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Sample records for significantly improved understanding

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Hiermeier

    2017-11-01

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

  2. Understanding significant others' experience of aphasia and rehabilitation following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallé, Marie-Christine; Le Dorze, Guylaine

    2014-01-01

    It is currently unknown how rehabilitation services contribute to significant others' adjustment to stroke with aphasia since their experience of rehabilitation has not been studied before. The purpose of this study was thus to understand significant others' experience of aphasia rehabilitation within the context of post-stroke rehabilitation. Individual interviews were carried out with 12 significant others of persons who became aphasic as a result of a stroke and were discharged from rehabilitation in the past 3 months. Data were analyzed with a grounded theory approach. "Being centered on the aphasic person" was the core category triggered by the significant other's perception of the stroke survivor's vulnerability and his/her feelings of attachment towards that person. Through their interactions with professionals, significant others assumed that rehabilitation was also centered on the aphasic person; a perspective that was reinforced. Consequently, significant others participated in rehabilitation as caregivers and expected rehabilitation to meet their caregiver needs but not other personal and relational needs. Their appraisal of rehabilitation was thus related to the satisfaction or not of caregiver needs. With a greater sensitivity to significant others who focus on the stroke survivor and disregard their own needs, rehabilitation professionals and especially speech-language therapists, can assist families in reestablishing communication and satisfying relationships which are affected because of aphasia. This qualitative study shows that significant others of aphasic stroke survivors experience rehabilitation as services focused on the person who had the stroke. Significant others' satisfaction with rehabilitation is not related to the fulfillment of their personal (e.g. resuming their activities) and relational needs (e.g. good communication with the person with aphasia). When offering interventions targeting significant others' needs, rehabilitation

  3. Significance of perfectionism in understanding different forms of insomnia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Totić-Poznanović Sanja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Studies consistently show a connection between perfectionism as a multidimensional construct with various psychological and psychopathological states and characteristics. However, studies that analyze the connection between this concept and sleep disturbances, especially modalities of insomnia, are rare. Objective. The aim of this study was to examine whether dimensions of perfectionism can explain different forms of insomnia; difficulties initiating sleep (insomnia early, difficulties during the sleep (insomnia middle, waking in early hours of the morning (insomnia late and dissatisfaction with sleep quality (subjective insomnia. Methods. The sample consisted of 254 students of the School of Medicine in Belgrade. Predictive significance of nine perfectionism dimensions, measured by Frost’s and Hewitt’s and Flett’s scales of multi-dimensional perfectionism, related to four modalities of insomnia, measured by a structured questionnaire, was analyzed by multiple linear regression method. Results. Perfectionism dimensions are significant predictors of each of the tested forms of insomnia. Doubt about actions significantly predicts initial insomnia; to other-oriented perfectionism in the negative pole and socially prescribed perfectionism underlie the difficulties during the sleep, while organization and parental criticism underlie late insomnia. Significant predictors of subjective insomnia are personal standards and organization and to other-oriented perfectionism on the negative pole. Three of nine analyzed dimensions were not confirmed as significant; concern over mistakes, parental expectations and self-oriented perfectionism. Conclusion. Various aspects of perfectionism can be considered as a vulnerability factor for understanding some forms of insomnia. Out of all forms of insomnia tested, perfectionism as the personality trait proved to be the most significant for understanding subjective insomnia.

  4. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  5. Understanding catchment behaviour through model concept improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fenicia, F.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes an approach to model development based on the concept of iterative model improvement, which is a process where by trial and error different hypotheses of catchment behaviour are progressively tested, and the understanding of the system proceeds through a combined process of

  6. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-01-01

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Continuous Improvement in Schools: Understanding the Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Stephen; Kumari, Roshni

    2009-01-01

    This article investigates conceptually and practically what it means for schools to engage in the practice of continuous improvement. The analysis draws upon prior research and discussion to predict core elements of the practice of continuous improvement in schools. The predictions are then applied to a case study of continuous improvement efforts…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

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

  11. Beyond consent--improving understanding in surgical patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Mulsow, Jürgen J W

    2012-01-01

    Little is known of the actual understanding that underlies patient choices with regard to their surgical treatment. This review explores current knowledge of patient understanding and techniques that may be used to improve this understanding.

  12. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  15. Improving Understanding of Emotional Speech Acoustic Content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinnemore, Anna

    Children with cochlear implants show deficits in identifying emotional intent of utterances without facial or body language cues. A known limitation to cochlear implants is the inability to accurately portray the fundamental frequency contour of speech which carries the majority of information needed to identify emotional intent. Without reliable access to the fundamental frequency, other methods of identifying vocal emotion, if identifiable, could be used to guide therapies for training children with cochlear implants to better identify vocal emotion. The current study analyzed recordings of adults speaking neutral sentences with a set array of emotions in a child-directed and adult-directed manner. The goal was to identify acoustic cues that contribute to emotion identification that may be enhanced in child-directed speech, but are also present in adult-directed speech. Results of this study showed that there were significant differences in the variation of the fundamental frequency, the variation of intensity, and the rate of speech among emotions and between intended audiences.

  16. Understanding the Sampling Distribution and Its Use in Testing Statistical Significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breunig, Nancy A.

    Despite the increasing criticism of statistical significance testing by researchers, particularly in the publication of the 1994 American Psychological Association's style manual, statistical significance test results are still popular in journal articles. For this reason, it remains important to understand the logic of inferential statistics. A…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summer Science Writing Internship Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA clearer understanding of the origin recognition complex (ORC) - a protein complex that directs DNA replication - through its crystal structure offers new insight into fundamental mechanisms of DNA replication

  20. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Electricity and magnetism are important topics in physics. Research shows that students have many common difficulties in understanding concepts related to electricity and magnetism. However, research to improve students' understanding of electricity and magnetism is limited compared to introductory mechanics. This thesis explores issues…

  1. 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…

  2. Assessing and Improving Student Understanding of Tree-Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.

    Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. The importance of understanding evolution by those who study the origins, diversification and diversity life cannot be overstated. Because of its importance, in addition to a scientific study of evolution, many researchers have spent time studying the acceptance and the teaching of evolution. Phylogenetic Systematics is the field of study developed to understand the evolutionary history of organisms, traits, and genes. Tree-thinking is the term by which we identify concepts related to the evolutionary history of organisms. It is vital that those who undertake a study of biology be able to understand and interpret what information these phylogenies are meant to convey. In this project, we evaluated the current impact a traditional study of biology has on the misconceptions students hold by assessing tree-thinking in freshman biology students to those nearing the end of their studies. We found that the impact of studying biology was varied with some misconceptions changing significantly while others persisted. Despite the importance of tree-thinking no appropriately developed concept inventory exists to measure student understanding of these important concepts. We developed a concept inventory capable of filling this important need and provide evidence to support its use among undergraduate students. Finally, we developed and modified activities as well as courses based on best practices to improve teaching and learning of tree-thinking and organismal diversity. We accomplished this by focusing on two key questions. First, how do we best introduce students to tree-thinking and second does tree-thinking as a course theme enhance student understanding of not only tree-thinking but also organismal diversity. We found important evidence suggesting that introducing students to tree-thinking via building evolutionary trees was less successful than introducing the concept via tree interpretation and may have in fact introduced or

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding the significance variables for fabrication of fish gelatin nanoparticles by Plackett-Burman design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subara, Deni; Jaswir, Irwandi; Alkhatib, Maan Fahmi Rashid; Noorbatcha, Ibrahim Ali

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this experiment is to screen and to understand the process variables on the fabrication of fish gelatin nanoparticles by using quality-design approach. The most influencing process variables were screened by using Plackett-Burman design. Mean particles size, size distribution, and zeta potential were found in the range 240±9.76 nm, 0.3, and -9 mV, respectively. Statistical results explained that concentration of acetone, pH of solution during precipitation step and volume of cross linker had a most significant effect on particles size of fish gelatin nanoparticles. It was found that, time and chemical consuming is lower than previous research. This study revealed the potential of quality-by design in understanding the effects of process variables on the fish gelatin nanoparticles production.

  5. 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

  6. Developing improved MD codes for understanding processive cellulases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crowley, M F; Nimlos, M R; Himmel, M E; Uberbacher, E C; Iii, C L Brooks; Walker, R C

    2008-01-01

    The mechanism of action of cellulose-degrading enzymes is illuminated through a multidisciplinary collaboration that uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and expands the capabilities of MD codes to allow simulations of enzymes and substrates on petascale computational facilities. There is a class of glycoside hydrolase enzymes called cellulases that are thought to decrystallize and processively depolymerize cellulose using biochemical processes that are largely not understood. Understanding the mechanisms involved and improving the efficiency of this hydrolysis process through computational models and protein engineering presents a compelling grand challenge. A detailed understanding of cellulose structure, dynamics and enzyme function at the molecular level is required to direct protein engineers to the right modifications or to understand if natural thermodynamic or kinetic limits are in play. Much can be learned about processivity by conducting carefully designed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the binding and catalytic domains of cellulases with various substrate configurations, solvation models and thermodynamic protocols. Most of these numerical experiments, however, will require significant modification of existing code and algorithms in order to efficiently use current (terascale) and future (petascale) hardware to the degree of parallelism necessary to simulate a system of the size proposed here. This work will develop MD codes that can efficiently use terascale and petascale systems, not just for simple classical MD simulations, but also for more advanced methods, including umbrella sampling with complex restraints and reaction coordinates, transition path sampling, steered molecular dynamics, and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations of systems the size of cellulose degrading enzymes acting on cellulose

  7. Smart marketing may improve public understanding of the anesthesia profession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barak; Ogorek, Daniel; Oifa, Stanislav; Cattan, Anat; Matot, Idit

    2015-01-01

    A 2005 survey led by the Israeli Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) found that large parts of the Israeli public are not familiar with the profession of anesthesia. The ISA has subsequently been conducting a public campaign for several years with the aim to enhance community knowledge regarding the anesthesiologists' training and their critical role in the perioperative period. The present study sought to evaluate the value of a campaign aiming to enhance public understanding of the importance of a medical profession; more specifically, a campaign to promote awareness of the community regarding the anesthesia profession. If proved to be successful, public campaigns may be considered in other countries and for other medical professions with similar difficulties. In 2013, five hundred participants from the general community were asked to answer a questionnaire focusing on the profession of anesthesia. Public knowledge has improved following the campaign. Specifically, improvement was demonstrated regarding the qualification of the anesthesiologist as an MD (92% vs. 64% in 2013 and 2005, respectively), and enhanced awareness of the anesthesia team's critical role in the operating room (OR) (48% vs. 30% in 2013 and 2005, respectively). The Israeli community is attentive to public campaigns that address the roles of a medical profession. Enhanced public knowledge regarding the importance of the anesthesia profession may have a significant impact on both the payment policy for anesthesiologists and on the recruitment of more physicians to the field of anesthesia. Public campaigns may be considered for other medical professions with similar difficulties.

  8. 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

  9. Understanding text-based persuasion and support tactics of concerned significant others

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine van Stolk-Cooke

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The behavior of concerned significant others (CSOs can have a measurable impact on the health and wellness of individuals attempting to meet behavioral and health goals, and research is needed to better understand the attributes of text-based CSO language when encouraging target significant others (TSOs to achieve those goals. In an effort to inform the development of interventions for CSOs, this study examined the language content of brief text-based messages generated by CSOs to motivate TSOs to achieve a behavioral goal. CSOs generated brief text-based messages for TSOs for three scenarios: (1 to help TSOs achieve the goal, (2 in the event that the TSO is struggling to meet the goal, and (3 in the event that the TSO has given up on meeting the goal. Results indicate that there was a significant relationship between the tone and compassion of messages generated by CSOs, the CSOs’ perceptions of TSO motivation, and their expectation of a grateful or annoyed reaction by the TSO to their feedback or support. Results underscore the importance of attending to patterns in language when CSOs communicate with TSOs about goal achievement or failure, and how certain variables in the CSOs’ perceptions of their TSOs affect these characteristics.

  10. Investigators share improved understanding of the North American carbon cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. Birdsey; Robert Cook; Scott Denning; Peter Griffith; Beverly Law; Jeffrey Masek; Anna Michalak; Stephen Ogle; Dennis Ojima; Yude Pan; Christopher Sabine; Edwin Sheffner; Eric Sundquist

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North American and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientifi c disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for...

  11. Principal efforts in improving the understanding of Climate impact of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Overview Graphics. Principal efforts in improving the understanding of Climate impact of aerosols -. New and enhanced satellite borne sensors. Focused field experiments. Establishment and enhancement of ground based networks. Development and deployment of new and enhanced ...

  12. Towards a Unified Understanding of Lithium Action in Basic Biology and its Significance for Applied Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsson, Eric; Argüello-Miranda, Orlando; Chiu, See-Wing; Fazal, Zeeshan; Kruczek, James; Nunez-Corrales, Santiago; Pandit, Sagar; Pritchet, Laura

    2017-12-01

    Lithium has literally been everywhere forever, since it is one of the three elements created in the Big Bang. Lithium concentration in rocks, soil, and fresh water is highly variable from place to place, and has varied widely in specific regions over evolutionary and geologic time. The biological effects of lithium are many and varied. Based on experiments in which animals are deprived of lithium, lithium is an essential nutrient. At the other extreme, at lithium ingestion sufficient to raise blood concentration significantly over 1 mM/, lithium is acutely toxic. There is no consensus regarding optimum levels of lithium intake for populations or individuals-with the single exception that lithium is a generally accepted first-line therapy for bipolar disorder, and specific dosage guidelines for sufferers of that condition are generally agreed on. Epidemiological evidence correlating various markers of social dysfunction and disease vs. lithium level in drinking water suggest benefits of moderately elevated lithium compared to average levels of lithium intake. In contrast to other biologically significant ions, lithium is unusual in not having its concentration in fluids of multicellular animals closely regulated. For hydrogen ions, sodium ions, potassium ions, calcium ions, chloride ions, and magnesium ions, blood and extracellular fluid concentrations are closely and necessarily regulated by systems of highly selective channels, and primary and secondary active transporters. Lithium, while having strong biological activity, is tolerated over body fluid concentrations ranging over many orders of magnitude. The lack of biological regulation of lithium appears due to lack of lithium-specific binding sites and selectivity filters. Rather lithium exerts its myriad physiological and biochemical effects by competing for macromolecular sites that are relatively specific for other cations, most especially for sodium and magnesium. This review will consider what is known

  13. Toward improved understanding and control in analytical atomic spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieftje, Gary M.

    1989-01-01

    As with most papers which attempt to predict the future, this treatment will begin with a coverage of past events. It will be shown that progress in the field of analytical atomic spectrometry has occurred through a series of steps which involve the addition of new techniques and the occasional displacement of established ones. Because it is difficult or impossible to presage true breakthroughs, this manuscript will focus on how such existing methods can be modified or improved to greatest advantage. The thesis will be that rational improvement can be accomplished most effectively by understanding fundamentally the nature of an instrumental system, a measurement process, and a spectrometric technique. In turn, this enhanced understanding can lead to closer control, from which can spring improved performance. Areas where understanding is now lacking and where control is most greatly needed will be identified and a possible scheme for implementing control procedures will be outlined. As we draw toward the new millennium, these novel procedures seem particularly appealing; new high-speed computers, the availability of expert systems, and our enhanced understanding of atomic spectrometric events combine to make future prospects extremely bright.

  14. Improving students’ understanding of mathematical concept using maple

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ningsih, Y. L.; Paradesa, R.

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed to improve students’ understanding of mathematical concept ability through implementation of using Maple in learning and expository learning. This study used a quasi-experimental research with pretest-posttest control group design. The sample on this study was 61 students in the second semester of Mathematics Education of Universitas PGRI Palembang, South Sumatera in academic year 2016/2017. The sample was divided into two classes, one class as the experiment class who using Maple in learning and the other class as a control class who received expository learning. Data were collective through the test of mathematical initial ability and mathematical concept understanding ability. Data were analyzed by t-test and two ways ANOVA. The results of this study showed (1) the improvement of students’ mathematical concept understanding ability who using Maple in learning is better than those who using expository learning; (2) there is no interaction between learning model and students’ mathematical initial ability toward the improvement of students’ understanding of mathematical concept ability.

  15. The Paravascular Pathway for Brain Waste Clearance: Current Understanding, Significance and Controversy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Bacyinski

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The paravascular pathway, also known as the “glymphatic” pathway, is a recently described system for waste clearance in the brain. According to this model, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF enters the paravascular spaces surrounding penetrating arteries of the brain, mixes with interstitial fluid (ISF and solutes in the parenchyma, and exits along paravascular spaces of draining veins. Studies have shown that metabolic waste products and solutes, including proteins involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyloid-beta, may be cleared by this pathway. Consequently, a growing body of research has begun to explore the association between glymphatic dysfunction and various disease states. However, significant controversy exists in the literature regarding both the direction of waste clearance as well as the anatomical space in which the waste-fluid mixture is contained. Some studies have found no evidence of interstitial solute clearance along the paravascular space of veins. Rather, they demonstrate a perivascular pathway in which waste is cleared from the brain along an anatomically distinct perivascular space in a direction opposite to that of paravascular flow. Although possible explanations have been offered, none have been able to fully reconcile the discrepancies in the literature, and many questions remain. Given the therapeutic potential that a comprehensive understanding of brain waste clearance pathways might offer, further research and clarification is highly warranted.

  16. The Paravascular Pathway for Brain Waste Clearance: Current Understanding, Significance and Controversy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacyinski, Andrew; Xu, Maosheng; Wang, Wei; Hu, Jiani

    2017-01-01

    The paravascular pathway, also known as the "glymphatic" pathway, is a recently described system for waste clearance in the brain. According to this model, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the paravascular spaces surrounding penetrating arteries of the brain, mixes with interstitial fluid (ISF) and solutes in the parenchyma, and exits along paravascular spaces of draining veins. Studies have shown that metabolic waste products and solutes, including proteins involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyloid-beta, may be cleared by this pathway. Consequently, a growing body of research has begun to explore the association between glymphatic dysfunction and various disease states. However, significant controversy exists in the literature regarding both the direction of waste clearance as well as the anatomical space in which the waste-fluid mixture is contained. Some studies have found no evidence of interstitial solute clearance along the paravascular space of veins. Rather, they demonstrate a perivascular pathway in which waste is cleared from the brain along an anatomically distinct perivascular space in a direction opposite to that of paravascular flow. Although possible explanations have been offered, none have been able to fully reconcile the discrepancies in the literature, and many questions remain. Given the therapeutic potential that a comprehensive understanding of brain waste clearance pathways might offer, further research and clarification is highly warranted.

  17. The Significance of Blackstone's Understanding of Sovereign Immunity for America's Public Institutions of Higher Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Brian A.; Thro, William E.

    2001-01-01

    Asserts that from the perspective of America's public institutions of higher education, Blackstone's greatest legacy is his understanding of sovereign immunity. Explores the similarities between Blackstone's understanding of sovereign immunity and the current jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court. (EV)

  18. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert John Adams

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Robert John AdamsThe Health Observatory, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Campus, The University of Adelaide, Woodville, South Australia, AustraliaAbstract: A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual’s competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly

  19. Can asthma control be improved by understanding the patient's perspective?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Østrem Anders

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical trials show that asthma can be controlled in the majority of patients, but poorly controlled asthma still imposes a considerable burden. The level of asthma control achieved reflects the behaviour of both healthcare professionals and patients. A key challenge for healthcare professionals is to help patients to engage in self-management behaviours with optimal adherence to appropriate treatment. These issues are particularly relevant in primary care, where most asthma is managed. An international panel of experts invited by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group considered the evidence and discussed the implications for primary care practice. Discussion Causes of poor control Clinical factors such as exposure to triggers and concomitant rhinitis are important but so are patient behavioural factors. Behaviours such as smoking and nonadherence may reduce the efficacy of treatment and patients' perceptions influence these behaviours. Perceptual barriers to adherence include doubting the need for treatment when symptoms are absent and concerns about potential adverse effects. Under-treatment may also be related to patients' underestimation of the significance of symptoms, and lack of awareness of achievable control. Implications Three key implications for healthcare professionals emerged from the debate. First, the need for simple tools to assess asthma control. Two approaches considered were the monitoring of biometric markers of control and questionnaires to record patient-reported outcomes. Second, to understand the reasons for poor control for individual patients, identifying both clinical (e.g. rhinitis and behavioural factors (e.g. smoking and nonadherence to treatment. Third was the need to incorporate, within asthma review, an assessment of patient perspectives including their goals and aspirations and to elicit their beliefs and concerns about asthma and its treatment. This can be used as a basis for

  20. Building Sustainable Futures: Emerging Understandings of the Significant Contribution of the Professional Learning Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Dorothy; Lewis, Marian

    2004-01-01

    This article draws on the experiences of a range of Australian schools engaging with a teacher-centred process of whole-school renewal known as IDEAS (Innovative Designs for Enhancing Achievement in Schools). IDEAS enhances the professional capacity of teachers to improve school outcomes such as student learning, relationships with the community,…

  1. Online education improves pediatric residents' understanding of atopic dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Megan F; Blondin, Heather M; Youssef, Molly J; Tollefson, Megha M; Hill, Lauren F; Hanson, Janice L; Bruckner, Anna L

    2018-01-01

    Pediatricians manage skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (AD) but report that their dermatologic training is inadequate. Online modules may enhance medical education when sufficient didactic or clinical teaching experiences are lacking. We assessed whether an online module about AD improved pediatric residents' knowledge and changed their clinical management of AD. Target and control cohorts of pediatric residents from two institutions were recruited. Target subjects took a 30-question test about AD early in their residency, reviewed the online module, and repeated the test 6 months and 1 year later. The control subjects, who had 1 year of clinical experience but had not reviewed the online module, also took the test. The mean percentage of correct answers was calculated and compared using two-sided, two-sample independent t tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance. For a subset of participants, clinical documentation from AD encounters was reviewed and 13 practice behaviors were compared using the Fisher exact test. Twenty-five subjects in the target cohort and 29 subjects in the control cohort completed the study. The target cohort improved from 18.0 ± 3.2 to 23.4 ± 3.4 correctly answered questions over 1 year (P online module about AD demonstrated statistically significant improvement in disease-specific knowledge over time and had statistically significantly higher scores than controls. Online dermatology education may effectively supplement traditional clinical teaching. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. The significance of Candida in the human respiratory tract: our evolving understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Kathryn M; Huffnagle, Gary B; Dickson, Robert P

    2017-04-01

    Candida is an opportunistic pathogen and the most commonly isolated fungal genus in humans. Though Candida is often detected in respiratory specimens from humans with and without lung disease, its significance remains undetermined. While historically considered a commensal organism with low virulence potential, the status of Candida as an innocent bystander has recently been called into question by both clinical observations and animal experimentation. We here review what is currently known and yet to be determined about the clinical, microbiological and pathophysiological significance of the detection of Candida spp. in the human respiratory tract. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  3. Assessing Community Leadership: Understanding Community Capacity for Health Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Billie; Wendel, Monica; Kelly Pryor, Brandy N; Ingram, Monique

    The purpose of this study was to pilot a quantitative instrument to measure aspects of community leadership within an assessment framework. The instrument includes 14 Likert-type questions asking residents how they perceive leaders within 5 sectors: Louisville Metro Council/Mayor's Office, the faith community, education, business, and the civic sector. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, has a population of about 743 000 residents. Respondents were asked to examine leadership within West Louisville, an economically deprived area of the city made up of 9 contiguous neighborhoods. This area is predominantly African American (78% compared with 22% in Louisville Metro), with an overall poverty rate of 43% (compared with 18% in Louisville Metro), and unemployment rate of 23% (compared with 8% in Louisville Metro). Residents of West Louisville are looking to leadership to address many of the inequities. Twenty-seven participants representing 7 community sectors completed the survey, of whom 90% work in West Louisville. The instrument measured local perceptions of leadership strength, effectiveness, trust, communication, community building, and leadership development. The majority of respondents agree that strong leadership exists across the 5 sectors, with variation regarding perceptions of the quality of that leadership. City leadership within the Mayor's Office and Metro Council is largely viewed positively, while the growing tensions within the education sector were reflected in the survey results. The perception of community leadership is important to understanding local community capacity to improve health and also inclusivity of community voice in the assessment and community improvement processes. Results from such assessments can offer useful information for strengthening community capacity and sustaining relationships needed to enact progressive and equitable solutions to address local issues. Leaders in a variety of settings can utilize this instrument to

  4. Proteomics Improves the New Understanding of Honeybee Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hora, Zewdu Ararso; Altaye, Solomon Zewdu; Wubie, Abebe Jemberie; Li, Jianke

    2018-04-11

    The honeybee is one of the most valuable insect pollinators, playing a key role in pollinating wild vegetation and agricultural crops, with significant contribution to the world's food production. Although honeybees have long been studied as model for social evolution, honeybee biology at the molecular level remained poorly understood until the year 2006. With the availability of the honeybee genome sequence and technological advancements in protein separation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics, aspects of honeybee biology such as developmental biology, physiology, behavior, neurobiology, and immunology have been explored to new depths at molecular and biochemical levels. This Review comprehensively summarizes the recent progress in honeybee biology using proteomics to study developmental physiology, task transition, and physiological changes in some of the organs, tissues, and cells based on achievements from the authors' laboratory in this field. The research advances of honeybee proteomics provide new insights for understanding of honeybee biology and future research directions.

  5. Challenges and opportunities for improved understanding of regional climate dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Matthew; Minobe, Shoshiro; Barreiro, Marcelo; Bordoni, Simona; Kaspi, Yohai; Kuwano-Yoshida, Akira; Keenlyside, Noel; Manzini, Elisa; O'Reilly, Christopher H.; Sutton, Rowan; Xie, Shang-Ping; Zolina, Olga

    2018-01-01

    Dynamical processes in the atmosphere and ocean are central to determining the large-scale drivers of regional climate change, yet their predictive understanding is poor. Here, we identify three frontline challenges in climate dynamics where significant progress can be made to inform adaptation: response of storms, blocks and jet streams to external forcing; basin-to-basin and tropical-extratropical teleconnections; and the development of non-linear predictive theory. We highlight opportunities and techniques for making immediate progress in these areas, which critically involve the development of high-resolution coupled model simulations, partial coupling or pacemaker experiments, as well as the development and use of dynamical metrics and exploitation of hierarchies of models.

  6. 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...

  7. Teaching Strategies for Significant Development of Reading of Learners Understanding in Primary Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Edixa Araujo Riveros

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This article aims to propose a manual significant for the development of reading comprehension in students of Educational Unit The Batatal located in the parish Marcelino Briceño, municipality Baralt, Zulia state teaching strategies. To do this, it is based theoretically on the contributions of authors like Campos (2011 Camilloni (2012, Castedo (2011, Ortiz (2012, among others. Methodologically, it developed following the modality of feasible project, which was applied to a population of 24 teachers from the selected institution. survey the survey with a structured according Likert scale questionnaire type instrument, and twenty-four items was used as a technique. The validity was obtained through expert judgment, the reliability of =, 9216 was calculated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The results led to the conclusion that teachers had weaknesses related to the implementation of teaching strategies that will enable the development of reading comprehension in students by providing input for the design of the proposed manual. It is recommended to use different strategies for different levels of reading comprehension in accordance with the development achieved by their students.

  8. Phasic firing in vasopressin cells: understanding its functional significance through computational models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan J MacGregor

    Full Text Available Vasopressin neurons, responding to input generated by osmotic pressure, use an intrinsic mechanism to shift from slow irregular firing to a distinct phasic pattern, consisting of long bursts and silences lasting tens of seconds. With increased input, bursts lengthen, eventually shifting to continuous firing. The phasic activity remains asynchronous across the cells and is not reflected in the population output signal. Here we have used a computational vasopressin neuron model to investigate the functional significance of the phasic firing pattern. We generated a concise model of the synaptic input driven spike firing mechanism that gives a close quantitative match to vasopressin neuron spike activity recorded in vivo, tested against endogenous activity and experimental interventions. The integrate-and-fire based model provides a simple physiological explanation of the phasic firing mechanism involving an activity-dependent slow depolarising afterpotential (DAP generated by a calcium-inactivated potassium leak current. This is modulated by the slower, opposing, action of activity-dependent dendritic dynorphin release, which inactivates the DAP, the opposing effects generating successive periods of bursting and silence. Model cells are not spontaneously active, but fire when perturbed by random perturbations mimicking synaptic input. We constructed one population of such phasic neurons, and another population of similar cells but which lacked the ability to fire phasically. We then studied how these two populations differed in the way that they encoded changes in afferent inputs. By comparison with the non-phasic population, the phasic population responds linearly to increases in tonic synaptic input. Non-phasic cells respond to transient elevations in synaptic input in a way that strongly depends on background activity levels, phasic cells in a way that is independent of background levels, and show a similar strong linearization of the response

  9. Understanding of Evolution May Be Improved by Thinking about People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Nettle

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The theory of evolution is poorly understood in the population at large, even by those with some science education. The recurrent misunderstandings can be partly attributed to failure to distinguish between processes which individual organisms undergo and those which populations undergo. They may be so pervasive because we usually explain evolutionary ideas with examples from non-human animals, and our everyday cognition about animals does not track individuals as distinct from the species to which they belong. By contrast, everyday cognition about other people tracks unique individuals as well as general properties of humans. In Study 1, I present experimental evidence that categorization by species occurs more strongly for non-human animals than for other people in 50 British university students. In Study 2, I show, in the same population, that framing evolutionary scenarios in terms of people produces fewer conceptual errors than when logically identical scenarios are framed terms of non-human animals. I conclude that public understanding of evolution might be improved if we began instruction by considering the organisms which are most familiar to us.

  10. Toward an Improved Understanding of the Global Fresh Water Budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, Peter H.

    2005-01-01

    priorities for future improvements in global fresh water budget monitoring. The priorities are based on the potential of new approaches to provide improved measurement and modeling systems, and on the need to measure and understand the potential for a speed-up of the global water cycle under the effects of climate change.

  11. 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.

  12. Understanding and Improving Ocean Mixing Parameterizations for modeling Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, A. M.; Fells, J.; Clarke, J.; Cheng, Y.; Canuto, V.; Dubovikov, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is vital. Earth is only habitable due to the atmosphere&oceans' distribution of energy. Our Greenhouse Gas emissions shift overall the balance between absorbed and emitted radiation causing Global Warming. How much of these emissions are stored in the ocean vs. entering the atmosphere to cause warming and how the extra heat is distributed depends on atmosphere&ocean dynamics, which we must understand to know risks of both progressive Climate Change and Climate Variability which affect us all in many ways including extreme weather, floods, droughts, sea-level rise and ecosystem disruption. Citizens must be informed to make decisions such as "business as usual" vs. mitigating emissions to avert catastrophe. Simulations of Climate Change provide needed knowledge but in turn need reliable parameterizations of key physical processes, including ocean mixing, which greatly impacts transport&storage of heat and dissolved CO2. The turbulence group at NASA-GISS seeks to use physical theory to improve parameterizations of ocean mixing, including smallscale convective, shear driven, double diffusive, internal wave and tidal driven vertical mixing, as well as mixing by submesoscale eddies, and lateral mixing along isopycnals by mesoscale eddies. Medgar Evers undergraduates aid NASA research while learning climate science and developing computer&math skills. We write our own programs in MATLAB and FORTRAN to visualize and process output of ocean simulations including producing statistics to help judge impacts of different parameterizations on fidelity in reproducing realistic temperatures&salinities, diffusivities and turbulent power. The results can help upgrade the parameterizations. Students are introduced to complex system modeling and gain deeper appreciation of climate science and programming skills, while furthering climate science. We are incorporating climate projects into the Medgar Evers college curriculum. The PI is both a member of the turbulence group at

  13. Using digital multimedia to improve parents' and children's understanding of clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Alan R; Voepel-Lewis, Terri; Levine, Robert

    2015-06-01

    Data show that many research subjects have difficulty understanding study information using traditional paper consent documents. This study, therefore, was designed to evaluate the effect of an interactive multimedia program on improving parents' and children's understanding of clinical trial concepts and participation. Parents (n=148) and children (n=135) were each randomised to receive information regarding clinical trials using either a traditional paper format (TF) or an interactive iPad program (IP) with inline exercises. Participants' understanding of the information was assessed using semistructured interviews prior to (pretest) and after (post-test) receiving the information. Participants also completed a short survey to assess their perceptions of information delivery and satisfaction with the process. Regardless of the mode of information delivery, all participants demonstrated improved pretest to post-test understanding. While there were no statistical differences in parents' post-test understanding between the TF and IP groups, children in the IP group had significantly greater post-test understanding compared with children in the TF group (11.65 (4.1) vs 8.85 (4.1) (2.8, 1.4, 4.2) 0-18 scale where 18=complete understanding). Furthermore, the IP was found to be significantly 'easier to follow' and 'more effective' in presenting information compared with the TF. Results demonstrated the importance of providing information regarding clinical trial concepts to parents and children. Importantly, the ability of interactive multimedia to improve understanding of clinical trial concepts and satisfaction with information delivery, particularly among children, supports this approach as a novel and effective vehicle for enhancing the informed consent process. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  14. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna

    2017-01-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students’ understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance. PMID:28542179

  15. 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)

  16. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Quality Improvement in Hospitals: Identifying and Understanding Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz M. Mazur

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving operational performance in hospitals is complicated, particularly if process improvement requires complex behavioral changes. Using single-loop and double-loop learning theory as a foundation, the purpose of this research is to empirically uncover key improvement behaviors and the factors that may be associated with such behaviors in hospitals. A two-phased approach was taken to collect data regarding improvement behaviors and associated factors, and data analysis was conducted using methods proposed by grounded theorists. The contributions of this research are twofold. First, five key behaviors related to process improvement are identified, namely Quick Fixing, Initiating, Conforming, Expediting, and Enhancing. Second, based on these observed behaviors, a set of force field diagrams is developed to structure and organize possible factors that are important to consider when attempting to change improvement behaviors. This begins to fill the gap in the knowledge about what factors drive effective improvement efforts in hospital settings.

  18. Task-specific visual cues for improving process model understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petrusel, Razvan; Mendling, Jan; Reijers, Hajo A.

    2016-01-01

    Context Business process models support various stakeholders in managing business processes and designing process-aware information systems. In order to make effective use of these models, they have to be readily understandable. Objective Prior research has emphasized the potential of visual cues to

  19. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

    2013-01-01

    To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

  20. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni S

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Standard epidemiological methods to understand and improve Apis mellifera health

    OpenAIRE

    Lengerich, Eugene; Spleen, Angela; Dainat, Benjamin; Cresswell, James; Baylis , Kathy; Nguyen, Bach Kim; Soroker, Victoria; Underwood, Robyn; Human, Hannelie; Le Conte, Yves; Saegerman, Claude

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the use of epidemiological methods to understand and reduce honey bee morbidity and mortality. Essential terms are presented and defined and we also give examples for their use. Defining such terms as disease, population, sensitivity, and specificity, provides a framework for epidemiological comparisons. The term population, in particular, is quite complex for an organism like the honey bee because one can view “epidemiological unit” as individual bees, colonies, ap...

  2. Using Cognitive Load Theory to Understand and Improve Patient Handoffs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Young, J.Q.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Transfers of patients from one physician to another (handovers) are ubiquitous and occur with increasing frequency. Handovers are a common source of communication failures, which lead to medical errors and harm to patients. Considerable attention has focused on interventions to improve

  3. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This research article is based on the Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence's conceptualization of improvement as a dual cycle/three element initiative of examining and bettering inputs, processes, and outputs as driven by measurement, analysis and knowledge management work. This study isolates a…

  4. Understanding Resolvin Signaling Pathways to Improve Oral Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura De Oleo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of resolvins has been a major breakthrough for understanding the processes involved in resolution of inflammation. Resolvins belong to a family of novel lipid mediators that possess dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution actions. Specifically, they protect healthy tissue during immune-inflammatory responses to infection or injury, thereby aiding inflammation resolution and promoting tissue healing. One of the major concerns in modern medicine is the management and treatment of oral diseases, as they are related to systemic outcomes impacting the quality of life of many patients. This review summarizes known signaling pathways utilized by resolvins to regulate inflammatory responses associated with the oral cavity.

  5. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks.

  6. 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

  7. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna; Hurst, Laurence D

    2017-05-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students' understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p genetics was taught first. Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance.

  8. 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.

