise control of the body. The present study examined whether this improved temporal sensitivity caused by the voluntary action is also observed for the other combinations of sensory modalities. We compared the effects of voluntary action on the temporal sensitivity between auditory-somatosensory, visual-somatosensory, and somatosensory-somatosensory stimulus pairs.

  8. Artemisia Extract Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus by Up-Regulating Adiponectin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xia; Sun, Hong; Zhang, Jing; Ji, Xianghong

    2016-12-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has affected a great number of pregnant women worldwide. Artemisia extracts have been found to exhibit a potent antidiabetic effect in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We aimed to examine the effects of Artemisia extract on insulin resistance and lipid profiles in pregnant GDM patients. Patients in their second trimester were randomly assigned to the Artemisia extract group (AE) or to a placebo group (PO). They were instructed to consume either AE or PO daily for a period of 10 weeks. Glucose and insulin profiles and adiponectin level were assessed at baseline (week 0) and after the treatment (week 10). Compared to the PO group, fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin levels, homeostasis model of assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and β-cell function (HOMA-B) were significantly reduced in the AE group participants. Moreover, levels of circulating adiponectin were also significantly up-regulated in the AE group, which also positively contributed to improved insulin sensitivity. Daily administration of Artemisia extract improves insulin sensitivity by up-regulating adiponectin in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. © 2016, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

  9. Observations of Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing for Exosome Analysis: Improving System Sensitivity and Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Will; Lane, Rebecca; Korbie, Darren; Trau, Matt

    2015-06-16

    Size distribution and concentration measurements of exosomes are essential when investigating their cellular function and uptake. Recently, a particle size distribution and concentration measurement platform known as tunable resistive pulse sensing (TRPS) has seen increased use for the characterization of exosome samples. TRPS measures the brief increase in electrical resistance (a resistive pulse) produced by individual submicrometer/nanoscale particles as they translocate through a size-tunable submicrometer/micrometer-sized pore, embedded in an elastic membrane. Unfortunately, TRPS measurements are susceptible to issues surrounding system stability, where the pore can become blocked by particles, and sensitivity issues, where particles are too small to be detected against the background noise of the system. Herein, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the parameters involved in TRPS exosome measurements and demonstrate the ability to improve system sensitivity and stability by the optimization of system parameters. We also provide the first analysis of system noise, sensitivity cutoff limits, and accuracy with respect to exosome measurements and offer an explicit definition of system sensitivity that indicates the smallest particle diameter that can be detected within the noise of the trans-membrane current. A comparison of exosome size measurements from both TRPS and cryo-electron microscopy is also provided, finding that a significant number of smaller exosomes fell below the detection limit of the TRPS platform and offering one potential insight as to why there is such large variability in the exosome size distribution reported in the literature. We believe the observations reported here may assist others in improving TRPS measurements for exosome samples and other submicrometer biological and nonbiological particles.

  10. 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.

  11. Interactive cervical motion kinematics: sensitivity, specificity and clinically significant values for identifying kinematic impairments in patients with chronic neck pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarig Bahat, Hilla; Chen, Xiaoqi; Reznik, David; Kodesh, Einat; Treleaven, Julia

    2015-04-01

    Chronic neck pain has been consistently shown to be associated with impaired kinematic control including reduced range, velocity and smoothness of cervical motion, that seem relevant to daily function as in quick neck motion in response to surrounding stimuli. The objectives of this study were: to compare interactive cervical kinematics in patients with neck pain and controls; to explore the new measures of cervical motion accuracy; and to find the sensitivity, specificity, and optimal cutoff values for defining impaired kinematics in those with neck pain. In this cross-section study, 33 patients with chronic neck pain and 22 asymptomatic controls were assessed for their cervical kinematic control using interactive virtual reality hardware and customized software utilizing a head mounted display with built-in head tracking. Outcome measures included peak and mean velocity, smoothness (represented by number of velocity peaks (NVP)), symmetry (represented by time to peak velocity percentage (TTPP)), and accuracy of cervical motion. Results demonstrated significant and strong effect-size differences in peak and mean velocities, NVP and TTPP in all directions excluding TTPP in left rotation, and good effect-size group differences in 5/8 accuracy measures. Regression results emphasized the high clinical value of neck motion velocity, with very high sensitivity and specificity (85%-100%), followed by motion smoothness, symmetry and accuracy. These finding suggest cervical kinematics should be evaluated clinically, and screened by the provided cut off values for identification of relevant impairments in those with neck pain. Such identification of presence or absence of kinematic impairments may direct treatment strategies and additional evaluation when needed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Valsartan Improves β-Cell Function and Insulin Sensitivity in Subjects With Impaired Glucose Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Zijl, Nynke J.; Moors, Chantalle C.M.; Goossens, Gijs H.; Hermans, Marc M.H.; Blaak, Ellen E.; Diamant, Michaela

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Recently, the Nateglinide and Valsartan in Impaired Glucose Tolerance Outcomes Research Trial demonstrated that treatment with the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan for 5 years resulted in a relative reduction of 14% in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in subjects with impaired glucose metabolism (IGM). We investigated whether improvements in β-cell function and/or insulin sensitivity underlie these preventive effects of the ARB valsartan in the onset of type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In this randomized controlled, double-blind, two-center study, the effects of 26 weeks of valsartan (320 mg daily; n = 40) or placebo (n = 39) on β-cell function and insulin sensitivity were assessed in subjects with impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance, using a combined hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamp with subsequent arginine stimulation and a 2-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Treatment effects were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for center, glucometabolic status, and sex. RESULTS Valsartan increased first-phase (P = 0.028) and second-phase (P = 0.002) glucose-stimulated insulin secretion compared with placebo, whereas the enhanced arginine-stimulated insulin secretion was comparable between groups (P = 0.25). In addition, valsartan increased the OGTT-derived insulinogenic index (representing first-phase insulin secretion after an oral glucose load; P = 0.027). Clamp-derived insulin sensitivity was significantly increased with valsartan compared with placebo (P = 0.049). Valsartan treatment significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with placebo (P valsartan treatment increased glucose-stimulated insulin release and insulin sensitivity in normotensive subjects with IGM. These findings may partly explain the beneficial effects of valsartan in the reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes. PMID:21330640

  14. A framework for improving a seasonal hydrological forecasting system using sensitivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnal, Louise; Pappenberger, Florian; Smith, Paul; Cloke, Hannah

    2017-04-01

    Seasonal streamflow forecasts are of great value for the socio-economic sector, for applications such as navigation, flood and drought mitigation and reservoir management for hydropower generation and water allocation to agriculture and drinking water. However, as we speak, the performance of dynamical seasonal hydrological forecasting systems (systems based on running seasonal meteorological forecasts through a hydrological model to produce seasonal hydrological forecasts) is still limited in space and time. In this context, the ESP (Ensemble Streamflow Prediction) remains an attractive forecasting method for seasonal streamflow forecasting as it relies on forcing a hydrological model (starting from the latest observed or simulated initial hydrological conditions) with historical meteorological observations. This makes it cheaper to run than a standard dynamical seasonal hydrological forecasting system, for which the seasonal meteorological forecasts will first have to be produced, while still producing skilful forecasts. There is thus the need to focus resources and time towards improvements in dynamical seasonal hydrological forecasting systems which will eventually lead to significant improvements in the skill of the streamflow forecasts generated. Sensitivity analyses are a powerful tool that can be used to disentangle the relative contributions of the two main sources of errors in seasonal streamflow forecasts, namely the initial hydrological conditions (IHC; e.g., soil moisture, snow cover, initial streamflow, among others) and the meteorological forcing (MF; i.e., seasonal meteorological forecasts of precipitation and temperature, input to the hydrological model). Sensitivity analyses are however most useful if they inform and change current operational practices. To this end, we propose a method to improve the design of a seasonal hydrological forecasting system. This method is based on sensitivity analyses, informing the forecasters as to which element of

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Solid polymeric electrolyte based dye-sensitized solar cell with improved stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Narottam; Kumar, Manish; Patel, K. R.; Roy, M. S.

    2018-05-01

    The impact of polymeric electrolyte was investigated over the performance of dye-sensitized solar cell made with Rose Bengal as sensitizer. Further, the selective influence of TiCl4 treatment and pre-sensitizer deoxycholic acid on nc-TiO2 photoanode was determined in terms of improvement in conversion efficiency of the cell. It is found that the effect of TiCl4 treatment was comparatively more than pre-sensitization with de-oxy cholic acid towards improving the efficiency of the cell. The conversion efficiency on TiCl4 treatment was 0.2% whereas on pre-sensitization with deoxy chollic acid it was 0.1%. The combined effect of both TiCl4 treatment & pre-sensitization with deoxycholic acid leads conversion efficiency to 0.33%.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Synthesis and characterization of Ag nanowires: Improved performance in dye sensitized solar cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Safia A. Kazmi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Development of highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs with good photovoltaic parameters is an active research area of current global interest. Recently, one dimensional nanomaterial, such as nanorods and nanotubes has replaced the nanoparticles used in DSSCs anode because of their ability to improve the electron transport leading to enhanced electron collection efficiency. In the present work, rapid synthesis of silver nanowires (AgNWs was done. The XRD characterization was performed to confirm the formation and size of synthesized AgNWs. It was observed that FWHM of the diffraction peaks was increased with AgNWs concentration in TiO2. The synthesized TiO2AgNWs nanocomposite was used as the photo anode of Dye sensitized solar cell. The I–V characteristics of the solar cell were drawn using standard conditions. It was observed that TiO2AgNWs based solar cells have significantly increased photocurrent density resulting in improved conversion efficiency as compared to pure TiO2 based DSSC.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. High intensity interval training improves liver and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Marcinko

    2015-12-01

    Conclusions: These data indicate that HIIT lowers blood glucose levels by improving adipose and liver insulin sensitivity independently of changes in adiposity, adipose tissue inflammation, liver lipid content or AMPK phosphorylation of ACC.

  15. A low-fat Diet improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 1 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenfalck, AM; Almdal, Thomas Peter; Viggers, Lone

    2006-01-01

    diet (P = 0.039). The daily protein and carbohydrate intake increased (+4.4% of total energy intake, P = 0.0049 and +2.5%, P = 0.34, respectively), while alcohol intake decreased (-3.2% of total energy intake, P = 0.02). There was a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity on the isocaloric, low-fat......AIMS: To compare the effects on insulin sensitivity, body composition and glycaemic control of the recommended standard weight-maintaining diabetes diet and an isocaloric low-fat diabetes diet during two, 3-month periods in patients with Type 1 diabetes. METHODS: Thirteen Type 1 patients were...... by the insulin clamp technique at baseline and after each of the diet intervention periods. RESULTS: On an isocaloric low-fat diet, Type 1 diabetic patients significantly reduced the proportion of fat in the total daily energy intake by 12.1% (or -3.6% of total energy) as compared with a conventional diabetes...

  16. Voluntary exercise improves insulin sensitivity and adipose tissue inflammation in diet-induced obese mice

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley, Richard L.; Jeon, Justin Y.; Liu, Fen-Fen; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria

    2008-01-01

    Exercise promotes weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating its beneficial effects are not fully understood. Obesity correlates with increased production of inflammatory cytokines, which in turn, contributes to systemic insulin resistance. To test the hypothesis that exercise mitigates this inflammatory response, thereby improving insulin sensitivity, we developed a model of voluntary exercise in mice made obese by feeding of a high fat/high suc...

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Pioglitazone improves insulin sensitivity, reduces visceral fat and stimulates lipolysis in non diabetic dialyzed patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Zanchi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance is common in dialyzed patients and is associated with increased mortality and protein-energy wasting. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pioglitazone (PIO, a powerful insulin sensitizer, on insulin sensitivity, body composition and adipose tissue metabolism, in dialyzed patients. A double blind randomized cross-over study was performed in non diabetic dialysis patients. Each patient followed 2 treatment phases of 16 weeks, starting either with oral PIO 45 mg/d or placebo (PL, and then switched to the other phase. At the end of each phase, patients underwent hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, an abdominal CT, and extensive plasma biochemical analysis. Twelve patients including 8 HD (59.6±4.4 y and 4 PD patients (43.5±3.6 y were recruited. Nine patients completed both phases and 3 patients dropped out (renal transplantation/2 HD and peritonitis/1 PD. PIO was safe and well tolerated. Under PIO, insulin sensitivity improved, as assessed by increased total glucose disposal rate (1.98±0.24 for PIO versus 1.58±0.12 umol/kg/min for PL, p<0.05, and reduced glucose endogenous hepatic production. PIO did not affect post-dialysis body weight, total fat and lean body mass, but significantly reduced visceral adipose tissue (VAT area and the VAT/SAT (subcutaneous adipose tissue ratio. HDL-cholesterol significantly increased. PIO decreased CRP (3.96±1.44 mg/l vs 7.88±2.56, p<0.05, plasma leptin, and dramatically reduced leptin/adiponectin ratio. Glycerol turnover, circulating glycerol and non esterified fatty acids were paradoxically increased. In conclusion, the improvement in insulin sensitivity by PIO, in non diabetic dialyzed patients, was associated with favorable metabolic effects, reduction in inflammation and body fat redistribution. The stimulation of systemic lipolysis was a surprising finding which may reflect adipose tissue remodeling and/or a paradoxical lypolitic

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Improving the Design of Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers Aided with Sensitivity Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Martowicz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of analysis performed to search for feasible design improvements for capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer. Carried out search has been aided with the sensitivity analysis and the application of Response Surface Method. The multiphysics approach has been taken into account in elaborated finite element model of one cell of described transducer in order to include significant physical phenomena present in modelled microdevice. The set of twelve input uncertain and design parameters consists of geometric, material and control properties. The amplitude of dynamic membrane deformation of the transducer has been chosen as studied parameter. The objective of performed study has been defined as the task of finding robust design configurations of the transducer, i.e. characterizing maximal value of deformation amplitude with its minimal variation.

  7. 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.

  8. Improvements to the hierarchically structured ZnO nanosphere based dye-sensitized solar cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Yongzhe; Wu Lihui; Liu Yanping; Xie Erqing, E-mail: zhangyzh04@126.co, E-mail: xieeq@lzu.edu.c [School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)

    2009-04-21

    Hierarchically structured ZnO nanospheres are synthesized by a wet-chemical method and ZnO sphere-consisting films are applied to dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). It is found that the overall light-to-electricity conversion efficiency ({eta}) is significantly enhanced from 0.474% to 1.03% due to light scattering compared with the ZnO nanoparticle-based DSSC. However, the fill factor (FF) and open-circuit voltage (V{sub oc}) decrease obviously. After annealing the films in an oxygen environment and placing a ZnO blocking layer on the fluorine-doped SnO{sub 2} (FTO) conducting substrate, the FF and V{sub oc} are greatly improved and {eta} increases from 1.03% to 1.59% and 2.25%, respectively. According to the results of x-ray diffraction and photoluminescence, the significant improvements in the cell performances might be due to the suppression of the recombination and the decrease in the resistances existing in the cell.

  9. 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

  10. Heterostructured TiO2/NiTiO3 Nanorod Arrays for Inorganic Sensitized Solar Cells with Significantly Enhanced Photovoltaic Performance and Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yue-Ying; Wang, Jian-Gan; Sun, Huan-Huan; Wei, Bingqing

    2018-04-11

    Organic dyes used in the conventional dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) suffer from poor light stability and high cost. In this work, we demonstrate a new inorganic sensitized solar cell based on ordered one-dimensional semiconductor nanorod arrays of TiO 2 /NiTiO 3 (NTO) heterostructures prepared via a facile two-step hydrothermal approach. The semiconductor heterostructure arrays are highly desirable and promising for DSSCs because of their direct charge transport capability and slow charge recombination rate. The low-cost NTO inorganic semiconductor possesses an appropriate band gap that matches well with TiO 2 , which behaves like a "dye" to enable efficient light harvesting and fast electron-hole separation. The solar cells constructed by the ordered TiO 2 /NTO heterostructure photoanodes show a significantly improved power conversion efficiency, high fill factor, and more promising, outstanding life stability. The present work will open up an avenue to design heterostructured inorganics for high-performance solar cells.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Sensitivity of the improved Dutch tube diffusion test for detection of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The sensitivity of the improved two-tube test for detection of antimicrobial residues in Kenyan milk was investigated by comparison with the commercial Delvo test SP. Suspect positive milk samples (n =244) from five milk collection centers, were analyzed with the improved two-tube and the commercial Delvo SP test as per ...

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Intensive insulin therapy improves insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in severely burned children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fram, Ricki Y; Cree, Melanie G; Wolfe, Robert R; Mlcak, Ronald P; Qian, Ting; Chinkes, David L; Herndon, David N

    2010-06-01

    To institute intensive insulin therapy protocol in an acute pediatric burn unit and study the mechanisms underlying its benefits. Prospective, randomized study. An acute pediatric burn unit in a tertiary teaching hospital. Children, 4-18 yrs old, with total body surface area burned > or =40% and who arrived within 1 wk after injury were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomized to one of two groups. Intensive insulin therapy maintained blood glucose levels between 80 and 110 mg/dL. Conventional insulin therapy maintained blood glucose patients were included in the data analysis consisting of resting energy expenditure, whole body and liver insulin sensitivity, and skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. Studies were performed at 7 days postburn (pretreatment) and at 21 days postburn (posttreatment). Resting energy expenditure significantly increased posttreatment (1476 +/- 124 to 1925 +/- 291 kcal/m(2) x day; p = .02) in conventional insulin therapy as compared with a decline in intensive insulin therapy. Glucose infusion rate was identical between groups before treatment (6.0 +/- 0.8 conventional insulin therapy vs. 6.8 +/- 0.9 mg/kg x min intensive insulin therapy; p = .5). Intensive insulin therapy displayed a significantly higher glucose clamp infusion rate posttreatment (9.1 +/- 1.3 intensive insulin therapy versus 4.8 +/- 0.6 mg/kg x min conventional insulin therapy, p = .005). Suppression of hepatic glucose release was significantly greater in the intensive insulin therapy after treatment compared with conventional insulin therapy (5.0 +/- 0.9 vs. 2.5 +/- 0.6 mg/kg x min; intensive insulin therapy vs. conventional insulin therapy; p = .03). States 3 and 4 mitochondrial oxidation of palmitate significantly improved in intensive insulin therapy (0.9 +/- 0.1 to 1.7 +/- 0.1 microm O(2)/CS/mg protein/min for state 3, p = .004; and 0.7 +/- 0.1 to 1.3 +/- 0.1 microm O(2)/CS/mg protein/min for state 4, p protocol improves insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial

  20. 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)

  1. Significant improvement of the osseointegration of zirconia dental implants by HS-LEIS analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beekmans, H.; Breitenstein, D.; Brongersma, H.H.; Ridder, M. de; Tromp, Th.J.

    2010-01-01

    The use of sintered yttria stabilized zirconia dental implants is a recent development. After initial successes with these new implants a pattern of erratic results emerged. Reliable osseointegration would not always occur. High-sensitivity low energy ion scattering (HS-LEIS) is used to investigate both virgin and rejected implants. The surfaces of the implant are found to be covered with both an organic and inorganic contamination layer. Sterilization does not remove this contamination. Using LEIS as analytic tool a new cleaning process has been developed. Since this cleaning process is in use, the failure rate has dropped to a very low value.

  2. Improved sensitivity in patients with peripheral neuropathy: effects of monochromatic infrared photo energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLellis, Salvatore L; Carnegie, Dale H; Burke, Thomas J

    2005-01-01

    The medical records of 1,047 patients (mean age, 73 years) with established peripheral neuropathy were examined to determine whether treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy was associated with increased foot sensitivity to the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament. The peripheral neuropathy in 790 of these patients (75%) was due to diabetes mellitus. Before treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy, of the ten tested sites (five on each foot), a mean +/- SD of 7.9 +/- 2.4 sites were insensitive to the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament, and 1,033 patients exhibited loss of protective sensation. After treatment, the mean +/- SD number of insensate sites on both feet was 2.3 +/- 2.4, an improvement of 71%. Only 453 of 1,033 patients (43.9%) continued to have loss of protective sensation after treatment. Therefore, monochromatic infrared photo energy treatment seems to be associated with significant clinical improvement in foot sensation in patients, primarily Medicare aged, with peripheral neuropathy. Because insensitivity to the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament has been reported to be a major risk factor for diabetic foot wounds, the use of monochromatic infrared photo energy may be associated with a reduced incidence of diabetic foot wounds and amputations.

  3. Improved performance of colloidal CdSe quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by hybrid passivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jing; Xu, Bo; Yuan, Chunze; Chen, Hong; Sun, Junliang; Sun, Licheng; Agren, Hans

    2014-11-12

    A hybrid passivation strategy is employed to modify the surface of colloidal CdSe quantum dots (QDs) for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs), by using mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) and iodide anions through a ligand exchange reaction in solution. This is found to be an effective way to improve the performance of QDSCs based on colloidal QDs. The results show that MPA can increase the coverage of the QDs on TiO2 electrodes and facilitate the hole extraction from the photoxidized QDs, and simultaneously, that the iodide anions can remedy the surface defects of the CdSe QDs and thus reduce the recombination loss in the device. This hybrid passivation treatment leads to a significant enhancement of the power conversion efficiency of the QDSCs by 41%. Furthermore, an optimal ratio of iodide ions to MPA was determined for favorable hybrid passivation; results show that excessive iodine anions are detrimental to the loading of the QDs. This study demonstrates that the improvement in QDSC performance can be realized by using a combination of different functional ligands to passivate the QDs, and that ligand exchange in solution can be an effective approach to introduce different ligands.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Improved Diffuse Fluorescence Flow Cytometer Prototype for High Sensitivity Detection of Rare Circulating Cells In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestana, Noah Benjamin

    Accurate quantification of circulating cell populations is important in many areas of pre-clinical and clinical biomedical research, for example, in the study of cancer metastasis or the immune response following tissue and organ transplants. Normally this is done "ex-vivo" by drawing and purifying a small volume of blood and then analyzing it with flow cytometry, hemocytometry or microfludic devices, but the sensitivity of these techniques are poor and the process of handling samples has been shown to affect cell viability and behavior. More recently "in vivo flow cytometry" (IVFC) techniques have been developed where fluorescently-labeled cells flowing in a small blood vessel in the ear or retina are analyzed, but the sensitivity is generally poor due to the small sampling volume. To address this, our group recently developed a method known as "Diffuse Fluorescence Flow Cytometry" (DFFC) that allows detection and counting of rare circulating cells with diffuse photons, offering extremely high single cell counting sensitivity. In this thesis, an improved DFFC prototype was designed and validated. The chief improvements were three-fold, i) improved optical collection efficiency, ii) improved detection electronics, and iii) development of a method to mitigate motion artifacts during in vivo measurements. In combination, these improvements yielded an overall instrument detection sensitivity better than 1 cell/mL in vivo, which is the most sensitive IVFC system reported to date. Second, development and validation of a low-cost microfluidic device reader for analysis of ocular fluids is described. We demonstrate that this device has equivalent or better sensitivity and accuracy compared a fluorescence microscope, but at an order-of-magnitude reduced cost with simplified operation. Future improvements to both instruments are also discussed.

  7. Image enhancement filters significantly improve reading performance for low vision observers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, T. B.

    1992-01-01

    As people age, so do their photoreceptors; many photoreceptors in central vision stop functioning when a person reaches their late sixties or early seventies. Low vision observers with losses in central vision, those with age-related maculopathies, were studied. Low vision observers no longer see high spatial frequencies, being unable to resolve fine edge detail. We developed image enhancement filters to compensate for the low vision observer's losses in contrast sensitivity to intermediate and high spatial frequencies. The filters work by boosting the amplitude of the less visible intermediate spatial frequencies. The lower spatial frequencies. These image enhancement filters not only reduce the magnification needed for reading by up to 70 percent, but they also increase the observer's reading speed by 2-4 times. A summary of this research is presented.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Significant relaxation of residual negative carrier in polar Alq3 film directly detected by high-sensitivity photoemission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinjo, Hiroumi; Lim, Hyunsoo; Sato, Tomoya; Noguchi, Yutaka; Nakayama, Yasuo; Ishii, Hisao

    2016-02-01

    Tris(8-hydroxyquinoline)aluminum (Alq3) has been widely applied as a good electron-injecting layer (EIL) in organic light-emitting diodes. High-sensitivity photoemission measurement revealed a clear photoemission by visible light, although its ionization energy is 5.7 eV. This unusual photoemission is ascribed to Alq3 anions captured by positive polarization charges. The observed electron detachment energy of the anion was about 1 eV larger than the electron affinity reported by inverse photoemission. This difference suggests that the injected electron in the Alq3 layer is energetically relaxed, leading to the reduction in injection barrier. This nature is one of the reasons why Alq3 worked well as the EIL.

  12. Hierarchical Nanogold Labels to Improve the Sensitivity of Lateral Flow Immunoassay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serebrennikova, Kseniya; Samsonova, Jeanne; Osipov, Alexander

    2018-06-01

    Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) is a widely used express method and offers advantages such as a short analysis time, simplicity of testing and result evaluation. However, an LFIA based on gold nanospheres lacks the desired sensitivity, thereby limiting its wide applications. In this study, spherical nanogold labels along with new types of nanogold labels such as gold nanopopcorns and nanostars were prepared, characterized, and applied for LFIA of model protein antigen procalcitonin. It was found that the label with a structure close to spherical provided more uniform distribution of specific antibodies on its surface, indicative of its suitability for this type of analysis. LFIA using gold nanopopcorns as a label allowed procalcitonin detection over a linear range of 0.5-10 ng mL-1 with the limit of detection of 0.1 ng mL-1, which was fivefold higher than the sensitivity of the assay with gold nanospheres. Another approach to improve the sensitivity of the assay included the silver enhancement method, which was used to compare the amplification of LFIA for procalcitonin detection. The sensitivity of procalcitonin determination by this method was 10 times better the sensitivity of the conventional LFIA with gold nanosphere as a label. The proposed approach of LFIA based on gold nanopopcorns improved the detection sensitivity without additional steps and prevented the increased consumption of specific reagents (antibodies).

  13. Life cycle assessment of Italian citrus-based products. Sensitivity analysis and improvement scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccali, Marco; Cellura, Maurizio; Iudicello, Maria; Mistretta, Marina

    2010-07-01

    Though many studies concern the agro-food sector in the EU and Italy, and its environmental impacts, literature is quite lacking in works regarding LCA application on citrus products. This paper represents one of the first studies on the environmental impacts of citrus products in order to suggest feasible strategies and actions to improve their environmental performance. In particular, it is part of a research aimed to estimate environmental burdens associated with the production of the following citrus-based products: essential oil, natural juice and concentrated juice from oranges and lemons. The life cycle assessment of these products, published in a previous paper, had highlighted significant environmental issues in terms of energy consumption, associated CO(2) emissions, and water consumption. Starting from such results the authors carry out an improvement analysis of the assessed production system, whereby sustainable scenarios for saving water and energy are proposed to reduce environmental burdens of the examined production system. In addition, a sensitivity analysis to estimate the effects of the chosen methods will be performed, giving data on the outcome of the study. Uncertainty related to allocation methods, secondary data sources, and initial assumptions on cultivation, transport modes, and waste management is analysed. The results of the performed analyses allow stating that every assessed eco-profile is differently influenced by the uncertainty study. Different assumptions on initial data and methods showed very sensible variations in the energy and environmental performances of the final products. Besides, the results show energy and environmental benefits that clearly state the improvement of the products eco-profile, by reusing purified water use for irrigation, using the railway mode for the delivery of final products, when possible, and adopting efficient technologies, as the mechanical vapour recompression, in the pasteurisation and

  14. Improved Titanium Billet Inspection Sensitivity through Optimized Phased Array Design, Part II: Experimental Validation and Comparative Study with Multizone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, W.; Vensel, F.; Knowles, B.; Lupien, V.

    2006-01-01

    The inspection of critical rotating components of aircraft engines has made important advances over the last decade. The development of Phased Array (PA) inspection capability for billet and forging materials used in the manufacturing of critical engine rotating components has been a priority for Honeywell Aerospace. The demonstration of improved PA inspection system sensitivity over what is currently used at the inspection houses is a critical step in the development of this technology and its introduction to the supply base as a production inspection. As described in Part I (in these proceedings), a new phased array transducer was designed and manufactured for optimal inspection of eight inch diameter Ti-6Al-4V billets. After confirming that the transducer was manufactured in accordance with the design specifications a validation study was conducted to assess the sensitivity improvement of the PAI over the current capability of Multi-zone (MZ) inspection. The results of this study confirm the significant (≅ 6 dB in FBH number sign sensitivity) improvement of the PAI sensitivity over that of MZI

  15. Hall effect biosensors with ultraclean graphene film for improved sensitivity of label-free DNA detection

    KAUST Repository

    Loan, Phan Thi Kim

    2017-07-19

    The quality of graphene strongly affects the performance of graphene-based biosensors which are highly demanded for the sensitive and selective detection of biomolecules, such as DNA. This work reported a novel transfer process for preparing a residue-free graphene film using a thin gold supporting layer. A Hall effect device made of this gold-transferred graphene was demonstrated to significantly enhance the sensitivity (≈ 5 times) for hybridization detection, with a linear detection range of 1 pM – 100nM for DNA target. Our findings provide an efficient method to boost the sensitivity of graphene-based biosensors for DNA recognition.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. High-intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity in older individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Søgaard, D; Lund, M T; Scheuer, C M; Dehlbaek, M S; Dideriksen, S G; Abildskov, C V; Christensen, K K; Dohlmann, T L; Larsen, S; Vigelsø, A H; Dela, F; Helge, J W

    2018-04-01

    Metabolic health may deteriorate with age as a result of altered body composition and decreased physical activity. Endurance exercise is known to counter these changes delaying or even preventing onset of metabolic diseases. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time efficient alternative to regular endurance exercise, and the aim of this study was to investigate the metabolic benefit of HIIT in older subjects. Twenty-two sedentary male (n = 11) and female (n = 11) subjects aged 63 ± 1 years performed HIIT training three times/week for 6 weeks on a bicycle ergometer. Each HIIT session consisted of five 1-minute intervals interspersed with 1½-minute rest. Prior to the first and after the last HIIT session whole-body insulin sensitivity, measured by a hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp, plasma lipid levels, HbA1c, glycaemic parameters, body composition and maximal oxygen uptake were assessed. Muscle biopsies were obtained wherefrom content of glycogen and proteins involved in muscle glucose handling were determined. Insulin sensitivity (P = .011) and maximal oxygen uptake increased (P body fat (P < .05) decreased after 6 weeks of HIIT. HbA1c decreased only in males (P = .001). Muscle glycogen content increased in both genders (P = .001) and in line GLUT4 (P < .05), glycogen synthase (P = .001) and hexokinase II (P < .05) content all increased. Six weeks of HIIT significantly improves metabolic health in older males and females by reducing age-related risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. © 2017 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Improved sensitivity, safety and laboratory turnaround time in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis by use of bleach sedimentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ameh James

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Inadequate diagnostic processes and human resources in laboratories contribute to a high burden of tuberculosis (TB in low- and middle-income countries. Direct smear microscopy is relied on for TB diagnosis; however, sensitivity rates vary. To improve sensitivity of direct microscopy, the researchers employed several approaches, including sputum digestion and concentration of acid-fast bacilli (AFB, a technique which uses commercial bleach. Objectives: This study compared methods used to diagnose active Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. Methods: Three sputum specimens were collected from each of 340 participants in Abuja, Nigeria, over two consecutive days. Direct microscopy was performed on all specimens; following microscopy, one specimen from each patient was selected randomly for bleach sedimentation and one for Lowenstein-Jensen culture. Results: Direct microscopy produced 28.8% AFB-positive results, whilst bleach sedimentation resulted in 30.3%. When compared with the cultures, 26.5% were AFB true positive using direct microscopy and 27.1% using bleach sedimentation. Whilst the specificity rate between these two methods was not statistically significant (P = 0.548, the sensitivity rate was significant (P = 0.004. Conclusion: Based on these results, bleach increases the sensitivity of microscopy compared with direct smear and has similar specificity. When diagnosing new cases of pulmonary TB, one bleach-digested smear is as sensitive as three direct smears, reducing waiting times for patients and ensuring the safety of laboratory technicians.

  3. Sensitivity improvement of a fibre Bragg grating pH sensor with elastomeric coating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yulianti, Ian; Supa'at, A. S. M.; Idrus, Sevia M.; Kurdi, Ojo; Anwar, M. R. S.

    2012-01-01

    A new optical pH sensor based on fibre Bragg grating (FBG) is demonstrated. The sensor consists of a FBG coated with pH sensitive hydrogel. The sensing was performed through the detection of wavelength shifts resulting from the induced strain on the FBG due to mechanical expansion of the hydrogel. An elastomeric coating was applied before the hydrogel coating to improve the sensitivity. The sensor performance was investigated by simulating the hydrogel swelling and the strain induced on the FBG. The swelling of hydrogel due to pH change was modelled using a free-energy function and was solved using the finite element method. With silicone rubber as the elastomer material, the results show that the sensitivity was improved by up to 66% compared to that of the FBG pH sensor without elastomeric coating.

  4. Sensitivity improvement of a laser interferometer limited by inelastic back-scattering, employing dual readout

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meinders, Melanie; Schnabel, Roman

    2015-01-01

    Inelastic back-scattering of stray light is a long-standing and fundamental problem in high-sensitivity interferometric measurements and a potential limitation for advanced gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. The emerging parasitic interferences cannot be distinguished from a scientific signal via conventional single readout. In this work, we propose the subtraction of inelastic back-scatter signals by employing dual homodyne detection on the output light, and demonstrate it for a table-top Michelson interferometer. The additional readout contains solely parasitic signals and is used to model the scatter source. Subtraction of the scatter signal reduces the noise spectral density and thus improves the measurement sensitivity. Our scheme is qualitatively different from the previously demonstrated vetoing of scatter signals and opens a new path for improving the sensitivity of future GW detectors and other back-scatter limited devices. (paper)

  5. Sensitivity improvement of a fibre Bragg grating pH sensor with elastomeric coating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yulianti, Ian; Supa'at, A S M; Idrus, Sevia M; Anwar, M R S; Kurdi, Ojo

    2012-01-01

    A new optical pH sensor based on fibre Bragg grating (FBG) is demonstrated. The sensor consists of a FBG coated with pH sensitive hydrogel. The sensing was performed through the detection of wavelength shifts resulting from the induced strain on the FBG due to mechanical expansion of the hydrogel. An elastomeric coating was applied before the hydrogel coating to improve the sensitivity. The sensor performance was investigated by simulating the hydrogel swelling and the strain induced on the FBG. The swelling of hydrogel due to pH change was modelled using a free-energy function and was solved using the finite element method. With silicone rubber as the elastomer material, the results show that the sensitivity was improved by up to 66% compared to that of the FBG pH sensor without elastomeric coating

  6. Strength Exercise Improves Muscle Mass and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Youth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Heijden, Gert-Jan; Wang, Zhiyue J.; Chu, Zili; Toffolo, Gianna; Manesso, Erica; Sauer, Pieter J. J.; Sunehag, Agneta L.

    VAN DER HEIJDEN, G.-J., Z. J. WANG, Z. CHU, G. TOFFOLO, E. MANESSO, P. J. J. SAUER, and A. L. SUNEHAG. Strength Exercise Improves Muscle Mass and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Youth. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 42, No. 11, pp. 1973-1980, 2010. Introduction: Data on the metabolic effects of

  7. Strength Exercise Improves Muscle Mass and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Youth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Heijden, Gert-Jan; Wang, Zhiyue J.; Chu, Zili; Toffolo, Gianna; Manesso, Erica; Sauer, Pieter J. J.; Sunehag, Agneta L.

    2010-01-01

    VAN DER HEIJDEN, G.-J., Z. J. WANG, Z. CHU, G. TOFFOLO, E. MANESSO, P. J. J. SAUER, and A. L. SUNEHAG. Strength Exercise Improves Muscle Mass and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Youth. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 42, No. 11, pp. 1973-1980, 2010. Introduction: Data on the metabolic effects of

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  16. Hepatic Cholesterol-25-Hydroxylase Overexpression Improves Systemic Insulin Sensitivity in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta Noebauer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Obesity is a major risk factor for several diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer and due to its rapidly increasing prevalence it has become one of the biggest problems medicine is facing today. All the more surprising, a substantial percentage of obese patients are metabolically healthy when classified based on insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. Oxysterols are naturally occurring molecules that play important role in various metabolic and inflammatory processes and their levels are elevated in patients suffering from obesity and diabetes. 25-Hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC is produced in cells from cholesterol by the enzyme cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (Ch25h and is involved in lipid metabolism, inflammatory processes, and cell proliferation. Here, we investigated the role of hepatic Ch25h in the transition from metabolically healthy obesity to insulin resistance and diabetes. Using several different experimental approaches, we demonstrated the significance of Ch25h on the border of “healthy” and “diseased” states of obesity. Adenovirus-mediated Ch25h overexpression in mice improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and lowered HOMA-IR. Our data suggest that low hepatic Ch25h levels could be considered a risk marker for unhealthy obesity.

  17. Can Simulation Credibility Be Improved Using Sensitivity Analysis to Understand Input Data Effects on Model Outcome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Jerry G.; Young, M.; Goodenow, Debra A.; Keenan, A.; Walton, M.; Boley, L.

    2015-01-01

    Model and simulation (MS) credibility is defined as, the quality to elicit belief or trust in MS results. NASA-STD-7009 [1] delineates eight components (Verification, Validation, Input Pedigree, Results Uncertainty, Results Robustness, Use History, MS Management, People Qualifications) that address quantifying model credibility, and provides guidance to the model developers, analysts, and end users for assessing the MS credibility. Of the eight characteristics, input pedigree, or the quality of the data used to develop model input parameters, governing functions, or initial conditions, can vary significantly. These data quality differences have varying consequences across the range of MS application. NASA-STD-7009 requires that the lowest input data quality be used to represent the entire set of input data when scoring the input pedigree credibility of the model. This requirement provides a conservative assessment of model inputs, and maximizes the communication of the potential level of risk of using model outputs. Unfortunately, in practice, this may result in overly pessimistic communication of the MS output, undermining the credibility of simulation predictions to decision makers. This presentation proposes an alternative assessment mechanism, utilizing results parameter robustness, also known as model input sensitivity, to improve the credibility scoring process for specific simulations.

  18. Importance of self-shielding for improving sensitivity coefficients in light water nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foad, Basma; Takeda, Toshikazu

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A new method has been developed for calculating sensitivity coefficients. • This method is based on the use of infinite dilution cross-sections instead of effective cross-sections. • The change of self-shielding factor due to cross-section perturbation has been considered. • SRAC and SAINT codes are used for calculating improved sensitivities, while MCNP code has been used for verification. - Abstract: In order to perform sensitivity analyzes in light water reactors where self-shielding effect becomes important, a new method has been developed for calculating sensitivity coefficient of core characteristics relative to the infinite dilution cross-sections instead of the effective cross-sections. This method considers the change of the self-shielding factor due to cross-section perturbation for different nuclides and reactions. SRAC and SAINT codes are used to calculate the improved sensitivity; while the accuracy of the present method has been verified by MCNP code and good agreement has been found

  19. 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.

