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  1. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  2. Significance chasing in research practice: causes, consequences and possible solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Jennifer J; Munafò, Marcus R

    2015-01-01

    The low reproducibility of findings within the scientific literature is a growing concern. This may be due to many findings being false positives which, in turn, can misdirect research effort and waste money. We review factors that may contribute to poor study reproducibility and an excess of 'significant' findings within the published literature. Specifically, we consider the influence of current incentive structures and the impact of these on research practices. The prevalence of false positives within the literature may be attributable to a number of questionable research practices, ranging from the relatively innocent and minor (e.g. unplanned post-hoc tests) to the calculated and serious (e.g. fabrication of data). These practices may be driven by current incentive structures (e.g. pressure to publish), alongside the preferential emphasis placed by journals on novelty over veracity. There are a number of potential solutions to poor reproducibility, such as new publishing formats that emphasize the research question and study design, rather than the results obtained. This has the potential to minimize significance chasing and non-publication of null findings. Significance chasing, questionable research practices and poor study reproducibility are the unfortunate consequence of a 'publish or perish' culture and a preference among journals for novel findings. It is likely that top-down change implemented by those with the ability to modify current incentive structure (e.g. funders and journals) will be required to address problems of poor reproducibility. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  3. 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

  4. Solutions to Improve Educational Management Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Ramezan Jahanian; Masoomeh Motahari

    2013-01-01

    Nowadays, enhancing the quality in educational systems of different countries has gained especial importance and stand. Improving utilizing and increasing the quality in our country’s educational system is felt too. One of the utilizing factors in education system is to improve the educational management quality.In this article, effective factors in educational management quality and one of its improving solutions, thorough management quality, is analyzed.

  5. New solutions for NPP robustness improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolski, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Fukushima accident has triggered a major re-assessment of robustness of nuclear stations. First round of evaluations has been Finished. Improvement areas and strategies have been identified. Implementation of upgrades has started world-wide. New solutions can provide substantial benefits

  6. Improving cold chain systems: Challenges and solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashok, Ashvin; Brison, Michael; LeTallec, Yann

    2017-04-19

    While a number of new vaccines have been rolled out across the developing world (with more vaccines in the pipeline), cold chain systems are struggling to efficiently support national immunization programs in ensuring the availability of safe and potent vaccines. This article reflects on the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) experience working since 2010 with national immunization programs and partners to improve vaccines cold chains in 10 countries-Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Mozambique, Lesotho and India - to identify the root causes and solutions for three common issues limiting cold chain performance. Key recommendations include: Collectively, the solutions detailed in this article chart a path to substantially improving the performance of the cold chain. Combined with an enabling global and in-country environment, it is possible to eliminate cold chain issues as a substantial barrier to effective and full immunization coverage over the next few years. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  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. 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.

  10. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. [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.

  12. Improving adhesion of seasonings to crackers with hydrocolloid solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Matthew E; Barringer, Sheryl A

    2013-11-01

    Food powders were applied on crackers that had been coated using water, oil, emulsion, sucrose, or hydrocolloid solutions. The hydrocolloids that were used include gellan gum, kappa-carrageenan, methylcellulose, gum karaya, gum tragacanth, gum arabic, guar gum, modified starch, and maltodextrin. Solutions of similar hydrophobicity to the powder gave the greatest adhesion. NaCl, barbecue (BBQ), ranch, and sour cream & onion (SC&O) seasoning showed greatest adhesion with water, cheese powder with an emulsion of 12.5% to 25% oil, and cocoa powder with oil. For NaCl, BBQ, ranch, and SC&O seasoning, hydrocolloids improved the adhesion over using water alone, with gellan gum providing the greatest adhesion. Hydrocolloid structural differences, including the presence or absence of branching, substitution of sugar units, and molecular weight affect water binding and thickening of the hydrocolloid spray that seemed to be significant factors affecting adhesion of powders to the target surface. For cheese powder, hydrocolloids were capable of replacing the oil within an emulsion while improving or maintaining the same level of adhesion, with gum arabic providing the greatest adhesion. For cocoa powder, hydrocolloid solutions were ineffective adhesives due to differences in hydrophilicity that result in insolubility. The effect of hydrocolloid concentration on adhesion was dependent both on the hydrocolloid type and the concentration that is sprayable, with 0.5% being the optimum concentration for most gums. Adhesion using sucrose solutions was determined by particle size and relative hydrophobicity. Increasing sucrose concentration decreased adhesion of smaller particles, but increased adhesion of larger particles. Adhesion of NaCl significantly increased with decreasing NaCl size using oil, water, and sucrose solutions. © 2013 Institute of Food Technologists®

  13. An analytical solution for improved HIFU SAR estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dillon, C R; Vyas, U; Christensen, D A; Roemer, R B; Payne, A

    2012-01-01

    Accurate determination of the specific absorption rates (SARs) present during high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) experiments and treatments provides a solid physical basis for scientific comparison of results among HIFU studies and is necessary to validate and improve SAR predictive software, which will improve patient treatment planning, control and evaluation. This study develops and tests an analytical solution that significantly improves the accuracy of SAR values obtained from HIFU temperature data. SAR estimates are obtained by fitting the analytical temperature solution for a one-dimensional radial Gaussian heating pattern to the temperature versus time data following a step in applied power and evaluating the initial slope of the analytical solution. The analytical method is evaluated in multiple parametric simulations for which it consistently (except at high perfusions) yields maximum errors of less than 10% at the center of the focal zone compared with errors up to 90% and 55% for the commonly used linear method and an exponential method, respectively. For high perfusion, an extension of the analytical method estimates SAR with less than 10% error. The analytical method is validated experimentally by showing that the temperature elevations predicted using the analytical method's SAR values determined for the entire 3D focal region agree well with the experimental temperature elevations in a HIFU-heated tissue-mimicking phantom. (paper)

  14. Solution for an Improved WEB Server

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George PECHERLE

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We want to present a solution with maximum performance from a web server,in terms of services that the server provides. We do not always know what tools to useor how to configure what we have in order to get what we need. Keeping the Internetrelatedservices you provide in working condition can sometimes be a real challenge.And with the increasing demand in Internet services, we need to come up with solutionsto problems that occur every day.

  15. EPSILON AURIGAE: AN IMPROVED SPECTROSCOPIC ORBITAL SOLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanik, Robert P.; Torres, Guillermo; Lovegrove, Justin; Latham, David W.; Zajac, Joseph; Pera, Vivian E.; Mazeh, Tsevi

    2010-01-01

    A rare eclipse of the mysterious object ε Aurigae will occur in 2009-2011. We report an updated single-lined spectroscopic solution for the orbit of the primary star based on 20 years of monitoring at the CfA, combined with historical velocity observations dating back to 1897. There are 518 new CfA observations obtained between 1989 and 2009. Two solutions are presented. One uses the velocities outside the eclipse phases together with mid-times of previous eclipses, from photometry dating back to 1842, which provide the strongest constraint on the ephemeris. This yields a period of 9896.0 ± 1.6 days (27.0938 ± 0.0044 years) with a velocity semi-amplitude of 13.84 ± 0.23 km s -1 and an eccentricity of 0.227 ± 0.011. The middle of the current ongoing eclipse predicted by this combined fit is JD 2,455,413.8 ± 4.8, corresponding to 2010 August 5. If we use only the radial velocities, we find that the predicted middle of the current eclipse is nine months earlier. This would imply that the gravitating companion is not the same as the eclipsing object. Alternatively, the purely spectroscopic solution may be biased by perturbations in the velocities due to the short-period oscillations of the supergiant.

  16. 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.

  17. Lithuanian corporate tax accounting improvement solutions

    OpenAIRE

    Bružauskas, Valentinas; Stončiuvienė, Neringa

    2012-01-01

    The article sets out the research results of existing Corporate Tax accounting in Lithuania. There is disclosed the link between financial and Corporate Tax accounting, and their coordination improvement. The authors think that, the closer link between financial and tax accounting is obligatory. The provisions of Corporate Tax calculation should be adjusted with requirements of financial accounting. Also there is specified the methods of Corporate Tax reform and their feasibility. In the arti...

  18. Solution quality improvement in chiller loading optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geem, Zong Woo

    2011-01-01

    In order to reduce greenhouse gas emission, we can energy-efficiently operate a multiple chiller system using optimization techniques. So far, various optimization techniques have been proposed to the optimal chiller loading problem. Most of those techniques are meta-heuristic algorithms such as genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, and particle swarm optimization. However, this study applied a gradient-based method, named generalized reduced gradient, and then obtains better results when compared with other approaches. When two additional approaches (hybridization between meta-heuristic algorithm and gradient-based algorithm; and reformulation of optimization structure by adding a binary variable which denotes chiller's operating status) were introduced, generalized reduced gradient found even better solutions. - Highlights: → Chiller loading problem is optimized by generalized reduced gradient (GRG) method. → Results are compared with meta-heuristic algorithms such as genetic algorithm. → Results are even enhanced by hybridizing meta-heuristic and gradient techniques. → Results are even enhanced by modifying the optimization formulation.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Advanced solutions for operational reliability improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmberg, K [VTT Manufacturing Technology, Espoo (Finland)

    1998-12-31

    A great number of new technical tools are today developed for improved operational reliability of machines and industrial equipment. Examples of such techniques and tools recently developed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) are: metallographic approach for steam-piping lifetime estimation, an expert system AURORA for corrosion prediction and material selection, an automatic image-processing-based on-line wear particle analysis system, microsensors for condition monitoring, a condition monitoring and expert system, CEPDIA, for the diagnosis of centrifugal pumps, a machine tool analysis and diagnostic expert system, non-leakage magnetic fluid seals with extended lifetime and diamond-like surface coatings on components with decreased friction and wear properties. A hyperbook-supported holistic approach to problem solving in maintenance and reliability engineering has been developed to help the user achieve a holistic understanding of the problem and its relationships, to navigate among the several technical tools and methods available, and to find those suitable for his application. (orig.)

  1. Advanced solutions for operational reliability improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmberg, K. [VTT Manufacturing Technology, Espoo (Finland)

    1997-12-31

    A great number of new technical tools are today developed for improved operational reliability of machines and industrial equipment. Examples of such techniques and tools recently developed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) are: metallographic approach for steam-piping lifetime estimation, an expert system AURORA for corrosion prediction and material selection, an automatic image-processing-based on-line wear particle analysis system, microsensors for condition monitoring, a condition monitoring and expert system, CEPDIA, for the diagnosis of centrifugal pumps, a machine tool analysis and diagnostic expert system, non-leakage magnetic fluid seals with extended lifetime and diamond-like surface coatings on components with decreased friction and wear properties. A hyperbook-supported holistic approach to problem solving in maintenance and reliability engineering has been developed to help the user achieve a holistic understanding of the problem and its relationships, to navigate among the several technical tools and methods available, and to find those suitable for his application. (orig.)

  2. Method for improving solution flow in solution mining of a mineral

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, T.

    1980-01-01

    An improved method for the solution mining of a mineral from a subterranean formation containing same in which an injection and production well are drilled and completed within said formation, leach solution and an oxidant are injected through said injection well into said formation to dissolve said mineral, and said dissolved mineral is recovered via said production well, wherein the improvement comprises pretreating said formation with an acid gas to improve the permeabiltiy thereof

  3. Solution for Improve the Efficiency of Solar Photovoltaic Installation

    OpenAIRE

    Petru Chioncel; Cristian Paul Chioncel; Nicoleta Gillich

    2013-01-01

    This paper present a solution for improving efficiency of solar photovoltaic installation, realized with fixed solar photovoltaic modules, placed in solar parks or individual installations. The proposed solution to increase the radiation on the solar photovoltaic panels is to use some thin plates covered with a reflective blanket, mounted in front of the solar photovoltaic modules, with the possibility of their adjustment.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Improving Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation by incorporating nondominated solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Kian Sheng; Ibrahim, Zuwairie; Buyamin, Salinda; Ahmad, Anita; Naim, Faradila; Ghazali, Kamarul Hawari; Mokhtar, Norrima

    2013-01-01

    The Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is widely used to solve multiobjective optimisation problems. This algorithm optimises one objective using a swarm of particles where their movements are guided by the best solution found by another swarm. However, the best solution of a swarm is only updated when a newly generated solution has better fitness than the best solution at the objective function optimised by that swarm, yielding poor solutions for the multiobjective optimisation problems. Thus, an improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is introduced by incorporating the nondominated solutions as the guidance for a swarm rather than using the best solution from another swarm. In this paper, the performance of improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is investigated using performance measures such as the number of nondominated solutions found, the generational distance, the spread, and the hypervolume. The results suggest that the improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm has impressive performance compared with the conventional Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm.

  7. Improving Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation by Incorporating Nondominated Solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kian Sheng Lim

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is widely used to solve multiobjective optimisation problems. This algorithm optimises one objective using a swarm of particles where their movements are guided by the best solution found by another swarm. However, the best solution of a swarm is only updated when a newly generated solution has better fitness than the best solution at the objective function optimised by that swarm, yielding poor solutions for the multiobjective optimisation problems. Thus, an improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is introduced by incorporating the nondominated solutions as the guidance for a swarm rather than using the best solution from another swarm. In this paper, the performance of improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is investigated using performance measures such as the number of nondominated solutions found, the generational distance, the spread, and the hypervolume. The results suggest that the improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm has impressive performance compared with the conventional Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm.

  8. 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

  9. Cloud-based solution to identify statistically significant MS peaks differentiating sample categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jun; Ling, Jeffrey; Jiang, Helen; Wen, Qiaojun; Whitin, John C; Tian, Lu; Cohen, Harvey J; Ling, Xuefeng B

    2013-03-23

    Mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become the primary high throughput tool for proteomics based biomarker discovery. Until now, multiple challenges in protein MS data analysis remain: large-scale and complex data set management; MS peak identification, indexing; and high dimensional peak differential analysis with the concurrent statistical tests based false discovery rate (FDR). "Turnkey" solutions are needed for biomarker investigations to rapidly process MS data sets to identify statistically significant peaks for subsequent validation. Here we present an efficient and effective solution, which provides experimental biologists easy access to "cloud" computing capabilities to analyze MS data. The web portal can be accessed at http://transmed.stanford.edu/ssa/. Presented web application supplies large scale MS data online uploading and analysis with a simple user interface. This bioinformatic tool will facilitate the discovery of the potential protein biomarkers using MS.

  10. Solution for Improve the Efficiency of Solar Photovoltaic Installation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru Chioncel

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper present a solution for improving efficiency of solar photovoltaic installation, realized with fixed solar photovoltaic modules, placed in solar parks or individual installations. The proposed solution to increase the radiation on the solar photovoltaic panels is to use some thin plates covered with a reflective blanket, mounted in front of the solar photovoltaic modules, with the possibility of their adjustment.

  11. Passive Methods as a Solution for Improving Indoor Environments

    CERN Document Server

    Orosa, José A

    2012-01-01

    There are many aspects to consider when evaluating or improving an indoor environment; thermal comfort, energy saving, preservation of materials, hygiene and health are all key aspects which can be improved by passive methods of environmental control. Passive Methods as a Solution for Improving Indoor Environments endeavours to fill the lack of analysis in this area by using over ten years of research to illustrate the effects of methods such as thermal inertia and permeable coverings; for example, the use of permeable coverings is a well known passive method, but its effects and ways to improve indoor environments have been rarely analyzed.   Passive Methods as a Solution for Improving Indoor Environments  includes both software simulations and laboratory and field studies. Through these, the main parameters that characterize the behavior of internal coverings are defined. Furthermore, a new procedure is explained in depth which can be used to identify the real expected effects of permeable coverings such ...

  12. The solubilities of significant organic compounds in HLW tank supernate solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, G.S.

    1994-08-01

    Large quantities of organic chemicals used in reprocessing spent nuclear-fuels at the Hanford Site have accumulated in underground high-level radioactive waste tanks. The organic content of these tanks must he known so that the potential for hazardous reactions between organic components and sodium nitrate/nitrite salts in the waste can he evaluated. The solubilities of organic compounds described in this report will help determine if they are present in the solid phases (salt cake and sludges) as well as the liquid phase (interstitial liquor/supernate) in the tanks. The solubilities of five significant sodium salts of carboxylic acids and aminocarboxylic acids [sodium oxalate, formate, citrate, nitrilotriacetate (NTA) and ethylendiaminetetraacetate (EDTA)] were measured in a simulated supernate solution at 25 degrees C, 30 degrees C, 40 degrees C, and 50 degrees C

  13. Technical Solution for Improved Safeguards/State Cooperation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, S.

    2015-01-01

    This paper will discuss an information technology solution to allow the IAEA Safeguards Department to improve cooperation with States. The solution will be a portal or hub to integrate the information, processes, and people between Safeguards and States. It will allow for two-way communication and collaboration between Safeguards staff and State representatives. This paper discusses the information security challenges inherent in building such a system. It proposes technical architectures that might allow the existing integration approach (e.g., encrypted email exchange) to be kept, while expanding it to include modern integration technologies (e.g., web services), as well explorer new collaborative web technologies. It looks at current Safeguards processes and approaches to cooperation and discusses efficiencies that could be achieved through the adoption of this technology solution. Example process areas for improvement include: a) Safeguards Agreements: States are obligated to submit data on their nuclear programme to the IAEA on a periodic basis. Declarations are received through two separate systems using encrypted email. The proposed solution would allow for enhanced exchange of declaration where States can submit any type of declaration using one system. When declarations are received and validated, an acknowledgement would automatically be sent to the State. The solution would provide the Safeguards Department the ability to ask for clarification as well as collaborate on the submitted declarations. Both the question and the response would be recorded in the system. The solution could also integrate tools allowing declarations to be added directly and validated before submission. b) Other areas that could benefit from this solution include declarations from States with small quantities protocol, facility declarations, as well as systems that support extra-budgetary funding (e.g., SPRICS). (author)

  14. Watermarking Techniques Using Least Significant Bit Algorithm for Digital Image Security Standard Solution- Based Android

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari Muzakir

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ease of deployment of digital image through the internet has positive and negative sides, especially for owners of the original digital image. The positive side of the ease of rapid deployment is the owner of that image deploys digital image files to various sites in the world address. While the downside is that if there is no copyright that serves as protector of the image it will be very easily recognized ownership by other parties. Watermarking is one solution to protect the copyright and know the results of the digital image. With Digital Image Watermarking, copyright resulting digital image will be protected through the insertion of additional information such as owner information and the authenticity of the digital image. The least significant bit (LSB is one of the algorithm is simple and easy to understand. The results of the simulations carried out using android smartphone shows that the LSB watermarking technique is not able to be seen by naked human eye, meaning there is no significant difference in the image of the original files with images that have been inserted watermarking. The resulting image has dimensions of 640x480 with a bit depth of 32 bits. In addition, to determine the function of the ability of the device (smartphone in processing the image using this application used black box testing. 

  15. Patients' expectations and solutions for improving primary diabetes care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachon, Brigitte; Huynh, Ai-Thuy; Breton, Mylaine; Quesnel, Louise; Camirand, Michel; Leblanc, Jeannette; Tardif, Sylvie

    2017-07-10

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to document health care needs expressed by people living with diabetes, describe the solutions they envisaged for improving the quality of primary care (PC) services and empower them to make better use of PC services. Design/methodology/approach A participatory research approach was used. Six workshops were organised to provide diabetes patients with knowledge on available services and to engage them in sharing their experience. Group discussions were recorded. Data were analysed using the thematic analysis method. Findings In total, 79 persons living with diabetes for a mean of 13 years participated. Needs expressed were grouped under seven themes: assurance of satisfactory follow-up by a family physician, continuous access to services adapted to evolving needs, motivation to adopt and maintain healthy behaviours, maintenance of knowledge about diabetes, psychological support, financial constraints, and collaboration with secondary-level services. Patients proposed solutions for improving services that were grouped under five themes: facilitating access to services, disseminating information about available services, centralising diabetes information on the internet, offering personalised services and improving interprofessional collaboration. Practical implications Needs expressed by diabetic patients concern different aspects of care such as accessibility, organisation, coordination, and better dissemination and visibility of services. The solutions proposed by patients focussed on better access to information and interprofessional services. Originality/value The workshop format used in this study offers an original and interesting approach and tool for actively engaging patients in quality improvement of services.

  16. Improved parallel solution techniques for the integral transport matrix method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zerr, R. Joseph, E-mail: rjz116@psu.edu [Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (United States); Azmy, Yousry Y., E-mail: yyazmy@ncsu.edu [Department of Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Burlington Engineering Laboratories, Raleigh, NC (United States)

    2011-07-01

    Alternative solution strategies to the parallel block Jacobi (PBJ) method for the solution of the global problem with the integral transport matrix method operators have been designed and tested. The most straightforward improvement to the Jacobi iterative method is the Gauss-Seidel alternative. The parallel red-black Gauss-Seidel (PGS) algorithm can improve on the number of iterations and reduce work per iteration by applying an alternating red-black color-set to the subdomains and assigning multiple sub-domains per processor. A parallel GMRES(m) method was implemented as an alternative to stationary iterations. Computational results show that the PGS method can improve on the PBJ method execution time by up to 10´ when eight sub-domains per processor are used. However, compared to traditional source iterations with diffusion synthetic acceleration, it is still approximately an order of magnitude slower. The best-performing cases are optically thick because sub-domains decouple, yielding faster convergence. Further tests revealed that 64 sub-domains per processor was the best performing level of sub-domain division. An acceleration technique that improves the convergence rate would greatly improve the ITMM. The GMRES(m) method with a diagonal block pre conditioner consumes approximately the same time as the PBJ solver but could be improved by an as yet undeveloped, more efficient pre conditioner. (author)

  17. Improved parallel solution techniques for the integral transport matrix method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zerr, R. Joseph; Azmy, Yousry Y.

    2011-01-01

    Alternative solution strategies to the parallel block Jacobi (PBJ) method for the solution of the global problem with the integral transport matrix method operators have been designed and tested. The most straightforward improvement to the Jacobi iterative method is the Gauss-Seidel alternative. The parallel red-black Gauss-Seidel (PGS) algorithm can improve on the number of iterations and reduce work per iteration by applying an alternating red-black color-set to the subdomains and assigning multiple sub-domains per processor. A parallel GMRES(m) method was implemented as an alternative to stationary iterations. Computational results show that the PGS method can improve on the PBJ method execution time by up to 10´ when eight sub-domains per processor are used. However, compared to traditional source iterations with diffusion synthetic acceleration, it is still approximately an order of magnitude slower. The best-performing cases are optically thick because sub-domains decouple, yielding faster convergence. Further tests revealed that 64 sub-domains per processor was the best performing level of sub-domain division. An acceleration technique that improves the convergence rate would greatly improve the ITMM. The GMRES(m) method with a diagonal block pre conditioner consumes approximately the same time as the PBJ solver but could be improved by an as yet undeveloped, more efficient pre conditioner. (author)

  18. Ecological significance of compatible solute accumulation by micro-organisms: from single cells to global climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, D T

    2000-07-01

    The osmoadaptation of most micro-organisms involves the accumulation of K(+) ions and one or more of a restricted range of low molecular mass organic solutes, collectively termed 'compatible solutes'. These solutes are accumulated to high intracellular concentrations, in order to balance the osmotic pressure of the growth medium and maintain cell turgor pressure, which provides the driving force for cell extension growth. In this review, I discuss the alternative roles which compatible solutes may also play as intracellular reserves of carbon, energy and nitrogen, and as more general stress metabolites involved in protection of cells against other environmental stresses including heat, desiccation and freezing. Thus, the evolutionary selection for the accumulation of a specific compatible solute may not depend solely upon its function during osmoadaptation, but also upon the secondary benefits its accumulation provides, such as increased tolerance of other environmental stresses prevalent in the organism's niche or even anti-herbivory or dispersal functions in the case of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). In the second part of the review, I discuss the ecological consequences of the release of compatible solutes to the environment, where they can provide sources of compatible solutes, carbon, nitrogen and energy for other members of the micro-flora. Finally, at the global scale the metabolism of specific compatible solutes (betaines and DMSP) in brackish water, marine and hypersaline environments may influence global climate, due to the production of the trace gases, methane and dimethylsulfide (DMS) and in the case of DMS, also couple the marine and terrestrial sulfur cycles.

  19. 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)

  20. The solubilities of significant organic compounds in HLW tank supernate solutions -- FY 1995 progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, G.S.

    1996-01-01

    At the Hanford Site organic compounds were measured in tank supernate simulant solutions during FY 1995. This solubility information will be used to determine if these organic salts could exist in solid phases (saltcake or sludges) in the waste where they might react violently with the nitrate or nitrite salts present in the tanks. Solubilities of sodium glycolate, succinate, and caproate salts; iron and aluminum and butylphosphate salts; and aluminum oxalate were measured in simulated waste supernate solutions at 25 degree C, 30 degree C, 40 degree C, and 50 degree C. The organic compounds were selected because they are expected to exist in relatively high concentrations in the tanks. The solubilities of sodium glycolate, succinate, caproate, and butylphosphate in HLW tank supernate solutions were high over the temperature and sodium hydroxide concentration ranges expected in the tanks. High solubilities will prevent solid sodium salts of these organic acids from precipitating from tank supernate solutions. The total organic carbon concentrations (YOC) of actual tank supernates are generally much lower than the TOC ranges for simulated supernate solutions saturated (at the solubility limit) with the organic salts. This is so even if all the dissolved carbon in a given tank and supernate is due to only one of these eight soluble compounds (an unlikely situation). Metal ion complexes of and butylphosphate and oxalate in supernate solutions were not stable in the presence of the hydroxide concentrations expected in most tanks. Iron and aluminum dibutylphosphate compounds reacted with hydroxide to form soluble sodium dibutylphosphate and precipitated iron and aluminum hydroxides. Aluminum oxalate complexes were also not stable in the basic simulated supernate solutions. Solubilities of all the organic salts decrease with increasing sodium hydroxide concentration because of the common ion effect of Na+. Increasing temperatures raised the solubilities of the organic

  1. Singular characteristic tracking algorithm for improved solution accuracy of the discrete ordinates method with isotropic scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duo, J. I.; Azmy, Y. Y.

    2007-01-01

    A new method, the Singular Characteristics Tracking algorithm, is developed to account for potential non-smoothness across the singular characteristics in the exact solution of the discrete ordinates approximation of the transport equation. Numerical results show improved rate of convergence of the solution to the discrete ordinates equations in two spatial dimensions with isotropic scattering using the proposed methodology. Unlike the standard Weighted Diamond Difference methods, the new algorithm achieves local convergence in the case of discontinuous angular flux along the singular characteristics. The method also significantly reduces the error for problems where the angular flux presents discontinuous spatial derivatives across these lines. For purposes of verifying the results, the Method of Manufactured Solutions is used to generate analytical reference solutions that permit estimating the local error in the numerical solution. (authors)

  2. 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...

  3. Exposure to Tumescent Solution Significantly Increases Phosphorylation of Perilipin in Adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskin, Ilknur; Sutcu, Mustafa; Eren, Hilal; Keskin, Mustafa

    2017-02-01

    Lidocaine and epinephrine could potentially decrease adipocyte viability, but these effects have not been substantiated. The phosphorylation status of perilipin in adipocytes may be predictive of cell viability. Perilipin coats lipid droplets and restricts access of lipases; phospho-perilipin lacks this protective function. The authors investigated the effects of tumescent solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine on the phosphorylation status of perilipin in adipocytes. In this in vitro study, lipoaspirates were collected before and after tumescence from 15 women who underwent abdominoplasty. Fat samples were fixed, sectioned, and stained for histologic and immunohistochemical analyses. Relative phosphorylation of perilipin was inferred from pixel intensities of immunostained adipocytes observed with confocal microscopy. For adipocytes collected before tumescent infiltration, 10.08% of total perilipin was phosphorylated. In contrast, 30.62% of total perilipin was phosphorylated for adipocytes collected from tumescent tissue (P < .01). The tumescent technique increases the relative phosphorylation of perilipin in adipocytes, making these cells more vulnerable to lipolysis. Tumescent solution applied for analgesia or hemostasis of the donor site should contain the lowest possible concentrations of lidocaine and epinephrine. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 5. © 2016 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. Reprints and permission: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. From service delivery to solution delivery: commissioning for health improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shircore, Richard; Ladbury, Patrick

    2009-11-01

    The further division of responsibilities between commissioners and providers in England will have far-reaching consequences and opportunities for developing and enhancing health improvement. Commissioners will have the opportunity to craft local solutions to local issues. To be effective, these local responses need to tackle the core determinants of health and to build the social capital that is at the heart of all communities that enjoy high standards of health. This paper argues that the new arrangements mark an evolution of the Beveridge model of healthcare (centralized, top down and professionally prescribed) to a post-Beveridge model characterized by it being decentralized, localized and utilizing professional skills in the pursuit of client and community satisfaction and engagement rather than a narrowly defined professional perspective. This paper indicates some of the key conceptual changes commissioners need to employ to take advantage of the emerging opportunities. It is argued that the new arrangements will only be fully effective if commissioners of health improvement programmes ensure they factor in health promotion and social marketing expertise, both in the strategic and operational phases of commissioning. Finally, predictions are made about changes in the values and characteristics of current health improvement organizations.

  6. Gamma-irradiation of malic acid in aqueous solutions. [prebiotic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negron-Mendoza, A.; Graff, R. L.; Ponnamperuma, C.

    1980-01-01

    The gamma-irradiation of malic acid in aqueous solutions was studied under initially oxygenated and oxygen-free conditions in an attempt to determine the possible interconversion of malic acid into other carboxylic acids, specifically those associated with Krebs cycle. The effect of dose on product formation of the system was investigated. Gas-liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry was used as the principal means of identification of the nonvolatile products. Thin layer chromatography and direct probe mass spectroscopy were also employed. The findings show that a variety of carboxylic acids are formed, with malonic and succinic acids in greatest abundance. These products have all been identified as being formed in the gamma-irradiation of acetic acid, suggesting a common intermediary. Since these molecules fit into a metabolic cycle, it is strongly suggestive that prebiotic pathways provided the basis for biological systems.

  7. 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.

  8. Maritime Activities: Requirements for Improving Space Based Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cragnolini, A.; Miguel-Lago, M.

    2005-03-01

    Maritime initiatives cannot be pursued only within their own perimeter. Sector endeavours and the policies which rule over them have wide range implications and several links with other sectors of activity. A well- balanced relationship of sea exploitation, maritime transportation, environmental protection and security ruled by national or international laws, will be a main issue for the future of all kind of maritime activities. Scientific research and technology development, along with enlightened and appropriate institutional regulations are relevant to ensure maritime sustainability.The use of satellite technology for monitoring international agreements should have a close co- ordination and be based on institutional consensus. Frequently, rules and new regulations set by policy makers are not demanding enough due to lack of knowledge about the possibilities offered by available technologies.Law enforcement actions could bring space technology new opportunities to offer solutions for monitoring and verification. Operators should aim at offering space data in a more operational and user-friendly way, providing them with useful and timely information.This paper will analyse the contribution of satellite technology to deal with the specificity of maritime sector, stressing the conditions for both an adequate technology improvement and an effective policy implementation.After analysing the links between maritime activities, space technologies and the institutional environment, the paper identifies some boundary conditions of the future developments. Conclusions are basically a check list for improving the present situation, while a road map is suggested as a matter of a way to proceed.

  9. Meta-analyses triggered by previous (false-)significant findings : Problems and solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, Ewoud; Roes, Kit C B; Mol, Ben W J; Kwee, Anneke; Moons, Karel G M; Groenwold, Rolf H H

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Meta-analyses are typically triggered by a (potentially false-significant) finding in one of the preceding primary studies. We studied consequences of meta-analysis investigating effects when primary studies that triggered such meta-analysis are also included. METHODS: We analytically

  10. Statistical Significance of the Contribution of Variables to the PCA Solution: An Alternative Permutation Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linting, Marielle; van Os, Bart Jan; Meulman, Jacqueline J.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, the statistical significance of the contribution of variables to the principal components in principal components analysis (PCA) is assessed nonparametrically by the use of permutation tests. We compare a new strategy to a strategy used in previous research consisting of permuting the columns (variables) of a data matrix…

  11. Improvement of stress-rupture life of GTD-111 by second solution heat treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Caixiong; Xu, Yulai; Zhang, Zixing; Nie, Heng; Xiao, Xueshan; Jia, Guoqing; Shen, Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► The second solution heat treatment promoted the solution of γ–γ′ eutectic into γ matrix. ► The volume fraction of γ′ increases significantly after adding the second solution heat treatment. ► The improved stress-rupture life is primarily due to the increased volume fraction of γ′ phase. -- Abstract: An added second solution heat treatment was conducted to investigate its effects on the microstructures and stress-rupture properties of GTD-111. The microstructures were analyzed by scanning electron microscope after each step of heat treatments. The stress-rupture life of GTD-111 dramatically increases from about 180 to 288 h at 871 °C/310 MPa after adding a second solution heat treatment. The added second solution heat treatment promoted the solution of γ–γ′ eutectic into γ matrix, and facilitated the nucleation and precipitate of the secondary γ′ particles. The distribution of γ′ phase becomes much denser, the width of γ matrix channel is also reduced, and the volume fraction of γ′ phase significantly increases from about 29.3% to 44.2%. The improved stress-rupture life is primarily due to the increased volume fraction of γ′ phase. The carbides mainly consist of MC and a small amount of M 23 C 6 , which may prevent the dislocation moving and/or grain boundary sliding, and further improve the stress-rupture properties of GTD-111.

  12. Utilizing dimensional analysis with observed data to determine the significance of hydrodynamic solutions in coastal hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Eric D.; Decker, Jeremy D.; Hughes, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present an analysis of the magnitude of the temporal and spatial acceleration (inertial) terms in the surface-water flow equations and determine the conditions under which these inertial terms have sufficient magnitude to be required in the computations. Data from two South Florida field sites are examined and the relative magnitudes of temporal acceleration, spatial acceleration, and the gravity and friction terms are compared. Parameters are derived by using dimensionless numbers and applied to quantify the significance of the hydrodynamic effects. The time series of the ratio of the inertial and gravity terms from field sites are presented and compared with both a simplified indicator parameter and a more complex parameter called the Hydrodynamic Significance Number (HSN). Two test-case models were developed by using the SWIFT2D hydrodynamic simulator to examine flow behavior with and without the inertial terms and compute the HSN. The first model represented one of the previously-mentioned field sites during gate operations of a structure-managed coastal canal. The second model was a synthetic test case illustrating the drainage of water down a sloped surface from an initial stage while under constant flow. The analyses indicate that the times of substantial hydrodynamic effects are sporadic but significant. The simplified indicator parameter correlates much better with the hydrodynamic effect magnitude for a constant width channel such as Miami Canal than at the non-uniform North River. Higher HSN values indicate flow situations where the inertial terms are large and need to be taken into account.

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Shinobu

    1993-09-01

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

  15. System solution to improve energy efficiency of HVAC systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chretien, L.; Becerra, R.; Salts, N. P.; Groll, E. A.

    2017-08-01

    According to recent surveys, heating and air conditioning systems account for over 45% of the total energy usage in US households. Three main types of HVAC systems are available to homeowners: (1) fixed-speed systems, where the compressor cycles on and off to match the cooling load; (2) multi-speed (typically, two-speed) systems, where the compressor can operate at multiple cooling capacities, leading to reduced cycling; and (3) variable-speed systems, where the compressor speed is adjusted to match the cooling load of the household, thereby providing higher efficiency and comfort levels through better temperature and humidity control. While energy consumption could reduce significantly by adopting variable-speed compressor systems, the market penetration has been limited to less than 10% of the total HVAC units and a vast majority of systems installed in new construction remains single speed. A few reasons may explain this phenomenon such as the complexity of the electronic circuitry required to vary compressor speed as well as the associated system cost. This paper outlines a system solution to boost the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of a traditional single-speed unit through using a low power electronic converter that allows the compressor to operate at multiple low capacity settings and is disabled at high compressor speeds.

  16. An improved technique for oral administration of solutions of test ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Medicut intravenous cannula as an improvised oral cannula to administer solutions of drugs and test substances to experimental rats. Techniques of handling and manipulating the rat with the goal of having the eosophagus as straight as possible ...