  9. Simple Activities to Improve Students' Understanding of Microscopic Friction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corpuz, Edgar de Guzman; Rebello, N. Sanjay

    2012-01-01

    We are currently on the verge of several breakthroughs in nanoscience and technology, and we need to prepare our citizenry to be scientifically literate about the microscopic world. Previous research shows that students' mental models of friction at the atomic level are significantly influenced by their macroscopic ideas. Most students see…

  10. Improving Climate Projections by Understanding How Cloud Phase affects Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesana, Gregory; Storelvmo, Trude

    2017-01-01

    Whether a cloud is predominantly water or ice strongly influences interactions between clouds and radiation coming down from the Sun or up from the Earth. Being able to simulate cloud phase transitions accurately in climate models based on observational data sets is critical in order to improve confidence in climate projections, because this uncertainty contributes greatly to the overall uncertainty associated with cloud-climate feedbacks. Ultimately, it translates into uncertainties in Earth's sensitivity to higher CO2 levels. While a lot of effort has recently been made toward constraining cloud phase in climate models, more remains to be done to document the radiative properties of clouds according to their phase. Here we discuss the added value of a new satellite data set that advances the field by providing estimates of the cloud radiative effect as a function of cloud phase and the implications for climate projections.

  11. UNDERSTANDING OR NURSES' REACTIONS TO ERRORS AND USING THIS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taifoori, Ladan; Valiee, Sina

    2015-09-01

    The operating room can be home to many different types of nursing errors due to the invasiveness of OR procedures. The nurses' reactions towards errors can be a key factor in patient safety. This article is based on a study, with the aim of investigating nurses' reactions toward nursing errors and the various contributing and resulting factors, conducted at Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in Sanandaj, Iran in 2014. The goal of the study was to determine how OR nurses' reacted to nursing errors with the goal of having this information used to improve patient safety. Research was conducted as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The participants were all nurses employed in the operating rooms of the teaching hospitals of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, which was selected by a consensus method (170 persons). The information was gathered through questionnaires that focused on demographic information, error definition, reasons for error occurrence, and emotional reactions for error occurrence, and emotional reactions toward the errors. 153 questionnaires were completed and analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. "Not following sterile technique" (82.4 percent) was the most reported nursing error, "tiredness" (92.8 percent) was the most reported reason for the error occurrence, "being upset at having harmed the patient" (85.6 percent) was the most reported emotional reaction after error occurrence", with "decision making for a better approach to tasks the next time" (97.7 percent) as the most common goal and "paying more attention to details" (98 percent) was the most reported planned strategy for future improved outcomes. While healthcare facilities are focused on planning for the prevention and elimination of errors it was shown that nurses can also benefit from support after error occurrence. Their reactions, and coping strategies, need guidance and, with both individual and organizational support, can be a factor in improving patient safety.

  12. 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.

  13. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  14. Using Patient Case Video Vignettes to Improve Students’ Understanding of Cross-cultural Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryder, Brian; Mazan, Jennifer; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Cyganska, Angelika

    2017-01-01

    Objective. To develop, implement, and assess whether simulated patient case videos improve students’ understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication in health care. Design. Third-year pharmacy students (N=159) in a health care communications course participated in a one-hour lecture and two-hour workshop on the topic of cross-cultural communication. Three simulated pharmacist-patient case vignettes highlighting cross-cultural communication barriers, the role of active listening, appropriate use of medical interpreters, and useful models to overcome communication barriers were viewed and discussed in groups of 20 students during the workshop. Assessment. A pre-lecture and post-workshop assessed the effect on students’ understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication. Understanding of cross-cultural communication concepts increased significantly, as did comfort level with providing cross-cultural care. Conclusion. Use of simulated patient case videos in conjunction with an interactive workshop improved pharmacy students' understanding of and comfort level with cross-cultural communication skills and can be useful tools for cultural competency training in the curriculum. PMID:28496276

  15. Using Patient Case Video Vignettes to Improve Students' Understanding of Cross-cultural Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, Sally; Cryder, Brian; Mazan, Jennifer; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Cyganska, Angelika

    2017-04-01

    Objective. To develop, implement, and assess whether simulated patient case videos improve students' understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication in health care. Design. Third-year pharmacy students (N=159) in a health care communications course participated in a one-hour lecture and two-hour workshop on the topic of cross-cultural communication. Three simulated pharmacist-patient case vignettes highlighting cross-cultural communication barriers, the role of active listening, appropriate use of medical interpreters, and useful models to overcome communication barriers were viewed and discussed in groups of 20 students during the workshop. Assessment. A pre-lecture and post-workshop assessed the effect on students' understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication. Understanding of cross-cultural communication concepts increased significantly, as did comfort level with providing cross-cultural care. Conclusion. Use of simulated patient case videos in conjunction with an interactive workshop improved pharmacy students' understanding of and comfort level with cross-cultural communication skills and can be useful tools for cultural competency training in the curriculum.

  16. 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.

  17. Understanding Seasonal Changes to Improve Good Practices in Livestock Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Martelli

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Food quality control techniques based on process control methods are increasingly adopted in livestock production systems to fulfill increasing market's expectations toward competitiveness and issues linked to One Health pillars (environment, animal, and human health. Control Charts allow monitoring and systematic investigation of sources of variability in dairy production parameters. These parameters, however, may be affected by seasonal variations that render impractical, biased or ineffective the use statistical control charts. A possible approach to this problem is to adapt seasonal adjustment methods used for the analysis of economic and demographic seasonal time series. The aim of the present work is to evaluate a seasonal decomposition technique called X-11 on milk parameters routinely collected also in small farms (fat, protein, and lactose content, solids-not-fat, freezing point, somatic cell count, total bacterial count and to test the efficacy of different seasonal removal methods to improve the effectiveness of statistical control charting.Method: Data collection was carried out for 3 years on routinely monitored bulk tank milk parameters of a small farm. Seasonality presence was statistically assessed on milk parameters and, for those parameters showing seasonality, control charts for individuals were applied on raw data, on X-11 seasonally adjusted data, and on data smoothed with a symmetric moving average filter. Correlation of seasonally influenced parameters with daily mean temperature was investigated.Results: Presence of seasonality in milk parameters was statistically assessed for fat, protein, and solids-non-fat components. The X-11 seasonally-adjusted control charts showed a reduced number of violations (false alarms with respect to non-seasonally adjusted control chart (from 5 to 1 violation for fat, from 17 to 1 violation for protein, and from 9 to none violation for solids-non-fat.. This result was

  18. 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.

  19. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Daniel; Vlaev, Ivo; McMahon, Laurie; Harvey, Sarah; Mitchell, Andy; Borovoi, Leah; Darzi, Ara

    2017-05-11

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 represents the most complex National Health Service reforms in history. High-quality clinical leadership is important for successful implementation of health service reform. However, little is known about the effectiveness of current leadership training. This study describes the use of a behavioral simulation to improve the knowledge and leadership of a cohort of medical doctors expected to take leadership roles in the National Health Service. A day-long behavioral simulation (The Crucible) was developed and run based on a fictitious but realistic health economy. Participants completed pre- and postsimulation questionnaires generating qualitative and quantitative data. Leadership skills, knowledge, and behavior change processes described by the "theory of planned behavior" were self-assessed pre- and postsimulation. Sixty-nine medical doctors attended. Participants deemed the simulation immersive and relevant. Significant improvements were shown in perceived knowledge, capability, attitudes, subjective norms, intentions, and leadership competency following the program. Nearly one third of participants reported that they had implemented knowledge and skills from the simulation into practice within 4 weeks. This study systematically demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral simulation for clinical management training and understanding of health policy reform. Potential future uses and strategies for analysis are discussed. High-quality care requires understanding of health systems and strong leadership. Policymakers should consider the use of behavioral simulation to improve understanding of health service reform and development of leadership skills in clinicians, who readily adopt skills from simulation into everyday practice.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-01-02

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-13

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

  14. Using iterative learning to improve understanding during the informed consent process in a South African psychiatric genomics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Megan M; Susser, Ezra; Mall, Sumaya; Mqulwana, Sibonile G; Mndini, Michael M; Ntola, Odwa A; Nagdee, Mohamed; Zingela, Zukiswa; Van Wyk, Stephanus; Stein, Dan J

    2017-01-01

    Obtaining informed consent is a great challenge in global health research. There is a need for tools that can screen for and improve potential research participants' understanding of the research study at the time of recruitment. Limited empirical research has been conducted in low and middle income countries, evaluating informed consent processes in genomics research. We sought to investigate the quality of informed consent obtained in a South African psychiatric genomics study. A Xhosa language version of the University of California, San Diego Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent Questionnaire (UBACC) was used to screen for capacity to consent and improve understanding through iterative learning in a sample of 528 Xhosa people with schizophrenia and 528 controls. We address two questions: firstly, whether research participants' understanding of the research study improved through iterative learning; and secondly, what were predictors for better understanding of the research study at the initial screening? During screening 290 (55%) cases and 172 (33%) controls scored below the 14.5 cut-off for acceptable understanding of the research study elements, however after iterative learning only 38 (7%) cases and 13 (2.5%) controls continued to score below this cut-off. Significant variables associated with increased understanding of the consent included the psychiatric nurse recruiter conducting the consent screening, higher participant level of education, and being a control. The UBACC proved an effective tool to improve understanding of research study elements during consent, for both cases and controls. The tool holds utility for complex studies such as those involving genomics, where iterative learning can be used to make significant improvements in understanding of research study elements. The UBACC may be particularly important in groups with severe mental illness and lower education levels. Study recruiters play a significant role in managing the quality of

  15. Using iterative learning to improve understanding during the informed consent process in a South African psychiatric genomics study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan M Campbell

    Full Text Available Obtaining informed consent is a great challenge in global health research. There is a need for tools that can screen for and improve potential research participants' understanding of the research study at the time of recruitment. Limited empirical research has been conducted in low and middle income countries, evaluating informed consent processes in genomics research. We sought to investigate the quality of informed consent obtained in a South African psychiatric genomics study. A Xhosa language version of the University of California, San Diego Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent Questionnaire (UBACC was used to screen for capacity to consent and improve understanding through iterative learning in a sample of 528 Xhosa people with schizophrenia and 528 controls. We address two questions: firstly, whether research participants' understanding of the research study improved through iterative learning; and secondly, what were predictors for better understanding of the research study at the initial screening? During screening 290 (55% cases and 172 (33% controls scored below the 14.5 cut-off for acceptable understanding of the research study elements, however after iterative learning only 38 (7% cases and 13 (2.5% controls continued to score below this cut-off. Significant variables associated with increased understanding of the consent included the psychiatric nurse recruiter conducting the consent screening, higher participant level of education, and being a control. The UBACC proved an effective tool to improve understanding of research study elements during consent, for both cases and controls. The tool holds utility for complex studies such as those involving genomics, where iterative learning can be used to make significant improvements in understanding of research study elements. The UBACC may be particularly important in groups with severe mental illness and lower education levels. Study recruiters play a significant role in managing

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Do Architectural Design Decisions Improve the Understanding of Software Architecture? Two Controlled Experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shahin, M.; Liang, P.; Li, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Architectural design decision (ADD) and its design rationale, as a paradigm shift on documenting and enriching architecture design description, is supposed to facilitate the understanding of architecture and the reasoning behind the design rationale, which consequently improves the architecting

  12. Improvement of mutual understanding in risk communication by application of a debate support system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimoda, Hiroshi; Matsuda, Koji; Ishii, Hirotake; Yoshikawa, Hidekazu

    2010-01-01

    Given the recent problem of climate change, nuclear power has become perhaps the world's most important energy source. In Japan, however, it is difficult to build new nuclear facilities. One of the reasons for such difficulty lies in problems in risk communication. In this study, a support method has been proposed to improve mutual understanding in risk communication. The authors paid especial attention at the learning effect of debating and the benefits of employing a debate support system. A laboratory experiment including 30 university students was conducted in order to evaluate the proposed method. Results showed that the use of the system could improve mutual understanding especially with respect to the factors of risk 'reduction measures' and 'accident management'. In addition, it was found that using the system and debating from 'opposite positions' could improve subjective mutual understanding; however, this practice showed no effectiveness in terms of improving objective mutual understanding. (author)

  13. Understanding and using quality information for quality improvement: the effect of information presentation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Delnoij, D.M.J.; Veer, A.J.E. de; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wagner, C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To examine how information presentation affects the understanding and use of information for quality improvement. Design: An experimental design, testing 22 formats, and showing information on patient safety culture. Formats differed in visualization, outcomes and benchmark

  14. Understanding and using quality information for quality improvement : The effect of information presentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Delnoij, D.; De Veer, A.J.; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wagner, C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine how information presentation affects the understanding and use of information for quality improvement. Design An experimental design, testing 22 formats, and showing information on patient safety culture. Formats differed in visualization, outcomes and benchmark information.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Improving Elementary School Students' Understanding of Historical Time: Effects of Teaching with "Timewise"

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot-Reuvekamp, Marjan; Ros, Anje; van Boxtel, Carla

    2018-01-01

    The teaching of historical time is an important aspect in elementary school curricula. This study focuses on the effects of a curriculum intervention with "Timewise," a teaching approach developed to improve students' understanding of historical time using timelines as a basis with which students can develop their understanding of…

  20. A Modified Delphi to Identify the Significant Works Pertaining to the Understanding of Reading Comprehension and Content Analysis of the Identified Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zunker, Norma D.; Pearce, Daniel L.

    2012-01-01

    The first part of this study explored the significant works pertaining to the understanding of reading comprehension using a Modified Delphi Method. A panel of reading comprehension experts identified 19 works they considered to be significant to the understanding of reading comprehension. The panel of experts identified the reasons they…

  1. Nourishing Our Understanding of Role Modeling to Improve Support and Health (NOURISH): design and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzeo, Suzanne E; Kelly, Nichole R; Stern, Marilyn; Gow, Rachel W; Serdar, Kasey; Evans, Ronald K; Jones, Resa M; Bulik, Cynthia M

    2012-05-01

    Pediatric overweight is associated with numerous physical and psychological health risks, and overweight children are at significant risk for obesity in adulthood. African-American children are at particularly high risk for obesity and related health complications. However, this racial group has traditionally had limited access to obesity treatment and relatively few studies have included sufficient numbers of lower-SES, African American participants. Further, although parental involvement in treatment for pediatric overweight has been found to be beneficial, few studies have examined the efficacy of offering treatment exclusively to parents, a potentially cost-effective approach which could benefit the entire family. This pilot project will evaluate the efficacy of an intensive parenting intervention, (NOURISH; Nourishing Our Understanding of Role modeling to Improve Support and Health), targeting racially diverse parents of overweight children (ages 6-11). NOURISH addresses several urgent research priorities by targeting the underserved and addressing the significant disparity in obesity treatment services. Parents meeting study criteria (having a child between the ages of 6 and 11 with a BMI ≥ the 85th percentile) will be offered participation in the randomized trial comparing NOURISH with a control group. We hypothesize that children whose parents participate in NOURISH will manifest greater decreases in BMI, and greater improvements in dietary intake, and quality of life compared to children whose parents do not participate. This study is designed explicitly to gather preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness data to inform a subsequent larger randomized controlled trial. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  7. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. The Significance of the Understanding of Balance and Coordination in Self-Cognitive "Bio-Electro-Biblio/Info" Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Bor-sheng

    1991-01-01

    Examines the information communication process and proposes a fuzzy commonality model for improving communication systems. Topics discussed include components of an electronic information programing and processing system and the flow of the formation and transfer of information, including DOS (disk operating system) commands, computer programing…

  15. An integrated conceptual framework for evaluating and improving 'understanding' in informed consent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossert, Sabine; Strech, Daniel

    2017-10-17

    The development of understandable informed consent (IC) documents has proven to be one of the most important challenges in research with humans as well as in healthcare settings. Therefore, evaluating and improving understanding has been of increasing interest for empirical research on IC. However, several conceptual and practical challenges for the development of understandable IC documents remain unresolved. In this paper, we will outline and systematize some of these challenges. On the basis of our own experiences in empirical user testing of IC documents as well as the relevant literature on understanding in IC, we propose an integrated conceptual model for the development of understandable IC documents. The proposed conceptual model integrates different methods for the participatory improvement of written information, including IC, as well as quantitative methods for measuring understanding in IC. In most IC processes, understandable written information is an important prerequisite for valid IC. To improve the quality of IC documents, a conceptual model for participatory procedures of testing, revising, and retesting can be applied. However, the model presented in this paper needs further theoretical and empirical elaboration and clarification of several conceptual and practical challenges.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. Improving the Understanding of Research Methodology and Self-Regulated Learning Through Blog Project

    OpenAIRE

    Retnawati, Heri

    2017-01-01

    : This classroom action research seeks to improve self-regulated learning (SRL) and understanding of research methodology at the graduate school. Nineteen graduate school students were involved. Using project-based learning (PjBL), students were assigned to create online blogs as the main project. The blog was intended for representing their understanding of research methodology by writing review of research articles and submitting a research proposal. The classroom action research was based ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Does using active learning in thermodynamics lectures improve students’ conceptual understanding and learning experiences?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Georgiou, H; Sharma, M D

    2015-01-01

    Encouraging ‘active learning’ in the large lecture theatre emerges as a credible recommendation for improving university courses, with reports often showing significant improvements in learning outcomes. However, the recommendations are based predominantly on studies undertaken in mechanics. We set out to examine those claims in the thermodynamics module of a large first year physics course with an established technique, called interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs). The study took place at The University of Sydney, where four parallel streams of the thermodynamics module were divided into two streams that experienced the ILDs and two streams that did not. The programme was first implemented in 2011 to gain experience and refine logistical matters and repeated in 2012 with approximately 500 students. A validated survey, the thermal concepts survey, was used as pre-test and post-test to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided insights into what the ‘active learning’ meant from student experiences. We analysed lecture recordings to capture the time devoted to different activities in a lecture, including interactivity. The learning gains were in the ‘high gain’ range for the ILD streams and ‘medium gain’ for the other streams. The analysis of the lecture recordings showed that the ILD streams devoted significantly more time to interactivity while surveys and interviews showed that students in the ILD streams were thinking in deep ways. Our study shows that ILDs can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding as well as their experiences, demonstrating the potential value-add that can be provided by investing in active learning to enhance lectures. (paper)

  2. Geology of the Elephanta Island fault zone, western Indian rifted margin, and its significance for understanding the Panvel flexure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samant, Hrishikesh; Pundalik, Ashwin; D'souza, Joseph; Sheth, Hetu; Lobo, Keegan Carmo; D'souza, Kyle; Patel, Vanit

    2017-02-01

    The Panvel flexure is a 150-km long tectonic structure, comprising prominently seaward-dipping Deccan flood basalts, on the western Indian rifted margin. Given the active tectonic faulting beneath the Panvel flexure zone inferred from microseismicity, better structural understanding of the region is needed. The geology of Elephanta Island in the Mumbai harbour, famous for the ca. mid-6th century A.D. Hindu rock-cut caves in Deccan basalt (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is poorly known. We describe a previously unreported but well-exposed fault zone on Elephanta Island, consisting of two large faults dipping steeply east-southeast and producing easterly downthrows. Well-developed slickensides and structural measurements indicate oblique slip on both faults. The Elephanta Island fault zone may be the northern extension of the Alibag-Uran fault zone previously described. This and two other known regional faults (Nhava-Sheva and Belpada faults) indicate a progressively eastward step-faulted structure of the Panvel flexure, with the important result that the individual movements were not simply downdip but also oblique-slip and locally even rotational (as at Uran). An interesting problem is the normal faulting, block tectonics and rifting of this region of the crust for which seismological data indicate a normal thickness (up to 41.3 km). A model of asymmetric rifting by simple shear may explain this observation and the consistently landward dips of the rifted margin faults.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Brodzik, Mary J.; Billingsley, Brendan; Haran, Terry; Raup, Bruce; Savoie, Matthew H.

    2012-01-01

    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...

  4. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. The Hmong 'Dab Pog Couple' Story and its Significance in Arriving at an Understanding of Hmong Ritual

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dia Cha

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Many Hmong continue to believe in the efficacy, and commission the practice by shamans of, some of the more important traditional rituals, such as marriage rites (kab tshoob kev kos, "soul calling" (hu plig, healing rites (ua neeb or khaw koob, worshipping the "house spirit" (teev xwm kab, and funeral rites (kev ploj tuag. Certainly, however, there are those Hmong, especially among younger generations, who either choose not to participate in such rituals, or who participate in them without any clear comprehension of the deeper meaning or details; indeed, without any strongly held beliefs regarding the cosmological system which is the ritual's foundation, underpinning and supporting the call for the many actions, gestures, offerings and recitations which, in the final analysis, constitute the bulk of any such performance. This philosophical ambivalence on the part of modern celebrants renders the position of ritual in Hmong society somewhat problematic. In addition, the various Hmong clans have, in the past, of necessity resided in divergent geographical locales, and, as a result of this and other factors, have often espoused divergent, philosophically and culturally heterogeneous, beliefs. This, taken together with the fact that Hmong customs have been orally transmitted down the generations, has had the result that there may be several versions of the meaning, and method of performance, of any given ritual.The presentation that follows will discuss the "Dab Pog Couple" story as it bears upon the origins of Hmong cultural tradition and embedded social values. Such a consideration will, at the same time, serve to introduce and elucidate many of the meanings behind, and values attached to, Hmong rituals in general and will thus provide a contribution to the understanding of these rituals and their relation to Dab Neeg (Folk Legends within the Hmong cultural studies scholarly literature.Briefly stated, the Hmong believe that the "Dab Pog" couple

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. Improving Design Understandings and Skills through Enhanced Metacognition: Reflective Design Journals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Mustafa; Kurt, Sevinc

    2017-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to investigate and discover whether going through the process of reflection by keeping reflective design journals (RDJ) enhances architecture students' metacognition and whether this enhanced metacognition improves their design understandings and skills. The study was a mixed-methods design and utilised content…

  14. Managing Resources and Relations in Higher Education Institutions: A Framework for Understanding Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Sophia Shi-Huei; Peng, Michael Yao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Changes in social systems demonstrate that various structural disadvantages have jointly led to increasing competition among higher education institutions (HEIs) in many countries, especially Taiwan. Institutional administrators must recognize the need to understand how to improve performance and consistently outperform other institutions.…

  15. Scaffolded Instruction Improves Student Understanding of the Scientific Method & Experimental Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Costa, Allison R.; Schlueter, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of a guided-inquiry lab in introductory biology classes, along with scaffolded instruction, improved students' understanding of the scientific method, their ability to design an experiment, and their identification of experimental variables. Pre- and postassessments from experimental versus control sections over three semesters…

  16. III. Cellular ultrastructures in situ as key to understanding tumor energy metabolism: biological significance of the Warburg effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witkiewicz, Halina; Oh, Phil; Schnitzer, Jan E

    2013-01-01

    cell cycle through mitosis, indicated that Warburg effect had a fundamental biological significance extending to non-malignant tissues. The approach used here could facilitate integration of accumulated cyber knowledge on cancer metabolism into predictive science.

  17. Using process elicitation and validation to understand and improve chemotherapy ordering and delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Wilson C; Christov, Stefan C; Avrunin, George S; Clarke, Lori A; Osterweil, Leon J; Cassells, Lucinda J; Marquard, Jenna L

    2012-11-01

    Chemotherapy ordering and administration, in which errors have potentially severe consequences, was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated by employing process formalism (or formal process definition), a technique derived from software engineering, to elicit and rigorously describe the process, after which validation techniques were applied to confirm the accuracy of the described process. The chemotherapy ordering and administration process, including exceptional situations and individuals' recognition of and responses to those situations, was elicited through informal, unstructured interviews with members of an interdisciplinary team. The process description (or process definition), written in a notation developed for software quality assessment purposes, guided process validation (which consisted of direct observations and semistructured interviews to confirm the elicited details for the treatment plan portion of the process). The overall process definition yielded 467 steps; 207 steps (44%) were dedicated to handling 59 exceptional situations. Validation yielded 82 unique process events (35 new expected but not yet described steps, 16 new exceptional situations, and 31 new steps in response to exceptional situations). Process participants actively altered the process as ambiguities and conflicts were discovered by the elicitation and validation components of the study. Chemotherapy error rates declined significantly during and after the project, which was conducted from October 2007 through August 2008. Each elicitation method and the subsequent validation discussions contributed uniquely to understanding the chemotherapy treatment plan review process, supporting rapid adoption of changes, improved communication regarding the process, and ensuing error reduction.

  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. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Understanding the gut microbiome of dairy calves: Opportunities to improve early-life gut health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmuthuge, Nilusha; Guan, Le Luo

    2017-07-01

    Early gut microbiota plays a vital role in the long-term health of the host. However, understanding of these microbiota is very limited in livestock species, especially in dairy calves. Neonatal calves are highly susceptible to enteric infections, one of the major causes of calf death, so approaches to improving gut health and overall calf health are needed. An increasing number of studies are exploring the microbial composition of the gut, the mucosal immune system, and early dietary interventions to improve the health of dairy calves, revealing possibilities for effectively reducing the susceptibility of calves to enteric infections while promoting growth. Still, comprehensive understanding of the effect of dietary interventions on gut microbiota-one of the key aspects of gut health-is lacking. Such knowledge may provide in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind functional changes in response to dietary interventions. Understanding of host-microbial interactions with dietary interventions and the role of the gut microbiota during pathogenesis at the site of infection in early life is vital for designing effective tools and techniques to improve calf gut health. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Simplification improves understanding of informed consent information in clinical trials regardless of health literacy level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eun Jin; Kim, Su Hyun

    2015-06-01

    This study evaluated the effect of a simplified informed consent form for clinical trials on the understanding and efficacy of informed consent information across health literacy levels. A total of 150 participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups and provided with either standard or simplified consent forms for a cancer clinical trial. The features of the simplified informed consent form included plain language, short sentences, diagrams, pictures, and bullet points. Levels of objective and subjective understanding were significantly higher in participants provided with simplified informed consent forms relative to those provided with standard informed consent forms. The interaction effects between type of consent form and health literacy level on objective and subjective understanding were nonsignificant. Simplified informed consent was effective in enhancing participant's subjective and objective understanding regardless of health literacy. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. 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.

  11. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies.

  12. Improving student understanding in web programming material through multimedia adventure games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitriasari, N. S.; Ashiddiqi, M. F.; Nurdin, E. A.

    2018-05-01

    This study aims to make multimedia adventure games and find out the improvement of learners’ understanding after being given treatment of using multimedia adventure game in learning Web Programming. Participants of this study are students of class X (ten) in one of the Vocational Schools (SMK) in Indonesia. The material of web programming is a material that difficult enough to be understood by the participant therefore needed tools to facilitate the participants to understand the material. Solutions offered in this study is by using multimedia adventures game. Multimedia has been created using Construct2 and measured understood with method Non-equivalent Control Group Design. Pre-test and post-test has given to learners who received treatment using the multimedia adventure showed increase in understanding web programming material.

  13. Analysis of drought characteristics for improved understanding of a water resource system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. T. Lennard

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Droughts are a reoccurring feature of the UK climate; recent drought events (2004–2006 and 2010–2012 have highlighted the UK’s continued vulnerability to this hazard. There is a need for further understanding of extreme events, particularly from a water resource perspective. A number of drought indices are available, which can help to improve our understanding of drought characteristics such as frequency, severity and duration. However, at present little of this is applied to water resource management in the water supply sector. Improved understanding of drought characteristics using indices can inform water resource management plans and enhance future drought resilience. This study applies the standardised precipitation index (SPI to a series of rainfall records (1962–2012 across the water supply region of a single utility provider. Key droughts within this period are analysed to develop an understanding of the meteorological characteristics that lead to, exist during and terminate drought events. The results of this analysis highlight how drought severity and duration can vary across a small-scale water supply region, indicating that the spatial coherence of drought events cannot be assumed.

  14. Improved understanding of the acoustophoretic focusing of dense suspensions in a microchannel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthick, S.; Sen, A. K.

    2017-11-01

    We provide improved understanding of acoustophoretic focusing of a dense suspension (volume fraction φ >10 % ) in a microchannel subjected to an acoustic standing wave using a proposed theoretical model and experiments. The model is based on the theory of interacting continua and utilizes a momentum transport equation for the mixture, continuity equation, and transport equation for the solid phase. The model demonstrates the interplay between acoustic radiation and shear-induced diffusion (SID) forces that is critical in the focusing of dense suspensions. The shear-induced particle migration model of Leighton and Acrivos, coupled with the acoustic radiation force, is employed to simulate the continuum behavior of particles. In the literature, various closures for the diffusion coefficient Dφ* are available for rigid spheres at high concentrations and nonspherical deformable particles [e.g., red blood cells (RBCs)] at low concentrations. Here we propose a closure for Dφ* for dense suspension of RBCs and validate the proposed model with experimental data. While the available closures for Dφ* fail to predict the acoustic focusing of a dense suspension of nonspherical deformable particles like RBCs, the predictions of the proposed model match experimental data within 15%. Both the model and experiments reveal a competition between acoustic radiation and SID forces that gives rise to an equilibrium width w* of a focused stream of particles at some distance Leq* along the flow direction. Using different shear rates, acoustic energy densities, and particle concentrations, we show that the equilibrium width is governed by Péclet number Pe and Strouhal number Stas w*=1.4(PeSt) -0.5 while the length required to obtain the equilibrium-focused width depends on St as Leq*=3.8 /(St)0.6 . The proposed model and correlations would find significance in the design of microchannels for acoustic focusing of dense suspensions such as undiluted blood.

  15. Understanding nitrate uptake, signaling and remobilisation for improving plant nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya

    2018-02-01

    The majority of terrestrial plants use nitrate as their main source of nitrogen. Nitrate also acts as an important signalling molecule in vital physiological processes required for optimum plant growth and development. Improving nitrate uptake and transport, through activation by nitrate sensing, signalling and regulatory processes, would enhance plant growth, resulting in improved crop yields. The increased remobilisation of nitrate, and assimilated nitrogenous compounds, from source to sink tissues further ensures higher yields and quality. An updated knowledge of various transporters, genes, activators, and microRNAs, involved in nitrate uptake, transport, remobilisation, and nitrate-mediated root growth, is presented. An enhanced understanding of these components will allow for their orchestrated fine tuning in efforts to improving nitrogen use efficiency in plants. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Using a multimedia presentation to improve patient understanding and satisfaction with informed consent for minimally invasive vascular procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, N; Eisenberg, E; Montbriand, J; Jaskolka, J; Roche-Nagle, G

    2017-02-01

    As vascular procedures become more complex, patient understanding of their treatment(s) can become more difficult. We wished to evaluate the utility of multimedia presentations (MPs) to improve patient understanding of their vascular interventions. Patients undergoing endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), peripheral angioplasty, Hickman catheter and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) insertion were randomized into a control group receiving traditional verbal consent, and a MP group that were shown a two minute simplified video of their procedure on an iPad™ computer in addition to the traditional verbal consent. After obtaining consent, all patients completed a questionnaire assessing their comprehension of the procedure, and satisfaction with the consent process. Satisfaction was rated on a 5 point Likert scale with 5 being 'very helpful' in understanding the procedure. Ninety-three patients were recruited for this study, 62% of which were male. The intervention significantly increased total comprehension in all procedure types controlling for procedure type (multimedia vs. control; F = 9.14, P = .003). A second ANOVA showed there was a significant main effect by intervention (F = 44.06, p consent process to be helpful in patient understanding and that there is improved satisfaction. Given the rapid rate of innovation in vascular interventions, increased regular use of MPs to help patients understand their procedures would be beneficial in the care of patients undergoing vascular interventions. Copyright © 2015 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Simplifying mental math: Changing how added sugars are displayed on the nutrition facts label can improve consumer understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandpur, Neha; Graham, Dan J; Roberto, Christina A

    2017-07-01

    Proposed variations to Nutrition Facts Labels (NFL) have included the display of added sugars (AS) content, but its impact on consumer understanding is poorly understood. To examine the degree to which different formats for displaying AS influence consumer understanding, perceptions, and purchase intentions. Randomized-controlled online experiment. A sample of 2509 U.S adults. Participants were randomized to 1 of 8 conditions and viewed 10 food or beverage images with either: (1) no label (control); (2) the current NFL (without AS); (3) the proposed NFL without AS; or the proposed NFL with AS in (4) grams, (5) grams and teaspoons, (6) grams and percent Daily Value (%DV), (7) grams with high/medium/low text, or (8) grams with high/medium/low text and %DV. ANCOVAs compared scores on quizzes that assessed the accuracy of judgments about AS, overall nutrition understanding and purchase intentions. Presenting AS in grams plus high/medium/low text with and without %DV led to the highest AS understanding scores (85% and 83% correct, respectively) compared to 70% correct when AS was not on the label or was displayed in grams only (74% correct). Displaying AS in teaspoons did not significantly improve understanding beyond grams alone. Consumers were best able to determine which of two products was healthier when AS was presented as %DV (68% correct) versus displayed in grams alone (60% correct), but %DV did not differ from high/medium/low text or teaspoons. None of the labels influenced purchase intentions relative to no label. Displaying AS on the NFL in grams with high/medium/low text, %DV, or the combination of the two, improved consumer understanding more than presenting it in grams or teaspoons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving understanding in the research informed consent process: a systematic review of 54 interventions tested in randomized control trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Adam; Carey, Jantey; Erwin, Patricia J; Tilburt, Jon C; Murad, M Hassan; McCormick, Jennifer B

    2013-07-23

    Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified. To systematically analyze the random controlled trials testing interventions to research informed consent process. The primary outcome of interest was quantitative rates of participant understanding; secondary outcomes were rates of information retention, satisfaction, and accrual. Interventional categories included multimedia, enhanced consent documents, extended discussions, test/feedback quizzes, and miscellaneous methods. The search spanned from database inception through September 2010. It was run on Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo and Cochrane CENTRAL, ISI Web of Science and Scopus. Five reviewers working independently and in duplicate screened full abstract text to determine eligibility. We included only RCTs. 39 out of 1523 articles fulfilled review criteria (2.6%), with a total of 54 interventions. A data extraction form was created in Distiller, an online reference management system, through an iterative process. One author collected data on study design, population, demographics, intervention, and analytical technique. Meta-analysis was possible on 22 interventions: multimedia, enhanced form, and extended discussion categories; all 54 interventions were assessed by review. Meta-analysis of multimedia approaches was associated with a non-significant increase in understanding scores (SMD 0.30, 95% CI, -0.23 to 0.84); enhanced consent form, with significant increase (SMD 1.73, 95% CI, 0.99 to 2.47); and extended discussion, with significant increase (SMD 0.53, 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.84). By review, 31% of multimedia interventions showed significant improvement in understanding; 41% for enhanced consent form; 50% for extended discussion; 33% for test/feedback; and 29% for miscellaneous.Multiple sources of variation

  19. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Key Ideas in Quantum Mechanics throughout Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emigh, Paul Jeffrey

    This dissertation describes research on student understanding of quantum mechanics across multiple levels of instruction. The primary focus has been to identify patterns in student reasoning related to key concepts in quantum mechanics. The specific topics include quantum measurements, time dependence, vector spaces, and angular momentum. The research has spanned a variety of different quantum courses intended for introductory physics students, upper-division physics majors, and graduate students in physics. The results of this research have been used to develop a set of curriculum, Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics, for addressing the most persistent student difficulties. We document both the development of this curriculum and how it has impacted and improved student understanding of quantum mechanics.

  20. An interdisciplinary approach towards improved understanding of soil deformation during compaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, T.; Lamandé, Mathieu; Peth, S.

    2013-01-01

    and validation of new soil compaction models. The integration of concepts underlying dynamic processes that modify soil pore spaces and bulk properties will improve the understanding of how soil management affect vital soil mechanical, hydraulic and ecological functions supporting plant growth.......Soil compaction not only reduces available pore volume in which fluids are stored, but it alters the arrangement of soil constituents and pore geometry, thereby adversely impacting fluid transport and a range of soil ecological functions. Quantitative understanding of stress transmission...... and deformation processes in arable soils remains limited. Yet such knowledge is essential for better predictions of effects of soil management practices such as agricultural field traffic on soil functioning. Concepts and theory used in agricultural soil mechanics (soil compaction and soil tillage) are often...

  1. 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.

