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Sample records for significantly improved spatial

  1. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization

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    Monica eGori

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial-bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014. To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile-feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject’s forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal-feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no-feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially coherent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.

  2. Spatial Ability Improvement and Curriculum Content

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    Connolly, Patrick E.

    2009-01-01

    There has been a significant history of research on spatial ability and visualization improvement and related curriculum content presented by members of the Engineering Design Graphics Division over the past decade. Recently, interest in this topic has again been heightened thanks to the work of several division members on research such as the…

  3. The significance of the tourist destination of Zlatibor spatial planning

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    Jovičić Ana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The territory of Zlatibor is known as a region of exquisite beauty, rich in natural and anthropogenic values, and as such it is a significant tourist destination. The tourism on Zlatibor started developing a long time ago, however, recently there has formed a type of settlement with tourism as its basic function, with no adequate planned development and control, which deviates from the natural and aesthetic environment, disturbing the rare and autochthonous quality of the territory. Zlatibor’s beauty has been disturbed with unplanned construction and the development of tourism which is not sustainable in the long-term. The aim of this paper is to point out to the significance of spatial planning for further development of tourism on this mountain and give suggestions on further development which would neutralise, revitalise and improve the already degraded territory. Only by managing the territory of Zlatibor properly, as a resource for tourism, will its economic, ecologic and aesthetic value increase, which will ensure a long term benefit on a local, regional and national level. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 47007

  4. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

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    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.

  5. Improvement in spatial imagery following sight onset late in childhood.

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    Gandhi, Tapan K; Ganesh, Suma; Sinha, Pawan

    2014-03-01

    The factors contributing to the development of spatial imagery skills are not well understood. Here, we consider whether visual experience shapes these skills. Although differences in spatial imagery between sighted and blind individuals have been reported, it is unclear whether these differences are truly due to visual deprivation or instead are due to extraneous factors, such as reduced opportunities for the blind to interact with their environment. A direct way of assessing vision's contribution to the development of spatial imagery is to determine whether spatial imagery skills change soon after the onset of sight in congenitally blind individuals. We tested 10 children who gained sight after several years of congenital blindness and found significant improvements in their spatial imagery skills following sight-restoring surgeries. These results provide evidence of vision's contribution to spatial imagery and also have implications for the nature of internal spatial representations.

  6. Visual Spatial Attention Training Improve Spatial Attention and Motor Control for Unilateral Neglect Patients.

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    Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei

    2015-01-01

    To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pvisual spatial training could

  7. An improved spatial contour tree constructed method

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    Zheng, Yi; Zhang, Ling; Guilbert, Eric; Long, Yi

    2018-05-01

    Contours are important data to delineate the landform on a map. A contour tree provides an object-oriented description of landforms and can be used to enrich the topological information. The traditional contour tree is used to store topological relationships between contours in a hierarchical structure and allows for the identification of eminences and depressions as sets of nested contours. This research proposes an improved contour tree so-called spatial contour tree that contains not only the topological but also the geometric information. It can be regarded as a terrain skeleton in 3-dimention, and it is established based on the spatial nodes of contours which have the latitude, longitude and elevation information. The spatial contour tree is built by connecting spatial nodes from low to high elevation for a positive landform, and from high to low elevation for a negative landform to form a hierarchical structure. The connection between two spatial nodes can provide the real distance and direction as a Euclidean vector in 3-dimention. In this paper, the construction method is tested in the experiment, and the results are discussed. The proposed hierarchical structure is in 3-demintion and can show the skeleton inside a terrain. The structure, where all nodes have geo-information, can be used to distinguish different landforms and applied for contour generalization with consideration of geographic characteristics.

  8. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

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    Bearman, Gregory H.; Wilson, Daniel W.; Johnson, William R.

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  9. Spatial attention does improve temporal discrimination.

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    Chica, Ana B; Christie, John

    2009-02-01

    It has recently been stated that exogenous attention impairs temporal-resolution tasks (Hein, Rolke, & Ulrich, 2006; Rolke, Dinkelbach, Hein, & Ulrich, 2008; Yeshurun, 2004; Yeshurun & Levy, 2003). In comparisons of performance on spatially cued trials versus neutral cued trials, the results have suggested that spatial attention decreases temporal resolution. However, when performance on cued and uncued trials has been compared in order to equate for cue salience, typically speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs) have been observed, making the interpretation of the results difficult. In the present experiments, we aimed at studying the effect of spatial attention in temporal resolution while using a procedure to control for SATs. We controlled reaction times (RTs) by constraining the time to respond, so that response decisions would be made within comparable time windows. The results revealed that when RT was controlled, performance was impaired for cued trials as compared with neutral trials, replicating previous findings. However, when cued and uncued trials were compared, performance was actually improved for cued trials as compared with uncued trials. These results suggest that SAT effects may have played an important role in the previous studies, because when they were controlled and measured, the results reversed, revealing that exogenous attention does improve performance on temporal-resolution tasks.

  10. Melatonin improves spatial navigation memory in male diabetic rats

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    Farrin Babaei-Balderlou

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin as an antioxidant on spatial navigation memory in male diabetic rats. Thirty-two male white Wistar rats weighing 200 ± 20 g were divided into four groups, randomly: control, melatonin, diabetic and melatonin-treated diabetic. Experimental diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 50 mg kg-1 streptozotocin. Melatonin was injected (10 mg kg-1 day-1, ip for 2 weeks after 21 days of diabetes induction. At the end of administration period, the spatial navigation memory of rats was evaluated by cross-arm maze. In this study lipid peroxidation levels, glutathione-peroxidase and catalase activities were measured in hippocampus. Diabetes caused to significant decrease in alternation percent in the cross-arm maze, as a spatial memory index, compared to the control group (p < 0.05, whereas administration of melatonin prevented the spatial memory deficit in diabetic rats. Also melatonin injection significantly increased the spatial memory in intact animals compared to the control group (p < 0.05. Assessment of hippocampus homogenates indicated an increase in lipid peroxidation levels and a decrease in GSH-Px and CAT activities in the diabetic group compared to the control animals, while melatonin administration ameliorated these indices in diabetic rats. In conclusion, diabetes induction leads to debilitation of spatial navigation memory in rats, and the melatonin treatment improves the memory presumably through the reduction of oxidative stress in hippocampus of diabetic rats.

  11. Spatial Visualization ability improves with and without studying Technical Drawing.

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    Contreras, María José; Escrig, Rebeca; Prieto, Gerardo; Elosúa, M Rosa

    2018-03-27

    The results of several studies suggest that spatial ability can be improved through direct training with tasks similar to those integrated in the tests used to measure the ability. However, there is a greater interest in analyzing the effectiveness of indirect training such as games or of learning subjects that involve spatial processes to a certain extent. Thus, the objective of the present study was to analyze whether the indirect training in Technical Drawing improved the Spatial Visualization ability of Architecture students. For this purpose, a group of students enrolled in Fundamentals of Architecture were administered two tests, a Spatial Visualization task and an Abstract Reasoning task, at the beginning and the end of a semester, after having received training through the subjects "Technical Drawing I: Geometry and Perception" and "Projects I." The results of this group were compared with those of a control group of students enrolled in a Mathematics degree, who were also pre-post evaluated but had not received the training in Technical Drawing. The study showed a significant pre-post improvement in both, Visualization and reasoning. However, this improvement occurred in both groups, thereby concluding that this improvement was not due to indirect training. Furthermore, no significant differences were found between men and women in any of the groups or conditions. These results clarify those of an earlier study where improvement in Visualization after training in Technical Drawing was found but did not include a comparison with a control condition. The control condition has proved to be important in order to consider the limitations of the effect of Technical Drawing on said improvement.

  12. Think3d!: Improving mathematics learning through embodied spatial training.

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    Burte, Heather; Gardony, Aaron L; Hutton, Allyson; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-01-01

    Spatial thinking skills positively relate to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) outcomes, but spatial training is largely absent in elementary school. Elementary school is a time when children develop foundational cognitive skills that will support STEM learning throughout their education. Spatial thinking should be considered a foundational cognitive skill. The present research examined the impact of an embodied spatial training program on elementary students' spatial and mathematical thinking. Students in rural elementary schools completed spatial and math assessments prior to and after participating in an origami and pop-up paper engineering-based program, called Think3d!. Think3d! uses embodied tasks, such as folding and cutting paper, to train two-dimensional to three-dimensional spatial thinking. Analyses explored spatial thinking gains, mathematics gains - specifically for problem types expected to show gains from spatial training - and factors predicting mathematics gains. Results showed spatial thinking gains in two assessments. Using a math categorization to target problems more and less likely to be impacted by spatial training, we found that all students improved on real-world math problems and older students improved on visual and spatial math problems. Further, the results are suggestive of developmental time points for implementing embodied spatial training related to applying spatial thinking to math. Finally, the spatial thinking assessment that was most highly related to training activities also predicted math performance gains. Future research should explore developmental issues related to how embodied spatial training might support STEM learning and outcomes.

  13. Computation of spatial significance of mountain objects extracted from multiscale digital elevation models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sathyamoorthy, Dinesh

    2014-01-01

    The derivation of spatial significance is an important aspect of geospatial analysis and hence, various methods have been proposed to compute the spatial significance of entities based on spatial distances with other entities within the cluster. This paper is aimed at studying the spatial significance of mountain objects extracted from multiscale digital elevation models (DEMs). At each scale, the value of spatial significance index SSI of a mountain object is the minimum number of morphological dilation iterations required to occupy all the other mountain objects in the terrain. The mountain object with the lowest value of SSI is the spatially most significant mountain object, indicating that it has the shortest distance to the other mountain objects. It is observed that as the area of the mountain objects reduce with increasing scale, the distances between the mountain objects increase, resulting in increasing values of SSI. The results obtained indicate that the strategic location of a mountain object at the centre of the terrain is more important than its size in determining its reach to other mountain objects and thus, its spatial significance

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

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

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

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    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

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

  16. The crowded sea: incorporating multiple marine activities in conservation plans can significantly alter spatial priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessa Mazor

    Full Text Available Successful implementation of marine conservation plans is largely inhibited by inadequate consideration of the broader social and economic context within which conservation operates. Marine waters and their biodiversity are shared by a host of stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, recreational users and offshore developers. Hence, to improve implementation success of conservation plans, we must incorporate other marine activities while explicitly examining trade-offs that may be required. In this study, we test how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added (e.g., commercial fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration interests, aquaculture, and shipping lanes. We applied the marine zoning decision support tool Marxan to each planning scenario and tested a the ability of each scenario to reach biodiversity targets, b the change in opportunity cost and c the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. Complex plans with more activities incurred greater opportunity cost and did not reach biodiversity targets as easily as simplified plans with less marine activities. We discovered that including hydrocarbon data in the planning process significantly alters spatial priorities. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that in order to protect at least 10% of the range of 166 marine biodiversity features there would be a loss of ∼15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ∼5% of prospective hydrocarbon revenue. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and

  17. Spatially resolved flux measurements of NOx from London suggest significantly higher emissions than predicted by inventories.

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    Vaughan, Adam R; Lee, James D; Misztal, Pawel K; Metzger, Stefan; Shaw, Marvin D; Lewis, Alastair C; Purvis, Ruth M; Carslaw, David C; Goldstein, Allen H; Hewitt, C Nicholas; Davison, Brian; Beevers, Sean D; Karl, Thomas G

    2016-07-18

    To date, direct validation of city-wide emissions inventories for air pollutants has been difficult or impossible. However, recent technological innovations now allow direct measurement of pollutant fluxes from cities, for comparison with emissions inventories, which are themselves commonly used for prediction of current and future air quality and to help guide abatement strategies. Fluxes of NOx were measured using the eddy-covariance technique from an aircraft flying at low altitude over London. The highest fluxes were observed over central London, with lower fluxes measured in suburban areas. A footprint model was used to estimate the spatial area from which the measured emissions occurred. This allowed comparison of the flux measurements to the UK's National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) for NOx, with scaling factors used to account for the actual time of day, day of week and month of year of the measurement. The comparison suggests significant underestimation of NOx emissions in London by the NAEI, mainly due to its under-representation of real world road traffic emissions. A comparison was also carried out with an enhanced version of the inventory using real world driving emission factors and road measurement data taken from the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI). The measurement to inventory agreement was substantially improved using the enhanced version, showing the importance of fully accounting for road traffic, which is the dominant NOx emission source in London. In central London there was still an underestimation by the inventory of 30-40% compared with flux measurements, suggesting significant improvements are still required in the NOx emissions inventory.

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

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    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.

  19. Improving the accuracy of livestock distribution estimates through spatial interpolation.

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    Bryssinckx, Ward; Ducheyne, Els; Muhwezi, Bernard; Godfrey, Sunday; Mintiens, Koen; Leirs, Herwig; Hendrickx, Guy

    2012-11-01

    Animal distribution maps serve many purposes such as estimating transmission risk of zoonotic pathogens to both animals and humans. The reliability and usability of such maps is highly dependent on the quality of the input data. However, decisions on how to perform livestock surveys are often based on previous work without considering possible consequences. A better understanding of the impact of using different sample designs and processing steps on the accuracy of livestock distribution estimates was acquired through iterative experiments using detailed survey. The importance of sample size, sample design and aggregation is demonstrated and spatial interpolation is presented as a potential way to improve cattle number estimates. As expected, results show that an increasing sample size increased the precision of cattle number estimates but these improvements were mainly seen when the initial sample size was relatively low (e.g. a median relative error decrease of 0.04% per sampled parish for sample sizes below 500 parishes). For higher sample sizes, the added value of further increasing the number of samples declined rapidly (e.g. a median relative error decrease of 0.01% per sampled parish for sample sizes above 500 parishes. When a two-stage stratified sample design was applied to yield more evenly distributed samples, accuracy levels were higher for low sample densities and stabilised at lower sample sizes compared to one-stage stratified sampling. Aggregating the resulting cattle number estimates yielded significantly more accurate results because of averaging under- and over-estimates (e.g. when aggregating cattle number estimates from subcounty to district level, P interpolation to fill in missing values in non-sampled areas, accuracy is improved remarkably. This counts especially for low sample sizes and spatially even distributed samples (e.g. P <0.001 for a sample of 170 parishes using one-stage stratified sampling and aggregation on district level

  20. 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

  1. Spatial and temporal aspects of chromatic adaptation and their functional significance for colour constancy.

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    Werner, Annette

    2014-11-01

    Illumination in natural scenes changes at multiple temporal and spatial scales: slow changes in global illumination occur in the course of a day, and we encounter fast and localised illumination changes when visually exploring the non-uniform light field of three-dimensional scenes; in addition, very long-term chromatic variations may come from the environment, like for example seasonal changes. In this context, I consider the temporal and spatial properties of chromatic adaptation and discuss their functional significance for colour constancy in three-dimensional scenes. A process of fast spatial tuning in chromatic adaptation is proposed as a possible sensory mechanism for linking colour constancy to the spatial structure of a scene. The observed middlewavelength selectivity of this process is particularly suitable for adaptation to the mean chromaticity and the compensation of interreflections in natural scenes. Two types of sensory colour constancy are distinguished, based on the functional differences of their temporal and spatial scales: a slow type, operating at a global scale for the compensation of the ambient illumination; and a fast colour constancy, which is locally restricted and well suited to compensate region-specific variations in the light field of three dimensional scenes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. [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.

  4. Bayesian spatial modelling and the significance of agricultural land use to scrub typhus infection in Taiwan.

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    Wardrop, Nicola A; Kuo, Chi-Chien; Wang, Hsi-Chieh; Clements, Archie C A; Lee, Pei-Fen; Atkinson, Peter M

    2013-11-01

    Scrub typhus is transmitted by the larval stage of trombiculid mites. Environmental factors, including land cover and land use, are known to influence breeding and survival of trombiculid mites and, thus, also the spatial heterogeneity of scrub typhus risk. Here, a spatially autoregressive modelling framework was applied to scrub typhus incidence data from Taiwan, covering the period 2003 to 2011, to provide increased understanding of the spatial pattern of scrub typhus risk and the environmental and socioeconomic factors contributing to this pattern. A clear spatial pattern in scrub typhus incidence was observed within Taiwan, and incidence was found to be significantly correlated with several land cover classes, temperature, elevation, normalized difference vegetation index, rainfall, population density, average income and the proportion of the population that work in agriculture. The final multivariate regression model included statistically significant correlations between scrub typhus incidence and average income (negatively correlated), the proportion of land that contained mosaics of cropland and vegetation (positively correlated) and elevation (positively correlated). These results highlight the importance of land cover on scrub typhus incidence: mosaics of cropland and vegetation represent a transitional land cover type which can provide favourable habitats for rodents and, therefore, trombiculid mites. In Taiwan, these transitional land cover areas tend to occur in less populated and mountainous areas, following the frontier establishment and subsequent partial abandonment of agricultural cultivation, due to demographic and socioeconomic changes. Future land use policy decision-making should ensure that potential public health outcomes, such as modified risk of scrub typhus, are considered.

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

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    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.

  6. Phylogeographic analysis reveals significant spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis as a product of mountain building

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Shaotian

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Incarvillea sinensis is widely distributed from Southwest China to Northeast China and in the Russian Far East. The distribution of this species was thought to be influenced by the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Quaternary glaciation. To reveal the imprints of geological events on the spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis, we examined two cpDNA segments ( trnH- psbA and trnS- trnfM in 705 individuals from 47 localities. Results A total of 16 haplotypes was identified, and significant genetic differentiation was revealed (GST =0.843, NST = 0.975, P  Conclusions The results revealed that the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau likely resulted in the significant divergence between the lineage in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the other one outside this area. The diverse niches in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau created a wide spectrum of habitats to accumulate and accommodate new mutations. The features of genetic diversity of populations outside the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau seemed to reveal the imprints of extinction during the Glacial and the interglacial and postglacial recolonization. Our study is a typical case of the significance of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Quaternary Glacial in spatial genetic structure of eastern Asian plants, and sheds new light on the evolution of biodiversity in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the intraspecies level.

  7. Critical cooperation range to improve spatial network robustness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitor H P Louzada

    Full Text Available A robust worldwide air-transportation network (WAN is one that minimizes the number of stranded passengers under a sequence of airport closures. Building on top of this realistic example, here we address how spatial network robustness can profit from cooperation between local actors. We swap a series of links within a certain distance, a cooperation range, while following typical constraints of spatially embedded networks. We find that the network robustness is only improved above a critical cooperation range. Such improvement can be described in the framework of a continuum transition, where the critical exponents depend on the spatial correlation of connected nodes. For the WAN we show that, except for Australia, all continental networks fall into the same universality class. Practical implications of this result are also discussed.

  8. Monitoring hillslope moisture dynamics with surface ERT for enhancing spatial significance of hydrometric point measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, R.; Heller, K.; Günther, T.; Kleber, A.

    2015-01-01

    Besides floodplains, hillslopes are basic units that mainly control water movement and flow pathways within catchments of subdued mountain ranges. The structure of their shallow subsurface affects water balance, e.g. infiltration, retention, and runoff. Nevertheless, there is still a gap in the knowledge of the hydrological dynamics on hillslopes, notably due to the lack of generalization and transferability. This study presents a robust multi-method framework of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) in addition to hydrometric point measurements, transferring hydrometric data into higher spatial scales to obtain additional patterns of distribution and dynamics of soil moisture on a hillslope. A geoelectrical monitoring in a small catchment in the eastern Ore Mountains was carried out at weekly intervals from May to December 2008 to image seasonal moisture dynamics on the hillslope scale. To link water content and electrical resistivity, the parameters of Archie's law were determined using different core samples. To optimize inversion parameters and methods, the derived spatial and temporal water content distribution was compared to tensiometer data. The results from ERT measurements show a strong correlation with the hydrometric data. The response is congruent to the soil tension data. Water content calculated from the ERT profile shows similar variations as that of water content from soil moisture sensors. Consequently, soil moisture dynamics on the hillslope scale may be determined not only by expensive invasive punctual hydrometric measurements, but also by minimally invasive time-lapse ERT, provided that pedo-/petrophysical relationships are known. Since ERT integrates larger spatial scales, a combination with hydrometric point measurements improves the understanding of the ongoing hydrological processes and better suits identification of heterogeneities.

  9. 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

  10. Improving left spatial neglect through music scale playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Nicolò Francesco; Cioffi, Maria Cristina; Ronchi, Roberta; Maravita, Angelo; Bricolo, Emanuela; Zigiotto, Luca; Perucca, Laura; Vallar, Giuseppe

    2017-03-01

    The study assessed whether the auditory reference provided by a music scale could improve spatial exploration of a standard musical instrument keyboard in right-brain-damaged patients with left spatial neglect. As performing music scales involves the production of predictable successive pitches, the expectation of the subsequent note may facilitate patients to explore a larger extension of space in the left affected side, during the production of music scales from right to left. Eleven right-brain-damaged stroke patients with left spatial neglect, 12 patients without neglect, and 12 age-matched healthy participants played descending scales on a music keyboard. In a counterbalanced design, the participants' exploratory performance was assessed while producing scales in three feedback conditions: With congruent sound, no-sound, or random sound feedback provided by the keyboard. The number of keys played and the timing of key press were recorded. Spatial exploration by patients with left neglect was superior with congruent sound feedback, compared to both Silence and Random sound conditions. Both the congruent and incongruent sound conditions were associated with a greater deceleration in all groups. The frame provided by the music scale improves exploration of the left side of space, contralateral to the right hemisphere, damaged in patients with left neglect. Performing a scale with congruent sounds may trigger at some extent preserved auditory and spatial multisensory representations of successive sounds, thus influencing the time course of space scanning, and ultimately resulting in a more extensive spatial exploration. These findings offer new perspectives also for the rehabilitation of the disorder. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. IMPROVING NEAREST NEIGHBOUR SEARCH IN 3D SPATIAL ACCESS METHOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Suhaibaha

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Nearest Neighbour (NN is one of the important queries and analyses for spatial application. In normal practice, spatial access method structure is used during the Nearest Neighbour query execution to retrieve information from the database. However, most of the spatial access method structures are still facing with unresolved issues such as overlapping among nodes and repetitive data entry. This situation will perform an excessive Input/Output (IO operation which is inefficient for data retrieval. The situation will become more crucial while dealing with 3D data. The size of 3D data is usually large due to its detail geometry and other attached information. In this research, a clustered 3D hierarchical structure is introduced as a 3D spatial access method structure. The structure is expected to improve the retrieval of Nearest Neighbour information for 3D objects. Several tests are performed in answering Single Nearest Neighbour search and k Nearest Neighbour (kNN search. The tests indicate that clustered hierarchical structure is efficient in handling Nearest Neighbour query compared to its competitor. From the results, clustered hierarchical structure reduced the repetitive data entry and the accessed page. The proposed structure also produced minimal Input/Output operation. The query response time is also outperformed compared to the other competitor. For future outlook of this research several possible applications are discussed and summarized.

  14. 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

  15. Improving PET spatial resolution and detectability for prostate cancer imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bal, H; Guerin, L; Casey, M E; Conti, M; Eriksson, L; Michel, C; Fanti, S; Pettinato, C; Adler, S; Choyke, P

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer among men, can benefit from recent improvements in positron emission tomography (PET) technology. In particular, better spatial resolution, lower noise and higher detectability of small lesions could be greatly beneficial for early diagnosis and could provide a strong support for guiding biopsy and surgery. In this article, the impact of improved PET instrumentation with superior spatial resolution and high sensitivity are discussed, together with the latest development in PET technology: resolution recovery and time-of-flight reconstruction. Using simulated cancer lesions, inserted in clinical PET images obtained with conventional protocols, we show that visual identification of the lesions and detectability via numerical observers can already be improved using state of the art PET reconstruction methods. This was achieved using both resolution recovery and time-of-flight reconstruction, and a high resolution image with 2 mm pixel size. Channelized Hotelling numerical observers showed an increase in the area under the LROC curve from 0.52 to 0.58. In addition, a relationship between the simulated input activity and the area under the LROC curve showed that the minimum detectable activity was reduced by more than 23%. (paper)

  16. Improved spatial calibration for the CXRS system on EAST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yin, X. H.; Feng, S. Y. [School of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China); Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Li, Y. Y., E-mail: liyy@ipp.ac.cn; Fu, J.; Gu, Y. Q.; Cheng, Y.; Wan, B. N. [Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Jiang, D. [Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); School of Physics and Materials Science, Anhui University, Hefei 230601 (China); Lyu, B. [Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Hefei Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Shi, Y. J. [School of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China); Department of Nuclear Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of); Ye, M. Y. [School of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China)

    2016-11-15

    A Charge eXchange Recombination Spectroscopy (CXRS) diagnostic system has been developed to measure profiles of ion temperature and rotation since 2014 on EAST. Several techniques have been developed to improve the spatial calibration of the CXRS diagnostic. The sightline location was obtained by measuring the coordinates of three points on each sightline using an articulated flexible coordinate measuring arm when the vessel was accessible. After vacuum pumping, the effect of pressure change in the vacuum vessel was evaluated by observing the movement of the light spot from back-illuminated sightlines on the first wall using the newly developed articulated inspection arm. In addition, the rotation of the periscope after vacuum pumping was derived by using the Doppler shift of neutral beam emission spectra without magnetic field. Combining these techniques, improved spatial calibration was implemented to provide a complete and accurate description of the EAST CXRS system. Due to the effects of the change of air pressure, a ∼0.4° periscope rotation, yielding a ∼20 mm movement of the major radius of observation positions to the lower field side, was derived. Results of Zeeman splitting of neutral beam emission spectra with magnetic field also showed good agreement with the calibration results.

  17. Spatial distribution and functional significance of leaf lamina shape in Amazonian forest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Malhado

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Leaves in tropical forests come in an enormous variety of sizes and shapes, each of which can be ultimately viewed as an adaptation to the complex problem of optimising the capture of light for photosynthesis. However, the fact that many different shape "strategies" coexist within a habitat demonstrate that there are many other intrinsic and extrinsic factors involved, such as the differential investment in support tissues required for different leaf lamina shapes. Here, we take a macrogeographic approach to understanding the function of different lamina shape categories. Specifically, we use 106 permanent plots spread across the Amazon rainforest basin to: 1 describe the geographic distribution of some simple metrics of lamina shape in plots from across Amazonia, and; 2 identify and quantify relationships between key environmental parameters and lamina shape in tropical forests. Because the plots are not randomly distributed across the study area, achieving this latter objective requires the use of statistics that can account for spatial auto-correlation. We found that between 60–70% of the 2791 species and 83 908 individual trees in the dataset could be classified as having elliptic leaves (= the widest part of the leaf is on an axis in the middle fifth of the long axis of the leaf. Furthermore, the average Amazonian tree leaf is 2.5 times longer than it is wide and has an entire margin. Contrary to theoretical expectations we found little support for the hypothesis that narrow leaves are an adaptation to dry conditions. However, we did find strong regional patterns in leaf lamina length-width ratios and several significant correlations with precipitation variables suggesting that water availability may be exerting an as yet unrecognised selective pressure on leaf shape of rainforest trees. Some support was found for the hypothesis that narrow leaves are an adaptation to low nutrient soils. Furthermore, we found a strong correlation between

  18. Soil nitrate reducing processes – drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation, and significance for nitrous oxide production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Madeline; Morley, Nicholas; Baggs, Elizabeth M.; Daniell, Tim J.

    2012-01-01

    The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate (NO3−) and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O2 concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH, and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub centimeter areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location, and potential for N2O production from soils. PMID:23264770

  19. Soil nitrate reducing processes – drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation and significance for nitrous oxide production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madeline Eleanore Giles

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate (NO3-¬ and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O. A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O2 concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub cm areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location and potential for N2O production from soils.

  20. Soil nitrate reducing processes - drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation, and significance for nitrous oxide production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Madeline; Morley, Nicholas; Baggs, Elizabeth M; Daniell, Tim J

    2012-01-01

    The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate ([Formula: see text]) and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N(2)O). A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O(2) concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH, and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub centimeter areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location, and potential for N(2)O production from soils.

  1. 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.

  2. Geography literation to improve spatial intelligence of high school student

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utami, WS; Zain, IM

    2018-01-01

    Spatial intelligence is deeply related to success in the STEM disciplines (science,technology, engineering, and math). spatial intelligence as a transversal capacity which is useful for everyday life but which cannot be characterized in any specific and distinctive way, as are, for example, linguistic or mathematical ability. The ability of geographical literacy relates to spatial intelligence. test results prove that the ability of high-liter geography of high school students found in students who have a good spatial intelligence score

  3. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Kaustav

    2010-01-01

    Proponents of educational reform often call for policies to increase competition between schools. It is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. In many parts of the country, public schools experience significant competition from private schools; however,…

  4. The Significance of the Spatial Variability of Rainfall on the Numerical Simulation of Urban Floods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Guillaume Courty

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The growth of urban population, combined with an increase of extreme events due to climate change call for a better understanding and representation of urban floods. The uncertainty in rainfall distribution is one of the most important factors that affects the watershed response to a given precipitation event. However, most of the investigations on this topic have considered theoretical scenarios, with little reference to case studies in the real world. This paper incorporates the use of spatially-variable precipitation data from a long-range radar in the simulation of the severe floods that impacted the city of Hull, U.K., in June 2007. This radar-based rainfall field is merged with rain gauge data using a Kriging with External Drift interpolation technique. The utility of this spatially-variable information is investigated through the comparison of computed flooded areas (uniform and radar against those registered by public authorities. Both results show similar skills at reproducing the real event, but differences in the total precipitated volumes, water depths and flooded areas are illustrated. It is envisaged that in urban areas and with the advent of higher resolution radars, these differences will be more important and call for further investigation.

  5. Climatic extremes improve predictions of spatial patterns of tree species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, N.E.; Yoccoz, N.G.; Edwards, T.C.; Meier, E.S.; Thuiller, W.; Guisan, Antoine; Schmatz, D.R.; Pearman, P.B.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding niche evolution, dynamics, and the response of species to climate change requires knowledge of the determinants of the environmental niche and species range limits. Mean values of climatic variables are often used in such analyses. In contrast, the increasing frequency of climate extremes suggests the importance of understanding their additional influence on range limits. Here, we assess how measures representing climate extremes (i.e., interannual variability in climate parameters) explain and predict spatial patterns of 11 tree species in Switzerland. We find clear, although comparably small, improvement (+20% in adjusted D2, +8% and +3% in cross-validated True Skill Statistic and area under the receiver operating characteristics curve values) in models that use measures of extremes in addition to means. The primary effect of including information on climate extremes is a correction of local overprediction and underprediction. Our results demonstrate that measures of climate extremes are important for understanding the climatic limits of tree species and assessing species niche characteristics. The inclusion of climate variability likely will improve models of species range limits under future conditions, where changes in mean climate and increased variability are expected.

  6. A phoswich detector design for improved spatial sampling in PET

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiessen, Jonathan D.; Koschan, Merry A.; Melcher, Charles L.; Meng, Fang; Schellenberg, Graham; Goertzen, Andrew L.

    2018-02-01

    Block detector designs, utilizing a pixelated scintillator array coupled to a photosensor array in a light-sharing design, are commonly used for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging applications. In practice, the spatial sampling of these designs is limited by the crystal pitch, which must be large enough for individual crystals to be resolved in the detector flood image. Replacing the conventional 2D scintillator array with an array of phoswich elements, each consisting of an optically coupled side-by-side scintillator pair, may improve spatial sampling in one direction of the array without requiring resolving smaller crystal elements. To test the feasibility of this design, a 4 × 4 phoswich array was constructed, with each phoswich element consisting of two optically coupled, 3 . 17 × 1 . 58 × 10mm3 LSO crystals co-doped with cerium and calcium. The amount of calcium doping was varied to create a 'fast' LSO crystal with decay time of 32.9 ns and a 'slow' LSO crystal with decay time of 41.2 ns. Using a Hamamatsu R8900U-00-C12 position-sensitive photomultiplier tube (PS-PMT) and a CAEN V1720 250 MS/s waveform digitizer, we were able to show effective discrimination of the fast and slow LSO crystals in the phoswich array. Although a side-by-side phoswich array is feasible, reflections at the crystal boundary due to a mismatch between the refractive index of the optical adhesive (n = 1 . 5) and LSO (n = 1 . 82) caused it to behave optically as an 8 × 4 array rather than a 4 × 4 array. Direct coupling of each phoswich element to individual photodetector elements may be necessary with the current phoswich array design. Alternatively, in order to implement this phoswich design with a conventional light sharing PET block detector, a high refractive index optical adhesive is necessary to closely match the refractive index of LSO.

  7. 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.

  8. Improved Side Information Generation for Distributed Video Coding by Exploiting Spatial and Temporal Correlations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Shuiming

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Distributed video coding (DVC is a video coding paradigm allowing low complexity encoding for emerging applications such as wireless video surveillance. Side information (SI generation is a key function in the DVC decoder, and plays a key-role in determining the performance of the codec. This paper proposes an improved SI generation for DVC, which exploits both spatial and temporal correlations in the sequences. Partially decoded Wyner-Ziv (WZ frames, based on initial SI by motion compensated temporal interpolation, are exploited to improve the performance of the whole SI generation. More specifically, an enhanced temporal frame interpolation is proposed, including motion vector refinement and smoothing, optimal compensation mode selection, and a new matching criterion for motion estimation. The improved SI technique is also applied to a new hybrid spatial and temporal error concealment scheme to conceal errors in WZ frames. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme can achieve up to 1.0 dB improvement in rate distortion performance in WZ frames for video with high motion, when compared to state-of-the-art DVC. In addition, both the objective and perceptual qualities of the corrupted sequences are significantly improved by the proposed hybrid error concealment scheme, outperforming both spatial and temporal concealments alone.

  9. Improving alignment in Tract-based spatial statistics: evaluation and optimization of image registration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Marius; Vernooij, Meike W.; Klein, Stefan; Ikram, M. Arfan; Vos, Frans M.; Smith, Stephen M.; Niessen, Wiro J.; Andersson, Jesper L. R.

    2013-01-01

    Anatomical alignment in neuroimaging studies is of such importance that considerable effort is put into improving the registration used to establish spatial correspondence. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) is a popular method for comparing diffusion characteristics across subjects. TBSS

  10. Improving alignment in Tract-based spatial statistics : Evaluation and optimization of image registration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Groot, M.; Vernooij, M.W.; Klein, S.; Arfan Ikram, M.; Vos, F.M.; Smith, S.M.; Niessen, W.J.; Andersson, J.L.R.

    2013-01-01

    Anatomical alignment in neuroimaging studies is of such importance that considerable effort is put into improving the registration used to establish spatial correspondence. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) is a popular method for comparing diffusion characteristics across subjects. TBSS

  11. Spatial model of the gecko foot hair: functional significance of highly specialized non-uniform geometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippov, Alexander E; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2015-02-06

    One of the important problems appearing in experimental realizations of artificial adhesives inspired by gecko foot hair is so-called clusterization. If an artificially produced structure is flexible enough to allow efficient contact with natural rough surfaces, after a few attachment-detachment cycles, the fibres of the structure tend to adhere one to another and form clusters. Normally, such clusters are much larger than original fibres and, because they are less flexible, form much worse adhesive contacts especially with the rough surfaces. Main problem here is that the forces responsible for the clusterization are the same intermolecular forces which attract fibres to fractal surface of the substrate. However, arrays of real gecko setae are much less susceptible to this problem. One of the possible reasons for this is that ends of the seta have more sophisticated non-uniformly distributed three-dimensional structure than that of existing artificial systems. In this paper, we simulated three-dimensional spatial geometry of non-uniformly distributed branches of nanofibres of the setal tip numerically, studied its attachment-detachment dynamics and discussed its advantages versus uniformly distributed geometry.

