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Sample records for tests showed improved

  1. Synthetic analogs of anoplin show improved antimicrobial activities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Jens; Uggerhøj, Lars Erik; Poulsen, Tanja Juul

    2013-01-01

    We present the antimicrobial and hemolytic activities of the decapeptide anoplin and 19 analogs thereof tested against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 33591 (MRSA), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (ATCC...... that increasing the charge and/or hydrophobicity improves antimicrobial activity and increases hemolytic activity. For each strain tested, we identify at least six anoplin analogs with an improved therapeutic index compared with anoplin, the only exception being Enterococcus faecium, against which only few...

  2. Migraine patients consistently show abnormal vestibular bedside tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maranhão, Eliana Teixeira; Maranhão-Filho, Péricles; Luiz, Ronir Raggio; Vincent, Maurice Borges

    2016-01-01

    Migraine and vertigo are common disorders, with lifetime prevalences of 16% and 7% respectively, and co-morbidity around 3.2%. Vestibular syndromes and dizziness occur more frequently in migraine patients. We investigated bedside clinical signs indicative of vestibular dysfunction in migraineurs. To test the hypothesis that vestibulo-ocular reflex, vestibulo-spinal reflex and fall risk (FR) responses as measured by 14 bedside tests are abnormal in migraineurs without vertigo, as compared with controls. Cross-sectional study including sixty individuals - thirty migraineurs, 25 women, 19-60 y-o; and 30 gender/age healthy paired controls. Migraineurs showed a tendency to perform worse in almost all tests, albeit only the Romberg tandem test was statistically different from controls. A combination of four abnormal tests better discriminated the two groups (93.3% specificity). Migraine patients consistently showed abnormal vestibular bedside tests when compared with controls.

  3. Migraine patients consistently show abnormal vestibular bedside tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana Teixeira Maranhão

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Migraine and vertigo are common disorders, with lifetime prevalences of 16% and 7% respectively, and co-morbidity around 3.2%. Vestibular syndromes and dizziness occur more frequently in migraine patients. We investigated bedside clinical signs indicative of vestibular dysfunction in migraineurs.Objective To test the hypothesis that vestibulo-ocular reflex, vestibulo-spinal reflex and fall risk (FR responses as measured by 14 bedside tests are abnormal in migraineurs without vertigo, as compared with controls.Method Cross-sectional study including sixty individuals – thirty migraineurs, 25 women, 19-60 y-o; and 30 gender/age healthy paired controls.Results Migraineurs showed a tendency to perform worse in almost all tests, albeit only the Romberg tandem test was statistically different from controls. A combination of four abnormal tests better discriminated the two groups (93.3% specificity.Conclusion Migraine patients consistently showed abnormal vestibular bedside tests when compared with controls.

  4. Face and body recognition show similar improvement during childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bank, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Read, Ainsley; Jeffery, Linda

    2015-09-01

    Adults are proficient in extracting identity cues from faces. This proficiency develops slowly during childhood, with performance not reaching adult levels until adolescence. Bodies are similar to faces in that they convey identity cues and rely on specialized perceptual mechanisms. However, it is currently unclear whether body recognition mirrors the slow development of face recognition during childhood. Recent evidence suggests that body recognition develops faster than face recognition. Here we measured body and face recognition in 6- and 10-year-old children and adults to determine whether these two skills show different amounts of improvement during childhood. We found no evidence that they do. Face and body recognition showed similar improvement with age, and children, like adults, were better at recognizing faces than bodies. These results suggest that the mechanisms of face and body memory mature at a similar rate or that improvement of more general cognitive and perceptual skills underlies improvement of both face and body recognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Limonene hydroperoxide analogues show specific patch test reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensson, Johanna Bråred; Hellsén, Staffan; Börje, Anna; Karlberg, Ann-Therese

    2014-05-01

    The fragrance terpene R-limonene is a very weak sensitizer, but forms allergenic oxidation products upon contact with air. The primary oxidation products of oxidized limonene, the hydroperoxides, have an important impact on the sensitizing potency of the oxidation mixture. One analogue, limonene-1-hydroperoxide, was experimentally shown to be a significantly more potent sensitizer than limonene-2-hydroperoxide in the local lymph node assay with non-pooled lymph nodes. To investigate the pattern of reactivity among consecutive dermatitis patients to two structurally closely related limonene hydroperoxides, limonene-1-hydroperoxide and limonene-2-hydroperoxide. Limonene-1-hydroperoxide, limonene-2-hydroperoxide, at 0.5% in petrolatum, and oxidized limonene 3.0% pet. were tested in 763 consecutive dermatitis patients. Of the tested materials, limonene-1-hydroperoxide gave most reactions, with 2.4% of the patients showing positive patch test reactions. Limonene-2-hydroperoxide and oxidized R-limonene gave 1.7% and 1.2% positive patch test reactions, respectively. Concomitant positive patch test reactions to other fragrance markers in the baseline series were frequently noted. The results are in accordance with the experimental studies, as limonene-1-hydroperoxide gave more positive patch test reactions in the tested patients than limonene-2-hydroperoxide. Furthermore, the results support the specificity of the allergenic activity of the limonene hydroperoxide analogues and the importance of oxidized limonene as a cause of contact allergy. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. What do we miss? ASAS non-responders on anti-TNF therapy show improvement in performance-based physical function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Weely, S.F.E.; van Denderen, J.C.; Steultjens, M.P.M.; Nurmohamed, M.T.; Dijkmans, B.A.C.; Dekker, J.; van der Horst-Bruinsma, I.E.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: A prospective study was conducted in order to establish whether AS patients, who are defined as non-responders after 3 months of anti-TNF therapy, show improvement on performance-based tests of physical functioning. Methods: At baseline and 3 months after the start of anti-TNF therapy, AS

  7. Fatigue Tests on Welded Joints Improved by Grinding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerskov, Henning; Bjørnbak-Hansen, Jørgen; Olesen, John Forbes

    The present project is a part of an investigation on the fatigue life of the welded structure of large two-stroke diesel engines. Of special interest has been a study of the improvement in fatigue life, due to grinding of the weld toes. The test series carried through showed a significant increase...... without grinding to approx. 6.4 for the test series with grinding. In one of the test series (No. 7), the crack initiation in most tests moved from the weld toe to the non-ground surface between the ground areas at the weld toes, due to the grinding....... in fatigue life due to the grinding, ranging from a factor of approx. 2.8 to infinity, depending on the load level. With the limited number of tests carried out, S-N lines have not been determined. However, the results obtained indicate a change in slope of the S-N line from approx. 3.0 for the test series...

  8. Using Optimization to Improve Test Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    OPTIMIZATION TO IMPROVE TEST PLANNING by Arlene M. Payne September 2017 Thesis Advisor: Jeffrey E. Kline Second Reader: Oleg A. Yakimenko THIS... Project (0704-0188) Washington, DC 20503. 1. AGENCY USE ONLY (Leave blank) 2. REPORT DATE September 2017 3. REPORT TYPE AND DATES COVERED Master’s...thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE USING OPTIMIZATION TO IMPROVE TEST PLANNING 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) Arlene M. Payne 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION

  9. Improvement in reliability and accuracy of heater tube eddy current testing by integration with an appropriate destructive test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giovanelli, F.; Gabiccini, S.; Tarli, R.; Motta, P.

    1988-01-01

    A specially developed destructive test is described showing how the reliability and accuracy of a non-destructive technique can be improved if it is suitably accompanied by an appropriate destructive test. The experiment was carried out on samples of AISI 304L tubes from the low-pressure (LP) preheaters of a BWR 900 MW nuclear plant. (author)

  10. Low Intensity Focused tDCS Over the Motor Cortex Shows Inefficacy to Improve Motor Imagery Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irma N. Angulo-Sherman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a brain stimulation technique that can enhance motor activity by stimulating the motor path. Thus, tDCS has the potential of improving the performance of brain-computer interfaces during motor neurorehabilitation. tDCS effects depend on several aspects, including the current density, which usually varies between 0.02 and 0.08 mA/cm2, and the location of the stimulation electrodes. Hence, testing tDCS montages at several current levels would allow the selection of current parameters for improving stimulation outcomes and the comparison of montages. In a previous study, we found that cortico-cerebellar tDCS shows potential of enhancing right-hand motor imagery. In this paper, we aim to evaluate the effects of the focal stimulation of the motor cortex over motor imagery. In particular, the effect of supplying tDCS with a 4 × 1 ring montage, which consists in placing an anode on the motor cortex and four cathodes around it, over motor imagery was assessed with different current densities. Electroencephalographic (EEG classification into rest or right-hand/feet motor imagery was evaluated on five healthy subjects for two stimulation schemes: applying tDCS for 10 min on the (1 right-hand or (2 feet motor cortex before EEG recording. Accuracy differences related to the tDCS intensity, as well as μ and β band power changes, were tested for each subject and tDCS modality. In addition, a simulation of the electric field induced by the montage was used to describe its effect on the brain. Results show no improvement trends on classification for the evaluated currents, which is in accordance with the observation of variable EEG band power results despite the focused stimulation. The lack of effects is probably related to the underestimation of the current intensity required to apply a particular current density for small electrodes and the relatively short inter-electrode distance. Hence, higher current

  11. Evaluating a mobile application for improving clinical laboratory test ordering and diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Ashley N D; Thompson, Pamela J; Khanna, Arushi; Desai, Samir; Mathews, Benji K; Yousef, Elham; Kusnoor, Anita V; Singh, Hardeep

    2018-04-20

    Mobile applications for improving diagnostic decision making often lack clinical evaluation. We evaluated if a mobile application improves generalist physicians' appropriate laboratory test ordering and diagnosis decisions and assessed if physicians perceive it as useful for learning. In an experimental, vignette study, physicians diagnosed 8 patient vignettes with normal prothrombin times (PT) and abnormal partial thromboplastin times (PTT). Physicians made test ordering and diagnosis decisions for 4 vignettes using each resource: a mobile app, PTT Advisor, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative (CLIHC); and usual clinical decision support. Then, physicians answered questions regarding their perceptions of the app's usefulness for diagnostic decision making and learning using a modified Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Framework. Data from 368 vignettes solved by 46 physicians at 7 US health care institutions show advantages for using PTT Advisor over usual clinical decision support on test ordering and diagnostic decision accuracy (82.6 vs 70.2% correct; P < .001), confidence in decisions (7.5 vs 6.3 out of 10; P < .001), and vignette completion time (3:02 vs 3:53 min.; P = .06). Physicians reported positive perceptions of the app's potential for improved clinical decision making, and recommended it be used to address broader diagnostic challenges. A mobile app, PTT Advisor, may contribute to better test ordering and diagnosis, serve as a learning tool for diagnostic evaluation of certain clinical disorders, and improve patient outcomes. Similar methods could be useful for evaluating apps aimed at improving testing and diagnosis for other conditions.

  12. Differential Weighting of Items to Improve University Admission Test Validity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Backhoff Escudero

    2001-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper gives an evaluation of different ways to increase university admission test criterion-related validity, by differentially weighting test items. We compared four methods of weighting multiple-choice items of the Basic Skills and Knowledge Examination (EXHCOBA: (1 punishing incorrect responses by a constant factor, (2 weighting incorrect responses, considering the levels of error, (3 weighting correct responses, considering the item’s difficulty, based on the Classic Measurement Theory, and (4 weighting correct responses, considering the item’s difficulty, based on the Item Response Theory. Results show that none of these methods increased the instrument’s predictive validity, although they did improve its concurrent validity. It was concluded that it is appropriate to score the test by simply adding up correct responses.

  13. Improving Molecular Genetic Test Utilization through Order Restriction, Test Review, and Guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Jacquelyn D; Procop, Gary W; Kottke-Marchant, Kandice; Wyllie, Robert; Lacbawan, Felicitas L

    2015-05-01

    The ordering of molecular genetic tests by health providers not well trained in genetics may have a variety of untoward effects. These include the selection of inappropriate tests, the ordering of panels when the assessment of individual or fewer genes would be more appropriate, inaccurate result interpretation and inappropriate patient guidance, and significant unwarranted cost expenditure. We sought to improve the utilization of molecular genetic tests by requiring providers without specialty training in genetics to use genetic counselors and molecular genetic pathologists to assist in test selection. We used a genetic and genomic test review process wherein the laboratory-based genetic counselor performed the preanalytic assessment of test orders and test triage. Test indication and clinical findings were evaluated against the test panel composition, methods, and test limitations under the supervision of the molecular genetic pathologist. These test utilization management efforts resulted in a decrease in genetic test ordering and a gross cost savings of $1,531,913 since the inception of these programs in September 2011 through December 2013. The combination of limiting the availability of complex genetic tests and providing guidance regarding appropriate test strategies is an effective way to improve genetic tests, contributing to judicious use of limited health care resources. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Continuous quality improvement intervention for adolescent and young adult HIV testing services in Kenya improves HIV knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Anjuli D; Mugo, Cyrus; Bluemer-Miroite, Shay; Mutiti, Peter M; Wamalwa, Dalton C; Bukusi, David; Neary, Jillian; Njuguna, Irene N; O'Malley, Gabrielle; John-Stewart, Grace C; Slyker, Jennifer A; Kohler, Pamela K

    2017-07-01

    To determine whether continuous quality improvement (CQI) improves quality of HIV testing services for adolescents and young adults (AYA). CQI was introduced at two HIV testing settings: Youth Centre and Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Center, at a national referral hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Primary outcomes were AYA satisfaction with HIV testing services, intent to return, and accurate HIV prevention and transmission knowledge. Healthcare worker (HCW) satisfaction assessed staff morale. T tests and interrupted time series analysis using Prais-Winsten regression and generalized estimating equations accounting for temporal trends and autocorrelation were conducted. There were 172 AYA (Youth Centre = 109, VCT = 63) during 6 baseline weeks and 702 (Youth Centre = 454, VCT = 248) during 24 intervention weeks. CQI was associated with an immediate increase in the proportion of AYA with accurate knowledge of HIV transmission at Youth Centre: 18 vs. 63% [adjusted risk difference (aRD) 0.42,95% confidence interval (CI) 0.21 to 0.63], and a trend at VCT: 38 vs. 72% (aRD 0.30, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.63). CQI was associated with an increase in the proportion of AYA with accurate HIV prevention knowledge in VCT: 46 vs. 61% (aRD 0.39, 95% CI 0.02-0.76), but not Youth Centre (P = 0.759). In VCT, CQI showed a trend towards increased intent to retest (4.0 vs. 4.3; aRD 0.78, 95% CI -0.11 to 1.67), but not at Youth Centre (P = 0.19). CQI was not associated with changes in AYA satisfaction, which was high during baseline and intervention at both clinics (P = 0.384, P = 0.755). HCW satisfaction remained high during intervention and baseline (P = 0.746). CQI improved AYA knowledge and did not negatively impact HCW satisfaction. Quality improvement interventions may be useful to improve adolescent-friendly service delivery.

  15. TESTING METHODS FOR MECHANICALLY IMPROVED SOILS: RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Petkovšek

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A possibility of in-situ mechanical improvement for reducing the liquefaction potential of silty sands was investigated by using three different techniques: Vibratory Roller Compaction, Rapid Impact Compaction (RIC and Soil Mixing. Material properties at all test sites were investigated before and after improvement with the laboratory and the in situ tests (CPT, SDMT, DPSH B, static and dynamic load plate test, geohydraulic tests. Correlation between the results obtained by different test methods gave inconclusive answers.

  16. Improving Size and Power in Unit Root Testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haldrup, Niels; Jansson, Michael

    A frequent criticism of unit root tests concerns the poor power and size properties that many of such testsexhibit. However, the past decade or so intensive research has been conducted to alleviate these problems and great advances have been made. The present paper provides a selective survey...... of recent contributions to improve upon both size and power of unit root tests and in so doing the approach of using rigorous statistical optimality criteria in the development of such tests is stressed. In addition to presenting tests where improved size can be achieved by modifying the standard Dickey......-Fuller class of tests, the paper presents theory of optimal testing and the construction of power envelopes for unit root tests underdifferent conditions allowing for serial correlation, deterministic components, assumptions regarding the initial condition, non-Gaussian errors, and the use of covariates....

  17. Continuous Improvement in Battery Testing at the NASA/JSC Energy System Test Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, William; Cook, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    The Energy Systems Test Area (ESTA) at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas conducts development and qualification tests to fulfill Energy System Division responsibilities relevant to ASA programs and projects. EST A has historically called upon a variety of fluid, mechanical, electrical, environmental, and data system capabilities spread amongst five full-service facilities to test human and human supported spacecraft in the areas of propulsion systems, fluid systems, pyrotechnics, power generation, and power distribution and control systems. Improvements at ESTA are being made in full earnest of offering NASA project offices an option to choose a thorough test regime that is balanced with cost and schedule constraints. In order to continue testing of enabling power-related technologies utilized by the Energy System Division, an especially proactive effort has been made to increase the cost effectiveness and schedule responsiveness for battery testing. This paper describes the continuous improvement in battery testing at the Energy Systems Test Area being made through consolidation, streamlining, and standardization.

  18. Reducing test anxiety and improving academic self-esteem in high school and college students with learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachelka, D; Katz, R C

    1999-09-01

    Test anxiety seems like a benign problem to some people, but it can be potentially serious when it leads to high levels of distress and academic failure in otherwise capable students. Because test anxiety is common in older students with learning disabilities (LD), it is surprising that little research has been done on ways to reduce the distress these students experience in test situations. In this study, we used a randomized pretest-posttest control group design to examine the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral treatment for reducing test anxiety and improving academic self-esteem in a cohort (N = 27) of high school and college students with learning disabilities (LD). All of the students participated voluntarily. They were enrolled in classes for students with learning problems. Before the study began, they complained of test anxiety and showed an elevated score on the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI). Eleven students (85%) completed the 8-week long treatment, which consisted of progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, self-instruction training, as well as training in study and test-taking skills. Results showed significant improvement in the treated group which was not evident in an untreated control group (N = 16). Compared to the control group, the treated group showed significant reductions in test anxiety on the TAI, as well as improvement in study skills and academic self-esteem as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, and the school scale of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. These results extend the generality of similar studies on reducing test anxiety and improving academic self-esteem in younger students. They also suggest that relief from test anxiety can be expected fairly quickly when cognitive-behavioral methods are used. Additional implications and methodological limitations of the study are discussed.

  19. An improved test for periodicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davies, S.R.

    1990-01-01

    I discuss two widely used methods of testing for periodicity, phase dispersion minimization and epoch-folding. Using an analysis of variance approach, I demonstrate the close relationship between these two methods. I also show that the significance test sometimes used in phase dispersion minimization is statistically inaccurate, and that the test used in epoch-folding is an approximation valid only for large sample sizes. I propose a new test statistic, applicable to either epoch-folding or PDM, which is statistically sound for all sample sizes, and which is also more sensitive to periodicity than the test statistics previously used with these two methods. (author)

  20. Electricity production shows improvement across Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1991-01-01

    In the first half of 1991, electricity production from Canadian utilities improved substantially compared to the first half of 1990. Canada was a net importer of 5332 GWh in January-June 1990 while it was a net exporter of 5250 GWh in January-June 1991. The largest single factor in this reversal is the improved performance of Ontario Hydro's CANDU reactors. Total acid gas emissions by Ontario Hydro for 1991 are expected to total 240,000 tonnes, about the same as 1990, but at much higher capacity factors. A combination of recession, private power generation, and the startup of the Seabrook nuclear station have put a brake on power exports to the USA. New Brunswick Power exports were not only affected by the new capacity at Seabrook but also because of low water conditions at its hydroelectric plants. Hydro-Quebec generated 300 GWh more hydraulic energy in June 1991 than in June 1990 and its Gentilly-2 nuclear station has been operating at 96.7% capacity. The Quebec utility exported 1215 GWh to the USA and 2121 GWh to other Canadian utilities in January-June 1991, compared to 1602 GWh and 2232 GWh resspectively in January-June 1990. 1 tab

  1. Prognostic durability of liver fibrosis tests and improvement in predictive performance for mortality by combining tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrais, Sandrine; Boursier, Jérôme; Ducancelle, Alexandra; Oberti, Frédéric; Fouchard-Hubert, Isabelle; Moal, Valérie; Calès, Paul

    2017-06-01

    There is currently no recommended time interval between noninvasive fibrosis measurements for monitoring chronic liver diseases. We determined how long a single liver fibrosis evaluation may accurately predict mortality, and assessed whether combining tests improves prognostic performance. We included 1559 patients with chronic liver disease and available baseline liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by Fibroscan, aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), FIB-4, Hepascore, and FibroMeter V2G . Median follow-up was 2.8 years during which 262 (16.8%) patients died, with 115 liver-related deaths. All fibrosis tests were able to predict mortality, although APRI (and FIB-4 for liver-related mortality) showed lower overall discriminative ability than the other tests (differences in Harrell's C-index: P fibrosis, 1 year in patients with significant fibrosis, and liver disease (MELD) score testing sets. In the training set, blood tests and LSM were independent predictors of all-cause mortality. The best-fit multivariate model included age, sex, LSM, and FibroMeter V2G with C-index = 0.834 (95% confidence interval, 0.803-0.862). The prognostic model for liver-related mortality included the same covariates with C-index = 0.868 (0.831-0.902). In the testing set, the multivariate models had higher prognostic accuracy than FibroMeter V2G or LSM alone for all-cause mortality and FibroMeter V2G alone for liver-related mortality. The prognostic durability of a single baseline fibrosis evaluation depends on the liver fibrosis level. Combining LSM with a blood fibrosis test improves mortality risk assessment. © 2016 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  2. Is intuition really cooperative? Improved tests support the social heuristics hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isler, Ozan; Maule, John; Starmer, Chris

    2018-01-01

    Understanding human cooperation is a major scientific challenge. While cooperation is typically explained with reference to individual preferences, a recent cognitive process view hypothesized that cooperation is regulated by socially acquired heuristics. Evidence for the social heuristics hypothesis rests on experiments showing that time-pressure promotes cooperation, a result that can be interpreted as demonstrating that intuition promotes cooperation. This interpretation, however, is highly contested because of two potential confounds. First, in pivotal studies compliance with time-limits is low and, crucially, evidence shows intuitive cooperation only when noncompliant participants are excluded. The inconsistency of test results has led to the currently unresolved controversy regarding whether or not noncompliant subjects should be included in the analysis. Second, many studies show high levels of social dilemma misunderstanding, leading to speculation that asymmetries in understanding might explain patterns that are otherwise interpreted as intuitive cooperation. We present evidence from an experiment that employs an improved time-pressure protocol with new features designed to induce high levels of compliance and clear tests of understanding. Our study resolves the noncompliance issue, shows that misunderstanding does not confound tests of intuitive cooperation, and provides the first independent experimental evidence for intuitive cooperation in a social dilemma using time-pressure.

  3. Industrial Tests to Modify Molten Copper Slag for Improvement of Copper Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhengqi; Zhu, Deqing; Pan, Jian; Zhang, Feng; Yang, Congcong

    2018-04-01

    In this article, to improve the recovery of copper from copper slag by flotation process, industrial tests of the modification process involving addition of a composite additive into molten copper slag were conducted, and the modified slag was subjected to the flotation process to confirm the modification effect. The phase evolution of the slag in the modification process was revealed by thermodynamic calculations, x-ray diffraction, optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The results show that more copper was transformed and enriched in copper sulfide phases. The magnetite content in the modified slag decreased, and that of "FeO" increased correspondingly, leading to a better fluidity of the molten slag, which improved the aggregation and growth of fine particles of the copper sulfide minerals. Closed-circuit flotation tests of the original and modified slags were conducted, and the results show that the copper recovery increased obviously from 69.15% to 73.38%, and the copper grade of concentrates was elevated slightly from 20.24% to 21.69%, further confirming that the industrial tests of the modification process were successful. Hence, the modification process has a bright future in industrial applications for enhancing the recovery of copper from the copper slag.

  4. Test and improvement of readout system based on APV25 chip for GEM detector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Shouyang; Jian Siyu; Zhou Jing; Shan Chao; Li Xinglong; Li Xia; Li Xiaomei; Zhou Yi

    2014-01-01

    Gas electron multiplier (GEM) is the most promising position sensitive gas detector. The new generation of readout electronics system includes APV25 front-end card, multi-purpose digitizer (MPD), VME controller and Linux-based acquisition software DAQ. The construction and preliminary test of this readout system were finished, and the ideal data with the system working frequency of 40 MHz and 20 MHz were obtained. The long time running test shows that the system has a very good time-stable ability. Through optimizing the software configuration and improving hardware quality, the noise level was reduced, and the signal noise ratio was improved. (authors)

  5. Optimization and Improvement of Test Processes on a Production Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sujová, Erika; Čierna, Helena

    2018-06-01

    The paper deals with increasing processes efficiency at a production line of cylinder heads of engines in a production company operating in the automotive industry. The goal is to achieve improvement and optimization of test processes on a production line. It analyzes options for improving capacity, availability and productivity of processes of an output test by using modern technology available on the market. We have focused on analysis of operation times before and after optimization of test processes at specific production sections. By analyzing measured results we have determined differences in time before and after improvement of the process. We have determined a coefficient of efficiency OEE and by comparing outputs we have confirmed real improvement of the process of the output test of cylinder heads.

  6. Improvement of Measurement Accuracy of Coolant Flow in a Test Loop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Jintae; Kim, Jong-Bum; Joung, Chang-Young; Ahn, Sung-Ho; Heo, Sung-Ho; Jang, Seoyun [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    In this study, to improve the measurement accuracy of coolant flow in a coolant flow simulator, elimination of external noise are enhanced by adding ground pattern in the control panel and earth around signal cables. In addition, a heating unit is added to strengthen the fluctuation signal by heating the coolant because the source of signals are heat energy. Experimental results using the improved system shows good agreement with the reference flow rate. The measurement error is reduced dramatically compared with the previous measurement accuracy and it will help to analyze the performance of nuclear fuels. For further works, out of pile test will be carried out by fabricating a test rig mockup and inspect the feasibility of the developed system. To verify the performance of a newly developed nuclear fuel, irradiation test needs to be carried out in the research reactor and measure the irradiation behavior such as fuel temperature, fission gas release, neutron dose, coolant temperature, and coolant flow rate. In particular, the heat generation rate of nuclear fuels can be measured indirectly by measuring temperature variation of coolant which passes by the fuel rod and its flow rate. However, it is very difficult to measure the flow rate of coolant at the fuel rod owing to the narrow gap between components of the test rig. In nuclear fields, noise analysis using thermocouples in the test rig has been applied to measure the flow velocity of coolant which circulates through the test loop.

  7. Improving the space surveillance telescope's performance using multi-hypothesis testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chris Zingarelli, J.; Cain, Stephen [Air Force Institute of Technology, 2950 Hobson Way, Bldg 641, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433 (United States); Pearce, Eric; Lambour, Richard [Lincoln Labratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA 02421 (United States); Blake, Travis [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, 675 North Randolph Street Arlington, VA 22203 (United States); Peterson, Curtis J. R., E-mail: John.Zingarelli@afit.edu [United States Air Force, 1690 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    The Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program designed to detect objects in space like near Earth asteroids and space debris in the geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) belt. Binary hypothesis test (BHT) methods have historically been used to facilitate the detection of new objects in space. In this paper a multi-hypothesis detection strategy is introduced to improve the detection performance of SST. In this context, the multi-hypothesis testing (MHT) determines if an unresolvable point source is in either the center, a corner, or a side of a pixel in contrast to BHT, which only tests whether an object is in the pixel or not. The images recorded by SST are undersampled such as to cause aliasing, which degrades the performance of traditional detection schemes. The equations for the MHT are derived in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), which is computed by subtracting the background light level around the pixel being tested and dividing by the standard deviation of the noise. A new method for determining the local noise statistics that rejects outliers is introduced in combination with the MHT. An experiment using observations of a known GEO satellite are used to demonstrate the improved detection performance of the new algorithm over algorithms previously reported in the literature. The results show a significant improvement in the probability of detection by as much as 50% over existing algorithms. In addition to detection, the S/N results prove to be linearly related to the least-squares estimates of point source irradiance, thus improving photometric accuracy.

  8. Investigating CSI: portrayals of DNA testing on a forensic crime show and their potential effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, Barbara L; Jankowski, Natalie; Brewer, Paul R

    2012-01-01

    The popularity of forensic crime shows such as CSI has fueled debate about their potential social impact. This study considers CSI's potential effects on public understandings regarding DNA testing in the context of judicial processes, the policy debates surrounding crime laboratory procedures, and the forensic science profession, as well as an effect not discussed in previous accounts: namely, the show's potential impact on public understandings of DNA and genetics more generally. To develop a theoretical foundation for research on the "CSI effect," it draws on cultivation theory, social cognitive theory, and audience reception studies. It then uses content analysis and textual analysis to illuminate how the show depicts DNA testing. The results demonstrate that CSI tends to depict DNA testing as routine, swift, useful, and reliable and that it echoes broader discourses about genetics. At times, however, the show suggests more complex ways of thinking about DNA testing and genetics.

  9. Online pre-race education improves test scores for volunteers at a marathon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Shane; Renier, Colleen; Sikka, Robby; Widstrom, Luke; Paulson, William; Christensen, Trent; Olson, David; Nelson, Benjamin

    2017-09-01

    This study examined whether an online course would lead to increased knowledge about the medical issues volunteers encounter during a marathon. Health care professionals who volunteered to provide medical coverage for an annual marathon were eligible for the study. Demographic information about medical volunteers including profession, specialty, education level and number of marathons they had volunteered for was collected. A 15-question test about the most commonly encountered medical issues was created by the authors and administered before and after the volunteers took the online educational course and compared to a pilot study the previous year. Seventy-four subjects completed the pre-test. Those who participated in the pilot study last year (N = 15) had pre-test scores that were an average of 2.4 points higher than those who did not (mean ranks: pilot study = 51.6 vs. non-pilot = 33.9, p = 0.004). Of the 74 subjects who completed the pre-test, 54 also completed the post-test. The overall post-pre mean score difference was 3.8 ± 2.7 (t = 10.5 df = 53 p online education demonstrated a long-term (one-year) increase in test scores. Testing also continued to show short-term improvement in post-course test scores, compared to pre-course test scores. In general, marathon medical volunteers who had no volunteer experience demonstrated greater improvement than those who had prior volunteer experience.