  2. Executive Summary of the NHLBI Workshop Report: Leveraging Current Scientific Advancements to Understand Sarcoidosis Variability and Improve Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Lisa A; Crouser, Elliott D; Martin, William J; Eu, Jerry

    2017-12-01

    Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease that primarily affects the lung; it is associated with significant disparities, more commonly impacting those in the prime of their lives (age 20-50 yr, with a second peak after age 60 yr), black individuals, and women. However, the burden of disease, the ability to diagnose and prognose organ involvement and course, as well as specific treatment options, management options, and disease pathogenesis remain poorly understood. As a result, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute undertook a sarcoidosis workshop, "Leveraging Current Scientific Advancements to Understand Sarcoidosis Variability and Improve Outcomes," to help address these issues by defining the scientific and clinical priorities to improve sarcoidosis care. The overarching recommendations from this workshop are outlined in the following summary and detailed in the accompanying articles. The recommendations included establishing collaborations and networks to conduct research based on consensus definitions of disease phenotypes and standards of care, and to provide clinical outreach to areas with a burden of disease to improve care. These collaborative networks would also serve as the hub to conduct clinical trials of devastating phenotypes (e.g., cardiac, neurologic, and fibrotic disease) not only for treatment but to enhance our understanding of the burden of disease. In addition, the networks would be used to leverage state-of-the-art "omics" and systems biology research, as well as other studies to advance understanding of disease pathogenesis, and development of biomarkers and therapeutic targets, with a goal to translate this information to improve care of individuals with sarcoidosis.

  3. Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought‐induced tree and forest mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Henrik; Moura, Catarina; Anderegg, William R. L.; Ruehr, Nadine; Salmon, Yann; Allen, Craig D.; Arndt, Stefan K.; Breshears, David D.; Davi, Hendrik; Galbraith, David; Ruthrof, Katinka X.; Wunder, Jan; Adams, Henry D.; Bloemen, Jasper; Cailleret, Maxime; Cobb, Richard; Gessler, Arthur; Grams, Thorsten E. E.; Jansen, Steven; Kautz, Markus; Lloret, Francisco; O’Brien, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Accumulating evidence highlights increased mortality risks for trees during severe drought, particularly under warmer temperatures and increasing vapour pressure deficit (VPD). Resulting forest die‐off events have severe consequences for ecosystem services, biophysical and biogeochemical land–atmosphere processes. Despite advances in monitoring, modelling and experimental studies of the causes and consequences of tree death from individual tree to ecosystem and global scale, a general mechanistic understanding and realistic predictions of drought mortality under future climate conditions are still lacking. We update a global tree mortality map and present a roadmap to a more holistic understanding of forest mortality across scales. We highlight priority research frontiers that promote: (1) new avenues for research on key tree ecophysiological responses to drought; (2) scaling from the tree/plot level to the ecosystem and region; (3) improvements of mortality risk predictions based on both empirical and mechanistic insights; and (4) a global monitoring network of forest mortality. In light of recent and anticipated large forest die‐off events such a research agenda is timely and needed to achieve scientific understanding for realistic predictions of drought‐induced tree mortality. The implementation of a sustainable network will require support by stakeholders and political authorities at the international level.

  4. Can lessons designed with Gestalt laws of visual perception improve students' understanding of the phases of the moon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistisen, Michele

    There has been limited success teaching elementary students about the phases of the moon using diagrams, personal observations, and manipulatives. One possible reason for this is that instruction has failed to apply Gestalt principles of perceptual organization to the lesson materials. To see if fourth grade students' understanding could be improved, four lessons were designed and taught using the Gestalt laws of Figure-Ground, Symmetry, and Similarity. Students (n = 54) who were taught lessons applying the Gestalt principles scored 12% higher on an assessment than students (n = 51) who only were taught lessons using the traditional methods. Though scores showed significant improvement, it is recommended to follow the American Association for the Advancement of Science guidelines and wait until 9th grade to instruct students about the phases.

  5. 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)

  6. 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. ...

  7. Assimilation of ocean colour to improve the simulation and understanding of the North West European shelf-sea ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciavatta, Stefano; Brewin, Robert; Skakala, Jozef; Sursham, David; Ford, David

    2017-04-01

    Shelf-seas and coastal zones provide essential goods and services to humankind, such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and climate regulation. The understanding and management of these regions can be enhanced by merging ocean-colour observations and marine ecosystem simulations through data assimilation, which provides (sub)optimal estimates of key biogeochemical variables. Here we present a range of applications of ocean-colour data assimilation in the North West European shelf-sea. A reanalysis application illustrates that assimilation of error-characterized chlorophyll concentrations could provide a map of the shelf sea vulnerability to oxygen deficiency, as well as estimates of the shelf sea uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the last decade. The interannual variability of CO2 uptake and its uncertainty were related significantly to interannual fluctuations of the simulated primary production. However, the reanalysis also indicates that assimilation of total chlorophyll did not improve significantly the simulation of some other variables, e.g. nutrients. We show that the assimilation of alternative products derived from ocean colour (i.e. spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient and phytoplankton size classes) can overcome this limitation. In fact, these products can constrain a larger number of model variables, which define either the underwater light field or the structure of the lower trophic levels. Therefore, the assimilation of such ocean-colour products into marine ecosystem models is an advantageous novel approach to improve the understanding and simulation of shelf-sea environments.

  8. 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.

  9. Application of schlieren techniques for improved understanding of underground mine ventilation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jong, E.C.; Luxbacher, K.D.

    2010-01-01

    Mine ventilation systems must be maintained in optimal running order in order to suppress dusts and provide fresh air to mine workers. However, it is difficult to gather representative ventilation data because of the dynamic nature of mines, including geologic conditions, equipment operations, personnel movements, advance of mine openings and atmospheric changes. Errors and imprecision in computer codes can be detrimental to mine forecasting. The best way to improve the validity of ventilation models is to increase the quality of survey data. This study examined the feasibility of using the background-oriented schlieren (BOS) flow visualization method to reach this objective. Schlieren techniques involve the use of refractive properties of different air densities to enhance the distortions of light, thereby allowing airflow to be visualized. In this study, the BOS technique was used to image flow with 2 fans, an axivane fan and a custom built axial flow fan. The results showed that the BOS technique can clearly display air flow under the correct conditions. Producing an accurate picture of air flow can improve the industry's overall understanding of air flow and resistance, thus improving mine safety and productivity. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  10. Application of schlieren techniques for improved understanding of underground mine ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jong, E.C.; Luxbacher, K.D. [Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Mine ventilation systems must be maintained in optimal running order in order to suppress dusts and provide fresh air to mine workers. However, it is difficult to gather representative ventilation data because of the dynamic nature of mines, including geologic conditions, equipment operations, personnel movements, advance of mine openings and atmospheric changes. Errors and imprecision in computer codes can be detrimental to mine forecasting. The best way to improve the validity of ventilation models is to increase the quality of survey data. This study examined the feasibility of using the background-oriented schlieren (BOS) flow visualization method to reach this objective. Schlieren techniques involve the use of refractive properties of different air densities to enhance the distortions of light, thereby allowing airflow to be visualized. In this study, the BOS technique was used to image flow with 2 fans, an axivane fan and a custom built axial flow fan. The results showed that the BOS technique can clearly display air flow under the correct conditions. Producing an accurate picture of air flow can improve the industry's overall understanding of air flow and resistance, thus improving mine safety and productivity. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  11. The implementation of case study with module-assisted to improve students' understanding on phytochemistry course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julianto, Tatang Shabur; Fitriastuti, Dhina; Diniaty, Artina; Fauzi'ah, Lina; Arlianty, Widinda Normalia; Febriana, Beta Wulan; Muhaimin

    2017-12-01

    Phytochemistry is one of the course in Chemistry Department's curriculum which discusses about biosynthetic path of secondary metabolite compound in a plant, classification of secondary metabolite compound, isolation technique, and identification analysis. This course is expected to be able to bridge the generations of a nation that has expertise in managing the natural resources of Indonesian plants. In this research, it was evaluated the implementation of case study learning method towards students' understanding on phytochemistry course. The learning processes were conducted in 2 cycles i.e. before and after midterm. The first seven themes of materials before midterm were learned with case study method and the next seven themes of materials were studied with the same method with the module-assisted. The results showed that there was enhancement of students' understanding in class D that were obtained from comparison of midterm and final test. Contrarily, the students of class C have no significant enhancement. In addition, it was predicted that understanding enhancement was strongly influenced by the life skills and the motivation of students especially the academic skills aspect.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Understanding and Improving High-Temperature Structural Properties of Metal-Silicide Intermetallics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

    The objective of this project was to understand and improve high-temperature structural properties of metal-silicide intermetallic alloys. Through research collaboration between the research team at West Virginia University (WVU) and Dr. J.H. Schneibel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), molybdenum silicide alloys were developed at ORNL and evaluated at WVU through atomistic modeling analyses, thermo-mechanical tests, and metallurgical studies. In this study, molybdenum-based alloys were ductilized by dispersing MgAl2O4 or MgO spinel particles. The addition of spinel particles is hypothesized to getter impurities such as oxygen and nitrogen from the alloy matrix with the result of ductility improvement. The introduction of fine dispersions has also been postulated to improve ductility by acting as a dislocation source or reducing dislocation pile-ups at grain boundaries. The spinel particles, on the other hand, can also act as local notches or crack initiation sites, which is detrimental to the alloy mechanical properties. Optimization of material processing condition is important to develop the desirable molybdenum alloys with sufficient room-temperature ductility. Atomistic analyses were conducted to further understand the mechanism of ductility improvement of the molybdenum alloys and the results showed that trace amount of residual oxygen may be responsible for the brittle behavior of the as-cast Mo alloys. For the alloys studied, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted at different loading rates, and at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal cycling effect on the mechanical properties was also studied. Tensile tests for specimens subjected to either ten or twenty thermal cycles were conducted. For each test, a follow-up detailed fractography and microstructural analysis were carried out. The test results were correlated to the size, density, distribution of the spinel particles and processing time. Thermal expansion tests were carried out using thermo

  17. Can understanding the packing of side chains improve the design of protein-protein interactions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Alice; O'Hern, Corey; Regan, Lynne

    2011-03-01

    With the long-term goal to improve the design of protein-protein interactions, we have begun extensive computational studies to understand how side-chains of key residues of binding partners geometrically fit together at protein-peptide interfaces, e.g. the tetratrico-peptide repeat protein and its cognate peptide). We describe simple atomic-scale models of hydrophobic dipeptides, which include hard-core repulsion, bond length and angle constraints, and Van der Waals attraction. By completely enumerating all minimal energy structures in these systems, we are able to reproduce important features of the probability distributions of side chain dihedral angles of hydrophic residues in the protein data bank. These results are the crucial first step in developing computational models that can predict the side chain conformations of residues at protein-peptide interfaces. CSO acknowledges support from NSF grant no. CMMT-1006527.

  18. Pedestrian fall safety assessments improved understanding on slip resistance measurements and investigations

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, In-Ju

    2017-01-01

    This book examines pedestrian shoe-floor slip resistance from an engineering standpoint in order to better understand friction and wear behavior. This analysis includes an extensive investigation into the surface properties of shoes and flow, and the measurement of dynamic friction and other mechanical and physical aspects of shoe-floor tribology. Lastly, the book proposes a measurement concept for the identification and classification of operational floor surfaces under a range of different conditions. Novel techniques and methods are proposed that can improve the reliability of slip resistance assessments. The current state of knowledge is critically examined and discussed from a tribological perspective, including aspects like friction, wear, lubrication and the mechanical behavior of shoes, floors and their wider environment. Further, the book reports on extensive experimental investigations into the topographical characteristics of shoe and floor surfaces and how they affect slip resistance. Slips result...

  19. Improved Understanding of Implosion Symmetry through New Experimental Techniques Connecting Hohlraum Dynamics with Laser Beam Deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralph, Joseph; Salmonson, Jay; Dewald, Eduard; Bachmann, Benjamin; Edwards, John; Graziani, Frank; Hurricane, Omar; Landen, Otto; Ma, Tammy; Masse, Laurent; MacLaren, Stephen; Meezan, Nathan; Moody, John; Parrilla, Nicholas; Pino, Jesse; Sacks, Ryan; Tipton, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Understanding what affects implosion symmetry has been a challenge for scientists designing indirect drive inertial confinement fusion experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). New experimental techniques and data analysis have been employed aimed at improving our understanding of the relationship between hohlraum dynamics and implosion symmetry. Thin wall imaging data allows for time-resolved imaging of 10 keV Au l-band x-rays providing for the first time on the NIF, a spatially resolved measurement of laser deposition with time. In the work described here, we combine measurements from the thin wall imaging with time resolved views of the interior of the hohlraum. The measurements presented are compared to hydrodynamic simulations as well as simplified physics models. The goal of this work is to form a physical picture that better explains the relationship of the hohlraum dynamics and capsule ablator on laser beam propagation and implosion symmetry. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  20. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beever, Erik; O’Leary, John; Mengelt, Claudia; West, Jordan M.; Julius, Susan; Green, Nancy; Magness, Dawn; Petes, Laura E.; Stein, Bruce A.; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Hellmann, Jessica J; Robertson, Amanda L; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Babij, Eleanora; Brennan, Jean; Schuurman, Gregor W.; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.

  1. Understanding patient willingness to recommend and return: a strategy for prioritizing improvement opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughs, T E; Davies, A R; Cira, J C; Dunagan, W C

    1999-06-01

    Beginning in April 1995, an ongoing, comprehensive measurement system has been developed and refined at BJC Health System, a regional integrated delivery and financing system serving the St Louis metropolitan area, mid-Missouri, and Southern Illinois, to assess patient satisfaction with inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, outpatient surgery, and emergency care. This system has provided the mechanism for identifying opportunities, setting priorities, and monitoring the impact of improvement initiatives. Satisfaction with key components of the care process among 23,361 patients (7,083 inpatients, 8,885 patients undergoing outpatient tests/procedures, 5,356 patients undergoing outpatient surgery, and 2,037 patients receiving emergency care) at 15 BJC Health System facilities was assessed through weekly surveys administered in April 1995 through December 1996. Structural equation models were developed to identify the key predictors of patient advocation-willingness to return for or recommend care. Across all venues of care the compassion provided to patients had the strongest relationship to patient advocation. Within each venue of care, however, a slightly different set of secondary factors emerged. The resulting models provided important information to help prioritize competing improvement opportunities in BJC Health System. In one hospital, a general medicine unit working for several years with little success to improve its patient satisfaction decided to focus on two primary factors predicting patient advocation: nursing care delivery and compassionate care. Root cause analysis was used to determine why two items-staff willingness to help with questions/concerns and clear explanation about tests and procedures-were rated low. On the basis of feedback from phone interviews with discharged patients, the care delivery process was changed to encourage patients to ask questions. Across the next two quarters, this unit experienced significant improvements in both

  2. Understanding and Improving Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Qualitative Research Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Daisy; Husbands, Samantha; Hamdy, Freddie C; Holmberg, Lars; Donovan, Jenny L

    2017-11-01

    The importance of evidence from randomised trials is now widely recognised, although recruitment is often difficult. Qualitative research has shown promise in identifying the key barriers to recruitment, and interventions have been developed to reduce organisational difficulties and support clinicians undertaking recruitment. This article provides an introduction to qualitative research techniques and explains how this approach can be used to understand-and subsequently improve-recruitment and informed consent within a range of clinical trials. A literature search was performed using Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. All studies with qualitative research methods that focused on the recruitment activity of clinicians were included in the review. The majority of studies reported that organisational difficulties and lack of time for clinical staff were key barriers to recruitment. However, a synthesis of qualitative studies highlighted the intellectual and emotional challenges that arise when combining research with clinical roles, particularly in relation to equipoise and patient eligibility. To support recruiters to become more comfortable with the design and principles of randomised controlled trials, interventions have been developed, including the QuinteT Recruitment Intervention, which comprises in-depth investigation of recruitment obstacles in real time, followed by implementation of tailored strategies to address these challenges as the trial proceeds. Qualitative research can provide important insights into the complexities of recruitment to trials and inform the development of interventions, and provide support and training initiatives as required. Investigators should consider implementing such methods in trials expected to be challenging or recruiting below target. Qualitative research is a term used to describe a range of methods that can be implemented to understand participants' perspectives and behaviours. Data are gathered from interviews, focus groups

  3. Understanding the origin of the solar cyclic activity for an improved earth climate prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turck-Chièze, Sylvaine; Lambert, Pascal

    This review is dedicated to the processes which could explain the origin of the great extrema of the solar activity. We would like to reach a more suitable estimate and prediction of the temporal solar variability and its real impact on the Earth climatic models. The development of this new field is stimulated by the SoHO helioseismic measurements and by some recent solar modelling improvement which aims to describe the dynamical processes from the core to the surface. We first recall assumptions on the potential different solar variabilities. Then, we introduce stellar seismology and summarize the main SOHO results which are relevant for this field. Finally we mention the dynamical processes which are presently introduced in new solar models. We believe that the knowledge of two important elements: (1) the magnetic field interplay between the radiative zone and the convective zone and (2) the role of the gravity waves, would allow to understand the origin of the grand minima and maxima observed during the last millennium. Complementary observables like acoustic and gravity modes, radius and spectral irradiance from far UV to visible in parallel to the development of 1D-2D-3D simulations will improve this field. PICARD, SDO, DynaMICCS are key projects for a prediction of the next century variability. Some helioseismic indicators constitute the first necessary information to properly describe the Sun-Earth climatic connection.

  4. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. © 2013 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Race to improve student understanding of uncertainty: Using LEGO race cars in the physics lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parappilly, Maria; Hassam, Christopher; Woodman, Richard J.

    2018-01-01

    Laboratories using LEGO race cars were developed for students in an introductory physics topic with a high early drop-out rate. In a 2014 pilot study, the labs were offered to improve students' confidence with experiments and laboratory skills, especially uncertainty propagation. This intervention was extended into the intro level physics topic the next year, for comparison and evaluation. Considering the pilot study, we subsequently adapted the delivery of the LEGO labs for a large Engineering Mechanics cohort. A qualitative survey of the students was taken to gain insight into their perception of the incorporation of LEGO race cars into physics labs. For Engineering, the findings show that LEGO physics was instrumental in teaching students the measurement and uncertainty, improving their lab reporting skills, and was a key factor in reducing the early attrition rate. This paper briefly recalls the results of the pilot study, and how variations in the delivery yielded better learning outcomes. A novel method is proposed for how LEGO race cars in a physics lab can help students increase their understanding of uncertainty and motivate them towards physics practicals.

  6. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.

    2016-12-23

    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect.

  7. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.; McGehee, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect.

  8. Understanding consumer preference and willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Julia; Derby, Elisa; Dutta, Karabi

    2015-01-01

    The USAID/WASHplus project conducted a comprehensive assessment to understand consumer needs and preferences as they relate to increasing the uptake and consistent, exclusive, and correct use of improved cookstoves (ICSs) in Bangladesh. The assessment included household ICS trials, fuel and stove use monitoring, and consumers' perceived value of and willingness to pay for ICSs. Results showed that cooks appreciated and liked the ICS, but that no models met consumer needs sufficiently to replace traditional stoves. Initially, many preferred ICSs over traditional stoves, but this preference decreased over the 3-week trial period. Complaints and suggestions for improvement fell into two general categories: those that can be addressed through fairly simple modifications to the stove design, and those more appropriately addressed through point-of-purchase consumer education and follow-up from service agents or health outreach workers. Most households using the ICS realized fuel use reductions, although these were lower than expected, partly because of continued parallel traditional stove use. When given the option to purchase the stoves at market value, only one of 105 households did so; however, a separate assessment showed that 80% of participants (12 of 15 households) preferred to keep the stove rather than receive a cash buyout at market value. This indicates that users value the ICS when acquisition barriers are removed and highlights the need for better financing options.

  9. The Model for Understanding Success in Quality (MUSIQ): building a theory of context in healthcare quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Heather C; Provost, Lloyd P; Froehle, Craig M; Margolis, Peter A

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Quality improvement (QI) efforts have become widespread in healthcare, however there is significant variability in their success. Differences in context are thought to be responsible for some of the variability seen. To develop a conceptual model that can be used by organisations and QI researchers to understand and optimise contextual factors affecting the success of a QI project. 10 QI experts were provided with the results of a systematic literature review and then participated in two rounds of opinion gathering to identify and define important contextual factors. The experts subsequently met in person to identify relationships among factors and to begin to build the model. The Model for Understanding Success in Quality (MUSIQ) is organised based on the level of the healthcare system and identifies 25 contextual factors likely to influence QI success. Contextual factors within microsystems and those related to the QI team are hypothesised to directly shape QI success, whereas factors within the organisation and external environment are believed to influence success indirectly. The MUSIQ framework has the potential to guide the application of QI methods in healthcare and focus research. The specificity of MUSIQ and the explicit delineation of relationships among factors allows a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action by which context influences QI success. MUSIQ also provides a foundation to support further studies to test and refine the theory and advance the field of QI science.

  10. Individualized Physical 3-dimensional Kidney Tumor Models Constructed From 3-dimensional Printers Result in Improved Trainee Anatomic Understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoedler, Margaret; Feibus, Allison H; Lange, Andrew; Maddox, Michael M; Ledet, Elisa; Thomas, Raju; Silberstein, Jonathan L

    2015-06-01

    To evaluate the effect of 3-dimensionally (3D) printed physical renal models with enhancing masses on medical trainee characterization, localization, and understanding of renal malignancy. Proprietary software was used to import standard computed tomography (CT) cross-sectional imaging into 3D printers to create physical models of renal units with enhancing renal lesions in situ. Six different models were printed from a transparent plastic resin; the normal parenchyma was printed in a clear, translucent plastic, with a red hue delineating the suspicious renal lesion. Medical students, who had completed their first year of training, were given an overview and tasked with completion of RENAL nephrometry scores, separately using CT imaging and 3D models. Trainees were also asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience. Variability between trainees was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), and kappa statistics were used to compare the trainee to experts. Overall trainee nephrometry score accuracy was significantly improved with the 3D model vs CT scan (P renal mass. Physical 3D models using readily available printing techniques improve trainees' understanding and characterization of individual patients' enhancing renal lesions. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  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. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

  15. A Theory-Based Model for Understanding Faculty Intention to Use Students Ratings to Improve Teaching in a Health Sciences Institution in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collazo, Andrés A.

    2018-01-01

    A model derived from the theory of planned behavior was empirically assessed for understanding faculty intention to use student ratings for teaching improvement. A sample of 175 professors participated in the study. The model was statistically significant and had a very large explanatory power. Instrumental attitude, affective attitude, perceived…

  16. 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.

  17. Intermediate-Scale Experimental Study to Improve Fundamental Understanding of Attenuation Capacity for Leaking CO2 in Heterogeneous Shallow Aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plampin, Michael R.; Porter, Mark L.; Pawar, Rajesh J.; Illangasekare, Tissa H.

    2017-12-01

    To assess the risks of Geologic Carbon Sequestration (GCS), it is crucial to understand the fundamental physicochemical processes that may occur if and when stored CO2 leaks upward from a deep storage reservoir into the shallow subsurface. Intermediate-scale experiments allow for improved understanding of the multiphase evolution processes that control CO2 migration behavior in the subsurface, because the boundary conditions, initial conditions, and porous media parameters can be better controlled and monitored in the laboratory than in field settings. For this study, a large experimental test bed was designed to mimic a cross section of a shallow aquifer with layered geologic heterogeneity. As water with aqueous CO2 was injected into the system to mimic a CO2-charged water leakage scenario, the spatiotemporal evolution of the multiphase CO2 plume was monitored. Similar experiments were performed with two different sand combinations to assess the relative effects of different types of geologic facies transitions on the CO2 evolution processes. Significant CO2 attenuation was observed in both scenarios, but by fundamentally different mechanisms. When the porous media layers had very different permeabilities, attenuation was caused by local accumulation (structural trapping) and slow redissolution of gas phase CO2. When the permeability difference between the layers was relatively small, on the other hand, gas phase continually evolved over widespread areas near the leading edge of the aqueous plume, which also attenuated CO2 migration. This improved process understanding will aid in the development of models that could be used for effective risk assessment and monitoring programs for GCS projects.

  18. 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.

  19. Towards Improved Understanding of Drought and Drought Impacts from Long Term Earth Observation Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, C.; Wang, S.; Liu, J.; Hadwen, T. A.

    2017-12-01

    Drought is a complex natural disaster, which often emerges slowly, but can occur at various time scales and have impacts that are not well understood. Long term observations of drought intensity and frequency are often quantified from precipitation and temperature based indices or modelled estimates of soil water storage. The maturity of satellite based observations has created the potential to enhance the understanding of drought and drought impacts, particularly in regions where traditional data sets are limited by remoteness or inaccessibility, and where drought processes are not well-quantified by models. Long term global satellite data records now provide observations of key hydrological variables, including evaporation modelled from thermal sensors, soil moisture from microwave sensors, ground water from gravity sensors and vegetation condition that can be modelled from optical sensors. This study examined trends in drought frequency, intensity and duration over diverse ecoregions in Canada, including agricultural, grassland, forested and wetland areas. Trends in drought were obtained from the Canadian Drought Monitor as well as meteorological based indices from weather stations, and evaluated against satellite derived information on evaporative stress (Anderson et al. 2011), soil moisture (Champagne et al. 2015), terrestrial water storage (Wang and Li 2016) and vegetation condition (Davidson et al. 2009). Data sets were evaluated to determine differences in how different sensors characterize the hydrology and impacts of drought events from 2003 to 2016. Preliminary results show how different hydrological observations can provide unique information that can tie causes of drought (water shortages resulting from precipitation, lack of moisture storage or evaporative stress) to impacts (vegetation condition) that hold the potential to improve the understanding and classification of drought events.

  20. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the total water balance across any ecosystem. In subalpine mixed-conifer ecosystems, transpiration (T) often dominates the total water flux and therefore improved understanding of T is critical for accurate assessment of catchment water balance and for understanding of the processes that governs the complex dynamics across critical zone (CZ). The interaction between T and plant vegetation not only modulates soil water balance but also influences water transit time and hydrochemical flux - key factors in our understanding of how the CZ evolves and responds. Unlike an eddy covariance system which provides only an integrated ET flux from an ecosystem, a sap flow system can provide an estimate of the T flux from the ecosystem. By isolating T, the ecohydrological drivers of this major water loss from the CZ can be identified. Still, the species composition of mixed-conifer ecosystems vary and the drivers of T associated with each species are expected to be different. Therefore, accurate quantification of T from a mixed-conifer requires knowledge of the unique transpiration dynamics of each of the tree species. Here, we installed a sap flow system within two mixed-conifer study sites of the Jemez River Basin - Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (JRB - SCM CZO). At both sites, we identified the dominant tree species and installed sap flow sensors on healthy representatives for each of those species. At the JRB CZO site, sap sensors were installed in fir (4) and spruce (4) trees; at the SCM CZO site, sap sensors were installed at white fir (4) and maple (4) and one dead tree. Meteorological data as well as soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (θ) at multiple depths were also collected from each of the two sites. Preliminary analysis of two years of sap flux rate at JRB - SCM CZO shows that the environmental drivers of fir, spruce, and maple are different and also vary throughout the year. For JRB fir

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

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

  2. Understanding an improved cookstove program in rural Mexico: An analysis from the implementers' perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troncoso, Karin; Castillo, Alicia; Merino, Leticia; Lazos, Elena; Masera, Omar R.

    2011-01-01

    The adoption of innovations in rural areas depends, among many different factors, on the way development workers approach a community. Through a qualitative research methodology this study documented the adoption of a new technology, by following an improved cookstove implementation program carried out by a Mexican NGO. This technology reduces fuel consumption and addresses health impacts of indoor air pollution caused by the widespread use of traditional biomass fuels in open fires in developing countries. Different demographic and socio-economic factors have been analyzed to explain the low success rates implementation projects have faced worldwide, but there are almost no studies that examine the problem from the perspective of implementers. The aim of this study was to understand how the different visions of the individuals involved in an implementation program affect its outcome. Findings showed that the NGO work was constrained by the need to meet the commitment with sponsors. The adoption rates did not change between the first and the second stage of the project, even though the approach towards users was very different. A lack of a shared vision among the work team towards the project was found and the existence of two main perspectives among program workers—broadly described as people-centered and technology-centered—, gave place to differences in attitudes towards the program. - Highlights: ► This study assesses a Mexican NGO ICS implementation program that followed three distinct approaches. ► The first two had similar adoption rates despite their different approaches towards the users. ► An improvement in the technology proved to be more important in raising the adoption rates. ► Two visions were observed among stakeholders: people-centered and technology-centered. ► The NGO work was constrained by the need to meet the commitments with sponsors.

  3. Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doran, K. S.; Stockdon, H. F.; Long, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards combines measurements of beach morphology with storm hydrodynamics to produce forecasts of coastal change during storms for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. Wave-induced water levels are estimated using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon et al. (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. Seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of a meter in wave runup elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. Spatial variation in beach slope is accounted for through alongshore averaging, but temporal variability in beach slope is not included in the final computation of the likelihood of coastal change. Additionally, input morphology may be years old and potentially very different than the conditions present during forecast storm. In order to improve our forecasts of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards, the temporal variability of beach slope must be included in the final uncertainty of modeled wave-induced water levels. Frequently collected field measurements of lidar-based beach morphology are examined for study sites in Duck, North Carolina, Treasure Island, Florida, Assateague Island, Virginia, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with some records extending over a period of 15 years. Understanding the variability of slopes at these sites will help provide estimates of associated water level uncertainty which can then be applied to other areas where lidar observations are infrequent, and improve the overall skill of future forecasts of storm-induced coastal change. Stockdon, H. F., Holman, R. A., Howd, P. A., and Sallenger Jr, A. H. (2006). Empirical parameterization of setup

  4. Improved understanding of human anatomy through self-guided radiological anatomy modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Andrew W; Smith, Sandy G; Ross, Callum F; Straus, Christopher M

    2012-07-01

    To quantifiably measure the impact of self-instructed radiological anatomy modules on anatomy comprehension, demonstrated by radiology, gross, and written exams. Study guides for independent use that emphasized structural relationships were created for use with two online radiology atlases. A guide was created for each module of the first year medical anatomy course and incorporated as an optional course component. A total of 93 of 96 eligible students participated. All exams were normalized to control for variances in exam difficulty and body region tested. An independent t-test was used to compare overall exam scores with respect to guide completion or incompletion. To account for aptitude differences between students, a paired t-test of each student's exam scores with and without completion of the associated guide was performed, thus allowing students to serve as their own controls. Twenty-one students completed no study guides; 22 completed all six guides; and 50 students completed between one and five guides. Aggregate comparisons of all students' exam scores showed significantly improved mean performance when guides were used (radiology, 57.8% [percentile] vs. 45.1%, P < .001; gross, 56.9% vs. 46.5%, P = .001; written, 57.8% vs. 50.2%, P = .011). Paired comparisons among students who completed between one and five guides demonstrated significantly higher mean practical exam scores when guides were used (radiology, 49.3% [percentile] vs. 36.0%, P = .001; gross, 51.5% vs. 40.4%, P = .005), but not higher written scores. Radiological anatomy study guides significantly improved anatomy comprehension on radiology, gross, and written exams. Copyright © 2012 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Improvements in Students' Understanding from Increased Implementation of Active Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes-Gehrke, Melissa N.; Prather, E. E.; Rudolph, A. L.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars CATS

    2011-01-01

    Many instructors are hesitant to implement active learning strategies in their introductory astronomy classrooms because they are not sure which techniques they should use, how to implement those techniques, and question whether the investment in changing their course will really bring the advertised learning gains. We present an example illustrating how thoughtful and systematic implementation of active learning strategies into a traditionally taught Astro 101 class can translate into significant increases in students' understanding. We detail the journey of one instructor, over several years, as she changes the instruction and design of her course from one that focuses almost exclusively on lecture to a course that provides an integrated use of several active learning techniques such as Lecture-Tutorials and Think-Pair-Share questions. The students in the initial lecture-only course achieved a low normalized gain score of only 0.2 on the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI), while the students in the re-designed learner-centered course achieved a significantly better normalized gain of 0.43. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS), and Grant No. 0847170, a PAARE Grant for the Calfornia-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  6. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin T Raimi

    Full Text Available To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people-especially political conservatives-to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed.

  7. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimi, Kaitlin T; Stern, Paul C; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people-especially political conservatives-to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed.

  8. Improve Student Understanding Ability Through Gamification in Instructional Media Based Explicit Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firdausi, N.; Prabawa, H. W.; Sutarno, H.

    2017-02-01

    In an effort to maximize a student’s academic growth, one of the tools available to educators is the explicit instruction. Explicit instruction is marked by a series of support or scaffold, where the students will be guided through the learning process with a clear statement of purpose and a reason for learning new skills, a clear explanation and demonstration of learning targets, supported and practiced with independent feedback until mastery has been achieved. The technology development trend of todays, requires an adjustment in the development of learning object that supports the achievement of explicit instruction targets. This is where the gamification position is. In the role as a pedagogical strategy, the use of gamification preformance study class is still relatively new. Gamification not only use the game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts, but also to empower and engage learners with the ability of motivation on learning approach and maintains a relaxed atmosphere. With using Reseach and Development methods, this paper presents the integration of technology (which in this case using the concept of gamification) in explicit instruction settings and the impact on the improvement of students’ understanding.

  9. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Paul C.; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people—especially political conservatives—to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed. PMID:28135337

  10. Innovative learning model for improving students’ argumentation skill and concept understanding on science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafsiati Astuti, Rini

    2018-04-01

    Argumentation skill is the ability to compose and maintain arguments consisting of claims, supports for evidence, and strengthened-reasons. Argumentation is an important skill student needs to face the challenges of globalization in the 21st century. It is not an ability that can be developed by itself along with the physical development of human, but it must be developed under nerve like process, giving stimulus so as to require a person to be able to argue. Therefore, teachers should develop students’ skill of arguing in science learning in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to obtain an innovative learning model that are valid in terms of content and construct in improving the skills of argumentation and concept understanding of junior high school students. The assessment of content validity and construct validity was done through Focus Group Discussion (FGD), using the content and construct validation sheet, book model, learning video, and a set of learning aids for one meeting. Assessment results from 3 (three) experts showed that the learning model developed in the category was valid. The validity itself shows that the developed learning model has met the content requirement, the student needs, state of the art, strong theoretical and empirical foundation and construct validity, which has a connection of syntax stages and components of learning model so that it can be applied in the classroom activities

  11. 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

  12. Evaluating role of interactive visualization tool in improving students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampath Kumar, Bharath

    interviews pre and post revealed students' mental model or thought process towards chemical equilibrium. Simulations used in the study were developed using the SCRATCH software platform. In order to test the effect of visualization tool on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium, an ANCOVA analysis was conducted. Results from a one-factor ANCOVA showed posttest scores were significantly higher for the experimental group (Mpostadj. = 7.27 SDpost = 1.387) relative to the control group (Mpostadj. = 2.67, SDpost = 1.371) after adjusting for pretest scores, F (1,24) = 71.82, MSE = 1.497, p = 0.03, eta 2p = 0.75, d = 3.33. Cohen's d was converted to an attenuated effect size d* using the procedure outlined in Thompson (2006). The adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate without measure error correction for the posttest scores and the pretest scores was 4.2 with a Cohen's d = 3.04. An alternate approach reported in Cho and Preacher (2015) was used to determine effect size. The adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate with measurement error correction only for the posttest scores (but not with measurement error correction for the pretest scores) was 4.99 with a Cohen's d = 3.61. Finally, the adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate with measurement error correction for both pretest and posttest scores was 4.23 with a Cohen's d = 3.07. From a quantitative perspective, these effect size indicate a strong relationship between the experimental intervention provided and students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts. That is, those students who received the experimental intervention had exceptionally higher. KEYWORDS: Chemical Equilibrium, Visualization, Alternate Conceptions, Ontological Shift. Simulations.

  13. 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.

  14. Recent Advances in Improvement of Forecast Skill and Understanding Climate Processes Using AIRS Version-5 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susskind, Joel; Molnar, Gyula; Iredell, Lena; Rosenberg, Robert

    2012-01-01

    AIRS/AMSU is the state of the art infrared and microwave atmospheric sounding system flying aboard EOS Aqua. These observations, covering the period September 2002 until the present, have been analyzed using the AIRS Science Team Version-5 retrieval algorithm. AIRS is a high spectral resolution infrared grating spectrometer with spect,ral coverage from 650 per centimeter extending to 2660 per centimeter, with low noise and a spectral resolving power of 2400. A brief overview of the AIRS Version-5 retrieval procedure will be presented, including the AIRS channels used in different steps in the retrieval process. Many researchers have used these products to make significant advances in both climate and weather applications. Recent significant results of these experiments will be presented, including results showing that 1) assimilation of AIRS Quality Controlled temperature profiles into a General Circulation Model (GCM) significantly improves the ability to predict storm tracks of intense precipitation events; and 2) anomaly time-series of Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) computed using AIRS sounding products closely match those determined from the CERES instrument, and furthermore explain that the phenomenon that global and especially tropical mean OLR have been decreasing since September 2002 is a result of El Nino/La Nina oscillations during this period.