  12. Dictionary-based fiber orientation estimation with improved spatial consistency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chuyang; Prince, Jerry L

    2018-02-01

    Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) has enabled in vivo investigation of white matter tracts. Fiber orientation (FO) estimation is a key step in tract reconstruction and has been a popular research topic in dMRI analysis. In particular, the sparsity assumption has been used in conjunction with a dictionary-based framework to achieve reliable FO estimation with a reduced number of gradient directions. Because image noise can have a deleterious effect on the accuracy of FO estimation, previous works have incorporated spatial consistency of FOs in the dictionary-based framework to improve the estimation. However, because FOs are only indirectly determined from the mixture fractions of dictionary atoms and not modeled as variables in the objective function, these methods do not incorporate FO smoothness directly, and their ability to produce smooth FOs could be limited. In this work, we propose an improvement to Fiber Orientation Reconstruction using Neighborhood Information (FORNI), which we call FORNI+; this method estimates FOs in a dictionary-based framework where FO smoothness is better enforced than in FORNI alone. We describe an objective function that explicitly models the actual FOs and the mixture fractions of dictionary atoms. Specifically, it consists of data fidelity between the observed signals and the signals represented by the dictionary, pairwise FO dissimilarity that encourages FO smoothness, and weighted ℓ 1 -norm terms that ensure the consistency between the actual FOs and the FO configuration suggested by the dictionary representation. The FOs and mixture fractions are then jointly estimated by minimizing the objective function using an iterative alternating optimization strategy. FORNI+ was evaluated on a simulation phantom, a physical phantom, and real brain dMRI data. In particular, in the real brain dMRI experiment, we have qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated the reproducibility of the proposed method. Results demonstrate that

  13. Genistein improves spatial learning and memory in male rats with elevated glucose level during memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohara, Yumi; Kawaguchi, Shinichiro; Kuwahara, Rika; Uchida, Yutaro; Oku, Yushi; Yamashita, Kimihiro

    2015-03-01

    Cognitive dysfunction due to higher blood glucose level has been reported previously. Genistein (GEN) is a phytoestrogen that we hypothesized might lead to improved memory, despite elevated blood glucose levels at the time of memory consolidation. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared the effects of orally administered GEN on the central nervous system in normal versus glucose-loaded adult male rats. A battery of behavioral assessments was carried out. In the MAZE test, which measured spatial learning and memory, the time of normal rats was shortened by GEN treatment compared to the vehicle group, but only in the early stages of testing. In the glucose-loaded group, GEN treatment improved performance as mazes were advanced. In the open-field test, GEN treatment delayed habituation to the new environment in normal rats, and increased the exploratory behaviors of glucose-loaded rats. There were no significant differences observed for emotionality or fear-motivated learning and memory. Together, these results indicate that GEN treatment improved spatial learning and memory only in the early stages of testing in the normal state, but improved spatial learning and memory when glucose levels increased during memory consolidation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah R Rudebeck

    Full Text Available One current challenge in cognitive training is to create a training regime that benefits multiple cognitive domains, including episodic memory, without relying on a large battery of tasks, which can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. By giving careful consideration to the neural correlates underlying episodic and working memory, we devised a computerized working memory training task in which neurologically healthy participants were required to monitor and detect repetitions in two streams of spatial information (spatial location and scene identity presented simultaneously (i.e. a dual n-back paradigm. Participants' episodic memory abilities were assessed before and after training using two object and scene recognition memory tasks incorporating memory confidence judgments. Furthermore, to determine the generalizability of the effects of training, we also assessed fluid intelligence using a matrix reasoning task. By examining the difference between pre- and post-training performance (i.e. gain scores, we found that the trainers, compared to non-trainers, exhibited a significant improvement in fluid intelligence after 20 days. Interestingly, pre-training fluid intelligence performance, but not training task improvement, was a significant predictor of post-training fluid intelligence improvement, with lower pre-training fluid intelligence associated with greater post-training gain. Crucially, trainers who improved the most on the training task also showed an improvement in recognition memory as captured by d-prime scores and estimates of recollection and familiarity memory. Training task improvement was a significant predictor of gains in recognition and familiarity memory performance, with greater training improvement leading to more marked gains. In contrast, lower pre-training recollection memory scores, and not training task improvement, led to greater recollection memory performance after training. Our findings demonstrate that practice

  15. Quantifying Forest Spatial Pattern Trends at Multiple Extents: An Approach to Detect Significant Changes at Different Scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovico Frate

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We propose a procedure to detect significant changes in forest spatial patterns and relevant scales. Our approach consists of four sequential steps. First, based on a series of multi-temporal forest maps, a set of geographic windows of increasing extents are extracted. Second, for each extent and date, specific stochastic simulations that replicate real-world spatial pattern characteristics are run. Third, by computing pattern metrics on both simulated and real maps, their empirical distributions and confidence intervals are derived. Finally, multi-temporal scalograms are built for each metric. Based on cover maps (1954, 2011 with a resolution of 10 m we analyze forest pattern changes in a central Apennines (Italy reserve at multiple spatial extents (128, 256 and 512 pixels. We identify three types of multi-temporal scalograms, depending on pattern metric behaviors, describing different dynamics of natural reforestation process. The statistical distribution and variability of pattern metrics at multiple extents offers a new and powerful tool to detect forest variations over time. Similar procedures can (i help to identify significant changes in spatial patterns and provide the bases to relate them to landscape processes; (ii minimize the bias when comparing pattern metrics at a single extent and (iii be extended to other landscapes and scales.

  16. Spatially telescoping measurements for improved characterization of groundwater-surface water interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Colin; Ferre, Ty P.A.; Welker, Jeffery M.

    2012-01-01

    The suite of measurement methods available to characterize fluxes between groundwater and surface water is rapidly growing. However, there are few studies that examine approaches to design of field investigations that include multiple methods. We propose that performing field measurements in a spatially telescoping sequence improves measurement flexibility and accounts for nested heterogeneities while still allowing for parsimonious experimental design. We applied this spatially telescoping approach in a study of ground water-surface water (GW-SW) interaction during baseflow conditions along Lucile Creek, located near Wasilla, Alaska. Catchment-scale data, including channel geomorphic indices and hydrogeologic transects, were used to screen areas of potentially significant GW-SW exchange. Specifically, these data indicated increasing groundwater contribution from a deeper regional aquifer along the middle to lower reaches of the stream. This initial assessment was tested using reach-scale estimates of groundwater contribution during baseflow conditions, including differential discharge measurements and the use of chemical tracers analyzed in a three-component mixing model. The reach-scale measurements indicated a large increase in discharge along the middle reaches of the stream accompanied by a shift in chemical composition towards a regional groundwater end member. Finally, point measurements of vertical water fluxes -- obtained using seepage meters as well as temperature-based methods -- were used to evaluate spatial and temporal variability of GW-SW exchange within representative reaches. The spatial variability of upward fluxes, estimated using streambed temperature mapping at the sub-reach scale, was observed to vary in relation to both streambed composition and the magnitude of groundwater contribution from differential discharge measurements. The spatially telescoping approach improved the efficiency of this field investigation. Beginning our assessment

  17. Combining satellite data and appropriate objective functions for improved spatial pattern performance of a distributed hydrologic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Demirel

    2018-02-01

    shuffled complex evolution optimiser. The calibration results reveal a limited trade-off between streamflow dynamics and spatial patterns illustrating the benefit of combining separate observation types and objective functions. At the same time, the simulated spatial patterns of AET significantly improved when an objective function based on observed AET patterns and a novel spatial performance metric compared to traditional streamflow-only calibration were included. Since the overall water balance is usually a crucial goal in hydrologic modelling, spatial-pattern-oriented optimisation should always be accompanied by traditional discharge measurements. In such a multi-objective framework, the current study promotes the use of a novel bias-insensitive spatial pattern metric, which exploits the key information contained in the observed patterns while allowing the water balance to be informed by discharge observations.

  18. Combining satellite data and appropriate objective functions for improved spatial pattern performance of a distributed hydrologic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demirel, Mehmet C.; Mai, Juliane; Mendiguren, Gorka; Koch, Julian; Samaniego, Luis; Stisen, Simon

    2018-02-01

    evolution optimiser. The calibration results reveal a limited trade-off between streamflow dynamics and spatial patterns illustrating the benefit of combining separate observation types and objective functions. At the same time, the simulated spatial patterns of AET significantly improved when an objective function based on observed AET patterns and a novel spatial performance metric compared to traditional streamflow-only calibration were included. Since the overall water balance is usually a crucial goal in hydrologic modelling, spatial-pattern-oriented optimisation should always be accompanied by traditional discharge measurements. In such a multi-objective framework, the current study promotes the use of a novel bias-insensitive spatial pattern metric, which exploits the key information contained in the observed patterns while allowing the water balance to be informed by discharge observations.

  19. Spatial distribution of insecticide resistance in Caribbean populations of Aedes aegypti and its significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rawlins Samuel C.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available To monitor resistance to insecticides, bioassays were performed on 102 strains of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (L. from 16 countries ranging from Suriname in South America and through the chain of Caribbean Islands to the Bahamas, where the larvicide temephos and the adulticide malathion have been in use for 15 to 30 years. There was wide variation in the sensitivity to the larvicide in mosquito populations within and among countries. Mosquito strains in some countries such as Antigua, St. Lucia, and Tortola had consistently high resistance ratios (RR to temephos, ranging from 5.3 to 17.7. In another group of countries-e.g., Anguilla and Curaçao-mosquitoes had mixed levels of resistance to temephos (RR = 2.5-10.6, and in a third group of countries, including St. Kitts, Barbados, Jamaica, and Suriname, mosquitoes had consistently low levels of resistance to temephos (RR = 1- 4.6 (P < 0.05. On occasion significantly different levels of resistance were recorded from neighboring A. aegypti communities, which suggests there is little genetic exchange among populations. The impact of larval resistance expressed itself as reduced efficacy of temephos to kill mosquitoes when strains were treated in the laboratory or in the field in large container environments with recommended dosages. Although a sensitive strain continued to be completely controlled for up to 7 weeks, the most resistant strains had 24% survival after the first week. By week 6, 60% to 75% of all resistant strains of larvae were surviving the larval period. Responses to malathion in adult A. aegypti varied from a sensitive population in Suriname (RR = 1.3 to resistant strains in St. Vincent (RR = 4.4, Dominica (RR = 4.2, and Trinidad (RR = 4.0; however, resistance was generally not on the scale of that observed to temephos in the larval stages and had increased only slightly when compared to the levels that existed 3 to 4 years ago. Suggestions are made for a pesticide usage policy

  20. Improved Density Based Spatial Clustering of Applications of Noise Clustering Algorithm for Knowledge Discovery in Spatial Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arvind Sharma

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There are many techniques available in the field of data mining and its subfield spatial data mining is to understand relationships between data objects. Data objects related with spatial features are called spatial databases. These relationships can be used for prediction and trend detection between spatial and nonspatial objects for social and scientific reasons. A huge data set may be collected from different sources as satellite images, X-rays, medical images, traffic cameras, and GIS system. To handle this large amount of data and set relationship between them in a certain manner with certain results is our primary purpose of this paper. This paper gives a complete process to understand how spatial data is different from other kinds of data sets and how it is refined to apply to get useful results and set trends to predict geographic information system and spatial data mining process. In this paper a new improved algorithm for clustering is designed because role of clustering is very indispensable in spatial data mining process. Clustering methods are useful in various fields of human life such as GIS (Geographic Information System, GPS (Global Positioning System, weather forecasting, air traffic controller, water treatment, area selection, cost estimation, planning of rural and urban areas, remote sensing, and VLSI designing. This paper presents study of various clustering methods and algorithms and an improved algorithm of DBSCAN as IDBSCAN (Improved Density Based Spatial Clustering of Application of Noise. The algorithm is designed by addition of some important attributes which are responsible for generation of better clusters from existing data sets in comparison of other methods.

  1. 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...

  2. Spatially improved operators for excited hadrons on the lattice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burch, Tommy; Gattringer, Christof; Schaefer, Andreas; Glozman, Leonid Ya.; Kleindl, Reinhard; Lang, C.B.

    2004-01-01

    We present a new approach for determining spatially optimized operators that can be used for lattice spectroscopy of excited hadrons. Jacobi smeared quark sources with different widths are combined to construct hadron operators with different spatial wave functions. We use the variational method to determine those linear combinations of operators that have optimal overlap with ground and excited states. The details of the new approach are discussed and we demonstrate the power of the method using examples from quenched baryon and meson spectroscopy. In particular, we study the Roper state and ρ(1450) and discuss some physical implications of our tests

  3. Spatially Explicit Estimation of Optimal Light Use Efficiency for Improved Satellite Data Driven Ecosystem Productivity Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madani, N.; Kimball, J. S.; Running, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    Remote sensing based light use efficiency (LUE) models, including the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) MOD17 algorithm are commonly used for regional estimation and monitoring of vegetation gross primary production (GPP) and photosynthetic carbon (CO2) uptake. A common model assumption is that plants in a biome matrix operate at their photosynthetic capacity under optimal climatic conditions. A prescribed biome maximum light use efficiency parameter defines the maximum photosynthetic carbon conversion rate under prevailing climate conditions and is a large source of model uncertainty. Here, we used tower (FLUXNET) eddy covariance measurement based carbon flux data for estimating optimal LUE (LUEopt) over a North American domain. LUEopt was first estimated using tower observed daily carbon fluxes, meteorology and satellite (MODIS) observed fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR). LUEopt was then spatially interpolated over the domain using empirical models derived from independent geospatial data including global plant traits, surface soil moisture, terrain aspect, land cover type and percent tree cover. The derived LUEopt maps were then used as primary inputs to the MOD17 LUE algorithm for regional GPP estimation; these results were evaluated against tower observations and alternate MOD17 GPP estimates determined using Biome-specific LUEopt constants. Estimated LUEopt shows large spatial variability within and among different land cover classes indicated from a sparse North American tower network. Leaf nitrogen content and soil moisture are two important factors explaining LUEopt spatial variability. GPP estimated from spatially explicit LUEopt inputs shows significantly improved model accuracy against independent tower observations (R2 = 0.76; Mean RMSE plant trait information can explain spatial heterogeneity in LUEopt, leading to improved GPP estimates from satellite based LUE models.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A generic method for improving the spatial interoperability of medical and ecological databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghenassia, A; Beuscart, J B; Ficheur, G; Occelli, F; Babykina, E; Chazard, E; Genin, M

    2017-10-03

    The availability of big data in healthcare and the intensive development of data reuse and georeferencing have opened up perspectives for health spatial analysis. However, fine-scale spatial studies of ecological and medical databases are limited by the change of support problem and thus a lack of spatial unit interoperability. The use of spatial disaggregation methods to solve this problem introduces errors into the spatial estimations. Here, we present a generic, two-step method for merging medical and ecological databases that avoids the use of spatial disaggregation methods, while maximizing the spatial resolution. Firstly, a mapping table is created after one or more transition matrices have been defined. The latter link the spatial units of the original databases to the spatial units of the final database. Secondly, the mapping table is validated by (1) comparing the covariates contained in the two original databases, and (2) checking the spatial validity with a spatial continuity criterion and a spatial resolution index. We used our novel method to merge a medical database (the French national diagnosis-related group database, containing 5644 spatial units) with an ecological database (produced by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, and containing with 36,594 spatial units). The mapping table yielded 5632 final spatial units. The mapping table's validity was evaluated by comparing the number of births in the medical database and the ecological databases in each final spatial unit. The median [interquartile range] relative difference was 2.3% [0; 5.7]. The spatial continuity criterion was low (2.4%), and the spatial resolution index was greater than for most French administrative areas. Our innovative approach improves interoperability between medical and ecological databases and facilitates fine-scale spatial analyses. We have shown that disaggregation models and large aggregation techniques are not necessarily the best ways to

  7. Nobiletin improves emotional and novelty recognition memory but not spatial referential memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jiyun; Shin, Jung-Won; Kim, Yoo-Rim; Swanberg, Kelley M; Kim, Yooseung; Bae, Jae Ryong; Kim, Young Ki; Lee, Jinwon; Kim, Soo-Yeon; Sohn, Nak-Won; Maeng, Sungho

    2017-01-01

    How to maintain and enhance cognitive functions for both aged and young populations is a highly interesting subject. But candidate memory-enhancing reagents are tested almost exclusively on lesioned or aged animals. Also, there is insufficient information on the type of memory these reagents can improve. Working memory, located in the prefrontal cortex, manages short-term sensory information, but, by gaining significant relevance, this information is converted to long-term memory by hippocampal formation and/or amygdala, followed by tagging with space-time or emotional cues, respectively. Nobiletin is a product of citrus peel known for cognitive-enhancing effects in various pharmacological and neurodegenerative disease models, yet, it is not well studied in non-lesioned animals and the type of memory that nobiletin can improve remains unclear. In this study, 8-week-old male mice were tested using behavioral measurements for working, spatial referential, emotional and visual recognition memory after daily administration of nobiletin. While nobiletin did not induce any change of spontaneous activity in the open field test, freezing by fear conditioning and novel object recognition increased. However, the effectiveness of spatial navigation in the Y-maze and Morris water maze was not improved. These results mean that nobiletin can specifically improve memories of emotionally salient information associated with fear and novelty, but not of spatial information without emotional saliency. Accordingly, the use of nobiletin on normal subjects as a memory enhancer would be more effective on emotional types but may have limited value for the improvement of episodic memories.

  8. Improved mid infrared detector for high spectral or spatial resolution and synchrotron radiation use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faye, Mbaye; Bordessoule, Michel; Kanouté, Brahim; Brubach, Jean-Blaise; Roy, Pascale [Synchrotron SOLEIL, L’Orme des Merisiers, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Manceron, Laurent [Synchrotron SOLEIL, L’Orme des Merisiers, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Laboratoire MONARIS, CNRS-Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR 8233, 4 Place Jussieu, F-75252 Paris Cedex (France)

    2016-06-15

    When using bright, small effective size sources, such as synchrotron radiation light beam, for broadband spectroscopy at spectral or spatial high resolution for mid-IR FTIR measurements, a marked detectivity improvement can be achieved by setting up a device matching the detector optical étendue to that of the source. Further improvement can be achieved by reducing the background unmodulated flux and other intrinsic noise sources using a lower temperature cryogen, such as liquid helium. By the combined use of cooled apertures, cold reimaging optics, filters and adapted detector polarization, and preamplification electronics, the sensitivity of a HgCdTe photoconductive IR detector can be improved by a significant factor with respect to standard commercial devices (more than one order of magnitude on average over 6–20 μm region) and the usable spectral range extended to longer wavelengths. The performances of such an optimized detector developed on the AILES Beamline at SOLEIL are presented here.

  9. Characterization of spatial distribution of Tetranychus urticae in peppermint in California and implication for improving sampling plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijal, Jhalendra P; Wilson, Rob; Godfrey, Larry D

    2016-02-01

    Twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, is an important pest of peppermint in California, USA. Spider mite feeding on peppermint leaves causes physiological changes in the plant, which coupling with the favorable environmental condition can lead to increased mite infestations. Significant yield loss can occur in absence of pest monitoring and timely management. Understating the within-field spatial distribution of T. urticae is critical for the development of reliable sampling plan. The study reported here aims to characterize the spatial distribution of mite infestation in four commercial peppermint fields in northern California using spatial techniques, variogram and Spatial Analysis by Distance IndicEs (SADIE). Variogram analysis revealed that there was a strong evidence for spatially dependent (aggregated) mite population in 13 of 17 sampling dates and the physical distance of the aggregation reached maximum to 7 m in peppermint fields. Using SADIE, 11 of 17 sampling dates showed aggregated distribution pattern of mite infestation. Combining results from variogram and SADIE analysis, the spatial aggregation of T. urticae was evident in all four fields for all 17 sampling dates evaluated. Comparing spatial association using SADIE, ca. 62% of the total sampling pairs showed a positive association of mite spatial distribution patterns between two consecutive sampling dates, which indicates a strong spatial and temporal stability of mite infestation in peppermint fields. These results are discussed in relation to behavior of spider mite distribution within field, and its implications for improving sampling guidelines that are essential for effective pest monitoring and management.

  10. Incoherent improvement of the spatial resolution in digital holography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Sucerquia, J.; Herrera-Ramirez, J.; Castaneda, R.

    2005-10-01

    We report on a technique for increasing the spatial resolution of digitally recorded and reconstructed holograms of macroscopic objects, via the reduction of the contrast of the speckle noise present in the coherent imaging techniques. The contrast of the speckle noise is reduced through the superposition on an intensity basis of digitally reconstructed holograms of the same static scene. The reconstruction of a very poor contrasted object illustrates the performance of the technique. (author)

  11. SPATIAL VARIETY AND DISTRIBUTION OF TRADITIONAL MARKETS IN SURAKARTA AS POTENTIAL FACTORS IN IMPROVING SPATIAL-BASED MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Istijabatul Aliyah

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Traditional markets function as trading place, socio-culture interaction, and recreation facility either in regional or urban scope. Distribution and variety of spatial condition influence traditional markets’ planning both physically and non-physically. Therefore, this research aimed to conduct a mapping of traditional markets’ spatial distribution and variety as potential factors to improve spatial-based management. Analysis methods including: (1 Mapping by employing Geographic Information System, (2 Category Based Analysis (CBA, and (3 Interactive Analysis were applied in Surakarta City as the research location. The result of this research signifies that spatial variety and distribution of traditional markets in Surakarta had similar pattern between one market to others; overlapping service function; specific commodity types in accordance with the market’s characteristics; diverse operating hours. Spatial variety and distribution could be potential factors to improve traditional market management as shopping service. This result was contrasted with Central Place Theory by Christaller and NÆss & Jensen’s research finding stating that distance became a key factor influencing accessibility to a number of activity facilities. Therefore, distance toward the service center is not considered as the main factor in traditional market management. The main factor in managing and controlling traditional markets’ development includes service function, commodity specification, and operating hour’s flexibility.

  12. Improved spatial mapping of rainfall events with spaceborne SAR imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulaby, F. T.; Brisco, B.; Dobson, C.

    1983-01-01

    The Seasat satellite acquired the first spaceborne synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) images of the earth's surface, in 1978, at a frequency of 1.275 GHz (L-band) in a like-polarization mode at incidence angles of 23 + or - 3 deg. Although this may not be the optimum system configuration for radar remote sensing of soil moisture, interpretation of two Seasat images of Iowa demonstrates the sensitivity of microwave backscatter to soil moisture content. In both scenes, increased image brightness, which represents more radar backscatter, can be related to previous rainfall activity in the two areas. Comparison of these images with ground-based rainfall observations illustrates the increased spatial coverage of the rainfall event that can be obtained from the satellite SAR data. These data can then be color-enhanced by a digital computer to produce aesthetically pleasing output products for the user community.

  13. Spatial image modulation to improve performance of computed tomography imaging spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearman, Gregory H. (Inventor); Wilson, Daniel W. (Inventor); Johnson, William R. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    Computed tomography imaging spectrometers ("CTIS"s) having patterns for imposing spatial structure are provided. The pattern may be imposed either directly on the object scene being imaged or at the field stop aperture. The use of the pattern improves the accuracy of the captured spatial and spectral information.

  14. In vitro Spatial Compound Scanning for Improved Visualization of Atherosclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Søren Kragh; Wilhjelm, Jens E.; Sillesen, Henrik

    2000-01-01

    A new off-line multiangle ultrasound (US) compound scanner has been built with the purpose of investigating possible improvements in visualization of vascular structure. Images of two formalin-fixed human atherosclerotic plaques removed by carotid endarterectomy were recorded from seven insonific...

  15. Endurance Factors Improve Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Spatial Memory in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobilo, Tali; Yuan, Chunyan; van Praag, Henriette

    2011-01-01

    Physical activity improves learning and hippocampal neurogenesis. It is unknown whether compounds that increase endurance in muscle also enhance cognition. We investigated the effects of endurance factors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor [delta] agonist GW501516 and AICAR, activator of AMP-activated protein kinase on memory and…

  16. Improving visual spatial working memory in younger and older adults: effects of cross-modal cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Ashley F; Turner, Gary R; Park, Norman W; Murtha, Susan J E

    2017-11-06

    Spatially informative auditory and vibrotactile (cross-modal) cues can facilitate attention but little is known about how similar cues influence visual spatial working memory (WM) across the adult lifespan. We investigated the effects of cues (spatially informative or alerting pre-cues vs. no cues), cue modality (auditory vs. vibrotactile vs. visual), memory array size (four vs. six items), and maintenance delay (900 vs. 1800 ms) on visual spatial location WM recognition accuracy in younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA). We observed a significant interaction between spatially informative pre-cue type, array size, and delay. OA and YA benefitted equally from spatially informative pre-cues, suggesting that attentional orienting prior to WM encoding, regardless of cue modality, is preserved with age.  Contrary to predictions, alerting pre-cues generally impaired performance in both age groups, suggesting that maintaining a vigilant state of arousal by facilitating the alerting attention system does not help visual spatial location WM.

  17. Optimal Spatial Subdivision method for improving geometry navigation performance in Monte Carlo particle transport simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Zhenping; Song, Jing; Zheng, Huaqing; Wu, Bin; Hu, Liqin

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • The subdivision combines both advantages of uniform and non-uniform schemes. • The grid models were proved to be more efficient than traditional CSG models. • Monte Carlo simulation performance was enhanced by Optimal Spatial Subdivision. • Efficiency gains were obtained for realistic whole reactor core models. - Abstract: Geometry navigation is one of the key aspects of dominating Monte Carlo particle transport simulation performance for large-scale whole reactor models. In such cases, spatial subdivision is an easily-established and high-potential method to improve the run-time performance. In this study, a dedicated method, named Optimal Spatial Subdivision, is proposed for generating numerically optimal spatial grid models, which are demonstrated to be more efficient for geometry navigation than traditional Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) models. The method uses a recursive subdivision algorithm to subdivide a CSG model into non-overlapping grids, which are labeled as totally or partially occupied, or not occupied at all, by CSG objects. The most important point is that, at each stage of subdivision, a conception of quality factor based on a cost estimation function is derived to evaluate the qualities of the subdivision schemes. Only the scheme with optimal quality factor will be chosen as the final subdivision strategy for generating the grid model. Eventually, the model built with the optimal quality factor will be efficient for Monte Carlo particle transport simulation. The method has been implemented and integrated into the Super Monte Carlo program SuperMC developed by FDS Team. Testing cases were used to highlight the performance gains that could be achieved. Results showed that Monte Carlo simulation runtime could be reduced significantly when using the new method, even as cases reached whole reactor core model sizes

  18. Improving the spatial representation of basin hydrology and flow processes in the SWAT model

    OpenAIRE

    Rathjens, Hendrik

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation aims at improving the spatial representation of basin hydrology and flow processes in the SWAT model. Die vorliegende Dissertation stellt die methodischen Grundlage zur räumlich differenzierten Modellierung mit dem Modell SWAT dar.

  19. Improving the spatial resolution of the multiple multiwire proportional chamber gamma camera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bateman, J.E.; Connolly, J.F.

    1978-03-01

    Results are presented showing how the spatial resolution of the multiple multiwire proportional chamber (MMPC) gamma camera may be improved. Under the best conditions 1.6 mm bars can be resolved. (author)

  20. 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.

  1. Improving Geoscience Students' Spatial Thinking Skills: Applying Cognitive Science Research in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Manduca, C. A.; Tikoff, B.

    2011-12-01

    Spatial thinking skills are critical to success in many subdisciplines of the geosciences (and beyond). There are many components of spatial thinking, such as mental rotation, penetrative visualization, disembedding, perspective taking, and navigation. Undergraduate students in introductory and upper-level geoscience courses bring a wide variety of spatial skill levels to the classroom, as measured by psychometric tests of many of these components of spatial thinking. Furthermore, it is not unusual for individual students to excel in some of these areas while struggling in others. Although pre- and post-test comparisons show that student skill levels typically improve over the course of an academic term, average gains are quite modest. This suggests that it may be valuable to develop interventions to help undergraduate students develop a range of spatial skills that can be used to solve geoscience problems. Cognitive science research suggests a number of strong strategies for building students' spatial skills. Practice is essential, and time on task is correlated to improvement. Progressive alignment may be used to scaffold students' successes on simpler problems, allowing them to see how more complex problems are related to those they can solve. Gesturing has proven effective in moving younger students from incorrect problem-solving strategies to correct strategies in other disciplines. These principles can be used to design instructional materials to improve undergraduate geoscience students' spatial skills; we will present some examples of such materials.

  2. Genome-wide significant localization for working and spatial memory: Identifying genes for psychosis using models of cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E M; Carless, Melanie A; de Almeida, Marcio A A; Curran, Joanne E; McKay, D Reese; Sprooten, Emma; Dyer, Thomas D; Göring, Harald H; Olvera, Rene; Fox, Peter; Almasy, Laura; Duggirala, Ravi; Kent, Jack W; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that risk for developing psychosis is largely mediated by the influence of genes, but identifying precisely which genes underlie that risk has been problematic. Focusing on endophenotypes, rather than illness risk, is one solution to this problem. Impaired cognition is a well-established endophenotype of psychosis. Here we aimed to characterize the genetic architecture of cognition using phenotypically detailed models as opposed to relying on general IQ or individual neuropsychological measures. In so doing we hoped to identify genes that mediate cognitive ability, which might also contribute to psychosis risk. Hierarchical factor models of genetically clustered cognitive traits were subjected to linkage analysis followed by QTL region-specific association analyses in a sample of 1,269 Mexican American individuals from extended pedigrees. We identified four genome wide significant QTLs, two for working and two for spatial memory, and a number of plausible and interesting candidate genes. The creation of detailed models of cognition seemingly enhanced the power to detect genetic effects on cognition and provided a number of possible candidate genes for psychosis. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Accuracy and impact of spatial aids based upon satellite enumeration to improve indoor residual spraying spatial coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Daniel J; Pollard, Derek; Winters, Anna M; Winters, Benjamin; Sikaala, Chadwick; Renn, Silvia; Larsen, David A

    2018-02-23

    the use of spatial aids based upon satellite enumeration. These spatial aids can guide costly IRS planning and implementation leading to attainment of higher spatial coverage, and likely improve disease impact.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

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

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-01-02

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

  12. 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.

  13. Combining satellite data and appropriate objective functions for improved spatial pattern performance of a distributed hydrologic model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demirel, Mehmet C.; Mai, Juliane; Mendiguren Gonzalez, Gorka

    2018-01-01

    Satellite-based earth observations offer great opportunities to improve spatial model predictions by means of spatial-pattern-oriented model evaluations. In this study, observed spatial patterns of actual evapotranspiration (AET) are utilised for spatial model calibration tailored to target...... and potential evapotranspiration correction parameterisations, based on soil type and vegetation density. These parameterisations are utilised as they are most relevant for simulated AET patterns from the hydrologic model. Due to the fundamental challenges encountered when evaluating spatial pattern performance...

  14. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state-space models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-04-22

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State-space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Improved Satellite-based Crop Yield Mapping by Spatially Explicit Parameterization of Crop Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Z.; Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2016-12-01

    Field-scale mapping of crop yields with satellite data often relies on the use of crop simulation models. However, these approaches can be hampered by inaccuracies in the simulation of crop phenology. Here we present and test an approach to use dense time series of Landsat 7 and 8 acquisitions data to calibrate various parameters related to crop phenology simulation, such as leaf number and leaf appearance rates. These parameters are then mapped across the Midwestern United States for maize and soybean, and for two different simulation models. We then implement our recently developed Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper (SCYM) with simulations reflecting the improved phenology parameterizations, and compare to prior estimates based on default phenology routines. Our preliminary results show that the proposed method can effectively alleviate the underestimation of early-season LAI by the default Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM), and that spatially explicit parameterization for the phenology model substantially improves the SCYM performance in capturing the spatiotemporal variation in maize and soybean yield. The scheme presented in our study thus preserves the scalability of SCYM, while significantly reducing its uncertainty.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Improvement of range spatial resolution of medical ultrasound imaging by element-domain signal processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Hideyuki

    2017-07-01

    The range spatial resolution is an important factor determining the image quality in ultrasonic imaging. The range spatial resolution in ultrasonic imaging depends on the ultrasonic pulse length, which is determined by the mechanical response of the piezoelectric element in an ultrasonic probe. To improve the range spatial resolution without replacing the transducer element, in the present study, methods based on maximum likelihood (ML) estimation and multiple signal classification (MUSIC) were proposed. The proposed methods were applied to echo signals received by individual transducer elements in an ultrasonic probe. The basic experimental results showed that the axial half maximum of the echo from a string phantom was improved from 0.21 mm (conventional method) to 0.086 mm (ML) and 0.094 mm (MUSIC).

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. High-Resolution Spatial Distribution and Estimation of Access to Improved Sanitation in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Peng; Anderson, John D; Leitner, Michael; Rheingans, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Access to sanitation facilities is imperative in reducing the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes. A distinct disparity in sanitation exists among different wealth levels in many low-income countries, which may hinder the progress across each of the Millennium Development Goals. The surveyed households in 397 clusters from 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys were divided into five wealth quintiles based on their national asset scores. A series of spatial analysis methods including excess risk, local spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation were applied to observe disparities in coverage of improved sanitation among different wealth categories. The total number of the population with improved sanitation was estimated by interpolating, time-adjusting, and multiplying the surveyed coverage rates by high-resolution population grids. A comparison was then made with the annual estimates from United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization /United Nations Children's Fund Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation. The Empirical Bayesian Kriging interpolation produced minimal root mean squared error for all clusters and five quintiles while predicting the raw and spatial coverage rates of improved sanitation. The coverage in southern regions was generally higher than in the north and east, and the coverage in the south decreased from Nairobi in all directions, while Nyanza and North Eastern Province had relatively poor coverage. The general clustering trend of high and low sanitation improvement among surveyed clusters was confirmed after spatial smoothing. There exists an apparent disparity in sanitation among different wealth categories across Kenya and spatially smoothed coverage rates resulted in a closer estimation of the available statistics than raw coverage rates. Future intervention activities need to be tailored for both different wealth categories and nationally where there are areas of greater needs when

  2. High-Resolution Spatial Distribution and Estimation of Access to Improved Sanitation in Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Jia

    Full Text Available Access to sanitation facilities is imperative in reducing the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes. A distinct disparity in sanitation exists among different wealth levels in many low-income countries, which may hinder the progress across each of the Millennium Development Goals.The surveyed households in 397 clusters from 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys were divided into five wealth quintiles based on their national asset scores. A series of spatial analysis methods including excess risk, local spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation were applied to observe disparities in coverage of improved sanitation among different wealth categories. The total number of the population with improved sanitation was estimated by interpolating, time-adjusting, and multiplying the surveyed coverage rates by high-resolution population grids. A comparison was then made with the annual estimates from United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization /United Nations Children's Fund Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation.The Empirical Bayesian Kriging interpolation produced minimal root mean squared error for all clusters and five quintiles while predicting the raw and spatial coverage rates of improved sanitation. The coverage in southern regions was generally higher than in the north and east, and the coverage in the south decreased from Nairobi in all directions, while Nyanza and North Eastern Province had relatively poor coverage. The general clustering trend of high and low sanitation improvement among surveyed clusters was confirmed after spatial smoothing.There exists an apparent disparity in sanitation among different wealth categories across Kenya and spatially smoothed coverage rates resulted in a closer estimation of the available statistics than raw coverage rates. Future intervention activities need to be tailored for both different wealth categories and nationally where there are areas of

  3. 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.

  4. Spatially valid proprioceptive cues improve the detection of a visual stimulus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jackson, Carl P T; Miall, R Chris; Balslev, Daniela

    2010-01-01

    , which has been demonstrated for other modality pairings. The aim of this study was to test whether proprioceptive signals can spatially cue a visual target to improve its detection. Participants were instructed to use a planar manipulandum in a forward reaching action and determine during this movement...

  5. Improving spatial resolution in quantum imaging beyond the Rayleigh diffraction limit using multiphoton W entangled states

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wen Jianming, E-mail: jianming.wen@gmail.co [National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701 (United States); Du, Shengwang [Department of Physics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Bay (Hong Kong); Xiao Min [National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701 (United States); School of Modern Engineering and Applied Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2010-08-23

    Using multiphoton entangled states, we demonstrate improving spatial imaging resolution beyond the Rayleigh diffraction limit in the quantum imaging process. In particular, we examine resolution enhancement using triphoton W state and a factor of 2 is achievable as with the use of the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state, compared to using a classical-light source.