  10. Improvement of test methodology for evaluating diesel fuel stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutman, M.; Tartakovsky, L.; Kirzhner, Y.; Zvirin, Y. [Internal Combustion Engines Lab., Haifa (Israel); Luria, D. [Fuel Authority, Tel Aviv (Israel); Weiss, A.; Shuftan, M. [Israel Defence Forces, Tel Aviv (Israel)

    1995-05-01

    The storage stability of diesel fuel has been extensively investigated for many years under laboratory conditions. Although continuous efforts have been made to improve testing techniques, there does not yet exist a generally accepted correlation between laboratory methods (such as chemical analysis of the fuel) and actual diesel engine tests. A testing method was developed by the Technion Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory (TICEL), in order to address this problem. The test procedure was designed to simulate diesel engine operation under field conditions. It is based on running a laboratory-modified single cylinder diesel engine for 50 h under cycling operating conditions. The overall rating of each test is based on individual evaluation of the deposits and residue formation in the fuel filter, nozzle body and needle, piston head, piston rings, exhaust valve, and combustion chamber (six parameters). Two methods for analyzing the test results were used: objective, based on measured data, and subjective, based on visual evaluation results of these deposits by a group of experts. Only the residual level in the fuel filter was evaluated quantitatively by measured results. In order to achieve higher accuracy of the method, the test procedure was improved by introducing the measured results of nozzle fouling as an additional objective evaluating (seventh) parameter. This factor is evaluated on the basis of the change in the air flow rate through the nozzle before and after the complete engine test. Other improvements in the method include the use of the nozzle assembly photograph in the test evaluation, and representation of all seven parameters on a continuous scale instead of the discrete scale used anteriorly, in order to achieve higher accuracy. This paper also contains the results obtained by application of this improved fuel stability test for a diesel fuel stored for a five-year period.

  11. 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.

  12. Serotonin Transporter Knockout Rats Show Improved Strategy Set-Shifting and Reduced Latent Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonkes, Lourens J. P.; van de Vondervoort, Ilse I. G. M.; de Leeuw, Mark J. C.; Wijlaars, Linda P.; Maes, Joseph H. R.; Homberg, Judith R.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral flexibility is a cognitive process depending on prefrontal areas allowing adaptive responses to environmental changes. Serotonin transporter knockout (5-HTT[superscript -/-]) rodents show improved reversal learning in addition to orbitofrontal cortex changes. Another form of behavioral flexibility, extradimensional strategy set-shifting…

  13. MITG post-test analysis and design improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schock, A.

    1983-01-01

    The design, performance analysis, and key attributes of the Modular Isotopic Thermoelectric Generator (MITG) were described in a 1981 IECEC paper; and the design, fabrication, and testing of prototypical MITG test assemblies were described in preceding papers in these proceedings. Each test assembly simulated a typical modular slice of the flight generator. The present paper describes a detailed thermal-stress analysis, which identified the causes of stress-related problems observed during the tests. It then describes how additional analyses were used to evaluate design changes to alleviate those problems. Additional design improvements are discussed in the next paper in these proceedings, which also describes revised fabrication procedures and updated performance estimates for the generator

  14. Functional measures show improvements after a home exercise program following supervised balance training in older adults with elevated fall risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisher, Kristen; Mann, Kimberly; VanDyke, Sarah; Johansson, Charity; Vallabhajosula, Srikant

    2018-03-05

    Supervised balance training shows immediate benefit for older adults at fall risk. The long-term effectiveness of such training can be enhanced by implementing a safe and simple home exercise program (HEP). We investigated the effects of a12-week unsupervised HEP following supervised clinic-based balance training on functional mobility, balance, fall risk, and gait. Six older adults with an elevated fall risk obtained an HEP and comprised the HEP group (HEPG) and five older adults who were not given an HEP comprised the no HEP group (NoHEPG). The HEP consisted of three static balance exercises: feet-together, single-leg stance, and tandem. Each exercise was to be performed twice for 30-60 s, once per day, 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Participants were educated on proper form, safety, and progression of exercises. Pre- and post-HEP testing included Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up and Go, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) assessments, Activities-Balance Confidence, Late-Life Functional Disability Instrument and instrumented assessments of balance and gait (Limits of Stability, modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance, Gait). A healthy control group (HCG; n = 11) was also tested. For most of the measures, the HEPG improved to the level of HCG. Though task-specific improvements like BBS and SPPB components were seen, the results did not carry over to more dynamic assessments. Results provide proof of concept that a simple HEP can be independently implemented and effective for sustaining and/or improving balance in older adults at elevated fall-risk after they have undergone a clinic-based balance intervention.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. Quality Improvement Intervention for Reduction of Redundant Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan M. Ducatman MD, MS

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Laboratory data are critical to analyzing and improving clinical quality. In the setting of residual use of creatine kinase M and B isoenzyme testing for myocardial infarction, we assessed disease outcomes of discordant creatine kinase M and B isoenzyme +/troponin I (− test pairs in order to address anticipated clinician concerns about potential loss of case-finding sensitivity following proposed discontinuation of routine creatine kinase and creatine kinase M and B isoenzyme testing. Time-sequenced interventions were introduced. The main outcome was the percentage of cardiac marker studies performed within guidelines. Nonguideline orders dominated at baseline. Creatine kinase M and B isoenzyme testing in 7496 order sets failed to detect additional myocardial infarctions but was associated with 42 potentially preventable admissions/quarter. Interruptive computerized soft stops improved guideline compliance from 32.3% to 58% ( P 80% ( P < .001 with peer leadership that featured dashboard feedback about test order performance. This successful experience was recapitulated in interrupted time series within 2 additional services within facility 1 and then in 2 external hospitals (including a critical access facility. Improvements have been sustained postintervention. Laboratory cost savings at the academic facility were estimated to be ≥US$635 000 per year. National collaborative data indicated that facility 1 improved its order patterns from fourth to first quartile compared to peer norms and imply that nonguideline orders persist elsewhere. This example illustrates how pathologists can provide leadership in assisting clinicians in changing laboratory ordering practices. We found that clinicians respond to local laboratory data about their own test performance and that evidence suggesting harm is more compelling to clinicians than evidence of cost savings. Our experience indicates that interventions done at an academic facility can be readily

  17. Improving Test-Taking Skills of LD Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markel, Geraldine

    1981-01-01

    A multicomponent model to improve test taking skills of learning disabled (LD) adolescents is proposed to encourage anxiety management, problem solving skills, assertiveness, study skills, and student confidence and control. The role of the LD consultant in this process is described. (CL)

  18. Using Operational Analysis to Improve Access to Pulmonary Function Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ada Ip

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Timely pulmonary function testing is crucial to improving diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary diseases. Perceptions of poor access at an academic pulmonary function laboratory prompted analysis of system demand and capacity to identify factors contributing to poor access. Methods. Surveys and interviews identified stakeholder perspectives on operational processes and access challenges. Retrospective data on testing demand and resource capacity was analyzed to understand utilization of testing resources. Results. Qualitative analysis demonstrated that stakeholder groups had discrepant views on access and capacity in the laboratory. Mean daily resource utilization was 0.64 (SD 0.15, with monthly average utilization consistently less than 0.75. Reserved testing slots for subspecialty clinics were poorly utilized, leaving many testing slots unfilled. When subspecialty demand exceeded number of reserved slots, there was sufficient capacity in the pulmonary function schedule to accommodate added demand. Findings were shared with stakeholders and influenced scheduling process improvements. Conclusion. This study highlights the importance of operational data to identify causes of poor access, guide system decision-making, and determine effects of improvement initiatives in a variety of healthcare settings. Importantly, simple operational analysis can help to improve efficiency of health systems with little or no added financial investment.

  19. Volumetric CT-images improve testing of radiological image interpretation skills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ravesloot, Cécile J., E-mail: C.J.Ravesloot@umcutrecht.nl [Radiology Department at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, Room E01.132 (Netherlands); Schaaf, Marieke F. van der, E-mail: M.F.vanderSchaaf@uu.nl [Department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences at Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht (Netherlands); Schaik, Jan P.J. van, E-mail: J.P.J.vanSchaik@umcutrecht.nl [Radiology Department at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, Room E01.132 (Netherlands); Cate, Olle Th.J. ten, E-mail: T.J.tenCate@umcutrecht.nl [Center for Research and Development of Education at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht (Netherlands); Gijp, Anouk van der, E-mail: A.vanderGijp-2@umcutrecht.nl [Radiology Department at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, Room E01.132 (Netherlands); Mol, Christian P., E-mail: C.Mol@umcutrecht.nl [Image Sciences Institute at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht (Netherlands); Vincken, Koen L., E-mail: K.Vincken@umcutrecht.nl [Image Sciences Institute at University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2015-05-15

    Rationale and objectives: Current radiology practice increasingly involves interpretation of volumetric data sets. In contrast, most radiology tests still contain only 2D images. We introduced a new testing tool that allows for stack viewing of volumetric images in our undergraduate radiology program. We hypothesized that tests with volumetric CT-images enhance test quality, in comparison with traditional completely 2D image-based tests, because they might better reflect required skills for clinical practice. Materials and methods: Two groups of medical students (n = 139; n = 143), trained with 2D and volumetric CT-images, took a digital radiology test in two versions (A and B), each containing both 2D and volumetric CT-image questions. In a questionnaire, they were asked to comment on the representativeness for clinical practice, difficulty and user-friendliness of the test questions and testing program. Students’ test scores and reliabilities, measured with Cronbach's alpha, of 2D and volumetric CT-image tests were compared. Results: Estimated reliabilities (Cronbach's alphas) were higher for volumetric CT-image scores (version A: .51 and version B: .54), than for 2D CT-image scores (version A: .24 and version B: .37). Participants found volumetric CT-image tests more representative of clinical practice, and considered them to be less difficult than volumetric CT-image questions. However, in one version (A), volumetric CT-image scores (M 80.9, SD 14.8) were significantly lower than 2D CT-image scores (M 88.4, SD 10.4) (p < .001). The volumetric CT-image testing program was considered user-friendly. Conclusion: This study shows that volumetric image questions can be successfully integrated in students’ radiology testing. Results suggests that the inclusion of volumetric CT-images might improve the quality of radiology tests by positively impacting perceived representativeness for clinical practice and increasing reliability of the test.

  20. Improvement of testing and maintenance based on fault tree analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cepin, M.

    2000-01-01

    Testing and maintenance of safety equipment is an important issue, which significantly contributes to safe and efficient operation of a nuclear power plant. In this paper a method, which extends the classical fault tree with time, is presented. Its mathematical model is represented by a set of equations, which include time requirements defined in the house event matrix. House events matrix is a representation of house events switched on and off through the discrete points of time. It includes house events, which timely switch on and off parts of the fault tree in accordance with the status of the plant configuration. Time dependent top event probability is calculated by the fault tree evaluations. Arrangement of components outages is determined on base of minimization of mean system unavailability. The results show that application of the method may improve the time placement of testing and maintenance activities of safety equipment. (author)

  1. Are students' impressions of improved learning through active learning methods reflected by improved test scores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everly, Marcee C

    2013-02-01

    To report the transformation from lecture to more active learning methods in a maternity nursing course and to evaluate whether student perception of improved learning through active-learning methods is supported by improved test scores. The process of transforming a course into an active-learning model of teaching is described. A voluntary mid-semester survey for student acceptance of the new teaching method was conducted. Course examination results, from both a standardized exam and a cumulative final exam, among students who received lecture in the classroom and students who had active learning activities in the classroom were compared. Active learning activities were very acceptable to students. The majority of students reported learning more from having active-learning activities in the classroom rather than lecture-only and this belief was supported by improved test scores. Students who had active learning activities in the classroom scored significantly higher on a standardized assessment test than students who received lecture only. The findings support the use of student reflection to evaluate the effectiveness of active-learning methods and help validate the use of student reflection of improved learning in other research projects. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Innovative improvements of thermal response tests - Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poppei, J.; Schwarz, R. [AF-Colenco Ltd, Baden (Switzerland); Peron, H.; Silvani, C; Steinmann, G.; Laloui, L. [Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Laboratoire de Mecanique des Sols, Lausanne (Switzerland); Wagner, R.; Lochbuehler, T.; Rohner, E. [Geowatt AG, Zuerich (Switzerland)

    2008-12-15

    This illustrated final report for Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) takes a look at innovative improvements to thermal response tests that are used to investigate the thermo-physical properties of the ground for the purpose of dimensioning borehole heat exchangers. Recent technical developments in the borehole investigation tools area provide a promising prerequisite for improved estimates of thermal conductivity. A mini-module developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL which is suitable for fast and flexible thermal response testing is discussed as is a wireless miniature data logger for continuous temperature recordings in borehole heat exchangers up to a depth of 350 m. This allows high-resolution vertical temperature profiling in boreholes. International state-of-the-art methods are reviewed. The adaptations to the analytical methods necessary for the effective application of these tools are discussed and numerical methods available are looked at. The testing of the methods developed and their results are discussed, as is the influence of ground-water flow.

  3. Improved HIV testing coverage after scale-up of ... - Lusaka

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improved HIV testing coverage after scale-up of antiretroviral therapy programs in urban Zambia: Evidence from serial hospital surveillance. ... Background: We evaluated changing HIV testing coverage and prevalence rates before and after expanding city-wide antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs in Lusaka, Zambia.

  4. Improving Test-Taking Performance of Secondary At-Risk Youth and Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Tachelle; Eaton, India

    2014-01-01

    Preparing at-risk youth and students with mild disabilities for state and district tests is important for improving their test performance, and basic instruction in test preparation can significantly improve student test performance. The article defines noncognitive variables that adversely affect test-taker performance. The article also describes…

  5. Improving diagnosis for congenital cataract by introducing NGS genetic testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musleh, Mohammud; Ashworth, Jane; Black, Graeme; Hall, Georgina

    2016-01-01

    Childhood cataract (CC) has an incidence of 3.5 per 10,000 by age 15 years. Diagnosis of any underlying cause is important to ensure effective and prompt management of multisystem complications, to facilitate accurate genetic counselling and to streamline multidisciplinary care. Next generation sequencing (NGS) has been shown to be effective in providing an underlying diagnosis in 70% of patients with CC in a research setting. This project aimed to integrate NGS testing in CC within six months of presentation and increase the rate of diagnosis. A retrospective case note review was undertaken to define the baseline efficacy of current care in providing a precise diagnosis. Quality improvement methods were used to integrate and optimize NGS testing in clinical care and measure the improvements made. The percentage of children receiving an NGS result within six months increased from 26% to 71% during the project period. The mean time to NGS testing and receiving a report decreased and there was a reduction in variation over the study period. Several patients and families had a change in management or genetic counselling as a direct result of the diagnosis given by the NGS test. The current recommended investigation of patients with bilateral CC is ineffective in identifying a diagnosis. Quality Improvement methods have facilitated successful integration of NGS testing into clinical care, improving time to diagnosis and leading to development of a new care pathway.

  6. Improved Nanomechanical Test Techniques for Surface Engineered Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Goodes

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The development and implementation of a wide range of innovative nanomechanical test techniques to solve tribological problems in applications as diverse as biomedical and automotive are described in this review. For improved wear resistance and durability, the importance of understanding the system response rather than the coating-only properties is emphasized. There are many applications involving mechanical contact where the key to understanding the problem is to test at higher load and to combine reliable measurements taken across different length scales using both nano- and micro-indentation and related wear measurement techniques which more closely simulate contact conditions to fully understand the mechanical behaviour and hence deliver improved application performance. Results are presented with the NanoTest platform for applications for biomedical devices and surface engineering of lightweight alloys for the automotive industry. By combining results with different techniques it is possible to postulate predictive design rules – based on the elastic and plastic deformation energies involved in contact - to aid the reliable optimisation of mechanical properties in the various contact situations in the different applications.

  7. Test Automation Process Improvement A case study of BroadSoft

    OpenAIRE

    Gummadi, Jalendar

    2016-01-01

    This master thesis research is about improvement of test automation process at BroadSoft Finland as a case study. Test automation project recently started at BroadSoft but the project is not properly integrated in to existing process. Project is about converting manual test cases to automation test cases. The aim of this thesis is about studying existing BroadSoft test process and studying different test automation frameworks. In this thesis different test automation process are studied ...

  8. Improving Scores on the IELTS Speaking Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issitt, Steve

    2008-01-01

    This article presents three strategies for teaching students who are taking the IELTS speaking test. The first strategy is aimed at improving confidence and uses a variety of self-help materials from the field of popular psychology. The second encourages students to think critically and invokes a range of academic perspectives. The third strategy…

  9. Quantitative and Qualitative Responses to Topical Cold in Healthy Caucasians Show Variance between Individuals but High Test-Retest Reliability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penny Moss

    Full Text Available Increased sensitivity to cold may be a predictor of persistent pain, but cold pain threshold is often viewed as unreliable. This study aimed to determine the within-subject reliability and between-subject variance of cold response, measured comprehensively as cold pain threshold plus pain intensity and sensation quality at threshold. A test-retest design was used over three sessions, one day apart. Response to cold was assessed at four sites (thenar eminence, volar forearm, tibialis anterior, plantar foot. Cold pain threshold was measured using a Medoc thermode and standard method of limits. Intensity of pain at threshold was rated using a 10cm visual analogue scale. Quality of sensation at threshold was quantified with indices calculated from subjects' selection of descriptors from a standard McGill Pain Questionnaire. Within-subject reliability for each measure was calculated with intra-class correlation coefficients and between-subject variance was evaluated as group coefficient of variation percentage (CV%. Gender and site comparisons were also made. Forty-five healthy adults participated: 20 male, 25 female; mean age 29 (range 18-56 years. All measures at all four test sites showed high within-subject reliability: cold pain thresholds r = 0.92-0.95; pain rating r = 0.93-0.97; McGill pain quality indices r = 0.87-0.85. In contrast, all measures showed wide between-subject variance (CV% between 51.4% and 92.5%. Upper limb sites were consistently more sensitive than lower limb sites, but equally reliable. Females showed elevated cold pain thresholds, although similar pain intensity and quality to males. Females were also more reliable and showed lower variance for all measures. Thus, although there was clear population variation, response to cold for healthy individuals was found to be highly reliable, whether measured as pain threshold, pain intensity or sensation quality. A comprehensive approach to cold response testing therefore may add

  10. Quantitative and Qualitative Responses to Topical Cold in Healthy Caucasians Show Variance between Individuals but High Test-Retest Reliability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Penny; Whitnell, Jasmine; Wright, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Increased sensitivity to cold may be a predictor of persistent pain, but cold pain threshold is often viewed as unreliable. This study aimed to determine the within-subject reliability and between-subject variance of cold response, measured comprehensively as cold pain threshold plus pain intensity and sensation quality at threshold. A test-retest design was used over three sessions, one day apart. Response to cold was assessed at four sites (thenar eminence, volar forearm, tibialis anterior, plantar foot). Cold pain threshold was measured using a Medoc thermode and standard method of limits. Intensity of pain at threshold was rated using a 10cm visual analogue scale. Quality of sensation at threshold was quantified with indices calculated from subjects' selection of descriptors from a standard McGill Pain Questionnaire. Within-subject reliability for each measure was calculated with intra-class correlation coefficients and between-subject variance was evaluated as group coefficient of variation percentage (CV%). Gender and site comparisons were also made. Forty-five healthy adults participated: 20 male, 25 female; mean age 29 (range 18-56) years. All measures at all four test sites showed high within-subject reliability: cold pain thresholds r = 0.92-0.95; pain rating r = 0.93-0.97; McGill pain quality indices r = 0.87-0.85. In contrast, all measures showed wide between-subject variance (CV% between 51.4% and 92.5%). Upper limb sites were consistently more sensitive than lower limb sites, but equally reliable. Females showed elevated cold pain thresholds, although similar pain intensity and quality to males. Females were also more reliable and showed lower variance for all measures. Thus, although there was clear population variation, response to cold for healthy individuals was found to be highly reliable, whether measured as pain threshold, pain intensity or sensation quality. A comprehensive approach to cold response testing therefore may add validity and

  11. Simulation System of Car Crash Test in C-NCAP Analysis Based on an Improved Apriori Algorithm*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, LI

    In order to analysis car crash test in C-NCAP, an improved algorithm is given based on Apriori algorithm in this paper. The new algorithm is implemented with vertical data layout, breadth first searching, and intersecting. It takes advantage of the efficiency of vertical data layout and intersecting, and prunes candidate frequent item sets like Apriori. Finally, the new algorithm is applied in simulation of car crash test analysis system. The result shows that the relations will affect the C-NCAP test results, and it can provide a reference for the automotive design.

  12. Older people experiencing homelessness show marked impairment on tests of frontal lobe function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogoz, Astrid; Burke, David

    2016-03-01

    Reported rates of mild and moderate cognitive impairment in older people experiencing homelessness range from 5-80%. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of cognitive impairment in older people experiencing homelessness in the inner city of Sydney, Australia. Men and women experiencing homelessness aged 45 years and over in the inner city were screened for cognitive impairment. Participants who scored 26 or below on the mini-mental state examination and/or were impaired on any one of the clock-drawing test, the verbal fluency test and the trail-making test, part B were then assessed with a semi-structured interview, including the 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Screening of 144 men and 27 women aged between 45 years and 93 years identified cognitive impairment in 78%. Subsequently, high rates of mental and physical illness were identified, and 75% of subjects who were cognitively impaired performed poorly on frontal lobe tests. The trail-making test, part B was the most sensitive measure of frontal function. This study demonstrated that a large majority of older people experiencing homelessness, in the inner city of a high-income country, showed impairment on tests of frontal lobe function, a finding that could have significant implications for any medical or psychosocial intervention. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Improving prescribing practices with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burchett, Helen E D; Leurent, Baptiste; Baiden, Frank

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: The overuse of antimalarial drugs is widespread. Effective methods to improve prescribing practice remain unclear. We evaluated the impact of 10 interventions that introduced rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (mRDTs) on the use of tests and adherence to results in different contexts...... packages, supervision, supplies and community sensitisation. OUTCOME MEASURES: Analysis explored variation in: (1) uptake of mRDTs (% febrile patients tested); (2) provider adherence to positive mRDTs (% Plasmodium falciparum positive prescribed/given Artemisinin Combination Treatment); (3) provider...... characteristics fitted with their own priorities. Goodness of fit of mRDTs with existing consultation and diagnostic practices appeared crucial to maximising the impact of mRDTs on care, as did prior familiarity with malaria testing; adequate human resources and supplies; possible alternative treatments for m...

  14. Improving STD testing behavior among high-risk young adults by offering STD testing at a vocational school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoebe Christian JPA

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chlamydia trachomatis infection (CT is the most prevalent bacterial STD. Sexually active adolescents and young adults are the main risk group for CT. However, STD testing rates in this group are low since exposed individuals may not feel at risk, owing-at least in part-to the infection's largely asymptomatic nature. Designing new testing environments that are more appealing to young people who are most at risk of acquiring chlamydia can be an important strategy to improve overall testing rates. Here we evaluate the effect of a school-based sexual health program conducted among vocational school students, aiming to obtain better access for counseling and enhance students' STD testing behavior. Methods Adolescents (median age 19 years attending a large vocational school were provided with sexual health education. Students filled in a questionnaire measuring CT risk and were offered STD testing. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, we assessed differences between men and women in STD-related risk behavior, sexual problems, CT testing behavior and determinants of CT testing behavior. Results Of 345 participants, 70% were female. Of the 287 sexually active students, 75% were at high risk for CT; one third of women reported sexual problems. Of sexually active participants, 61% provided a self-administered specimen for STD testing. Independent determinants for testing included STD related symptoms and no condom use. All CT diagnoses were in the high-CT-risk group. In the high-risk group, STD testing showed an increased uptake, from 27% (previous self-reported test to 65% (current test. CT prevalence was 5.7%. Conclusions Vocational school students are a target population for versatile sexual health prevention. When provided with CT testing facilities and education, self selection mechanisms seemed to increase CT testing rate dramatically in this high-CT-risk population expressing sexual problems. Considering the relative ease

  15. LWR surveillance dosimetry improvement program: PSF metallurgical blind test results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kam, F.B.K.; Maerker, R.E.; Stallmann, F.W.

    1984-01-01

    The metallurgical irradiation experiment at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor Poolside Facility (ORR-PSF) was designed as a benchmark to test the accuracy of radiation embrittlement predictions in the pressure vessel wall of light water reactors on the basis of results from surveillance capsules. The PSF metallurgical Blind Test is concerned with the simulated surveillance capsule (SSC) and the simulated pressure vessel capsule (SPVC). The data from the ORR-PSF benchmark experiment are the basis for comparison with the predictions made by participants of the metallurgical ''Blind Test''. The Blind Test required the participants to predict the embrittlement of the irradiated specimen based only on dosimetry and metallurgical data from the SSC1 capsule. This exercise included both the prediction of damage fluence and the prediction of embrittlement based on the predicted fluence. A variety of prediction methodologies was used by the participants. No glaring biases or other deficiencies were found, but neither were any of the methods clearly superior to the others. Closer analysis shows a rather complex and poorly understood relation between fluence and material damage. Many prediction formulas can give an adequate approximation, but further improvement of the prediction methodology is unlikely at this time given the many unknown factors. Instead, attention should be focused on determining realistic uncertainties for the predicted material changes. The Blind Test comparisons provide some clues for the size of these uncertainties. In particular, higher uncertainties must be assigned to materials whose chemical composition lies outside the data set for which the prediction formula was obtained. 16 references, 14 figures, 5 tables

  16. Improvement of energy efficiency: the use of thermography and air-tightness test in verification of thermal performance of school buildings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauppinen, Timo; Siikanen, Sami

    2011-05-01

    The improvement of energy efficiency is the key issue after the energy performance of buildings directive came into the force in European Union countries. The city of Kuopio participate a project, in which different tools will be used, generated and tested to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings. In this project there are 2 schools, the other consuming much more heating energy than the other same type of school. In this paper the results of the thermography in normal conditions and under 50 Pa pressure drop will be presented; as well as the results of remote controlled air tightness test of the buildings. Thermography combined with air tightness test showed clearly the reasons of specific consumption differences of heating energy - also in the other hand, the measurements showed the problems in the performance of ventilation system. Thermography, air tightness test and other supporting measurements can be used together to solve energy loss problems - if these measurements will be carried out by proper way.

  17. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Beltran, William A.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J.; Olivares, Melani B.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Komáromy, András M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2013-01-01

    The first retinal gene therapy in human blindness from RPE65 mutations has focused on safety and efficacy, as defined by improved vision. The disease component not studied, however, has been the fate of photoreceptors in this progressive retinal degeneration. We show that gene therapy improves vision for at least 3 y, but photoreceptor degeneration progresses unabated in humans. In the canine model, the same result occurs when treatment is at the disease stage equivalent to humans. The study ...

  18. Bad Behavior: Improving Reproducibility in Behavior Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Anne M; Cheng, Xinyi; Altieri, Stefanie C; Yang, Hongyan

    2018-01-24

    Systems neuroscience research is increasingly possible through the use of integrated molecular and circuit-level analyses. These studies depend on the use of animal models and, in many cases, molecular and circuit-level analyses. Associated with genetic, pharmacologic, epigenetic, and other types of environmental manipulations. We illustrate typical pitfalls resulting from poor validation of behavior tests. We describe experimental designs and enumerate controls needed to improve reproducibility in investigating and reporting of behavioral phenotypes.

  19. The Tore Supra Lower Hybrid Test Bed : improvements and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delpech, L.; Achard, J.; Beaumont, B.

    2006-01-01

    Within the CIMES project framework in Tore Supra, a klystron TH2103C (3.7 GHz) is under development at THALES ELECTRON DEVICES. It differs from the previous klystrons used in Tore Supra generator mainly in that it has no modulating anode, the RF output power will reach 700 kW CW, by raising the High Voltage value to 76 kV and a beam current up to 23 A. The Tore Supra test bed is a dedicated facility used for high power tests on RF components or on RF transmitters. It has been improved to integrate the TH2103C klystron and a specific 100 kV solide state switch which control the beam current. Since April 2005, the integration of the first tube (without modulating anode) and the 100 kV switch has been completed in the Test Bed and has allowed the modifications and tests of the interfaces and security system for the devices. Improvements were also made on the cooling loop flow to dissipate a power of 1750 kW CW. With these devices, the RF power routinely available in the Lower Hybrid Test Bed is 400 kW CW. With the development of the TH2103C, detailed studies and tests on RF components which will be used up to 750 kW CW on match load or 700 kW on VSWR = 1.4, are necessary to evaluate their performances and thermal behaviour. The test a crucial component, the recombiner, which adds the RF powers coming from the two RF outputs of the TH2103C and inject the resulted power into one WR284 waveguide to a test load or to the plasma, was completed. Two tests have been performed : a thermal study with 400 kW during 1000 s, and RF pulsed tests on short cuts to increase the value of the electric field inside the component. The experiments and calculations (ANSYS and HFSS codes) validate the use of this device with the TH2103C. A module made with two different Beryllium Oxide RF windows, has been under test. The losses on each window are measured by calorimetric measurements and evaluated by computation with HFSS and ANSYS code. The results are compared. In this paper, the

  20. Improvement in Shrimp Hatchery Procedures for Toxicity Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nor Azizah Marsiddi; Fazliana Mohd Saaya; Anee Suryani Sued

    2015-01-01

    Toxicity testing of brine shrimp Artemia salina Brine shrimp lethality assay is a screening test to determine half the dose mortality (LC50) for its shrimp given certain herbal extract at a concentration tested. The shrimp child mortality half a dose indicator to determine level of toxicity before further testing done on animal cell culture and animal experiments also on the mouse. The use of new hardware, namely Artemio 1 has increased its shrimp production at a rate that more and faster than the use of the black box hatching previously taken from the method by Solis, 1993. brine shrimp eggs from Artemio mix also easier to use because it contains egg and sea salt have been ready mixed for use in experiments. In conclusion, this method improvements help increase the number of offspring produced shrimp and produce experimental method easier than previous methods. (author)

  1. Engineered P450 biocatalysts show improved activity and regio-promiscuity in aromatic nitration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Ran; Zhang, Yi; Jiang, Chao; Hackett, John C; Loria, Rosemary; Bruner, Steven D; Ding, Yousong

    2017-04-12

    Nitroaromatics are among the most important and commonly used chemicals but their production often suffers from multiple unsolved challenges. We have previously described the development of biocatalytic nitration processes driven by an engineered P450 TxtE fusion construct. Herein we report the creation of improved nitration biocatalysts through constructing and characterizing fusion proteins of TxtE with the reductase domain of CYP102A1 (P450BM3, BM3R). The majority of constructs contained variable linker length while one was rationally designed for optimizing protein-protein interactions. Detailed biochemical characterization identified multiple active chimeras that showed improved nitration activity, increased coupling efficiency and higher total turnover numbers compared with TxtE. Substrate promiscuity of the most active chimera was further assessed with a substrate library. Finally, a biocatalytic nitration process was developed to nitrate 4-Me-DL-Trp. The production of both 4-Me-5-NO 2 -L-Trp and 4-Me-7-NO 2 -L-Trp uncovered remarkable regio-promiscuity of nitration biocatalysts.