  20. Tropical Malaysians and temperate Koreans exhibit significant differences in sweating sensitivity in response to iontophoretically administered acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Beom; Bae, Jun-Sang; Matsumoto, Takaaki; Yang, Hun-Mo; Min, Young-Ki

    2009-03-01

    Natives of the tropics are able to tolerate high ambient temperatures. This results from their long-term residence in hot and often humid tropical climates. This study was designed to compare the peripheral mechanisms of thermal sweating in tropical natives with that of their temperate counterparts. Fifty-five healthy male subjects including 20 native Koreans who live in the temperate Korean climate (Temperate-N) and 35 native tropical Malaysian men that have lived all of their lives in Malaysia (Tropical-N) were enrolled in this study after providing written informed consent to participate. Quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing after iontophoresis (2 mA for 5 min) with 10% acetylcholine (ACh) was used to determine directly activated (DIR) and axon reflex-mediated (AXR) sweating during ACh iontophoresis. The sweat rate, activated sweat gland density, sweat gland output per single gland activated, and oral and skin temperature changes were measured. The sweat onset time of AXR (nicotinic-receptor-mediated) was 56 s shorter in the Temperate-N than in the Tropical-N subjects ( P < 0.0001). The nicotinic-receptor-mediated sweating activity AXR (1), and the muscarinic-receptor-mediated sweating activity DIR, in terms of sweat volume, were 103% and 59% higher in the Temperate-N compared to the Tropical-N subjects ( P < 0.0001). The Temperate-N group also had a 17.8% ( P < 0.0001) higher active sweat gland density, 35.4% higher sweat output per gland, 0.24°C higher resting oral temperature, and 0.62°C higher resting forearm skin temperature compared to the Tropical-N subjects ( P < 0.01). ACh iontophoresis did not influence oral temperature, but increased skin temperature near where the ACh was administered, in both groups. These results suggest that suppressed thermal sweating in the Tropical-N subjects was, at least in part, due to suppressed sweat gland sensitivity to ACh through both recruitment of active sweat glands and the sweat gland output per each gland

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Proof of Concept: Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor decreases inflammation and improves muscle insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frankwich Karen

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obesity is a state of subclinical inflammation resulting in loss of function of insulin receptors and decreased insulin sensitivity. Inhibition of the inflammatory enzymes, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, for 6 months in rodent models restores insulin receptor function and insulin sensitivity. Methods This 12-week double-blind, randomized, placebo (PL-controlled proof-of-concept study was performed to determine if the MMP inhibitor (MMPI, doxycycline, decreased global markers of inflammation and enhanced muscle insulin sensitivity in obese people with type 2 diabetes (DM2. The study included non-DM2 controls (n = 15, and DM2 subjects randomized to PL (n = 13 or doxycycline 100 mg twice daily (MMPI; n = 11. All participants were evaluated on Day 1; MMPI and PL groups were also evaluated after 84 days of treatment. Results There was a significant decrease in inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (P  Conclusions This study demonstrated short term treatment of people with diabetes with an MMPI resulted in decreased inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity. Larger, longer studies are warranted to determine if doxycycline can improve glucose control in people with diabetes. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01375491

  5. Fault diagnosis of rotating machinery using an improved HHT based on EEMD and sensitive IMFs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lei, Yaguo; Zuo, Ming J

    2009-01-01

    A Hilbert–Huang transform (HHT) is a time–frequency technique and has been widely applied to analyzing vibration signals in the field of fault diagnosis of rotating machinery. It analyzes the vibration signals using intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) extracted using empirical mode decomposition (EMD). However, EMD sometimes cannot reveal the signal characteristics accurately because of the problem of mode mixing. Ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) was developed recently to alleviate this problem. The IMFs generated by EEMD have different sensitivity to faults. Some IMFs are sensitive and closely related to the faults but others are irrelevant. To enhance the accuracy of the HHT in fault diagnosis of rotating machinery, an improved HHT based on EEMD and sensitive IMFs is proposed in this paper. Simulated signals demonstrate the effectiveness of the improved HHT in diagnosing the faults of rotating machinery. Finally, the improved HHT is applied to diagnosing an early rub-impact fault of a heavy oil catalytic cracking machine set, and the application results prove that the improved HHT is superior to the HHT based on all IMFs of EMD

  6. Calcineurin inhibitors acutely improve insulin sensitivity without affecting insulin secretion in healthy human volunteers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Øzbay, Aygen; Møller, Niels; Juhl, Claus

    2012-01-01

    and tacrolimus has been attributed to both beta cell dysfunction and impaired insulin sensitivity. WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: This is the first trial to investigate beta cell function and insulin sensitivity using gold standard methodology in healthy human volunteers treated with clinically relevant doses...... of ciclosporin and tacrolimus. We document that both drugs acutely increase insulin sensitivity, while first phase and pulsatile insulin secretion remain unaffected. This study demonstrates that ciclosporin and tacrolimus have similar acute effects on glucose metabolism in healthy humans. AIM The introduction...... of calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) ciclosporin (CsA) and tacrolimus (Tac) has improved the outcome of organ transplants, but complications such as new onset diabetes mellitus after transplantation (NODAT) cause impairment of survival rates. The relative contribution of each CNI to the pathogenesis and development...

  7. Gut microbiota metabolites, amino acid metabolites and improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism: the POUNDS Lost trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heianza, Yoriko; Sun, Dianjianyi; Li, Xiang; DiDonato, Joseph A; Bray, George A; Sacks, Frank M; Qi, Lu

    2018-06-02

    Alterations in gut microbiota have been linked to host insulin resistance, diabetes and impaired amino acid metabolism. We investigated whether changes in gut microbiota-dependent metabolite of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and its nutrient precursors (choline and L-carnitine) were associated with improvements in glucose metabolism and diabetes-related amino acids in a weight-loss diet intervention. We included 504 overweight and obese adults who were randomly assigned to one of four energy-reduced diets varying in macronutrient intake. The 6-month changes (Δ) in TMAO, choline and L-carnitine levels after the intervention were calculated. Greater decreases in choline and L-carnitine were significantly (p<0.05) associated with greater improvements in fasting insulin concentrations and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) at 6 months. The reduction of choline was significantly related to 2-year improvements in glucose and insulin resistance. We found significant linkages between dietary fat intake and ΔTMAO for changes in fasting glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR (p interaction <0.05); a greater increase in TMAO was related to lesser improvements in the outcomes among participants who consumed a high-fat diet. In addition, ΔL-carnitine and Δcholine were significantly related to changes in amino acids (including branched-chain and aromatic amino acids). Interestingly, the associations of ΔTMAO, Δcholine and ΔL-carnitine with diabetes-related traits were independent of the changes in amino acids. Our findings underscore the importance of changes in TMAO, choline and L-carnitine in improving insulin sensitivity during a weight-loss intervention for obese patients. Dietary fat intake may modify the associations of TMAO with insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. NCT00072995. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless

  8. Perceptual learning improves contrast sensitivity, visual acuity, and foveal crowding in amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barollo, Michele; Contemori, Giulio; Battaglini, Luca; Pavan, Andrea; Casco, Clara

    2017-01-01

    Amblyopic observers present abnormal spatial interactions between a low-contrast sinusoidal target and high-contrast collinear flankers. It has been demonstrated that perceptual learning (PL) can modulate these low-level lateral interactions, resulting in improved visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. We measured the extent and duration of generalization effects to various spatial tasks (i.e., visual acuity, Vernier acuity, and foveal crowding) through PL on the target's contrast detection. Amblyopic observers were trained on a contrast-detection task for a central target (i.e., a Gabor patch) flanked above and below by two high-contrast Gabor patches. The pre- and post-learning tasks included lateral interactions at different target-to-flankers separations (i.e., 2, 3, 4, 8λ) and included a range of spatial frequencies and stimulus durations as well as visual acuity, Vernier acuity, contrast-sensitivity function, and foveal crowding. The results showed that perceptual training reduced the target's contrast-detection thresholds more for the longest target-to-flanker separation (i.e., 8λ). We also found generalization of PL to different stimuli and tasks: contrast sensitivity for both trained and untrained spatial frequencies, visual acuity for Sloan letters, and foveal crowding, and partially for Vernier acuity. Follow-ups after 5-7 months showed not only complete maintenance of PL effects on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity function but also further improvement in these tasks. These results suggest that PL improves facilitatory lateral interactions in amblyopic observers, which usually extend over larger separations than in typical foveal vision. The improvement in these basic visual spatial operations leads to a more efficient capability of performing spatial tasks involving high levels of visual processing, possibly due to the refinement of bottom-up and top-down networks of visual areas.

  9. Bi-harmonic cantilever design for improved measurement sensitivity in tapping-mode atomic force microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loganathan, Muthukumaran; Bristow, Douglas A., E-mail: dbristow@mst.edu [Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri 65401 (United States)

    2014-04-15

    This paper presents a method and cantilever design for improving the mechanical measurement sensitivity in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) tapping mode. The method uses two harmonics in the drive signal to generate a bi-harmonic tapping trajectory. Mathematical analysis demonstrates that the wide-valley bi-harmonic tapping trajectory is as much as 70% more sensitive to changes in the sample topography than the standard single-harmonic trajectory typically used. Although standard AFM cantilevers can be driven in the bi-harmonic tapping trajectory, they require large forcing at the second harmonic. A design is presented for a bi-harmonic cantilever that has a second resonant mode at twice its first resonant mode, thereby capable of generating bi-harmonic trajectories with small forcing signals. Bi-harmonic cantilevers are fabricated by milling a small cantilever on the interior of a standard cantilever probe using a focused ion beam. Bi-harmonic drive signals are derived for standard cantilevers and bi-harmonic cantilevers. Experimental results demonstrate better than 30% improvement in measurement sensitivity using the bi-harmonic cantilever. Images obtained through bi-harmonic tapping exhibit improved sharpness and surface tracking, especially at high scan speeds and low force fields.

  10. Bi-harmonic cantilever design for improved measurement sensitivity in tapping-mode atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loganathan, Muthukumaran; Bristow, Douglas A

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents a method and cantilever design for improving the mechanical measurement sensitivity in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) tapping mode. The method uses two harmonics in the drive signal to generate a bi-harmonic tapping trajectory. Mathematical analysis demonstrates that the wide-valley bi-harmonic tapping trajectory is as much as 70% more sensitive to changes in the sample topography than the standard single-harmonic trajectory typically used. Although standard AFM cantilevers can be driven in the bi-harmonic tapping trajectory, they require large forcing at the second harmonic. A design is presented for a bi-harmonic cantilever that has a second resonant mode at twice its first resonant mode, thereby capable of generating bi-harmonic trajectories with small forcing signals. Bi-harmonic cantilevers are fabricated by milling a small cantilever on the interior of a standard cantilever probe using a focused ion beam. Bi-harmonic drive signals are derived for standard cantilevers and bi-harmonic cantilevers. Experimental results demonstrate better than 30% improvement in measurement sensitivity using the bi-harmonic cantilever. Images obtained through bi-harmonic tapping exhibit improved sharpness and surface tracking, especially at high scan speeds and low force fields.

  11. Improvement technique of sensitized HAZ by GTAW cladding applied to a BWR power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tujimura, Hiroshi; Tamai, Yasumasa; Furukawa, Hideyasu; Kurosawa, Kouichi; Chiba, Isao; Nomura, Keiichi.

    1995-01-01

    A SCC(Stress Corrosion Cracking)-resistant technique, in which the sleeve installed by expansion is melted by GTAW process without filler metal with outside water cooling, was developed. The technique was applied to ICM (In-Core Monitor) housings of a BWR power plant in 1993. The ICM housings of which materials are type 304 Stainless Steels are sensitized with high tensile residual stresses by welding to the RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessel). As the result, ICM housings have potential of SCC initiation. Therefore, the improvement technique resistant to SCC was needed. The technique can improve chemical composition of the housing inside and residual stresses of the housing outside at the same time. Sensitization of the housing inner surface area is eliminated by replacing low-carbon with proper-ferrite microstructure clad. High tensile residual stresses of housing outside surface area is improved into compressive side. Compressive stresses of outside surface are induced by thermal stresses which are caused by inside cladding with outside water cooling. The clad is required to be low-carbon metal with proper ferrite and not to have the new sensitized HAZ (Heat Affected Zone) on the surface by cladding. The effect of the technique was qualified by SCC test, chemical composition check, ferrite content measurement and residual stresses measurement etc. All equipment for remote application were developed and qualified, too. The technique was successfully applied to a BWR plant after sufficient training

  12. Hall effect biosensors with ultraclean graphene film for improved sensitivity of label-free DNA detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loan, Phan Thi Kim; Wu, Dongqin; Ye, Chen; Li, Xiaoqing; Tra, Vu Thanh; Wei, Qiuping; Fu, Li; Yu, Aimin; Li, Lain-Jong; Lin, Cheng-Te

    2018-01-15

    The quality of graphene strongly affects the performance of graphene-based biosensors which are highly demanded for the sensitive and selective detection of biomolecules, such as DNA. This work reported a novel transfer process for preparing a residue-free graphene film using a thin gold supporting layer. A Hall effect device made of this gold-transferred graphene was demonstrated to significantly enhance the sensitivity (≈ 5 times) for hybridization detection, with a linear detection range of 1pM to 100nM for DNA target. Our findings provide an efficient method to boost the sensitivity of graphene-based biosensors for DNA recognition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Improved EDELWEISS-III sensitivity for low-mass WIMPs using a profile likelihood approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hehn, L. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Armengaud, E.; Boissiere, T. de; Gros, M.; Navick, X.F.; Nones, C.; Paul, B. [CEA Saclay, DSM/IRFU, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Arnaud, Q. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Queen' s University, Kingston (Canada); Augier, C.; Billard, J.; Cazes, A.; Charlieux, F.; Jesus, M. de; Gascon, J.; Juillard, A.; Queguiner, E.; Sanglard, V.; Vagneron, L. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Benoit, A.; Camus, P. [Institut Neel, CNRS/UJF, Grenoble (France); Berge, L.; Chapellier, M.; Dumoulin, L.; Giuliani, A.; Le-Sueur, H.; Marnieros, S.; Olivieri, E.; Poda, D. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Bluemer, J. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Broniatowski, A. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Eitel, K.; Kozlov, V.; Siebenborn, B. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Foerster, N.; Heuermann, G.; Scorza, S. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Jin, Y. [Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures, CNRS, Route de Nozay, Marcoussis (France); Kefelian, C. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Kleifges, M.; Tcherniakhovski, D.; Weber, M. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Prozessdatenverarbeitung und Elektronik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Kraus, H. [University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Oxford (United Kingdom); Kudryavtsev, V.A. [University of Sheffield, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Sheffield (United Kingdom); Pari, P. [CEA Saclay, DSM/IRAMIS, Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Piro, M.C. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (United States); Rozov, S.; Yakushev, E. [JINR, Laboratory of Nuclear Problems, Dubna, Moscow Region (Russian Federation); Schmidt, B. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2016-10-15

    We report on a dark matter search for a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) in the mass range m{sub χ} element of [4, 30] GeV/c{sup 2} with the EDELWEISS-III experiment. A 2D profile likelihood analysis is performed on data from eight selected detectors with the lowest energy thresholds leading to a combined fiducial exposure of 496 kg-days. External backgrounds from γ- and β-radiation, recoils from {sup 206}Pb and neutrons as well as detector intrinsic backgrounds were modelled from data outside the region of interest and constrained in the analysis. The basic data selection and most of the background models are the same as those used in a previously published analysis based on boosted decision trees (BDT) [1]. For the likelihood approach applied in the analysis presented here, a larger signal efficiency and a subtraction of the expected background lead to a higher sensitivity, especially for the lowest WIMP masses probed. No statistically significant signal was found and upper limits on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon scattering cross section can be set with a hypothesis test based on the profile likelihood test statistics. The 90 % C.L. exclusion limit set for WIMPs with m{sub χ} = 4 GeV/c{sup 2} is 1.6 x 10{sup -39} cm{sup 2}, which is an improvement of a factor of seven with respect to the BDT-based analysis. For WIMP masses above 15 GeV/c{sup 2} the exclusion limits found with both analyses are in good agreement. (orig.)

  14. The Mediterranean diet improves hepatic steatosis and insulin sensitivity in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Marno C; Itsiopoulos, Catherine; Thodis, Tania; Ward, Glenn; Trost, Nicholas; Hofferberth, Sophie; O'Dea, Kerin; Desmond, Paul V; Johnson, Nathan A; Wilson, Andrew M

    2013-07-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects up to 30% of the population and signifies increased risk of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Therapies are limited. Weight loss is of benefit but is difficult to maintain. We aimed at examining the effect of the Mediterranean diet (MD), a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, on steatosis and insulin sensitivity, using gold standard techniques. Twelve non-diabetic subjects (6 Females/6 Males) with biopsy-proven NAFLD were recruited for a randomised, cross-over 6-week dietary intervention study. All subjects undertook both the MD and a control diet, a low fat-high carbohydrate diet (LF/HCD), in random order with a 6-week wash-out period in- between. Insulin sensitivity was determined with a 3-h hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp study and hepatic steatosis was assessed with localized magnetic resonance (1)H spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS). At baseline, subjects were abdominally obese with elevated fasting concentrations of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, ALT, and GGT. Insulin sensitivity at baseline was low (M=2.7 ± 1.0 mg/kg/min(-1)). Mean weight loss was not different between the two diets (p=0.22). There was a significant relative reduction in hepatic steatosis after the MD compared with the LF/HCD: 39 ± 4% versus 7 ± 3%, as measured by (1)H-MRS (p=0.012). Insulin sensitivity improved with the MD, whereas after the LF/HCD there was no change (p=0.03 between diets). Even without weight loss, MD reduces liver steatosis and improves insulin sensitivity in an insulin-resistant population with NAFLD, compared to current dietary advice. This diet should be further investigated in subjects with NAFLD. Copyright © 2013 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Spirulina vesicolor Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Attenuates Hyperglycemia-Mediated Oxidative Stress in Fructose-Fed Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walaa Hozayen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The current study aimed to investigate the anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic and insulin sensitizing effects of the cyanobacterium Spirulina vesicolor extract in fructose-fed rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were fed 30% fructose solution in drinking water for 4 weeks. Animals exhibited hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia were selected for further investigations. Diabetic and control rats were orally supplemented with 50 mg/kg body weight S. vesicolor extract for 4 weeks. Results: At the end of 8 weeks, fructose-fed rats showed significant increase in serum glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, cardiovascular risk indices and insulin resistance. Treatment of the fructose-fed rats with S. vesicolor extract improved this metabolic profile. Fructose feeding produced a significant increase in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α and a decrease in adiponectin levels. In addition, fructose-fed rats exhibited a significant increase in liver, kidney and heart lipid peroxidation levels, and declined antioxidant defenses. Supplementation of the fructose-fed rats with S. vesicolor extract reversed these alterations. Conclusion: S. vesicolor attenuates hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress and inflammation, and is thus effective in improving insulin sensitivity in fructose-fed rats. [J Complement Med Res 2016; 5(1.000: 57-64

  16. Simple PCR assays improve the sensitivity of HIV-1 subtype B drug resistance testing and allow linking of resistance mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Johnson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The success of antiretroviral therapy is known to be compromised by drug-resistant HIV-1 at frequencies detectable by conventional bulk sequencing. Currently, there is a need to assess the clinical consequences of low-frequency drug resistant variants occurring below the detection limit of conventional genotyping. Sensitive detection of drug-resistant subpopulations, however, requires simple and practical methods for routine testing. METHODOLOGY: We developed highly-sensitive and simple real-time PCR assays for nine key drug resistance mutations and show that these tests overcome substantial sequence heterogeneity in HIV-1 clinical specimens. We specifically used early wildtype virus samples from the pre-antiretroviral drug era to measure background reactivity and were able to define highly-specific screening cut-offs that are up to 67-fold more sensitive than conventional genotyping. We also demonstrate that sequencing the mutation-specific PCR products provided a direct and novel strategy to further detect and link associated resistance mutations, allowing easy identification of multi-drug-resistant variants. Resistance mutation associations revealed in mutation-specific amplicon sequences were verified by clonal sequencing. SIGNIFICANCE: Combined, sensitive real-time PCR testing and mutation-specific amplicon sequencing provides a powerful and simple approach that allows for improved detection and evaluation of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations.

  17. Engineering Sensitivity Improvement of Helium Mass Spectrometer Leak Detection System by Means Global Hard Vacuum Test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sigit Asmara Santa

    2006-01-01

    The engineering sensitivity improvement of Helium mass spectrometer leak detection using global hard vacuum test configuration has been done. The purpose of this work is to enhance the sensitivity of the current leak detection of pressurized method (sniffer method) with the sensitivity of 10 -3 ∼ 10 -5 std cm 3 /s, to the global hard vacuum test configuration method which can be achieved of up to 10 -8 std cm 3 /s. The goal of this research and development is to obtain a Helium leak test configuration which is suitable and can be used as routine bases in the quality control tests of FPM capsule and AgInCd safety control rod products. The result is an additional instrumented vacuum tube connected with conventional Helium mass spectrometer. The pressure and temperature of the test object during the leak measurement are simulated by means of a 4.1 kW capacity heater and Helium injection to test object, respectively. The addition of auxiliary mechanical vacuum pump of 2.4 l/s pumping speed which is directly connected to the vacuum tube, will reduce 86 % of evacuation time. The reduction of the measured sensitivity due to the auxiliary mechanical vacuum pump can be overcome by shutting off the pump soon after Helium mass spectrometer reaches its operating pressure condition. (author)

  18. High intensity interval training improves liver and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcinko, Katarina; Sikkema, Sarah R.; Samaan, M. Constantine; Kemp, Bruce E.; Fullerton, Morgan D.; Steinberg, Gregory R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Endurance exercise training reduces insulin resistance, adipose tissue inflammation and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an effect often associated with modest weight loss. Recent studies have indicated that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) lowers blood glucose in individuals with type 2 diabetes independently of weight loss; however, the organs affected and mechanisms mediating the glucose lowering effects are not known. Intense exercise increases phosphorylation and inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in muscle, adipose tissue and liver. AMPK and ACC are key enzymes regulating fatty acid metabolism, liver fat content, adipose tissue inflammation and insulin sensitivity but the importance of this pathway in regulating insulin sensitivity with HIIT is unknown. Methods In the current study, the effects of 6 weeks of HIIT were examined using obese mice with serine–alanine knock-in mutations on the AMPK phosphorylation sites of ACC1 and ACC2 (AccDKI) or wild-type (WT) controls. Results HIIT lowered blood glucose and increased exercise capacity, food intake, basal activity levels, carbohydrate oxidation and liver and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity in HFD-fed WT and AccDKI mice. These changes occurred independently of weight loss or reductions in adiposity, inflammation and liver lipid content. Conclusions These data indicate that HIIT lowers blood glucose levels by improving adipose and liver insulin sensitivity independently of changes in adiposity, adipose tissue inflammation, liver lipid content or AMPK phosphorylation of ACC. PMID:26909307

  19. Resistin, an adipokine, may affect the improvement of insulin sensitivity in the metabolic syndrome patient treated with metformin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Hong; Weng, Chunyan; Yang, Youbo; Huang, Lihua; Xing, Xiaowei

    2013-12-01

    The metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of metabolic disorders arising from insulin resistance, characterized by the presence of central obesity, impaired fasting glucose level, dyslipidemia and hypertension. As the first-line medication, metformin is commonly used for MS to reduce insulin resistance. Comparing with rosiglitazone, metformin does not increase cardiovascular mortality risk in patients with MS. However, metformin is not good enough in improving insulin sensitivity. Its molecular mechanism is still not clear. Recent studies have demonstrated that resistin, an adipokine, could induce IR by both AMPK-dependent and AMPK-independent pathways. Though there were conflicting findings of resistin in metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus in different studies, resistin was significant decreased in the rosiglitazone treated patients than in the metformin-treated patients in most of studies. Here, we hypothesized that resistin, an adipokine, may affect the improvement of insulin sensitivity in the metabolic syndrome patient treated with metformin. This hypothesis could explain why rosiglitazone is superior to metformin in enhancement of insulin sensitivity. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Pick-and-place process for sensitivity improvement of the capacitive type CMOS MEMS 2-axis tilt sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-I.; Tsai, Ming-Han; Liu, Yu-Chia; Sun, Chih-Ming; Fang, Weileun

    2013-09-01

    This study exploits the foundry available complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process and the packaging house available pick-and-place technology to implement a capacitive type micromachined 2-axis tilt sensor. The suspended micro mechanical structures such as the spring, stage and sensing electrodes are fabricated using the CMOS microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processes. A bulk block is assembled onto the suspended stage by pick-and-place technology to increase the proof-mass of the tilt sensor. The low temperature UV-glue dispensing and curing processes are employed to bond the block onto the stage. Thus, the sensitivity of the CMOS MEMS capacitive type 2-axis tilt sensor is significantly improved. In application, this study successfully demonstrates the bonding of a bulk solder ball of 100 µm in diameter with a 2-axis tilt sensor fabricated using the standard TSMC 0.35 µm 2P4M CMOS process. Measurements show the sensitivities of the 2-axis tilt sensor are increased for 2.06-fold (x-axis) and 1.78-fold (y-axis) after adding the solder ball. Note that the sensitivity can be further improved by reducing the parasitic capacitance and the mismatch of sensing electrodes caused by the solder ball.

  1. Improvement of the sensitivity of CdTe detectors in the high energy regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nishizawa, Hiroshi; Ikegami, Kazunori; Takashima, Kazuo; Usami, Teruo [Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Tokyo (Japan); Yamamoto, Takayoshi

    1996-07-01

    In order to improve the efficiency of the full energy peak in the high energy regions, we had previously suggested a multi-layered structure of CdTe elements and have since confirmed the sensitivity improvement of the full energy peak. And furthermore, we have suggested a new type structure of multi-layered elements in this paper and we confirmed that the efficiency of the full energy peak became higher and that more proper energy spectra were obtained by our current experiment than by the detector with the conventional structure. This paper describes a simulation and experiment to improve the efficiency of the full energy peak and to obtain the more proper energy spectra of {sup 137}Cs (662keV) and {sup 60}Co (1.17 and 1.33MeV) using the new structure of CdTe detector. (J.P.N.)

  2. 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.

  3. On the possibility of improving the sensitivity of dark-matter detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paschos, E.A.; Pilaftsis, A. (Dortmund Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Inst. fuer Physik); Zioutas, K. (Thessaloniki Univ. (Greece). Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics Section)

    1990-02-22

    First we investigate the detectability of nuclear magnetic transitions produced by dark-matter particles. The M1 transitions are mediated by spin-dependent interactions between dark matter and nuclei. We assume that the dark matter consists mainly of photinos, and show that the expected rate is of the order of 1 event/kg/d for the excitation of nuclear magnetic states accompanied also by a recoiling nucleus. The de-excitation decay that follows, {approx equal} (ms-{mu}s), might later be observed as electromagnetic radiation in the GHz region in future, more sensitive, microwave devices. Secondly, we propose to utilize liquid-xenon detectors for measuring the energy of the recoiling nucleus, either through the Xe odd-isotopes or through other mixed atoms, such as hydrogen, with lowest masses. Furthermore the mass scale of these calorimeters (1-100 t) gives a greatly improved sensitivity for darkmatter detection compared with other conventional systems. (orig.).

  4. Radioimmunoassay of the myelin basic protein in biological fluids, conditions improving sensitivity and specificity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delassalle, A.; Jacque, C.; Raoul, M.; Legrand, J.C.; Cesselin, F.; Drouet, J.

    1980-01-01

    The radioimmunoassay (RIA) for myelin basic protein (MBP) in biological fluids was reassessed in order to improve its sensitivity and eliminate some interferences. By using the pre-incubation technique and the charcoal-dextram-horse serum mixture for the separation step, the detection limit could be lowered to 200 pg/ml for cerebrospinal fluids (CSF), amniotic fluids (AF) and nervous tissue extracts and 600 pg/ml for sera. The RIA could be used directly on CSF, AF and nervous tissue extracts. Sera, however, had to be heated in citrate buffer at 100 0 C in order to discard interfering material. The present method is 10 to 20 times more sensitive than others previously published. Moreover, it can be applied to amniotic fluid. The biological fluids had to be promptly frozen to avoid degradation of MBP

  5. Improving sensitivity to magnetic fields and electric dipole moments by using measurements of individual magnetic sublevels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Cheng; Zhang, Teng; Weiss, David S.

    2018-03-01

    We explore ways to use the ability to measure the populations of individual magnetic sublevels to improve the sensitivity of magnetic field measurements and measurements of atomic electric dipole moments (EDMs). When atoms are initialized in the m =0 magnetic sublevel, the shot-noise-limited uncertainty of these measurements is 1 /√{2 F (F +1 ) } smaller than that of a Larmor precession measurement. When the populations in the even (or odd) magnetic sublevels are combined, we show that these measurements are independent of the tensor Stark shift and the second order Zeeman shift. We discuss the complicating effect of a transverse magnetic field and show that when the ratio of the tensor Stark shift to the transverse magnetic field is sufficiently large, an EDM measurement with atoms initialized in the superposition of the stretched states can reach the optimal sensitivity.

  6. Computer-aided detection of colorectal polyps: can it improve sensitivity of less-experienced readers? Preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Mark E; Bogoni, Luca; Obuchowski, Nancy A; Dass, Chandra; Kendzierski, Renee M; Remer, Erick M; Einstein, David M; Cathier, Pascal; Jerebko, Anna; Lakare, Sarang; Blum, Andrew; Caroline, Dina F; Macari, Michael

    2007-10-01

    To determine whether computer-aided detection (CAD) applied to computed tomographic (CT) colonography can help improve sensitivity of polyp detection by less-experienced radiologist readers, with colonoscopy or consensus used as the reference standard. The release of the CT colonographic studies was approved by the individual institutional review boards of each institution. Institutions from the United States were HIPAA compliant. Written informed consent was waived at all institutions. The CT colonographic studies in 30 patients from six institutions were collected; 24 images depicted at least one confirmed polyp 6 mm or larger (39 total polyps) and six depicted no polyps. By using an investigational software package, seven less-experienced readers from two institutions evaluated the CT colonographic images and marked or scored polyps by using a five-point scale before and after CAD. The time needed to interpret the CT colonographic findings without CAD and then to re-evaluate them with CAD was recorded. For each reader, the McNemar test, adjusted for clustered data, was used to compare sensitivities for readers without and with CAD; a Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to analyze the number of false-positive results per patient. The average sensitivity of the seven readers for polyp detection was significantly improved with CAD-from 0.810 to 0.908 (P=.0152). The number of false-positive results per patient without and with CAD increased from 0.70 to 0.96 (95% confidence interval for the increase: -0.39, 0.91). The mean total time for the readings was 17 minutes 54 seconds; for interpretation of CT colonographic findings alone, the mean time was 14 minutes 16 seconds; and for review of CAD findings, the mean time was 3 minutes 38 seconds. Results of this feasibility study suggest that CAD for CT colonography significantly improves per-polyp detection for less-experienced readers. Copyright (c) RSNA, 2007.

  7. Sensitivity and fidelity of DNA microarray improved with integration of Amplified Differential Gene Expression (ADGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ile Kristina E

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ADGE technique is a method designed to magnify the ratios of gene expression before detection. It improves the detection sensitivity to small change of gene expression and requires small amount of starting material. However, the throughput of ADGE is low. We integrated ADGE with DNA microarray (ADGE microarray and compared it with regular microarray. Results When ADGE was integrated with DNA microarray, a quantitative relationship of a power function between detected and input ratios was found. Because of ratio magnification, ADGE microarray was better able to detect small changes in gene expression in a drug resistant model cell line system. The PCR amplification of templates and efficient labeling reduced the requirement of starting material to as little as 125 ng of total RNA for one slide hybridization and enhanced the signal intensity. Integration of ratio magnification, template amplification and efficient labeling in ADGE microarray reduced artifacts in microarray data and improved detection fidelity. The results of ADGE microarray were less variable and more reproducible than those of regular microarray. A gene expression profile generated with ADGE microarray characterized the drug resistant phenotype, particularly with reference to glutathione, proliferation and kinase pathways. Conclusion ADGE microarray magnified the ratios of differential gene expression in a power function, improved the detection sensitivity and fidelity and reduced the requirement for starting material while maintaining high throughput. ADGE microarray generated a more informative expression pattern than regular microarray.

  8. Improved sensitivity high-definition interline CCD using the KODAK TRUESENSE color filter pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBella, James; Andreghetti, Marco; Enge, Amy; Chen, William; Stanka, Timothy; Kaser, Robert

    2010-01-01

    The KODAK TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern has technology that for the first time is applied to a commercially available interline CCD. This 2/3" true-HD sensor will be described along with its performance attributes, including sensitivity improvement as compared to the Bayer CFA version of the same sensor. In addition, an overview of the system developed for demonstration and evaluation will be provided. Examples of the benefits of the new technology in specific applications including surveillance and intelligent traffic systems will be discussed.

  9. Improving sensitivity of residual current transformers to high frequency earth fault currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czapp Stanislaw

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available For protection against electric shock in low voltage systems residual current devices are commonly used. However, their proper operation can be interfered when high frequency earth fault current occurs. Serious hazard of electrocution exists then. In order to detect such a current, it is necessary to modify parameters of residual current devices, especially the operating point of their current transformer. The authors proposed the modification in the structure of residual current devices. This modification improves sensitivity of residual current devices when high frequency earth fault current occurs. The test of the modified residual current device proved that the authors’ proposition is appropriate.

  10. Cucurbitane Triterpenoids from the Fruits of Momordica Charantia Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Homeostasis in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Joo-Hui; Tuan, Nguyen Quoc; Park, Min-Ho; Quan, Khong Trong; Oh, Joonseok; Heo, Kyung-Sun; Na, MinKyun; Myung, Chang-Seon

    2018-04-01

    Momordica charantia (M. charantia) has antidiabetic effects, and cucurbitane-type triterpenoid is one of the compounds of M. charantia. This study aims to investigate whether the new cucurbitane-type triterpenoids affect insulin sensitivity both in vitro and in vivo, and the underlying mechanisms. Four compounds (C1-C4) isolated from the ethanol extract of M. charantia enhance glucose uptake in C2C12 myotubes via insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) rather than via adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. The most potent, compound 2 (C2), significantly increases the activation of IRS-1 and downstream signaling pathways, resulting in glucose transporter 4 translocation. Furthermore, these C2-induced in vitro effects are blocked by specific signal inhibitors. We further evaluate the antidiabetic effect of C2 using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mouse model. Consistent with in vitro data, treatment with C2 (1.68 mg kg -1 ) significantly decreases blood glucose level and enhances glycogen storage in STZ-injected mice. These effects appear to be mediated by the IRS-1 signaling pathway in skeletal muscle, not in adipose and liver tissues, suggesting that C2 improves hyperglycemia by increasing glucose uptake into skeletal muscle. Our findings demonstrate that the new cucurbitane-type triterpenoids have potential for prevention and management of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. 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)

  12. 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. ...

  13. Improved performance of silicon-nanoparticle film-coated dye-sensitized solar cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Ravindra Kumar; Bedja, Idriss M. [CRC, Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 10219, Riyadh 11433 (Saudi Arabia); Aldwayyan, Abdullah Saleh [Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia)

    2012-11-15

    Silicon (Si) nanoparticles with average size of 13 nm and orange-red luminescence under UV absorption were synthesized using electrochemical etching of silicon wafers. A film of Si nanoparticles with thickness of 0.75 {mu}m to 2.6 {mu}m was coated on the glass (TiO{sub 2} side) of a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). The cell exhibited nearly 9% enhancement in power conversion efficiency ({eta}) at film thickness of {proportional_to}2.4 {mu}m under solar irradiation of 100 mW/cm{sup 2} (AM 1.5) with improved fill factor and short-circuit current density. This study revealed for the first time that the Si-nanoparticle film converting UV into visible light and helping in homogeneous irradiation, can be utilized for improving the efficiency of the DSSCs. (copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  14. Toward Improved Force-Field Accuracy through Sensitivity Analysis of Host-Guest Binding Thermodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jian; Fenley, Andrew T.; Henriksen, Niel M.; Gilson, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Improving the capability of atomistic computer models to predict the thermodynamics of noncovalent binding is critical for successful structure-based drug design, and the accuracy of such calculations remains limited by non-optimal force field parameters. Ideally, one would incorporate protein-ligand affinity data into force field parametrization, but this would be inefficient and costly. We now demonstrate that sensitivity analysis can be used to efficiently tune Lennard-Jones parameters of aqueous host-guest systems for increasingly accurate calculations of binding enthalpy. These results highlight the promise of a comprehensive use of calorimetric host-guest binding data, along with existing validation data sets, to improve force field parameters for the simulation of noncovalent binding, with the ultimate goal of making protein-ligand modeling more accurate and hence speeding drug discovery. PMID:26181208

  15. Entangled-Pair Transmission Improvement Using Distributed Phase-Sensitive Amplification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjali Agarwal

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We demonstrate the transmission of time-bin entangled photon pairs through a distributed optical phase-sensitive amplifier (OPSA. We utilize four-wave mixing at telecom wavelengths in a 5-km dispersion-shifted fiber OPSA operating in the low-gain limit. Measurements of two-photon interference curves show no statistically significant degradation in the fringe visibility at the output of the OPSA. In addition, coincidence counting rates are higher than direct passive transmission because of constructive interference between amplitudes of input photon pairs and those generated in the OPSA. Our results suggest that application of distributed phase-sensitive amplification to transmission of entangled photon pairs could be highly beneficial towards advancing the rate and scalability of future quantum communications systems.

  16. 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.