  17. Improving conditions for reuse of design solutions - by means of a context based solution library

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Niels Henrik; Grothe-Møller, Thorkild; Andreasen, Mogens Myrup

    1997-01-01

    Among the most important reasoning mechanisms in design is reasoning by analogy. One precondition for being able to reason about the properties and functionalitues of a product or subsystem is that the context of the solution is known. This paper presents a computer based solution library where...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

  20. Improving Energy Efficiency in Industrial Solutions – Walk the Talk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Dieter; Finkbeiner, Matthias; Holst, Jens-Christian

    2011-01-01

    and finally communication of both environmental and economic performance of solutions to customers. One of the main tools supporting eco-design and evaluation & controlling of derived design solutions is the so called “Eco-Care-Matrix” (ECM). The ECM simply visualizes the eco-efficiency of solutions compared...... to a given baseline. In order to prevent from “green washing” criticism and to ensure “walk the talk” attitude the ECM should be scientifically well-founded using appropriate and consistent methodology. The vertical axis of an ECM illustrates the environmental performance and the horizontal axis describes...... ECM application is illustrated using the example of the Siemens MEROS® technology (Maximized Emission Reduction of Sintering) for the steel industry. MEROS® is currently the most modern and powerful system for cleaning off-gas in sinter plants. As an environmental technology MEROS® is binding...

  1. Supply chain solutions to improve the distribution of antiretroviral ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Recommendations to address the problems include: Implementing a supply chain planning and design process; improving inventory management and warehousing practices; implementing more effective and reliable distribution and transportation processes; as well as improving supply chain coordination and overall ...

  2. Method for improved decomposition of metal nitrate solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Paul A.; Stines, William B.

    1983-10-11

    A method for co-conversion of aqueous solutions of one or more heavy metal nitrates wherein thermal decomposition within a temperature range of about 300.degree. to 800.degree. C. is carried out in the presence of about 50 to 500% molar concentration of ammonium nitrate to total metal.

  3. Improving energy efficiency in industrial solutions - Walk the talk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wegener, D. (Siemens AG. Industry Solutions Div., Erlangen (Germany)); Finkbeiner, M. (Technische Univ. Berlin (TUB). Sustainable Engineering, Berlin (Germany)); Holst, J.-C.; Walachowicz, F. (Siemens AG. Corporate Technology, Berlin (Germany)); Irving Olsen, S. (Technical Univ. of Denmark (DTU). Management Engineering, Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark))

    2011-05-15

    This paper describes the outline of the energy efficiency and environmental care policy and management at Siemens Industry Solutions Division. This environmental policy coherently embraces strategic planning, eco-design of energy-efficient industrial processes and solutions, design evaluation and finally communication of both environmental and economic performance of solutions to customers. One of the main tools supporting eco-design and evaluation and controlling of derived design solutions is the so called 'Eco-Care-Matrix' (ECM). The ECM simply visualizes the eco-efficiency of solutions compared to a given baseline. In order to prevent from 'green washing' criticism and to ensure 'walk the talk' attitude the ECM should be scientifically well-founded using appropriate and consistent methodology. The vertical axis of an ECM illustrates the environmental performance and the horizontal axis describes the economical customer benefit of one or more green solutions compared to a defined reference solution. Different scientific approaches for quantifying the environmental performance based on life cycle assessment methodology are discussed especially considering the ISO standards 14040/14044:2006. Appropriate ECM application is illustrated using the example of the Siemens MEROS technology (Maximized Emission Reduction of Sintering) for the steel industry. MEROS is currently the most modern and powerful system for cleaning off-gas in sinter plants. As an environmental technology MEROS is binding and removing sulfur dioxide and other acidic gas components present in the off-gas stream by using dry absorbents and additional electrical power. Advantage in the impact category of acidification potential (by desulfurization) is a trade-off to disadvantages in global warming and resource depletion potential caused by use of electricity. Representing different impacts, indicator results for impact categories with different tendencies have to be

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of hydrogen peroxide on improving the heat stability of whey protein isolate solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutariya, Suresh; Patel, Hasmukh

    2017-05-15

    Whey protein isolate (WPI) solutions (12.8%w/w protein) were treated with varying concentrations of H 2 O 2 in the range of 0-0.144 H 2 O 2 to protein ratios (HTPR) by the addition of the required quantity of H 2 O 2 and deionized water. The samples were analyzed for heat stability, rheological properties, denaturation level of β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and α-lactalbumin (α-LA). The samples treated with H 2 O 2 concentration >0.072 (HTPR) showed significant improvement in the heat stability, and decreased whey protein denaturation and aggregation. The WPI solution treated with H 2 O 2 (>0.072 HTPR) remained in the liquid state after heat treatment at 120°C, whereas the control samples formed gel upon heat treatment. Detailed analysis of these samples suggested that the improvement in the heat stability of H 2 O 2 treated WPI solution was attributed to the significant reduction in the sulfhydryl-disulfide interchange reaction during denaturation of β-LG and α-LA. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Stakeholder Perceptions of Barriers and Solutions to Significant Expansion of Postsecondary Enrollment Options for High School Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Wozniak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Post-secondary experiences for students still in high school have been promoted as a means to increase academic rigor and create a better-trained workforce. Yet little is known regarding supports needed to significantly increase such options. This study obtained input from 411 stakeholders in one Midwestern state, including 201 district superintendents, 181 high school principals, and 23 college dual enrollment officers regarding their use of these options, their perceptions of barriers to program expansion, and their ranking of possible solutions to overcome the barriers. Findings demonstrate that all parties find postsecondary options of value, with traditional dual enrollment the most used option. Although all groups identified funding as a primary barrier, other systemic barriers were of great concern. Participants suggest that expansion of Advanced Placement and early and middle college programs, financial assistance for dually enrolled students, and increased program availability for career and technical options would be beneficial.Wozniak, Carl, (2012. Stakeholder Perceptions of Barriers and Solutions to Significant Expansion of Postsecondary Enrollment Options for High School Students. 8(2. Retrieved from www.ijepl.org .

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. Improved stoves in Southern Africa: a solution for all seasons

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mapako, MC

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available to avoid using wood altogether. The requirements of a cooking fuel vary seasonally in any given household, and across different climatic zones. The ability of improved stoves to meet these requirements varies considerably across these different zones...

  14. Integrated Practice Improvement Solutions-Practical Steps to Operating Room Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernov, Mikhail; Pullockaran, Janet; Vick, Angela; Leyvi, Galina; Delphin, Ellise

    2016-10-01

    Perioperative productivity is a vital concern for surgeons, anesthesiologists, and administrators as the OR is a major source of hospital elective admissions and revenue. Based on elements of existing Practice Improvement Methodologies (PIMs), "Integrated Practice Improvement Solutions" (IPIS) is a practical and simple solution incorporating aspects of multiple management approaches into a single open source framework to increase OR efficiency and productivity by better utilization of existing resources. OR efficiency was measured both before and after IPIS implementation using the total number of cases versus room utilization, OR/anesthesia revenue and staff overtime (OT) costs. Other parameters of efficiency, such as the first case on-time start and the turnover time (TOT) were measured in parallel. IPIS implementation resulted in increased numbers of surgical procedures performed by an average of 10.7%, and OR and anesthesia revenue increases of 18.5% and 6.9%, respectively, with a simultaneous decrease in TOT (15%) and OT for anesthesia staff (26%). The number of perioperative adverse events was stable during the two-year study period which involved a total of 20,378 patients. IPIS, an effective and flexible practice improvement model, was designed to quickly, significantly, and sustainably improve OR efficiency by better utilization of existing resources. Success of its implementation directly correlates with the involvement of and acceptance by the entire OR team and hospital administration.

  15. Further improved F-expansion method and new exact solutions of Konopelchenko-Dubrovsky equation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Dengshan; Zhang Hongqing

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, with the aid of the symbolic computation we improve the extended F-expansion method in [Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 2004; 22:111] and propose the further improved F-expansion method. Using this method, we have gotten many new exact solutions which we have never seen before within our knowledge of the (2 + 1)-dimensional Konopelchenko-Dubrovsky equation. In addition,the solutions we get are more general than the solutions that the extended F-expansion method gets.The solutions we get include Jacobi elliptic function solutions, soliton-like solutions, trigonometric function solutions and so on. Our method can also apply to other partial differential equations and can also get many new exact solutions

  16. 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.

  17. Solutions for improving data extraction from virtual data warehouses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adela BARA

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The data warehousing project’s team is always confronted with low performance in data extraction. In a Business Intelligence environment this problem can be critical because the data displayed are no longer available for taking decisions, so the project can be compromised. In this case there are several techniques that can be applied to reduce queries’ execution time and to improve the performance of the BI analyses and reports. Some of the techniques that can be applied to reduce the cost of execution for improving query performance in BI systems will be presented in this paper.

  18. 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.

  19. Quality improvement in food value chains: searching for integrated solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijman, J.; Bitzer, V.

    2016-01-01

    Quality improvement in food value chains offers both opportunities and challenges for farmers in Africa. This chapter introduces the key concepts that are used in the studies presented in this book. It also provides a short description of each of the chapters. Quality is an elusive concept. It has a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet Treatment of Poly-ε-caprolactone Polymer Solutions To Improve Electrospinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grande, Silvia; Van Guyse, Joachim; Nikiforov, Anton Y; Onyshchenko, Iuliia; Asadian, Mahtab; Morent, Rino; Hoogenboom, Richard; De Geyter, Nathalie

    2017-09-27

    An atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) specifically designed for liquid treatment has been used in this work to improve the electrospinnability of a 5 w/v % solution of poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) in a mixture of chloroform and N,N-dimethylformamide. Untreated PCL solutions were found to result in nonuniform fibers containing a large number of beads, whereas plasma-treated solutions (exposure time of 2-5 min) enabled the generation of beadless, uniform nanofibers with an average diameter of 450 nm. This enhanced electrospinnability was found to be mainly due to the highly increased conductivity of the plasma-modified PCL solutions. Consequently, more stretching of the polymer jet occurred during electrospinning, leading to the generation of bead-free fibers. Plasma treatment also results in an increased viscosity and decreased pH values. To explain these observed changes, optical emission spectroscopy (OES) has been used to examine the excited species present in the APPJ in contact with the PCL solution. This study revealed that the peaks attributed to H, CH, CH 2 , and C 2 species could be responsible for the degradation of solvent molecules and/or PCL structures during the plasma treatment. Size exclusion chromatography and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed that the molecular weight and the chemical composition of PCL were not significantly affected by the APPJ treatment. Plasma exposure mainly results in the degradation of the solvent molecules instead of modifying the PCL macromolecules, preserving the original polymer as much as possible. A hypothesis for the observed macroscopic changes in viscosity and pH values could be the generation of new chemical species such as HCl and/or HNO 3 . These species are characterized by their high conductivity, low pH values, and strong polarity and could enhance the solvent quality for PCL, leading to the expansion of the polymer coil, which could in turn explain the observed enhanced viscosity after plasma

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Significance of the application of oral rehydration solution to maintain water and electrolyte balance in infants with ileostomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radlović Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Ileostomy represents a necessary procedure to solve various surgical diseases in children. As the result of increased fluid loss and colonic exclusion in its regulation, it is often followed, particularly during the first months after birth, by chronic dehydration and failure to thrive. Objective. The aim of the paper was to present our experience related to the application of oral rehydration solution (ORS to compensate the intestinal loss of water and electrolytes in infants with ileostomy. Methods. Treatment was performed with ORS containing 65 mmol/L of sodium in five infants aged 1.5-8 months (3.8±2.46 months with dehydration and undernutrition after ileostomy performed in the first five days after birth. Results. After rehydration, the continual application of ORS in the daily dosage of 63.90±25.03 ml/kg, i.e. approximately matching the volume of intestinal content elimination (57.00±19.23 ml/kg, resulted in all infants in optimal water and electrolyte homeostasis, and in further course also in the improvement of their nutritional status (p=0.023. Conclusion. Our experience indicates that continual application of reduced sodium content of ORS in the approximate equal quantity of intestinal content loss represents the method of choice in water and electrolyte homeostasis maintenance in infants with ileostomy.

  9. 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.

  10. Improvements Realized on the NiThrowTM Solution - 13075

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moggia, F.; Objois, L.; Damerval, F.; Toulemonde, V.; Varet, T.; Guillot, S.; Richard, F.

    2013-01-01

    Two years ago we presented the first results obtained with the highly pressurized liquid nitrogen technology (HPLN) in case of cutting, surface decontamination and concrete scabbling applications. These results, carried out in non active conditions, were really promising in term of efficiency and productivity and highlighted how this technology was interesting for D and D business (e.g. cut of depth up to 30 mm for concrete scabbling application; productivity of 4 cm.min -1 in case of the cut of a 50 mm thick stainless steel ingot..). We also found some real issues which were not compatible with its use in a radioactive environment. Indeed, the reliability of some parts of the system was not efficient enough (e.g. lancing tool, intensifiers...) to run the HPLN technology in good conditions. More than two years, after a complete study of the whole system, and after the compilation of all the required troubleshooting, AREVA with its partner Air Liquide, decided to start a complete R and D work in order to improve this cryogenic technology. Our engineers started with the lancing tool and designed a new one lighter and more reliable than the original one. After that, they improved the reliability of the pressurization unit (skid) by changing seals and other parts. As mentioned above, the goal of this work was to implement this technology in a nuclear environment the best way. We also focused our efforts on the insulation of the high pressure hoses (with a maximal distance, between the 'skid - Heat exchanger' module and the lancing tool, of about 110 meters), and on the development of a quite efficient vacuum system comprising dust collection units (we can guarantee an efficiency of our system higher than 95%). Finally, the last step of our development was devoted to the design and the manufacturing of a dedicated carrier enabling the technology to move in all directions (X,Y and Z) and to reach all the positions (wall, ground, ceiling and for sure all the singularities

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. An improved analytic solution for analysis of particle trajectories in fibrous, two-dimensional filters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, H.; Sahraoui, M.; Kaviany, M.

    1994-01-01

    The Kuwabara solution for creeping fluid flow through periodic arrangement of cylinders is widely used in analytic and numerical studies of fibrous filters. Numerical solutions have shown that the Kuwabara solution has systematic errors, and when used for the particle trajectories in filters it results in some error in the predicted filter efficiency. The numerical solutions, although accurate, preclude further analytic treatments, and are not as compact and convenient to use as the Kuwabara solution. By reexamining the outer boundary conditions of the Kuwabara solution, a correction term to the Kuwabara solution has been derived to obtain an extended solution that is more accurate and improves prediction of the filter efficiency. By comparison with the numerical solutions, it is shown that the Kuwabara solution is the high porosity asymptote, and that the extended solution has an improved porosity dependence. A rectification is explained that can make particle collection less efficient for periodic, in-line arrangements of fibers with particle diffusion or body force. This rectification also results in the alignment of particles with inertia (i.e., high Stokes number particles)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-05

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Improved arterial blood oxygenation following intravenous infusion of cold supersaturated dissolved oxygen solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Daniel J; Gentile, Michael A; Riggs, John H; Cheifetz, Ira M

    2014-01-01

    One of the primary goals of critical care medicine is to support adequate gas exchange without iatrogenic sequelae. An emerging method of delivering supplemental oxygen is intravenously rather than via the traditional inhalation route. The objective of this study was to evaluate the gas-exchange effects of infusing cold intravenous (IV) fluids containing very high partial pressures of dissolved oxygen (>760 mm Hg) in a porcine model. Juvenile swines were anesthetized and mechanically ventilated. Each animal received an infusion of cold (13 °C) Ringer's lactate solution (30 mL/kg/hour), which had been supersaturated with dissolved oxygen gas (39.7 mg/L dissolved oxygen, 992 mm Hg, 30.5 mL/L). Arterial blood gases and physiologic measurements were repeated at 15-minute intervals during a 60-minute IV infusion of the supersaturated dissolved oxygen solution. Each animal served as its own control. Five swines (12.9 ± 0.9 kg) were studied. Following the 60-minute infusion, there were significant increases in PaO2 and SaO2 (P < 0.05) and a significant decrease in PaCO2 (P < 0.05), with a corresponding normalization in arterial blood pH. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in core body temperature (P < 0.05) when compared to the baseline preinfusion state. A cold, supersaturated dissolved oxygen solution may be intravenously administered to improve arterial blood oxygenation and ventilation parameters and induce a mild therapeutic hypothermia in a porcine model.

  6. Improved decay rates for solutions for a multidimensional generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation

    KAUST Repository

    Said-Houari, Belkacem

    2014-01-01

    the Fourier transform and the energy method, we show the global existence and the convergence rates of the solutions under the smallness assumption on the initial data and we give better decay rates of the solutions. This result improves early works in J

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Levee Setbacks: An Innovative, Cost Effective, and Sustainable Solution for Improved Flood Risk management

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-30

    ER D C/ EL S R- 17 -3 Levee Setbacks: An Innovative , Cost-Effective, and Sustainable Solution for Improved Flood Risk Management En vi...EL SR-17-3 June 2017 Levee Setbacks: An Innovative , Cost-Effective, and Sustainable Solution for Improved Flood Risk Management David L. Smith...alternative view point is necessary. ERDC/EL SR-17-3 4 Levee setbacks are a relatively recent innovation in Corps flood risk management practice

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improved decay rates for solutions for a multidimensional generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation

    KAUST Repository

    Said-Houari, Belkacem

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we study the decay rates of solutions for the generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation in multi-dimensional space. For initial data in some L1-weighted spaces, we prove faster decay rates of the solutions. More precisely, using the Fourier transform and the energy method, we show the global existence and the convergence rates of the solutions under the smallness assumption on the initial data and we give better decay rates of the solutions. This result improves early works in J. Differential Equations 158(2) (1999), 314-340 and Nonlinear Anal. 75(7) (2012), 3385-3392. © 2014-IOS Press.

  16. 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.

  17. Performance improvement for solution-processed high-mobility ZnO thin-film transistors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Chensha; Loutfy, Rafik O [Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7 (Canada); Li Yuning; Wu Yiliang; Ong, Beng S [Materials Design and Integration Laboratory, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, 2660 Speakman Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5K 2L1 (Canada)], E-mail: lichnsa@163.com

    2008-06-21

    The fabrication technology of stable, non-toxic, transparent, high performance zinc oxide (ZnO) thin-film semiconductors via the solution process was investigated. Two methods, which were, respectively, annealing a spin-coated precursor solution and annealing a drop-coated precursor solution, were compared. The prepared ZnO thin-film semiconductor transistors have well-controlled, preferential crystal orientation and exhibit superior field-effect performance characteristics. But the ZnO thin-film transistor (TFT) fabricated by annealing a drop-coated precursor solution has a distinctly elevated linear mobility, which further approaches the saturated mobility, compared with that fabricated by annealing a spin-coated precursor solution. The performance of the solution-processed ZnO TFT was further improved when substituting the spin-coating process by the drop-coating process.

  18. Performance improvement for solution-processed high-mobility ZnO thin-film transistors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chensha; Loutfy, Rafik O; Li Yuning; Wu Yiliang; Ong, Beng S

    2008-01-01

    The fabrication technology of stable, non-toxic, transparent, high performance zinc oxide (ZnO) thin-film semiconductors via the solution process was investigated. Two methods, which were, respectively, annealing a spin-coated precursor solution and annealing a drop-coated precursor solution, were compared. The prepared ZnO thin-film semiconductor transistors have well-controlled, preferential crystal orientation and exhibit superior field-effect performance characteristics. But the ZnO thin-film transistor (TFT) fabricated by annealing a drop-coated precursor solution has a distinctly elevated linear mobility, which further approaches the saturated mobility, compared with that fabricated by annealing a spin-coated precursor solution. The performance of the solution-processed ZnO TFT was further improved when substituting the spin-coating process by the drop-coating process

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. An Autologous Anti-Inflammatory Protein Solution Yielded a Favorable Safety Profile and Significant Pain Relief in an Open-Label Pilot Study of Patients with Osteoarthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Hix

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA is a progressive and degenerative disease, which may result in significant pain and decreased quality of life. Recent updates in our understanding of OA have demonstrated that it is a whole joint disease that has many similarities to an unhealed wound containing inflammatory cytokines. The nSTRIDE Autologous Protein Solution (APS Kit is a medical device under development for the treatment of OA. The APS Kit processes a patient's own blood at the point of care to contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines and anabolic growth factors. This study assessed the safety and treatment effects of a single intra-articular injection of APS. Eleven patients were enrolled in this study. Sufficient blood could not be drawn from one patient who was subsequently withdrawn, leaving 10 patients treated. Minor adverse events (AEs were experienced by seven subjects (63.6%. There was one serious AE (diverticulitis unrelated to the device or procedure. One subject experienced AEs that were judged “likely” to be procedure related (arthralgia/musculoskeletal discomfort and all resolved within 6 days of injection. All other AEs were unrelated to the device or procedure. Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC pain scores improved significantly over time (ANOVA, p < 0.0001, 12.0 ± 1.2 preinjection, 3.3 ± 2.9 one year postinjection, and 72.5% WOMAC pain improvement. There was significant positive correlation between white blood cell concentration in APS and improvement in WOMAC pain scores.

  6. An Autologous Anti-Inflammatory Protein Solution Yielded a Favorable Safety Profile and Significant Pain Relief in an Open-Label Pilot Study of Patients with Osteoarthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hix, Jason; Klaassen, Mark; Foreman, Ryan; Cullen, Edith; Toler, Krista; King, William; Woodell-May, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and degenerative disease, which may result in significant pain and decreased quality of life. Recent updates in our understanding of OA have demonstrated that it is a whole joint disease that has many similarities to an unhealed wound containing inflammatory cytokines. The nSTRIDE Autologous Protein Solution (APS) Kit is a medical device under development for the treatment of OA. The APS Kit processes a patient's own blood at the point of care to contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines and anabolic growth factors. This study assessed the safety and treatment effects of a single intra-articular injection of APS. Eleven patients were enrolled in this study. Sufficient blood could not be drawn from one patient who was subsequently withdrawn, leaving 10 patients treated. Minor adverse events (AEs) were experienced by seven subjects (63.6%). There was one serious AE (diverticulitis) unrelated to the device or procedure. One subject experienced AEs that were judged “likely” to be procedure related (arthralgia/musculoskeletal discomfort) and all resolved within 6 days of injection. All other AEs were unrelated to the device or procedure. Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain scores improved significantly over time (ANOVA, p < 0.0001, 12.0 ± 1.2 preinjection, 3.3 ± 2.9 one year postinjection, and 72.5% WOMAC pain improvement). There was significant positive correlation between white blood cell concentration in APS and improvement in WOMAC pain scores. PMID:29279807

  7. A multilayer innovative solution to improve the adhesion of nanocrystalline diamond coatings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poulon-Quintin, A., E-mail: poulon@icmcb-bordeaux.cnrs.fr [CNRS, ICMCB, UPR 9048, F-33600 Pessac (France); Univ. Bordeaux, ICMCB, UPR 9048, F-33600 Pessac (France); Faure, C.; Teulé-Gay, L.; Manaud, J.P. [CNRS, ICMCB, UPR 9048, F-33600 Pessac (France); Univ. Bordeaux, ICMCB, UPR 9048, F-33600 Pessac (France)

    2015-03-15

    Highlights: • Improvement of the NCD adhesion on WC-12%Co substrates for tooling applications using a multi-interlayer additional system. • Reduction of the graphite layer thickness and continuity at the interface with the diamond. • Transmission electron microscopy study for a better understanding of the diffusion phenomena occurring at the interfaces. - Abstract: Nano-crystalline diamond (NCD) films grown under negative biased substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) are widely used as surface overlay coating onto cermet WC-Co cutting tools to get better performances. To improve the diamond adhesion to the cermet substrate, suitable multi-layer systems have been added. They are composed of a cobalt diffusion barrier close to the substrate (single and sequenced nitrides layers) coated with a nucleation extra layer to improve the nucleus density of diamond during CVD processing. For all systems, before and after diamond deposition, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been performed for a better understanding of the diffusion phenomena occurring at the interfaces and to evaluate the presence of graphitic species at the interface with the diamond. Innovative multilayer system dedicated to the regulation of cobalt diffusion coated with a bilayer system optimized for the carbon diffusion control, is shown as an efficient solution to significantly reduce the graphite layer formation at the interface with the diamond down to 10 nm thick and to increase the adhesion of NCD diamond layer as scratch-tests confirm.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. Improved water and sodium absorption from oral rehydration solutions based on rice syrup in a rat model of osmotic diarrhea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wapnir, R A; Litov, R E; Zdanowicz, M M; Lifshitz, F

    1991-04-01

    Rice syrup solids, rice protein, and casein hydrolysate were added to experimental oral rehydration solutions in various combinations and tested in a rat intestinal perfusion system. Chronic osmotic diarrhea was induced in juvenile rats by supplying the cathartic agents, magnesium citrate and phenolphthalein, in their drinking water for 1 week. The experimental oral rehydration solutions were compared with standard oral rehydration solutions containing 20 gm/L or 30 gm/L of glucose and with each other to determine if there were significant differences in net water, sodium, or potassium absorption. An oral rehydration solution containing 30 gm/L of rice syrup solids had a net water absorption rate significantly higher than that of the standard 20 gm/L glucose-based oral rehydration solution (2.1 +/- 0.62 versus 1.5 +/- 0.48 microliters/[min x cm], p less than 0.05). Casein hydrolysate did not significantly affect net water absorption. However, combinations of 30 gm/L rice syrup solids and 5 gm/L casein hydrolysate significantly increased (p less than 0.05) net sodium and potassium absorption compared with the 20 gm/L glucose-based oral rehydration solution but not versus rice syrup solids alone. Oral rehydration solutions containing 30 gm/L rice syrup solids plus 5 gm/L rice protein, and 30 gm/L rice syrup solids plus 5 gm/L casein hydrolysate, had net water absorption rates significantly higher than the rate of a 30 gm/L glucose-based oral rehydration solution (2.5 +/- 0.36 and 2.4 +/- 0.38, respectively, versus 0.87 +/- 0.40 microliters/[min x cm], p less than 0.05). Rice protein and casein hydrolysate, however, did not significantly affect net water, sodium, or potassium absorption when added to rice protein glucose-based oral rehydration solutions. An inverse correlation between osmolality and net water absorption was observed (r = -0.653, p less than 0.02). The data suggest that substitution of rice syrup solids for glucose in oral rehydration solutions will

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. An improved conjugate gradient scheme to the solution of least squares SVM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Wei; Ong, Chong Jin; Keerthi, S Sathiya

    2005-03-01

    The least square support vector machines (LS-SVM) formulation corresponds to the solution of a linear system of equations. Several approaches to its numerical solutions have been proposed in the literature. In this letter, we propose an improved method to the numerical solution of LS-SVM and show that the problem can be solved using one reduced system of linear equations. Compared with the existing algorithm for LS-SVM, the approach used in this letter is about twice as efficient. Numerical results using the proposed method are provided for comparisons with other existing algorithms.

  15. Solutions for Determining the Significance Region Using the Johnson-Neyman Type Procedure in Generalized Linear (Mixed) Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, Ann A.; Zerbe, Gary O.

    2011-01-01

    Researchers often compare the relationship between an outcome and covariate for two or more groups by evaluating whether the fitted regression curves differ significantly. When they do, researchers need to determine the "significance region," or the values of the covariate where the curves significantly differ. In analysis of covariance (ANCOVA),…

  16. Improvement of operational properties of shell limestone building materials by polysulfide solution impregnation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MASSALIMOV Ismail Alexandrovich

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The data of studies on the effectiveness of impregnation with polysulfide solutions of shell limestone used as facing and wall material, as well as for the manufacture of road products are presented. Modification of the limestone with the impregnating composition «Akvastat» created by the authors which is sulfur-containing water-based solution of calcium polysulfide containing alcohols and surfactants, can significantly reduce water absorption and increase durability of limestone. Impregnating composition on the basis of calcium polysulfide possesses density of 1.22–1.24 g/cm3, the infiltrant penetrates into the pore structure of limestone to a depth of 4 cm or more, depending on the density and structure of the sample. While the material is drying, sulfur nanoparticles are crystallized from the polysulfide solution in its pores. They partially fill pore space and form protective durable insoluble hydrophobic coating that impedes the penetration of water into the pores of the limestone, but preserves its vapor permeability, which is important for wall and decoration materials. The evaluation of protective coatings was performed with laser particle size analyzer, scanning probe microscope and a diffractometer. It showed that the average size of the particles forming the protective coating is in the range of 20–25 nm, the particles shape is spherical, the particles are elemental sulfur with orthorhombic structure of the crystal lattice. The processing of shell limestone with calcium polysulphide solution provides formation of coating based on nanosized sulfur on the surface of stone pores. The coating partially fills the pore space and, as it is hydrophobic, reduces the water absorption of the samples by a factor of 5–8, increases their average density by 22–27%, strength in 1,2–1,3 times, the softening factor by 6–19%, that makes possible to predict the increase of the durability of building materials based on shell limestone to 1

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Improved Accident Tolerance of Austenitic Stainless Steel Cladding through Colossal Supersaturation with Interstitial Solutes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, Frank [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)

    2016-10-13

    We proposed a program-supporting research project in the area of fuel-cycle R&D, specifically on the topic of advanced fuels. Our goal was to investigate whether SECIS (surface engineering by concentrated interstitial solute – carbon, nitrogen) can improve the properties of austenitic stainless steels and related structural alloys such that they can be used for nuclear fuel cladding in LWRs (light-water reactors) and significantly excel currently used alloys with regard to performance, safety, service life, and accident tolerance. We intended to demonstrate that SECIS can be adapted for post-processing of clad tubing to significantly enhance mechanical properties (hardness, wear resistance, and fatigue life), corrosion resistance, resistance to stress–corrosion cracking (hydrogen-induced embrittlement), and – potentially – radiation resistance (against electron-, neutron-, or ion-radiation damage). To test this hypothesis, we measured various relevant properties of the surface-engineered alloys and compared them with corresponding properties of the non–treated, as-received alloys. In particular, we studied the impact of heat exposure corresponding to BWR (boiling-water reactor) working and accident (loss-of-coolant) conditions and the effect of ion irradiation.

  1. Improved Accident Tolerance of Austenitic Stainless Steel Cladding through Colossal Supersaturation with Interstitial Solutes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ernst, Frank

    2016-01-01

    We proposed a program-supporting research project in the area of fuel-cycle R&D, specifically on the topic of advanced fuels. Our goal was to investigate whether SECIS (surface engineering by concentrated interstitial solute - carbon, nitrogen) can improve the properties of austenitic stainless steels and related structural alloys such that they can be used for nuclear fuel cladding in LWRs (light-water reactors) and significantly excel currently used alloys with regard to performance, safety, service life, and accident tolerance. We intended to demonstrate that SECIS can be adapted for post-processing of clad tubing to significantly enhance mechanical properties (hardness, wear resistance, and fatigue life), corrosion resistance, resistance to stress-corrosion cracking (hydrogen-induced embrittlement), and - potentially - radiation resistance (against electron-, neutron-, or ion-radiation damage). To test this hypothesis, we measured various relevant properties of the surface-engineered alloys and compared them with corresponding properties of the non-treated, as-received alloys. In particular, we studied the impact of heat exposure corresponding to BWR (boiling-water reactor) working and accident (loss-of-coolant) conditions and the effect of ion irradiation.

  2. Tips pentacene crystal alignment for improving performance of solution processed organic thin film transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhengran

    devices. A novel method is demonstrated here to switch between lateral and vertical phase separation in semiconducting TIPS pentacene/ polymer blend films by simply varying the alkyl length of the polyacrylate polymer component. The phase separation modes depend on intermolecular interactions between small molecule TIPS pentacene and polymer additives. The blend film with a dominant vertical phase separation exhibits a significant enhancement in average mobility and performance consistency of organic OTFTs. Chapter 5 demonstrates an effective approach to improve both charge transport and performance consistency in solution-processed OTFTs by blending TIPS pentacene with a series of small-molecule additives: 4-butylbenzoic acid (BBA), 4-hexylbenzoic acid (HBA), and 4-octylbenzoic acid (OBA). These three small molecules share a benzoic acid moiety, but have different length of hydrophobic tails. The self-assembled interfacial layer of small molecules on the gate oxide surface leads to uniform deposition of TIPS pentacene crystal seeds and facilitates TIPS pentacene to grow along the tilted orientation of substrate, which results in a film of enhanced crystal orientation and areal coverage. OTFTs based on TIPS pentacene/small molecule blends demonstrate greatly improved average hole mobility and performance consistency, which correlates with the length of hydrophobic tail of the small-molecule additives. Chapter 6 summarizes the conclusions of this dissertation and the related future work.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-31

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

  5. 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. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. Solitary Wave Solutions of the Boussinesq Equation and Its Improved Form

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Abazari

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the general case study of previous works on generalized Boussinesq equations, (Abazari, 2011 and (Kılıcman and Abazari, 2012, that focuses on the application of G′/G-expansion method with the aid of Maple to construct more general exact solutions for the coupled Boussinesq equations. In this work, the mentioned method is applied to construct more general exact solutions of Boussinesq equation and improved Boussinesq equation, which the French scientist Joseph Valentin Boussinesq (1842–1929 described in the 1870s model equations for the propagation of long waves on the surface of water with small amplitude. Our work is motivated by the fact that the G′/G-expansion method provides not only more general forms of solutions but also periodic, solitary waves and rational solutions. The method appears to be easier and faster by means of a symbolic computation.

  11. 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.

  12. Solution-Focused Self-Help for Improving University Students' Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakrosnis, Rytis; Cepukiene, Viktorija

    2015-01-01

    Along with positive developments in psychology, the self-help movement is becoming widespread, based on the belief that people are capable of growing and achieving positive change with only minimal help. This article addresses the potential of a solution-focused self-help tool to improve university students' well-being by comparing its outcome to…

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Improving the electrocatalytic properties of Pd-based catalyst for direct alcohol fuel cells: effect of solid solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Cuilian; Wei, Ying; Tang, Dian; Sa, Baisheng; Zhang, Teng; Chen, Changxin

    2017-07-07

    The tolerance of the electrode against the CO species absorbed upon the surface presents the biggest dilemma of the alcohol fuel cells. Here we report for the first time that the inclusion of (Zr, Ce)O 2 solid solution as the supporting material can significantly improve the anti-CO-poisoning as well as the activity of Pd/C catalyst for ethylene glycol electro-oxidation in KOH medium. In particular, the physical origin of the improved electrocatalytic properties has been unraveled by first principle calculations. The 3D stereoscopic Pd cluster on the surface of (Zr, Ce)O 2 solid solution leads to weaker Pd-C bonding and smaller CO desorption driving force. These results support that the Pd/ZrO 2 -CeO 2 /C composite catalyst could be used as a promising effective candidate for direct alcohol fuel cells application.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Considerable improvement in the stability of solution processed small molecule OLED by annealing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mao Guilin [Key Laboratory of Photonics Technology for Information, Key Laboratory for Physical Electronics and Devices of the Ministry of Education, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xi' an, 710049 (China); Wu Zhaoxin, E-mail: zhaoxinwu@mail.xjtu.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Photonics Technology for Information, Key Laboratory for Physical Electronics and Devices of the Ministry of Education, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xi' an, 710049 (China); He Qiang [Key Laboratory of Photonics Technology for Information, Key Laboratory for Physical Electronics and Devices of the Ministry of Education, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xi' an, 710049 (China); Department of UAV, Wuhan Ordnance Noncommissioned Officers Academy, Wuhan, 430075 (China); Jiao Bo; Xu Guojin; Hou Xun [Key Laboratory of Photonics Technology for Information, Key Laboratory for Physical Electronics and Devices of the Ministry of Education, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xi' an, 710049 (China); Chen Zhijian; Gong Qihuang [State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Department of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, 100871 (China)

    2011-06-15

    We investigated the annealing effect on solution processed small organic molecule organic films, which were annealed with various conditions. It was found that the densities of the spin-coated (SC) films increased and the surface roughness decreased as the annealing temperature rose. We fabricated corresponding organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) by spin coating on the same annealing conditions. The solution processed OLEDs show the considerable efficiency and stability, which were prior or equivalent to the vacuum-deposited (VD) counterparts. Our research shows that annealing process plays a key role in prolonging the lifetime of solution processed small molecule OLEDs, and the mechanism for the improvement of the device performance upon annealing was also discussed.