  6. Effects of improved spatial and temporal modeling of on-road vehicle emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindhjem, Christian E; Pollack, Alison K; DenBleyker, Allison; Shaw, Stephanie L

    2012-04-01

    Numerous emission and air quality modeling studies have suggested the need to accurately characterize the spatial and temporal variations in on-road vehicle emissions. The purpose of this study was to quantify the impact that using detailed traffic activity data has on emission estimates used to model air quality impacts. The on-road vehicle emissions are estimated by multiplying the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by the fleet-average emission factors determined by road link and hour of day. Changes in the fraction of VMT from heavy-duty diesel vehicles (HDDVs) can have a significant impact on estimated fleet-average emissions because the emission factors for HDDV nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) are much higher than those for light-duty gas vehicles (LDGVs). Through detailed road link-level on-road vehicle emission modeling, this work investigated two scenarios for better characterizing mobile source emissions: (1) improved spatial and temporal variation of vehicle type fractions, and (2) use of Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES2010) instead of MOBILE6 exhaust emission factors. Emissions were estimated for the Detroit and Atlanta metropolitan areas for summer and winter episodes. The VMT mix scenario demonstrated the importance of better characterizing HDDV activity by time of day, day of week, and road type. More HDDV activity occurs on restricted access road types on weekdays and at nonpeak times, compared to light-duty vehicles, resulting in 5-15% higher NOx and PM emission rates during the weekdays and 15-40% lower rates on weekend days. Use of MOVES2010 exhaust emission factors resulted in increases of more than 50% in NOx and PM for both HDDVs and LDGVs, relative to MOBILE6. Because LDGV PM emissions have been shown to increase with lower temperatures, the most dramatic increase from MOBILE6 to MOVES2010 emission rates occurred for PM2.5 from LDGVs that increased 500% during colder wintertime conditions found in Detroit, the northernmost

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Improvement of spatial discretization error on the semi-analytic nodal method using the scattered source subtraction method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamoto, Akio; Tatsumi, Masahiro

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, the scattered source subtraction (SSS) method is newly proposed to improve the spatial discretization error of the semi-analytic nodal method with the flat-source approximation. In the SSS method, the scattered source is subtracted from both side of the diffusion or the transport equation to make spatial variation of the source term to be small. The same neutron balance equation is still used in the SSS method. Since the SSS method just modifies coefficients of node coupling equations (those used in evaluation for the response of partial currents), its implementation is easy. Validity of the present method is verified through test calculations that are carried out in PWR multi-assemblies configurations. The calculation results show that the SSS method can significantly improve the spatial discretization error. Since the SSS method does not have any negative impact on execution time, convergence behavior and memory requirement, it will be useful to reduce the spatial discretization error of the semi-analytic nodal method with the flat-source approximation. (author)

  10. 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.

  11. Multisensory Rehabilitation Training Improves Spatial Perception in Totally but Not Partially Visually Deprived Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Cappagli

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Since it has been shown that spatial development can be delayed in blind children, focused sensorimotor trainings that associate auditory and motor information might be used to prevent the risk of spatial-related developmental delays or impairments from an early age. With this aim, we proposed a new technological device based on the implicit link between action and perception: ABBI (Audio Bracelet for Blind Interaction is an audio bracelet that produces a sound when a movement occurs by allowing the substitution of the visuo-motor association with a new audio-motor association. In this study, we assessed the effects of an extensive but entertaining sensorimotor training with ABBI on the development of spatial hearing in a group of seven 3–5 years old children with congenital blindness (n = 2; light perception or no perception of light or low vision (n = 5; visual acuity range 1.1–1.7 LogMAR. The training required the participants to play several spatial games individually and/or together with the psychomotor therapist 1 h per week for 3 months: the spatial games consisted of exercises meant to train their ability to associate visual and motor-related signals from their body, in order to foster the development of multisensory processes. We measured spatial performance by asking participants to indicate the position of one single fixed (static condition or moving (dynamic condition sound source on a vertical sensorized surface. We found that spatial performance of congenitally blind but not low vision children is improved after the training, indicating that early interventions with the use of science-driven devices based on multisensory capabilities can provide consistent advancements in therapeutic interventions, improving the quality of life of children with visual disability.

  12. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Mapping populations at risk: improving spatial demographic data for infectious disease modeling and metric derivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatem Andrew J

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS and Geographical Information Systems (GIS in disease surveys and reporting is becoming increasingly routine, enabling a better understanding of spatial epidemiology and the improvement of surveillance and control strategies. In turn, the greater availability of spatially referenced epidemiological data is driving the rapid expansion of disease mapping and spatial modeling methods, which are becoming increasingly detailed and sophisticated, with rigorous handling of uncertainties. This expansion has, however, not been matched by advancements in the development of spatial datasets of human population distribution that accompany disease maps or spatial models. Where risks are heterogeneous across population groups or space or dependent on transmission between individuals, spatial data on human population distributions and demographic structures are required to estimate infectious disease risks, burdens, and dynamics. The disease impact in terms of morbidity, mortality, and speed of spread varies substantially with demographic profiles, so that identifying the most exposed or affected populations becomes a key aspect of planning and targeting interventions. Subnational breakdowns of population counts by age and sex are routinely collected during national censuses and maintained in finer detail within microcensus data. Moreover, demographic and health surveys continue to collect representative and contemporary samples from clusters of communities in low-income countries where census data may be less detailed and not collected regularly. Together, these freely available datasets form a rich resource for quantifying and understanding the spatial variations in the sizes and distributions of those most at risk of disease in low income regions, yet at present, they remain unconnected data scattered across national statistical offices and websites. In this paper we discuss the deficiencies of existing

  1. 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

  2. Generating Improved Experimental Designs with Spatially and Genetically Correlated Observations Using Mixed Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazarus K. Mramba

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to generate and evaluate the efficiency of improved field experiments while simultaneously accounting for spatial correlations and different levels of genetic relatedness using a mixed models framework for orthogonal and non-orthogonal designs. Optimality criteria and a search algorithm were implemented to generate randomized complete block (RCB, incomplete block (IB, augmented block (AB and unequally replicated (UR designs. Several conditions were evaluated including size of the experiment, levels of heritability, and optimality criteria. For RCB designs with half-sib or full-sib families, the optimization procedure yielded important improvements under the presence of mild to strong spatial correlation levels and relatively low heritability values. Also, for these designs, improvements in terms of overall design efficiency (ODE% reached values of up to 8.7%, but these gains varied depending on the evaluated conditions. In general, for all evaluated designs, higher ODE% values were achieved from genetically unrelated individuals compared to experiments with half-sib and full-sib families. As expected, accuracy of prediction of genetic values improved as levels of heritability and spatial correlations increased. This study has demonstrated that important improvements in design efficiency and prediction accuracies can be achieved by optimizing how the levels of a treatment are assigned to the experimental units.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Strength and Aerobic Exercises Improve Spatial Memory in Aging Rats Through Stimulating Distinct Neuroplasticity Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilela, Thais Ceresér; Muller, Alexandre Pastoris; Damiani, Adriani Paganini; Macan, Tamires Pavei; da Silva, Sabrina; Canteiro, Paula Bortoluzzi; de Sena Casagrande, Alisson; Pedroso, Giulia Dos Santos; Nesi, Renata Tiscoski; de Andrade, Vanessa Moraes; de Pinho, Ricardo Aurino

    2017-12-01

    Aging is associated with impaired cognition and memory and increased susceptibility to neurodegenerative disorders. Physical exercise is neuroprotective; however, the major evidence of this effect involves studies of only aerobic training in young animals. The benefits of other exercise protocols such as strength training in aged animals remains unknown. Here, we investigated the effect of aerobic and strength training on spatial memory and hippocampal plasticity in aging rats. Aging Wistar rats performed aerobic or strength training for 50 min 3 to 4 days/week for 8 weeks. Spatial memory and neurotrophic and glutamatergic signaling in the hippocampus of aged rats were evaluated after aerobic or strength training. Both aerobic and strength training improved cognition during the performance of a spatial memory task. Remarkably, the improvement in spatial memory was accompanied by an increase in synaptic plasticity proteins within the hippocampus after exercise training, with some differences in the intracellular functions of those proteins between the two exercise protocols. Moreover, neurotrophic signaling (CREB, BDNF, and the P75 NTR receptor) increased after training for both exercise protocols, and aerobic exercise specifically increased glutamatergic proteins (NMDA receptor and PSD-95). We also observed a decrease in DNA damage after aerobic training. In contrast, strength training increased levels of PKCα and the proinflammatory factors TNF-α and IL-1β. Overall, our results show that both aerobic and strength training improved spatial memory in aging rats through inducing distinct molecular mechanisms of neuroplasticity. Our findings extend the idea that exercise protocols can be used to improve cognition during aging.

  7. The two-layer geochemical structure of modern biogeochemical provinces and its significance for spatially adequate ecological evaluations and decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korobova, Elena; Romanov, Sergey

    2014-05-01

    Contamination of the environment has reached such a scale that ecogeochemical situation in any area can be interpreted now as a result of the combined effect of natural and anthropogenic factors. The areas that appear uncomfortable for a long stay can have natural and anthropogenic genesis, but the spatial structure of such biogeochemical provinces is in any case formed of a combination of natural and technogenic fields of chemical elements. Features of structural organization and the difference in factors and specific time of their formation allow their separation on one hand and help in identification of areas with different ecological risks due to overlay of the two structures on the other. Geochemistry of soil cover reflects the long-term result of the naturally balanced biogeochemical cycles, therefore the soil geochemical maps of the undisturbed areas may serve the basis for evaluation of the natural geochemical background with due regard to the main factors of geochemical differentiation in biosphere. Purposeful and incidental technogenic concentrations and dispersions of chemical elements of specific (mainly mono- or polycentric) structure are also fixed in soils that serve as secondary sources of contamination of the vegetation cover and local food chains. Overlay of the two structures forms specific heterogeneity of modern biogeochemical provinces with different risk for particular groups of people, animals and plants adapted to specific natural geochemical background within particular concentration interval. The developed approach is believed to be helpful for biogeochemical regionalizing of modern biosphere (noosphere) and for spatially adequate ecogeochemical evaluation of the environment and landuse decisions. It allows production of a set of applied geochemical maps such as: 1) health risk due to chemical elements deficiency and technogenic contamination accounting of possible additive effects; 2) adequate soil fertilization and melioration with due

  8. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-08-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia-a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation.

  9. An Improved Fitness Evaluation Mechanism with Memory in Spatial Prisoner's Dilemma Game on Regular Lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Juan; Liu Li-Na; Dong En-Zeng; Wang Li

    2013-01-01

    To deeply understand the emergence of cooperation in natural, social and economical systems, we present an improved fitness evaluation mechanism with memory in spatial prisoner's dilemma game on regular lattices. In our model, the individual fitness is not only determined by the payoff in the current game round, but also by the payoffs in previous round bins. A tunable parameter, termed as the memory strength (μ), which lies between 0 and 1, is introduced into the model to regulate the ratio of payoffs of current and previous game rounds in the individual fitness calculation. When μ = 0, our model is reduced to the standard prisoner's dilemma game; while μ = 1 represents the case in which the payoff is totally determined by the initial strategies and thus it is far from the realistic ones. Extensive numerical simulations indicate that the memory effect can substantially promote the evolution of cooperation. For μ < 1, the stronger the memory effect, the higher the cooperation level, but μ = 1 leads to a pathological state of cooperation, but can partially enhance the cooperation in the very large temptation parameter. The current results are of great significance for us to account for the role of memory effect during the evolution of cooperation among selfish players. (general)

  10. Accounting for Landscape Heterogeneity Improves Spatial Predictions of Tree Vulnerability to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwantes, A. M.; Parolari, A.; Swenson, J. J.; Johnson, D. M.; Domec, J. C.; Jackson, R. B.; Pelak, N. F., III; Porporato, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Globally, as climate change continues, forest vulnerability to droughts and heatwaves is increasing, but vulnerability differs regionally and locally depending on landscape position. However, most models used in forecasting forest responses to heatwaves and droughts do not incorporate relevant spatial processes. To improve predictions of spatial tree vulnerability, we employed a non-linear stochastic model of soil moisture dynamics across a landscape, accounting for spatial differences in aspect, topography, and soils. Our unique approach integrated plant hydraulics and landscape processes, incorporating effects from lateral redistribution of water using a topographic index and radiation and temperature differences attributable to aspect. Across a watershed in central Texas we modeled dynamic water stress for a dominant tree species, Juniperus ashei. We compared our results to a detailed spatial dataset of drought-impacted areas (>25% canopy loss) derived from remote sensing during the severe 2011 drought. We then projected future dynamic water stress through the 21st century using climate projections from 10 global climate models under two scenarios, and compared models with and without landscape heterogeneity. Within this watershed, 42% of J. ashei dominated systems were impacted by the 2011 drought. Modeled dynamic water stress tracked these spatial patterns of observed drought-impacted areas. Total accuracy increased from 59%, when accounting only for soil variability, to 73% when including lateral redistribution of water and radiation and temperature effects. Dynamic water stress was projected to increase through the 21st century, with only minimal buffering from the landscape. During the hotter and more severe droughts projected in the 21st century, up to 90% of the watershed crossed a dynamic water stress threshold associated with canopy loss in 2011. Favorable microsites may exist across a landscape where trees can persist; however, if future droughts are

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Caffeine improves spatial learning deficits in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2005-12-01

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is generally considered to be a suitable genetic model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), since it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity, poorly sustained attention, and deficits in learning and memory processes. Converging evidence suggests a primary role of disturbance in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in ADHD patients and in SHR, and in addition, some studies have also demonstrated alterations in adenosinergic neurotransmission in SHR. In the present study, adult female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats received caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before training, immediately after training, or 30 min before a test session in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. The effect of caffeine administration on WIS and SHR blood pressure was also measured. SHR needed significantly more trials in the training session to acquire the spatial information, but they displayed a similar profile to that of WIS rats in the test session (48 h later), demonstrating a selective deficit in spatial learning. Pre-training administration of caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) improved this spatial learning deficit in SHR, but did not alter the WIS performance. In contrast, post-training administration of caffeine (3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter the SHR test performance, but increased memory retention in WIS rats. No dose of caffeine tested altered the mean blood pressure of WIS or SHR. These results demonstrate a selective spatial learning deficit in SHR which can be attenuated by pre-training administration of caffeine. In addition, the present findings indicate that the spatial learning deficit in SHR is not directly related to hypertension.

  17. Who plans for health improvement? SEA, HIA and the separation of spatial planning and health planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bond, Alan; Cave, Ben; Ballantyne, Rob

    2013-01-01

    This study examines whether there is active planning for health improvement in the English spatial planning system and how this varies across two regions using a combination of telephone surveys and focus group interviews in 2005 and 2010. The spatial planning profession was found to be ill-equipped to consider the health and well-being implications of its actions, whilst health professionals are rarely engaged and have limited understanding and aspirations when it comes to influencing spatial planning. Strategic Environmental Assessment was not considered to be successful in integrating health into spatial plans, given it was the responsibility of planners lacking the capacity to do so. For their part, health professionals have insufficient knowledge and understanding of planning and how to engage with it to be able to plan for health gains rather than simply respond to health impacts. HIA practice is patchy and generally undertaken by health professionals outside the statutory planning framework. Thus, whilst appropriate assessment tools exist, they currently lack a coherent context within which they can function effectively and the implementation of the Kiev protocol requiring the engagement of health professionals in SEA is not to likely improve the consideration of health in planning while there continues to be separation of functions between professions and lack of understanding of the other profession. -- Highlights: ► Health professionals have limited aspirations for health improvement through the planning system. ► Spatial planners are ill-equipped to understand the health and well-being implications of their activities. ► SEA and HIA currently do not embed health consideration in planning decisions. ► The separation of health and planning functions is problematic for the effective conduct of SEA and/or HIA

  18. Who plans for health improvement? SEA, HIA and the separation of spatial planning and health planning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bond, Alan, E-mail: alan.bond@uea.ac.uk [InteREAM (Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental Assessment and Management), School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Cave, Ben, E-mail: ben.cave@bcahealth.co.uk [Ben Cave Associates Ltd., Leeds (United Kingdom); Ballantyne, Rob, E-mail: robdballantyne@gmail.com [Planning and Health Consultant, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)

    2013-09-15

    This study examines whether there is active planning for health improvement in the English spatial planning system and how this varies across two regions using a combination of telephone surveys and focus group interviews in 2005 and 2010. The spatial planning profession was found to be ill-equipped to consider the health and well-being implications of its actions, whilst health professionals are rarely engaged and have limited understanding and aspirations when it comes to influencing spatial planning. Strategic Environmental Assessment was not considered to be successful in integrating health into spatial plans, given it was the responsibility of planners lacking the capacity to do so. For their part, health professionals have insufficient knowledge and understanding of planning and how to engage with it to be able to plan for health gains rather than simply respond to health impacts. HIA practice is patchy and generally undertaken by health professionals outside the statutory planning framework. Thus, whilst appropriate assessment tools exist, they currently lack a coherent context within which they can function effectively and the implementation of the Kiev protocol requiring the engagement of health professionals in SEA is not to likely improve the consideration of health in planning while there continues to be separation of functions between professions and lack of understanding of the other profession. -- Highlights: ► Health professionals have limited aspirations for health improvement through the planning system. ► Spatial planners are ill-equipped to understand the health and well-being implications of their activities. ► SEA and HIA currently do not embed health consideration in planning decisions. ► The separation of health and planning functions is problematic for the effective conduct of SEA and/or HIA.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Remote sensing data handling to improve the system integration of indonesian national spatial data infrastructure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hari, G. R. V.

    2010-01-01

    With the usage of metadata as a reference for spatial data query, remote sensing images and other spatial datasets have been linked to their related semantic information. In the current catalogue systems, like those or satellite data provides, or clearinghouses, each remote sensing image is maintained as an independent entity. There is a very limited possibility to know the linkage of one image to another, even if one image has actually been derived from the other. It is an advantage for many purposes if the linkage among remote sensing image or other spatial data can be maintained or at least reconstructed. This research will explore how an image is linked to its related information, and how an image can be linked to another images. By exploring links among remote sensing images, a query of remote sensing data collection can be extended, for example, to find the answer of the query: 'which images are used to create certain dataset?', or 'which images have been created from a concrete dataset?', or 'is there a relationship between image A and image B based on their processing steps?'. By building links among spatial datasets in a collection based on their creation process, a further possibility of spatial data organization can be supported. The applicability and compatibility of the proposed method with the current platform is also considered. The proposed method can be implemented using the same standard and protocol and using the same metadata file as used by the existing system. This approach makes it also possible to be implemented in many countries which use the same infrastructure. To prove this purpose, we develop a prototype based on open source platform, including PostgreSQL, Apache Webserver, Mapserver WebGIS, and PHP programming environment. The output of this research leads to an improvement of spatial data handling, where an adjacency list is used to maintain spatial dataset history link. This improvement can enhance the query of spatial data in a

  4. Improving simulated spatial distribution of productivity and biomass in Amazon forests using the ACME land model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Shi, X.; Xu, M.; Hoffman, F. M.; Norby, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Tropical forests play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, accounting for one third of the global NPP and containing about 25% of global vegetation biomass and soil carbon. This is particularly true for tropical forests in the Amazon region, as it comprises approximately 50% of the world's tropical forests. It is therefore important for us to understand and represent the processes that determine the fluxes and storage of carbon in these forests. In this study, we show that the implementation of phosphorus (P) cycle and P limitation in the ACME Land Model (ALM) improves simulated spatial pattern of NPP. The P-enabled ALM is able to capture the west-to-east gradient of productivity, consistent with field observations. We also show that by improving the representation of mortality processes, ALM is able to reproduce the observed spatial pattern of above ground biomass across the Amazon region.

  5. Spatializing Open Data for the Assessment and the Improvement of Territorial and Social Cohesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scorza, F.; Las Casas, G. B.; Murgante, B.

    2016-09-01

    An integrated place-based approach for the improvement of territorial and social cohesion is the new instance for planning disciplines, coming from EU New Cohesion Policies. This paper considers the territorial impact assessment of regional development policies as a precondition in order to develop balanced and effective operative programs at national and regional levels. The contribution of `open data' appears to be mature in order to support this application and in this paper we present a spatial analysis technique for the evaluation of EU funds effects at territorial level, starting from open data by Open Cohesion. The application is focused on internal areas of Basilicata Region: Agri river Valley. A complex contest, where environmental and agricultural traditional vocations conflict with a recent development of oil extraction industries. Conclusions concern further applications and perspectives to improve and support regional development planning considering the exploitation of open data sources and spatial analysis.

  6. ANALYSIS OF SPATIAL STRUCTURE AND SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF A SAMPLE OF HAMMĀMS IN MEDITERRANEAN CITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roula Aboukhater

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The hammām is a public building which is traditionally closely linked to socio cultural norms of the society that is supposed to serve. This paper seeks to answer questions about the logic by which such buildings respond to those complex socio cultural relations and the potentials offered by their spatial structures. The hypothesis in analyzing the internal layout is based on the ability of forms to adapt to socio cultural norms of certain societies and that they could be shaped to respond to social needs and to produce appropriate behavior. This study is based on the analysis of the morphological characteristics of the internal layouts of several hammāms, the socio-historical information, the direct observation of the spaces and face to face interviews with staff especially those working in hammām Ammuna in Damascus. The main objective is to explore the following questions: 1 How are hammāms “designed” to fulfi ll users’ social needs and their well-being in the internal spaces? 2 How architectural settings in the internal spaces of the hammām are “coded” or “structured” to produce appropriate social practice or behavior? This paper demonstrates that hammāms are the witnesses of a genius locus of adaptation of a building to sociocultural norms.

  7. 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

  8. Aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) improves the spatial performance of a rat model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashani, Masoud Soheili; Tavirani, Mostafa Rezaei; Talaei, Sayyed Alireza; Salami, Mahmoud

    2011-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most important neurodegenerative disorders. It is characterized by dementia including deficits in learning and memory. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) on spatial performance of AD rats. Male Wistar rats were first divided into control and AD groups. Rat model of AD was established by intracerebroventricular injection of 10 μg Aβ1-42 20 d prior to administration of the lavender extract. Rats in both groups were then introduced to 2 stages of task learning (with an interval of 20 d) in Morris water maze, each followed by one probe test. After the first stage of spatial learning, control and AD animals received different doses (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) of the lavender extract. In the first stage of experiment, the latency to locate the hidden platform in AD group was significantly higher than that in control group. However, in the second stage of experiment, control and AD rats that received distilled water (vehicle) showed similar performance, indicating that the maze navigation itself could improve the spatial learning of AD animals. Besides, in the second stage of experiment, control and AD rats that received lavender extract administration at different doses (50, 100, and 200 mg/ kg) spent less time locating the platform (except for the AD rats with 50 mg/kg extract treatment), as compared with their counterparts with vehicle treatment, respectively. In addition, lavender extract significantly improved the performance of control and AD rats in the probe test, only at the dose of 200 mg/kg, as compared with their counterparts with vehicle treatment. The lavender extract can effectively reverse spatial learning deficits in AD rats.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Improving Junior High School Students' Spatial Reasoning Ability through Model Eliciting Activities with Cabri 3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartatiana; Darhim; Nurlaelah, Elah

    2018-01-01

    One of students' abilities which can facilitate them to understand geometric concepts is spatial reasoning ability. Spatial reasoning ability can be defined as an ability involving someone's cognitive processing to present and manipulate spatial figures, relationship, and figure formations. This research aims to find out significant difference on…

  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. Improve observation-based ground-level ozone spatial distribution by compositing satellite and surface observations: A simulation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuzhong; Wang, Yuhang; Crawford, James; Cheng, Ye; Li, Jianfeng

    2018-05-01

    Obtaining the full spatial coverage of daily surface ozone fields is challenging because of the sparsity of the surface monitoring network and the difficulty in direct satellite retrievals of surface ozone. We propose an indirect satellite retrieval framework to utilize the information from satellite-measured column densities of tropospheric NO2 and CH2O, which are sensitive to the lower troposphere, to derive surface ozone fields. The method is applicable to upcoming geostationary satellites with high-quality NO2 and CH2O measurements. To prove the concept, we conduct a simulation experiment using a 3-D chemical transport model for July 2011 over the eastern US. The results show that a second order regression using both NO2 and CH2O column densities can be an effective predictor for daily maximum 8-h average ozone. Furthermore, this indirect retrieval approach is shown to be complementary to spatial interpolation of surface observations, especially in regions where the surface sites are sparse. Combining column observations of NO2 and CH2O with surface site measurements leads to an improved representation of surface ozone over simple kriging, increasing the R2 value from 0.53 to 0.64 at a surface site distance of 252 km. The improvements are even more significant with larger surface site distances. The simulation experiment suggests that the indirect satellite retrieval technique can potentially be a useful tool to derive the full spatial coverage of daily surface ozone fields if satellite observation uncertainty is moderate.

  16. 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

  17. Central insulin administration improves odor-cued reactivation of spatial memory in young men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brünner, Yvonne F; Kofoet, Anja; Benedict, Christian; Freiherr, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Insulin receptors are ubiquitously found in the human brain, comprising the olfactory bulb, essential for odor processing, and the hippocampus, important for spatial memory processing. The present study aimed at examining if intranasal insulin, which is known to transiently increase brain insulin levels in humans, would improve odor-cued reactivation of spatial memory in young men. We applied a double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced within-subject design. The study was conducted at the research unit of a university hospital. Interventions/Participants/Main Outcome Measures: Following intranasal administration of either insulin (40 I.U.) or placebo, male subjects (n = 18) were exposed to eight odors. During each odor exposure, a green-colored field was presented on a 17-in. computer screen. During immediate recall (comprising 3 runs), the participants were re-exposed to each odor cue, and were asked to select the corresponding field (with visual feedback after each response). The delayed recall was scheduled ∼10 min later (without feedback). To test if insulin's putative effect on odor-place memory would be domain-specific, participants also performed a separate place and odor recognition task. Intranasal insulin improved the delayed but not immediate odor-cued recall of spatial memory. This effect was independent of odor type and in the absence of systemic side effects (eg, fasting plasma glucose levels remained unaltered). Place and odor recognition were unaffected by the insulin treatment. These findings suggest that acute intranasal insulin improves odor-cued reactivation of spatial memory in young men.

  18. Coherent optical adaptive technique improves the spatial resolution of STED microscopy in thick samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wei; Yang, Yanlong; Tan, Yu; Chen, Xun; Li, Yang; Qu, Junle; Ye, Tong

    2018-01-01

    Stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED) is one of far-field optical microscopy techniques that can provide sub-diffraction spatial resolution. The spatial resolution of the STED microscopy is determined by the specially engineered beam profile of the depletion beam and its power. However, the beam profile of the depletion beam may be distorted due to aberrations of optical systems and inhomogeneity of specimens’ optical properties, resulting in a compromised spatial resolution. The situation gets deteriorated when thick samples are imaged. In the worst case, the sever distortion of the depletion beam profile may cause complete loss of the super resolution effect no matter how much depletion power is applied to specimens. Previously several adaptive optics approaches have been explored to compensate aberrations of systems and specimens. However, it is hard to correct the complicated high-order optical aberrations of specimens. In this report, we demonstrate that the complicated distorted wavefront from a thick phantom sample can be measured by using the coherent optical adaptive technique (COAT). The full correction can effectively maintain and improve the spatial resolution in imaging thick samples. PMID:29400356

  19. Music exposure improves spatial cognition by enhancing the BDNF level of dorsal hippocampal subregions in the developing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Yingshou; Chen, Wenxi; Wang, Yanran; Jing, Wei; Gao, Shan; Guo, Daqing; Xia, Yang; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-03-01

    Previous research has shown that dorsal hippocampus plays an important role in spatial memory process. Music exposure can enhance brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression level in dorsal hippocampus (DH) and thus enhance spatial cognition ability. But whether music experience may affect different subregions of DH in the same degree remains unclear. Here, we studied the effects of exposure to Mozart K.448 on learning behavior in developing rats using the classical Morris water maze task. The results showed that early music exposure could enhance significantly learning performance of the rats in the water maze test. Meanwhile, the BDNF/TrkB level of dorsal hippocampus CA3 (dCA3) and dentate gyrus (dDG) was significantly enhanced in rats exposed to Mozart music as compared to those without music exposure. In contrast, the BDNF/TrkB level of dorsal hippocampus CA1 (dCA1) was not affected. The results suggest that the spatial memory improvement by music exposure in rats may be associated with the enhanced BDNF/TrkB level of dCA3 and dDG. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Improving alignment in Tract-based spatial statistics: evaluation and optimization of image registration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, Marius; Vernooij, Meike W; Klein, Stefan; Ikram, M Arfan; Vos, Frans M; Smith, Stephen M; Niessen, Wiro J; Andersson, Jesper L R

    2013-08-01

    Anatomical alignment in neuroimaging studies is of such importance that considerable effort is put into improving the registration used to establish spatial correspondence. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) is a popular method for comparing diffusion characteristics across subjects. TBSS establishes spatial correspondence using a combination of nonlinear registration and a "skeleton projection" that may break topological consistency of the transformed brain images. We therefore investigated feasibility of replacing the two-stage registration-projection procedure in TBSS with a single, regularized, high-dimensional registration. To optimize registration parameters and to evaluate registration performance in diffusion MRI, we designed an evaluation framework that uses native space probabilistic tractography for 23 white matter tracts, and quantifies tract similarity across subjects in standard space. We optimized parameters for two registration algorithms on two diffusion datasets of different quality. We investigated reproducibility of the evaluation framework, and of the optimized registration algorithms. Next, we compared registration performance of the regularized registration methods and TBSS. Finally, feasibility and effect of incorporating the improved registration in TBSS were evaluated in an example study. The evaluation framework was highly reproducible for both algorithms (R(2) 0.993; 0.931). The optimal registration parameters depended on the quality of the dataset in a graded and predictable manner. At optimal parameters, both algorithms outperformed the registration of TBSS, showing feasibility of adopting such approaches in TBSS. This was further confirmed in the example experiment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Working memory-driven attention improves spatial resolution: Support for perceptual enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

    Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.

  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. Development and applications of coherent imaging with improved temporal and spatial resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mokso, Rajmund

    2006-01-01

    This work has 2 purposes: the improvement of both temporal and spatial resolution of X-ray tomography. The first part is devoted to the technical aspects of the tomographic technique, particularly at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) beamline ID19, and the application of the new acquisition scheme to the imaging of liquid foams. We have improved the temporal resolution and field of view of the setup, which allowed to obtain for the first time experimental data with good statistics on three dimensional liquid foams. In the second part of the thesis we have described the Kirkpatrick-Baez focusing system and its first applications. In terms of stability and image quality the developments presented in this part of the thesis provide valuable evidence for the feasibility of phase contrast tomography in magnifying geometry. Since the ultimate goal of this research is to improve the spatial resolution in tomography for applications, four different contributions are important for the characterization of the imaging system: 1) the thermal stability and mechanical imperfections, 2) effects of distortion induced by mirror imperfections, 3) effects of refraction on sample borders, and 4) phase propagation effects with the influence of the magnification. Each of these factors has been studied

  7. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.

  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. Hypergraph+: An Improved Hypergraph-Based Task-Scheduling Algorithm for Massive Spatial Data Processing on Master-Slave Platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Cheng

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Spatial data processing often requires massive datasets, and the task/data scheduling efficiency of these applications has an impact on the overall processing performance. Among the existing scheduling strategies, hypergraph-based algorithms capture the data sharing pattern in a global way and significantly reduce total communication volume. Due to heterogeneous processing platforms, however, single hypergraph partitioning for later scheduling may be not optimal. Moreover, these scheduling algorithms neglect the overlap between task execution and data transfer that could further decrease execution time. In order to address these problems, an extended hypergraph-based task-scheduling algorithm, named Hypergraph+, is proposed for massive spatial data processing. Hypergraph+ improves upon current hypergraph scheduling algorithms in two ways: (1 It takes platform heterogeneity into consideration offering a metric function to evaluate the partitioning quality in order to derive the best task/file schedule; and (2 It can maximize the overlap between communication and computation. The GridSim toolkit was used to evaluate Hypergraph+ in an IDW spatial interpolation application on heterogeneous master-slave platforms. Experiments illustrate that the proposed Hypergraph+ algorithm achieves on average a 43% smaller makespan than the original hypergraph scheduling algorithm but still preserves high scheduling efficiency.

  12. Color camera computed tomography imaging spectrometer for improved spatial-spectral image accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Daniel W. (Inventor); Bearman, Gregory H. (Inventor); Johnson, William R. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    Computed tomography imaging spectrometers ("CTIS"s) having color focal plane array detectors are provided. The color FPA detector may comprise a digital color camera including a digital image sensor, such as a Foveon X3.RTM. digital image sensor or a Bayer color filter mosaic. In another embodiment, the CTIS includes a pattern imposed either directly on the object scene being imaged or at the field stop aperture. The use of a color FPA detector and the pattern improves the accuracy of the captured spatial and spectral information.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Improved QRD-M Detection Algorithm for Generalized Spatial Modulation Scheme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaorong Jing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Generalized spatial modulation (GSM is a spectral and energy efficient multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO transmission scheme. It will lead to imperfect detection performance with relatively high computational complexity by directly applying the original QR-decomposition with M algorithm (QRD-M to the GSM scheme. In this paper an improved QRD-M algorithm is proposed for GSM signal detection, which achieves near-optimal performance but with relatively low complexity. Based on the QRD, the improved algorithm firstly transforms the maximum likelihood (ML detection of the GSM signals into searching an inverted tree structure. Then, in the searching process of the M branches, the branches corresponding to the illegitimate transmit antenna combinations (TACs and related to invalid number of active antennas are cut in order to improve the validity of the resultant branches at each level by taking advantage of characteristics of GSM signals. Simulation results show that the improved QRD-M detection algorithm provides similar performance to maximum likelihood (ML with the reduced computational complexity compared to the original QRD-M algorithm, and the optimal value of parameter M of the improved QRD-M algorithm for detection of the GSM scheme is equal to modulation order plus one.

  1. 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.