  15. 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.

  16. Training Of Manual Actions Improves Language Understanding of Semantically-Related Action Sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo eLocatelli

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual knowledge accessed by language may involve the re-activation of the associated primary sensory-motor processes. Whether these embodied representations are indeed constitutive to conceptual knowledge is hotly debated, particularly since direct evidence that sensory-motor expertise can improve conceptual processing is scarce.In this study, we sought for this crucial piece of evidence, by training naive healthy subjects to perform complex manual actions and by measuring, before and after training, their performance in a semantic language task. 19 participants engaged in 3 weeks of motor training. Each participant was trained in 3 complex manual actions (e.g. origami. Before and after the training period, each subject underwent a series of manual dexterity tests and a semantic language task. The latter consisted of a sentence-picture semantic congruency judgment task, with 6 target congruent sentence-picture pairs (semantically related to the trained manual actions, 6 non-target congruent pairs (semantically unrelated, and 12 filler incongruent pairs.Manual action training induced a significant improvement in all manual dexterity tests, demonstrating the successful acquisition of sensory-motor expertise. In the semantic language task, the reaction times to both target and non-target congruent sentence-image pairs decreased after action training, indicating a more efficient conceptual-semantic processing. Noteworthy, the reaction times for target pairs decreased more than those for non-target pairs, as indicated by the 2x2 interaction. These results were confirmed when controlling for the potential bias of increased frequency of use of target lexical items during manual training.The results of the present study suggest that sensory-motor expertise gained by training of specific manual actions can lead to an improvement of cognitive-linguistic skills related to the specific conceptual-semantic domain associated to the trained actions.

  17. Use of a Video Module to Improve Faculty Understanding of the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crystal Deas

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate change in faculty’s knowledge and perceptions after an online video module on the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process (PPCP. Innovation: An educational video module on the PPCP was developed and disseminated to full-time faculty members at Samford University, McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Voluntary and anonymous pre- and post-test assessments were evaluated and analyzed. Critical Analysis: Thirty faculty completed the pre-assessment, and 31 completed the post-assessment (73% and 75% response rates, respectively. A significant improvement in faculty perceptions was indicated by an increase in agreement with the majority (80% of questions on attitudes toward the PPCP on the post-test. Faculty’s knowledge of the introduction and assessment of PPCP within the school’s curriculum was significantly increased after viewing the video module. After viewing the module, more faculty were also able to correctly identify the majority of the PPCP components and their corresponding practice activities. Next Steps: A short video module was effective at improving faculty knowledge and perceptions of the PPCP. Development of a similar faculty development module is feasible for implementation in other Schools of Pharmacy. Conflict of Interest We declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests that the authors or members of their immediate families have in any product or service discussed in the manuscript, including grants (pending or received, employment, gifts, stock holdings or options, honoraria, consultancies, expert testimony, patents and royalties. Treatment of Human Subjects: IRB exemption granted   Type: Note

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. MoREK: The learning media to improve students understanding about electrical circuit in informatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indrianto; Nur Indah Susanti, Meilia; Arianto, Rakhmat

    2018-03-01

    The needs for labor in the world is already increasing especially in Indonesia. According to the World Bank, Indonesia is a country that ranks 9th in the world’s largest economic growth. To meet that needs, Indonesia needs 55 million workers who are experts in the field of electricity. Therefore, it takes a lot of human resources and has been equipped with knowledge and expertise in the field of electricity. To be able to meet these needs, it takes a better method of learning to increase knowledge and expertise in the field of electricity since college, especially in the field of informatics. Prototype of Electrical Module (The MoREK) requires a Prototype method for the Practicum Module to be created as desired. This method is often used in the real world or it could be said Prototype method is part of the product that expresses the logic and physical external interface that is displayed. For data retrieval is used Pre-experimental method where students will be given pre-test and post-test. The Design of Electrical Module has a purpose to improve the students understanding of Electric Circuit Engineering Courses with the creation of The MoREK so that students are more competent to the course and can meet the needs of manpower or Human Resources (SDM) in the field of electricity. By using The Morek, the score of student learning outcomes increased by 7.8% and informatics students who conduct research in the field of electricity increased to 21%.

  2. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant–Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant–microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant–microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  3. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie eThijs

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL RADIATIVELY/CONDUCTIVELY STABILIZED BURNER FOR SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION OF NOx EMISSIONS AND FOR ADVANCING THE MODELING AND UNDERSTANDING OF PULVERIZED COAL COMBUSTION AND EMISSIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noam Lior; Stuart W. Churchill

    2003-10-01

    The primary objective of the proposed study was the study and analysis of, and design recommendations for, a novel radiatively-conductively stabilized combustion (RCSC) process for pulverized coal, which, based on our prior studies with both fluid fuels and pulverized coal, holds a high promise to reduce NO{sub x} production significantly. We have primarily engaged in continuing and improving our process modeling and analysis, obtained a large amount of quantitative information about the effects of the major parameters on NO{sub x} production, conducted an extensive exergy analysis of the process, evaluated the practicalities of employing the Radiatively-Conductively Stabilized Combustor (RCSC) to large power and heat plants, and improved the experimental facility. Prior experimental work has proven the feasibility of the combustor, but slagging during coal combustion was observed and should be dealt with. The primary outcomes and conclusions from the study are: (1) we developed a model and computer program that represents the pulverized coal combustion in the RCSC, (2) the model predicts that NO{sub x} emissions can be reduced by a number of methods, detailed in the report. (3) the exergy analysis points out at least a couple of possible ways to improve the exergetic efficiency in this combustor: increasing the effectiveness of thermal feedback, and adjusting the combustor mixture exit location, (4) because of the low coal flow rates necessitated in this study to obtain complete combustion in the burner, the size of a burner operating under the considered conditions would have to be up to an order of magnitude, larger than comparable commercial burners, but different flow configurations of the RCSC can yield higher feed rates and smaller dimensions, and should be investigated. Related to this contract, eleven papers were published in journals and conference proceedings, and ten invited presentations were given at university and research institutions, as well as at

  8. Understanding significant processes during work environment interventions to alleviate time pressure and associated sick leave of home care workers--a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Gunn Robstad; Westgaard, Rolf H

    2013-11-15

    Ergonomic and work stress interventions rarely show long-term positive effect. The municipality participating in this study received orders from the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate due to an identified unhealthy level of time pressure, and responded by effectuating several work environment interventions. The study aim is to identify critical factors in the interaction between work environment interventions and independent rationalization measures in order to understand a potential negative interfering effect from concurrent rationalizations on a comprehensive work environment intervention. The study, using a historic prospective mixed-method design, comprised 6 home care units in a municipality in Norway (138 respondents, response rate 76.2%; 17 informants). The study included quantitative estimations, register data of sick leave, a time line of significant events and changes, and qualitative descriptions of employee appraisals of their work situation gathered through semi-structured interviews and open survey responses. The work environment interventions were in general regarded as positive by the home care workers. However, all units were simultaneously subjected to substantial contextual instability, involving new work programs, new technology, restructurings, unit mergers, and management replacements, perceived by the home care workers to be major sources of stress. Findings suggest that concurrent changes induced through rationalization resulted in negative exposure effects that negated positive work environment intervention effects, causing an overall deteriorated work situation for the home care workers. Establishment and active utilization of communication channels from workers to managers are recommended in order to increase awareness of putative harmful and interruptive effects of rationalization measures.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Improving Social Understanding of Preschool Children: Evaluation of a Training Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, Moises; Sidera, Francesc; Serrano, Jessica; Amado, Anna; Rostan, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This study tested the effects of a training program intending to foster social understanding or the capacity which enables them to understand themselves and others in terms of intentions, beliefs, desires, and emotions in children at preschool age. A number of studies have shown that in the context of shared narratives, children are…

  15. 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

  16. Improved understanding of tributyltin sorption on natural and biochar-amended sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaoyu; Sheng, G Daniel; Qiu, Yuping

    2011-12-01

    A poor understanding of tributyltin (TBT) sorption on sediments has hindered an accurate evaluation of its environmental fate. The present study determined TBT sorption by a freshwater sediment (BH) and a coastal marine sediment (TZ) as influenced by pH, salinity, and biochar (BC) amendment into TZ. The isotherms were essentially linear, with K(OC) values in the range of 10(4) to 10(5) L/kg. Tributyltin sorption at pH 3.56 and 8.00 occurred mainly via partitioning. It reached maxima at pH equal to its pK(a) (=6.25) because of added ion exchange. A salinity increase from 5 to 35 practical salinity units enhanced TBT sorption at pH 3.56 and 8.00 on TZ by approximately 30% and on BH by approximately 80%, ascribed to the salting-out effect that reduced the solubilities of tributyltin hydroxide (TBTOH) and tributyltin chloride (TBTCl). At pH 6.25, the same salinity increase reduced TBT sorption on TZ by approximately 20% but enhanced TBT sorption on BH by approximately 35%. This was attributed to the enhancing role of salting out and the reducing role of metal competition for ion exchange. Tributyltin was two orders of magnitude more effectively sorbed by BC than by total organic carbon of TZ, mainly because of the high level of surface area of the BC. Although BC affinity for TBT may be significantly diminished when present in TZ, it was considered to be the primary contributor to TBT sorption from water. Biochar may thus be used to immobilize TBT in sediment for potential remediation. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  17. Japanese Encephalitis in Assam, India: Need to Increase Healthcare Workers' Understanding to Improve Health Care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Ahmad

    Full Text Available Japanese encephalitis (JE is a major cause of high morbidity and mortality in several states across India. However, in 2014, a sharp rise was observed in the number of cases of JE in north-eastern Assam state, and 51% of the total cases of JE in India were reported from the Assam in the same year. In this regard, a study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers in Darrang, a district of Assam highly affected by JE.A cross sectional study was conducted for 2 months among HCWs in the major district hospital of Darrang, Assam. A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the participants. Convenience sampling approach was used to collect data from different departments of the hospitals. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were used to express the results.The knowledge of HCWs regarding JE was poor with a mean knowledge score of 11.02±2.39 (out of 17, while their attitudes were positive with a mean attitudes score of 43.16± 2.47 (ranging from 13 to 52. Overall, 40.4% and 74.3% of participants demonstrated good knowledge and positive attitudes respectively. Cut-off score for good knowledge and positive attitudes toward JE was set as ≥12 and >40 respectively. Older participants (40-49 years and experienced workers (>10 years were significantly associated with good knowledge as compared to their referent group (p<0.05, while knowledge of nurses and other orderlies were significantly lower than physicians (p<0.01. Similar factors were associated with the positive attitudes of the participants with the exception of experience. Television was the major source of information regarding JE reported by HCWs (79%.Although the knowledge was not optimized, HCWs exhibited positive attitudes towards JE. Future research is required to design, implement and evaluate interventions to improve the knowledge of JE among HCWs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. NASA Contributions to Improve Understanding of Extreme Events in the Global Energy and Water Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapenta, William M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) has established the water cycle goals of the Nation's climate change program. Accomplishing these goals will require, in part, an accurate accounting of the key reservoirs and fluxes associated with the global water and energy cycle, including their spatial and temporal variability. through integration of all necessary observations and research tools, To this end, in conjunction with NASA's Earth science research strategy, the overarching long-term NASA Energy and Water Cycle Study (NEWS) grand challenge can he summarized as documenting and enabling improved, observationally based, predictions of water and energy cycle consequences of Earth system variability and change. This challenge requires documenting and predicting trends in the rate of the Earth's water and energy cycling that corresponds to climate change and changes in the frequency and intensity of naturally occurring related meteorological and hydrologic events, which may vary as climate may vary in the future. The cycling of water and energy has obvious and significant implications for the health and prosperity of our society. The importance of documenting and predicting water and energy cycle variations and extremes is necessary to accomplish this benefit to society.

  20. Assessing, and understanding, European organic dairy farmers’ intentions to improve herd health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, P.J.; Sok, J.; Tranter, R.B.; Blanco-Penedo, I.; Fall, N.; Fourichon, C.; Hogeveen, H.; Krieger, M.C.; Sundrum, A.

    2016-01-01

    Many believe the health status of organic dairy herds in Europe should be improved to meet consumers’ and legislators’ expectations to improve animal welfare. This paper reports on a study in four countries that examined dairy farmers’ intentions towards improving the health status of their

  1. An intervention to improve paediatric and newborn care in Kenyan district hospitals: Understanding the context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Opondo Charles

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is increasingly appreciated that the interpretation of health systems research studies is greatly facilitated by detailed descriptions of study context and the process of intervention. We have undertaken an 18-month hospital-based intervention study in Kenya aiming to improve care for admitted children and newborn infants. Here we describe the baseline characteristics of the eight hospitals as environments receiving the intervention, as well as the general and local health system context and its evolution over the 18 months. Methods Hospital characteristics were assessed using previously developed tools assessing the broad structure, process, and outcome of health service provision for children and newborns. Major health system or policy developments over the period of the intervention at a national level were documented prospectively by monitoring government policy announcements, the media, and through informal contacts with policy makers. At the hospital level, a structured, open questionnaire was used in face-to-face meetings with senior hospital staff every six months to identify major local developments that might influence implementation. These data provide an essential background for those seeking to understand the generalisability of reports describing the intervention's effects, and whether the intervention plausibly resulted in these effects. Results Hospitals had only modest capacity, in terms of infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and human resources available to provide high-quality care at baseline. For example, hospitals were lacking between 30 to 56% of items considered necessary for the provision of care to the seriously ill child or newborn. An increase in spending on hospital renovations, attempts to introduce performance contracts for health workers, and post-election violence were recorded as examples of national level factors that might influence implementation success generally. Examples of factors

  2. An intervention to improve paediatric and newborn care in Kenyan district hospitals: understanding the context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Mike; Ntoburi, Stephen; Wagai, John; Mbindyo, Patrick; Opiyo, Newton; Ayieko, Philip; Opondo, Charles; Migiro, Santau; Wamae, Annah; Irimu, Grace

    2009-07-23

    It is increasingly appreciated that the interpretation of health systems research studies is greatly facilitated by detailed descriptions of study context and the process of intervention. We have undertaken an 18-month hospital-based intervention study in Kenya aiming to improve care for admitted children and newborn infants. Here we describe the baseline characteristics of the eight hospitals as environments receiving the intervention, as well as the general and local health system context and its evolution over the 18 months. Hospital characteristics were assessed using previously developed tools assessing the broad structure, process, and outcome of health service provision for children and newborns. Major health system or policy developments over the period of the intervention at a national level were documented prospectively by monitoring government policy announcements, the media, and through informal contacts with policy makers. At the hospital level, a structured, open questionnaire was used in face-to-face meetings with senior hospital staff every six months to identify major local developments that might influence implementation. These data provide an essential background for those seeking to understand the generalisability of reports describing the intervention's effects, and whether the intervention plausibly resulted in these effects. Hospitals had only modest capacity, in terms of infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and human resources available to provide high-quality care at baseline. For example, hospitals were lacking between 30 to 56% of items considered necessary for the provision of care to the seriously ill child or newborn. An increase in spending on hospital renovations, attempts to introduce performance contracts for health workers, and post-election violence were recorded as examples of national level factors that might influence implementation success generally. Examples of factors that might influence success locally included frequent

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to Improve Spectrum Utilization

    Data.gov (United States)

    Networking and Information Technology Research and Development, Executive Office of the President — The Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Senior Steering Group (WSRD SSG) Workshop V titled: Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to...

  6. Music training improves the ability to understand speech-in-noise in older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Belleville, Sylvie; Zendel, Benjamin; West, Greg; Peretz, Isabelle

    2017-01-01

    It is well known that hearing abilities decline with age, and one of the most commonly reported hearing difficulties reported in older adults is a reduced ability to understand speech in noisy environments. Older musicians have an enhanced ability to understand speech in noise, and this has been associated with enhanced brain responses related to both speech processing and the deployment of attention, however the causal impact of music lessons in older adults is poorly understood. A sample of...

  7. Improved Understanding of Carbon Storage Risk Via Controlled-Release Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkholzer, J. T.; Guglielmi, Y.; Rutqvist, J.; Zheng, L.; Spycher, N.

    2014-12-01

    Two issues are often recognized as main risk drivers for carbon storage projects. The first is the possibility of pressure-induced slip of pre-existing faults, which can lead to breaching of seals to CO2 storage reservoirs. Although the mechanics of induced seismicity are well known, the characteristics of such slip events are poorly constrained and significant questions remain. The second is the potential impact of leaking CO2 on the quality of shallow potable groundwater. While several studies have been conducted using laboratory tests, natural analogues, and numerical models to evaluate the water quality changes induced by elevated CO2 concentrations, predictive understanding of these coupled processes remains limited in realistic field settings. We discuss in this invited contribution two controlled-release field experiments targeting remaining science gaps associated with induced seismicity and groundwater chemistry. The first experiment is a planned active fault slip experiment conducted in an underground research laboratory (URL) in a hardened shale formation that serves as a caprock analog. The critically stressed fault will be perturbed by the injection of fluid under pressure to simulate the influence of CO2 overpressure. The in situ reactivation experiment will use a novel borehole deformation tool that assesses the magnitude of overpressure required to cause slip, defines the mode of this slip as creeping (aseismic) or rapid (seismic), and measures the evolution of permeability on the fault. The second controlled-release field experiment was conducted in 2011/2012 to simulate the release of CO2 from a geologic storage site and study the transport as well as the chemical mechanisms leading to the CO2-induced mobilization of trace elements in a shallow aquifer. The field test involved a dipole system in which the shallow groundwater was pumped from one well, saturated with CO2 at the pressure corresponding to the hydraulic pressure of the aquifer, and

  8. Evaluation of an e-learning package to improve understanding of blood-borne viruses amongst prison staff in Wales, UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellen Perrett, Stephanie; Erricker, Mark; Lyons, Marion

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide education on blood-borne viruses (BBVs) to prison staff to help reduce stigma within the prisons, improve the care prisoners receive and reduce the risk of occupational transmission. An e-module was used to improve staff understanding of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV at a prison in Wales, UK. An assessment was used to gather data on prison staff understanding of BBVs prior to undertaking the e-module. In total, 530/697 (76 per cent) prison staff completed the BBV e-module. Average pre- and post-course assessment scores were 8.6/11 and 10.85/11, respectively. Most staff understood the modes of hepatitis transmission, however, gaps in understanding were highlighted. In total, 22 per cent of staff believed HBV and HCV were airborne, 9 per cent believed transmission occurred through sharing cutlery. In total, 31 per cent of staff believed prisoners with hepatitis should declare their status to the prison. Practical implications: The e-module significantly improved staff understanding of BBVs and should be incorporated into future prison training packages. Future education should include how BBVs are not transmitted with an emphasis on casual contact. Medical confidentiality in prisons should also be addressed. Improving understanding will help reduce the stigma of BBVs within prison and improve the multidisciplinary care the prisoner receives. To the authors knowledge this is the first published evaluation of a BBV learning package for custodial staff. Evaluation of this educational package demonstrates a unique and valuable insight into the general understanding of BBVs by prison staff in Wales, UK.

  9. 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

    determining the direction and magnitude of methane flux, with methane emissions occurring in saturated micro-topographic locations and drier sites showing low rates of uptake. An interesting exception was in tussock sedge vegetation, which had a deep water table (approximately 20cm - 40cm below the soil surface) but which emitted methane in comparable quantities to saturated communities late in the growing season. This highlights the importance of plant transport and of understanding temporal variation in fluxes. Automated chamber measurements from peak and late growing season showed minimal diurnal trends in methane fluxes, indicating that short-term chamber measurements are representative of average diurnal CH4 fluxes. The breadth of environmental and vegetation variables measured across a wide spatial extent of arctic tundra vegetation communities within this study highlights the overriding controls on methane emissions and will significantly help with upscaling methane emissions from the plot scale to the landscape scale. Reference: IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp, doi:10.1017/CBO97811074153

  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 Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-04-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks1,2used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between displacement-time graphs and displacement-position graphs. Many students wonder why these two graphs have the same sinusoidal shape. Having the students use multimedia simulations allows them to see, in a hands-on fashion, the relationship between the two graphs.

  13. Assessing, and understanding, European organic dairy farmers' intentions to improve herd health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, P J; Sok, J; Tranter, R B; Blanco-Penedo, I; Fall, N; Fourichon, C; Hogeveen, H; Krieger, M C; Sundrum, A

    2016-10-01

    Many believe the health status of organic dairy herds in Europe should be improved to meet consumers' and legislators' expectations to improve animal welfare. This paper reports on a study in four countries that examined dairy farmers' intentions towards improving the health status of their organic herds through the use of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. It was found that farmers across the countries were positive about taking additional preventative measures to improve the health status of their herds. They believed this would not only improve herd physical performance, such as milk yield and fertility, but also achieve greater cost effectiveness and improved job satisfaction for them. Most study farmers would implement a tailored package of improvement measures designed by the study team with higher uptake most likely being by younger farmers, those who make greater use of veterinarians and professional advisory services, and those supplying specialist milk-marketing chains. Furthermore, farmers will be most likely to take-up additional health promotion if compatible with their everyday activities and if they have strong business performance goals aimed at maximising the physical performance of the herd. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Analysis of farm performance in Europe under different climate and management conditions to improve understanding of adaptive capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidsma, P.; Ewert, F.; Oude Lansink, A.

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to improve understanding of the adaptive capacity of European agriculture to climate change. Extensive data on farm characteristics of individual farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) have been combined with climatic and socio-economic data to analyze the

  15. Research Plans for Improving Understanding of Effects of Very Low-Frequency Noise of Heavy Lift Rotorcraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidell, Sanford; Horonieff, Richard D.; Schmitz, Fredric H.

    2010-01-01

    This report reviews the English-language technical literature on infrasonic and low-frequency noise effects; identifies the most salient effects of noise produced by a future large civil tiltrotor aircraft on crew, passengers, and communities near landing areas; and recommends research needed to improve understanding of the effects of such noise on passengers, crew, and residents of areas near landing pads.

  16. Continuous Improvement in the Public School Context: Understanding How Educators Respond to Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichnor-Wagner, Ariel; Wachen, John; Cannata, Marisa; Cohen-Vogel, Lora

    2017-01-01

    The last 5 years have witnessed growing support amongst government institutions and educational foundations for applying continuous improvement research (CIR) in school settings. CIR responds to the challenge of implementing effective educational innovations at scale by working with practitioners in local contexts to understand "what works,…

  17. Continuous Improvement in the Public School Context: Understanding Educator Responses to Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichnor-Wagner, Ariel; Wachen, John; Cannata, Marisa; Cohen-Vogel, Lora

    2017-01-01

    The last 5 years have witnessed growing support amongst government institutions and educational foundations for applying continuous improvement research (CIR) in school settings. CIR responds to the challenge of implementing effective educational innovations at scale by working with practitioners in local contexts to understand ''what works, for…

  18. Using social science to understand and improve wildland fire organizations: an annotated reading list

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory Larson; Vita Wright; Cade Spaulding; Kelly Rossetto; Georgi Rausch; Andrea Richards; Stephanie Durnford

    2007-01-01

    The wildland fire community has spent the past decade trying to understand and account for the role of human factors in wildland fire organizations. Social research that is relevant to managing fire organizations can be found in disciplines such as social psychology, management, and communication. However, such research has been published primarily for scientific and...

  19. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visualizations have the potential to make abstract scientific phenomena more accessible and visible to students, but they can also be confusing and difficult to comprehend. This research investigates how dynamic visualizations, compared to static illustrations, can support middle school students in developing an integrated understanding of…

  20. Using Cooperative Teams-Game-Tournament in 11 Religious School to Improve Mathematics Understanding and Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veloo, Arsaythamby; Md-Ali, Ruzlan; Chairany, Sitie

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This paper was part of a larger study which looked into the effect of implementing Cooperative Teams-Games-Tournament (TGT) on understanding of and communication in mathematics. The study had identified the main and interaction effect of using Cooperative TGT for learning mathematics in religious secondary school classrooms. A…

  1. An Integrated Academic Literacy Approach to Improving Students' Understanding of Plagiarism in an Accounting Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Lisa; Singh, Nishani

    2016-01-01

    Plagiarism in higher education is a widespread and complex issue. Students' understanding of plagiarism differs as a result of combining their prior learning about referencing with their current experience of institutional policies and generic resources. Plagiarism was identified as a major learning issue in a core second-year undergraduate…

  2. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    2017-01-01

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first…

  3. Mechanistic Systems Modeling to Improve Understanding and Prediction of Cardiotoxicity Caused by Targeted Cancer Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehee V. Shim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs are highly potent cancer therapeutics that have been linked with serious cardiotoxicity, including left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, and QT prolongation. TKI-induced cardiotoxicity is thought to result from interference with tyrosine kinase activity in cardiomyocytes, where these signaling pathways help to control critical processes such as survival signaling, energy homeostasis, and excitation–contraction coupling. However, mechanistic understanding is limited at present due to the complexities of tyrosine kinase signaling, and the wide range of targets inhibited by TKIs. Here, we review the use of TKIs in cancer and the cardiotoxicities that have been reported, discuss potential mechanisms underlying cardiotoxicity, and describe recent progress in achieving a more systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity via the use of mechanistic models. In particular, we argue that future advances are likely to be enabled by studies that combine large-scale experimental measurements with Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP models describing biological mechanisms and dynamics. As such approaches have proven extremely valuable for understanding and predicting other drug toxicities, it is likely that QSP modeling can be successfully applied to cardiotoxicity induced by TKIs. We conclude by discussing a potential strategy for integrating genome-wide expression measurements with models, illustrate initial advances in applying this approach to cardiotoxicity, and describe challenges that must be overcome to truly develop a mechanistic and systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity caused by TKIs.

  4. Improving understanding of the underlying physical process of sediment wash-off from urban road surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthusamy, Manoranjan; Tait, Simon; Schellart, Alma; Beg, Md Nazmul Azim; Carvalho, Rita F.; de Lima, João L. M. P.

    2018-02-01

    Among the urban aquatic pollutants, the most common is sediment which also acts as a transport medium for many contaminants. Hence there is an increasing interest in being able to better predict the sediment wash-off from urban surfaces. The exponential wash-off model is the most widely used method to predict the sediment wash-off. Although a number of studies proposed various modifications to the original exponential wash-off equation, these studies mostly looked into one parameter in isolation thereby ignoring the interactions between the parameters corresponding to rainfall, catchment and sediment characteristics. Hence in this study we aim (a) to investigate the effect of rainfall intensity, surface slope and initial load on wash-off load in an integrated and systematic way and (b) to subsequently improve the exponential wash-off equation focusing on the effect of the aforementioned three parameters. A series of laboratory experiments were carried out in a full-scale setup, comprising of a rainfall simulator, a 1 m2 bituminous road surface, and a continuous wash-off measuring system. Five rainfall intensities ranging from 33 to 155 mm/h, four slopes ranging from 2 to 16% and three initial loads ranging from 50 to 200 g/m2 were selected based on values obtained from the literature. Fine sediment with a size range of 300-600 μm was used for all of the tests. Each test was carried out for one hour with at least 9 wash-off samples per test collected. Mass balance checks were carried out for all the tests as a quality control measure to make sure that there is no significant loss of sand during the tests. Results show that the washed off sediment load at any given time is proportional to initial load for a given combination of rainfall intensity and surface slope. This indicates the importance of dedicated modelling of build-up so as to subsequently predict wash-off load. It was also observed that the maximum fraction that is washed off from the surface increases

  5. Using Targeted Active-Learning Exercises and Diagnostic Question Clusters to Improve Students' Understanding of Carbon Cycling in Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and organic carbon-containing compounds in biological systems. These results helped us identify specific active-learning exercises that would be responsive to students' existing knowledge. The effects of the active-learning interventions were then examined through analysis of students' pre- and postinstruction responses on the DQCs. The biology and non–biology majors participating in this study attended a range of institutions and the instructors varied in their use of active learning; one lecture-only comparison class was included. Changes in pre- to postinstruction scores on the DQCs showed that an instructor's teaching method had a highly significant effect on student reasoning following course instruction, especially for questions pertaining to cellular-level, carbon-transforming processes. We conclude that using targeted in-class activities had a beneficial effect on student learning regardless of major or class size, and argue that using diagnostic questions to identify effective learning activities is a valuable strategy for promoting learning, as gains from lecture-only classes were minimal. PMID:22383618

  6. Using targeted active-learning exercises and diagnostic question clusters to improve students' understanding of carbon cycling in ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and organic carbon-containing compounds in biological systems. These results helped us identify specific active-learning exercises that would be responsive to students' existing knowledge. The effects of the active-learning interventions were then examined through analysis of students' pre- and postinstruction responses on the DQCs. The biology and non-biology majors participating in this study attended a range of institutions and the instructors varied in their use of active learning; one lecture-only comparison class was included. Changes in pre- to postinstruction scores on the DQCs showed that an instructor's teaching method had a highly significant effect on student reasoning following course instruction, especially for questions pertaining to cellular-level, carbon-transforming processes. We conclude that using targeted in-class activities had a beneficial effect on student learning regardless of major or class size, and argue that using diagnostic questions to identify effective learning activities is a valuable strategy for promoting learning, as gains from lecture-only classes were minimal.

  7. 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

  8. Educational value of pocket-sized ultrasound devices to improve understanding of ultrasound examination principles and sonographic anatomy for medical student.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eun Young Kim

    Full Text Available Medical students must understand the principles of ultrasonography (US, because US examinations are an important component of patient care in clinical practice. Pocket-sized ultrasound devices have the benefits of accessibility and ease of use. The primary objective of the present study was to evaluate the educational value of these devices in terms of improving medical student interest and understanding of US and sonographic anatomy.We added a US training program comprised of a self-study learning module and a hands-on training session to a two-week block curriculum of medical imaging for first year medical students (n = 40. Multiple pocket-sized US devices were used on a small-group basis during a single afternoon. Students were asked to complete a questionnaire before and after the US training session; these two questionnaires contained 6 and 10 questions, respectively, which were rated by students using a five-point Likert scale. In addition, understanding of sonographic anatomy was tested before and after the training program.Forty students completed the two questionnaires and the anatomy-related tests. Students found the program educationally valuable (4.37 ± 0.54 of 5 and reported that US practice was useful for improving their understanding of the principles of US examinations (4.23 ± 0.66 of 5 and sonographic anatomy (4.40 ± 0.55 of 5. Overall confidence at performing US examinations and understanding of sonographic anatomy were significantly increased after US training (increased overall confidence score, 1.87 ± 0.91 and improvement in sonographic anatomy score, 6.55 ± 1.55, p values < 0.001.US training using pocket-sized ultrasound devices was found to be educationally valuable for medical students in terms of improving understanding of US principles and familiarizing students with sonographic anatomy.

  9. Understanding and improving the high field orbit in the Fermilab Booster

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    With the implementation of the BPM system in the Fermilab Booster, complete survey data of the main magnets have been employed to determine magnet moving schemes to correct the high field orbit at 8 GeV kinetic energy and to understand the global pattern of the high field orbit in both planes. Considerable success has been achieved in the former task. We also obtained reasonable understanding in the later effort, given the multitude of factors that have to be dealt with. In this paper an account is given of the survey record, the orbit correction exercise, and the effort to reconstruct the high field orbit based on the survey records. 2 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Design e-learning with flipped learning model to improve layout understanding the concepts basic of the loop control structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handayani, D. P.; Sutarno, H.; Wihardi, Y.

    2018-05-01

    This study aimed in design and build e-learning with classroom flipped model to improve the concept of understanding of SMK students on the basic programming subject. Research and development obtained research data from survey questionnaire given to students of SMK class X RPL in SMK Negeri 2 Bandung and interviews to RPL productive teacher. Data also obtained from questionnaire of expert validation and students' assessment from e-learning with flipped classroom models. Data also obtained from multiple-choice test to measure improvements in conceptual understanding. The results of this research are: 1) Developed e- learning with flipped classroom model considered good and worthy of use by the average value of the percentage of 86,3% by media experts, and 85,5% by subjects matter experts, then students gave judgment is very good on e-learning either flipped classroom model with a percentage of 79,15% votes. 2) e-learning with classroom flipped models show an increase in the average value of pre-test before using e-learning 26.67 compared to the average value post-test after using e- learning at 63.37 and strengthened by the calculation of the index gains seen Increased understanding of students 'concepts by 50% with moderate criteria indicating that students' understanding is improving.

  13. A Christian understanding of the significance of love of oneself in loving God and neighbour: Towards an integrated self-love reading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannelie Wood

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses the meaning of the great commandment of love (Mt. 22:35–40 with afocus on the understanding of self-love as considered within a Christian context. Christians ingeneral understand the commandment as applying to love of God and one’s neighbour. Thereference to self-love tends to be ignored or misunderstood, especially when love of self isviewed in the context of the Christian virtues of humility and self-mortification. The conceptof narcissism (self-preoccupation or self-glorification has devastating effects on relationshipswith God, human beings and the world. In the Christian context self-love is not a thirdcommandment and it is not clearly outlined in Scripture. Furthermore, the love of oneselfseems to be the norm by which the love of God and neighbour are measured. It appearstherefore that by bringing narcissism into the equation of self-love, a better understanding canbe achieved of what a healthy Christian self-love should entail. Furthermore, a brief discussionon the views of the self as mind, emotions and will as well as agape, philia and eros is requiredfor a proposed integrated self-love reading.

  14. 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.

  15. Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance: Using Research and Data to Understand and Improve Educator Preparation and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, 2018

    2018-01-01

    Research shows that teachers affect student learning more than any other factor. The Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, a collaborative partnership of educators, policymakers, and researchers, seeks to improve educator quality through research and analytic technical support. Initially focused on Texas, the alliance has expanded to include…

  16. Virtual Physics Laboratory Application Based on the Android Smartphone to Improve Learning Independence and Conceptual Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arista, Fitra Suci; Kuswanto, Heru

    2018-01-01

    The research study concerned here was to: (1) produce a virtual physics laboratory application to be called ViPhyLab by using the Android smartphone as basis; (2) determine the appropriateness and quality of the virtual physics laboratory application that had been developed; and (3) describe the improvement in learning independence and conceptual…

  17. Understanding Effective Program Improvement Schools through a Distributed Leadership Task Context Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gipson, Frances Marie

    2012-01-01

    Federal, state, and local agencies face challenges organizing resources that create the conditions necessary to create, sustain, and replicate effective high performing schools. Knowing that leadership does impact achievement outcomes and that school districts tackle growing numbers of sanctioned Program Improvement schools, a distributed…

  18. Understanding the "How" of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaney, Elizabeth; Smith, Charles; Wong, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, afterschool and youth development programming has moved from providing childcare for working parents to being an integral component of the learning day, supporting the academic, social, and emotional development of young people. An important part of that transition has been a growing emphasis on improving program quality.…

  19. A positive deviance approach to understanding key features to improving diabetes care in the medical home

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gabbay, R.A.; Friedberg, M.W.; Miller-Day, M.; Cronholm, P.F.; Adelman, A.; Schneider, E.C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving

  20. Understanding Research Strategies to Improve ERA Performance in Australian Universities: Circumventing Secrecy to Achieve Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diezmann, Carmel M.

    2018-01-01

    Many Australian universities have prioritised improving discipline performance on the national research assessment--Excellence for Research in Australia. However, a "culture of secrecy" pervades "Excellence in Research for Australia" (ERA). There are no specified criteria for the assignment of ratings on a 5-point scale ranging…

  1. 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.

  2. Improving Student Understanding of Magmatic Differentiation Using an M&M Magma Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, K. R.