  17. Cordyceps militaris improves the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats possibly via influences of mitochondria and autophagy functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Takakura

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The genus Cordyceps and its specific ingredient, cordycepin, have attracted much attention for multiple health benefits and expectations for lifespan extension. We analyzed whether Cordyceps militaris (CM, which contains large amounts of cordycepin, can extend the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive rats, whose survival was reduced to ∼3 months via a high-salt diet. The survival of these life-shortened rats was extended significantly when supplemented with CM, possibly due to a minimization of the effects of stroke. Next, we analyzed the effect of CM on hypertension-sensitive organs, the central nervous systems (CNS, heart, kidney and liver of these rats. We attempted to ascertain how the organs were improved by CM, and we paid particular attention to mitochondria and autophagy functions. The following results were from CM-treated rats in comparison with control rats. Microscopically, CNS neurons, cardiomyocytes, glomerular podocytes, renal epithelial cells, and hepatocytes all were improved. However, immunoblot and immunohistochemical analysis showed that the expressions of mitochondria-related proteins, ATP synthase β subunit, SIRT3 and SOD2, and autophagy-related proteins, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio and cathepsin D all were reduced significantly in the CNS neurons, but increased significantly in the cells of the other three organs, although p62 was decreased in its expression in all the organs tested. Activity of Akt and mTOR was enhanced but that of AMPK was reduced in the CNS, while such kinase activity was completely the opposite in the other organs. Together, the influence of CM may differ between mitochondria and autophagy functioned between the two organ groups, as mitochondria and autophagy seemed to be repressed and promoted, respectively, in the CNS, while both mitochondria and autophagy were activated in the others. This could possibly be related to the steady or improved cellular activity in both the organs, which might result in the life

  18. Cordyceps militaris improves the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats possibly via influences of mitochondria and autophagy functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takakura, Kentaro; Ito, Shogo; Sonoda, Junya; Tabata, Koji; Shiozaki, Motoko; Nagai, Kaoru; Shibata, Masahiro; Koike, Masato; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Gotow, Takahiro

    2017-11-01

    The genus Cordyceps and its specific ingredient, cordycepin, have attracted much attention for multiple health benefits and expectations for lifespan extension. We analyzed whether Cordyceps militaris (CM), which contains large amounts of cordycepin, can extend the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive rats, whose survival was reduced to ∼3 months via a high-salt diet. The survival of these life-shortened rats was extended significantly when supplemented with CM, possibly due to a minimization of the effects of stroke. Next, we analyzed the effect of CM on hypertension-sensitive organs, the central nervous systems (CNS), heart, kidney and liver of these rats. We attempted to ascertain how the organs were improved by CM, and we paid particular attention to mitochondria and autophagy functions. The following results were from CM-treated rats in comparison with control rats. Microscopically, CNS neurons, cardiomyocytes, glomerular podocytes, renal epithelial cells, and hepatocytes all were improved. However, immunoblot and immunohistochemical analysis showed that the expressions of mitochondria-related proteins, ATP synthase β subunit, SIRT3 and SOD2, and autophagy-related proteins, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio and cathepsin D all were reduced significantly in the CNS neurons, but increased significantly in the cells of the other three organs, although p62 was decreased in its expression in all the organs tested. Activity of Akt and mTOR was enhanced but that of AMPK was reduced in the CNS, while such kinase activity was completely the opposite in the other organs. Together, the influence of CM may differ between mitochondria and autophagy functioned between the two organ groups, as mitochondria and autophagy seemed to be repressed and promoted, respectively, in the CNS, while both mitochondria and autophagy were activated in the others. This could possibly be related to the steady or improved cellular activity in both the organs, which might result in the life extension of these

  19. PH Sensitive Polymers for Improving Reservoir Sweep and Conformance Control in Chemical Flooring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mukul Sharma; Steven Bryant; Chun Huh

    2008-03-31

    There is an increasing opportunity to recover bypassed oil from depleted, mature oilfields in the US. The recovery factor in many reservoirs is low due to inefficient displacement of the oil by injected fluids (typically water). The use of chemical flooding methods to increase recovery efficiencies is severely constrained by the inability of the injected chemicals to contact the bypassed oil. Low sweep efficiencies are the primary cause of low oil recoveries observed in the field in chemical flooding operations even when lab studies indicate high oil recovery efficiency. Any technology that increases the ability of chemical flooding agents to better contact the remaining oil and reduce the amount of water produced in conjunction with the produced oil will have a significant impact on the cost of producing oil domestically in the US. This translates directly into additional economically recoverable reserves, which extends the economic lives of marginal and mature wells. The objective of this research project was to develop a low-cost, pH-triggered polymer for use in IOR processes to improve reservoir sweep efficiency and reservoir conformance in chemical flooding. Rheological measurements made on the polymer solution, clearly show that it has a low viscosity at low pH and exhibits a sudden increase in viscosity (by 2 orders of magnitude or more) at a pH of 3.5 to 4. This implies that the polymer would preferentially flow into zones containing water since the effective permeability to water is highest in these zones. As the pH of the zone increases due to the buffering capacity of the reservoir rock, the polymer solution undergoes a liquid to gel transition causing a sharp increase in the viscosity of the polymer solution in these zones. This allows operationally robust, in-depth conformance treatment of such water bearing zones and better mobility control. The rheological properties of HPAM solutions were measured. These include: steady-shear viscosity and

  20. Cannabinoid 2 Receptor Agonist Improves Systemic Sensitivity to Insulin in High-Fat Diet/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuyuan Zhang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The endocannabinoid signalling (ECS system has been known to regulate glucose homeostasis. Previous studies have suggested that the cannabinoid 2 (CB2 receptor may play a regulatory role on insulin secretion, immune modulation and insulin resistance. Given that diabetes and insulin resistance are attributable to elevated inflammatory tone, we investigated the role of CB2 receptor on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet (HFD/streptozotocin (STZ-induced mice. Methods: Diabetes was induced in male ICR mice by HFD/STZ and exposed to a CB2 receptor agonist, SER601, for 2- or 4-weeks via subcutaneous implantation of osmotic minipumps. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed at the end of treatment. Islets were isolated for assessment of β-cell function. Pancreases and skeletal muscles were also obtained for histological analyses. Results: Despite a lack of impact on glucose tolerance, substantial improvement on insulin sensitivity was observed in SER601-treated mice, which could partly be attributed to improved islet β-cell function, shown as increased glucose-induced insulin secretion and insulin content. No changes on islet macrophage infiltration or skeletal muscle fat deposition were detectable from SER601-treated mice. However, a major decrease in body weight was recorded at the end of 4-week SER601 exposure, accompanied by a lack of epididymal adipose mass in SER601-treated mice. Conclusion: Our data suggest a lipolytic role of SER601 in HFD/STZ-induced diabetic mice, which results in significant improvement of systemic insulin sensitivity. Thus, the CB2 receptor may be considered a promising target for therapeutic development against insulin resistance and obesity-related diabetes.

  1. Detecting determinism with improved sensitivity in time series: rank-based nonlinear predictability score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naro, Daniel; Rummel, Christian; Schindler, Kaspar; Andrzejak, Ralph G

    2014-09-01

    The rank-based nonlinear predictability score was recently introduced as a test for determinism in point processes. We here adapt this measure to time series sampled from time-continuous flows. We use noisy Lorenz signals to compare this approach against a classical amplitude-based nonlinear prediction error. Both measures show an almost identical robustness against Gaussian white noise. In contrast, when the amplitude distribution of the noise has a narrower central peak and heavier tails than the normal distribution, the rank-based nonlinear predictability score outperforms the amplitude-based nonlinear prediction error. For this type of noise, the nonlinear predictability score has a higher sensitivity for deterministic structure in noisy signals. It also yields a higher statistical power in a surrogate test of the null hypothesis of linear stochastic correlated signals. We show the high relevance of this improved performance in an application to electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from epilepsy patients. Here the nonlinear predictability score again appears of higher sensitivity to nonrandomness. Importantly, it yields an improved contrast between signals recorded from brain areas where the first ictal EEG signal changes were detected (focal EEG signals) versus signals recorded from brain areas that were not involved at seizure onset (nonfocal EEG signals).

  2. An improved electrochemiluminescence polymerase chain reaction method for highly sensitive detection of plant viruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tang Yabing; Xing Da; Zhu Debin; Liu Jinfeng

    2007-01-01

    Recently, we have reported an electrochemiluminescence polymerase chain reaction (ECL-PCR) method for detection of genetically modified organisms. The ECL-PCR method was further improved in the current study by introducing a multi-purpose nucleic acid sequence that was specific to the tris(bipyridine) ruthenium (TBR) labeled probe, into the 5' terminal of the primers. The method was applied to detect plant viruses. Conserved sequence of the plant viruses was amplified by PCR. The product was hybridized with a biotin labeled probe and a TBR labeled probe. The hybridization product was separated by streptavidin-coated magnetic beads, and detected by measuring the ECL signals of the TBR labeled. Under the optimized conditions, the experiment results show that the detection limit is 50 fmol of PCR products, and the signal-to-noise ratio is in excess of 14.6. The method was used to detect banana streak virus, banana bunchy top virus, and papaya leaf curl virus. The experiment results show that this method could reliably identity viruses infected plant samples. The improved ECL-PCR approach has higher sensitivity and lower cost than previous approach. It can effectively detect the plant viruses with simplicity, stability, and high sensitivity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-15

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

  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. 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.

  6. Improving sensitivity in micro-free flow electrophoresis using signal averaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgeon, Ryan T.; Bowser, Michael T.

    2009-01-01

    Microfluidic free-flow electrophoresis (μFFE) is a separation technique that separates continuous streams of analytes as they travel through an electric field in a planar flow channel. The continuous nature of the μFFE separation suggests that approaches more commonly applied in spectroscopy and imaging may be effective in improving sensitivity. The current paper describes the S/N improvements that can be achieved by simply averaging multiple images of a μFFE separation; 20–24-fold improvements in S/N were observed by averaging the signal from 500 images recorded for over 2 min. Up to an 80-fold improvement in S/N was observed by averaging 6500 images. Detection limits as low as 14 pM were achieved for fluorescein, which is impressive considering the non-ideal optical set-up used in these experiments. The limitation to this signal averaging approach was the stability of the μFFE separation. At separation times longer than 20 min bubbles began to form at the electrodes, which disrupted the flow profile through the device, giving rise to erratic peak positions. PMID:19319908

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Resistance training associated with the administration of anabolic-androgenic steroids improves insulin sensitivity in ovariectomized rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urtado CB

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Christiano Bertoldo Urtado1,2, Guilherme Borges Pereira3, Marilia Bertoldo Urtado4, Érica Blascovi de Carvalho2, Gerson dos Santos Leite1, Felipe Fedrizzi Donatto1, Claudio de Oliveira Assumpção1, Richard Diego Leite3, Carlos Alberto da Silva1, Marcelo Magalhães de Sales5, Ramires Alsamir Tibana5, Silvia Cristina Crepaldi Alves1, Jonato Prestes51Health Sciences, Methodist University of Piracicaba, Piracicaba, SP, 2Center for Investigation in Pediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, 3Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, 4Laboratory of Orofacial Pain, Division of Oral Physiology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, 5Graduation Program in Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, DF, BrazilAbstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids and resistance training (RT on insulin sensitivity in ovariectomized rats. Adult female Wistar rats were divided into ten experimental groups (n = 5 animals per group: (1 sedentary (Sed-Intact; (2 sedentary ovariectomized (Sed-Ovx; (3 sedentary nandrolone (Sed-Intact-ND; (4 sedentary ovariectomized plus nandrolone (Sed-Ovx-ND; (5 trained (TR-Intact; (6 trained nandrolone (TR-Intact-ND; (7 trained ovariectomized (TR-Ovx; (8 trained ovariectomized plus nandrolone; (9 trained sham; and (10 trained ovariectomized plus sham. Four sessions of RT were used, during which the animals climbed a 1.1 m vertical ladder with weights attached to their tails. The sessions were performed once every 3 days, with between four and nine climbs and with eight to twelve dynamic movements per climb. To test the sensitivity of insulin in the pancreas, glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed. For insulin sensitivity, there was a statistically significant interaction for the TR-Ovx group, which presented higher sensitivity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liqing; Pollard, Andrew J

    2012-07-27

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

  11. Study of cavity effect in micro-Pirani gauge chamber with improved sensitivity for high vacuum regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guohe Zhang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Ultra-low pressure application of Pirani gauge needs significant improvement of sensitivity and expansion of measureable low pressure limit. However, the performance of Pirani gauge in high vacuum regime remains critical concerns since gaseous thermal conduction with high percentage is essential requirement. In this work, the heat transfer mechanism of micro-Pirani gauge packaged in a non-hermetic chamber was investigated and analyzed compared with the one before wafer-level packaging. The cavity effect, extremely important for the efficient detection of low pressure, was numerically and experimentally analyzed considering the influence of the pressure, the temperature and the effective heat transfer area in micro-Pirani gauge chamber. The thermal conduction model is validated by experiment data of MEMS Pirani gauges with and without capping. It is found that nature gaseous convection in chamber, determined by the Rayleigh number, should be taken into consideration. The experiment and model calculated results show that thermal resistance increases in the molecule regime, and further increases after capping due to the suppression of gaseous convection. The gaseous thermal conduction accounts for an increasing percentage of thermal conduction at low pressure while little changes at high pressure after capping because of the existence of cavity effect improving the sensitivity of cavity-effect-influenced Pirani gauge for high vacuum regime.

  12. Myostatin inhibition in muscle, but not adipose tissue, decreases fat mass and improves insulin sensitivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingqing Guo

    Full Text Available Myostatin (Mstn is a secreted growth factor expressed in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue that negatively regulates skeletal muscle mass. Mstn(-/- mice have a dramatic increase in muscle mass, reduction in fat mass, and resistance to diet-induced and genetic obesity. To determine how Mstn deletion causes reduced adiposity and resistance to obesity, we analyzed substrate utilization and insulin sensitivity in Mstn(-/- mice fed a standard chow. Despite reduced lipid oxidation in skeletal muscle, Mstn(-/- mice had no change in the rate of whole body lipid oxidation. In contrast, Mstn(-/- mice had increased glucose utilization and insulin sensitivity as measured by indirect calorimetry, glucose and insulin tolerance tests, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. To determine whether these metabolic effects were due primarily to the loss of myostatin signaling in muscle or adipose tissue, we compared two transgenic mouse lines carrying a dominant negative activin IIB receptor expressed specifically in adipocytes or skeletal muscle. We found that inhibition of myostatin signaling in adipose tissue had no effect on body composition, weight gain, or glucose and insulin tolerance in mice fed a standard diet or a high-fat diet. In contrast, inhibition of myostatin signaling in skeletal muscle, like Mstn deletion, resulted in increased lean mass, decreased fat mass, improved glucose metabolism on standard and high-fat diets, and resistance to diet-induced obesity. Our results demonstrate that Mstn(-/- mice have an increase in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, and that the reduction in adipose tissue mass in Mstn(-/- mice is an indirect result of metabolic changes in skeletal muscle. These data suggest that increasing muscle mass by administration of myostatin antagonists may be a promising therapeutic target for treating patients with obesity or diabetes.

  13. Improving calibration and validation of cosmic-ray neutron sensors in the light of spatial sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Schrön

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years the method of cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS has gained popularity among hydrologists, physicists, and land-surface modelers. The sensor provides continuous soil moisture data, averaged over several hectares and tens of decimeters in depth. However, the signal still may contain unidentified features of hydrological processes, and many calibration datasets are often required in order to find reliable relations between neutron intensity and water dynamics. Recent insights into environmental neutrons accurately described the spatial sensitivity of the sensor and thus allowed one to quantify the contribution of individual sample locations to the CRNS signal. Consequently, data points of calibration and validation datasets are suggested to be averaged using a more physically based weighting approach. In this work, a revised sensitivity function is used to calculate weighted averages of point data. The function is different from the simple exponential convention by the extraordinary sensitivity to the first few meters around the probe, and by dependencies on air pressure, air humidity, soil moisture, and vegetation. The approach is extensively tested at six distinct monitoring sites: two sites with multiple calibration datasets and four sites with continuous time series datasets. In all cases, the revised averaging method improved the performance of the CRNS products. The revised approach further helped to reveal hidden hydrological processes which otherwise remained unexplained in the data or were lost in the process of overcalibration. The presented weighting approach increases the overall accuracy of CRNS products and will have an impact on all their applications in agriculture, hydrology, and modeling.

  14. Improving calibration and validation of cosmic-ray neutron sensors in the light of spatial sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrön, Martin; Köhli, Markus; Scheiffele, Lena; Iwema, Joost; Bogena, Heye R.; Lv, Ling; Martini, Edoardo; Baroni, Gabriele; Rosolem, Rafael; Weimar, Jannis; Mai, Juliane; Cuntz, Matthias; Rebmann, Corinna; Oswald, Sascha E.; Dietrich, Peter; Schmidt, Ulrich; Zacharias, Steffen

    2017-10-01

    In the last few years the method of cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) has gained popularity among hydrologists, physicists, and land-surface modelers. The sensor provides continuous soil moisture data, averaged over several hectares and tens of decimeters in depth. However, the signal still may contain unidentified features of hydrological processes, and many calibration datasets are often required in order to find reliable relations between neutron intensity and water dynamics. Recent insights into environmental neutrons accurately described the spatial sensitivity of the sensor and thus allowed one to quantify the contribution of individual sample locations to the CRNS signal. Consequently, data points of calibration and validation datasets are suggested to be averaged using a more physically based weighting approach. In this work, a revised sensitivity function is used to calculate weighted averages of point data. The function is different from the simple exponential convention by the extraordinary sensitivity to the first few meters around the probe, and by dependencies on air pressure, air humidity, soil moisture, and vegetation. The approach is extensively tested at six distinct monitoring sites: two sites with multiple calibration datasets and four sites with continuous time series datasets. In all cases, the revised averaging method improved the performance of the CRNS products. The revised approach further helped to reveal hidden hydrological processes which otherwise remained unexplained in the data or were lost in the process of overcalibration. The presented weighting approach increases the overall accuracy of CRNS products and will have an impact on all their applications in agriculture, hydrology, and modeling.

  15. New features and improved uncertainty analysis in the NEA nuclear data sensitivity tool (NDaST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyrda, J.; Soppera, N.; Hill, I.; Bossant, M.; Gulliford, J.

    2017-09-01

    Following the release and initial testing period of the NEA's Nuclear Data Sensitivity Tool [1], new features have been designed and implemented in order to expand its uncertainty analysis capabilities. The aim is to provide a free online tool for integral benchmark testing, that is both efficient and comprehensive, meeting the needs of the nuclear data and benchmark testing communities. New features include access to P1 sensitivities for neutron scattering angular distribution [2] and constrained Chi sensitivities for the prompt fission neutron energy sampling. Both of these are compatible with covariance data accessed via the JANIS nuclear data software, enabling propagation of the resultant uncertainties in keff to a large series of integral experiment benchmarks. These capabilities are available using a number of different covariance libraries e.g., ENDF/B, JEFF, JENDL and TENDL, allowing comparison of the broad range of results it is possible to obtain. The IRPhE database of reactor physics measurements is now also accessible within the tool in addition to the criticality benchmarks from ICSBEP. Other improvements include the ability to determine and visualise the energy dependence of a given calculated result in order to better identify specific regions of importance or high uncertainty contribution. Sorting and statistical analysis of the selected benchmark suite is now also provided. Examples of the plots generated by the software are included to illustrate such capabilities. Finally, a number of analytical expressions, for example Maxwellian and Watt fission spectra will be included. This will allow the analyst to determine the impact of varying such distributions within the data evaluation, either through adjustment of parameters within the expressions, or by comparison to a more general probability distribution fitted to measured data. The impact of such changes is verified through calculations which are compared to a `direct' measurement found by

  16. Two Dimensional Array of Piezoresistive Nanomechanical Membrane-Type Surface Stress Sensor (MSS with Improved Sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico F. de Rooij

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available We present a new generation of piezoresistive nanomechanical Membrane-type Surface stress Sensor (MSS chips, which consist of a two dimensional array of MSS on a single chip. The implementation of several optimization techniques in the design and microfabrication improved the piezoresistive sensitivity by 3~4 times compared to the first generation MSS chip, resulting in a sensitivity about ~100 times better than a standard cantilever-type sensor and a few times better than optical read-out methods in terms of experimental signal-to-noise ratio. Since the integrated piezoresistive read-out of the MSS can meet practical requirements, such as compactness and not requiring bulky and expensive peripheral devices, the MSS is a promising transducer for nanomechanical sensing in the rapidly growing application fields in medicine, biology, security, and the environment. Specifically, its system compactness due to the integrated piezoresistive sensing makes the MSS concept attractive for the instruments used in mobile applications. In addition, the MSS can operate in opaque liquids, such as blood, where optical read-out techniques cannot be applied.

  17. New C$_{6}$D$_{6}$ detectors: reduced neutron sensitivity and improved safety

    CERN Document Server

    Mastinu, Pierfrancesco; Berthoumieux, Eric; Cano-Ott, Daniel; Gramegna, F; Guerrero, Carlos; Massimi, Cristian; Milazzo, Paolo Maria; Mingrone, Federica; Praena, Javier; Prete, G; García, Aczel Regino

    2013-01-01

    During the 2011 data measurement campaign at n_TOF, the liquid scintillator detectors developed at FZK-Karlsruhe (hereafter named K6D6, [1]) and used with success along 10 years have shown ageing problems, mainly related to liquid leakage. The mould used to produce the carbon fiber structure, containing the liquid and the detection elements, was not available anymore and the technician involved in its construction was retired. Once decided to proceed to the production of new detectors (L6D6 in the following) two major items have been identified: - The detector setup must be able to work in the new class A experimental area (safety requirements advise to avoid the use of the old K6D6 in this area). - If possible, it is useful to reduce the neutron sensitivity, with the aim to have a liquid scintillator detector with very low neutron sensitivity (improving the already high performing K6D6). [1] R.Plag et al., NIM A496 (2003) 425

  18. Possibilities to improve sensitivity and rendering of detail of streamer chamber track photographs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baehr, J

    1975-01-01

    Streamer chambers are increasingly used as effective particle detectors in the field of experimental elementary particle physics. The photographic recording of high energy events in streamer chambers is limited by performance of current photographic silver-halide layers. Similar limiting problems occur in other fields as well, e.g., in astronomy, x-ray medicine and photogrammetry; therefore methods have been developed to increase sensitivity and improve the information transfer of the emulsion. In this paper these methods have been classified and summarized under the aspect of their application to streamer image recording. Proposals for further investigations are given. Especially the applicability of these methods, their possibility of combination to large film lengths should be investigated The detective quantum efficiency (DQE) is proposed as criterion to estimate and compare the different methods.

  19. Peripheral Hole Acceptor Moieties on an Organic Dye Improve Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cell Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Yan; Gabrielsson, Erik; Lohse, Peter William; Yang, Wenxing; Johansson, Erik M. J.; Hagfeldt, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Investigation of charge transfer dynamics in dye‐sensitized solar cells is of fundamental interest and the control of these dynamics is a key factor for developing more efficient solar cell devices. One possibility for attenuating losses through recombination between injected electrons and oxidized dye molecules is to move the positive charge further away from the metal oxide surface. For this purpose, a metal‐free dye named E6 is developed, in which the chromophore core is tethered to two external triphenylamine (TPA) units. After photoinduced electron injection into TiO2, the remaining hole is rapidly transferred to a peripheral TPA unit. Electron–hole recombination is slowed down by 30% compared to a reference dye without peripheral TPA units. Furthermore, it is found that the added TPA moieties improve the electron blocking effect of the dye, retarding recombination of electrons from TiO2 to the cobalt‐based electrolyte. PMID:27722076

  20. Use of sensitivity, uncertainty and data adjustment analysis to improve nuclear data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kodeli, I [CEA-Centre d' Etudes de Saclay, SERMA/LEPP, Gif sur Yvette (France); Sartori, E [OECD/ NEA Data Bank, Issy-les-Moulineaux (France); Remec, I [Inst. Jozef Stefan, Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    1992-07-01

    Sensitivity and adjustment analysis provide some valuable information about the radiation transport calculations. Together they give us a clear insight into the importance of different calculational parameters and tell us how much we can trust our result. Without this information the calculation cannot be considered as comprehensive. On the other hand the adjustment permits the improvement of our data base and thus reduces the uncertainty of our target quantities for a range of specific applications. With the objective to validate the methodology used in the reactor shielding analysis, these techniques were applied to PWR power plants, manufactured by EDF (52 capsules analysed in France) and Westinghouse (capsule and cavity dosimetry for the Krsko NPP in Slovenia), as well as to the ASPIS benchmark experiment. (author)

  1. Improved sample preparation and counting techniques for enhanced tritium measurement sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J.; Aalseth, C.; Bailey, V. L.; Mace, E. K.; Overman, C.; Seifert, A.; Wilcox Freeburg, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Tritium (T) measurements offer insight to a wealth of environmental applications including hydrologic tracking, discerning ocean circulation patterns, and aging ice formations. However, the relatively short half-life of T (12.3 years) limits its effective age dating range. Compounding this limitation is the decrease in atmospheric T content by over two orders of magnitude (from 1000-2000 TU in 1962 to testing in the 1960's. We are developing sample preparation methods coupled to direct counting of T via ultra-low background proportional counters which, when combined, offer improved T measurement sensitivity (~4.5 mmoles of H2 equivalent) and will help expand the application of T age dating to smaller sample sizes linked to persistent environmental questions despite the limitations above. For instance, this approach can be used to T date ~ 2.2 mmoles of CH4 collected from sample-limited systems including microbial communities, soils, or subsurface aquifers and can be combined with radiocarbon dating to distinguish the methane's formation age from C age in a system. This approach can also expand investigations into soil organic C where the improved sensitivity will permit resolution of soil C into more descriptive fractions and provide direct assessments of the stability of specific classes of organic matter in soils environments. We are employing a multiple step sample preparation system whereby organic samples are first combusted with resulting CO2 and H2O being used as a feedstock to synthesize CH4. This CH4 is mixed with Ar and loaded directly into an ultra-low background proportional counter for measurement of T β decay in a shallow underground laboratory. Analysis of water samples requires only the addition of geologic CO2 feedstock with the sample for methane synthesis. The chemical nature of the preparation techniques enable high sample throughput with only the final measurement requiring T decay with total sample analysis time ranging from 2 -5 weeks

  2. Improving detection sensitivity for partial discharge monitoring of high voltage equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, L.; Lewin, P. L.; Swingler, S. G.

    2008-05-01

    Partial discharge (PD) measurements are an important technique for assessing the health of power apparatus. Previous published research by the authors has shown that an electro-optic system can be used for PD measurement of oil-filled power transformers. A PD signal generated within an oil-filled power transformer may reach a winding and then travel along the winding to the bushing core bar. The bushing, acting like a capacitor, can transfer the high frequency components of the partial discharge signal to its earthed tap point. Therefore, an effective PD current measurement can be implemented at the bushing tap by using a radio frequency current transducer around the bushing-tap earth connection. In addition, the use of an optical transmission technique not only improves the electrical noise immunity and provides the possibility of remote measurement but also realizes electrical isolation and enhances safety for operators. However, the bushing core bar can act as an aerial and in addition noise induced by the electro-optic modulation system may influence overall measurement sensitivity. This paper reports on a machine learning technique, namely the use of a support vector machine (SVM), to improve the detection sensitivity of the system. Comparison between the signal extraction performances of a passive hardware filter and the SVM technique has been assessed. The results obtained from the laboratory-based experiment have been analysed and indicate that the SVM approach provides better performance than the passive hardware filter and it can reliably detect discharge signals with apparent charge greater than 30 pC.

  3. Improving detection sensitivity for partial discharge monitoring of high voltage equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hao, L; Lewin, P L; Swingler, S G

    2008-01-01

    Partial discharge (PD) measurements are an important technique for assessing the health of power apparatus. Previous published research by the authors has shown that an electro-optic system can be used for PD measurement of oil-filled power transformers. A PD signal generated within an oil-filled power transformer may reach a winding and then travel along the winding to the bushing core bar. The bushing, acting like a capacitor, can transfer the high frequency components of the partial discharge signal to its earthed tap point. Therefore, an effective PD current measurement can be implemented at the bushing tap by using a radio frequency current transducer around the bushing-tap earth connection. In addition, the use of an optical transmission technique not only improves the electrical noise immunity and provides the possibility of remote measurement but also realizes electrical isolation and enhances safety for operators. However, the bushing core bar can act as an aerial and in addition noise induced by the electro-optic modulation system may influence overall measurement sensitivity. This paper reports on a machine learning technique, namely the use of a support vector machine (SVM), to improve the detection sensitivity of the system. Comparison between the signal extraction performances of a passive hardware filter and the SVM technique has been assessed. The results obtained from the laboratory-based experiment have been analysed and indicate that the SVM approach provides better performance than the passive hardware filter and it can reliably detect discharge signals with apparent charge greater than 30 pC

  4. New scoring methodology improves the sensitivity of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Nishant; Beretvas, S Natasha; Pascual, Belen; Masdeu, Joseph C; Markey, Mia K

    2015-11-12

    As currently used, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) has low sensitivity for measuring Alzheimer's disease progression in clinical trials. A major reason behind the low sensitivity is its sub-optimal scoring methodology, which can be improved to obtain better sensitivity. Using item response theory, we developed a new scoring methodology (ADAS-CogIRT) for the ADAS-Cog, which addresses several major limitations of the current scoring methodology. The sensitivity of the ADAS-CogIRT methodology was evaluated using clinical trial simulations as well as a negative clinical trial, which had shown an evidence of a treatment effect. The ADAS-Cog was found to measure impairment in three cognitive domains of memory, language, and praxis. The ADAS-CogIRT methodology required significantly fewer patients and shorter trial durations as compared to the current scoring methodology when both were evaluated in simulated clinical trials. When validated on data from a real clinical trial, the ADAS-CogIRT methodology had higher sensitivity than the current scoring methodology in detecting the treatment effect. The proposed scoring methodology significantly improves the sensitivity of the ADAS-Cog in measuring progression of cognitive impairment in clinical trials focused in the mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease stage. This provides a boost to the efficiency of clinical trials requiring fewer patients and shorter durations for investigating disease-modifying treatments.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Improvement of thermal stability of UV curable pressure sensitive adhesive by surface modified silica nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pang, Beili; Ryu, Chong-Min; Kim, Hyung-Il, E-mail: hikim@cnu.ac.kr

    2013-11-01

    Highlights: • Silica nanoparticles were modified to carry the vinyl groups for photo-crosslinking. • Acrylic copolymer was modified to have the vinyl groups for photo-crosslinking. • Strong and extensive interfacial bondings were formed between polymer and silica. • Thermal stability of PSA was improved by forming nanocomposite with modified silica. -- Abstract: Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) with higher thermal stability were successfully prepared by forming composite with the silica nanoparticles modified via reaction with 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane. The acrylic copolymer was synthesized as a base resin for PSAs by solution polymerization of 2-EHA, EA, and AA with AIBN as an initiator. The acrylic copolymer was further modified with GMA to have the vinyl groups available for UV curing. The peel strength decreased with the increase of gel content which was dependent on both silica content and UV dose. Thermal stability of the composite PSAs was improved noticeably with increasing silica content and UV dose mainly due to the strong and extensive interfacial bonding between the organic polymer matrix and silica.

  8. Estimating the Capacity of Urban Transportation Networks with an Improved Sensitivity Based Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muqing Du

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The throughput of a given transportation network is always of interest to the traffic administrative department, so as to evaluate the benefit of the transportation construction or expansion project before its implementation. The model of the transportation network capacity formulated as a mathematic programming with equilibrium constraint (MPEC well defines this problem. For practical applications, a modified sensitivity analysis based (SAB method is developed to estimate the solution of this bilevel model. The high-efficient origin-based (OB algorithm is extended for the precise solution of the combined model which is integrated in the network capacity model. The sensitivity analysis approach is also modified to simplify the inversion of the Jacobian matrix in large-scale problems. The solution produced in every iteration of SAB is restrained to be feasible to guarantee the success of the heuristic search. From the numerical experiments, the accuracy of the derivatives for the linear approximation could significantly affect the converging of the SAB method. The results also show that the proposed method could obtain good suboptimal solutions from different starting points in the test examples.

  9. Improving Sensitivity to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment: Cognitive Load Dual-Task Gait Speed Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacAulay, Rebecca K; Wagner, Mark T; Szeles, Dana; Milano, Nicholas J

    2017-07-01

    Longitudinal research indicates that cognitive load dual-task gait assessment is predictive of cognitive decline and thus might provide a sensitive measure to screen for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, research among older adults being clinically evaluated for cognitive concerns, a defining feature of MCI, is lacking. The present study investigated the effect of performing a cognitive task on normal walking speed in patients presenting to a memory clinic with cognitive complaints. Sixty-one patients with a mean age of 68 years underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing, clinical interview, and gait speed (simple- and dual-task conditions) assessments. Thirty-four of the 61 patients met criteria for MCI. Repeated measure analyses of covariance revealed that greater age and MCI both significantly associated with slower gait speed, pscognitive dual task within a clinically representative population. Cognitive load dual-task gait assessment may provide a cost efficient and sensitive measure to detect older adults at high risk of a dementia disorder. (JINS, 2017, 23, 493-501).

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Improving sensitivity of the polyurethane/CNT laminate strain sensor by controlled mechanical preload

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slobodian, Petr; Olejnik, Robert; Matyas, Jiri; Babar, Dipak Gorakh

    2016-01-01

    This article describes strain detection potential of polyurethane/CNT layered composite and further possible enhance of its sensitivity to strain, expressed by value of gauge factor, GF, employing its controlled mechanical preload. In course of its fabrication a non-woven polyurethane membrane made by electro spinning was used as filtering membrane for CNT aqueous dispersion. Final CNT polyurethane laminate composite is prepared by compression molding. Produced polyurethane/CNT composite laminate is electrically conductive and high elastic. Its elongation leads to change of its macroscopic electrical resistance. Changes in resistance are further reversible, reproducible and can monitor deformation in real time. Gauge factor reaches very high values around 8 for strain reaching 3.5% comparing with conventional metallic strain gauges. Finally, controlled mechanical preload significantly increases value of GF. For example for value of 8.1% of preload value of GF reaches 23.3 for strain 3.5%. (paper)

  13. 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.

  14. Coconut oil supplementation and physical exercise improves baroreflex sensitivity and oxidative stress in hypertensive rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Naiane F B; Porpino, Suênia K P; Monteiro, Matheus M O; Gomes, Enéas R M; Braga, Valdir A

    2015-04-01

    The hypothesis that oral supplementation with virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) and exercise training would improve impaired baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and reduce oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) was tested. Adult male SHR and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were divided into 5 groups: WKY + saline (n = 8); SHR + saline (n = 8); SHR + coconut oil (2 mL·day(-1), n = 8); SHR + trained (n = 8); and SHR + trained + coconut oil (n = 8). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was recorded and BRS was tested using phenylephrine (8 μg/kg, intravenous) and sodium nitroprusside (25 μg·kg(-1), intravenous). Oxidative stress was measured using dihydroethidium in heart and aorta. SHR + saline, SHR + coconut oil, and SHR + trained group showed higher MAP compared with WKY + saline (175 ± 6, 148 ± 6, 147 ± 7 vs. 113 ± 2 mm Hg; p coconut oil, SHR + trained group, and SHR + trained + coconut oil groups presented lower MAP compared with SHR + saline group (148 ± 6, 147 ± 7, 134 ± 8 vs. 175 ± 6 mm Hg; p Coconut oil combined with exercise training improved BRS in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (-2.47 ± 0.3 vs. -1.39 ± 0.09 beats·min(-1)·mm Hg(-1); p coconut oil group presented reduced oxidative stress compared with SHR + saline in heart (622 ± 16 vs. 774 ± 31 AU, p coconut oil reduced oxidative stress in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (454 ± 33 vs. 689 ± 29 AU, p coconut oil combined with exercise training improved impaired BRS and reduced oxidative stress in SHR.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Mechanism by Which Safflower Yellow Decreases Body Fat Mass and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in HFD-induced Obese Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijuan eZhu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available ObjectivesSafflower yellow (SY is the main effective ingredient of Carthamus tinctorius L. It has been reported that SY plays an important role in anti-inflammation, anti-platelet aggregation and inhibiting thrombus formation. In present study, we try to investigate the effects of SY on body weight, body fat mass, insulin sensitivity in high fat diet (HFD-induced obese mice. MethodsHFD-induced obese male ICR mice were intraperitoneally injected with SY (120 mg kg-1 daily. Eight weeks later, intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test (IPITT and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT were performed, and body weight, body fat mass, serum insulin levels were measured. The expression of glucose and lipid metabolic related genes in white adipose tissue (WAT were determined by RT-qPCR and western blot technologies.ResultsThe administration obese mice with SY significantly reduced the body fat mass of HFD-induced obese mice (P<0.05. IPITT test showed that the insulin sensitivity of SY treated obese mice were evidently improved. The mRNA levels of insulin signaling pathway related genes including insulin receptor substrate 1(IRS1, PKB protein kinase (AKT, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β and forkhead box protein O1(FOXO1 in mesenteric WAT of SY treated mice were significantly increased to 1.9, 2.8, 3.3 and 5.9 folds of that in HFD-induced control obese mice, respectively (P<0.05. The protein levels of AKT and GSK3β were also significantly increased to 3.0 and 5.2 folds of that in HFD-induced control obese mice, respectively (P<0.05. Meanwhile, both the mRNA and protein levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorgamma coactivator 1α (PGC1α in inguinal subcutaneous WAT of SY group were notably increased to 2.5 and 3.0 folds of that in HFD-induced control obese mice (P<0.05.ConclusionsSY significantly reduce the body fat mass, fasting blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity of HFD-induced obese mice. The possible mechanism is to

  19. Significant mean and extreme climate sensitivity of Norway spruce and silver fir at mid-elevation mesic sites in the Alps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Carrer

    Full Text Available Climate forcing is the major abiotic driver for forest ecosystem functioning and thus significantly affects the role of forests within the global carbon cycle and related ecosystem services. Annual radial increments of trees are probably the most valuable source of information to link tree growth and climate at long-term time scales, and have been used in a wide variety of investigations worldwide. However, especially in mountainous areas, tree-ring studies have focused on extreme environments where the climate sensitivity is perhaps greatest but are necessarily a biased representation of the forests within a region. We used tree-ring analyses to study two of the most important tree species growing in the Alps: Norway spruce (Picea abies and silver fir (Abies alba. We developed tree-ring chronologies from 13 mesic mid-elevation sites (203 trees and then compared them to monthly temperature and precipitation data for the period 1846-1995. Correlation functions, principal component analysis and fuzzy C-means clustering were applied to 1 assess the climate/growth relationships and their stationarity and consistency over time, and 2 extract common modes of variability in the species responses to mean and extreme climate variability. Our results highlight a clear, time-stable, and species-specific response to mean climate conditions. However, during the previous-year's growing season, which shows the strongest correlations, the primary difference between species is in their response to extreme events, not mean conditions. Mesic sites at mid-altitude are commonly underrepresented in tree-ring research; we showed that strong climatic controls of growth may exist even in those areas. Extreme climatic events may play a key role in defining the species-specific responses on climatic sensitivity and, with a global change perspective, specific divergent responses are likely to occur even where current conditions are less limited.