  2. Anatomy of Teaching Anatomy: Do Prosected Cross Sections Improve Students Understanding of Spatial and Radiological Anatomy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Samarakoon

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Cadaveric dissections and prosections have traditionally been part of undergraduate medical teaching. Materials and Methods. Hundred and fifty-nine first-year students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, were invited to participate in the above study. Students were randomly allocated to two age and gender matched groups. Both groups were exposed to identical series of lectures regarding anatomy of the abdomen and conventional cadaveric prosections of the abdomen. The test group (n=77, 48.4% was also exposed to cadaveric cross-sectional slices of the abdomen to which the control group (n=82, 51.6% was blinded. At the end of the teaching session both groups were assessed by using their performance in a timed multiple choice question paper as well as ability to identify structures in abdominal CT films. Results. Scores for spatial and radiological anatomy were significantly higher among the test group when compared with the control group (P<0.05, CI 95%. Majority of the students in both control and test groups agreed that cadaveric cross section may be useful for them to understand spatial and radiological anatomy. Conclusion. Introduction of cadaveric cross-sectional prosections may help students to understand spatial and radiological anatomy better.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Dietary levels of pure flavonoids improve spatial memory performance and increase hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Rendeiro

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that flavonoid-rich foods are capable of inducing improvements in memory and cognition in animals and humans. However, there is a lack of clarity concerning whether flavonoids are the causal agents in inducing such behavioral responses. Here we show that supplementation with pure anthocyanins or pure flavanols for 6 weeks, at levels similar to that found in blueberry (2% w/w, results in an enhancement of spatial memory in 18 month old rats. Pure flavanols and pure anthocyanins were observed to induce significant improvements in spatial working memory (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006 respectively, to a similar extent to that following blueberry supplementation (p = 0.002. These behavioral changes were paralleled by increases in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (R = 0.46, p<0.01, suggesting a common mechanism for the enhancement of memory. However, unlike protein levels of BDNF, the regional enhancement of BDNF mRNA expression in the hippocampus appeared to be predominantly enhanced by anthocyanins. Our data support the claim that flavonoids are likely causal agents in mediating the cognitive effects of flavonoid-rich foods.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. Improvement of tool support of the spatial approach to regional planning: problems, specifics, trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataliya Gennadievna Yushkova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The emerging imperatives of innovation economic development in Russia determine the content of conceptual and institutional constraints to the development of regional economic systems (RES. They consider the regional planning system as a leading priority in its inseparable unity with modern public administration tasks. However, the practice of development of long-term plans in the RF subjects proves that the innovation challenges of economic policy are not reflected properly in them or they are significantly distorted. The following reasons reduce the effectiveness of modernization processes in the RF subjects and hamper the appropriate reaction of RES on their impact: the lack of coordination between socio-economic and spatial regional plans, the imbalance of interaction between state authorities engaged in long-term planning, the lack of real prerequisites for the implementation of innovation initiatives in the regions. Systematization and analysis of long-term plans make it possible to substantiate the consistency of the spatial approach to regional planning expressed in the dominance of the transformational function that synchronizes the configuration and parameters of RES, and to establish ways to integrate spatial components in the system of regional planning through optimization of its tool support. The change in the content of the instrumentation support is based on the synthesis of the predominant basic characteristics of the existing tools used in isolated subsystems of regional planning of socio-economic and territorial development. The study has established a system of tool support for regional planning that adapts to the changes in both internal and external factors in the development of RES. Three main groups of tools: organizing, regulating, and coordinating are defined by their typing in accordance with the groups of management functions. The article proposes the modeling of combinations of tools that are subordinated to the

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Identifying the appropriate time for deep brain stimulation to achieve spatial memory improvement on the Morris water maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Da Un; Lee, Jihyeon; Chang, Won Seok; Chang, Jin Woo

    2017-03-07

    The possibility of using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for memory enhancement has recently been reported, but the precise underlying mechanisms of its effects remain unknown. Our previous study suggested that spatial memory improvement by medial septum (MS)-DBS may be associated with cholinergic regulation and neurogenesis. However, the affected stage of memory could not be distinguished because the stimulation was delivered during the execution of all memory processes. Therefore, this study was performed to determine the stage of memory affected by MS-DBS. Rats were administered 192 IgG-saporin to lesion cholinergic neurons. Stimulation was delivered at different times in different groups of rats: 5 days before the Morris water maze test (pre-stimulation), 5 days during the training phase of the Morris water maze test (training-stimulation), and 2 h before the Morris water maze probe test (probe-stimulation). A fourth group of rats was lesioned but received no stimulation. These four groups were compared with a normal (control) group. The most effective memory restoration occurred in the pre-stimulation group. Moreover, the pre-stimulation group exhibited better recall of the platform position than the other stimulation groups. An increase in the level of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was observed in the pre-stimulation group; this increase was maintained for 1 week. However, acetylcholinesterase activity in the pre-stimulation group was not significantly different from the lesion group. Memory impairment due to cholinergic denervation can be improved by DBS. The improvement is significantly correlated with the up-regulation of BDNF expression and neurogenesis. Based on the results of this study, the use of MS-DBS during the early stage of disease may restore spatial memory impairment.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improved stiffness confinement method within the coarse mesh finite difference framework for efficient spatial kinetics calculation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Beom Woo; Joo, Han Gyu

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • The stiffness confinement method is combined with multigroup CMFD with SENM nodal kernel. • The systematic methods for determining the shape and amplitude frequencies are established. • Eigenvalue problems instead of fixed source problems are solved in the transient calculation. • It is demonstrated that much larger time step sizes can be used with the SCM–CMFD method. - Abstract: An improved Stiffness Confinement Method (SCM) is formulated within the framework of the coarse mesh finite difference (CMFD) formulation for efficient multigroup spatial kinetics calculation. The algorithm for searching for the amplitude frequency that makes the dynamic eigenvalue unity is developed in a systematic way along with the methods for determining the shape and precursor frequencies. A nodal calculation scheme is established within the CMFD framework to incorporate the cross section changes due to thermal feedback and dynamic frequency update. The conditional nodal update scheme is employed such that the transient calculation is performed mostly with the CMFD formulation and the CMFD parameters are conditionally updated by intermittent nodal calculations. A quadratic representation of amplitude frequency is introduced as another improvement. The performance of the improved SCM within the CMFD framework is assessed by comparing the solution accuracy and computing times for the NEACRP control rod ejection benchmark problems with those obtained with the Crank–Nicholson method with exponential transform (CNET). It is demonstrated that the improved SCM is beneficial for large time step size calculations with stability and accuracy enhancement

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. An improved public goods game model with reputation effect on the spatial lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Tianwei; Ding, Shuai; Fan, Wenjuan; Wang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • The reputation effect is added into the spatial public goods game model. • The individual utility is calculated as a combination of payoff and reputation. • The individual reputation will be adaptively modified as the system evolves. • The larger the reputation factor, the higher the cooperation level. - Abstract: How to model the evolution of cooperation within the population is an important and interdisciplinary issue across the academia. In this paper, we propose an improved public goods game model with reputation effect on spatial lattices to investigate the evolution of cooperation regarding the allocation of public resources. In our model, we modify the individual utility or fitness as a product of the present payoff and reputation-related power function, and strategy update adopts a Fermi-like probability function during the game evolution. Meanwhile, for an interaction between a pair of partners, the reputation of a cooperative agent will be accrued beyond two units, but the defective player will decrease his reputation by one unit. Extensive Monte Carlo numerical simulations indicate the introduction of reputation will foster the formation of cooperative clusters, and greatly enhance the level of public cooperation on the spatial lattices. The larger reputation factor leads to the higher cooperation level since the reputation effect will be enormously embedded into the utility evaluation under this scenario. The current results are vastly beneficial to understand the persistence and emergence of cooperation among many natural, social and synthetic systems, and also provide some useful suggestions to devise the feasible social governance measures and modes for the public resources or affairs.

  19. Paternal spatial training enhances offspring's cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity in wild-type but not improve memory deficit in Alzheimer's mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shujuan; Li, Xiaoguang; Wang, Zhouyi; Liu, Yanchao; Gao, Yuan; Tan, Lu; Liu, Enjie; Zhou, Qiuzhi; Xu, Cheng; Wang, Xin; Liu, Gongping; Chen, Haote; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2017-05-08

    Recent studies suggest that spatial training can maintain associative memory capacity in Tg2576 mice, but it is not known whether the beneficial effects can be inherited from the trained fathers to their offspring. Here, we exposed male wild-type and male 3XTg Alzheimer disease (AD) mice (3-m old) respectively to spatial training for one week and assessed the transgenerational effects in the F1 offspring when they were grown to 7-m old. We found that the paternal spatial training significantly enhanced progeny's spatial cognitive performance and synaptic transmission in wild-type mice. Among several synapse- or memory-associated proteins, we observed that the expression level of synaptotagmin 1 (SYT1) was significantly increased in the hippocampus of the paternally trained-offspring. Paternal training increased histone acetylation at the promoter of SYT1 in both fathers' and the offspring's hippocampus, and as well as in the fathers' sperm. Finally, paternal spatial training for one week did not improve memory and synaptic plasticity in 3XTg AD F1 offspring. Our findings suggest paternal spatial training for one week benefits the offspring's cognitive performance in wild-type mice with the mechanisms involving an enhanced transgenerational histone acetylation at SYT1 promoter.

  20. Using Participatory Approach to Improve Availability of Spatial Data for Local Government

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliment, T.; Cetl, V.; Tomič, H.; Lisiak, J.; Kliment, M.

    2016-09-01

    Nowadays, the availability of authoritative geospatial features of various data themes is becoming wider on global, regional and national levels. The reason is existence of legislative frameworks for public sector information and related spatial data infrastructure implementations, emergence of support for initiatives as open data, big data ensuring that online geospatial information are made available to digital single market, entrepreneurs and public bodies on both national and local level. However, the availability of authoritative reference spatial data linking the geographic representation of the properties and their owners are still missing in an appropriate quantity and quality level, even though this data represent fundamental input for local governments regarding the register of buildings used for property tax calculations, identification of illegal buildings, etc. We propose a methodology to improve this situation by applying the principles of participatory GIS and VGI used to collect observations, update authoritative datasets and verify the newly developed datasets of areas of buildings used to calculate property tax rates issued to their owners. The case study was performed within the district of the City of Požega in eastern Croatia in the summer 2015 and resulted in a total number of 16072 updated and newly identified objects made available online for quality verification by citizens using open source geospatial technologies.

  1. Pilot tone as a key to improving the spatial resolution of eBPMs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brajnik, G., E-mail: gabriele.brajnik@elettra.eu; Carrato, S. [Università degli Studi di Trieste, Trieste (Italy); Bassanese, S.; Cautero, G.; De Monte, R. [Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2016-07-27

    At Elettra, the Italian synchrotron light source, an internal project has been started to develop an electron beam position monitor capable of achieving sub-micron resolution with a self-compensation feature. In order to fulfil these requirements, a novel RF front end has been designed. A high isolation coupler combines the input signals with a known pilot tone which is generated by the readout system. This allows the parameters of the four channels to be continuously calibrated, by compensating the different responses of each channel. A similar technique is already known, but for the first time experimental results have shown the improvement in resolution due to this method. The RF chain was coupled with a 4-channel digitizer based on 160 MHz, 16 bits ADCs and an Altera Stratix FPGA. At first, no additional processing was done in the FPGA, collecting only the raw data from the ADCs; the position was calculated through the FFT of each signal. A simulation was also performed to verify the analytic relation between spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratio; this was very useful to better understand the behaviour of the system with different sources of noise (aperture jitter, thermal noise, etc.). The experimental data were compared with the simulation, showing indeed a perfect agreement with the latter and confirming the capability of the system to reach sub-micrometric accuracy. Therefore, the use of the pilot tone greatly improves the quality of the system, correcting the drifts and increasing the spatial resolution by a factor of 4 in a time window of 24 hours.

  2. WE-EF-303-04: An Advanced Image Processing Method to Improve the Spatial Resolution of Proton Radiographies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rinaldi, I; Parodi, K; Krah, N

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We present an optimization method to improve the spatial resolution and the water equivalent thickness accuracy of proton radiographies. Methods: The method is designed for imaging systems measuring only the residual range of protons without relying on tracker detectors to determine the beam trajectory before and after the target. Specifically, the method was used for an imaging set-up consisting of a stack of 61 parallel-plate ionization chambers (PPIC) working as a range telescope. The method uses a decomposition approach of the residual range signal measured by the PPIC and constructs subimages with small size pixels geometrically rearranged and appropriately averaged to be merged into a final single radiography. The method was tested using Monte Carlo simulated and experimental proton radiographies of a PMMA step phantom and an anthropomorphic head phantom. Results: For the step phantom, the effective spatial resolution was found to be 4 and 3 times higher than the nominal resolution for the simulated and experimental radiographies, respectively. For the head phantom, a gamma index was calculated to quantify the conformity of the simulated proton radiographies with a digitally reconstructed X-ray radiography convolved with a Gaussian kernel equal to the proton beam spot-size. For DTA=2.5 mm and RD=2.5%, the passing ratio was 100%/85% for the optimized/non-optimized case, respectively. An extension of the method allows reducing the dose given to the patient during radiography acquisition. We show that despite a dose reduction of 25 times (leading to a dose of 0.016 mGy for the current imaging set-up), the image quality of the optimized radiographies remains fairly unaffected for both the simulated and experimental results. Conclusion: The optimization method leads to a significant increase of the spatial resolution allowing recovering image details that are unresolved in non-optimized radiographies. These results represent a major step towards clinical

  3. Closed-Loop Targeted Memory Reactivation during Sleep Improves Spatial Navigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renee E. Shimizu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Sounds associated with newly learned information that are replayed during non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep can improve recall in simple tasks. The mechanism for this improvement is presumed to be reactivation of the newly learned memory during sleep when consolidation takes place. We have developed an EEG-based closed-loop system to precisely deliver sensory stimulation at the time of down-state to up-state transitions during NREM sleep. Here, we demonstrate that applying this technology to participants performing a realistic navigation task in virtual reality results in a significant improvement in navigation efficiency after sleep that is accompanied by increases in the spectral power especially in the fast (12–15 Hz sleep spindle band. Our results show promise for the application of sleep-based interventions to drive improvement in real-world tasks.

  4. Closed-Loop Targeted Memory Reactivation during Sleep Improves Spatial Navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Renee E; Connolly, Patrick M; Cellini, Nicola; Armstrong, Diana M; Hernandez, Lexus T; Estrada, Rolando; Aguilar, Mario; Weisend, Michael P; Mednick, Sara C; Simons, Stephen B

    2018-01-01

    Sounds associated with newly learned information that are replayed during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep can improve recall in simple tasks. The mechanism for this improvement is presumed to be reactivation of the newly learned memory during sleep when consolidation takes place. We have developed an EEG-based closed-loop system to precisely deliver sensory stimulation at the time of down-state to up-state transitions during NREM sleep. Here, we demonstrate that applying this technology to participants performing a realistic navigation task in virtual reality results in a significant improvement in navigation efficiency after sleep that is accompanied by increases in the spectral power especially in the fast (12-15 Hz) sleep spindle band. Our results show promise for the application of sleep-based interventions to drive improvement in real-world tasks.

  5. Improving Understanding of Spatial Heterogeneity in Mountain Ecohydrology with Multispectral Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigmore, O.; Molotch, N. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain regions are a critical component of the hydrologic system. These regions are extremely heterogeneous, with dramatic topographic, climatic, ecologic and hydrologic variations occurring over very short distances. This heterogeneity makes understanding changes in these environments difficult. Commonly used satellite data are often too coarse to resolve processes at appropriate scales and point measurements are typically unrepresentative of the wider region. The rapid rise of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) offers a potential solution to the scale-related inadequacies of satellite and ground-based observing systems. Using UAS, spatially distributed datasets can be collected at high resolution (i.e. cm), on demand, and can therefore facilitate improved understanding of mountain ecohydrology. We deployed a custom built multispectral - visible (RGB), near infrared (NIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) - UAS at a weekly interval over the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (NWT LTER) saddle catchment at 3500masl in the Colorado Rockies. This system was used to map surface water pathways, land cover and topography, and quantify ecohydrologic variables including, snow depth, vegetation productivity and surface soil moisture at 5-50cm resolution across an 80ha study area. This presentation will discuss the techniques, methods and merits of using UAS derived multispectral data for ecohydrologic research in mountain regions. We will also present preliminary findings from our survey time series at NWT LTER and a discussion of the potential insights that these datasets can provide. Key questions to be addressed are: 1) how does spatial variability in snow depth impact soil moisture and vegetation productivity, 2) how can UAS help us to identify ecohydrologic `hotspots' and `hot moments' across heterogeneous landscapes.

  6. 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.

  7. Spatial variability of trace elements and sources for improved exposure assessment in Barcelona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minguillón, María Cruz; Cirach, Marta; Hoek, Gerard; Brunekreef, Bert; Tsai, Ming; de Hoogh, Kees; Jedynska, Aleksandra; Kooter, Ingeborg M.; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Querol, Xavier

    2014-06-01

    Trace and major elements concentrations in PM10 and PM2.5 were measured at 20 sites spread in the Barcelona metropolitan area (1 rural background, 6 urban background, 13 road traffic sites) and at 1 reference site. Three 2-week samples per site and size fraction were collected during 2009 using low volume samplers, adding a total of 120 samples. Collected samples were analysed for elemental composition using Energy Dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF). EC, OC, and hopanes and steranes concentrations in PM2.5 were determined. Positive Matrix Factorisation (PMF) model was used for a source apportionment analysis. The work was performed as part of the ESCAPE project. Elements were found in concentrations within the usual range in Spanish urban areas. Mineral elements were measured in higher concentrations during the warm season, due to enhanced resuspension; concentrations of fueloil combustion elements were also higher in summer. Elements in higher concentration at the traffic sites were: Ba, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Pb, Sn, Zn and Zr. Spatial variations related to non-traffic sources were observed for concentrations of Br, Cl, K, and Na (sea salt origin) and Ni, V and S (shipping emissions), which were higher at the coastal sites, as well as for Zn and Pb, higher at sites closer to industrial facilities. Five common sources for PM10 and PM2.5 were identified by PMF: road traffic (with tracers Ba, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mo and Zn); fueloil combustion (Ni and V); secondary sulphate; industry (Pb and Zn); and mineral source (Al, Ca, Mg, Si, Sr and Ti). A marine aerosol source, a mixture of sea salt with aged anthropogenic aerosols, was found only in PM10. EC, hopanes and steranes concentrations correlate strongly with the PM10 road traffic source contributions, being hence all attributed to the same source. OC may arise from other sources in addition to road traffic and have a high contribution of secondary OC. Significant spatial and temporal variation in the PM2.5 and PM10 elemental

  8. Improving filtering and prediction of spatially extended turbulent systems with model errors through stochastic parameter estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gershgorin, B.; Harlim, J.; Majda, A.J.

    2010-01-01

    The filtering and predictive skill for turbulent signals is often limited by the lack of information about the true dynamics of the system and by our inability to resolve the assumed dynamics with sufficiently high resolution using the current computing power. The standard approach is to use a simple yet rich family of constant parameters to account for model errors through parameterization. This approach can have significant skill by fitting the parameters to some statistical feature of the true signal; however in the context of real-time prediction, such a strategy performs poorly when intermittent transitions to instability occur. Alternatively, we need a set of dynamic parameters. One strategy for estimating parameters on the fly is a stochastic parameter estimation through partial observations of the true signal. In this paper, we extend our newly developed stochastic parameter estimation strategy, the Stochastic Parameterization Extended Kalman Filter (SPEKF), to filtering sparsely observed spatially extended turbulent systems which exhibit abrupt stability transition from time to time despite a stable average behavior. For our primary numerical example, we consider a turbulent system of externally forced barotropic Rossby waves with instability introduced through intermittent negative damping. We find high filtering skill of SPEKF applied to this toy model even in the case of very sparse observations (with only 15 out of the 105 grid points observed) and with unspecified external forcing and damping. Additive and multiplicative bias corrections are used to learn the unknown features of the true dynamics from observations. We also present a comprehensive study of predictive skill in the one-mode context including the robustness toward variation of stochastic parameters, imperfect initial conditions and finite ensemble effect. Furthermore, the proposed stochastic parameter estimation scheme applied to the same spatially extended Rossby wave system demonstrates

  9. Physical Activity Improves Verbal and Spatial Memory in Older Adults with Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 6-Month Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay S. Nagamatsu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We report secondary findings from a randomized controlled trial on the effects of exercise on memory in older adults with probable MCI. We randomized 86 women aged 70–80 years with subjective memory complaints into one of three groups: resistance training, aerobic training, or balance and tone (control. All participants exercised twice per week for six months. We measured verbal memory and learning using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT and spatial memory using a computerized test, before and after trial completion. We found that the aerobic training group remembered significantly more items in the loss after interference condition of the RAVLT compared with the control group after six months of training. In addition, both experimental groups showed improved spatial memory performance in the most difficult condition where they were required to memorize the spatial location of three items, compared with the control group. Lastly, we found a significant correlation between spatial memory performance and overall physical capacity after intervention in the aerobic training group. Taken together, our results provide support for the prevailing notion that exercise can positively impact cognitive functioning and may represent an effective strategy to improve memory in those who have begun to experience cognitive decline.

  10. Improvement in spatial frequency characteristics of magneto-optical Kerr microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogasawara, Takeshi

    2017-10-01

    The spatial resolution of a conventional magneto-optical Kerr microscope, compared with those of conventional optical microscopes, inevitably deteriorates owing to oblique illumination. An approach to obtaining the maximum spatial resolution using multiple images with different illumination directions is demonstrated here. The method was implemented by rotating the illumination path around the optical axis using a motorized stage. The Fourier transform image of the observed magnetic domain indicates that the spatial frequency component that is lost in the conventional method is restored.

  11. Passiflora incarnata L. Improves Spatial Memory, Reduces Stress, and Affects Neurotransmission in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jawna-Zboińska, Katarzyna; Blecharz-Klin, Kamilla; Joniec-Maciejak, Ilona; Wawer, Adriana; Pyrzanowska, Justyna; Piechal, Agnieszka; Mirowska-Guzel, Dagmara; Widy-Tyszkiewicz, Ewa

    2016-05-01

    Passiflora incarnata L. has been used as a medicinal plant in South America and Europe since the 16th century. Previous pharmacological studies focused mainly on the plant's sedative, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant effects on the central nervous system and its supporting role in the treatment of addiction. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of long-term oral administration of P. incarnata. The passionflower extract (30, 100, or 300 mg/kg body weight/day) was given to 4-week-old male Wistar rats via their drinking water. Tests were conducted after 7 weeks of treatment. Spatial memory was assessed in a water maze, and the levels of amino acids, monoamines, and their metabolites were evaluated in select brain regions by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We observed reduced anxiety and dose-dependent improvement of memory in rats given passionflower compared to the control group. In addition, hippocampal glutamic acid and cortical serotonin content were depleted, with increased levels of metabolites and increased turnover. Thus, our results partially confirmed the proposed mechanism of action of P. incarnata involving GABAA receptors. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. 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)

  13. 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. ...

  14. 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.

  15. Methylphenidate Improves Visual-Spatial Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit- hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…

  16. Improved Spatial Ability Correlated with Left Hemisphere Dysfunction in Turner's Syndrome. Implications for Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovet, Joanne F.

    This study contrasts the performance of a 17-year-old female subject with Turner's syndrome before and after developing left temporal lobe seizures, as a means of identifying the mechanism responsible for the Turner's syndrome spatial impairment. The results revealed a deficit in spatial processing before onset of the seizure disorder. Results…

  17. Improvement of Allocentric Spatial Memory Resolution in Children from 2 to 4 Years of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Farfalla Ribordy; Lavenex, Pierre; Lavenex, Pamela Banta

    2015-01-01

    Allocentric spatial memory, the memory for locations coded in relation to objects comprising our environment, is a fundamental component of episodic memory and is dependent on the integrity of the hippocampal formation in adulthood. Previous research from different laboratories reported that basic allocentric spatial memory abilities are reliably…

  18. Spatial Reasoning: Improvement of Imagery and Abilities in Sophomore Organic Chemistry. Perspective to Enhance Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornbuckle, Susan F.; Gobin, Latanya; Thurman, Stephanie N.

    2014-01-01

    Spatial reasoning has become a demanded skill for students pursuing a science emphasis to compete with the dynamic growth of our professional society. The ability to reason spatially includes explorations in memory recollection and problem solving capabilities as well as critical thinking and reasoning skills. With these advancements, educational…

  19. Improving understanding of controls on spatial variability in methane fluxes in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Scott J.; Sloan, Victoria; Phoenix, Gareth; Wagner, Robert; Oechel, Walter; Zona, Donatella

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic is experiencing rapid climate change relative to the rest of the globe, and this increase in temperature has feedback effects across hydrological and thermal regimes, plant community distribution and carbon stocks within tundra soils. Arctic wetlands account for a significant amount of methane emissions from natural ecosystems to the atmosphere and with further permafrost degradation under a warming climate, these emissions are expected to increase. Methane (CH4) is an extremely important component of the global carbon cycle with a global warming potential 28.5 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100 year time scale (IPCC, 2013). In order to validate carbon cycle models, modelling methane at broader landscape scales is needed. To date direct measurements of methane have been sporadic in time and space which, while capturing some key controls on the spatial heterogeneity, make it difficult to accurately upscale methane emissions to the landscape and regional scales. This study investigates what is controlling the spatial heterogeneity of methane fluxes across Arctic tundra. We combined over 300 portable chamber observations from 13 micro-topographic positions (with multiple vegetation types) across three locations spanning a 300km latitudinal gradient in Northern Alaska from Barrow to Ivotuk with synchronous measurements of environmental (soil temperature, soil moisture, water table, active layer thaw depth, pH) and vegetation (plant community composition, height, sedge tiller counts) variables to evaluate key controls on methane fluxes. To assess the diurnal variation in CH4 fluxes, we also performed automated chamber measurements in one study site (Barrow) location. Multiple statistical approaches (regression tree and multiple linear regression) were used to identify key controlling variables and their interactions. Methane emissions across all sites ranged from -0.08 to 15.3 mg C-CH4 m-2 hr-1. As expected, soil moisture was the main control

  20. Improving urban land use and land cover classification from high-spatial-resolution hyperspectral imagery using contextual information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, He; Ma, Ben; Du, Qian; Yang, Chenghai

    2010-08-01

    In this paper, we propose approaches to improve the pixel-based support vector machine (SVM) classification for urban land use and land cover (LULC) mapping from airborne hyperspectral imagery with high spatial resolution. Class spatial neighborhood relationship is used to correct the misclassified class pairs, such as roof and trail, road and roof. These classes may be difficult to be separated because they may have similar spectral signatures and their spatial features are not distinct enough to help their discrimination. In addition, misclassification incurred from within-class trivial spectral variation can be corrected by using pixel connectivity information in a local window so that spectrally homogeneous regions can be well preserved. Our experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed approaches in classification accuracy improvement. The overall performance is competitive to the object-based SVM classification.

  1. Transmit/Receive Spatial Smoothing with Improved Effective Array Aperture for Angle and Mutual Coupling Estimation in Bistatic MIMO Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haomiao Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We proposed a transmit/receive spatial smoothing with improved effective aperture approach for angle and mutual coupling estimation in bistatic MIMO radar. Firstly, the noise in each channel is restrained, by exploiting its independency, in both the spatial domain and temporal domain. Then the augmented transmit and receive spatial smoothing matrices with improved effective aperture are obtained, by exploiting the Vandermonde structure of steering vector with uniform linear array. The DOD and DOA can be estimated by utilizing the unitary ESPRIT algorithm. Finally, the mutual coupling coefficients of both the transmitter and the receiver can be figured out with the estimated angles of DOD and DOA. Numerical examples are presented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  2. Carboniferous volcanic rocks associated with back-arc extension in the western Chinese Tianshan, NW China: Insight from temporal-spatial character, petrogenesis and tectonic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Wenbo; Cai, Keda; Sun, Min; Wan, Bo; Wang, Xiangsong; Bao, Zihe; Xiao, Wenjiao

    2018-06-01

    The Yili-Central Tianshan Block, as a Late Paleozoic major continental silver of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, holds a massive volume of Carboniferous volcanic rocks, occurring as subparallel magmatic belts. However, the petrogenesis and tectonic implications of these volcanic rocks remain enigmatic. This study compiled isotopic age data for mapping their temporal-spatial character, and conducted petrogenetic study of these magmatic belts, aiming to understand their tectonic implications. Our compiled dataset reveals four magmatic belts in the Yili-Central Tianshan Block, including the Keguqinshan-Tulasu belt and the Awulale belt in the north, and the Wusun Mountain belt and the Haerk-Nalati belt in the south. In addition, our new zircon U-Pb dating results define two significant Early Carboniferous eruptive events (ca. 355-350 Ma and 325 Ma) in the Wusun Mountain belt. Volcanic rocks of the early significant eruptive event (ca. 355-350 Ma) in the Wusun Mountain comprise basalt, trachy-andesite, andesite, dacite and rhyolite, which are similar to the typical rock assemblage of a continental arc. Their positive εNd(t) values (+0.3 to +1.5) and relatively high Th/Yb and Nb/Yb ratios suggest the derivation from a mantle source with additions of slab-derived components. The gabbroic dykes and rhyolites of the late volcanic event (ca. 325 Ma) form a bimodal rock association, and they show alkaline features, with relatively low Th/Yb and Th/Nb ratios, and higher positive εNd(t) values (εNd(t) = +3.3-+5.0). It is interpreted that the gabbroic dykes and rhyolites may have been derived from mantle and juvenile crustal sources, respectively. The isotopic and trace elemental variations with time elapse of the Wusun Mountain magmatic belt show an important clue for strengthening depletion of the magma sources. Considering the distinctive temporal-spatial character of the Carboniferous volcanic rocks, two separate subduction systems in the southern and northern margins of

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Design and study of a coplanar grid array CdZnTe detector for improved spatial resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma, Yuedong; Xiao, Shali; Yang, Guoqiang; Zhang, Liuqiang

    2014-01-01

    Coplanar grid (CPG) CdZnTe detectors have been used as gamma-ray spectrometers for years. Comparing with pixelated CdZnTe detectors, CPG CdZnTe detectors have either no or poor spatial resolution, which directly limits its use in imaging applications. To address the issue, a 2×2 CPG array CdZnTe detector with dimensions of 7×7×5 mm 3 was fabricated. Each of the CPG pairs in the detector was moderately shrunk in size and precisely designed to improve the spatial resolution while maintaining good energy resolution, considering the charge loss at the surface between the strips of each CPG pairs. Preliminary measurements were demonstrated at an energy resolution of 2.7–3.9% for the four CPG pairs using 662 keV gamma rays and with a spatial resolution of 3.3 mm, which is the best spatial resolution ever achieved for CPG CdZnTe detectors. The results reveal that the CPG CdZnTe detector can also be applied to imaging applications at a substantially higher spatial resolution. - Highlights: • A novel structure of coplanar grid CdZnTe detector was designed to evaluate the possibility of applying the detector to gamma-ray imaging applications. • The best spatial resolution of coplanar grid CdZnTe detectors ever reported has been achieved, along with good spectroscopic performance. • Depth correction of the energy spectra using a new algorithm is presented

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Spatial targeting of conservation tillage to improve water quality and carbon retention benefits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, W.; Sheng, C.; Voroney, P.

    2005-01-01

    Conservation tillage reduces soil erosion and improves water quality in agricultural watersheds. However, the benefits of conservation tillage in carbon sequestration are the subject of controversy. Public funds are provided to farms to encourage the adoption of conservation tillage. Given the economic costs, the targeting of areas likely to achieve the greatest environmental benefits has become an important policy-making issue. A geographic information system (GIS) based modelling framework which integrated hydrologic, soil organic matter, and farm models to evaluate the spatial targeting of conservation tillage was presented. A case study applying the framework in the Fairchild Creek watershed in Ontario indicated that targeting conservation tillage based on sediment abatement goals can achieve comparable carbon retention benefits in terms of the percentage reduction of base carbon losses. Targeted subcatchments for conservation tillage varied across the watershed based on benefit to cost ratios. Conservation tillage patterns based on carbon retention goals showed similar results to sediment abatement goals but slight differences were observed because of different carbon content in the soils. The results indicated that sediment abatement may be used as an indicator in setting up program goals. The impacts of conservation programs can then be evaluated based on calibrated and validated hydrologic models in conjunction with monitoring data. Results also showed that setting carbon retention may lead to higher costs in order to achieve corresponding sediment abatement benefits. Carbon retention may not be suitable for setting as a stand-alone environmental goal for conservation programs because of the difficulties in verifying the impacts and the discrepancies between carbon and sediment benefits. It was concluded that the modelling results have important policy implications for the design of conservation stewardship programs that aim to achieve environmental

  13. ROLE OF TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT OF SPATIAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina C. Chimitdorzhieva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The problems of spatial socio-economic development of the region are considered in this article. Special attention is given to transport infrastructure. The authors propose methodical instruments for evaluating the influence of transport infrastructure on spatial development of region based on research of theoretic-methodical aspects of economic growth theory, location of economic activity and development concepts of infrastructural provision.

  14. Dietary supplementation of soy germ phytoestrogens or estradiol improves spatial memory performance and increases gene expression of BDNF, TrkB receptor and synaptic factors in ovariectomized rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhuoneng

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogen or phytoestrogens treatment has been suggested to improve cognitive function of the brain in postmenopausal women. However, there is lack of information on the mechanism of such treatment on the central nervous system. The present study aimed to determine the effects of estradiol and soy germ phytoestrogens on spatial memory performance in ovariectomized rats and to explore the underlying mechanisms affecting the central nervous system. Methods Ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a basic diet supplemented with soy germ phytoestrogens (0.4 g/kg or 1.6 g/kg or 17β-estradiol (0.15 g/kg for 12 weeks. At the end of the experiment, animals were evaluated for their spatial learning and memory performance by the Morris Water Maze task. The expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and synaptic formation proteins in the hippocampal tissue were estimated using RT-PCR and ELISA. Results It was found that rats supplemented with soy germ phytoestrogens or estradiol performed significantly better in spatial memory acquisition and retention when compared to the rats fed on the control diet. Estradiol or the high dose of phytoestrogens treatment significantly increased BDNF concentration and the mRNA levels for BDNF and its TrkB receptors as well as the synaptic formation proteins, synaptophysin, spinophilin, synapsin 1 and PSD-95, in the hippocampal tissue of the experimental animals. It was also found that phytoestrogens, in contrast to estradiol, did not show any significant effect on the vaginal and uteri. Conclusion Soy germ phytoestrogens, which may be a substitute of estradiol, improved spatial memory performance in ovariectomized rats without significant side-effects on the vaginal and uteri. The memory enhancement effect may relate to the increase in BDNF and the synaptic formation proteins expression in the hippocampus of the brain.

  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. Monitoring cotton root rot by synthetic Sentinel-2 NDVI time series using improved spatial and temporal data fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Mingquan; Yang, Chenghai; Song, Xiaoyu; Hoffmann, Wesley Clint; Huang, Wenjiang; Niu, Zheng; Wang, Changyao; Li, Wang; Yu, Bo

    2018-01-31

    To better understand the progression of cotton root rot within the season, time series monitoring is required. In this study, an improved spatial and temporal data fusion approach (ISTDFA) was employed to combine 250-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Different Vegetation Index (NDVI) and 10-m Sentinetl-2 NDVI data to generate a synthetic Sentinel-2 NDVI time series for monitoring this disease. Then, the phenology of healthy cotton and infected cotton was modeled using a logistic model. Finally, several phenology parameters, including the onset day of greenness minimum (OGM), growing season length (GLS), onset of greenness increase (OGI), max NDVI value, and integral area of the phenology curve, were calculated. The results showed that ISTDFA could be used to combine time series MODIS and Sentinel-2 NDVI data with a correlation coefficient of 0.893. The logistic model could describe the phenology curves with R-squared values from 0.791 to 0.969. Moreover, the phenology curve of infected cotton showed a significant difference from that of healthy cotton. The max NDVI value, OGM, GSL and the integral area of the phenology curve for infected cotton were reduced by 0.045, 30 days, 22 days, and 18.54%, respectively, compared with those for healthy cotton.

  18. Improvement of diffraction efficiency of three-dimensional magneto-optic spatial light modulator with magnetophotonic crystal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakamura, K.; Takagi, H., E-mail: takagi@ee.tut.ac.jp; Lim, P. B.; Inoue, M., E-mail: inoue@tut.ac.jp [Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Aichi 441 8580 (Japan); Goto, Taichi [Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Aichi 441 8580 (Japan); JST, PRESTO, 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012 (Japan); Horimai, H. [HolyMine Corporation, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243 0813 (Japan); Yoshikawa, H. [Department of Computer Engineering, College of Science and Technology, Nihon University, Funabashi, Chiba 274 8501 (Japan); Bove, V. M. [MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)

    2016-01-11

    We have developed three-dimensional magneto-optic spatial light modulators (3D-MOSLMs) that use magnetic domains as submicron scale pixels to represent holograms. Our display system uses a submicron-scale magnetic pixel array on an amorphous TbFe film to create a wide viewing angle hologram. However, in previous work the reconstructed images had a low intensity and a low optical contrast; brightness of the reconstructed image was 4.4 × 10{sup −2 }cd/m{sup 2} with 532 nm illumination light at 10.8 mW/cm{sup 2}, while display standard ISO13406 recommends 100 cd/m{sup 2} or more. In this paper, we describe our development of a 3D-MOSLM composed of an artificial magnetic lattice structure of magnetophotonic crystals (MPCs). The MPCs enhance the diffraction efficiency of reconstructed 3D images and reduce the power consumption for controlling the magnetic pixels by a light localization effect. We demonstrate reconstructed 3D images using the MPC and show significant brightness improvement.

  19. 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.

  20. Inverse modeling applied to Scanning Capacitance Microscopy for improved spatial resolution and accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McMurray, J. S.; Williams, C. C.