    2003-12-01

    Many students, especially those in introductory geology courses, have difficulty developing a deep understanding of the processes of magmatic differentiation. In particular, students often struggle to understand Bowen's reaction series and fractional crystallization. The process of fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is represented by a different color M&M; other kinds of differently colored or shaped pieces could also be used. Appropriate numbers of each color M&M are combined to approximate the cation proportions of a basaltic magma. Students then fractionate the magma by moving M&M's to the bottom of the magma chamber forming a series of cumulus layers; the M&M's are removed in the stoichiometric proportions of cations in the crystallizing minerals (e.g., olivine, pyroxene, feldspars, quartz, magnetite, ilmenite). Students observe the changing cation composition (proportions of colors of M&M's) in the cumulus layers and in the magma chamber and graph the results using spreadsheet software. More advanced students (e.g., petrology course) can classify the cumulates and resulting liquid after each crystallization step, and they can compare the model system with natural magmatic systems (e.g., absence of important fractionating phases, volatiles). Students who have completed this exercise generally indicate a positive experience and demonstrate increased understanding of Bowen's reaction series and fractionation processes. They also exhibit greater familiarity with mineral stoichiometry, classification, solid-solution in minerals, element behavior (e.g., incompatibility), and chemical variation diagrams. Other models (e.g., paths of equilibrium and fractional crystallization on phase diagrams) can also be used to illustrate differentiation processes in upper level courses (e.g., mineralogy and petrology).

  3. An agenda to construct an improved understanding of Australian organic consumers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adamsen, Jannie Mia; Lyons, Kristen; Winzar, Hume

    Organic food is claimed to be one of the fastest growing food categories worldwide, with growth rates of 20-30%. There have been considerable research efforts globally seeking to understand the organic food consumer. To date, academic research has been unable to reach a consensus, and we remain i...... as a methodological framework to guide research about organic purchasing decisions. The Best Worst scaling method avoids issues related to Socially Desirable Responding; a known effect of using the ever-popular Likert scale....

  4. Honey bee surveillance: a tool for understanding and improving honey bee health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kathleen; Steinhauer, Nathalie; Travis, Dominic A; Meixner, Marina D; Deen, John; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2015-08-01

    Honey bee surveillance systems are increasingly used to characterize honey bee health and disease burdens of bees in different regions and/or over time. In addition to quantifying disease prevalence, surveillance systems can identify risk factors associated with colony morbidity and mortality. Surveillance systems are often observational, and prove particularly useful when searching for risk factors in real world complex systems. We review recent examples of surveillance systems with particular emphasis on how these efforts have helped increase our understanding of honey bee health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Improving our understanding of environmental controls on the distribution of C3 and C4 grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, Stephanie; Edwards, Erika J; Still, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have demonstrated the ecological sorting of C3 and C4 grasses along temperature and moisture gradients. However, previous studies of C3 and C4 grass biogeography have often inadvertently compared species in different and relatively unrelated lineages, which are associated with different environmental settings and distinct adaptive traits. Such confounded comparisons of C3 and C4 grasses may bias our understanding of ecological sorting imposed strictly by photosynthetic pathway. Here, we used MaxEnt species distribution modeling in combination with satellite data to understand the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses by comparing both large clades and closely related sister taxa. Similar to previous work, we found that C4 grasses showed a preference for regions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation compared with grasses using the C3 pathway. However, air temperature differences were smaller (2 °C vs. 4 °C) and precipitation and % tree cover differences were larger (1783 mm vs. 755 mm, 21.3% vs. 7.7%, respectively) when comparing C3 and C4 grasses within the same clade vs. comparing all C4 and all C3 grasses (i.e., ignoring phylogenetic structure). These results were due to important differences in the environmental preferences of C3 BEP and PACMAD clades (the two main grass clades). Winter precipitation was found to be more important for understanding the distribution and environmental niche of C3 PACMADs in comparison with both C3 BEPs and C4 taxa, for which temperature was much more important. Results comparing closely related C3 -C4 sister taxa supported the patterns derived from our modeling of the larger clade groupings. Our findings, which are novel in comparing the distribution and niches of clades, demonstrate that the evolutionary history of taxa is important for understanding the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses, and should have implications for how grasslands will respond to global change. © 2012

  6. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-03-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies.

  7. Investigating and improving student understanding of the expectation values of observables in quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    The expectation value of an observable is an important concept in quantum mechanics since measurement outcomes are, in general, probabilistic and we only have information about the probability distribution of measurement outcomes in a given quantum state of a system. However, we find that upper-level undergraduate and PhD students in physics have both conceptual and procedural difficulties when determining the expectation value of a physical observable in a given quantum state in terms of the eigenstates and eigenvalues of the corresponding operator, especially when using Dirac notation. Here we first describe the difficulties that these students have with determining the expectation value of an observable in Dirac notation. We then discuss how the difficulties found via student responses to written surveys and individual interviews were used as a guide in the development of a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) to help students develop a good grasp of the expectation value. The QuILT strives to help students integrate conceptual understanding and procedural skills to develop a coherent understanding of the expectation value. We discuss the effectiveness of the QuILT in helping students learn this concept from in-class evaluations. (paper)

  8. On improved understanding of plasma-chemical processes in complex low-temperature plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röpcke, Jürgen; Loffhagen, Detlef; von Wahl, Eric; Nave, Andy S. C.; Hamann, Stephan; van Helden, Jean-Piere H.; Lang, Norbert; Kersten, Holger

    2018-05-01

    Over the last years, chemical sensing using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) in the visible spectral range has been combined with methods of mid infrared laser absorption spectroscopy (MIR-LAS) in the molecular fingerprint region from 3 to 20 μm, which contains strong rotational-vibrational absorption bands of a large variety of gaseous species. This optical approach established powerful in situ diagnostic tools to study plasma-chemical processes of complex low-temperature plasmas. The methods of MIR-LAS enable to detect stable and transient molecular species in ground and excited states and to measure the concentrations and temperatures of reactive species in plasmas. Since kinetic processes are inherent to discharges ignited in molecular gases, high time resolution on sub-second timescales is frequently desired for fundamental studies as well as for process monitoring in applied research and industry. In addition to high sensitivity and good temporal resolution, the capacity for broad spectral coverage enabling multicomponent detection is further expanding the use of OES and MIR-LAS techniques. Based on selected examples, this paper reports on recent achievements in the understanding of complex low-temperature plasmas. Recently, a link with chemical modeling of the plasma has been provided, which is the ultimate objective for a better understanding of the chemical and reaction kinetic processes occurring in the plasma. Contribution to the Topical Issue "Fundamentals of Complex Plasmas", edited by Jürgen Meichsner, Michael Bonitz, Holger Fehske, Alexander Piel.

  9. Understanding How the "Open" of Open Source Software (OSS) Will Improve Global Health Security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Erin; Blazes, David; Lewis, Sheri

    2016-01-01

    Improving global health security will require bold action in all corners of the world, particularly in developing settings, where poverty often contributes to an increase in emerging infectious diseases. In order to mitigate the impact of emerging pandemic threats, enhanced disease surveillance is needed to improve early detection and rapid response to outbreaks. However, the technology to facilitate this surveillance is often unattainable because of high costs, software and hardware maintenance needs, limited technical competence among public health officials, and internet connectivity challenges experienced in the field. One potential solution is to leverage open source software, a concept that is unfortunately often misunderstood. This article describes the principles and characteristics of open source software and how it may be applied to solve global health security challenges.

  10. Anticipated Improvements in Precipitation Physics and Understanding of Water Cycle from GPM Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2003-01-01

    The GPM mission is currently planned for start in the late-2007 to early-2008 time frame. Its main scientific goal is to help answer pressing scientific problems arising within the context of global and regional water cycles. These problems cut across a hierarchy of scales and include climate-water cycle interactions, techniques for improving weather and climate predictions, and better methods for combining observed precipitation with hydrometeorological prediction models for applications to hazardous flood-producing storms, seasonal flood/draught conditions, and fresh water resource assessments. The GPM mission will expand the scope of precipitation measurement through the use of a constellation of some 9 satellites, one of which will be an advanced TRMM-like core satellite carrying a dual-frequency Ku-Ka band precipitation radar and an advanced, multifrequency passive microwave radiometer with vertical-horizontal polarization discrimination. The other constellation members will include new dedicated satellites and co-existing operational/research satellites carrying similar (but not identical) passive microwave radiometers. The goal of the constellation is to achieve approximately 3-hour sampling at any spot on the globe -- continuously. The constellation s orbit architecture will consist of a mix of sun-synchronous and non-sun-synchronous satellites with the core satellite providing measurements of cloud-precipitation microphysical processes plus calibration-quality rainrate retrievals to be used with the other retrieval information to ensure bias-free constellation coverage. GPM is organized internationally, involving existing, pending, projected, and under-study partnerships which will link NASA and NOAA in the US, NASDA in Japan, ESA in Europe, ISRO in India, CNES in France, and possibly AS1 in Italy, KARI in South Korea, CSA in Canada, and AEB in Brazil. Additionally, the program is actively pursuing agreements with other international collaborators and

  11. Improved understanding of factors driving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus epidemic waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Som S; Otto, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains one of the most important causes of nosocomial infections worldwide. Since the global spread of MRSA in the 1960s, MRSA strains have evolved with increased pathogenic potential. Notably, some strains are now capable of causing persistent infections not only in hospitalized patients but also in healthy individuals in the community. Furthermore, MRSA is increasingly associated with infections among livestock-associated workers, primarily because of transmission from animals to humans. Moreover, many MRSA strains have gained resistance to most available antibiotics. In this review, we will present current knowledge on MRSA epidemiology and discuss new endeavors being undertaken to understand better the molecular and epidemiological underpinnings of MRSA outbreaks. PMID:23861600

  12. Understanding Existing Salmonid Habitat Availability and Connectivity to Improve River Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    In the Pacific Northwest river restoration is common for salmon conservation. Mangers need methods to help target restoration to problem areas in rivers to create habitat that meets a species' needs. Hydraulic models and habitat suitability curves provide basic information on habitat availability and overall quality, but these analyses need to be expanded to address habitat quality based on the accessibility of habitats required for multiple life stages. Scientists are starting to use connectivity measurements to understand the longitudinal proximity of habitat patches, which can be used to address the habitat variability of a reach. By evaluating the availability and quality of habitat and calculating the connectivity between complementary habitats, such as spawning and rearing habitats, we aim to identify areas that should be targeted for restoration. To meet these goals, we assessed Chinook salmon habitat on the Lemhi River in Idaho. The depth and velocity outputs from a 2D hydraulic model are used in conjunction with locally created habitat suitability curves to evaluate the availability and quality of habitat for multiple Chinook salmon life stages. To assess the variability of the habitat, connectivity between habitat patches necessary for different life stages is calculated with a proximity index. A spatial representation of existing habitat quality and connectivity between complimentary habitats can be linked to river morphology by the evaluation of local geomorphic characteristics, including sinuosity and channel units. The understanding of the current habitat availability for multiple life stage needs, the connectivity between these habitat patches, and their relationship with channel morphology can help managers better identify restoration needs and direct their limited resources.

  13. How online learning modules can improve the representational fluency and conceptual understanding of university physics students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, M.; Sharma, M. D.; Johnston, H.

    2015-07-01

    The use of online learning resources as core components of university science courses is increasing. Learning resources range from summaries, videos, and simulations, to question banks. Our study set out to develop, implement, and evaluate research-based online learning resources in the form of pre-lecture online learning modules (OLMs). The aim of this paper is to share our experiences with those using, or considering implementing, online learning resources. Our first task was to identify student learning issues in physics to base the learning resources on. One issue with substantial research is conceptual understanding, the other with comparatively less research is scientific representations (graphs, words, equations, and diagrams). We developed learning resources on both these issues and measured their impact. We created weekly OLMs which were delivered to first year physics students at The University of Sydney prior to their first lecture of the week. Students were randomly allocated to either a concepts stream or a representations stream of online modules. The programme was first implemented in 2013 to trial module content, gain experience and process logistical matters and repeated in 2014 with approximately 400 students. Two validated surveys, the Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE) and the Representational Fluency Survey (RFS) were used as pre-tests and post-tests to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided further insights. While both streams of OLMs produced similar positive learning gains on the FMCE, the representations-focussed OLMs produced higher gains on the RFS. Conclusions were triangulated with student responses which indicated that they have recognized the benefit of the OLMs for their learning of physics. Our study shows that carefully designed online resources used as pre-instruction can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding and representational fluency in physics, as well as make them more aware

  14. Targeted Sequencing of Venom Genes from Cone Snail Genomes Improves Understanding of Conotoxin Molecular Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phuong, Mark A; Mahardika, Gusti N

    2018-05-01

    To expand our capacity to discover venom sequences from the genomes of venomous organisms, we applied targeted sequencing techniques to selectively recover venom gene superfamilies and nontoxin loci from the genomes of 32 cone snail species (family, Conidae), a diverse group of marine gastropods that capture their prey using a cocktail of neurotoxic peptides (conotoxins). We were able to successfully recover conotoxin gene superfamilies across all species with high confidence (> 100× coverage) and used these data to provide new insights into conotoxin evolution. First, we found that conotoxin gene superfamilies are composed of one to six exons and are typically short in length (mean = ∼85 bp). Second, we expanded our understanding of the following genetic features of conotoxin evolution: 1) positive selection, where exons coding the mature toxin region were often three times more divergent than their adjacent noncoding regions, 2) expression regulation, with comparisons to transcriptome data showing that cone snails only express a fraction of the genes available in their genome (24-63%), and 3) extensive gene turnover, where Conidae species varied from 120 to 859 conotoxin gene copies. Finally, using comparative phylogenetic methods, we found that while diet specificity did not predict patterns of conotoxin evolution, dietary breadth was positively correlated with total conotoxin gene diversity. Overall, the targeted sequencing technique demonstrated here has the potential to radically increase the pace at which venom gene families are sequenced and studied, reshaping our ability to understand the impact of genetic changes on ecologically relevant phenotypes and subsequent diversification.

  15. 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.

  16. Has growth mixture modeling improved our understanding of how early change predicts psychotherapy outcome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koffmann, Andrew

    2017-03-02

    Early change in psychotherapy predicts outcome. Seven studies have used growth mixture modeling [GMM; Muthén, B. (2001). Second-generation structural equation modeling with a combination of categorical and continuous latent variables: New opportunities for latent class-latent growth modeling. In L. M. Collins & A. G. Sawyers (Eds.), New methods for the analysis of change (pp. 291-322). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association] to identify patient classes based on early change but have yielded conflicting results. Here, we review the earlier studies and apply GMM to a new data set. In a university-based training clinic, 251 patients were administered the Outcome Questionnaire-45 [Lambert, M. J., Hansen, N. B., Umphress, V., Lunnen, K., Okiishi, J., Burlingame, G., … Reisinger, C. W. (1996). Administration and scoring manual for the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ 45.2). Wilmington, DE: American Professional Credentialing Services] at each psychotherapy session. We used GMM to identify class structure based on change in the first six sessions and examined trajectories as predictors of outcome. The sample was best described as a single class. There was no evidence of autoregressive trends in the data. We achieved better fit to the data by permitting latent variables some degree of kurtosis, rather than to assume multivariate normality. Treatment outcome was predicted by the amount of early improvement, regardless of initial level of distress. The presence of sudden early gains or losses did not further improve outcome prediction. Early improvement is an easily computed, powerful predictor of psychotherapy outcome. The use of GMM to investigate the relationship between change and outcome is technically complex and computationally intensive. To date, it has not been particularly informative.

  17. How Radiologists Think: Understanding Fast and Slow Thought Processing and How It Can Improve Our Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Gijp, Anouk; Webb, Emily M; Naeger, David M

    2017-06-01

    Scholars have identified two distinct ways of thinking. This "Dual Process Theory" distinguishes a fast, nonanalytical way of thinking, called "System 1," and a slow, analytical way of thinking, referred to as "System 2." In radiology, we use both methods when interpreting and reporting images, and both should ideally be emphasized when educating our trainees. This review provides practical tips for improving radiology education, by enhancing System 1 and System 2 thinking among our trainees. Copyright © 2017 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    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

  19. Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms. Second Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenbach, Ruth; Greenleaf, Cynthia; Murphy, Lynn

    2012-01-01

    Published in partnership with WestEd, this significantly updated second edition of the bestselling book contains strategies for helping students in middle school through community college gain the reading independence to master subject area textbooks and other material. Features of this book include: (1) Based on the Reading Apprenticeship…

  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. A Three Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents. In Visualising Network...University at the start of each fall semester, when numerous new students arrive on campus and begin downloading extensive amounts of audio and...SIGGRAPH ’92 • C. Cruz-Neira, D.J. Sandin, T.A. DeFanti, R.V. Kenyon and J.C. Hart, "The CAVE: Audio Visual Experience Automatic Virtual Environment

  2. 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

  3. Improved communication, understanding of risk perception and ethics related to ionising radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perko, Tanja; Raskob, Wolfgang; Jourdain, Jean-Rene

    2016-06-06

    In Europe today, institutions, media and the general public exchange information about ionizing radiation and associated risks. However, communication about ionising radiation with the general public has to be further improved, as has been previously highlighted by international responses to the 2011 accident in Japan. This article reports the main activities and findings in this field from the following three FP7 projects: EAGLE, PREPARE and OPERRA and discussed by a broad spectrum of stakeholders at the conference RICOMET 2015. These projects, among other aims, also investigate how communication about ionising radiation in different fields could be improved and harmonised, how radiological risks are perceived, how to encourage ethical considerations in all fields of nuclear applications and what kind of transdisciplinary research is needed. The projects relate to several domains; the first relates to education, training and communication, the second to nuclear emergency preparedness and response, and the third to research and development in the radiation protection field. Incorporation of stakeholder engagement activities such as the RICOMET conference broadens social and ethical aspects and takes them into account during coordination activities as well as during core scientific and nuclear research and development performed in the projects. These activities offered opportunities for moving closer to a citizen-centred ideal of risk communication in particular and nuclear research and development in general.

  4. Understanding the limits of animal models as predictors of human biology: lessons learned from the sbv IMPROVER Species Translation Challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Bilal, Erhan; Norel, Raquel; Poussin, Carine; Mathis, Carole; Dulize, Rémi H J; Ivanov, Nikolai V; Alexopoulos, Leonidas; Rice, J Jeremy; Peitsch, Manuel C; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-02-15

    Inferring how humans respond to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses or hormones is an essential question in biomedicine. Very often, however, this question cannot be addressed because it is not possible to perform experiments in humans. A reasonable alternative consists of generating responses in animal models and 'translating' those results to humans. The limitations of such translation, however, are far from clear, and systematic assessments of its actual potential are urgently needed. sbv IMPROVER (systems biology verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) was designed as a series of challenges to address translatability between humans and rodents. This collaborative crowd-sourcing initiative invited scientists from around the world to apply their own computational methodologies on a multilayer systems biology dataset composed of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human and rat bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to 52 different stimuli under identical conditions. Our aim was to understand the limits of species-to-species translatability at different levels of biological organization: signaling, transcriptional and release of secreted factors (such as cytokines). Participating teams submitted 49 different solutions across the sub-challenges, two-thirds of which were statistically significantly better than random. Additionally, similar computational methods were found to range widely in their performance within the same challenge, and no single method emerged as a clear winner across all sub-challenges. Finally, computational methods were able to effectively translate some specific stimuli and biological processes in the lung epithelial system, such as DNA synthesis, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, translation, immune/inflammation and growth factor/proliferation pathways, better than the expected response similarity between species. pmeyerr@us.ibm.com or Julia

  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. Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

    2006-06-01

    Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

  7. Fundamentals of Melt-Water Interfacial Transport Phenomena: Improved Understanding for Innovative Safety Technologies in ALWRs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Anderson; M. Corradini; K.Y. Bank; R. Bonazza; D. Cho

    2005-04-26

    The interaction and mixing of high-temperature melt and water is the important technical issue in the safety assessment of water-cooled reactors to achieve ultimate core coolability. For specific advanced light water reactor (ALWR) designs, deliberate mixing of the core-melt and water is being considered as a mitigative measure, to assure ex-vessel core coolability. The goal of this work is to provide the fundamental understanding needed for melt-water interfacial transport phenomena, thus enabling the development of innovative safety technologies for advanced LWRs that will assure ex-vessel core coolability. The work considers the ex-vessel coolability phenomena in two stages. The first stage is the melt quenching process and is being addressed by Argonne National Lab and University of Wisconsin in modified test facilities. Given a quenched melt in the form of solidified debris, the second stage is to characterize the long-term debris cooling process and is being addressed by Korean Maritime University in via test and analyses. We then address the appropriate scaling and design methodologies for reactor applications.

  8. Understanding the System You Are in Is Key to Improving It.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plsek, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Front-line ownership (FLO) is an approach to change that is consistent with what we know about complex adaptive systems (CAS), such as a healthcare organization. Traditional change approaches can fail because they are based in the "organization as a machine" metaphor of traditional, scientific management. Both metaphors have their application. It depends on how closely the work naturally resembles a predictable machine. Often, the drive for detailed standardization is a misguided effort to make a human CAS behave more like a machine, so that our traditional approaches to change will work. FLO is a more appropriate tool in a CAS, where shared agreement at the level of a few simple rules (minimum specifications) and allowing flexibility for adaptation within local context is more appropriate than detailed standardization. Because humans in a CAS maintain some control over their discretionary effort, change advocates desiring sustainable change must work with stakeholders to co-create cases for change that resonate with the values of those being asked to change. FLO facilitates the emergence of this level of understanding of shared values.

  9. Redox Proteomics and Platelet Activation: Understanding the Redox Proteome to Improve Platelet Quality for Transfusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonego, Giona; Abonnenc, Mélanie; Tissot, Jean-Daniel; Prudent, Michel; Lion, Niels

    2017-01-01

    Blood banks use pathogen inactivation (PI) technologies to increase the safety of platelet concentrates (PCs). The characteristics of PI-treated PCs slightly differ from those of untreated PCs, but the underlying reasons are not well understood. One possible cause is the generation of oxidative stress during the PI process. This is of great interest since reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as second messengers in platelet functions. Furthermore, there are links between protein oxidation and phosphorylation, another mechanism that is critical for cell regulation. Current research efforts focus on understanding the underlying mechanisms and identifying new target proteins. Proteomics technologies represent powerful tools for investigating signaling pathways involving ROS and post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, while quantitative techniques enable the comparison of the platelet resting state versus the stimulated state. In particular, redox cysteine is a key player in platelet activation upon stimulation by different agonists. This review highlights the experiments that have provided insights into the roles of ROS in platelet function and the implications for platelet transfusion, and potentially in diseases such as inflammation and platelet hyperactivity. The review also describes the implication of redox mechanism in platelet storage considerations. PMID:28208668

  10. Current multiple sclerosis treatments have improved our understanding of MS autoimmune pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Roland; Sospedra, Mireia; Rosito, Maria; Engelhardt, Britta

    2016-09-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) in young adults. When MS is not treated, it leads to irreversible and severe disability. The etiology of MS and its pathogenesis are not fully understood. The recent discovery that MS-associated genetic variants code for molecules related to the function of specific immune cell subsets is consistent with the concept of MS as a prototypic, T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease targeting the CNS. While the therapeutic efficacy of the currently available immunomodulatory therapies further strengthen this concept, differences observed in responses to MS treatment as well as additional clinical and imaging observations have also shown that the autoimmune pathogenesis underlying MS is much more complex than previously thought. There is therefore an unmet need for continued detailed phenotypic and functional analysis of disease-relevant adaptive immune cells and tissues directly derived from MS patients to unravel the immune etiology of MS in its entire complexity. In this review, we will discuss the currently available MS treatment options and approved drugs, including how they have contributed to the understanding of the immune pathology of this autoimmune disease. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Fundamentals of Melt-Water Interfacial Transport Phenomena: Improved Understanding for Innovative Safety Technologies in ALWRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, M.; Corradini, M.; Bank, K.Y.; Bonazza, R.; Cho, D.

    2005-01-01

    The interaction and mixing of high-temperature melt and water is the important technical issue in the safety assessment of water-cooled reactors to achieve ultimate core coolability. For specific advanced light water reactor (ALWR) designs, deliberate mixing of the core-melt and water is being considered as a mitigative measure, to assure ex-vessel core coolability. The goal of this work is to provide the fundamental understanding needed for melt-water interfacial transport phenomena, thus enabling the development of innovative safety technologies for advanced LWRs that will assure ex-vessel core coolability. The work considers the ex-vessel coolability phenomena in two stages. The first stage is the melt quenching process and is being addressed by Argonne National Lab and University of Wisconsin in modified test facilities. Given a quenched melt in the form of solidified debris, the second stage is to characterize the long-term debris cooling process and is being addressed by Korean Maritime University in via test and analyses. We then address the appropriate scaling and design methodologies for reactor applications

  12. 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.

  13. Value Driven Outcomes (VDO): a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving health care costs and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamoto, Kensaku; Martin, Cary J; Williams, Kip; Tu, Ming-Chieh; Park, Charlton G; Hunter, Cheri; Staes, Catherine J; Bray, Bruce E; Deshmukh, Vikrant G; Holbrook, Reid A; Morris, Scott J; Fedderson, Matthew B; Sletta, Amy; Turnbull, James; Mulvihill, Sean J; Crabtree, Gordon L; Entwistle, David E; McKenna, Quinn L; Strong, Michael B; Pendleton, Robert C; Lee, Vivian S

    2015-01-01

    To develop expeditiously a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving healthcare value (costs relative to outcomes). In 2012, a multidisciplinary team was assembled by the leadership of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and charged with rapidly developing a pragmatic and actionable analytics framework for understanding and enhancing healthcare value. Based on an analysis of relevant prior work, a value analytics framework known as Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) was developed using an agile methodology. Evaluation consisted of measurement against project objectives, including implementation timeliness, system performance, completeness, accuracy, extensibility, adoption, satisfaction, and the ability to support value improvement. A modular, extensible framework was developed to allocate clinical care costs to individual patient encounters. For example, labor costs in a hospital unit are allocated to patients based on the hours they spent in the unit; actual medication acquisition costs are allocated to patients based on utilization; and radiology costs are allocated based on the minutes required for study performance. Relevant process and outcome measures are also available. A visualization layer facilitates the identification of value improvement opportunities, such as high-volume, high-cost case types with high variability in costs across providers. Initial implementation was completed within 6 months, and all project objectives were fulfilled. The framework has been improved iteratively and is now a foundational tool for delivering high-value care. The framework described can be expeditiously implemented to provide a pragmatic, modular, and extensible approach to understanding and improving healthcare value. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  14. Value Driven Outcomes (VDO): a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving health care costs and outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamoto, Kensaku; Martin, Cary J; Williams, Kip; Tu, Ming-Chieh; Park, Charlton G; Hunter, Cheri; Staes, Catherine J; Bray, Bruce E; Deshmukh, Vikrant G; Holbrook, Reid A; Morris, Scott J; Fedderson, Matthew B; Sletta, Amy; Turnbull, James; Mulvihill, Sean J; Crabtree, Gordon L; Entwistle, David E; McKenna, Quinn L; Strong, Michael B; Pendleton, Robert C; Lee, Vivian S

    2015-01-01

    Objective To develop expeditiously a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving healthcare value (costs relative to outcomes). Materials and methods In 2012, a multidisciplinary team was assembled by the leadership of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and charged with rapidly developing a pragmatic and actionable analytics framework for understanding and enhancing healthcare value. Based on an analysis of relevant prior work, a value analytics framework known as Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) was developed using an agile methodology. Evaluation consisted of measurement against project objectives, including implementation timeliness, system performance, completeness, accuracy, extensibility, adoption, satisfaction, and the ability to support value improvement. Results A modular, extensible framework was developed to allocate clinical care costs to individual patient encounters. For example, labor costs in a hospital unit are allocated to patients based on the hours they spent in the unit; actual medication acquisition costs are allocated to patients based on utilization; and radiology costs are allocated based on the minutes required for study performance. Relevant process and outcome measures are also available. A visualization layer facilitates the identification of value improvement opportunities, such as high-volume, high-cost case types with high variability in costs across providers. Initial implementation was completed within 6 months, and all project objectives were fulfilled. The framework has been improved iteratively and is now a foundational tool for delivering high-value care. Conclusions The framework described can be expeditiously implemented to provide a pragmatic, modular, and extensible approach to understanding and improving healthcare value. PMID:25324556

  15. High temperature corrosion during biomass firing: improved understanding by depth resolved characterisation of corrosion products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okoro, Sunday Chukwudi; Montgomery, Melanie; Jappe Frandsen, Flemming

    2015-01-01

    changes within the near surface region (covering both the deposit and the steel surface). Such cross-section analysis was further complemented by plan view investigations (additionally involving X-ray diffraction) combined with removal of the corrosion products. Improved insights into the nature......The high temperature corrosion of an austenitic stainless steel (TP 347H FG), widely utilised as a superheater tube material in Danish power stations, was investigated to verify the corrosion mechanisms related to biomass firing. KCl coated samples were exposed isothermally to 560 degrees C...... of the corrosion products as a function of distance from the deposit surface were revealed through this comprehensive characterisation. Corrosion attack during simulated straw-firing conditions was observed to occur through both active oxidation and sulphidation mechanisms....

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: First 5-Tower Data and Improved Understanding of Ionization Collection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, Catherine N. [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)

    2010-01-01

    The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) with cryogenic particle detectors. These detectors have the ability to discriminate between nuclear recoil candidate and electron recoil background events by collecting both phonon and ionization energy from recoils in the detector crystals. The CDMS-II experiment has completed analysis of the first data runs with 30 semiconductor detectors at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, resulting in a world leading WIMP-nucleon spin-independent cross section limit for WIMP masses above 44 GeV/c2. As CDMS aims to achieve greater WIMP sensitivity, it is necessary to increase the detector mass and discrimination between signal and background events. Incomplete ionization collection results in the largest background in the CDMS detectors as this causes electron recoil background interactions to appear as false candidate events. Two primary causes of incomplete ionization collection are surface and bulk trapping. Recent work has been focused on reducing surface trapping through the modification of fabrication methods for future detectors. Analyzing data taken with test devices has shown that hydrogen passivation of the amorphous silicon blocking layer worsens surface trapping. Additional data has shown that the iron-ion implantation used to lower the critical temperature of the tungsten transition-edge sensors causes a degradation of the ionization collection. Using selective implantation on future detectors may improve ionization collection for events near the phonon side detector surface. Bulk trapping is minimized by neutralizing ionized lattice impurities. Detector investigations at testing facilities and in situ at the experimental site have provided methods to optimize the neutralization process and monitor running conditions to maintain full ionization collection. This work details my contribution to the 5-tower data taking, monitoring, and analysis effort as

  19. 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.

  20. Surveillance should be strengthened to improve epidemiological understandings of mosquito-borne Barmah Forest virus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Durrheim

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Barmah Forest virus (BFV is a mosquito-borne virus causing epidemic polyarthritis in Australia. This study used case follow-up of cases from the surveillance system to demonstrate that routinely collected BFV notification data were an unreliable indicator of the true location of exposure.Methods: BFV notifications from June 2001 to May 2011 were extracted from the New South Wales (NSW Notifiable Conditions Information Management System to study case distribution. Disease cluster analysis was performed using spatial scan statistics. Exposure history data were collected from cases notified in 2010 and 2011 to accurately determine travel to high-risk areas.Results: Cluster analysis using address data identified an area of increased BFV disease incidence in the mid-north coast of NSW contiguous with estuarine wetlands. When travel to this area was investigated, 96.7% (29/30 cases reported having visited coastal regions within four weeks of developing symptoms.Discussion: Along the central NSW coastline, extensive wetlands occur in close proximity to populated areas. These wetlands provide ideal breeding habitats for a range of mosquito species implicated in the transmission of BFV. This is the first study to fully assess case exposure with findings suggesting that sporadic cases of BFV in people living further away from the coast do not reflect alternative exposure sites but are likely to result from travel to coastal regions. Spatial analysis by case address alone may lead to inaccurate understandings of the true distribution of arboviral diseases. Subsequently, this information has important implications for the collection of mosquito-borne disease surveillance information and public health response strategies.

  1. Understanding human - bat interactions in NSW, Australia: improving risk communication for prevention of Australian bat lyssavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Emma K; Massey, Peter D; Cox-Witton, Keren; Paterson, Beverley J; Eastwood, Keith; Durrheim, David N

    2014-07-02

    Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) infects a number of flying fox and insectivorous bats species in Australia. Human infection with ABLV is inevitably fatal unless prior vaccination and/or post-exposure treatment (PET) is given. Despite ongoing public health messaging about the risks associated with bat contact, surveillance data have revealed a four-fold increase in the number of people receiving PET for bat exposure in NSW between 2007 and 2011. Our study aimed to better understand these human - bat interactions in order to identify additional risk communication messages that could lower the risk of potential ABLV exposure. All people aged 18 years or over whom received PET for non-occupation related potential ABLV exposure in the Hunter New England Local Health District of Australia between July 2011 and July 2013 were considered eligible for the study. Eligible participants were invited to a telephone interview to explore the circumstances of their bat contact. Interviews were then transcribed and thematically analysed by two independent investigators. Of 21 eligible participants that were able to be contacted, 16 consented and participated in a telephone interview. Participants reported bats as being widespread in their environment but reported a general lack of awareness about ABLV, particularly the risk of disease from bat scratches. Participants who attempted to 'rescue' bats did so because of a deep concern for the bat's welfare. Participants reported a change in risk perception after the exposure event and provided suggestions for public health messages that could be used to raise awareness about ABLV. Reframing the current risk messages to account for the genuine concern of people for bat welfare may enhance the communication. The potential risk to the person and possible harm to the bat from an attempted 'rescue' should be promoted, along with contact details for animal rescue groups. The potential risk of ABLV from bat scratches merits greater emphasis.

  2. 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.

  3. A New and Improved Carbon Dioxide Isotope Analyzer for Understanding Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Y. W.; Berman, E. S.; Owano, T. G.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Oikawa, P. Y.; Baldocchi, D. D.; Still, C. J.; Gardner, A.; Baer, D. S.; Rastogi, B.

    2015-12-01

    Stable CO2 isotopes provide information on biogeochemical processes that occur at the soil-plant-atmosphere interface. While δ13C measurement can provide information on the sources of the CO2, be it photosynthesis, natural gas combustion, other fossil fuel sources, landfills or other sources, δ18O, and δ17O are thought to be determined by the hydrological cycling of the CO2. Though researchers have called for analytical tools for CO2 isotope measurements that are reliable and field-deployable, developing such instrument remains a challenge. The carbon dioxide isotope analyzer developed by Los Gatos Research (LGR) uses LGR's patented Off-Axis ICOS (Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy) technology and incorporates proprietary internal thermal control for high sensitivity and optimal instrument stability. This new and improved analyzer measures CO2 concentration as well as δ13C, δ18O, and δ17O from CO2 at natural abundance (150-2500 ppm). The laboratory precision is ±200 ppb (1σ) in CO2 at 1 s, with a long-term (2 min) precision of ±20 ppb. The 1-second precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.7 ‰, and for δ17O is 1.8 ‰. The long-term (2 min) precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.08 ‰, and for δ17O is 0.18 ‰. The instrument has improved precision, stability and user interface over previous LGR CO2 isotope instruments and can be easily programmed for periodic referencing and sampling from different sources when coupled with LGR's multiport inlet unit (MIU). We have deployed two of these instruments at two different field sites, one at Twitchell Island in Sacramento County, CA to monitor the CO2 isotopic fluxes from an alfalfa field from 6/29/2015-7/13/2015, and the other at the Wind River Experimental Forest in Washington to monitor primarily the oxygen isotopes of CO2 within the canopy from 8/4/2015 through mid-November 2015. Methodology, laboratory development and testing and field performance are presented.