  20. Cobalt as chemical modifier to improve chromium sensitivity and minimize matrix effects in tungsten coil atomic emission spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Sidnei G. [Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos, P.O. Box 676, São Carlos, SP 13560-970 (Brazil); Donati, George L., E-mail: georgedonati@yahoo.com.br [Department of Chemistry, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 (United States); Santos, Luana N. [Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos, P.O. Box 676, São Carlos, SP 13560-970 (Brazil); Jones, Bradley T. [Department of Chemistry, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 (United States); Nóbrega, Joaquim A. [Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos, P.O. Box 676, São Carlos, SP 13560-970 (Brazil)

    2013-05-30

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •Charge transfer reactions increase the population of Cr{sup +}. •Chromium ions and electrons recombine to form excited-state Cr atoms. •A 10-fold improvement in LOD is observed for Cr emission measurements. •The two-step ionization/excitation mechanism improves sensitivity and accuracy. •High concentrations of Co also minimize matrix effects. -- Abstract: Cobalt is used as chemical modifier to improve sensitivity and minimize matrix effects in Cr determinations by tungsten coil atomic emission spectrometry (WCAES). The atomizer is a tungsten filament extracted from microscope light bulbs. A solid-state power supply and a handheld CCD-based spectrometer are also used in the instrumental setup. In the presence of 1000 mg L{sup −1} Co, WCAES limit of detection for Cr (λ = 425.4 nm) is calculated as 0.070 mg L{sup −1}; a 10-fold improvement compared to determinations without Co modifier. The mechanism involved in such signal enhancement is similar to the one observed in ICP OES and ICP-MS determinations of As and Se in the presence of C. Cobalt increases the population of Cr{sup +} by charge transfer reactions. In a second step, Cr{sup +}/e{sup −} recombination takes place, which results in a larger population of excited-state Cr atoms. This alternative excitation route is energetically more efficient than heat transfer from atomizer and gas phase to analyte atoms. A linear dynamic range of 0.25–10 mg L{sup −1} and repeatability of 3.8% (RSD, n = 10) for a 2.0 mg L{sup −1} Cr solution are obtained with this strategy. The modifier high concentration also contributes to improving accuracy due to a matrix-matching effect. The method was applied to a certified reference material of Dogfish Muscle (DORM-2) and no statistically significant difference was observed between determined and certified Cr values at a 95% confidence level. Spike experiments with bottled water samples resulted in recoveries between 93% and

  1. IceCube-Gen2 sensitivity improvement for steady neutrino point sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coenders, Stefan; Resconi, Elisa [TU Muenchen, Physik-Department, Excellence Cluster Universe, Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching (Germany); Collaboration: IceCube-Collaboration

    2015-07-01

    The observation of an astrophysical neutrino flux by high-energy events starting in IceCube strengthens the search for sources of astrophysical neutrinos. Identification of these sources requires good pointing at high statistics, mainly using muons created by charged-current muon neutrino interactions going through the IceCube detector. We report about preliminary studies of a possible high-energy extension IceCube-Gen2. Using a 6 times bigger detection volume, effective area as well as reconstruction accuracy will improve with respect to IceCube. Moreover, using (in-ice) active veto techniques will significantly improve the performance for Southern hemisphere events, where possible local candidate neutrino sources are located.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Sensitivity Improvement of an Impedimetric Immunosensor Using Functionalized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imen Hafaid

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This work has explored the development of impedimetric immunosensors based on magnetic iron nanoparticles (IrNP functionalized with streptavidin to which a biotinylated FAB part of the antibody has been bound using a biotin-streptavidin interaction. SPR analysis shows a deviation on the measured (angle during antigen-antibody recognition whereas label free detection using by EIS allows us to monitor variation of polarization resistance. Before detection, layers were analyzed by FTIR and AFM. Compared to immobilization of antibody on bare gold surface using aminodecanethiol SAM, antibody immobilization on nanoparticles permitted to reach lower detection limit: 500 pg/ml instead of 1 ng/ml to in the case of EIS and 300 ng/ml instead of 4.5 μg/ml in the case of SPR. Thus, it permitted to improve the sensitivity: from 257.3  Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml to 1871 Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml in the case of EIS and from 0.003°μg−1⋅ml to 0.094°μg−1⋅ml in the case of SPR.

  6. Use of rapid-scan EPR to improve detection sensitivity for spin-trapped radicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Deborah G; Rosen, Gerald M; Tseitlin, Mark; Symmes, Breanna; Eaton, Sandra S; Eaton, Gareth R

    2013-07-16

    The short lifetime of superoxide and the low rates of formation expected in vivo make detection by standard continuous wave (CW) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) challenging. The new rapid-scan EPR method offers improved sensitivity for these types of samples. In rapid-scan EPR, the magnetic field is scanned through resonance in a time that is short relative to electron spin relaxation times, and data are processed to obtain the absorption spectrum. To validate the application of rapid-scan EPR to spin trapping, superoxide was generated by the reaction of xanthine oxidase and hypoxanthine with rates of 0.1-6.0 μM/min and trapped with 5-tert-butoxycarbonyl-5-methyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (BMPO). Spin trapping with BMPO to form the BMPO-OOH adduct converts the very short-lived superoxide radical into a more stable spin adduct. There is good agreement between the hyperfine splitting parameters obtained for BMPO-OOH by CW and rapid-scan EPR. For the same signal acquisition time, the signal/noise ratio is >40 times higher for rapid-scan than for CW EPR. Rapid-scan EPR can detect superoxide produced by Enterococcus faecalis at rates that are too low for detection by CW EPR. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Improving axion detection sensitivity in high purity germanium detector based experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wenqin; Elliott, Steven

    2015-04-01

    Thanks to their excellent energy resolution and low energy threshold, high purity germanium (HPGe) crystals are widely used in low background experiments searching for neutrinoless double beta decay, e.g. the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR and the GERDA experiments, and low mass dark matter, e.g. the CDMS and the EDELWEISS experiments. A particularly interesting candidate for low mass dark matter is the axion, which arises from the Peccei-Quinn solution to the strong CP problem and has been searched for in many experiments. Due to axion-photon coupling, the postulated solar axions could coherently convert to photons via the Primakeoff effect in periodic crystal lattices, such as those found in HPGe crystals. The conversion rate depends on the angle between axions and crystal lattices, so the knowledge of HPGe crystal axis is important. In this talk, we will present our efforts to improve the HPGe experimental sensitivity to axions by considering the axis orientations in multiple HPGe crystals simultaneously. We acknowledge the support of the U.S. Department of Energy through the LANL/LDRD Program.

  8. Leptin rapidly improves glucose homeostasis in obese mice by increasing hypothalamic insulin sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christiane; Augustine, Rachael A; Steger, Juliane; Ganjam, Goutham K; Benzler, Jonas; Pracht, Corinna; Lowe, Chrishanthi; Schwartz, Michael W; Shepherd, Peter R; Anderson, Greg M; Grattan, David R; Tups, Alexander

    2010-12-01

    Obesity is associated with resistance to the actions of both leptin and insulin via mechanisms that remain incompletely understood. To investigate whether leptin resistance per se contributes to insulin resistance and impaired glucose homeostasis, we investigated the effect of acute leptin administration on glucose homeostasis in normal as well as leptin- or leptin receptor-deficient mice. In hyperglycemic, leptin-deficient Lep(ob/ob) mice, leptin acutely and potently improved glucose metabolism, before any change of body fat mass, via a mechanism involving the p110α and β isoforms of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). Unlike insulin, however, the anti-diabetic effect of leptin occurred independently of phospho-AKT, a major downstream target of PI3K, and instead involved enhanced sensitivity of the hypothalamus to insulin action upstream of PI3K, through modulation of IRS1 (insulin receptor substrate 1) phosphorylation. These data suggest that leptin resistance, as occurs in obesity, reduces the hypothalamic response to insulin and thereby impairs peripheral glucose homeostasis, contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes.

  9. Soluble guanylate cyclase stimulation prevents fibrotic tissue remodeling and improves survival in salt-sensitive Dahl rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Geschka

    Full Text Available A direct pharmacological stimulation of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC is an emerging therapeutic approach to the management of various cardiovascular disorders associated with endothelial dysfunction. Novel sGC stimulators, including riociguat (BAY 63-2521, have a dual mode of action: They sensitize sGC to endogenously produced nitric oxide (NO and also directly stimulate sGC independently of NO. Little is known about their effects on tissue remodeling and degeneration and survival in experimental malignant hypertension.Mortality, hemodynamics and biomarkers of tissue remodeling and degeneration were assessed in Dahl salt-sensitive rats maintained on a high salt diet and treated with riociguat (3 or 10 mg/kg/d for 14 weeks. Riociguat markedly attenuated systemic hypertension, improved systolic heart function and increased survival from 33% to 85%. Histological examination of the heart and kidneys revealed that riociguat significantly ameliorated fibrotic tissue remodeling and degeneration. Correspondingly, mRNA expression of the pro-fibrotic biomarkers osteopontin (OPN, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1 in the myocardium and the renal cortex was attenuated by riociguat. In addition, riociguat reduced plasma and urinary levels of OPN, TIMP-1, and PAI-1.Stimulation of sGC by riociguat markedly improves survival and attenuates systemic hypertension and systolic dysfunction, as well as fibrotic tissue remodeling in the myocardium and the renal cortex in a rodent model of pressure and volume overload. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of sGC stimulators in diseases associated with impaired cardiovascular and renal functions.

  10. Sensitivity improvement of Cerenkov luminescence endoscope with terbium doped Gd{sub 2}O{sub 2}S nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cao, Xin; Chen, Xueli, E-mail: xlchen@xidian.edu.cn, E-mail: jimleung@mail.xidian.edu.cn; Cao, Xu; Zhan, Yonghua; Liang, Jimin, E-mail: xlchen@xidian.edu.cn, E-mail: jimleung@mail.xidian.edu.cn [Engineering Research Center of Molecular and Neuro Imaging of the Ministry of Education and School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi' an, Shaanxi 710071 (China); Kang, Fei; Wang, Jing [Department of Nuclear Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an, Shaanxi 710032 (China); Wu, Kaichun [Department of Digestive Diseases, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an, Shaanxi 710032 (China)

    2015-05-25

    Our previous study showed a great attenuation for the Cerenkov luminescence endoscope (CLE), resulting in relatively low detection sensitivity of radiotracers. Here, a kind of radioluminescence nanoparticles (RLNPs), terbium doped Gd{sub 2}O{sub 2}S was mixed with the radionuclide {sup 68}Ga to enhance the intensity of emitted luminescence, which finally improved the detection sensitivity of the CLE by using the radioluminescence imaging technique. With the in vitro and in vivo pseudotumor experiments, we showed that the use of RLNPs mixed with the radionuclide {sup 68}Ga enabled superior sensitivity compared with the radionuclide {sup 68}Ga only, with 50-fold improvement on detection sensitivity, which guaranteed meeting the demands of the clinical diagnosis of gastrointestinal tract tumors.

  11. Enhanced leptin sensitivity and improved glucose homeostasis in mice lacking suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 in POMC-expressing cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kievit, Paul; Howard, Jane K; Badman, Michael K; Balthasar, Nina; Coppari, Roberto; Mori, Hiroyuki; Lee, Charlotte E; Elmquist, Joel K; Yoshimura, Akihiko; Flier, Jeffrey S

    2006-08-01

    Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (Socs-3) negatively regulates the action of various cytokines, as well as the metabolic hormones leptin and insulin. Mice with haploinsufficiency of Socs-3, or those with neuronal deletion of Socs-3, are lean and more leptin and insulin sensitive. To examine the role of Socs-3 within specific neurons critical to energy balance, we created mice with selective deletion of Socs-3 within pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing cells. These mice had enhanced leptin sensitivity, measured by weight loss and food intake after leptin infusion. On chow diet, glucose homeostasis was improved despite normal weight gain. On a high-fat diet, the rate of weight gain was reduced, due to increased energy expenditure rather than decreased food intake; glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity were substantially improved. These studies demonstrate that Socs-3 within POMC neurons regulates leptin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis, and plays a key role in linking high-fat diet to disordered metabolism.

  12. 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.

  13. Increasing biopsy number and sampling from gastric body improve the sensitivity of rapid urease test in patients with peptic ulcer bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tzong-Hsi; Lin, Chien-Chu; Chung, Chen-Shuan; Lin, Cheng-Kuan; Liang, Cheng-Chao; Tsai, Kuang-Chau

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that the sensitivity of rapid urease test (RUT) for diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection decreased during peptic ulcer bleeding. We designed this study and tried to find a better method to improve the detection rate of H. pylori infection at the same session of endoscopic diagnosis of peptic ulcer bleeding. We prospectively enrolled 116 patients with peptic ulcer bleeding. These patients received intravenous proton pump inhibitor and then received upper gastrointestinal endoscopy within 24 h after arrival. We took one piece of biopsy from gastric antrum (Group 1), four pieces from gastric antrum (Group 2), and one piece from the gastric body (Group 3) for three separate RUTs, respectively. (13)C-urease breath test was used as gold standard for diagnosis of H. pylori infection. There were 74 patients (64 %) with positive (13)C-urease breath test. Among these 74 patients, 45 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 61 %) in Group 1; 55 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 74 %) in Group 2; 54 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 73 %) in Group 3. There were significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2 (p = 0.02) and between Group 1 and Group 3 (p = 0.022). The sensitivity of RUT was 61 % during peptic ulcer bleeding. The sensitivity of RUT can be increased significantly by increased biopsy number from gastric antrum or biopsy from gastric body.

  14. 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

  15. Improving Medical Decision Making and Health Promotion through Culture-Sensitive Health Communication : an Agenda for Science and Practice

    OpenAIRE

    Betsch, Cornelia; Böhm, Robert; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O.; Butler, Robb; Chapman, Gretchen B.; Haase, Niels; Herrmann, Benedikt; Igarashi, Tasuku; Kitayama, Shinobu; Korn, Lars; Nurm, Ülla-Karin; Rohrmann, Bernd; Rothman, Alexander J.; Shavitt, Sharon; Updegraff, John A.

    2016-01-01

    This review introduces the concept of culture-sensitive health communication. The basic premise is that congruency between the recipient's cultural characteristics and the respective message will increase the communication's effectiveness. Culture-sensitive health communication is therefore defined as the deliberate and evidence-informed adaptation of health communication to the recipients' cultural background in order to increase knowledge and improve preparation for medical decision making ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved Intratumoral Oxygenation Through Vascular Normalization Increases Glioma Sensitivity to Ionizing Radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGee, Mackenzie C.; Hamner, J. Blair; Williams, Regan F.; Rosati, Shannon F.; Sims, Thomas L.; Ng, Catherine Y.; Gaber, M. Waleed; Calabrese, Christopher; Wu Jianrong; Nathwani, Amit C.; Duntsch, Christopher; Merchant, Thomas E.; Davidoff, Andrew M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Ionizing radiation, an important component of glioma therapy, is critically dependent on tumor oxygenation. However, gliomas are notable for areas of necrosis and hypoxia, which foster radioresistance. We hypothesized that pharmacologic manipulation of the typically dysfunctional tumor vasculature would improve intratumoral oxygenation and, thus, the antiglioma efficacy of ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: Orthotopic U87 xenografts were treated with either continuous interferon-β (IFN-β) or bevacizumab, alone, or combined with cranial irradiation (RT). Tumor growth was assessed by quantitative bioluminescence imaging; the tumor vasculature using immunohistochemical staining, and tumor oxygenation using hypoxyprobe staining. Results: Both IFN-β and bevaziumab profoundly affected the tumor vasculature, albeit with different cellular phenotypes. IFN-β caused a doubling in the percentage of area of perivascular cell staining, and bevacizumab caused a rapid decrease in the percentage of area of endothelial cell staining. However, both agents increased intratumoral oxygenation, although with bevacizumab, the effect was transient, being lost by 5 days. Administration of IFN-β or bevacizumab before RT was significantly more effective than any of the three modalities as monotherapy or when RT was administered concomitantly with IFN-β or bevacizumab or 5 days after bevacizumab. Conclusion: Bevacizumab and continuous delivery of IFN-β each induced significant changes in glioma vascular physiology, improving intratumoral oxygenation and enhancing the antitumor activity of ionizing radiation. Additional investigation into the use and timing of these and other agents that modify the vascular phenotype, combined with RT, is warranted to optimize cytotoxic activity.

  1. Tilted c-Axis Thin-Film Bulk Wave Resonant Pressure Sensors With Improved Sensitivity

    OpenAIRE

    Anderås, Emil; Katardjiev, Ilia; Yantchev, Ventsislav

    2012-01-01

    Aluminum nitride thin film bulk wave resonant pressure sensors employing c- and tilted c-axis texture, have been fabricated and tested for their pressure sensitivities. The c-axis tilted FBAR pressure sensors demonstrate substantially higher pressure sensitivity compared to its c-axis oriented counterpart. More specifically the thickness plate quasi-shear resonance has demonstrated the highest pressure sensitivity while further being able to preserve its performance in liquid environment.

  2. Co-sensitization of ZnO by CdS quantum dots in natural dye-sensitized solar cells with polymeric electrolytes to improve the cell stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Junhom, W.; Magaraphan, R. [Polymer Processing and Polymer Nanomaterials Research Unit, Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2015-05-22

    The CdS quantum dots (QDs) were deposited on ZnO layer by chemical bath deposition method to absorb light in the shorter wavelength region and used as photoanode in the dye sensitized solar cell (DSSCs) with natural dye extracted from Noni leaves. Microstructures of CdS-ZnO from various dipping time were characterized by XRD, FE-SEM and EDX. The results showed that the CdS is hexagonal structure and the amount of CdS increases when the dipping time increases. The maximal conversion efficiency of 0.292% was achieved by the DSSCs based on CdS QDs-sensitized ZnO film obtained from 9 min-dipping time. Furthermore, the stability of DSSCs was improved by using polymeric electrolyte. Poly (acrylic acid) (PAA) and Polyacrylamide (PAM) were introduced to CdS QDs-sensitized ZnO film from 9 min-dipping time. Each polymeric electrolyte was prepared by swelling from 0.1-2.0 %w in H2O. The maximal conversion efficiency of 0.207% was achieved for DSSCs based on CdS QDs-sensitized ZnO film with PAM 1.0% and the conversion efficiency was decreased 25% when it was left for1 hr.

  3. A mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant improves myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity during prolonged low frequency force depression at low PO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandra, Paulo G; Shiah, Amy A; Nogueira, Leonardo; Hogan, Michael C

    2018-03-15

    Skeletal muscle contractile activity is associated with an enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. At very low PO2, ROS generation by mitochondria can be elevated in intact cells. An elevated intracellular oxidant activity may affect muscle force development and recovery from fatigue. We treated intact single muscle fibres with a mitochondrial antioxidant and stimulated the fibres to contract at a low extracellular PO2 that is similar to the intracellular PO2 that is observed during moderate to intense exercise in vivo. The mitochondrial antioxidant prevented a sustained decrease in the myofibrillar Ca 2+ sensitivity and improved muscle submaximal force development after fatigue at low extracellular PO2. Skeletal muscle can develop a prolonged low frequency-stimulation force depression (PLFFD) following fatigue-inducing contractions. Increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in the development of PLFFD. During exercise the skeletal muscle intracellular PO2 decreases to relatively low levels, and can be further decreased when there is an impairment in O 2 diffusion or availability, such as in certain chronic diseases and during exercise at high altitude. Since ROS generation by mitochondria is elevated at very low PO2 in cells, we tested the hypothesis that treatment of muscle fibres with a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant at a very low, near hypoxic, PO2 can attenuate PLFFD. We treated intact single fibres from mice with the mitochondrial-specific antioxidant SS31, and measured force development and intracellular [Ca 2+ ] 30 min after fatigue at an extracellular PO2 of ∼5 Torr. After 30 min following the end of the fatiguing contractions, fibres treated with SS31 showed significantly less impairment in force development compared to untreated fibres at submaximal frequencies of stimulation. The cytosolic peak [Ca 2+ ] transients (peak [Ca 2+ ] c ) were equally decreased in both groups compared to pre-fatigue values. The

  4. Morning Versus Evening Bright Light Treatment at Home to Improve Function and Pain Sensitivity for Women with Fibromyalgia: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Helen J; Park, Margaret; Ong, Jason C; Shakoor, Najia; Williams, David A; Burns, John

    2017-01-01

    To test the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of a home-based morning versus evening bright light treatment on function and pain sensitivity in women with fibromyalgia. A single blind randomized study with two treatment arms: 6 days of a 1 hour morning light treatment or 6 days of a 1 hour evening light treatment. Function, pain sensitivity, and circadian timing were assessed before and after treatment. Participants slept at home, except for two nights in Sleep Center. Ten women meeting the American College of Rheumatology's diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, including normal blood test results. Self-reported function was assessed with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Pain sensitivity was assessed using a heat stimulus that gave measures of threshold and tolerance. Circadian timing was assessed with the dim light melatonin onset. Both morning and evening light treatments led to improvements in function and pain sensitivity. However, only the morning light treatment led to a clinically meaningful improvement in function (>14% reduction from baseline FIQ) and morning light significantly increased pain threshold more than evening light ( P  treatment appears to be a feasible and acceptable adjunctive treatment to women with fibromyalgia. Those who undergo morning light treatment may show improvements in function and pain sensitivity. Advances in circadian timing may be one mechanism by which morning light improves pain sensitivity. Findings can inform the design of a randomized controlled trial. © 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Sustained NFκB inhibition improves insulin sensitivity but is detrimental to muscle health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ning; Valentine, Joseph M; Zhou, You; Li, Mengyao E; Zhang, Yiqiang; Bhattacharya, Arunabh; Walsh, Michael E; Fischer, Katherine E; Austad, Steven N; Osmulski, Pawel; Gaczynska, Maria; Shoelson, Steven E; Van Remmen, Holly; Chen, Hung I; Chen, Yidong; Liang, Hanyu; Musi, Nicolas

    2017-08-01

    Older adults universally suffer from sarcopenia and approximately 60-70% are diabetic or prediabetic. Nonetheless, the mechanisms underlying these aging-related metabolic disorders are unknown. NFκB has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several aging-related pathologies including sarcopenia and type 2 diabetes and has been proposed as a target against them. NFκB also is thought to mediate muscle wasting seen with disuse, denervation, and some systemic diseases (e.g., cancer, sepsis). We tested the hypothesis that lifelong inhibition of the classical NFκB pathway would protect against aging-related sarcopenia and insulin resistance. Aged mice with muscle-specific overexpression of a super-repressor IκBα mutant (MISR) were protected from insulin resistance. However, MISR mice were not protected from sarcopenia; to the contrary, these mice had decreases in muscle mass and strength compared to wild-type mice. In MISR mice, NFκB suppression also led to an increase in proteasome activity and alterations in several genes and pathways involved in muscle growth and atrophy (e.g., myostatin). We conclude that the mechanism behind aging-induced sarcopenia is NFκB independent and differs from muscle wasting due to pathologic conditions. Our findings also indicate that, while suppressing NFκB improves insulin sensitivity in aged mice, this transcription factor is important for normal muscle mass maintenance and its sustained inhibition is detrimental to muscle function. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Improving color constancy by discounting the variation of camera spectral sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Shao-Bing; Zhang, Ming; Li, Chao-Yi; Li, Yong-Jie

    2017-08-01

    It is an ill-posed problem to recover the true scene colors from a color biased image by discounting the effects of scene illuminant and camera spectral sensitivity (CSS) at the same time. Most color constancy (CC) models have been designed to first estimate the illuminant color, which is then removed from the color biased image to obtain an image taken under white light, without the explicit consideration of CSS effect on CC. This paper first studies the CSS effect on illuminant estimation arising in the inter-dataset-based CC (inter-CC), i.e., training a CC model on one dataset and then testing on another dataset captured by a distinct CSS. We show the clear degradation of existing CC models for inter-CC application. Then a simple way is proposed to overcome such degradation by first learning quickly a transform matrix between the two distinct CSSs (CSS-1 and CSS-2). The learned matrix is then used to convert the data (including the illuminant ground truth and the color biased images) rendered under CSS-1 into CSS-2, and then train and apply the CC model on the color biased images under CSS-2, without the need of burdensome acquiring of training set under CSS-2. Extensive experiments on synthetic and real images show that our method can clearly improve the inter-CC performance for traditional CC algorithms. We suggest that by taking the CSS effect into account, it is more likely to obtain the truly color constant images invariant to the changes of both illuminant and camera sensors.

  9. Probiotics modulate gut microbiota and improve insulin sensitivity in DIO mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagarolli, Renata A; Tobar, Natália; Oliveira, Alexandre G; Araújo, Tiago G; Carvalho, Bruno M; Rocha, Guilherme Z; Vecina, Juliana F; Calisto, Kelly; Guadagnini, Dioze; Prada, Patrícia O; Santos, Andrey; Saad, Sara T O; Saad, Mario J A

    2017-12-01

    Obesity and type 2 diabetes are characterized by subclinical inflammatory process. Changes in composition or modulation of the gut microbiota may play an important role in the obesity-associated inflammatory process. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidumi) on gut microbiota, changes in permeability, and insulin sensitivity and signaling in high-fat diet and control animals. More importantly, we investigated the effects of these gut modulations on hypothalamic control of food intake, and insulin and leptin signaling. Swiss mice were submitted to a high-fat diet (HFD) with probiotics or pair-feeding for 5 weeks. Metagenome analyses were performed on DNA samples from mouse feces. Blood was drawn to determine levels of glucose, insulin, LPS, cytokines and GLP-1. Liver, muscle, ileum and hypothalamus tissue proteins were analyzed by Western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction. In addition, liver and adipose tissues were analyzed using histology and immunohistochemistry. The HFD induced huge alterations in gut microbiota accompanied by increased intestinal permeability, LPS translocation and systemic low-grade inflammation, resulting in decreased glucose tolerance and hyperphagic behavior. All these obesity-related features were reversed by changes in the gut microbiota profile induced by probiotics. Probiotics also induced an improvement in hypothalamic insulin and leptin resistance. Our data demonstrate that the intestinal microbiome is a key modulator of inflammatory and metabolic pathways in both peripheral and central tissues. These findings shed light on probiotics as an important tool to prevent and treat patients with obesity and insulin resistance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved sensitivity of nucleic acid amplification for rapid diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Isik Somuncu; Lundgren, Bettina; Tabak, Fehmi

    2004-01-01

    was adjusted from the recommended value of 3,400 to 1,000, the sensitivity of the modified procedure increased to 84.7%, with unchanged specificity. Results were obtained in 3 to 4 h. The new pretreatment procedure with the ProbeTec assay described here provides a rapid, simple, and sensitive tool...

  11. An improvement of LLNA:DA to assess the skin sensitization potential of chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongwei; Shi, Ying; Wang, Chao; Zhao, Kangfeng; Zhang, Shaoping; Wei, Lan; Dong, Li; Gu, Wen; Xu, Yongjun; Ruan, Hongjie; Zhi, Hong; Yang, Xiaoyan

    2017-01-01

    We developed a modified local lymph node assay based on ATP (LLNA:DA), termed the Two-Stage LLNA:DA, to further reduce the animal numbers in the identification of sensitizers. In the Two-Stage LLNA:DA procedure, 13 chemicals ranging from non-sensitizers to extreme sensitizers were selected. The first stage used reduced LLNA:DA (rLLNA:DA) to screen out sensitive chemicals. The second stage used LLNA:DA based on OECD 442 (A) to classify those potential sensitizers screened out in the first stage. In the first stage, the SIs of the methyl methacrylate, salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, ethyl salicylate, isopropanol and propanediol were below 1.8 and need not to be tested in the second step. Others continued to be tested by LLNA:DA. In the second stage, sodium lauryl sulphate and xylene were classified as weak sensitizers. a-hexyl cinnamic aldehyde and eugenol were moderate sensitizers. Benzalkonium chloride and glyoxal were strong sensitizers, and phthalic anhydride was an extreme sensitizer. The 9/9, 11/12, 10/11, and 8/13 (positive or negative only) categories of the Two-Stage LLNA:DA were consistent with those from the other methods (LLNA, LLNA:DA, GPMT/BT and HMT/HPTA), suggesting that Two-Stage LLNA:DA have a high coincidence rate with reported data. In conclusion, The Two-Stage LLNA:DA is in line with the "3R" rules, and can be a modification of LLNA:DA but needs more study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Use of amplicon sequencing to improve sensitivity in PCR-based detection of microbial pathogen in environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saingam, Prakit; Li, Bo; Yan, Tao

    2018-06-01

    DNA-based molecular detection of microbial pathogens in complex environments is still plagued by sensitivity, specificity and robustness issues. We propose to address these issues by viewing them as inadvertent consequences of requiring specific and adequate amplification (SAA) of target DNA molecules by current PCR methods. Using the invA gene of Salmonella as the model system, we investigated if next generation sequencing (NGS) can be used to directly detect target sequences in false-negative PCR reaction (PCR-NGS) in order to remove the SAA requirement from PCR. False-negative PCR and qPCR reactions were first created using serial dilutions of laboratory-prepared Salmonella genomic DNA and then analyzed directly by NGS. Target invA sequences were detected in all false-negative PCR and qPCR reactions, which lowered the method detection limits near the theoretical minimum of single gene copy detection. The capability of the PCR-NGS approach in correcting false negativity was further tested and confirmed under more environmentally relevant conditions using Salmonella-spiked stream water and sediment samples. Finally, the PCR-NGS approach was applied to ten urban stream water samples and detected invA sequences in eight samples that would be otherwise deemed Salmonella negative. Analysis of the non-target sequences in the false-negative reactions helped to identify primer dime-like short sequences as the main cause of the false negativity. Together, the results demonstrated that the PCR-NGS approach can significantly improve method sensitivity, correct false-negative detections, and enable sequence-based analysis for failure diagnostics in complex environmental samples. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Global proteomics profiling improves drug sensitivity prediction: results from a multi-omics, pan-cancer modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Mehreen; Khan, Suleiman A; Wennerberg, Krister; Aittokallio, Tero

    2018-04-15

    Proteomics profiling is increasingly being used for molecular stratification of cancer patients and cell-line panels. However, systematic assessment of the predictive power of large-scale proteomic technologies across various drug classes and cancer types is currently lacking. To that end, we carried out the first pan-cancer, multi-omics comparative analysis of the relative performance of two proteomic technologies, targeted reverse phase protein array (RPPA) and global mass spectrometry (MS), in terms of their accuracy for predicting the sensitivity of cancer cells to both cytotoxic chemotherapeutics and molecularly targeted anticancer compounds. Our results in two cell-line panels demonstrate how MS profiling improves drug response predictions beyond that of the RPPA or the other omics profiles when used alone. However, frequent missing MS data values complicate its use in predictive modeling and required additional filtering, such as focusing on completely measured or known oncoproteins, to obtain maximal predictive performance. Rather strikingly, the two proteomics profiles provided complementary predictive signal both for the cytotoxic and targeted compounds. Further, information about the cellular-abundance of primary target proteins was found critical for predicting the response of targeted compounds, although the non-target features also contributed significantly to the predictive power. The clinical relevance of the selected protein markers was confirmed in cancer patient data. These results provide novel insights into the relative performance and optimal use of the widely applied proteomic technologies, MS and RPPA, which should prove useful in translational applications, such as defining the best combination of omics technologies and marker panels for understanding and predicting drug sensitivities in cancer patients. Processed datasets, R as well as Matlab implementations of the methods are available at https://github.com/mehr-een/bemkl-rbps. mehreen

  16. Using uncertainty and sensitivity analyses in socioecological agent-based models to improve their analytical performance and policy relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligmann-Zielinska, Arika; Kramer, Daniel B; Spence Cheruvelil, Kendra; Soranno, Patricia A

    2014-01-01

    Agent-based models (ABMs) have been widely used to study socioecological systems. They are useful for studying such systems because of their ability to incorporate micro-level behaviors among interacting agents, and to understand emergent phenomena due to these interactions. However, ABMs are inherently stochastic and require proper handling of uncertainty. We propose a simulation framework based on quantitative uncertainty and sensitivity analyses to build parsimonious ABMs that serve two purposes: exploration of the outcome space to simulate low-probability but high-consequence events that may have significant policy implications, and explanation of model behavior to describe the system with higher accuracy. The proposed framework is applied to the problem of modeling farmland conservation resulting in land use change. We employ output variance decomposition based on quasi-random sampling of the input space and perform three computational experiments. First, we perform uncertainty analysis to improve model legitimacy, where the distribution of results informs us about the expected value that can be validated against independent data, and provides information on the variance around this mean as well as the extreme results. In our last two computational experiments, we employ sensitivity analysis to produce two simpler versions of the ABM. First, input space is reduced only to inputs that produced the variance of the initial ABM, resulting in a model with output distribution similar to the initial model. Second, we refine the value of the most influential input, producing a model that maintains the mean of the output of initial ABM but with less spread. These simplifications can be used to 1) efficiently explore model outcomes, including outliers that may be important considerations in the design of robust policies, and 2) conduct explanatory analysis that exposes the smallest number of inputs influencing the steady state of the modeled system.

  17. Using uncertainty and sensitivity analyses in socioecological agent-based models to improve their analytical performance and policy relevance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arika Ligmann-Zielinska

    Full Text Available Agent-based models (ABMs have been widely used to study socioecological systems. They are useful for studying such systems because of their ability to incorporate micro-level behaviors among interacting agents, and to understand emergent phenomena due to these interactions. However, ABMs are inherently stochastic and require proper handling of uncertainty. We propose a simulation framework based on quantitative uncertainty and sensitivity analyses to build parsimonious ABMs that serve two purposes: exploration of the outcome space to simulate low-probability but high-consequence events that may have significant policy implications, and explanation of model behavior to describe the system with higher accuracy. The proposed framework is applied to the problem of modeling farmland conservation resulting in land use change. We employ output variance decomposition based on quasi-random sampling of the input space and perform three computational experiments. First, we perform uncertainty analysis to improve model legitimacy, where the distribution of results informs us about the expected value that can be validated against independent data, and provides information on the variance around this mean as well as the extreme results. In our last two computational experiments, we employ sensitivity analysis to produce two simpler versions of the ABM. First, input space is reduced only to inputs that produced the variance of the initial ABM, resulting in a model with output distribution similar to the initial model. Second, we refine the value of the most influential input, producing a model that maintains the mean of the output of initial ABM but with less spread. These simplifications can be used to 1 efficiently explore model outcomes, including outliers that may be important considerations in the design of robust policies, and 2 conduct explanatory analysis that exposes the smallest number of inputs influencing the steady state of the modeled system.

  18. A Novel Piezoresistive Accelerometer with SPBs to Improve the Tradeoff between the Sensitivity and the Resonant Frequency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Xu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available For improving the tradeoff between the sensitivity and the resonant frequency of piezoresistive accelerometers, the dependency between the stress of the piezoresistor and the displacement of the structure is taken into consideration in this paper. In order to weaken the dependency, a novel structure with suspended piezoresistive beams (SPBs is designed, and a theoretical model is established for calculating the location of SPBs, the stress of SPBs and the resonant frequency of the whole structure. Finite element method (FEM simulations, comparative simulations and experiments are carried out to verify the good agreement with the theoretical model. It is demonstrated that increasing the sensitivity greatly without sacrificing the resonant frequency is possible in the piezoresistive accelerometer design. Therefore, the proposed structure with SPBs is potentially a novel option for improving the tradeoff between the sensitivity and the resonant frequency of piezoresistive accelerometers.

  19. A Novel Piezoresistive Accelerometer with SPBs to Improve the Tradeoff between the Sensitivity and the Resonant Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yu; Zhao, Libo; Jiang, Zhuangde; Ding, Jianjun; Peng, Niancai; Zhao, Yulong

    2016-02-06

    For improving the tradeoff between the sensitivity and the resonant frequency of piezoresistive accelerometers, the dependency between the stress of the piezoresistor and the displacement of the structure is taken into consideration in this paper. In order to weaken the dependency, a novel structure with suspended piezoresistive beams (SPBs) is designed, and a theoretical model is established for calculating the location of SPBs, the stress of SPBs and the resonant frequency of the whole structure. Finite element method (FEM) simulations, comparative simulations and experiments are carried out to verify the good agreement with the theoretical model. It is demonstrated that increasing the sensitivity greatly without sacrificing the resonant frequency is possible in the piezoresistive accelerometer design. Therefore, the proposed structure with SPBs is potentially a novel option for improving the tradeoff between the sensitivity and the resonant frequency of piezoresistive accelerometers.

  20. Improved Immunoassay Sensitivity in Serum as a Result of Polymer-Entrapped Quantum Dots: 'Papaya Particles'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ranzoni, A.; den Hamer, A.; Karoli, T.; Buechler, J.; Cooper, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescent labels are widely employed in biomarker quantification and diagnostics, however they possess narrow Stokes shifts and can photobleach, limiting multiplexed detection applications and compromising sensitivity. In contrast, quantum dots do not photobleach and have much wider Stokes shifts,

  1. Hall effect biosensors with ultraclean graphene film for improved sensitivity of label-free DNA detection

    KAUST Repository

    Loan, Phan Thi Kim; Wu, Dongqin; Ye, Chen; Li, Xiaoqing; Tra, Vu Thanh; Wei, Qiuping; Fu, Li; Yu, Aimin; Li, Lain-Jong; Lin, Cheng-Te

    2017-01-01

    The quality of graphene strongly affects the performance of graphene-based biosensors which are highly demanded for the sensitive and selective detection of biomolecules, such as DNA. This work reported a novel transfer process for preparing a

  2. Differential Privacy for Relational Algebra: Improving the Sensitivity Bounds via Constraint Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catuscia Palamidessi

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Differential privacy is a modern approach in privacy-preserving data analysis to control the amount of information that can be inferred about an individual by querying a database. The most common techniques are based on the introduction of probabilistic noise, often defined as a Laplacian parametric on the sensitivity of the query. In order to maximize the utility of the query, it is crucial to estimate the sensitivity as precisely as possible. In this paper we consider relational algebra, the classical language for queries in relational databases, and we propose a method for computing a bound on the sensitivity of queries in an intuitive and compositional way. We use constraint-based techniques to accumulate the information on the possible values for attributes provided by the various components of the query, thus making it possible to compute tight bounds on the sensitivity.

  3. Long-term treatment with losartan versus atenolol improves insulin sensitivity in hypertension: ICARUS, a LIFE substudy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Michael H; Fossum, Eigil; Høieggen, Aud

    2005-01-01

    Hypertension and insulin resistance might be associated through peripheral vascular hypertrophy/rarefaction which compromises skeletal muscle blood flow and decreases glucose uptake, inducing insulin resistance. We hypothesized that treatment with losartan as compared to atenolol would improve...... insulin sensitivity through regression of peripheral vascular hypertrophy/rarefaction....

  4. Improvement of Insulin Sensitivity after Lean Donor Feces in Metabolic Syndrome Is Driven by Baseline Intestinal Microbiota Composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kootte, Ruud S.; Levin, Evgeni; Salojärvi, Jarkko

    2017-01-01

    be predicted based on baseline fecal microbiota composition. Kootte et al. show that fecal microbiota transplantation from lean donors to obese patients with metabolic syndrome improves insulin sensitivity, a transient effect associated with changes in microbiota composition and fasting plasma metabolites...

  5. A low-fat diet improves peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with Type 1 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenfalck, A M; Almdal, T; Viggers, L

    2006-01-01

    To compare the effects on insulin sensitivity, body composition and glycaemic control of the recommended standard weight-maintaining diabetes diet and an isocaloric low-fat diabetes diet during two, 3-month periods in patients with Type 1 diabetes.......To compare the effects on insulin sensitivity, body composition and glycaemic control of the recommended standard weight-maintaining diabetes diet and an isocaloric low-fat diabetes diet during two, 3-month periods in patients with Type 1 diabetes....

  6. Optimization of suspension system and sensitivity analysis for improvement of stability in a midsize heavy vehicle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emre Sert

    2017-06-01

    In summary, within the scope of this work, unlike the previous studies, experiments involving physical tests (i.e. tilt table, fishhook and cornering and numerical calculations are included. In addition, verification of the virtual model, parametric sensitivity analysis and the comparison of the virtual test and the physical test is performed. Because of the vigorous verification, sensitivity analysis and validation process, the results can be more reliable compared to previous studies.