    1998-01-01

    Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) is capable of providing two-dimensional information about dopant and carrier concentrations in semiconducting devices. This information can be used to calibrate models used in the simulation of these devices prior to manufacturing and to develop and optimize the manufacturing processes. To provide information for future generations of devices, ultra-high spatial accuracy (<10 nm) will be required. One method, which potentially provides a means to obtain these goals, is inverse modeling of SCM data. Current semiconducting devices have large dopant gradients. As a consequence, the capacitance probe signal represents an average over the local dopant gradient. Conversion of the SCM signal to dopant density has previously been accomplished with a physical model which assumes that no dopant gradient exists in the sampling area of the tip. The conversion of data using this model produces results for abrupt profiles which do not have adequate resolution and accuracy. A new inverse model and iterative method has been developed to obtain higher resolution and accuracy from the same SCM data. This model has been used to simulate the capacitance signal obtained from one and two-dimensional ideal abrupt profiles. This simulated data has been input to a new iterative conversion algorithm, which has recovered the original profiles in both one and two dimensions. In addition, it is found that the shape of the tip can significantly impact resolution. Currently SCM tips are found to degrade very rapidly. Initially the apex of the tip is approximately hemispherical, but quickly becomes flat. This flat region often has a radius of about the original hemispherical radius. This change in geometry causes the silicon directly under the disk to be sampled with approximately equal weight. In contrast, a hemispherical geometry samples most strongly the silicon centered under the SCM tip and falls off quickly with distance from the tip's apex. Simulation

  1. Identifying Ant-Mirid Spatial Interactions to Improve Biological Control in Cacao-Based Agroforestry System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagny Beilhe, Leïla; Piou, Cyril; Tadu, Zéphirin; Babin, Régis

    2018-06-06

    The use of ants for biological control of insect pests was the first reported case of conservation biological control. Direct and indirect community interactions between ants and pests lead to differential spatial pattern. We investigated spatial interactions between mirids, the major cocoa pest in West Africa and numerically dominant ant species, using bivariate point pattern analysis to identify potential biological control agents. We assume that potential biological control agents should display negative spatial interactions with mirids considering their niche overlap. The mirid/ant data were collected in complex cacao-based agroforestry systems sampled in three agroecological areas over a forest-savannah gradient in Cameroon. Three species, Crematogaster striatula Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Crematogaster clariventris Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with high predator and aggressive behaviors were identified as dominant and showed negative spatial relationships with mirids. The weaver ant, O. longinoda was identified as the only potential biological control agent, considering its ubiquity in the plots, the similarity in niche requirements, and the spatial segregation with mirids resulting probably from exclusion mechanisms. Combining bivariate point pattern analysis to good knowledge of insect ecology was an effective method to identify a potentially good biological control agent.

  2. Improvement of the efficiency of two-dimensional multigroup transport calculations assuming isotropic reflection with multilevel spatial discretisation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stankovski, Z.; Zmijarevic, I.

    1987-06-01

    This paper presents two approximations used in multigroup two-dimensional transport calculations in large, very homogeneous media: isotropic reflection together with recently proposed group-dependent spatial representations. These approximations are implemented as standard options in APOLLO 2 assembly transport code. Presented example calculations show that significant savings in computational costs are obtained while preserving the overall accuracy

  3. 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

  4. Caffeine plus nicotine improves motor function, spatial and non-spatial working memory and functional indices in BALB/c male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adeniyi, P A; Omatsuli, E P; Akinyemi, A J; Ishola, A O

    2016-12-01

    There is a greater prevalence of cigarette smoking among caffeine dependent individuals. This study therefore sought to assess the effect of nicotine and/or caffeine on some key biochemical indices and neurobehavioural parameters associated with brain function in male mice. Forty male BALB/c mice were divided into 4 groups of 10 animals each; Group A serve as the control and received normal saline (s.c), Group B received 2mg/kg body weight of nicotine (s.c), Group C received 2mg/kg body weight of caffeine (s.c) and Group D received 2mg/kg of nicotine and 2mg/kg of caffeine (s.c). The experiment lasted for 21 days, and then the animals were subjected to behavioral test. Thereafter the animals were sacrificed and their brain isolated for the determination of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) level, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), arginase (Arg) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities; as well as some antioxidant indices. Administration of nicotine or caffeine caused a significant (Pcaffeine cognitive properties through a significant increase in non-spatial working memory whereas; it was otherwise on the spatial working memory and motor coordination. Therefore, we can suggest from our present study that caffeine enhances the effect of nicotine either synergistically or additively on memory and motor function and some key biochemical indices associated with brain function in male mice. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. A Novel Technique for Steganography Method Based on Improved Genetic Algorithm Optimization in Spatial Domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Soleimanpour-moghadam

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper devotes itself to the study of secret message delivery using cover image and introduces a novel steganographic technique based on genetic algorithm to find a near-optimum structure for the pair-wise least-significant-bit (LSB matching scheme. A survey of the related literatures shows that the LSB matching method developed by Mielikainen, employs a binary function to reduce the number of changes of LSB values. This method verifiably reduces the probability of detection and also improves the visual quality of stego images. So, our proposal draws on the Mielikainen's technique to present an enhanced dual-state scoring model, structured upon genetic algorithm which assesses the performance of different orders for LSB matching and searches for a near-optimum solution among all the permutation orders. Experimental results confirm superiority of the new approach compared to the Mielikainen’s pair-wise LSB matching scheme.

  6. Glucose improves object-location binding in visual-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollery, Brian; Christian, Leonie

    2016-02-01

    There is evidence that glucose temporarily enhances cognition and that processes dependent on the hippocampus may be particularly sensitive. As the hippocampus plays a key role in binding processes, we examined the influence of glucose on memory for object-location bindings. This study aims to study how glucose modifies performance on an object-location memory task, a task that draws heavily on hippocampal function. Thirty-one participants received 30 g glucose or placebo in a single 1-h session. After seeing between 3 and 10 objects (words or shapes) at different locations in a 9 × 9 matrix, participants attempted to immediately reproduce the display on a blank 9 × 9 matrix. Blood glucose was measured before drink ingestion, mid-way through the session, and at the end of the session. Glucose significantly improves object-location binding (d = 1.08) and location memory (d = 0.83), but not object memory (d = 0.51). Increasing working memory load impairs object memory and object-location binding, and word-location binding is more successful than shape-location binding, but the glucose improvement is robust across all difficulty manipulations. Within the glucose group, higher levels of circulating glucose are correlated with better binding memory and remembering the locations of successfully recalled objects. The glucose improvements identified are consistent with a facilitative impact on hippocampal function. The findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between cognitive processes, hippocampal function, and the implications for glucose's mode of action.

  7. Audiovisual communication of object-names improves the spatial accuracy of recalled object-locations in topographic maps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammert-Siepmann, Nils; Bestgen, Anne-Kathrin; Edler, Dennis; Kuchinke, Lars; Dickmann, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Knowing the correct location of a specific object learned from a (topographic) map is fundamental for orientation and navigation tasks. Spatial reference systems, such as coordinates or cardinal directions, are helpful tools for any geometric localization of positions that aims to be as exact as possible. Considering modern visualization techniques of multimedia cartography, map elements transferred through the auditory channel can be added easily. Audiovisual approaches have been discussed in the cartographic community for many years. However, the effectiveness of audiovisual map elements for map use has hardly been explored so far. Within an interdisciplinary (cartography-cognitive psychology) research project, it is examined whether map users remember object-locations better if they do not just read the corresponding place names, but also listen to them as voice recordings. This approach is based on the idea that learning object-identities influences learning object-locations, which is crucial for map-reading tasks. The results of an empirical study show that the additional auditory communication of object names not only improves memory for the names (object-identities), but also for the spatial accuracy of their corresponding object-locations. The audiovisual communication of semantic attribute information of a spatial object seems to improve the binding of object-identity and object-location, which enhances the spatial accuracy of object-location memory.

  8. Two-Step Optimization for Spatial Accessibility Improvement: A Case Study of Health Care Planning in Rural China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Luo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A recent advancement in location-allocation modeling formulates a two-step approach to a new problem of minimizing disparity of spatial accessibility. Our field work in a health care planning project in a rural county in China indicated that residents valued distance or travel time from the nearest hospital foremost and then considered quality of care including less waiting time as a secondary desirability. Based on the case study, this paper further clarifies the sequential decision-making approach, termed “two-step optimization for spatial accessibility improvement (2SO4SAI.” The first step is to find the best locations to site new facilities by emphasizing accessibility as proximity to the nearest facilities with several alternative objectives under consideration. The second step adjusts the capacities of facilities for minimal inequality in accessibility, where the measure of accessibility accounts for the match ratio of supply and demand and complex spatial interaction between them. The case study illustrates how the two-step optimization method improves both aspects of spatial accessibility for health care access in rural China.

  9. Effect of Royal Jelly on Improving Passive Avoidance Learning and Spatial Learning and Memory in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Alaei

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Studies have proposed that royal jelly(RJ has various biological activities in different cells and tissues. Since it has been demonstrated that RJ contains compounds having desirable effects on central neurons system and neural functions, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of royal jelly on learning and memory in rats. Methods: Male wistar rats were divided into two groups, the royal jelly and the control. In the RJ group, the rats received a food that contained 3% RJ instead of regular food for 10 days. Then learning and memory were investigated in these animals through both passive avoidance learning test(1 day and 1 week after receiving electrical shock and Morris water maze test(1 day and 1 week after a 4-day learning period. Results: The study results indicated that the food containing RJ in the RJ group significantly increased the time of the first entrance to the dark room one week after the electrical shock in passive avoidance learning test. In other words, the findings suggest an improvement of learning and memory in RJ group. In the acquisition phase of Morris water maze test, rats receiving RJ found the underwater escape plate during less time and distance comparing with the control group. Furthermore, one week after the acquisition phase, in the retention phase, rats spent more time in the quadrant in which the escape plate was previously located. Conclusion: The present study findings propose that Royal Jelly can improve cognitive processes through positive effects on neural functions and probably has a significant influence on prevention and therapy of some neuronal disorders.

  10. Short-term inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reversibly improves spatial memory but persistently impairs contextual fear memory in aged mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P.; Kenyon, Christopher J.; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R.; Holmes, Megan C.; Seckl, Jonathan R.; Yau, Joyce L.W.

    2015-01-01

    High glucocorticoid levels induced by stress enhance the memory of fearful events and may contribute to the development of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. In contrast, elevated glucocorticoids associated with ageing impair spatial memory. We have previously shown that pharmacological inhibition of the intracellular glucocorticoid-amplifying enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) improves spatial memory in aged mice. However, it is not known whether inhibition of 11β-HSD1 will have any beneficial effects on contextual fear memories in aged mice. Here, we examined the effects of UE2316, a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor which accesses the brain, on both spatial and contextual fear memories in aged mice using a vehicle-controlled crossover study design. Short-term UE2316 treatment improved spatial memory in aged mice, an effect which was reversed when UE2316 was substituted with vehicle. In contrast, contextual fear memory induced by foot-shock conditioning was significantly reduced by UE2316 in a non-reversible manner. When the order of treatment was reversed following extinction of the original fear memory, and a second foot-shock conditioning was given in a novel context, UE2316 treated aged mice (previously on vehicle) now showed increased fear memory compared to vehicle-treated aged mice (previously on UE2316). Renewal of the original extinguished fear memory triggered by exposure to a new environmental context may explain these effects. Thus 11β-HSD1 inhibition reverses spatial memory impairments with ageing while reducing the strength and persistence of new contextual fear memories. Potentially this could help prevent anxiety-related disorders in vulnerable elderly individuals. PMID:25497454

  11. Short-term inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reversibly improves spatial memory but persistently impairs contextual fear memory in aged mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P; Kenyon, Christopher J; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R; Holmes, Megan C; Seckl, Jonathan R; Yau, Joyce L W

    2015-04-01

    High glucocorticoid levels induced by stress enhance the memory of fearful events and may contribute to the development of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. In contrast, elevated glucocorticoids associated with ageing impair spatial memory. We have previously shown that pharmacological inhibition of the intracellular glucocorticoid-amplifying enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) improves spatial memory in aged mice. However, it is not known whether inhibition of 11β-HSD1 will have any beneficial effects on contextual fear memories in aged mice. Here, we examined the effects of UE2316, a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor which accesses the brain, on both spatial and contextual fear memories in aged mice using a vehicle-controlled crossover study design. Short-term UE2316 treatment improved spatial memory in aged mice, an effect which was reversed when UE2316 was substituted with vehicle. In contrast, contextual fear memory induced by foot-shock conditioning was significantly reduced by UE2316 in a non-reversible manner. When the order of treatment was reversed following extinction of the original fear memory, and a second foot-shock conditioning was given in a novel context, UE2316 treated aged mice (previously on vehicle) now showed increased fear memory compared to vehicle-treated aged mice (previously on UE2316). Renewal of the original extinguished fear memory triggered by exposure to a new environmental context may explain these effects. Thus 11β-HSD1 inhibition reverses spatial memory impairments with ageing while reducing the strength and persistence of new contextual fear memories. Potentially this could help prevent anxiety-related disorders in vulnerable elderly individuals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. How urban system vulnerabilities to flooding could be assessed to improve resilience and adaptation in spatial planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasi, Riccardo; Viavattene, Christophe; La Loggia, Goffredo

    2016-04-01

    Natural hazards damage assets and infrastructure inducing disruptions to urban functions and key daily services. These disruptions may be short or long with a variable spatial scale of impact. From an urban planning perspective, measuring these disruptions and their consequences at an urban scale is fundamental in order to develop more resilient cities. Whereas the assessment of physical vulnerabilities and direct damages is commonly addressed, new methodologies for assessing the systemic vulnerability at the urban scale are required to reveal these disruptions and their consequences. Physical and systemic vulnerability should be measured in order to reflect the multifaceted fragility of cities in the face of external stress, both in terms of the natural/built environment and socio-economic sphere. Additionally, a systemic approach allows the consideration of vulnerability across different spatial scales, as impacts may vary and be transmitted across local, regional or national levels. Urban systems are spatially distributed and the nature of this can have significant effects on flood impacts. The proposed approach identifies the vulnerabilities of flooding within urban contexts, including both in terms of single elementary units (buildings, infrastructures, people, etc.) and systemic functioning (urban functions and daily life networks). Direct losses are appraised initially using conventional methodologies (e.g. depth-damage functions). This aims to both understand the spatial distribution of physical vulnerability and associated losses and, secondly, to identify the most vulnerable building types and ways to improve the physical adaptation of our cities, proposing changes to building codes, design principles and other municipal regulation tools. The subsequent systemic approach recognises the city as a collection of sub-systems or functional units (such as neighbourhoods and suburbs) providing key daily services for inhabitants (e.g. healthcare facilities

  13. 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

  14. Every photon counts: improving low, mid, and high-spatial frequency errors on astronomical optics and materials with MRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Chris; Lormeau, Jean Pierre; Dumas, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Many astronomical sensing applications operate in low-light conditions; for these applications every photon counts. Controlling mid-spatial frequencies and surface roughness on astronomical optics are critical for mitigating scattering effects such as flare and energy loss. By improving these two frequency regimes higher contrast images can be collected with improved efficiency. Classically, Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF) has offered an optical fabrication technique to correct low order errors as well has quilting/print-through errors left over in light-weighted optics from conventional polishing techniques. MRF is a deterministic, sub-aperture polishing process that has been used to improve figure on an ever expanding assortment of optical geometries, such as planos, spheres, on and off axis aspheres, primary mirrors and freeform optics. Precision optics are routinely manufactured by this technology with sizes ranging from 5-2,000mm in diameter. MRF can be used for form corrections; turning a sphere into an asphere or free form, but more commonly for figure corrections achieving figure errors as low as 1nm RMS while using careful metrology setups. Recent advancements in MRF technology have improved the polishing performance expected for astronomical optics in low, mid and high spatial frequency regimes. Deterministic figure correction with MRF is compatible with most materials, including some recent examples on Silicon Carbide and RSA905 Aluminum. MRF also has the ability to produce `perfectly-bad' compensating surfaces, which may be used to compensate for measured or modeled optical deformation from sources such as gravity or mounting. In addition, recent advances in MRF technology allow for corrections of mid-spatial wavelengths as small as 1mm simultaneously with form error correction. Efficient midspatial frequency corrections make use of optimized process conditions including raster polishing in combination with a small tool size. Furthermore, a novel MRF

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Improving the allocation of flood-risk interventions from a spatial quality perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nillesen, A.L.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes an integral approach to flood-risk protection and spatial design that allows for an active involvement of landscape architects and urban designers in the allocation of flood-risk interventions within the Dutch Delta. The Dutch Rijnmond–Drechtsteden area is used as a case study

  18. Land use change modeling through scenario-based cellular automata Markov: improving spatial forecasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahanishakib, Fatemeh; Mirkarimi, Seyed Hamed; Salmanmahiny, Abdolrassoul; Poodat, Fatemeh

    2018-05-08

    Efficient land use management requires awareness of past changes, present actions, and plans for future developments. Part of these requirements is achieved using scenarios that describe a future situation and the course of changes. This research aims to link scenario results with spatially explicit and quantitative forecasting of land use development. To develop land use scenarios, SMIC PROB-EXPERT and MORPHOL methods were used. It revealed eight scenarios as the most probable. To apply the scenarios, we considered population growth rate and used a cellular automata-Markov chain (CA-MC) model to implement the quantified changes described by each scenario. For each scenario, a set of landscape metrics was used to assess the ecological integrity of land use classes in terms of fragmentation and structural connectivity. The approach enabled us to develop spatial scenarios of land use change and detect their differences for choosing the most integrated landscape pattern in terms of landscape metrics. Finally, the comparison between paired forecasted scenarios based on landscape metrics indicates that scenarios 1-1, 2-2, 3-2, and 4-1 have a more suitable integrity. The proposed methodology for developing spatial scenarios helps executive managers to create scenarios with many repetitions and customize spatial patterns in real world applications and policies.

  19. Improved control for distributed parameter systems with time-dependent spatial domains utilizing mobile sensor–actuator networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Jian-Zhong; Cui Bao-Tong; Zhuang Bo

    2017-01-01

    A guidance policy for controller performance enhancement utilizing mobile sensor–actuator networks (MSANs) is proposed for a class of distributed parameter systems (DPSs), which are governed by diffusion partial differential equations (PDEs) with time-dependent spatial domains. Several sufficient conditions for controller performance enhancement are presented. First, the infinite dimensional operator theory is used to derive an abstract evolution equation of the systems under some rational assumptions on the operators, and a static output feedback controller is designed to control the spatial process. Then, based on Lyapunov stability arguments, guidance policies for collocated and non-collocated MSANs are provided to enhance the performance of the proposed controller, which show that the time-dependent characteristic of the spatial domains can significantly affect the design of the mobile scheme. Finally, a simulation example illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed policy. (paper)

  20. 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

  1. From "Volcanic Field" to "Volcanic Province": A Continuum of Spatial-Clustered Structures With Geological Significance or a Matter of Academic Snobbism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canon-Tapia, E.

    2017-12-01

    "Volcanic Field" is a term commonly used to describe a group of small, monogenetic and dominantly basaltic volcanoes, but that often includes groups of mixed monogenetic and polygenetic edifices. Besides ambiguities on the type of edifice that should be considered to form a VF, there is a lack of agreement concerning the number of volcanoes required to define a VF (ranging from five to over 1000), it is uncertain if the area covered by the volcanoes forming a VF must have a minimum number of volcanoes/unit area, or if the distance between adjacent structures needs to have a specific length. Furthermore, in many cases it is uncertain whether some area is occupied by two adjacent fields or if it is occupied by two subgroups belonging to a unique field. On the other hand, in analogy with the official definition of a geologic province, a "Volcanic Province" can be defined as a large region or area characterized by similar volcanic features, or by a history differing significantly from that of adjacent areas. Because neither the dimensions of the region nor the characteristics of the features to be used as reference are specified, there is an inherent ambiguity in this definition, which in some cases might become the source of unnecessary confusion. This work presents a review of the various ambiguities that remain unaddressed on the definition of a VF, and that bear some connection with the definition of VPs in general, with special interest in intraplate settings. It is shown that questions such as a) how many volcanoes are required to form a VF and b) when two "neighbor" volcanoes should not be considered to be part of the same field, can be adequately addressed by adopting the techniques of cluster analysis. Other parameters might not be as easy to address including aspects related to total volume of magma erupted, overall composition of the erupted products and age spans of activity and intermediate gaps. Based on the evidence presented, it is shown that there is a

  2. Improving the Spatial Prediction of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in a Complex Tropical Mountain Landscape by Methodological Specifications in Machine Learning Approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mareike Ließ

    Full Text Available Tropical forests are significant carbon sinks and their soils' carbon storage potential is immense. However, little is known about the soil organic carbon (SOC stocks of tropical mountain areas whose complex soil-landscape and difficult accessibility pose a challenge to spatial analysis. The choice of methodology for spatial prediction is of high importance to improve the expected poor model results in case of low predictor-response correlations. Four aspects were considered to improve model performance in predicting SOC stocks of the organic layer of a tropical mountain forest landscape: Different spatial predictor settings, predictor selection strategies, various machine learning algorithms and model tuning. Five machine learning algorithms: random forests, artificial neural networks, multivariate adaptive regression splines, boosted regression trees and support vector machines were trained and tuned to predict SOC stocks from predictors derived from a digital elevation model and satellite image. Topographical predictors were calculated with a GIS search radius of 45 to 615 m. Finally, three predictor selection strategies were applied to the total set of 236 predictors. All machine learning algorithms-including the model tuning and predictor selection-were compared via five repetitions of a tenfold cross-validation. The boosted regression tree algorithm resulted in the overall best model. SOC stocks ranged between 0.2 to 17.7 kg m-2, displaying a huge variability with diffuse insolation and curvatures of different scale guiding the spatial pattern. Predictor selection and model tuning improved the models' predictive performance in all five machine learning algorithms. The rather low number of selected predictors favours forward compared to backward selection procedures. Choosing predictors due to their indiviual performance was vanquished by the two procedures which accounted for predictor interaction.

  3. Improving the Spatial Prediction of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in a Complex Tropical Mountain Landscape by Methodological Specifications in Machine Learning Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ließ, Mareike; Schmidt, Johannes; Glaser, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are significant carbon sinks and their soils' carbon storage potential is immense. However, little is known about the soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks of tropical mountain areas whose complex soil-landscape and difficult accessibility pose a challenge to spatial analysis. The choice of methodology for spatial prediction is of high importance to improve the expected poor model results in case of low predictor-response correlations. Four aspects were considered to improve model performance in predicting SOC stocks of the organic layer of a tropical mountain forest landscape: Different spatial predictor settings, predictor selection strategies, various machine learning algorithms and model tuning. Five machine learning algorithms: random forests, artificial neural networks, multivariate adaptive regression splines, boosted regression trees and support vector machines were trained and tuned to predict SOC stocks from predictors derived from a digital elevation model and satellite image. Topographical predictors were calculated with a GIS search radius of 45 to 615 m. Finally, three predictor selection strategies were applied to the total set of 236 predictors. All machine learning algorithms-including the model tuning and predictor selection-were compared via five repetitions of a tenfold cross-validation. The boosted regression tree algorithm resulted in the overall best model. SOC stocks ranged between 0.2 to 17.7 kg m-2, displaying a huge variability with diffuse insolation and curvatures of different scale guiding the spatial pattern. Predictor selection and model tuning improved the models' predictive performance in all five machine learning algorithms. The rather low number of selected predictors favours forward compared to backward selection procedures. Choosing predictors due to their indiviual performance was vanquished by the two procedures which accounted for predictor interaction.

  4. Improved classification accuracy of powdery mildew infection levels of wine grapes by spatial-spectral analysis of hyperspectral images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knauer, Uwe; Matros, Andrea; Petrovic, Tijana; Zanker, Timothy; Scott, Eileen S; Seiffert, Udo

    2017-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging is an emerging means of assessing plant vitality, stress parameters, nutrition status, and diseases. Extraction of target values from the high-dimensional datasets either relies on pixel-wise processing of the full spectral information, appropriate selection of individual bands, or calculation of spectral indices. Limitations of such approaches are reduced classification accuracy, reduced robustness due to spatial variation of the spectral information across the surface of the objects measured as well as a loss of information intrinsic to band selection and use of spectral indices. In this paper we present an improved spatial-spectral segmentation approach for the analysis of hyperspectral imaging data and its application for the prediction of powdery mildew infection levels (disease severity) of intact Chardonnay grape bunches shortly before veraison. Instead of calculating texture features (spatial features) for the huge number of spectral bands independently, dimensionality reduction by means of Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) was applied first to derive a few descriptive image bands. Subsequent classification was based on modified Random Forest classifiers and selective extraction of texture parameters from the integral image representation of the image bands generated. Dimensionality reduction, integral images, and the selective feature extraction led to improved classification accuracies of up to [Formula: see text] for detached berries used as a reference sample (training dataset). Our approach was validated by predicting infection levels for a sample of 30 intact bunches. Classification accuracy improved with the number of decision trees of the Random Forest classifier. These results corresponded with qPCR results. An accuracy of 0.87 was achieved in classification of healthy, infected, and severely diseased bunches. However, discrimination between visually healthy and infected bunches proved to be challenging for a few samples

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Improving Estimations of Spatial Distribution of Soil Respiration Using the Bayesian Maximum Entropy Algorithm and Soil Temperature as Auxiliary Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junguo Hu

    Full Text Available Soil respiration inherently shows strong spatial variability. It is difficult to obtain an accurate characterization of soil respiration with an insufficient number of monitoring points. However, it is expensive and cumbersome to deploy many sensors. To solve this problem, we proposed employing the Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME algorithm, using soil temperature as auxiliary information, to study the spatial distribution of soil respiration. The BME algorithm used the soft data (auxiliary information effectively to improve the estimation accuracy of the spatiotemporal distribution of soil respiration. Based on the functional relationship between soil temperature and soil respiration, the BME algorithm satisfactorily integrated soil temperature data into said spatial distribution. As a means of comparison, we also applied the Ordinary Kriging (OK and Co-Kriging (Co-OK methods. The results indicated that the root mean squared errors (RMSEs and absolute values of bias for both Day 1 and Day 2 were the lowest for the BME method, thus demonstrating its higher estimation accuracy. Further, we compared the performance of the BME algorithm coupled with auxiliary information, namely soil temperature data, and the OK method without auxiliary information in the same study area for 9, 21, and 37 sampled points. The results showed that the RMSEs for the BME algorithm (0.972 and 1.193 were less than those for the OK method (1.146 and 1.539 when the number of sampled points was 9 and 37, respectively. This indicates that the former method using auxiliary information could reduce the required number of sampling points for studying spatial distribution of soil respiration. Thus, the BME algorithm, coupled with soil temperature data, can not only improve the accuracy of soil respiration spatial interpolation but can also reduce the number of sampling points.

  8. Improving Estimations of Spatial Distribution of Soil Respiration Using the Bayesian Maximum Entropy Algorithm and Soil Temperature as Auxiliary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Junguo; Zhou, Jian; Zhou, Guomo; Luo, Yiqi; Xu, Xiaojun; Li, Pingheng; Liang, Junyi

    2016-01-01

    Soil respiration inherently shows strong spatial variability. It is difficult to obtain an accurate characterization of soil respiration with an insufficient number of monitoring points. However, it is expensive and cumbersome to deploy many sensors. To solve this problem, we proposed employing the Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME) algorithm, using soil temperature as auxiliary information, to study the spatial distribution of soil respiration. The BME algorithm used the soft data (auxiliary information) effectively to improve the estimation accuracy of the spatiotemporal distribution of soil respiration. Based on the functional relationship between soil temperature and soil respiration, the BME algorithm satisfactorily integrated soil temperature data into said spatial distribution. As a means of comparison, we also applied the Ordinary Kriging (OK) and Co-Kriging (Co-OK) methods. The results indicated that the root mean squared errors (RMSEs) and absolute values of bias for both Day 1 and Day 2 were the lowest for the BME method, thus demonstrating its higher estimation accuracy. Further, we compared the performance of the BME algorithm coupled with auxiliary information, namely soil temperature data, and the OK method without auxiliary information in the same study area for 9, 21, and 37 sampled points. The results showed that the RMSEs for the BME algorithm (0.972 and 1.193) were less than those for the OK method (1.146 and 1.539) when the number of sampled points was 9 and 37, respectively. This indicates that the former method using auxiliary information could reduce the required number of sampling points for studying spatial distribution of soil respiration. Thus, the BME algorithm, coupled with soil temperature data, can not only improve the accuracy of soil respiration spatial interpolation but can also reduce the number of sampling points.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. High Resolution Mesoscale Weather Data Improvement to Spatial Effects for Dose-Rate Contour Plot Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    radiation with diurnal cycle and interaction with clouds, shallow convection, an interactive surface hydrology , and horizontal and vertical diffusion...file (New Surface.txt) which was created ! by saving an Excel File as a tab- delimited text file. The data for this file comes from Google ! Earth, and...Mississippi River Basin to the Spatial Distribution of Initial Soil Moisture,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 108, NO. D22. (31 OCT 2002) 15

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Improving the spatial resolution in CZT detectors using charge sharing effect and transient signal analysis: Simulation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Xiaoqing; Cheng, Zeng [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Deen, M. Jamal, E-mail: jamal@mcmaster.ca [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Peng, Hao, E-mail: penghao@mcmaster.ca [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Department of Medical Physics, McMaster University, Ontario L8S 4K1, Hamilton (Canada)

    2016-02-01

    Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) semiconductor detectors are capable of providing superior energy resolution and three-dimensional position information of gamma ray interactions in a large variety of fields, including nuclear physics, gamma-ray imaging and nuclear medicine. Some dedicated Positron Emission Tomography (PET) systems, for example, for breast cancer detection, require higher contrast recovery and more accurate event location compared with a whole-body PET system. The spatial resolution is currently limited by electrode pitch in CZT detectors. A straightforward approach to increase the spatial resolution is by decreasing the detector electrode pitch, but this leads to higher fabrication cost and a larger number of readout channels. In addition, inter-electrode charge spreading can negate any improvement in spatial resolution. In this work, we studied the feasibility of achieving sub-pitch spatial resolution in CZT detectors using two methods: charge sharing effect and transient signal analysis. We noted that their valid ranges of usage were complementary. The dependences of their corresponding valid ranges on electrode design, depth-of-interaction (DOI), voltage bias and signal triggering threshold were investigated. The implementation of these two methods in both pixelated and cross-strip configuration of CZT detectors were discussed. Our results show that the valid range of charge sharing effect increases as a function of DOI, but decreases with increasing gap width and bias voltage. For a CZT detector of 5 mm thickness, 100 µm gap and biased at 400 V, the valid range of charge sharing effect was found to be about 112.3 µm around the gap center. This result complements the valid range of the transient signal analysis within one electrode pitch. For a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of ~17 and preliminary measurements, the sub-pitch spatial resolution is expected to be ~30 µm and ~250 µm for the charge sharing and transient signal analysis methods

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Li

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Improving neutron spectrometer performances through spatial and focusing effects: Investigation of spatial correlation focusing influence on the resolution in diffraction and phonon scattering experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Popovici, M.

    1986-09-01

    A consistent treatment of the optics of three-axis spectrometers with curved perfect crystals, the gradient of lattice spacing accounted for, is presented. The mosaic crystal case is treated within the same computational scheme. From the computational point of view, the perfect crystals case is not the zero mosaic spread limit of the mosaic crystals case. The estimation of the residual line-widths in conditions of reciprocal-space focusing allows the discussion of the possibilities and limitations of using spatial correlation effects for improving spectrometer performances. A computer programme is presented which makes it possible to calculate both analytically and numerically the optimal arrangements and the deviations of the optimal parameter values. The optimization of parameters not involved in the analytically expressed reciprocal-space focusing conditions is also possible with this programme. The experimental results presented in this paper show that both the line-widths and the absolute intensities can also be described with reasonable accuracy for the perfect curved crystals case. It is shown experimentally that even at low-flux reactors one can obtain with the aid of perfect curved crystals good resolutions at measurable intensities which are generally higher than those obtainable in conventional spectrometers with flat mosaic crystals

  6. Postnatal Gene Therapy Improves Spatial Learning Despite the Presence of Neuronal Ectopia in a Model of Neuronal Migration Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaiyu Hu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Patients with type II lissencephaly, a neuronal migration disorder with ectopic neurons, suffer from severe mental retardation, including learning deficits. There is no effective therapy to prevent or correct the formation of neuronal ectopia, which is presumed to cause cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that learning deficits were not solely caused by neuronal ectopia and that postnatal gene therapy could improve learning without correcting the neuronal ectopia formed during fetal development. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated spatial learning of cerebral cortex-specific protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 (POMT2, an enzyme required for O-mannosyl glycosylation knockout mice and compared to the knockout mice that were injected with an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV encoding POMT2 into the postnatal brains with Barnes maze. The data showed that the knockout mice exhibited reduced glycosylation in the cerebral cortex, reduced dendritic spine density on CA1 neurons, and increased latency to the target hole in the Barnes maze, indicating learning deficits. Postnatal gene therapy restored functional glycosylation, rescued dendritic spine defects, and improved performance on the Barnes maze by the knockout mice even though neuronal ectopia was not corrected. These results indicate that postnatal gene therapy improves spatial learning despite the presence of neuronal ectopia.

  7. Improving Spectral Results Using Row-by-Row Fourier Transform of Spatial Heterodyne Raman Spectrometer Interferogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Patrick D; Strange, K Alicia; Angel, S Michael

    2017-06-01

    This work describes a method of applying the Fourier transform to the two-dimensional Fizeau fringe patterns generated by the spatial heterodyne Raman spectrometer (SHRS), a dispersive interferometer, to correct the effects of certain types of optical alignment errors. In the SHRS, certain types of optical misalignments result in wavelength-dependent and wavelength-independent rotations of the fringe pattern on the detector. We describe here a simple correction technique that can be used in post-processing, by applying the Fourier transform in a row-by-row manner. This allows the user to be more forgiving of fringe alignment and allows for a reduction in the mechanical complexity of the SHRS.

  8. When endogenous spatial attention improves conscious perception: effects of alerting and bottom-up activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Integrating spatial and temporal oxygen data to improve the quantification of in situ petroleum biodegradation rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Gregory B; Laslett, Dean; Patterson, Bradley M; Johnston, Colin D

    2013-03-15

    Accurate estimation of biodegradation rates during remediation of petroleum impacted soil and groundwater is critical to avoid excessive costs and to ensure remedial effectiveness. Oxygen depth profiles or oxygen consumption over time are often used separately to estimate the magnitude and timeframe for biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and subsurface environments. Each method has limitations. Here we integrate spatial and temporal oxygen concentration data from a field experiment to develop better estimates and more reliably quantify biodegradation rates. During a nine-month bioremediation trial, 84 sets of respiration rate data (where aeration was halted and oxygen consumption was measured over time) were collected from in situ oxygen sensors at multiple locations and depths across a diesel non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contaminated subsurface. Additionally, detailed vertical soil moisture (air-filled porosity) and NAPL content profiles were determined. The spatial and temporal oxygen concentration (respiration) data were modeled assuming one-dimensional diffusion of oxygen through the soil profile which was open to the atmosphere. Point and vertically averaged biodegradation rates were determined, and compared to modeled data from a previous field trial. Point estimates of biodegradation rates assuming no diffusion ranged up to 58 mg kg(-1) day(-1) while rates accounting for diffusion ranged up to 87 mg kg(-1) day(-1). Typically, accounting for diffusion increased point biodegradation rate estimates by 15-75% and vertically averaged rates by 60-80% depending on the averaging method adopted. Importantly, ignoring diffusion led to overestimation of biodegradation rates where the location of measurement was outside the zone of NAPL contamination. Over or underestimation of biodegradation rate estimates leads to cost implications for successful remediation of petroleum impacted sites. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Improving 3d Spatial Queries Search: Newfangled Technique of Space Filling Curves in 3d City Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uznir, U.; Anton, F.; Suhaibah, A.; Rahman, A. A.; Mioc, D.

    2013-09-01

    The advantages of three dimensional (3D) city models can be seen in various applications including photogrammetry, urban and regional planning, computer games, etc.. They expand the visualization and analysis capabilities of Geographic Information Systems on cities, and they can be developed using web standards. However, these 3D city models consume much more storage compared to two dimensional (2D) spatial data. They involve extra geometrical and topological information together with semantic data. Without a proper spatial data clustering method and its corresponding spatial data access method, retrieving portions of and especially searching these 3D city models, will not be done optimally. Even though current developments are based on an open data model allotted by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) called CityGML, its XML-based structure makes it challenging to cluster the 3D urban objects. In this research, we propose an opponent data constellation technique of space-filling curves (3D Hilbert curves) for 3D city model data representation. Unlike previous methods, that try to project 3D or n-dimensional data down to 2D or 3D using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) or Hilbert mappings, in this research, we extend the Hilbert space-filling curve to one higher dimension for 3D city model data implementations. The query performance was tested using a CityGML dataset of 1,000 building blocks and the results are presented in this paper. The advantages of implementing space-filling curves in 3D city modeling will improve data retrieval time by means of optimized 3D adjacency, nearest neighbor information and 3D indexing. The Hilbert mapping, which maps a subinterval of the [0, 1] interval to the corresponding portion of the d-dimensional Hilbert's curve, preserves the Lebesgue measure and is Lipschitz continuous. Depending on the applications, several alternatives are possible in order to cluster spatial data together in the third dimension compared to its

  13. Learning linear spatial-numeric associations improves accuracy of memory for numbers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarissa Ann Thompson

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Memory for numbers improves with age and experience. One potential source of improvement is a logarithmic-to-linear shift in children’s representations of magnitude. To test this, Kindergartners and second graders estimated the location of numbers on number lines and recalled numbers presented in vignettes (Study 1. Accuracy at number-line estimation predicted memory accuracy on a numerical recall task after controlling for the effect of age and ability to approximately order magnitudes (mapper status. To test more directly whether linear numeric magnitude representations caused improvements in memory, half of children were given feedback on their number-line estimates (Study 2. As expected, learning linear representations was again linked to memory for numerical information even after controlling for age and mapper status. These results suggest that linear representations of numerical magnitude may be a causal factor in development of numeric recall accuracy.