  4. Understanding communication pathways to foster community engagement for health improvement in North West Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monique Lhussier

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This paper describes the community engagement process undertaken to ascertain the focus, development and implementation of an intervention to improve iodised salt consumption in rural communities in North West Pakistan. The Jirga is a traditional informal structure, which gathers men respected within their community and acts in a governing and decision-making capacity in the Pukhtoon culture. The Jirga system had a dual purpose for the study: to access men from the community to discuss the importance of iodised salt, and as an engagement process for the intervention. Methods A number of qualitative data collection activities were undertaken, with Jirga members and their wives, male and female outreach workers and two groups of women, under and over 40 years old. The aim of these was to highlight the communication channels and levers of influence on health behaviour, which were multiple and complex and all needed to be taken into consideration in order to ensure successful and locally sensitive community engagement. Results Communication channels are described within local families and the communities around them. The key influential role of the Jirga is highlighted as linked both to the standing of its members and the community cohesion ethos that it embodies. Engaging Jirga members in discussions about iodised salt was key in designing an intervention that would activate the most influential levers to decision making in the community. Gendered decision-making processes within the household have been highlighted as restricting women’s autonomy. Whilst in one respect our data confirm this, a more complex hierarchy of decisional power has been highlighted, whereby the concept of ‘wisdom’- an amalgamation of age, experience and education- presents important possibilities. Community members with the least autonomy are the youngest uneducated females, who rely on a web of socially and culturally determined ways to influence

  5. Understanding and Improving Arterial Roads to Support Public Health and Transportation Goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAndrews, Carolyn; Pollack, Keshia M; Berrigan, David; Dannenberg, Andrew L; Christopher, Ed J

    2017-08-01

    Arterials are types of roads designed to carry high volumes of motorized traffic. They are an integral part of transportation systems worldwide and exposure to them is ubiquitous, especially in urban areas. Arterials provide access to diverse commercial and cultural resources, which can positively influence community health by supporting social cohesion as well as economic and cultural opportunities. They can negatively influence health via safety issues, noise, air pollution, and lack of economic development. The aims of public health and transportation partially overlap; efforts to improve arterials can meet goals of both professions. Two trends in arterial design show promise. First, transportation professionals increasingly define the performance of arterials via metrics accounting for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and nearby residents in addition to motor vehicle users. Second, applying traffic engineering and design can generate safety, air quality, and livability benefits, but we need evidence to support these interventions. We describe the importance of arterials (including exposures, health behaviors, effects on equity, and resulting health outcomes) and make the case for public health collaborations with the transportation sector.

  6. Examination of rapid phase change in copper wires to improve material models and understanding of burst

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olles, Joseph; Garasi, Christopher; Ball, J. Patrick

    2017-11-01

    Electrically-pulsed wires undergo multiple phase changes including a postulated metastable phase resulting in explosive wire growth. Simulations using the MHD approximation attempt to account for the governing physics, but lack the material properties (equations-of-state and electrical conductivity) to accurately predict the phase evolution of the exploding (bursting) wire. To explore the dynamics of an exploding copper wire (in water), we employ a digital micro-Schlieren streak photography technique. This imaging quantifies wire expansion and shock waves emitted from the wire during phase changes. Using differential voltage probes, a Rogowski coil, and timing fiducials, the phase change of the wire is aligned with electrical power and energy deposition. Time-correlated electrical diagnostics and imaging allow for detailed validation of MHD simulations, comparing observed phases with phase change details found in the material property descriptions. In addition to streak imaging, a long exposure image is taken to capture axial striations along the length of the wire. These images are used to compare with results from 3D MHD simulations which propose that these perturbations impact the rate of wire expansion and temporal change in phases. If successful, the experimental data will identify areas for improvement in the material property models, and modeling results will provide insight into the details of phase change in the wire with correlation to variations in the electrical signals.

  7. Improving the understanding of thermal-hydraulics and heat transfer for super critical water cooled reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bilbao y Leon, S.; Aksan, N.

    2010-01-01

    Ensuring the exchange of information and fostering the collaboration among Member States on the development of technology advances for future nuclear power plants are among the key roles of the IAEA. There is high interest internationally in both developing and industrialized countries in the design of innovative super-critical water-cooled reactors (SCWRs). This interest arises from the high thermal efficiencies (44-45%) and improved economic competitiveness promised by for this concept, utilizing and building on the recent developments of highly efficient fossil power plants. The SCWR is one of the six concepts included in the Generation-IV International Forum (GIF). Following the advice of the IAEA Nuclear Energy Dept.'s Technical Working Groups on Advanced Technologies for LWRs and HWRs (the TWG-LWR and TWG-HWR), with the feedback from the Gen-IV SCWR Steering Committee, and in coordination with the OECD-NEA, IAEA is working on a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) in the areas of heat transfer behaviour and testing of thermo-hydraulic computer methods for Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors. The second Research Coordination Meeting (RCM) of the CRP was held at the IAEA Headquarters, in Vienna (Austria)) in August 2009. This paper summarizes the current status of the CRP, as well as the major achievements to date. (authors)

  8. Seeding on Moving Ground: How Understanding Network Instability Can Improve Message Dissemination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muchnik Lev

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Most analyses of the social structure of a network implicitly assume that the relationships in the network are relatively stable. We present evidence that this is not the case. The focal network of this study grew in bursts rather than monotonously over time, and the bursts were highly localized. Links were added and deleted in nearby localities and are not randomly dispersed throughout the network. Also changes in structure lead to simultaneous changes in self-stated interests of its members. For SNA marketing applications the findings suggest interesting improvements. Local bursts around a seed can change the structure of the network dramatically and therefore a marketer’s influence and his chances of success. Therefore, network measurements should be carried out more frequently and closer to the actual implementation of a seeding campaign. To detect these abrupt, dramatic local changes marketers also use a finer resolution. Further, recommendation algorithms that simultaneously account for changes in network structure and content should be applied.

  9. Oligometastatic prostate cancer: shaping the definition with molecular imaging and an improved understanding of tumor biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joice, Gregory A; Rowe, Steven P; Pienta, Kenneth J; Gorin, Michael A

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this review is to discuss how novel imaging modalities and molecular markers are shaping the definition of oligometastatic prostate cancer. To effectively classify a patient as having oligometastatic prostate cancer, diagnostic tests must be sensitive enough to detect subtle sites of metastatic disease. Conventional imaging modalities can readily detect widespread polymetastatic disease but do not have the sensitivity necessary to reliably classify patients as oligometastatic. Molecular imaging using both metabolic- and molecularly-targeted radiotracers has demonstrated great promise in aiding in our ability to define the oligometastatic state. Perhaps the most promising data to date have been generated with radiotracers targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen. In addition, early studies are beginning to define biologic markers in the oligometastatic state that may be indicative of disease with minimal metastatic potential. Recent developments in molecular imaging have allowed for improved detection of metastatic prostate cancer allowing for more accurate staging of patients with oligometastatic disease. Future development of biologic markers may assist in defining the oligometastatic state and determining prognosis.

  10. Improving Predictions with Reliable Extrapolation Schemes and Better Understanding of Factorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Sushant N.

    New insights into the inter-nucleon interactions, developments in many-body technology, and the surge in computational capabilities has led to phenomenal progress in low-energy nuclear physics in the past few years. Nonetheless, many calculations still lack a robust uncertainty quantification which is essential for making reliable predictions. In this work we investigate two distinct sources of uncertainty and develop ways to account for them. Harmonic oscillator basis expansions are widely used in ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. Finite computational resources usually require that the basis be truncated before observables are fully converged, necessitating reliable extrapolation schemes. It has been demonstrated recently that errors introduced from basis truncation can be taken into account by focusing on the infrared and ultraviolet cutoffs induced by a truncated basis. We show that a finite oscillator basis effectively imposes a hard-wall boundary condition in coordinate space. We accurately determine the position of the hard-wall as a function of oscillator space parameters, derive infrared extrapolation formulas for the energy and other observables, and discuss the extension of this approach to higher angular momentum and to other localized bases. We exploit the duality of the harmonic oscillator to account for the errors introduced by a finite ultraviolet cutoff. Nucleon knockout reactions have been widely used to study and understand nuclear properties. Such an analysis implicitly assumes that the effects of the probe can be separated from the physics of the target nucleus. This factorization between nuclear structure and reaction components depends on the renormalization scale and scheme, and has not been well understood. But it is potentially critical for interpreting experiments and for extracting process-independent nuclear properties. We use a class of unitary transformations called the similarity renormalization group (SRG) transformations to

  11. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first projects I present looked at the barriers that blind students face. I first present the results of my survey and interviews with blind students with degrees in computer science or related fields. This work highlighted the many barriers that these blind students faced. I then followed-up on one of the barriers mentioned, access to technology, by doing a preliminary accessibility evaluation of six popular integrated development environments (IDEs) and code editors. I found that half were unusable and all had some inaccessible portions. As access to visual information is a barrier in computer science education, I present three projects I have done to decrease this barrier. The first project is Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV). This project investigated an alternative to Braille labels for those who do not know Braille and showed that TGV was a potential alternative. The next project was StructJumper, which created a modified abstract syntax tree that blind programmers could use to navigate through code with their screen reader. The evaluation showed that users could navigate more quickly and easily determine the relationships of lines of code when they were using StructJumper compared to when they were not. Finally, I present a tool for dynamic graphs (the type with nodes and edges) which had two different modes for handling focus changes when moving between graphs. I found that the modes support different approaches for exploring the graphs and therefore preferences are mixed based on the user's preferred approach. However, both modes had similar accuracy in completing the tasks. These projects are a first step towards

  12. 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.

  13. Understanding the Effect of Na in Improving the Performance of CuInSe2 Based Photovoltaics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobson, Kevin D. [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)

    2015-11-17

    Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) thin film photovoltaic technology is in the early stages of commercialization with an annual manufacturing capacity over 1 GW and has demonstrated the highest module efficiency of any of the thin film technologies. However there still is a lack of fundamental understanding of the relationship between the material properties and solar cell device operation. It is well known that the incorporation of a small amount of Na into the CIGS film during processing is essential for high efficiency devices. However, there are conflicting explanations for how Na behaves at the atomic scale. This report investigates how Na is incorporated into the CIGS device structure and evaluates the diffusion of Na into CIGS grain boundaries (GBs) and bulk crystallites. Participants: This project was carried out at the Institute of Energy Conversion at the University of Delaware, collaborating with the Rockett group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. Significant Findings: The significant outcomes of this project for each task include; Task 1.0: Effect of Na in Devices Fabricated on PVD Deposited CIGS; Na diffusion occurs through the Mo back contact via GBs driven by the presence of oxygen; Na reversibly compensates donor defects in CIGS GBs,Task 2.0: Na Incorporation in Single Crystal CIGS; and bulk Na diffusion proceeds rapidly such that grains are Na-saturated immediately following CIGS thin film manufacture. Industry Guidance: The presented results offer interesting concepts for modification of manufacturing processes of CIGS-based PV modules. Possible approaches to improve control of Na uptake and uniformly increase levels in CIGS films are highlighted for processes that employ either soda-lime glass or NaF as the Na source. Concepts include the potential of O2 or oxidative based treatments of Mo back contacts to improve Na diffusion through the metal film and increase Na uptake into the growing CIGS. This project has also offered

  14. Ambivalent sexism: a tool for understanding and improving gender relations in organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakrisson, Ingrid; Anderzén, Marie; Lenell, Fredrik; Sandelin, Håkan

    2012-02-01

    This study tested predictions regarding ambivalent sexism, previously studied cross-culturally, here "within-culturally", between groups from different organizational settings. Based on three samples (334 adults in general, 744 industrial employees, and 189 high school students), completing a Swedish version of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), the results revealed that men scored higher on hostile and benevolent sexism than women, and high school students scored higher than both adult samples on both forms of sexism. The results generally confirmed the predictions; the gender gap in benevolent sexism decreased as a function of increasing levels of general sexism and the correlation between hostile and benevolent sexism decreased with higher levels of general sexism. In fact, the groups scoring highest on general sexism displayed significant negative correlations indicating a polarized ideology of women among these groups. Implications, both theoretical and practical, derived from these results are discussed. © 2011 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2011 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  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. Towards improved understanding of radionuclide transfer in forests and preparedness to handle contaminated forests. Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vetikko, V.; Rantavaara, A.; Aro, L.; Plamboeck, A.H.; Straelberg, E.

    2009-06-01

    The seminar was planned and arranged by four Nordic organisations and provided a forum for exchange of information for Nordic scientists currently working in the field of forest radioecology or using the data. Presentations of research on nutrient cycling and radionuclide distribution in boreal forests, discussion on the needs for future research and attendance of experts on forestry, forest research and radioecology offered a unique opportunity to disseminate and receive information. The seminar programme was composed of topics of radioecology and forest research, assessment of radionuclide contamination and management of contaminated forests. Also sampling in forests, monitoring and modelling of environmental impact of disposal of spent nuclear fuel, and recent radioecological studies on forests were handled. Future research was emphasised in discussions. Below is a short compilation of these discussions: - Comprehensive planning of research projects contributing to a programme with long-term aims is possible in broadly-based multidisciplinary collaboration. Thereby independent initiatives and less coherent plans can be replaced. - Clear definition of hypotheses, planning and improving the specific methods for sampling and laboratory analyses were found crucial. - Effects of intensive biofuel harvesting on the nutrient and radionuclide flows in forests are major issues in the next decades. - Gaps in knowledge, such as lack of data on processes contributing to radionuclide distributions in forests, and on certain long-lived radionuclides (those of Cl, Tc, Np, etc.) contributing to the environmental impact of final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Topical seminars like the one accomplished are welcome in the future; compiling acute issues of multidisciplinary nature for focussed expert review and discussion can be very rewarding in many ways. To support communication and future collaboration, an informal forest network was launched in the seminar. Information is

  18. Animal models to improve our understanding and treatment of suicidal behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, T D; Georgiou, P; Brenner, L A; Brundin, L; Can, A; Courtet, P; Donaldson, Z R; Dwivedi, Y; Guillaume, S; Gottesman, I I; Kanekar, S; Lowry, C A; Renshaw, P F; Rujescu, D; Smith, E G; Turecki, G; Zanos, P; Zarate, C A; Zunszain, P A; Postolache, T T

    2017-01-01

    Worldwide, suicide is a leading cause of death. Although a sizable proportion of deaths by suicide may be preventable, it is well documented that despite major governmental and international investments in research, education and clinical practice suicide rates have not diminished and are even increasing among several at-risk populations. Although nonhuman animals do not engage in suicidal behavior amenable to translational studies, we argue that animal model systems are necessary to investigate candidate endophenotypes of suicidal behavior and the neurobiology underlying these endophenotypes. Animal models are similarly a critical resource to help delineate treatment targets and pharmacological means to improve our ability to manage the risk of suicide. In particular, certain pathophysiological pathways to suicidal behavior, including stress and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis dysfunction, neurotransmitter system abnormalities, endocrine and neuroimmune changes, aggression, impulsivity and decision-making deficits, as well as the role of critical interactions between genetic and epigenetic factors, development and environmental risk factors can be modeled in laboratory animals. We broadly describe human biological findings, as well as protective effects of medications such as lithium, clozapine, and ketamine associated with modifying risk of engaging in suicidal behavior that are readily translatable to animal models. Endophenotypes of suicidal behavior, studied in animal models, are further useful for moving observed associations with harmful environmental factors (for example, childhood adversity, mechanical trauma aeroallergens, pathogens, inflammation triggers) from association to causation, and developing preventative strategies. Further study in animals will contribute to a more informed, comprehensive, accelerated and ultimately impactful suicide research portfolio. PMID:28398339

  19. Developing Vocabularies to Improve Understanding and Use of NOAA Observing Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, M.

    2014-12-01

    The NOAA Observing System Integrated Analysis project (NOSIA II), is an attempt to capture and tell the story of how valuable observing systems are in producing products and services that are required to fulfill the NOAA's diverse mission. NOAA's goals and mission areas cover a broad range of environmental data; a complexity exists in terms and vocabulary as applied to the creation of observing system derived products. The NOSIA data collection focused first on decomposing NOAA's goals in the creation and acceptance of Mission Service Areas (MSAs) by NOAA senior leadership. Products and services that supported the MSAs were then identified through the process of interviewing product producers across NOAA organization. Product Data inputs including models, databases and observing system were also identified. The NOSIA model contains over 20,000 nodes each representing levels in a network connecting products, datasources, users and desired outcomes. An immediate need became apparent that the complexity and variety of the data collected required data management to mature the quality and the content of the NOSIA model. The NOSIA Analysis Database (ADB) was developed initially to improve consistency of terms and data types to allow for the linkage of observing systems, products and NOAA's Goals and mission. The ADB also allowed for the prototyping of reports and product generation in an easily accessible and comprehensive format for the first time. Web based visualization of relationships between products, datasources, users, producers were generated to make the information easily understood This includes developing ontologies/vocabularies that are used for the development of users type specific products for NOAA leadership, Observing System Portfolio mangers and the users of NOAA data.

  20. Towards improved understanding of radionuclide transfer in forests and preparedness to handle contaminated forests. Proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vetikko, V.; Rantavaara, A. (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) (Finland)); Aro, L. (Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA) (Finland)); Plamboeck, A.H. (The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) (Sweden)); Straalberg, E. (Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) (Norway))

    2009-06-15

    The seminar was planned and arranged by four Nordic organisations and provided a forum for exchange of information for Nordic scientists currently working in the field of forest radioecology or using the data. Presentations of research on nutrient cycling and radionuclide distribution in boreal forests, discussion on the needs for future research and attendance of experts on forestry, forest research and radioecology offered a unique opportunity to disseminate and receive information. The seminar programme was composed of topics of radioecology and forest research, assessment of radionuclide contamination and management of contaminated forests. Also sampling in forests, monitoring and modelling of environmental impact of disposal of spent nuclear fuel, and recent radioecological studies on forests were handled. Future research was emphasised in discussions. Below is a short compilation of these discussions: - Comprehensive planning of research projects contributing to a programme with long-term aims is possible in broadly-based multidisciplinary collaboration. Thereby independent initiatives and less coherent plans can be replaced. - Clear definition of hypotheses, planning and improving the specific methods for sampling and laboratory analyses were found crucial. - Effects of intensive biofuel harvesting on the nutrient and radionuclide flows in forests are major issues in the next decades. - Gaps in knowledge, such as lack of data on processes contributing to radionuclide distributions in forests, and on certain long-lived radionuclides (those of Cl, Tc, Np, etc.) contributing to the environmental impact of final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Topical seminars like the one accomplished are welcome in the future; compiling acute issues of multidisciplinary nature for focussed expert review and discussion can be very rewarding in many ways. To support communication and future collaboration, an informal forest network was launched in the seminar. Information is

  1. [Understanding and reaching young clandestine sex workers in Burkina Faso to improve response to HIV].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthé, Abdramane; Huygens, Pierre; Ouattara, Cécile; Sanon, Anselme; Ouédraogo, Abdoulaye; Nagot, Nicolas

    2008-01-01

    In 1998, researchers in Burkina Faso enrolled 300 women more or less involved in commercial sex work in an open cohort to determine whether adequate management of their sexually transmitted infections and exposure to well-designed, well-delivered, and plentiful communication for behaviour change (CBC) might reduce their vulnerability to HIV. In 2000, they observed that the non-professional sex workers (occasional or clandestine sex workers) were more difficult to reach, to mobilize and to keep involved in the project's different activities. This group was also infected at the same or higher rates than professional sex workers because they did not use condoms routinely. To accomplish the project objectives, they therefore chose to recruit more non-professional sex workers in the new cohort of 700 women. This social-anthropological study was conducted to help them to enrol young clandestine sex workers. The overall objective of this study was to understand the life of this category of sex workers and to identify strategic actors to reach them. Using a qualitative method, social anthropologists reviewed literature, identified and geo-referenced all local places suitable to encountering these women, obtained life stories from some of them and interviewed key informants and participants in the field. The results showed that in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso): - most young women who are clandestine sex workers are Burkinabe, and girls entering the sex trade are increasingly young and increasingly uneducated; - most of them come from families with low capital (financial, cultural, or social). The parents' socioeconomic status (contextual poverty) results in unmet financial needs, which in turn exposes them to starting work early, including commercial sex work; - of all the income-generating activities available to unskilled young girls, commercial sex work is one of the most profitable and easily accessible; - in the three-fold context of an HIV epidemic, poverty, and

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The effects of automatic spelling correction software on understanding and comprehension in compensated dyslexia: improved recall following dictation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiscox, Lucy; Leonavičiūtė, Erika; Humby, Trevor

    2014-08-01

    Dyslexia is associated with difficulties in language-specific skills such as spelling, writing and reading; the difficulty in acquiring literacy skills is not a result of low intelligence or the absence of learning opportunity, but these issues will persist throughout life and could affect long-term education. Writing is a complex process involving many different functions, integrated by the working memory system; people with dyslexia have a working memory deficit, which means that concentration on writing quality may be detrimental to understanding. We confirm impaired working memory in a sample of university students with (compensated) dyslexia, and using a within-subject design with three test conditions, we show that these participants demonstrated better understanding of a piece of text if they had used automatic spelling correction software during a dictation/transcription task. We hypothesize that the use of the autocorrecting software reduced demand on working memory, by allowing word writing to be more automatic, thus enabling better processing and understanding of the content of the transcriptions and improved recall. Long-term and regular use of autocorrecting assistive software should be beneficial for people with and without dyslexia and may improve confidence, written work, academic achievement and self-esteem, which are all affected in dyslexia. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of symmetry and Gauss’s law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha

    2018-01-01

    We discuss an investigation of student difficulties with symmetry and Gauss’s law and how the research on students’ difficulties was used as a guide to develop a tutorial related to these topics to help students in the calculus-based introductory physics courses learn these concepts. During the development of the tutorial, we interviewed students individually at various stages of development and administered written tests in the free-response and multiple-choice formats on these concepts to learn about common student difficulties. We also obtained feedback from physics instructors who teach introductory physics courses regularly in which these concepts were covered. The students in several ‘equivalent’ sections worked on the tutorial after traditional lecture-based instruction. We discuss the performance of students on the written pre-test (administered after lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts) and post-test given after students worked on the tutorial. We find that on the pre-test, all sections of the course performed comparably regardless of the instructor. Also, on average, student performance on the post-test after working on the tutorial is significantly better than on the pre-test after lecture-based instruction. We also compare the post-test performance of introductory students in sections of the course in which the tutorial was used versus not used and find that sections in which students engaged with the tutorial outperformed those in which students did not engage with it.

  6. Improving Conceptual Understanding and Representation Skills Through Excel-Based Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, Kathy L.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schuchardt, Anita M.

    2018-02-01

    The National Research Council framework for science education and the Next Generation Science Standards have developed a need for additional research and development of curricula that is both technologically model-based and includes engineering practices. This is especially the case for biology education. This paper describes a quasi-experimental design study to test the effectiveness of a model-based curriculum focused on the concepts of natural selection and population ecology that makes use of Excel modeling tools (Modeling Instruction in Biology with Excel, MBI-E). The curriculum revolves around the bio-engineering practice of controlling an invasive species. The study takes place in the Midwest within ten high schools teaching a regular-level introductory biology class. A post-test was designed that targeted a number of common misconceptions in both concept areas as well as representational usage. The results of a post-test demonstrate that the MBI-E students significantly outperformed the traditional classes in both natural selection and population ecology concepts, thus overcoming a number of misconceptions. In addition, implementing students made use of more multiple representations as well as demonstrating greater fascination for science.

  7. CDKL5 variants: Improving our understanding of a rare neurologic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hector, Ralph D; Kalscheuer, Vera M; Hennig, Friederike; Leonard, Helen; Downs, Jenny; Clarke, Angus; Benke, Tim A; Armstrong, Judith; Pineda, Mercedes; Bailey, Mark E S; Cobb, Stuart R

    2017-12-01

    To provide new insights into the interpretation of genetic variants in a rare neurologic disorder, CDKL5 deficiency, in the contexts of population sequencing data and an updated characterization of the CDKL5 gene. We analyzed all known potentially pathogenic CDKL5 variants by combining data from large-scale population sequencing studies with CDKL5 variants from new and all available clinical cohorts and combined this with computational methods to predict pathogenicity. The study has identified several variants that can be reclassified as benign or likely benign. With the addition of novel CDKL5 variants, we confirm that pathogenic missense variants cluster in the catalytic domain of CDKL5 and reclassify a purported missense variant as having a splicing consequence. We provide further evidence that missense variants in the final 3 exons are likely to be benign and not important to disease pathology. We also describe benign splicing and nonsense variants within these exons, suggesting that isoform hCDKL5_5 is likely to have little or no neurologic significance. We also use the available data to make a preliminary estimate of minimum incidence of CDKL5 deficiency. These findings have implications for genetic diagnosis, providing evidence for the reclassification of specific variants previously thought to result in CDKL5 deficiency. Together, these analyses support the view that the predominant brain isoform in humans (hCDKL5_1) is crucial for normal neurodevelopment and that the catalytic domain is the primary functional domain.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: how to improve communication across ideological divides?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zia, Asim; Todd, Anne Marie

    2010-11-01

    While ideology can have a strong effect on citizen understanding of science, it is unclear how ideology interacts with other complicating factors, such as college education, which influence citizens' comprehension of information. We focus on public understanding of climate change science and test the hypotheses: [H1] as citizens' ideology shifts from liberal to conservative, concern for global warming decreases; [H2] citizens with college education and higher general science literacy tend to have higher concern for global warming; and [H3] college education does not increase global warming concern for conservative ideologues. We implemented a survey instrument in California's San Francisco Bay Area, and employed regression models to test the effects of ideology and other socio-demographic variables on citizen concern about global warming, terrorism, the economy, health care and poverty. We are able to confirm H1 and H3, but reject H2. Various strategies are discussed to improve the communication of climate change science across ideological divides.

  11. New understandings of the lithofacies paleogeography of the middle assemblage of Majiagou Fm in the Ordos Basin and its exploration significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinhua Fu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Accurate lithofacies-paleogeographic reconstruction is of great significance in predicting the dolomite reservoir distribution of the middle assemblage of Ordovician Majiagou Fm in the Ordos Basin. In this paper, the controlling effects of palaeotectonic background over sedimentation were first analyzed. Then the sedimentary mode of the middle assemblage was established and the lithofacies-paleogeography was reconstructed objectively for three intervals (Ma55, Ma57 and Ma59, based on the observation results of a large number of drilling cores and rock sections, together with the results of logging interpretation of rock composition and structure, single factor maps analysis and seismic data interpretation. The following findings were obtained. First, the middle assemblage of Majiagou Fm presents the uplift-depression alternation; two secondary low uplift zones extending in NS, i.e. Wushen Banner–Wuqi and Shenmu–Yulin–Yan'an, are developed in the eastern side of the central paleo-uplift, between which there is intraplatform depression, and lagoons are deposited in the Mizhi area in the east of the basin. Second, in the Ordos Basin, four NE-trending rift troughs are developed in the Proterozoic, which greatly affects the Ordovician sedimentary pattern and controls the distribution of intraplatform grain banks. Third, influenced jointly by the uplift-depression alternation and the intraplatform rift troughs of the Proterozoic, the intraplatform grain banks in the middle assemblage are mainly developed in the two low uplift zones, i.e. Shenmu–Yulin–Yan'an and Wushen Banner–Wuqi, trending NE in a similar echelon distribution. In conclusion, the two low uplift zones are the main development areas for high-quality carbonate reservoirs within the middle assemblage of Majiagou Fm in the basin.

  12. Dissecting the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale severity scale to understand the routes for symptomatic improvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Daniel L da Conceição; Barbosa, Veronica S; Requena, Guaraci; Shavitt, Roseli G; Pereira, Carlos A de Bragança; Diniz, Juliana B

    2017-10-01

    We aimed to investigate which items of the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Severity Scale best discriminate the reduction in total scores in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients after 4 and 12 weeks of pharmacological treatment. Data from 112 obsessive-compulsive disorder patients who received fluoxetine (⩽80 mg/day) for 12 weeks were included. Improvement indices were built for each Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Severity Scale item at two timeframes: from baseline to week 4 and from baseline to week 12. Indices for each item were correlated with the total scores for obsessions and compulsions and then ranked by correlation coefficient. A correlation coefficient ⩾0.7 was used to identify items that contributed significantly to reducing obsessive-compulsive disorder severity. At week 4, the distress items reached the threshold of 0.7 for improvement on the obsession and compulsion subscales although, contrary to our expectations, there was greater improvement in the control items than in the distress items. At week 12, there was greater improvement in the time, interference, and control items than in the distress items. The use of fluoxetine led first to reductions in distress and increases in control over symptoms before affecting the time spent on, and interference from, obsessions and compulsions. Resistance did not correlate with overall improvement. Understanding the pathway of improvement with pharmacological treatment in obsessive-compulsive disorder may provide clues about how to optimize the effects of medication.

  13. Using a balloon-borne accelerometer to improve understanding of the turbulent structure of the atmosphere for aviation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlton, Graeme; Harrison, Giles; Nicoll, Keri; Williams, Paul

    2017-04-01

    This work describes the instrument development, characterisation and data analysis from 51 radiosondes specially equipped with accelerometers to measure atmospheric turbulence. Turbulence is hazardous to aircraft as it cannot be observed in advance. It is estimated that turbulence costs the airline industry millions of US dollars a year through damage to aircraft and injuries to passengers and crew. To avoid turbulence pilots and passengers rely on Clear Air Turbulence forecasts, which have limited skill. One limitation in this area is lack of quantitative unbiased observations. The main source of turbulence observations is from commercial airline pilot reports, which are subjective, biased by the size of aircraft and pilot experience. This work seeks to improve understanding of turbulence through a standardised method of turbulence observations amenable throughout the troposphere. A sensing package has been developed to measure the acceleration of the radiosonde as it swings in response to turbulent agitation of its carrier balloon. The accelerometer radiosonde has been compared against multiple turbulence remote sensing methods to characterise its measurements including calibration with Doppler lidar eddy dissipation rate in the boundary layer. A further relationship has been found by comparison with the spectral width of a Mesospheric, Stratospheric and Tropospheric (MST) radar. From the full dataset of accelerometer sonde ascents a standard deviation of 5 m s-2 is defined as a threshold for significant turbulence. The dataset spans turbulence generated in meteorological phenomena such as jet streams, clouds and in the presence of convection. The analysis revealed that 77% of observed turbulence could be explained by the aforementioned phenomena. In jet streams, turbulence generation was often caused by horizontal processes such as deformation. In convection, turbulence is found to form when CAPE >150 J kg-1. Deeper clouds were found to be more turbulent due to

  14. Three-dimensional printing model improves morphological understanding in acetabular fracture learning: A multicenter, randomized, controlled study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenfei Huang

    Full Text Available Conventional education results in unsatisfactory morphological understanding of acetabular fractures due to lack of three-dimensional (3D details and tactile feedback of real fractures. Virtual reality (VR and 3D printing (3DP techniques are widely applied in teaching. The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of physical model (PM, VR and 3DP models in education of morphological understanding of acetabular fractures. 141 students were invited to participate in this study. Participants were equally and randomly assigned to the PM, VR and 3DP learning groups. Three-level objective tests were conducted to evaluate learning, including identifying anatomical landmarks, describing fracture lines, identifying classification, and inferring fracture mechanism. Four subjective questions were asked to evaluate the usability and value of instructional materials. Generally, the 3DP group showed a clear advantage over the PM and VR groups in objective tests, while there was no significant difference between the PM and VR groups. 3DP was considered to be the most valuable learning tool for understanding acetabular fractures. The findings demonstrate that 3DP modelling of real fractures is an effective learning instrument that can be used to understand the morphology of acetabular fractures and promote subjective interest.

  15. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetzel, Manuel W; Iteba, Nelly; Makemba, Ahmed; Mshana, Christopher; Lengeler, Christian; Obrist, Brigit; Schulze, Alexander; Nathan, Rose; Dillip, Angel; Alba, Sandra; Mayumana, Iddy; Khatib, Rashid A; Njau, Joseph D; Mshinda, Hassan

    2007-06-29

    Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health) impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services.

  16. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Sandra

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. Project The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. Conclusion The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services.

  17. A data-model integration approach toward improved understanding on wetland functions and hydrological benefits at the catchment scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, I. Y.; Lang, M.; Lee, S.; Huang, C.; Jin, H.; McCarty, G.; Sadeghi, A.

    2017-12-01

    The wetland ecosystem plays crucial roles in improving hydrological function and ecological integrity for the downstream water and the surrounding landscape. However, changing behaviours and functioning of wetland ecosystems are poorly understood and extremely difficult to characterize. Improved understanding on hydrological behaviours of wetlands, considering their interaction with surrounding landscapes and impacts on downstream waters, is an essential first step toward closing the knowledge gap. We present an integrated wetland-catchment modelling study that capitalizes on recently developed inundation maps and other geospatial data. The aim of the data-model integration is to improve spatial prediction of wetland inundation and evaluate cumulative hydrological benefits at the catchment scale. In this paper, we highlight problems arising from data preparation, parameterization, and process representation in simulating wetlands within a distributed catchment model, and report the recent progress on mapping of wetland dynamics (i.e., inundation) using multiple remotely sensed data. We demonstrate the value of spatially explicit inundation information to develop site-specific wetland parameters and to evaluate model prediction at multi-spatial and temporal scales. This spatial data-model integrated framework is tested using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) with improved wetland extension, and applied for an agricultural watershed in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, USA. This study illustrates necessity of spatially distributed information and a data integrated modelling approach to predict inundation of wetlands and hydrologic function at the local landscape scale, where monitoring and conservation decision making take place.

  18. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF E-LAB TO IMPROVE GENERIC SCIENCE SKILLS AND UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF PHYSICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Siswanto

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aimed of this sudy are: (1 investigate the effectiveness of E-Lab to improve generic science skills and understanding the concepts oh physics; and (2 investigate the effect of generic science skills towards understanding the concept of students after learning by using the E-Lab. The method used in this study is a pre-experimental design with one group pretest-posttest. Subjects were students of Physics Education in University PGRI Semarang with methode random sampling. The results showed that: (1 learning to use E-Lab effective to increase generic science skills of students; and (2 Generic science skills give positive effect on student conceptual understanding on the material of the photoelectric effect, compton effect, and electron diffraction. Tujuan penelitian ini yaitu: (1 menyelidiki efektifitas E-Lab untuk meningkatkan keterampilan generik sains dan pemahaman konsep mahasiswa; dan (2  menyelidiki pengaruh keterampilan generik sains terhadap pemahaman konsep mahasiswa setelah dilakukan pembelajaran dengan menggunakan E-Lab. Metode penelitian yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah pre-experimental dengan desain one group pretest-posttest. Subjek penelitian adalah mahasiswa Program Studi Pendidikan  Fisika  Universitas PGRI Semarang, dengan metode pengambilan sampel penelitian secara random. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa bahwa: (1 pembelajaran menggunakan E-Lab efektif untuk meningkatkan keterampilan generik sains mahasiswa; dan  (2 Keterampilan generik sains berpengaruh positif terhadap pemahaman konsep mahasiswa pada materi efek fotolistrik, efek compton, dan difraksi elektron. 

  19. Improving students' understanding by using on-going education research to refine active learning activities in a first-year electronics course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Mazzolini, Alexander; Arthur Daniel, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) have been used across introductory university physics as a successful active learning (AL) strategy to improve students' conceptual understanding. We have developed ILDs for more complex topics in our first-year electronics course. In 2006 we began developing ILDs to improve students' conceptual understanding of Operational Amplifiers (OAs) and negative feedback in amplification circuits. The ILDs were used after traditional lecture instruction to help students consolidate their understanding. We developed a diagnostic test, to be administered to students both before and after the ILDs, as a measure of how effective the ILDs were in improving students' understanding.

  20. Improving students' understanding by using on-going education research to refine active learning activities in a first-year electronics course

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzolini, Alexander Peter; Daniel, Scott Arthur

    2015-01-01

    Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) have been used across introductory university physics as a successful active learning (AL) strategy to improve students’ conceptual understanding. We have developed ILDs for more complex topics in our first-year electronics course. In 2006 we began developing ILDs to improve students’ conceptual understanding of Operational Amplifiers (OAs) and negative feedback in amplification circuits. The ILDs were used after traditional lecture instruction to help students consolidate their understanding. We developed a diagnostic test, to be administered to students both before and after the ILDs, as a measure of how effective the ILDs were in improving students’ understanding.

  1. 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...