  7. Improved sensitivity for W-band Gd(III)-Gd(III) and nitroxide-nitroxide DEER measurements with shaped pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrenberg, Thorsten; Rosenski, Yael; Carmieli, Raanan; Zibzener, Koby; Qi, Mian; Frydman, Veronica; Godt, Adelheid; Goldfarb, Daniella; Feintuch, Akiva

    2017-10-01

    Chirp and shaped pulses have been recently shown to be highly advantageous for improving sensitivity in DEER (double electron-electron resonance, also called PELDOR) measurements due to their large excitation bandwidth. The implementation of such pulses for pulse EPR has become feasible due to the availability of arbitrary waveform generators (AWG) with high sampling rates to support pulse shaping for pulses with tens of nanoseconds duration. Here we present a setup for obtaining chirp pulses on our home-built W-band (95 GHz) spectrometer and demonstrate its performance on Gd(III)-Gd(III) and nitroxide-nitroxide DEER measurements. We carried out an extensive optimization procedure on two model systems, Gd(III)-PyMTA-spacer-Gd(III)-PyMTA (Gd-PyMTA ruler; zero-field splitting parameter (ZFS) D ∼ 1150 MHz) as well as nitroxide-spacer-nitroxide (nitroxide ruler) to evaluate the applicability of shaped pulses to Gd(III) complexes and nitroxides, which are two important classes of spin labels used in modern DEER/EPR experiments. We applied our findings to ubiquitin, doubly labeled with Gd-DOTA-monoamide (D ∼ 550 MHz) as a model for a system with a small ZFS. Our experiments were focused on the questions (i) what are the best conditions for positioning of the detection frequency, (ii) which pump pulse parameters (bandwidth, positioning in the spectrum, length) yield the best signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvements when compared to classical DEER, and (iii) how do the sample's spectral parameters influence the experiment. For the nitroxide ruler, we report an improvement of up to 1.9 in total SNR, while for the Gd-PyMTA ruler the improvement was 3.1-3.4 and for Gd-DOTA-monoamide labeled ubiquitin it was a factor of 1.8. Whereas for the Gd-PyMTA ruler the two setups pump on maximum and observe on maximum gave about the same improvement, for Gd-DOTA-monoamide a significant difference was found. In general the choice of the best set of parameters depends on the D

  8. Cinnamon extract improves insulin sensitivity in the brain and lowers liver fat in mouse models of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartorius, Tina; Peter, Andreas; Schulz, Nadja; Drescher, Andrea; Bergheim, Ina; Machann, Jürgen; Schick, Fritz; Siegel-Axel, Dorothea; Schürmann, Annette; Weigert, Cora; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Hennige, Anita M

    2014-01-01

    Treatment of diabetic subjects with cinnamon demonstrated an improvement in blood glucose concentrations and insulin sensitivity but the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. This work intends to elucidate the impact of cinnamon effects on the brain by using isolated astrocytes, and an obese and diabetic mouse model. Cinnamon components (eugenol, cinnamaldehyde) were added to astrocytes and liver cells to measure insulin signaling and glycogen synthesis. Ob/ob mice were supplemented with extract from cinnamomum zeylanicum for 6 weeks and cortical brain activity, locomotion and energy expenditure were evaluated. Insulin action was determined in brain and liver tissues. Treatment of primary astrocytes with eugenol promoted glycogen synthesis, whereas the effect of cinnamaldehyde was attenuated. In terms of brain function in vivo, cinnamon extract improved insulin sensitivity and brain activity in ob/ob mice, and the insulin-stimulated locomotor activity was improved. In addition, fasting blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance were greatly improved in ob/ob mice due to cinnamon extracts, while insulin secretion was unaltered. This corresponded with lower triglyceride and increased liver glycogen content and improved insulin action in liver tissues. In vitro, Fao cells exposed to cinnamon exhibited no change in insulin action. Together, cinnamon extract improved insulin action in the brain as well as brain activity and locomotion. This specific effect may represent an important central feature of cinnamon in improving insulin action in the brain, and mediates metabolic alterations in the periphery to decrease liver fat and improve glucose homeostasis.

  9. Short-term weight loss attenuates local tissue inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity without affecting adipose inflammation in obese mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Dae Young; Ko, Hwi Jin; Lichtman, Eben I; Lee, Eunjung; Lawton, Elizabeth; Ong, Helena; Yu, Kristine; Azuma, Yoshihiro; Friedline, Randall H; Lee, Ki Won; Kim, Jason K

    2013-05-01

    Obesity is a major cause of insulin resistance, and weight loss is shown to improve glucose homeostasis. But the underlying mechanism and the role of inflammation remain unclear. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 wk. After HFD, weight loss was induced by changing to a low-fat diet (LFD) or exercise with continuous HFD. The weight loss effects on energy balance and insulin sensitivity were determined using metabolic cages and hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps in awake mice. Diet and exercise intervention for 3 wk caused a modest weight loss and improved glucose homeostasis. Weight loss dramatically reduced local inflammation in skeletal muscle, liver, and heart but not in adipose tissue. Exercise-mediated weight loss increased muscle glucose metabolism without affecting Akt phosphorylation or lipid levels. LFD-mediated weight loss reduced lipid levels and improved insulin sensitivity selectively in liver. Both weight loss interventions improved cardiac glucose metabolism. These results demonstrate that a short-term weight loss with exercise or diet intervention attenuates obesity-induced local inflammation and selectively improves insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle and liver. Our findings suggest that local factors, not adipose tissue inflammation, are involved in the beneficial effects of weight loss on glucose homeostasis.

  10. The TiO2 Hierarchical Structure with Nanosheet Spheres for Improved Photoelectric Performance in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xin; Guan, Yingli; Song, Lixin; Xie, Xueyao; Du, Pingfan; Xiong, Jie

    2018-04-01

    A bi-layer photoanode is successfully fabricated for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) composed of P25/TiO2 nanorod (P25/TNR) as the underlayer and TiO2 nanosheet spheres (TNSs) as the light-scattering layer. Notably, the P25-TNR provides multiple functions, including more dye loading, more efficient charge transport and a lower electron recombination rate for the photoanode. Besides, the unique structure of TNS can significantly improve the light-harvesting capacity, boosting the light-harvesting efficiency. Therefore, an enhanced short-circuit current and power conversion efficiency of 18.04 mA cm-2 and 5.99%, respectively, were achieved for the P25/TNR-TNS-based DSSC, which was better than that of the P25-TNS-based (15.17 mA cm-2, 5.36%) and bare TNS-based (11.43 mA cm-2, 4.14%) DSSCs. This indicates that this bi-layer structure effectively combines the advantages of the one-dimensional (1D) nanostructure and three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical structure. In short, this work demonstrates the possibility of fabricating desirable photoanodes for high-performance DSSCs by rational design of nanostructures and effective combination of multi-functional components.

  11. Improved analytical sensitivity for uranium and plutonium in environmental samples: Cavity ion source thermal ionization mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ingeneri, Kristofer; Riciputi, L.

    2001-01-01

    Following successful field trials, environmental sampling has played a central role as a routine part of safeguards inspections since early 1996 to verify declared and to detect undeclared activity. The environmental sampling program has brought a new series of analytical challenges, and driven a need for advances in verification technology. Environmental swipe samples are often extremely low in concentration of analyte (ng level or lower), yet the need to analyze these samples accurately and precisely is vital, particularly for the detection of undeclared nuclear activities. Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) is the standard method of determining isotope ratios of uranium and plutonium in the environmental sampling program. TIMS analysis typically employs 1-3 filaments to vaporize and ionize the sample, and the ions are mass separated and analyzed using magnetic sector instruments due to their high mass resolution and high ion transmission. However, the ionization efficiency (the ratio of material present to material actually detected) of uranium using a standard TIMS instrument is low (0.2%), even under the best conditions. Increasing ionization efficiency by even a small amount would have a dramatic impact for safeguards applications, allowing both improvements in analytical precision and a significant decrease in the amount of uranium and plutonium required for analysis, increasing the sensitivity of environmental sampling

  12. Improvements in absolute seismometer sensitivity calibration using local earth gravity measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Robert E.; Ringler, Adam; Wilson, David

    2018-01-01

    The ability to determine both absolute and relative seismic amplitudes is fundamentally limited by the accuracy and precision with which scientists are able to calibrate seismometer sensitivities and characterize their response. Currently, across the Global Seismic Network (GSN), errors in midband sensitivity exceed 3% at the 95% confidence interval and are the least‐constrained response parameter in seismic recording systems. We explore a new methodology utilizing precise absolute Earth gravity measurements to determine the midband sensitivity of seismic instruments. We first determine the absolute sensitivity of Kinemetrics EpiSensor accelerometers to 0.06% at the 99% confidence interval by inverting them in a known gravity field at the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory (ASL). After the accelerometer is calibrated, we install it in its normal configuration next to broadband seismometers and subject the sensors to identical ground motions to perform relative calibrations of the broadband sensors. Using this technique, we are able to determine the absolute midband sensitivity of the vertical components of Nanometrics Trillium Compact seismometers to within 0.11% and Streckeisen STS‐2 seismometers to within 0.14% at the 99% confidence interval. The technique enables absolute calibrations from first principles that are traceable to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) measurements while providing nearly an order of magnitude more precision than step‐table calibrations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Improving CT detection sensitivity for nodal metastases in oesophageal cancer with combination of smaller size and lymph node axial ratio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jianfang [Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Beijing (China); Capital Medical University Electric Power Teaching Hospital, Beijing (China); Wang, Zhu; Qu, Dong; Yao, Libo [Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Beijing (China); Shao, Huafei [Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University Medical College, Yantai (China); Liu, Jian [Meitan General Hospital, Beijing (China)

    2018-01-15

    To investigate the value of CT with inclusion of smaller lymph node (LN) sizes and axial ratio to improve the sensitivity in diagnosis of regional lymph node metastases in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The contrast-enhanced multidetector row spiral CT (MDCT) multiplanar reconstruction images of 204 patients with OSCC were retrospectively analysed. The long-axis and short-axis diameters of the regional LNs were measured and axial ratios were calculated (short-axis/long-axis diameters). Nodes were considered round if the axial ratio exceeded the optimal LN axial ratio, which was determined by receiver operating characteristic analysis. A positive predictive value (PPV) exceeding 50% is needed. This was achieved only with LNs larger than 9 mm in short-axis diameter, but nodes of this size were rare (sensitivity 37.3%, specificity 96.4%, accuracy 85.8%). If those round nodes (axial ratio exceeding 0.66) between 7 mm and 9 mm in size were considered metastases as well, it might improve the sensitivity to 67.2% with a PPV of 63.9% (specificity 91.6%, accuracy 87.2%). Combination of a smaller size and axial ratio for LNs in MDCT as criteria improves the detection sensitivity for LN metastases in OSCC. (orig.)

  16. Improved foot sensitivity and pain reduction in patients with peripheral neuropathy after treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy--MIRE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkless, Lawrence B; DeLellis, Salvatore; Carnegie, Dale H; Burke, Thomas J

    2006-01-01

    The medical records of 2239 patients (mean age=73 years) with established peripheral neuropathy (PN) were examined to determine whether treatment with MIRE was, in fact, associated with increased foot sensitivity to the Semmes Weinstein monofilament (SWM) 5.07 and a reduction in neuropathic pain. The PN in 1395 of these patients (62%) was due to diabetes. Prior to treatment with MIRE, of the 10 tested sites (5 on each foot), 7.1+/-2.9 were insensitive to the SWM 5.07, and 2078 patients (93%) exhibited loss of protective sensation defined by Medicare as a loss of sensation at two or more sites on either foot. After treatment, the number of insensate sites on both feet decreased to 2.4+/-2.6, an improvement of 66%. Of the 2078 (93%) patients initially presenting with loss of protective sensation, 1106 (53%) no longer had loss of protective sensation after treatment (P<.0001); 1563 patients (70%) also exhibited neuropathic pain in addition to sensory impairment. Prior to treatment with MIRE, pain measured on the 11-point visual analogue scale (VAS) was 7.2+/-2.2 points, despite the use of a variety of pain-relieving therapeutic agents. After treatment with MIRE, pain was reduced by 4.8+/-2.4 points, a 67% reduction. Therefore, MIRE appears to be associated with significant clinical improvement in foot sensation and, simultaneously, a reduction in neuropathic pain in a large cohort of primarily Medicare aged, community-dwelling patients, initially diagnosed with PN. The quality of life associated with these two outcomes cannot be underappreciated.

  17. Consequences of implementing a cardiac troponin assay with improved sensitivity at Swedish coronary care units: an analysis from the SWEDEHEART registry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggers, Kai M; Lindahl, Bertil; Melki, Dina; Jernberg, Tomas

    2016-08-07

    Cardiac troponin (cTn) assays with improved sensitivity are increasingly utilized for the assessment of patients admitted because of suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, data on the clinical consequences of the implementation of such assays are limited. In a retrospective register-based study (37 710 coronary care unit admissions; SWEDEHEART registry), we compared the case mix, the use of diagnostic procedures, treatments, and 1-year all-cause mortality 1 year before the implementation of a cTn assay with improved sensitivity (study period 1) and 1 year thereafter (study period 2). During study period 2, more at-risk patients were admitted and more patients had cTn levels above the myocardial infarction cut-off (ACS patients +13.1%; non-ACS patients +160.1%). cTn levels above this cut-off exhibited stronger associations with mortality risk in study period 2 (adjusted HR 4.45 [95% confidence interval, CI, 3.36-5.89]) compared with period 1 (adjusted HR 2.43 [95% CI 2.11-2.80]), similar as for the cTn ratio relative to the respective 99th percentile. While there was no multivariable-adjusted increase in the use of diagnostic procedures, significant trends towards more differentiated treatment depending on the cause of cTn elevation, i.e. ACS or non-ACS, were noted. The implementation of a cTn assay with improved sensitivity was associated with an increase in the number of patients who due to their cTn-status were identified as suitable for beneficial therapies. There was no inappropriate increase in hospital resource utilization. As such, cTn assays with improved sensitivity provide an opportunity to improve the clinical management of patients with suspected ACS. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2016. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. A procedure for the improvement in the determination of a TXRF spectrometer sensitivity curve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennun, Leonardo; Sanhueza, Vilma

    2010-01-01

    A simple procedure is proposed to determine the total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometer sensitivity curve; this procedure provides better accuracy and exactitude than the standard established method. It uses individual pure substances instead of the use of vendor-certified values of reference calibration standards, which are expensive and lack any method to check their quality. This method avoids problems like uncertainties in the determination of the sensitivity curve according to different standards. It also avoids the need for validation studies between different techniques, in order to assure the quality of their TXRF results. (author)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Using trajectory sensitivity analysis to find suitable locations of series compensators for improving rotor angle stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nasri, Amin; Eriksson, Robert; Ghandhar, Mehrdad

    2014-01-01

    This paper proposes an approach based on trajectory sensitivity analysis (TSA) to find most suitable placement of series compensators in the power system. The main objective is to maximize the benefit of these devices in order to enhance the rotor angle stability. This approach is formulated...

  2. Re-scan confocal microscopy (RCM) improves the resolution of confocal microscopy and increases the sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Luca, Giulia; Breedijk, Ronald; Hoebe, Ron; Stallinga, Sjoerd; Manders, Erik

    2017-01-01

    Re-scan confocal microscopy (RCM) is a new super-resolution technique based on a standard confocal microscope extended with a re-scan unit in the detection path that projects the emitted light onto a sensitive camera. In this paper the fundamental properties of RCM, lateral resolution, axial

  3. Re-scan confocal microscopy (RCM) improves the resolution of confocal microscopy and increases the sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Luca, G.; Breedijk, R.; Hoebe, R.; Stallinga, S.; Manders, E.

    Re-scan confocal microscopy (RCM) is a new super-resolution technique based on a standard confocal microscope extended with a re-scan unit in the detection path that projects the emitted light onto a sensitive camera. In this paper the fundamental properties of RCM, lateral resolution, axial

  4. Improved sensitivity testing of explosives using transformed Up-Down methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Geoffrey W

    2014-01-01

    Sensitivity tests provide data that help establish guidelines for the safe handling of explosives. Any sensitivity test is based on assumptions to simplify the method or reduce the number of individual sample evaluations. Two common assumptions that are not typically checked after testing are 1) explosive response follows a normal distribution as a function of the applied stimulus levels and 2) the chosen test level spacing is close to the standard deviation of the explosive response function (for Bruceton Up-Down testing for example). These assumptions and other limitations of traditional explosive sensitivity testing can be addressed using Transformed Up-Down (TUD) test methods. TUD methods have been developed extensively for psychometric testing over the past 50 years and generally use multiple tests at a given level to determine how to adjust the applied stimulus. In the context of explosive sensitivity we can use TUD methods that concentrate testing around useful probability levels. Here, these methods are explained and compared to Bruceton Up-Down testing using computer simulation. The results show that the TUD methods are more useful for many cases but that they do require more tests as a consequence. For non-normal distributions, however, the TUD methods may be the only accurate assessment method.

  5. Monitoring and improving the sensitivity of dengue nested RT-PCR used in longitudinal surveillance in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klungthong, Chonticha; Manasatienkij, Wudtichai; Phonpakobsin, Thipwipha; Chinnawirotpisan, Piyawan; Rodpradit, Prinyada; Hussem, Kittinun; Thaisomboonsuk, Butsaya; Ong-ajchaowlerd, Prapapun; Nisalak, Ananda; Kalayanarooj, Siripen; Buddhari, Darunee; Gibbons, Robert V; Jarman, Richard G; Yoon, In-Kyu; Fernandez, Stefan

    2015-02-01

    AFRIMS longitudinal dengue surveillance in Thailand depends on the nested RT-PCR and the dengue IgM/IgG ELISA. To examine and improve the sensitivity of the nested RT-PCR using a panel of archived samples collected during dengue surveillance. A retrospective analysis of 16,454 dengue IgM/IgG ELISA positive cases collected between 2000 and 2013 was done to investigate the sensitivity of the nested RT-PCR. From these cases, 318 acute serum specimens or extracted RNA, previously found to be negative by the nested RT-PCR, were tested using TaqMan real-time RT-PCR (TaqMan rRT-PCR). To improve the sensitivity of nested RT-PCR, we designed a new primer based on nucleotide sequences from contemporary strains found to be positive by the TaqMan rRT-PCR. Sensitivity of the new nested PCR was calculated using a panel of 87 samples collected during 2011-2013. The percentage of dengue IgM/IgG ELISA positive cases that were negative by the nested RT-PCR varied from 17% to 42% for all serotypes depending on the year. Using TaqMan rRT-PCR, dengue RNA was detected in 194 (61%) of the 318 acute sera or extracted RNA previously found to be negative by the nested RT-PCR. The newly designed DENV-1 specific primer increased the sensitivity of DENV-1 detection by the nested RT-PCR from 48% to 88%, and of all 4 serotypes from 73% to 87%. These findings demonstrate the impact of genetic diversity and signal erosion on the sensitivity of PCR-based methods. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Natto and viscous vegetables in a Japanese-style breakfast improved insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in overweight subjects with impaired glucose tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi-Fukatsu, Akiko; Yamanaka-Okumura, Hisami; Naniwa-Kuroki, Yuko; Nishida, Yuka; Yamamoto, Hironori; Taketani, Yutaka; Takeda, Eiji

    2012-04-01

    We previously suggested that the consumption of natto and viscous vegetables as part of a Japanese-style meal based on white rice (WR) reduced postprandial glucose and insulin levels in healthy subjects. The aim of the present study was to assess whether a single breakfast of natto and viscous vegetables or the same breakfast consumed for 2 weeks could improve glucose control, insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in overweight subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). A total of eleven free-living subjects with IGT followed a randomised, crossover breakfast intervention for 2 weeks. The test meal included boiled WR with natto (viscous fermented soyabeans), Japanese yam and okra. The control meal included WR with non-viscous boiled soyabeans, potatoes and broccoli. Both meals contained comparable amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein and fibre. The test meal reduced acute glucose and insulin responses compared to the control meal in the study participants. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using the composite insulin sensitivity index (CISI) after both the test and control meal periods. The test meal resulted in improvements in CISI compared to the baseline, whereas no significant changes were observed after the control meal period. Serum levels of both total and LDL-cholesterol were assessed before and after the test meal period and found to decrease significantly. There was also a tendency towards reduced serum malondialdehyde-modified LDL and N(ɛ)-carboxymethyllysine. No differences were observed in the measures of chronic glycaemic control. Thus, we conclude that a breakfast of natto and viscous vegetables consumed for 2 weeks improves insulin sensitivity, serum lipid and oxidative stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-16

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

  8. A community effort to assess and improve drug sensitivity prediction algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costello, James C; Heiser, Laura M; Georgii, Elisabeth; Gönen, Mehmet; Menden, Michael P; Wang, Nicholas J; Bansal, Mukesh; Ammad-ud-din, Muhammad; Hintsanen, Petteri; Khan, Suleiman A; Mpindi, John-Patrick; Kallioniemi, Olli; Honkela, Antti; Aittokallio, Tero; Wennerberg, Krister; Collins, James J; Gallahan, Dan; Singer, Dinah; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Kaski, Samuel; Gray, Joe W; Stolovitzky, Gustavo

    2014-12-01

    Predicting the best treatment strategy from genomic information is a core goal of precision medicine. Here we focus on predicting drug response based on a cohort of genomic, epigenomic and proteomic profiling data sets measured in human breast cancer cell lines. Through a collaborative effort between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) project, we analyzed a total of 44 drug sensitivity prediction algorithms. The top-performing approaches modeled nonlinear relationships and incorporated biological pathway information. We found that gene expression microarrays consistently provided the best predictive power of the individual profiling data sets; however, performance was increased by including multiple, independent data sets. We discuss the innovations underlying the top-performing methodology, Bayesian multitask MKL, and we provide detailed descriptions of all methods. This study establishes benchmarks for drug sensitivity prediction and identifies approaches that can be leveraged for the development of new methods.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildebrand P

    2010-08-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Improving the sensitivity of J coupling measurements in solids with application to disordered materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerry, Paul; Brown, Steven P.; Smith, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown previously that for magic angle spinning (MAS) solid state NMR the refocused INADEQUATE spin-echo (REINE) experiment can usefully quantify scalar (J) couplings in disordered solids. This paper focuses on the two z filter components in the original REINE pulse sequence, and investigates by means of a product operator analysis and fits to density matrix simulations the effects that their removal has on the sensitivity of the experiment and on the accuracy of the extracted J couplings. The first z filter proves unnecessary in all the cases investigated here and removing it increases the sensitivity of the experiment by a factor ∼1.1–2.0. Furthermore, for systems with broad isotropic chemical shift distributions (namely whose full widths at half maximum are greater than 30 times the mean J coupling strength), the second z filter can also be removed, thus allowing whole-echo acquisition and providing an additional √2 gain in sensitivity. Considering both random and systematic errors in the values obtained, J couplings determined by fitting the intensity modulations of REINE experiments carry an uncertainty of 0.2–1.0 Hz (∼1−10 %).

  13. Role of Dyestuff in Improving Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yehia Selim

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Dye-sensitized solar cells DSSCs have attracted great attention for their simple fabrication process, low production costs, relatively high conversion efficiency, and being environmental friendly.DSSC are a combination of materials, consisting of a transparent electrode coated with a dye-sensitized mesoporous film of nanocrystalline particles of TiO2, an electrolyte containing a suitable redox-couple and a electrode.DSSCs use organic dye assist to produce electricity in a wide range of light conditions, indoors and outdoors.The dye in the solar cell is the key element since it is responsible for light harvesting ability, photoelectron generation (the creation of free charges after injection of electrons into the nanostructured semi-conducting oxide and electron transfer.For this reason, this paper gives a background of dyestuff, types and limitations. The motivation of this work is to design a simple, easy and prepare an efficient organic dye sensitizer.Also, this paper investigates the important criteria which are considered for selecting dye to enhance DSSC efficiency. 

  14. Development of the method of sensitivity improvement of photographic film applicable in high-energy physics experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gokieli, V.D.

    1986-01-01

    Sensitivity improvement of photographic films applicable in high-energy physics experiments is discussed. To get optimal operating conditions for photographic film PT-6 to check its physical properties on electron beam and in cosmic rays a set for film samples exposure in visible spectrum and in X-rays is constructed. The set includes a start up device, high-voltage pulse oscillator, shapers, a chamber for the sample exposure, voltage divider and electron oscillograph

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Szczuko

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  17. The sensitivity and significance analysis of parameters in the model of pH regulation on lactic acid production by Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ke; Zeng, Xiangmiao; Qiao, Lei; Li, Xisheng; Yang, Yubo; Dai, Cuihong; Hou, Aiju; Xu, Dechang

    2014-01-01

    The excessive production of lactic acid by L. bulgaricus during yogurt storage is a phenomenon we are always tried to prevent. The methods used in industry either control the post-acidification inefficiently or kill the probiotics in yogurt. Genetic methods of changing the activity of one enzyme related to lactic acid metabolism make the bacteria short of energy to growth, although they are efficient ways in controlling lactic acid production. A model of pH-induced promoter regulation on the production of lactic acid by L. bulgaricus was built. The modelled lactic acid metabolism without pH-induced promoter regulation fitted well with wild type L. bulgaricus (R2LAC = 0.943, R2LA = 0.942). Both the local sensitivity analysis and Sobol sensitivity analysis indicated parameters Tmax, GR, KLR, S, V0, V1 and dLR were sensitive. In order to guide the future biology experiments, three adjustable parameters, KLR, V0 and V1, were chosen for further simulations. V0 had little effect on lactic acid production if the pH-induced promoter could be well induced when pH decreased to its threshold. KLR and V1 both exhibited great influence on the producing of lactic acid. The proposed method of introducing a pH-induced promoter to regulate a repressor gene could restrain the synthesis of lactic acid if an appropriate strength of promoter and/or an appropriate strength of ribosome binding sequence (RBS) in lacR gene has been designed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Improving Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia and Reported Penicillin Allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Kimberly G; Parker, Robert A; Shenoy, Erica S; Walensky, Rochelle P

    2015-09-01

    Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia is a morbid infection. First-line MSSA therapies (nafcillin, oxacillin, cefazolin) are generally avoided in the 10% of patients reporting penicillin (PCN) allergy, but most of these patients are not truly allergic. We used a decision tree with sensitivity analyses to determine the optimal evaluation and treatment for patients with MSSA bacteremia and reported PCN allergy. Our model simulates 3 strategies: (1) no allergy evaluation, give vancomycin (Vanc); (2) allergy history-guided treatment: if history excludes anaphylactic features, give cefazolin (Hx-Cefaz); and (3) complete allergy evaluation with history-appropriate PCN skin testing: if skin test negative, give cefazolin (ST-Cefaz). Model outcomes included 12-week MSSA cure, recurrence, and death; allergic reactions including major, minor, and potentially iatrogenic; and adverse drug reactions. Vanc results in the fewest patients achieving MSSA cure and the highest rate of recurrence (67.3%/14.8% vs 83.4%/9.3% for Hx-Cefaz and 84.5%/8.9% for ST-Cefaz) as well as the greatest frequency of allergic reactions (3.0% vs 2.4% for Hx-Cefaz and 1.7% for ST-Cefaz) and highest rates of adverse drug reactions (5.2% vs 4.6% for Hx-Cefaz and 4.7% for ST-Cefaz). Even in a "best case for Vanc" scenario, Vanc yields the poorest outcomes. ST-Cefaz is preferred to Hx-Cefaz although sensitive to input variations. Patients with MSSA bacteremia and a reported PCN allergy should have the allergy addressed for optimal treatment. Full allergy evaluation with skin testing seems to be preferred, although more data are needed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Improvements to a neutral radiation detection and position sensitive process and devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charpak, Georges; Nguyen, N.H.; Policarpo, Armando.

    1977-01-01

    This invention aims to provide a neutral radiation position sensitive process and device providing a spatial radiation satisfactory for most medical applications and an energy radiation that cannot be reached by gas detectors based on proportional counters or by scintillation counters. Only solid state detectors can compete with respect to energy resolution. The detector described enables large areas to be covered which cannot be reached at accessible costs by solid state detectors. With this aim in view, the invention suggests an incident neutral radiation and position sensitive process, particularly soft gamma and X radiations, whereby photoelectrons are made to form by incident radiation action on gas atoms contained in an enclosure. By means of an electric field, the electrons are diverted towards a space undergoing an electric field high enough in value to create photons by exciting gas atoms and returning them to the de-excited state. The photons are collected, through a transparent window, on a layer of a material for converting such photons into scintillations in the near or visible UV spectrum and the barycentre of the scintillations is positioned on the layer, for instance by photomultipliers or ionization detectors. According to another aspect of the invention, it suggests a detection and position sensitive device comprising (generally downstream of a collimator with a grid of inlet holes) a leak tight containment fitted with an inlet window transparent to incident radiations, filled with a gas producing electrons by interaction with the incident radiation, and fitted with electrodes for generating an electric field to divert the electrons to a space for creating secondary photons [fr

  4. Developing methods and means to improve the sensitivity and stability characteristics of microwave sensors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Vasyukov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the issues of designing the two-zone digital microwave sensors for the car alarm systems with high stability characteristics and capable of adaptation to external noise.The existing analog circuit-based microwave sensors for car alarm systems have a number of essential drawbacks:-- high level of intrinsic noise to cause the "false" alarm of response sensors;-- non-stable characteristics caused by the application of analog components at the environmental temperatures from -30 tо +60 С. This requires sensor readjustment during the transition from the summer season to the winter one, that is, essentially, hard to implement;-- uneasy adjustment of a mounted sensor with variable resistors;-- adjustment characterstic nonlinearity and high power consumption;-- impossible to implement the auto-compensation and adjustment algorithms to the repetitive external actions.To overcome abovementioned drawbacks the paper offers a circuit of digital microprocessor-based (PIC12F683 processor sensor with HF oscillator running in pulse operation mode (pulse ratio 20. It allows 6-8 times decrease of power consumption up to 2.1 mA and twice reduction of noise amplitude. Filters with useful output signal are of digital implementation. This enables us to reduce the number of electric components of sensor in half and to increase characteristics stability.For remote adjustment of sensor (with the key fob of car alarm or by GSM link 16 gradations of sensitivity are entered for zones of warning and alarm. The reference levels of digital comparators at each gradation of sensitivity are so generated that the sensor has a linear adjustment characteristic (distance of movable object detection versus gradation number.An application of digital signal processing and sensor capability of data exchange with the main alarm module through the bus allows us to implement the original algorithm of automatic correction of sensitivity across the warning zone of

  5. Improving Terminology Mapping in Clinical Text with Context-Sensitive Spelling Correction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziadek, Juliusz; Henriksson, Aron; Duneld, Martin

    2017-01-01

    The mapping of unstructured clinical text to an ontology facilitates meaningful secondary use of health records but is non-trivial due to lexical variation and the abundance of misspellings in hurriedly produced notes. Here, we apply several spelling correction methods to Swedish medical text and evaluate their impact on SNOMED CT mapping; first in a controlled evaluation using medical literature text with induced errors, followed by a partial evaluation on clinical notes. It is shown that the best-performing method is context-sensitive, taking into account trigram frequencies and utilizing a corpus-based dictionary.

  6. Improved insulin sensitivity and secretion in prediabetic patients with adrenal insufficiency on dual-release hydrocortisone treatment: a 36-month retrospective analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarnotta, Valentina; Ciresi, Alessandro; Pillitteri, Giuseppe; Giordano, Carla

    2018-05-01

    Dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) provides physiological cortisol exposure, leading to an improvement of anthropometric and metabolic parameters. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of DR-HC on insulin secretion and sensitivity and cardiometabolic risk, indirectly expressed by the visceral adiposity index (VAI). Retrospective analysis of 49 patients, 13 with primary and 36 with secondary adrenal insufficiency (AI), respectively, on conventional glucocorticoid treatment at baseline and switched to DR-HC for 36 months. Overall, 24 patients had AI-pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance and the combination), and 25 had AI-normal glucose tolerance (NGT). Clinical and metabolic parameters, including VAI, insulin secretion and sensitivity indexes (fasting insulinaemia, AUC 2 h insulinaemia , oral disposition index [Dio] and ISI-Matsuda), were evaluated. In patients with AI-NGT and AI-prediabetes, a significant decrease in BMI (P = .017 and P 36 and P = .043) was, respectively, observed. In addition, in prediabetic patients, only we found a significant decrease in insulinaemia (P = .014), AUC 2 h insulinaemia (P = .038) and VAI (P = .001), in concomitance with a significant increase in DIo (P = .041) and ISI-Matsuda (P = .038). Long-term DR-HC therapy is associated with an improvement in insulin secretion and sensitivity in patients with prediabetes. However, all patients appear to benefit from the treatment in terms of improvement of metabolic and anthropometric parameters. Larger studies are required to confirm our preliminary data. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-10

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

  8. Parameter sensitivity analysis of nonlinear piezoelectric probe in tapping mode atomic force microscopy for measurement improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCarty, Rachael; Nima Mahmoodi, S., E-mail: nmahmoodi@eng.ua.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Alabama, Box 870276, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487 (United States)

    2014-02-21

    The equations of motion for a piezoelectric microcantilever are derived for a nonlinear contact force. The analytical expressions for natural frequencies and mode shapes are obtained. Then, the method of multiple scales is used to analyze the analytical frequency response of the piezoelectric probe. The effects of nonlinear excitation force on the microcantilever beam's frequency and amplitude are analytically studied. The results show a frequency shift in the response resulting from the force nonlinearities. This frequency shift during contact mode is an important consideration in the modeling of AFM mechanics for generation of more accurate imaging. Also, a sensitivity analysis of the system parameters on the nonlinearity effect is performed. The results of a sensitivity analysis show that it is possible to choose parameters such that the frequency shift minimizes. Certain parameters such as tip radius, microcantilever beam dimensions, and modulus of elasticity have more influence on the nonlinearity of the system than other parameters. By changing only three parameters—tip radius, thickness, and modulus of elasticity of the microbeam—a more than 70% reduction in nonlinearity effect was achieved.

  9. The effect of biomechanical variables on force sensitive resistor error: Implications for calibration and improved accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, Jonathon S; Evans, Katherine R; Hebert, Jacqueline S; Marasco, Paul D; Carey, Jason P

    2016-03-21

    Force Sensitive Resistors (FSRs) are commercially available thin film polymer sensors commonly employed in a multitude of biomechanical measurement environments. Reasons for such wide spread usage lie in the versatility, small profile, and low cost of these sensors. Yet FSRs have limitations. It is commonly accepted that temperature, curvature and biological tissue compliance may impact sensor conductance and resulting force readings. The effect of these variables and degree to which they interact has yet to be comprehensively investigated and quantified. This work systematically assesses varying levels of temperature, sensor curvature and surface compliance using a full factorial design-of-experiments approach. Three models of Interlink FSRs were evaluated. Calibration equations under 12 unique combinations of temperature, curvature and compliance were determined for each sensor. Root mean squared error, mean absolute error, and maximum error were quantified as measures of the impact these thermo/mechanical factors have on sensor performance. It was found that all three variables have the potential to affect FSR calibration curves. The FSR model and corresponding sensor geometry are sensitive to these three mechanical factors at varying levels. Experimental results suggest that reducing sensor error requires calibration of each sensor in an environment as close to its intended use as possible and if multiple FSRs are used in a system, they must be calibrated independently. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A call to improve practice concerning cultural sensitivity in advance directives: a review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zager, B Sue; Yancy, Margaret

    2011-12-01

    The Patient Self Determination Act of 1990 mandates healthcare providers (HCP) to speak with patients about end-of-life preferences and advance directives (AD). HCP work with patients of varying cultures, and standard ADs do not address cultural differences. In order to understand various cultural beliefs, cultural sensitivity is important especially when discussing advance care planning (ACP). Individuals from differing ethnic backgrounds are likely to turn to their traditional norms of practice when ill or treatment choices must be made. An AD that addresses varying cultural values and beliefs was sought. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted. Articles selected for review included qualitative and quantitative studies. The evidence was evaluated and synthesized for information related to cultural sensitivity and ADs. Three common themes emerged related to ACP discussions and culture. Healthcare provider awareness, communication, and education concerning cultural differences and ACP assisted in meeting the needs for end-of-life planning in the current era of increased globalization. Education for HCP on cultural differences and how to lead discussions promoted ACP. ADs are an essential part of health care and promote patient-centered care. (HCP) should be able to recognize differing cultural values and beliefs in order to initiate conversations about end of life. Initiating conversations about ACP can be facilitated by using open-ended questions that respect the values and beliefs of various cultures. Copyright ©2011 Sigma Theta Tau International.

  11. Improving the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cell by graphene/titania photoanode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Junchang; Wu, Jihuai; Zheng, Ming; Huo, Jinghao; Tu, Yongguang

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • A colloid of graphene/titania is prepared, and thus a graphene/titania film is made. • The film shows high porosity, large surface area and small transfer resistance. • The cell with graphene/titania photoanode obtains a conversion efficiency of 7.52%. • Which is increased by 18% compared to the cell with pristine titania electrode. - Abstract: A mixed colloid of graphene and titania is synthesized by a one-step hydrothermal reaction, thus a graphene/titania film photoanode is prepared. The graphene/titania film shows high porosity and large specific surface area, which favors a full adsorption of sensitized dye. On the other hand, the graphene/titania electrode has smaller charge transfer resistance than the pristine titania electrode, which replies that the graphene/titania electrode accelerates electronic transportation and suppresses the charge recombination. Under an optimal condition, the dye-sensitized solar cell based on graphene/titania photoanode achieve a power conversion efficiency of 7.52%, which is increased by 17.7% compared to the cell based on the pristine titania electrode under a simulated solar light irradiation of 100 mW·cm −2

  12. Investigating the role of graphene in the photovoltaic performance improvement of dye-sensitized solar cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tripathi, Brijesh, E-mail: brijesh.tripathi@sse.pdpu.ac.in [School of Technology, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar 382007 (India); School of Solar Energy, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar 382007 (India); Yadav, Pankaj; Pandey, Kavita; Kanade, Pooja [School of Solar Energy, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar 382007 (India); Kumar, Manjeet [Department of Materials Engineering, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune 411025 (India); Kumar, Manoj, E-mail: manoj.kumar@sse.pdpu.ac.in [School of Technology, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar 382007 (India)

    2014-12-15

    Highlights: • Graphene catalytic activity in dye-sensitized solar cell is evaluated. • Two-diode model is used for performance evaluation. • Optical performance of graphene is analyzed. • 36% increase in efficiency has been reported using graphene-coupled counter electrode. - Abstract: This article compares and describes the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) consisting of platinum (Pt) and graphene-coupled-platinum based counter electrodes (CE). The power conversion efficiency of DSSC could be enhanced by 36% with multi-layer graphene flakes (MGF)/Pt CE as compared to Pt CE. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry analysis show that DSSC with an MGF/Pt CE exhibits a higher electro-catalytic activity with lower series resistance. Two-diode model has been used to extract the recombination governing and the performance indicating parameters of a DSSC. An enhancement of ≈76% in short-circuit current of MGF/CE based DSSC, as compared to Pt CE, could be attributed to optical and catalytic properties of graphene. This study provides an insight into electronic transport mechanism of DSSC, which changes under the influence of highly catalytic materials such as graphene.