  14. A simple method to improve the spatial uniformity of venetian-blind photomultiplier tubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, J.M.F. dos; Veloso, J.F.C.A.; Morgado, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    An improvement in the uniformity of venetian-blind photomultiplier tubes has been achieved by reducing the voltage difference between the first and second dynodes. The method has been applied to a gas proportional scintillation counter (GPSC) instrumented with a venetian-blind photomultiplier (PMT). When exposed to a 20-mm collimated 5.9-keV x-ray beam, an overall improvement in energy resolution for the GPSC/PMT combination from 20% to 11.5% was achieved. An alternative method that reduces the photocathode-to-first-dynode voltage was less effective and resulted in a severe degradation of detector energy resolution

  15. 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

  16. Improved Spatial Resolution in Thick, Fully-Depleted CCDs withEnhanced Red Sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Groom, Donald E.; Bailey, Stephen J.; Bebek, Christopher J.; Holland, Stephen E.; Karcher, Armin; Kolbe,William F.; Lorenzon, Wolfgang; Roe, Natalie A.

    2006-03-09

    The point spread function (PSF) is an important measure of spatial resolution in CCDs for point-like objects, since it affects image quality and spectroscopic resolution. We present new data and theoretical developments for lateral charge diffusion in thick, fully-depleted charge-coupled devices (CCDs) developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Because they can be over-depleted, the LBNL devices have no field-free region and diffusion is controlled through the application of an external bias voltage. We give results for a 3512 x 3512 format, 10.5 {micro}m pixel back-illuminated p-channel CCD developed for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP), a proposed satellite-based experiment designed to study dark energy. The PSF was measured at substrate bias voltages between 3 V and 115 V. At a bias voltage of 115 V, we measure an rms diffusion of 3.7 {+-} 0.2 {micro}m. Lateral charge diffusion in LBNL CCDs will meet the SNAP requirements.

  17. Improving neutron multiplicity counting for the spatial dependence of multiplication: Results for spherical plutonium samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Göttsche, Malte, E-mail: malte.goettsche@physik.uni-hamburg.de; Kirchner, Gerald

    2015-10-21

    The fissile mass deduced from a neutron multiplicity counting measurement of high mass dense items is underestimated if the spatial dependence of the multiplication is not taken into account. It is shown that an appropriate physics-based correction successfully removes the bias. It depends on four correction coefficients which can only be exactly determined if the sample geometry and composition are known. In some cases, for example in warhead authentication, available information on the sample will be very limited. MCNPX-PoliMi simulations have been performed to obtain the correction coefficients for a range of spherical plutonium metal geometries, with and without polyethylene reflection placed around the spheres. For hollow spheres, the analysis shows that the correction coefficients can be approximated with high accuracy as a function of the sphere's thickness depending only slightly on the radius. If the thickness remains unknown, less accurate estimates of the correction coefficients can be obtained from the neutron multiplication. The influence of isotopic composition is limited. The correction coefficients become somewhat smaller when reflection is present.

  18. Improvement of the Prediction of Drugs Demand Using Spatial Data Mining Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, M Isabel; Cubillas, Juan José; Feito, Francisco R

    2016-01-01

    The continued availability of products at any store is the major issue in order to provide good customer service. If the store is a drugstore this matter reaches a greater importance, as out of stock of a drug when there is high demand causes problems and tensions in the healthcare system. There are numerous studies of the impact this issue has on patients. The lack of any drug in a pharmacy in certain seasons is very common, especially when some external factors proliferate favoring the occurrence of certain diseases. This study focuses on a particular drug consumed in the city of Jaen, southern Andalucia, Spain. Our goal is to determine in advance the Salbutamol demand. Advanced data mining techniques have been used with spatial variables. These last have a key role to generate an effective model. In this research we have used the attributes that are associated with Salbutamol demand and it has been generated a very accurate prediction model of 5.78% of mean absolute error. This is a very encouraging data considering that the consumption of this drug in Jaen varies 500% from one period to another.

  19. Improved Spatial Resolution in Thick, Fully-Depleted CCDs with Enhanced Red Sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fairfield, Jessamyn A.

    2005-01-01

    The point spread function (PSF) is an important measure of spatial resolution in CCDs for point-like objects, since it can affect use in imaging and spectroscopic applications. We present new data and theoretical developments in the study of lateral charge diffusion in thick, fully-depleted charge-coupled devices (CCDs) developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Because they are fully depleted, the LBNL devices have no field-free region, and diffusion can be controlled through the application of an external bias voltage. We give results for a 3512x3512 format, 10.5 ?m pixel back-illuminated p-channel CCD developed for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP), a proposed satellite-based experiment designed to study dark energy. The PSF was measured at substrate bias voltages between 3 V and 115 V. At a bias voltage of 115V, we measure an rms diffusion of 3.7 ± 0.2 (micro)m. Lateral charge diffusion in LBNL CCDs is thus expected to meet the SNAP requirements

  20. An improved procedure for subcellular spatial alignment during live-cell CLEM.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin S Padman

    Full Text Available Live-cell correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM offers unique insights into the ultrastructure of dynamic cellular processes. A critical and technically challenging part of CLEM is the 3-dimensional relocation of the intracellular region of interest during sample processing. We have developed a simple CLEM procedure that uses toner particles from a laser printer as orientation marks. This facilitates easy tracking of a region of interest even by eye throughout the whole procedure. Combined with subcellular fluorescence markers for the plasma membrane and nucleus, the toner particles allow for precise subcellular spatial alignment of the optical and electron microscopy data sets. The toner-based reference grid is printed and transferred onto a polymer film using a standard office printer and laminator. We have also designed a polymer film holder that is compatible with most inverted microscopes, and have validated our strategy by following the ultrastructure of mitochondria that were selectively photo-irradiated during live-cell microscopy. In summary, our inexpensive and robust CLEM procedure simplifies optical imaging, without limiting the choice of optical microscope.

  1. 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.

  2. Improved size distribution control of silicon nanocrystals in a spatially confined remote plasma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dogan, I.; Westerman, R. H. J.; M. C. M. van de Sanden,

    2015-01-01

    This work demonstrates how to improve the size distribution of silicon nanocrystals (Si-NCs) synthesized in a remote plasma, in which the flow dynamics and the particular chemistry initially resulted in the formation of small (2-10 nm) and large (50-120 nm) Si-NCs. Plasma consists of two regions: an

  3. Improved Reversed Phase Chromatography of Hydrophilic Peptides from Spatial and Temporal Changes in Column Temperature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Young, Clifford; Podtelejnikov, Alexandre V; Nielsen, Michael Lund

    2017-01-01

    implementation requires additional equipment and method optimization. An apparatus that allows temperature manipulation in three areas of a two-column setup was evaluated for improvements in chromatography. Using commercially available standards, we demonstrate that a low column temperature (0 °C) during sample...

  4. Using spatially detailed water-quality data and solute-transport modeling to improve support total maximum daily load development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton-Day, Katherine; Runkel, Robert L.; Kimball, Briant A.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially detailed mass-loading studies and solute-transport modeling using OTIS (One-dimensional Transport with Inflow and Storage) demonstrate how natural attenuation and loading from distinct and diffuse sources control stream water quality and affect load reductions predicted in total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). Mass-loading data collected during low-flow from Cement Creek (a low-pH, metal-rich stream because of natural and mining sources, and subject to TMDL requirements) were used to calibrate OTIS and showed spatially variable effects of natural attenuation (instream reactions) and loading from diffuse (groundwater) and distinct sources. OTIS simulations of the possible effects of TMDL-recommended remediation of mine sites showed less improvement to dissolved zinc load and concentration (14% decrease) than did the TMDL (53-63% decrease). The TMDL (1) assumed conservative transport, (2) accounted for loads removed by remediation by subtracting them from total load at the stream mouth, and (3) did not include diffuse-source loads. In OTIS, loads were reduced near their source; the resulting concentration was decreased by natural attenuation and increased by diffuse-source loads during downstream transport. Thus, by not including natural attenuation and loading from diffuse sources, the TMDL overestimated remediation effects at low flow. Use of the techniques presented herein could improve TMDLs by incorporating these processes during TMDL development.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Genistein improves spatial learning and memory in male rats with elevated glucose level during memory consolidation

    OpenAIRE

    Kohara, Yumi; Kawaguchi, Shinichiro; Kuwahara, Rika; Uchida, Yutaro; Oku, Yushi; Yamashita, Kimihiro

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction due to higher blood glucose level has been reported previously. Genistein (GEN) is a phytoestrogen that we hypothesized might lead to improved memory, despite elevated blood glucose levels at the time of memory consolidation. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared the effects of orally administered GEN on the central nervous system in normal versus glucose-loaded adult male rats. A battery of behavioral assessments was carried out. In the MAZE test, which measured s...

  8. 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.

  9. Real-time spatial compound imaging improves reproducibility in evaluation of atherosclerotic carotid plaque

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kofoed, Steen Christian; Grønholdt, Marie-Louise M.; Wilhjelm, Jens E.

    2001-01-01

    . The interobserver variation of the gray scale median value (GSM) for conventional technique ranged from -32 to +20 and from -6 to +6 for compound. Likewise, the coefficient of repeatability for the GSM value was 13 for conventional imaging and three for compound imaging, and interobserver variation for the GSM...... value for the overlapping area was 34% and 9% for conventional and compound technique. In conclusion, compound imaging improves intra- and interobserver agreement and reduces interobserver variation in the GSM value in a clinical setting. (C) 2001 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology....

  10. Framing climate change and spatial planning: how risk communication can be improved

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, J.

    2007-01-01

    Taking the role of frames into account may significantly add to the tools that have been developed for communication and learning on complex risks and benefits. As part of a larger multidisciplinary study into climate-related forms of sense-making this paper explores which frames are used by the

  11. Improvement, Verification, and Refinement of Spatially-Explicit Exposure Models in Risk Assessment - SEEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    is Beltsville silt loam. Land use in the watershed is mainly upland or wetland forests, with significant urban and agricultural development. The...covered with extensive woodlands and wetlands that provide habitat for many animals, including white tail deer, foxes, and wild turkeys. The area is

  12. Improvement, Verification, and Refinement of Spatially Explicit Exposure Models in Risk Assessment - SEEM Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    is Beltsville silt loam. Land use in the watershed is mainly upland or wetland forests, with significant urban and agricultural development. The...covered with extensive woodlands and wetlands that provide habitat for many animals, including white tail deer, foxes, and wild turkeys. The area is

  13. Perinatal exposure to genistein, a soy phytoestrogen, improves spatial learning and memory but impairs passive avoidance learning and memory in offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohara, Yumi; Kuwahara, Rika; Kawaguchi, Shinichiro; Jojima, Takeshi; Yamashita, Kimihiro

    2014-05-10

    This study investigated the effects of perinatal genistein (GEN) exposure on the central nervous system of rat offspring. Pregnant dams orally received GEN (1 or 10 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (1 ml/kg/day) from gestation day 10 to postnatal day 14. In order to assess the effects of GEN on rat offspring, we used a battery of behavioral tests, including the open-field, elevated plus-maze, MAZE and step-through passive avoidance tests. MAZE test is an appetite-motivation test, and we used this mainly for assessing spatial learning and memory. In the MAZE test, GEN groups exhibited shorter latency from start to goal than the vehicle-treated group in both sexes. On the other hand, performances in the step-through passive avoidance test were non-monotonically inhibited by GEN in both sexes, and a significant difference was observed in low dose of the GEN-treated group compared to the vehicle-treated group in female rats. Furthermore, we found that perinatal exposure to GEN did not significantly alter locomotor activity or emotionality as assessed by the open-field and elevated-plus maze tests. These results suggest that perinatal exposure to GEN improved spatial learning and memory of rat offspring, but impaired their passive avoidance learning and memory. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Spatial Scaling of Environmental Variables Improves Species-Habitat Models of Fishes in a Small, Sand-Bed Lowland River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Radinger

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability and the distinct mobility of species depict fundamental keys for explaining and understanding the distribution of river fishes. In recent years, comprehensive data on river hydromorphology has been mapped at spatial scales down to 100 m, potentially serving high resolution species-habitat models, e.g., for fish. However, the relative importance of specific hydromorphological and in-stream habitat variables and their spatial scales of influence is poorly understood. Applying boosted regression trees, we developed species-habitat models for 13 fish species in a sand-bed lowland river based on river morphological and in-stream habitat data. First, we calculated mean values for the predictor variables in five distance classes (from the sampling site up to 4000 m up- and downstream to identify the spatial scale that best predicts the presence of fish species. Second, we compared the suitability of measured variables and assessment scores related to natural reference conditions. Third, we identified variables which best explained the presence of fish species. The mean model quality (AUC = 0.78, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve significantly increased when information on the habitat conditions up- and downstream of a sampling site (maximum AUC at 2500 m distance class, +0.049 and topological variables (e.g., stream order were included (AUC = +0.014. Both measured and assessed variables were similarly well suited to predict species' presence. Stream order variables and measured cross section features (e.g., width, depth, velocity were best-suited predictors. In addition, measured channel-bed characteristics (e.g., substrate types and assessed longitudinal channel features (e.g., naturalness of river planform were also good predictors. These findings demonstrate (i the applicability of high resolution river morphological and instream-habitat data (measured and assessed variables to predict fish presence, (ii the

  15. Improved coastal wetland mapping using very-high 2-meter spatial resolution imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Matthew J.; Merton, Elizabeth J.; Muller-Karger, Frank E.

    2015-08-01

    Accurate wetland maps are a fundamental requirement for land use management and for wetland restoration planning. Several wetland map products are available today; most of them based on remote sensing images, but their different data sources and mapping methods lead to substantially different estimations of wetland location and extent. We used two very high-resolution (2 m) WorldView-2 satellite images and one (30 m) Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) image to assess wetland coverage in two coastal areas of Tampa Bay (Florida): Fort De Soto State Park and Weedon Island Preserve. An initial unsupervised classification derived from WorldView-2 was more accurate at identifying wetlands based on ground truth data collected in the field than the classification derived from Landsat 8 OLI (82% vs. 46% accuracy). The WorldView-2 data was then used to define the parameters of a simple and efficient decision tree with four nodes for a more exacting classification. The criteria for the decision tree were derived by extracting radiance spectra at 1500 separate pixels from the WorldView-2 data within field-validated regions. Results for both study areas showed high accuracy in both wetland (82% at Fort De Soto State Park, and 94% at Weedon Island Preserve) and non-wetland vegetation classes (90% and 83%, respectively). Historical, published land-use maps overestimate wetland surface cover by factors of 2-10 in the study areas. The proposed methods improve speed and efficiency of wetland map production, allow semi-annual monitoring through repeat satellite passes, and improve the accuracy and precision with which wetlands are identified.

  16. The antioxidant activity of Beta vulgaris leaf extract in improving scopolamine-induced spatial memory disorders in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shadie Hajihosseini

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Medicinal plants have attracted global attention due to their safety as well as their considerable antioxidant content that helps to prevent or ameliorate various disorders including memory impairments. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of beet root (Beta vulgaris leaf extract on scopolamine-induced spatial memory impairments in male Wistar rats. Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups (n=10: Control (C, scopolamine 1 mg/kg/day (S, scopolamine+50 mg/kg B. vulgaris leaf extract (S+B 50, scopolamine+100 mg/kg B. vulgaris leaf extract (S+B 100 and scopolamine+200 mg/kg B. vulgaris leaf extract (S+B 200. Morris water maze task was used to assess spatial memory. Serum antioxidant capacity and malondialdehyde (MDA level were also measured. Results: Group S spent significantly less time in the target quadrant compared to the control group, and the administration of B. vulgaris leaf extract (100 and 200 mg/kg significantly increased this time (p

  17. 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.

  18. Smartphone-assisted spatial data collection improves geographic information quality: pilot study using a birth records dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Xu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that the conventional, automated geocoding method based on self-reported residential addresses has many issues. We developed a smartphone-assisted aerial image-based method, which uses the Google Maps application programming interface as a spatial data collection tool during the birth registration process. In this pilot study, we have tested whether the smartphone-assisted method provides more accurate geographic information than the automated geocoding method in the scenario when both methods can get the address geocodes. We randomly selected 100 well-geocoded addresses among women who gave birth in Alachua county, Florida in 2012. We compared geocodes generated from three geocoding methods: i the smartphone-assisted aerial image-based method; ii the conventional, automated geocoding method; and iii the global positioning system (GPS. We used the GPS data as the reference method. The automated geocoding method yielded positional errors larger than 100 m among 29.3% of addresses, while all addresses geocoded by the smartphoneassisted method had errors less than 100 m. The positional errors of the automated geocoding method were greater for apartment/condominiums compared with other dwellings and also for rural addresses compared with urban ones. We conclude that the smartphone-assisted method is a promising method for perspective spatial data collection by improving positional accuracy.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Framing climate change and spatial planning: how risk communication can be improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, J

    2007-01-01

    Taking the role of frames into account may significantly add to the tools that have been developed for communication and learning on complex risks and benefits. As part of a larger multidisciplinary study into climate-related forms of sense-making this paper explores which frames are used by the citizens of Western European countries and, in particular, the Netherlands. Three recent multi-national public opinion surveys were analysed to examine beliefs about climate change in the context of beliefs about energy technology and concerns about other environmental issues, such as natural disasters. It appeared that many citizens had only vague ideas about the energy situation and that these do not constitute an unequivocal frame for climate issues. In contrast, the results suggest that the long-lasting rainfall and severe floods in Central Europe have had a significant impact. Climate change was often framed in a way that articulates its associations with rain- and river-based problems. This result is extremely important for risk communication, because especially in the Netherlands with its vulnerable coastal zones climate change may produce many more consequences than rain- and river-based problems only.

  3. Studies directed toward improving the spatial resolution of the distribution of plutonium in bone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Auxier, J.A.; Beach, J.L.; Becker, K.; Gammage, R.D.; Henley, L.C.; Parkinson, W.W.

    1975-01-01

    Of several methods which have been discussed for the improvement of resolution in fission fragment track detectors for neutron-induced autoradiography, emphasis had been on the use of absorber layers inserted between the sample and the detector. Scanning electron microscopy was shown to be beneficial for viewing only the entrance holes of fission fragment tracks in the detector foil. The primary disadvantage of using thick absorbers lies in the factor of 50 to 100 percent loss in sensitivity over bare detectors. One promising solution to this problem is the use of glass detectors with high critical angles, no absorbers, and short etching times. Such detectors gave the best resolution of any system tested (+-2 μ), though they suffered at fluences greater than 10 16 n/sub th/ cm 2 from high backgrounds as a result of their natural uranium content. Two samples of bone, each of 1 mg were dissolved in HNO 3 spiked with 244 Pu, and analyzed for total 239 Pu content in an isotopic abundance mass spectrometer. The 239 Pu concentration was 1 ppm by weight; bones with 10 ppm of 239 Pu are required, therefore, for neutron-induced autoradiography. Bones in suitable form for IMMA required only to be coated with a thin conductive coating of gold. In a fast scan mode, all elements were searched in 200 x 200 areas. Good quality micrographs were obtained showing Na, K, Ca, and P as major constituents with minor elements present, such as Cr and Fe

  4. Dynamic electrostatic force microscopy technique for the study of electrical properties with improved spatial resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maragliano, C; Heskes, D; Stefancich, M; Chiesa, M; Souier, T

    2013-01-01

    The need to resolve the electrical properties of confined structures (CNTs, quantum dots, nanorods, etc) is becoming increasingly important in the field of electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here we propose an approach based on amplitude modulated electrostatic force microscopy to obtain measurements at small tip–sample distances, where highly nonlinear forces are present. We discuss how this improves the lateral resolution of the technique and allows probing of the electrical and surface properties. The complete force field at different tip biases is employed to derive the local work function difference. Then, by appropriately biasing the tip–sample system, short-range forces are reconstructed. The short-range component is then separated from the generic tip–sample force in order to recover the pure electrostatic contribution. This data can be employed to derive the tip–sample capacitance curve and the sample dielectric constant. After presenting a theoretical model that justifies the need for probing the electrical properties of the sample in the vicinity of the surface, the methodology is presented in detail and verified experimentally. (paper)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Improving spatial prediction of Schistosoma haematobium prevalence in southern Ghana through new remote sensors and local water access profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulinkina, Alexandra V; Walz, Yvonne; Koch, Magaly; Biritwum, Nana-Kwadwo; Utzinger, Jürg; Naumova, Elena N

    2018-06-04

    Schistosomiasis is a water-related neglected tropical disease. In many endemic low- and middle-income countries, insufficient surveillance and reporting lead to poor characterization of the demographic and geographic distribution of schistosomiasis cases. Hence, modeling is relied upon to predict areas of high transmission and to inform control strategies. We hypothesized that utilizing remotely sensed (RS) environmental data in combination with water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) variables could improve on the current predictive modeling approaches. Schistosoma haematobium prevalence data, collected from 73 rural Ghanaian schools, were used in a random forest model to investigate the predictive capacity of 15 environmental variables derived from RS data (Landsat 8, Sentinel-2, and Global Digital Elevation Model) with fine spatial resolution (10-30 m). Five methods of variable extraction were tested to determine the spatial linkage between school-based prevalence and the environmental conditions of potential transmission sites, including applying the models to known human water contact locations. Lastly, measures of local water access and groundwater quality were incorporated into RS-based models to assess the relative importance of environmental and WASH variables. Predictive models based on environmental characterization of specific locations where people contact surface water bodies offered some improvement as compared to the traditional approach based on environmental characterization of locations where prevalence is measured. A water index (MNDWI) and topographic variables (elevation and slope) were important environmental risk factors, while overall, groundwater iron concentration predominated in the combined model that included WASH variables. The study helps to understand localized drivers of schistosomiasis transmission. Specifically, unsatisfactory water quality in boreholes perpetuates reliance of surface water bodies, indirectly increasing

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Trajectory analysis of land use and land cover maps to improve spatial-temporal patterns, and impact assessment on groundwater recharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomlot, Z.; Verbeiren, B.; Huysmans, M.; Batelaan, O.

    2017-11-01

    Land use/land cover (LULC) change is a consequence of human-induced global environmental change. It is also considered one of the major factors affecting groundwater recharge. Uncertainties and inconsistencies in LULC maps are one of the difficulties that LULC timeseries analysis face and which have a significant effect on hydrological impact analysis. Therefore, an accuracy assessment approach of LULC timeseries is needed for a more reliable hydrological analysis and prediction. The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of land use uncertainty and to improve the accuracy of a timeseries of CORINE (coordination of information on the environment) land cover maps by using a new approach of identifying spatial-temporal LULC change trajectories as a pre-processing tool. This ensures consistency of model input when dealing with land-use dynamics and as such improves the accuracy of land use maps and consequently groundwater recharge estimation. As a case study the impact of consistent land use changes from 1990 until 2013 on groundwater recharge for the Flanders-Brussels region is assessed. The change trajectory analysis successfully assigned a rational trajectory to 99% of all pixels. The methodology is shown to be powerful in correcting interpretation inconsistencies and overestimation errors in CORINE land cover maps. The overall kappa (cell-by-cell map comparison) improved from 0.6 to 0.8 and from 0.2 to 0.7 for forest and pasture land use classes respectively. The study shows that the inconsistencies in the land use maps introduce uncertainty in groundwater recharge estimation in a range of 10-30%. The analysis showed that during the period of 1990-2013 the LULC changes were mainly driven by urban expansion. The results show that the resolution at which the spatial analysis is performed is important; the recharge differences using original and corrected CORINE land cover maps increase considerably with increasing spatial resolution. This study indicates

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Curcumin Improves Amyloid β-Peptide (1-42 Induced Spatial Memory Deficits through BDNF-ERK Signaling Pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Zhang

    Full Text Available Curcumin, the most active component of turmeric, has various beneficial properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor effects. Previous studies have suggested that curcumin reduces the levels of amyloid and oxidized proteins and prevents memory deficits and thus is beneficial to patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying curcumin's effect on cognitive functions are not well-understood. In the present study, we examined the working memory and spatial reference memory in rats that received a ventricular injection of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42, representing a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease (AD. The rats treated with Aβ1-42 exhibited obvious cognitive deficits in behavioral tasks. Chronic (seven consecutive days, once per day but not acute (once a day curcumin treatments (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg improved the cognitive functions in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the beneficial effect of curcumin is accompanied by increased BDNF levels and elevated levels of phosphorylated ERK in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the cognition enhancement effect of curcumin could be mimicked by the overexpression of BDNF in the hippocampus and blocked by either bilateral hippocampal injections with lentiviruses that express BDNF shRNA or a microinjection of ERK inhibitor. These findings suggest that chronic curcumin ameliorates AD-related cognitive deficits and that upregulated BDNF-ERK signaling in the hippocampus may underlie the cognitive improvement produced by curcumin.

  20. [Noopept improves the spatial memory and stimulates prefibrillar beta-amyloid(25-35) antibody production in mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobkova, N V; Gruden', M A; Samokhin, A N; Medvinskaia, N I; Morozova-Roch, L; Uudasheva, T A; Ostrovskaia, R U; Seredinin, S B

    2005-01-01

    The effects of the novel proline-containing nootropic and neuroprotective dipeptide noopept (GVS-111, N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester) were studied on NMRI mice upon olfactory bulbectomy, which had been previously shown to imitate the main morphological and biochemical signs of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The spatial memory was assessed using the Morris (water maze) test; the immunological status was characterized by ELISA with antibodies to prefibrillar beta-amyloid(25-35), S100b protein, and protofilaments of equine lysozyme, which are the molecular factors involved in the pathogenesis of AD. The control (sham-operated) animals during the Morris test preferred a sector where the safety platform was placed during the learning session. Bulbectomized animals treated with saline failed to recognize this sector, while bulbectomized animals treated with noopept (0.01 mg/kg for 21 days) restored this predominance, thus demonstrating the improvement of the spatial memory. These animals also demonstrated an increase in the level of antibodies to beta-amyloid(25-35)--the effect, which was more pronounced in the sham-operated than in bulbectomized mice. The latter demonstrated a profound decrease of immunological reactivity in a large number of tests. Noopept, stimulating the production of antibodies to beta-amyloid(25-35), can attenuate the well-known neurotoxic effects of beta-amyloid. The obtained data on the mnemotropic and immunostimulant effects noopept are indicative of good prospects for the clinical usage of this drug in the therapy of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. WE-G-17A-01: Improving Tracking Image Spatial Resolution for Onboard MR Image Guided Radiation Therapy Using the WHISKEE Technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Y; Mutic, S; Du, D; Green, O; Zeng, Q; Nana, R; Patrick, J; Shvartsman, S; Dempsey, J

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of using the weighted hybrid iterative spiral k-space encoded estimation (WHISKEE) technique to improve spatial resolution of tracking images for onboard MR image guided radiation therapy (MR-IGRT). Methods: MR tracking images of abdomen and pelvis had been acquired from healthy volunteers using the ViewRay onboard MRIGRT system (ViewRay Inc. Oakwood Village, OH) at a spatial resolution of 2.0mm*2.0mm*5.0mm. The tracking MR images were acquired using the TrueFISP sequence. The temporal resolution had to be traded off to 2 frames per second (FPS) to achieve the 2.0mm in-plane spatial resolution. All MR images were imported into the MATLAB software. K-space data were synthesized through the Fourier Transform of the MR images. A mask was created to selected k-space points that corresponded to the under-sampled spiral k-space trajectory with an acceleration (or undersampling) factor of 3. The mask was applied to the fully sampled k-space data to synthesize the undersampled k-space data. The WHISKEE method was applied to the synthesized undersampled k-space data to reconstructed tracking MR images at 6 FPS. As a comparison, the undersampled k-space data were also reconstructed using the zero-padding technique. The reconstructed images were compared to the original image. The relatively reconstruction error was evaluated using the percentage of the norm of the differential image over the norm of the original image. Results: Compared to the zero-padding technique, the WHISKEE method was able to reconstruct MR images with better image quality. It significantly reduced the relative reconstruction error from 39.5% to 3.1% for the pelvis image and from 41.5% to 4.6% for the abdomen image at an acceleration factor of 3. Conclusion: We demonstrated that it was possible to use the WHISKEE method to expedite MR image acquisition for onboard MR-IGRT systems to achieve good spatial and temporal resolutions simultaneously. Y. Hu and O. green

  2. WE-G-17A-01: Improving Tracking Image Spatial Resolution for Onboard MR Image Guided Radiation Therapy Using the WHISKEE Technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Y; Mutic, S; Du, D; Green, O [Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO (United States); Zeng, Q; Nana, R; Patrick, J; Shvartsman, S; Dempsey, J [ViewRay Incorporated, Oakwood Village, OH (United States)

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of using the weighted hybrid iterative spiral k-space encoded estimation (WHISKEE) technique to improve spatial resolution of tracking images for onboard MR image guided radiation therapy (MR-IGRT). Methods: MR tracking images of abdomen and pelvis had been acquired from healthy volunteers using the ViewRay onboard MRIGRT system (ViewRay Inc. Oakwood Village, OH) at a spatial resolution of 2.0mm*2.0mm*5.0mm. The tracking MR images were acquired using the TrueFISP sequence. The temporal resolution had to be traded off to 2 frames per second (FPS) to achieve the 2.0mm in-plane spatial resolution. All MR images were imported into the MATLAB software. K-space data were synthesized through the Fourier Transform of the MR images. A mask was created to selected k-space points that corresponded to the under-sampled spiral k-space trajectory with an acceleration (or undersampling) factor of 3. The mask was applied to the fully sampled k-space data to synthesize the undersampled k-space data. The WHISKEE method was applied to the synthesized undersampled k-space data to reconstructed tracking MR images at 6 FPS. As a comparison, the undersampled k-space data were also reconstructed using the zero-padding technique. The reconstructed images were compared to the original image. The relatively reconstruction error was evaluated using the percentage of the norm of the differential image over the norm of the original image. Results: Compared to the zero-padding technique, the WHISKEE method was able to reconstruct MR images with better image quality. It significantly reduced the relative reconstruction error from 39.5% to 3.1% for the pelvis image and from 41.5% to 4.6% for the abdomen image at an acceleration factor of 3. Conclusion: We demonstrated that it was possible to use the WHISKEE method to expedite MR image acquisition for onboard MR-IGRT systems to achieve good spatial and temporal resolutions simultaneously. Y. Hu and O. green

  3. Improving incidence estimation in practice-based sentinel surveillance networks using spatial variation in general practitioner density

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Souty

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In surveillance networks based on voluntary participation of health-care professionals, there is little choice regarding the selection of participants’ characteristics. External information about participants, for example local physician density, can help reduce bias in incidence estimates reported by the surveillance network. Methods There is an inverse association between the number of reported influenza-like illness (ILI cases and local general practitioners (GP density. We formulated and compared estimates of ILI incidence using this relationship. To compare estimates, we simulated epidemics using a spatially explicit disease model and their observation by surveillance networks with different characteristics: random, maximum coverage, largest cities, etc. Results In the French practice-based surveillance network – the “Sentinelles” network – GPs reported 3.6% (95% CI [3;4] less ILI cases as local GP density increased by 1 GP per 10,000 inhabitants. Incidence estimates varied markedly depending on scenarios for participant selection in surveillance. Yet accounting for change in GP density for participants allowed reducing bias. Applied on data from the Sentinelles network, changes in overall incidence ranged between 1.6 and 9.9%. Conclusions Local GP density is a simple measure that provides a way to reduce bias in estimating disease incidence in general practice. It can contribute to improving disease monitoring when it is not possible to choose the characteristics of participants.

  4. Integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rengier, Fabian; Häfner, Matthias F; Unterhinninghofen, Roland; Nawrotzki, Ralph; Kirsch, Joachim; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Giesel, Frederik L

    2013-08-01

    Integrating interactive three-dimensional post-processing software into undergraduate radiology teaching might be a promising approach to synergistically improve both visual-spatial ability and radiological skills, thereby reducing students' deficiencies in image interpretation. The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that a hands-on radiology course for medical students using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software improves radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability. A hands-on radiology course was developed using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software. The course consisted of seven seminars held on a weekly basis. The 25 participating fourth- and fifth-year medical students learnt to systematically analyse cross-sectional imaging data and correlated the two-dimensional images with three-dimensional reconstructions. They were instructed by experienced radiologists and collegiate tutors. The improvement in radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability was assessed immediately before and after the course by multiple-choice tests comprising 64 questions each. Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples was applied. The total number of correctly answered questions improved from 36.9±4.8 to 49.5±5.4 (pability by 11.3% (psoftware into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves radiological reasoning, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability, and thereby even diagnostic skills for imaging modalities not included in the course. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Improved algorithm for estimating optical properties of food and biological materials using spatially-resolved diffuse reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this research, the inverse algorithm for estimating optical properties of food and biological materials from spatially-resolved diffuse reflectance was optimized in terms of data smoothing, normalization and spatial region of reflectance profile for curve fitting. Monte Carlo simulation was used ...

  6. Using experimental design and spatial analyses to improve the precision of NDVI estimates in upland cotton field trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Controlling for spatial variability is important in high-throughput phenotyping studies that enable large numbers of genotypes to be evaluated across time and space. In the current study, we compared the efficacy of different experimental designs and spatial models in the analysis of canopy spectral...

  7. Bioenergy in Australia: An improved approach for estimating spatial availability of biomass resources in the agricultural production zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herr, Alexander; Dunlop, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Bioenergy production from crops and agricultural residues has a greenhouse gas mitigation potential. However, there is considerable debate about the size of this potential. This is partly due to difficulties in estimating the feedstock resource base accurately and with good spatial resolution. Here we provide two techniques for spatially estimating crop-based bioenergy feedstocks in Australia using regional agricultural statistics and national land use maps. The approach accommodates temporal variability by estimating ranges of feedstock availability and the shifting nature of zones of the highest spatial concentration of feedstocks. The techniques are applicable to biomass production from forestry, agricultural residues or oilseeds, all of which have been proposed as biofuel feedstocks. -- Highlights: → Dasymetric mapping appoach for producing spatial and temporal variation maps in feedstock production.→ Combines land use and crop statistics to produce regionally precise feedstock maps. → Feedstock concentrations and feedstock density maps enable identification of feedstock concentration spatially and comparison of yearly variation in production.

  8. 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...

  9. The ground subsidence anomaly investigation around Ambala, India by InSAR and spatial analyses: Why and how the Ambala city behaves as the most significant subsidence region in the Northwest India?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, S. Y.; Tsai, Y.; Singh, S.; Singh, T.

    2017-12-01

    A large ground deformation which may be caused by a significant groundwater depletion of the Northwest India Aquifer has been successfully observed throughout space geodesy techniques (Tsai et al, 2016). Employing advanced time-series ScanSAR InSAR analysis and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites data, it revealed 400-km wide huge ground deformation in and around Haryana. It was further notified that the Ambala city located in northern Haryana district shown the most significant ground subsidence with maximum cumulative deformation up to 0.2 meters within 3 years in contrast to the nearby cities such as Patiala and Chandigarh that did not present similar subsidence. In this study, we investigated the details of "Ambala Anomaly" employing advanced time-series InSAR and spatial analyses together with local geology and anthropogenic contexts and tried to identify the factors causing such a highly unique ground deformation pattern. To explore the pattern and trend of Ambala' subsidence, we integrated the time-series deformation results of both ascending L-band PALSAR-1 (Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar) from 2007/1 to 2011/1 and descending C-band ASAR (Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar) from 2008/9 to 2010/8 to process the 3D decomposition, expecting to reveal the asymmetric movement of the surface. In addition. The spatial analyses incorporating detected ground deformations and local economical/social factors were then applied for the interpretation of "Ambala Anomaly". The detailed interrelationship of driving factors of the "Ambala Anomaly" and the spatial pattern of corresponding ground subsidence will be further demonstrated. After all, we determined the uniqueness of Ambala subsidence possibly be driven by both anthropogenic behaviors including the rapid growth rate of population and constructing of industrial centers as well as the natural geological characteristics and sediment deposition.