  2. Diabetes patients show different time-course of myocardial perfusion improvement after coronary artery bypass grafting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J. J.; Seok, J. W.; Eo, J. S.

    2005-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes is known to cause microangiopathy. The microangiopathy is hardly detectable on the coronary angiography. Myocardial perfusion imaging shows the resultant perfusion status which reflects the microangiopathy. For patients who underwent revascularization, the microangiopathy could affect the myocardial perfusion improvement. Diabetes patients probably experience the different myocardial perfusion improvement as compared to the non-diabetes patients although they have similar angiographic findings. The aim of this study is to find out whether there is a time-course difference of perfusion improvement between the diabetes and non diabetes patients who showed patent angiographic findings after coronary artery grafting surgery (CABG). A total of 129 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting surgery were enrolled in this study. Myocardial SPECTs performed at previous, short-term (3 month), and mid-term (1 year) to CABG. One-year follow up angiography was done 411±121 days after surgery. Graft patency was determined according to the FitzGibbon et al. Segments were assigned to vascular territories using a 20 segment model. The segments of excellent patency were included in this study. Time course differences of concerned segments were analyzed using RMANOVA. The number of segments enrolled was 764 of diabetes and 1083 of non-diabetes. At short-term follow up, reversibility score was 2.8±8.1% in diabetes and 0.3±7.5% in non-diabetes. At long-term follow up, reversibility score was 1.8±8.0% in diabetes and 0.1±7.3% in non-diabetes. The time-course of reversibility score was significantly different between the diabetes and non diabetes (p<0.001) Diabetic segments showed high residual reversibility score than non-diabetic segments after CABG although the angiographic finding was patent in both groups. This result is maybe attributable to microangiopathy induced by diabetes

  3. Time dependent patient no-show predictive modelling development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Li; Hanauer, David A

    2016-05-09

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop evident-based predictive no-show models considering patients' each past appointment status, a time-dependent component, as an independent predictor to improve predictability. Design/methodology/approach - A ten-year retrospective data set was extracted from a pediatric clinic. It consisted of 7,291 distinct patients who had at least two visits along with their appointment characteristics, patient demographics, and insurance information. Logistic regression was adopted to develop no-show models using two-thirds of the data for training and the remaining data for validation. The no-show threshold was then determined based on minimizing the misclassification of show/no-show assignments. There were a total of 26 predictive model developed based on the number of available past appointments. Simulation was employed to test the effective of each model on costs of patient wait time, physician idle time, and overtime. Findings - The results demonstrated the misclassification rate and the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic gradually improved as more appointment history was included until around the 20th predictive model. The overbooking method with no-show predictive models suggested incorporating up to the 16th model and outperformed other overbooking methods by as much as 9.4 per cent in the cost per patient while allowing two additional patients in a clinic day. Research limitations/implications - The challenge now is to actually implement the no-show predictive model systematically to further demonstrate its robustness and simplicity in various scheduling systems. Originality/value - This paper provides examples of how to build the no-show predictive models with time-dependent components to improve the overbooking policy. Accurately identifying scheduled patients' show/no-show status allows clinics to proactively schedule patients to reduce the negative impact of patient no-shows.

  4. Improving ability measurement in surveys by following the principles of IRT: The Wordsum vocabulary test in the General Social Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cor, M Ken; Haertel, Edward; Krosnick, Jon A; Malhotra, Neil

    2012-09-01

    Survey researchers often administer batteries of questions to measure respondents' abilities, but these batteries are not always designed in keeping with the principles of optimal test construction. This paper illustrates one instance in which following these principles can improve a measurement tool used widely in the social and behavioral sciences: the GSS's vocabulary test called "Wordsum". This ten-item test is composed of very difficult items and very easy items, and item response theory (IRT) suggests that the omission of moderately difficult items is likely to have handicapped Wordsum's effectiveness. Analyses of data from national samples of thousands of American adults show that after adding four moderately difficult items to create a 14-item battery, "Wordsumplus" (1) outperformed the original battery in terms of quality indicators suggested by classical test theory; (2) reduced the standard error of IRT ability estimates in the middle of the latent ability dimension; and (3) exhibited higher concurrent validity. These findings show how to improve Wordsum and suggest that analysts should use a score based on all 14 items instead of using the summary score provided by the GSS, which is based on only the original 10 items. These results also show more generally how surveys measuring abilities (and other constructs) can benefit from careful application of insights from the contemporary educational testing literature. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Stress Testing of an Artificial Pancreas System With Pizza and Exercise Leads to Improvements in the System's Fuzzy Logic Controller.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauseth, Richard; Lord, Sandra M; Hirsch, Irl B; Kircher, Robert C; Matheson, Don P; Greenbaum, Carla J

    2015-09-14

    Under controlled conditions, the Dose Safety artificial pancreas (AP) system controller, which utilizes "fuzzy logic" (FL) methodology to calculate and deliver appropriate insulin dosages based on changes in blood glucose, successfully managed glycemic excursions. The aim of this study was to show whether stressing the system with pizza (high carbohydrate/high fat) meals and exercise would reveal deficits in the performance of the Dose Safety FL controller (FLC) and lead to improvements in the dosing matrix. Ten subjects with type 1 diabetes (T1D) were enrolled and participated in 30 studies (17 meal, 13 exercise) using 2 versions of the FLC. After conducting 13 studies with the first version (FLC v2.0), interim results were evaluated and the FLC insulin-dosing matrix was modified to create a new controller version (FLC v2.1) that was validated through regression testing using v2.0 CGM datasets prior to its use in clinical studies. The subsequent 17 studies were performed using FLC v2.1. Use of FLC v2.1 vs FLC v2.0 in the pizza meal tests showed improvements in mean blood glucose (205 mg/dL vs 232 mg/dL, P = .04). FLC v2.1 versus FLC v2.0 in exercise tests showed improvements in mean blood glucose (146 mg/dL vs 201 mg/dL, P = .004), percentage time spent >180 mg/dL (19.3% vs 46.7%, P = .001), and percentage time spent 70-180 mg/dL (80.0% vs 53.3%, P = .002). Stress testing the AP system revealed deficits in the FLC performance, which led to adjustments to the dosing matrix followed by improved FLC performance when retested. © 2015 Diabetes Technology Society.

  6. A/B Testing in Improving Conversion on a Website : Case: Sanoma Entertainment Oy

    OpenAIRE

    Arento, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis is to study marketing possibilities of improved conversion rates on websites. The study was made for Sanoma Entertainment Oy’s Gaming & Online unit. The main objective was to explore A/B testing as a tool to improve conversion rates by increasing click-through rates. The secondary objective was to test Google Website Optimizer as an A/B testing tool in comparison to current methods of A/B testing in Sanoma Entertainment Oy. The results of this study will be used as ...

  7. Study for improvement of performance of the test and research reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakurai, Fumio [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    1999-03-01

    Current utilization needs for the test and research reactors become more advanced and diversified along with the advance of nuclear science and technology. Besides, the requested safety for the research and test reactors grows strictly every year as well as a case of the power reactors. Under this circumstance, every effort to improve reactor performance including its safety is necessary to be sustained for allowing more effective utilization of the test and research reactors as experimental apparatus for advanced researches. In this study, the following three themes i.e., JMTR high-performance fuel element, evaluation method of fast neutron irradiation dose in the JMTR, evaluation method of performance of siphon break valve as core covering system for water-cooled test and research reactors, were investigated respectively from the views of improvement of core performance as a neutron source, utilization performance as an experimental apparatus, and safety as a reactor plant. (author)

  8. Improvement for enhancing effectiveness of universal power system (UPS) continuous testing process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriratana, Lerdlekha

    2018-01-01

    This experiment aims to enhance the effectiveness of the Universal Power System (UPS) continuous testing process of the Electrical and Electronic Institute by applying work scheduling and time study methods. Initially, the standard time of testing process has not been considered that results of unaccurate testing target and also time wasting has been observed. As monitoring and reducing waste time for improving the efficiency of testing process, Yamazumi chart and job scheduling theory (North West Corner Rule) were applied to develop new work process. After the improvements, the overall efficiency of the process possibly increased from 52.8% to 65.6% or 12.7%. Moreover, the waste time could reduce from 828.3 minutes to 653.6 minutes or 21%, while testing units per batch could increase from 3 to 4 units. Therefore, the number of testing units would increase from 12 units up to 20 units per month that also contribute to increase of net income of UPS testing process by 72%.

  9. A ChIP-Seq benchmark shows that sequence conservation mainly improves detection of strong transcription factor binding sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Håndstad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transcription factors are important controllers of gene expression and mapping transcription factor binding sites (TFBS is key to inferring transcription factor regulatory networks. Several methods for predicting TFBS exist, but there are no standard genome-wide datasets on which to assess the performance of these prediction methods. Also, it is believed that information about sequence conservation across different genomes can generally improve accuracy of motif-based predictors, but it is not clear under what circumstances use of conservation is most beneficial. RESULTS: Here we use published ChIP-seq data and an improved peak detection method to create comprehensive benchmark datasets for prediction methods which use known descriptors or binding motifs to detect TFBS in genomic sequences. We use this benchmark to assess the performance of five different prediction methods and find that the methods that use information about sequence conservation generally perform better than simpler motif-scanning methods. The difference is greater on high-affinity peaks and when using short and information-poor motifs. However, if the motifs are specific and information-rich, we find that simple motif-scanning methods can perform better than conservation-based methods. CONCLUSIONS: Our benchmark provides a comprehensive test that can be used to rank the relative performance of transcription factor binding site prediction methods. Moreover, our results show that, contrary to previous reports, sequence conservation is better suited for predicting strong than weak transcription factor binding sites.

  10. The Implementation of Role-Playing Model in Principles of Finance Accounting Learning to Improve Students’ Enjoyment and Students’ Test Scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Saptono

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This research is a classroom action research. The goal of conducting this research is to improve students’ enjoyment level and their test scores by implementing role-playing method. The research is conducted in Accounting Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma University at odd semester on academic year 2010/2011. The participants were divided into two classes. The first class was the class that got the treatment, while the second class was the control class. The result of the study showed that there was an improvement of students’ enjoyment level and test scores in the class which implemented role-playing method.

  11. Improved ASTM G72 Test Method for Ensuring Adequate Fuel-to-Oxidizer Ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juarez, Alfredo; Harper, Susana Tapia

    2016-01-01

    The ASTM G72/G72M-15 Standard Test Method for Autogenous Ignition Temperature of Liquids and Solids in a High-Pressure Oxygen-Enriched Environment is currently used to evaluate materials for the ignition susceptibility driven by exposure to external heat in an enriched oxygen environment. Testing performed on highly volatile liquids such as cleaning solvents has proven problematic due to inconsistent test results (non-ignitions). Non-ignition results can be misinterpreted as favorable oxygen compatibility, although they are more likely associated with inadequate fuel-to-oxidizer ratios. Forced evaporation during purging and inadequate sample size were identified as two potential causes for inadequate available sample material during testing. In an effort to maintain adequate fuel-to-oxidizer ratios within the reaction vessel during test, several parameters were considered, including sample size, pretest sample chilling, pretest purging, and test pressure. Tests on a variety of solvents exhibiting a range of volatilities are presented in this paper. A proposed improvement to the standard test protocol as a result of this evaluation is also presented. Execution of the final proposed improved test protocol outlines an incremental step method of determining optimal conditions using increased sample sizes while considering test system safety limits. The proposed improved test method increases confidence in results obtained by utilizing the ASTM G72 autogenous ignition temperature test method and can aid in the oxygen compatibility assessment of highly volatile liquids and other conditions that may lead to false non-ignition results.

  12. Improving Ventilation and Saving Energy: Laboratory Study in aModular Classroom Test Bed

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apte, Michael G.; Buchanan, Ian S.; Faulkner, David; Fisk,William J.; Lai, Chi-Ming; Spears, Michael; Sullivan, Douglas P.

    2005-08-01

    The primary goals of this research effort were to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate a practical HVAC system for classrooms that consistently provides classrooms with the quantity of ventilation in current minimum standards, while saving energy, and reducing HVAC-related noise levels. This research was motivated by several factors, including the public benefits of energy efficiency, evidence that many classrooms are under-ventilated, and public concerns about indoor environmental quality in classrooms. This project involved the installation and verification of the performance of an Improved Heat Pump Air Conditioning (IHPAC) system, and its comparison, a standard HVAC system having an efficiency of 10 SEER. The project included the verification of the physical characteristics suitable for direct replacement of existing 10 SEER systems, quantitative demonstration of improved energy efficiency, reduced acoustic noise levels, quantitative demonstration of improved ventilation control, and verification that the system would meet temperature control demands necessary for the thermal comfort of the occupants. Results showed that the IHPAC met these goals. The IHPAC was found to be a direct bolt-on replacement for the 10 SEER system. Calculated energy efficiency improvements based on many days of classroom cooling or heating showed that the IHPAC system is about 44% more efficient during cooling and 38% more efficient during heating than the 10 SEER system. Noise reduction was dramatic, with measured A-weighed sound level for fan only operation conditions of 34.3 dB(A), a reduction of 19 dB(A) compared to the 10 SEER system. Similarly, the IHPAC stage-1 and stage-2 compressor plus fan sound levels were 40.8 dB(A) and 42.7 dB(A), reductions of 14 and 13 dB(A), respectively. Thus, the IHPAC is 20 to 35 times quieter than the 10 SEER systems depending upon the operation mode. The IHPAC system met the ventilation requirements and was able to provide consistent outside air

  13. An improved PSO-SVM model for online recognition defects in eddy current testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Baoling; Hou, Dibo; Huang, Pingjie; Liu, Banteng; Tang, Huayi; Zhang, Wubo; Chen, Peihua; Zhang, Guangxin

    2013-12-01

    Accurate and rapid recognition of defects is essential for structural integrity and health monitoring of in-service device using eddy current (EC) non-destructive testing. This paper introduces a novel model-free method that includes three main modules: a signal pre-processing module, a classifier module and an optimisation module. In the signal pre-processing module, a kind of two-stage differential structure is proposed to suppress the lift-off fluctuation that could contaminate the EC signal. In the classifier module, multi-class support vector machine (SVM) based on one-against-one strategy is utilised for its good accuracy. In the optimisation module, the optimal parameters of classifier are obtained by an improved particle swarm optimisation (IPSO) algorithm. The proposed IPSO technique can improve convergence performance of the primary PSO through the following strategies: nonlinear processing of inertia weight, introductions of the black hole and simulated annealing model with extremum disturbance. The good generalisation ability of the IPSO-SVM model has been validated through adding additional specimen into the testing set. Experiments show that the proposed algorithm can achieve higher recognition accuracy and efficiency than other well-known classifiers and the superiorities are more obvious with less training set, which contributes to online application.

  14. Guppies Show Behavioural but Not Cognitive Sex Differences in a Novel Object Recognition Test.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyrone Lucon-Xiccato

    Full Text Available The novel object recognition (NOR test is a widely-used paradigm to study learning and memory in rodents. NOR performance is typically measured as the preference to interact with a novel object over a familiar object based on spontaneous exploratory behaviour. In rats and mice, females usually have greater NOR ability than males. The NOR test is now available for a large number of species, including fish, but sex differences have not been properly tested outside of rodents. We compared male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata in a NOR test to study whether sex differences exist also for fish. We focused on sex differences in both performance and behaviour of guppies during the test. In our experiment, adult guppies expressed a preference for the novel object as most rodents and other species do. When we looked at sex differences, we found the two sexes showed a similar preference for the novel object over the familiar object, suggesting that male and female guppies have similar NOR performances. Analysis of behaviour revealed that males were more inclined to swim in the proximity of the two objects than females. Further, males explored the novel object at the beginning of the experiment while females did so afterwards. These two behavioural differences are possibly due to sex differences in exploration. Even though NOR performance is not different between male and female guppies, the behavioural sex differences we found could affect the results of the experiments and should be carefully considered when assessing fish memory with the NOR test.

  15. Online formative tests linked to microlectures improving academic achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwmeester, Rianne A M; de Kleijn, Renske A M; Freriksen, Astrid W M; van Emst, Maarten G; Veeneklaas, Rob J; van Hoeij, Maggy J W; Spinder, Matty; Ritzen, Magda J; Ten Cate, Olle Th J; van Rijen, Harold V M

    2013-12-01

    Online formative tests (OFTs) are powerful tools to direct student learning behavior, especially when enriched with specific feedback. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of OFTs enriched with hyperlinks to microlectures on examination scores. OFTs, available one week preceding each midterm and the final exams, could be used voluntarily. The use of OFTs was related to scores on midterm and final exams using ANOVA, with prior academic achievement as a covariate. On average, 74% of all students used the online formative tests (OFT+) while preparing for the summative midterm exam. OFT+ students obtained significantly higher grades compared to OFT-students, both without and with correction for previous academic achievement. Two out of three final exam scores did not significantly improve. Students using online formative tests linked to microlectures receive higher grades especially in highly aligned summative tests.

  16. Improving a Complement-fixation Test for Equine Herpesvirus Type-1 by Pretreating Sera with Potassium Periodate to Reduce Non-specific Hemolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    BANNAI, Hiroshi; NEMOTO, Manabu; TSUJIMURA, Koji; YAMANAKA, Takashi; KONDO, Takashi; MATSUMURA, Tomio

    2013-01-01

    Non-specific hemolysis has often been observed during complement-fixation (CF) tests for equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1), even when the sera have virus-specific CF antibodies. This phenomenon has also been reported in CF tests for various infectious diseases of swine. We found that the sera from 22 of 85 field horses (25.9%) showed non-specific hemolysis during conventional CF testing for EHV-1. Because pretreatment of swine sera with potassium periodate (KIO4) improves the CF test for swine influenza, we applied this method to horse sera. As we expected, horse sera treated with KIO4 did not show non-specific hemolysis in the EHV-1 CF test, and precise determination of titers was achieved. PMID:24834005

  17. Improvement and test calculation on basic code or sodium-water reaction jet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saito, Yoshinori; Itooka, Satoshi [Advanced Reactor Engineering Center, Hitachi Works, Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi, Ibaraki (Japan); Okabe, Ayao; Fujimata, Kazuhiro; Sakurai, Tomoo [Consulting Engineering Dept., Hitachi Engineering Co., Ltd., Hitachi, Ibaraki (Japan)

    1999-03-01

    In selecting the reasonable DBL (design basis water leak rate) on steam generator (SG), it is necessary to improve analytical method for estimating the sodium temperature on failure propagation due to overheating. Improvement on the basic code for sodium-water reaction (SWR) jet was performed for an actual scale SG. The improvement points of the code are as follows; (1) introduction of advanced model such as heat transfer between the jet and structure (tube array), cooling effect of the structure, heat transfer between analytic cells, and (2) model improvement for heat transfer between two-phase flow and porous-media. The test calculation using the improved code (LEAP-JET ver.1.30) were carried out with conditions of the SWAT-3{center_dot}Run-19 test and an actual scale SG. It is confirmed that the SWR jet behavior on the results is reasonable and Influence to analysis result of a model. Code integration with the blow down analytic code (LEAP-BLOW) was also studied. It is suitable that LEAP-JET was improved as one of the LEAP-BLOW's models, and it was integrated into this. In addition to above, the improvement for setting of boundary condition and the development of the interface program to transfer the analytical results of LEAP-BLOW have been performed in order to consider the cooling effect of coolant in the tube simply. However, verification of the code by new SWAT-1 and SWAT-3 test data planned in future is necessary because LEAP-JET is under development. And furthermore advancement needs to be planned. (author)

  18. Improvement and test calculation on basic code or sodium-water reaction jet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, Yoshinori; Itooka, Satoshi; Okabe, Ayao; Fujimata, Kazuhiro; Sakurai, Tomoo

    1999-03-01

    In selecting the reasonable DBL (design basis water leak rate) on steam generator (SG), it is necessary to improve analytical method for estimating the sodium temperature on failure propagation due to overheating. Improvement on the basic code for sodium-water reaction (SWR) jet was performed for an actual scale SG. The improvement points of the code are as follows; (1) introduction of advanced model such as heat transfer between the jet and structure (tube array), cooling effect of the structure, heat transfer between analytic cells, and (2) model improvement for heat transfer between two-phase flow and porous-media. The test calculation using the improved code (LEAP-JET ver.1.30) were carried out with conditions of the SWAT-3·Run-19 test and an actual scale SG. It is confirmed that the SWR jet behavior on the results is reasonable and Influence to analysis result of a model. Code integration with the blow down analytic code (LEAP-BLOW) was also studied. It is suitable that LEAP-JET was improved as one of the LEAP-BLOW's models, and it was integrated into this. In addition to above, the improvement for setting of boundary condition and the development of the interface program to transfer the analytical results of LEAP-BLOW have been performed in order to consider the cooling effect of coolant in the tube simply. However, verification of the code by new SWAT-1 and SWAT-3 test data planned in future is necessary because LEAP-JET is under development. And furthermore advancement needs to be planned. (author)

  19. Improved self-reliance shearing interferometric technique for collimation testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Mingshan; Li, Guohua; Wang, Zhaobing; Jing, Yaling; Li, Yi

    1995-06-01

    Self-reference single plate shearing interferometric technique used for collimation testing of light beams are briefly reviewed. Two improved configurations of this self-reference interferometry with an inclined screen and matched half-field interferograms are described in detail. Sensitivity of these configurations is analyzed and compared with that of the existing ones.

  20. Synthetic sea water - An improved stress corrosion test medium for aluminum alloys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, T. S.; Nelson, E. E.

    1973-01-01

    A major problem in evaluating the stress corrosion cracking resistance of aluminum alloys by alternate immersion in 3.5 percent salt (NaCl) water is excessive pitting corrosion. Several methods were examined to eliminate this problem and to find an improved accelerated test medium. These included the addition of chromate inhibitors, surface treatment of specimens, and immersion in synthetic sea water. The results indicate that alternate immersion in synthetic sea water is a very promising stress corrosion test medium. Neither chromate inhibitors nor surface treatment (anodize and alodine) of the aluminum specimens improved the performance of alternate immersion in 3.5 percent salt water sufficiently to be classified as an effective stress corrosion test method.

  1. Text Messaging Improves Participation in Laboratory Testing in Adolescent Liver Transplant Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Rebecca B; Berquist, William E; Foley, Megan A; Park, K T; Windsheimer, Jered E; Litt, Iris F

    In solid organ transplant patients, non-participation in all aspects of the medical regimen is a prevalent problem associated with adverse consequences particularly in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) age group. This study is the first to evaluate the feasibility, utility and impact of a text messaging (TM) intervention to improve participation in laboratory testing in adolescent liver transplant patients. AYA patients, aged 12 to 21 years, were recruited for a prospective pilot trial evaluating a TM intervention delivered over a 1-year period. The intervention involved automated TM reminders with feedback administered according to a prescribed laboratory testing frequency. Participation rate in laboratory testing after the intervention was compared to the year prior. Patient responses and feedback by text and survey were used to assess feasibility, acceptability and use of the intervention. Forty-two patients were recruited and 33 patients remained enrolled for the study duration. Recipients of the TM intervention demonstrated a significant improvement in participation rate in laboratory testing from 58% to 78% (Prate was also significantly higher than in non-intervention controls (P=.003). There was a high acceptability, response rate and a significant correlation with reported versus actual completion of laboratory tests by TM. TM reminders significantly improved participation in laboratory testing in AYA liver transplant patients. The intervention demonstrated feasibility, acceptability, and use with a high proportion of patients who engaged in and perceived a benefit from using this technology.

  2. Improved fibrosis staging by elastometry and blood test in chronic hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calès, Paul; Boursier, Jérôme; Ducancelle, Alexandra; Oberti, Frédéric; Hubert, Isabelle; Hunault, Gilles; de Lédinghen, Victor; Zarski, Jean-Pierre; Salmon, Dominique; Lunel, Françoise

    2014-07-01

    Our main objective was to improve non-invasive fibrosis staging accuracy by resolving the limits of previous methods via new test combinations. Our secondary objectives were to improve staging precision, by developing a detailed fibrosis classification, and reliability (personalized accuracy) determination. All patients (729) included in the derivation population had chronic hepatitis C, liver biopsy, 6 blood tests and Fibroscan. Validation populations included 1584 patients. The most accurate combination was provided by using most markers of FibroMeter and Fibroscan results targeted for significant fibrosis, i.e. 'E-FibroMeter'. Its classification accuracy (91.7%) and precision (assessed by F difference with Metavir: 0.62 ± 0.57) were better than those of FibroMeter (84.1%, P fibrosis absence (F0) was increased, e.g. from 16.0% with Fibroscan to 75.0% with E-FibroMeter (P test (1.2% of patients) and increasing optimal reliability (accuracy ≥85%) from 80.4% of patients with Fibroscan (accuracy: 90.9%) to 94.2% of patients with E-FibroMeter (accuracy: 92.9%), P test (FibroMeter: 16.2%, P test combination increased: accuracy, globally and especially in patients without fibrosis, staging precision, cirrhosis prediction, and even reliability, thus offering improved fibrosis staging. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Improving accuracy of breast cancer biomarker testing in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanuja Shet

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a global mandate even in countries with low resources to improve the accuracy of testing biomarkers in breast cancer viz. oestrogen receptor (ER, progesterone receptor (PR and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2neu given their critical impact in the management of patients. The steps taken include compulsory participation in an external quality assurance (EQA programme, centralized testing, and regular performance audits for laboratories. This review addresses the status of ER/PR and HER2neu testing in India and possible reasons for the delay in development of guidelines and mandate for testing in the country. The chief cause of erroneous ER and PR testing in India continues to be easily correctable issues such as fixation and antigen retrieval, while for HER2neu testing, it is the use of low-cost non-validated antibodies and interpretative errors. These deficiencies can however, be rectified by (i distributing the accountability and responsibility to surgeons and oncologist, (ii certification of centres for testing in oncology, and (iii initiation of a national EQA system (EQAS programme that will help with economical solutions and identifying the centres of excellence and instill a system for reprimand of poorly performing laboratories.

  4. Accuracy improvement in a calibration test bench for accelerometers by a vision system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D’Emilia, Giulio; Di Gasbarro, David; Gaspari, Antonella; Natale, Emanuela

    2016-01-01

    A procedure is described in this paper for the accuracy improvement of calibration of low-cost accelerometers in a prototype rotary test bench, driven by a brushless servo-motor and operating in a low frequency range of vibrations (0 to 5 Hz). Vibration measurements by a vision system based on a low frequency camera have been carried out, in order to reduce the uncertainty of the real acceleration evaluation at the installation point of the sensor to be calibrated. A preliminary test device has been realized and operated in order to evaluate the metrological performances of the vision system, showing a satisfactory behavior if the uncertainty measurement is taken into account. A combination of suitable settings of the control parameters of the motion control system and of the information gained by the vision system allowed to fit the information about the reference acceleration at the installation point to the needs of the procedure for static and dynamic calibration of three-axis accelerometers.

  5. Accuracy improvement in a calibration test bench for accelerometers by a vision system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D’Emilia, Giulio, E-mail: giulio.demilia@univaq.it; Di Gasbarro, David, E-mail: david.digasbarro@graduate.univaq.it; Gaspari, Antonella, E-mail: antonella.gaspari@graduate.univaq.it; Natale, Emanuela, E-mail: emanuela.natale@univaq.it [University of L’Aquila, Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics (DIIIE), via G. Gronchi, 18, 67100 L’Aquila (Italy)

    2016-06-28

    A procedure is described in this paper for the accuracy improvement of calibration of low-cost accelerometers in a prototype rotary test bench, driven by a brushless servo-motor and operating in a low frequency range of vibrations (0 to 5 Hz). Vibration measurements by a vision system based on a low frequency camera have been carried out, in order to reduce the uncertainty of the real acceleration evaluation at the installation point of the sensor to be calibrated. A preliminary test device has been realized and operated in order to evaluate the metrological performances of the vision system, showing a satisfactory behavior if the uncertainty measurement is taken into account. A combination of suitable settings of the control parameters of the motion control system and of the information gained by the vision system allowed to fit the information about the reference acceleration at the installation point to the needs of the procedure for static and dynamic calibration of three-axis accelerometers.