  5. Optimization Solutions for Improving the Performance of the Parallel Reduction Algorithm Using Graphics Processing Units

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ion LUNGU

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we research, analyze and develop optimization solutions for the parallel reduction function using graphics processing units (GPUs that implement the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA, a modern and novel approach for improving the software performance of data processing applications and algorithms. Many of these applications and algorithms make use of the reduction function in their computational steps. After having designed the function and its algorithmic steps in CUDA, we have progressively developed and implemented optimization solutions for the reduction function. In order to confirm, test and evaluate the solutions' efficiency, we have developed a custom tailored benchmark suite. We have analyzed the obtained experimental results regarding: the comparison of the execution time and bandwidth when using graphic processing units covering the main CUDA architectures (Tesla GT200, Fermi GF100, Kepler GK104 and a central processing unit; the data type influence; the binary operator's influence.

  6. Collagen tissue treated with chitosan solutions in carbonic acid for improved biological prosthetic heart valves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallyamov, Marat O.; Chaschin, Ivan S.; Khokhlova, Marina A.; Grigorev, Timofey E.; Bakuleva, Natalia P.; Lyutova, Irina G.; Kondratenko, Janna E.; Badun, Gennadii A.; Chernysheva, Maria G.; Khokhlov, Alexei R.

    2014-01-01

    Calcification of bovine pericardium dramatically shortens typical lifetimes of biological prosthetic heart valves and thus precludes their choice for younger patients. The aim of the present work is to demonstrate that the calcification is to be mitigated by means of treatment of bovine pericardium in solutions of chitosan in carbonic acid, i.e. water saturated with carbon dioxide at high pressure. This acidic aqueous fluid unusually combines antimicrobial properties with absolute biocompatibility as far as at normal pressure it decomposes spontaneously and completely into H 2 O and CO 2 . Yet, at high pressures it can protonate and dissolve chitosan materials with different degrees of acetylation (in the range of 16–33%, at least) without any further pretreatment. Even exposure of the bovine pericardium in pure carbonic acid solution without chitosan already favours certain reduction in calcification, somewhat improved mechanical properties, complete biocompatibility and evident antimicrobial activity of the treated collagen tissue. The reason may be due to high extraction ability of this peculiar compressed fluidic mixture. Moreover, exposure of the bovine pericardium in solutions of chitosan in carbonic acid introduces even better mechanical properties and highly pronounced antimicrobial activity of the modified collagen tissue against adherence and biofilm formation of relevant Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. Yet, the most important achievement is the detected dramatic reduction in calcification for such modified collagen tissues in spite of the fact that the amount of the thus introduced chitosan is rather small (typically ca. 1 wt.%), which has been reliably detected using original tritium labelling method. We believe that these improved properties are achieved due to particularly deep and uniform impregnation of the collagen matrix with chitosan from its pressurised solutions in carbonic acid. - Highlights: • Treatment of GA-stabilised bovine

  7. Grad-Shafranov reconstruction: overview and improvement of the numerical solution used in space physics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ojeda Gonzalez, A.; Domingues, M.O.; Mendes, O., E-mail: ojeda.gonzalez.a@gmail.com [Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Kaibara, M.K. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (GMA/IME/UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Prestes, A. [Universidade do Vale do Paraiba (IP and D/UNIVAP), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Fisica e Astronomia

    2015-10-15

    The Grad-Shafranov equation is a Poisson's equation, i.e., a partial differential equation of elliptic type. The problem is depending on the initial condition and can be treated as a Cauchy problem. Although it is ill-posed or ill-conditioned, it can be integrated numerically. In the integration of the GS equation, singularities with large values of the potential arise after a certain number of integration steps away from the original data line, and a filter should be used. The Grad-Shafranov reconstruction (GSR) technique was developed from 1996 to 2000 for recovering two-dimensional structures in the magnetopause in an ideal MHD formulation. Other works have used the GSR techniques to study magnetic flux ropes in the solar wind and in the magnetotail from a single spacecraft dataset; posteriorly, it was extended to treat measurements from multiple satellites. From Vlasov equation, it is possible to arrive at the GS-equation in function of the normalized vector potential. A general solution is obtained using complex variable theory. A specific solution was chosen as benchmark case to solve numerically the GS equation.We propose some changes in the resolution scheme of the GS equation to improve the solution. The result of each method is compared with the solution proposed by Hau and Sonnerup (J. Geophys. Res. 104(A4), 6899-6917 (1999)). The main improvement found in the GS resolution was the need to filter Bx values at each y value. (author)

  8. Thermoelectric Efficiency Improvement in Vacuum Tubes of Decomposing Liquid Lithium-Ammonia Solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jungyoon; Kim, Miae; Shim, Kyuchol; Kim, Jibeom; Jeon, Joonhyeon

    2013-01-01

    Lithium-ammonia (Li-NH 3 ) solutions are possible to be successfully made under the vacuum condition but there still remains a problem of undergoing stable and reliable decomposition in vacuum for high-efficiency thermoelectric power generation. This paper describes a new method for improving the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of Li-NH 3 solutions in vacuum. The proposed method uses a ‘U’-shaped Pyrex vacuum tube for the preparation and decomposition of pure fluid Li-NH 3 solutions. The tube is shaped so that a gas passageway (‘U’) connecting both legs of the ‘U’ helps to balance pressure inside both ends of the tube (due to NH 3 gasification) during decomposition on the hot side. Thermoelectric experimental results show that solution reaction in the ‘U’-shaped tube proceeds more stably and efficiently than in the ‘U’-shaped tube, and consequently, thermoelectric conversion efficiency is improved. It is also proved that the proposed method can provide a reversible reaction, which can rotate between synthesis and decomposition in the tube, for deriving the long-time, high-efficiency thermoelectric power

  9. Improvement of precision method of spectrophotometry with inner standardization and its use in plutonium solutions analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stepanov, A.V.; Stepanov, D.A.; Nikitina, S.A.; Gogoleva, T.D.; Grigor'eva, M.G.; Bulyanitsa, L.S.; Panteleev, Yu.A.; Pevtsova, E.V.; Domkin, V.D.; Pen'kin, M.V.

    2006-01-01

    Precision method of spectrophotometry with inner standardization is used for analysis of pure Pu solutions. Improvement of the spectrophotometer and spectrophotometric method of analysis is done to decrease accidental constituent of relative error of the method. Influence of U, Np impurities and corrosion products on systematic constituent of error of the method, and effect of fluoride-ion on completeness of Pu oxidation in sample preparation are studied [ru

  10. Measuring the Success of Changes to Existing Business Intelligence Solutions to Improve Business Intelligence Reporting

    OpenAIRE

    Dedić, Nedim; Stanier, Clare

    2016-01-01

    Evaluating the success of changes to an existing Business Intelligence (BI) environment means that there is a need to compare the level of user satisfaction with the original and amended versions of the application. The focus of this paper is on producing an evaluation tool, which can be used to measure the success of changes to existing BI solutions to support improved BI reporting. The paper identifies the users involved in the BI process and investigates what is meant by satisfaction in th...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Improvement of Physico-mechanical Properties of Partially Amorphous Acetaminophen Developed from Hydroalcoholic Solution Using Spray Drying Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghi, Fatemeh; Torab, Mansour; Khattab, Mostafa; Homayouni, Alireza; Afrasiabi Garekani, Hadi

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): This study was performed aiming to investigate the effect of particle engineering via spray drying of hydroalcoholic solution on solid states and physico-mechanical properties of acetaminophen. Materials and Methods: Spray drying of hydroalcoholic solution (25% v/v ethanol/water) of acetaminophen (5% w/v) in the presence of small amounts of polyninylpyrrolidone K30 (PVP) (0, 1.25, 2.5 and 5% w/w based on acetaminophen weight) was carried out. The properties of spray dried particles namely morphology, surface characteristics, particle size, crystallinity, dissolution rate and compactibility were evaluated. Results: Spray drying process significantly changed the morphology of acetaminophen crystals from acicular (rod shape) to spherical microparticle. Differential scanning calorimetery (DSC) and x-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) studies ruled out any polymorphism in spray dried samples, however, a major reduction in crystallinity up to 65%, especially for those containing 5% w/w PVP was observed. Spray dried acetaminophen particles especially those obtained in the presence of PVP exhibited an obvious improvement of the dissolution and compaction properties. Tablets produced from spray dried samples exhibited excellent crushing strengths and no tendency to cap. Conclusions: The findings of this study revealed that spray drying of acetaminophen from hydroalcoholic solution in the presence of small amount of PVP produced partially amorphous particles with improved dissolution and excellent compaction properties. PMID:24379968

  14. A TOTAL MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS TECHNIQUE TO SELECT APPROPRIATE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY: CASE STUDY OF A FOOTWEAR FACTORY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gezahegn Tesfaye

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Government of Ethiopia is promoting the manufacturing sector to join the global market in a large scale. Due to its comparative advantages, the Ethiopian leather and leather products industry have been given due attention. To fully utilize such advantages, the country shifted its export items from hides/skins to footwear products. Nevertheless, the performance of the leather sector in general and footwear sub-sector in particular is far below the desired standards. The improvement strategies applied hitherto were mainly to tackle a small portion of their total problems. If the Ethiopian footwear companies have to become globally competitive, their entire business spectrum has to be assessed and appropriate improvement strategies must be selected. In this research, we used a Total manufacturing solutions (TMS technique to identify areas of improvement and improvement strategy of one of Ethiopian footwear companies. For this purpose, we conducted two surveys using structured questionnaire. The first survey was to test the TMS technique against the context of footwear industry. The result proved that the original TMS model can be used to measure the performance of footwear companies. The second survey was done to identify company's total problems, map its current position and select appropriate improvement strategy. The result revealed that the company has company-wide problems and its current position is a plodder. For plodders which have company-wide problems, the improvement strategy must include aggressive application of BPR; and the implementation of best practices to develop workers skills that encourages networking and promotion, a market-led manufacturing strategy, employee involvement and team work cultures. According to the findings of this research, we suggested that a BPR technique followed by a continuous improvement programme could be an appropriate improvement strategy for this company. The company requires long-term improvement

  15. Collagen tissue treated with chitosan solutions in carbonic acid for improved biological prosthetic heart valves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallyamov, Marat O., E-mail: glm@spm.phys.msu.ru [Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1–2, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova 28, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Chaschin, Ivan S. [Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova 28, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Khokhlova, Marina A. [Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1–2, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Grigorev, Timofey E. [Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova 28, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Bakuleva, Natalia P.; Lyutova, Irina G.; Kondratenko, Janna E. [Bakulev Scientific Center for Cardiovascular Surgery of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Roublyevskoe Sh. 135, Moscow 121552 (Russian Federation); Badun, Gennadii A.; Chernysheva, Maria G. [Radiochemistry Division, Faculty of Chemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1–2, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Khokhlov, Alexei R. [Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1–2, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova 28, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation)

    2014-04-01

    Calcification of bovine pericardium dramatically shortens typical lifetimes of biological prosthetic heart valves and thus precludes their choice for younger patients. The aim of the present work is to demonstrate that the calcification is to be mitigated by means of treatment of bovine pericardium in solutions of chitosan in carbonic acid, i.e. water saturated with carbon dioxide at high pressure. This acidic aqueous fluid unusually combines antimicrobial properties with absolute biocompatibility as far as at normal pressure it decomposes spontaneously and completely into H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2}. Yet, at high pressures it can protonate and dissolve chitosan materials with different degrees of acetylation (in the range of 16–33%, at least) without any further pretreatment. Even exposure of the bovine pericardium in pure carbonic acid solution without chitosan already favours certain reduction in calcification, somewhat improved mechanical properties, complete biocompatibility and evident antimicrobial activity of the treated collagen tissue. The reason may be due to high extraction ability of this peculiar compressed fluidic mixture. Moreover, exposure of the bovine pericardium in solutions of chitosan in carbonic acid introduces even better mechanical properties and highly pronounced antimicrobial activity of the modified collagen tissue against adherence and biofilm formation of relevant Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. Yet, the most important achievement is the detected dramatic reduction in calcification for such modified collagen tissues in spite of the fact that the amount of the thus introduced chitosan is rather small (typically ca. 1 wt.%), which has been reliably detected using original tritium labelling method. We believe that these improved properties are achieved due to particularly deep and uniform impregnation of the collagen matrix with chitosan from its pressurised solutions in carbonic acid. - Highlights: • Treatment of GA

  16. 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)

  17. 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. ...

  18. Numerical solution of the unsteady diffusion-convection-reaction equation based on improved spectral Galerkin method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Jiaqi; Zeng, Cheng; Yuan, Yupeng; Zhang, Yuzhe; Zhang, Ye

    2018-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to present an explicit numerical algorithm based on improved spectral Galerkin method for solving the unsteady diffusion-convection-reaction equation. The principal characteristics of this approach give the explicit eigenvalues and eigenvectors based on the time-space separation method and boundary condition analysis. With the help of Fourier series and Galerkin truncation, we can obtain the finite-dimensional ordinary differential equations which facilitate the system analysis and controller design. By comparing with the finite element method, the numerical solutions are demonstrated via two examples. It is shown that the proposed method is effective.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved integrability of the gradients of solutions of elliptic equations with variable nonlinearity exponent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhikov, Vasilii V; Pastukhova, Svetlana E

    2008-01-01

    Elliptic equations of p(x)-Laplacian type are investigated. There is a well-known logarithmic condition on the modulus of continuity of the nonlinearity exponent p(x), which ensures that a Laplacian with variable order of nonlinearity inherits many properties of the usual p-Laplacian of constant order. One of these is the so-called improved integrability of the gradient of the solution. It is proved in this paper that this property holds also under a slightly more general condition on the exponent p(x), although then the improvement of integrability is logarithmic rather than power-like. The method put forward is based on a new generalization of Gehring's lemma, which relies upon the reverse Hoelder inequality 'with increased support and exponent on the right-hand side'. A counterexample is constructed that reveals the extent to which the condition on the modulus of continuity obtained is sharp. Bibliography: 28 titles.

  1. Educational gaps and solutions for early-career nurse managers' education and participation in quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Maja; Kovner, Christine T; Brewer, Carol S; Fatehi, Farida; Jun, Jin

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study was to examine early-career frontline nurse managers' (FLNMs') reported educational preparedness and participation in quality improvement (QI). Frontline nurse managers are vitally important for leading QI. However, it is not well known if they have adequate knowledge and skills to lead this important function. We examined cross-sectional survey data from 42 FLNMs using descriptive statistics. About 30% of FLNMs reported being very prepared across 12 measured QI skills by schools or employers and 35% reported participating in a specific clinical effort to improve patient care on their unit more than once a month. More than 50% reported having good organizational support for QI, but only about 30% reported being rewarded for their contributions to QI. Our study highlights opportunities for development in QI for FLNMs and offers some solutions for nurse executives that can bridge the educational gaps.

  2. The Profile of Adolescent’ Moral Intelligence and Practical Solution to Its Improvement Efforts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasetiawan Hardi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available High moral quality is needed by adolescent to be success in their personal and educational life. Those who have high morale quality can be considered as morally intelligent Individuals. This study is aimed to collect information about adolescents’ moral intelligent by using moral intelligence Instrument that consists of seven aspects, empathy, self control, conscience, respect, kindness, tolerance dan fairness, furthermore, alternative solution is given to improve their moral intelligence. Subject of this study was selected through simple random sampling. Based on the result of the survey, it was found that students in a State Junior high school in Yogyakarta have 69% moral intelligence percentage. In other words, they have medium moral Intelligence. Adolescents’ moral quality develops through continuous process in their life. One of many methods that can be done to improve moral intelligence is guidance and counseling service, in specific, group counseling with self- management technique.

  3. MWCNTs/Cellulose Hydrogels Prepared from NaOH/Urea Aqueous Solution with Improved Mechanical Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingpu Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Novel high strength composite hydrogels were designed and synthesized by introducing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs into cellulose/NaOH/urea aqueous solution and then cross-linked by epichlorohydrin. MWCNTs were used to modify the matrix of cellulose. The structure and morphology of the hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR spectroscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM. The results from swelling testing revealed that the equilibrium swelling ratio of hydrogels decreased with the increment of MWCNTs content. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA results demonstrated that the introduction of MWCNT into cellulose hydrogel networks remarkably improved both thermal and mechanical properties of the composite hydrogels. The preparation of MWCNTs modifiedcellulose-based composites with improved mechanical properties was the first important step towards the development of advanced functional materials.

  4. An improved V-Lambda solution of the matrix Riccati equation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack Y.; Markley, F. Landis

    1988-01-01

    The authors present an improved algorithm for computing the V-Lambda solution of the matrix Riccati equation. The improvement is in the reduction of the computational load, results from the orthogonality of the eigenvector matrix that has to be solved for. The orthogonality constraint reduces the number of independent parameters which define the matrix from n-squared to n (n - 1)/2. The authors show how to specify the parameters, how to solve for them and how to form from them the needed eigenvector matrix. In the search for suitable parameters, the analogy between the present problem and the problem of attitude determination is exploited, resulting in the choice of Rodrigues parameters.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-04-01

    yet still conservative fertilizer application rates, where yield increases of 30 to 190% are possible. External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  8. Pretreatment with U(IV) solution for improving the decontamination of ruthenium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Haoxin; Qi Zhanshun; Zhu Guohui

    1993-01-01

    The ruthenium decontamination factor in Purex process falls quickly in successive TBP cycles. So, it is necessary to change the chemical states of RuNO complexes in order to improve DF Ru in the uranium purification cycle. Hydrazine nitrate is being used to transform RuNO complexes into in-extractable Ru(III)and Ru(IV). However, hydrazine nitrate may be inverted into hydrazoic acid which is dangerous and can bring an unstable factor. Pretreatment using U(IV) solution provides another method to improve the decontamination of ruthenium in Purex process. 0.02 mol/lU(IV) solution can transform RuNO complexes into inextricable species by heating in water bath. The D Ru can be decreased by a factor of 10-20. U(IV) pretreatment does not bring any harmful chemical in process. The acidity has a very large influence on the effect of pretreatment. The higher the acidity is, the worse the effect will be

  9. Informatics Solution for Energy Efficiency Improvement and Consumption Management of Householders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona-Vasilica Oprea

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Although in 2012 the European Union (EU has promoted energy efficiency in order to ensure a gradual 20% reduction of energy consumption by 2020, its targets related to energy efficiency have increased and extended to new time horizons. Therefore, in 2016, a new proposal for 2030 of energy efficiency target of 30% has been agreed. However, during the last years, even if the electricity consumption by households decreased in the EU-28, the largest expansion was recorded in Romania. Taking into account that the projected consumption peak is increasing and energy consumption management for residential activities is an important measure for energy efficiency improvement since its ratio from total consumption can be around 25–30%, in this paper, we propose an informatics solution that assists both electricity suppliers/grid operators and consumers. It includes three models for electricity consumption optimization, profiles, clustering and forecast. By this solution, the daily operation of appliances can be optimized and scheduled to minimize the consumption peak and reduce the stress on the grid. For optimization purpose, we propose three algorithms for shifting the operation of the programmable appliances from peak to off-peak hours. This approach enables the supplier to apply attractive time-of-use tariffs due to the fact that by flattening the consumption peak, it becomes more predictable, and thus improves the strategies on the electricity markets. According to the results of the optimization process, we compare the proposed algorithms emphasizing the benefits. For building consumption profiles, we develop a clustering algorithm based on self-organizing maps. By running the algorithm for three scenarios, well-delimited profiles are obtained. As for the consumption forecast, highly accurate feedforward artificial neural networks algorithm with backpropagation is implemented. Finally, we test these algorithms using several datasets showing their

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. THE USE OF SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW GENERATION IN ORDER TO IMPROVE MANAGERIAL AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AIRLINES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. N. Voropaeva

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper gives a brief description of the possibilities of using the software-solutions of new generation enterprise resource planning (SAP ERP in order to improve managerial and financial accounting of the airline. The solution allows to automate the processes of accounting and management and to optimize the management of financial flows.

  13. An improved smartcard for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA): A proof of life based solution

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mthethwa, Sthembile

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Conference on Information Science and Security, Pattaya, Thailand, 19 - 22 December 2016 An improved smartcard for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA): A proof of life based solution Mthethwa, S. Barbour, G. Thinyane, M...

  14. Expanding Continuous Quality Improvement Capacity in the Medical Intensive Care Unit: Prehealth Volunteers as a Solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Kelsey C; Lobingier, Hannah; McCully, Nancy; Lombard, Jackie; Hansen, Mark; Uchiyama, Makoto; Hagg, Daniel S

    2016-01-01

    Health care delivery systems are challenged to support the increasing demands for improving patient safety, satisfaction, and outcomes. Limited resources and staffing are common barriers for making significant and sustained improvements. At Oregon Health & Science University, the medical intensive care unit (MICU) leadership team faced internal capacity limitations for conducting continuous quality improvement, specifically for the implementation and evaluation of the mobility portion of an evidence-based care bundle. The MICU team successfully addressed this capacity challenge using the person power of prehealth volunteers. In the first year of the project, 52 trained volunteers executed an evidence-based mobility intervention for 305 critically ill patients, conducting more than 200 000 exercise repetitions. The volunteers contributed to real-time evaluation of the project, with the collection of approximately 26 950 process measure data points. Prehealth volunteers are an untapped resource for effectively expanding internal continuous quality improvement capacity in the MICU and beyond.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-12-15

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

  17. Plasma nitrocarburizing process - a solution to improve wear and corrosion resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joseph, Alphonsa J.; Ghanshyam, J.; Mukherjee, S.

    2015-01-01

    To prevent wear and corrosion problems in steam turbines, coatings have proved to have an advantage of isolating the component substrate from the corrosive environment with minimal changes in turbine material and design. Diffusion based coatings like plasma nitriding and plasma nitrocarburizing have been used for improving the wear and corrosion resistance of components undergoing wear during their operation. In this study plasma nitrocarburizing process was carried out on ferritic alloys like ASTM A182 Grade F22 and ATM A105 alloy steels and austenitic stainless steels like AISI 304 and AISI 316 which are used to make trim parts of control valves used for high pressure and high temperature steam lines to enhance their wear and corrosion resistance properties. The corrosion rate was measured by a potentiodynamic set up and salt spray unit in two different environments viz., tap water and 5% NaCl solutions. The Tafel plots of ferritic alloys and austenitic stainless steels show that plasma nitrocarburizing process show better corrosion resistance compared to that of the untreated steel. It was found that after plasma nitrocarburizing process the hardness of the alloy steels increased by a factor of two. The corrosion resistance of all the steels mentioned above improved in comparison to the untreated steels. This improvement can be attributed to the nitrogen and carbon incorporation in the surface of the material. This process can be also applied to components used in nuclear industries to cater to the wear and corrosion problems. (author)

  18. An In Vitro Study on the Effect of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate and Fluoride Solutions on Color Improvement of White Spot Lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahimeh Farzanegan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of remineralizing agents to improve the color of white spot lesions (WSL is an important aspect that should be investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 0.05% amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP, 0.5% ACP, and 0.05% fluoride solutions, as well as artificial saliva on the color improvement of white spot lesions (WSLs. In this in vitro study, 50 human premolar teeth were randomly classified into five groups. At baseline, all the samples were assessed by using a colorimeter (E0. Then, white spot lesions were induced on the surface of the teeth by means of a pH-cycling model, and the colorimeter was used again (E1. Afterwards, samples of the 1st and 2nd groups were kept in 0.05% ACP and 0.5% ACP solutions for 1 min/day, respectively. The 3rd group specimens were placed in 0.05% fluoride solution for 1 min/day. The other two groups were kept in artificial saliva and distilled in water separately. All the samples were assessed by the colorimeter for a third time (E2. We found no significant difference between the groups in ∆E1. There was also no significant difference among 0.05% ACP solution, 0.5% ACP solution, 0.05% fluoride solution, and artificial saliva considering ∆E2. However, a significant difference was noted between the above-mentioned solutions and distilled water in ∆E2. With respect to ∆E3, there were considerable differences between ACP solution and artificial saliva. The same results were obtained for the difference between fluoride solution and artificial saliva. However, no significant difference was found among 0.05% ACP, 0.5% ACP, and 0.05% fluoride solutions in terms of ∆E3. In Conclusion, ACP is as effective as fluoride in the color improvement of WSLs and the recommended treatment for this purpose is daily use of 0.05% ACP, 0.5% ACP or 0.05% fluoride solutions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. LAST MINUTE SOLUTIONS FOR IMPROVING ROMANIA’S FINAL RESULTS IN RELATION TO EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANA MARIA TALMACIU (BANU

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to upgrade the competitive position of Romania in relation to the Europe 2020 Strategy, and to offer some last-minute solutions to improve the final results. Romania's interim results revealed a very slow pace for meeting the national proposed targets. The context in which Romania joined this competitive program was not a favorable one, if we consider her state of new state in the EU and the economic crisis. In the first part of the study we analyze the main macroeconomic indicators for the period before adopting the Europe 2020 Strategy. We believe that this initial analysis is relevant to a better understanding of the initially context of the country, and for a better assessment of actual outcomes. The second part of the study updates interim results of proposed national targets in the Europe 2020 strategy. The personal contribution in this study consists in the comments on the analyzed indicators and in the proposed solutions for the next 3 years of implementation of the strategic program.

  1. Improved Solutions for the Optimal Coordination of DOCRs Using Firefly Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Sulaiman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Nature-inspired optimization techniques are useful tools in electrical engineering problems to minimize or maximize an objective function. In this paper, we use the firefly algorithm to improve the optimal solution for the problem of directional overcurrent relays (DOCRs. It is a complex and highly nonlinear constrained optimization problem. In this problem, we have two types of design variables, which are variables for plug settings (PSs and the time dial settings (TDSs for each relay in the circuit. The objective function is to minimize the total operating time of all the basic relays to avoid unnecessary delays. We have considered four models in this paper which are IEEE (3-bus, 4-bus, 6-bus, and 8-bus models. From the numerical results, it is obvious that the firefly algorithm with certain parameter settings performs better than the other state-of-the-art algorithms.

  2. Improving tolerance of sunflower and safflower during growth stages to salinity through foliar spray of nutrient solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jabeen, N.; Ahmad, R.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of salinity and foliar application of nutrient solutions on sunflower and safflower in vegetative and reproductive phases of the growth were investigated in Bio saline Research Field, University of Karachi, Pakistan. The seeds were sown in pots under non saline condition and saline water irrigation was started at three leaf stage after germination. Different concentration of saline water were made by dissolving 3g and 6g sea salt per litre of tap water, equivalent to an EC of 4.8 and 8.6 dS/m respectively. Nutrient solution (KNO/sub 3 /, H/sub 3/ BO/sub 3/, Fe-EDTA or its mixture) was sprayed thrice, i.e., 45, 75 and 95 days after planting. KNO/sub 3/ was given at the rate 250 ppm and other H/sub 3/ BO/sub 3/ and Fe-EDTA was given at the rate 5 ppm. Salinity caused a significant reduction in nutrient uptake, height, biomass and yield of both sunflower and safflower. Foliar application of macro and micro nutrients (i.e. KNO/sub 3/, H/sub 3/BO/sub 3/, Fe-EDTA and mixture of KNO/sub 3/ + H/sub 3/BO/sub 3/ + Fe-EDTA) partially minimized the salt induced deficiency and showed significant increase in height, fresh and dry biomass, number and weight of seeds, and amount of oil per sunflower and safflower plant irrespective to their growth under non saline or saline conditions. Among the nutrient solutions, mixture of KNO/sub 3/+ H/sub 3/BO/sub 3/ + Fe-EDTA seemed to be the most effective followed by H/sub 3/ BO/sub 3/ and Fe-EDTA. These results suggested that foliar application of nutrients could be used to improve plant tolerance to salinity by alleviating the adverse effects of salinity on growth and reproductive yield. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

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

  4. Stacking layered structure of polymer light emitting diodes prepared by evaporative spray deposition using ultradilute solution for improving carrier balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aoki, Youichi; Shakutsui, Masato; Fujita, Katsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) with staking layered structures are prepared by the evaporative spray deposition using ultradilute solution (ESDUS) method, which has enabled forming a polymer layer onto another polymer layer even if both polymers are soluble in a solvent used for the preparation. By this method, polymers having various HOMO and LUMO levels can be stacked as a hole transport layer, an emitting layer and an electron transport layer as commonly employed in small molecule-based organic light emitting diodes. Here we demonstrated that a PLED having a tri-layer structure using three kinds of polymers showed significant improvement in quantum efficiency compared with those having a single or bi-layer structure of corresponding polymers.

  5. Improved production and processing of 89Zr using a solution target

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandey, Mukesh K.; Bansal, Aditya; Engelbrecht, Hendrik P.; Byrne, John F.; Packard, Alan B.; DeGrado, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The objectives of the present work were to improve the cyclotron production yield of 89 Zr using a solution target, develop a practical synthesis of the hydroxamate resin used to process the target, and develop a biocompatible medium for 89 Zr elution from the hydroxamate resin. Methods: A new solution target (BMLT-2) with enhanced heat dissipation capabilities was designed by using helium-cooled dual foils (0.2 mm Al and 25 μ Havar) and an enhanced water-cooled, elongated solution cavity in the target insert. Irradiations were performed with 14 MeV protons on a 2 M solution of yttrium nitrate in 1.25 M nitric acid at 40-μA beam current for 2 h in a closed system. Zirconium-89 was separated from Y by use of a hydroxamate resin. A one-pot synthesis of hydroxamate resin was accomplished by activating the carboxylate groups on a carboxymethyl cation exchange resin using methyl chloroformate followed by reaction with hydroxylamine hydrochloride. After trapping of 89 Zr on hydroxamate resin and rinsing the resin with HCl and water to release Y, 89 Zr was eluted with 1.2 M K 2 HPO 4 /KH 2 PO 4 buffer (pH 3.5). ICP-MS was used to measure metal contaminants in the final 89 Zr solution. Results: The BMLT-2 target produced 349 ± 49 MBq (9.4 ± 1.2 mCi) of 89 Zr at the end of irradiation with a specific activity of 1.18 ± 0.79 GBq/μg. The hydroxamate resin prepared using the new synthesis method showed a trapping efficiency of 93% with a 75 mg resin bed and 96–97% with a 100–120 mg resin bed. The elution efficiency of 89 Zr with 1.2 M K 2 HPO 4 /KH 2 PO 4 solution was found to be 91.7 ± 3.7%, compared to > 95% for 1 M oxalic acid. Elution with phosphate buffer gave very small levels of metal contaminants: Al = 0.40–0.86 μg (n = 2), Fe = 1.22 ± 0.71 μg (n = 3), Y = 0.29 μg (n = 1). Conclusions: The BMLT-2 target allowed doubling of the beam current for production of 89 Zr, resulting in a greater than 2-fold increase in production yield in comparison

  6. Improved production and processing of ⁸⁹Zr using a solution target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Mukesh K; Bansal, Aditya; Engelbrecht, Hendrik P; Byrne, John F; Packard, Alan B; DeGrado, Timothy R

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of the present work were to improve the cyclotron production yield of (89)Zr using a solution target, develop a practical synthesis of the hydroxamate resin used to process the target, and develop a biocompatible medium for (89)Zr elution from the hydroxamate resin. A new solution target (BMLT-2) with enhanced heat dissipation capabilities was designed by using helium-cooled dual foils (0.2 mm Al and 25 μ Havar) and an enhanced water-cooled, elongated solution cavity in the target insert. Irradiations were performed with 14 MeV protons on a 2M solution of yttrium nitrate in 1.25 M nitric acid at 40-μA beam current for 2 h in a closed system. Zirconium-89 was separated from Y by use of a hydroxamate resin. A one-pot synthesis of hydroxamate resin was accomplished by activating the carboxylate groups on a carboxymethyl cation exchange resin using methyl chloroformate followed by reaction with hydroxylamine hydrochloride. After trapping of (89)Zr on hydroxamate resin and rinsing the resin with HCl and water to release Y, (89)Zr was eluted with 1.2 M K2HPO4/KH2PO4 buffer (pH3.5). ICP-MS was used to measure metal contaminants in the final (89)Zr solution. The BMLT-2 target produced 349±49 MBq (9.4±1.2 mCi) of (89)Zr at the end of irradiation with a specific activity of 1.18±0.79 GBq/μg. The hydroxamate resin prepared using the new synthesis method showed a trapping efficiency of 93% with a 75 mg resin bed and 96-97% with a 100-120 mg resin bed. The elution efficiency of (89)Zr with 1.2M K2HPO4/KH2PO4 solution was found to be 91.7±3.7%, compared to >95% for 1 M oxalic acid. Elution with phosphate buffer gave very small levels of metal contaminants: Al=0.40-0.86 μg (n=2), Fe=1.22±0.71 μg (n=3), Y=0.29 μg (n=1). The BMLT-2 target allowed doubling of the beam current for production of (89)Zr, resulting in a greater than 2-fold increase in production yield in comparison with a conventional liquid target. The new one-pot synthesis of hydroxamate

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Shortcomings in the Current Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Trials and Potential Solutions for Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakul Katyal

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a clinically progressive neurodegenerative syndrome predominantly affecting motor neurons and their associated tracts. Riluzole and edaravone are the only FDA certified drugs for treating ALS. Over the past two decades, almost all clinical trials aiming to develop a successful therapeutic strategy for this disease have failed. Genetic complexity, inadequate animal models, poor clinical trial design, lack of sensitive biomarkers, and diagnostic delays are some of the potential reasons limiting any significant development in ALS clinical trials. In this review, we have outlined the possible reasons for failure of ALS clinical trials, addressed the factors limiting timely diagnosis, and suggested possible solutions for future considerations for each of the shortcomings.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Identifying criteria for multimodel software process improvement solutions : based on a review of current problems and initiatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kelemen, Z.D.; Kusters, R.J.; Trienekens, J.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we analyze current initiatives in multimodel software process improvement and identify criteria for multimodel solutions. With multimodel, we mean the simultaneous usage of more than one quality approach (e.g. standards, methods, techniques to improve software processes). This paper

  15. Improved Pedagogy for Linear Differential Equations by Reconsidering How We Measure the Size of Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Christopher C.

    2017-01-01

    For over 50 years, the learning of teaching of "a priori" bounds on solutions to linear differential equations has involved a Euclidean approach to measuring the size of a solution. While the Euclidean approach to "a priori" bounds on solutions is somewhat manageable in the learning and teaching of the proofs involving…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovič, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The continuing depletion of nutrients from agricultural soils in Sub-Saharan African is accompanied by a lack of substantial progress in crop yield improvement. In this paper we investigate yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) of 10 kg ha(-1) and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg ha(-1) respectively. The yield gaps are calculated from a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Our approach allows connecting experimental field scale data with continental policy recommendations. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in mean yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased mean yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for the scenario involving higher yet still conservative fertilizer application rates. In the latter scenario realistic mean yield increases ranged between 28 to 85% in South America and 71 to 190% in Africa (mean plus one standard deviation). External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  5. 9% Cr steel high temperature oxidation. Solutions investigated for improving corrosion resistance of the steel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Evin, Harold Nicolas; Heintz, Olivier; Chevalier, Sebastien [UMR 5209 CNRS-Bourgogne Univ. (France). Lab. Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne; Foejer, Cecilia; Jakani, Saad; Dhont, Annick; Claessens, Serge [OCAS N.V. ArcelorMittal Global R and D, Gent (Belgium)

    2010-07-01

    The improvement of high temperature oxidation resistance of low chromium content steels, such as T/P91, is of great interest in regards with their application in thermal power generating plants. Indeed, they possess good creep properties, but are facing their limits of use at temperature higher than 600 C, due to accelerated corrosion phenomena. Good knowledge of the mechanisms involved during their oxidation process is needed to prevent the degradation of the materials and to extend life time of the power plants components. Oxide layers thermally grown, on 9% Cr steels (provided by OCAS N.V), during isothermal tests between 600 C and 750 C in laboratory air under atmospheric pressure were investigated, by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The oxidation behaviour appeared very limited at 750 C, due to the presence of a breakaway, which can be linked to iron porous oxide grown over the surface of the samples. ''In situ'' X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses were performed in air at 600 C after short exposures (between 5 min and 25 h). A complex mixture of iron oxide, Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} and Cr (VI) species were characterized in the scales. The in-situ analyses were compared and related to XPS analyses performed on thick oxide scales formed on samples oxidized in air at 600 C for 100h. An oxidation mechanism is then proposed to understand the oxide scale growth in the temperature range 600 - 750 C. The second step of this study consists in improving the high temperature corrosion resistance of these steels without modifying their mechanical properties. Thus several solutions were investigated such as MOCVD coatings, pack cementation coatings, and tested in cycle conditions prior. (orig.)