  10. Repeated injections of piracetam improve spatial learning and increase the stimulation of inositol phospholipid hydrolysis by excitatory amino acids in aged rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Canonico, P. L.; Aronica, E.; Aleppo, G.; Casabona, G.; Copani, A.; Favit, A.; Nicoletti, F.; Scapagnini, U.

    1991-01-01

    Repeated injections of piracetam (400 mg/kg, i.p. once a day for 15 days) to 16-month old rats led to an improved performance on an 8-arm radial maze, used as a test for spatial learning. This effect was accompanied by a greater ability of excitatory amino acids (ibotenate and glutamate) to

  11. Improving spatial-simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome: effect of a training program led by parents instead of an expert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca ePulina

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have suggested that the visuospatial component of working memory (WM is selectively impaired in individuals with Down syndrome (DS, the deficit relating specifically to the spatial-simultaneous component, which is involved when stimuli are presented simultaneously. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of a computer-based program for training the spatial-simultaneous component of WM in terms of: specific effects (on spatial-simultaneous WM tasks; near and far transfer effects (on spatial-sequential and visuospatial abilities, and everyday memory tasks; and maintenance effects (one month after the training. A comparison was drawn between the results obtained when the training was led by parents at home as opposed to an expert in psychology.Thirty-nine children and adolescents with DS were allocated to one of two groups: the training was administered by an expert in one, and by appropriately-instructed parents in the other. The training was administered individually twice a week for a month, in 8 sessions lasting approximately 30 minutes each. Our participants’ performance improved after the training, and these results were maintained a month later in both groups. Overall, our findings suggest that spatial-simultaneous WM performance can be improved, obtaining specific and transfer gains; above all, it seems that, with adequate support, parents could effectively administer a WM training to their child.

  12. Encouraging Spatial Talk: Using Children's Museums to Bolster Spatial Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polinsky, Naomi; Perez, Jasmin; Grehl, Mora; McCrink, Koleen

    2017-01-01

    Longitudinal spatial language intervention studies have shown that greater exposure to spatial language improves children's performance on spatial tasks. Can short naturalistic, spatial language interactions also evoke improved spatial performance? In this study, parents were asked to interact with their child at a block wall exhibit in a…

  13. Placing prairie pothole wetlands along spatial and temporal continua to improve integration of wetland function in ecological investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Newton, Wesley E.; Otto, Clint R.V.; Nelson, Richard D.; LaBaugh, James W.; Scherff, Eric J.; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the efficacy of using chemical characteristics to rank wetland relation to surface and groundwater along a hydrologic continuum ranging from groundwater recharge to groundwater discharge. We used 27 years (1974–2002) of water chemistry data from 15 prairie pothole wetlands and known hydrologic connections of these wetlands to groundwater to evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in chemical characteristics that correspond to the unique ecosystem functions each wetland performed. Due to the mineral content and the low permeability rate of glacial till and soils, salinity of wetland waters increased along a continuum of wetland relation to groundwater recharge, flow-through or discharge. Mean inter-annual specific conductance (a proxy for salinity) increased along this continuum from wetlands that recharge groundwater being fresh to wetlands that receive groundwater discharge being the most saline, and wetlands that both recharge and discharge to groundwater (i.e., groundwater flow-through wetlands) being of intermediate salinity. The primary axis from a principal component analysis revealed that specific conductance (and major ions affecting conductance) explained 71% of the variation in wetland chemistry over the 27 years of this investigation. We found that long-term averages from this axis were useful to identify a wetland’s long-term relation to surface and groundwater. Yearly or seasonal measurements of specific conductance can be less definitive because of highly dynamic inter- and intra-annual climate cycles that affect water volumes and the interaction of groundwater and geologic materials, and thereby influence the chemical composition of wetland waters. The influence of wetland relation to surface and groundwater on water chemistry has application in many scientific disciplines and is especially needed to improve ecological understanding in wetland investigations. We suggest ways that monitoring in situ wetland conditions could be linked

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  17. An Improved STARFM with Help of an Unmixing-Based Method to Generate High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Remote Sensing Data in Complex Heterogeneous Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Dengfeng; Zhang, Jinshui; Zhu, Xiufang; Pan, Yaozhong; Liu, Hongli; Yuan, Zhoumiqi; Yun, Ya

    2016-02-05

    Remote sensing technology plays an important role in monitoring rapid changes of the Earth's surface. However, sensors that can simultaneously provide satellite images with both high temporal and spatial resolution haven't been designed yet. This paper proposes an improved spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion model (STARFM) with the help of an Unmixing-based method (USTARFM) to generate the high spatial and temporal data needed for the study of heterogeneous areas. The results showed that the USTARFM had higher accuracy than STARFM methods in two aspects of analysis: individual bands and of heterogeneity analysis. Taking the predicted NIR band as an example, the correlation coefficients (r) for the USTARFM, STARFM and unmixing methods were 0.96, 0.95, 0.90, respectively (p-value data fusion problems faced when using STARFM. Additionally, the USTARFM method could help researchers achieve better performance than STARFM at a smaller window size from its heterogeneous land surface quantitative representation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Accounting for the measurement error of spectroscopically inferred soil carbon data for improved precision of spatial predictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somarathna, P D S N; Minasny, Budiman; Malone, Brendan P; Stockmann, Uta; McBratney, Alex B

    2018-08-01

    Spatial modelling of environmental data commonly only considers spatial variability as the single source of uncertainty. In reality however, the measurement errors should also be accounted for. In recent years, infrared spectroscopy has been shown to offer low cost, yet invaluable information needed for digital soil mapping at meaningful spatial scales for land management. However, spectrally inferred soil carbon data are known to be less accurate compared to laboratory analysed measurements. This study establishes a methodology to filter out the measurement error variability by incorporating the measurement error variance in the spatial covariance structure of the model. The study was carried out in the Lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia where a combination of laboratory measured, and vis-NIR and MIR inferred topsoil and subsoil soil carbon data are available. We investigated the applicability of residual maximum likelihood (REML) and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation methods to generate parameters of the Matérn covariance function directly from the data in the presence of measurement error. The results revealed that the measurement error can be effectively filtered-out through the proposed technique. When the measurement error was filtered from the data, the prediction variance almost halved, which ultimately yielded a greater certainty in spatial predictions of soil carbon. Further, the MCMC technique was successfully used to define the posterior distribution of measurement error. This is an important outcome, as the MCMC technique can be used to estimate the measurement error if it is not explicitly quantified. Although this study dealt with soil carbon data, this method is amenable for filtering the measurement error of any kind of continuous spatial environmental data. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Cyanidin-3-O-galactoside and blueberry extracts supplementation improves spatial memory and regulates hippocampal ERK expression in senescence-accelerated mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Long; Yang, Hong Peng; Pang, Wei; Lu, Hao; Hu, Yan Dan; Li, Jing; Lu, Shi Jun; Zhang, Wan Qi; Jiang, Yu Gang

    2014-03-01

    To investigate whether the antioxidation and the regulation on the Extracellular Regulated Protein Kinases (ERK) signaling pathway are involved in the protective effects of blueberry on central nervous system. 30 Senescence-accelerated mice prone 8 (SAMP8) mice were divided into three groups and treated with normal diet, blueberry extracts (200 mg/kg•bw/day) and cyaniding-3-O-galactoside (Cy-3-GAL) (50 mg/kg•bw/day) from blueberry for 8 weeks. 10 SAMR1 mice were set as control group. The capacity of spatial memory was assessed by Passive avoidance task and Morris water maze. Histological analyses on hippocampus were completed. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activity and the expression of ERK were detected. Both Cy-3-GAL and blueberry extracts were shown effective functions to relieve cellular injury, improve hippocampal neurons survival and inhibit the pyramidal cell layer damage. Cy-3-GAL and blueberry extracts also increased SOD activity and reduced MDA content in brain tissues and plasma, and increased hippocampal phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK) expression in SAMP8 mice. Further more, the passive avoidance task test showed that both the latency time and the number of errors were improved by Cy-3-GAL treatment, and the Morris Water Maze test showed significant decreases of latency were detected by Cy-3-GAL and blueberry extracts treatment on day 4. Blueberry extracts may reverse the declines of cognitive and behavioral function in the ageing process through several pathways, including enhancing the capacity of antioxidation, altering stress signaling. Cy-3-GAL may be an important active ingredient for these biological effects. Copyright © 2014 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by China CDC. All rights reserved.

  3. Improvement of spatial memory of male parkinsonian rats after treatment with adipose stem cells and rosemary leaf extract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdieh Ramezanihossienabadi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Due to the neuroprotective effect of rosemary extract, this study aimed at examining the effect of co-treatment of adipose stem cells transplantation and the extract on memory disability of parkinsonian rats. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, male parkinsonian rats were prepared by bilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The sham group was injected normal saline into the substantia nigra. The extract+medium group was gavaged with the extract 14 days before until 8 weeks after the injury, and the medium was intravenously injected. The extract+cell group was orally gavaged with the extract and the cells were injected. Morris water maze training was conducted one week before and after the lesion and also a retrieval test was performed 4 and 8 weeks after the lesion. Results: There was no significant difference in distance moved and escape latency at training days, before the injury, between the groups. However, a week after the injury, learning ability in lesioned animals was significantly decreased as compared to the sham group (P<0.05. Results of retention tests in four and eight weeks were similar. Duration of escape latency and time spent in target quadrant of lesioned rats were significantly increased and decreased respectively as compared to the sham (P<0.05. The extract+medium and extract+cell groups showed significant decrease and increase in escape latency and time spent in target quadrant as compared to the lesioned group (P<0.05, respectively. Conclusion: The cell therapy accompanied with orally administration of the rosemary extract can improve memory deficit in Parkinson’s disease.

  4. Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, Kosuke; Takao, Keizo; Watanabe, Aya; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Mizuguchi, Masashi; Tanaka, Teruyuki

    2018-01-01

    Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be paid to the

  5. Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kosuke Okuda

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5 gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be

  6. Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, Kosuke; Takao, Keizo; Watanabe, Aya; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Mizuguchi, Masashi

    2018-01-01

    Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be paid to the

  7. CaMKII-dependent dendrite ramification and spine generation promote spatial training-induced memory improvement in a rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xia; Chai, Gao-Shang; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Hu, Yu; Li, Xiao-Guang; Ma, Zhi-Wei; Wang, Qun; Wang, Jian-Zhi; Liu, Gong-Ping

    2015-02-01

    Participation in cognitively stimulating activities can preserve memory capacities in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we used a rat model with hyperhomocysteinemia, an independent risk factor of AD, to study whether spatial training could remodel the synaptic and/or dendritic plasticity and the key molecular target(s) involved. We found that spatial training in water maze remarkably improved the subsequent short-term and long-term memory performance in contextual fear conditioning and Barnes maze. The trained rats showed an enhanced dendrite ramification, spine generation and plasticity in dentate gyrus (DG) neurons, and stimulation of long-term potentiation between perforant path and DG circuit. Spatial training also increased the levels of postsynaptic GluA1, GluN2A, GluN2B, and PSD93 with selective activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), although inhibition of CaMKII by stereotaxic injection of KN93 into hippocampal DG, abolished the training-induced cognitive improvement, dendrite ramification, and spine generation. We conclude that spatial training can preserve the cognitive function by CaMKII-dependent remodeling of dendritic plasticity in hyperhomocysteinemia-induced sporadic AD-like rats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rengier, Fabian, E-mail: fabian.rengier@web.de [University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Häfner, Matthias F. [University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of Radiation Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Unterhinninghofen, Roland [Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Anthropomatics, Department of Informatics, Adenauerring 2, 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany); Nawrotzki, Ralph; Kirsch, Joachim [University of Heidelberg, Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich [University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Giesel, Frederik L. [University of Heidelberg, Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany); University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2013-08-15

    Purpose: Integrating interactive three-dimensional post-processing software into undergraduate radiology teaching might be a promising approach to synergistically improve both visual-spatial ability and radiological skills, thereby reducing students’ deficiencies in image interpretation. The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that a hands-on radiology course for medical students using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software improves radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability. Materials and methods: A hands-on radiology course was developed using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software. The course consisted of seven seminars held on a weekly basis. The 25 participating fourth- and fifth-year medical students learnt to systematically analyse cross-sectional imaging data and correlated the two-dimensional images with three-dimensional reconstructions. They were instructed by experienced radiologists and collegiate tutors. The improvement in radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability was assessed immediately before and after the course by multiple-choice tests comprising 64 questions each. Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples was applied. Results: The total number of correctly answered questions improved from 36.9 ± 4.8 to 49.5 ± 5.4 (p < 0.001) which corresponded to a mean improvement of 12.6 (95% confidence interval 9.9–15.3) or 19.8%. Radiological knowledge improved by 36.0% (p < 0.001), diagnostic skills for cross-sectional imaging by 38.7% (p < 0.001), diagnostic skills for other imaging modalities – which were not included in the course – by 14.0% (p = 0.001), and visual-spatial ability by 11.3% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves radiological reasoning, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability, and thereby

  9. Integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rengier, Fabian; Häfner, Matthias F.; Unterhinninghofen, Roland; Nawrotzki, Ralph; Kirsch, Joachim; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Giesel, Frederik L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Integrating interactive three-dimensional post-processing software into undergraduate radiology teaching might be a promising approach to synergistically improve both visual-spatial ability and radiological skills, thereby reducing students’ deficiencies in image interpretation. The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that a hands-on radiology course for medical students using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software improves radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability. Materials and methods: A hands-on radiology course was developed using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software. The course consisted of seven seminars held on a weekly basis. The 25 participating fourth- and fifth-year medical students learnt to systematically analyse cross-sectional imaging data and correlated the two-dimensional images with three-dimensional reconstructions. They were instructed by experienced radiologists and collegiate tutors. The improvement in radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability was assessed immediately before and after the course by multiple-choice tests comprising 64 questions each. Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples was applied. Results: The total number of correctly answered questions improved from 36.9 ± 4.8 to 49.5 ± 5.4 (p < 0.001) which corresponded to a mean improvement of 12.6 (95% confidence interval 9.9–15.3) or 19.8%. Radiological knowledge improved by 36.0% (p < 0.001), diagnostic skills for cross-sectional imaging by 38.7% (p < 0.001), diagnostic skills for other imaging modalities – which were not included in the course – by 14.0% (p = 0.001), and visual-spatial ability by 11.3% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves radiological reasoning, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability, and thereby

  10. Development and applications of coherent imaging with improved temporal and spatial resolution; Developpement et applications de l'imagerie coherente aux rayons X a tres haute resolution spatiale et temporelle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mokso, Rajmund

    2006-07-01

    This work has 2 purposes: the improvement of both temporal and spatial resolution of X-ray tomography. The first part is devoted to the technical aspects of the tomographic technique, particularly at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) beamline ID19, and the application of the new acquisition scheme to the imaging of liquid foams. We have improved the temporal resolution and field of view of the setup, which allowed to obtain for the first time experimental data with good statistics on three dimensional liquid foams. In the second part of the thesis we have described the Kirkpatrick-Baez focusing system and its first applications. In terms of stability and image quality the developments presented in this part of the thesis provide valuable evidence for the feasibility of phase contrast tomography in magnifying geometry. Since the ultimate goal of this research is to improve the spatial resolution in tomography for applications, four different contributions are important for the characterization of the imaging system: 1) the thermal stability and mechanical imperfections, 2) effects of distortion induced by mirror imperfections, 3) effects of refraction on sample borders, and 4) phase propagation effects with the influence of the magnification. Each of these factors has been studied.

  11. An Experiential-Based Learning Method Aiming to Improve Spatial Awareness Utilizing GPS, Geocaching, and Geo-Selfies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, K. Colton; Popp, Jennie

    2016-01-01

    Many educators have suggested that spatial awareness is vital in the foundation of geography curricula, as well as the ability to utilize geospatial technologies (National Research Council 2006; Kerski 2008; Lee and Bednarz 2009; Favier and Van der Schee 2014). The purpose of this research was to identify a low-cost and effective method to improve…

  12. Combining satellite data and appropriate objective functions for improved spatial pattern performance of a distributed hydrologic model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demirel, Mehmet C.; Mai, Juliane; Mendiguren Gonzalez, Gorka

    2018-01-01

    selected due to its soil parameter distribution approach based on pedo-transfer functions and the build in multi-scale parameter regionalisation. In addition two new spatial parameter distribution options have been incorporated in the model in order to increase the flexibility of root fraction coefficient...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Design and Development Computer-Based E-Learning Teaching Material for Improving Mathematical Understanding Ability and Spatial Sense of Junior High School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurjanah; Dahlan, J. A.; Wibisono, Y.

    2017-02-01

    This paper aims to make a design and development computer-based e-learning teaching material for improving mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense of junior high school students. Furthermore, the particular aims are (1) getting teaching material design, evaluation model, and intrument to measure mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense of junior high school students; (2) conducting trials computer-based e-learning teaching material model, asessment, and instrument to develop mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense of junior high school students; (3) completing teaching material models of computer-based e-learning, assessment, and develop mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense of junior high school students; (4) resulting research product is teaching materials of computer-based e-learning. Furthermore, the product is an interactive learning disc. The research method is used of this study is developmental research which is conducted by thought experiment and instruction experiment. The result showed that teaching materials could be used very well. This is based on the validation of computer-based e-learning teaching materials, which is validated by 5 multimedia experts. The judgement result of face and content validity of 5 validator shows that the same judgement result to the face and content validity of each item test of mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense. The reliability test of mathematical understanding ability and spatial sense are 0,929 and 0,939. This reliability test is very high. While the validity of both tests have a high and very high criteria.

  17. MR guided spatial normalization of SPECT scans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crouch, B.; Barnden, L.R.; Kwiatek, R.

    2010-01-01

    Full text: In SPECT population studies where magnetic resonance (MR) scans are also available, the higher resolution of the MR scans allows for an improved spatial normalization of the SPECT scans. In this approach, the SPECT images are first coregistered to their corresponding MR images by a linear (affine) transformation which is calculated using SPM's mutual information maximization algorithm. Non-linear spatial normalization maps are then computed either directly from the MR scans using SPM's built in spatial normalization algorithm, or, from segmented TI MR images using DARTEL, an advanced diffeomorphism based spatial normalization algorithm. We compare these MR based methods to standard SPECT based spatial normalization for a population of 27 fibromyalgia patients and 25 healthy controls with spin echo T 1 scans. We identify significant perfusion deficits in prefrontal white matter in FM patients, with the DARTEL based spatial normalization procedure yielding stronger statistics than the standard SPECT based spatial normalization. (author)

  18. Phenolic acid intake, delivered via moderate champagne wine consumption, improves spatial working memory via the modulation of hippocampal and cortical protein expression/activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Giulia; Vauzour, David; Hercelin, Justine; Williams, Claire M; Spencer, Jeremy P E

    2013-11-10

    While much data exist for the effects of flavonoid-rich foods on spatial memory in rodents, there are no such data for foods/beverages predominantly containing hydroxycinnamates and phenolic acids. To address this, we investigated the effects of moderate Champagne wine intake, which is rich in these components, on spatial memory and related mechanisms relative to the alcohol- and energy-matched controls. In contrast to the isocaloric and alcohol-matched controls, supplementation with Champagne wine (1.78 ml/kg BW, alcohol 12.5% vol.) for 6 weeks led to an improvement in spatial working memory in aged rodents. Targeted protein arrays indicated that these behavioral effects were paralleled by the differential expression of a number of hippocampal and cortical proteins (relative to the isocaloric control group), including those involved in signal transduction, neuroplasticity, apoptosis, and cell cycle regulation. Western immunoblotting confirmed the differential modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cAMP response-element-binding protein (CREB), p38, dystrophin, 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and Bcl-xL in response to Champagne supplementation compared to the control drink, and the modulation of mTOR, Bcl-xL, and CREB in response to alcohol supplementation. Our data suggest that smaller phenolics such as gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, tyrosol, caftaric acid, and caffeic acid, in addition to flavonoids, are capable of exerting improvements in spatial memory via the modulation in hippocampal signaling and protein expression. Changes in spatial working memory induced by the Champagne supplementation are linked to the effects of absorbed phenolics on cytoskeletal proteins, neurotrophin expression, and the effects of alcohol on the regulation of apoptotic events in the hippocampus and cortex.

  19. An order of magnitude improvement in optical fiber bandwidth using spatial domain multiplexing/space division multiplexing (SDM) in conjunction with orbital angular momentum (OAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murshid, Syed; Alanzi, Saud; Hridoy, Arnob; Lovell, Greg; Parhar, Gurinder; Chakravarty, Abhijit; Chowdhury, Bilas

    2014-09-01

    Spatial Domain Multiplexing/Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) can increase the bandwidth of existing and futuristic optical fibers by an order of magnitude or more. In the SDM technique, we launch multiple single mode pigtail laser sources of same wavelength into a carrier fiber at different angles. The launching angles decide the output of the carrier fiber by allocating separate spatial locations for each channel. Each channel follows a helical trajectory while traversing the length of the carrier fiber, thereby allowing spatial reuse of optical frequencies. In this endeavor we launch light from five different single mode pigtail laser sources at different angles (with respect to the axis of the carrier fiber) into the carrier fiber. Owing to helical propagation we get five distinct concentric donut shaped rings with negligible crosstalk at the output end of the fiber. These SDM channels also exhibit Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM), thereby adding an extra degree of photon freedom. We present the experimental data of five spatially multiplexed channels and compare them with simulated results to show that this technique can potentially improve the data capacity of optical fibers by an order of magnitude: A factor of five using SDM and another factor of two using OAM.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

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

  1. Insulin Combined with Glucose Improves Spatial Learning and Memory in Aluminum Chloride-Induced Dementia in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nampoothiri, Madhavan; Ramalingayya, Grandhi Venkata; Kutty, Nampurath Gopalan; Krishnadas, Nandakumar; Rao, Chamallamudi Mallikarjuna

    2017-01-01

    Therapeutic intervention using drugs against Alzheimer disease is curative clinically. At present, there are no reports on the curative role of insulin in chronic models of dementia. We evaluated the curative role of insulin and its combination with glucose in dementia. We also investigated the impact of treatments on blood glucose to correlate with cognitive deficit. Further, we analyzed the interaction of treatments with the cholinergic system and oxidative stress in memory centers (i.e., hippocampus and frontal cortex). The antidementia activity of insulin was assessed against aluminum chloride (AlCl3)-induced dementia in rats. Behavioral parameters (Morris water maze test) along with biochemical parameters (Hippocampus and frontal cortex) such as acetylcholinesterase (AChE), catalase, and glutathione (GSH) levels were assessed to correlate cognitive function with cholinergic transmission and oxidative stress. Rats administered insulin and glucose showed improved cognitive function in the Morris water maze test. The combination corrected the diminished level of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase and GSH in the hippocampus and frontal cortex.Combined administration of insulin and glucose to aluminum-treated rats did not inhibit the aluminum action on the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. No significant changes were observed in blood glucose levels between the treatment groups.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Féfé Khuabi Matondo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  5. Caffeoylquinic acid-rich purple sweet potato extract, with or without anthocyanin, imparts neuroprotection and contributes to the improvement of spatial learning and memory of SAMP8 mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Kazunori; Han, Junkyu; Shimozono, Hidetoshi; Villareal, Myra O; Isoda, Hiroko

    2013-05-29

    The effects of caffeoylquinic acid (CQA)-rich purple sweet potato (PSP) extract, with (PSPEa) or without (PSPEb) anthocyanin, on the improvement of spatial learning and memory of senescence-accelerated prone mouse strain (SAMP) 8 was determined. SAMP8 was treated with 20 mg/kg/day of PSPEa or PSPEb for 30 days. The effect on spatial learning and memory and the molecular mechanism of this effect were determined in vivo (SAMP8) and in vitro (SH-SY5Y cells). PSPEa or PSPEb reduced the escape latency time of SAMP8 by 17.0 ± 8.0 and 14.2 ± 5.8 s (P overexpression of antioxidant-, energy metabolism-, and neuronal plasticity-related proteins in the brain of SAMP8. Additionally, PSPEa and PSPEb increased the cell viability by 141.6 and 133% as compared to Aβ1-42-treated cells. These findings suggest that PSP rich in CQA derivatives with or without anthocyanidine had a neuroprotective effect on mouse brain and can improve the spatial learning and memory of SAMP8.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  8. Comparing Spatial Predictions

    KAUST Repository

    Hering, Amanda S.; Genton, Marc G.

    2011-01-01

    Under a general loss function, we develop a hypothesis test to determine whether a significant difference in the spatial predictions produced by two competing models exists on average across the entire spatial domain of interest. The null hypothesis

  9. Improving the off-axis spatial resolution and dynamic range of the NIF X-ray streak cameras (invited)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacPhee, A. G., E-mail: macphee2@llnl.gov; Hatch, B. W.; Bell, P. M.; Bradley, D. K.; Datte, P. S.; Landen, O. L.; Palmer, N. E.; Piston, K. W.; Rekow, V. V. [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, California 94551-0808 (United States); Dymoke-Bradshaw, A. K. L.; Hares, J. D. [Kentech Instruments Ltd., Isis Building, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BD (United Kingdom); Hassett, J. [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, California 94551-0808 (United States); Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627 (United States); Meadowcroft, A. L. [AWE Aldermaston, Reading, Berkshire RG7 4PR (United Kingdom); Hilsabeck, T. J.; Kilkenny, J. D. [General Atomics, P.O. Box 85608, San Diego, California 92186-5608 (United States)

    2016-11-15

    We report simulations and experiments that demonstrate an increase in spatial resolution of the NIF core diagnostic x-ray streak cameras by at least a factor of two, especially off axis. A design was achieved by using a corrector electron optic to flatten the field curvature at the detector plane and corroborated by measurement. In addition, particle in cell simulations were performed to identify the regions in the streak camera that contribute the most to space charge blurring. These simulations provide a tool for convolving synthetic pre-shot spectra with the instrument function so signal levels can be set to maximize dynamic range for the relevant part of the streak record.

  10. Improving the off-axis spatial resolution and dynamic range of the NIF X-ray streak cameras (invited).

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPhee, A G; Dymoke-Bradshaw, A K L; Hares, J D; Hassett, J; Hatch, B W; Meadowcroft, A L; Bell, P M; Bradley, D K; Datte, P S; Landen, O L; Palmer, N E; Piston, K W; Rekow, V V; Hilsabeck, T J; Kilkenny, J D

    2016-11-01

    We report simulations and experiments that demonstrate an increase in spatial resolution of the NIF core diagnostic x-ray streak cameras by at least a factor of two, especially off axis. A design was achieved by using a corrector electron optic to flatten the field curvature at the detector plane and corroborated by measurement. In addition, particle in cell simulations were performed to identify the regions in the streak camera that contribute the most to space charge blurring. These simulations provide a tool for convolving synthetic pre-shot spectra with the instrument function so signal levels can be set to maximize dynamic range for the relevant part of the streak record.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnt Erik Tjønna

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Three-dimensional volumetric MRI with isotropic resolution: improved speed of acquisition, spatial resolution and assessment of lesion conspicuity in patients with recurrent soft tissue sarcoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahlawat, Shivani [The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Baltimore, MD (United States); Morris, Carol [The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baltimore, MD (United States); The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Oncology, Baltimore, MD (United States); Fayad, Laura M. [The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Baltimore, MD (United States); The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baltimore, MD (United States); The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Oncology, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2016-05-15

    To assess the acquisition speed, lesion conspicuity, and inter-observer agreement associated with volumetric T{sub 1}-weighted MR sequences with isotropic resolution for detecting recurrent soft-tissue sarcoma (STS). Fifteen subjects with histologically proven recurrent STS underwent MRI, including axial and coronal T{sub 1}-weighted spin echo (T{sub 1}-WSE) (5-mm slice thickness) and coronal 3D volumetric T{sub 1}-weighted (fat-suppressed, volume-interpolated, breath-hold examination; repetition time/echo time, 3.7/1.4 ms; flip angle, 9.5 ; 1-mm slice thickness) sequences before and after intravenous contrast administration. Subtraction imaging and multiplanar reformations (MPRs) were performed. Acquisition times for T{sub 1}-WSE in two planes and 3D sequences were reported. Two radiologists reviewed images for quality (>50 % artifacts, 25-50 % artifacts, <25 % artifacts, and no substantial artifacts), lesion conspicuity, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR{sub muscle}), recurrence size, and recurrence-to-joint distance. Descriptive and intraclass correlation (ICC) statistics are given. Mean acquisition times were significantly less for 3D imaging compared with 2-plane T{sub 1}-WSE (183.6 vs 342.6 s; P = 0.012). Image quality was rated as having no substantial artifacts in 13/15 and <25 % artifacts in 2/15. Lesion conspicuity was significantly improved for subtracted versus unsubtracted images (CNR{sub muscle}, 100 ± 138 vs 181 ± 199; P = 0.05). Mean recurrent lesion size was 2.5 cm (range, 0.7-5.7 cm), and measurements on 3D sequences offered excellent interobserver agreement (ICC, 0.98 for lesion size and 0.96 for recurrence-to-joint distance with MPR views). Three-dimensional volumetric sequences offer faster acquisition times, higher spatial resolution, and MPR capability compared with 2D T{sub 1}-WSE for postcontrast imaging. Subtraction imaging provides higher lesion conspicuity for detecting recurrent STS in skeletal muscle, with excellent interobserver

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Using 3D spatial correlations to improve the noise robustness of multi component analysis of 3D multi echo quantitative T2 relaxometry data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Dushyant; Hariharan, Hari; Faizy, Tobias D; Borchert, Patrick; Siemonsen, Susanne; Fiehler, Jens; Reddy, Ravinder; Sedlacik, Jan

    2018-05-12

    We present a computationally feasible and iterative multi-voxel spatially regularized algorithm for myelin water fraction (MWF) reconstruction. This method utilizes 3D spatial correlations present in anatomical/pathological tissues and underlying B1 + -inhomogeneity or flip angle inhomogeneity to enhance the noise robustness of the reconstruction while intrinsically accounting for stimulated echo contributions using T2-distribution data alone. Simulated data and in vivo data acquired using 3D non-selective multi-echo spin echo (3DNS-MESE) were used to compare the reconstruction quality of the proposed approach against those of the popular algorithm (the method by Prasloski et al.) and our previously proposed 2D multi-slice spatial regularization spatial regularization approach. We also investigated whether the inter-sequence correlations and agreements improved as a result of the proposed approach. MWF-quantifications from two sequences, 3DNS-MESE vs 3DNS-gradient and spin echo (3DNS-GRASE), were compared for both reconstruction approaches to assess correlations and agreements between inter-sequence MWF-value pairs. MWF values from whole-brain data of six volunteers and two multiple sclerosis patients are being reported as well. In comparison with competing approaches such as Prasloski's method or our previously proposed 2D multi-slice spatial regularization method, the proposed method showed better agreements with simulated truths using regression analyses and Bland-Altman analyses. For 3DNS-MESE data, MWF-maps reconstructed using the proposed algorithm provided better depictions of white matter structures in subcortical areas adjoining gray matter which agreed more closely with corresponding contrasts on T2-weighted images than MWF-maps reconstructed with the method by Prasloski et al. We also achieved a higher level of correlations and agreements between inter-sequence (3DNS-MESE vs 3DNS-GRASE) MWF-value pairs. The proposed algorithm provides more noise

  2. ADDING A NEW STEP WITH SPATIAL AUTOCORRELATION TO IMPROVE THE FOUR-STEP TRAVEL DEMAND MODEL WITH FEEDBACK FOR A DEVELOPING CITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuesong FENG, Ph.D Candidate

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available It is expected that improvement of transport networks could give rise to the change of spatial distributions of population-related factors and car ownership, which are expected to further influence travel demand. To properly reflect such an interdependence mechanism, an aggregate multinomial logit (A-MNL model was firstly applied to represent the spatial distributions of these exogenous variables of the travel demand model by reflecting the influence of transport networks. Next, the spatial autocorrelation analysis is introduced into the log-transformed A-MNL model (called SPA-MNL model. Thereafter, the SPA-MNL model is integrated into the four-step travel demand model with feedback (called 4-STEP model. As a result, an integrated travel demand model is newly developed and named as the SPA-STEP model. Using person trip data collected in Beijing, the performance of the SPA-STEP model is empirically compared with the 4-STEP model. It was proven that the SPA-STEP model is superior to the 4-STEP model in accuracy; most of the estimated parameters showed statistical differences in values. Moreover, though the results of the simulations to the same set of assumed scenarios by the 4-STEP model and the SPA-STEP model consistently suggested the same sustainable path for the future development of Beijing, it was found that the environmental sustainability and the traffic congestion for these scenarios were generally overestimated by the 4-STEP model compared with the corresponding analyses by the SPA-STEP model. Such differences were clearly generated by the introduction of the new modeling step with spatial autocorrelation.

  3. Analysis of spatial dispersion characteristics of improved conical sprays; Kairyo kasajo funmu no kukan bunsansei no kento

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long, W; Murakami, A; Hama, J [Mechanical Engineering Lab., Tokyo (Japan); Obokata, T [Gunma University, Gunma (Japan)

    1997-10-01

    The macro-characteristics of conical and improved conical sprays were analyzed using laser sheet and high speed camera. The injection pressure was 14.7, 24.5 or 34.3 MPa and the chamber pressure was 0.098, 0.98 or 1.96 MPa, where the amount of injected fuel was 28.5 mg per cycle, and the injection frequency was 8.3 Hz. As a result, at atmospheric pressure, both of the conical spray and improved conical spray have a conical pattern, but at high chamber pressure, the sprays become three dimensional. The penetration of the improved conical spray was about 25% stronger than that of the conical spray. 10 refs., 11 figs.

  4. A Novel Methodology for Improving Plant Pest Surveillance in Vineyards and Crops Using UAV-Based Hyperspectral and Spatial Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanegas, Fernando; Bratanov, Dmitry; Powell, Kevin; Weiss, John; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2018-01-17

    Recent advances in remote sensed imagery and geospatial image processing using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have enabled the rapid and ongoing development of monitoring tools for crop management and the detection/surveillance of insect pests. This paper describes a (UAV) remote sensing-based methodology to increase the efficiency of existing surveillance practices (human inspectors and insect traps) for detecting pest infestations (e.g., grape phylloxera in vineyards). The methodology uses a UAV integrated with advanced digital hyperspectral, multispectral, and RGB sensors. We implemented the methodology for the development of a predictive model for phylloxera detection. In this method, we explore the combination of airborne RGB, multispectral, and hyperspectral imagery with ground-based data at two separate time periods and under different levels of phylloxera infestation. We describe the technology used-the sensors, the UAV, and the flight operations-the processing workflow of the datasets from each imagery type, and the methods for combining multiple airborne with ground-based datasets. Finally, we present relevant results of correlation between the different processed datasets. The objective of this research is to develop a novel methodology for collecting, processing, analising and integrating multispectral, hyperspectral, ground and spatial data to remote sense different variables in different applications, such as, in this case, plant pest surveillance. The development of such methodology would provide researchers, agronomists, and UAV practitioners reliable data collection protocols and methods to achieve faster processing techniques and integrate multiple sources of data in diverse remote sensing applications.