  13. Investigating the role of graphene in the photovoltaic performance improvement of dye-sensitized solar cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tripathi, Brijesh; Yadav, Pankaj; Pandey, Kavita; Kanade, Pooja; Kumar, Manjeet; Kumar, Manoj

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Graphene catalytic activity in dye-sensitized solar cell is evaluated. • Two-diode model is used for performance evaluation. • Optical performance of graphene is analyzed. • 36% increase in efficiency has been reported using graphene-coupled counter electrode. - Abstract: This article compares and describes the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) consisting of platinum (Pt) and graphene-coupled-platinum based counter electrodes (CE). The power conversion efficiency of DSSC could be enhanced by 36% with multi-layer graphene flakes (MGF)/Pt CE as compared to Pt CE. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry analysis show that DSSC with an MGF/Pt CE exhibits a higher electro-catalytic activity with lower series resistance. Two-diode model has been used to extract the recombination governing and the performance indicating parameters of a DSSC. An enhancement of ≈76% in short-circuit current of MGF/CE based DSSC, as compared to Pt CE, could be attributed to optical and catalytic properties of graphene. This study provides an insight into electronic transport mechanism of DSSC, which changes under the influence of highly catalytic materials such as graphene

  14. Modification of a deoxynivalenol-antigen-mimicking nanobody to improve immunoassay sensitivity by site-saturation mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yu-Lou; He, Qing-Hua; Xu, Yang; Wang, Wei; Liu, Yuan-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    A nanobody (N-28) which can act as a deoxynivalenol (DON) antigen has been generated, and its residues Thr102-Ser106 were identified to bind with anti-DON monoclonal antibody by alanine-scanning mutagenesis. Site-saturation mutagenesis was used to analyze the plasticity of five residues and to improve the sensitivity of the N-28-based immunoassay. After mutagenesis, three mutants were selected by phage immunoassay and were sequenced. The half-maximal inhibitory concentrations of the immunoassay based on mutants N-28-T102Y, N-28-V103L, and N-28-Y105F were 24.49 ± 1.0, 51.83 ± 2.5, and 35.65 ± 1.6 ng/mL, respectively, showing the assay was, respectively, 3.2, 1.5, and 2.2 times more sensitive than the wild-type-based assay. The best mutant, N-28-T102Y, was used to develop a competitive phage ELISA to detect DON in cereals with high specificity and accuracy. In addition, the structural properties of N-28-T102Y and N-28 were investigated, revealing that the affinity of N-28-T102Y decreased because of increased steric hindrance with the large side chain. The lower-binding-affinity antigen mimetic may contribute to the improvement of the sensitivity of competitive immunoassays. These results demonstrate that nanobodies would be a favorable tool for engineering. Moreover, our results have laid a solid foundation for site-saturation mutagenesis of antigen-mimicking nanobodies to improve immunoassay sensitivity for small molecules.

  15. Performance improvement of CdS quantum dots sensitized TiO{sub 2} solar cells by introducing a dense TiO{sub 2} blocking layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tachibana, Yasuhiro; Umekita, Kazuya; Otsuka, Yasuhide; Kuwabata, Susumu [Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan)], E-mail: y.tachibana@chem.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp

    2008-05-21

    A dense TiO{sub 2} electron blocking layer was introduced on a conducting glass in CdS quantum dots sensitized solar cells to investigate electron leakage into the electrolyte. A ferricyanide/ferrocyanide redox couple was employed, as a model electrolyte, possessing a high standard rate constant. The analysis of the I-V characteristics, using a one-diode model, revealed that an increase in this layer, up to 50 nm, significantly suppresses the electron leakage, enhancing the shunt resistance by a factor of 200. An energy conversion efficiency of 1.0% was attained on account of the improved open circuit voltage and fill factor. (fast track communication)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanne Terryn

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  20. Improvement of uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA and contrast sensitivity (UCCS with perceptual learning and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS in individuals with mild myopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca eCamilleri

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been shown to produce an improvement of visual acuity (VA and contrast sensitivity (CS both in subjects with amblyopia and refractive defects such as myopia or presbyopia. Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS has proven to be efficacious in accelerating neural plasticity and boosting perceptual learning in healthy participants. In this study we investigated whether a short behavioural training regime using a contrast detection task combined with online tRNS was as effective in improving visual functions in participants with mild myopia compared to a two-month behavioural training regime without tRNS (Camilleri et al., 2014. After two weeks of perceptual training in combination with tRNS, participants showed an improvement of 0.15 LogMAR in uncorrected VA (UCVA that was comparable with that obtained after eight weeks of training with no tRNS, and an improvement in uncorrected CS (UCCS at various spatial frequencies (whereas no UCCS improvement was seen after eight weeks of training with no tRNS. On the other hand, a control group that trained for two weeks without stimulation did not show any significant UCVA or UCCS improvement. These results suggest that the combination of behavioural and neuromodulatory techniques can be fast and efficacious in improving sight in individuals with mild myopia.

  1. The mouse beam walking assay offers improved sensitivity over the mouse rotarod in determining motor coordination deficits induced by benzodiazepines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Joanna L; Lincoln, Rachael J; Brown, Terry A; McDonald, Louise M; Dawson, Gerard R; Reynolds, David S

    2005-05-01

    The mouse rotarod test of motor coordination/sedation is commonly used to predict clinical sedation caused by novel drugs. However, past experience suggests that it lacks the desired degree of sensitivity to be predictive of effects in humans. For example, the benzodiazepine, bretazenil, showed little impairment of mouse rotarod performance, but marked sedation in humans. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the mouse beam walking assay demonstrates: (i) an increased sensitivity over the rotarod and (ii) an increased ability to predict clinically sedative doses of benzodiazepines. The study compared the effects of the full benzodiazepine agonists, diazepam and lorazepam, and the partial agonist, bretazenil, on the mouse rotarod and beam walking assays. Diazepam and lorazepam significantly impaired rotarod performance, although relatively high GABA-A receptor occupancy was required (72% and 93%, respectively), whereas beam walking performance was significantly affected at approximately 30% receptor occupancy. Bretazenil produced significant deficits at 90% and 53% receptor occupancy on the rotarod and beam walking assays, respectively. The results suggest that the mouse beam walking assay is a more sensitive tool for determining benzodiazepine-induced motor coordination deficits than the rotarod. Furthermore, the GABA-A receptor occupancy values at which significant deficits were determined in the beam walking assay are comparable with those observed in clinical positron emission tomography studies using sedative doses of benzodiazepines. These data suggest that the beam walking assay may be able to more accurately predict the clinically sedative doses of novel benzodiazepine-like drugs.

  2. 3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide for nonenzymatic uric acid sensors with improved sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Wei; Cao, Yang; Chen, Yong; Zhou, Yang; Huang, Qingyou

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: The enzyme-less amperometric sensor based on 3-D periodic mesoporous NiO nanomaterials used in the detection of uric acid with detection limit of 0.005 μM (S/N = 3) over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM and with a high sensitivity of 756.26 μA mM"−"1 cm"−"2. - Highlights: • Microwave-assisted method was used to fabricate the 3-D periodic mesoporous NiO particles. • The mesoporous nickel oxide was applied to nonenzymatic uric acid biosensor. • The detection limit is 0.005 μM over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM. • The sensitivity is 756.26 μA mM"−"1 cm"−"2. - Abstract: 3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide (NiO) particles with crystalline walls have been synthesized through the microwave-assisted hard template route toward the KIT-6 silica. It was investigated as a nonenzymatic amperometric sensor for the detection of uric acid. 3-D periodic nickel oxide matrix has been obtained by the hard template route from the KIT-6 silica template. The crystalline nickel oxide belonged to the Ia3d space group, and its structure was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N_2 adsorption–desorption, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The analysis results showed that the microwave-assisted mesoporous NiO materials were more appropriate to be electrochemical sensors than the traditional mesoporous NiO. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) revealed that 3-D periodic NiO exhibited a direct electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of uric acid in sodium hydroxide solution. The enzyme-less amperometric sensor used in the detection of uric acid with detection limit of 0.005 μM (S/N = 3) over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM and with a high sensitivity of 756.26 μA mM"−"1 cm"−"2, and a possible mechanism was also given in the paper.

  3. 3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide for nonenzymatic uric acid sensors with improved sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Wei; Cao, Yang, E-mail: caowang507@163.com; Chen, Yong; Zhou, Yang; Huang, Qingyou

    2015-12-30

    Graphical abstract: The enzyme-less amperometric sensor based on 3-D periodic mesoporous NiO nanomaterials used in the detection of uric acid with detection limit of 0.005 μM (S/N = 3) over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM and with a high sensitivity of 756.26 μA mM{sup −1} cm{sup −2}. - Highlights: • Microwave-assisted method was used to fabricate the 3-D periodic mesoporous NiO particles. • The mesoporous nickel oxide was applied to nonenzymatic uric acid biosensor. • The detection limit is 0.005 μM over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM. • The sensitivity is 756.26 μA mM{sup −1} cm{sup −2}. - Abstract: 3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide (NiO) particles with crystalline walls have been synthesized through the microwave-assisted hard template route toward the KIT-6 silica. It was investigated as a nonenzymatic amperometric sensor for the detection of uric acid. 3-D periodic nickel oxide matrix has been obtained by the hard template route from the KIT-6 silica template. The crystalline nickel oxide belonged to the Ia3d space group, and its structure was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N{sub 2} adsorption–desorption, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The analysis results showed that the microwave-assisted mesoporous NiO materials were more appropriate to be electrochemical sensors than the traditional mesoporous NiO. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) revealed that 3-D periodic NiO exhibited a direct electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of uric acid in sodium hydroxide solution. The enzyme-less amperometric sensor used in the detection of uric acid with detection limit of 0.005 μM (S/N = 3) over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM and with a high sensitivity of 756.26 μA mM{sup −1} cm{sup −2}, and a possible mechanism was also given in the paper.

  4. Improving the selectivity and sensitivity for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin in rabbit tissues by using basic mobile phases and negative ionization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Aimin; Gu, Guifen; Gui, Xuan; Wu, Yanxin; Bolger, Gordon; Licollari, Albert; Fanaras, John C

    2018-01-01

    Previously reported LC-MS methods for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin (a marker residue of tiamulin) in tissues all used a pseudo MRM transition (from protonated molecular ion to protonated molecular ion, m/z 337→337) due to difficulties in finding a product ion, leading to suboptimal selectivity and sensitivity for detection. By using electrospray negative ionization in a basic medium, we, for the first time, found a highly selective and sensitive true MRM transition for 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin, m/z 335→179. With this newly found MRM transition and the use of pleuromutilin as the internal standard, a very sensitive, selective, and robust LC-MS/MS method has been developed and validated for quantifying 8-α-hydroxy-mutilin in rabbit tissues (muscle, liver, kidney, and fat). In comparison with the previously published methods, the selectivity and sensitivity were significantly improved. For the concentration range validated (0.2-10ppm or 0.2-10μg/g), the within-run and between-run accuracies (% bias) ranged from -5.0 to 3.1 and -4.9 to 3.0, respectively. The% CV ranged from 2.2 to 6.6 and 4.7 to 8.3 for within-run and between-run precisions, respectively. The validated method was successfully used to support two GLP tissue residue depletion studies in rabbits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Improved insulin sensitivity after exercise training is linked to reduced plasma C14:0 ceramide in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasumov, Takhar; Solomon, Thomas P J; Hwang, Calvin; Huang, Hazel; Haus, Jacob M; Zhang, Renliang; Kirwan, John P

    2015-07-01

    To assess the effect of exercise training on insulin sensitivity and plasma ceramides in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Twenty-four adults with obesity and normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n = 14) or diabetes (n = 10) were studied before and after a 12-week supervised exercise-training program (5 days/week, 1 h/day, 80-85% of maximum heart rate). Changes in body composition were assessed using hydrostatic weighing and computed tomography. Peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity was assessed by a 40 mU/m(2) /min hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Plasma ceramides (C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C20:0, C24:0, and C24:1) were quantified using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after separation with HPLC. Plasma ceramides were similar for the subjects with obesity and NGT and the subjects with diabetes, despite differences in glucose tolerance. Exercise significantly reduced body weight and adiposity and increased peripheral insulin sensitivity in both groups (P exercise training-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity, and plasma C14:0 ceramide may provide a specific target for investigating lipid-related insulin resistance in obesity and T2D. © 2015 The Obesity Society.

  6. Improved sensitivity to venom specific-immunoglobulin E by spiking with the allergen component in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Naruo; Hirata, Hirokuni; Watanabe, Mineaki; Sugiyama, Kumiya; Arima, Masafumi; Fukushima, Yasutsugu; Ishii, Yoshiki

    2015-07-01

    Ves v 5 and Pol d 5, which constitute antigen 5, are recognized as the major, most potent allergens of family Vespidae. Several studies have reported the diagnostic sensitivity of the novel recombinant (r)Ves v 5 and rPol d 5 allergens in routine clinical laboratory settings by analyzing a group of Vespula and Polistes venom-allergic patients. In this study, we analyzed the sensitivity to venom specific (s)IgE by spiking with rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy. Subjects were 41 patients who had experienced systemic reactions to hornet and/or paper wasp stings. Levels of serum sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom by spiking with rVes v 5 and rPold d 5, respectively, as improvement testing, compared with hornet and paper wasp venom, as conventional testing, were measured by ImmunoCAP. Of the 41 patients, 33 (80.5%) were positive (≥0.35 UA/ml) for hornet and/or paper wasp venom in conventional sIgE testing. sIgE levels correlated significantly (P venom (R = 0.78) in improvement testing and conventional testing. To determine specificity, 20 volunteers who had never experienced a Hymenoptera sting were all negative for sIgE against these venoms in both improvement and conventional testing. Improved sensitivity was seen in 8 patients negative for sIgE against both venoms in conventional testing, while improvement testing revealed sIgE against hornet or paper wasp venom in 5 (total 38 (92.7%)) patients. The measurement of sIgE following spiking of rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 by conventional testing in Japanese subjects with sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom, respectively, improved the sensitivity for detecting Hymenoptera venom allergy. Improvement testing for measuring sIgE levels against hornet and paper wasp venom has potential for serologically elucidating Hymenoptera allergy in Japan. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society of Allergology. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. High-intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity in older individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søgaard, D; Lund, M T; Scheuer, C M

    2017-01-01

    AIM: Metabolic health may deteriorate with age as a result of altered body composition and decreased physical activity. Endurance exercise is known to counter these changes delaying or even preventing onset of metabolic diseases. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time efficient...... alternative to regular endurance exercise, and the aim of this study was to investigate the metabolic benefit of HIIT in older subjects. METHODS: Twenty-two sedentary male (n = 11) and female (n = 11) subjects aged 63 ± 1 years performed HIIT training three times/week for 6 weeks on a bicycle ergometer. Each...... HIIT session consisted of five 1-minute intervals interspersed with 1½-minute rest. Prior to the first and after the last HIIT session whole-body insulin sensitivity, measured by a hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp, plasma lipid levels, HbA1c, glycaemic parameters, body composition and maximal oxygen...

  8. Improving the Sensitivity of Humidity Sensor Based on Mach-Zehnder Interferometer Coated with a Methylcellulose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Huang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel humidity sensor based on Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI with the single-mode fiber (SMF coated with methylcellulose (MC is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The MZI consists of two waist enlarged structures. Such an all-fiber MZI incorporates an intermodal interference between the core mode and cladding modes. The MC is coated on the surface of the SMF. External humidity changes the refractive index of MC, causing the intensity changes of the interference pattern. The proposed sensor is linearly responsive to refractive humidity (RH within the range from 45% to 85% RH, with sensitivity of 0.094 dB/%RH. Moreover the insensitivity of the fiber to the temperature makes this structure more suitable for practical measurement.

  9. One-Port Electronic Detection Strategies for Improving Sensitivity in Piezoelectric Resonant Sensor Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongxu Hu

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes a one-port mechanical resonance detection scheme utilized on a piezoelectric thin film driven silicon circular diaphragm resonator and discusses the limitations to such an approach in degenerate mode mass detection sensors. The sensor utilizes degenerated vibration modes of a radial symmetrical microstructure thereby providing both a sense and reference mode allowing for minimization of environmental effects on performance. The circular diaphragm resonator was fabricated with thickness of 4.5 µm and diameter of 140 µm. A PZT thin film of 0.75 µm was patterned on the top surface for the purposes of excitation and vibration sensing. The device showed a resonant frequency of 5.8 MHz for the (1, 1 mode. An electronic interface circuit was designed to cancel out the large static and parasitic capacitance allowing for electrical detection of the mechanical vibration thereby enabling the frequency split between the sense and reference mode to be measured accurately. The extracted motional current, proportional to the vibration velocity, was fed back to the drive to effectively increase the Q factor, and therefore device sensitivity, by more than a factor of 8. A software phase-locked loop was implemented to automatically track the resonant frequencies to allow for faster and accurate resonance detection. Results showed that by utilizing the absolute mode frequencies as an indication of sensor temperature, the variation in sensor temperature due to the heating from the drive electronics was accounted for and led to an ultimate measurement sensitivity of 2.3 Hz.

  10. One-Port Electronic Detection Strategies for Improving Sensitivity in Piezoelectric Resonant Sensor Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhongxu; Hedley, John; Keegan, Neil; Spoors, Julia; Gallacher, Barry; McNeil, Calum

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a one-port mechanical resonance detection scheme utilized on a piezoelectric thin film driven silicon circular diaphragm resonator and discusses the limitations to such an approach in degenerate mode mass detection sensors. The sensor utilizes degenerated vibration modes of a radial symmetrical microstructure thereby providing both a sense and reference mode allowing for minimization of environmental effects on performance. The circular diaphragm resonator was fabricated with thickness of 4.5 µm and diameter of 140 µm. A PZT thin film of 0.75 µm was patterned on the top surface for the purposes of excitation and vibration sensing. The device showed a resonant frequency of 5.8 MHz for the (1, 1) mode. An electronic interface circuit was designed to cancel out the large static and parasitic capacitance allowing for electrical detection of the mechanical vibration thereby enabling the frequency split between the sense and reference mode to be measured accurately. The extracted motional current, proportional to the vibration velocity, was fed back to the drive to effectively increase the Q factor, and therefore device sensitivity, by more than a factor of 8. A software phase-locked loop was implemented to automatically track the resonant frequencies to allow for faster and accurate resonance detection. Results showed that by utilizing the absolute mode frequencies as an indication of sensor temperature, the variation in sensor temperature due to the heating from the drive electronics was accounted for and led to an ultimate measurement sensitivity of 2.3 Hz. PMID:27792154

  11. Improved sensitivity and limit-of-detection of lateral flow devices using spatial constrictions of the flow-path.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katis, Ioannis N; He, Peijun J W; Eason, Robert W; Sones, Collin L

    2018-05-03

    We report on the use of a laser-direct write (LDW) technique that allows the fabrication of lateral flow devices with enhanced sensitivity and limit of detection. This manufacturing technique comprises the dispensing of a liquid photopolymer at specific regions of a nitrocellulose membrane and its subsequent photopolymerisation to create impermeable walls inside the volume of the membrane. These polymerised structures are intentionally designed to create fluidic channels which are constricted over a specific length that spans the test zone within which the sample interacts with pre-deposited reagents. Experiments were conducted to show how these constrictions alter the fluid flow rate and the test zone area within the constricted channel geometries. The slower flow rate and smaller test zone area result in the increased sensitivity and lowered limit of detection for these devices. We have quantified these via the improved performance of a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) sandwich assay on our lateral flow devices with constricted flow paths which demonstrate an improvement in its sensitivity by 62x and in its limit of detection by 30x when compared to a standard lateral flow CRP device. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Endurance training improves insulin sensitivity and body composition in prostate cancer patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hvid, Thine; Winding, Kamilla; Rinnov, Anders; Dejgaard, Thomas; Thomsen, Carsten; Iversen, Peter; Brasso, Klaus; Mikines, Kari J; van Hall, Gerrit; Lindegaard, Birgitte; Solomon, Thomas P J; Pedersen, Bente K

    2013-10-01

    Insulin resistance and changes in body composition are side effects of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) given to prostate cancer patients. The present study investigated whether endurance training improves insulin sensitivity and body composition in ADT-treated prostate cancer patients. Nine men undergoing ADT for prostate cancer and ten healthy men with normal testosterone levels underwent 12 weeks of endurance training. Primary endpoints were insulin sensitivity (euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps with concomitant glucose-tracer infusion) and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging). The secondary endpoint was systemic inflammation. Statistical analysis was carried out using two-way ANOVA. Endurance training increased VO2max (ml(O2)/min per kg) by 11 and 13% in the patients and controls respectively (PBody weight (Pbody fat mass (FM) (Pbody mass (P=0.99) was unchanged. Additionally, reductions were observed in abdominal (Pcancer patients exhibited improved insulin sensitivity and body composition to a similar degree as eugonadal men.

  13. Cosolvent-free polymer gel dosimeters with improved dose sensitivity and resolution for x-ray CT dose response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chain, J N M; McAuley, K B [Department of Chemical Engineering, Queen' s University, Kingston, K7L 3N6 (Canada); Jirasek, A [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, V8W 3P6 (Canada); Schreiner, L J, E-mail: kim.mcauley@chee.queensu.ca [Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, Kingston, K7L 5P9 (Canada)

    2011-04-07

    This study reports new N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) polymer gel recipes with increased dose sensitivity and improved dose resolution for x-ray CT readout. NIPAM can be used to increase the solubility of N, N'-methylenebisacrylamide (Bis) in aqueous solutions from approximately 3% to 5.5% by weight, enabling the manufacture of dosimeters containing up to 19.5%T, which is the total concentration of NIPAM and Bis by weight. Gelatin is shown to have a mild influence on dose sensitivity when gels are imaged using x-ray CT, and a stronger influence when gels are imaged optically. Phantoms that contain only 3% gelatin and 5 mM tetrakis hydroxymethyl phosphonium chloride are sufficiently stiff for dosimetry applications. The best cosolvent-free gel formulation has a dose sensitivity in the linear range ({approx}0.88 H Gy{sup -1}) that is a small improvement compared to the best NIPAM-based gels that incorporate isopropanol as a cosolvent ({approx}0.80 H Gy{sup -1}). This new gel formulation results in enhanced dose resolution ({approx}0.052 Gy) for x-ray CT readout, making clinical applications of this imaging modality more feasible.

  14. Cosolvent-free polymer gel dosimeters with improved dose sensitivity and resolution for x-ray CT dose response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chain, J N M; McAuley, K B; Jirasek, A; Schreiner, L J

    2011-01-01

    This study reports new N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) polymer gel recipes with increased dose sensitivity and improved dose resolution for x-ray CT readout. NIPAM can be used to increase the solubility of N, N'-methylenebisacrylamide (Bis) in aqueous solutions from approximately 3% to 5.5% by weight, enabling the manufacture of dosimeters containing up to 19.5%T, which is the total concentration of NIPAM and Bis by weight. Gelatin is shown to have a mild influence on dose sensitivity when gels are imaged using x-ray CT, and a stronger influence when gels are imaged optically. Phantoms that contain only 3% gelatin and 5 mM tetrakis hydroxymethyl phosphonium chloride are sufficiently stiff for dosimetry applications. The best cosolvent-free gel formulation has a dose sensitivity in the linear range (∼0.88 H Gy -1 ) that is a small improvement compared to the best NIPAM-based gels that incorporate isopropanol as a cosolvent (∼0.80 H Gy -1 ). This new gel formulation results in enhanced dose resolution (∼0.052 Gy) for x-ray CT readout, making clinical applications of this imaging modality more feasible.

  15. Action video game playing is associated with improved visual sensitivity, but not alterations in visual sensory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, L Gregory; Cain, Matthew S; Darling, Elise F; Mitroff, Stephen R

    2013-08-01

    Action video game playing has been experimentally linked to a number of perceptual and cognitive improvements. These benefits are captured through a wide range of psychometric tasks and have led to the proposition that action video game experience may promote the ability to extract statistical evidence from sensory stimuli. Such an advantage could arise from a number of possible mechanisms: improvements in visual sensitivity, enhancements in the capacity or duration for which information is retained in visual memory, or higher-level strategic use of information for decision making. The present study measured the capacity and time course of visual sensory memory using a partial report performance task as a means to distinguish between these three possible mechanisms. Sensitivity measures and parameter estimates that describe sensory memory capacity and the rate of memory decay were compared between individuals who reported high evels and low levels of action video game experience. Our results revealed a uniform increase in partial report accuracy at all stimulus-to-cue delays for action video game players but no difference in the rate or time course of the memory decay. The present findings suggest that action video game playing may be related to enhancements in the initial sensitivity to visual stimuli, but not to a greater retention of information in iconic memory buffers.

  16. Cordyceps militaris improves the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats possibly via influences of mitochondria and autophagy functions

    OpenAIRE

    Takakura, Kentaro; Ito, Shogo; Sonoda, Junya; Tabata, Koji; Shiozaki, Motoko; Nagai, Kaoru; Shibata, Masahiro; Koike, Masato; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Gotow, Takahiro

    2017-01-01

    The genus Cordyceps and its specific ingredient, cordycepin, have attracted much attention for multiple health benefits and expectations for lifespan extension. We analyzed whether Cordyceps militaris (CM), which contains large amounts of cordycepin, can extend the survival of Dahl salt-sensitive rats, whose survival was reduced to â¼3 months via a high-salt diet. The survival of these life-shortened rats was extended significantly when supplemented with CM, possibly due to a minimization of ...

  17. Over-expression of Follistatin-like 3 attenuates fat accumulation and improves insulin sensitivity in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Claus; Hansen, Rasmus Hvass; Hansen, Jakob Bondo

    2015-01-01

    -fat feeding. Body weight, food intake, fat accumulation by MR scanning, and glucose, insulin and glucagon tolerance were evaluated, as was the response in body weight and metabolic parameters to 24h fasting. Effects of fstl3 on pancreatic insulin and glucagon content, and pancreatic islet morphology were......OBJECTIVE: Follistatin-like 3 (fstl3), a natural inhibitor of members of the TGF-β family, increases during resistance training in human plasma. Fstl3 primarily binds myostatin and activin A, and thereby inhibits their functions. We hypothesize that blocking myostatin and activin A signalling....../glucagon ratio. Accordingly, fstl3 transfection improved counter-regulation to 24h fasting. CONCLUSION: Fstl3 over-expression regulates insulin and glucagon sensitivities through increased muscular insulin action, as well as increased hepatic glucagon sensitivity and pancreatic glucagon content....

  18. Using GRAPPA to improve autocalibrated coil sensitivity estimation for the SENSE family of parallel imaging reconstruction algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoge, W Scott; Brooks, Dana H

    2008-08-01

    Two strategies are widely used in parallel MRI to reconstruct subsampled multicoil image data. SENSE and related methods employ explicit receiver coil spatial response estimates to reconstruct an image. In contrast, coil-by-coil methods such as GRAPPA leverage correlations among the acquired multicoil data to reconstruct missing k-space lines. In self-referenced scenarios, both methods employ Nyquist-rate low-frequency k-space data to identify the reconstruction parameters. Because GRAPPA does not require explicit coil sensitivities estimates, it needs considerably fewer autocalibration signals than SENSE. However, SENSE methods allow greater opportunity to control reconstruction quality though regularization and thus may outperform GRAPPA in some imaging scenarios. Here, we employ GRAPPA to improve self-referenced coil sensitivity estimation in SENSE and related methods using very few auto-calibration signals. This enables one to leverage each methods' inherent strength and produce high quality self-referenced SENSE reconstructions. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Highly sensitive piezo-resistive graphite nanoplatelet-carbon nanotube hybrids/polydimethylsilicone composites with improved conductive network construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Hang; Bai, Jinbo

    2015-05-13

    The constructions of internal conductive network are dependent on microstructures of conductive fillers, determining various electrical performances of composites. Here, we present the advanced graphite nanoplatelet-carbon nanotube hybrids/polydimethylsilicone (GCHs/PDMS) composites with high piezo-resistive performance. GCH particles were synthesized by the catalyst chemical vapor deposition approach. The synthesized GCHs can be well dispersed in the matrix through the mechanical blending process. Due to the exfoliated GNP and aligned CNTs coupling structure, the flexible composite shows an ultralow percolation threshold (0.64 vol %) and high piezo-resistive sensitivity (gauge factor ∼ 10(3) and pressure sensitivity ∼ 0.6 kPa(-1)). Slight motions of finger can be detected and distinguished accurately using the composite film as a typical wearable sensor. These results indicate that designing the internal conductive network could be a reasonable strategy to improve the piezo-resistive performance of composites.

  20. Acquiring additional delayed PET images improves sensitivity and specificity in oncology cases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamki, L.M.; Barron, B.J.; Mullani, N.; Joseph, U.; Ehert, E.

    2002-01-01

    Aim: This study looked into utility of acquiring PET images at 2-3 hours in addition to the standard whole body PET done at 1-hour after FDG injection in certain oncology cases. The objective is to evaluate whether the delayed additional images can decipher equivocal foci of FDG accumulation commonly seen in oncology patients. Typical example is the bowel activity that moves with time. Materials and Methods: PET protocol at our Institution in patients with colon Cancer, Pancreas Ca, Ovarian Ca and Breast Ca include a whole body PET (6-7 bed positions) done at 1-hour after 15 mCi F-18-FDG followed by select limited area PET scan (typically 2 bed stops over the area of interest) at 2-3 hours. Acquisition was undertaken on Siemens ECAT-EXACT Camera - 2-D acquisition and 8 mins. per bed position (5 mins. Emission and 3 mins. Transmission), 16.3 cm FOV and then Iterative Reconstruction. Results: Analysis of the first 115 patients who had additional delayed images resulted in 80% of patients where delayed images helped in interpretation. In 70% of these, delayed images helped in identifying physiological structures, e.g., ureters, bowel, blood vessels and muscles versus pathology. In 25%, they actually helped in identifying malignancy, e.g. more definite FDG accumulation. Almost all helped to boost the confidence of the reader. The contribution was mainly in differentiating bowel and ureter activity from cancer in the abdomen, as these change position with time. In case of pancreas and breast cancer, delayed images contributed in clarifying tumor metabolic activity as well. Inflammation and motion artifacts could also be better defined and so was muscle uptake. Conclusion: (1) Additional delayed PET imaging is very helpful in certain cancers in identifying more lesions and avoiding pitfalls. (2) They can yield higher sensitivity and specificity for colon, ovarian, breast and pancreas cancers. (3) Identification of physiologic structures and differentiation of these from

  1. Improved Sterilization of Sensitive Biomaterials with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide at Low Temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Bernhardt

    Full Text Available The development of bio-resorbable implant materials is rapidly going on. Sterilization of those materials is inevitable to assure the hygienic requirements for critical medical devices according to the medical device directive (MDD, 93/42/EG. Biopolymer-containing biomaterials are often highly sensitive towards classical sterilization procedures like steam, ethylene oxide treatment or gamma irradiation. Supercritical CO₂ (scCO₂ treatment is a promising strategy for the terminal sterilization of sensitive biomaterials at low temperature. In combination with low amounts of additives scCO₂ treatment effectively inactivates microorganisms including bacterial spores. We established a scCO₂ sterilization procedure under addition of 0.25% water, 0.15% hydrogen peroxide and 0.5% acetic anhydride. The procedure was successfully tested for the inactivation of a wide panel of microorganisms including endospores of different bacterial species, vegetative cells of gram positive and negative bacteria including mycobacteria, fungi including yeast, and bacteriophages. For robust testing of the sterilization effect with regard to later application of implant materials sterilization all microorganisms were embedded in alginate/agarose cylinders that were used as Process Challenge Devices (PCD. These PCD served as surrogate models for bioresorbable 3D scaffolds. Furthermore, the impact of scCO₂ sterilization on mechanical properties of polysaccharide-based hydrogels and collagen-based scaffolds was analyzed. The procedure was shown to be less compromising on mechanical and rheological properties compared to established low-temperature sterilization methods like gamma irradiation and ethylene oxide exposure as well as conventional steam sterilization. Cytocompatibility of alginate gels and scaffolds from mineralized collagen was compared after sterilization with ethylene oxide, gamma irradiation, steam sterilization and scCO₂ treatment. Human

  2. 3-[2,4-Dimethoxybenzylidene]anabaseine (DMXB) selectively activates rat alpha7 receptors and improves memory-related behaviors in a mecamylamine-sensitive manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, E M; Tay, E T; Papke, R L; Meyers, C; Huang, G L; de Fiebre, C M

    1997-09-12

    The alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonist 3-[2,4-dimethoxybenzylidene]anabaseine (DMXB; GTS-21) was investigated for its ability to: (1) activate a variety of nicotinic receptor subtypes in Xenopus oocytes; (2) improve passive avoidance and spatial Morris water task performances in mecamylamine-sensitive manners in bilaterally nucleus basalis lesioned rats; and (3) elevate high-affinity [3H]acetylcholine (ACh) and high-affinity alpha-[125I]bungarotoxin binding in rat neocortex following 2 weeks of daily injections. DMXB (100 microM) activated alpha7 homo-oligomeric receptors, without significant activity at alpha2-, alpha3- and alpha4-containing subtypes. Mecamylamine blocked rat alpha7 receptors weakly if co-administered with agonist, but much more potently when pre-applied. Bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the nucleus basalis interfered with passive avoidance and spatial memory-related behaviors. DMXB (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) improved passive avoidance behavior in lesioned animals in a mecamylamine-sensitive manner. DMXB (0.5 mg/kg 15 min before each session) also improved performance in the training and probe components of the Morris water task. DMXB-induced improvement in the probe component but not the training phase was mecamylamine-sensitive. [3H]ACh binding was elevated after 14 days of daily i.p. injections with 0.2 mg/kg nicotine but not after 1 mg/kg DMXB. Neither drug elevated high-affinity alpha-[125I]bungarorotoxin binding over this interval.

  3. Restoration of muscle mitochondrial function and metabolic flexibility in type 2 diabetes by exercise training is paralleled by increased myocellular fat storage and improved insulin sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meex, Ruth C R; Schrauwen-Hinderling, Vera B; Moonen-Kornips, Esther; Schaart, Gert; Mensink, Marco; Phielix, Esther; van de Weijer, Tineke; Sels, Jean-Pierre; Schrauwen, Patrick; Hesselink, Matthijs K C

    2010-03-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and fat accumulation in skeletal muscle (increased intramyocellular lipid [IMCL]) have been linked to development of type 2 diabetes. We examined whether exercise training could restore mitochondrial function and insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Eighteen male type 2 diabetic and 20 healthy male control subjects of comparable body weight, BMI, age, and VO2max participated in a 12-week combined progressive training program (three times per week and 45 min per session). In vivo mitochondrial function (assessed via magnetic resonance spectroscopy), insulin sensitivity (clamp), metabolic flexibility (indirect calorimetry), and IMCL content (histochemically) were measured before and after training. Mitochondrial function was lower in type 2 diabetic compared with control subjects (P = 0.03), improved by training in control subjects (28% increase; P = 0.02), and restored to control values in type 2 diabetic subjects (48% increase; P type 2 diabetic subjects (delta Rd 63% increase; P type 2 diabetic subjects was restored (delta respiratory exchange ratio 63% increase; P = 0.01) but was unchanged in control subjects (delta respiratory exchange ratio 7% increase; P = 0.22). Starting with comparable pretraining IMCL levels, training tended to increase IMCL content in type 2 diabetic subjects (27% increase; P = 0.10), especially in type 2 muscle fibers. Exercise training restored in vivo mitochondrial function in type 2 diabetic subjects. Insulin-mediated glucose disposal and metabolic flexibility improved in type 2 diabetic subjects in the face of near-significantly increased IMCL content. This indicates that increased capacity to store IMCL and restoration of improved mitochondrial function contribute to improved muscle insulin sensitivity.

  4. Low fish oil intake improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and muscle metabolism on insulin resistant MSG-obese rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Ricardo K; Brito, Gleisson A P; Coelho, Isabela; Pequitto, Danielle C T; Yamaguchi, Adriana A; Borghetti, Gina; Schiessel, Dalton Luiz; Kryczyk, Marcelo; Machado, Juliano; Rocha, Ricelli E R; Aikawa, Julia; Iagher, Fabiola; Naliwaiko, Katya; Tanhoffer, Ricardo A; Nunes, Everson A; Fernandes, Luiz Claudio

    2011-04-28

    Obesity is commonly associated with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The purpose of this study was to determinate the effect of a lower dose of fish oil supplementation on insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and muscle metabolism in obese rats. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (4 mg/g body weight) was injected in neonatal Wistar male rats. Three-month-old rats were divided in normal-weight control group (C), coconut fat-treated normal weight group (CO), fish oil-treated normal weight group (FO), obese control group (Ob), coconut fat-treated obese group (ObCO) and fish oil-treated obese group (ObFO). Obese insulin-resistant rats were supplemented with fish oil or coconut fat (1 g/kg/day) for 4 weeks. Insulin sensitivity, fasting blood biochemicals parameters, and skeletal muscle glucose metabolism were analyzed. Obese animals (Ob) presented higher Index Lee and 2.5 fold epididymal and retroperitoneal adipose tissue than C. Insulin sensitivity test (Kitt) showed that fish oil supplementation was able to maintain insulin sensitivity of obese rats (ObFO) similar to C. There were no changes in glucose and HDL-cholesterol levels amongst groups. Yet, ObFO revealed lower levels of total cholesterol (TC; 30%) and triacylglycerol (TG; 33%) compared to Ob. Finally, since exposed to insulin, ObFO skeletal muscle revealed an increase of 10% in lactate production, 38% in glycogen synthesis and 39% in oxidation of glucose compared to Ob. Low dose of fish oil supplementation (1 g/kg/day) was able to reduce TC and TG levels, in addition to improved systemic and muscle insulin sensitivity. These results lend credence to the benefits of n-3 fatty acids upon the deleterious effects of insulin resistance mechanisms.

  5. Low fish oil intake improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and muscle metabolism on insulin resistant MSG-obese rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iagher Fabiola

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obesity is commonly associated with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The purpose of this study was to determinate the effect of a lower dose of fish oil supplementation on insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and muscle metabolism in obese rats. Methods Monosodium glutamate (MSG (4 mg/g body weight was injected in neonatal Wistar male rats. Three-month-old rats were divided in normal-weight control group (C, coconut fat-treated normal weight group (CO, fish oil-treated normal weight group (FO, obese control group (Ob, coconut fat-treated obese group (ObCO and fish oil-treated obese group (ObFO. Obese insulin-resistant rats were supplemented with fish oil or coconut fat (1 g/kg/day for 4 weeks. Insulin sensitivity, fasting blood biochemicals parameters, and skeletal muscle glucose metabolism were analyzed. Results Obese animals (Ob presented higher Index Lee and 2.5 fold epididymal and retroperitoneal adipose tissue than C. Insulin sensitivity test (Kitt showed that fish oil supplementation was able to maintain insulin sensitivity of obese rats (ObFO similar to C. There were no changes in glucose and HDL-cholesterol levels amongst groups. Yet, ObFO revealed lower levels of total cholesterol (TC; 30% and triacylglycerol (TG; 33% compared to Ob. Finally, since exposed to insulin, ObFO skeletal muscle revealed an increase of 10% in lactate production, 38% in glycogen synthesis and 39% in oxidation of glucose compared to Ob. Conclusions Low dose of fish oil supplementation (1 g/kg/day was able to reduce TC and TG levels, in addition to improved systemic and muscle insulin sensitivity. These results lend credence to the benefits of n-3 fatty acids upon the deleterious effects of insulin resistance mechanisms.

  6. Correlated cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy with high spatial precision and improved sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schorb, Martin; Briggs, John A.G.