  6. 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

  7. Innovative solutions in traceability to improve the competitiveness of a local fruit and vegetable retailing system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miklós Pakurár

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research is to investigate the network of local fruit and vegetable products from “farm to fork”, to uncover the hidden processes in traceability and to advise innovations in the retailing system to improve the competitiveness of the sector. Traceability is an ability to track any food that will be consumed throughout the processes of production, processing and distribution. The research investigates what the customer knows about the origin and treatments of purchased products and what further information would satisfy the consumer. The study explores the flow of information amongst the chain members: producers, wholesalers, small-scale retailers, and customers. Based on interviews and questionnaires, regression analysis and ordinal regression procedure were performed. Innovative solutions to make the retailing competitive should be aligned with the precise knowledge of the consumer. The results of the research show that deficiencies in data collection, data erosion, low level of cooperation of supply chain partners, not paying more attention for more detailed information, and inadequate control are the main problems of the traceability in fruit and vegetable chains.

  8. GREEN ROOFS AND GREEN WALLS AS INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OF URBAN AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Małuszyńska

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Urban areas are exposed on those originating in various sources, emissions of pollutants that pose a threat to the health of living organisms. The type of pollutant and its toxicity to organisms and mold exposure as well as the frequency of their occurrence in the environment can have a negative impact on living organisms occurring in the area. Another element negatively affecting the environmental health is a rush of individuals and communities to prosperity, which, combined with a weak nervous resistance to stressful situations contributes to the reduction of resistance to disease becoming the scourge of society as bulimia, diabetes and cancer. The tendency to increase building occurring in urban areas and the increasing number of urban dwellers in Europe as well as increasing awareness of the population about the need to protect environmental health, points to the need to seek alternative and innovative solutions for urban greenery. Investments included in that group, the green roofs and green walls, the implementation of which will increase the biologically active surface in the cities, may be an essential element of urban infrastructure that contributes to improving the quality of life of communities living in the city.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. High-precision solution to the moving load problem using an improved spectral element method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Shu-Rui; Wu, Zhi-Jing; Lu, Nian-Li

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, the spectral element method (SEM) is improved to solve the moving load problem. In this method, a structure with uniform geometry and material properties is considered as a spectral element, which means that the element number and the degree of freedom can be reduced significantly. Based on the variational method and the Laplace transform theory, the spectral stiffness matrix and the equivalent nodal force of the beam-column element are established. The static Green function is employed to deduce the improved function. The proposed method is applied to two typical engineering practices—the one-span bridge and the horizontal jib of the tower crane. The results have revealed the following. First, the new method can yield extremely high-precision results of the dynamic deflection, the bending moment and the shear force in the moving load problem. In most cases, the relative errors are smaller than 1%. Second, by comparing with the finite element method, one can obtain the highly accurate results using the improved SEM with smaller element numbers. Moreover, the method can be widely used for statically determinate as well as statically indeterminate structures. Third, the dynamic deflection of the twin-lift jib decreases with the increase in the moving load speed, whereas the curvature of the deflection increases. Finally, the dynamic deflection, the bending moment and the shear force of the jib will all increase as the magnitude of the moving load increases.

  12. Clarification of sodium silicate solutions derived from diatomites, to improve their industrial expectations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguilar Cantillano, Eduardo

    2000-01-01

    solutions of soluble silicates synthesized have been clarified in Costa Rica from diatomite in almost 50% of their initial coloration. Clarification and removal of iron oxides have been achieved in a higher order of 50% m/m expressed as Fe 2 O 3 . Activated carbon treatment has clarified the scope of [31-57]%, but not significantly decreases the iron content. The application of NaClO to 3% m/m clarifies the scope of [28-51]%, and reduced iron by 48% m/m. The land alone has been shown that is not very effective filter to clarify, [0-14]%, but is effective for the stripping of iron by 68% m/m. Other procedures are effective in clarifying the scope of [42-51]% and reduced the amount of iron in the field of [48-66]%. The synthesis of soluble glasses is possible to clarify for conditioning with commercial purposes diverse, treatment methodologies and analytical control, simple and economical. (author) [es

  13. An Improved Process for Precipitating Cyanide Ions from the Barren Solution at Different pHs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Gabriela V.; Parga, José R.; Valenzuela, Jesus L.; Vázquez, Victor; Valenzuela, Alejandro; Rodriguez, Mario

    2016-02-01

    In recent decades, the use of metal sulfides instead of hydroxide precipitation in hydrometallurgical processes has gained prominence. Some arguments for its preferential use are as follows: a high degree of metal removal at relatively low pH values, the sparingly soluble nature of sulfide precipitates, favorable dewatering characteristics, and the stability of the formed metal sulfides. The Merrill-Crowe zinc-precipitation process has been applied worldwide in a large number of operations for the recovery of gold and silver from cyanide solutions. However, in some larger plants, the quality of this precious precipitate is low because copper, zinc and especially lead are precipitated along with gold and silver. This results in higher consumption of zinc dust and flux during the smelting of the precipitate, the formation of the matte, and a shorter crucible life. The results show that pH has a significant effect on the removal efficiency of zinc and copper cyanide ions. The optimal pH range was determined to be 3-4, and the removal efficiency of zinc and copper cyanide ions was up to 99%.

  14. Reimagining Energy in the North: Developing Solutions for Improving Renewable Energy Security in Northern Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creed, I. F.; Poelzer, G.; Noble, B.; Beatty, B.; Belcher, K.; Chung, T.; Loring, P. A.

    2017-12-01

    The global energy sector is at a crossroads. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, volatile fossil fuel prices, the emergence of sustainability markets, and advances in renewable energy technologies are setting the foundation for what could be one of the most significant societal transitions since the industrial revolution. There is a growing movement to "re-energize" Canada, through embracing pathways to facilitate a societal transition a low-carbon future. For example, circumpolar jurisdictions are poised for a transition to renewable energy. There are more than 250 remote, off-grid communities across Canada's North, of which approximately 170 are Indigenous, that rely largely on diesel-fueled generators. Diesel-fueled generation is generally reliable when properly maintained; however, supply is limited, infrastructure is at capacity or in need of major upgrading, and the volatile price of fuel can mean significant social, community and economic opportunity loss. Renewable energy projects offer one possible opportunity to address these challenges. But, given the challenges of human capacity, limited fiscal resources, and regulatory barriers, how can Northern communities participate in the global energy transition and not be left behind? To answer this question, the University of Saskatchewan, together with partners from the circumpolar North, are leading an initiative to develop a cross-sectoral and multi-national consortium of communities, utilities, industries, governments, and academics engaged in renewable energy in the North. This consortium will reimagine energy security in the North by co-creating and brokering the knowledge and understanding to design renewable energy systems that enhance social and economic value. Northern communities and utilities will learn directly from other northern communities and utilities across Canada and internationally about what can be achieved in renewable energy development and the solutions to current and future

  15. Improving local health through community health workers in Cambodia: challenges and solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozano, Kim; Simkhada, Padam; Thann, Khem; Khatri, Rose

    2018-01-06

    Volunteer community health workers (CHWs) are an important link between the public health system and the community. The 'Community Participation Policy for Health' in Cambodia identifies CHWs as key to local health promotion and as a critical link between district health centres and the community. However, research on the challenges CHWs face and identifying what is required to optimise their performance is limited in the Cambodian context. This research explores the views of CHWs in rural Cambodia, on the challenges they face when implementing health initiatives. Qualitative methodology was used to capture the experiences of CHWs in Kratie and Mondulkiri provinces. Two participatory focus groups with CHWs in Mondulkiri and ten semi-structured interviews in Kratie were conducted. Results from both studies were used to identify common themes. Participants were CHWs, male and female, from rural Khmer and Muslim communities and linked with seven different district health centres. Findings identify that CHWs regularly deliver health promotion to communities. However, systemic, personal and community engagement challenges hinder their ability to function effectively. These include minimal leadership and support from local government, irregular training which focuses on verticalised health programmes, inadequate resources, a lack of professional identity and challenges to achieving behaviour change of community members. In addition, the CHW programme is delivered in a fragmented way that is largely influenced by external aid objectives. When consulted, however, CHWs demonstrate their ability to develop realistic practical solutions to challenges and barriers. The fragmented delivery of the CHW programme in Cambodia means that government ownership is minimal. This, coupled with the lack of defined core training programme or adequate resources, prevents CHWs from reaching their potential. CHWs have positive and realistic ideas on how to improve their role and, subsequently

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Lyophilization monophase solution technique for improvement of the solubility and dissolution of piroxicam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, M; Kulkarni, P K

    2012-01-01

    Piroxicam (PX), an anti-inflammatory drug, exhibits poor water solubility, dissolution and flow properties. Thus, the aim of the present study was to improve the solubility and dissolution rate of PX by freeze drying technique using dimethylformamide (DMF), chloroform and water as co-solvent system. The prepared crystals containing PX were evaluated for DMF and chloroform solvent residual by gas chromatography and solubility and in vitro dissolution. The prepared formulations were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimeter; X-ray diffraction and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Dissolution profile of the freeze dried crystals was compared with its recrystallized and pure samples. The samples were stored in stability chamber to investigate their physical stability. Solvent residual of DMF and chloroform was found to be within the toxic level. Freeze dried crystals exhibited decreased crystallinity and the solubility and dissolution of the PX crystals were significantly improved compared to its recrystallized and pure samples. In stability test, the release profile of the freeze dried crystals was almost unchanged as compared with the freshly prepared freeze dried crystals stored at 40°C and 75% relative humidity for 90 days. Hence, this technique can be used for formulation of PX tablets by direct compression with directly compressible tablet excipients.

  19. Statistically optimal estimation of Greenland Ice Sheet mass variations from GRACE monthly solutions using an improved mascon approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ran, J.; Ditmar, P.G.; Klees, R.; Farahani, H.

    2017-01-01

    We present an improved mascon approach to transform monthly spherical harmonic solutions based on GRACE satellite data into mass anomaly estimates in Greenland. The GRACE-based spherical harmonic coefficients are used to synthesize gravity anomalies at satellite altitude, which are then inverted

  20. Improved performance of solution-processed a-InGaZnO thin-film transistors due to Ar/O{sub 2} mixed-plasma treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Kwan-Soo; Hwang, Yeong-Hyeon; Hwang, In-Chan; Cho, Won-Ju [Kwangwoon University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-08-15

    We investigated the effects of Ar and O{sub 2} treatment and of Ar/O{sub 2} mixed plasma treatment on the electrical characteristics of solution-processed amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film transistors (TFTs). The electrical performance and the instability of a-IGZO TFTs were significantly improved by the plasma treatments. The plasma treatments reduced the carbon-based residual contamination that acted as possible trap sites. In particular, the O{sub 2}-plasma treatment produced a significant improvement in the reliability of a-IGZO TFTs when compared with the Ar-plasma-treated device, owing to the elimination of residual carbon in the active channel of the solution-processed a-IGZO. However, the optimized improvement of the solution-processed a-IGZO TFT under a gate bias stress was obtained for the device treated with an Ar/O{sub 2} mixed-gas plasma. The plasma treatment in the Ar/O{sub 2}-mixed ambience remarkably enhanced not only the reliability but also the electrical performance of the a-IGZO TFT; the on/off-current ratio, the field-effect mobility, and the subthreshold slope were 6.78 x 10{sup 7}, 1.24 cm{sup 2}/V·s, and 513 mV/dec, respectively.

  1. Improved performance of solution-processed a-InGaZnO thin-film transistors due to Ar/O2 mixed-plasma treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Kwan-Soo; Hwang, Yeong-Hyeon; Hwang, In-Chan; Cho, Won-Ju

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the effects of Ar and O 2 treatment and of Ar/O 2 mixed plasma treatment on the electrical characteristics of solution-processed amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film transistors (TFTs). The electrical performance and the instability of a-IGZO TFTs were significantly improved by the plasma treatments. The plasma treatments reduced the carbon-based residual contamination that acted as possible trap sites. In particular, the O 2 -plasma treatment produced a significant improvement in the reliability of a-IGZO TFTs when compared with the Ar-plasma-treated device, owing to the elimination of residual carbon in the active channel of the solution-processed a-IGZO. However, the optimized improvement of the solution-processed a-IGZO TFT under a gate bias stress was obtained for the device treated with an Ar/O 2 mixed-gas plasma. The plasma treatment in the Ar/O 2 -mixed ambience remarkably enhanced not only the reliability but also the electrical performance of the a-IGZO TFT; the on/off-current ratio, the field-effect mobility, and the subthreshold slope were 6.78 x 10 7 , 1.24 cm 2 /V·s, and 513 mV/dec, respectively.

  2. Improvement of INVS Measurement Uncertainty for Pu and U-Pu Nitrate Solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swinhoe, Martyn Thomas [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Menlove, Howard Olsen [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Marlow, Johnna Boulds [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Makino, Risa [Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokai (Japan); Nakamura, Hironbu [Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokai (Japan)

    2017-04-27

    In the Tokai Reprocessing Plant (TRP) and the Plutonium Conversion Development Facility (PCDF), a large amount of plutonium nitrate solution which is recovered from light water reactor (LWR) and advanced thermal reactor (ATR), FUGEN are being stored. Since the solution is designated as a direct use material, the periodical inventory verification and flow verification are being conducted by Japan Safeguard Government Office (JSGO) and International Atomic Agency (IAEA).

  3. 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.

  4. Improved GaSb surfaces using a (NH4)2S/(NH4)2S04 solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murape, D.M.; Eassa, N.; Nyamhere, C.; Neethling, J.H.; Betz, R.; Coetsee, E.; Swart, H.C.; Botha, J.R.; Venter, A.

    2012-01-01

    Bulk (1 0 0) n-GaSb surfaces have been treated with a sulphur based solution ((NH 4 ) 2 S/(NH 4 ) 2 SO 4 ) to which sulphur has been added, not previously reported for the passivation of GaSb surfaces. Au/n-GaSb Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) fabricated on the treated material show significant improvement compared to that of the similar SBDs on the as-received material as evidenced by the lower ideality factor (n), higher barrier height (φ b ) and lower contact resistance obtained. Additionally, the reverse leakage current, although not saturating, has been reduced by almost an order of magnitude at −0.2 V. The sample surfaces were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The native oxide, Sb–O, present on the as-received material is effectively removed on treating with ([(NH 4 ) 2 S/(NH 4 ) 2 SO 4 ]+S) and (NH 4 ) 2 S. Analysis of the as-received surface by XPS, prior to and after argon sputtering, suggests that the native oxide layer is ≤8.5 nm.

  5. AN IMPROVEMENT OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL SOLUTIONS IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF INSPECTION SHAFTS OF SEWAGE TUNNEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GONCHARENKO D. F.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Formulation of the problem. Ensuring reliable operation of wastewater systems is one of the important tasks of community services Ukrainian cities. Sewer pipelines and collectors in Ukrainian cities have different operation life. In some cases, the operation life of wastewater working systems is more than 100 years. Significant operating costs, maintenance and inspection of sewer networks are made to keep them in reliable condition. Sewer pipes, sewers and inspection of the mine are operated at highly aggressive conditions. The concentrations of carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide and other corrosive substances greater than the maximum allowable concentration in the gas environment of collectors and inspection shafts. This leads to corrosion of concrete nutrient. The problem of preservation and revitalization of existing collectors is relevant because to environmental requirements increase. An important environmental challenge is the protection of groundwater against aggressive reagents, which can get into the groundwater through a rotten constructions of wastewater systems. Purpose. Consolidation of experience survey dredging well collector in Kharkiv, an improvement of technical solutions and recommendations of ensure their continued reliable and safe operation with development, which provide resistance to dredging well construction of biogenic corrosion. Conclusion. Technology and recommendations were designed to bring construction of dredging well to normal technical condition. The aggression of the environment has been taken into account. The decisions will ensure the normal operation of dredging well for 20 years. At work was used modern corrosion-resistant materials: concrete of sulfate-resistant cement, glass-plastic composite reinforcement.

  6. Improvement of solar cells performances by surface passivation using porous silicon chemically treated with LiBr solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haddadi, Ikbel; Dimassi, Wissem; Bousbih, Rabaa; Hajji, Massoud; Kanzari, M. Ali; Ezzaouia, Hatem [Laboratoire de Photovoltaique, Centre de Recherche et des Technologies de l' Energie, Hammam Lif (Tunisia)

    2011-03-15

    Solar cells need efficient light absorption to achieve high efficiencies. In this paper, we present a study on the immersion effect of porous silicon (PS) in a Lithium Bromide (LiBr) aqueous solution, followed by thermal annealing at 100 C for 30 min under nitrogen atmosphere on solar cells performances. The surface morphology was studied by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). All samples were analyzed by Fourier transmission infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) before and after LiBr immersion. Good electrical properties were observed after thermal annealing at 100 C for 30 min under nitrogen atmosphere. The reflection spectra of PS, before and after LiBr treatment, performed in the 300-1200 nm wavelength range, showed an important decrease of the reflectivity by this new treatment. A significant increase of the photoluminescence (PL) intensity was obtained after LiBr treatment. An enhancement of the light beam induced current (LBIC) as well as the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) were shown after LiBr treatment. I-V characteristics, under AM1.5 illumination, were improved owing to the increase of the minority carrier diffusion length (L) and an excellent enhancement of the surface recombination velocity (V{sub s}) (copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  7. Improved pedagogy for linear differential equations by reconsidering how we measure the size of solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Christopher C.

    2017-11-01

    For over 50 years, the learning of teaching of a priori bounds on solutions to linear differential equations has involved a Euclidean approach to measuring the size of a solution. While the Euclidean approach to a priori bounds on solutions is somewhat manageable in the learning and teaching of the proofs involving second-order, linear problems with constant co-efficients, we believe it is not pedagogically optimal. Moreover, the Euclidean method becomes pedagogically unwieldy in the proofs involving higher-order cases. The purpose of this work is to propose a simpler pedagogical approach to establish a priori bounds on solutions by considering a different way of measuring the size of a solution to linear problems, which we refer to as the Uber size. The Uber form enables a simplification of pedagogy from the literature and the ideas are accessible to learners who have an understanding of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and the exponential function, both usually seen in a first course in calculus. We believe that this work will be of mathematical and pedagogical interest to those who are learning and teaching in the area of differential equations or in any of the numerous disciplines where linear differential equations are used.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Improvements to the transient solution in the PANTHER space-time code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutt, P.K.; Knight, M.P.

    1993-01-01

    The three dimensional, two-group, nodal diffusion code PANTHER has been developed for the analysis of almost all thermal reactor types [pressurized water reactor (PWR), boiling water reactor, VVER, RBMK, advanced gas-cooled reactor, MAGNOX]. It can perform a comprehensive range of calculations for fuel management, operational support including on-line application, and transient analysis. Transient results for a number of light water reactor (LWR) benchmark problems have been reported previously. This paper outlines some recent developments of the transient solution in PANTHER, showing results for two LWR benchmark problems. Recently, PANTHER results have been accepted as the reference solutions for a Nuclear Energy Agency Committee on Reactor Physics (NEACRP) rod ejection benchmark Unlike previous simplified rod ejection benchmarks, it represents a real PWR with a detailed thermal model and cross sections dependent on boron, fuel temperature, and water density and temperature. This reference solution was computed with fine time steps

  11. Enhancement Solution to Improve Remediation of Soil Contaminated with Lead by Electrical Field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayad Abd Al-hamza Faisal

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A laboratory investigation of six different tests were conducted on silty clay soil spiked with lead in concentrations of 1500 mg/kg. A constant DC voltage gradient of 1 V/cm was applied for all these tests with duration of 7 days remediation process for each test. Different purging solutions and addition configurations, i.e. injection wells, were investigated experimentally to enhance the removal of lead from Iraqi soil during electro-kinetic remediation process. The experimental results showed that the overall removal efficiency of lead for tests conducted with distilled water, 0.1 M acetic acid, 0.2 M EDTA and 1 M ammonium citrate as the purging solutions were equal to 18 %, 37 %, 42 %, and 29 %, respectively. However, introducing the injection wells as another enhancement technique into the tests used the same purging solutions mentioned above which have vital role in increasing the removal efficiency up to 59 %.

  12. Improved creep strength of nickel-base superalloys by optimized γ/γ′ partitioning behavior of solid solution strengthening elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pröbstle, M.; Neumeier, S.; Feldner, P.; Rettig, R.; Helmer, H.E.; Singer, R.F.; Göken, M.

    2016-01-01

    Solid solution strengthening of the γ matrix is one key factor for improving the creep strength of single crystal nickel-base superalloys at high temperatures. Therefore a strong partitioning of solid solution hardening elements to the matrix is beneficial for high temperature creep strength. Different Rhenium-free alloys which are derived from CMSX-4 are investigated. The alloys have been characterized regarding microstructure, phase compositions as well as creep strength. It is found that increasing the Titanium (Ti) as well as the Tungsten (W) content causes a stronger partitioning of the solid solution strengtheners, in particular W, to the γ phase. As a result the creep resistance is significantly improved. Based on these ideas, a Rhenium-free alloy with an optimized chemistry regarding the partitioning behavior of W is developed and validated in the present study. It shows comparable creep strength to the Rhenium containing second generation alloy CMSX-4 in the high temperature / low stress creep regime and is less prone to the formation of deleterious topologically close packed (TCP) phases. This more effective usage of solid solution strengtheners can enhance the creep properties of nickel-base superalloys while reducing the content of strategic elements like Rhenium.

  13. Significance of bioleaching method in dissolution of iron and in the quality improvement of non-metallics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iveta Štyriaková

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Simple laboratory bioleaching experiments for the iron removal with heterotrophic bacteria on natural raw materials were conducted to explore a simple cyclic operation for a potential use at the industrial scale. Heterotrophic bacteria of Bacillus spp. growing in the presence of feldspar raw materials are able to dissolve iron. Anaerobic conditions Quickly formed by bacteria enable a simple manipulation with the sample solution. Insoluble Fe(III in the feldspars sample could be enzymatically dissolved as Fe3+ and also reduced to soluble Fe2+ by silicate bacteria of Bacillus spp. This metal was efficiently removed from the feldspars sample as documented by a Fe2O3 decrease (from 0.29 % to 0.12 % after bioleaching in the conical flask and by a Fe2O3 decrease (from 0.29 % to 0.19 % after bioleaching in the percolate column. Bioleaching of Fe was more effective in the conical flask. Iron-bearing minerals can be easily removed by magnetic separation, but ultra fine iron particles are difficult to treat by conventional mineral processing methods. Thus bioleaching is an attractive alternative for effective removal of iron minerals. The removal of iron with the whiteness increase should give a product, which is fit for industrial ceramic applications.

  14. Improved harmonic balance approach to periodic solutions of non-linear jerk equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, B.S.; Lim, C.W.; Sun, W.P.

    2006-01-01

    An analytical approximate approach for determining periodic solutions of non-linear jerk equations involving third-order time-derivative is presented. This approach incorporates salient features of both Newton's method and the method of harmonic balance. By appropriately imposing the method of harmonic balance to the linearized equation, the approach requires only one or two iterations to predict very accurate analytical approximate solutions for a large range of initial velocity amplitude. One typical example is used to verify and illustrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the proposed approach

  15. Automated monitoring: a potential solution for achieving sustainable improvement in hand hygiene practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levchenko, Alexander I; Boscart, Veronique M; Fernie, Geoff R

    2014-08-01

    Adequate hand hygiene is often considered as the most effective method of reducing the rates of hospital-acquired infections, which are one of the major causes of increased cost, morbidity, and mortality in healthcare. Electronic monitoring technologies provide a promising direction for achieving sustainable hand hygiene improvement by introducing the elements of automated feedback and creating the possibility to automatically collect individual hand hygiene performance data. The results of the multiphase testing of an automated hand hygiene reminding and monitoring system installed in a complex continuing care setting are presented. The study included a baseline Phase 1, with the system performing automated data collection only, a preintervention Phase 2 with hand hygiene status indicator enabled, two intervention Phases 3 and 4 with the system generating hand hygiene reminding signals and periodic performance feedback sessions provided, and a postintervention Phase 5 with only hand hygiene status indicator enabled and no feedback sessions provided. A significant increase in hand hygiene performance observed during the first intervention Phase 3 was sustained over the second intervention Phase 4, with the postintervention phase also indicating higher hand hygiene activity rates compared with the preintervention and baseline phases. The overall trends observed during the multiphase testing, the factors affecting acceptability of the automated hand hygiene monitoring system, and various strategies of technology deployment are discussed.

  16. Improving bioactivity of inert bioceramics by a novel Mg-incorporated solution treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehestani, Mahdi; Zemlyanov, Dmitry; Adolfsson, Erik; Stanciu, Lia A.

    2017-12-01

    Zirconia/alumina ceramics possess outstanding mechanical properties for dental and orthopedic applications, but due to their poor surface bioactivities they exhibit a weak bone-bonding ability. This work proposes an effective 30-min solution treatment which could successfully induce formation of bone-like apatite on the surface of 3Y-TZP and a ternary composite composed of yttria-stabilized zirconia, ceria-stabilized zirconia, and alumina (35 vol% 3Y-TZP + 35 vol% 12Ce-TZP + 30 vol% Al2O3) after 3 weeks immersion in simulated body fluid (SBF). XRD was used for phase identification in the ceramic materials. The influence of solution treatment on the surface chemistry and its role on apatite formation were investigated via SEM, EDS and XPS. In vitro apatite-forming ability for the solution-treated and untreated samples of the composite and individual substrates of 3Y-TZP, 12Ce-TZP, and Al2O3 was evaluated by immersion in SBF. Apatite crystals were formed only on 3Y-TZP and composite substrates, implying that it is mainly the 3Y-TZP constituent that contributes to the bioactivity of the composite. Further, it was found from the XPS analysis that the zirconia material with higher phase stability (12Ce-TZP) produced less Zrsbnd OH functional groups on its surface after solution treatment which accounts for its weaker bioactivity compared to 3Y-TZP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-16

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

  18. The Teaching of General Solution Methods to Pattern Finding Problems through Focusing on an Evaluation and Improvement Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Junichi

    1997-01-01

    Examines the effects of a teaching strategy in which fifth-grade students evaluated the strengths or weaknesses of solution methods to pattern finding problems, including an experimental and control group each consisting of 34 elementary students, in Japan. The experimental group showed a significantly better performance on the retention test…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildebrand P

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakamura Y

    2018-03-01

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

  2. The Development and Full-Scale Experimental Validation of an Optimal Water Treatment Solution in Improving Chiller Performances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-Yu Chiang

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available An optimal solution, in combining physical and chemical water treatment methods, has been developed. This method uses a high voltage capacitance based (HVCB electrodes, coupled with biocides to form a sustainable solution in improving chiller plant performances. In this study, the industrial full-scale tests, instead of laboratory tests, have been conducted on chiller plants at the size of 5000 RT to 10,000 RT cooling capacities under commercial operation for more than two years. The experimental results indicated that the condenser approach temperatures can be maintained at below 1 °C for over two years. It has been validated that the coefficient of performance (COP of a chiller can be improved by over 5% by implementing this solution. Every 1 °C reduction in condenser approach temperature can yield approximately 3% increase on chiller COP, which warrants its future application potential in the HVAC industry, where Ta can degrade by 1 °C every three to six months. The solution developed in this study could also reduce chemical dosages and conserve makeup water substantially and is more environment friendly.

  3. Improved AMOLED with aligned poly-Si thin-film transistors by laser annealing and chemical solution treatments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, G.M.; Chen, C.N.; Feng, W.S.; Lu, H.C.

    2009-01-01

    Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFT) were prepared for the active-matrix organic light-emitting displays (AMOLED). The excimer laser annealing (ELA) recrystallization technique was employed with a chemical solution treatment process to improve the TFT characteristic uniformity and the AMOLED display image quality. The characteristics of the poly-Si array thin films were influenced by XeCl ELA optic module design, TFT device channel direction, and laser irradiation overlap ratio. The ELA system module provided aligned poly-Si grain size of 0.3 μm by the homogenization lens design. The chemical solution treatment process included a dilute HF solution (DHF), ozone (O 3 ) water, and buffer oxide etching solution (BOE). The PMOS TFT showed better field effect mobility of 87.6 cm 2 /V s, and the threshold voltage was -1.35 V. The off current (I off ) was 1.25x10 -11 A, and the on/off current ratio was 6.27x10 6 . In addition, the image quality of the AMOLED display was highly improved using the 2T1C structure design without any compensation circuit.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Improving communication between doctor and patient: eHealth in the Netherlands, an established cloud solution

    OpenAIRE

    Kool, Anton

    2012-01-01

    In the Netherlands, like in many West European countries, demand for healthcare is already sharply increasing, with further acceleration expected soon. All parties involved are convinced that the resulting demand for funding of healthcare will not be met by economic growth. The resulting paradigma shift (live longer healthy, self-care and patient centred care) is a challenge not only for scientists, but for politicians and healthcare-providers as well. One of the solutions in the paradigma sh...

  9. Pre-physical treatment: an important procedure to improve spectral resolution in polymers microstructure studies using 13C solution NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pedroza, Oscar J.O.; Tavares, Maria I.B.

    2004-01-01

    Changes in physical properties of polymeric materials can be evaluated from their microstructures, which can be investigated using solution carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In this type of study spectral resolution is very important, which obviously depend on the sample and solvent. A pre physical treatment allows for an improvement in the spectral resolution. Consequently, more information on chain linking can be obtained, thus facilitating the determination of the stereo sequences. (author)

  10. Improved performance of organic solar cells with solution processed hole transport layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhargav, Ranoo; Gairola, S. P.; Patra, Asit; Naqvi, Samya; Dhawan, S. K.

    2018-06-01

    This work is based on Cobalt Oxide as solution processed, inexpensive and effective hole transport layer (HTL) for efficient organic photovoltaic applications (OPVs). In Organic solar cell (OSC) devices ITO coated glass substrate used as a transparent anode electrode for light incident, HTL material Co3O4 dissolve in DMF solvent deposited on anode electrode, after that active layer material (donor/acceptor) deposited on to HTL and finally Al were deposited by thermal evaporation used as cathode electrode. These devices were fabricated with PCDTBT well known low band gap donor material in OSCs and blended with PC71BM as an acceptor material using simplest device structure ITO/Co3O4/active layer/Al at ambient conditions. The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) based on Co3O4 and PEDOT:PSS have been achieved to up to 3.21% and 1.47% with PCDTBT respectively. In this study we reported that the devices fabricated with Co3O4 showed better performance as compare to the devices fabricated with well known and most studied solution processed HTL material PEDOT:PSS under identical environmental conditions. The surface morphology of the HTL film was characterized by (AFM). Lastly, we have provided Co3O4 as an efficient hole transport material HTL for solution processed organic photovoltaic applications.

  11. Continuous desalting of refolded protein solution improves capturing in ion exchange chromatography: A seamless process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walch, Nicole; Jungbauer, Alois

    2017-06-01

    Truly continuous biomanufacturing processes enable an uninterrupted feed stream throughout the whole production without the need for holding tanks. We have utilized microporous anion and cation exchangers into which only salts, but not proteins, can penetrate into the pores for desalting of protein solutions, while diafiltration or dilution is usually employed for feed adjustments. Anion exchange and cation exchange chromatography columns were connected in series to remove both anions and cations. To increase operation performance, a continuous process was developed comprised of four columns. Continuous mode was achieved by staggered cycle operation, where one set of columns, consisting of one anion exchange and one cation exchange column, was loaded during the regeneration of the second set. Refolding, desalting and subsequent ion exchange capturing with a scFv as the model protein was demonstrated. The refolding solution was successfully desalted resulting in a consistent conductivity below 0.5 mS/cm from initial values of 10 to 11 mS/cm. With continuous operation process time could be reduced by 39% while productivity was increased to 163% compared to batch operation. Desalting of the protein solution resulted in up to 7-fold higher binding capacities in the subsequent ion exchange capture step with conventional protein binding resins. © 2017 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Improved removal of malachite green from aqueous solution using chemically modified cellulose by anhydride.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yanmei; Min, Yinghao; Qiao, Han; Huang, Qi; Wang, Enze; Ma, Tongsen

    2015-03-01

    Cellulose modified with maleic (M) and phthalic (P) anhydride, to be named CMA and CPA, were tested as feasible adsorbents for the removal of malachite green from aqueous solution. At the same time, the uptake ability of natural cellulose was also studied for comparison. The structure of material was characterized by FT-IR and XRD. The effects of solution pH, initial dye concentration, contact time and temperature were investigated in detail by batch adsorption experiments. The kinetic and isotherm studies suggested that the adsorption followed the pseudo-second-order model and Langmuir isotherm. The maximum adsorption capacity on CMA and CPA were 370 mg g(-1) and 111 mg g(-1), respectively. Furthermore, the thermodynamics studies indicated the spontaneous nature of adsorption of malachite green on adsorbents. All the studied results showed that the modified cellulose could be used as effective adsorption material for the removal of malachite green from aqueous solutions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Improving Archives-Library Relations: User-Centered Solutions to a Sibling Rivalry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maher, William J.

    1990-01-01

    Examines the sources of tension between academic archives and academic libraries, prospects for improved relations based on common ground, and factors that might limit improved relations. Areas where cooperation might occur are discussed, including mutual fund raising efforts, documentation strategies, administrative information services, and…

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Device Strategies Directed to Improving the Efficiency of Solution-Processed Organic Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Ru-Ze

    2018-04-18

    In the last decade, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been attracting much attention for their low cost, and feasibility of mass production in large-area modules. Reported power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of organic solar cells have reached more than 10%. These promising PCEs can be realized by uncovering important principles: (1) rational molecular design, (2) matching of the material energy level, (3) favorable morphology of donor-acceptor (D/A) network, (4) higher carrier mobilities, and (5) suppression of charge recombination within the bulk heterojunction (BHJ). Though these key properties are frequently stated, the relationships between these principles remain unclear, which motivates us to fill these gaps. In the beginning, we show that changing the sequence of donor and acceptor units of the benzodithiophene-core (BDT) SM donors critically impacts molecular packing and charge transport in BHJ solar cells. Moreover, we find out that by adding small amount of the external solvent additive, the domain size of the SMFQ1 become relatively smaller, resulting in the FF enhancement of ~70% and thus pushing PCE to >6.5%. To further improve the device performance, we utilize another technique of device optimization: Solvent Vapor Annealing (SVA). Compared with solvent additive, the SVA creates a solvent-saturated environment for SMs to re-arrange and crystalize, leading to PCE of >8%, with nearly-free bimolecular recombination. When the systems are shifted from fullerene acceptors to nonfullerene acceptors, using solvent additives in indacenodithiophene-core (IDT) systems significantly reduces the domain size from >500nm to <50nm and also allows the SM donors to orderly packed, rising the PCE from <1% to 4.5%. Furthermore in a similar IDT-based system, it shows unexpectedly high VOC and low energy loss, and high PCE > 6% can be reached by employing the dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) as the SVA solvent to re-organize the morphology from excessive mixing to ordered phase

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Report: EPA Needs to Improve Management Practices to Ensure a Successful Customer Technology Solutions Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report #10-P-0194, August 23, 2010. Although EPA indicated it could avoid spending more than $115.4 million over 8.5 years by consolidating the desktop computing environment, improved management practices are needed.