  6. Evaluation of the theory-based Quality Improvement in Physical Therapy (QUIP) programme: a one-group, pre-test post-test pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutten, Geert M; Harting, Janneke; Bartholomew, L Kay; Schlief, Angelique; Oostendorp, Rob A B; de Vries, Nanne K

    2013-05-25

    Guideline adherence in physical therapy is far from optimal, which has consequences for the effectiveness and efficiency of physical therapy care. Programmes to enhance guideline adherence have, so far, been relatively ineffective. We systematically developed a theory-based Quality Improvement in Physical Therapy (QUIP) programme aimed at the individual performance level (practicing physiotherapists; PTs) and the practice organization level (practice quality manager; PQM). The aim of the study was to pilot test the multilevel QUIP programme's effectiveness and the fidelity, acceptability and feasibility of its implementation. A one-group, pre-test, post-test pilot study (N = 8 practices; N = 32 PTs, 8 of whom were also PQMs) done between September and December 2009. Guideline adherence was measured using clinical vignettes that addressed 12 quality indicators reflecting the guidelines' main recommendations. Determinants of adherence were measured using quantitative methods (questionnaires). Delivery of the programme and management changes were assessed using qualitative methods (observations, group interviews, and document analyses). Changes in adherence and determinants were tested in the paired samples T-tests and expressed in effect sizes (Cohen's d). Overall adherence did not change (3.1%; p = .138). Adherence to three quality indicators improved (8%, 24%, 43%; .000 ≤ p ≤ .023). Adherence to one quality indicator decreased (-15.7%; p = .004). Scores on various determinants of individual performance improved and favourable changes at practice organizational level were observed. Improvements were associated with the programme's multilevel approach, collective goal setting, and the application of self-regulation; unfavourable findings with programme deficits. The one-group pre-test post-test design limits the internal validity of the study, the self-selected sample its external validity. The QUIP programme has the potential to change physical

  7. Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Alan R.; Bhagwatwar, Akshay; Minas, Randall K.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of testing, especially certification and high-stakes testing, has increased substantially over the past decade. Building on the "serious gaming" literature and the psychology "priming" literature, we developed a computer game designed to improve test-taking performance using psychological priming. The game primed…

  8. Collaborative-group testing improves learning and knowledge retention of human physiology topics in second-year medical students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-García, Mario

    2018-06-01

    The present study examined the relationship between second-year medical students' group performance and individual performance in a collaborative-learning environment. In recent decades, university professors in the scientific and humanistic disciplines have successfully put into practice different modalities of collaborative approaches to teaching. Essentially, collaborative approach refers to a variety of techniques that involves the joint intellectual effort of a small group of students, which encourages interaction and discussion among students and professors. The present results show the efficacy of collaborative learning, which, furthermore, allowed students to participate actively in the physiology class. Average student's grades were significantly higher when they engaged in single-best-response, multiple-choice tests as a student team, compared with taking the same examinations individually. The method improved notably knowledge retention, as learning is more effective when performed in the context of collaborative partnership. A selected subset of questions answered wrongly in an initial test, both individually and collectively, was used on a second test to examine student retention of studied material. Grade averages were significantly improved, both individually and groupwise, when students responded to the subset of questions a second time, 1, 2, or 3 wk after the first attempt. These results suggest that the collaborative approach to teaching allowed a more effective understanding of course content, which meant an improved capacity for retention of human physiology knowledge.

  9. Laboratory testing improves diagnosis and treatment outcomes in primary health care facilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Y. Carter

    2012-10-01

    Setting: Six rural health centres in Kenya. Design: Cross-sectional study to observe change in diagnosis and treatment made by clinical officers after laboratory testing in outpatients attending six rural health centres in Kenya. Subject: The diagnosis and treatment of 1134 patients attending outpatient services in six rural health centres were compared before and after basic laboratory testing. Essential clinical diagnostic equipment and laboratory tests were established at each health centre. Clinical officers and laboratory technicians received on-site refresher training in good diagnostic practices and laboratory procedures before the study began. Results: Laboratory tests were ordered on 704 (62.1% patients. Diagnosis and treatment were changed in 45% of tested patients who returned with laboratory results (21% of all patients attending the clinics. 166 (23.5% patients did not return to the clinician for a final diagnosis and management decision after laboratory testing. Blood slide examination for malaria parasites, wet preparations, urine microscopy and stool microscopy resulted in most changes to diagnosis. There was no significant change in drug costs after laboratory testing. The greatest changes in numbers of recorded diseases following laboratory testing was for intestinal worms (53% and malaria (21%. Conclusion: Effective use of basic laboratory tests at primary health care level significantly improves diagnosis and patient treatment. Use of laboratory testing can be readily incorporated into routine clinical practice. On-site refresher training is an effective means of improving the quality of patient care and communication between clinical and laboratory staff.

  10. Design Improvement of Double Pressure Vessel in the In-pile Test Section

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Jintae; Heo, Sung-Ho; Joung, Chang-Young; Kim, Ka-Hye [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-10-15

    To carry out an irradiation test of nuclear fuels, a nuclear fuel test rig should be fabricated and installed in the in-pile test section (IPS), which is installed in the reactor hall. While carrying out an irradiation test, sealing out coolant which passes through the test rig is one of the most important issues. In particular, although the double pressure vessel is assembled with the IPS head by two o-rings and six bolts, 15.5 MPa of highly pressurized coolant leaks through the gap between the vessel and IPS head. Because the temperature of the coolant in the test loop is 300 .deg. C , and the pool of HANARO is 40 .deg. C, the double pressure vessel is necessary to insulate them. Therefore, a new design to prevent the leakage of coolant needs to be developed. In this study, EB welding technique is considered to assemble the double pressure vessel and the IPS head, and their mechanical design is modified to enable the welding process. In this study, an improved design for sealing out the coolant at the pressure boundary between the double pressure vessel and the IPS head has been developed. An EB weld is applied to seal out the pressure boundary, and its sealing performance is verified by NDE, a cross section test, and a hydraulic pressure test. From the verification test results, the improved design can be used in fabricating the IPS for a nuclear fuel irradiation test.

  11. A quantitative performance assessment of improved cooking stoves and traditional three-stone-fire stoves using a two-pot test design in Chamwino, Dodoma, Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafner, J.; Uckert, G.; Graef, F.; Hoffmann, H.; Kimaro, A. A.; Sererya, O.; Sieber, S.

    2018-02-01

    In Tanzania, a majority of rural residents cook using firewood-based three-stone-fire stoves. In this study, quantitative performance differences between technologically advanced improved cooking stoves and three-stone-fire stoves are analysed. We test the performance of improved cooking stoves and three-stone-fire stoves using local cooks, foods, and fuels, in the semi-arid region of Dodoma in Tanzania. We used the cooking protocol of the Controlled Cooking Test following a two-pot test design. The findings of the study suggest that improved cooking stoves use less firewood and less time than three-stone-fire stoves to conduct a predefined cooking task. In total, 40 households were assessed and ask to complete two different cooking tasks: (1) a fast cooking meal (rice and vegetables) and (2) a slow cooking meal (beans and rice). For cooking task 1, the results show a significant reduction in firewood consumption of 37.1% by improved cooking stoves compared to traditional three-stone-fire stoves; for cooking task 2 a reduction of 15.6% is found. In addition, it was found that the time needed to conduct cooking tasks 1 and 2 was significantly reduced by 26.8% and 22.8% respectively, when improved cooking stoves were used instead of three-stone-fire-stoves. We observed that the villagers altered the initial improved cooking stove design, resulting in the so-called modified improved cooking stove. In an additional Controlled Cooking Test, we conducted cooking task 3: a very fast cooking meal (maize flour and vegetables) within 32 households. Significant changes between the initial and modified improved cooking stoves regarding firewood and time consumption were not detected. However, analyses show that both firewood and time consumption during cooking was reduced when large amounts (for 6-7 household members) of food were prepared instead of small amounts (for 2-3 household members).

  12. False star detection and isolation during star tracking based on improved chi-square tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hao; Niu, Yanxiong; Lu, Jiazhen; Yang, Yanqiang; Su, Guohua

    2017-08-01

    The star sensor is a precise attitude measurement device for a spacecraft. Star tracking is the main and key working mode for a star sensor. However, during star tracking, false stars become an inevitable interference for star sensor applications, which may result in declined measurement accuracy. A false star detection and isolation algorithm in star tracking based on improved chi-square tests is proposed in this paper. Two estimations are established based on a Kalman filter and a priori information, respectively. The false star detection is operated through adopting the global state chi-square test in a Kalman filter. The false star isolation is achieved using a local state chi-square test. Semi-physical experiments under different trajectories with various false stars are designed for verification. Experiment results show that various false stars can be detected and isolated from navigation stars during star tracking, and the attitude measurement accuracy is hardly influenced by false stars. The proposed algorithm is proved to have an excellent performance in terms of speed, stability, and robustness.

  13. An Improved Test Selection Optimization Model Based on Fault Ambiguity Group Isolation and Chaotic Discrete PSO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Lv

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensor data-based test selection optimization is the basis for designing a test work, which ensures that the system is tested under the constraint of the conventional indexes such as fault detection rate (FDR and fault isolation rate (FIR. From the perspective of equipment maintenance support, the ambiguity isolation has a significant effect on the result of test selection. In this paper, an improved test selection optimization model is proposed by considering the ambiguity degree of fault isolation. In the new model, the fault test dependency matrix is adopted to model the correlation between the system fault and the test group. The objective function of the proposed model is minimizing the test cost with the constraint of FDR and FIR. The improved chaotic discrete particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm is adopted to solve the improved test selection optimization model. The new test selection optimization model is more consistent with real complicated engineering systems. The experimental result verifies the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  14. Improved method for SNR prediction in machine-learning-based test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sheng, Xiaoqin; Kerkhoff, Hans G.

    2010-01-01

    This paper applies an improved method for testing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of Analogue-to-Digital Converters (ADC). In previous work, a noisy and nonlinear pulse signal is exploited as the input stimulus to obtain the signature results of ADC. By applying a machine-learning-based approach,

  15. Bidirectional Text Messaging to Improve Adherence to Recommended Lipid Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Laura-Mae; Morrison, Caitlin; Griffin, Jonathan; Anderson, Nick; Edwards, Kelly; Green, Jeff; Waldren, Cleary; Reiter, William

    2017-01-01

    Synergies between technology and health care in the United States are accelerating, increasing opportunities to leverage these technologies to improve patient care. This study was a collaboration between an academic study team, a rural primary care clinic, and a local nonprofit informatics company developing tools to improve patient care through population management. Our team created a text messaging management tool, then developed methods for and tested the feasibility of bidirectional text messaging to remind eligible patients about the need for lipid testing. We measured patient response to the text messages, then interviewed 8 patients to explore their text messaging experience. Of the 129 patients the clinic was able to contact by phone, 29.4% had no cell phone or text-messaging capabilities. An additional 20% refused to participate. Two thirds of the 28 patients who participated in the text messaging intervention (67.9%) responded to at least 1 of the up to 3 messages. Seven of 8 interviewed patients had a positive text-messaging experience. Bidirectional text messaging is a feasible and largely acceptable form of communication for test reminders that has the potential to reach large numbers of patients in clinical care. © Copyright 2017 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  16. Improved test of Lorentz invariance in electrodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolf, Peter; Bize, Sebastien; Clairon, Andre; Santarelli, Giorgio; Tobar, Michael E.; Luiten, Andre N.

    2004-01-01

    We report new results of a test of Lorentz invariance based on the comparison of a cryogenic sapphire microwave resonator and a hydrogen-maser. The experimental results are shown together with an extensive analysis of systematic effects. Previously, this experiment has set the most stringent constraint on Kennedy-Thorndike type violations of Lorentz invariance. In this work we present new data and interpret our results in the general Lorentz violating extension of the standard model of particle physics (SME). Within the photon sector of the SME, our experiment is sensitive to seven SME parameters. We marginally improve present limits on four of these, and by a factor seven to ten on the other three

  17. X-ray scatter correction method for dedicated breast computed tomography: improvements and initial patient testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramamurthy, Senthil; D’Orsi, Carl J; Sechopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    A previously proposed x-ray scatter correction method for dedicated breast computed tomography was further developed and implemented so as to allow for initial patient testing. The method involves the acquisition of a complete second set of breast CT projections covering 360° with a perforated tungsten plate in the path of the x-ray beam. To make patient testing feasible, a wirelessly controlled electronic positioner for the tungsten plate was designed and added to a breast CT system. Other improvements to the algorithm were implemented, including automated exclusion of non-valid primary estimate points and the use of a different approximation method to estimate the full scatter signal. To evaluate the effectiveness of the algorithm, evaluation of the resulting image quality was performed with a breast phantom and with nine patient images. The improvements in the algorithm resulted in the avoidance of introduction of artifacts, especially at the object borders, which was an issue in the previous implementation in some cases. Both contrast, in terms of signal difference and signal difference-to-noise ratio were improved with the proposed method, as opposed to with the correction algorithm incorporated in the system, which does not recover contrast. Patient image evaluation also showed enhanced contrast, better cupping correction, and more consistent voxel values for the different tissues. The algorithm also reduces artifacts present in reconstructions of non-regularly shaped breasts. With the implemented hardware and software improvements, the proposed method can be reliably used during patient breast CT imaging, resulting in improvement of image quality, no introduction of artifacts, and in some cases reduction of artifacts already present. The impact of the algorithm on actual clinical performance for detection, diagnosis and other clinical tasks in breast imaging remains to be evaluated. (paper)

  18. Verbal memory improved by D-amphetamine: influence of the testing effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeeuws, Inge; Deroost, Natacha; Soetens, Eric

    2010-07-01

    The improvement of long-term retention of verbal memory after an acute administration of D-amphetamine in recall and recognition tasks has been ascribed to an influence of the drug on memory consolidation. Because recent research has demonstrated that intermediate testing is of overriding importance for retention, we investigated whether D-amphetamine modulates the repeated testing effect in verbal long-term recognition. Forty men participated in two double blind placebo controlled studies. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the number of recognition tests and in Experiment 2, we compared repeated with nonrepeated testing of the same items. Drug effects were observed on delayed tests only, leaving immediate recognition unaffected. Number of intermediate recognition tests and repeated testing of the same items were not affected by D-amphetamine. We conclude that the D-amphetamine memory enhancement is not related to the testing effect. This result supports that D-amphetamine modulates other aspects of the consolidation process, probably related to context effects. (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Improving laboratory efficiencies to scale-up HIV viral load testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemnji, George; Onyebujoh, Philip; Nkengasong, John N

    2017-03-01

    Viral load measurement is a key indicator that determines patients' response to treatment and risk for disease progression. Efforts are ongoing in different countries to scale-up access to viral load testing to meet the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS target of achieving 90% viral suppression among HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. However, the impact of these initiatives may be challenged by increased inefficiencies along the viral load testing spectrum. This will translate to increased costs and ineffectiveness of scale-up approaches. This review describes different parameters that could be addressed across the viral load testing spectrum aimed at improving efficiencies and utilizing test results for patient management. Though progress is being made in some countries to scale-up viral load, many others still face numerous challenges that may affect scale-up efficiencies: weak demand creation, ineffective supply chain management systems; poor specimen referral systems; inadequate data and quality management systems; and weak laboratory-clinical interface leading to diminished uptake of test results. In scaling up access to viral load testing, there should be a renewed focus to address efficiencies across the entire spectrum, including factors related to access, uptake, and impact of test results.

  20. An improved dynamic test method for solar collectors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Weiqiang; Wang, Zhifeng; Fan, Jianhua

    2012-01-01

    A comprehensive improvement of the mathematical model for the so called transfer function method is presented in this study. This improved transfer function method can estimate the traditional solar collector parameters such as zero loss coefficient and heat loss coefficient. Two new collector...... parameters t and mfCf are obtained. t is a time scale parameter which can indicate the heat transfer ability of the solar collector. mfCf can be used to calculate the fluid volume content in the solar collector or to validate the regression process by comparing it to the physical fluid volume content...... for the second-order differential term with 6–9min as the best averaging time interval. The measured and predicted collector power output of the solar collector are compared during a test of 13days continuously both for the ITF method and the QDT method. The maximum and averaging error is 53.87W/m2 and 5.22W/m2...

  1. Conceptual Design for the In-Pile Test Section(IPS) Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jong Min; Shim, Bong Sik; Lee, Chung Young; Chi, Dae Young; Park, Su Ki; Ahn, Sung Ho; Kim, Young Ki; Lee, Kye Hong; Kim, Kwan Hyun

    2009-01-15

    Conceptual design on the IPS, instrumentation and 1/4' Tubing, test fuel supports, test fuel inspection station and inner assembly O-ring replacement was suggested for their improvement. There is a need Jacking bolt on the Top flange for the inner assembly disassemble from the outer assembly and the replacement about the top flange O-ring to metal gasket to secure pressure boundary. Mechanical sealing was suggested instead of brazing. Instrumentation and tubing route should be modified for the reduction of bending and protection from unexpected occasion. Concept on the test fuel inspection station under the consideration of canal dimension. Top flange Bolt handling tool, O-ring replacement platform and O-ring replacement tool was designed for the O-ring replacement at the inner assembly.

  2. EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE TESTS AND FEEDBACK IN FUNCTION OF IMPROVING THE STUDENTS’ STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duško Bjelica

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important issues in the project ”National frame of qualifications and quality providing in education”, run by the EU Delegation in Montenegro, is improvement of students’ study through effective knowledge tests and feedbacks. Knowledge tests do not only represent a problem of knowledge evaluation, but they significantly determine instructional design of the teaching process. Process of organisation and structuring of an exam, besides feasibility and applicability aspects, also has educative aspects. The knowledge tests should motivate a student to improve their own education as well as to motivate them to further studying. An exam should not be considered as individual method of knowledge evaluation, but as a procedure that will be pervaded with the educative programme. In that sense, availability of good-quality feedback enables the students to self-correct, and the chosen methods of examination have to provide relevant results

  3. Improving QST Reliability – More Raters, Tests or Occasions? A Multivariate Generalizability Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Neill, Søren; O'Neill, Lotte

    2015-01-01

    The reliability of quantitative sensory testing (QST) is affected by the error attributable to both test occasion and rater (examiner) as well as interactions between them. Most reliability studies only account for one source of error. The present study employed a fully-crossed, multivariate...... threshold, intensity, tolerance and modulation with mechanical, thermal and chemical stimuli. The classical test-retest and inter-rater reliability (0.19... procedures. Reliability was improved more by repeated testing on separate occasions opposed to repeated testing by different raters....

  4. Improving power for rare-variant tests by integrating external controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seunggeun; Kim, Sehee; Fuchsberger, Christian

    2017-11-01

    Due to the drop in sequencing cost, the number of sequenced genomes is increasing rapidly. To improve power of rare-variant tests, these sequenced samples could be used as external control samples in addition to control samples from the study itself. However, when using external controls, possible batch effects due to the use of different sequencing platforms or genotype calling pipelines can dramatically increase type I error rates. To address this, we propose novel summary statistics based single and gene- or region-based rare-variant tests that allow the integration of external controls while controlling for type I error. Our approach is based on the insight that batch effects on a given variant can be assessed by comparing odds ratio estimates using internal controls only vs. using combined control samples of internal and external controls. From simulation experiments and the analysis of data from age-related macular degeneration and type 2 diabetes studies, we demonstrate that our method can substantially improve power while controlling for type I error rate. © 2017 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  5. Development and testing of the improved focusing quadrupole for heavy ion fusion accelerators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manahan, R R; Martovetsky, N N; Meinke, R B; Chiesa, L; Lietzke, A F; Sabbi, G L; Seidl, P A

    2003-10-23

    An improved version of the focusing magnet for a Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) accelerator was designed, built and tested in 2002-2003. This quadrupole has higher focusing power and lower error field than the previous version of the focusing quadrupoles successfully built and tested in 2001. We discuss the features of the new design, selected fabrication issues and test results.

  6. Launching a Laboratory Testing Process Quality Improvement Toolkit: From the Shared Networks of Colorado Ambulatory Practices and Partners (SNOCAP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernald, Douglas; Hamer, Mika; James, Kathy; Tutt, Brandon; West, David

    2015-01-01

    Family medicine and internal medicine physicians order diagnostic laboratory tests for nearly one-third of patient encounters in an average week, yet among medical errors in primary care, an estimated 15% to 54% are attributed to laboratory testing processes. From a practice improvement perspective, we (1) describe the need for laboratory testing process quality improvements from the perspective of primary care practices, and (2) describe the approaches and resources needed to implement laboratory testing process quality improvements in practice. We applied practice observations, process mapping, and interviews with primary care practices in the Shared Networks of Colorado Ambulatory Practices and Partners (SNOCAP)-affiliated practice-based research networks that field-tested in 2013 a laboratory testing process improvement toolkit. From the data collected in each of the 22 participating practices, common testing quality issues included, but were not limited to, 3 main testing process steps: laboratory test preparation, test tracking, and patient notification. Three overarching qualitative themes emerged: practices readily acknowledge multiple laboratory testing process problems; practices know that they need help addressing the issues; and practices face challenges with finding patient-centered solutions compatible with practice priorities and available resources. While practices were able to get started with guidance and a toolkit to improve laboratory testing processes, most did not seem able to achieve their quality improvement aims unassisted. Providing specific guidance tools with practice facilitation or other rapid-cycle quality improvement support may be an effective approach to improve common laboratory testing issues in primary care. © Copyright 2015 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  7. Improving Quality of Seal Leak Test Product using Six Sigma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthfi Malik, Abdullah; Akbar, Muhammad; Irianto, Dradjad

    2016-02-01

    Seal leak test part is a polyurethane material-based product. Based on past data, defect level of this product was 8%, higher than the target of 5%. Quality improvement effort was done using six sigma method that included phases of define, measure, analyse, improve, and control. In the design phase, a Delphi method was used to identify factors that were critical to quality. In the measure phase, stability and process capability was measured. Fault tree analysis (FTA) and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) were used in the next phase to analize the root cause and to determine the priority issues. Improve phase was done by compiling, selecting, and designing alternative repair. Some improvement efforts were identified, i.e. (i) making a checklist for maintenance schedules, (ii) making written reminder form, (iii) modifying the SOP more detail, and (iv) performing a major service to the vacuum machine. To ensure the continuity of improvement efforts, some control activities were executed, i.e. (i) controlling, monitoring, documenting, and setting target frequently, (ii) implementing reward and punishment system, (iii) adding cleaning tool, and (iv) building six sigma organizational structure.

  8. Improving Quality of Seal Leak Test Product using Six Sigma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malik, Abdullah Luthfi; Akbar, Muhammad; Irianto, Dradjad

    2016-01-01

    Seal leak test part is a polyurethane material-based product. Based on past data, defect level of this product was 8%, higher than the target of 5%. Quality improvement effort was done using six sigma method that included phases of define, measure, analyse, improve, and control. In the design phase, a Delphi method was used to identify factors that were critical to quality. In the measure phase, stability and process capability was measured. Fault tree analysis (FTA) and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) were used in the next phase to analize the root cause and to determine the priority issues. Improve phase was done by compiling, selecting, and designing alternative repair. Some improvement efforts were identified, i.e. (i) making a checklist for maintenance schedules, (ii) making written reminder form, (iii) modifying the SOP more detail, and (iv) performing a major service to the vacuum machine. To ensure the continuity of improvement efforts, some control activities were executed, i.e. (i) controlling, monitoring, documenting, and setting target frequently, (ii) implementing reward and punishment system, (iii) adding cleaning tool, and (iv) building six sigma organizational structure. (paper)

  9. Improved E-ELT subsystem and component specifications, thanks to M1 test facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimmler, M.; Marrero, J.; Leveque, S.; Barriga, Pablo; Sedghi, B.; Kornweibel, N.

    2014-07-01

    During the last 2 years ESO has operated the "M1 Test Facility", a test stand consisting of a representative section of the E-ELT primary mirror equipped with 4 complete prototype segment subunits including sensors, actuators and control system. The purpose of the test facility is twofold: it serves to study and get familiar with component and system aspects like calibration, alignment and handling procedures and suitable control strategies on real hardware long before the primary mirror (hereafter M1) components are commissioned. Secondly, and of major benefit to the project, it offered the possibility to evaluate component and subsystem performance and interface issues in a system context in such detail, that issues could be identified early enough to feed back into the subsystem and component specifications. This considerably reduces risk and cost of the production units and allows refocusing the project team on important issues for the follow-up of the production contracts. Experiences are presented in which areas the results of the M1 Test Facility particularly helped to improve subsystem specifications and areas, where additional tests were adopted independent of the main test facility. Presented are the key experiences of the M1 Test Facility which lead to improved specifications or identified the need for additional testing outside of the M1 Test Facility.

  10. Improved test of time dilation in special relativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saathoff, G; Karpuk, S; Eisenbarth, U; Huber, G; Krohn, S; Muñoz Horta, R; Reinhardt, S; Schwalm, D; Wolf, A; Gwinner, G

    2003-11-07

    An improved test of time dilation in special relativity has been performed using laser spectroscopy on fast ions at the heavy-ion storage-ring TSR in Heidelberg. The Doppler-shifted frequencies of a two-level transition in 7Li+ ions at v=0.064c have been measured in the forward and backward direction to an accuracy of Deltanu/nu=1 x 10(-9) using collinear saturation spectroscopy. The result confirms the relativistic Doppler formula and sets a new limit of 2.2 x 10(-7) for deviations from the time dilation factor gamma(SR)=(1-v2/c2)(-1/2).

  11. Complete replication-competent adenovirus 11p vectors with E1 or E3 insertions show improved heat stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mei, Ya-Fang, E-mail: ya-fang.mei@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden); Wu, Haidong, E-mail: haidong.wu@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden); Hultenby, Kjell, E-mail: kjell.hultenby@ki.se [Division of Clinical Research Centre, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute, SE-14186 Stockholm (Sweden); Silver, Jim, E-mail: jim.silver@umu.se [Department of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå (Sweden)

    2016-10-15

    Conventional adenovirus vectors harboring E1 or E3 deletions followed by the insertion of an exogenous gene show considerably reduced virion stability. Here, we report strategies to generate complete replication-competent Ad11p(RCAd11p) vectors that overcome the above disadvantage. A GFP cassette was successfully introduced either upstream of E1A or in the E3A region. The resulting vectors showed high expression levels of the hexon and E1genes and also strongly induced the cytopathic effect in targeted cells. When harboring oversized genomes, the RCAd11pE1 and RCAd11pE3 vectors showed significantly improved heat stability in comparison to Ad11pwt;of the three, RCAd11pE3 was the most tolerant to heat treatment. Electron microscopy showed that RCAd11pE3, RCAd11pE1, Ad11pwt, and Ad11pE1 Delmanifested dominant, moderate, minimum, or no full virus particles after heat treatment at 47 °C for 5 h. Our results demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site in the viral genome affect virion stability. -- Highlights: •Replicating adenovirus 11p GFP vectors at the E1 or E3 region were generated. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 vectors manifested significantly improved heat stability. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 showed more full viral particles than Ad11pwt after heating. •We demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site affect virion stability.

  12. Complete replication-competent adenovirus 11p vectors with E1 or E3 insertions show improved heat stability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mei, Ya-Fang; Wu, Haidong; Hultenby, Kjell; Silver, Jim

    2016-01-01

    Conventional adenovirus vectors harboring E1 or E3 deletions followed by the insertion of an exogenous gene show considerably reduced virion stability. Here, we report strategies to generate complete replication-competent Ad11p(RCAd11p) vectors that overcome the above disadvantage. A GFP cassette was successfully introduced either upstream of E1A or in the E3A region. The resulting vectors showed high expression levels of the hexon and E1genes and also strongly induced the cytopathic effect in targeted cells. When harboring oversized genomes, the RCAd11pE1 and RCAd11pE3 vectors showed significantly improved heat stability in comparison to Ad11pwt;of the three, RCAd11pE3 was the most tolerant to heat treatment. Electron microscopy showed that RCAd11pE3, RCAd11pE1, Ad11pwt, and Ad11pE1 Delmanifested dominant, moderate, minimum, or no full virus particles after heat treatment at 47 °C for 5 h. Our results demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site in the viral genome affect virion stability. -- Highlights: •Replicating adenovirus 11p GFP vectors at the E1 or E3 region were generated. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 vectors manifested significantly improved heat stability. •RCAd11pE3 and RCAd11pE1 showed more full viral particles than Ad11pwt after heating. •We demonstrated that both genome size and the insertion site affect virion stability.

  13. Improving Papanicolaou test quality and reducing medical errors by using Toyota production system methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Stephen S; Andrew-Jaja, Carey; Condel, Jennifer L; Dabbs, David J

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the study was to determine whether the Toyota production system process improves Papanicolaou test quality and patient safety. An 8-month nonconcurrent cohort study that included 464 case and 639 control women who had a Papanicolaou test was performed. Office workflow was redesigned using Toyota production system methods by introducing a 1-by-1 continuous flow process. We measured the frequency of Papanicolaou tests without a transformation zone component, follow-up and Bethesda System diagnostic frequency of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, and diagnostic error frequency. After the intervention, the percentage of Papanicolaou tests lacking a transformation zone component decreased from 9.9% to 4.7% (P = .001). The percentage of Papanicolaou tests with a diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance decreased from 7.8% to 3.9% (P = .007). The frequency of error per correlating cytologic-histologic specimen pair decreased from 9.52% to 7.84%. The introduction of the Toyota production system process resulted in improved Papanicolaou test quality.

  14. A Novel Approach to Improving Utilization of Laboratory Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yaolin; Procop, Gary W; Riley, Jacquelyn D

    2018-02-01

    - The incorporation of best practice guidelines into one's institution is a challenging goal of utilization management, and the successful adoption of such guidelines depends on institutional context. Laboratorians who have access to key clinical data are well positioned to understand existing local practices and promote more appropriate laboratory testing. - To apply a novel approach to utilization management by reviewing international clinical guidelines and current institutional practices to create a reliable mechanism to improve detection and reduce unnecessary tests in our patient population. - We targeted a frequently ordered genetic test for HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis, a disorder of low penetrance. After reviewing international practice guidelines, we evaluated 918 HFE tests and found that all patients with new diagnoses had transferrin saturation levels that were significantly higher than those of patients with nonrisk genotypes (72% versus 42%; P < .001). - Our "one-button" order that restricts HFE genetic tests to patients with transferrin saturation greater than 45% is consistent with published practice guidelines and detected 100% of new patients with HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis. - Our proposed algorithm differs from previously published approaches in that it incorporates both clinical practice guidelines and local physician practices, yet requires no additional hands-on effort from pathologists or clinicians. This novel approach to utilization management embraces the role of pathologists as leaders in promoting high-quality patient care in local health care systems.