    2014-01-01

    Performing fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy on the same sample allows fluorescent signals to be used to identify and locate features of interest for subsequent imaging by electron microscopy. To carry out such correlative microscopy on vitrified samples appropriate for structural cryo-electron microscopy it is necessary to perform fluorescence microscopy at liquid-nitrogen temperatures. Here we describe an adaptation of a cryo-light microscopy stage to permit use of high-numerical aperture objectives. This allows high-sensitivity and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy of vitrified samples. We describe and apply a correlative cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy workflow together with a fiducial bead-based image correlation procedure. This procedure allows us to locate fluorescent bacteriophages in cryo-electron microscopy images with an accuracy on the order of 50 nm, based on their fluorescent signal. It will allow the user to precisely and unambiguously identify and locate objects and events for subsequent high-resolution structural study, based on fluorescent signals. - Highlights: • Workflow for correlated cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy. • Cryo-fluorescence microscopy setup incorporating a high numerical aperture objective. • Fluorescent signals located in cryo-electron micrographs with 50 nm spatial precision

  7. Using a silver-enhanced microarray sandwich structure to improve SERS sensitivity for protein detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Xuefang; Yan, Yuerong; Jiang, Guoqing; Adkins, Jason; Shi, Jian; Jiang, Guomin; Tian, Shu

    2014-03-01

    A simple and sensitive method, based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), for immunoassay and label-free protein detection is reported. A series of bowl-shaped silver cavity arrays were fabricated by electrodeposition using a self-assembled polystyrene spheres template. The reflection spectra of these cavity arrays were recorded as a function of film thickness, and then correlated with SERS enhancement using sodium thiophenolate as the probe molecule. The results reveal that SERS enhancement can be maximized when the frequency of both the incident laser and the Raman scattering approach the frequency of the localized surface plasmon resonance. The optimized array was then used as the bottom layer of a silver nanoparticle-protein-bowl-shaped silver cavity array sandwich. The second layer of silver was introduced by the interactions between the proteins in the middle layer of the sandwich architecture and silver nanoparticles. Human IgG bound to the surface of this microcavity array can retain its recognition function. With the Raman reporter molecules labeled on the antibody, a detection limit down to 0.1 ng mL(-1) for human IgG is easily achieved. Furthermore, the SERS spectra of label-free proteins (catalase, cytochrome C, avidin and lysozyme) from the assembled sandwich have excellent reproducibility and high quality. The results reveal that the proposed approach has potential for use in qualitative and quantitative detection of biomolecules.

  8. 3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide for nonenzymatic uric acid sensors with improved sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Cao, Yang; Chen, Yong; Zhou, Yang; Huang, Qingyou

    2015-12-01

    3-D periodic mesoporous nickel oxide (NiO) particles with crystalline walls have been synthesized through the microwave-assisted hard template route toward the KIT-6 silica. It was investigated as a nonenzymatic amperometric sensor for the detection of uric acid. 3-D periodic nickel oxide matrix has been obtained by the hard template route from the KIT-6 silica template. The crystalline nickel oxide belonged to the Ia3d space group, and its structure was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption-desorption, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The analysis results showed that the microwave-assisted mesoporous NiO materials were more appropriate to be electrochemical sensors than the traditional mesoporous NiO. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) revealed that 3-D periodic NiO exhibited a direct electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of uric acid in sodium hydroxide solution. The enzyme-less amperometric sensor used in the detection of uric acid with detection limit of 0.005 μM (S/N = 3) over wide linear detection ranges up to 0.374 mM and with a high sensitivity of 756.26 μA mM-1 cm-2, and a possible mechanism was also given in the paper.

  9. Recent improvements to RC-line encoded position-sensitive proportional counters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borkowski, C.J.; Kopp, M.K.

    1977-01-01

    Continuing research on the principles of position encoding with RC lines has advanced the design of position-sensitive proportional counters (PSPCs) to meet the requirements for high count rates (>10 5 counts/sec) and good spatial resolution (>10 4 spatial elements) in small-angle scattering experiments with x rays and neutrons. Low-noise preamplifiers were developed with pole-zero cancellation in the feedback circuit and modular linear amplifiers with passive RCL shaping which, compared to previous designs, reduce output saturation at high count rates approx.20 times and shorten the position signal processing time to 2 ) for low-energy ( 800 x 800 mm 2 ) for the measurement of small-angle scattering with neutrons. The method of electronic thickness discrimination was applied to change the effective thickness of an area PSPC from 12 to 2 cm whenever the molybdenum target of an x-ray generator was changed to a copper target. This thickness adjustment increased the signal-to-background ratio by a factor of approx.6 for the 8-keV photons from the copper target, while maintaining a >90% detection efficiency

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Charles M.; Tan, Huwei

    2010-04-01

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

  11. Correlated cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy with high spatial precision and improved sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schorb, Martin [Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Briggs, John A.G., E-mail: john.briggs@embl.de [Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-08-01

    Performing fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy on the same sample allows fluorescent signals to be used to identify and locate features of interest for subsequent imaging by electron microscopy. To carry out such correlative microscopy on vitrified samples appropriate for structural cryo-electron microscopy it is necessary to perform fluorescence microscopy at liquid-nitrogen temperatures. Here we describe an adaptation of a cryo-light microscopy stage to permit use of high-numerical aperture objectives. This allows high-sensitivity and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy of vitrified samples. We describe and apply a correlative cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy workflow together with a fiducial bead-based image correlation procedure. This procedure allows us to locate fluorescent bacteriophages in cryo-electron microscopy images with an accuracy on the order of 50 nm, based on their fluorescent signal. It will allow the user to precisely and unambiguously identify and locate objects and events for subsequent high-resolution structural study, based on fluorescent signals. - Highlights: • Workflow for correlated cryo-fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy. • Cryo-fluorescence microscopy setup incorporating a high numerical aperture objective. • Fluorescent signals located in cryo-electron micrographs with 50 nm spatial precision.

  12. Receiver sensitivity improvement in spectrally-efficient guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM using an optical IQ modulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Peng, Miao; Zhou, Hui; Zheng, Zhiwei; Tang, Xionggui; Maivan, Lap

    2017-12-01

    To further improve receiver sensitivity of spectrally-efficient guard-band direct-detection optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) with twin single-side-band (SSB) modulation technique, an optical IQ modulator (IQM) is employed to optimize optical carrier-to-signal power ratio (CSPR). The CSPRs for the guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM signal generated by using dual-drive Mach-Zehnder modulator (DD-MZM) and optical IQM are theoretically analyzed and supported by simulations. The optimal CSPR for the two types of guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM are identified. The simulations exhibit that the error vector magnitude (EVM) performance of the IQM-enabled guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM is improved by more than 4-dB compared to that of the twin-SSB-OFDM enabled by DD-MZM after 80-km single-mode fiber (SMF) transmission. In addition, more than 3-dB and 10 dB receiver sensitivity improvements in terms of received optical power (ROP) and optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) are also achieved, respectively.

  13. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation transiently improves contrast sensitivity and normalizes visual cortex activation in individuals with amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Daniel P; Byblow, Winston D; Hess, Robert F; Thompson, Benjamin

    2013-10-01

    Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision that is associated with abnormal patterns of neural inhibition within the visual cortex. This disorder is often considered to be untreatable in adulthood because of insufficient visual cortex plasticity. There is increasing evidence that interventions that target inhibitory interactions within the visual cortex, including certain types of noninvasive brain stimulation, can improve visual function in adults with amblyopia. We tested the hypothesis that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) would improve visual function in adults with amblyopia by enhancing the neural response to inputs from the amblyopic eye. Thirteen adults with amblyopia participated and contrast sensitivity in the amblyopic and fellow fixing eye was assessed before, during and after a-tDCS or cathodal tDCS (c-tDCS). Five participants also completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study designed to investigate the effect of a-tDCS on the blood oxygen level-dependent response within the visual cortex to inputs from the amblyopic versus the fellow fixing eye. A subgroup of 8/13 participants showed a transient improvement in amblyopic eye contrast sensitivity for at least 30 minutes after a-tDCS. fMRI measurements indicated that the characteristic cortical response asymmetry in amblyopes, which favors the fellow eye, was reduced by a-tDCS. These preliminary results suggest that a-tDCS deserves further investigation as a potential tool to enhance amblyopia treatment outcomes in adults.

  14. Sensitivity improvement of an electrical sensor achieved by control of biomolecules based on the negative dielectrophoretic force.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye Jin; Kim, Jinsik; Yoo, Yong Kyoung; Lee, Jeong Hoon; Park, Jung Ho; Hwang, Kyo Seon

    2016-11-15

    Effective control of nano-scale biomolecules can enhance the sensitivity and limit of detection of an interdigitated microelectrode (IME) sensor. Manipulation of the biomolecules by dielectrophoresis (DEP), especially the negative DEP (nDEP) force, so that they are trapped between electrodes (sensing regions) was predicted to increase the binding efficiency of the antibody and target molecules, leading to a more effective reaction. To prove this concept, amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) protein were respectively trapped between the sensing region owing to the nDEP force under 5V and 0.05V, which was verified with COMSOL simulation. Using the simulation value, the resistance change (ΔR/Rb) of the IME sensor from the specific antibody-antigen reaction of the two biomolecules and the change in fluorescence intensity were compared in the reference (pDEP) and nDEP conditions. The ΔR/Rb value improved by about 2-fold and 1.66-fold with nDEP compared to the reference condition with various protein concentrations, and these increases were confirmed with fluorescence imaging. Overall, nDEP enhanced the detection sensitivity for Aβ42 and PSA by 128% and 258%, respectively, and the limit of detection improved by up to 2-orders of magnitude. These results prove that DEP can improve the biosensor's performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Bezafibrate ameliorates diabetes via reduced steatosis and improved hepatic insulin sensitivity in diabetic TallyHo mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andras Franko

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Recently, we have shown that Bezafibrate (BEZ, the pan-PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor activator, ameliorated diabetes in insulin deficient streptozotocin treated diabetic mice. In order to study whether BEZ can also improve glucose metabolism in a mouse model for fatty liver and type 2 diabetes, the drug was applied to TallyHo mice. Methods: TallyHo mice were divided into an early (ED and late (LD diabetes progression group and both groups were treated with 0.5% BEZ (BEZ group or standard diet (SD group for 8 weeks. We analyzed plasma parameters, pancreatic beta-cell morphology, and mass as well as glucose metabolism of the BEZ-treated and control mice. Furthermore, liver fat content and composition as well as hepatic gluconeogenesis and mitochondrial mass were determined. Results: Plasma lipid and glucose levels were markedly reduced upon BEZ treatment, which was accompanied by elevated insulin sensitivity index as well as glucose tolerance, respectively. BEZ increased islet area in the pancreas. Furthermore, BEZ treatment improved energy expenditure and metabolic flexibility. In the liver, BEZ ameliorated steatosis, modified lipid composition and increased mitochondrial mass, which was accompanied by reduced hepatic gluconeogenesis. Conclusions: Our data showed that BEZ ameliorates diabetes probably via reduced steatosis, enhanced hepatic mitochondrial mass, improved metabolic flexibility and elevated hepatic insulin sensitivity in TallyHo mice, suggesting that BEZ treatment could be beneficial for patients with NAFLD and impaired glucose metabolism. Keywords: Bezafibrate, Glucose metabolism, Insulin resistance, Lipid metabolism, NAFLD

  16. Real-time pure shift {sup 15}N HSQC of proteins: a real improvement in resolution and sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kiraly, Peter; Adams, Ralph W.; Paudel, Liladhar; Foroozandeh, Mohammadali [University of Manchester, School of Chemistry (United Kingdom); Aguilar, Juan A. [Durham University, Department of Chemistry (United Kingdom); Timári, István [University of Debrecen, Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry (Hungary); Cliff, Matthew J. [University of Manchester, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (United Kingdom); Nilsson, Mathias [University of Manchester, School of Chemistry (United Kingdom); Sándor, Péter [Agilent Technologies R& D and Marketing GmbH & Co. KG (Germany); Batta, Gyula [University of Debrecen, Department of Organic Chemistry (Hungary); Waltho, Jonathan P. [University of Manchester, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (United Kingdom); Kövér, Katalin E. [University of Debrecen, Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry (Hungary); Morris, Gareth A., E-mail: g.a.morris@manchester.ac.uk [University of Manchester, School of Chemistry (United Kingdom)

    2015-05-15

    Spectral resolution in proton NMR spectroscopy is reduced by the splitting of resonances into multiplets due to the effect of homonuclear scalar couplings. Although these effects are often hidden in protein NMR spectroscopy by low digital resolution and routine apodization, behind the scenes homonuclear scalar couplings increase spectral overcrowding. The possibilities for biomolecular NMR offered by new pure shift NMR methods are illustrated here. Both resolution and sensitivity are improved, without any increase in experiment time. In these experiments, free induction decays are collected in short bursts of data acquisition, with durations short on the timescale of J-evolution, interspersed with suitable refocusing elements. The net effect is real-time (t{sub 2}) broadband homodecoupling, suppressing the multiplet structure caused by proton–proton interactions. The key feature of the refocusing elements is that they discriminate between the resonances of active (observed) and passive (coupling partner) spins. This can be achieved either by using band-selective refocusing or by the BIRD element, in both cases accompanied by a nonselective 180° proton pulse. The latter method selects the active spins based on their one-bond heteronuclear J-coupling to {sup 15}N, while the former selects a region of the {sup 1}H spectrum. Several novel pure shift experiments are presented, and the improvements in resolution and sensitivity they provide are evaluated for representative samples: the N-terminal domain of PGK; ubiquitin; and two mutants of the small antifungal protein PAF. These new experiments, delivering improved sensitivity and resolution, have the potential to replace the current standard HSQC experiments.

  17. An Implementation of ARM 920T Processor-based Ultrasonic Spirometer and Improvement of Its Sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Cheul Won; Kim, Young Kil

    2005-01-01

    The spirometer is a medical device that measures the instantaneous velocity of the respiratory gas flow capacity. It is used for testing the condition of the lung and patient monitoring. It measures the absolute capacity difference that includes the flow capacity signal. In this paper, by using an ultrasound sensor that reduce+ the error caused by the inertia and pressure it has improved the transmission and receiving signal. This has enabled patients with weak respiratory to use the spirometer. Also, by using the ARM 920T Processor, a precise and prompt detection system was implemented

  18. Endurance training improves insulin sensitivity and body composition in prostate cancer patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvid, Thine; Winding, Kamilla; Rinnov, Anders

    2013-01-01

    Insulin resistance and changes in body composition are side effects of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) given to prostate cancer patients. The present study investigated whether endurance training improves insulin sensitivity and body composition in ADT-treated prostate cancer patients. Nine me...... and magnetic resonance imaging). The secondary endpoint was systemic inflammation. Statistical analysis was carried out using two-way ANOVA. Endurance training increased VO2max (ml(O2)/min per kg) by 11 and 13% in the patients and controls respectively (P...

  19. Improved Composite Gel Electrolyte by Layered Vermiculite for Quasi-Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongcai He

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A composite quasisolid electrolyte is prepared by adding a layered vermiculite (VMT into the iodide/triiodide electrolyte including 4-tert-butylpyridine, which obviously improves the photovoltaic properties of quasisolid dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs. When adding 6 wt% VMT, the maximum photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 3.89% is obtained, which reaches more than two times greater than that without VMT. This enhancement effect is primarily explained by studying the Nyquist spectra, dark currents, and photovoltaic conversion efficiency.

  20. Improving and Assessing Planet Sensitivity of the GPI Exoplanet Survey with a Forward Model Matched Filter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Macintosh, Bruce; Nielsen, Eric L.; Czekala, Ian; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Follette, Katherine B. [Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305 (United States); Wang, Jason J.; Rosa, Robert J. De; Duchêne, Gaspard [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley CA, 94720 (United States); Pueyo, Laurent [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, 21218 (United States); Marley, Mark S. [NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, 94035 (United States); Arriaga, Pauline; Fitzgerald, Michael P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095 (United States); Barman, Travis [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, 85721 (United States); Bulger, Joanna [Subaru Telescope, NAOJ, 650 North A’ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Chilcote, Jeffrey [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4 (Canada); Cotten, Tara [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602 (United States); Doyon, Rene [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes, Départment de Physique, Université de Montréal, Montréal QC, H3C 3J7 (Canada); Gerard, Benjamin L. [University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2 (Canada); Goodsell, Stephen J., E-mail: jruffio@stanford.edu [Gemini Observatory, 670 N. A’ohoku Place, Hilo, HI, 96720 (United States); and others

    2017-06-10

    We present a new matched-filter algorithm for direct detection of point sources in the immediate vicinity of bright stars. The stellar point-spread function (PSF) is first subtracted using a Karhunen-Loéve image processing (KLIP) algorithm with angular and spectral differential imaging (ADI and SDI). The KLIP-induced distortion of the astrophysical signal is included in the matched-filter template by computing a forward model of the PSF at every position in the image. To optimize the performance of the algorithm, we conduct extensive planet injection and recovery tests and tune the exoplanet spectra template and KLIP reduction aggressiveness to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the recovered planets. We show that only two spectral templates are necessary to recover any young Jovian exoplanets with minimal S/N loss. We also developed a complete pipeline for the automated detection of point-source candidates, the calculation of receiver operating characteristics (ROC), contrast curves based on false positives, and completeness contours. We process in a uniform manner more than 330 data sets from the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey and assess GPI typical sensitivity as a function of the star and the hypothetical companion spectral type. This work allows for the first time a comparison of different detection algorithms at a survey scale accounting for both planet completeness and false-positive rate. We show that the new forward model matched filter allows the detection of 50% fainter objects than a conventional cross-correlation technique with a Gaussian PSF template for the same false-positive rate.

  1. Six-month exenatide improves HOMA hyperbolic product in type 2 diabetic patients mostly by enhancing beta-cell function rather than insulin sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preumont, V; Hermans, M-P; Brichard, S; Buysschaert, M

    2010-09-01

    This study aimed to determine whether or not the improvement of glycaemic control with 6-month exenatide therapy in type 2 diabetic patients with secondary failure to combined oral therapy is related to amelioration of β-cell function and/or insulin sensitivity and their combined product. Thirty-three patients with type 2 diabetes were investigated. Their β-cell function and insulin sensitivity were measured using Homoeostasis Model Assessment [HOMA-B, HOMA-S and HOMA hyperbolic product (BxS)]. Additional endpoints included changes in weight, HbA(1c) and plasma adiponectin, as well as baseline clinical and biological characteristics, as potential predictors of HbA(1c) response. After 6 months, unadjusted HOMA-B increased from 33 ± 24% to 43 ± 23% (P=0.0210), whereas there was no significant change in HOMA-S (from 58 ± 35% to 61 ± 40%). The hyperbolic product increased by a relative 70% (from 15 ± 7% to 22 ± 15%; P=0.0055). Body mass index decreased from 32.2 ± 5.1 kg/m(2) to 31.0 ± 4.8 kg/m(2) (PHOMA-B and hyperbolic product over a 6-month treatment period with no overall change in insulin sensitivity, despite weight loss. Thus, improved β-cell function rather than increased insulin sensitivity accounts for the bulk of HbA(1c) reduction following 6 months of exenatide treatment. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Improving the Sensitivity and Functionality of Mobile Webcam-Based Fluorescence Detectors for Point-of-Care Diagnostics in Global Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasooly, Reuven; Bruck, Hugh Alan; Balsam, Joshua; Prickril, Ben; Ossandon, Miguel; Rasooly, Avraham

    2016-01-01

    Resource-poor countries and regions require effective, low-cost diagnostic devices for accurate identification and diagnosis of health conditions. Optical detection technologies used for many types of biological and clinical analysis can play a significant role in addressing this need, but must be sufficiently affordable and portable for use in global health settings. Most current clinical optical imaging technologies are accurate and sensitive, but also expensive and difficult to adapt for use in these settings. These challenges can be mitigated by taking advantage of affordable consumer electronics mobile devices such as webcams, mobile phones, charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras, lasers, and LEDs. Low-cost, portable multi-wavelength fluorescence plate readers have been developed for many applications including detection of microbial toxins such as C. Botulinum A neurotoxin, Shiga toxin, and S. aureus enterotoxin B (SEB), and flow cytometry has been used to detect very low cell concentrations. However, the relatively low sensitivities of these devices limit their clinical utility. We have developed several approaches to improve their sensitivity presented here for webcam based fluorescence detectors, including (1) image stacking to improve signal-to-noise ratios; (2) lasers to enable fluorescence excitation for flow cytometry; and (3) streak imaging to capture the trajectory of a single cell, enabling imaging sensors with high noise levels to detect rare cell events. These approaches can also help to overcome some of the limitations of other low-cost optical detection technologies such as CCD or phone-based detectors (like high noise levels or low sensitivities), and provide for their use in low-cost medical diagnostics in resource-poor settings. PMID:27196933

  3. Improving the Sensitivity and Functionality of Mobile Webcam-Based Fluorescence Detectors for Point-of-Care Diagnostics in Global Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuven Rasooly

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Resource-poor countries and regions require effective, low-cost diagnostic devices for accurate identification and diagnosis of health conditions. Optical detection technologies used for many types of biological and clinical analysis can play a significant role in addressing this need, but must be sufficiently affordable and portable for use in global health settings. Most current clinical optical imaging technologies are accurate and sensitive, but also expensive and difficult to adapt for use in these settings. These challenges can be mitigated by taking advantage of affordable consumer electronics mobile devices such as webcams, mobile phones, charge-coupled device (CCD cameras, lasers, and LEDs. Low-cost, portable multi-wavelength fluorescence plate readers have been developed for many applications including detection of microbial toxins such as C. Botulinum A neurotoxin, Shiga toxin, and S. aureus enterotoxin B (SEB, and flow cytometry has been used to detect very low cell concentrations. However, the relatively low sensitivities of these devices limit their clinical utility. We have developed several approaches to improve their sensitivity presented here for webcam based fluorescence detectors, including (1 image stacking to improve signal-to-noise ratios; (2 lasers to enable fluorescence excitation for flow cytometry; and (3 streak imaging to capture the trajectory of a single cell, enabling imaging sensors with high noise levels to detect rare cell events. These approaches can also help to overcome some of the limitations of other low-cost optical detection technologies such as CCD or phone-based detectors (like high noise levels or low sensitivities, and provide for their use in low-cost medical diagnostics in resource-poor settings.

  4. Engineering of Cellobiose Dehydrogenases for Improved Glucose Sensitivity and Reduced Maltose Affinity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ortiz, Roberto; Rahman, Mahbubur; Zangrilli, Beatrice

    2017-01-01

    Cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) is a fungal extracellular flavocytochrome capable of direct electron transfer (DET). Unlike other CDHs, the pH optimum for CDHs from Corynascus thermophilus (CtCDH) and Humicola insolens (HiCDH) is close to the human physiological pH in blood (7.4). These are......, therefore, interesting candidates for glucose measurements in human blood and the application in enzymatic fuel cells is, however, limited by their relatively low activity with this substrate. In this work, the substrate specificities of CtCDH and HiCDH have been altered by a single cysteine to tyrosine...... substitution in the active sites of CtCDH (position 291) and HiCDH (position 285), which resulted in improved kinetic constants with glucose while decreasing the activity with several disaccharides, including maltose. The DET properties of the generated CDH variants were tested in the absence...

  5. Sensitivity improvement for correlations involving arginine side-chain Nε/Hε resonances in multi-dimensional NMR experiments using broadband 15N 180o pulses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwahara, Junji; Clore, G. Marius

    2006-01-01

    Due to practical limitations in available 15 N rf field strength, imperfections in 15 N 180 o pulses arising from off-resonance effects can result in significant sensitivity loss, even if the chemical shift offset is relatively small. Indeed, in multi-dimensional NMR experiments optimized for protein backbone amide groups, cross-peaks arising from the Arg guanidino 15 Nε (∼85 ppm) are highly attenuated by the presence of multiple INEPT transfer steps. To improve the sensitivity for correlations involving Arg Nε-Hε groups, we have incorporated 15 N broadband 180 deg. pulses into 3D 15 N-separated NOE-HSQC and HNCACB experiments. Two 15 N-WURST pulses incorporated at the INEPT transfer steps of the 3D 15 N-separated NOE-HSQC pulse sequence resulted in a ∼1.5-fold increase in sensitivity for the Arg Nε-Hε signals at 800 MHz. For the 3D HNCACB experiment, five 15 N Abramovich-Vega pulses were incorporated for broadband inversion and refocusing, and the sensitivity of Arg 1 Hε- 15 Nε- 13 Cγ/ 13 Cδ correlation peaks was enhanced by a factor of ∼1.7 at 500 MHz. These experiments eliminate the necessity for additional experiments to assign Arg 1 Hε and 15 Nε resonances. In addition, the increased sensitivity afforded for the detection of NOE cross-peaks involving correlations with the 15 Nε/ 1 Hε of Arg in 3D 15 N-separated NOE experiments should prove to be very useful for structural analysis of interactions involving Arg side-chains

  6. Improving Medical Decision Making and Health Promotion through Culture-Sensitive Health Communication: An Agenda for Science and Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betsch, Cornelia; Böhm, Robert; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O; Butler, Robb; Chapman, Gretchen B; Haase, Niels; Herrmann, Benedikt; Igarashi, Tasuku; Kitayama, Shinobu; Korn, Lars; Nurm, Ülla-Karin; Rohrmann, Bernd; Rothman, Alexander J; Shavitt, Sharon; Updegraff, John A; Uskul, Ayse K

    2016-10-01

    This review introduces the concept of culture-sensitive health communication. The basic premise is that congruency between the recipient's cultural characteristics and the respective message will increase the communication's effectiveness. Culture-sensitive health communication is therefore defined as the deliberate and evidence-informed adaptation of health communication to the recipients' cultural background in order to increase knowledge and improve preparation for medical decision making and to enhance the persuasiveness of messages in health promotion. To achieve effective health communication in varying cultural contexts, an empirically and theoretically based understanding of culture will be indispensable. We therefore define culture, discuss which evolutionary and structural factors contribute to the development of cultural diversity, and examine how differences are conceptualized as scientific constructs in current models of cultural differences. In addition, we will explicate the implications of cultural differences for psychological theorizing, because common constructs of health behavior theories and decision making, such as attitudes or risk perception, are subject to cultural variation. In terms of communication, we will review both communication strategies and channels that are used to disseminate health messages, and we will discuss the implications of cultural differences for their effectiveness. Finally, we propose an agenda both for science and for practice to advance and apply the evidence base for culture-sensitive health communication. This calls for more interdisciplinary research between science and practice but also between scientific disciplines and between basic and applied research. © The Author(s) 2015.

  7. Overexpression of ARGOS Genes Modifies Plant Sensitivity to Ethylene, Leading to Improved Drought Tolerance in Both Arabidopsis and Maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jinrui; Habben, Jeffrey E; Archibald, Rayeann L; Drummond, Bruce J; Chamberlin, Mark A; Williams, Robert W; Lafitte, H Renee; Weers, Ben P

    2015-09-01

    Lack of sufficient water is a major limiting factor to crop production worldwide, and the development of drought-tolerant germplasm is needed to improve crop productivity. The phytohormone ethylene modulates plant growth and development as well as plant response to abiotic stress. Recent research has shown that modifying ethylene biosynthesis and signaling can enhance plant drought tolerance. Here, we report novel negative regulators of ethylene signal transduction in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and maize (Zea mays). These regulators are encoded by the ARGOS gene family. In Arabidopsis, overexpression of maize ARGOS1 (ZmARGOS1), ZmARGOS8, Arabidopsis ARGOS homolog ORGAN SIZE RELATED1 (AtOSR1), and AtOSR2 reduced plant sensitivity to ethylene, leading to enhanced drought tolerance. RNA profiling and genetic analysis suggested that the ZmARGOS1 transgene acts between an ethylene receptor and CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE1 in the ethylene signaling pathway, affecting ethylene perception or the early stages of ethylene signaling. Overexpressed ZmARGOS1 is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi membrane, where the ethylene receptors and the ethylene signaling protein ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE2 and REVERSION-TO-ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY1 reside. In transgenic maize plants, overexpression of ARGOS genes also reduces ethylene sensitivity. Moreover, field testing showed that UBIQUITIN1:ZmARGOS8 maize events had a greater grain yield than nontransgenic controls under both drought stress and well-watered conditions. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  8. O2 Plasma Etching and Antistatic Gun Surface Modifications for CNT Yarn Microelectrode Improve Sensitivity and Antifouling Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Cheng; Wang, Ying; Jacobs, Christopher B; Ivanov, Ilia N; Venton, B Jill

    2017-05-16

    Carbon nanotube (CNT) based microelectrodes exhibit rapid and selective detection of neurotransmitters. While different fabrication strategies and geometries of CNT microelectrodes have been characterized, relatively little research has investigated ways to selectively enhance their electrochemical properties. In this work, we introduce two simple, reproducible, low-cost, and efficient surface modification methods for carbon nanotube yarn microelectrodes (CNTYMEs): O 2 plasma etching and antistatic gun treatment. O 2 plasma etching was performed by a microwave plasma system with oxygen gas flow and the optimized time for treatment was 1 min. The antistatic gun treatment flows ions by the electrode surface; two triggers of the antistatic gun was the optimized number on the CNTYME surface. Current for dopamine at CNTYMEs increased 3-fold after O 2 plasma etching and 4-fold after antistatic gun treatment. When the two treatments were combined, the current increased 12-fold, showing the two effects are due to independent mechanisms that tune the surface properties. O 2 plasma etching increased the sensitivity due to increased surface oxygen content but did not affect surface roughness while the antistatic gun treatment increased surface roughness but not oxygen content. The effect of tissue fouling on CNT yarns was studied for the first time, and the relatively hydrophilic surface after O 2 plasma etching provided better resistance to fouling than unmodified or antistatic gun treated CNTYMEs. Overall, O 2 plasma etching and antistatic gun treatment improve the sensitivity of CNTYMEs by different mechanisms, providing the possibility to tune the CNTYME surface and enhance sensitivity.

  9. Validation and sensitivity tests on improved parametrizations of a land surface process model (LSPM) in the Po Valley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cassardo, C.; Carena, E.; Longhetto, A.

    1998-01-01

    The Land Surface Process Model (LSPM) has been improved with respect to the 1. version of 1994. The modifications have involved the parametrizations of the radiation terms and of turbulent heat fluxes. A parametrization of runoff has also been developed, in order to close the hydrologic balance. This 2. version of LSPM has been validated against experimental data gathered at Mottarone (Verbania, Northern Italy) during a field experiment. The results of this validation show that this new version is able to apportionate the energy into sensible and latent heat fluxes. LSPM has also been submitted to a series of sensitivity tests in order to investigate the hydrological part of the model. The physical quantities selected in these sensitivity experiments have been the initial soil moisture content and the rainfall intensity. In each experiment, the model has been forced by using the observations carried out at the synoptic stations of San Pietro Capofiume (Po Valley, Italy). The observed characteristics of soil and vegetation (not involved in the sensitivity tests) have been used as initial and boundary conditions. The results of the simulation show that LSPM can reproduce well the energy, heat and water budgets and their behaviours with varying the selected parameters. A careful analysis of the LSPM output shows also the importance to identify the effective soil type

  10. Recent Progress in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells for Improving Efficiency: TiO2 Nanotube Arrays in Active Layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Won-Yeop Rho

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs have been widely studied due to several advantages, such as low cost-to-performance ratio, low cost of fabrication, functionality at wide angles and low intensities of incident light, mechanical robustness, and low weight. This paper summarizes the recent progress in DSSC technology for improving efficiency, focusing on the active layer in the photoanode, with a part of the DSSC consisting of dyes and a TiO2 film layer. In particular, this review highlights a huge pool of studies that report improvements in the efficiency of DSSCs using TiO2 nanotubes, which exhibit better electron transport. Finally, this paper suggests opportunities for future research.

  11. Sensitivity improvements, in the determination of mercury in biological tissues by neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cornett, C R; Samudralwar, D L; Ehmann, W D [Kentucky Univ., Lexington, KY (United States). Dept. of Chemistry; Markesbery, W R [Kentucky Univ., Lexington, KY (United States)

    1995-08-01

    The possible association of dental amalgam surface exposure, brain mercury (Hg) levels, and pathological markers of Alzheimer`s disease (AD) in the brain is the subject of an on-going study in our laboratory. Two radiochemical neutron activation analysis methods and the use of instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) with Compton suppression spectrometry have been evaluated for improving our INAA Hg detection limit (2.8{+-}0.6 ng/g, wet-weight basis) in human tissue. Large numbers of samples dictated the use of a purely instrumental method or rapid, simple radiochemical separations. Human brain tissues and NIST biological standards were analyzed using a precipitation of Hg{sub 2}Cl{sub 2}, a solvent extraction utilizing sodium diethyldithiocarbomate, conventional INAA, and INAA with Compton suppression. The radiochemical precipitation of Hg{sub 2}Cl{sub 2} proved to be the most useful method for use in our study because it provided a simultaneous, quantitative determination of silver (Ag) and a Hg detection limit in brain tissue of 1.6{+-}0.1 ng/g (wet-weight basis). (author). 12 refs., 2 tabs.

  12. [Improvement of sensitivity in the second generation HCV core antigen assay by a novel concentration method using polyethylene glycol (PEG)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higashimoto, Makiko; Takahashi, Masahiko; Jokyu, Ritsuko; Syundou, Hiromi; Saito, Hidetsugu

    2007-11-01

    A HCV core antigen (Ag) detection assay system, Lumipulse Ortho HCV Ag has been developed and is commercially available in Japan with a lower detection level limit of 50 fmol/l, which is equivalent to 20 KIU/ml in PCR quantitative assay. HCV core Ag assay has an advantage of broader dynamic range compared with PCR assay, however the sensitivity is lower than PCR. We developed a novel HCV core Ag concentration method using polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can improve the sensitivity five times better than the original assay. The reproducibility was examined by consecutive five-time measurement of HCV patients serum, in which the results of HCV core Ag original and concentrated method were 56.8 +/- 8.1 fmol/l (mean +/- SD), CV 14.2% and 322.9 +/- 45.5 fmol/l CV 14.0%, respectively. The assay results of HCV negative samples in original HCV core Ag were all 0.1 fmol/l and the results were same even in the concentration method. The results of concentration method were 5.7 times higher than original assay, which was almost equal to theoretical rate as expected. The assay results of serially diluted samples were also as same as expected data in both original and concentration assay. We confirmed that the sensitivity of HCV core Ag concentration method had almost as same sensitivity as PCR high range assay in the competitive assay study using the serially monitored samples of five HCV patients during interferon therapy. A novel concentration method using PEG in HCV core Ag assay system seems to be useful for assessing and monitoring interferon treatment for HCV.

  13. Improving ecological risk assessment by including bioavailability into species sensitivity distributions: An example for plants exposed to nickel in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semenzin, Elena; Temminghoff, Erwin J.M.; Marcomini, Antonio

    2007-01-01

    The variability of species sensitivity distribution (SSD) due to contaminant bioavailability in soil was explored by using nickel as metal of concern. SSDs of toxicity test results of Avena sativa L. originating from different soils and expressed as total content and available (0.01 M CaCl 2 ) extractable concentration were compared to SSDs for terrestrial plants derived from literature toxicity data. Also the 'free' nickel (Ni 2+ ) concentration was calculated and compared. The results demonstrated that SSDs based on total nickel content highly depend on the experimental conditions set up for toxicity testing (i.e. selected soil and pH value) and thus on metal bioavailability in soil, resulting in an unacceptable uncertainty for ecological risk estimation. The use in SSDs of plant toxicity data expressed as 0.01 M CaCl 2 extractable metal strongly reduced the uncertainty in the SSD curve and thus can improve the ERA procedure remarkably by taking bioavailability into account. - The use of bioavailability toxicity data can improve species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curves and thus ecological risk assessment (ERA)

  14. Nutrition-sensitive interventions and programmes: how can they help to accelerate progress in improving maternal and child nutrition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruel, Marie T; Alderman, Harold

    2013-08-10

    Acceleration of progress in nutrition will require effective, large-scale nutrition-sensitive programmes that address key underlying determinants of nutrition and enhance the coverage and effectiveness of nutrition-specific interventions. We reviewed evidence of nutritional effects of programmes in four sectors--agriculture, social safety nets, early child development, and schooling. The need for investments to boost agricultural production, keep prices low, and increase incomes is undisputable; targeted agricultural programmes can complement these investments by supporting livelihoods, enhancing access to diverse diets in poor populations, and fostering women's empowerment. However, evidence of the nutritional effect of agricultural programmes is inconclusive--except for vitamin A from biofortification of orange sweet potatoes--largely because of poor quality evaluations. Social safety nets currently provide cash or food transfers to a billion poor people and victims of shocks (eg, natural disasters). Individual studies show some effects on younger children exposed for longer durations, but weaknesses in nutrition goals and actions, and poor service quality probably explain the scarcity of overall nutritional benefits. Combined early child development and nutrition interventions show promising additive or synergistic effects on child development--and in some cases nutrition--and could lead to substantial gains in cost, efficiency, and effectiveness, but these programmes have yet to be tested at scale. Parental schooling is strongly associated with child nutrition, and the effectiveness of emerging school nutrition education programmes needs to be tested. Many of the programmes reviewed were not originally designed to improve nutrition yet have great potential to do so. Ways to enhance programme nutrition-sensitivity include: improve targeting; use conditions to stimulate participation; strengthen nutrition goals and actions; and optimise women's nutrition, time

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-ge LIU

    2008-09-01

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

  16. Liuwei Dihuang Lowers Body Weight and Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity in Obese Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Perry

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study was aimed at investigating the efficacy and mechanism(s of action of a Chinese herbal formulation, Liuwei Dihuang (LWDH, as a prospective natural weight-lowering product. Following a 2-week acclimation period, 48 obesity-prone (OP-CD rats were divided into 4 groups (n=12 each. One group served as a positive control for obesity (OP, while the other 3 were challenged twice daily by oral gavage with total daily dosages of 500, 1500, or 3500 mg/kg BW LWDH, respectively, for 10 weeks. One group (n=12 of obesity-resistant (OR-CD rats served as the normal control group. All rats were fed the same AIN-93G diet modified to contain 60% energy from fat. The highest LWDH dose significantly reduced body weight during the last 4 weeks of treatment. Food intake was reduced beginning in week 2. The high LWDH dose lowered serum triglyceride (TG and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA levels and body fat. Both the high and medium doses also lowered serum leptin and insulin levels. Liver function testing revealed no adverse side effects under the current experimental conditions. The results of the present study suggest that LWDH has potential as a preventive or therapeutic natural product against overweight and obesity.

  17. Improving sensitivity in proteome studies by analysis of false discovery rates for multiple search engines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Andrew R; Siepen, Jennifer A; Hubbard, Simon J; Paton, Norman W

    2009-03-01

    LC-MS experiments can generate large quantities of data, for which a variety of database search engines are available to make peptide and protein identifications. Decoy databases are becoming widely used to place statistical confidence in result sets, allowing the false discovery rate (FDR) to be estimated. Different search engines produce different identification sets so employing more than one search engine could result in an increased number of peptides (and proteins) being identified, if an appropriate mechanism for combining data can be defined. We have developed a search engine independent score, based on FDR, which allows peptide identifications from different search engines to be combined, called the FDR Score. The results demonstrate that the observed FDR is significantly different when analysing the set of identifications made by all three search engines, by each pair of search engines or by a single search engine. Our algorithm assigns identifications to groups according to the set of search engines that have made the identification, and re-assigns the score (combined FDR Score). The combined FDR Score can differentiate between correct and incorrect peptide identifications with high accuracy, allowing on average 35% more peptide identifications to be made at a fixed FDR than using a single search engine.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-12-15

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

  19. 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...