  2. ENTREPRENEURSHIP, A SOLUTION TO IMPROVE YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana-Cristina, GANESCU

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The high level of unemployment among young people in EU countries reflects the difficulties young people face in finding a job. On the premise that entrepreneurship is a solution to youth unemployment in the European Union, the present study uses the entrepreneurial ecosystem assessment methodology proposed by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute. Panel data analysis reveals a negative correlation between the level of development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the level of youth unemployment. The paper is of interest because it emphasizes the idea that a high level of development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem may reduce the level of youth unemployment.

  3. Metastable beta Ti-Nb-Mo alloys with improved corrosion resistance in saline solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chelariu, R.; Bolat, G.; Izquierdo, J.; Mareci, D.; Gordin, D.M.; Gloriant, T.; Souto, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Microstructural and electrochemical characterization of metastable beta Ti-Nb-Mo alloys for biomedical implantation. • Corrosion resistance was established in 0.9 wt% NaCl saline solution at 25 °C using conventional and microelectrochemical techniques. • The materials spontaneously form passivating oxide films on their surface. • Surface films are stable for polarizations more positive than those encountered in the human body. • The addition of niobium to Ti12Mo enhances the capacitive characteristics of the passivating oxide layers. - Abstract: The present study explores the microstructural characteristics and electrochemical responses of four metastable beta Ti-Nb-Mo alloys for biomedical implantation. They were synthesized by the cold crucible levitation melting technique, and compositions were selected to keep the molybdenum equivalency close to 12 wt% Mo eq . For the sake of comparison, Ti12Mo was also investigated. Microstructural characterization reveals that all the alloys are β (body-centred cubic structure), and the surface is composed by β equiaxial grains with dimensions in the range of tens to hundreds μm. The corrosion resistance (potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) of the alloys was determined in 0.9 wt% NaCl saline solution at 25 °C. The materials spontaneously form a passivating oxide film on their surface, and they are stable for polarizations up to +1.0 V SCE . No evidence of localized breakdown of the oxide layers is found for polarizations more positive than those encountered in the human body. The passive layers show dielectric characteristics, and the wide frequency ranges displaying capacitive characteristics occur for both higher niobium contents in the alloy and longer exposures to the saline solution. The insulating characteristics of the oxide-covered surfaces were investigated by scanning electrochemical microscopy operated in the feedback mode

  4. VISIONS Vehicular communication Improvement : solution based on IMS Operational Nodes and Services

    OpenAIRE

    Lequerica Roca, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Digital services and communications in vehicular scenarios provide the essential assets to improve road transport in several ways like reducing accidents, improving traffic efficiency and optimizing the transport of goods and people. Vehicular communications typically rely on VANET (Vehicular Ad hoc Networks). In these networks vehicles communicate with each other without the need of infrastructure. VANET are mainly oriented to disseminate information to the vehicles in certain geographic are...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Improved solution for saturated-unsaturated flow to a partially penetrating well in a compressible unconfined aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, P. K.; Neuman, S. P.

    2009-12-01

    Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007] developed an analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well pumping at a constant rate from a compressible unconfined aquifer considering an unsaturated zone of infinite thickness. In their solution three-dimensional, axially symmetric unsaturated flow was described by a linearized version of Richards’ equation in which both relative hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value. Both exponential functions were characterized by a common exponent. We present an improved solution in which relative hydraulic conductivity and water content are characterized by separate parameters and the unsaturated zone has finite thickness. Our four-parameter representation of these functions is more flexible than the three-parameter version of Mathias and Butler [2006], who consider flow in the unsaturated zone to be strictly vertical and the pumping well to be fully penetrating. We investigate the effects of unsaturated zone thickness and constitutive parameters on drawdown in the unsaturated and saturated zones as functions of position and time. We then use our new solution to analyze data from synthetic and real pumping tests.

  8. Problems and solutions in the field of improving control and supervision activities in the construction sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikareva, Varvara; Mostovaya, Anna

    2018-03-01

    The improvement of control and supervision activities in high-rise construction is an important goal of the state. In the paper, the author considered the initiatives of the state in terms of improving the control activity. He shows the main approaches that will be applied by the state. The application of information and communication technologies in control activities is described in detail. It was noted that the quality of the regulation of various procedures remains a serious issue. At the same time, modern innovations in the field of control should take into account the increasing volumes of data and information about various economic processes.

  9. An Improved Clearing and Mounting Solution to Replace Chloral Hydrate in Microscopic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas S. Villani

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: This study presents Visikol™, a new proprietary formulation that can be used as an efficient replacement for chloral hydrate as a clearing agent for microscopic examination. In the United States, chloral hydrate is regulated and therefore difficult to acquire. Methods and Results: Fresh and dry samples of the following plants: ginger (Zingiber officinale, maté (Ilex paraguariensis, lime basil (Ocimum americanum, oregano (Origanum vulgare, and mouse-ear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana, were cleared using Visikol or chloral hydrate solution and compared using a light microscope. Conclusions: This new method can be used successfully to clear specimens, allowing identification of diagnostic characteristics for the identification of plant materials. Visikol is as effective as chloral hydrate in providing clarity and resolution of all tissues examined. Tissues become transparent, allowing observation of deeper layers of cells and making it effective in research, botanical and quality control, and for educational applications.

  10. A Holistic ICT Solution to Improve Matching between Supply and Demand over the Water Supply Distribution Chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Anzaldi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available While many water management tools exist, these systems are not usually interconnected and therefore cannot communicate between one another, preventing Integrated Water Resources Management to be fully achieved. This paper presents the solution proposed by WatERP project* where a novel solution enables better matching between water supply and demand from holistic perspective. Subsystems that control the production, management and consumption of water will be interconnected through both information architecture and intelligent infrastructure. The main outcome will consist of, a web-based Open Management Platform integrating near real-time knowledge on water supplies and demand, from sources to users, across geographic and organizational scales and supported by a knowledge base where information will be structured in water management ontology to ensure interoperability and maximize usability. WatERP will thus provide a major contribution to: 1 Improve coordination among actors, 2 Foster behavioural change, 3 Reduce water and energy consumption, 4 Optimize water accountability.

  11. An analytical discrete-ordinates solution for an improved one-dimensional model of three-dimensional transport in ducts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, R.D.M.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • An improved 1-D model of 3-D particle transport in ducts is studied. • The cases of isotropic and directional incidence are treated with the ADO method. • Accurate numerical results are reported for ducts of circular cross section. • A comparison with results of other authors is included. • The ADO method is found to be very efficient. - Abstract: An analytical discrete-ordinates solution is developed for the problem of particle transport in ducts, as described by a one-dimensional model constructed with two basis functions. Two types of particle incidence are considered: isotropic incidence and incidence described by the Dirac delta distribution. Accurate numerical results are tabulated for the reflection probabilities of semi-infinite ducts and the reflection and transmission probabilities of finite ducts. It is concluded that the developed solution is more efficient than commonly used numerical implementations of the discrete-ordinates method.

  12. SU-E-T-452: Identifying Inefficiencies in Radiation Oncology Workflow and Prioritizing Solutions for Process Improvement and Patient Safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennion, N; Driewer, J; Denniston, K; Zhen, W; Enke, C [University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (United States); Jacobs, K; Poole, M; McMahon, R; Wilson, K; Yager, A [Nebraska Medicine, Omaha, NE (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Successful radiation therapy requires multi-step processes susceptible to unnecessary delays that can negatively impact clinic workflow, patient satisfaction, and safety. This project applied process improvement tools to assess workflow bottlenecks and identify solutions to barriers for effective implementation. Methods: We utilized the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) methodology, limiting our scope to the treatment planning process. From May through December of 2014, times and dates of each step from simulation to treatment were recorded for 507 cases. A value-stream map created from this dataset directed our selection of outcome measures (Y metrics). Critical goals (X metrics) that would accomplish the Y metrics were identified. Barriers to actions were binned into control-impact matrices, in order to stratify them into four groups: in/out of control and high/low impact. Solutions to each barrier were then categorized into benefit-effort matries to identify those of high benefit and low effort. Results: For 507 cases, the mean time from simulation to treatment was 235 total hours. The mean process and wait time were 60 and 132 hours, respectively. The Y metric was to increase the ratio of all non-emergent plans completed the business day prior to treatment from 47% to 75%. Project X metrics included increasing the number of IMRT QAs completed at least 24 hours prior to treatment from 19% to 80% and the number of non-IMRT plans approved at least 24 hours prior to treatment from 33% to 80%. Intervals from simulation to target contour and from initial plan completion to plan approval were identified as periods that could benefit from intervention. Barriers to actions were binned into control-impact matrices and solutions by benefit-effort matrices. Conclusion: The DMAIC method can be successfully applied in radiation therapy clinics to identify inefficiencies and prioritize solutions for the highest impact.

  13. Improving communication between doctor and patient: eHealth in the Netherlands, an established cloud solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kool, Anton

    2012-01-01

    In the Netherlands, like in many West European countries, demand for healthcare is already sharply increasing, with further acceleration expected soon. All parties involved are convinced that the resulting demand for funding of healthcare will not be met by economic growth. The resulting paradigma shift (live longer healthy, self-care and patient centred care) is a challenge not only for scientists, but for politicians and healthcare-providers as well. One of the solutions in the paradigma shift is eHealth. eHealth can refer to automated data-exchange between a device and a central database, but also to healthcare practices that use webbased communication. Strengthening patient participation, motivation and self-management is the hope for better therapy outcome. Early deviations need to be recognized, adverse reactions to be understood and appropriate action to be taken. In itself not new, diaries have been around for decades, but appropriate assessment of its content is too time-consuming. Therefore, the challenge is to involve both the patient and the attending professional (-s) and give eHealth solutions a place in the context of regular care. We combined the internet cloud with advanced security-technology to provide an answer to that: Curavista health, a database driven internetplatform for patient@home and doctor@work. Patient@home replies to webquestionnaires and fill online diaries. The responses are summarized in tables, graphs or automated follow-ups and the patient has immediate insight in the progression achieved. Not only does database technology allow for immediate processing of the responses into summaries; it is also possible to highlight differences, produce alerts or (refer to) educational information. Doctor@work, using an own account, has access to the responses as well as to the summaries, resulting in early insight. Because the patient@home does not necessarily record only biometrics, but also has the opportunity to add other types of replies

  14. Improving the Corrosion Inhibitive Strength of Sodium Sulphite in Hydrogen Cyanide Solution Using Sodium Benzoate

    OpenAIRE

    Muhammed Olawale Hakeem AMUDA; Olusegun Olusoji SOREMEKUN; Olakunle Wasiu SUBAIR; Atinuke OLADOYE

    2008-01-01

    The improvement in the inhibitive strength of sodium sulphite on corrosion of mild steel in hydrogen cyanide by adding sodium benzoate in regulated volume was investigated using the fundamental weight loss measurement.500 ppm concentration inhibitive mixtures of sodium benzoate and sodium sulphite in three different volume ratios (5/15, 10/10, 15/5) were formulated and studied for corrosion rate in 200ml hydrogen cyanide fluid. Result obtained indicates that the corrosion rate of mild steel i...

  15. Improved Discrete Ordinate Solutions in the Presence of an Anisotropically Reflecting Lower Boundary: Upgrades of the DISORT Computational Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Z.; Stamnes, S.; Jin, Z.; Laszlo, I.; Tsay, S. C.; Wiscombe, W. J.; Stamnes, K.

    2015-01-01

    A successor version 3 of DISORT (DISORT3) is presented with important upgrades that improve the accuracy, efficiency, and stability of the algorithm. Compared with version 2 (DISORT2 released in 2000) these upgrades include (a) a redesigned BRDF computation that improves both speed and accuracy, (b) a revised treatment of the single scattering correction, and (c) additional efficiency and stability upgrades for beam sources. In DISORT3 the BRDF computation is improved in the following three ways: (i) the Fourier decomposition is prepared "off-line", thus avoiding the repeated internal computations done in DISORT2; (ii) a large enough number of terms in the Fourier expansion of the BRDF is employed to guarantee accurate values of the expansion coefficients (default is 200 instead of 50 in DISORT2); (iii) in the post processing step the reflection of the direct attenuated beam from the lower boundary is included resulting in a more accurate single scattering correction. These improvements in the treatment of the BRDF have led to improved accuracy and a several-fold increase in speed. In addition, the stability of beam sources has been improved by removing a singularity occurring when the cosine of the incident beam angle is too close to the reciprocal of any of the eigenvalues. The efficiency for beam sources has been further improved from reducing by a factor of 2 (compared to DISORT2) the dimension of the linear system of equations that must be solved to obtain the particular solutions, and by replacing the LINPAK routines used in DISORT2 by LAPACK 3.5 in DISORT3. These beam source stability and efficiency upgrades bring enhanced stability and an additional 5-7% improvement in speed. Numerical results are provided to demonstrate and quantify the improvements in accuracy and efficiency of DISORT3 compared to DISORT2.

  16. Coded aperture solution for improving the performance of traffic enforcement cameras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoudifar, Mina; Pourreza, Hamid Reza

    2016-10-01

    A coded aperture camera is proposed for automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. It captures images using a noncircular aperture. The aperture pattern is designed for the rapid acquisition of high-resolution images while preserving high spatial frequencies of defocused regions. It is obtained by minimizing an objective function, which computes the expected value of perceptual deblurring error. The imaging conditions and camera sensor specifications are also considered in the proposed function. The designed aperture improves the depth of field (DoF) and subsequently ALPR performance. The captured images can be directly analyzed by the ALPR software up to a specific depth, which is 13 m in our case, though it is 11 m for the circular aperture. Moreover, since the deblurring results of images captured by our aperture yield fewer artifacts than those captured by the circular aperture, images can be first deblurred and then analyzed by the ALPR software. In this way, the DoF and recognition rate can be improved at the same time. Our case study shows that the proposed camera can improve the DoF up to 17 m while it is limited to 11 m in the conventional aperture.

  17. Improvement on simultaneous determination of chromium species in aqueous solution by ion chromatography and chemiluminescence detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gammelgaard, Bente; Liao, Y.P.; Jons, O.

    1997-01-01

    A sensitive method for the simultaneous determination of chromium(III) and chromium(VI) was chromatography and chemiluminescence detection. Two Dionex ion-exchange guard columns in series, CG5 and AG7, were used to separate chromium(III) from chromium(VI). Chromium(VI) was reduced by potassium......, the stabilities of reductant and luminol solutions were studied. The linear range of the calibration curve for chromium(III) and chromium(VI) was 1-400 mu g l(-1). The detection limit was 0.12 mu g l(-1) for chromium(III) and 0.09 mu g l(-1) for chromium(VI), respectively. The precision at the 20 mu g l(-1) level...... was 1.4% for chromium(III) and 2.5% for chromium(VI), respectively. The accuracy of the chromium(III) determination was determined by analysis of the NIST standard reference material 1643c, Trace elements in water with the result 19.1 +/- 1.0 mu g Cr(III) l(-1) (certified value 19.0 +/- 0.6 mu g Cr...

  18. Phase Change Materials as a solution to improve energy efficiency in Portuguese residential buildings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, C.; Pinheiro, A.; Castro, M. F.; Bragança, L.

    2017-10-01

    The buildings sector contributes to 30% of annual greenhouse gas emissions and consumes about 40% of energy. However, this consumption can be reduced by between 30% and 80% through commercially available technologies. The consumption of energy in the dwellings is mostly associated with the heating and cooling of the interior environment. One solution to reduce these consumptions is the implementation of technologies and Phase Change Materials (PCMs) for Thermal Energy Storage (TES). So, the aim of this work is to analyse the advantages, in terms of decreasing energy consumption, associated with the application of PCMs in Portuguese residential buildings. For this, eight PCMs with different melting ranges were analysed. These materials were analysed through a dynamic simulation performed with EnergyPlus software. The results achieved, showed that the materials studied allow to reduce up to 13% of the heating needs and up to 92% of the cooling needs of a building located in the North of Portugal, at an altitude higher than 100m.

  19. An n -material thresholding method for improving integerness of solutions in topology optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watts, Seth; Engineering); Tortorelli, Daniel A.; Engineering)

    2016-01-01

    It is common in solving topology optimization problems to replace an integer-valued characteristic function design field with the material volume fraction field, a real-valued approximation of the design field that permits "fictitious" mixtures of materials during intermediate iterations in the optimization process. This is reasonable so long as one can interpolate properties for such materials and so long as the final design is integer valued. For this purpose, we present a method for smoothly thresholding the volume fractions of an arbitrary number of material phases which specify the design. This method is trivial for two-material design problems, for example, the canonical topology design problem of specifying the presence or absence of a single material within a domain, but it becomes more complex when three or more materials are used, as often occurs in material design problems. We take advantage of the similarity in properties between the volume fractions and the barycentric coordinates on a simplex to derive a thresholding, method which is applicable to an arbitrary number of materials. As we show in a sensitivity analysis, this method has smooth derivatives, allowing it to be used in gradient-based optimization algorithms. Finally, we present results, which show synergistic effects when used with Solid Isotropic Material with Penalty and Rational Approximation of Material Properties material interpolation functions, popular methods of ensuring integerness of solutions.

  20. Determining the refractive index of human hemoglobin solutions by Kramers-Kronig relations with an improved absorption model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gienger, Jonas; Groß, Hermann; Neukammer, Jörg; Bär, Markus

    2016-11-01

    The real part of the refractive index (RI) of aqueous solutions of human hemoglobin is computed from their absorption spectra in the wavelength range $250\\,{\\rm nm} - 1100\\,{\\rm nm}$ using the Kramers-Kronig (KK) relations and the corresponding uncertainty analysis is provided. The strong ultraviolet (UV) and infrared absorbance of the water outside this spectral range were taken into account in a previous study employing KK relations. We improve these results by including the concentration dependence of the water absorbance as well as by modeling the deep UV absorbance of hemoglobin's peptide backbone. The two free parameters of the model for the deep UV absorbance are fixed by a global fit.

  1. Medical messages in the media – barriers and solutions to improving medical journalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, Anna; Oxman, Andrew D; Carling, Cheryl; Herrin, Jeph

    2003-01-01

    Abstract Context  Medical issues are widely reported in the mass media. These reports influence the general public, policy makers and health‐care professionals. This information should be valid, but is often criticized for being speculative, inaccurate and misleading. An understanding of the obstacles medical reporters meet in their work can guide strategies for improving the informative value of medical journalism. Objective  To investigate constraints on improving the informative value of medical reports in the mass media and elucidate possible strategies for addressing these. Design  We reviewed the literature and organized focus groups, a survey of medical journalists in 37 countries, and semi‐structured telephone interviews. Results  We identified nine barriers to improving the informative value of medical journalism: lack of time, space and knowledge; competition for space and audience; difficulties with terminology; problems finding and using sources; problems with editors and commercialism. Lack of time, space and knowledge were the most common obstacles. The importance of different obstacles varied with the type of media and experience. Many health reporters feel that it is difficult to find independent experts willing to assist journalists, and also think that editors need more education in critical appraisal of medical news. Almost all of the respondents agreed that the informative value of their reporting is important. Nearly everyone wanted access to short, reliable and up‐to‐date background information on various topics available on the Internet. A majority (79%) was interested in participating in a trial to evaluate strategies to overcome identified constraints. Conclusion  Medical journalists agree that the validity of medical reporting in the mass media is important. A majority acknowledge many constraints. Mutual efforts of health‐care professionals and journalists employing a variety of strategies will be needed to address

  2. Z-Source-Inverter-Based Flexible Distributed Generation System Solution for Grid Power Quality Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blaabjerg, Frede; Vilathgamuwa, D. M.; Loh, Poh Chiang

    2009-01-01

    Distributed generation (DG) systems are usually connected to the grid using power electronic converters. Power delivered from such DG sources depends on factors like energy availability and load demand. The converters used in power conversion do not operate with their full capacity all the time......-stage buck-boost inverter, recently proposed Z-source inverter (ZSI) is a good candidate for future DG systems. This paper presents a controller design for a ZSI-based DG system to improve power quality of distribution systems. The proposed control method is tested with simulation results obtained using...

  3. Engineering solutions to improve environmental characteristics of coke-chemical industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavrov, K G; Cherkashina, O I; Pushkarev, G P; Pakhomov, V A; Florinskii, N V; Oleinik, K P; Likhogub, E P; Dorfman, G A; Gorelik, Ya L; Vorona, V K

    1979-06-01

    In future projects consideration will be given to reduction of air and water pollution. Escape of dust from coke-batteries and coal preparation plants will be stopped by using hermetic enclosures with aspirators. Effluent gases and vapours will be curbed by using more efficient scrubbers and flare systems. Effluent waters will be treated at two-stage flotation stations and recycled to 95% as cooling and utility water. Cooling water consumption will be reduced by the use of air coolers. Pollution monitoring will be improved.

  4. Device Strategies Directed to Improving the Efficiency of Solution-Processed Organic Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Ru-Ze

    2018-01-01

    acceptors, using solvent additives in indacenodithiophene-core (IDT) systems significantly reduces the domain size from >500nm to <50nm and also allows the SM donors to orderly packed, rising the PCE from <1% to 4.5%. Furthermore in a similar IDT

  5. Mouth Rinsing with Maltodextrin Solutions Fails to Improve Time Trial Endurance Cycling Performance in Recreational Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuğba Nilay Kulaksız

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The carbohydrate (CHO concentration of a mouth rinsing solution might influence the CHO sensing receptors in the mouth, with consequent activation of brain regions involved in reward, motivation and regulation of motor activity. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of maltodextrin mouth rinsing with different concentrations (3%, 6% and 12% after an overnight fast on a 20 km cycling time trial performance. Nine recreationally active, healthy males (age: 24 ± 2 years; V ˙ O 2 m a x : 47 ± 5 mL·kg−1·min−1 participated in this study. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study was conducted. Participants mouth-rinsed every 2.5 km for 5 s. Maltodextrin mouth rinse with concentrations of 3%, 6% or 12% did not change time to complete the time trial and power output compared to placebo (p > 0.05. Time trial completion times were 40.2 ± 4.0, 40.1 ± 3.9, 40.1 ± 4.4, and 39.3 ± 4.2 min and power output 205 ± 22, 206 ± 25, 210 ± 24, and 205 ± 23 W for placebo, 3%, 6%, and 12% maltodextrin conditions, respectively. Heart rate, lactate, glucose, and rating of perceived exertion did not differ between trials (p > 0.05. In conclusion, mouth rinsing with different maltodextrin concentrations after an overnight fast did not affect the physiological responses and performance during a 20 km cycling time trial in recreationally active males.

  6. Improving the Corrosion Inhibitive Strength of Sodium Sulphite in Hydrogen Cyanide Solution Using Sodium Benzoate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammed Olawale Hakeem AMUDA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The improvement in the inhibitive strength of sodium sulphite on corrosion of mild steel in hydrogen cyanide by adding sodium benzoate in regulated volume was investigated using the fundamental weight loss measurement.500 ppm concentration inhibitive mixtures of sodium benzoate and sodium sulphite in three different volume ratios (5/15, 10/10, 15/5 were formulated and studied for corrosion rate in 200ml hydrogen cyanide fluid. Result obtained indicates that the corrosion rate of mild steel in hydrogen cyanide in the presence of sodium benzoate/sodium sulphite inhibitive mixtures range 0.322mmpy to 1.1269mmpy across the three volumetric ratios considered. The 15ml5ml sodium benzoatesodium sulphite mixture had the best average corrosion rate of 0.5123mmpy.The corrosion rate followed reducing pattern after the first 200 hours of immersion. The average corrosion rate in the sodium benzoate / sodium sulphite mixture is less than the rate in sodium sulphite and the mixture is only effective after long time exposure.It is concluded that adding sodium benzoate to sodium sulphite in the volumetric ratio 155ml improves the inhibitive strength of sodium sulphite on the corrosion of mild steel in hydrogen cyanide environment.

  7. Owning solutions: a collaborative model to improve quality in hospital care for Aboriginal Australians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durey, Angela; Wynaden, Dianne; Thompson, Sandra C; Davidson, Patricia M; Bessarab, Dawn; Katzenellenbogen, Judith M

    2012-06-01

    Well-documented health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (hereafter referred to as Aboriginal) and non-Aboriginal Australians are underpinned by complex historical and social factors. The effects of colonisation including racism continue to impact negatively on Aboriginal health outcomes, despite being under-recognised and under-reported. Many Aboriginal people find hospitals unwelcoming and are reluctant to attend for diagnosis and treatment, particularly with few Aboriginal health professionals employed on these facilities. In this paper, scientific literature and reports on Aboriginal health-care, methodology and cross-cultural education are reviewed to inform a collaborative model of hospital-based organisational change. The paper proposes a collaborative model of care to improve health service delivery by building capacity in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal personnel by recruiting more Aboriginal health professionals, increasing knowledge and skills to establish good relationships between non-Aboriginal care providers and Aboriginal patients and their families, delivering quality care that is respectful of culture and improving Aboriginal health outcomes. A key element of model design, implementation and evaluation is critical reflection on barriers and facilitators to providing respectful and culturally safe quality care at systemic, interpersonal and patient/family-centred levels. Nurses are central to addressing the current state of inequity and are pivotal change agents within the proposed model. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Improving density functional tight binding predictions of free energy surfaces for peptide condensation reactions in solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroonblawd, Matthew; Goldman, Nir

    First principles molecular dynamics using highly accurate density functional theory (DFT) is a common tool for predicting chemistry, but the accessible time and space scales are often orders of magnitude beyond the resolution of experiments. Semi-empirical methods such as density functional tight binding (DFTB) offer up to a thousand-fold reduction in required CPU hours and can approach experimental scales. However, standard DFTB parameter sets lack good transferability and calibration for a particular system is usually necessary. Force matching the pairwise repulsive energy term in DFTB to short DFT trajectories can improve the former's accuracy for chemistry that is fast relative to DFT simulation times (Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  9. Improving Density Functional Tight Binding Predictions of Free Energy Surfaces for Slow Chemical Reactions in Solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroonblawd, Matthew; Goldman, Nir

    2017-06-01

    First principles molecular dynamics using highly accurate density functional theory (DFT) is a common tool for predicting chemistry, but the accessible time and space scales are often orders of magnitude beyond the resolution of experiments. Semi-empirical methods such as density functional tight binding (DFTB) offer up to a thousand-fold reduction in required CPU hours and can approach experimental scales. However, standard DFTB parameter sets lack good transferability and calibration for a particular system is usually necessary. Force matching the pairwise repulsive energy term in DFTB to short DFT trajectories can improve the former's accuracy for reactions that are fast relative to DFT simulation times (Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  10. Interventions to improve long-term weight loss in patients following bariatric surgery: challenges and solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McGrice M

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Melanie McGrice, Kathlene Don Paul Nutrition Plus Enterprises, Melbourne, VIC, Australia Abstract: Bariatric surgery aims to provide long-term weight loss and improvement in weight-related comorbidities. Unfortunately, some patients do not achieve predicted weight loss targets and many regain a portion of their lost weight within 2–10 years postsurgery. A review of the literature found that behavioral, dietary, psychological, physical, and medical considerations can all play a role in suboptimal long-term weight loss. Recommendations to optimize long-term weight loss include ensuring that the patient understands how the procedure works, preoperative and postoperative education sessions, tailored nutritional supplements, restraint with liquid kilojoules, pureed foods, grazing and eating out of the home, an average of 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and lifelong annual medical, psychological, and dietary assessments.Keywords: weight, bariatric, surgery

  11. Passive design solutions to improve thermal and visual indoor environment. Case Study: University of Informatics Sciences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    González Couret, Dania; Rodríguez García, Elizabeth; González Milián, Nataly; Llovet Salazar, Mónica

    2017-01-01

    The results of a research carried out in order to improve sustainability in the University of Informatics Sciences in Havana are presented in the paper. The initial qualitative evaluation of the three more energy consumer buildings allow to identify main problems and to select indoor spaces where temperature and relative humidity were measured. Intervention proposals were elaborated which positive impact was verified by automatized simulation of results and its comparison to the departing situation. The results of the empirical research corroborate the integral qualitative evaluation carries out. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to reduce indoor temperature by modifying the envelope without high investments, if advantage is taken from benefit of green shadow. (author)

  12. An improved neutral diffusion model and numerical solution of the two dimensional edge plasma fluid equations. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prinja, A.K.

    1998-09-01

    In this work, it has been shown that, for the given sets of parameters (transport coefficients), the Tangent-Predictor (TP) continuation method, which was used in the coarsest grid, works remarkably well. The problems in finding an initial guess that resides well within Newton`s method radius of convergence are alleviated by correcting the initial guess by the predictor step of the TP method. The TP method works well also in neutral gas puffing and impurity simulations. The neutral gas puffing simulation is performed by systematically increasing the fraction of puffing rate according to the TP method until it reaches a desired condition. Similarly, the impurity simulation characterized by using the fraction of impurity density as the continuation parameter, is carried out in line with the TP method. Both methods show, as expected, a better performance than the classical embedding (CE) method. The convergence criteria {epsilon} is set to be 10{sup {minus}9} based on the fact that lower value of {epsilon} does not alter the solution significantly. Correspondingly, the number of Newton`s iterations in the corrector step of the TP method decrease substantially, an extra point in terms of code speed. The success of the TP method enlarges the possibility of including other sets of parameters (operations and physics). With the availability of the converged coarsest grid solution, the next forward step to the multigrid cycle becomes possible. The multigrid method shows that the memory storage problems that plagued the application of Newton`s method on fine grids, are of no concern. An important result that needs to be noted here is the performance of the FFCD model. The FFCD model is relatively simple and is based on the overall results the model has shown to predict different divertor plasma parameters. The FFCD model treats exactly the implementation of the deep penetration of energetic neutrals emerging from the divertor plate. The resulting ionization profiles are

  13. An improved neutral diffusion model and numerical solution of the two dimensional edge plasma fluid equations. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prinja, A.K.

    1998-01-01

    In this work, it has been shown that, for the given sets of parameters (transport coefficients), the Tangent-Predictor (TP) continuation method, which was used in the coarsest grid, works remarkably well. The problems in finding an initial guess that resides well within Newton's method radius of convergence are alleviated by correcting the initial guess by the predictor step of the TP method. The TP method works well also in neutral gas puffing and impurity simulations. The neutral gas puffing simulation is performed by systematically increasing the fraction of puffing rate according to the TP method until it reaches a desired condition. Similarly, the impurity simulation characterized by using the fraction of impurity density as the continuation parameter, is carried out in line with the TP method. Both methods show, as expected, a better performance than the classical embedding (CE) method. The convergence criteria ε is set to be 10 -9 based on the fact that lower value of ε does not alter the solution significantly. Correspondingly, the number of Newton's iterations in the corrector step of the TP method decrease substantially, an extra point in terms of code speed. The success of the TP method enlarges the possibility of including other sets of parameters (operations and physics). With the availability of the converged coarsest grid solution, the next forward step to the multigrid cycle becomes possible. The multigrid method shows that the memory storage problems that plagued the application of Newton's method on fine grids, are of no concern. An important result that needs to be noted here is the performance of the FFCD model. The FFCD model is relatively simple and is based on the overall results the model has shown to predict different divertor plasma parameters. The FFCD model treats exactly the implementation of the deep penetration of energetic neutrals emerging from the divertor plate. The resulting ionization profiles are relatively smooth as a

  14. Development and Characterization of Improved NiTiPd High-Temperature Shape-Memory Alloys by Solid-Solution Strengthening and Thermomechanical Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigelow, Glen; Noebe, Ronald; Padula, Santo, II; Garg, Anita; Olson, David

    2006-01-01

    The need for compact, solid-state actuation systems for use in the aerospace, automotive, and other transportation industries is currently motivating research in high-temperature shape-memory alloys (HTSMA) with transformation temperatures greater than 100 C. One of the basic high-temperature alloys investigated to fill this need is Ni(19.5)Ti(50.5)Pd30. Initial testing has indicated that this alloy, while having acceptable work characteristics, suffers from significant permanent deformation (or ratcheting) during thermal cycling under load. In an effort to overcome this deficiency, various solid-solution alloying and thermomechanical processing schemes were investigated. Solid-solution strengthening was achieved by substituting 5at% gold or platinum for palladium in Ni(19.5)Ti(50.5)Pd30, the so-called baseline alloy, to strengthen the martensite and austenite phases against slip processes and improve thermomechanical behavior. Tensile properties, work behavior, and dimensional stability during repeated thermal cycling under load for the ternary and quaternary alloys were compared. The relative difference in yield strength between the martensite and austenite phases and the dimensional stability of the alloy were improved by the quaternary additions, while work output was only minimally impacted. The three alloys were also thermomechanically processed by cycling repeatedly through the transformation range under a constant stress. This so-called training process dramatically improved the dimensional stability in these samples and also recovered the slight decrease in work output caused by quaternary alloying. An added benefit of the solid-solution strengthening was maintenance of enhanced dimensional stability of the trained material to higher temperatures compared to the baseline alloy, providing a greater measure of over-temperature capability.

  15. A simulation to study the feasibility of improving the temporal resolution of LAGEOS geodynamic solutions by using a sequential process noise filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Brian Davis

    1995-01-01

    resolution of solutions obtained from standard sequential filtering methods and process noise sequential filtering methods shows that the accuracy is significantly improved using process noise. The results show that the positional accuracy of the orbit is improved as well. The temporal resolution of the resulting solutions are detailed, and conclusions drawn about the results. Benefits and drawbacks of using process noise filtering in this type of scenario are also identified.

  16. Improvements in the critical current densities of Nb3Sn by solid solution additions of Sn in Nb

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luhman, T.; Suenaga, M.

    1975-01-01

    The effectiveness of solid solution additions of Sn to Nb in improving the superconducting properties of diffusion processed Nb 3 Sn conductors was examined. It was found that an increase in the superconducting critical current density, Jc, as function of layer thickness (d) may be obtained for thick Nb 3 Sn layers by solid solution additions of Sn in Nb. A large increase in J/sub c/ (d) is also achieved by increasing the Sn content in the bronze matrix material. In addition to uses of this material in magnet fabrications a potential application of these improved J/sub c/(d) values may lie in the use of Nb 3 Sn in power transmission lines. Here, a high superconducting critical current density is necessary throughout the material to carry the increased current during fault conditions. The magnetic field dependence of J/sub c/ is a function of alloy content but the alloying changes studied here do not increase the high field critical current capability of Nb 3 Sn. (auth)

  17. Improved Laser Manipulation for On-chip Fabricated Microstructures Based on Solution Replacement and Its Application in Single Cell Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Yue

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present the fabrication and assembly of microstructures inside a microfluidic device based on a photocrosslinkable resin and optical tweezers. We also report a method of solution replacement inside the microfluidic channel in order to improve the manipulation performance and apply the assembled microstructures for single cell cultivation. By the illumination of patterned ultraviolet (UV through a microscope, microstructures of arbitrary shape were fabricated by the photocrosslinkable resin inside a microfluidic channel. Based on the microfluidic channel with both glass and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS surfaces, immovable and movable microstructures were fabricated and manipulated. The microstructures were fabricated at the desired places and manipulated by the optical tweezers. A rotational microstructure including a microgear and a rotation axis was assembled and rotated in demonstrating this technique. The improved laser manipulation of microstructures was achieved based on the on-chip solution replacement method. The manipulation speed of the microstructures increased when the viscosity of the solvent decreased. The movement efficiency of the fabricated microstructures inside the lower viscosity solvent was evaluated and compared with those microstructures inside the former high viscosity solvent. A novel cell cage was fabricated and the cultivation of a single yeast cell (w303 was demonstrated in the cell cage, inside the microfluidic device.