  15. Enhancing the Benefit of the Chemical Mixture Methodology: A Report on Methodology Testing and Potential Approaches for Improving Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Xiao-Ying; Yao, Juan; He, Hua; Glantz, Clifford S.; Booth, Alexander E.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive testing shows that the current version of the Chemical Mixture Methodology (CMM) is meeting its intended mission to provide conservative estimates of the health effects from exposure to airborne chemical mixtures. However, the current version of the CMM could benefit from several enhancements that are designed to improve its application of Health Code Numbers (HCNs) and employ weighting factors to reduce over conservatism.

  16. Advanced Materials Test Methods for Improved Life Prediction of Turbine Engine Components

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stubbs, Jack

    2000-01-01

    Phase I final report developed under SBIR contract for Topic # AF00-149, "Durability of Turbine Engine Materials/Advanced Material Test Methods for Improved Use Prediction of Turbine Engine Components...

  17. Comparison of measured and predicted thermal mixing tests using improved finite difference technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, Y.A.; Rice, J.G.; Kim, J.H.

    1983-01-01

    The numerical diffusion introduced by the use of upwind formulations in the finite difference solution of the flow and energy equations for thermal mixing problems (cold water injection after small break LOCA in a PWR) was examined. The relative importance of numerical diffusion in the flow equations, compared to its effect on the energy equation was demonstrated. The flow field equations were solved using both first order accurate upwind, and second order accurate differencing schemes. The energy equation was treated using the conventional upwind and a mass weighted skew upwind scheme. Results presented for a simple test case showed that, for thermal mixing problems, the numerical diffusion was most significant in the energy equation. The numerical diffusion effect in the flow field equations was much less significant. A comparison of predictions using the skew upwind and the conventional upwind with experimental data from a two dimensional thermal mixing text are presented. The use of the skew upwind scheme showed a significant improvement in the accuracy of the steady state predicted temperatures. (orig./HP)

  18. Better Tests, Better Care: Improved Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliendo, Angela M.; Gilbert, David N.; Ginocchio, Christine C.; Hanson, Kimberly E.; May, Larissa; Quinn, Thomas C.; Tenover, Fred C.; Alland, David; Blaschke, Anne J.; Bonomo, Robert A.; Carroll, Karen C.; Ferraro, Mary Jane; Hirschhorn, Lisa R.; Joseph, W. Patrick; Karchmer, Tobi; MacIntyre, Ann T.; Reller, L. Barth; Jackson, Audrey F.

    2013-01-01

    In this IDSA policy paper, we review the current diagnostic landscape, including unmet needs and emerging technologies, and assess the challenges to the development and clinical integration of improved tests. To fulfill the promise of emerging diagnostics, IDSA presents recommendations that address a host of identified barriers. Achieving these goals will require the engagement and coordination of a number of stakeholders, including Congress, funding and regulatory bodies, public health agencies, the diagnostics industry, healthcare systems, professional societies, and individual clinicians. PMID:24200831

  19. Strategy for 90% autoverification of clinical chemistry and immunoassay test results using six sigma process improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randell, Edward W; Short, Garry; Lee, Natasha; Beresford, Allison; Spencer, Margaret; Kennell, Marina; Moores, Zoë; Parry, David

    2018-06-01

    Six Sigma involves a structured process improvement strategy that places processes on a pathway to continued improvement. The data presented here summarizes a project that took three clinical laboratories from autoverification processes that allowed between about 40% to 60% of tests being auto-verified to more than 90% of tests and samples auto-verified. The project schedule, metrics and targets, a description of the previous system and detailed information on the changes made to achieve greater than 90% auto-verification is presented for this Six Sigma DMAIC (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process improvement project.

  20. Improvements in skin-testing technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Warner W

    2006-01-01

    Allergy skin testing is the primary modality used in the diagnosis of allergic diseases and guides development of treatment and avoidance plans. The goal of the Allergist is to skin test the appropriate population with a device and technique that minimizes pain while maximizing sensitivity and specificity. The debate involving the use of intradermal versus skin-prick testing in the diagnosis of aeroallergy has been long lasting. Past and present medical literature will be reviewed, establishing the lack of diagnostic use of intradermal testing in the setting of aeroallergy. New skin devices continue to be developed with a trend toward production of multidevices. Performance characteristics of various skin test devices will be reviewed with an emphasis on sensitivity, specificity, and variability of skin-prick testing devices. Significant statistical differences exist between all devices tested and reported in the literature. Whether these statistical differences equate to clinical differences is not known. With this review the practicing allergist should carefully evaluate multiple different devices and choose a device that suits their practice needs. In addition, allergists must ensure that technicians are sufficiently trained on the correct use of their device and should conduct continuing education to ensure that proper skin testing techniques are being used in their practice. Finally, the use of skin testing in pediatrics will be reviewed with a focus on safety. Care should be taken when skin testing infants < or = 6 months of age, especially in the setting of eczema and a family history of atopy.

  1. Design Improvements of a Fuel Capsule for Re-irradiation Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Young-Hwan; Choi, Myung-Hwan; Kim, Jong Kiun; Youm, Ki Un; Yoon, Ki Byeong; Kim, Bong Goo

    2006-01-01

    The development of an advanced reactor system such as the next generation nuclear plant and other generation IV systems require new fuels, claddings, and structural materials. To characterize the performance of these new materials, it is necessary for us to have leading-edge technology to satisfy the specific test requirements of the recent R and D activities such as the high-fluence- and high burnup- related tests. Thus, new capsule assembling technology and re-instrumentation technology has been developed to meet the demands for the high burnup test at HANARO since 2003. In 2003, a mockup of the capsule assembly machine was designed and fabricated. The performance test which started in 2004 was undertaken to determine and present the main performance characteristics of the capsule assembly machine (CAM) including the special tools. In 2005, a series of analyses using a finite element analysis program, ANSYS and full scale tests in air were performed to improve the design of the capsule's components for an effective utilization of the CAM. The handling tools were fully qualified through the performance tests in 2006. KAERI is now reviewing the water flow area in the top region of a fuel capsule main body for re-irradiation tests and optimizing the design of the central region area of a capsule to be joined with special bolts

  2. An improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Mu, Jun; Han, Jinyuan; Gu, Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

    This article described an improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method. A simply designed connecting vessel with alternative photoperiod was used to culture and collect high yield of active Artemia parthenogenetica nauplii for brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test. Using this method, pure A. parthenogenetica nauplii suspension was easily cultured and harvested with high density about 100-150 larvae per milliliter and the natural mortality was reduced to near zero by elimination of unnecessary artificial disturbance. And its sensitivity was validated by determination of LC(50)-24 h of different reference toxicants including five antitumor agents, two pesticides, three organic pollutants, and four heavy metals salts, most of which exhibited LC(50)-24 h between 0.07 and 58.43 mg/L except for bleomycin and mitomycin C with LC(50)-24 h over 300 mg/L.

  3. The Second Stroke Audit of Catalonia shows improvements in many, but not all quality indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Sònia; Ribera, Aida; Sánchez, Emília; Tresserras, Ricard; Gallofré, Miquel

    2012-01-01

    Periodic audits allow monitoring of healthcare quality by comparing performances at different time points. Aims To assess quality of in-hospital stroke care in Catalonia in 2007 and compare it with 2005 (post-/preguidelines delivery, respectively). Data on 13 evidence-based performance measures were collected by a retrospective review of medical records of consecutive stroke admissions (January-December 2007) to 47 acute hospitals in Catalonia. Adherence was calculated according to the ratio (patients with documented performance measures' compliance) (valid cases for that measure). Sampling weights were applied to produce estimates of compliance. The proportions of compliance with performance measures in both audits were compared using random-effects logistic regressions, with each performance measure as the dependent variable and audit edition as the explanatory variable to determine whether changes in stroke care quality occurred along time. We analyzed 1767 events distributed among 47 hospitals. In 2007, there was an increase in tissue plasminogen activator administrations (2·8% vs. 5·9%) and stroke unit admissions (16·6% vs. 22·6%) and a reduction in seven-day mortality (9·5% vs. 6·8%). Logistic regression models provided evidence of improved adherences to seven performance measures (screening of dysphagia, management of hyperthermia, baseline computed tomography scan, baseline glycemia, rehabilitation needs, early mobilization, and anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation), but worsening of management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and antithrombotics at discharge. The remaining three performance measures showed no changes. The Second Stroke Audit showed improvements in most dimensions of care, although unexpectedly a few but relevant performance measures became worse. Therefore, periodic stroke audits are needed to check changes in quality of care over time. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2011 World Stroke Organization.

  4. Affect School for chronic benign pain patients showed improved alexithymia assessments with TAS-20

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thulesius Hans O

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alexithymia is a disturbance associated with psychosomatic disorders, pain syndromes, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. The Affect School (AS based on Tomkins Affect Theory is a therapy focusing on innate affects and their physiological expressions, feelings, emotions and scripts. In this pilot study we tried the AS-intervention method in patients with chronic benign pain. Methods The AS-intervention, with 8 weekly group sessions and 10 individual sessions, was offered to 59 patients with chronic non-malignant pain at a pain rehabilitation clinic in Sweden 2004-2005. Pre and post intervention assessments were done with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20, the Visual Analogue Scale for pain assessment (VAS-pain, the European Quality of Life health barometer (EQoL and the Stress and Crisis Inventory-93 (SCI-93. After the group sessions we used Bergdahl's Questionnaire for assessing changes in interpersonal relations, general well-being and evaluation of AS. Results The AS intervention was completed by 54 out of 59 (92% patients. Significant reductions in total TAS-20 post-test scores (p = 0.0006 as well as TAS-20 DIF and DDF factors (Difficulties Identifying Feelings, and Difficulties Describing Feelings were seen (p = 0.0001, and p = 0.0008 while the EOT factor (Externally Oriented Thinking did not change. Improvements of HAD-depression scores (p = 0.04, EQoL (p = 0.02 and self-assessed changes in relations to others (p Conclusions This pilot study involving 59 patients with chronic benign pain indicates that the alexithymia DIF and DDF, as well as depression, social relations and quality of life may be improved by the Affect School therapeutic intervention.

  5. Improving the Test-Retest Reliability of Resting State fMRI by Removing the Impact of Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiahui; Han, Junwei; Nguyen, Vinh T; Guo, Lei; Guo, Christine C

    2017-01-01

    Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) provides a powerful tool to examine large-scale neural networks in the human brain and their disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders. Thanks to its low demand and high tolerance, resting state paradigms can be easily acquired from clinical population. However, due to the unconstrained nature, resting state paradigm is associated with excessive head movement and proneness to sleep. Consequently, the test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI measures is moderate at best, falling short of widespread use in the clinic. Here, we characterized the effect of sleep on the test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI. Using measures of heart rate variability (HRV) derived from simultaneous electrocardiogram (ECG) recording, we identified portions of fMRI data when subjects were more alert or sleepy, and examined their effects on the test-retest reliability of functional connectivity measures. When volumes of sleep were excluded, the reliability of rs-fMRI is significantly improved, and the improvement appears to be general across brain networks. The amount of improvement is robust with the removal of as much as 60% volumes of sleepiness. Therefore, test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI is affected by sleep and could be improved by excluding volumes of sleepiness as indexed by HRV. Our results suggest a novel and practical method to improve test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI measures.

  6. Photovoltaic module reliability improvement through application testing and failure analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, L. N.; Shumka, A.

    1982-01-01

    During the first four years of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Photovoltatic Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Low-Cost Solar Array (LSA) Project purchased about 400 kW of photovoltaic modules for test and experiments. In order to identify, report, and analyze test and operational problems with the Block Procurement modules, a problem/failure reporting and analysis system was implemented by the LSA Project with the main purpose of providing manufacturers with feedback from test and field experience needed for the improvement of product performance and reliability. A description of the more significant types of failures is presented, taking into account interconnects, cracked cells, dielectric breakdown, delamination, and corrosion. Current design practices and reliability evaluations are also discussed. The conducted evaluation indicates that current module designs incorporate damage-resistant and fault-tolerant features which address field failure mechanisms observed to date.

  7. Bacterial magnetic particles improve testes-mediated transgene efficiency in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Sun, Guanghong; Wang, Ye; Kong, Nana; Chi, Yafei; Yang, Leilei; Xin, Qiliang; Teng, Zhen; Wang, Xu; Wen, Yujun; Li, Ying; Xia, Guoliang

    2017-11-01

    Nano-scaled materials have been proved to be ideal DNA carriers for transgene. Bacterial magnetic particles (BMPs) help to reduce the toxicity of polyethylenimine (PEI), an efficient gene-transferring agent, and assist tissue transgene ex vivo. Here, the effectiveness of the BMP-PEI complex-conjugated foreign DNAs (BPDs) in promoting testes-mediated gene transfer (TMGT) in mouse was compared with that of liposome-conjugated foreign DNAs. The results proved that through testes injection, the clusters of BPDs successfully reached the cytoplasm and the nuclear of spermatogenesis cell, and expressed in testes of transgene founder mice. Additionally, the ratio of founder mice obtained from BPDs (88%) is about 3 times higher than the control (25%) (p mice from BPD group were significantly improved, as compared with the control (p mice within the first filial was significantly higher in BPDs compared with the control (73.8% versus 11.6%, p mice in vivo.

  8. Improving students’ creative thinking skill through local material-based experiment (LMBE) on protein qualitative test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supriyanti, F. M. T.; Halimatul, H. S.

    2018-05-01

    This study aims to enhance chemistry students’ creative thinking skills using material from local resources on protein qualitative test experiment (LMBE). In this study, a quasi experiment method using one group pretest-postest non-equivalen control group design was carried out on the effectiveness of local material-based experiment approach. The data was collected using the test consists of five assay test and student work sheet (LKM). The effectiveness of the local material-based experiment was tested by means of percentage of normalized gain and score percentage of students’ worksheet. Comparison of creative thinking skills pretest and postest scores showed that the implementation of local material- based experiment (LMBE) enhanced students’s creative thinking skills in experiment class with the value of normalized gain (=0,77) at high category, while in control class reached to =0,44 at medium category. In addition, the LKM shown the enhancements of all aspect of creative thinking skills, including fluency, flexibility, and elaboration skills with the score of in experiment class are 0.79; 0.75; and 0.87 at high category, respectively. In contrast, the only the elaboration skill of control group was improved at high category (=0.76), while fluency and flexibility indicators enhanced at medium category (=0.48 and 0.56, respectively).

  9. Machine-Learning-Based No Show Prediction in Outpatient Visits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Elvira

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A recurring problem in healthcare is the high percentage of patients who miss their appointment, be it a consultation or a hospital test. The present study seeks patient’s behavioural patterns that allow predicting the probability of no- shows. We explore the convenience of using Big Data Machine Learning models to accomplish this task. To begin with, a predictive model based only on variables associated with the target appointment is built. Then the model is improved by considering the patient’s history of appointments. In both cases, the Gradient Boosting algorithm was the predictor of choice. Our numerical results are considered promising given the small amount of information available. However, there seems to be plenty of room to improve the model if we manage to collect additional data for both patients and appointments.

  10. Using a Simple Binomial Model to Assess Improvement in Predictive Capability: Sequential Bayesian Inference, Hypothesis Testing, and Power Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sigeti, David E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Pelak, Robert A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-09-11

    We present a Bayesian statistical methodology for identifying improvement in predictive simulations, including an analysis of the number of (presumably expensive) simulations that will need to be made in order to establish with a given level of confidence that an improvement has been observed. Our analysis assumes the ability to predict (or postdict) the same experiments with legacy and new simulation codes and uses a simple binomial model for the probability, {theta}, that, in an experiment chosen at random, the new code will provide a better prediction than the old. This model makes it possible to do statistical analysis with an absolute minimum of assumptions about the statistics of the quantities involved, at the price of discarding some potentially important information in the data. In particular, the analysis depends only on whether or not the new code predicts better than the old in any given experiment, and not on the magnitude of the improvement. We show how the posterior distribution for {theta} may be used, in a kind of Bayesian hypothesis testing, both to decide if an improvement has been observed and to quantify our confidence in that decision. We quantify the predictive probability that should be assigned, prior to taking any data, to the possibility of achieving a given level of confidence, as a function of sample size. We show how this predictive probability depends on the true value of {theta} and, in particular, how there will always be a region around {theta} = 1/2 where it is highly improbable that we will be able to identify an improvement in predictive capability, although the width of this region will shrink to zero as the sample size goes to infinity. We show how the posterior standard deviation may be used, as a kind of 'plan B metric' in the case that the analysis shows that {theta} is close to 1/2 and argue that such a plan B should generally be part of hypothesis testing. All the analysis presented in the paper is done with a

  11. Performance of rocking systems on shallow improved sand: Shaking table testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelos eTsatsis

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have highlighted the potential benefits of inelastic foundation response during seismic shaking. According to an emerging seismic design scheme, termed rocking isolation, the foundation is intentionally under–designed to promote rocking and limit the inertia transmitted to the structure. Such reversal of capacity design may improve the seismic performance, drastically increasing the safety margins. However, the benefit comes at the expense of permanent settlement and rotation, which may threaten post-earthquake functionality. Such undesired deformation can be maintained within tolerable limits, provided that the safety factor against vertical loading FSV is adequately large. In such a case, the response is uplifting–dominated and the accumulation of settlement can be limited. However, this is not always feasible as the soil properties may not be ideal. Shallow soil improvement may offer a viable solution and is therefore worth investigating. Its efficiency is related to the nature of rocking, which tends to mobilize a shallow stress bulb. To this end, a series of shaking table tests are conducted, using an idealized slender bridge pier as conceptual prototype. Two systems are studied, both lying on a square foundation of width B. The first corresponds to a lightly-loaded and the second to a heavily-loaded structure. The two systems are first tested on poor and ideal soil conditions to demonstrate the necessity for soil improvement. Then, the efficiency of shallow soil improvement is studied by investigating their performance on soil crusts of depth z/B = 0.5 and 1. It is shown that a z/B = 1 dense sand crust is enough to achieve practically the same performance with the ideal case of dense sand. A shallower z/B = 0.5 improvement layer may also be considered, depending on design requirements. The efficiency of the soil improvement is ameliorated with the increase of rotation amplitude, and with the number of the cycles of the

  12. Finger tapping and verbal fluency post-tap test improvement in INPH: its value in differential diagnosis and shunt-treatment outcomes prognosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liouta, Evangelia; Gatzonis, Stylianos; Kalamatianos, Theodosis; Kalyvas, Aristotelis; Koutsarnakis, Christos; Liakos, Faidon; Anagnostopoulos, Christos; Komaitis, Spyridon; Giakoumettis, Dimitris; Stranjalis, George

    2017-12-01

    Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) diagnosis is challenging as it can be mimicked by other neurological conditions, such as neurodegenerative dementia and motor syndromes. Additionally, outcomes after lumbar puncture (LP) tap test and shunt treatment may vary due to the lack of a common protocol in INPH assessment. The present study aimed to assess whether a post-LP test amelioration of frontal cognitive dysfunctions, characterizing this syndrome, can differentiate INPH from similar neurological conditions and whether this improvement can predict INPH post-shunt outcomes. Seventy-one consecutive patients referred for INPH suspicion and LP testing, were enrolled. According to the consensus guidelines criteria, 29 patients were diagnosed as INPH and 42 were assigned an alternative diagnosis (INPH-like group) after reviewing clinical, neuropsychological and imaging data, and before LP results. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment for frontal executive, upper extremity fine motor functions, aphasias, apraxias, agnosias and gait evaluation were administered at baseline. Executive, fine motor functions and gait were re-examined post-LP test in all patients and post-shunt placement in INPH patients. Of the INPH patients, 86.2% showed cognitive amelioration in the post-LP test; in addition, all but one (97%) presented with neurocognitive and gait improvement post-shunt. Verbal phonological fluency and finger tapping task post-LP improvement predicted positive clinical outcome post-shunt. None of the INPH-like group presented with neurocognitive improvement post-LP. Post-LP amelioration of verbal fluency and finger tapping deficits can differentiate INPH from similar disorders and predict positive post-shunt clinical outcome in INPH. This becomes of great importance when gait assessment is difficult to perform in clinical practice.

  13. Reversible Lansoprazole-Induced Interstitial Lung Disease Showing Improvement after Drug Cessation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, Kyu Won; Woo, Ok Hee; Yong, Hwan Seok; Shin, Bong Kyung; Shim, Jae Jeong; Kang, Eun Young

    2008-01-01

    Lansoprazole is an acid proton-pump inhibitor that is similar to omeprazole. It is used to treat duodenal or gastric ulcers, H. pylori infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Common adverse effects of lansoprazole are diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rash and/or itching. Information from U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that this drug can on rare occasion cause cough or cold-like symptoms. The pathophysiological mechanisms of lansoprazole-related pulmonary symptoms are not yet understood. In particular, there are no known reports regarding lansoprazole-induced interstitial lung diseases. We report here a case of interstitial lung disease (ILD) induced by oral administration of lansoprazole, which showed a pattern of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) as detected from a video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy. We believe that this is the first report of a case of pathologically proven lansoprazole-induced ILD for which a surgical lung biopsy was performed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of DI-ILD caused by lansoprazole. The diagnosis was made by considering the radiological, histopathological and clinical findings, including the close temporal relationship between lansoprazole exposure and symptom severity. Other possible causes were excluded due to a lack of a temporal relationship between the symptoms and work history or prednisolone therapy, and no other history of specific allergen exposure. When there is diffuse interstitial lung disease with an unknown etiology, it is important to remember that drugs can be the cause of pulmonary symptoms and it is crucial to take a careful patient history. If there is a recent history of taking lansoprazole in a patient with clinical and radiological findings of diffuse interstitial lung disease, we recommend stopping the medication to see if there is clinical and radiological improvement. That way, one can avoid using invasive procedures to

  14. Reversible Lansoprazole-Induced Interstitial Lung Disease Showing Improvement after Drug Cessation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hwang, Kyu Won; Woo, Ok Hee; Yong, Hwan Seok; Shin, Bong Kyung; Shim, Jae Jeong; Kang, Eun Young [College of Medicine, Korea University, Guro Hospital, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-04-15

    Lansoprazole is an acid proton-pump inhibitor that is similar to omeprazole. It is used to treat duodenal or gastric ulcers, H. pylori infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Common adverse effects of lansoprazole are diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rash and/or itching. Information from U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that this drug can on rare occasion cause cough or cold-like symptoms. The pathophysiological mechanisms of lansoprazole-related pulmonary symptoms are not yet understood. In particular, there are no known reports regarding lansoprazole-induced interstitial lung diseases. We report here a case of interstitial lung disease (ILD) induced by oral administration of lansoprazole, which showed a pattern of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) as detected from a video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy. We believe that this is the first report of a case of pathologically proven lansoprazole-induced ILD for which a surgical lung biopsy was performed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of DI-ILD caused by lansoprazole. The diagnosis was made by considering the radiological, histopathological and clinical findings, including the close temporal relationship between lansoprazole exposure and symptom severity. Other possible causes were excluded due to a lack of a temporal relationship between the symptoms and work history or prednisolone therapy, and no other history of specific allergen exposure. When there is diffuse interstitial lung disease with an unknown etiology, it is important to remember that drugs can be the cause of pulmonary symptoms and it is crucial to take a careful patient history. If there is a recent history of taking lansoprazole in a patient with clinical and radiological findings of diffuse interstitial lung disease, we recommend stopping the medication to see if there is clinical and radiological improvement. That way, one can avoid using invasive procedures to

  15. Application of a high throughput method of biomarker discovery to improvement of the EarlyCDT(®-Lung Test.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel K Macdonald

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The National Lung Screening Trial showed that CT screening for lung cancer led to a 20% reduction in mortality. However, CT screening has a number of disadvantages including low specificity. A validated autoantibody assay is available commercially (EarlyCDT®-Lung to aid in the early detection of lung cancer and risk stratification in patients with pulmonary nodules detected by CT. Recent advances in high throughput (HTP cloning and expression methods have been developed into a discovery pipeline to identify biomarkers that detect autoantibodies. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the successful clinical application of this strategy to add to the EarlyCDT-Lung panel in order to improve its sensitivity and specificity (and hence positive predictive value, (PPV. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Serum from two matched independent cohorts of lung cancer patients were used (n = 100 and n = 165. Sixty nine proteins were initially screened on an abridged HTP version of the autoantibody ELISA using protein prepared on small scale by a HTP expression and purification screen. Promising leads were produced in shake flask culture and tested on the full assay. These results were analyzed in combination with those from the EarlyCDT-Lung panel in order to provide a set of re-optimized cut-offs. Five proteins that still displayed cancer/normal differentiation were tested for reproducibility and validation on a second batch of protein and a separate patient cohort. Addition of these proteins resulted in an improvement in the sensitivity and specificity of the test from 38% and 86% to 49% and 93% respectively (PPV improvement from 1 in 16 to 1 in 7. CONCLUSION: This is a practical example of the value of investing resources to develop a HTP technology. Such technology may lead to improvement in the clinical utility of the EarlyCDT--Lung test, and so further aid the early detection of lung cancer.

  16. Improving the Test-Retest Reliability of Resting State fMRI by Removing the Impact of Sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiahui Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI provides a powerful tool to examine large-scale neural networks in the human brain and their disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders. Thanks to its low demand and high tolerance, resting state paradigms can be easily acquired from clinical population. However, due to the unconstrained nature, resting state paradigm is associated with excessive head movement and proneness to sleep. Consequently, the test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI measures is moderate at best, falling short of widespread use in the clinic. Here, we characterized the effect of sleep on the test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI. Using measures of heart rate variability (HRV derived from simultaneous electrocardiogram (ECG recording, we identified portions of fMRI data when subjects were more alert or sleepy, and examined their effects on the test-retest reliability of functional connectivity measures. When volumes of sleep were excluded, the reliability of rs-fMRI is significantly improved, and the improvement appears to be general across brain networks. The amount of improvement is robust with the removal of as much as 60% volumes of sleepiness. Therefore, test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI is affected by sleep and could be improved by excluding volumes of sleepiness as indexed by HRV. Our results suggest a novel and practical method to improve test-retest reliability of rs-fMRI measures.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Geoffrey W

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Wagging the Dog, Carting the Horse: Testing and Improving Schools. Summary of Conference Proceedings. Research into Practice Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Joan; And Others

    The purpose of the conference, "Wagging the Dog, Carting the Horse: Testing vs. Improving California Schools," was to discuss alternative perspectives on testing and evaluation in education and their role in improving teaching and learning. Four papers were presented: (1) "Using Educational Evaluation for the Improvement of California Schools," by…

  19. International normalized ratio self-testing and self-management: improving patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozzi M

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Matteo Pozzi,1 Julia Mitchell,2 Anna Maria Henaine,3 Najib Hanna,4 Ola Safi,4 Roland Henaine2 1Department of Adult Cardiac Surgery, “Louis Pradel” Cardiologic Hospital, Lyon, France; 2Department of Congenital Cardiac Surgery, “Louis Pradel” Cardiologic Hospital, Lyon, France; 3Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon; 4Pediatric Unit, “Hotel Dieu de France” Hospital, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon Abstract: Long term oral anti-coagulation with vitamin K antagonists is a risk factor of hemorrhagic or thromebomlic complications. Periodic laboratory testing of international normalized ratio (INR and a subsequent dose adjustment are therefore mandatory. The use of home testing devices to measure INR has been suggested as a potential way to improve the comfort and compliance of the patients and their families, the frequency of monitoring and, finally, the management and safety of long-term oral anticoagulation. In pediatric patients, increased doses to obtain and maintain the therapeutic target INR, more frequent adjustments and INR testing, multiple medication, inconstant nutritional intake, difficult venepunctures, and the need to go to the laboratory for testing (interruption of school and parents’ work attendance highlight those difficulties. After reviewing the most relevant published studies of self-testing and self-management of INR for adult patients and children on oral anticoagulation, it seems that these are valuable and effective strategies of INR control. Despite an unclear relationship between INR control and clinical effects, these self-strategies provide a better control of the anticoagulant effect, improve patients and their family quality of life, and are an appealing solution in term of cost-effectiveness. Structured education and knowledge evaluation by trained health care professionals is required for children, to be able to adjust their dose treatment safely and accurately. However

  20. Clinical Evaluation of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit for Scrub Typhus with Improved Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Jin; Park, Sungman; Premaratna, Ranjan; Selvaraj, Stephen; Park, Sang-Jin; Kim, Sora; Kim, Donghwan; Kim, Min Soo; Shin, Dong Hoon; Choi, Kyung-Chan; Kwon, Soon-Hwan; Seo, Wonjun; Lee, Nam Taek; Kim, Seung-Han; Kang, Heui Keun; Kim, Yoon-Won

    2016-08-01

    Diagnosis of scrub typhus is challenging due to its more than twenty serotypes and the similar clinical symptoms with other acute febrile illnesses including leptospirosis, murine typhus and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Accuracy and rapidity of a diagnostic test to Orientia tsutsugamushi is an important step to diagnose this disease. To discriminate scrub typhus from other diseases, the improved ImmuneMed Scrub Typhus Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) was evaluated in Korea and Sri Lanka. The sensitivity at the base of each IgM and IgG indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) in Korean patients was 98.6% and 97.1%, and the specificity was 98.2% and 97.7% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for retrospective diagnosis at the base of IFA in Sri Lanka was 92.1% and 96.1%. ImmuneMed RDT was not reactive to any serum from seventeen diseases including hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (n = 48), leptospirosis (n = 23), and murine typhus (n = 48). ImmuneMed RDT shows superior sensitivity (98.6% and 97.1%) compared with SD Bioline RDT (84.4% at IgM and 83.3% at IgG) in Korea. The retrospective diagnosis of ImmuneMed RDT exhibits 94.0% identity with enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using South India patient serum samples. These results suggest that this RDT can replace other diagnostic tests and is applicable for global diagnosis of scrub typhus. This rapid and accurate diagnosis will be beneficial for diagnosing and managing scrub typhus.