  5. A Novel Methodology for Improving Plant Pest Surveillance in Vineyards and Crops Using UAV-Based Hyperspectral and Spatial Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanegas, Fernando; Weiss, John; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2018-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensed imagery and geospatial image processing using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have enabled the rapid and ongoing development of monitoring tools for crop management and the detection/surveillance of insect pests. This paper describes a (UAV) remote sensing-based methodology to increase the efficiency of existing surveillance practices (human inspectors and insect traps) for detecting pest infestations (e.g., grape phylloxera in vineyards). The methodology uses a UAV integrated with advanced digital hyperspectral, multispectral, and RGB sensors. We implemented the methodology for the development of a predictive model for phylloxera detection. In this method, we explore the combination of airborne RGB, multispectral, and hyperspectral imagery with ground-based data at two separate time periods and under different levels of phylloxera infestation. We describe the technology used—the sensors, the UAV, and the flight operations—the processing workflow of the datasets from each imagery type, and the methods for combining multiple airborne with ground-based datasets. Finally, we present relevant results of correlation between the different processed datasets. The objective of this research is to develop a novel methodology for collecting, processing, analysing and integrating multispectral, hyperspectral, ground and spatial data to remote sense different variables in different applications, such as, in this case, plant pest surveillance. The development of such methodology would provide researchers, agronomists, and UAV practitioners reliable data collection protocols and methods to achieve faster processing techniques and integrate multiple sources of data in diverse remote sensing applications. PMID:29342101

  6. Improving the spatial and temporal resolution with quantification of uncertainty and errors in earth observation data sets using Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Serafy, Ghada; Gaytan Aguilar, Sandra; Ziemba, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    There is an increasing use of process-based models in the investigation of ecological systems and scenario predictions. The accuracy and quality of these models are improved when run with high spatial and temporal resolution data sets. However, ecological data can often be difficult to collect which manifests itself through irregularities in the spatial and temporal domain of these data sets. Through the use of Data INterpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions(DINEOF) methodology, earth observation products can be improved to have full spatial coverage within the desired domain as well as increased temporal resolution to daily and weekly time step, those frequently required by process-based models[1]. The DINEOF methodology results in a degree of error being affixed to the refined data product. In order to determine the degree of error introduced through this process, the suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll-a data from MERIS is used with DINEOF to produce high resolution products for the Wadden Sea. These new data sets are then compared with in-situ and other data sources to determine the error. Also, artificial cloud cover scenarios are conducted in order to substantiate the findings from MERIS data experiments. Secondly, the accuracy of DINEOF is explored to evaluate the variance of the methodology. The degree of accuracy is combined with the overall error produced by the methodology and reported in an assessment of the quality of DINEOF when applied to resolution refinement of chlorophyll-a and suspended particulate matter in the Wadden Sea. References [1] Sirjacobs, D.; Alvera-Azcárate, A.; Barth, A.; Lacroix, G.; Park, Y.; Nechad, B.; Ruddick, K.G.; Beckers, J.-M. (2011). Cloud filling of ocean colour and sea surface temperature remote sensing products over the Southern North Sea by the Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions methodology. J. Sea Res. 65(1): 114-130. Dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2010.08.002

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin K Martin

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Improved spatial resolution and lower-dose pediatric CT imaging: a feasibility study to evaluate narrowing the X-ray photon energy spectrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benz, Mark G. [Safer Pediatric Imaging and Engineering Horizons International, Lincoln, VT (United States); Benz, Matthew W. [Southboro Medical Group, Southboro, MA (United States); Birnbaum, Steven B. [Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic Manchester, Department of Radiology, Manchester, NH (United States); Chason, Eric; Sheldon, Brian W. [Brown University, Division of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program, Providence, RI (United States); McGuire, Dale [R and D Manager, C and G Technologies Inc., Jeffersonville, IN (United States)

    2014-08-15

    This feasibility study has shown that improved spatial resolution and reduced radiation dose can be achieved in pediatric CT by narrowing the X-ray photon energy spectrum. This is done by placing a hafnium filter between the X-ray generator and a pediatric abdominal phantom. A CT system manufactured in 1999 that was in the process of being remanufactured was used as the platform for this study. This system had the advantage of easy access to the X-ray generator for modifications to change the X-ray photon energy spectrum; it also had the disadvantage of not employing the latest post-imaging noise reduction iterative reconstruction technology. Because we observed improvements after changing the X-ray photon energy spectrum, we recommend a future study combining this change with an optimized iterative reconstruction noise reduction technique. (orig.)

  9. Improving beam spectral and spatial quality by double-foil target in laser ion acceleration for ion-driven fast ignition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Chenkun; Albright, Brian J.

    2010-01-01

    Mid-Z ion driven fast ignition inertial fusion requires ion beams of 100s of MeV energy and < 10% energy spread. An overdense run-scale foil target driven by a high intensity laser pulse can produce an ion beam that has attractive properties for this application. The Break Out Afterburner (BOA) is one laser-ion acceleration mechanism proposed to generate such beams, however the late stages of the BOA tend to produce too large of an energy spread. The spectral and spatial qualities of the beam quickly evolve as the ion beam and co-moving electrons continue to interact with the laser. Here we show how use of a second target foil placed behind a nm-scale foil can substantially reduce the temperature of the co-moving electrons and improve the ion beam energy spread. Particle-In-Cell simulations reveal the dynamics of the ion beam under control. Optimal conditions for improving the spectral and spatial spread of the ion beam is explored for current laser and target parameters, leading to generation of ion beams of energy 100s of MeV and 6% energy spread, a vital step for realizing ion-driven fast ignition.

  10. Improving correlations between MODIS aerosol optical thickness and ground-based PM 2.5 observations through 3D spatial analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, Keith D.; Faruqui, Shazia J.; Smith, Solar

    The Center for Space Research (CSR) continues to focus on developing methods to improve correlations between satellite-based aerosol optical thickness (AOT) values and ground-based, air pollution observations made at continuous ambient monitoring sites (CAMS) operated by the Texas commission on environmental quality (TCEQ). Strong correlations and improved understanding of the relationships between satellite and ground observations are needed to formulate reliable real-time predictions of air quality using data accessed from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) at the CSR direct-broadcast ground station. In this paper, improvements in these correlations are demonstrated first as a result of the evolution in the MODIS retrieval algorithms. Further improvement is then shown using procedures that compensate for differences in horizontal spatial scales between the nominal 10-km MODIS AOT products and CAMS point measurements. Finally, airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) observations, collected during the Texas Air Quality Study of 2000, are used to examine aerosol profile concentrations, which may vary greatly between aerosol classes as a result of the sources, chemical composition, and meteorological conditions that govern transport processes. Further improvement in correlations is demonstrated with this limited dataset using insights into aerosol profile information inferred from the vertical motion vectors in a trajectory-based forecast model. Analyses are ongoing to verify these procedures on a variety of aerosol classes using data collected by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite (Calipso) lidar.

  11. Towards Improving Satellite Tropospheric NO2 Retrieval Products: Impacts of the spatial resolution and lighting NOx production from the a priori chemical transport model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smeltzer, C. D.; Wang, Y.; Zhao, C.; Boersma, F.

    2009-12-01

    Polar orbiting satellite retrievals of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) columns are important to a variety of scientific applications. These NO2 retrievals rely on a priori profiles from chemical transport models and radiative transfer models to derive the vertical columns (VCs) from slant columns measurements. In this work, we compare the retrieval results using a priori profiles from a global model (TM4) and a higher resolution regional model (REAM) at the OMI overpass hour of 1330 local time, implementing the Dutch OMI NO2 (DOMINO) retrieval. We also compare the retrieval results using a priori profiles from REAM model simulations with and without lightning NOx (NO + NO2) production. A priori model resolution and lightning NOx production are both found to have large impact on satellite retrievals by altering the satellite sensitivity to a particular observation by shifting the NO2 vertical distribution interpreted by the radiation model. The retrieved tropospheric NO2 VCs may increase by 25-100% in urban regions and be reduced by 50% in rural regions if the a priori profiles from REAM simulations are used during the retrievals instead of the profiles from TM4 simulations. The a priori profiles with lightning NOx may result in a 25-50% reduction of the retrieved tropospheric NO2 VCs compared to the a priori profiles without lightning. As first priority, a priori vertical NO2 profiles from a chemical transport model with a high resolution, which can better simulate urban-rural NO2 gradients in the boundary layer and make use of observation-based parameterizations of lightning NOx production, should be first implemented to obtain more accurate NO2 retrievals over the United States, where NOx source regions are spatially separated and lightning NOx production is significant. Then as consequence of a priori NO2 profile variabilities resulting from lightning and model resolution dynamics, geostationary satellite, daylight observations would further promote the next

  12. A 3D Finite Element Model with Improved Spatial Resolution to Investigate the Effect of Varying Viscosity on Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, B.; van der Wal, W.; Pappa, F.; Ebbing, J.

    2017-12-01

    B. Blank1, H. Hu1, W. van der Wal1, F Pappa2, J. Ebbing21Delft University of Technology 2Christian-Albrechts-University of KielSince the beginning of the 2000's time-variable gravity data from GRACE has proved to be an effective method for mapping ice mass loss in Antarctica. However, Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) models are required to correct for GIA induced mass changes. While most GIA models have adopted an Earth model that only varies radially in parameters, it has long been clear that the Earth structure also varies with longitude and latitude. For this study a new global 3D GIA model has been developed within the finite element software package ABAQUS, which can be modified to operate on a spatial resolution down to 50 km locally. The model is being benchmarked against normal model models for surface loading. It will be used to investigate the effects of a 3D varying lithosphere and upper asthenosphere in Antarctica. Viscosity which will be computed from temperature estimates with laboratory based flow laws. A new 3D temperature map of the Antarctic lithosphere has been developed within ESA's GOCE+ project based on seismic data as well as on GOCE and GRACE inferred gravity gradients. Output from the GIA model with this new temperature estimates will be compared to that of 1D viscosity profiles and other recent 3D viscosity models based on seismic data. From these side to side comparisons we want to investigate the influence of the viscosity map on uplift rates and horizontal movement. Finally the results can be compared to GPS measurement to investigate the validity of all models.

  13. How Can Childbirth Care for the Rural Poor Be Improved? A Contribution from Spatial Modelling in Rural Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piera Fogliati

    Full Text Available Maternal and perinatal mortality remain a challenge in resource-limited countries, particularly among the rural poor. To save lives at birth health facility delivery is recommended. However, increasing coverage of institutional deliveries may not translate into mortality reduction if shortage of qualified staff and lack of enabling working conditions affect quality of services. In Tanzania childbirth care is available in all facilities; yet maternal and newborn mortality are high. The study aimed to assess in a high facility density rural context whether a health system organization with fewer delivery sites is feasible in terms of population access.Data on health facilities' location, staffing and delivery caseload were examined in Ludewa and Iringa Districts, Southern Tanzania. Geospatial raster and network analysis were performed to estimate access to obstetric services in walking time. The present geographical accessibility was compared to a theoretical scenario with a 40% reduction of delivery sites.About half of first-line health facilities had insufficient staff to offer full-time obstetric services (45.7% in Iringa and 78.8% in Ludewa District. Yearly delivery caseload at first-line health facilities was low, with less than 100 deliveries in 48/70 and 43/52 facilities in Iringa and Ludewa District respectively. Wide geographical overlaps of facility catchment areas were observed. In Iringa 54% of the population was within 1-hour walking distance from the nearest facility and 87.8% within 2 hours, in Ludewa, the percentages were 39.9% and 82.3%. With a 40% reduction of delivery sites, approximately 80% of population will still be within 2 hours' walking time.Our findings from spatial modelling in a high facility density context indicate that reducing delivery sites by 40% will decrease population access within 2 hours by 7%. Focused efforts on fewer delivery sites might assist strengthening delivery services in resource-limited settings.

  14. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs): Improving the Scientific Environmental Data Management and Visualization with ArcGIS Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, S. R.; Hogeweg, M.; Rose, B.; Turner, A.

    2017-12-01

    The requirement for quality, authoritatively sourced data can often be challenging when working with scientific data. In addition, the lack of standard mechanism to discover, access, and use such data can be cumbersome. This results in slow research, poor dissemination and missed opportunities for research to positively impact policy and knowledge. There is widespread recognition that authoritative datasets are maintained by multiple organizations following various standards, and addressing these challenges will involve multiple stakeholders as well. The bottom line is that organizations need a mechanism to efficiently create, share, catalog, and discover data, and the ability to apply these to create an authoritative information products and applications is powerful and provides value. In real-world applications, individual organizations develop, modify, finalize, and support foundational data for distributed users across the system and thus require an efficient method of data management. For this, the SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) framework can be applied for GIS users to facilitate efficient and powerful decision making based on strong visualization and analytics. Working with research institutions, governments, and organizations across the world, we have developed a Hub framework for data and analysis sharing that is driven by outcome-centric goals which apply common methodologies and standards. SDI are an operational capability that should be equitably accessible to policy-makers, analysts, departments and public communities. These SDI need to align with operational workflows and support social communications and collaboration. The Hub framework integrates data across agencies, projects and organizations to support interoperability and drive coordination. We will present and share how Esri has been supporting the development of local, state, and national SDIs for many years and show some use cases for applications of planetary SDI. We will also share what

  15. Oversampling in the computed tomography measurements applied for bone structure studies as a method of spatial resolution improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tatoń, Grzegorz; Rokita, Eugeniusz; Rok, Tomasz; Beckmann, Felix

    2012-01-01

    Our purpose was to check the potential ability of oversampling as a method for computed tomography axial resolution improvement. The method of achieving isotropic and fine resolution, when the scanning system is characterized by anisotropic resolutions is proposed. In case of typical clinical system the axial resolution is much lower than the planar one. The idea relies on the scanning with a wide overlapping layers and subsequent resolution recovery on the level of scanning step. Simulated three-dimensional images, as well as the real microtomographic images of rat femoral bone were used in proposed solution tests. Original high resolution images were virtually scanned with a wide beam and a small step in order to simulate the real measurements. The low resolution image series were subsequently processed in order to back to the original fine one. Original, virtually scanned and recovered images resolutions were compared with the use of modulation transfer function (MTF). A good ability of oversampling as a method for the resolution recovery was showed. It was confirmed by comparing the resolving powers after and before resolution recovery. The MTF analysis showed resolution improvement. The resolution improvement was achieved but the image noise raised considerably, which is clearly visible on image histograms. Despite this disadvantage the proposed method can be successfully used in practice, especially in the trabecular bone studies because of high contrast between trabeculae and intertrabecular spaces

  16. Improved Phase Corrections for Transoceanic Tsunami Data in Spatial and Temporal Source Estimation: Application to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Tung-Cheng; Satake, Kenji; Watada, Shingo

    2017-12-01

    Systemic travel time delays of up to 15 min relative to the linear long waves for transoceanic tsunamis have been reported. A phase correction method, which converts the linear long waves into dispersive waves, was previously proposed to consider seawater compressibility, the elasticity of the Earth, and gravitational potential change associated with tsunami motion. In the present study, we improved this method by incorporating the effects of ocean density stratification, actual tsunami raypath, and actual bathymetry. The previously considered effects amounted to approximately 74% for correction of the travel time delay, while the ocean density stratification, actual raypath, and actual bathymetry, contributed to approximately 13%, 4%, and 9% on average, respectively. The improved phase correction method accounted for almost all the travel time delay at far-field stations. We performed single and multiple time window inversions for the 2011 Tohoku tsunami using the far-field data (>3 h travel time) to investigate the initial sea surface displacement. The inversion result from only far-field data was similar to but smoother than that from near-field data and all stations, including a large sea surface rise increasing toward the trench followed by a migration northward along the trench. For the forward simulation, our results showed good agreement between the observed and computed waveforms at both near-field and far-field tsunami gauges, as well as with satellite altimeter data. The present study demonstrates that the improved method provides a more accurate estimate for the waveform inversion and forward prediction of far-field data.

  17. 采用非均匀细分网格提高电阻抗成象图象精度的方法%Improve Spatial Resolution of Electrical Impedance Tomography Image Based on Non-uniformity Fine Mesh

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张伟民; 莫玉龙

    2000-01-01

    In electrical impedance tomography (EIT) an approximation for the internal resistivity distribution is computed based on the knowledge of the injected currents and measured voltages on the surface of the body. Several difficulties have been identified in EIT, where the main problem is the low spatial resolution. This paper presents a fining mesh method based on finite element method (FEM), by fining the sensitive element, the most actual signal is obtained in certain electrode number. Newton-Raphson reconstruction algorithm improves the spatial solution of image. The advantages of this method are the improvement of spatial resolution and ease of implementation.

  18. Spatial mapping of cadmium zinc telluride materials properties and electrical response to improve device yield and performance

    CERN Document Server

    Van Scyoc, J M; Yoon, H; Gilbert, T S; Hilton, N R; Lund, J C; James, R B

    1999-01-01

    Cadmium zinc telluride has experienced tremendous growth in its application to various radiation sensing problems over the last five years. However, there are still issues with yield, particularly of the large volume devices needed for imaging and sensitivity-critical applications. Inhomogeneities of various types and on various length scales currently prevent the fabrication of large devices of high spectral performance. This paper discusses the development of a set of characterization tools for quantifying these inhomogeneities, in order to develop improvement strategies to achieve the desired cadmium zinc telluride crystals for detector fabrication.

  19. 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.

  20. Improving the spatial accuracy in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) based on the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect: benefits from parallel imaging and a 32-channel head array coil at 1.5 Tesla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellner, C; Doenitz, C; Finkenzeller, T; Jung, E M; Rennert, J; Schlaier, J

    2009-01-01

    Geometric distortions and low spatial resolution are current limitations in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The aim of this study was to evaluate if application of parallel imaging or significant reduction of voxel size in combination with a new 32-channel head array coil can reduce those drawbacks at 1.5 T for a simple hand motor task. Therefore, maximum t-values (tmax) in different regions of activation, time-dependent signal-to-noise ratios (SNR(t)) as well as distortions within the precentral gyrus were evaluated. Comparing fMRI with and without parallel imaging in 17 healthy subjects revealed significantly reduced geometric distortions in anterior-posterior direction. Using parallel imaging, tmax only showed a mild reduction (7-11%) although SNR(t) was significantly diminished (25%). In 7 healthy subjects high-resolution (2 x 2 x 2 mm3) fMRI was compared with standard fMRI (3 x 3 x 3 mm3) in a 32-channel coil and with high-resolution fMRI in a 12-channel coil. The new coil yielded a clear improvement for tmax (21-32%) and SNR(t) (51%) in comparison with the 12-channel coil. Geometric distortions were smaller due to the smaller voxel size. Therefore, the reduction in tmax (8-16%) and SNR(t) (52%) in the high-resolution experiment seems to be tolerable with this coil. In conclusion, parallel imaging is an alternative to reduce geometric distortions in fMRI at 1.5 T. Using a 32-channel coil, reduction of the voxel size might be the preferable way to improve spatial accuracy.

  1. Improving 3D spatial queries search: newfangled technique of space filling curves in 3D city modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uznir, U.; Anton, François; Suhaibah, A.

    2013-01-01

    , retrieving portions of and especially searching these 3D city models, will not be done optimally. Even though current developments are based on an open data model allotted by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) called CityGML, its XML-based structure makes it challenging to cluster the 3D urban objects......The advantages of three dimensional (3D) city models can be seen in various applications including photogrammetry, urban and regional planning, computer games, etc.. They expand the visualization and analysis capabilities of Geographic Information Systems on cities, and they can be developed using...... modeling will improve data retrieval time by means of optimized 3D adjacency, nearest neighbor information and 3D indexing. The Hilbert mapping, which maps a subinterval of the [0, 1] interval to the corresponding portion of the d-dimensional Hilbert’s curve, preserves the Lebesgue measure and is Lipschitz...

  2. Calibration by Hydrological Response Unit of a National Hydrologic Model to Improve Spatial Representation and Distribution of Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, P. A., II

    2015-12-01

    The U. S. Geological Survey is developing a National Hydrologic Model (NHM) to support consistent hydrologic modeling across the conterminous United States (CONUS). The Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) simulates daily hydrologic and energy processes in watersheds, and is used for the NHM application. For PRMS each watershed is divided into hydrologic response units (HRUs); by default each HRU is assumed to have a uniform hydrologic response. The Geospatial Fabric (GF) is a database containing initial parameter values for input to PRMS and was created for the NHM. The parameter values in the GF were derived from datasets that characterize the physical features of the entire CONUS. The NHM application is composed of more than 100,000 HRUs from the GF. Selected parameter values commonly are adjusted by basin in PRMS using an automated calibration process based on calibration targets, such as streamflow. Providing each HRU with distinct values that captures variability within the CONUS may improve simulation performance of the NHM. During calibration of the NHM by HRU, selected parameter values are adjusted for PRMS based on calibration targets, such as streamflow, snow water equivalent (SWE) and actual evapotranspiration (AET). Simulated SWE, AET, and runoff were compared to value ranges derived from multiple sources (e.g. the Snow Data Assimilation System, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (i.e. MODIS) Global Evapotranspiration Project, the Simplified Surface Energy Balance model, and the Monthly Water Balance Model). This provides each HRU with a distinct set of parameter values that captures the variability within the CONUS, leading to improved model performance. We present simulation results from the NHM after preliminary calibration, including the results of basin-level calibration for the NHM using: 1) default initial GF parameter values, and 2) parameter values calibrated by HRU.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne G. Ekeland

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekeland, Anne G

    2015-01-22

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

  5. Multi-Satellite MIMO Communications at Ku-Band and Above: Investigations on Spatial Multiplexing for Capacity Improvement and Selection Diversity for Interference Mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liolis Konstantinos P

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the applicability of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO technology to satellite communications at the Ku-band and above. After introducing the possible diversity sources to form a MIMO matrix channel in a satellite environment, particular emphasis is put on satellite diversity. Two specific different topics from the field of MIMO technology applications to satellite communications at these frequencies are further analyzed: (i capacity improvement achieved by MIMO spatial multiplexing systems and (ii interference mitigation achieved by MIMO diversity systems employing receive antenna selection. In the first case, a single-user capacity analysis of a satellite MIMO spatial multiplexing system is presented and a useful analytical closed form expression is derived for the outage capacity achieved. In the second case, a satellite MIMO diversity system with receive antenna selection is considered, adjacent satellite cochannel interference on its forward link is studied and an analytical model predicting the interference mitigation achieved is presented. In both cases, an appropriate physical MIMO channel model is assumed which takes into account the propagation phenomena related to the frequencies of interest, such as clear line-of-sight operation, high antenna directivity, the effect of rain fading, and the slant path lengths difference. Useful numerical results obtained through the analytical expressions derived are presented to compare the performance of multi-satellite MIMO systems to relevant single-input single-output (SISO ones.

  6. Chronic cyanidin-3-glucoside administration improves short-term spatial recognition memory but not passive avoidance learning and memory in streptozotocin-diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasri, Sima; Roghani, Mehrdad; Baluchnejadmojarad, Tourandokht; Balvardi, Mahboubeh; Rabani, Tahereh

    2012-08-01

    This research study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of chronic cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) on alleviation of learning and memory deficits in diabetic rats as a result of the observed antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of C3G. Male Wistar rats were divided into control, diabetic, C3G-treated-control and -diabetic groups. The C3G was administered i.p. at a dose of 10 mg/kg on alternate days for eight weeks. For evaluation of learning and memory, initial latency (IL) and step-through latency (STL) were determined at the end of study using passive avoidance test. Meanwhile, spatial recognition memory was assessed as alternation in the Y-maze task. Oxidative stress markers in brain tissue were also measured. It was found that the alternation score of the diabetic rats was lower than that of control (p chronic C3G could improve short-term spatial recognition memory disturbance in the Y-maze test but not retention and recall capability in passive avoidance test in STZ-diabetic rats. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Geographical inequalities in use of improved drinking water supply and sanitation across Sub-Saharan Africa: mapping and spatial analysis of cross-sectional survey data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel L Pullan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Understanding geographic inequalities in coverage of drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS will help track progress towards universal coverage of water and sanitation by identifying marginalized populations, thus helping to control a large number of infectious diseases. This paper uses household survey data to develop comprehensive maps of WSS coverage at high spatial resolution for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. Analysis is extended to investigate geographic heterogeneity and relative geographic inequality within countries.Cluster-level data on household reported use of improved drinking-water supply, sanitation, and open defecation were abstracted from 138 national surveys undertaken from 1991-2012 in 41 countries. Spatially explicit logistic regression models were developed and fitted within a Bayesian framework, and used to predict coverage at the second administrative level (admin2, e.g., district across SSA for 2012. Results reveal substantial geographical inequalities in predicted use of water and sanitation that exceed urban-rural disparities. The average range in coverage seen between admin2 within countries was 55% for improved drinking water, 54% for use of improved sanitation, and 59% for dependence upon open defecation. There was also some evidence that countries with higher levels of inequality relative to coverage in use of an improved drinking-water source also experienced higher levels of inequality in use of improved sanitation (rural populations r = 0.47, p = 0.002; urban populations r = 0.39, p = 0.01. Results are limited by the quantity of WSS data available, which varies considerably by country, and by the reliability and utility of available indicators.This study identifies important geographic inequalities in use of WSS previously hidden within national statistics, confirming the necessity for targeted policies and metrics that reach the most marginalized populations. The presented maps and analysis approach

  8. Geographical Inequalities in Use of Improved Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation across Sub-Saharan Africa: Mapping and Spatial Analysis of Cross-sectional Survey Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pullan, Rachel L.; Freeman, Matthew C.; Gething, Peter W.; Brooker, Simon J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Understanding geographic inequalities in coverage of drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS) will help track progress towards universal coverage of water and sanitation by identifying marginalized populations, thus helping to control a large number of infectious diseases. This paper uses household survey data to develop comprehensive maps of WSS coverage at high spatial resolution for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Analysis is extended to investigate geographic heterogeneity and relative geographic inequality within countries. Methods and Findings Cluster-level data on household reported use of improved drinking-water supply, sanitation, and open defecation were abstracted from 138 national surveys undertaken from 1991–2012 in 41 countries. Spatially explicit logistic regression models were developed and fitted within a Bayesian framework, and used to predict coverage at the second administrative level (admin2, e.g., district) across SSA for 2012. Results reveal substantial geographical inequalities in predicted use of water and sanitation that exceed urban-rural disparities. The average range in coverage seen between admin2 within countries was 55% for improved drinking water, 54% for use of improved sanitation, and 59% for dependence upon open defecation. There was also some evidence that countries with higher levels of inequality relative to coverage in use of an improved drinking-water source also experienced higher levels of inequality in use of improved sanitation (rural populations r = 0.47, p = 0.002; urban populations r = 0.39, p = 0.01). Results are limited by the quantity of WSS data available, which varies considerably by country, and by the reliability and utility of available indicators. Conclusions This study identifies important geographic inequalities in use of WSS previously hidden within national statistics, confirming the necessity for targeted policies and metrics that reach the most marginalized populations. The

  9. Geographical inequalities in use of improved drinking water supply and sanitation across Sub-Saharan Africa: mapping and spatial analysis of cross-sectional survey data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pullan, Rachel L; Freeman, Matthew C; Gething, Peter W; Brooker, Simon J

    2014-04-01

    Understanding geographic inequalities in coverage of drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS) will help track progress towards universal coverage of water and sanitation by identifying marginalized populations, thus helping to control a large number of infectious diseases. This paper uses household survey data to develop comprehensive maps of WSS coverage at high spatial resolution for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Analysis is extended to investigate geographic heterogeneity and relative geographic inequality within countries. Cluster-level data on household reported use of improved drinking-water supply, sanitation, and open defecation were abstracted from 138 national surveys undertaken from 1991-2012 in 41 countries. Spatially explicit logistic regression models were developed and fitted within a Bayesian framework, and used to predict coverage at the second administrative level (admin2, e.g., district) across SSA for 2012. Results reveal substantial geographical inequalities in predicted use of water and sanitation that exceed urban-rural disparities. The average range in coverage seen between admin2 within countries was 55% for improved drinking water, 54% for use of improved sanitation, and 59% for dependence upon open defecation. There was also some evidence that countries with higher levels of inequality relative to coverage in use of an improved drinking-water source also experienced higher levels of inequality in use of improved sanitation (rural populations r = 0.47, p = 0.002; urban populations r = 0.39, p = 0.01). Results are limited by the quantity of WSS data available, which varies considerably by country, and by the reliability and utility of available indicators. This study identifies important geographic inequalities in use of WSS previously hidden within national statistics, confirming the necessity for targeted policies and metrics that reach the most marginalized populations. The presented maps and analysis approach can provide a

  10. Improving the Efficiency of 3-D Hydrogeological Mixers: Dilution Enhancement Via Coupled Engineering-Induced Transient Flows and Spatial Heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Dato, Mariaines; de Barros, Felipe P. J.; Fiori, Aldo; Bellin, Alberto

    2018-03-01

    Natural attenuation and in situ oxidation are commonly considered as low-cost alternatives to ex situ remediation. The efficiency of such remediation techniques is hindered by difficulties in obtaining good dilution and mixing of the contaminant, in particular if the plume deformation is physically constrained by an array of wells, which serves as a containment system. In that case, dilution may be enhanced by inducing an engineered sequence of injections and extractions from such pumping system, which also works as a hydraulic barrier. This way, the aquifer acts as a natural mixer, in a manner similar to the industrialized engineered mixers. Improving the efficiency of hydrogeological mixers is a challenging task, owing to the need to use a 3-D setup while relieving the computational burden. Analytical solutions, though approximated, are a suitable and efficient tool to seek the optimum solution among all possible flow configurations. Here we develop a novel physically based model to demonstrate how the combined spatiotemporal fluctuations of the water fluxes control solute trajectories and residence time distributions and therefore, the effectiveness of contaminant plume dilution and mixing. Our results show how external forcing configurations are capable of inducing distinct time-varying groundwater flow patterns which will yield different solute dilution rates.

  11. Automated Spatial Brain Normalization and Hindbrain White Matter Reference Tissue Give Improved [(18)F]-Florbetaben PET Quantitation in Alzheimer's Model Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overhoff, Felix; Brendel, Matthias; Jaworska, Anna; Korzhova, Viktoria; Delker, Andreas; Probst, Federico; Focke, Carola; Gildehaus, Franz-Josef; Carlsen, Janette; Baumann, Karlheinz; Haass, Christian; Bartenstein, Peter; Herms, Jochen; Rominger, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Preclinical PET studies of β-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation are of growing importance, but comparisons between research sites require standardized and optimized methods for quantitation. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate systematically the (1) impact of an automated algorithm for spatial brain normalization, and (2) intensity scaling methods of different reference regions for Aβ-PET in a large dataset of transgenic mice. PS2APP mice in a 6 week longitudinal setting (N = 37) and another set of PS2APP mice at a histologically assessed narrow range of Aβ burden (N = 40) were investigated by [(18)F]-florbetaben PET. Manual spatial normalization by three readers at different training levels was performed prior to application of an automated brain spatial normalization and inter-reader agreement was assessed by Fleiss Kappa (κ). For this method the impact of templates at different pathology stages was investigated. Four different reference regions on brain uptake normalization were used to calculate frontal cortical standardized uptake value ratios (SUVRCTX∕REF), relative to raw SUVCTX. Results were compared on the basis of longitudinal stability (Cohen's d), and in reference to gold standard histopathological quantitation (Pearson's R). Application of an automated brain spatial normalization resulted in nearly perfect agreement (all κ≥0.99) between different readers, with constant or improved correlation with histology. Templates based on inappropriate pathology stage resulted in up to 2.9% systematic bias for SUVRCTX∕REF. All SUVRCTX∕REF methods performed better than SUVCTX both with regard to longitudinal stability (d≥1.21 vs. d = 0.23) and histological gold standard agreement (R≥0.66 vs. R≥0.31). Voxel-wise analysis suggested a physiologically implausible longitudinal decrease by global mean scaling. The hindbrain white matter reference (R mean = 0.75) was slightly superior to the brainstem (R mean = 0.74) and the cerebellum (R mean = 0.73). Automated

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Objective assessment and design improvement of a staring, sparse transducer array by the spatial crosstalk matrix for 3D photoacoustic tomography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Wong

    Full Text Available Accurate reconstruction of 3D photoacoustic (PA images requires detection of photoacoustic signals from many angles. Several groups have adopted staring ultrasound arrays, but assessment of array performance has been limited. We previously reported on a method to calibrate a 3D PA tomography (PAT staring array system and analyze system performance using singular value decomposition (SVD. The developed SVD metric, however, was impractical for large system matrices, which are typical of 3D PAT problems. The present study consisted of two main objectives. The first objective aimed to introduce the crosstalk matrix concept to the field of PAT for system design. Figures-of-merit utilized in this study were root mean square error, peak signal-to-noise ratio, mean absolute error, and a three dimensional structural similarity index, which were derived between the normalized spatial crosstalk matrix and the identity matrix. The applicability of this approach for 3D PAT was validated by observing the response of the figures-of-merit in relation to well-understood PAT sampling characteristics (i.e. spatial and temporal sampling rate. The second objective aimed to utilize the figures-of-merit to characterize and improve the performance of a near-spherical staring array design. Transducer arrangement, array radius, and array angular coverage were the design parameters examined. We observed that the performance of a 129-element staring transducer array for 3D PAT could be improved by selection of optimal values of the design parameters. The results suggested that this formulation could be used to objectively characterize 3D PAT system performance and would enable the development of efficient strategies for system design optimization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Rutin improves spatial memory in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice by reducing Aβ oligomer level and attenuating oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Peng-Xin; Wang, Shao-Wei; Yu, Xiao-Lin; Su, Ya-Jing; Wang, Teng; Zhou, Wei-Wei; Zhang, He; Wang, Yu-Jiong; Liu, Rui-Tian

    2014-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by extracellular β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Aβ aggregation is closely associated with neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal inflammation. The soluble Aβ oligomers are believed to be the most neurotoxic form among all forms of Aβ aggregates. We have previously reported a polyphenol compound rutin that could inhibit Aβ aggregation and cytotoxicity, attenuate oxidative stress, and decrease the production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines in vitro. In the current study, we investigated the effect of rutin on APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. Results demonstrated that orally administered rutin significantly attenuated memory deficits in AD transgenic mice, decreased oligomeric Aβ level, increased super oxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH)/glutathione disulfide (GSSG) ratio, reduced GSSG and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, downregulated microgliosis and astrocytosis, and decreased interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 levels in the brain. These results indicated that rutin is a promising agent for AD treatment because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and reducing Aβ oligomer activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  17. 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.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-02-01

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

  2. Conflation and aggregation of spatial data improve predictive models for species with limited habitats: a case of the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo in Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel L.; van Riper, Charles; Petrakis, Roy E.

    2013-01-01

    Riparian vegetation provides important wildlife habitat in the Southwestern United States, but limited distributions and spatial complexity often leads to inaccurate representation in maps used to guide conservation. We test the use of data conflation and aggregation on multiple vegetation/land-cover maps to improve the accuracy of habitat models for the threatened western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis). We used species observations (n = 479) from a state-wide survey to develop habitat models from 1) three vegetation/land-cover maps produced at different geographic scales ranging from state to national, and 2) new aggregate maps defined by the spatial agreement of cover types, which were defined as high (agreement = all data sets), moderate (agreement ≥ 2), and low (no agreement required). Model accuracies, predicted habitat locations, and total area of predicted habitat varied considerably, illustrating the effects of input data quality on habitat predictions and resulting potential impacts on conservation planning. Habitat models based on aggregated and conflated data were more accurate and had higher model sensitivity than original vegetation/land-cover, but this accuracy came at the cost of reduced geographic extent of predicted habitat. Using the highest performing models, we assessed cuckoo habitat preference and distribution in Arizona and found that major watersheds containing high-probably habitat are fragmented by a wide swath of low-probability habitat. Focus on riparian restoration in these areas could provide more breeding habitat for the threatened cuckoo, offset potential future habitat losses in adjacent watershed, and increase regional connectivity for other threatened vertebrates that also use riparian corridors.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wen; Bao, Li; Yang, Shaoxing

    2016-01-01

    Detection of circulating tumor cells remains a significant challenge due to their vast physical and biological heterogeneity. We developed a cell-surface-marker-independent technology based on telomerase-specific, replication-selective oncolytic herpes-simplex-virus-1 that targets telomerase......-reverse-transcriptase-positive cancer cells and expresses green-fluorescent-protein that identifies viable CTCs from a broad spectrum of malignancies. Our method recovered 75.5-87.2% of tumor cells spiked into healthy donor blood, as validated by different methods, including single cell sequencing. CTCs were detected in 59-100% of 326...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZheFeng Quan

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

  5. Spatial discrimination and visual discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haagensen, Annika M. J.; Grand, Nanna; Klastrup, Signe

    2013-01-01

    Two methods investigating learning and memory in juvenile Gottingen minipigs were evaluated for potential use in preclinical toxicity testing. Twelve minipigs were tested using a spatial hole-board discrimination test including a learning phase and two memory phases. Five minipigs were tested...... in a visual discrimination test. The juvenile minipigs were able to learn the spatial hole-board discrimination test and showed improved working and reference memory during the learning phase. Performance in the memory phases was affected by the retention intervals, but the minipigs were able to remember...... the concept of the test in both memory phases. Working memory and reference memory were significantly improved in the last trials of the memory phases. In the visual discrimination test, the minipigs learned to discriminate between the three figures presented to them within 9-14 sessions. For the memory test...

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo de Rosso Krug

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy C Zhang

    2018-01-01

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