  18. Improvements Realized on the NiThrow{sup TM} Solution - 13075

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moggia, F.; Objois, L.; Damerval, F. [AREVA - Clean-Up BU - 1, route de la Noue - 91196 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Toulemonde, V. [AREVA - R and D Corporate - 1, place Jean Miller - 92084 - Paris La Defense (France); Varet, T. [AREVA - D and D BU - 1, place Jean Miller - Paris La Defense (France); Guillot, S. [AREVA Federal Services LLC - 2101 Horn Rapids Road Richland, WA 99354-5102 (United States); Richard, F. [Air Liquide - Research Center - 13, rue d' Epluches - 95310 St Ouen L' Aumone (France)

    2013-07-01

    Two years ago we presented the first results obtained with the highly pressurized liquid nitrogen technology (HPLN) in case of cutting, surface decontamination and concrete scabbling applications. These results, carried out in non active conditions, were really promising in term of efficiency and productivity and highlighted how this technology was interesting for D and D business (e.g. cut of depth up to 30 mm for concrete scabbling application; productivity of 4 cm.min{sup -1} in case of the cut of a 50 mm thick stainless steel ingot..). We also found some real issues which were not compatible with its use in a radioactive environment. Indeed, the reliability of some parts of the system was not efficient enough (e.g. lancing tool, intensifiers...) to run the HPLN technology in good conditions. More than two years, after a complete study of the whole system, and after the compilation of all the required troubleshooting, AREVA with its partner Air Liquide, decided to start a complete R and D work in order to improve this cryogenic technology. Our engineers started with the lancing tool and designed a new one lighter and more reliable than the original one. After that, they improved the reliability of the pressurization unit (skid) by changing seals and other parts. As mentioned above, the goal of this work was to implement this technology in a nuclear environment the best way. We also focused our efforts on the insulation of the high pressure hoses (with a maximal distance, between the 'skid - Heat exchanger' module and the lancing tool, of about 110 meters), and on the development of a quite efficient vacuum system comprising dust collection units (we can guarantee an efficiency of our system higher than 95%). Finally, the last step of our development was devoted to the design and the manufacturing of a dedicated carrier enabling the technology to move in all directions (X,Y and Z) and to reach all the positions (wall, ground, ceiling and for sure all

  19. Improving medication adherence of patients with chronic heart failure: challenges and solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shah D

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Deval Shah,1 Kim Simms,2 Debra J Barksdale,3 Jia-Rong Wu3 1Internal Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, 2Duke University Hospital, Durham, 3School of Nursing, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA Abstract: Heart failure is a chronic debilitating illness that affects 5.7 million Americans. The financial burden of heart failure in the US toppled $31 billion in 2012, which is one of the highest among all chronic medical conditions. Medication adherence is a major component of heart failure self-care behaviors. Therefore, medication non-adherence is associated with more emergency department visits, frequent rehospitalizations, and higher medical cost. Medication adherence rates have varied from 10% to 98% depending on the definition and measurement used to assess and analyze adherence. Many factors contribute to medication non-adherence such as lack of support, finances, absent of symptoms, cognitive decline, adverse reactions, depression, poor attention span, poor knowledge about medication, multiple medications, difficulty swallowing large pills, and inconveniences of urinary frequency with diuretics. Researchers have explored various strategies such as the use of pharmacists, nurses, telemedicine, and interdisciplinary teams to provide interventions to improve medication adherence in heart failure. Health care providers should continue to provide education, constantly reinforce the importance of taking medication as prescribed, and when feasible, utilize one of the successful evidence-based strategies to increase adherence. Keywords: pharmacy, tele-health, interdisciplinary, registered nurse, interventions

  20. Significance of deep T-wave inversions in asymptomatic athletes with normal cardiovascular examinations: practical solutions for managing the diagnostic conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M G; Sharma, S; Carré, F; Charron, P; Richard, P; O'Hanlon, R; Prasad, S K; Heidbuchel, H; Brugada, J; Salah, O; Sheppard, M; George, K P; Whyte, G; Hamilton, B; Chalabi, H

    2012-11-01

    Preparticipation screening programmes for underlying cardiac pathologies are now commonplace for many international sporting organisations. However, providing medical clearance for an asymptomatic athlete without a family history of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is especially challenging when the athlete demonstrates particularly abnormal repolarisation patterns, highly suggestive of an inherited cardiomyopathy or channelopathy. Deep T-wave inversions of ≥ 2 contiguous anterior or lateral leads (but not aVR, and III) are of major concern for sports cardiologists who advise referring team physicians, as these ECG alterations are a recognised manifestation of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Subsequently, inverted T-waves may represent the first and only sign of an inherited heart muscle disease, in the absence of any other features and before structural changes in the heart can be detected. However, to date, there remains little evidence that deep T-wave inversions are always pathognomonic of either a cardiomyopathy or an ion channel disorder in an asymptomatic athlete following long-term follow-up. This paper aims to provide a systematic review of the prevalence of T-wave inversion in athletes and examine T-wave inversion and its relationship to structural heart disease, notably HCM and ARVC with a view to identify young athletes at risk of SCD during sport. Finally, the review proposes clinical management pathways (including genetic testing) for asymptomatic athletes demonstrating significant T-wave inversion with structurally normal hearts.

  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. Nature based solution for improving mental health and well-being in urban areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vujcic, Maja; Tomicevic-Dubljevic, Jelena; Grbic, Mihailo; Lecic-Tosevski, Dusica; Vukovic, Olivera; Toskovic, Oliver

    2017-10-01

    The general disproportion of urban development and the socio-economical crisis in Serbia, followed by a number of acute and chronic stressors, as well as years of accumulated trauma, prevented the parallel physical, mental and social adaptation of society as a whole. These trends certainly affected the quality of mental health and well-being, particularly on the vulnerable urban population, increasing the absolute number of people with depression, stress and psychosomatic disorders. This study was pioneering in Serbia and was conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Forestry, the Institute of Mental Health and the Botanical Garden in Belgrade, in order to understand how spending time and performing horticulture therapy in specially designed urban green environments can improve mental health. The participants were psychiatric patients (n=30), users of the day hospital of the Institute who were randomly selected for the study, and the control group, assessed for depression, anxiety and stress before and after the intervention, using a DASS21 scale. During the intervention period the study group stayed in the Botanical garden and participated in a special programme of horticulture therapy. In order to exclude any possible "special treatment'' or ''placebo effect", the control group was included in occupational art therapy while it continued to receive conventional therapy. The test results indicated that nature based therapy had a positive influence on the mental health and well-being of the participants. Furthermore, the difference in the test results of the subscale stress before and after the intervention for the study group was F1.28 = 5.442 and pmental health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. An Improved Empirical Harmonic Model of the Celestial Intermediate Pole Offsets from a Global VLBI Solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Santiago; Heinkelmann, Robert; Ferrándiz, José M.; Karbon, Maria; Nilsson, Tobias; Schuh, Harald

    2017-10-01

    Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is the only space geodetic technique capable of measuring all the Earth orientation parameters (EOP) accurately and simultaneously. Modeling the Earth's rotational motion in space within the stringent consistency goals of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) makes VLBI observations essential for constraining the rotation theories. However, the inaccuracy of early VLBI data and the outdated products could cause non-compliance with these goals. In this paper, we perform a global VLBI analysis of sessions with different processing settings to determine a new set of empirical corrections to the precession offsets and rates, and to the amplitudes of a wide set of terms included in the IAU 2006/2000A precession-nutation theory. We discuss the results in terms of consistency, systematic errors, and physics of the Earth. We find that the largest improvements w.r.t. the values from IAU 2006/2000A precession-nutation theory are associated with the longest periods (e.g., 18.6-yr nutation). A statistical analysis of the residuals shows that the provided corrections attain an error reduction at the level of 15 μas. Additionally, including a Free Core Nutation (FCN) model into a priori Celestial Pole Offsets (CPOs) provides the lowest Weighted Root Mean Square (WRMS) of residuals. We show that the CPO estimates are quite insensitive to TRF choice, but slightly sensitive to the a priori EOP and the inclusion of different VLBI sessions. Finally, the remaining residuals reveal two apparent retrograde signals with periods of nearly 2069 and 1034 days.

  4. Improved discrete ordinate solutions in the presence of an anisotropically reflecting lower boundary: Upgrades of the DISORT computational tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Z.; Stamnes, S.; Jin, Z.; Laszlo, I.; Tsay, S.-C.; Wiscombe, W.J.; Stamnes, K.

    2015-01-01

    A successor version 3 of DISORT (DISORT3) is presented with important upgrades that improve the accuracy, efficiency, and stability of the algorithm. Compared with version 2 (DISORT2 released in 2000) these upgrades include (a) a redesigned BRDF computation that improves both speed and accuracy, (b) a revised treatment of the single scattering correction, and (c) additional efficiency and stability upgrades for beam sources. In DISORT3 the BRDF computation is improved in the following three ways: (i) the Fourier decomposition is prepared “off-line”, thus avoiding the repeated internal computations done in DISORT2; (ii) a large enough number of terms in the Fourier expansion of the BRDF is employed to guarantee accurate values of the expansion coefficients (default is 200 instead of 50 in DISORT2); (iii) in the post-processing step the reflection of the direct attenuated beam from the lower boundary is included resulting in a more accurate single scattering correction. These improvements in the treatment of the BRDF have led to improved accuracy and a several-fold increase in speed. In addition, the stability of beam sources has been improved by removing a singularity occurring when the cosine of the incident beam angle is too close to the reciprocal of any of the eigenvalues. The efficiency for beam sources has been further improved from reducing by a factor of 2 (compared to DISORT2) the dimension of the linear system of equations that must be solved to obtain the particular solutions, and by replacing the LINPAK routines used in DISORT2 by LAPACK 3.5 in DISORT3. These beam source stability and efficiency upgrades bring enhanced stability and an additional 5–7% improvement in speed. Numerical results are provided to demonstrate and quantify the improvements in accuracy and efficiency of DISORT3 compared to DISORT2. - Highlights: • We present a successor version 3 of DISORT (DISORT3) with important upgrades. • Redesigned BRDF computation improves both

  5. New solitary wave solutions of the time-fractional Cahn-Allen equation via the improved (G'/G)-expansion method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batool, Fiza; Akram, Ghazala

    2018-05-01

    An improved (G'/G)-expansion method is proposed for extracting more general solitary wave solutions of the nonlinear fractional Cahn-Allen equation. The temporal fractional derivative is taken in the sense of Jumarie's fractional derivative. The results of this article are generalized and extended version of previously reported solutions.

  6. The Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT on Reducing Couple Burnout and Improvement of the Quality of Life of Married Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B Sanai

    2015-08-01

    Conclusion: The solution-focused brief therapy is effective in reducing marital problems. This brief therapeutic method can be used in counseling centers and family education classes in order to improve marital problems of the clients.

  7. 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.

  8. Ingestion of an Oral Hyaluronan Solution Improves Skin Hydration, Wrinkle Reduction, Elasticity, and Skin Roughness: Results of a Clinical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göllner, Imke; Voss, Werner; von Hehn, Ulrike; Kammerer, Susanne

    2017-10-01

    Intake of oral supplements with the aim of a cutaneous antiaging effect are increasingly common. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a promising candidate, as it is the key factor for preserving tissue hydration. In our practice study, we evaluated the effect of an oral HA preparation diluted in a cascade-fermented organic whole food concentrate supplemented with biotin, vitamin C, copper, and zinc (Regulatpro Hyaluron) on skin moisture content, elasticity, skin roughness, and wrinkle depths. Twenty female subjects with healthy skin in the age group of 45 to 60 years took the product once daily for 40 days. Different skin parameters were objectively assessed before the first intake, after 20 and after 40 days. Intake of the HA solution led to a significant increase in skin elasticity, skin hydration, and to a significant decrease in skin roughness and wrinkle depths. The supplement was well tolerated; no side effects were noted throughout the study.

  9. Improvement of the Separation Efficiency of Ion Flotation and Adsorbing Colloid Flotation by the Synergistic Effect of Mixed Surfactant Solutions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, K.H.; Seo, E.J.; Choi, S.J. [Dept. of. Env. Eng., Kyungpook National University, Taegu (Korea)

    1999-02-01

    Experimental investigations on the removal of Cd(II) from aqueous ablution were carried out through two foam separation techniques : ion floatation and adsorbing colloid flotation with Fe(III). The optimum pH for good removal was found to be about 6.4 for the former and about 11 for the latter. The effect of flotation time. pH, surfactant(sodium lauryl sulfate), foreign ions(Na{sup +}, Ca{sup 2+}, No{sub 3}{sup -}, SO{sub 2}{sup -4} ) on the efficiency of Cd(II) removal were discussed. The presence of foreign ions inhibit the Cd(II) removal by foam flotation. It was suggested that the limitation of foam flotation on Cd(II) removal may be overcome by the surface activity of mixed surfactant solution. The application of the synergistic effect of mixed surfactant solutions to the improvement of the removal efficiency of foam flotation was experimentally verified in this work. 19 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. Statistically optimal estimation of Greenland Ice Sheet mass variations from GRACE monthly solutions using an improved mascon approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ran, J.; Ditmar, P.; Klees, R.; Farahani, H. H.

    2018-03-01

    We present an improved mascon approach to transform monthly spherical harmonic solutions based on GRACE satellite data into mass anomaly estimates in Greenland. The GRACE-based spherical harmonic coefficients are used to synthesize gravity anomalies at satellite altitude, which are then inverted into mass anomalies per mascon. The limited spectral content of the gravity anomalies is properly accounted for by applying a low-pass filter as part of the inversion procedure to make the functional model spectrally consistent with the data. The full error covariance matrices of the monthly GRACE solutions are properly propagated using the law of covariance propagation. Using numerical experiments, we demonstrate the importance of a proper data weighting and of the spectral consistency between functional model and data. The developed methodology is applied to process real GRACE level-2 data (CSR RL05). The obtained mass anomaly estimates are integrated over five drainage systems, as well as over entire Greenland. We find that the statistically optimal data weighting reduces random noise by 35-69%, depending on the drainage system. The obtained mass anomaly time-series are de-trended to eliminate the contribution of ice discharge and are compared with de-trended surface mass balance (SMB) time-series computed with the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO 2.3). We show that when using a statistically optimal data weighting in GRACE data processing, the discrepancies between GRACE-based estimates of SMB and modelled SMB are reduced by 24-47%.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. 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.

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

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improvement in interfacial characteristics of low-voltage carbon nanotube thin-film transistors with solution-processed boron nitride thin films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeon, Jun-Young; Ha, Tae-Jun, E-mail: taejunha0604@gmail.com

    2017-08-15

    Highlights: • We demonstrate the potential of solution-processed boron nitride (BN) thin films for nanoelectronics. • Improved interfacial characteristics reduced the leakage current by three orders of magnitude. • The BN encapsulation improves all the device key metrics of low-voltage SWCNT-TFTs. • Such improvements were achieved by reduced interaction of interfacial localized states. - Abstract: In this article, we demonstrate the potential of solution-processed boron nitride (BN) thin films for high performance single-walled carbon nanotube thin-film transistors (SWCNT-TFTs) with low-voltage operation. The use of BN thin films between solution-processed high-k dielectric layers improved the interfacial characteristics of metal-insulator-metal devices, thereby reducing the current density by three orders of magnitude. We also investigated the origin of improved device performance in SWCNT-TFTs by employing solution-processed BN thin films as an encapsulation layer. The BN encapsulation layer improves the electrical characteristics of SWCNT-TFTs, which includes the device key metrics of linear field-effect mobility, sub-threshold swing, and threshold voltage as well as the long-term stability against the aging effect in air. Such improvements can be achieved by reduced interaction of interfacial localized states with charge carriers. We believe that this work can open up a promising route to demonstrate the potential of solution-processed BN thin films on nanoelectronics.

  16. Are games a viable solution to crowdsourcing improvements to faulty OCR? – The Purposeful Gaming and BHL experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max J. Seidman

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The Missouri Botanical Garden and partners from Dartmouth, Harvard, the New York Botanical Garden, and Cornell recently wrapped up a project funded by IMLS called Purposeful Gaming and BHL: engaging the public in improving and enhancing access to digital texts (http://biodivlib.wikispaces.com/Purposeful+Gaming. The goals of the project were to significantly improve access to digital texts through the applicability of purposeful gaming for the completion of data enhancement tasks needed for content found within the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL. This article will share our approach in terms of game design choices and the use of algorithms for verifying the quality of inputs from players as well as challenges related to transcriptions and marketing. We will conclude by giving an answer to the question of whether games are a successful tool for analyzing and improving digital outputs from OCR and whether we recommend their uptake by libraries and other cultural heritage institutions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Implementation of Trauma-Informed Care and Brief Solution-Focused Therapy: A Quality Improvement Project Aimed at Increasing Engagement on an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aremu, Babatunde; Hill, Pamela D; McNeal, Joanne M; Petersen, Mary A; Swanberg, Debbie; Delaney, Kathleen R

    2018-03-14

    Addressing tense and escalating situations with noncoercive measures is an important element of inpatient psychiatric treatment. Although restraint rates are frequently monitored, the use of pro re nata (PRN) intramuscular (IM) injections to address agitation is also an important indicator. In 2015, at the current study site, a significant increase was noted in PRN IM medication use despite unit leadership's efforts to build a culture of trauma-informed care (TIC). The purpose of the current quality improvement project was to educate staff on methods to incorporate TIC into daily practice and the use of brief solution-focused therapy techniques in escalating situations. Measurement of attitudes toward patient aggression and engagement with patients followed two waves of staff education. Upon completion of the project, a decrease in PRN IM medications, improvement in staff attitudes toward patient aggression, and improved sense of staff competency in handling tense situations were noted. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, xx(x), xx-xx.]. Copyright 2018, SLACK Incorporated.

  19. Significant improvement of biocompatibility of polypropylene mesh for incisional hernia repair by using poly-epsilon-caprolactone nanofibers functionalized with thrombocyte-rich solution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Plencner, Martin; Prosecká, Eva; Rampichová, Michala; East, B.; Buzgo, Matej; Vysloužilová, L.; Hoch, J.; Amler, Evžen

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 2015 (2015), s. 2635-2646 E-ISSN 1178-2013 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : nanofibers * growth factors * polypropylene mesh * hernia regeneration * in vitro Subject RIV: FP - Other Medical Disciplines Impact factor: 4.320, year: 2015

  20. Improving pathology and laboratory medicine in low-income and middle-income countries: roadmap to solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayed, Shahin; Cherniak, William; Lawler, Mark; Tan, Soo Yong; El Sadr, Wafaa; Wolf, Nicholas; Silkensen, Shannon; Brand, Nathan; Looi, Lai Meng; Pai, Sanjay A; Wilson, Michael L; Milner, Danny; Flanigan, John; Fleming, Kenneth A

    2018-05-12

    Insufficient awareness of the centrality of pathology and laboratory medicine (PALM) to a functioning health-care system at policy and governmental level, with the resultant inadequate investment, has meant that efforts to enhance PALM in low-income and middle-income countries have been local, fragmented, and mostly unsustainable. Responding to the four major barriers in PALM service delivery that were identified in the first paper of this Series (workforce, infrastructure, education and training, and quality assurance), this second paper identifies potential solutions that can be applied in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Increasing and retaining a quality PALM workforce requires access to mentorship and continuing professional development, task sharing, and the development of short-term visitor programmes. Opportunities to enhance the training of pathologists and allied PALM personnel by increasing and improving education provision must be explored and implemented. PALM infrastructure must be strengthened by addressing supply chain barriers, and ensuring laboratory information systems are in place. New technologies, including telepathology and point-of-care testing, can have a substantial role in PALM service delivery, if used appropriately. We emphasise the crucial importance of maintaining PALM quality and posit that all laboratories in LMICs should participate in quality assurance and accreditation programmes. A potential role for public-private partnerships in filling PALM services gaps should also be investigated. Finally, to deliver these solutions and ensure equitable access to essential services in LMICs, we propose a PALM package focused on these countries, integrated within a nationally tiered laboratory system, as part of an overarching national laboratory strategic plan. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Improved identification of the solution space of aerosol microphysical properties derived from the inversion of profiles of lidar optical data, part 3: case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolgotin, Alexei; Müller, Detlef; Chemyakin, Eduard; Romanov, Anton; Alehnovich, Valentin

    2018-04-01

    We conclude our series of publications on the development of the gradient correlation method (GCM), which can be used for an improved stabilization of the solution space of particle microphysical parameters derived from measurements with multiwavelength Raman and high-spectral-resolution lidar (3 backscatter +2 extinction coefficients). We show results of three cases studies. The data were taken with a ground-based multiwavelength Raman lidar during the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment in the Cape Verde Islands (North Atlantic). These cases describe mixtures of dust with smoke. For our data analysis we separated the contribution of smoke to the total signal and only used these optical profiles for the test of GCM. The results show a significant stabilization of the solution space of the particle microphysical parameter retrieval on the particle radius domain from 0.03 to 10 μm, the real part of the complex refractive index domain from 1.3 to 1.8, and the imaginary part from 0 to 0.1. This new method will be included in the Tikhonov Advanced Regularization Algorithm, which is a fully automated, unsupervised algorithm that is used for the analysis of data collected with the worldwide first airborne 3 backscatter +2 extinction high-spectral-resolution lidar developed by NASA Langley Research Center.

  2. Solutions to Improve Person Transport System in the Pitesti City by Analyzing Public Transport vs. Private Transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihaela, Istrate; Alexandru, Boroiu; Viorel, Nicolae; Ionel, Vieru

    2017-10-01

    One of the major problems facing the Pitesti city is the road congestion that occurs in the central area of the city during the peak hours. With all the measures taken in recent years - the widening of road arteries, increasing the number of parking spaces, the creation of overground road passages - it is obvious that the problem can only be solved by a new philosophy regarding urban mobility: it is no longer possible to continue through solutions to increase the accessibility of the central area of the city, but it is necessary, on the contrary, to promote a policy of discouraging the penetration of vehicles in the city center, coupled with a policy of improving the connection between urban public transport and county public transport. This new approach is also proposed in the new Urban Mobility Plan of Pitesti city, under development. The most convincing argument for the necessity of this new orientation in the Pitesti city mobility plan is based on the analysis of the current situation of passenger transport on the territory of Pitesti city: the analysis of “public transport versus private transport” reveals a very low occupancy rate for cars and the fact that the road surface required for a passenger (the dynamic area) is much higher in the case of private transport than in the case of public transport. Measurements of passenger flows and vehicle flows on the 6 penetration ways in the city have been made and the calculations clearly demonstrate the benefits of an urban public transport system connected by “transshipment buses” to be made at the edge of the city, to the county public transport system. In terms of inter-county transport, it will continue to be connected to the urban public transport system by existing bus Station, within the city: South Bus Station and North Bus Station. The usefulness of the paper is that it identifies the solutions for sustainable mobility in Pitesti city and proposes concrete solutions for the development of the

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Exact solutions of (3 + 1-dimensional generalized KP equation arising in physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed Tauseef Mohyud-Din

    Full Text Available In this work, we have obtained some exact solutions to (3 + 1-dimensional generalized KP Equation. The improved tanϕ(ξ2-expansion method has been introduced to construct the exact solutions of nonlinear evolution equations. The obtained solutions include hyperbolic function solutions, trigonometric function solutions, exponential solutions, and rational solutions. Our study has added some new varieties of solutions to already available solutions. It is also worth mentioning that the computational work has been reduced significantly. Keywords: Improved tanϕ(ξ2-expansion method, Hyperbolic function solution, Trigonometric function solution, Rational solution, (3 + 1-dimensional generalized KP equation

  7. Improving chemical solution deposited YBa 2Cu 3O 7- δ film properties via high heating rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal, M. P.; Dawley, J. T.; Clem, P. G.; Overmyer, D. L.

    2003-12-01

    The superconducting and structural properties of YBa 2Cu 3O 7- δ (YBCO) films grown from chemical solution deposited (CSD) metallofluoride-based precursors improve by using high heating rates to the desired growth temperature. This is due to avoiding the nucleation of undesirable a-axis grains at lower temperatures, from 650 to 800 °C in p(O 2)=0.1%. Minimizing time spent in this range during the temperature ramp of the ex situ growth process depresses a-axis grain growth in favor of the desired c-axis orientation. Using optimized conditions, this results in high-quality YBCO films on LaAlO 3(1 0 0) with Jc(77 K) ∼ 3 MA/cm 2 for films thicknesses ranging from 60 to 140 nm. In particular, there is a dramatic decrease in a-axis grains in coated-conductors grown on CSD Nb-doped SrTiO 3(1 0 0) buffered Ni(1 0 0) tapes.

  8. Improved growth of solution-deposited thin films on polycrystalline Cu(In,Ga)Se{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Witte, Wolfram; Hariskos, Dimitrios [Zentrum fuer Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW), 70565, Stuttgart (Germany); Abou-Ras, Daniel [Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin fuer Materialien und Energie, 14109, Berlin (Germany)

    2016-04-15

    CdS and Zn(O,S) grown by chemical bath deposition (CBD) are well established buffer materials for Cu(In,Ga)Se{sub 2} (CIGS) solar cells. As recently reported, a non-contiguous coverage of CBD buffers on CIGS grains with {112} surfaces can be detected, which was explained in terms of low surface energies of the {112} facets, leading to deteriorated wetting of the chemical solution on the CIGS surface. In the present contribution, we report on the effect of air annealing of CIGS thin films prior to the CBD of CdS and Zn(O,S) layers. In contrast to the growth on the as-grown CIGS layers, these buffer lay- ers grow densely on the annealed CIGS layer, even on grains with {112} surfaces. We explain the different growth behavior by increased surface energies of CIGS grains due to the annealing step, i.e., due to oxidation of the CIGS surface. Reference solar cells were processed and completed by i-ZnO/ZnO:Al layers for CdS and by (Zn,Mg)O/ZnO:Al for Zn(O,S) buffers. For solar cells with both, CdS and Zn(O,S) buffers, air-annealed CIGS films with improved buffer coverage resulted in higher power-conversion efficiencies, as compared with the devices containing as-grown CIGS layers. (copyright 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Efficacy, safety, and improved tolerability of travoprost BAK-free ophthalmic solution compared with prior prostaglandin therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Charles Henry

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available J Charles Henry1, James H Peace2, Jeanette A Stewart3,4, William C Stewart3,41Little Rock Eye Clinic, Little Rock, AR, USA; 2Diabetic Eye Medical Clinic, Inglewood, CA, USA; 3PRN Pharmaceutical Research Network, LLC, Dallas,TX, USA; 4Carolina Eye Institute, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USAPurpose: To evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of changing to travoprost BAK-free from prior prostaglandin therapy in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.Design: Prospective, multi-center, historical control study.Methods: Patients treated with latanoprost or bimatoprost who needed alternative therapy due to tolerability issues were enrolled. Patients were surveyed using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI to evaluate OSD symptoms prior to changing to travoprost BAK-free dosed once every evening. Patients were re-evaluated 3 months later.Results: In 691 patients, travoprost BAK-free demonstrated improved mean OSDI scores compared to either latanoprost or bimatoprost (p < 0.0001. Patients having any baseline OSD symptoms (n = 235 demonstrated significant improvement after switching to travoprost BAK-free (p < 0.0001. In 70.2% of these patients, symptoms were reduced in severity by at least 1 level. After changing medications to travoprost BAK-free, mean intraocular pressure (IOP was significantly decreased (p < 0.0001. Overall, 72.4% preferred travoprost BAK-free (p < 0.0001, travoprost BAK-free vs prior therapy. Travoprost BAK-free demonstrated less conjunctival hyperemia than either prior therapy (p < 0.0001.Conclusions: Patients previously treated with a BAK-preserved prostaglandin analog who are changed to travoprost BAK-free have clinically and statistically significant improvement in their OSD symptoms, decreased hyperemia, and equal or better IOP control.Keywords: glaucoma, prostaglandin analog, travoprost, latanoprost, bimatoprost, preservative, benzalkonium chloride

  13. Tide Gauge Records Reveal Improved Processing of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Time-Variable Mass Solutions over the Coastal Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piecuch, Christopher G.; Landerer, Felix W.; Ponte, Rui M.

    2018-05-01

    Monthly ocean bottom pressure solutions from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), derived using surface spherical cap mass concentration (MC) blocks and spherical harmonics (SH) basis functions, are compared to tide gauge (TG) monthly averaged sea level data over 2003-2015 to evaluate improved gravimetric data processing methods near the coast. MC solutions can explain ≳ 42% of the monthly variance in TG time series over broad shelf regions and in semi-enclosed marginal seas. MC solutions also generally explain ˜5-32 % more TG data variance than SH estimates. Applying a coastline resolution improvement algorithm in the GRACE data processing leads to ˜ 31% more variance in TG records explained by the MC solution on average compared to not using this algorithm. Synthetic observations sampled from an ocean general circulation model exhibit similar patterns of correspondence between modeled TG and MC time series and differences between MC and SH time series in terms of their relationship with TG time series, suggesting that observational results here are generally consistent with expectations from ocean dynamics. This work demonstrates the improved quality of recent MC solutions compared to earlier SH estimates over the coastal ocean, and suggests that the MC solutions could be a useful tool for understanding contemporary coastal sea level variability and change.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. Improvement of the Quality and the Shelf Life of the High Oxygen Modified Atmosphere Packaged Veal by Superficial Spraying with Dihydroquercetin Solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Georgiev Dragoev

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The improvement of quality and the shelf life of veal by combination of 80%O2/20%CO2 modified atmosphere packaging and superficial spraying with 0.02% dihydroquercetin solutions was studied. The control samples C, air packaged only, D, air packaged sprayed by 0.02% dihydroquercetin solution, MAP, modified atmosphere packaging only, BMAP, modified atmosphere packaging sprayed by 0.02% butylated hydroxytoluene solution, and DMAP, modified atmosphere packaging sprayed by 0.02% dihydroquercetin solution, were measured. The best results were obtained in modified atmosphere packaging sprayed by 0.02% dihydroquercetin solution. Comparisons with control samples were expressed as reduction in acid value with 27.72%, peroxide value with 64.74%, 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS with 65.71%, and the pH with 6.18%. The acid and peroxide values, TBARS, and pH were decreased linearly in response when applying the combination of 80%O2/20%CO2 modified atmosphere packaging and superficial spraying with 0.02% dihydroquercetin solutions (P0.05. According to results obtained it was concluded that 80%O2/20%CO2 modified atmosphere packaged veal stored at 0±0.5°C after 0.02% dihydroquercetin solution treatment can preserve its quality and shelf life to 15 d postmortem.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin K Martin

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Improved GaSb surfaces using a (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S/(NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S0{sub 4} solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murape, D.M., E-mail: Davison.Murape@live.nmmu.ac.za [Department of Physics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031 (South Africa); Eassa, N.; Nyamhere, C.; Neethling, J.H. [Department of Physics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031 (South Africa); Betz, R. [Department of Chemistry, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031 (South Africa); Coetsee, E.; Swart, H.C. [Department of Physics, University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300 (South Africa); Botha, J.R.; Venter, A. [Department of Physics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031 (South Africa)

    2012-05-15

    Bulk (1 0 0) n-GaSb surfaces have been treated with a sulphur based solution ((NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S/(NH{sub 4}){sub 2}SO{sub 4}) to which sulphur has been added, not previously reported for the passivation of GaSb surfaces. Au/n-GaSb Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) fabricated on the treated material show significant improvement compared to that of the similar SBDs on the as-received material as evidenced by the lower ideality factor (n), higher barrier height ({phi}{sub b}) and lower contact resistance obtained. Additionally, the reverse leakage current, although not saturating, has been reduced by almost an order of magnitude at -0.2 V. The sample surfaces were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The native oxide, Sb-O, present on the as-received material is effectively removed on treating with ([(NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S/(NH{sub 4}){sub 2}SO{sub 4}]+S) and (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S. Analysis of the as-received surface by XPS, prior to and after argon sputtering, suggests that the native oxide layer is {<=}8.5 nm.

  10. Improving the mining soil quality for a vegetation cover after addition of sewage sludges: inorganic ions and low-molecular-weight organic acids in the soil solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, Aránzazu; Mingorance, Mª Dolores; Guzmán-Carrizosa, Ignacio; Fernández-Espinosa, Antonio J

    2015-03-01

    We assessed the effects of applying stabilized sewage sludge (SSL) and composted sewage sludge (CLV), at 5 and 10% to an acid mining soil. Limed soil (NCL) amended or not with SSL and CLV was incubated for 47 days. We studied the cations and organic and inorganic anions in the soil solution by means of ion chromatography. Liming led to big increases in Ca(2+) and SO4(2-) and to significant decreases in K(+), Mg(2+), NH4(+) and NO3(-). Addition of both organic amendments increased some cations (NH4(+), K(+), Mg(2+), Na(+)) and anions (Cl(-), NO3(-) only with CLV and PO4(3-) only with SSL) and provided a greater amount of low-molecular-weight organic acids (LMWOAs) (SSL more than CLV). Incubation led to decreases in all cations, particularly remarkable for Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) in SSL-10. A decrease in NH4(+) was associated with variations in NO2(-) and NO3(-) resulting from nitrification reactions. During incubation the LMWOAs content tended to decrease similarly to the cations, especially in SSL-10. Chemometric tools revealed a clear discrimination between SSL, CLV and NCL. Furthermore, treatment effects depended upon dose, mainly in SSL. Amendment nature and dose affect the quality of a mining soil and improve conditions for plant establishment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluating the effect of administrating hypertonic and isotonic saline solutions on clinical improvement, serum electrolyte concentrations and renal function of calves affected by diarrhea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Hasanpour

    2009-11-01

    This study was conducted on 40 calves under the age of one mouth with 30 calves affected by diarrhea allocated to 3 treatment groups of 10 calves each and the control group consisting of 10 calves. The control group received neither treatment nor any injections. In the first treatment group, only antibiotics were administered without any fluid therapy. In the second treatment group, apart from antibiotic therapy of diarrhea, hypertonic saline solution (7.5% was administered at a dose of 5 ml/kg as slow intravenous infusion alongside oral ORS solution whereas in the third treatment group isotonic saline solution (0.9% was given intravenously according to the formula (Body weight × %Dehydration alongside oral ORS solution. In all groups, clinical examination and blood sampling was undertaken at times 0, 1, 2, 8 and 24 hours following treatment. At time 0, the diarrhea had resulted in clinical and laboratory signs such as a fever, the dehydration, tachycardia, oligopnea, increased packed sell volume, hypernatremia, hyperchloremia, hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypercalcemia, increased serum creatinine and BUN values. Following treatment, fever subsided and the dehydration was corrected and this correction occurred faster in calves which had received hypertonic saline solution. Correction of sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphorus and calsium imbalance occurred faster in patients which were treated by hypertonic solution. Fluid therapy with saline solutions prevented the increase in serum creatinine and BUN values. In conclusion, the administration of hypertonic saline solutions leads to much faster and more reliable clinical improvement and electrolyte imbalance correction in calves affected by diarrhea.

  12. Improving the Ability of Mathematic Representation Capabilities and Students Skills in Importing Square Forms to Square Using Variation Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirawati, R.

    2018-04-01

    This research was conducted to see whether the variation of the solution is acceptable and easy to understand by students with different level of ability so that it can be seen the difference of students ability in facilitating the quadratic form in the upper, middle and lower groups. This research used experimental method with factorial design. Based on the result of final test analysis, there were differences of students ability in upper group, medium group, and lower group in putting squared form based on the use certain variation of solution.

  13. Effect of Non-Stoichiometric Solution Chemistry on Improving the Performance of Wide-Bandgap Perovskite Solar Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Kai [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Yang, Mengjin [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Kim, Donghoe [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Li, Zhen [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Reid, Obadiah G [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Yu, Yue [University of Toledo; Song, Zhaoning [University of Toledo; Zhao, Dewei [University of Toledo; Wang, Changlei [University of Toledo; Li, Liwei [ENN Energy Research Institute; ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd.; Meng, Yuan [ENN Energy Research Institute; ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd.; Guo, Ted [ENN Energy Research Institute; ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd.; Yan, Yanfa [University of Toledo

    2017-10-18

    A high-efficiency wide-bandgap (WBG) perovskite solar cell is critical for developing perovskite-related (e.g., all-perovskite, perovskite/Si, or perovskite/Cu(In,Ga)Se2) tandem devices. Here, we demonstrate the use of non-stoichiometric precursor chemistry with excess methylammonium halides (MAX; X = I, Br, or Cl) for preparing high-quality ~1.75-eV FA0.83Cs0.17Pb(I0.6Br0.4)3 perovskite solar cells. Among various methylammonium halides, using excess MABr in the non-stoichiometric precursor exhibits the strongest effect on improving perovskite crystallographic properties and device characteristics without affecting the perovskite composition. In contrast, using excess MAI significantly reduces the bandgap of perovskite due to the replacement of Br with I. Using 40% excess MABr, we demonstrate a single-junction WBG perovskite solar cell with stabilized efficiency of 16.4%. We further demonstrate a 20.3%-efficient 4-terminal tandem device by using a 14.7%-efficient semi-transparent WBG perovskite top cell and an 18.6%-efficient unfiltered (5.6%-efficient filtered) Si bottom cell.