  1. Improving the fidelity of electrically heated nuclear systems testing using simulated neutronic feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.; Godfroy, Thomas J.; Webster, Kenny

    2010-01-01

    Nonnuclear test platforms and methodologies can be employed to reduce the overall cost, risk and complexity of testing nuclear systems while allowing one to evaluate the operation of an integrated nuclear system within a reasonable timeframe, providing valuable input to the overall system design. In a nonnuclear test bed, electric heaters are used to simulate the heat from nuclear fuel. Standard electric test techniques allow one to fully assess thermal, heat transfer, and stress related attributes of a given system, but these approaches fail to demonstrate the dynamic response that would be present in an integrated, fueled reactor system. The integration of thermal hydraulic hardware tests with simulated neutronic response provides a bridge between electrically heated testing and testing with nuclear fuel elements installed. By implementing a neutronic response model to simulate the dynamic response that would be expected in a fueled reactor system, one can better understand system integration issues, characterize integrated system response times and response characteristics, and assess potential design improvements at a relatively small fiscal investment. This paper summarizes the results of initial system dynamic response testing for two electrically heated reactor concepts: a heat pipe-cooled reactor simulator with integrated heat exchanger and a gas-cooled reactor simulator with integrated Brayton power conversion system. Initial applications apply a simplified reactor kinetics model with either a single or an averaged measured state point. Preliminary results demonstrate the applicability of the dynamic test methodology to any reactor type, elucidating the variation in system response characteristics in different reactor concepts. These results suggest a need to further enhance the dynamic test approach by incorporating a more accurate model of the reactor dynamics and improved hardware instrumentation for better state estimation in application of the

  2. metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station

    CERN Document Server

    Montenero, Giuseppe; Ballarino, Amalia

    The work presented in this PhD thesis concerns the metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station based on superconducting transformers. The main cable’s parameter to be assessed –as a function of temperature and magnetic field– is the critical current, i.e. beyond this limit the phase transition to the normal state occurs. Ramping the current at levels in the order of the tens of kA can be achieved with superconducting transformers at moderate capital and operational cost. But, issues such as (i) accurate/precise measurements and (ii) monitoring of the secondary current during the device operation have to be addressed. In this regard, the goals of the thesis are the design, prototyping, and validation of a new cryogenic current transducer and effective monitoring system for test stations transformer-based. Among the available transducers for current sensing at room temperature, the DC current transformer (DCCT) provides measurement accuracy in the order of the hundreds of ...

  3. Latex improvement of recycled asphalt pavement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drennon, C.

    1982-08-01

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

  4. Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool to Improve Quality in Microbiology Laboratories

    OpenAIRE

    Stang, Heather L.; Anderson, Nancy L.

    2013-01-01

    Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool for assessing laboratory performance and verifying the accuracy and reliability of test results. Participation is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for each of the microbiology subspecialties (bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), and the regulations include specific PT requirements for each subspecialty. To determine the use and perceived value of PT beyond meeting CLIA requir...

  5. To Show or Not to Show: The Effects of Item Stems and Answer Options on Performance on a Multiple-Choice Listening Comprehension Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagawa, Kozo; Green, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine whether the choice between three multiple-choice listening comprehension test formats results in any difference in listening comprehension test performance. The three formats entail (a) allowing test takers to preview both the question stem and answer options prior to listening; (b) allowing test takers to…

  6. Improved Thermal-Vacuum Compatible Flat Plate Radiometric Source For System-Level Testing Of Optical Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Mark A.; Kent, Craig J.; Bousquet, Robert; Brown, Steven W.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we describe an improved thermal-vacuum compatible flat plate radiometric source which has been developed and utilized for the characterization and calibration of remote optical sensors. This source is unique in that it can be used in situ, in both ambient and thermal-vacuum environments, allowing it to follow the sensor throughout its testing cycle. The performance of the original flat plate radiometric source was presented at the 2009 SPIE1. Following the original efforts, design upgrades were incorporated into the source to improve both radiometric throughput and uniformity. The pre-thermal-vacuum (pre-TVAC) testing results of a spacecraft-level optical sensor with the improved flat plate illumination source, both in ambient and vacuum environments, are presented. We also briefly discuss potential FPI configuration changes in order to improve its radiometric performance.

  7. Improving decoy databases for protein folding algorithms

    KAUST Repository

    Lindsey, Aaron

    2014-01-01

    Copyright © 2014 ACM. Predicting protein structures and simulating protein folding are two of the most important problems in computational biology today. Simulation methods rely on a scoring function to distinguish the native structure (the most energetically stable) from non-native structures. Decoy databases are collections of non-native structures used to test and verify these functions. We present a method to evaluate and improve the quality of decoy databases by adding novel structures and removing redundant structures. We test our approach on 17 different decoy databases of varying size and type and show significant improvement across a variety of metrics. We also test our improved databases on a popular modern scoring function and show that they contain a greater number of native-like structures than the original databases, thereby producing a more rigorous database for testing scoring functions.

  8. Psychometric test of the Team Climate Inventory-short version investigated in Dutch quality improvement teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nieboer Anna P

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although some studies have used the Team Climate Inventory within teams working in health care settings, none of these included quality improvement teams. The aim of our study is to investigate the psychometric properties of the 14-item version of the Team Climate Inventory in healthcare quality improvement teams participating in a Dutch quality collaborative. Methods This study included quality improvement teams participating in the Care for Better improvement program for home care, care for the handicapped and the elderly in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2008. As part of a larger evaluation study 270 written questionnaires from team members were collected at baseline and 139 questionnaires at end measurement. Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability, Pearson correlations and paired samples t-tests were conducted to investigate construct validity, reliability, predictive validity and temporal stability. Results Confirmatory factor analyses revealed the expected four-factor structure and good fit indices. For the four subscales – vision, participative safety, task orientation and support for innovation – acceptable Cronbach's alpha coefficients and high inter-item correlations were found. The four subscales all proved significant predictors of perceived team effectiveness, with participatory safety being the best predictor. As expected the four subscales were found to be stable over time; i.e. without significant changes between baseline and end measurement. Conclusion The psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the TCI-14 are satisfactory. Together these results show that the TCI-14 is a useful instrument to assess to what extent aspects of team climate influence perceived team effectiveness of quality improvement teams.

  9. Psychometric test of the Team Climate Inventory-short version investigated in Dutch quality improvement teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strating, Mathilde M H; Nieboer, Anna P

    2009-07-24

    Although some studies have used the Team Climate Inventory within teams working in health care settings, none of these included quality improvement teams. The aim of our study is to investigate the psychometric properties of the 14-item version of the Team Climate Inventory in healthcare quality improvement teams participating in a Dutch quality collaborative. This study included quality improvement teams participating in the Care for Better improvement program for home care, care for the handicapped and the elderly in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2008. As part of a larger evaluation study 270 written questionnaires from team members were collected at baseline and 139 questionnaires at end measurement. Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability, Pearson correlations and paired samples t-tests were conducted to investigate construct validity, reliability, predictive validity and temporal stability. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed the expected four-factor structure and good fit indices. For the four subscales--vision, participative safety, task orientation and support for innovation--acceptable Cronbach's alpha coefficients and high inter-item correlations were found. The four subscales all proved significant predictors of perceived team effectiveness, with participatory safety being the best predictor. As expected the four subscales were found to be stable over time; i.e. without significant changes between baseline and end measurement. The psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the TCI-14 are satisfactory. Together these results show that the TCI-14 is a useful instrument to assess to what extent aspects of team climate influence perceived team effectiveness of quality improvement teams.

  10. Use of improved hydrologic testing and borehole geophysical logging methods for aquifer characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newcomer, D.R.; Hall, S.H.; Vermeul, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    Depth-discrete aquifer information was obtained using recently developed adaptations and improvements to conventional characterization techniques. These improvements included running neutron porosity and bulk density geophysical logging tools through a cased hole, performing an enhanced point-dilution tracer test for monitoring tracer concentration as a function of time and depth, and using pressure derivatives for diagnostic and quantitative analysis of constant rate discharge test data. Data results from the use of these techniques were used to develop a conceptual model of a heterogeneous aquifer. Depth-discrete aquifer information was required to effectively design field-scale deployment and monitoring of an in situ bioremediation technology. The bioremediation study site is located on the US Department of Energy's Hanford site. The study is being conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to demonstrate in situ bioremediation of carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ). Geophysical logging and point-dilution tracer test results provided the relative distribution of porosity and horizontal hydraulic conductivity, respectively, with depth and correlated well. Hydraulic pumping tests were conducted to estimate mean values for transmissivity and effective hydraulic conductivity. Tracer test and geophysical logging results indicated that ground water flow was predominant in the upper approximate 10 feet of the aquifer investigated. These results were used to delineate a more representative interval thickness for estimating effective hydraulic conductivity. Hydraulic conductivity, calculated using this representative interval, was estimated to be 73 ft/d, approximately three times higher than that calculated using the full length of the screened test interval

  11. 31-Year-Old Female Shows Marked Improvement in Depression, Agitation, and Panic Attacks after Genetic Testing Was Used to Inform Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Lawrence

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This case describes a 31-year-old female Caucasian patient with complaints of ongoing depression, agitation, and severe panic attacks. The patient was untreated until a recent unsuccessful trial of citalopram followed by venlafaxine which produced a partial response. Genetic testing was performed to assist in treatment decisions and revealed the patient to be heterozygous for polymorphisms in 5HT2C, ANK3, and MTHFR and homozygous for a polymorphism in SLC6A4 and the low activity (Met/Met COMT allele. In response to genetic results and clinical presentation, venlafaxine was maintained and lamotrigine was added leading to remission of agitation and depression.

  12. Recommendations for quality improvement in genetic testing for cystic fibrosis European Concerted Action on Cystic Fibrosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dequeker, E; Cuppens, H; Dodge, J; Estivill, [No Value; Goossens, M; Pignatti, PF; Scheffer, H; Schwartz, M; Schwarz, M; Tummler, B; Cassiman, JJ

    These recommendations for quality improvement of cystic fibrosis genetic diagnostic testing provide general guidelines for the molecular genetic testing of cystic fibrosis in patients/individuals. General strategies for testing as well as guidelines for laboratory procedures, internal and external

  13. Hypothesis driven drug design: improving quality and effectiveness of the design-make-test-analyse cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plowright, Alleyn T; Johnstone, Craig; Kihlberg, Jan; Pettersson, Jonas; Robb, Graeme; Thompson, Richard A

    2012-01-01

    In drug discovery, the central process of constructing and testing hypotheses, carefully conducting experiments and analysing the associated data for new findings and information is known as the design-make-test-analyse cycle. Each step relies heavily on the inputs and outputs of the other three components. In this article we report our efforts to improve and integrate all parts to enable smooth and rapid flow of high quality ideas. Key improvements include enhancing multi-disciplinary input into 'Design', increasing the use of knowledge and reducing cycle times in 'Make', providing parallel sets of relevant data within ten working days in 'Test' and maximising the learning in 'Analyse'. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Adolescents with obstructive sleep apnea adhere poorly to positive airway pressure (PAP, but PAP users show improved attention and school performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean W Beebe

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA is associated with medical and neurobehavioral morbidity across the lifespan. Positive airway pressure (PAP treatment has demonstrated efficacy in treating OSA and has been shown to improve daytime functioning in adults, but treatment adherence can be problematic. There are nearly no published studies examining functional outcomes such as academic functioning in adolescents treated with PAP. This study was conducted as an initial step towards determining whether PAP treatment improves daytime functioning among adolescents with OSA.Self-reported academic grades, self- and parent-reported academic quality of life, and objectively-measured attention were assessed before and after PAP was clinically initiated in a sample of 13 obese adolescents with OSA, as well as 15 untreated obese Controls without OSA. Based on adherence data, the treated group was divided into PAP Users (n = 6 and Non-Adherent participants (n = 7.Though demographically similar, the three groups significantly differed in how their academic performance and attention scores changed from baseline to follow-up. Non-Adherent participants showed worsening functioning over time, while PAP Users showed stable or improved functioning, similar to controls.Although many adolescents prescribed PAP for OSA are non-adherent to the treatment, those who adhere to treatment can display improved attention and academic functioning.

  15. Improvement of testing techniques for inspecting steam turbine rotor in power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su, Yeong Shuenn; Wei, Chieng Neng; Wu, Chien Wen; Wu, Yung How

    1997-01-01

    Steam turbine rotor is important to the Utility industry, it degrades over time due to fatigue and corrosion under high temperature and high pressure environment. Periodic inspection is required in the wake of plant annual overhaul to ensure the integrity of turbine rotor. Non-Destructive Testing of turbine rotor is usually performed using magnetic particle testing with wet fluorescent magnetic particle. However, it is very difficult to ensure the reliability of inspection due to the limitation of using one NDT method only. The crack-susceptible areas, such as turbine blade, and blade root have high incidence of stress corrosion cracking, The blade root section is difficult to locate cracks because of the complex geometry which may cause inadequate magnetic field and poor accessibility. Improved inspection practices was developed by our Department, together with remaining life analysis, in maintaining the high availability of steam turbine rotor. The newly-developed inspection system based on the practical study of magnetic field strength distribution, quality of magnetic particle bath and a combination of different NDT methods with Eddy Current Testing using absolute pen-type coil and Visual Testing using reflective mirror to examine the key areas concerned are described. TPC' experience with the well-trained technicians together with the adequate inspection procedure in detecting blade-root flaws are also discussed in the paper. Many of these inspection improvement have been applied in the fields for several times and the inspection reliability has been enhanced substantially. Results are quite encouraging and satisfactory.

  16. LWR surveillance dosimetry improvement program: PSF metallurgical blind test results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kam, F.B.K.; Stallmann, F.W.; Guthrie, G.; McElroy, W.N.

    1985-01-01

    The ORR-PSF benchmark experiment was designed to simulate the surveillance capsule-pressure vessel configuration in power reactors and to test the validity of procedures which determine the radiation damage in the vessel from test results in the surveillance capsule. The PSF metallurgical blind test was initiated to give participants an opportunity to test their current embrittlement prediction methodologies. Experimental results were withheld from the participants except for the type of information which is normally contained in surveillance reports. Preliminary analysis of the PSF metallurgical blind test results shows that: (1) current prediction methodologies, as used by the PSF Blind Test participants, are adequate, falling within +- 20 0 C of the measured values for Δ NDT. None of the different methods is clearly superior; (2) the proposed revision of Reg. Guide 1.99 (Rev. 2) gives a better representation of the fluence and chemistry dependency of Δ NDT than the current version (Rev. 1); and (3) fluence rate effects can be seen but not quantified. Fluence spectral effects are too small to be detectable in this experiment. (orig.)

  17. Evaluation Of Prick Test In Atopic Dermatitis And Chronic Urticaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhar Sandipan

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available “Prick test” was carried out in 15 patients with atopic dermatitis (AD and 10 patients with chronic urticaria (CU. Of the various aeroallergens tested, house dust mite (HDM, pollens, aspergillus furnigatus and insects were found to be most commonly positive. The common food allergens showing prick test positivity were egg white, fish, milk, brinjal, dal, groundnut and banana. Use of nasal filters showed 10-20% improvement in AD and 5 â€" 10% improvement in urticaria. Withdrawal of the responsible food article(s showed 20-30% improvement in patients with AD and urticaria.

  18. Magnetism reflectometer study shows LiF layers improve efficiency in spin valve devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bardoel, Agatha A [ORNL; Lauter, Valeria [ORNL; Szulczewski, Greg J [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    magnetic layer through the organic semiconductor in the spin valve and enhancing the overall properties of the system. In related work the magnetic properties of the cobalt film and the permalloy Ni{sub 80}Fe{sub 20} were characterized. Cobalt in particular needed attention, as it cannot be grown epitaxially (i.e., deposited) on an organic semiconductor film. Cobalt becomes polycrystalline or amorphous, and this affects its magnetic properties. The data from the first experiment showed that the cobalt layer in the system 'did not have typical magnetic properties,' Lauter said. 'The results showed that the cobalt had low magnetization. To improve the efficiency, the cobalt magnetization should be much higher. So this experiment helped us to improve the growth conditions and to get a cobalt layer with better magnetic properties.' In a subsequent experiment the researchers increased the magnetization of the cobalt, and a follow-up paper is in progress.

  19. Improved mutagen-testing systems in mice: Comprehensive progress report, 1 September 1984 to 31 August 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roderick, T.H.

    1987-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to produce improved mutagen-testing systems in mice. Our approach is to produce chromosomal inversion systems in order to improve the techniques necessary to induce, detect, genetically define, and combine inversions in effective and useful mutation-test systems. Another specific objective has been to validate and test the systems produced with respect to their effectiveness in uncovering induced or naturally occurring recessive detrimentals or recessive lethals. Another object has been to mark, maintain, and study these induced recessive lethals induced during the validation-testing. A final broad objective has been to use the induced inversions and recessive lethals for studies of basic problems in mammalian genetics, genetic recombination, gene mapping, fertility, growth, and development

  20. Recent improvements concerning nondestructive testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asty, M.

    1984-12-01

    Rare are the techniques of which development is not already touched by microelectronics and micro-data processing. Nondestructive testing and more particularly ultrasonic and Foucault current testing follow this general rule. With some examples, this paper focuses on the potential of numerical signal processing [fr

  1. Improvement of ISI techniques by multi-frequency eddy current testing method for steam generator tube in PWR plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Takashi; Kamimura, Takeo; Nishihara, Masatoshi; Araki, Yasuo; Fukui, Shigetaka.

    1982-05-01

    Eddy current flaw detection techniques are applied to the in-service inspection (ISI) of steam generator tubes in pressurized water reactors (PWR) plant. To improve the reliability and operating efficiency of the plants, efforts are being made to develop eddy current testing methods of various kinds. Multi-frequency eddy current testing method, one of new method, has recently been applied to actual heat exchanger tubes, contributing to the improvement of the detectability and signal evaluation of the ISI. The outline of multi-frequency eddy current testing method and its effects on the improvement of flaw detecting and signal evaluation accuracy are described. (author)

  2. [Efficacy of lisdexamphetamine to improve the behavioural and cognitive symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: treatment monitored by means of the AULA Nesplora virtual reality test].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Orueta, U; Fernandez-Fernandez, M A; Morillo-Rojas, M D; Climent, G

    2016-07-01

    Lisdexanfetamine (LDX) is the drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) undergoing the largest research volume in the latest years. However, no studies certify its usefulness for the improvement of cognitive functioning in ADHD. To evaluate the efficacy of LDX in the behavioral and cognitive improvement of a group of patients with ADHD. Such efficacy was measured by means of the administration of AULA Nesplora virtual reality test before the prescription of pharmacological treatment and right after the treatment with LDX. The sample comprised 85 patients between 6 and 16 years, with clinical diagnosis of ADHD, who attended treatment in a neuropediatrics consultation. All patients started pharmacological treatment with the proper dose of LDX after the clinical interview and the first administration of AULA test. After an average treatment of 7.5 months, AULA was administered again and the treatment progress based on cognitive and motor symptomatology was assessed. Results showed highly significant improvements in selective and sustained attention, quality of attention focus and hyperactivity; moderate improvements in impulsivity; and an incidence close to zero in processing speed. LDX constitutes an adequate treatment for the substantial improvement of attention and hyperactivity; such improvement can be monitored accurately by means of AULA virtual reality test.

  3. Determinants of success of quality improvement collaboratives: what does the literature show?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulscher, M.E.J.L.; Schouten, L.M.T.; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Buchan, H.

    2013-01-01

    CONTEXT: The apparent inconsistency between the widespread use of quality improvement collaboratives and the available evidence heightens the importance of thoroughly understanding the relative strength of the approach. More insight into factors influencing outcome would mean future collaboratives

  4. Improvement of auditing technology of safety analysis through thermal-hydraulic separate effect tests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    No, Hee Cheon; Moon, Young Min; Lee, Dong Won; Lee, Sang Ik; Kim, Eung Soo; Yeom, Keum Soo [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    2002-03-15

    The objective of the present research is to perform the separate effect tests and to assess the RELAP5/MOD3.2 code for the analysis of thermal-hydraulic behavior in the reactor coolant system and the improvement of the auditing technology of safety analysis. Three Separate Effect Tests (SETs) are the reflux condensation in the U-tube, the direct contact condensation in the hot-leg and the mixture level buildup in the pressurizer. The experimental data and the empirical correlations are obtained through SETs. On the ases of the three SET works, models in RELAP5 are modified and improved, which are compared with the data. The Korea Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP) are assessed using the modified RELAP5. In the reflux condensation test, the data of heat transfer coefficients and flooding are obtained and the condensation models are modified using the non-iterative model, as results, modified code better predicts the data. In the direct contact condensation test, the data of heat transfer coefficients are obtained for the cocurrent and countercurrent flow between the mixture gas and the water in condition of horizontal stratified flow. Several condensation and friction models are modified, which well predict the present data. In the mixture level test, the data for the mixture level and the onset of water draining into the surge line are obtained. The standard RELAP5 over-predicts the mixture level and the void fraction in the pressurizer. Simple modification of model related to the pool void fraction is suggested. The KSNP is assessed using the standard and the modified RELAP5 resulting from the experimental and code works for the SETs. In case of the pressurizer manway opening with available secondary side of the steam generators, the modified code predicts that the collapsed level in the pressurizer is little accumulated. The presence and location of the opening and the secondary condition of the steam generators have an effect on the coolant inventory. The

  5. Application of annular centrifugal contactors in the hot test of the improved total partitioning process for high level liquid waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Wuhua; Chen, Jing; Wang, Jianchen; Wang, Shuwei; Feng, Xiaogui; Wang, Xinghai; Li, Shaowei; Xu, Chao

    2014-08-15

    High level liquid waste (HLLW) produced from the reprocessing of the spent nuclear fuel still contains moderate amounts of uranium, transuranium (TRU) actinides, (90)Sr, (137)Cs, etc., and thus constitutes a permanent hazard to the environment. The partitioning and transmutation (P&T) strategy has increasingly attracted interest for the safe treatment and disposal of HLLW, in which the partitioning of HLLW is one of the critical technical issues. An improved total partitioning process, including a TRPO (tri-alkylphosphine oxide) process for the removal of actinides, a CESE (crown ether strontium extraction) process for the removal of Sr, and a CECE (calixcrown ether cesium extraction) process for the removal of Cs, has been developed to treat Chinese HLLW. A 160-hour hot test of the improved total partitioning process was carried out using 72-stage 10-mm-dia annular centrifugal contactors (ACCs) and genuine HLLW. The hot test results showed that the average DFs of total α activity, Sr and Cs were 3.57 × 10(3), 2.25 × 10(4) and 1.68 × 10(4) after the hot test reached equilibrium, respectively. During the hot test, 72-stage 10-mm-dia ACCs worked stable, continuously with no stage failing or interruption of the operation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Team-Based Testing Improves Individual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, Jane S.; Robinson, Daniel H.

    2016-01-01

    In two experiments, 90 undergraduates took six tests as part of an educational psychology course. Using a crossover design, students took three tests individually without feedback and then took the same test again, following the process of team-based testing (TBT), in teams in which the members reached consensus for each question and answered…

  7. Crosses between monokaryons of Pleurotus sapidus or Pleurotus florida show an improved biotransformation of (+)-valencene to (+)-nootkatone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omarini, Alejandra B; Plagemann, Ina; Schimanski, Silke; Krings, Ulrich; Berger, Ralf G

    2014-11-01

    Several hundred monokaryotic and new dikaryotic strains derived thereof were established from (+)-valencene tolerant Pleurotus species. When grouped according to their growth rate on agar plates and compared to the parental of Pleurotus sapidus 69, the slowly growing monokaryons converted (+)-valencene more efficiently to the grapefruit flavour compound (+)-nootkatone. The fast growing monokaryons and the slow×slow and the fast×fast dikaryotic crosses showed similar or inferior yields. Some slow×fast dikaryons, however, exceeded the biotransformation capability of the parental dikaryon significantly. The activity of the responsible enzyme, lipoxygenase, showed a weak correlation with the yields of (+)-nootkatone indicating that the determination of enzyme activity using the primary substrate linoleic acid may be misleading in predicting the biotransformation efficiency. This exploratory study indicated that a classical genetics approach resulted in altered and partly improved terpene transformation capability (plus 60%) and lipoxygenase activity of the strains. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Wind-US Code Physical Modeling Improvements to Complement Hypersonic Testing and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiadis, Nicholas J.; Yoder, Dennis A.; Towne, Charles S.; Engblom, William A.; Bhagwandin, Vishal A.; Power, Greg D.; Lankford, Dennis W.; Nelson, Christopher C.

    2009-01-01

    This report gives an overview of physical modeling enhancements to the Wind-US flow solver which were made to improve the capabilities for simulation of hypersonic flows and the reliability of computations to complement hypersonic testing. The improvements include advanced turbulence models, a bypass transition model, a conjugate (or closely coupled to vehicle structure) conduction-convection heat transfer capability, and an upgraded high-speed combustion solver. A Mach 5 shock-wave boundary layer interaction problem is used to investigate the benefits of k- s and k-w based explicit algebraic stress turbulence models relative to linear two-equation models. The bypass transition model is validated using data from experiments for incompressible boundary layers and a Mach 7.9 cone flow. The conjugate heat transfer method is validated for a test case involving reacting H2-O2 rocket exhaust over cooled calorimeter panels. A dual-mode scramjet configuration is investigated using both a simplified 1-step kinetics mechanism and an 8-step mechanism. Additionally, variations in the turbulent Prandtl and Schmidt numbers are considered for this scramjet configuration.

  9. Half a decade of mini-pool nucleic acid testing: Cost-effective way for improving blood safety in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shivaram Chandrashekar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: It is well established that Nucleic acid testing (NAT reduces window phase of transfusion transmissible infections (TTI and helps improve blood safety. NAT testing can be done individually or in pools. The objectives of this study were to determine the utility, feasibility and cost effectiveness of an in-house minipool-NAT(MP-NAT. Materials and Methods: Blood donors were screened by history, tested by ELISA and sero-negative samples were subjected to an in-house NAT by using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR. Testing was done in mini-pools of size eight (8. Positive pools were repeated with individual samples. Results: During the study period of Oct 2005-Sept 2010 (5 years all blood donors (n=53729 were screened by ELISA. Of which 469 (0.87% were positive for HIV-1, HBV or HCV. Sero-negative samples (n=53260 were screened by in-house MP-NAT. HIV-NAT yield was 1/53260 (n=1 and HBV NAT yield (n=2 was 1/26630. Conclusion: NAT yield was lower than other India studies possibly due to the lower sero-reactivity amongst our donors. Nevertheless it intercepted 9 lives including the components prepared. The in-house assay met our objective of improving blood safety at nominal cost and showed that it is feasible to set up small molecular biology units in medium-large sized blood banks and deliver blood within 24-48 hours. The utility of NAT (NAT yield will vary based on the donor population, the type of serological test used, the nature of kit employed and the sensitivity of NAT test used. The limitations of our in-house MP-NAT consisted of stringent sample preparation requirements, with labor and time involved. The benefits of our MP-NAT were that it acted as a second level of check for ELISA tests, was relatively inexpensive compared to ID-NAT and did not need sophisticated equipment.

  10. A Case of Plummer-Vinson Syndrome Showing Rapid Improvement of Dysphagia and Esophageal Web after Two Weeks of Iron Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomomitsu Tahara

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS is a rare entity characterized by upper esophageal webs and iron deficiency anemia. We report a case of PVS whose esophageal web was rapidly improved by iron therapy. A 77-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with complaints of dysphagia, vomiting, shortness of breath and weight loss for 1 month. Physical examination revealed conjunctival pallor, koilonychia, angular cheilitis and smooth tongue, and laboratory findings were consistent with microcytic hypochromic anemia with iron deficiency. Gastrointestinal endoscopy and barium-swallow esophagography detected a web that prevented passage of the endoscope into the upper portion of the esophagus. The patient received oral iron therapy daily; the hemoglobin concentration rose to 8.9 g/dl and the complaints of dysphagia were dramatically improved after 2 weeks, with improvement of luminal stenosis confirmed by gastrointestinal endoscopy and barium-swallow esophagography. The PVS described in this report had a distinct clinical course, showing very rapid improvement of dysphagia and esophageal web after 2 weeks of oral iron therapy.