  2. Prospects for improving CO2 fixation in C3-crops through understanding C4-Rubisco biogenesis and catalytic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharwood, Robert E; Ghannoum, Oula; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-06-01

    By operating a CO2 concentrating mechanism, C4-photosynthesis offers highly successful solutions to remedy the inefficiency of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco. C4-plant Rubisco has characteristically evolved faster carboxylation rates with low CO2 affinity. Owing to high CO2 concentrations in bundle sheath chloroplasts, faster Rubisco enhances resource use efficiency in C4 plants by reducing the energy and carbon costs associated with photorespiration and lowering the nitrogen investment in Rubisco. Here, we show that C4-Rubisco from some NADP-ME species, such as maize, are also of potential benefit to C3-photosynthesis under current and future atmospheric CO2 pressures. Realizing this bioengineering endeavour necessitates improved understanding of the biogenesis requirements and catalytic variability of C4-Rubisco, as well as the development of transformation capabilities to engineer Rubisco in a wider variety of food and fibre crops. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Improving care by understanding the way we work: human factors and behavioural science in the context of intensive care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevdalis, Nick; Brett, Stephen J

    2009-01-01

    Effectiveness and efficiency of care of the critically ill patient are subject to a number of systemic influences, including skills of individual physicians/nurses (technical and non-technical), team-working in the intensive care unit (ICU), and the ICU environment. We first discuss the paper of Fackler and colleagues as a contribution to the systems approach to clinical performance in the context of intensive care. We then highlight features of care delivery that are unique to intensive care and discuss the need for better understanding of human and non-human elements of the system of care of the critically ill patient as a driver for improvement of care delivery. PMID:19439048

  4. Effect of the interval of training course on understanding of radiation safety and an improvement of re-training course

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyoshi, Hirokazu; Yamamoto, Yasuyo; Adachi, Akio

    2005-01-01

    Radiation safety training courses are indispensable educational programs for radiation workers. We have two kinds of courses, which are held before use of radioisotope (beginner's training course) and held annually (re-training course). The interval between two courses was found to give some effects for radiation worker's recognition and knowledge on radiation safety through the result of examination and questionnaire on the radiation safety after training. The average scores of participants indicated that the short interval (3 months) was better than the long interval (almost one year). Furthermore, the average scores of participants in the 2003 training course were higher than those in the 2002 and 2001 training courses. Several participants were found to lack in the basic radiation safety attitude and knowledge. In order to improve these results, the practical training should be given additionally for workers, who lacked in understanding. (author)

  5. Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture: A Review of Synergies and Tradeoffs and How EO Could Improve Understanding and Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, L.; Wollenberg, E.

    2017-12-01

    We present a review of the published literature on agricultural adaptation and mitigation, and report on the current evidence as to whether changes in agricultural practices meant to achieve mitigation or adaptation goals can be dual purpose: simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping to facilitate adaptation. We characterize the spatio-temporal and system trends in how adaptation and mitigation outcomes are being achieved, and report on the current technical and knowledge gaps that exist and where Earth observations (EO) could improve our understanding. Agriculture contributes 12% GHG emissions globally, roughly one third from the developing world. Nearly 70% of the technical mitigation potential in agriculture sector occurs in these countries, however, while the mitigation potential is high, agricultural productivity also relies heavily on climate factors. With climate change, agricultural systems already, and will increasingly, need to adapt to extreme events and variability in temperatures and precipitation. This underscores the importance of implementing agricultural practices that can both reduce GHG emissions and help facilitate adaptation. Until recently, these objectives have been treated separately, but policy makers are increasingly calling for a joint approach to improve synergies, and avoid tradeoffs. There remain many complications in considering a joint approach: lack of clear conceptual frameworks, knowledge gaps in scientific understanding and evidence associated with adaptation and mitigation outcomes, and the abilities and motivations of stakeholders to consider both objectives. We review 56 peer-reviewed publications and present results from an in-depth analysis to answer two major concerns: to what extent is evidence provided for claims of synergistic outcomes, and what uncertainty surrounds this evidence. Our results show that only 21% of studies empirically measured both mitigation and adaptation outcomes, and claims

  6. UNDERSTANDING RESIDENT’ ACTIVITY SYSTEM-IMPROVING QUALITY LIFE: A CASE STUDY OF DOME POST DISASTER SETTLEMENT IN NGELEPEN SLEMAN, YOGYAKARTA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SYAM Rachma Marcillia

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available House is not only functioning as a place for shelter, but also for accommodating personal and social activities of its inhabitants. Unfortunately in post quake disaster dome houses Ngelepen, Yogyakarta, the majority of the early settlers must change their behavior and habits that they used to do in their previous environment to adjust the new settlement. These happened because dome housing did not facilitate some activities whether personal or social activities within the house, therefore the activities extended to the outside of the house or even the surrounding environment. This study aims to understand the system activities on the dome house settlement Yogyakarta. In order to get detailed description, quantitative as well as qualitative approach was done through observation of the activities type, when and where the activities conducted. Data collection was done by continuous place centered behavior mapping to know how the occupants use and accommodate their behavior in certain time and specific place. The results of this study showed that daily activities on weekdays and holidays conducted by different group; children, adult and elderly, at different areas and for different type of activities in certain times. The pathways and courtyard of the house mostly used for domestic household activities and leisure as an extension of the social interaction space. In understanding the system activities that occurred, it is expected that this study can contribute to improve the quality of life of people live in a relocation settlement.

  7. Improving uptake and engagement with child body image interventions delivered to mothers: Understanding mother and daughter preferences for intervention content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbett, Kirsty M; Diedrichs, Phillippa C

    2016-12-01

    Mothers are a key influence on adolescent girls' body image. This study aimed to improve understanding of mothers' and daughters' preferences for content in body image interventions designed to assist mothers to promote positive body image among their daughters. British mother-daughter dyads (N=190) viewed descriptions of five evidence-based influences on body image (family, friends, and relationships; appearance-based teasing; media and celebrities; appearance conversations; body acceptance and care). Mothers and daughters each selected the two most important influences to learn about in these interventions. Overall, both mothers and daughters most frequently opted for family, friends, and relationships and body acceptance and care, whereas media and celebrities was their least preferred topic. While the overall sample of mothers and daughters agreed on preferences, Fisher's exact tests showed that within-dyad agreement was low. Recommendations for improving parent and child engagement with, and effectiveness of, child body image interventions delivered to parents are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A theoretical understanding on the CO-tolerance mechanism of the WC(0001) supported Pt monolayer: Some improvement strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xilin [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Lu, Zhansheng [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Nano Functional Materials and Applications, Henan Province (China); Yang, Zongxian, E-mail: yzx@henannu.edu.cn [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Nano Functional Materials and Applications, Henan Province (China)

    2016-12-15

    Highlights: • The mechanism of CO tolerance and oxidation on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) is clarified. • The high tolerance of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) to CO originate from the weak adsorption. • The minimum energy path and the rate-determining step are identified. • The activity of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) to CO oxidation is comparable to that of Pt(111). • Some probable strategies are proposed to improve the activity of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001). - Abstract: The deposition of platinum on the tungsten carbide (Pt/WC) have been achieved and proved with high stability, activity and CO-tolerance toward some reactions in experiments. Although a lot of experimental efforts have been focused on understanding the activity, stability and CO-tolerance of Pt/WC, the relevant theoretical works related to the CO-tolerance mechanism are still scarce. In current study, the adsorption and oxidation of CO on the Pt monolayer supported on WC(0001) surface (Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001)) are investigated using density functional theory calculations. It is found that the oxidation of CO on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) proceeds preferably along the Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism. The energy barrier of 1.06 eV for the rate-determining step of OOCO formation is almost equal to that (1.05 eV) for CO oxidation by atomic O on Pt(111), while the adsorption energy of 1.59 eV for CO on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) is smaller than that on Pt(111) (1.85 eV), indicating that the high resistance to CO poisoning of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) may originate from the weak interaction between them. To further improve the CO tolerance, some probable strategies are proposed based on the relevant kinetics results. The current results are helpful to understanding the origin of the highly resistant to CO poisoning of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) and rationally designing catalysts to improve the CO oxidation activity.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Trench Safety–Using a Qualitative Approach to Understand Barriers and Develop Strategies to Improve Trenching Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    FLYNN, MICHAEL A.; SAMPSON, JULIE M.

    2015-01-01

    Despite efforts to ensure workplace safety and health, injuries and fatalities related to trenching and excavation remain alarmingly high in the construction industry. Because properly installed trenching protective systems can potentially reduce the significant number of trenching fatalities, there is clearly a need to identify the barriers to the use of these systems and to develop strategies to ensure these systems are utilized consistently. The current study reports on the results of focus groups with construction workers and safety management personnel to better understand these barriers and to identify solutions. The results suggest several factors, from poor planning to pressures from experienced workers and supervisors, which present barriers to safe trenching practices. Based on the results, it is recommended that safety trainings incorporate unique messages for new workers, experienced workers and management in an effort to motivate each group to work safely as well as provide them with solutions to overcome the identified barriers. PMID:26550006

  13. Interactive case vignettes utilizing simulated pathologist-clinician encounters with whole slide imaging and video tutorials of whole slide scans improves student understanding of disease processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J Horn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: One of the drawbacks of studying pathology in the second year of medical school in a classroom setting is the relatively limited exposure to patient encounters/clinical rotations, making it difficult to understand and fully appreciate the significance of the course material, specifically the molecular and tissue aspects of disease. In this study, we determined if case vignettes incorporating pathologist-clinician encounters with whole slide imaging (WSI and narrated/annotated videos of whole slide (WS scans in addition to clinical data improved student understanding of pathologic disease processes. Materials and Methods: Case vignettes were created for several genitourinary disease processes that utilized clinical data including narratives of pathologist-clinician encounters, WSI, and annotated video tutorials of WS scans (designed to simulate "double-heading". The students were encouraged to view the virtual slide first, with the video tutorials being provided to offer additional assistance. The case vignettes were created to be interactive with a detailed explanation of each correct and incorrect question choice. The cases were made available to all second year medical students via a website and could be viewed only after completing a 10 question pre-test. A post-test could be completed after viewing all cases followed by a brief satisfaction survey. Results: Ninety-six students completed the pre-test with an average score of 7.7/10. Fifty-seven students completed the post-test with an average score of 9.4/10. Thirty-six students completed the satisfaction survey. 94% agreed or strongly agreed that this was a useful exercise and 91% felt that it helped them better understand the topics. Conclusion: The development of interactive case vignettes incorporating simulated pathologist-clinician encounters with WSI and video tutorials of WS scans helps to improve student enthusiasm to learn and grasp pathologic aspects of disease

  14. Using a Forest Health Index as an Outreach Tool for Improving Public Understanding of Ecosystem Dynamics and Research-Based Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osenga, E. C.; Cundiff, J.; Arnott, J. C.; Katzenberger, J.; Taylor, J. R.; Jack-Scott, E.

    2015-12-01

    An interactive tool called the Forest Health Index (FHI) has been developed for the Roaring Fork watershed of Colorado, with the purpose of improving public understanding of local forest management and ecosystem dynamics. The watershed contains large areas of White River National Forest, which plays a significant role in the local economy, particularly for recreation and tourism. Local interest in healthy forests is therefore strong, but public understanding of forest ecosystems is often simplified. This can pose challenges for land managers and researchers seeking a scientifically informed approach to forest restoration, management, and planning. Now in its second iteration, the FHI is a tool designed to help bridge that gap. The FHI uses a suite of indicators to create a numeric rating of forest functionality and change, based on the desired forest state in relation to four categories: Ecological Integrity, Public Health and Safety, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Use and Management. The rating is based on data derived from several sources including local weather stations, stream gauge data, SNOTEL sites, and National Forest Service archives. In addition to offering local outreach and education, this project offers broader insight into effective communication methods, as well as into the challenges of using quantitative analysis to rate ecosystem health. Goals of the FHI include its use in schools as a means of using local data and place-based learning to teach basic math and science concepts, improved public understanding of ecological complexity and need for ongoing forest management, and, in the future, its use as a model for outreach tools in other forested communities in the Intermountain West.

  15. Quantum interactive learning tutorial on the double-slit experiment to improve student understanding of quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, Ryan; Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-06-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students' prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in various situations that appear to be counterintuitive and contradict classical notions of particles and waves. For example, if we send single electrons through the slits, they may behave as a "wave" in part of the experiment and as a "particle" in another part of the same experiment. Here we discuss the development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics. We discuss common student difficulties identified during the development and evaluation of the QuILT and analyze the data from the pretest and post test administered to the upper-level undergraduate and first-year physics graduate students before and after they worked on the QuILT to assess its effectiveness. These data suggest that on average, the QuILT was effective in helping students develop a more robust understanding of foundational concepts in quantum mechanics that defy classical intuition using the context of the double-slit experiment. Moreover, upper-level undergraduates outperformed physics graduate students on the post test. One possible reason for this difference in performance may be the level of student engagement with the QuILT due to the grade incentive. In the undergraduate course, the post test was graded for correctness while in the graduate course, it was only graded for completeness.

  16. Interventions and Interactions: Understanding Coupled Human-Water Dynamics for Improved Water Resources Management in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crootof, A.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding coupled human-water dynamics offers valuable insights to address fundamental water resources challenges posed by environmental change. With hydropower reshaping human-water interactions in mountain river basins, there is a need for a socio-hydrology framework—which examines two-way feedback loops between human and water systems—to more effectively manage water resources. This paper explores the cross-scalar interactions and feedback loops between human and water systems in river basins affected by run-of-the-river hydropower and highlights the utility of a socio-hydrology perspectives to enhance water management in the face of environmental change. In the Himalayas, the rapid expansion of run-of-the-river hydropower—which diverts streamflow for energy generation—is reconfiguring the availability, location, and timing of water resources. This technological intervention in the river basin not only alters hydrologic dyanmics but also shapes social outcomes. Using hydropower development in the highlands of Uttarakhand, India as a case study, I first illustrate how run-of-the-river projects transform human-water dynamics by reshaping the social and physical landscape of a river basin. Second, I emphasize how examining cross-scalar feedbacks among structural dynamics, social outcomes, and values and norms in this coupled human-water system can inform water management. Third, I present hydrological and social literature, raised separately, to indicate collaborative research needs and knowledge gaps for coupled human-water systems affected by run-of-the-river hydropower. The results underscore the need to understand coupled human-water dynamics to improve water resources management in the face of environmental change.

  17. Quantum interactive learning tutorial on the double-slit experiment to improve student understanding of quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Sayer

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students’ prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in various situations that appear to be counterintuitive and contradict classical notions of particles and waves. For example, if we send single electrons through the slits, they may behave as a “wave” in part of the experiment and as a “particle” in another part of the same experiment. Here we discuss the development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics. We discuss common student difficulties identified during the development and evaluation of the QuILT and analyze the data from the pretest and post test administered to the upper-level undergraduate and first-year physics graduate students before and after they worked on the QuILT to assess its effectiveness. These data suggest that on average, the QuILT was effective in helping students develop a more robust understanding of foundational concepts in quantum mechanics that defy classical intuition using the context of the double-slit experiment. Moreover, upper-level undergraduates outperformed physics graduate students on the post test. One possible reason for this difference in performance may be the level of student engagement with the QuILT due to the grade incentive. In the undergraduate course, the post test was graded for correctness while in the graduate course, it was only graded for completeness.

  18. Do physicians understand type 2 diabetes patients' perceptions of seriousness; the emotional impact and needs for care improvement? A cross-national survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hajós, T.R.S.; Polonsky, W.H.; Twisk, J.W.; Dain, M.P.; Snoek, F.J.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To explore across countries the extent to which physicians understand Type 2 diabetes patients' perceptions of seriousness, worries about complications, emotional distress, and needs for care improvement. Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected in a multinational survey (SHARED).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Root cause analysis underscores the importance of understanding, addressing, and communicating cold chain equipment failures to improve equipment performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennon, Pat; Atuhaire, Brian; Yavari, Shahrzad; Sampath, Vidya; Mvundura, Mercy; Ramanathan, Nithya; Robertson, Joanie

    2017-04-19

    Vaccine cold chain equipment (CCE) in developing countries is often exposed to harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures and humidity, and is subject to many additional challenges, including intermittent power supply, insufficient maintenance capacity, and a scarcity of replacement parts. Together, these challenges lead to high failure rates for refrigerators, potentially damaging vaccines and adversely affecting immunization coverage. Providing a sustainable solution for improving CCE performance requires an understanding of the root causes of failure. Project teams conducted small-scale studies to determine the root causes of CCE failure in selected locations in Uganda and Mozambique. The evaluations covered 59 failed refrigerators and freezers in Uganda and 27 refrigerators in Mozambique. In Uganda, the vast majority of failures were due to a cooling unit fault in one widely used refrigerator model. In Mozambique, 11 of the 27 problems were attributable to solar refrigerators with batteries that were unable to hold a charge, and another eight problems were associated with a need to adjust thermostat settings. The studies showed that tracking and evaluation of equipment performance and failure can yield important, actionable information for a range of stakeholders, including local CCE technicians, the ministry of health, equipment manufacturers, and international partners such as the United Nations Children's Fund, World Health Organization, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Collaborative efforts to systematically collect and communicate data on CCE performance and causes of failure will help to improve the efficiency and reach of immunization programs in low- and middle-income countries. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Understanding water deficit stress-induced changes in the basic metabolism of higher plants - biotechnologically and sustainably improving agriculture and the ecoenvironment in arid regions of the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Hong-Bo; Chu, Li-Ye; Jaleel, C Abdul; Manivannan, P; Panneerselvam, R; Shao, Ming-An

    2009-01-01

    Water is vital for plant growth, development and productivity. Permanent or temporary water deficit stress limits the growth and distribution of natural and artificial vegetation and the performance of cultivated plants (crops) more than any other environmental factor. Productive and sustainable agriculture necessitates growing plants (crops) in arid and semiarid regions with less input of precious resources such as fresh water. For a better understanding and rapid improvement of soil-water stress tolerance in these regions, especially in the water-wind eroded crossing region, it is very important to link physiological and biochemical studies to molecular work in genetically tractable model plants and important native plants, and further extending them to practical ecological restoration and efficient crop production. Although basic studies and practices aimed at improving soil water stress resistance and plant water use efficiency have been carried out for many years, the mechanisms involved at different scales are still not clear. Further understanding and manipulating soil-plant water relationships and soil-water stress tolerance at the scales of ecology, physiology and molecular biology can significantly improve plant productivity and environmental quality. Currently, post-genomics and metabolomics are very important in exploring anti-drought gene resources in various life forms, but modern agriculturally sustainable development must be combined with plant physiological measures in the field, on the basis of which post-genomics and metabolomics have further practical prospects. In this review, we discuss physiological and molecular insights and effects in basic plant metabolism, drought tolerance strategies under drought conditions in higher plants for sustainable agriculture and ecoenvironments in arid and semiarid areas of the world. We conclude that biological measures are the bases for the solutions to the issues relating to the different types of

  4. Improved participants' understanding of research information in real settings using the SIDCER informed consent form: a randomized-controlled informed consent study nested with eight clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonrungsesomboon, Nut; Tharavanij, Thipaporn; Phiphatpatthamaamphan, Kittichet; Vilaichone, Ratha-Korn; Manuwong, Sudsayam; Curry, Parichat; Siramolpiwat, Sith; Punchaipornpon, Thanachai; Kanitnate, Supakit; Tammachote, Nattapol; Yamprasert, Rodsarin; Chanvimalueng, Waipoj; Kaewkumpai, Ruchirat; Netanong, Soiphet; Kitipawong, Peerapong; Sritipsukho, Paskorn; Karbwang, Juntra

    2017-02-01

    This study aimed to test the applicability and effectiveness of the principles and informed consent form (ICF) template proposed by the Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER) across multiple clinical trials involving Thai research participants with various conditions. A single-center, randomized-controlled study nested with eight clinical trials was conducted at Thammasat University Hospital, Thailand. A total of 258 participants from any of the eight clinical trials were enrolled and randomly assigned to read either the SIDCER ICF (n = 130) or the conventional ICF (n = 128) of the respective trial. Their understanding of necessary information was assessed using the post-test questionnaire; they were allowed to consult a given ICF while completing the questionnaire. The primary endpoint was the proportion of the participants who had the post-test score of ≥80%, and the secondary endpoint was the total score of the post-test. The proportion of the participants in the SIDCER ICF group who achieved the primary endpoint was significantly higher than that of the conventional ICF group (60.8 vs. 41.4%, p = 0.002). The total score of the post-test was also significantly higher among the participants who read the SIDCER ICF than those who read the conventional ICF (83.3 vs. 76.0%, p study demonstrated that the SIDCER ICF was applicable and effective to improve Thai research participants' understanding of research information in diverse clinical trials. Using the SIDCER ICF methodology, clinical researchers can improve the quality of ICFs for their trials.

  5. Structured nursing communication on interdisciplinary acute care teams improves perceptions of safety, efficiency, understanding of care plan and teamwork as well as job satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gausvik, Christian; Lautar, Ashley; Miller, Lisa; Pallerla, Harini; Schlaudecker, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Efficient, accurate, and timely communication is required for quality health care and is strongly linked to health care staff job satisfaction. Developing ways to improve communication is key to increasing quality of care, and interdisciplinary care teams allow for improved communication among health care professionals. This study examines the patient- and family-centered use of structured interdisciplinary bedside rounds (SIBR) on an acute care for the elderly (ACE) unit in a 555-bed metropolitan community hospital. This mixed methods study surveyed 24 nurses, therapists, patient care assistants, and social workers to measure perceptions of teamwork, communication, understanding of the plan for the day, safety, efficiency, and job satisfaction. A similar survey was administered to a control group of 38 of the same staff categories on different units in the same hospital. The control group units utilized traditional physician-centric rounding. Significant differences were found in each category between the SIBR staff on the ACE unit and the control staff. Nurse job satisfaction is an important marker of retention and recruitment, and improved communication may be an important aspect of increasing this satisfaction. Furthermore, improved communication is key to maintaining a safe hospital environment with quality patient care. Interdisciplinary team rounds that take place at the bedside improve both nursing satisfaction and related communication markers of quality and safety, and may help to achieve higher nurse retention and safer patient care. These results point to the interconnectedness and dual benefit to both job satisfaction and patient quality of care that can come from enhancements to team communication.

  6. Final Report: Improving the understanding of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic behavior of consolidating granular salt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stormont, John [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lampe, Brandon [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Mills, Melissa [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Paneru, Laxmi [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lynn, Timothy [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Piya, Aayush [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-09-09

    The goal of this project is to improve the understanding of key aspects of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic response of granular (or crushed) salt used as a seal material for shafts, drifts, and boreholes in mined repositories in salt. The project is organized into three tasks to accomplish this goal: laboratory measurements of granular salt consolidation (Task 1), microstructural observations on consolidated samples (Task 2), and constitutive model development and evaluation (Task 3). Task 1 involves laboratory measurements of salt consolidation along with thermal properties and permeability measurements conducted under a range of temperatures and stresses expected for potential mined repositories in salt. Testing focused on the role of moisture, temperature and stress state on the hydrologic (permeability) and thermal properties of consolidating granular salt at high fractional densities. Task 2 consists of microstructural observations made on samples after they have been consolidated to interpret deformation mechanisms and evaluate the ability of the constitutive model to predict operative mechanisms under different conditions. Task 3 concerns the development of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic constitutive model for granular salt consolidation. The measurements and observations in Tasks 1 and 2 were used to develop a thermal-mechanical constitutive model. Accomplishments and status from each of these efforts is reported in subsequent sections of this report

  7. Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics for improving freeze-dryers design and process understanding. Part 1: Modelling the lyophilisation chamber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barresi, Antonello A; Rasetto, Valeria; Marchisio, Daniele L

    2018-05-15

    This manuscript shows how computational models, mainly based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), can be used to simulate different parts of an industrial freeze-drying equipment and to properly design them; in particular, the freeze-dryer chamber and the duct connecting the chamber with the condenser, with the valves and vanes eventually present are analysed in this work. In Part 1, it will be shown how CFD can be employed to improve specific designs, to perform geometry optimization, to evaluate different design choices and how it is useful to evaluate the effect on product drying and batch variance. Such an approach allows an in-depth process understanding and assessment of the critical aspects of lyophilisation. This can be done by running either steady-state or transient simulations with imposed sublimation rates or with multi-scale approaches. This methodology will be demonstrated on freeze-drying equipment of different sizes, investigating the influence of the equipment geometry and shelf inter-distance. The effect of valve type (butterfly and mushroom) and shape on duct conductance and critical flow conditions will be instead investigated in Part 2. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Using mathematical models to understand the effect of nanoscale roughness on protein adsorption for improving medical devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ercan B

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Batur Ercan,1 Dongwoo Khang,2 Joseph Carpenter,3 Thomas J Webster1 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 2School of Materials Science and Engineering and Center for PRC and RIGET, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea; 3School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA Abstract: Surface roughness and energy significantly influence protein adsorption on to biomaterials, which, in turn, controls select cellular adhesion to determine the success and longevity of an implant. To understand these relationships at a fundamental level, a model was originally proposed by Khang et al to correlate nanoscale surface properties (specifically, nanoscale roughness and energy to protein adsorption, which explained the greater cellular responses on nanostructured surfaces commonly reported in the literature today. To test this model for different surfaces from what was previously used to develop that model, in this study we synthesized highly ordered poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid surfaces of identical chemistry but altered nanoscale surface roughness and energy using poly(dimethylsiloxane molds of polystyrene beads. Fibronectin and collagen type IV adsorption studies showed a linear adsorption behavior as the surface nanoroughness increased. This supported the general trends observed by Khang et al. However, when fitting such data to the mathematical model established by Khang et al, a strong correlation did not result. Thus, this study demonstrated that the equation proposed by Khang et al to predict protein adsorption should be modified to accommodate for additional nanoscale surface property contributions (ie, surface charge to make the model more accurate. In summary, results from this study provided an important step in developing future mathematical models that can correlate surface properties (such as nanoscale roughness and surface energy to initial protein adsorption events important to

  9. Improvements in speech understanding with wireless binaural broadband digital hearing instruments in adults with sensorineural hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreisman, Brian M; Mazevski, Annette G; Schum, Donald J; Sockalingam, Ravichandran

    2010-03-01

    This investigation examined whether speech intelligibility in noise can be improved using a new, binaural broadband hearing instrument system. Participants were 36 adults with symmetrical, sensorineural hearing loss (18 experienced hearing instrument users and 18 without prior experience). Participants were fit binaurally in a planned comparison, randomized crossover design study with binaural broadband hearing instruments and advanced digital hearing instruments. Following an adjustment period with each device, participants underwent two speech-in-noise tests: the QuickSIN and the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT). Results suggested significantly better performance on the QuickSIN and the HINT measures with the binaural broadband hearing instruments, when compared with the advanced digital hearing instruments and unaided, across and within all noise conditions.

  10. Development of simulated and ovine models of extracorporeal life support to improve understanding of circuit-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekar, Kiran; Fung, Yoke L; Diab, Sara; Mullany, Daniel V; McDonald, Charles I; Dunster, Kimble R; Fisquet, Stephanie; Platts, David G; Stewart, David; Wallis, Steven C; Smith, Maree T; Roberts, Jason A; Fraser, John F

    2012-06-01

    Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is a lifesaving technology that is being increasingly used in patients with severe cardiorespiratory failure. However, ECLS is not without risks. The biosynthetic interface between the patient and the circuit can significantly alter inflammation, coagulation, pharmacokinetics and disposition of trace elements. The relative contributions of the pump, disease and patient in propagating these alterations are difficult to quantify in critically ill patients with multiple organ failure. To design a model where the relevance of individual components could be assessed, in isolation and in combination. Four ECLS models were developed and tested - an in-vitro simulated ECLS circuit; and ECLS in healthy sheep, sheep with acute lung injury (ALI), and sheep with ALI together with transfusion of old or new blood. Successful design of in-vitro and in-vivo models. We successfully conducted multiple experiments in the simulated circuits and ECLS runs in healthy and ALI sheep. We obtained preliminary data on inflammation, coagulation, histology, pharmacokinetics and trace element disposition during ECLS. The establishment of in-vitro and in-vivo models provides a powerful means for enhancing knowledge of the pathophysiology associated with ECLS and identification of key factors likely to influence patient outcomes. A clearer description of the contribution of disease and therapeutic interventions may allow improved design of equipment, membranes, medicines and physiological goals for improved patient care.

  11. BOX MEDIA MODEL THROUGH THE USE OF CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING CONCEPTS IN VOLUME BEAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dede Rohaeni

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. This research is motivated Cilengkrang Elementary School fifth grade students in the learning of the beam volume is still experiencing difficulties. This happens because the learning process that takes place is conventional. Learning by applying a contextual model chosen researchers by reason students will know if the learning is associated with the real world of students. The method used in this research is a classroom action research methods to the design of the research procedure refers to the spiral model Kemmis and MC. Tujuanpenelitianini is to obtain an overview of the planning, implementation and improvement of students' understanding of the results of the application of the concept model of contextual learning in the classroom beam volume V Elementary School Cilengkrang. The method used in this research is a classroom action research methods to the design of the research procedure refers to the spiral model Kemmis and MC. Taggart. Based on the implementation of the actions performed by three cycles, as a whole has shown an increase from the initial data, both process and outcomes of learning. So that the application of contextual models can enhance students' understanding of class V SDN Cilengkrang Northern District of Sumedang Sumedang district of the concept of the beam volume.   Keywords: Contextual Model, Mathematics, Mathematics Learning Objectives     Abstrak. Penelitian ini dilatarbelakangi siswa kelas V SDN Cilengkrang dalam pembelajaran volume balok masih mengalami kesulitan. Ini terjadi karena proses pembelajaran yang berlangsung bersifat konvensional. Pembelajaran dengan menerapkan model kontekstual dipilih peneliti dengan alasan siswa akan paham jika pembelajaran dikaitkan dengan dunia nyata siswa. Metode penelitian yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah metode penelitian tindakan kelas dengan rancangan prosedur penelitiannya mengacu pada model spiral Kemmis dan MC. Tujuanpenelitianini yaitu untuk memperoleh

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mainstreaming Climate Change: Recent and Ongoing Efforts to Understand, Improve, and Expand Consideration of Climate Change in Federal Water Resources Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, I. M.; McGuire, M.; Broman, D.; Gangopadhyay, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Bureau of Reclamation is a Federal agency tasked with developing and managing water supply and hydropower projects in the Western U.S. Climate and hydrologic variability and change significantly impact management actions and outcomes across Reclamation's programs and initiatives, including water resource planning and operations, infrastructure design and maintenance, hydropower generation, and ecosystem restoration, among others. Planning, design, and implementation of these programs therefore requires consideration of future climate and hydrologic conditions will impact program objectives. Over the past decade, Reclamation and other Federal agencies have adopted new guidelines, directives, and mandates that require consideration of climate change in water resources planning and decision making. Meanwhile, the scientific community has developed a large number of climate projections, along with an array of models, methods, and tools to facilitate consideration of climate projections in planning and decision making. However, water resources engineers, planners, and decision makers continue to face challenges regarding how best to use the available data and tools to support major decisions, including decisions regarding infrastructure investments and long-term operating criteria. This presentation will discuss recent and ongoing research towards understanding, improving, and expanding consideration of climate projections and related uncertainties in Federal water resources planning and decision making. These research efforts address a variety of challenges, including: How to choose between available climate projection datasets and related methods, models, and tools—many of which are considered experimental or research tools? How to select an appropriate decision framework when design or operating alternatives may differ between climate scenarios? How to effectively communicate results of a climate impacts analysis to decision makers? And, how to improve

  16. Understanding the Role of Maternal Diet on Kidney Development; an Opportunity to Improve Cardiovascular and Renal Health for Future Generations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan James Wood-Bradley

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide are cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol and renal disease, cancer and diabetes. It is increasingly obvious that the development of these diseases encompasses complex interactions between adult lifestyle and genetic predisposition. Maternal malnutrition can influence the fetal and early life environment and pose a risk factor for the future development of adult diseases, most likely due to impaired organogenesis in the developing offspring. This then predisposes these offspring to cardiovascular disease and renal dysfunction in adulthood. Studies in experimental animals have further illustrated the significant impact maternal diet has on offspring health. Many studies report changes in kidney structure (a reduction in the number of nephrons in the kidney in offspring of protein-deprived dams. Although the early studies suggested that increased blood pressure was also present in offspring of protein-restricted dams, this is not a universal finding and requires clarification. Importantly, to date, the literature offers little to no understanding of when in development these changes in kidney development occur, nor are the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive these changes well characterised. Moreover, the mechanisms linking maternal nutrition and a suboptimal renal phenotype in offspring are yet to be discerned—one potential mechanism involves epigenetics. This review will focus on recent information on potential mechanisms by which maternal nutrition   (focusing on malnutrition due to protein restriction, micronutrient restriction and excessive fat intake influences kidney development and thereby function in later life.

  17. Improving understanding, promoting social inclusion, and fostering empowerment related to epilepsy: Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaigns--2001 through 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, P; Kobau, R; Buelow, J; Austin, J; Lowenberg, K

    2015-03-01

    It is a significant public health concern that epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, is generally poorly understood by both the public and those living with the condition. Lack of understanding may magnify the challenges faced by those with epilepsy, including limiting treatment opportunities, effective management of symptoms, and full participation in daily life activities. Insufficient awareness of epilepsy and appropriate seizure first aid among the public and professionals can result in insufficient treatment, inappropriate seizure response, physical restraint, social exclusion, or other negative consequences. To address the need for increased public education and awareness about epilepsy, the national Epilepsy Foundation, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has conducted yearly multifaceted public education and awareness campaigns designed to reach the broad population and targeted segments of the population including youth, young adults, racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans), and people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Campaign channels have included traditional media, social media, and community opinion leaders and celebrity spokespersons. The key activities of these campaigns, conducted from 2001 to 2013, are summarized in this report. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. High frequency monitoring of pesticides in runoff water to improve understanding of their transport and environmental impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefrancq, Marie; Jadas-Hécart, Alain; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Landry, David; Payraudeau, Sylvain

    2017-06-01

    Rainfall-induced peaks in pesticide concentrations can occur rapidly. Low frequency sampling may therefore largely underestimate maximum pesticide concentrations and fluxes. Detailed storm-based sampling of pesticide concentrations in runoff water to better predict pesticide sources, transport pathways and toxicity within the headwater catchments is lacking. High frequency monitoring (2min) of seven pesticides (Dimetomorph, Fluopicolide, Glyphosate, Iprovalicarb, Tebuconazole, Tetraconazole and Triadimenol) and one degradation product (AMPA) were assessed for 20 runoff events from 2009 to 2012 at the outlet of a vineyard catchment in the Layon catchment in France. The maximum pesticide concentrations were 387μgL -1 . Samples from all of the runoff events exceeded the legal limit of 0.1μgL -1 for at least one pesticide (European directive 2013/39/EC). High resolution sampling used to detect the peak pesticide levels revealed that Toxic Units (TU) for algae, invertebrates and fish often exceeded the European Uniform principles (25%). The point and average (time or discharge-weighted) concentrations indicated up to a 30- or 4-fold underestimation of the TU obtained when measuring the maximum concentrations, respectively. This highlights the important role of sampling methods for assessing peak exposure. High resolution sampling combined with concentration-discharge hysteresis analyses revealed that clockwise responses were predominant (52%), indicating that Hortonian runoff is the prevailing surface runoff trigger mechanism in the study catchment. The hysteresis patterns for suspended solids and pesticides were highly dynamic and storm- and chemical-dependent. Intense rainfall events induced stronger C-Q hysteresis (magnitude). This study provides new insights into the complexity of pesticide dynamics in runoff water and highlights the ability of hysteresis analysis to improve understanding of pesticide supply and transport. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  19. Improving the Understanding and Model Representation of Processes that Couple Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fast, J. D.; Berg, L. K.; Schmid, B.; Alexander, M. L. L.; Bell, D.; D'Ambro, E.; Hubbe, J. M.; Liu, J.; Mei, F.; Pekour, M. S.; Pinterich, T.; Schobesberger, S.; Shilling, J.; Springston, S. R.; Thornton, J. A.; Tomlinson, J. M.; Wang, J.; Zelenyuk, A.

    2016-12-01

    Cumulus convection is an important component in the atmospheric radiation budget and hydrologic cycle over the southern Great Plains and over many regions of the world, particularly during the summertime growing season when intense turbulence induced by surface radiation couples the land surface to clouds. Current convective cloud parameterizations, however, contain uncertainties resulting from insufficient coincident data that couples cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties to inhomogeneity in surface layer, boundary layer, and aerosol properties. We describe the measurement strategy and preliminary findings from the recent Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) campaign conducted in May and September of 2016 in the vicinity of the DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site located in Oklahoma. The goal of the HI-SCALE campaign is to provide a detailed set of aircraft and surface measurements needed to obtain a more complete understanding and improved parameterizations of the lifecycle of shallow clouds. The sampling is done in two periods, one in the spring and the other in the late summer to take advantage of variations in the "greenness" for various types of vegetation, new particle formation, anthropogenic enhancement of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA), and other aerosol properties. The aircraft measurements will be coupled with extensive routine ARM SGP measurements as well as Large Eddy Simulation (LES), cloud resolving, and cloud-system resolving models. Through these integrated analyses and modeling studies, the affects of inhomogeneity in land use, vegetation, soil moisture, convective eddies, and aerosol properties on the evolution of shallow clouds will be determined, including the feedbacks of cloud radiative effects.