  14. Post eLetter Solutions: Healthy Results for Improving Patient Communication Processes at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulter, Rhonda

    2009-06-01

    The primary objective of the Australia Post eLetter project 1 was to determine the feasibility of using the eLetter service with the Patient Administration System Appointment Scheduling Module to provide a fully automated mailing function that would eliminate the need for manual processing of mail delivery. Issues with timely delivery of letters throughout all outpatient sites at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) have been identified as being mainly due to limited human resources being available to perform mailing duties and the like. This new desktop service enables staff to transmit data electronically in conjunction with the appointment software for large quantity mail postings to Australia Post via a secure line. Australia Post then validates the address, appends a barcode, prints the letter, envelopes it and inserts it into the mail distribution network in the state of the recipient. This article depicts the process that has eliminated the manual processing of a letter via the traditional Microsoft application, Wordmate, a system at RHH that was always difficult to use. With the introduction of eLetter, the RHH's Specialist Clinics have significantly improved the timeliness and quality of communication with patients as well as reducing administration tasks for staff.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Hybrid vapor phase-solution phase growth techniques for improved CZT(S,Se) photovoltaic device performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Liang-Yi; Gershon, Talia S.; Haight, Richard A.; Lee, Yun Seog

    2016-12-27

    A hybrid vapor phase-solution phase CZT(S,Se) growth technique is provided. In one aspect, a method of forming a kesterite absorber material on a substrate includes the steps of: depositing a layer of a first kesterite material on the substrate using a vapor phase deposition process, wherein the first kesterite material includes Cu, Zn, Sn, and at least one of S and Se; annealing the first kesterite material to crystallize the first kesterite material; and depositing a layer of a second kesterite material on a side of the first kesterite material opposite the substrate using a solution phase deposition process, wherein the second kesterite material includes Cu, Zn, Sn, and at least one of S and Se, wherein the first kesterite material and the second kesterite material form a multi-layer stack of the absorber material on the substrate. A photovoltaic device and method of formation thereof are also provided.

  18. Improving service innovation in Aker Solutions – How clients’ knowledge, management and organisational structure can facilitate service innovation

    OpenAIRE

    Hreinsdóttir, Sign! Jóna; Dhali-Lund, Faysal Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Services have long been perceived as non-innovative or technologically backward. It is only recently that innovation in services has attracted greater interest. However, service innovation is important for organisational competitive advantage and is of ever greater importance in the economic development through creating new business opportunities and employment. In our study we look into how application of service innovation theories can benefit Aker Solutions by investigati...

  19. Solution preparation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seitz, M.G.

    1982-01-01

    Reviewed in this statement are methods of preparing solutions to be used in laboratory experiments to examine technical issues related to the safe disposal of nuclear waste from power generation. Each approach currently used to prepare solutions has advantages and any one approach may be preferred over the others in particular situations, depending upon the goals of the experimental program. These advantages are highlighted herein for three approaches to solution preparation that are currently used most in studies of nuclear waste disposal. Discussion of the disadvantages of each approach is presented to help a user select a preparation method for his particular studies. Also presented in this statement are general observations regarding solution preparation. These observations are used as examples of the types of concerns that need to be addressed regarding solution preparation. As shown by these examples, prior to experimentation or chemical analyses, laboratory techniques based on scientific knowledge of solutions can be applied to solutions, often resulting in great improvement in the usefulness of results

  20. Improved prediction of octanol-water partition coefficients from liquid-solute water solubilities and molar volumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiou, C.T.; Schmedding, D.W.; Manes, M.

    2005-01-01

    A volume-fraction-based solvent-water partition model for dilute solutes, in which the partition coefficient shows a dependence on solute molar volume (V??), is adapted to predict the octanol-water partition coefficient (K ow) from the liquid or supercooled-liquid solute water solubility (Sw), or vice versa. The established correlation is tested for a wide range of industrial compounds and pesticides (e.g., halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons, alkylbenzenes, halogenated benzenes, ethers, esters, PAHs, PCBs, organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, and amidesureas-triazines), which comprise a total of 215 test compounds spanning about 10 orders of magnitude in Sw and 8.5 orders of magnitude in Kow. Except for phenols and alcohols, which require special considerations of the Kow data, the correlation predicts the Kow within 0.1 log units for most compounds, much independent of the compound type or the magnitude in K ow. With reliable Sw and V data for compounds of interest, the correlation provides an effective means for either predicting the unavailable log Kow values or verifying the reliability of the reported log Kow data. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  1. Improvement of corrosion resistance in NaOH solution and glass forming ability of as-cast Mg-based bulk metallic glasses by microalloying

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Hao

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The influences of the addition of Ag on the glass forming ability (GFA and corrosion behavior were investigated in the Mg-Ni-based alloy system by X-ray diffraction (XRD and electrochemical polarization in 0.1 mol/L NaOH solution. Results shows that the GFA of the Mg-Ni-based BMGs can be improved dramatically by the addition of an appropriate amount of Ag; and the addition element Ag can improve the corrosion resistance of Mg-Ni-based bulk metallic glass. The large difference in atomic size and large negative mixing enthalpy in alloy system can contribute to the high GFA. The addition element Ag improves the forming speed and the stability of the passive film, which is helpful to decrease the passivation current density and to improve the corrosion resistance of Mg-Ni-based bulk metallic glass.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Improved solution for ill-posed linear systems using a constrained optimization ruled by a penalty: evaluation in nuclear medicine tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walrand, Stephan; Jamar, François; Pauwels, Stanislas

    2009-01-01

    Ill-posed linear systems occur in many different fields. A class of regularization methods, called constrained optimization, aims to determine the extremum of a penalty function whilst constraining an objective function to a likely value. We propose here a novel heuristic way to screen the local extrema satisfying the discrepancy principle. A modified version of the Landweber algorithm is used for the iteration process. After finding a local extremum, a bound is performed to the 'farthest' estimate in the data space still satisfying the discrepancy principle. Afterwards, the modified Landweber algorithm is again applied to find a new local extremum. This bound-iteration process is repeated until a satisfying solution is reached. For evaluation in nuclear medicine tomography, a novel penalty function that preserves the edge steps in the reconstructed solution was evaluated on Monte Carlo simulations and using real SPECT acquisitions as well. Surprisingly, the first bound always provided a significantly better solution in a wide range of statistics

  5. Improvement of mechanical properties of hydrogel by irradiation of polymers in aqueous solution with κ-carrageenan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makuuchi, K.; Yoshii, F.; Zhai, M.

    2000-01-01

    Predominate radiation reaction of κ-carrageenan (KC) hydrogel is the main chain scission of KC. The gel strength of KC hydrogel decreased with increasing irradiation dose. However, KC was found to enhances the radiation crosslinking of synthetic water-soluble polymer (SWSP) such as poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and poly(N-vinylpyrolidone) (PVP) in aqueous solution. The gel strength of SWSP hydrogel increased with increasing dose when KC was blended. Probably the radiation degraded KC radicals are recombined with radicals of PVP and PEO. The hydrogel thus prepared absorbs huge amounts of water due to the presence of strong hydrophilic -OSO 3 - groups in KC. (author)

  6. Improvement of mechanical properties of hydrogel by irradiation of polymers in aqueous solution with {kappa}-carrageenan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Makuuchi, K.; Yoshii, F. [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Aranilla, C.T. [Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, Diliman, Quezon (Philippines); Zhai, M. [Department of Technical Physics, Peking Univ., Beijing (China)

    2000-03-01

    Predominate radiation reaction of {kappa}-carrageenan (KC) hydrogel is the main chain scission of KC. The gel strength of KC hydrogel decreased with increasing irradiation dose. However, KC was found to enhances the radiation crosslinking of synthetic water-soluble polymer (SWSP) such as poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and poly(N-vinylpyrolidone) (PVP) in aqueous solution. The gel strength of SWSP hydrogel increased with increasing dose when KC was blended. Probably the radiation degraded KC radicals are recombined with radicals of PVP and PEO. The hydrogel thus prepared absorbs huge amounts of water due to the presence of strong hydrophilic -OSO{sub 3}{sup -} groups in KC. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-12-15

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

  9. An improved synthesis of 1,3,5-triaryl-2-pyrazolines in acetic acid aqueous solution under ultrasound irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Zhi-Ping

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pyrazoline derivatives have been found to possess a broad spectrum of biological activities. Among various pyrazoline derivatives, 2-pyrazolines seem to be the most frequently studied. A variety of methods have been reported for the preparation of this class of compound. However, in spite of their potential utility, some of the reported methods suffer from drawbacks such as long reaction times, cumbersome product isolation procedures and environmental concerns. Organic reactions in aqueous media have attracted increasing interest recently because of environmental issues and the understanding of biochemical processes. Ultrasound has increasingly been used in organic synthesis in the last three decades. A large number of organic reactions can be carried out in higher yields, shorter reaction time or milder conditions under ultrasound irradiation. Results Preparation of a series of 1,3,5-triaryl-2-pyrazolines through the reaction of chalcones and phenylhydrazine hydrochloride was carried out in 83–96% yield within 1.5–2 h in sodium acetate-acetic acid aqueous solution under ultrasound irradiation. Conclusion We have described a practical and convenient procedure for the synthesis of 1,3,5-triaryl-2-pyrazolines in sodium acetate-acetic acid aqueous solution at room temperature under ultrasound irradiation.

  10. Simultaneous surface coating and chemical activation of the Li-rich solid solution lithium rechargeable cathode and its improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yingqiang; Ming, Jun; Zhuo, Linhai; Yu, Yancun; Zhao, Fengyu

    2013-01-01

    In this study, highly dispersive spherical Li-rich solid solution (Li 1.2 Mn 0.54 Ni 0.13 Co 0.13 O 2 ) particles are successfully synthesized by a co-precipitation method. Then these particles are treated with aluminum nitrates ethanol solution at 80 °C. The treatment can extract lithium (Li 2 O) from the Li 2 MnO 3 component in the composite of Li 1.2 Mn 0.54 Ni 0.13 Co 0.13 O 2 . Simultaneously, a thin layer of Al 2 O 3 can be precipitated on the surface of the electrode particles via direct thermal decomposition of aluminum nitrates. After treatment, the first-cycle coulombic efficiency of the electrode increases from 72.1% to 93.6%, meanwhile it shows a superior cycling stability at 100 mA g −1 with a discharge capacity of around 220 mAh g −1 and retention of 92.5% after 100 cycles, which is much higher than that of the pristine electrode (83.2%). Even at a high current density of 2 A g −1 (10 C), the discharge capacity could still achieve and well maintain as high as 140 mAh g −1

  11. Assessment of the further improved (G'/G)-expansion method and the extended tanh-method in probing exact solutions of nonlinear PDEs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbar, M Ali; Ali, Norhashidah Hj Mohd; Mohyud-Din, Syed Tauseef

    2013-01-01

    The (G'/G)-expansion method is one of the most direct and effective method for obtaining exact solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). In the present article, we construct the exact traveling wave solutions of nonlinear evolution equations in mathematical physics via the (2 + 1)-dimensional breaking soliton equation by using two methods: namely, a further improved (G'/G)-expansion method, where G(ξ) satisfies the auxiliary ordinary differential equation (ODE) [G'(ξ)](2) = p G (2)(ξ) + q G (4)(ξ) + r G (6)(ξ); p, q and r are constants and the well known extended tanh-function method. We demonstrate, nevertheless some of the exact solutions bring out by these two methods are analogous, but they are not one and the same. It is worth mentioning that the first method has not been exercised anybody previously which gives further exact solutions than the second one. PACS numbers 02.30.Jr, 05.45.Yv, 02.30.Ik.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Studies on the radiation chemistry of biomolecules in aqueous solution with specific objective of minimizing their radiolytic degradation. Coordinated programme for Asia and the Pacific Region on radiation sterilization practices significant to local medical supplies and conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narayana Rao, K.

    1979-01-01

    As part of a study of radiolytic degradation of pharmaceuticals during radiosterilization, the basic radiation chemistry of the B-group vitamins, nicotinamide, pyridoxin, riboflavin and thiamine, and the reaction of hydrogen peroxide with these same materials has been investigated. The various aspects studied were - radiolysis under controlled conditions, effects of phase, temperature, pH and nature and concentration of additives. Some of the conclusions are: 1) with oxygen saturated aqueous solutions containing glucose, the radiolytic degradation of the vitamins is reduced: 2) results a similar for N 2 O saturated aqueous solutions; 3) in glucose-containing solutions, the protective effect is considerably modified at higher temperatures; and 4) irradiation of air-saturated aqueous solutions in the frozen state leads to reduced decomposition. It is concluded that in the presence of oxygen, in frozen matrices at low temperature, it appears possible to reduce the radiolytic breakdown of vitamins to low levels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-02-01

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

  17. Recent developments in MrBUMP: better search-model preparation, graphical interaction with search models, and solution improvement and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keegan, Ronan M; McNicholas, Stuart J; Thomas, Jens M H; Simpkin, Adam J; Simkovic, Felix; Uski, Ville; Ballard, Charles C; Winn, Martyn D; Wilson, Keith S; Rigden, Daniel J

    2018-03-01

    Increasing sophistication in molecular-replacement (MR) software and the rapid expansion of the PDB in recent years have allowed the technique to become the dominant method for determining the phases of a target structure in macromolecular X-ray crystallography. In addition, improvements in bioinformatic techniques for finding suitable homologous structures for use as MR search models, combined with developments in refinement and model-building techniques, have pushed the applicability of MR to lower sequence identities and made weak MR solutions more amenable to refinement and improvement. MrBUMP is a CCP4 pipeline which automates all stages of the MR procedure. Its scope covers everything from the sourcing and preparation of suitable search models right through to rebuilding of the positioned search model. Recent improvements to the pipeline include the adoption of more sensitive bioinformatic tools for sourcing search models, enhanced model-preparation techniques including better ensembling of homologues, and the use of phase improvement and model building on the resulting solution. The pipeline has also been deployed as an online service through CCP4 online, which allows its users to exploit large bioinformatic databases and coarse-grained parallelism to speed up the determination of a possible solution. Finally, the molecular-graphics application CCP4mg has been combined with MrBUMP to provide an interactive visual aid to the user during the process of selecting and manipulating search models for use in MR. Here, these developments in MrBUMP are described with a case study to explore how some of the enhancements to the pipeline and to CCP4mg can help to solve a difficult case.

  18. Improved hydrogen generation from alkaline NaBH{sub 4} solution using cobalt catalysts supported on modified activated carbon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Dongyan; Guo, Qingjie; Yue, Xuehai [College of Chemical Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042 (China); Dai, Ping [College of Electromechanical Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061 (China)

    2008-12-15

    Hydrogen production from alkaline sodium borohydride (NaBH{sub 4}) solution via hydrolysis process over activated carbon supported cobalt catalysts is studied. Activated carbons are used in their original form and after liquid phase oxidation with HNO{sub 3}. The changes in surface functional groups of the activated carbon are detected by FTIR spectroscopy. The effects of HNO{sub 3} oxidation on the properties of the activated carbon and the resulting catalyst performance are investigated. FTIR analysis reveals that the oxidative treatment leads to the formation of various functional groups on the surface of the activated carbon. Cobalt catalysts supported on the modified activated carbon are found to exhibit higher activity and stability. (author)

  19. Improvement in fatigue property for a PZT ferroelectric film device with SRO electrode film prepared by chemical solution deposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyazaki, H.; Miwa, Y.; Suzuki, H.

    2007-01-01

    PZT films with (1 0 0) and (1 1 0) orientation were prepared by spin coating using the chemical solution deposition (CSD) method on an SRO/Si or a Pt/Ti/SiO 2 /Si substrate. The remnant polarization and the saturation polarization of the PZT/SRO/Si film were 21 and 35 μC/cm 2 , and those of the PZT/Pt/Ti/SiO 2 /Si film were 20 and 31 μC/cm 2 . The remnant polarization of the PZT/SRO/Si film maintained more than 10 8 switching cycles, and the fatigue property was observed for the PZT film fabricated on the Pt/Ti/SiO 2 /Si electrode

  20. Improved diffusivity of NaOH solution in autohydrolyzed poplar sapwood chips for chemi-mechanical pulp production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Honglei; Hou, Qingxi; Liu, Wei; Yue, Zhen; Jiang, Xiaoya; Ma, Xixi

    2018-07-01

    This work investigated the changes in the physical structure of autohydrolyzed poplar sapwood chips and the effect on the subsequent alkali liquor diffusion properties for chemi-mechanical pulping (CMP). An alkali impregnation process was conducted by using the autohydrolyzed poplar sapwood with different levels of autohydrolysis intensity. The results showed that the volume porosity, water constraint capacity, and saturated water absorption of the autohydrolyzed poplar sapwood chips increased. Also, the effective capillary cross-sectional area (ECCSA) in the radial direction and the diffusion coefficients of NaOH solution in both the radial and axial directions all increased. Autohydrolysis pretreatment enhanced the alkali liquor diffusion properties in poplar sapwood chips, and the diffusion coefficient was increased more greatly in the radial direction than that in the axial direction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Does an electronic continuum correction improve effective short-range ion-ion interactions in aqueous solution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Ellen E.; van der Vegt, Nico F. A.

    2018-06-01

    Non-polarizable force fields for hydrated ions not always accurately describe short-range ion-ion interactions, frequently leading to artificial ion clustering in bulk aqueous solutions. This can be avoided by adjusting the nonbonded anion-cation or cation-water Lennard-Jones parameters. This approach has been successfully applied to different systems, but the parameterization is demanding owing to the necessity of separate investigations of each ion pair. Alternatively, polarization effects may effectively be accounted for using the electronic continuum correction (ECC) of Leontyev et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 119, 8024 (2003)], which involves scaling the ionic charges with the inverse square-root of the water high-frequency dielectric permittivity. ECC has proven to perform well for monovalent salts as well as for divalent salts in water. Its performance, however, for multivalent salts with higher valency remains unexplored. The present work illustrates the applicability of the ECC model to trivalent K3PO4 and divalent K2HPO4 in water. We demonstrate that the ECC models, without additional tuning of force field parameters, provide an accurate description of water-mediated interactions between salt ions. This results in predictions of the osmotic coefficients of aqueous K3PO4 and K2HPO4 solutions in good agreement with experimental data. Analysis of ion pairing thermodynamics in terms of contact ion pair (CIP), solvent-separated ion pair, and double solvent-separated ion pair contributions shows that potassium-phosphate CIP formation is stronger with trivalent than with divalent phosphate ions.

  2. Improved accountability method for measuring enriched uranium in H-Canyon dissolver solution at the Savannah River Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maxwell, S.L. III; Satkowski, J.; Mahannah, R.N.

    1992-01-01

    At the Savannah River Site (SRS), accountability measurement of enriched uranium dissolved in H-Canyon is performed using isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). In the IDMS analytical method, a known quantity of uranium 233 is added to the sample solution containing enriched uranium and fission products. The resulting uranium mixture must first be purified using a separation technique in the shielded analytical(''hot'') cells to lower radioactivity levels by removing fission products. Following this purification, the sample is analyzed by mass spectrometry to determine the total uranium content and isotopic abundance. The magnitude of the response of each uranium isotope in the sample solution and the response of the U 233 spike is measured. By ratioing these responses, relative to the known quantity of the U 233 spike, the uranium content can be determined. A hexane solvent extraction technique, used for years at SRS to remove fission products prior to the mass spectrometry analysis of uranium, has several problems. The hexone method is tedious, requires additional sample clean-up after the purified sample is removed from the shielded cells and requires the use of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-listed hazardous materials (hexone and chromium compounds). A new high speed separation method that enables a rapid removal of fission products in a shielded cells environment has been developed by the SRS Central Laboratory to replace the hexone method. The new high speed column extraction chromatography technique employs applied vacuum and columns containing tri (2-ethyl-hexyl) phosphate (TEHP) solvent coated on a small particle inert support (SM-7 Bio Beads). The new separation is rapid, user friendly, eliminates the use of the RCA-listed hazardous chemicals and reduces the amount of solid waste generated by the separation method. 2 tabs. 4 figs

  3. Novel augmented reality solution for improving health literacy around antihypertensives in people living with type 2 diabetes mellitus: protocol of a technology evaluation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadvand, Alireza; Drennan, Judy; Burgess, Jean; Clark, Michele; Kavanagh, David; Burns, Kara; Howard, Sarah; Kelly, Fleur; Campbell, Chris; Nissen, Lisa

    2018-01-01

    Introduction Low health literacy is common in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (up to 40%), associated with decreased self-efficacy in managing T2DM and its important complications, mainly hypertension. This study introduces, for the first time, an easy-to-use solution based on augmented reality (AR) on smartphones, to enhance health literacy around antihypertensive medicines. It assesses the feasibility of the solution for improving health literacy, oriented specifically to angiotensin II receptor blockers; embedding the health literacy improvement into the use cycle of angiotensin II receptor blockers and providing continuous access to information as a form of patient engagement. Methods and analysis This is a technology evaluation study with one technology group (AR plus usual care) and one non-technology group (usual care). Both groups receive face-to-face communications with community pharmacists regarding angiotensin II receptor blockers; the technology group receive additional AR-enhanced digital consumer medicine information throughout the use of their medications. The primary outcome is the change in health literacy and the hypothesis is that the proportions of people who show high health literacy will be larger in the technology group. Mixed effects models will be used to analyse solution effectiveness on outcomes. Multiple regression models will be used to find additional variables that might affect the relationship between health literacy and the AR solution. Ethics and dissemination Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Human Research Ethics Committee has approved the study as a low-risk technology evaluation study (approval number: 1700000275). Findings will be disseminated via attending scientific conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Facilitated by QUT, two press releases have been published in public media and two presentations have been made in university classrooms. PMID:29705754

  4. Novel augmented reality solution for improving health literacy around antihypertensives in people living with type 2 diabetes mellitus: protocol of a technology evaluation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadvand, Alireza; Drennan, Judy; Burgess, Jean; Clark, Michele; Kavanagh, David; Burns, Kara; Howard, Sarah; Kelly, Fleur; Campbell, Chris; Nissen, Lisa

    2018-04-28

    Low health literacy is common in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (up to 40%), associated with decreased self-efficacy in managing T2DM and its important complications, mainly hypertension. This study introduces, for the first time, an easy-to-use solution based on augmented reality (AR) on smartphones, to enhance health literacy around antihypertensive medicines. It assesses the feasibility of the solution for improving health literacy, oriented specifically to angiotensin II receptor blockers; embedding the health literacy improvement into the use cycle of angiotensin II receptor blockers and providing continuous access to information as a form of patient engagement. This is a technology evaluation study with one technology group (AR plus usual care) and one non-technology group (usual care). Both groups receive face-to-face communications with community pharmacists regarding angiotensin II receptor blockers; the technology group receive additional AR-enhanced digital consumer medicine information throughout the use of their medications. The primary outcome is the change in health literacy and the hypothesis is that the proportions of people who show high health literacy will be larger in the technology group. Mixed effects models will be used to analyse solution effectiveness on outcomes. Multiple regression models will be used to find additional variables that might affect the relationship between health literacy and the AR solution. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Human Research Ethics Committee has approved the study as a low-risk technology evaluation study (approval number: 1700000275). Findings will be disseminated via attending scientific conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Facilitated by QUT, two press releases have been published in public media and two presentations have been made in university classrooms. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wen; Bao, Li; Yang, Shaoxing

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZheFeng Quan

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

  7. Potential of Nanotechnology based water treatment solutions for the improvement of drinking water supplies in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Joydeep; Bhattacharya, Prosun; Bundschuh, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    Over the last decades explosive population growth in the world has led to water scarcity across the globe putting additional pressure already scarce ground water resources and is pushing scientists and researchers to come up with new alternatives to monitor and treat water for use by mankind and for food security. Nearly 4 billion people around the world are known to lack access to clean water supply. Systematic water quality data is important for the assessment of health risks as well as for developing appropriate and affordable technologies for waste and drinking water treatments, and long-term decision making policy against water quality management. Traditional water treatment technologies are generally chemical-intensive processes requiring extremely large infrastructural support thus limiting their effective applications in developing nations which creates an artificial barrier to the application of technological solutions for the provision of clean water. Nanotechnology-based systems are in retrospect, smaller, energy and resource efficient. Economic impact assessment of the implementation of nanotechnology in water treatment and studies on cost-effectiveness and environmental and social impacts is of key importance prior to its wide spread acceptance. Government agencies and inter-governmental bodies driving research and development activities need to measure the effective potential of nanotechnology as a solution to global water challenges in order to effectively engage in fiscal, economic and social issues at national and international levels for different types of source waters with new national and international initiatives on nanotechnology and water need to be launched. Environmental pollution and industrialization in global scale is further leading to pollution of available water sources and thus hygienically friendly purification technologies are the need of the hour. Thus cost-effective treatment of pollutants for the transformation of hazardous

  8. Standardized Patient Training Programs: an Efficient Solution to the Call for Quality Improvement in Oncologist Communication Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Melody; Berman, Abigail T; Vapiwala, Neha

    2015-09-01

    Several key medical and oncologic professional societies have endorsed the importance of physician communication as a quality improvement metric. Despite this clear message, there remain substantial barriers to communication skills training (CST) in oncologic specialties. Herein, we describe the major barriers to communications training and propose standardized patient (SP) programs as efficient and strategic starting points and as expansion opportunities for new and existing CSTs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo de Rosso Krug

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Solutions to Improve Road Circulation in the Pitesti City Based on Analysis-Diagnostics of Road Traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vîlcan, A.; Neagu, E.; Badarau Suster, H.; Boroiu, A. A.

    2017-10-01

    Road traffic congestion has become a daily phenomenon in the central area of Pitesti in the peak traffic periods. In order to achieve the mobility plan of Pitesti, an important stage is the diagnostic analysis of the road traffic. For this purpose, the urban road network was formalized through a graph containing the most important 40 intersections and traffic measurements were made at all these intersections and on the main roads connecting the peri-urban area. The data obtained by traffic macrosimulation confirmed the overloading of the street network during peak traffic hours and the analyzes made for various road traffic organization scenarios have shown that there are sustainable solutions for urban mobility only if the road network is fundamentally reconfigured (a belt outside the city and a median ring). Thus, the necessity of realizing the road passage in the Prundu neighbourhood and the finishing of the city belt by realizing the “detour West” of the city is argued. The importance of the work is that it brings scientific arguments for the realization of these road infrastructure projects, integrated in the urban mobility plan, which will base the development strategy of the Pitesti municipality.

  15. Using Cogenerative Dialogs to Improve Science Teaching and Learning: Challenges and Solutions in High School Students' Internships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Pei-Ling

    2018-05-01

    Internships in science research settings have received increasing attention as a means of helping students construct appropriate understandings, practices, tools, and language in scientific activities. To advance student-scientist partnerships beyond the status quo, the study aimed to investigate how cogenerative dialogs (cogens) may help high school students and scientists identify and address challenges collectively. The analysis identified nine major challenges discussed during cogens: (1) the quality and progress of scientific practice in laboratories, (2) the quality of scientists'/assistants' instructions in classrooms, (3) the quality of student participation in classrooms and homework, (4) students' absences, including arriving late or leaving early, (5) the quality of administrative support, (6) preparation for scientific presentations, (7) the process of deciding project topics, (8) students' peer interactions and communication, and (9) students' physiological needs. The three most salient challenges were "the quality and progress of scientific practice in laboratories" (39%), "the quality of scientists'/assistants' instructions in classrooms" (20%), and "the quality of student participation in classrooms and homework" (17%). The study shows that cogens allowed students and scientists to agree on teaching modifications that positively influenced teaching and learning processes during the internship, such that issues were reduced from the beginning to the closing stages. Importantly, the challenges and solutions identified by students and scientists in this study provide accounts of first-hand experience as well as insights to aid program directors or coordinators in designing a learning environment that can foster effective practice for internships by avoiding the issues identified in the study.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy C Zhang

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindvold, Lars R.; Hermann, Gregers G.

    2013-03-01

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

  20. 50-Fold EQE Improvement up to 6.27% of Solution-Processed All-Inorganic Perovskite CsPbBr3 QLEDs via Surface Ligand Density Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianhai; Xu, Leimeng; Wang, Tao; Song, Jizhong; Chen, Jiawei; Xue, Jie; Dong, Yuhui; Cai, Bo; Shan, Qingsong; Han, Boning; Zeng, Haibo

    2017-02-01

    Solution-processed CsPbBr 3 quantum-dot light-emitting diodes with a 50-fold external quantum efficiency improvement (up to 6.27%) are achieved through balancing surface passivation and carrier injection via ligand density control (treating with hexane/ethyl acetate mixed solvent), which induces the coexistence of high levels of ink stability, photoluminescence quantum yields, thin-film uniformity, and carrier-injection efficiency. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Preparation of SmBiO{sub 3} buffer layer on YSZ substrate by an improved chemical solution deposition route

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Xiaolei [Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials (Ministry of Education of China), Superconductivity and New Energy R& D Center, Mail Stop 165#, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610031 (China); Pu, Minghua, E-mail: mhpu@home.swjtu.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials (Ministry of Education of China), Superconductivity and New Energy R& D Center, Mail Stop 165#, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610031 (China); Zhao, Yong [Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials (Ministry of Education of China), Superconductivity and New Energy R& D Center, Mail Stop 165#, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610031 (China); School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wale, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia)

    2016-12-15

    Highlights: • The proper conditions for SBO growth are 794 °C for 60 min in flowing Ar gas, the temperature of epitaxial growth is relatively low. • The total time by SSD technique for organic solvent removing, salts decomposition and layer growth is not up to 2 h, which are much less than that needed for traditional CSD of over 10 h. • SBO layer on YSZ prepared by SSD technique are suitable for the growth of YBCO, The results may be the usable reference for continuous preparation of SBO buffer layer on IBAD-YSZ/Ni-based alloy tapes. - Abstract: A quick route for chemical solution deposition (CSD) has been developed to prepare SmBiO{sub 3} (SBO) layers on yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) substrates rapidly by using of solid state decomposition (SSD) technique. The proper conditions for volatilization of lactic acid, which as solvent in precursor coated layer, and SBO growth are 115°C for 30 min and 794°C for 60 min in flowing Ar gas. The coated layers are amorphous structure of mixture oxides and quasi-crystal structure of SBO before and after growth, respectively. The total time by this quick CSD route for organic solvent volatilization, salts decomposed and layer growth is not up to 2 h, which are much less than that needed for traditional CSD of over 10 h. SBO layer is directly epitaxial growth on YSZ substrate without any lattice rotation. SBO layer prepared by this quick route as well as that by traditional route are suitable for the growth of YBCO. The superconducting transition temperature and critical current density of the coated YBCO layer on SBO/YSZ obtained by this quick route are up to 90 K and 1.66 MA/cm{sup 2}. These results may be the usable reference for continuous preparation of SBO buffer layer on IBAD-YSZ/Ni-based alloy tapes.

  5. Designing Solutions by a Student Centred Approach: Integration of Chemical Process Simulation with Statistical Tools to Improve Distillation Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel M. Joao

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Projects thematically focused on simulation and statistical techniques for designing and optimizing chemical processes can be helpful in chemical engineering education in order to meet the needs of engineers. We argue for the relevance of the projects to improve a student centred approach and boost higher order thinking skills. This paper addresses the use of Aspen HYSYS by Portuguese chemical engineering master students to model distillation systems together with statistical experimental design techniques in order to optimize the systems highlighting the value of applying problem specific knowledge, simulation tools and sound statistical techniques. The paper summarizes the work developed by the students in order to model steady-state processes, dynamic processes and optimize the distillation systems emphasizing the benefits of the simulation tools and statistical techniques in helping the students learn how to learn. Students strengthened their domain specific knowledge and became motivated to rethink and improve chemical processes in their future chemical engineering profession. We discuss the main advantages of the methodology from the students’ and teachers perspective

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farshid Hadifar

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Edmund R; Dozmorov, Mikhail G

    2016-10-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Bilqees; Ali, Sikander

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Bio-inspired hybrid microelectrodes: a hybrid solution to improve long-term performance of chronic intracortical implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Faveri, Sara; Maggiolini, Emma; Miele, Ermanno; De Angelis, Francesco; Cesca, Fabrizia; Benfenati, Fabio; Fadiga, Luciano

    2014-01-01

    The use of implants that allow chronic electrical stimulation and recording in the brain of human patients is currently limited by a series of events that cause the deterioration over time of both the electrode surface and the surrounding tissue. The main reason of failure is the tissue inflammatory reaction that eventually causes neuronal loss and glial encapsulation, resulting in a progressive increase of the electrode-electrolyte impedance. Here, we describe a new method to create bio-inspired electrodes to mimic the mechanical properties and biological composition of the host tissue. This combination has a great potential to increase the implant lifetime by reducing tissue reaction and improving electrical coupling. Our method implies coating the electrode with reprogrammed neural or glial cells encapsulated within a hydrogel layer. We chose fibrin as a hydrogel and primary hippocampal neurons or astrocytes from rat brain as cellular layer. We demonstrate that fibrin coating is highly biocompatible, forms uniform coatings of controllable thickness, does not alter the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode and allows good quality recordings. Moreover, it reduces the amount of host reactive astrocytes - over time - compared to a bare wire and is fully reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue within 7 days after implantation, avoiding the common problem of hydrogels swelling. Both astrocytes and neurons could be successfully grown onto the electrode surface within the fibrin hydrogel without altering the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode. This bio-hybrid device has therefore a good potential to improve the electrical integration at the neuron-electrode interface and support the long-term success of neural prostheses.

  10. Bio-inspired hybrid microelectrodes. A hybrid solution to improve long-term performance of chronic intracortical implants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eDe Faveri

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of implants that allow chronic electrical stimulation and recording in the brain of human patients is currently limited by a series of events that cause the deterioration over time of both the electrode surface and the surrounding tissue. The main reason of failure is the tissue inflammatory reaction that eventually causes neuronal loss and glial encapsulation, resulting in a progressive increase of the electrode-electrolyte impedance. Here, we describe a new method to create bio-inspired electrodes to mimic the mechanical properties and biological composition of the host tissue. This combination has a great potential to increase the implant lifetime by reducing tissue reaction and improving electrical coupling. Our method implies coating the electrode with reprogrammed neural or glial cells encapsulated within a hydrogel layer. We chose fibrin as a hydrogel and primary hippocampal neurons or astrocytes from rat brain as cellular layer. We demonstrate that fibrin coating is highly biocompatible, forms uniform coatings of controllable thickness, does not alter the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode and allows good quality recordings. Moreover, it reduces the amount of host reactive astrocytes - over time - compared to a bare wire and is fully reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue within 7 days after implantation, avoiding the common problem of hydrogels swelling. Both astrocytes and neurons could be successfully grown onto the electrode surface within the fibrin hydrogel without altering the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode. This bio-hybrid device has therefore a good potential to improve the electrical integration at the neuron-electrode interface and support the long-term success of neural prostheses.