  11. Development and validation of an immunoperoxidase antigen detection test for improved diagnosis of rabies in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmadane, Ibnu; Certoma, Andrea F; Peck, Grantley R; Fitria, Yul; Payne, Jean; Colling, Axel; Shiell, Brian J; Beddome, Gary; Wilson, Susanne; Yu, Meng; Morrissy, Chris; Michalski, Wojtek P; Bingham, John; Gardner, Ian A; Allen, John D

    2017-11-01

    Rabies continues to pose a significant threat to human and animal health in regions of Indonesia. Indonesia has an extensive network of veterinary diagnostic laboratories and the 8 National laboratories are equipped to undertake diagnostic testing for rabies using the commercially-procured direct fluorescent antibody test (FAT), which is considered the reference (gold standard) test. However, many of the Indonesian Provincial diagnostic laboratories do not have a fluorescence microscope required to undertake the FAT. Instead, certain Provincial laboratories continue to screen samples using a chemical stain-based test (Seller's stain test, SST). This test has low diagnostic sensitivity, with negative SST-tested samples being forwarded to the nearest National laboratory resulting in significant delays for completion of testing and considerable additional costs. This study sought to develop a cost-effective and diagnostically-accurate immunoperoxidase antigen detection (RIAD) test for rabies that can be readily and quickly performed by the resource-constrained Provincial laboratories. This would reduce the burden on the National laboratories and allow more rapid diagnoses and implementation of post-exposure prophylaxis. The RIAD test was evaluated using brain smears fixed with acetone or formalin and its performance was validated by comparison with established rabies diagnostic tests used in Indonesia, including the SST and FAT. A proficiency testing panel was distributed between Provincial laboratories to assess the reproducibility of the test. The performance of the RIAD test was improved by using acetone fixation of brain smears rather than formalin fixation such that it was of equivalent accuracy to that of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)-recommended FAT, with both tests returning median diagnostic sensitivity and specificity values of 0.989 and 0.993, respectively. The RIAD test and FAT had higher diagnostic sensitivity than the SST (median = 0

  12. Development and validation of an immunoperoxidase antigen detection test for improved diagnosis of rabies in Indonesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibnu Rahmadane

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Rabies continues to pose a significant threat to human and animal health in regions of Indonesia. Indonesia has an extensive network of veterinary diagnostic laboratories and the 8 National laboratories are equipped to undertake diagnostic testing for rabies using the commercially-procured direct fluorescent antibody test (FAT, which is considered the reference (gold standard test. However, many of the Indonesian Provincial diagnostic laboratories do not have a fluorescence microscope required to undertake the FAT. Instead, certain Provincial laboratories continue to screen samples using a chemical stain-based test (Seller's stain test, SST. This test has low diagnostic sensitivity, with negative SST-tested samples being forwarded to the nearest National laboratory resulting in significant delays for completion of testing and considerable additional costs. This study sought to develop a cost-effective and diagnostically-accurate immunoperoxidase antigen detection (RIAD test for rabies that can be readily and quickly performed by the resource-constrained Provincial laboratories. This would reduce the burden on the National laboratories and allow more rapid diagnoses and implementation of post-exposure prophylaxis. The RIAD test was evaluated using brain smears fixed with acetone or formalin and its performance was validated by comparison with established rabies diagnostic tests used in Indonesia, including the SST and FAT. A proficiency testing panel was distributed between Provincial laboratories to assess the reproducibility of the test. The performance of the RIAD test was improved by using acetone fixation of brain smears rather than formalin fixation such that it was of equivalent accuracy to that of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE-recommended FAT, with both tests returning median diagnostic sensitivity and specificity values of 0.989 and 0.993, respectively. The RIAD test and FAT had higher diagnostic sensitivity than the SST

  13. A field test of a web-based workplace health promotion program to improve dietary practices, reduce stress, and increase physical activity: randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Royer F; Billings, Douglas W; Hersch, Rebekah K; Back, Anita S; Hendrickson, April

    2007-06-19

    Most work sites engage in some form of health promotion programming designed to improve worker health and reduce health care costs. Although these programs have typically been delivered through combinations of seminars and print materials, workplace health promotion programs are increasingly being delivered through the Internet. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a Web-based multimedia health promotion program for the workplace, designed to improve dietary practices, reduce stress, and increase physical activity. Using a randomized controlled trial design with pretest-posttest comparisons within each group, 419 employees of a human resources company were randomly assigned to the Web-based condition or to a condition that provided print materials on the same topics. All subjects were assessed at pretest and posttest through an online questionnaire containing multiple measures of health behavior and attitudes. The test period was 3 months. Questionnaire data were analyzed mainly by analysis of covariance and t tests. Retention rates were good for both groups-85% for the Web-based group and 87% for the print group. Subjects using the Web-based program performed significantly better than the print group on Attitudes Toward a Healthful Diet (F(1,415) = 7.104, P = .008) and Dietary Stage of Change (F(1,408) = 6.487, P = .01), but there were no significant group differences on the five other dietary measures. Both groups also showed improvement from pretest to posttest on most dietary measures, as indicated by significant t tests. Within the Web-based group, dosage analyses showed significant effects of the number of times the subject accessed the program on measures of Dietary Self-Efficacy (F(2,203) = 5.270, P = .003), Attitudes Toward a Healthful Diet (F(2,204) = 2.585, P = .045), and Dietary Stage of Change (F(2,200) = 4.627, P = .005). No significant differences were found between the two groups on measures of stress or physical

  14. An H minority heating regime in Tore Supra showing improved L mode confinement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoang, G.T.; Monier-Garbet, P.; Aniel, T.

    2000-01-01

    Tore Supra experiments are at present devoted to the study of high density regimes with radiofrequency heating. Recently, an improved L mode confinement regime has been observed in plasmas heated by ion cyclotron hydrogen minority heating, at relatively high densities up to 80% of the Greenwald limit. The quality of energy confinement is as good as that of ELMy H mode. The main physical mechanism of this regime has not been clearly identified. However, some features very similar to those of previous improved confinement modes using neutral beam heating in other tokamaks have been observed. (author)

  15. Improving clinical cognitive testing: report of the AAN Behavioral Neurology Section Workgroup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daffner, Kirk R; Gale, Seth A; Barrett, A M; Boeve, Bradley F; Chatterjee, Anjan; Coslett, H Branch; D'Esposito, Mark; Finney, Glen R; Gitelman, Darren R; Hart, John J; Lerner, Alan J; Meador, Kimford J; Pietras, Alison C; Voeller, Kytja S; Kaufer, Daniel I

    2015-09-08

    To evaluate the evidence basis of single-domain cognitive tests frequently used by behavioral neurologists in an effort to improve the quality of clinical cognitive assessment. Behavioral Neurology Section members of the American Academy of Neurology were surveyed about how they conduct clinical cognitive testing, with a particular focus on the Neurobehavioral Status Exam (NBSE). In contrast to general screening cognitive tests, an NBSE consists of tests of individual cognitive domains (e.g., memory or language) that provide a more comprehensive diagnostic assessment. Workgroups for each of 5 cognitive domains (attention, executive function, memory, language, and spatial cognition) conducted evidence-based reviews of frequently used tests. Reviews focused on suitability for office-based clinical practice, including test administration time, accessibility of normative data, disease populations studied, and availability in the public domain. Demographic and clinical practice data were obtained from 200 respondents who reported using a wide range of cognitive tests. Based on survey data and ancillary information, between 5 and 15 tests in each cognitive domain were reviewed. Within each domain, several tests are highlighted as being well-suited for an NBSE. We identified frequently used single-domain cognitive tests that are suitable for an NBSE to help make informed choices about clinical cognitive assessment. Some frequently used tests have limited normative data or have not been well-studied in common neurologic disorders. Utilizing standardized cognitive tests, particularly those with normative data based on the individual's age and educational level, can enhance the rigor and utility of clinical cognitive assessment. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  16. Co-trimoxazole susceptibility tests improved with separate trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole disks.

    OpenAIRE

    Amyes, S G

    1981-01-01

    It is impossible to test accurately bacterial susceptibility to the trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole combination co-trimoxazole with a single combined susceptibility disk. However, a variety of factors still affect the result even when separate trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole disks are used. Experiments with separate disks showed that the optimum conditions for testing the susceptibilities of enterobacteria to these drugs were to flood-seed an agar plate with an inoculum of 10(4) to 10(5) orga...

  17. The BACHD Rat Model of Huntington Disease Shows Specific Deficits in a Test Battery of Motor Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfré, Giuseppe; Clemensson, Erik K H; Kyriakou, Elisavet I; Clemensson, Laura E; van der Harst, Johanneke E; Homberg, Judith R; Nguyen, Huu Phuc

    2017-01-01

    Rationale : Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. HD is usually diagnosed by the appearance of motor deficits, resulting in skilled hand use disruption, gait abnormality, muscle wasting and choreatic movements. The BACHD transgenic rat model for HD represents a well-established transgenic rodent model of HD, offering the prospect of an in-depth characterization of the motor phenotype. Objective : The present study aims to characterize different aspects of motor function in BACHD rats, combining classical paradigms with novel high-throughput behavioral phenotyping. Methods : Wild-type (WT) and transgenic animals were tested longitudinally from 2 to 12 months of age. To measure fine motor control, rats were challenged with the pasta handling test and the pellet reaching test. To evaluate gross motor function, animals were assessed by using the holding bar and the grip strength tests. Spontaneous locomotor activity and circadian rhythmicity were assessed in an automated home-cage environment, namely the PhenoTyper. We then integrated existing classical methodologies to test motor function with automated home-cage assessment of motor performance. Results : BACHD rats showed strong impairment in muscle endurance at 2 months of age. Altered circadian rhythmicity and locomotor activity were observed in transgenic animals. On the other hand, reaching behavior, forepaw dexterity and muscle strength were unaffected. Conclusions : The BACHD rat model exhibits certain features of HD patients, like muscle weakness and changes in circadian behavior. We have observed modest but clear-cut deficits in distinct motor phenotypes, thus confirming the validity of this transgenic rat model for treatment and drug discovery purposes.

  18. Recent Improvements to the Acoustical Testing Laboratory at the NASA Glenn Research Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podboy, Devin M.; Mirecki, Julius H.; Walker, Bruce E.; Sutliff, Daniel L.

    2014-01-01

    The Acoustical Testing Laboratory (ATL) consists of a 27 by 23 by 20 ft (height) convertible hemi/anechoic chamber and separate sound-attenuating test support enclosure. Absorptive fiberglass wedges in the test chamber provide an anechoic environment down to 100 Hz. A spring-isolated floor system affords vibration isolation above 3 Hz. These specifications, along with very low design background levels, enable the acquisition of accurate and repeatable acoustical measurements on test articles that produce very low sound pressures. Removable floor wedges allow the test chamber to operate in either a hemi-anechoic or anechoic configuration, depending on the size of the test article and the specific test being conducted. The test support enclosure functions as a control room during normal operations. Recently improvements were accomplished in support of continued usage of the ATL by NASA programs including an analysis of the ultra-sonic characteristics. A 3 dimensional traverse system inside the chamber was utilized for acquiring acoustic data for these tests. The traverse system drives a linear array of 13, 1/4"-microphones spaced 3" apart (36" span). An updated data acquisition system was also incorporated into the facility.

  19. Improved Accelerated Stress Tests Based on Fuel Cell Vehicle Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patterson, Timothy [Research Engineer; Motupally, Sathya [Research Engineer

    2012-06-01

    UTC will led a top-tier team of industry and national laboratory participants to update and improve DOE’s Accelerated Stress Tests (AST’s) for hydrogen fuel cells. This in-depth investigation will focused on critical fuel cell components (e.g. membrane electrode assemblies - MEA) whose durability represented barriers for widespread commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technology. UTC had access to MEA materials that had accrued significant load time under real-world conditions in PureMotion® 120 power plant used in transit buses. These materials are referred to as end-of-life (EOL) components in the rest of this document. Advanced characterization techniques were used to evaluate degradation mode progress using these critical cell components extracted from both bus power plants and corresponding materials tested using the DOE AST’s. These techniques were applied to samples at beginning-of-life (BOL) to serve as a baseline. These comparisons advised the progress of the various failure modes that these critical components were subjected to, such as membrane degradation, catalyst support corrosion, platinum group metal dissolution, and others. Gaps in the existing ASTs predicted the degradation observed in the field in terms of these modes were outlined. Using the gaps, new AST’s were recommended and tested to better reflect the degradation modes seen in field operation. Also, BOL components were degraded in a test vehicle at UTC designed to accelerate the bus field operation.

  20. Improving Detection of Prediabetes in Children and Adults: Using Combinations of Blood Glucose Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ike Solomon Okosun

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To determine combinations of blood glucose tests: oral glucose tolerance (OGT, fasting plasma glucose (FBG and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C that are associated with highest diagnostic rates of prediabetes in non-diabetic American children and adults.Methods: The 2007-2008 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys data were used for this study. Overall and specific prevalence of prediabetes (defined using OGT+FPG, OGT+HbA1C, HbA1C+FPG and OGT+FPG+HbA1C tests were determined across age, race/ethnicity, sex and BMI categories.Results: FPG+HbA1C test was associated with significantly higher diagnostic rates of prediabetes across age, race/ethnicity and BMI. Estimates of overall prevalence of prediabetes using OGT+FPG, OGT+HbA1C, HbA1C+FPG and OGT+FPG+HbA1C tests were 20.3%, 24.2%, 33% and 34.3%, respectively. Compared to OGT+FPG, the use of HbA1C+FPG test in screening was associated with 44.8%, 135%, 38.6% and 35.9% increased prevalence of prediabetes in non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Mexican-American and other racial/ethnic men, respectively. The corresponding values in women were 67.8%, 140%, 37.2% and 42.6%, respectively. Combined use of all blood glucose tests did not improve the overall and gender-specific prediabetes prevalence beyond what was observed using HbA1C+FPG test.Conclusions: HbA1C criteria were associated with higher diagnosis rates of prediabetes than FPG and OGT tests in non-diabetic American children and adults. Using a combination of HbA1C and FPG test in screening for prediabetes reduces intrinsic systematic bias in using just HbA1C testing and offers the benefits of each test. A well-defined HbA1C that takes into consideration race/ethnicity, gender, age and body mass index may improve detection of prediabetes in population and clinical settings.

  1. Improvement of the test quality for specific test problems. Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-01-01

    This proceedings CD discusses the many factors that are relevant in nearly all tests, as well as their effects on the validity of the test result. Interfaces with technical rules, staff qualification, POD, and validation of test results by supplementary techniques are presented as well. Three of the 17 papers are available as separate records in the ENERGY database. [de

  2. Improvement in post test accident analysis results prediction for the test no. 2 in PSB test facility by applying UMAE methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dubey, S.K.; Petruzzi, A.; Giannotti, W.; D'Auria, F.

    2006-01-01

    This paper mainly deals with the improvement in the post test accident analysis results prediction for the test no. 2, 'Total loss of feed water with failure of HPIS pumps and operator actions on primary and secondary circuit depressurization', carried-out on PSB integral test facility in May 2005. This is one the most complicated test conducted in PSB test facility. The prime objective of this test is to provide support for the verification of the accident management strategies for NPPs and also to verify the correctness of some safety systems operating only during accident. The objective of this analysis is to assess the capability to reproduce the phenomena occurring during the selected tests and to quantify the accuracy of the code calculation qualitatively and quantitatively for the best estimate code Relap5/mod3.3 by systematically applying all the procedures lead by Uncertainty Methodology based on Accuracy Extrapolation (UMAE), developed at University of Pisa. In order to achieve these objectives test facility nodalisation qualification for both 'steady state level' and 'on transient level' are demonstrated. For the 'steady state level' qualification compliance to acceptance criteria established in UMAE has been checked for geometrical details and thermal hydraulic parameters. The following steps have been performed for evaluation of qualitative qualification of 'on transient level': visual comparisons between experimental and calculated relevant parameters time trends; list of comparison between experimental and code calculation resulting time sequence of significant events; identification/verification of CSNI phenomena validation matrix; use of the Phenomenological Windows (PhW), identification of Key Phenomena and Relevant Thermal-hydraulic Aspects (RTA). A successful application of the qualitative process constitutes a prerequisite to the application of the quantitative analysis. For quantitative accuracy of code prediction Fast Fourier Transform Based

  3. Carbohydrate ingestion improves performance of a new reliable test of soccer performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currell, Kevin; Conway, Steve; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2009-02-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the reliability of a new test of soccer performance and evaluate the effect of carbohydrate (CHO) on soccer performance. Eleven university footballers were recruited and underwent 3 trials in a randomized order. Two of the trials involved ingesting a placebo beverage, and the other, a 7.5% maltodextrin solution. The protocol comprised a series of ten 6-min exercise blocks on an outdoor Astroturf pitch, separated by the performance of 2 of the 4 soccer-specific tests, making the protocol 90 min in duration. The intensity of the exercise was designed to be similar to the typical activity pattern during soccer match play. Participants performed skill tests of dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting throughout the protocol. The coefficients of variation for dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting were 2.2%, 1.2%, 7.0%, and 2.8%, respectively. The mean combined placebo scores were 42.4 +/- 2.7 s, 43.1 +/- 3.7 s, 210 +/- 34 cm, and 212 +/- 17 points for agility, dribbling, heading, and kicking, respectively. CHO ingestion led to a combined agility time of 41.5 +/- 0.8 s, for dribbling 41.7 +/- 3.5 s, 213 +/- 11 cm for heading, and 220 +/- 5 points for kicking accuracy. There was a significant improvement in performance for dribbling, agility, and shooting (p soccer performance, and ingesting CHO leads to an improvement in soccer performance.

  4. Confirmation test on confinement performance of improved glove box

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miura, S.; Kanazawa, J.; Nakajima, M.; Sakuno, K.; Miyata, H.

    1995-01-01

    Glove boxes are used at nuclear facilities to confine radioactive materials by ensuring a high level of airtightness and negative internal pressure. The allowable rate of air leakage is 0.1% vol/hr or less at the pre-service inspection. The negative pressure value is normally maintained at about -30 mm H 2 O. Structural strength and confinement reliability of glove boxes during earthquake are major concerns, and most important glove boxes are designed to withstand seismic class A events is Japan. This paper describes vibration tests done to confirm that improve large-sized glove boxes maintain their confinement performance and structural strength even during earthquake and that the design analysis methods used are appropriate. (author). 1 ref., 6 figs., 3 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. Interventions to Improve Rate of Diabetes Testing Postpartum in Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamel, Maureen S; Werner, Erika F

    2017-02-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. In the USA, four million women are screened annually for GDM in pregnancy in part to improve pregnancy outcomes but also because diagnosis predicts a high risk of future type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Therefore, among women with GDM, postpartum care should be focused on T2DM prevention. This review describes the current literature aimed to increase postpartum diabetes testing among women with GDM. Data suggest that proactive patient contact via a health educator, a phone call, or even postal mail is associated with higher rates of postpartum diabetes testing. There may also be utility to changing the timing of postpartum diabetes testing. Despite the widespread knowledge regarding the importance of postpartum testing for women with GDM, testing rates remain low. Alternative testing strategies and large randomized trials addressing postpartum testing are warranted.

  7. Handgrip strength shows no improvements in geriatric patients with persistent inflammation during hospitalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Norheim, Kristoffer Larsen; Bautmans, Ivan; Kjaer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hospital-associated deconditioning due to a combination of illness and inactivity is a serious problem for elderly adults. Here we investigate whether persistence in inflammatory status affects changes in physical function during short-term hospitalization. METHODS: This was a prospective...... observational study in elderly medical patients at a geriatric department. Measurements were obtained at admission and one week after admission and included de Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) test, 30-second chair stand test (30-s CST), 4-m gait speed (4-m GST) test, handgrip strength, activity levels determined...... with ActivPALs, and concentrations of circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) from blood samples. Only patients with inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥10mg·L(-1)) at admission were included in this study. They were divided into those with continued inflammation (CI: CRP remained ≥10mg·L(-1)) and those...

  8. Does testing with feedback improve adult spelling skills relative to copying and reading?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Steven C; Rubin, Benjamin R; Rickard, Timothy C

    2015-12-01

    We examined testing's ability to enhance adult spelling acquisition, relative to copying and reading. Across 3 experiments in which testing with feedback was compared with copying, the spelling improvement after testing matched that following the same amount of time spent copying. A potent testing advantage, however, was observed for spelling words free-recalled. In the fourth experiment, a large testing advantage for both word free recall and spelling was observed, versus reading. Subjects also generally preferred testing and rated it as more effective than copying or reading. The equivalent performance of testing and copying for spelling contrasts with prior work involving children and suggests that retrieval practice may not be the only effective mechanism for spelling skill acquisition. Rather, we suggest that the critical learning event for spelling is focused study on phoneme-to-grapheme mappings for previously unlearned letter sequences. For adults with extensive spelling expertise, focused study is more automatic during both copying and testing with feedback than for individuals with beginning spelling skills. Reading, however, would not be expected to produce efficient focused study of phoneme-to-grapheme mappings, regardless of expertise level. Overall, adult spelling skill acquisition benefits both from testing and copying, and substantially less from reading. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Application of indirect immunofluorescent test with an improved HEp-2 substrate tranfected with human Ro60/SSA autoantigens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lv Liangjing; Chen Shunle; Gu Yueying; Shen Nan; Bao Chunde; Wang Yuan; Xue Feng; Ye Peng; Yu Chongzhao

    2006-01-01

    To develop an improved substrate for indirect immunofluorescent test (IIF) to detect anti-Ro/SSA autoantibodies, the human 60-kDa Ro/SSA autoantigens (Ro60) cDNAs were obtained from placental cDNA library using PCR and were cloned into the mammalian expression vectorpEGFP-C1. Then the recombinant plasmids were transfected into HEp-2 cells. We con- firmed the overexpression, localization and antigenicity of fusion proteins in transfected cells by means of fluorescence microscopy, immunoblotting and IIF. HEp-2 and HEp-Ro60 was analyzed by IIF using a panel of 10 precipitinpositive anti-Ro human sera simultaneously. Stable expression of Ro60-GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion proteins maintained ten more generations. And Ro60-GFP kept the antigenicity of Ro and had its own characteristic immunofluorescent pattern in HEp-Ro60 cells. The transfectants dramatically increased the sensitivity of IIF testing (a mean increase of 6.7-fold in endpoint titer, P<0.01). Eight (8/10) positive an- ti-Ro sera showed characteristic immunofluorescent pattern on HEp-Ro60, including two sera which were antinuclear antibodies (ANA) negative on untransfected HEp-2. IIF-ANA in all healthy sera were negative on HEp-Ro60. As a kind of new substrate of IIF, the Ro60 transfectants can be used to detect anti-Ro antibodies. In addition, transfected HEp-2 cells kept the immunofluorescent property of HEp-2 cells in IIF-ANA tests and could be employed as substrate for the routine IIF-ANA detection. The method improved the sensitivity of IIF-ANA. (authors)

  10. Ovarian Cancer and BRCA1/2 Testing: Opportunities to improve clinical care and disease prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine eKarakasis

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Without prevention or screening options available, ovarian cancer is the most lethal malignancy of the female reproductive tract. High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC is the most common histologic subtype, and the role of germline BRCA1/2 mutation in predisposition and prognosis is established. Given the targeted treatment opportunities with PARP inhibitors, a predictive role for BRCA1/2 mutation has emerged. Despite recommendations to provide BRCA1/2 testing to all women with histologically confirmed HGSOC, uniform implementation remains challenging. The opportunity to review and revise genetic screening and testing practices will identify opportunities where universal adoption of BRCA1/2 mutation testing will impact and improve treatment of women with ovarian cancer. Improving education and awareness of genetic testing for women with cancer, as well as the broader general community, will help focus much needed attention on opportunities to advance prevention and screening programs in ovarian cancer. This is imperative not only for women with cancer, those at risk of developing cancer, but also for their first-degree relatives. In addition, BRCA1/2 testing may have direct implications for patients with other types of cancers, many which are now being found to have BRCA1/2 involvement.

  11. Preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched formula until 6 months show improved growth and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Ga Won; Jung, Yu Jin; Koh, Sun Young; Lee, Yeon Kyung; Kim, Kyung Ah; Shin, Son Moon; Kim, Sung Shin; Shim, Jae Won; Chang, Yun Sil; Park, Won Soon

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of feeding nutrient-enriched preterm formula to preterm infants until 6 months' corrected age (CA) on growth and development in the first 18 months of life. Very low-birthweight preterm infants were fed preterm formula until term (40 weeks CA). Infants were then assigned to one of three groups and were fed term formula until 6 months' CA (group 1, n= 29); preterm formula to 3 months' CA and then term formula to 6 months' CA (group 2, n= 30); or preterm formula until 6 months' CA (group 3, n= 31). Anthropometry was performed at term, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and at s18 months' CA. Mental and psychomotor development were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II at 18 months' CA. Although body weight, length, head circumference and z score for CA at term in group 3 were significantly lower than those of groups 1 and 2, growth rates of these parameters were significantly higher in group 3 up to 18 months CA', as compared to groups 1 and 2. The mental developmental index and psychomotor developmental index of the Bayley test were not significantly different between the three groups. Very low-birthweight preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched preterm formula until 6 months' CA demonstrated significantly improved growth rates for bodyweight, length and head circumference, and comparable mental and psychomotor development throughout the first 18 months of life. © 2011 The Authors. Pediatrics International © 2011 Japan Pediatric Society.

  12. Design and Research on Vehicles Motor Testing System Based on Improvement PID

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Kuangang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Motor is the important parts in vehicles. It is the key parts for achieving automation. It is the critical technology to test vehicle motors. We take the PID (Proportion Integration Differentiation as based fundamental controlling algorithm, and we test motor parameters through LabVIEW for single-chip AT89C52. According to practical working condition, we build circuit electric field boundary, and analyze electric field distribution of hard circuit. In addition, we also design filtering circuit for main interrupt frequency (below 1 kHz, and we improved PID for direct motor speed which is controlled by PWM (pulse-width modulation to reach speed astatic regulation. At the same time, the system achieves soft start-up.

  13. From community-based pilot testing to region-wide systems change: lessons from a local quality improvement collaborative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Donna J; Pincus, Harold Alan

    2010-01-01

    A community-based collaborative conducted a 2-year pilot study to inform efforts for improving maternal and child health care practice and policy in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. (1) To test whether three small-scale versions of an evidence-based, systems improvement approach would be workable in local community settings and (2) to identify specific policy/infrastructure reforms for sustaining improvements. A mixed methods approach was used, including quantitative performance measurement supplemented with qualitative data about factors related to outcomes of interest, as well as key stakeholder interviews and a literature review/Internet search. Quantitative performance results varied; qualitative data revealed critical factors for the success and failure of the practices tested. Policy/infrastructure recommendations were developed to address specific practice barriers. This information was important for designing a region-wide quality improvement initiative focused on maternal depression. The processes and outcomes provide valuable insights for other communities interested in conducting similar quality improvement initiatives.

  14. A Study on the Improvement of Safety Testing Standards and Methods for Mammography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Seon Hyeong; Jung, Ah Young; Yong, Hwan Seok; Kim, Do Wan; Jang, Gi Won; Cha, Sang Hoon; Jo, Sang Won; Park, Ji Koon

    2012-01-01

    To establish the improved national safety testing standards and methods for mammography. We investigated and compared the current status of mammographic equipment installation with the national and international safety and quality control programs and methods. We established and verified the draft for safety testing standards and methods. We propose that the investigations of the conductor system, hardware leakage radiation profile, illumination intensity test, comparison between X-ray and light photon exposure, X-ray dose exposure on the chest wall, compression equipment size, timing equipment, and the average effective radiation dose, should all be maintained as they are in the present state without any changes. However, the exposure radiation dose reproducibility, kVp and mAs, and the half value layer tests should be reconsidered and revised. Moreover, compression pressure and autonomic exposure control system (AEC) tests should be included as new criteria. Other parameter controls included in the phantom image analysis which overlap with total quality assurance should be excluded. We recommend that AEC and compression pressure tests should be included as new criteria and the methods for the exposure radiation dose reproducibility, kVp, and mAs, and half value layer tests should be reconsidered and revised.

  15. A Case Study Improvement of a Testing Process by Combining Lean Management, Industrial Engineering and Automation Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Withers

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly competitive market environments have forced not only large manufacturing, but also smalland-medium size enterprises (SME to look for means to improve their operations in order to increase competitive strength. This paper presents an adaptation and adoption by a UK SME engineering service organisation, of lean management, industrial engineering, and automation metods developed within larger organisations. This SME sought to improve the overall performance of one of its core testing processes. An exploratory analysis, based on the lean management concept of “value added” and work measurement technique “time study”, was developed and carried out in order to understand the current performance of a testing process for gas turbine fuel flow dividers. A design for the automation of some operations of the testing process was followed as an approach to reduce non-value added activities, and improve the overall efficiency of the testing process. The overall testing time was reduced from 12.41 to 7.93 hours (36.09 percent while the man hours and non-value added time were also reduced from 23.91 to 12.94 hours (45.87 percent and from 11.08 to 6.69 (39.67 percent hours respectively. This resulted in an increase in process efficiency in terms of man hours from 51.91 to 61.28 percent. The contribution of this paper resides in presenting a case study that can be used as a guiding reference for managers and engineers to undertake improvement projects, in their organisations, similar to the one presented in this paper.

  16. [A 53-year-old man with herpes encephalitis showing acceleration of improvement in higher brain function after general anesthesia with sevoflurane: a case report].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Togashi, Naohiko; Kaida, Kenichi; Hongo, Yu; Ogawa, Go; Ishikawa, Yukinobu; Takeda, Katsuhiko; Kamakura, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    We experienced a right-handed 53-year-old man who presented with disturbance of consciousness and fever. Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) was diagnosed based on the detection of herpes simplex virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid. The administration of acyclovir for 42 days improved his consciousness level. Drowsiness, fever and seizures reappeared 20 days after stopping acyclovir treatment (day 67) and he responded well to vidarabine and methylprednisolone pulse therapy. An assessment of aphasia on day 98 revealed transcortical sensory aphasia. Brain MRI showed lesion in the left temporal lobe, bilateral insular cortexes and bilateral frontal lobe. His higher brain dysfunction continued. On day 156, he underwent hip replacement arthroplasty under general anesthesia sevoflurane. His higher brain dysfunction rapidly improved thereafter. We concluded that the accelerated improvement in our patient's higher brain function was related to the protective effect of sevoflurane. Some reports also show the protective effects of sevoflurane in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis by inhibition of T cell activation. These protective and anti-inflammatory effects may explain the accelerated improvement in higher brain function after general anesthesia.

  17. Using Workflow Modeling to Identify Areas to Improve Genetic Test Processes in the University of Maryland Translational Pharmacogenomics Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutting, Elizabeth M; Overby, Casey L; Banchero, Meghan; Pollin, Toni; Kelemen, Mark; Shuldiner, Alan R; Beitelshees, Amber L

    Delivering genetic test results to clinicians is a complex process. It involves many actors and multiple steps, requiring all of these to work together in order to create an optimal course of treatment for the patient. We used information gained from focus groups in order to illustrate the current process of delivering genetic test results to clinicians. We propose a business process model and notation (BPMN) representation of this process for a Translational Pharmacogenomics Project being implemented at the University of Maryland Medical Center, so that personalized medicine program implementers can identify areas to improve genetic testing processes. We found that the current process could be improved to reduce input errors, better inform and notify clinicians about the implications of certain genetic tests, and make results more easily understood. We demonstrate our use of BPMN to improve this important clinical process for CYP2C19 genetic testing in patients undergoing invasive treatment of coronary heart disease.

  18. Nitrate supplementation improves physical performance specifically in non-athletes during prolonged open-ended tests: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Helton O; Drummond, Lucas R; Rodrigues, Quezia T; Machado, Frederico S M; Pires, Washington; Wanner, Samuel P; Coimbra, Cândido C

    2018-03-01

    Nitrate (NO3 -) is an ergogenic nutritional supplement that is widely used to improve physical performance. However, the effectiveness of NO3 - supplementation has not been systematically investigated in individuals with different physical fitness levels. The present study analysed whether different fitness levels (non-athletes v. athletes or classification of performance levels), duration of the test used to measure performance (short v. long duration) and the test protocol (time trials v. open-ended tests v. graded-exercise tests) influence the effects of NO3 - supplementation on performance. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted and reported according to the guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. A systematic search of electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus and ProQuest, was performed in August 2017. On the basis of the search and inclusion criteria, fifty-four and fifty-three placebo-controlled studies evaluating the effects of NO3 - supplementation on performance in humans were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, respectively. NO3 - supplementation was ergogenic in non-athletes (mean effect size (ES) 0·25; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·38), particularly in evaluations of performance using long-duration open-ended tests (ES 0·47; 95 % CI 0·23, 0·71). In contrast, NO3 - supplementation did not enhance the performance of athletes (ES 0·04; 95 % CI -0·05, 0·15). After objectively classifying the participants into different performance levels, the frequency of trials showing ergogenic effects in individuals classified at lower levels was higher than that in individuals classified at higher levels. Thus, the present study indicates that dietary NO3 - supplementation improves physical performance in non-athletes, particularly during long-duration open-ended tests.