  20. Improved leptin sensitivity as a potential candidate responsible for the spontaneous food restriction of the Lou/C rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christelle Veyrat-Durebex

    Full Text Available The Lou/C rat, an inbred strain of Wistar origin, was described as a model of resistance to age- and diet-induced obesity. Although such a resistance involves many metabolic parameters described in our previous studies, Lou/C rats also exhibit a spontaneous food restriction due to decreased food consumption during the nocturnal period. We then attempted to delineate the leptin sensitivity and mechanisms implicated in this strain, using different protocols of acute central and peripheral leptin administration. A first analysis of the meal patterns revealed that Lou/C rats eat smaller meals, without any change in meal number compared to age-matched Wistar animals. Although the expression of the recognized leptin transporters (leptin receptors and megalin measured in the choroid plexus was normal in Lou/C rats, the decreased triglyceridemia observed in these animals is compatible with an increased leptin transport across the blood brain barrier. Improved hypothalamic leptin signaling in Lou/C rats was also suggested by the higher pSTAT3/STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 ratio observed following acute peripheral leptin administration, as well as by the lower hypothalamic mRNA expression of the suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3, known to downregulate leptin signaling. To conclude, spontaneous hypophagia of Lou/C rats appears to be related to improved leptin sensitivity. The main mechanism underlying such a phenomenon consists in improved leptin signaling through the Ob-Rb leptin receptor isoform, which seems to consequently lead to overexpression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH.

  1. Improved sensitivity and specificity for resting state and task fMRI with multiband multi-echo EPI compared to multi-echo EPI at 7T.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boyacioglu, R.; Schulz, J.; Koopmans, P.J.; Barth, M.; Norris, David Gordon

    2015-01-01

    A multiband multi-echo (MBME) sequence is implemented and compared to a matched standard multi-echo (ME) protocol to investigate the potential improvement in sensitivity and spatial specificity at 7 T for resting state and task fMRI. ME acquisition is attractive because BOLD sensitivity is less

  2. Improvement of N-phthaloylchitosan based gel polymer electrolyte in dye-sensitized solar cells using a binary salt system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, S N F; Azzahari, A D; Selvanathan, V; Yahya, R; Careem, M A; Arof, A K

    2017-02-10

    A binary salt system utilizing lithium iodide (LiI) as the auxiliary component has been introduced to the N-phthaloylchitosan (PhCh) based gel polymer electrolyte consisting of ethylene carbonate (EC), dimethylformamide (DMF), tetrapropylammonium iodide (TPAI), and iodine (I 2 ) in order to improve the performance of dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) with efficiency of 6.36%, photocurrent density, J SC of 17.29mAcm -2 , open circuit voltage, V OC of 0.59V and fill factor, FF of 0.62. This efficiency value is an improvement from the 5.00% performance obtained by the DSSC consisting of only TPAI single salt system. The presence of the LiI in addition to the TPAI improves the charge injection rates and increases the iodide contribution to the total conductivity and both factors contribute to the increase in efficiency of the DSSC. The interaction behavior between polymer-plasticizer-salt was thoroughly investigated using EIS, FTIR spectroscopy and XRD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Improving control over the impulse for reward: sensitivity of harmful alcohol drinkers to delayed reward but not immediate punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossiter, Sarah; Thompson, Julian; Hester, Robert

    2012-09-01

    Cognitive control dysfunction has been identified in dependent alcohol users and implicated in the transition from abuse to dependence, although evidence of dyscontrol in chronic but non-dependent 'harmful' alcohol abusers is mixed. The current study examined harmful alcohol users response inhibition over rewarding stimuli in the presence of monetary reward and punishment, to determine whether changes in sensitivity to these factors, noted in imaging studies of dependent users, influences impulse control. Harmful (n=30) and non-hazardous (n=55) alcohol users were administered a Monetary Incentive Go/No-go task that required participants to inhibit a prepotent motor response associated with reward. Harmful alcohol users showed a significantly poorer ability to withhold their impulse for a rewarding stimulus in the presence of immediate monetary punishment for failure, while retaining equivalent response inhibition performance under neutral conditions (associated with neither monetary loss or gain), and significantly better performance under delayed reward conditions. The results of the present study suggest that non-dependent alcohol abusers have altered sensitivity to reward and punishment that influences their impulse control for reward, in the absence of gross dyscontrol that is consistent with past findings in which such performance contingencies were not used. The ability of delayed monetary reward, but not punishment, to increase sustained impulse control in this sample has implications for the mechanism that might underlie the transition from alcohol abuse to dependence, as well as intervention strategies aimed at preventing this transition. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A Metal Matrix CNTS Modified Electrode Fabricated Using Micromachining-Based Implantation Method for Improving Sensitivity and Stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The metal matrix carbon nanotubes modified electrode (MCME has been fabricated by a novel process involving preparation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs/polyimide (PI composite film, wet, etching, sputtering, electroplating, and wet-etch releasing. Pretreated CNTs are dispersed in PI by mechanical ball milling and then CNTs solution is spin-coated on the substrate. The CNTs/PI composite film is etched away a layer of PI to expose tips of CNTs using buffering solution. These exposed tips of CNTs are covered by metal particles in sputtering process as metal seed layer, followed by metal supporting film formed by electroplating. The MCME is obtained after releasing PI film from the metal supporting film. The MCME shows well morphology of uniform distributional protruding tips of CNTs and increased electron transfer efficiency with strong bonding connection between CNTs and metal matrix, which greatly improves sensitivity and stability of the MCME. The oxidation peak of the MCME in cyclic voltammeter (CV test is 1.7 times more than that of CNTs suspension spin-coated metal electrode (SCME. The decline of peak current of the MCME after fifty cycles is only 1.8% much less than 67% of the SCME. Better sensitivity and stability may be helpful for CNTs modified electrodes wide application for trace test of many special materials.

  5. An improved primer set and amplification protocol with increased specificity and sensitivity targeting the Symbiodinium ITS2 region

    KAUST Repository

    Hume, Benjamin C.C.; Ziegler, Maren; Poulain, Julie; Pochon, Xavier; Romac, Sarah; Boissin, Emilie; de Vargas, Colomban; Planes, Serge; Wincker, Patrick; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2018-01-01

    The Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) rRNA gene is a commonly targeted genetic marker to assess diversity of Symbiodinium, a dinoflagellate genus of algal endosymbionts that is pervasively associated with marine invertebrates, and notably reef-building corals. Here we tested three commonly used ITS2 primer pairs (SYM_VAR_5.8S2/SYM_VAR_REV, ITSintfor2/ITSReverse, and ITS-DINO/ITS2Rev2) with regard to amplification specificity and sensitivity towards Symbiodinium, as well as sub-genera taxonomic bias. We tested these primers over a range of sample types including three coral species, coral surrounding water, reef surface water, and open ocean water to assess their suitability for use in large-scale next generation sequencing projects and to develop a standardised PCR protocol. We found the SYM_VAR_5.8S2/SYM_VAR_REV primers to perform superior to the other tested ITS2 primers. We therefore used this primer pair to develop a standardised PCR protocol. To do this, we tested the effect of PCR-to-PCR variation, annealing temperature, cycle number, and different polymerase systems on the PCR efficacy. The Symbiodinium ITS2 PCR protocol developed here delivers improved specificity and sensitivity towards Symbiodinium with apparent minimal sub-genera taxonomic bias across all sample types. In particular, the protocol’s ability to amplify Symbiodinium from a range of environmental sources will facilitate the study of Symbiodinium populations across biomes.

  6. An improved primer set and amplification protocol with increased specificity and sensitivity targeting the Symbiodinium ITS2 region

    KAUST Repository

    Hume, Benjamin C.C.

    2018-05-23

    The Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) rRNA gene is a commonly targeted genetic marker to assess diversity of Symbiodinium, a dinoflagellate genus of algal endosymbionts that is pervasively associated with marine invertebrates, and notably reef-building corals. Here we tested three commonly used ITS2 primer pairs (SYM_VAR_5.8S2/SYM_VAR_REV, ITSintfor2/ITSReverse, and ITS-DINO/ITS2Rev2) with regard to amplification specificity and sensitivity towards Symbiodinium, as well as sub-genera taxonomic bias. We tested these primers over a range of sample types including three coral species, coral surrounding water, reef surface water, and open ocean water to assess their suitability for use in large-scale next generation sequencing projects and to develop a standardised PCR protocol. We found the SYM_VAR_5.8S2/SYM_VAR_REV primers to perform superior to the other tested ITS2 primers. We therefore used this primer pair to develop a standardised PCR protocol. To do this, we tested the effect of PCR-to-PCR variation, annealing temperature, cycle number, and different polymerase systems on the PCR efficacy. The Symbiodinium ITS2 PCR protocol developed here delivers improved specificity and sensitivity towards Symbiodinium with apparent minimal sub-genera taxonomic bias across all sample types. In particular, the protocol’s ability to amplify Symbiodinium from a range of environmental sources will facilitate the study of Symbiodinium populations across biomes.

  7. Improved Insulin Sensitivity despite Increased Visceral Adiposity in Mice Deficient for the Immune Cell Transcription Factor T-bet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolarczyk, Emilie; Vong, Chi Teng; Perucha, Esperanza; Jackson, Ian; Cawthorne, Michael A.; Wargent, Edward T.; Powell, Nick; Canavan, James B.; Lord, Graham M.; Howard, Jane K.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Low-grade inflammation in fat is associated with insulin resistance, although the mechanisms are unclear. We report that mice deficient in the immune cell transcription factor T-bet have lower energy expenditure and increased visceral fat compared with wild-type mice, yet paradoxically are more insulin sensitive. This striking phenotype, present in young T-bet−/− mice, persisted with high-fat diet and increasing host age and was associated with altered immune cell numbers and cytokine secretion specifically in visceral adipose tissue. However, the favorable metabolic phenotype observed in T-bet-deficient hosts was lost in T-bet−/− mice also lacking adaptive immunity (T-bet−/−xRag2−/−), demonstrating that T-bet expression in the adaptive rather than the innate immune system impacts host glucose homeostasis. Indeed, adoptive transfer of T-bet-deficient, but not wild-type, CD4+ T cells to Rag2−/− mice improved insulin sensitivity. Our results reveal a role for T-bet in metabolic physiology and obesity-associated insulin resistance. PMID:23562076

  8. TL sensitivity constancy of quartz upon UV+(β,γ) irradiation cycle: An improvement on dating methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Souza, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) sensivitivy of natural quartz (beaches, paleobeaches and fixed dunes) to Beta and Gamma rays has been studied in a temperature range between 250-400 0 C, before and after bleaching by solar irradiation. A first TL glow growth curve was obtained through Beta irradiation of 'as found' samples and a second glow growth curve was obtained by bleaching through solar irradiation the TL acquired either through an excitation Gamma dose or through environmental radiation to finally re-irradiate the samples under Beta rays. Experimental results showing the constancy of sensitivity, for doses of until about 10K rads, are the basis for a proposal to improve TL dating methodology expanding its present limits. (Author) [pt

  9. Improving scattering layer through mixture of nanoporous spheres and nanoparticles in ZnO-based dye-sensitized solar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chohui; Choi, Hongsik; Kim, Jae Ik; Lee, Sangheon; Kim, Jinhyun; Lee, Woojin; Hwang, Taehyun; Kang, Suji; Moon, Taeho; Park, Byungwoo

    2014-01-01

    A scattering layer is utilized by mixing nanoporous spheres and nanoparticles in ZnO-based dye-sensitized solar cells. Hundred-nanometer-sized ZnO spheres consisting of approximately 35-nm-sized nanoparticles provide not only effective light scattering but also a large surface area. Furthermore, ZnO nanoparticles are added to the scattering layer to facilitate charge transport and increase the surface area as filling up large voids. The mixed scattering layer of nanoparticles and nanoporous spheres on top of the nanoparticle-based electrode (bilayer geometry) improves solar cell efficiency by enhancing both the short-circuit current (J sc) and fill factor (FF), compared to the layer consisting of only nanoparticles or nanoporous spheres.

  10. 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.

  11. Long-term obestatin treatment of mice type 2 diabetes increases insulin sensitivity and improves liver function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kołodziejski, Paweł A; Pruszyńska-Oszmałek, Ewa; Strowski, Mathias Z; Nowak, Krzysztof W

    2017-06-01

    Obestatin and ghrelin are peptides encoded by the preproghrelin gene. Obestatin inhibits food intake, in addition to regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Here, we test the ability of obestatin at improving metabolic control and liver function in type 2 diabetic animals (type 2 diabetes mellitus). The effects of chronic obestatin treatment of mice with experimentally induced type 2 diabetes mellitus on serum levels of glucose and lipids, and insulin sensitivity are characterized. In addition, alterations of hepatic lipid and glycogen contents are evaluated. Obestatin reduced body weight and decreased serum glucose, fructosamine, and β-hydroxybutyrate levels, as well as total and low-density lipoprotein fractions of cholesterol. In addition, obestatin increased high-density lipoproteins cholesterol levels and enhanced insulin sensitivity in mice with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, obestatin diminished liver mass, hepatic triglycerides and cholesterol contents, while glycogen content was higher in livers of healthy and mice with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with obestatin. These changes were accompanied by reduction of increased alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase in T2DM mice with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obestatin increased adiponectin levels and reduced leptin concentration. Obestatin influenced the expression of genes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism by increasing Fabp5 and decreasing G6pc, Pepck, Fgf21 mRNA in the liver. Obestatin increased both, AKT and AMPK phosphorylation, and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) protein levels as well as mRNA expression in the liver. Obestatin improves metabolic abnormalities in type 2 diabetes mellitus, restores hepatic lipid contents and decreases hepatic enzymes. Therefore, obestatin could potentially have a therapeutic relevance in treating of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunctions in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  13. The PRIDE (Partnership to Improve Diabetes Education) Toolkit: Development and Evaluation of Novel Literacy and Culturally Sensitive Diabetes Education Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Kathleen; Chambers, Laura; Bumol, Stefan; White, Richard O; Gregory, Becky Pratt; Davis, Dianne; Rothman, Russell L

    2016-02-01

    Patients with low literacy, low numeracy, and/or linguistic needs can experience challenges understanding diabetes information and applying concepts to their self-management. The authors designed a toolkit of education materials that are sensitive to patients' literacy and numeracy levels, language preferences, and cultural norms and that encourage shared goal setting to improve diabetes self-management and health outcomes. The Partnership to Improve Diabetes Education (PRIDE) toolkit was developed to facilitate diabetes self-management education and support. The PRIDE toolkit includes a comprehensive set of 30 interactive education modules in English and Spanish to support diabetes self-management activities. The toolkit builds upon the authors' previously validated Diabetes Literacy and Numeracy Education Toolkit (DLNET) by adding a focus on shared goal setting, addressing the needs of Spanish-speaking patients, and including a broader range of diabetes management topics. Each PRIDE module was evaluated using the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) instrument to determine the material's cultural appropriateness and its sensitivity to the needs of patients with low literacy and low numeracy. Reading grade level was also assessed using the Automated Readability Index (ARI), Coleman-Liau, Flesch-Kincaid, Fry, and SMOG formulas. The average reading grade level of the materials was 5.3 (SD 1.0), with a mean SAM of 91.2 (SD 5.4). All of the 30 modules received a "superior" score (SAM >70%) when evaluated by 2 independent raters. The PRIDE toolkit modules can be used by all members of a multidisciplinary team to assist patients with low literacy and low numeracy in managing their diabetes. © 2015 The Author(s).

  14. Improvement of ionic conductivity and performance of quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell using PEO/PMMA gel electrolyte

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aram, E.; Ehsani, M.; Khonakdar, H.A.

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: Reduced interfacial resistance of a quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell with PEO/PMMA blend gel electrolytes. - Highlights: • A new polymer gel electrolyte containing PEO/PMMA was developed for DSSCs. • Optimization of polymer gel electrolyte was done for dye sensitized solar cell. • The best ionic conductivity was found in PEO/PMMA blend with 10/90 w/w composition. • The DSSC with the PEO/PMMA based electrolyte showed good photovoltaic performance. • Significant stability improvement for quasi-solid state DSSC was obtained. - Abstract: Polymer blend gel electrolytes based on polyethylene oxide (PEO) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as host polymers with various weight ratios, LiI/I 2 as redox couple in electrolyte and 4-tert-butyl pyridine as additive were prepared by solution method. The introduction of PMMA in the PEO gel electrolyte reduced the degree of crystallinity of PEO, which was confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Complexation and ionic conductivity as a function of temperature were investigated with Fourier transform infrared and ionic conductometry, respectively. A good correlation was found between the degree of crystallinity and ionic conductivity. The reduction in crystallinity, governed by blending ratio, led to improvement of ionic conductivity. The best ionic conductivity was attained in PEO/PMMA blend with 10/90 w/w composition. The performance of a quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell using the optimized polymer gel electrolyte was investigated. The optimized system of high ionic conductivity of 7 mS cm −1 , with fill factor of 0.59, short-circuit density of 11.11 mA cm −2 , open-circuit voltage of 0.75 V and the conversion efficiency of 4.9% under air mass 1.5 irradiation (100 mW cm −2 ) was obtained. The long-term stability of the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) during 600 h was improved by using PEO/PMMA gel electrolyte relative to a liquid type electrolyte

  15. Improvement of ionic conductivity and performance of quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell using PEO/PMMA gel electrolyte

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aram, E. [Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, 14965/115 Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Ehsani, M., E-mail: m.ehsani@ippi.ac.ir [Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, 14965/115 Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Khonakdar, H.A. [Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, 14965/115 Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research, D-01067 Dresden (Germany)

    2015-09-10

    Graphical abstract: Reduced interfacial resistance of a quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell with PEO/PMMA blend gel electrolytes. - Highlights: • A new polymer gel electrolyte containing PEO/PMMA was developed for DSSCs. • Optimization of polymer gel electrolyte was done for dye sensitized solar cell. • The best ionic conductivity was found in PEO/PMMA blend with 10/90 w/w composition. • The DSSC with the PEO/PMMA based electrolyte showed good photovoltaic performance. • Significant stability improvement for quasi-solid state DSSC was obtained. - Abstract: Polymer blend gel electrolytes based on polyethylene oxide (PEO) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as host polymers with various weight ratios, LiI/I{sub 2} as redox couple in electrolyte and 4-tert-butyl pyridine as additive were prepared by solution method. The introduction of PMMA in the PEO gel electrolyte reduced the degree of crystallinity of PEO, which was confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Complexation and ionic conductivity as a function of temperature were investigated with Fourier transform infrared and ionic conductometry, respectively. A good correlation was found between the degree of crystallinity and ionic conductivity. The reduction in crystallinity, governed by blending ratio, led to improvement of ionic conductivity. The best ionic conductivity was attained in PEO/PMMA blend with 10/90 w/w composition. The performance of a quasi-solid-state dye sensitized solar cell using the optimized polymer gel electrolyte was investigated. The optimized system of high ionic conductivity of 7 mS cm{sup −1}, with fill factor of 0.59, short-circuit density of 11.11 mA cm{sup −2}, open-circuit voltage of 0.75 V and the conversion efficiency of 4.9% under air mass 1.5 irradiation (100 mW cm{sup −2}) was obtained. The long-term stability of the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) during 600 h was improved by using PEO/PMMA gel electrolyte relative to a liquid type

  16. 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

  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. Structured communicative skills training for medical interns improves history taking skills on sensitive issues: An interventional study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anupama Sukhlecha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Communication is a process that allows us to interact with other people. Medical professionals need to possess good communication skills for history taking, diagnosis, and treatment. Communicative skills are hardly taught in medical schools of India. The students are expected to learn them on their own. To address this issue, we introduced communicative skills training (CST for medical interns. Objective: Primary – To determine the effectiveness of CST in improving history taking on sensitive issues by medical interns. Secondary – To improve patients' satisfaction through improved communicative skills. Materials and Methods: This was a randomized control study carried out on medical interns at Jamnagar. The interns were randomized to either Group A or Group B. Intervention in the form of CST was given to Group A while Group B was control. The topic of CST was “eliciting sexual history.” Assessment of participants was done by pre- and post-intervention objective structured clinical examination. For ethical reasons, Group B was also given CST by experts after completion of our study but their results were not included for analysis. Results: Although mean scores increased in both the groups, (from 6.4 to 13.4 in the intervention group and from 6.5 to 7.5 in controls, the percent increase was much larger in the intervention group than controls (109% vs. 15%. Students gave a positive feedback to CST. Opinion of teachers was favoring CST. Among the patients allotted to intervention group, 83% were satisfied. Conclusion: CST imparted to medical interns helps in improving doctor–patient relationship.

  19. Multiple strategies to improve sensitivity, speed and robustness of isothermal nucleic acid amplification for rapid pathogen detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemieux Bertrand

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the past decades the rapid growth of molecular diagnostics (based on either traditional PCR or isothermal amplification technologies meet the demand for fast and accurate testing. Although isothermal amplification technologies have the advantages of low cost requirements for instruments, the further improvement on sensitivity, speed and robustness is a prerequisite for the applications in rapid pathogen detection, especially at point-of-care diagnostics. Here, we describe and explore several strategies to improve one of the isothermal technologies, helicase-dependent amplification (HDA. Results Multiple strategies were approached to improve the overall performance of the isothermal amplification: the restriction endonuclease-mediated DNA helicase homing, macromolecular crowding agents, and the optimization of reaction enzyme mix. The effect of combing all strategies was compared with that of the individual strategy. With all of above methods, we are able to detect 50 copies of Neisseria gonorrhoeae DNA in just 20 minutes of amplification using a nearly instrument-free detection platform (BESt™ cassette. Conclusions The strategies addressed in this proof-of-concept study are independent of expensive equipments, and are not limited to particular primers, targets or detection format. However, they make a large difference in assay performance. Some of them can be adjusted and applied to other formats of nucleic acid amplification. Furthermore, the strategies to improve the in vitro assays by maximally simulating the nature conditions may be useful in the general field of developing molecular assays. A new fast molecular assay for Neisseria gonorrhoeae has also been developed which has great potential to be used at point-of-care diagnostics.

  20. The global aerosol-climate model ECHAM-HAM, version 2: sensitivity to improvements in process representations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Zhang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces and evaluates the second version of the global aerosol-climate model ECHAM-HAM. Major changes have been brought into the model, including new parameterizations for aerosol nucleation and water uptake, an explicit treatment of secondary organic aerosols, modified emission calculations for sea salt and mineral dust, the coupling of aerosol microphysics to a two-moment stratiform cloud microphysics scheme, and alternative wet scavenging parameterizations. These revisions extend the model's capability to represent details of the aerosol lifecycle and its interaction with climate. Nudged simulations of the year 2000 are carried out to compare the aerosol properties and global distribution in HAM1 and HAM2, and to evaluate them against various observations. Sensitivity experiments are performed to help identify the impact of each individual update in model formulation.

    Results indicate that from HAM1 to HAM2 there is a marked weakening of aerosol water uptake in the lower troposphere, reducing the total aerosol water burden from 75 Tg to 51 Tg. The main reason is the newly introduced κ-Köhler-theory-based water uptake scheme uses a lower value for the maximum relative humidity cutoff. Particulate organic matter loading in HAM2 is considerably higher in the upper troposphere, because the explicit treatment of secondary organic aerosols allows highly volatile oxidation products of the precursors to be vertically transported to regions of very low temperature and to form aerosols there. Sulfate, black carbon, particulate organic matter and mineral dust in HAM2 have longer lifetimes than in HAM1 because of weaker in-cloud scavenging, which is in turn related to lower autoconversion efficiency in the newly introduced two-moment cloud microphysics scheme. Modification in the sea salt emission scheme causes a significant increase in the ratio (from 1.6 to 7.7 between accumulation mode and coarse mode emission fluxes of

  1. Use of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Guidelines Improves the Diagnostic Sensitivity of Gastrointestinal Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Diana M; Detweiler, Claire J; Shealy, Michael J; Sung, Anthony D; Wild, Daniel M; Poleski, Martin H; Balmadrid, Bryan L; Cirrincione, Constance T; Howell, David N; Sullivan, Keith M

    2018-04-26

    - Graft-versus-host disease of the gastrointestinal tract is a common complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplant associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Accurate diagnosis can be difficult and is a truly clinicopathologic endeavor. - To assess the diagnostic sensitivity of gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease using the 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) histology consensus guidelines and to analyze histologic findings that support the guidelines. - Patients with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants were identified via a retrospective search of our electronic medical record from January 1, 2005, to January 1, 2011. Endoscopies with available histology were reviewed by 2 pathologists using the 2015 NIH guidelines. The clinical diagnosis was used as the gold standard. A nontransplant set of endoscopic biopsies was used as a control. - Of the 250 total endoscopies, 217 (87%) had a clinical diagnosis of gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease. Use of the NIH consensus guidelines showed a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 65%. Thirty-seven of 58 (64%) cases with an initial false-negative histopathologic diagnosis were diagnosed as graft-versus-host disease on our review. - Use of the NIH histology consensus guidelines results in a high sensitivity and specificity, thereby decreasing false-negatives. Additionally, use of the NIH guidelines aids in creating uniformity and diagnostic clarity. Correlation with clinical and laboratory findings is critical in evaluating the differential diagnosis and to avoid false-positives. As expected, increased apoptosis with decreased inflammation was associated with a pathologic diagnosis of graft-versus-host disease and supports the NIH guidelines.

  2. 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.

  3. Improving the photovoltaic parameters in Quantum dot sensitized solar cells through employment of chemically deposited compact titania blocking layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rajendra Prasad, M.B., E-mail: rajendraprasadmb75@gmail.com [Advanced Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, SavitibaiPhule Pune University, Pune, 411007 (India); National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, 411023 (India); Kadam, Vishal [Advanced Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, SavitibaiPhule Pune University, Pune, 411007 (India); Joo, Oh-Shim [Korea Institute of Science and Technology, PO Box No. 131, Chongryang, Seoul, 130-650 (Korea, Republic of); Pathan, Habib M. [Advanced Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, SavitibaiPhule Pune University, Pune, 411007 (India)

    2017-06-15

    Incorporation of compact blocking layer at the Transparent Conducting Oxide (TCO)/Electrolyte interface is an effective method to improve the device performance in QDSSC through mitigation of electron recombinations at this interface. This paper reports the most facile and cost effective method of depositing a rutile titania Compact Layer (CL) over Fluorine doped Tin Oxide (FTO) substrate and its application in titania based CdS QD sensitized solar cells. The deposited compact layers are characterized to study their structural, optical, morphological and electrochemical properties using X-Ray Diffractometry, UV–Visible spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, Cyclic Voltammetry and Contact Angle measurements. Sandwich solar cells are fabricated using these CL based electrodes and characterized using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Open Circuit Voltage Decay and J-V characteristics. The CL incorporated CdS QDSSC showed more than 100% increase in the photoconversion efficiency (1.68%) as compared to its bare FTO counterpart (0.73%) proving the efficacy of employed strategy. - Highlights: • Deposited titania compact layer by a facile room temperature chemical bath method. • Employed this to mitigate back electron transfer at TCO/Electrolyte interface. • Compact layer incorporation has improved the solar cell performance by 130%.

  4. High density lipoproteins improve insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet-fed mice by suppressing hepatic inflammation[S

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Kristine C.; Li, Xiao Hong; Whitworth, Phillippa T.; Kasz, Robert; Tan, Joanne T.; McLennan, Susan V.; Celermajer, David S.; Barter, Philip J.; Rye, Kerry-Anne; Heather, Alison K.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity-induced liver inflammation can drive insulin resistance. HDL has anti-inflammatory properties, so we hypothesized that low levels of HDL would perpetuate inflammatory responses in the liver and that HDL treatment would suppress liver inflammation and insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lipid-free apoAI on hepatic inflammation and insulin resistance in mice. We also investigated apoAI as a component of reconstituted HDLs (rHDLs) in hepatocytes to confirm results we observed in vivo. To test our hypothesis, C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks and administered either saline or lipid-free apoAI. Injections of lipid-free apoAI twice a week for 2 or 4 weeks with lipid-free apoAI resulted in: i) improved insulin sensitivity associated with decreased systemic and hepatic inflammation; ii) suppression of hepatic mRNA expression for key transcriptional regulators of lipogenic gene expression; and iii) suppression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation. Human hepatoma HuH-7 cells exposed to rHDLs showed suppressed TNFα-induced NF-κB activation, correlating with decreased NF-κB target gene expression. We conclude that apoAI suppresses liver inflammation in HFD mice and improves insulin resistance via a mechanism that involves a downregulation of NF-κB activation. PMID:24347528

  5. 13C spin relaxation measurements in RNA: Sensitivity and resolution improvement using spin-state selective correlation experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boisbouvier, Jerome; Brutscher, Bernhard; Simorre, Jean-Pierre; Marion, Dominique

    1999-01-01

    A set of new NMR pulse sequences has been designed for the measurement of 13 C relaxation rate constants in RNA and DNA bases: the spin-lattice relaxation rate constant R(C z ), the spin-spin relaxation rate constant R(C + ), and the CSA-dipolar cross-correlated relaxation rate constant Γ C,CH xy . The use of spin-state selective correlation techniques provides increased sensitivity and spectral resolution. Sensitivity optimised C-C filters are included in the pulse schemes for the suppression of signals originating from undesired carbon isotopomers. The experiments are applied to a 15% 13 C-labelled 33-mer RNA-theophylline complex. The measured R(C + )/Γ C,CH xy ratios indicate that 13 C CSA tensors do not vary significantly for the same type of carbon (C 2 , C 6 , C 8 ), but that they differ from one type to another. In addition, conformational exchange effects in the RNA bases are detected as a change in the relaxation decay of the narrow 13 C doublet component when varying the spacing of a CPMG pulse train. This new approach allows the detection of small exchange effects with a higher precision compared to conventional techniques

  6. 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.

  7. Oral treatment with γ-aminobutyric acid improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity by inhibiting inflammation in high fat diet-fed mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jide Tian

    Full Text Available Adipocyte and β-cell dysfunction and macrophage-related chronic inflammation are critical for the development of obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM, which can be negatively regulated by Tregs. Our previous studies and those of others have shown that activation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors inhibits inflammation in mice. However, whether GABA could modulate high fat diet (HFD-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance has not been explored. Here, we show that although oral treatment with GABA does not affect water and food consumption it inhibits the HFD-induced gain in body weights in C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, oral treatment with GABA significantly reduced the concentrations of fasting blood glucose, and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in the HFD-fed mice. More importantly, after the onset of obesity and T2DM, oral treatment with GABA inhibited the continual HFD-induced gain in body weights, reduced the concentrations of fasting blood glucose and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in mice. In addition, oral treatment with GABA reduced the epididymal fat mass, adipocyte size, and the frequency of macrophage infiltrates in the adipose tissues of HFD-fed mice. Notably, oral treatment with GABA significantly increased the frequency of CD4(+Foxp3(+ Tregs in mice. Collectively, our data indicated that activation of peripheral GABA receptors inhibited the HFD-induced glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and obesity by inhibiting obesity-related inflammation and up-regulating Treg responses in vivo. Given that GABA is safe for human consumption, activators of GABA receptors may be valuable for the prevention of obesity and intervention of T2DM in the clinic.

  8. 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

  9. Use of gold nanoparticle-labeled secondary antibodies to improve the sensitivity of an immunochromatographic assay for aflatoxin B1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Urusov, Alexander E.; Zherdev, Anatoly V.; Dzantiev, Boris B.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a sensitive method for the immunochromatographic determination of aflatoxin B1. It is based on the following steps: 1) Competitive interaction between non-labeled specific primary antibodies and target antigens in a sample and in the test zone of a membrane; 2) detection of the immune complexes on the membrane by using a secondary antibodies labeled with gold nanoparticles. The method enables precise adjustment of the required quantities of specific antibodies and the colloidal (gold) marker. It was applied in a lateral flow format to the detection of aflatoxin B1 and exhibits a limit of detection (LOD) of 160 pg · mL −1 if detected visually, and of 30 pg · mL −1 via instrumental detection. This is significantly lower than the LOD of 2 ng · mL −1 achieved by conventional lateral flow analysis using the same reagents. (author)

  10. Highly sensitive and quantitative FRET-FLIM imaging in single dendritic spines using improved non-radiative YFP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakoshi, Hideji; Lee, Seok-Jin; Yasuda, Ryohei

    2008-08-01

    Two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (TPFLIM) enables the quantitative measurements of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in small subcellular compartments in light scattering tissue. We evaluated and optimized the FRET pair of mEGFP (monomeric EGFP with the A206K mutation) and REACh (non-radiative YFP variants) for TPFLIM. We characterized several mutants of REACh in terms of their "darkness," and their ability to act as a FRET acceptor for mEGFP in HeLa cells and hippocampal neurons. Since the commonly used monomeric mutation A206K increases the brightness of REACh, we introduced a different monomeric mutation (F223R) which does not affect the brightness. Also, we found that the folding efficiency of original REACh, as measured by the fluorescence lifetime of a mEGFP-REACh tandem dimer, was low and variable from cell to cell. Introducing two folding mutations (F46L, Q69M) into REACh increased the folding efficiency by approximately 50%, and reduced the variability of FRET signal. Pairing mEGFP with the new REACh (super-REACh, or sREACh) improved the signal-to-noise ratio compared to the mEGFP-mRFP or mEGFP-original REACh pair by approximately 50%. Using this new pair, we demonstrated that the fraction of actin monomers in filamentous and globular forms in single dendritic spines can be quantitatively measured with high sensitivity. Thus, the mEGFP-sREACh pair is suited for quantitative FRET measurement by TPFLIM, and enables us to measure protein-protein interactions in individual dendritic spines in brain slices with high sensitivity.

  11. Epicardial potentials computed from the body surface potential map using inverse electrocardiography and an individualised torso model improve sensitivity for acute myocardial infarction diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Michael J; Finlay, Dewar D; Guldenring, Daniel; Bond, Raymond R; McCann, Aaron J; Scott, Peter J; Adgey, Jennifer A; Harbinson, Mark T

    2017-12-01

    %). EP STE occurred in 165 patients using TVCM (sensitivity 88%, specificity 95%; p 0.3 mV when an individualised PSTM was used. Among patients presenting with ischaemic-type chest pain at rest, EPs derived from BSPM using a novel PSTM significantly improve sensitivity for AMI diagnosis.

  12. 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.

  13. Sensitivity improvement for antimony determination by using in-situ atom trapping in a slotted quartz tube and flame atomic absorption spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Titretir, Serap, E-mail: serap.titretir@inonu.edu.tr [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Inoenue University, 44280 Malatya (Turkey); S Latin-Small-Letter-Dotless-I k, Ahmet Inanc [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Inoenue University, 44280 Malatya (Turkey); Arslan, Yasin [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Istiklal Yerleskesi, 15030 Burdur (Turkey); Ataman, O. Yavuz [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara (Turkey)

    2012-11-15

    Significant improvement has been achieved for antimony determination using a slotted quartz tube (SQT) as an atom trap (AT) for in situ preconcentration and flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). The suggested technique consists of trapping analyte species during ordinary nebulization followed by releasing the collected analyte via introducing organic solvent. Procedures and analytical figures of merit have been presented for the techniques called FAAS, SQT-FAAS and finally SQT-AT-FAAS with the relevant comparisons. Analytical parameters, namely composition of the aqueous medium, sample flow rate, flame conditions, distance between burner head and SQT, sampling period and type of organic solvent and its volume have been optimized. Using SQT-AT-FAAS, a sensitivity enhancement of 369 fold has been obtained, 3 s limit of detection was 3.9 {mu}g L{sup -1} when 25.0 mL of sample was collected in 4.0 min. Interference effects of some elements on antimony signal were studied. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Atom trapping in a quartz tube was used for Sb with flame AAS. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An inexpensive, simple and sensitive analytical method was suggested for Sb. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Almost no background absorption was observed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Range is in microgram per liter level.

  14. Sensitivity improvement for antimony determination by using in-situ atom trapping in a slotted quartz tube and flame atomic absorption spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Titretir, Serap; Şık, Ahmet İnanç; Arslan, Yasin; Ataman, O. Yavuz

    2012-01-01

    Significant improvement has been achieved for antimony determination using a slotted quartz tube (SQT) as an atom trap (AT) for in situ preconcentration and flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). The suggested technique consists of trapping analyte species during ordinary nebulization followed by releasing the collected analyte via introducing organic solvent. Procedures and analytical figures of merit have been presented for the techniques called FAAS, SQT-FAAS and finally SQT-AT-FAAS with the relevant comparisons. Analytical parameters, namely composition of the aqueous medium, sample flow rate, flame conditions, distance between burner head and SQT, sampling period and type of organic solvent and its volume have been optimized. Using SQT-AT-FAAS, a sensitivity enhancement of 369 fold has been obtained, 3 s limit of detection was 3.9 μg L −1 when 25.0 mL of sample was collected in 4.0 min. Interference effects of some elements on antimony signal were studied. - Highlights: ► Atom trapping in a quartz tube was used for Sb with flame AAS. ► An inexpensive, simple and sensitive analytical method was suggested for Sb. ► Almost no background absorption was observed. ► Range is in microgram per liter level.

  15. Improved electron density through hetero-junction binary sensitized TiO2/ CdTe / D719 system as photoanode for dye sensitized solar cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, A. K.; Ahmad, Muhammad Shakeel; Alizadeh, Mahdi; Rahim, Nasrudin Abd

    2018-07-01

    The combined effect of dual sensitization and hetero-junction symmetry has been investigated on the performance of TiO2 based dye sensitized solar cell. CdTe nanoparticles have been introduced in TiO2 matrix to function as sensitizer as well as act as hetero-junction between D719 dye and TiO2 nanoarchitecture. Four concentrations of CdTe i.e. 0.5 wt%, 2 wt%, 5 wt% and 8 wt% have been investigated. Morphological and compositional studies have been conducted using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) respectively. Light absorption characteristics have been investigated by employing Uv-vis spectroscopy and the overall performance has been studied using solar simulator and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Performance has been found to be increased with the addition of CdTe due to high electron density and reduction in recombination reactions. An increase of 41.73% in incident photo conversion efficiency (IPCE) and 75.57% in short circuit current density (Jsc) have been recorded for the specimens containing 5 wt% CdTe compared to bare TiO2 based DSSCs. Further addition of CdTe leads to reduction in overall performance of DSSCs.

  16. Improvements of the sensitivity of burst cartridge detection; Amelioration du seuil de detection des ruptures de gaine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vasnier, F [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1967-07-01

    I - Special tests for improving the sensitivity of burst cartridge detection equipment in power reactors II - Scintillator purge-flow tests using aged gas in the B.C.D. /E.D.F. 2 Summary. - The first part of this report describes the tests carried out on fission product detectors by a process in which gas is continuously injected in front of the scintillator. Using this system, the background is reduced and perturbations caused by pneumatic switches on the prospecting circuits are eliminated. The quality of the signals thus obtained permits better processing of the data and thus leads to a possible improvement in the sensitivity of burst cartridge detection. The second part gives results of tests carried out with both fresh and aged gases, the economic advantage of the latter being that it permits recycling through the reactor. Reduction of the background is less pronounced but the advantage of the stable signals is conserved. (author) [French] I - Essais speciaux pour ameliorer le seuil de detection des installations de D.R.G. des reacteurs de puissance II- Essais de balayage sous scintillateur avec gaz vieilli a la D.R.G. /E.D.F. 2 Sommaire. - La premiere partie de ce rapport decrit les essais effectues sur les detecteurs de produits de fission par un procede d'injection continue de gaz sous le scintillateur. Grace a ce systeme on obtient une reduction du bruit de fond et l'elimination des perturbations causees par les commutations pneumatiques des circuits de prospection. La qualite des signaux obtenus ainsi permet un meilleur traitement des informations d'ou une amelioration possible du seuil de detection des ruptures de gaines. La seconde partie donne les resultats d'essais effectues avec du gaz propre et vieilli, l'utilisation de ce dernier presentant l'avantage economique d'etre recycle du reacteur. La reduction du bruit de fond est moins importante mais on conserve l'avantage de la stabilisation des signaux. (auteur)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.