  11. Enhanced safeguards via solution monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burr, T.; Wangen, L.

    1996-09-01

    Solution monitoring is defined as the essentially continuous monitoring of solution level, density, and temperature in all tanks in the process that contain, or could contain, safeguards-significant quantities of nuclear material. This report describes some of the enhancements that solution monitoring could make to international safeguards. The focus is on the quantifiable benefits of solution monitoring, but qualitatively, solution monitoring can be viewed as a form of surveillance. Quantitatively, solution monitoring can in some cases improve diversion detection probability. For example, the authors show that under certain assumptions, solution monitoring can be used to reduce the standard deviation of the annual material balance, σ MB , from approximately 17 kg to approximately 4 kg. Such reduction in σ MB will not always be possible, as they discuss. However, in all cases, solution monitoring would provide assurance that the measurement error models are adequate so that one has confidence in his estimate of σ MB . Some of the results in this report were generated using data that were simulated with prototype solution monitoring software that they are developing. An accompanying document describes that software

  12. Modern Innovative Solutions in Improving Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (MISSION COPD): A Comparison of Clinical Outcomes Before and After the MISSION Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanning, Eleanor; Roberts, Claire; Green, Ben; Brown, Thomas; Storrar, Will; Jones, Thomas; Fogg, Carole; Dewey, Ann; Longstaff, Jayne; Bassett, Paul; Chauhan, Anoop J

    2017-06-05

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) affects over 1 million people in the United Kingdom, and 1 person dies from COPD every 20 minutes. The cost to people with COPD and the National Health Service is huge - more than 24 million working days lost a year and the annual expenditure on COPD is £810 million and £930 million a year. We aim to identify patients with COPD who are at risk of exacerbations and hospital admissions as well as those who have not been formally diagnosed, yet remain at risk. This mixed-methods study will use both data and interviews from patients and health care professionals. The project Modern Innovative SolutionS in Improving Outcomes iN COPD (MISSION COPD) will hold multidisciplinary carousel style clinics to rapidly assess the patients' COPD and related comorbidities, and enhance patient knowledge and skills for self-management. This study is ongoing. This research will capture quantitative and qualitative outcomes to accompany a program of quality improvement through delivery of novel care models. ©Eleanor Lanning, Claire Roberts, Ben Green, Thomas Brown, Will Storrar, Thomas Jones, Carole Fogg, Ann Dewey, Jayne Longstaff, Paul Bassett, Anoop J Chauhan. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 05.06.2017.

  13. Simplifying Multiproject Scheduling Problem Based on Design Structure Matrix and Its Solution by an Improved aiNet Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunhua Ju

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Managing multiple project is a complex task involving the unrelenting pressures of time and cost. Many studies have proposed various tools and techniques for single-project scheduling; however, the literature further considering multimode or multiproject issues occurring in the real world is rather scarce. In this paper, design structure matrix (DSM and an improved artificial immune network algorithm (aiNet are developed to solve a multi-mode resource-constrained scheduling problem. Firstly, the DSM is used to simplify the mathematic model of multi-project scheduling problem. Subsequently, aiNet algorithm comprised of clonal selection, negative selection, and network suppression is adopted to realize the local searching and global searching, which will assure that it has a powerful searching ability and also avoids the possible combinatorial explosion. Finally, the approach is tested on a set of randomly cases generated from ProGen. The computational results validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm comparing with other famous metaheuristic algorithms such as genetic algorithm (GA, simulated annealing algorithm (SA, and ant colony optimization (ACO.

  14. A win-win solution?: A critical analysis of tiered pricing to improve access to medicines in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Suerie; Jambert, Elodie; Childs, Michelle; von Schoen-Angerer, Tido

    2011-10-12

    Tiered pricing - the concept of selling drugs and vaccines in developing countries at prices systematically lower than in industrialized countries - has received widespread support from industry, policymakers, civil society, and academics as a way to improve access to medicines for the poor. We carried out case studies based on a review of international drug price developments for antiretrovirals, artemisinin combination therapies, drug-resistant tuberculosis medicines, liposomal amphotericin B (for visceral leishmaniasis), and pneumococcal vaccines. We found several critical shortcomings to tiered pricing: it is inferior to competition for achieving the lowest sustainable prices; it often involves arbitrary divisions between markets and/or countries, which can lead to very high prices for middle-income markets; and it leaves a disproportionate amount of decision-making power in the hands of sellers vis-à-vis consumers. In many developing countries, resources are often stretched so tight that affordability can only be approached by selling medicines at or near the cost of production. Policies that "de-link" the financing of R&D from the price of medicines merit further attention, since they can reward innovation while exploiting robust competition in production to generate the lowest sustainable prices. However, in special cases - such as when market volumes are very small or multi-source production capacity is lacking - tiered pricing may offer the only practical option to meet short-term needs for access to a product. In such cases, steps should be taken to ensure affordability and availability in the longer-term. To ensure access to medicines for populations in need, alternate strategies should be explored that harness the power of competition, avoid arbitrary market segmentation, and/or recognize government responsibilities. Competition should generally be the default option for achieving affordability, as it has proven superior to tiered pricing for reliably

  15. A win-win solution?: A critical analysis of tiered pricing to improve access to medicines in developing countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Childs Michelle

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tiered pricing - the concept of selling drugs and vaccines in developing countries at prices systematically lower than in industrialized countries - has received widespread support from industry, policymakers, civil society, and academics as a way to improve access to medicines for the poor. We carried out case studies based on a review of international drug price developments for antiretrovirals, artemisinin combination therapies, drug-resistant tuberculosis medicines, liposomal amphotericin B (for visceral leishmaniasis, and pneumococcal vaccines. Discussion We found several critical shortcomings to tiered pricing: it is inferior to competition for achieving the lowest sustainable prices; it often involves arbitrary divisions between markets and/or countries, which can lead to very high prices for middle-income markets; and it leaves a disproportionate amount of decision-making power in the hands of sellers vis-à-vis consumers. In many developing countries, resources are often stretched so tight that affordability can only be approached by selling medicines at or near the cost of production. Policies that "de-link" the financing of R&D from the price of medicines merit further attention, since they can reward innovation while exploiting robust competition in production to generate the lowest sustainable prices. However, in special cases - such as when market volumes are very small or multi-source production capacity is lacking - tiered pricing may offer the only practical option to meet short-term needs for access to a product. In such cases, steps should be taken to ensure affordability and availability in the longer-term. Summary To ensure access to medicines for populations in need, alternate strategies should be explored that harness the power of competition, avoid arbitrary market segmentation, and/or recognize government responsibilities. Competition should generally be the default option for achieving affordability

  16. Solutions Network Formulation Report: Improving NOAA's PORTS(R) Through Enhanced Data Inputs from NASA's Ocean Surface Topography Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, DeNeice

    2007-01-01

    The Nation uses water-level data for a variety of practical purposes, including nautical charting, maritime navigation, hydrography, coastal engineering, and tsunami and storm surge warnings. Long-term applications include marine boundary determinations, tidal predictions, sea-level trend monitoring, oceanographic research, and climate research. Accurate and timely information concerning sea-level height, tide, and ocean current is needed to understand their impact on coastal management, disaster management, and public health. Satellite altimeter data products are currently used by hundreds of researchers and operational users to monitor ocean circulation and to improve scientists understanding of the role of the oceans in climate and weather. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Ocean Service has been monitoring sea-level variations for many years. NOAA s PORTS (Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System) DST (decision support tool), managed by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, supports safe and cost-efficient navigation by providing ship masters and pilots with accurate real-time information required to avoid groundings and collisions. This report assesses the capacity of NASA s satellite altimeter data to meet societal decision support needs through incorporation into NOAA s PORTS. NASA has a long heritage of collecting data for ocean research, including its current Terra and Aqua missions. Numerous other missions provide additional important information for coastal management issues, and data collection will continue in the coming decade with such missions as the OSTM (Ocean Surface Topography Mission). OSTM will provide data on sea-surface heights for determining ocean circulation, climate change, and sea-level rise. We suggest that NASA incorporate OSTM altimeter data (C- and Ku-band) into NOAA s PORTS DST in support of NASA s Coastal Management National Application with secondary support to the

  17. A win-win solution?: A critical analysis of tiered pricing to improve access to medicines in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Tiered pricing - the concept of selling drugs and vaccines in developing countries at prices systematically lower than in industrialized countries - has received widespread support from industry, policymakers, civil society, and academics as a way to improve access to medicines for the poor. We carried out case studies based on a review of international drug price developments for antiretrovirals, artemisinin combination therapies, drug-resistant tuberculosis medicines, liposomal amphotericin B (for visceral leishmaniasis), and pneumococcal vaccines. Discussion We found several critical shortcomings to tiered pricing: it is inferior to competition for achieving the lowest sustainable prices; it often involves arbitrary divisions between markets and/or countries, which can lead to very high prices for middle-income markets; and it leaves a disproportionate amount of decision-making power in the hands of sellers vis-à-vis consumers. In many developing countries, resources are often stretched so tight that affordability can only be approached by selling medicines at or near the cost of production. Policies that "de-link" the financing of R&D from the price of medicines merit further attention, since they can reward innovation while exploiting robust competition in production to generate the lowest sustainable prices. However, in special cases - such as when market volumes are very small or multi-source production capacity is lacking - tiered pricing may offer the only practical option to meet short-term needs for access to a product. In such cases, steps should be taken to ensure affordability and availability in the longer-term. Summary To ensure access to medicines for populations in need, alternate strategies should be explored that harness the power of competition, avoid arbitrary market segmentation, and/or recognize government responsibilities. Competition should generally be the default option for achieving affordability, as it has proven superior

  18. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  19. Energy efficiency: EDF Optimal Solutions improves the l'Oreal firm of Vichy; Efficacite energetique: EDF Optimal Solutions ameliore l'usine l'Oreal de Vichy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2011-09-15

    The l'Oreal CAP site has inaugurated its energetic eco-efficiency installations realized by EDF Optimal Solutions. This solution combines several techniques and makes possible to halve its yearly CO{sub 2} releases. (O.M.)

  20. Improvement of transistor characteristics and stability for solution-processed ultra-thin high-valence niobium doped zinc-tin oxide thin film transistors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeng, Jiann-Shing, E-mail: jsjeng@mail.nutn.edu.tw

    2016-08-15

    Nb-doped Zinc tin oxide (NZTO) channel materials have been prepared by solution process in combination with the spin-coating method. All NZTO thin film transistors (TFTs) are n-type enhancement-mode devices, either without or with Nb additives. High-valence niobium ion (ionic charge = +5) has a larger ionic potential and similar ionic radius to Zn{sup 2+} and Sn{sup 4+} ions. As compared with the pure ZTO device, introducing Nb{sup 5+} ions into the ZTO channel layers can improve the electrical properties and bias stability of TFTs because of the reduction of the oxygen vacancies. This study discusses the connection among the material properties of the NZTO films and the electrical performance and bias stability of NZTO TFTs and how they are influenced by the Nb/(Nb + Sn) molar ratios of NZTO films. - Highlights: • Ultra-thin high-valence niobium doped zinc-tin oxide (NZTO) thin films are prepared using a solution process. • Nb dopants in ZTO films reduce the oxygen vacancy and subgap adsorption of the ZTO films. • The Nb-doping concentration of the NZTO channel layer has a strong influence on the TFT performance.

  1. An Improved Collocation Meshless Method Based on the Variable Shaped Radial Basis Function for the Solution of the Interior Acoustic Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available As an efficient tool, radial basis function (RBF has been widely used for the multivariate approximation, interpolating continuous, and the solution of the particle differential equations. However, ill-conditioned interpolation matrix may be encountered when the interpolation points are very dense or irregularly arranged. To avert this problem, RBFs with variable shape parameters are introduced, and several new variation strategies are proposed. Comparison with the RBF with constant shape parameters are made, and the results show that the condition number of the interpolation matrix grows much slower with our strategies. As an application, an improved collocation meshless method is formulated by employing the new RBF. In addition, the Hermite-type interpolation is implemented to handle the Neumann boundary conditions and an additional sine/cosine basis is introduced for the Helmlholtz equation. Then, two interior acoustic problems are solved with the presented method; the results demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of the method.

  2. San Francisco Bay Area CHARG: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Resiliency Group, a Multi-Jurisdictional Collaboration to Develop Innovative Regional Solutions to Address Sea Level Rise and Improve Shoreline Resiliency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, R.

    2017-12-01

    For a challenge as complex and far-reaching as sea level rise and improving shoreline resiliency, strong partnerships between scientists, elected officials, decision-makers, and the general public are the only way that effective solutions can be developed. The San Francisco Bay, like many similar sheltered water coastal environments (for example, Galveston Bay, Tampa Bay, or Venetian Lagoon) offers a unique opportunity for multiple jurisdictions to collaborate to address sea level rise on a regional basis. For the San Francisco Bay, significant scientific progress has been made in building a real-time simulation model for riverine and Bay hydrodynamics. Other major scientific initiatives, such as morphology mapping, shoreline mapping, and a sediment budget are also underway. In 2014, leaders from the Bay Area science, engineering, planning, policy, elected, and regulatory communities representing jurisdictions around the Bay joined together to address sea level rise. The group includes people from local, regional, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Together, CHARG (Coastal Hazards Adaptation Resiliency Group) established a collective vision and approach to implementing regional solutions. Decision-makers within many Bay Area jurisdictions are motivated to show demonstrable progress toward addressing sea level rise. However, the cost to implement shoreline resiliency solutions will be very large, and must be founded on strong science.CHARG is now tackling several key technical challenges. One is to develop science-based guidelines for local jurisdictions to determine when a project is local, sub-regional, or regional. Concurrently, several organizations are planning or implementing pilot shoreline resiliency projects and other programs. Many creative regional solutions are possible in a sheltered water environment that simply would not be feasible along the open coast. By definition, these solutions cannot be undertaken by one entity alone. Large

  3. Improvement of multi-level resistive switching characteristics in solution-processed AlO x -based non-volatile resistive memory using microwave irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seung-Tae; Cho, Won-Ju

    2018-01-01

    We fabricated a resistive random access memory (ReRAM) device on a Ti/AlO x /Pt structure with solution-processed AlO x switching layer using microwave irradiation (MWI), and demonstrated multi-level cell (MLC) operation. To investigate the effect of MWI power on the MLC characteristics, post-deposition annealing was performed at 600-3000 W after AlO x switching layer deposition, and the MLC operation was compared with as-deposited (as-dep) and conventional thermally annealing (CTA) treated devices. All solution-processed AlO x -based ReRAM devices exhibited bipolar resistive switching (BRS) behavior. We found that these devices have four-resistance states (2 bits) of MLC operation according to the modulation of the high-resistance state (HRSs) through reset voltage control. Particularly, compared to the as-dep and CTA ReRAM devices, the MWI-treated ReRAM devices showed a significant increase in the memory window and stable endurance for multi-level operation. Moreover, as the MWI power increased, excellent MLC characteristics were exhibited because the resistance ratio between each resistance state was increased. In addition, it exhibited reliable retention characteristics without deterioration at 25 °C and 85 °C for 10 000 s. Finally, the relationship between the chemical characteristics of the solution-processed AlO x switching layer and BRS-based multi-level operation according to the annealing method and MWI power was investigated using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

  4. Improved performance of dye-sensitized solar cells: An TiO{sub 2}-nano-SiO{sub 2} hybrid photoanode with post-treatment of TiCl{sub 4} aqueous solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Ling; Niu Haihong; Zhang Shouwei; Wan Lei [School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Hefei University of Technology (HFUT), School of Chemical Engineering, HFUT, Hefei 230009 (China); Miao Shiding, E-mail: miaosd@iccas.ac.cn [School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Hefei University of Technology (HFUT), School of Chemical Engineering, HFUT, Hefei 230009 (China); Xu Jinzhang, E-mail: xujz@hfut.edu.cn [School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Hefei University of Technology (HFUT), School of Chemical Engineering, HFUT, Hefei 230009 (China)

    2012-11-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A TiO{sub 2}-nano-SiO{sub 2} hybrid film was prepared by depositing a paste of TiO{sub 2} (P{sub 25}) incorporated with SiO{sub 2}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The optimal concentration of TiCl{sub 4} solution was found to be 75 mM for the post-treatment. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A photoelectron conversion efficiency of 6.39% was achieved for the prepared dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer SiO{sub 2} gives a significant improvement in the performance of the DSSCs. - Abstract: A TiO{sub 2}-nano-SiO{sub 2} hybrid film was prepared on a conductive F-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate by depositing a mixture paste of TiO{sub 2} (P{sub 25}) and nano-sized SiO{sub 2} particles. The hybrid film was further treated by a titanium tetrachloride (TiCl{sub 4}) aqueous solution with different concentrations before it was assembled as a photoanode in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). We studied the performance of DSSCs by using the dye molecule of cis-bis(isothiocy-anato)-bis-(2,2 Prime -bipyridyl-4,4 Prime -dicarboxylato) -ruthenium(II) bis-tetrabutylammonium (N719) as sensitizer. Results suggested that the post-treatment using TiCl{sub 4} could enhance the dye adsorption. The thin TiO{sub 2} layer hydrolyzed from TiCl{sub 4} could fill gaps between nanoparticles in the composite film, leading to a better electron transport than non-treated films, and improve the light harvesting efficiency. The optimal concentration was found to be 75 mM for the post-treatment of TiO{sub 2}-SiO{sub 2} hybrid film by TiCl{sub 4} solution. A photoelectron conversion efficiency of 6.39% was achieved in the back-side illuminated dye-sensitized solar cells, which is {approx}105% higher than the basic efficiency of the bare TiO{sub 2} sensitized sample. TiO{sub 2}-nano-SiO{sub 2} hybrid photoanode was prepared by incorporation of nano-sized SiO{sub 2} in the TiO{sub 2} film. The introduced SiO{sub 2} as a wide band

  5. Improvement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Watson, Valerie J.

    2013-11-01

    Commercially available activated carbon (AC) powders from different precursor materials (peat, coconut shell, coal, and hardwood) were treated with ammonia gas at 700 C to improve their performance as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral pH solutions used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The ammonia treated ACs exhibited better catalytic performance in rotating ring-disk electrode tests than their untreated precursors, with the bituminous based AC most improved, with an onset potential of Eonset = 0.12 V (untreated, Eonset = 0.08 V) and n = 3.9 electrons transferred in oxygen reduction (untreated, n = 3.6), and the hardwood based AC (treated, E onset = 0.03 V, n = 3.3; untreated, Eonset = -0.04 V, n = 3.0). Ammonia treatment decreased oxygen content by 29-58%, increased nitrogen content to 1.8 atomic %, and increased the basicity of the bituminous, peat, and hardwood ACs. The treated coal based AC cathodes had higher maximum power densities in MFCs (2450 ± 40 mW m-2) than the other AC cathodes or a Pt/C cathode (2100 ± 1 mW m-2). These results show that reduced oxygen abundance and increased nitrogen functionalities on the AC surface can increase catalytic performance for oxygen reduction in neutral media. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Predicting significant torso trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirula, Ram; Talmor, Daniel; Brasel, Karen

    2005-07-01

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

  7. Improvement of the impedance measurement reliability by some new experimental and data treatment procedures applied to the behavior of copper in neutral chloride solutions containing small heterocycle molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blajiev, O.L.; Breugelmans, T.; Pintelon, R.; Hubin, A.

    2006-01-01

    The electrochemical behavior of copper in chloride solutions containing 0.001 M concentrations of small five- and six-ring member heterocyclic molecules was investigated by means of impedance spectroscopy. The investigation was performed by a new technique based on a broadband multisine excitation. This method allows for a quantification and separation of the measurement and stohastic nonlinear noises and for an estimation of the bias non-linear contribution. It as well reduces the perturbation brought to studied system by the measurement process itself. The measurement data for some experimental conditions was quantified by fitting into a equivalent circuit corresponding to a physical model both of them developed earlier. In general, the experimental results obtained show that the number of atoms in the heterocyclic ring and the molecular conformation have a significant influence on the electrochemical response of copper in the investigated environments

  8. Application of core–shell-structured CdTe-SiO2 quantum dots synthesized via a facile solution method for improving latent fingerprint detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Feng; Han Jiaxing; Lv Caifeng; Wang Qin; Zhang Jun; Li Qun; Bao Liru; Li Xin

    2012-01-01

    Fingerprint detection is important in criminal investigation. This paper reports a facile powder brushing technique for improving latent fingerprint detection using core–shell-structured CdTe-SiO 2 quantum dots (QDs) as fluorescent labeling marks. Core–shell-structured CdTe-SiO 2 QDs are prepared via a simple solution-based approach using NH 2 NH 2 ·H 2 O as pH adjustor and stabilizer, and their application for improving latent fingerprint detection is explored. The obtained CdTe-SiO 2 QDs show spherical shapes with well-defined core–shell structures encapsulating different amounts of QDs depending on the type of the pH adjustor and stabilizer. Moreover, the fluorescence of CdTe-SiO 2 QDs is largely enhanced by surface modification of the SiO 2 shell. The CdTe-SiO 2 QDs overcome the oxidation problem of pure CdTe QDs in air, thus affording better variability with strong adhesive ability, better resolution, and bright emission colors for practical application in latent fingerprint detection. In comparison with the conventional fluorescence powders, silver powders, and others, the effectiveness of CdTe-SiO 2 QD powders for detection of latent fingerprints present on a large variety of object surfaces is greatly improved. The synthesis method for CdTe-SiO 2 QDs is simple, cheap, and easy for large-scale production, and thus offers many advantages in the practical application of fingerprint detection.

  9. Modifying the organic/electrode interface in Organic Solar Cells (OSCs) and improving the efficiency of solution-processed phosphorescent Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao, Teng [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Organic semiconductors devices, such as, organic solar cells (OSCs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) have drawn increasing interest in recent decades. As organic materials are flexible, light weight, and potentially low-cost, organic semiconductor devices are considered to be an alternative to their inorganic counterparts. This dissertation will focus mainly on OSCs and OLEDs. As a clean and renewable energy source, the development of OSCs is very promising. Cells with 9.2% power conversion efficiency (PCE) were reported this year, compared to < 8% two years ago. OSCs belong to the so-called third generation solar cells and are still under development. While OLEDs are a more mature and better studied field, with commercial products already launched in the market, there are still several key issues: (1) the cost of OSCs/OLEDs is still high, largely due to the costly manufacturing processes; (2) the efficiency of OSCs/OLEDs needs to be improved; (3) the lifetime of OSCs/OLEDs is not sufficient compared to their inorganic counterparts; (4) the physics models of the behavior of the devices are not satisfactory. All these limitations invoke the demand for new organic materials, improved device architectures, low-cost fabrication methods, and better understanding of device physics. For OSCs, we attempted to improve the PCE by modifying the interlayer between active layer/metal. We found that ethylene glycol (EG) treated poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT: PSS) improves hole collection at the metal/polymer interface, furthermore it also affects the growth of the poly(3- hexylthiophene) (P3HT):phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blends, making the phase segregation more favorable for charge collection. We then studied organic/inorganic tandem cells. We also investigated the effect of a thin LiF layer on the hole-collection of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)/C70-based small molecular OSCs. A

  10. Improved electron injection in spin coated Alq3 incorporated ZnO thin film in the device for solution processed OLEDs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasi, Gnyaneshwar; Ramarajan, R.; Thangaraju, Kuppusamy

    2018-04-01

    We deposit tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline)aluminum (Alq3) incorporated zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films by spin coating method under the normal ambient. It showed the higher transmittance (90% at 550 nm) when compared to that (80% at 550 nm) of spin coated pure ZnO film. SEM studies show that the Alq3 incorporation in ZnO film also enhances the formation of small sized particles arranged in the network of wrinkles on the surface. XRD reveals the improved crystalline properties upon Alq3 inclusion. We fabricate the electron-only devices (EODs) with the structure of ITO/spin coated ZnO:Alq3 as ETL/Alq3 interlayer/LiF/Al. The device showed the higher electron current density of 2.75 mA/cm2 at 12V when compared to that (0.82 mA/cm2 at 12V) of the device using pure ZnO ETL. The device results show that it will be useful to fabricate the low-cost solution processed OLEDs for future lighting and display applications.

  11. Improving chemical solution deposited YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7-{delta}} film properties via high heating rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siegal, M.P.; Dawley, J.T.; Clem, P.G.; Overmyer, D.L

    2003-12-01

    The superconducting and structural properties of YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7-{delta}} (YBCO) films grown from chemical solution deposited (CSD) metallofluoride-based precursors improve by using high heating rates to the desired growth temperature. This is due to avoiding the nucleation of undesirable a-axis grains at lower temperatures, from 650 to 800 deg. C in p(O{sub 2})=0.1%. Minimizing time spent in this range during the temperature ramp of the ex situ growth process depresses a-axis grain growth in favor of the desired c-axis orientation. Using optimized conditions, this results in high-quality YBCO films on LaAlO{sub 3}(1 0 0) with J{sub c}(77 K) {approx} 3 MA/cm{sup 2} for films thicknesses ranging from 60 to 140 nm. In particular, there is a dramatic decrease in a-axis grains in coated-conductors grown on CSD Nb-doped SrTiO{sub 3}(1 0 0) buffered Ni(1 0 0) tapes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. [Improvement of the recruitment of surgery interns derived from the Epreuves Nationales Classantes (National-Ranking Exam): practical solution applied to urology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beley, Sébastien; Dubosq, Francis; Simon, Pascal; Larré, Stéphane; Battisti, Simon; Ballereau, Charles; Boublil, Véronique; Richard, François; Rouprêt, Morgan

    2005-12-01

    To analyse the value of an urology initiation session proposed to young interns to improve recruitment of the discipline since the introduction of the new National-Ranking Exam (NRE). In October 2004, the 77 interns appointed to surgery in Paris on the basis of the ENC participated in a one-day urology initiation session organized by the AFUF, at the AP-HP School of Surgery. All interns were given a questionnaire at the beginning of the session to record the following data: age, gender, teaching hospital, a student attachment in urology and desired specialization as a function of the surgical training programmes proposed by the ENC. Items concerning the desired specialization were resubmitted to the interns at the end of the session. Population. 77 interns, 48 females (62.3%) and 29 males (37.7%) with a mean age of 25.2 +/- 5 years (range: 23-31). 55 interns had trained at a Parisian teaching hospital (67%) and 22 (28.6%) had trained at a provincial teaching hospital. 16 interns (20.8%) had completed at least one urology attachment during their medical training. Desired specialization. Orthopaedics was the discipline most frequently cited (n = 20; 26%). Urology was chosen by 8 interns (10.40%), who had all completed an urology attachment during their medical training. At the end of the urology initiation session, another 8 interns expressed the desire to specialize in urology. Of the 16 potential urology interns, 9 (56.2%) confirmed that their decision was final. Urology occupies a special place and remains a popular surgical speciality among students. Organization of practical sessions constitutes a solution to inform, create an emulation and motivate surgery interns to choose urology.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  16. Plugging solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharipov, A U; Yangirov, I Z

    1982-01-01

    A clay-powder, cement, and water-base plugging solution is proposed having reduced solution viscosity characteristics while maintaining tensile strength in cement stone. This solution utilizes silver graphite and its ingredients, by mass weight, are as follows: cement 51.2-54.3%; claypowder 6.06-9.1%; silver graphite 0.24-0.33%; with water making up the remainder.

  17. 3DRISM-HI-D2MSA: an improved analytic theory to compute solvent structure around hydrophobic solutes with proper treatment of solute–solvent electrostatic interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Siqin; Zhu, Lizhe; Huang, Xuhui

    2018-04-01

    The 3D reference interaction site model (3DRISM) is a powerful tool to study the thermodynamic and structural properties of liquids. However, for hydrophobic solutes, the inhomogeneity of the solvent density around them poses a great challenge to the 3DRISM theory. To address this issue, we have previously introduced the hydrophobic-induced density inhomogeneity theory (HI) for purely hydrophobic solutes. To further consider the complex hydrophobic solutes containing partial charges, here we propose the D2MSA closure to incorporate the short-range and long-range interactions with the D2 closure and the mean spherical approximation, respectively. We demonstrate that our new theory can compute the solvent distributions around real hydrophobic solutes in water and complex organic solvents that agree well with the explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations.

  18. 3DRISM-HI-D2MSA: an improved analytic theory to compute solvent structure around hydrophobic solutes with proper treatment of solute–solvent electrostatic interactions

    KAUST Repository

    Cao, Siqin

    2017-12-22

    The 3D reference interaction site model (3DRISM) is a powerful tool to study the thermodynamic and structural properties of liquids. However, for hydrophobic solutes, the inhomogeneity of the solvent density around them poses a great challenge to the 3DRISM theory. To address this issue, we have previously introduced the hydrophobic-induced density inhomogeneity theory (HI) for purely hydrophobic solutes. To further consider the complex hydrophobic solutes containing partial charges, here we propose the D2MSA closure to incorporate the short-range and long-range interactions with the D2 closure and the mean spherical approximation, respectively. We demonstrate that our new theory can compute the solvent distributions around real hydrophobic solutes in water and complex organic solvents that agree well with the explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations.

  19. 3DRISM-HI-D2MSA: an improved analytic theory to compute solvent structure around hydrophobic solutes with proper treatment of solute–solvent electrostatic interactions

    KAUST Repository

    Cao, Siqin; Zhu, Lizhe; Huang, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    The 3D reference interaction site model (3DRISM) is a powerful tool to study the thermodynamic and structural properties of liquids. However, for hydrophobic solutes, the inhomogeneity of the solvent density around them poses a great challenge to the 3DRISM theory. To address this issue, we have previously introduced the hydrophobic-induced density inhomogeneity theory (HI) for purely hydrophobic solutes. To further consider the complex hydrophobic solutes containing partial charges, here we propose the D2MSA closure to incorporate the short-range and long-range interactions with the D2 closure and the mean spherical approximation, respectively. We demonstrate that our new theory can compute the solvent distributions around real hydrophobic solutes in water and complex organic solvents that agree well with the explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations.

  20. Meaning and significance of

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph D Student Roman Mihaela

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhreldin, Marwa; Elmasry, Karim

    2016-02-03

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-11-01

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

  3. Improvement of bias-stability in amorphous-indium-gallium-zinc-oxide thin-film transistors by using solution-processed Y{sub 2}O{sub 3} passivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    An, Sungjin; Mativenga, Mallory; Kim, Youngoo; Jang, Jin, E-mail: jjang@khu.ac.kr [Advanced Display Research Center, Department of Information Display, Kyung Hee University, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-08-04

    We demonstrate back channel improvement of back-channel-etch amorphous-indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) thin-film transistors by using solution-processed yttrium oxide (Y{sub 2}O{sub 3}) passivation. Two different solvents, which are acetonitrile (35%) + ethylene glycol (65%), solvent A and deionized water, solvent B are investigated for the spin-on process of the Y{sub 2}O{sub 3} passivation—performed after patterning source/drain (S/D) Mo electrodes by a conventional HNO{sub 3}-based wet-etch process. Both solvents yield devices with good performance but those passivated by using solvent B exhibit better light and bias stability. Presence of yttrium at the a-IGZO back interface, where it occupies metal vacancy sites, is confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The passivation effect of yttrium is more significant when solvent A is used because of the existence of more metal vacancies, given that the alcohol (65% ethylene glycol) in solvent A may dissolve the metal oxide (a-IGZO) through the formation of alkoxides and water.

  4. Siemens IT solutions for power sector. PROFIT solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lunter, P.

    2004-01-01

    The cost reduction, flexibility and revenue increase, potential exploitation, productivity increase, and business opportunities exploitation - that is all what can be required in the races for the promonent positioning on the electricity power market. These requirements can be realized by the sophisticated IT solutions hand-tailored to the special requirements of the electric power producers and tradesmen. This approach makes it possible to achieve greater profit. Our solutions 'PROFIT Solutions', that are symbiosis of the most progressive information technologies and the power plant techniques of the company Siemens, satisfy submitted specifications in substantial measure. The system solutions 'PROFIT Solutions' comprise three solution groups: process, operation a business. The solutions of the group 'IT Process Solutions' increase flexibility and manoeuvrability of equipment, improve the efficiency and contribute to more economical operation of the power generation. Solutions 'IT Process Solutions' simplify and shorten the period of power cycles and conduce to higher labour productivity. Solutions group 'IT Process Solutions' approaches equipment to the market - supports the profit strategies, helps quickly and expertly to determine and predict hazards. The extension PROFIT Cockpit means the nuance to the solutions world 'PROFIT Solutions'. The survey about the whole installation is within reach at the simple touch of a button. It is possible to compile the total system part by part from single solutions 'PROFIT Solutions'. As a matter of fact all single parts can be interconnected with already existing solutions. Routines 'PROFIT Solutions' cooperate with all modern control systems. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Quality characteristics of chunked and formed hams from pale, average and dark muscles were improved using an ammonium hydroxide curing solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everts, A J; Wulf, D M; Everts, A K R; Nath, T M; Jennings, T D; Weaver, A D

    2010-10-01

    Cooking yield, cooked pH, purge loss, moisture, lipid oxidation, external and internal color, break strength and elongation distance were assessed for pale (PALE), average (AVG) and dark (DARK) inside hams injected with either a control cure solution (CON) or BPI-processing technology cure solution (BPT). Following enhancement, muscles were chunked, vacuum tumbled, smoked and cooked to 66 degrees C. Cooked ham pH was 6.49 for DARK, 6.40 for AVG, and 6.30 for PALE, respectively (PMeat Science Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Experimental Design of a Polymeric Solution to Improve the Mobility Ratio in a Reservoir previous implementation of a pilot project of EOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Cuenca

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes experimental formulations of polymeric solutions through lab evaluations with the objective of finding optimum solution concentration to fluid mobility in reservoirs as previous step before implementing a pilot project of enhanced oil recovery. The polymers, firstly, were selected based on the properties from fluids from reservoir. Two types of polymers were used TCC-330 and EOR909 and the experimental tests were: thermal stability, compatibility, adsorption, salinity, and displacement. The design with the best results was with polymer TCC-330 at 1,500 ppm concentration.

  8. Process for the reduction of competitive oxidant consuming reactions in the solution mining of a mineral

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stover, D.E.

    1980-01-01

    The present invention relates to an improved method for the solution mining of a mineral from a subterranean formation. More specifically, the invention relates to an improved method which enhances significantly the recovery of the mineral from a subterranean formation via solution mining by reducing the oxidant consuming reactions which compete with the mineral for the oxidant injected therein

  9. An improved flow cytometric method using FACS lysing solution for measurement of ZAP-70 expression in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bekkema, Roelof; Tadema, Afke; Daenen, Simon M. G. J.; Kluin-Nelemans, Hanneke C.; Mulder, Andre B.

    Background: B-cell expression of ZAP-70, normally expressed in T and NK cells, correlates with poor prognosis in B-CLL. Poor discrimination between ZAP-70 positive and negative cells hampers routine application of flow cytometry. We examined the usefulness of FACS Lysing Solution. Methods: ZAP-70

  10. A geometric improvement of the velocity-pressure local regularity criterion for a suitable weak solution to the Navier-Stokes equations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neustupa, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 139, č. 4 (2014), s. 685-698 ISSN 0862-7959 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-00522S Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : Navier-Stokes equation * suitable weak solution * regularity Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics http://hdl.handle.net/10338.dmlcz/144145

  11. Improving Students' Understanding of the Connections between the Concepts of Real-Gas Mixtures, Gas Ideal-Solutions, and Perfect-Gas Mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Privat, Romain; Jaubert, Jean-Noël; Moine, Edouard

    2016-01-01

    In many textbooks of chemical-engineering thermodynamics, a gas mixture obeying the fundamental law pV[subscript m] = RT is most often called ideal-gas mixture (in some rare cases, the term perfect-gas mixture can be found). These textbooks also define the fundamental concept of ideal solution which in theory, can be applied indifferently to…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Quality in-training initiative--a solution to the need for education in quality improvement: results from a survey of program directors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelz, Rachel R; Sellers, Morgan M; Reinke, Caroline E; Medbery, Rachel L; Morris, Jon; Ko, Clifford

    2013-12-01

    The Next Accreditation System and the Clinical Learning Environment Review Program will emphasize practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. We present the results of a survey of general surgery program directors to characterize the current state of quality improvement in graduate surgical education and introduce the Quality In-Training Initiative (QITI). In 2012, a 20-item survey was distributed to 118 surgical residency program directors from ACS NSQIP-affiliated hospitals. The survey content was developed in collaboration with the QITI to identify program director opinions regarding education in practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice, to investigate the status of quality improvement education in their respective programs, and to quantify the extent of resident participation in quality improvement. There was a 57% response rate. Eighty-five percent of program directors (n = 57) reported that education in quality improvement is essential to future professional work in the field of surgery. Only 28% (n = 18) of programs reported that at least 50% of their residents track and analyze their patient outcomes, compare them with norms/benchmarks/published standards, and identify opportunities to make practice improvements. Program directors recognize the importance of quality improvement efforts in surgical practice. Subpar participation in basic practice-based learning and improvement activities at the resident level reflects the need for support of these educational goals. The QITI will facilitate programmatic compliance with goals for quality improvement education. Copyright © 2013 American College of Surgeons. All rights reserved.

  14. Significant accomplishments, 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Ferro

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