  20. The application of passive sampler (DGT technology for improved understanding of metal behaviour at a marine disposal site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parker R.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Metal behaviour and availability at a contaminated dredge material disposal site within UK waters has been investigated using Diffusive Gradient in Thin films (DGT passive sampling technology. Three stations representing contrasting history and presence of maintenance dredge disposal, including a control station outside the disposal site, have been studied and depth profiles of fluxes of different metals (Fe, Mn, Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, Zn to the binding gel (Chelex 100 have been derived. Higher flux rates and shallower mobilisation of metals (Mn and Fe to the binding gel were observed at the disposal stations compared to the control station. Here we describe metal mobilization at different depths, linking the remobilization of Fe2+ and Mn2+ to the sediment (resupply of other heavy metals of interest with a focus on Cd, Ni and Pb and as they are on the Water Framework Directive (WFD list of priority substances and OSPAR list of priority pollutants. Results showed that Cd, Pb and Ni exhibited signs of resupply at the sediment-water interface (SWI. There was a potential increased mobilisation and source to the water column of Pb and Ni at the disposal site stations, but there was no Cd source, despite higher total loadings. This information has the potential to improve our current understanding of metal cycles at disposal sites. This work can be used as an indication of likely metal bioavailability and also assist in determining whether the sites act as sources or sinks of heavy metals. This information could assist disposal site monitoring and dredge material licensing.

  1. Understanding the Reach of Agricultural Impacts from Climate Extremes in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, A. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has been working since 2010 to build a modeling framework capable of representing the complexities of agriculture, its dependence on climate, and the many elements of society that depend on food systems. AgMIP's 30+ activities explore the interconnected nature of climate, crop, livestock, economics, food security, and nutrition, using common protocols to systematically evaluate the components of agricultural assessment and allow multi-model, multi-scale, and multi-method analysis of intertwining changes in socioeconomic development, environmental change, and technological adaptation. AgMIP is now launching Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) with a particular focus on unforeseen consequences of development strategies, interactions between global and local systems, and the resilience of agricultural systems to extreme climate events. Climate extremes shock the agricultural system through local, direct impacts (e.g., droughts, heat waves, floods, severe storms) and also through teleconnections propagated through international trade. As the climate changes, the nature of climate extremes affecting agriculture is also likely to change, leading to shifting intensity, duration, frequency, and geographic extents of extremes. AgMIP researchers are developing new scenario methodologies to represent near-term extreme droughts in a probabilistic manner, field experiments that impose heat wave conditions on crops, increased resolution to differentiate sub-national drought impacts, new behavioral functions that mimic the response of market actors faced with production shortfalls, analysis of impacts from simultaneous failures of multiple breadbasket regions, and more detailed mapping of food and socioeconomic indicators into food security and nutrition metrics that describe the human impact in diverse populations. Agricultural models illustrate the challenges facing agriculture, allowing

  2. Epidemiology: Past, Present, and Future Impacts on Understanding Disease Dynamics and Improving Plant Disease Management-A Summary of Focus Issue Articles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojiambo, P S; Yuen, J; van den Bosch, F; Madden, L V

    2017-10-01

    Epidemiology has made significant contributions to plant pathology by elucidating the general principles underlying the development of disease epidemics. This has resulted in a greatly improved theoretical and empirical understanding of the dynamics of disease epidemics in time and space, predictions of disease outbreaks or the need for disease control in real-time basis, and tactical and strategic solutions to disease problems. Availability of high-resolution experimental data at multiple temporal and spatial scales has now provided a platform to test and validate theories on the spread of diseases at a wide range of spatial scales ranging from the local to the landscape level. Relatively new approaches in plant disease epidemiology, ranging from network to information theory, coupled with the availability of large-scale datasets and the rapid development of computer technology, are leading to revolutionary thinking about epidemics that can result in considerable improvement of strategic and tactical decision making in the control and management of plant diseases. Methods that were previously restricted to topics such as population biology or evolution are now being employed in epidemiology to enable a better understanding of the forces that drive the development of plant disease epidemics in space and time. This Focus Issue of Phytopathology features research articles that address broad themes in epidemiology including social and political consequences of disease epidemics, decision theory and support, pathogen dispersal and disease spread, disease assessment and pathogen biology and disease resistance. It is important to emphasize that these articles are just a sample of the types of research projects that are relevant to epidemiology. Below, we provide a succinct summary of the articles that are published in this Focus Issue .

  3. Air quality models and unusually large ozone increases: Identifying model failures, understanding environmental causes, and improving modeled chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couzo, Evan A.

    Several factors combine to make ozone (O3) pollution in Houston, Texas, unique when compared to other metropolitan areas. These include complex meteorology, intense clustering of industrial activity, and significant precursor emissions from the heavily urbanized eight-county area. Decades of air pollution research have borne out two different causes, or conceptual models, of O 3 formation. One conceptual model describes a gradual region-wide increase in O3 concentrations "typical" of many large U.S. cities. The other conceptual model links episodic emissions of volatile organic compounds to spatially limited plumes of high O3, which lead to large hourly increases that have exceeded 100 parts per billion (ppb) per hour. These large hourly increases are known to lead to violations of the federal O 3 standard and impact Houston's status as a non-attainment area. There is a need to further understand and characterize the causes of peak O 3 levels in Houston and simulate them correctly so that environmental regulators can find the most cost-effective pollution controls. This work provides a detailed understanding of unusually large O 3 increases in the natural and modeled environments. First, we probe regulatory model simulations and assess their ability to reproduce the observed phenomenon. As configured for the purpose of demonstrating future attainment of the O3 standard, the model fails to predict the spatially limited O3 plumes observed in Houston. Second, we combine ambient meteorological and pollutant measurement data to identify the most likely geographic origins and preconditions of the concentrated O3 plumes. We find evidence that the O3 plumes are the result of photochemical activity accelerated by industrial emissions. And, third, we implement changes to the modeled chemistry to add missing formation mechanisms of nitrous acid, which is an important radical precursor. Radicals control the chemical reactivity of atmospheric systems, and perturbations to

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The genetics of congenital heart disease… understanding and improving long-term outcomes in congenital heart disease: a review for the general cardiologist and primary care physician.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, M Abigail; Brueckner, Martina

    2017-10-01

    This review has two purposes: to provide an updated review of the genetic causes of congenital heart disease (CHD) and the clinical implications of these genetic mutations, and to provide a clinical algorithm for clinicians considering a genetics evaluation of a CHD patient. A large portion of congenital heart disease is thought to have a significant genetic contribution, and at this time a genetic cause can be identified in approximately 35% of patients. Through the advances made possible by next generation sequencing, many of the comorbidities that are frequently seen in patients with genetic congenital heart disease patients can be attributed to the genetic mutation that caused the congenital heart disease. These comorbidities are both cardiac and noncardiac and include: neurodevelopmental disability, pulmonary disease, heart failure, renal dysfunction, arrhythmia and an increased risk of malignancy. Identification of the genetic cause of congenital heart disease helps reduce patient morbidity and mortality by improving preventive and early intervention therapies to address these comorbidities. Through an understanding of the clinical implications of the genetic underpinning of congenital heart disease, clinicians can provide care tailored to an individual patient and continue to improve the outcomes of congenital heart disease patients.

  7. Improving patients' understanding of terms and phrases commonly used in self-reported measures of sexual function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Angel M; Flynn, Kathryn E; Hahn, Elizabeth A; Jeffery, Diana D; Keefe, Francis J; Reeve, Bryce B; Schultz, Wesley; Reese, Jennifer Barsky; Shelby, Rebecca A; Weinfurt, Kevin P

    2014-08-01

    There is a significant gap in research regarding the readability and comprehension of existing sexual function measures. Patient-reported outcome measures may use terms not well understood by respondents with low literacy. This study aims to test comprehension of words and phrases typically used in sexual function measures to improve validity for all individuals, including those with low literacy. We recruited 20 men and 28 women for cognitive interviews on version 2.0 of the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System(®) (PROMIS(®) ) Sexual Function and Satisfaction measures. We assessed participants' reading level using the word reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test. Sixteen participants were classified as having low literacy. In the first round of cognitive interviews, each survey item was reviewed by five or more people, at least two of whom had lower than a ninth-grade reading level (low literacy). Patient feedback was incorporated into a revised version of the items. In the second round of interviews, an additional three or more people (at least one with low literacy) reviewed each revised item. Participants with low literacy had difficulty comprehending terms such as aroused, orgasm, erection, ejaculation, incontinence, and vaginal penetration. Women across a range of literacy levels had difficulty with clinical terms like labia and clitoris. We modified unclear terms to include parenthetical descriptors or slang equivalents, which generally improved comprehension. Common words and phrases used across measures of self-reported sexual function are not universally understood. Researchers should appreciate these misunderstandings as a potential source of error in studies using self-reported measures of sexual function. This study also provides evidence for the importance of including individuals with low literacy in cognitive pretesting during the measure development. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  8. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect Using Theory-Based Learning Materials that Promote Deep Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinfried, Sibylle; Aeschbacher, Urs; Rottermann, Benno

    2012-01-01

    Students' everyday ideas of the greenhouse effect are difficult to change. Environmental education faces the challenge of developing instructional settings that foster students' conceptual understanding concept of the greenhouse effect in order to understand global warming. To facilitate students' conceptual development with regard to the…

  9. 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.

  10. Improving nuclear utility generation capacity, understanding the sources of forced outage and learning how to prevent them

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brodeur, D.L.; Todreas, N.E.; Angus, V.T.

    1998-01-01

    MIT and PECO Energy have completed a detailed examination of the sources of forced outages at the Limerick Generating Station (LGS) Boiling Water Reactor Class IV (BWR IV) site over a five year period and contrasted that information to similar BWR IV utilities in the United States over the same period. Each forced outage was attributed to one system and assigned causal codes of equipment versus human factors and failure attributes such as weak design, poor craftsmanship, and worn parts. It was found that fifty four percent of the lost power at LGS was the result of Balance of Plant failures. Industry wide data identifies fifty nine percent of the lost power as attributed to Balance of Plant failures. Balance of Plant systems are those systems not included in the primary and safety related system category. Considering failure causal factors, forty six percent of the lost power at the utility under study was the result of equipment factors such as weak design or worn parts. Significantly, the study showed a high variance between those systems which caused significant forced outage at the two sister LGS units. This demonstrated the infrequent nature of plant forced outages within a given system. This was supported by the observation that dominant systems attributing to forced outage at LGS were not equally represented in industry data. It is suggested that for individual utilities to dramatically improve unit capability factors with regard to Balance of Plant systems, they must learn from industry wide experiences and develop cooperative means of exchanging lessons learned among similarly designed plants and systems. With the broad knowledge base of system failures, current designs must be frequently assessed and altered until each system poses an acceptable level of risk to generation capacity. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Understanding the role of ultra-thin polymeric interlayers in improving efficiency of polymer light emitting diodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, Jim; Wang, Xuhua; Bradley, Donal D. C.; Kim, Ji-Seon, E-mail: ji-seon.kim@imperial.ac.uk [Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Wright, Edward N.; Walker, Alison B. [Department of Physics, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY (United Kingdom)

    2014-05-28

    Insertion of ultra-thin polymeric interlayers (ILs) between the poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulphonate hole injection and poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) light emission layers of polymer light emitting diodes (PLEDs) can significantly increase their efficiency. In this paper, we investigate experimentally a broad range of probable causes of this enhancement with an eye to determining which IL parameters have the most significant effects. The importance of hole injection and electron blocking was studied through varying the IL material (and consequently its electronic energy levels) for both PLED and hole-only diode structures. The role of IL conductivity was examined by introducing a varying level of charge-transfer doping through blending the IL materials with a strong electron-accepting small molecule in concentrations from 1% to 7% by weight. Depositing ILs with thicknesses below the exciton diffusion length of ∼15 nm allowed the role of the IL as a physical barrier to exciton quenching to be probed. IL containing PLEDs was also fabricated with Lumation Green Series 1300 (LG 1300) light emission layers. On the other hand, the PLEDs were modeled using a 3D multi-particle Kinetic Monte Carlo simulation coupled with an optical model describing how light is extracted from the PLED. The model describes charge carrier transport and interactions between electrons, holes, singlets, and triplets, with the current density, luminance, and recombination zone (RZ) locations calculated for each PLED. The model shows F8BT PLEDs have a narrow charge RZ adjacent to the anode, while LG 1300 PLEDs have a wide charge RZ that is evenly distributed across the light emitting layer. Varying the light emitting layer from F8BT to Lumation Green Series 1300, we therefore experimentally examine the dependence of the IL function, specifically in regard to anode-side exciton quenching, on the location of the RZ. We found an exponential dependence of

  14. Polar Bears or People?: How Framing Can Provide a Useful Analytic Tool to Understand & Improve Climate Change Communication in Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, K. C.

    2014-12-01

    Not only will young adults bear the brunt of climate change's effects, they are also the ones who will be required to take action - to mitigate and to adapt. The Next Generation Science Standards include climate change, ensuring the topic will be covered in U.S. science classrooms in the near future. Additionally, school is a primary source of information about climate change for young adults. The larger question, though, is how can the teaching of climate change be done in such a way as to ascribe agency - a willingness to act - to students? Framing - as both a theory and an analytic method - has been used to understand how language in the media can affect the audience's intention to act. Frames function as a two-way filter, affecting both the message sent and the message received. This study adapted both the theory and the analytic methods of framing, applying them to teachers in the classroom to answer the research question: How do teachers frame climate change in the classroom? To answer this question, twenty-five lessons from seven teachers were analyzed using semiotic discourse analysis methods. It was found that the teachers' frames overlapped to form two distinct discourses: a Science Discourse and a Social Discourse. The Science Discourse, which was dominant, can be summarized as: Climate change is a current scientific problem that will have profound global effects on the Earth's physical systems. The Social Discourse, used much less often, can be summarized as: Climate change is a future social issue because it will have negative impacts at the local level on people. While it may not be surprising that the Science Discourse was most often heard in these science classrooms, it is possibly problematic if it were the only discourse used. The research literature on framing indicates that the frames found in the Science Discourse - global scale, scientific statistics and facts, and impact on the Earth's systems - are not likely to inspire action-taking. This

  15. A Setting for a Field-based Class for Improved Understanding of Sustainability Through the Evaluation of Aquaculture and Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macko, S. A.; O'Connell, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    An improved understanding of sustainability is increasingly a subject in educational settings. Marine science classes are perfect settings of establishing sustainability awareness owing to declining populations of organisms and perceived collapse in fisheries worldwide. Students in oceanography classes often request more direct exposure to actual ocean situations or field trips. During regular session (13 week) or shorter term (4 week) summer classes such long trips are logistically difficult owing to large numbers of students involved or timing. This new approach to such a course supplement addresses the requests by utilizing local resources and short field trips for a limited number of students (20) to locations in which Ocean experiences are available, and are often supported through education and outreach components. The vision of the class was a mixture of classroom time, readings, along with paper and laboratories. In addition, short day-long trips to locations where the ocean was "captured" were also used to supplement the experience as well as speakers involved with aquaculture. Central Virginia is a fortunate location for such a class, with close access for travel to the Chesapeake Bay and numerous field stations, museums with ocean-based exhibits (the Smithsonian and National Zoo) that address both extant and extinct Earth history, as well as national/state aquaria in Baltimore and Virginia Beach. Furthermore, visits to local seafood markets at local grocery stores, or larger city markets in Washington, Baltimore and Virginia Beach, enhance the exposure to productivity in the ocean, and viability of the fisheries sustainability. The course could then address not only the particulars of the marine science, but also aspects of sustainability with discussions on ethics, including keeping animals in captivity or overfishing of particular species and the special difficulties that arise from captive or culturing ocean populations. In addition, the class was

  16. The Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK and M) Across Generations: Improving Our Understanding. RK and M Workshop Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gordon-Smith, Helen; Pescatore, Claudio; Schroeder, Jantine

    2013-01-01

    The Second Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory Across Generations Workshop was held 12-13 October 2012 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, as part of the homonymous project under the aegis of the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee. There were 50 participants from 11 countries representing national governments, universities, waste management agencies, safety authorities, community groups, and specialists in both the technical and social sciences. Three international organisations were also represented. The overarching goal of the workshop was to improve our understanding of the questions pertaining to the project, and the wider culture of RK and M preservation. The workshop encouraged the discussion of experience and research from project members, the wider field of radioactive waste management, and beyond that field into academia, archiving, art, and others. The underlying assumptions of the project were reconsidered and the availability of different mechanisms and models for RK and M preservation were discussed. The fundamental need for social engagement with RK and M Preservation ran through all of the themes discussed. On the first day there were three themes - 'Why Preserve RK and M', 'Conceptualising RK and M Loss', and 'How to Preserve RK and M'. 'Why Preserve RK and M' looked at the 'safety story' from the perspective of regulation, monitoring and the role of safeguards. 'Conceptualising RK and M Loss' looked at loss and recovery and 'How to Preserve RK and M' looked at mechanisms for RK and M recovery in the short and medium term. There was also a project update on the progress of the bibliography analysis. On day two, the theme of 'How to Preserve RK and M' continued, looking at the medium and long term, archives, and the pragmatic organisation of an RK and M programme. 'What to Preserve' considered the minimal set of records which should be preserved. The presentations included ongoing project studies, questionnaire analysis, academic

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Nutritional sub-fertility in the dairy cow: towards improved reproductive management through a better biological understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friggens, N C; Disenhaus, C; Petit, H V

    2010-07-01

    There has been a significant decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in recent decades. Cows, take longer time to return to the oestrus after calving, have poorer conception rates, and show fewer signs of oestrus. Achieving good reproductive performance is an increasing challenge for the dairy producer. In this study we focus on understanding the overall biological phenomena associated with nutritional sub-fertility rather than the underlying multiplicity of physiological interactions (already described in a number of recent studies). These phenomena are important because they represent the natural adaptations of the animal for dealing with variations in the nutritional environment. They can also be used to monitor and modulate reproductive performance on-farm. There is an underlying trade-off between two aspects of reproduction: investment in the viability of the current calf and investment in future offspring. As the investment in, and viability of, the current calf is related to maternal milk production, we can expect that level of milk production per se has effects on subsequent reproductive performance (investment in future offspring). Lactating cows have a lower proportion of viable embryos, which are of poorer quality, than do non-lactating cows. The same applies to high- compared to medium-genetic merit cows. Another important biological property is the adaptive use of body reserves in support of reproduction. Orchestrated endocrine changes in pregnancy and lactation facilitate the deposition of body lipid during pregnancy and mobilisation in early lactation. When the cow fails to accumulate the reserves she needs to safeguard reproduction she delays committing to further reproductive investment. But how does the cow 'know' that she is failing in energy terms? We argue that the cow does this by 'monitoring' both the body fat mobilisation and body fatness. Excessive body fat mobilisation indicates that current conditions are worse than

  20. Structured nursing communication on interdisciplinary acute care teams improves perceptions of safety, efficiency, understanding of care plan and teamwork as well as job satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gausvik C

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Christian Gausvik,1 Ashley Lautar,2 Lisa Miller,2 Harini Pallerla,3 Jeffrey Schlaudecker4,5 1University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA; 3Department of Family and Community Medicine, 4Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA; 5Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program, University of Cincinnati/The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA Abstract: Efficient, accurate, and timely communication is required for quality health care and is strongly linked to health care staff job satisfaction. Developing ways to improve communication is key to increasing quality of care, and interdisciplinary care teams allow for improved communication among health care professionals. This study examines the patient- and family-centered use of structured interdisciplinary bedside rounds (SIBR on an acute care for the elderly (ACE unit in a 555-bed metropolitan community hospital. This mixed methods study surveyed 24 nurses, therapists, patient care assistants, and social workers to measure perceptions of teamwork, communication, understanding of the plan for the day, safety, efficiency, and job satisfaction. A similar survey was administered to a control group of 38 of the same staff categories on different units in the same hospital. The control group units utilized traditional physician-centric rounding. Significant differences were found in each category between the SIBR staff on the ACE unit and the control staff. Nurse job satisfaction is an important marker of retention and recruitment, and improved communication may be an important aspect of increasing this satisfaction. Furthermore, improved communication is key to maintaining a safe hospital environment with quality patient care. Interdisciplinary team rounds that take place at the bedside improve both nursing satisfaction and related communication markers of quality and safety, and may help to achieve higher nurse retention and safer

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. Antenatal counseling in maternal and newborn care: use of job aids to improve health worker performance and maternal understanding in Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yebadokpo André

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antenatal care provides an important opportunity to improve maternal understanding of care during and after pregnancy. Yet, studies suggest that communication is often insufficient. This research examined the effect of a job aids-focused intervention on quality of counseling and maternal understanding of care for mothers and newborns. Methods Counseling job aids were developed to support provider communication to pregnant women. Fourteen health facilities were randomized to control or intervention, where providers were trained to use job aids and provided implementation support. Direct observation of antenatal counseling sessions and patient exit interviews were undertaken to assess quality of counseling and maternal knowledge. Providers were also interviewed regarding their perceptions of the tools. Data were collected before and after the job aids intervention and analyzed using a difference-in-differences analysis to quantify relative changes over time. Results Mean percent of recommended messages provided to pregnant women significantly improved in the intervention arm as compared to the control arm in birth preparedness (difference-in-differences [ΔI-C] = +17.9, 95%CI: 6.7,29.1, danger sign recognition (ΔI-C = +26.0, 95%CI: 14.6,37.4, clean delivery (ΔI-C = +21.7, 95%CI: 10.9,32.6, and newborn care (ΔI-C = +26.2, 95%CI: 13.5,38.9. Significant gains were also observed in the mean percent of communication techniques applied (ΔI-C = +28.8, 95%CI: 22.5,35.2 and duration (minutes of antenatal consultations (ΔI-C = +5.9, 95%CI: 3.0,8.8. No relative increase was found for messages relating to general prenatal care (ΔI-C = +8.2, 95%CI: -2.6,19.1. The proportion of pregnant women with correct knowledge also significantly improved for birth preparedness (ΔI-C = +23.6, 95%CI: 9.8,37.4, danger sign recognition (ΔI-C = +28.7, 95%CI: 14.2,43.2, and clean delivery (ΔI-C = +31.1, 95%CI: 19.4,42.9. There were no significant

  5. Antenatal counseling in maternal and newborn care: use of job aids to improve health worker performance and maternal understanding in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Larissa; Yebadokpo, André Sourou; Affo, Jean; Agbogbe, Marthe

    2010-11-22

    Antenatal care provides an important opportunity to improve maternal understanding of care during and after pregnancy. Yet, studies suggest that communication is often insufficient. This research examined the effect of a job aids-focused intervention on quality of counseling and maternal understanding of care for mothers and newborns. Counseling job aids were developed to support provider communication to pregnant women. Fourteen health facilities were randomized to control or intervention, where providers were trained to use job aids and provided implementation support. Direct observation of antenatal counseling sessions and patient exit interviews were undertaken to assess quality of counseling and maternal knowledge. Providers were also interviewed regarding their perceptions of the tools. Data were collected before and after the job aids intervention and analyzed using a difference-in-differences analysis to quantify relative changes over time. Mean percent of recommended messages provided to pregnant women significantly improved in the intervention arm as compared to the control arm in birth preparedness (difference-in-differences [ΔI-C] = +17.9, 95%CI: 6.7,29.1), danger sign recognition (ΔI-C = +26.0, 95%CI: 14.6,37.4), clean delivery (ΔI-C = +21.7, 95%CI: 10.9,32.6), and newborn care (ΔI-C = +26.2, 95%CI: 13.5,38.9). Significant gains were also observed in the mean percent of communication techniques applied (ΔI-C = +28.8, 95%CI: 22.5,35.2) and duration (minutes) of antenatal consultations (ΔI-C = +5.9, 95%CI: 3.0,8.8). No relative increase was found for messages relating to general prenatal care (ΔI-C = +8.2, 95%CI: -2.6,19.1). The proportion of pregnant women with correct knowledge also significantly improved for birth preparedness (ΔI-C = +23.6, 95%CI: 9.8,37.4), danger sign recognition (ΔI-C = +28.7, 95%CI: 14.2,43.2), and clean delivery (ΔI-C = +31.1, 95%CI: 19.4,42.9). There were no significant changes in maternal knowledge of general

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Improving Student Understanding of Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis via GC/MS Using a Rapid SPME-Based Method for Determination of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shu Rong; Palmer, Peter T.

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes a method for determination of trihalomethanes (THMs) in drinking water via solid-phase microextraction (SPME) GC/MS as a means to develop and improve student understanding of the use of GC/MS for qualitative and quantitative analysis. In the classroom, students are introduced to SPME, GC/MS instrumentation, and the use of MS…

  12. Deepening our understanding of quality improvement in Europe (DUQuE): overview of a study of hospital quality management in seven countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Secanell, Mariona; Groene, Oliver; Arah, Onyebuchi A.; Lopez, Maria Andrée; Kutryba, Basia; Pfaff, Holger; Klazinga, Niek; Wagner, Cordula; Kristensen, Solvejg; Bartels, Paul Daniel; Garel, Pascal; Bruneau, Charles; Escoval, Ana; França, Margarida; Mora, Nuria; Suñol, Rosa; Kringos, D. S.; Lombarts, M. J. M. H.; Plochg, T.; Lopez, M. A.; Secanell, M.; Sunol, R.; Vallejo, P.; Bartels, P.; Kristensen, S.; Michel, P.; Saillour-Glenisson, F.; Vlcek, F.; Car, M.; Jones, S.; Klaus, E.; Bottaro, S.; Garel, P.; Saluvan, M.; Bruneau, C.; Depaigne-Loth, A.; Shaw, C.; Hammer, A.; Ommen, O.; Pfaff, H.; Groene, O.; Botje, D.; Wagner, C.; Kutaj-Wasikowska, H.; Kutryba, B.; Escoval, A.; Lívio, A.; Eiras, M.; Franca, M.; Leite, I.

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the DUQuE (Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe) project, the first study across multiple countries of the European Union (EU) to assess relationships between quality management and patient outcomes at EU level. The paper describes the

  13. Deepening our understanding of quality improvement in Europe (DUQuE): overview of a study of hospital quality management in seven countries.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Secanell, M.; Groene, O.; Arah, O.A.; Lopez, M.A.; Kutryba, B.; Pfaff, H.; Klazinga, N.; Wagner, C.; Kristensen, S.; Bartels, P.D.; Garel, P.; Bruneau, C.; Escoval, A.; França, M.; Mora, N.; Suñol, R.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction and Objective: This paper provides an overview of the DUQuE (Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe) project, the first study across multiple countries of the European Union (EU) to assess relationships between quality management and patient outcomes at EU level.

  14. Quantitative acid-base physiology using the Stewart model. Does it improve our understanding of what is really wrong?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derksen, R.; Scheffer, G.J.; Hoeven, J.G. van der

    2006-01-01

    Traditional theories of acid-base balance are based on the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation to calculate proton concentration. The recent revival of quantitative acid-base physiology using the Stewart model has increased our understanding of complicated acid-base disorders, but has also led to several

  15. Effects of Intervention to Improve At-Risk Fourth Graders' Understanding, Calculations, and Word Problems with Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Malone, Amelia S.; Wang, Amber; Hamlett, Carol L.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Siegler, Robert S.; Changas, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to (a) investigate the efficacy of a core fraction intervention program on understanding and calculation skill and (b) isolate the effects of different forms of fraction word-problem (WP) intervention. At-risk fourth graders (n = 213) were randomly assigned to the school's business-as-usual program, or one of two…

  16. Effects of Intervention to Improve At-Risk Fourth Graders' Understanding, Calculations, and Word Problems with Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Malone, Amelia S.; Wang, Amber; Hamlett, Carol L.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Siegler, Robert S.; Changas, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to (a) investigate the efficacy of a core fraction intervention program on understanding and calculation skill and (b) isolate the effects of different forms of fraction word-problem (WP) intervention delivered as part of the larger program. At-risk 4th graders (n = 213) were randomly assigned at the individual…

  17. Communicating global cardiovascular risk: are icon arrays better than numerical estimates in improving understanding, recall and perception of risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Jorge G; Andrade, Allen D; Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Anam, Ramanakumar; Rodriguez, Remberto; Sharit, Joseph

    2013-12-01

    Experts recommend that adults have their global cardiovascular risk assessed. We investigated whether icon arrays increase understanding, recall, perception of CVR, and behavioral intent as compared with numerical information. Male outpatient veterans, at an intermediate to high cardiovascular risk participated in a randomized controlled trial of a computer tutorial presenting individualized risk. Message format was presented in 3 formats: percentages, frequencies, and frequencies with icon arrays. We assessed understanding immediately (T1) and recall at 20 min (T2) and 2 weeks (T3) after the intervention. We assessed perceptions of importance/seriousness, intent to adhere, and self-efficacy at T1. Self-reported adherence was assessed at T3. One-hundred and twenty male veterans participated. Age, education, race, health literacy and numeracy were comparable at baseline. There were no differences in understanding at T1 [p = .31] and recall at T3 [p = .10]. Accuracy was inferior with frequencies with icon arrays than percentages or frequencies at T2 [p ≤ .001]. There were no differences in perception of seriousness and importance for heart disease, behavioral intent, self-efficacy, actual adherence and satisfaction. Icon arrays may impair short-term recall of CVR. Icon arrays will not necessarily result in better understanding and recall of medical risk in all patients. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  18. Structuring Assignments to Improve Understanding and Presentation Skills: Experiential Learning in the Capstone Strategic Management Team Presentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Marilyn M.; Whitesell, Melissa

    2017-01-01

    In the strategic management course, students select, analyze, and present viable future alternatives based on information provided in cases or computer simulations. Rather than understanding the entire process, the student's focus is on the final presentation. Chickering's (1977) research on active learning suggests students learn more effectively…

  19. The Effect of Three Levels of Inquiry on the Improvement of Science Concept Understanding of Elementary School Teacher Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artayasa, I. Putu; Susilo, Herawati; Lestari, Umie; Indriwati, Sri Endah

    2018-01-01

    This research aims to compare the effect of the implementation of three levels of inquiry: level 2 (structured inquiry), level 3 (guided inquiry), and level 4 (open inquiry) toward science concept understanding of elementary school teacher candidates. This is a quasi experiment research with pre-test post-test nonequivalent control group design.…

  20. Using Mathematical Software to Introduce Fourier Transforms in Physical Chemistry to Develop Improved Understanding of Their Applications in Analytical Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tierney C.; Richardson, John N.; Kegerreis, Jeb S.

    2016-01-01

    This manuscript presents an exercise that utilizes mathematical software to explore Fourier transforms in the context of model quantum mechanical systems, thus providing a deeper mathematical understanding of relevant information often introduced and treated as a "black-box" in analytical chemistry courses. The exercise is given to…

  1. Combining microwave resonance technology to multivariate data analysis as a novel PAT tool to improve process understanding in fluid bed granulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Vera; Herdling, Thorsten; Reich, Gabriele; Menezes, José C; Lochmann, Dirk

    2011-08-01

    A set of 192 fluid bed granulation batches at industrial scale were in-line monitored using microwave resonance technology (MRT) to determine moisture, temperature and density of the granules. Multivariate data analysis techniques such as multiway partial least squares (PLS), multiway principal component analysis (PCA) and multivariate batch control charts were applied onto collected batch data sets. The combination of all these techniques, along with off-line particle size measurements, led to significantly increased process understanding. A seasonality effect could be put into evidence that impacted further processing through its influence on the final granule size. Moreover, it was demonstrated by means of a PLS that a relation between the particle size and the MRT measurements can be quantitatively defined, highlighting a potential ability of the MRT sensor to predict information about the final granule size. This study has contributed to improve a fluid bed granulation process, and the process knowledge obtained shows that the product quality can be built in process design, following Quality by Design (QbD) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) principles. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Measurements and modeling of CO2 concentration and isotopes to improve process-level understanding of Arctic and boreal carbon cycling. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keeling, Ralph F. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography

    2017-09-29

    The major goal of this project was to improve understanding of processes that control the exchanges of CO2 between the atmosphere and the land biosphere on decadal and longer time scales. The approach involves measuring the changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration and the isotopes of CO2 (13C/12C and 18O/16O) at background stations and uses these and other datasets to challenge and improve numerical models of the earth system. The project particularly emphasized the use of these data to improve understanding of changes occurring in boreal and arctic ecosystems over the past 50 years and to seek from these data improved understanding of large-scale processes impacting carbon cycling, such as the responses to warming, CO2 fertilization, and disturbance. The project also led to advances in the understanding of changes in water-use efficiency of land ecosystems globally based on trends in 13C/12C. The core element of this project was providing partial support for continuing measurements of CO2 concentrations and isotopes from the Scripps CO2 program, initiated by C. D. Keeling in the 1960s. The measurements included analysis of flasks collected at an array of ten stations distributed from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The project also supported modeling studies and interpretive work to help understand the origins of the large ~50% increase in the amplitude of the atmospheric CO2 cycle detected at high northern latitudes between 1960 and present and to understand the long-term trend in carbon 13C/12C of CO2. The seasonal cycle work was advanced through collaborations with colleagues at MPI Jena and Imperial College

  3. The promise of multimedia technology for STI/HIV prevention: frameworks for understanding improved facilitator delivery and participant learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Maria R; Epperson, Matthew W; Gilbert, Louisa; Goddard, Dawn; Hunt, Timothy; Sarfo, Bright; El-Bassel, Nabila

    2012-10-01

    There is increasing excitement about multimedia sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV prevention interventions, yet there has been limited discussion of how use of multimedia technology may improve STI/HIV prevention efforts. The purpose of this paper is to describe the mechanisms through which multimedia technology may work to improve the delivery and uptake of intervention material. We present conceptual frameworks describing how multimedia technology may improve intervention delivery by increasing standardization and fidelity to the intervention material and the participant's ability to learn by improving attention, cognition, emotional engagement, skills-building, and uptake of sensitive material about sexual and drug risks. In addition, we describe how the non-multimedia behavioral STI/HIV prevention intervention, Project WORTH, was adapted into a multimedia format for women involved in the criminal justice system and provide examples of how multimedia activities can more effectively target key mediators of behavioral change in this intervention.

  4. THE APPLICATION OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING METHOD FOR IMPROVING THE UNDERSTANDING OF MATHEMATICS CONCEPT OF 7TH GRADE STUDENTS SMP NEGERI 2 DEPOK.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatag Bagus Argikas

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This research aims to: (1 describe the implementation of learning mathematics with Reciprocal Teaching methods that is for improving the concept of learning understanding mathematic in class VIIA SMP Negeri 2 Depok. (2 Knowing the increased understanding of student learning in class VIIA SMP Negeri 2 Depok use Reciprocal Teaching methods. This research constitutes an action in class that is according along the teacher. The data of research was collated by sheet observations and each evaluation of cycles. That is done in two cycles. The first was retrieved the average value of student learning achievement of 70.96%. The second was retrieved achievement of 90.32%. Thus this learning model can increase student learning understanding.   Key word: The understanding of Mathematical Concept, Reciprocal Teaching Method.

  5. Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2006-01-01

    "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding" is a 19-minute award-winning short-film about teaching at university and higher-level educational institutions. It is based on the "Constructive Alignment" theory developed by Prof. John Biggs. The film delivers a foundation for understanding what...

  6. Does lean muddy the quality improvement waters? A qualitative study of how a hospital management team understands lean in the context of quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Carl; Parke, Louise; von Knorring, Mia; Mazzocato, Pamela

    2016-10-19

    Health care has experimented with many different quality improvement (QI) approaches with greater variation in name than content. This has been dubbed pseudoinnovation. However, it could also be that the subtleties and differences are not clearly understood. To explore this further, the purpose of this study was to explore how hospital managers perceive lean in the context of QI. We used a qualitative study design with semi-structured interviews to explore twelve top managers' perceptions of the relationship between lean and quality improvement (QI) at a university-affiliated hospital. Managers described that QI and lean shared the same overall purpose: focus on patient needs and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Employee involvement was emphasized in both strategies, as well as the support offered by managers of staff initiatives. QI was perceived as a strategy that could support structural changes at the organizational level whereas lean was seen as applicable at the operational level. Moreover, lean carried a negative connotation, lacked the credibility of QI, and was perceived as a management fad. Aspects of QI and lean were misunderstood. In a context where lean remains an abstract term, and staff associate lean with automo