  19. Improvement of defect characterization in ultrasonic testing by adaptative learning network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bieth, M.; Adamonis, D.C.; Jusino, A.

    1982-01-01

    Numerous methods exist now for signal analysis in ultrasonic testing. These methods give more or less accurate information for defects characterization. In this paper is presented the development of a particular system based on a computer Signal processing: the Adaptative Learning Network (ALN) allowing the discrimination of defects in function of their nature. The ultrasonic signal is sampled and characterized by parameters amplitude-time and amplitude-frequency. The method was tested on stainless steel tubes welds showing fatigue cracks. The ALN model developed allows, under certain conditions, the discrimination of cracks from other defects [fr

  20. BMVC test, an improved fluorescence assay for detection of malignant pleural effusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, I-Ting; Tsai, Yu-Lin; Kang, Chi-Chih; Huang, Wei-Chun; Wang, Chiung-Lin; Lin, Mei-Ying; Lou, Pei-Jen; Shih, Jin-Yuan; Wang, Hao-Chien; Wu, Huey-Dong; Tsai, Tzu-Hsiu; Jan, I-Shiow; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2014-01-01

    The diagnosis of malignant pleural effusions is an important issue in the management of malignancy patients. Generally, cytologic examination is a routine diagnostic technique. However, morphological interpretation of cytology is sometimes inconclusive. Here an ancillary method named BMVC test is developed for rapid detection of malignant pleural effusion to improve the diagnostic accuracy at low cost. A simple assay kit is designed to collect living cells from clinical pleural effusion and a fluorescence probe, 3,6-Bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC), is used to illuminate malignant cells. The fluorescence intensity is quantitatively analyzed by ImageJ program. This method yields digital numbers for the test results without any grey zone or ambiguities in the current cytology tests due to intra-observer and inter-observer variability. Comparing with results from double-blind cytologic examination, this simple test gives a good discrimination between malignant and benign specimens with sensitivity of 89.4% (42/47) and specificity of 93.3% (56/60) for diagnosis of malignant pleural effusion. BMVC test provides accurate results in a short time period, and the digital output could assist cytologic examination to become more objective and clear-cut. This is a convenient ancillary tool for detection of malignant pleural effusions

  1. Formal Process Modeling to Improve Human Decision-Making in Test and Evaluation Acoustic Range Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    MODELING TO IMPROVE HUMAN DECISION-MAKING DURING TEST AND EVALUATION RANGE CONTROL by William Carlson September 2017 Thesis Advisor...the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (0704-0188) Washington, DC 20503. 1. AGENCY USE ONLY (Leave blank) 2. REPORT...MAKING DURING TEST AND EVALUATION RANGE CONTROL 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) William Carlson 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES

  2. Improved anomaly detection using multi-scale PLS and generalized likelihood ratio test

    KAUST Repository

    Madakyaru, Muddu

    2017-02-16

    Process monitoring has a central role in the process industry to enhance productivity, efficiency, and safety, and to avoid expensive maintenance. In this paper, a statistical approach that exploit the advantages of multiscale PLS models (MSPLS) and those of a generalized likelihood ratio (GLR) test to better detect anomalies is proposed. Specifically, to consider the multivariate and multi-scale nature of process dynamics, a MSPLS algorithm combining PLS and wavelet analysis is used as modeling framework. Then, GLR hypothesis testing is applied using the uncorrelated residuals obtained from MSPLS model to improve the anomaly detection abilities of these latent variable based fault detection methods even further. Applications to a simulated distillation column data are used to evaluate the proposed MSPLS-GLR algorithm.

  3. Improved anomaly detection using multi-scale PLS and generalized likelihood ratio test

    KAUST Repository

    Madakyaru, Muddu; Harrou, Fouzi; Sun, Ying

    2017-01-01

    Process monitoring has a central role in the process industry to enhance productivity, efficiency, and safety, and to avoid expensive maintenance. In this paper, a statistical approach that exploit the advantages of multiscale PLS models (MSPLS) and those of a generalized likelihood ratio (GLR) test to better detect anomalies is proposed. Specifically, to consider the multivariate and multi-scale nature of process dynamics, a MSPLS algorithm combining PLS and wavelet analysis is used as modeling framework. Then, GLR hypothesis testing is applied using the uncorrelated residuals obtained from MSPLS model to improve the anomaly detection abilities of these latent variable based fault detection methods even further. Applications to a simulated distillation column data are used to evaluate the proposed MSPLS-GLR algorithm.

  4. Improved approximate inspirals of test bodies into Kerr black holes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gair, Jonathan R; Glampedakis, Kostas

    2006-01-01

    We present an improved version of the approximate scheme for generating inspirals of test bodies into a Kerr black hole recently developed by Glampedakis, Hughes and Kennefick. Their original 'hybrid' scheme was based on combining exact relativistic expressions for the evolution of the orbital elements (the semilatus rectum p and eccentricity e) with an approximate, weak-field, formula for the energy and angular momentum fluxes, amended by the assumption of constant inclination angle ι during the inspiral. Despite the fact that the resulting inspirals were overall well behaved, certain pathologies remained for orbits in the strong-field regime and for orbits which are nearly circular and/or nearly polar. In this paper we eliminate these problems by incorporating an array of improvements in the approximate fluxes. First, we add certain corrections which ensure the correct behavior of the fluxes in the limit of vanishing eccentricity and/or 90 deg. inclination. Second, we use higher order post-Newtonian formulas, adapted for generic orbits. Third, we drop the assumption of constant inclination. Instead, we first evolve the Carter constant by means of an approximate post-Newtonian expression and subsequently extract the evolution of ι. Finally, we improve the evolution of circular orbits by using fits to the angular momentum and inclination evolution determined by Teukolsky-based calculations. As an application of our improved scheme, we provide a sample of generic Kerr inspirals which we expect to be the most accurate to date, and for the specific case of nearly circular orbits we locate the critical radius where orbits begin to decircularize under radiation reaction. These easy-to-generate inspirals should become a useful tool for exploring LISA data analysis issues and may ultimately play a role in the detection of inspiral signals in the LISA data

  5. RCGVS design improvement and depressurization capability tests for Ulchin nuclear power plant units 3 and 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sung, Kang Sik; Seong, Ho Je; Jeong, Won Sang; Seo, Jong Tae; Lee, Sang Keun [Korea Power Engineering Company, Inc., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lim, Keun Hyo; Choi, Kwon Sik; Oh, Chul Sung [Korea Electric Power Cooperation, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1999-12-31

    The Reactor Coolant Gas Vent System(RCGVS) design for Ulchin Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4 (UCN 3 and 4) has been improved from the Yonggwang Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4 (YGN 3 and 4) based on the evaluation results for depressurization capability tests performed at YGN 3 and 4. There has been a series of plant safety analyses for Natural Circulation Cooldown(NCC) event and thermo-dynamic analyses with RELAP5 code for the steam blowdown phenomena in order to optimize the orifice size of UCN 3 and 4 RCGVS. Based on these analyses results, the RCGVS orifics size for UCN 3 and 4 has been reduced to 9/32 inch from the 11/32 inch for YGN 3 and 4. The depressurization capability tests, which were performed at UCN 3 in order to verify the FSAR NCC analysis results, show that the RCGVS depressurization rates are being within the acceptable ranges. Therefore, it is concluded that the orificed flow path of UCN 3 and 4 RCGVS is adequately designed, and can provide the safety-grade depressurization capability required for a safe plant operation. 6 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab. (Author)

  6. RCGVS design improvement and depressurization capability tests for Ulchin nuclear power plant units 3 and 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sung, Kang Sik; Seong, Ho Je; Jeong, Won Sang; Seo, Jong Tae; Lee, Sang Keun [Korea Power Engineering Company, Inc., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lim, Keun Hyo; Choi, Kwon Sik; Oh, Chul Sung [Korea Electric Power Cooperation, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1998-12-31

    The Reactor Coolant Gas Vent System(RCGVS) design for Ulchin Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4 (UCN 3 and 4) has been improved from the Yonggwang Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4 (YGN 3 and 4) based on the evaluation results for depressurization capability tests performed at YGN 3 and 4. There has been a series of plant safety analyses for Natural Circulation Cooldown(NCC) event and thermo-dynamic analyses with RELAP5 code for the steam blowdown phenomena in order to optimize the orifice size of UCN 3 and 4 RCGVS. Based on these analyses results, the RCGVS orifics size for UCN 3 and 4 has been reduced to 9/32 inch from the 11/32 inch for YGN 3 and 4. The depressurization capability tests, which were performed at UCN 3 in order to verify the FSAR NCC analysis results, show that the RCGVS depressurization rates are being within the acceptable ranges. Therefore, it is concluded that the orificed flow path of UCN 3 and 4 RCGVS is adequately designed, and can provide the safety-grade depressurization capability required for a safe plant operation. 6 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab. (Author)

  7. Evidence from Scientific Literature about Improved Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  8. What You Can Do to Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  9. The New Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra: Improving Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Resistance to Rifampin in an Assay Suitable for Point-of-Care Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravorty, Soumitesh; Simmons, Ann Marie; Rowneki, Mazhgan; Parmar, Heta; Cao, Yuan; Ryan, Jamie; Banada, Padmapriya P; Deshpande, Srinidhi; Shenai, Shubhada; Gall, Alexander; Glass, Jennifer; Krieswirth, Barry; Schumacher, Samuel G; Nabeta, Pamela; Tukvadze, Nestani; Rodrigues, Camilla; Skrahina, Alena; Tagliani, Elisa; Cirillo, Daniela M; Davidow, Amy; Denkinger, Claudia M; Persing, David; Kwiatkowski, Robert; Jones, Martin; Alland, David

    2017-08-29

    The Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) is a rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) and rifampin resistance (RIF-R) suitable for point-of-care testing. However, it has decreased sensitivity in smear-negative sputum, and false identification of RIF-R occasionally occurs. We developed the Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra assay (Ultra) to improve performance. Ultra and Xpert limits of detection (LOD), dynamic ranges, and RIF-R rpoB mutation detection were tested on Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA or sputum samples spiked with known numbers of M. tuberculosis H37Rv or Mycobacterium bovis BCG CFU. Frozen and prospectively collected clinical samples from patients suspected of having TB, with and without culture-confirmed TB, were also tested. For M. tuberculosis H37Rv, the LOD was 15.6 CFU/ml of sputum for Ultra versus 112.6 CFU/ml of sputum for Xpert, and for M. bovis BCG, it was 143.4 CFU/ml of sputum for Ultra versus 344 CFU/ml of sputum for Xpert. Ultra resulted in no false-positive RIF-R specimens, while Xpert resulted in two false-positive RIF-R specimens. All RIF-R-associated M. tuberculosis rpoB mutations tested were identified by Ultra. Testing on clinical sputum samples, Ultra versus Xpert, resulted in an overall sensitivity of 87.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.1, 91.7) versus 81.0% (95% CI, 74.9, 86.2) and a sensitivity on sputum smear-negative samples of 78.9% (95% CI, 70.0, 86.1) versus 66.1% (95% CI, 56.4, 74.9). Both tests had a specificity of 98.7% (95% CI, 93.0, 100), and both had comparable accuracies for detection of RIF-R in these samples. Ultra should significantly improve TB detection, especially in patients with paucibacillary disease, and may provide more-reliable RIF-R detection. IMPORTANCE The Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert), the first point-of-care assay for tuberculosis (TB), was endorsed by the World Health Organization in December 2010. Since then, 23 million Xpert tests have been procured in 130 countries. Although Xpert showed high overall sensitivity and

  10. What We Know about Software Test Maturity and Test Process Improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garousi, Vahid; Felderer, Michael; Hacaloglu, Tuna

    2018-01-01

    In many companies, software testing practices and processes are far from mature and are usually conducted in an ad hoc fashion. Such immature practices lead to negative outcomes - for example, testing that doesn't detect all the defects or that incurs cost and schedule overruns. To conduct test

  11. The improved design method of shear strength of reinforced concrete beams without transverse reinforcement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vegera Pavlo

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article, results of experimental testing of reinforced concrete beams without transverse shear reinforcement are given. Three prototypes for improved testing methods were tested. The testing variable parameter was the shear span to the effective depth ratio. In the result of the tests we noticed that bearing capacity of RC beams is increased with the decreasing shear span to the effective depth ratio. The design method according to current codes was applied to test samples and it showed a significant discrepancy results. Than we proposed the improved design method using the adjusted value of shear strength of concrete CRd,c. The results obtained by the improved design method showed satisfactory reproducibility.

  12. Improvement of cardiovascular risk prediction: time to review current knowledge, debates, and fundamentals on how to assess test characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanens, Michel; Ackermann, Franz; Spence, John David; Darioli, Roger; Rodondi, Nicolas; Corti, Roberto; Noll, Georg; Schwenkglenks, Matthias; Pencina, Michael

    2010-02-01

    Cardiovascular risk assessment might be improved with the addition of emerging, new tests derived from atherosclerosis imaging, laboratory tests or functional tests. This article reviews relative risk, odds ratios, receiver-operating curves, posttest risk calculations based on likelihood ratios, the net reclassification improvement and integrated discrimination. This serves to determine whether a new test has an added clinical value on top of conventional risk testing and how this can be verified statistically. Two clinically meaningful examples serve to illustrate novel approaches. This work serves as a review and basic work for the development of new guidelines on cardiovascular risk prediction, taking into account emerging tests, to be proposed by members of the 'Taskforce on Vascular Risk Prediction' under the auspices of the Working Group 'Swiss Atherosclerosis' of the Swiss Society of Cardiology in the future.

  13. NCAP test improvements with pretensioners and load limiters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walz, Marie

    2004-03-01

    New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test scores, measured by the United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were analyzed in order to assess the benefits of equipping safety belt systems with pretensioners and load limiters. Safety belt pretensioners retract the safety belt almost instantly in a crash to remove excess slack. They tie the occupant to the vehicle's deceleration early during the crash, reducing the peak load experienced by the occupant. Load limiters and other energy management systems allow safety belts to yield in a crash, preventing the shoulder belt from directing too much energy on the chest of the occupant. In NCAP tests, vehicles are crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 mph. During the test, instruments measure the accelerations of the head and chest, as well as the force on the legs of anthropomorphic dummies secured in the vehicle by safety belts. NCAP data from model year 1998 through 2001 cars and light trucks were examined. The combination of pretensioners and load limiters is estimated to reduce Head Injury Criterion (HIC) by 232, chest acceleration by an average of 6.6 g's, and chest deflection (displacement) by 10.6 mm, for drivers and right front passengers. The unit used to measure chest acceleration (g) is defined as a unit of force equal to the force exerted by gravity. All of these reductions are statistically significant. When looked at individually, pretensioners are more effective in reducing HIC scores for both drivers and right front passengers, as well as chest acceleration and chest deflection scores for drivers. Load limiters show greater reductions in chest acceleration and chest deflection scores for right front passengers. By contrast, in make-models for which neither load limiters nor pretensioners have been added, there is little change during 1998 to 2001 in HIC, chest acceleration, or chest deflection values in NCAP tests.

  14. Improvements in inservice testing regulatory guidance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, P.L.

    1996-12-01

    Over the last few years, the NRC has issued guidance to licensees toward improving the quality of requests for relief or alternatives to the code requirements and bring some measure of consistency to the implementation of the code requirements. Based on the majority of the recent submittals, the overall quality has improved. If all of the steps in the internal process for responding to the requests are timely, the review of an updated program can be completed in six to nine months. When a single or only a few requests are submitted, the staff is generally able to complete an evaluation in less than three months. When schedules are related to outages or exigent circumstances, the NRC responds accordingly. The improvements in schedules can be attributed to publication of staff guideline documents, licensees` efforts in preparing more complete descriptions and justification and an increase in the number of NRC technical staff reviewers assigned to IST.

  15. Improvements in inservice testing regulatory guidance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, P.L.

    1996-01-01

    Over the last few years, the NRC has issued guidance to licensees toward improving the quality of requests for relief or alternatives to the code requirements and bring some measure of consistency to the implementation of the code requirements. Based on the majority of the recent submittals, the overall quality has improved. If all of the steps in the internal process for responding to the requests are timely, the review of an updated program can be completed in six to nine months. When a single or only a few requests are submitted, the staff is generally able to complete an evaluation in less than three months. When schedules are related to outages or exigent circumstances, the NRC responds accordingly. The improvements in schedules can be attributed to publication of staff guideline documents, licensees' efforts in preparing more complete descriptions and justification and an increase in the number of NRC technical staff reviewers assigned to IST

  16. Implementation of an Improved Adaptive Testing Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-A'ali, Mansoor

    2007-01-01

    Computer adaptive testing is the study of scoring tests and questions based on assumptions concerning the mathematical relationship between examinees' ability and the examinees' responses. Adaptive student tests, which are based on item response theory (IRT), have many advantages over conventional tests. We use the least square method, a…

  17. Implementing and evaluating a regional strategy to improve testing rates in VA patients at risk for HIV, utilizing the QUERI process as a guiding framework: QUERI Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Matthew B; Bowman, Candice; Hoang, Tuyen; Anaya, Henry; Osborn, Teresa; Gifford, Allen L; Asch, Steven M

    2008-03-19

    We describe how we used the framework of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to develop a program to improve rates of diagnostic testing for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This venture was prompted by the observation by the CDC that 25% of HIV-infected patients do not know their diagnosis - a point of substantial importance to the VA, which is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States. Following the QUERI steps (or process), we evaluated: 1) whether undiagnosed HIV infection is a high-risk, high-volume clinical issue within the VA, 2) whether there are evidence-based recommendations for HIV testing, 3) whether there are gaps in the performance of VA HIV testing, and 4) the barriers and facilitators to improving current practice in the VA.Based on our findings, we developed and initiated a QUERI step 4/phase 1 pilot project using the precepts of the Chronic Care Model. Our improvement strategy relies upon electronic clinical reminders to provide decision support; audit/feedback as a clinical information system, and appropriate changes in delivery system design. These activities are complemented by academic detailing and social marketing interventions to achieve provider activation. Our preliminary formative evaluation indicates the need to ensure leadership and team buy-in, address facility-specific barriers, refine the reminder, and address factors that contribute to inter-clinic variances in HIV testing rates. Preliminary unadjusted data from the first seven months of our program show 3-5 fold increases in the proportion of at-risk patients who are offered HIV testing at the VA sites (stations) where the pilot project has been undertaken; no change was seen at control stations. This project demonstrates the early success of the application of the QUERI process to the development of a program to improve HIV testing rates. Preliminary unadjusted results show that the coordinated use of

  18. In vitro and ex vivo testing of tenofovir shows it is effective as an HIV-1 microbicide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa C Rohan

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Tenofovir gel has entered into clinical trials for use as a topical microbicide to prevent HIV-1 infection but has no published data regarding pre-clinical testing using in vitro and ex vivo models. To validate our findings with on-going clinical trial results, we evaluated topical tenofovir gel for safety and efficacy. We also modeled systemic application of tenofovir for efficacy.Formulation assessment of tenofovir gel included osmolality, viscosity, in vitro release, and permeability testing. Safety was evaluated by measuring the effect on the viability of vaginal flora, PBMCs, epithelial cells, and ectocervical and colorectal explant tissues. For efficacy testing, PBMCs were cultured with tenofovir or vehicle control gels and HIV-1 representing subtypes A, B, and C. Additionally, polarized ectocervical and colorectal explant cultures were treated apically with either gel. Tenofovir was added basolaterally to simulate systemic application. All tissues were challenged with HIV-1 applied apically. Infection was assessed by measuring p24 by ELISA on collected supernatants and immunohistochemistry for ectocervical explants. Formulation testing showed the tenofovir and vehicle control gels were >10 times isosmolar. Permeability through ectocervical tissue was variable but in all cases the receptor compartment drug concentration reached levels that inhibit HIV-1 infection in vitro. The gels were non-toxic toward vaginal flora, PBMCs, or epithelial cells. A transient reduction in epithelial monolayer integrity and epithelial fracture for ectocervical and colorectal explants was noted and likely due to the hyperosmolar nature of the formulation. Tenofovir gel prevented HIV-1 infection of PBMCs regardless of HIV-1 subtype. Topical and systemic tenofovir were effective at preventing HIV-1 infection of explant cultures.These studies provide a mechanism for pre-clinical prediction of safety and efficacy of formulated microbicides. Tenofovir was effective

  19. Improving ESL Placement Tests Using Two Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, James Dean

    1989-01-01

    Criterion-referenced testing was used to complement norm-referenced procedures in a revision of a university's English-as-a-Second-Language placement test for reading. Test validation results indicated that the revised test better matched the university's program and included more items related to the content and skills that students were…

  20. Improving the resolution for Lamb wave testing via a smoothed Capon algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xuwei; Zeng, Liang; Lin, Jing; Hua, Jiadong

    2018-04-01

    Lamb wave testing is promising for damage detection and evaluation in large-area structures. The dispersion of Lamb waves is often unavoidable, restricting testing resolution and making the signal hard to interpret. A smoothed Capon algorithm is proposed in this paper to estimate the accurate path length of each wave packet. In the algorithm, frequency domain whitening is firstly used to obtain the transfer function in the bandwidth of the excitation pulse. Subsequently, wavenumber domain smoothing is employed to reduce the correlation between wave packets. Finally, the path lengths are determined by distance domain searching based on the Capon algorithm. Simulations are applied to optimize the number of smoothing times. Experiments are performed on an aluminum plate consisting of two simulated defects. The results demonstrate that spatial resolution is improved significantly by the proposed algorithm.

  1. Numerical comparison of improved methods of testing in contingency tables with small frequencies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugiura, Nariaki; Otake, Masanori

    1968-11-14

    The significance levels of various tests for a general c x k contingency table are usually given by large sample theory. But they are not accurate for the one having small frequencies. In this paper, a numerical evaluation was made to determine how good the approximation of significance level is for various improved tests that have been developed by Nass, Yoshimura, Gart, etc. for c x k contingency table with small frequencies in some of cells. For this purpose we compared the significance levels of the various approximate methods (i) with those of one-sided tail defined in terms of exact probabilities for given marginals in 2 x 2 table; (ii) with those of exact probabilities accumulated in the order of magnitude of Chi/sup 2/ statistic or likelihood ratio (=LR) statistic in 2 x 3 table mentioned by Yates. In 2 x 2 table it is well known that Yates' correction gives satisfactory result for small cell frequencies and the other methods that we have not referred here, can be considered if we devote our attention only to 2 x 2 or 2 x k table. But we are mainly interested in comparing the methods that are applicable to a general c x k table. It appears that such a comparison for the various improved methods in the same example has not been made explicitly, even though these tests are frequently used in biological and medical research. 9 references, 6 figures, 6 tables.

  2. Follow-up durability measurements and mitigation-performance improvement tests in 38 Eastern Pennsylvania houses having indoor radon-reduction systems. Final report, Oct 89-Feb 90

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Findlay, W.O.; Robertson, A.; Scott, A.G.

    1991-03-01

    The report gives results of follow-up tests in 38 difficult-to-mitigate Pennsylvania houses where indoor radon reduction systems had been installed 2 to 4 years earlier. Objectives were to assess system durability, methods for improving performance, and methods for reducing installation and operating costs. The durability tests indicated that the 38 systems have not experienced any significant degradation in indoor radon levels or in system flows/suctions, except in 6 houses where system fans failed, and in houses where homeowners turned off the systems. Tests to improve performance indicated that nearly all of the elevated residual radon levels are due to re-entrainment back into the house of very-high-radon exhaust gas from the soil depressurization systems, and to radon release from well water. Tests to reduce system costs showed that premitigation sub-slab suction field measurements can help prevent installation of too many suction pipes when communication is good, but suggest a need for too many pipes when communication is poor. Soil depressurization fans could not be turned down to the extent expected in some systems that were over-designed. Between 6 and 42% of the exhausted air was withdrawn from the house

  3. Development of an improved species specific PCR test for detection of Haemophilus parasuis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Angen, Øystein; Oliveira, Simone; Ahrens, Peter

    2007-01-01

    , the present PCR test was found to be 100% species specific for H. parasuis, in contrast to the PCR test of Oliveira et al., which also tested positive for strains belonging to A. indolicus, A. porcinus, and A. minor, species commonly occurring in the upper respiratory tract. However, when the PCR test...... with representatives of H. parasuis. The test was further evaluated on 55 clinical samples from 16 Danish pigs suspected for being infected with H. parasuis, showing polyserositis or septicemia at autopsy as well as on 492 nasal swabs. The test was compared with the performance of a PCR test earlier published...... by Oliveira et al. [Oliveira, S., Galina, L., Pijoan, C., 2001. Development of a PCR test to diagnose Haemophilus parasuis infections. J. Vet. Diagn. Invest. 13, 495-501]. The sensitivity of the present PCR test was found to be slightly lower when applied on clinical samples from diseased pigs and 10-fold...

  4. Application of Finite Element Based Simulation and Modal Testing Methods to Improve Vehicle Powertrain Idle Vibration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polat Sendur

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Current practice of analytical and test methods related to the analysis, testing and improvement of vehicle vibrations is overviewed. The methods are illustrated on the determination and improvement of powertrain induced steering wheel vibration of a heavy commercial truck. More specifically, the transmissibility of powertrain idle vibration to cabin is investigated with respect to powertrain rigid body modes and modal alignment of the steering column/wheel system is considered. It is found out that roll mode of the powertrain is not separated from idle excitation for effective vibration isolation as well as steering wheel column mode is close to the 3rd engine excitation frequency order, which results in high vibration levels. Powertrain roll mode is optimized by tuning the powertrain mount stiffness to improve the performance. Steering column mode is also separated from the 3rd engine excitation frequency by the application of a mass absorber. It is concluded that the use of analytical and test methods to address the complex relation between design parameters and powertrain idle response is effective to optimize the system performance and evaluate the trade-offs in the vehicle design such as vibration performance and weight. Reference Number: www.asrongo.org/doi:4.2017.2.1.10

  5. Statistical Redundancy Testing for Improved Gene Selection in Cancer Classification Using Microarray Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Sunil Rao

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In gene selection for cancer classifi cation using microarray data, we define an eigenvalue-ratio statistic to measure a gene’s contribution to the joint discriminability when this gene is included into a set of genes. Based on this eigenvalueratio statistic, we define a novel hypothesis testing for gene statistical redundancy and propose two gene selection methods. Simulation studies illustrate the agreement between statistical redundancy testing and gene selection methods. Real data examples show the proposed gene selection methods can select a compact gene subset which can not only be used to build high quality cancer classifiers but also show biological relevance.

  6. Improved Precision and Efficiency of a Modified ORG0020 Dynamic Respiration Test Setup for Compost Stability Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Guillen Ferrari

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The ORG0020 dynamic respiration test is effective at distinguishing source segregated organic waste derived composts across a wide range of stabilities when compared to other standard tests; however, using the original diaphragm pump and manifold setup, the test is affected by variability in flow rate with time and across sample replicate vessels. Here, we demonstrate the use of a multichannel peristaltic pump to deliver a more consistent air flow to individual vessels. Using finished and unfinished industry compost samples from different sites with varying stabilities, we provide evidence of greater precision of the modified setup compared to the original. Furthermore, the reduced need for air flow adjustment resulted in improved running cost efficiency with less labour demand. Analysis of compost sample oxygen demand supports the current test air flow rate of 25–75 mL min−1, although the improved air flow control will enable future narrowing of the acceptable range for better inter-laboratory performance.

  7. Enhance pump reliability through improved inservice testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Healy, J.J.

    1990-01-01

    EPRI has undertaken a study to assess the effectiveness of existing testing programs to accurately monitor and predict performance changes before either pump performance degrades or an actual failure occurs. Anticipated changes in inservice testing techniques are directed towards enhancing the validity of test data, ensuring its repeatability, and avoiding deterioration of the pump assembly. There is a new-found interest in test programs of all types that has occurred, in part, because of an increase in reported pump degradation and pump failure. Inservice testing of pumps, which has long been a basis for assuring operability, has apparently produced an opposite effect; namely, the appearance of a reduction in reliability

  8. Type 2 Diabetic Rats on Diet Supplemented With Chromium Malate Show Improved Glycometabolism, Glycometabolism-Related Enzyme Levels and Lipid Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Weiwei; Zhao, Ting; Mao, Guanghua; Wang, Wei; Feng, Yun; Li, Fang; Zheng, Daheng; Wu, Huiyu; Jin, Dun; Yang, Liuqing; Wu, Xiangyang

    2015-01-01

    Our previous study showed that chromium malate improved the regulation of blood glucose in mice with alloxan-induced diabetes. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of chromium malate on glycometabolism, glycometabolism-related enzymes and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetic rats. Our results showed that fasting blood glucose, serum insulin level, insulin resistance index and C-peptide level in the high dose group had a significant downward trend when compared with the model group, chromium picolinate group and chromium trichloride group. The hepatic glycogen, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glucokinase, Glut4, phosphor-AMPKβ1 and Akt levels in the high dose group were significantly higher than those of the model, chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride groups. Chromium malate in a high dose group can significantly increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol level while decreasing the total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared with chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride. The serum chromium content in chromium malate and chromium picolinate group is significantly higher than that of the chromium trichloride group. The results indicated that the curative effects of chromium malate on glycometabolism, glycometabolism-related enzymes and lipid metabolism changes are better than those of chromium picolinate and chromium trichloride. Chromium malate contributes to glucose uptake and transport in order to improved glycometabolism and glycometabolism-related enzymes. PMID:25942313

  9. Safety test of an improved multihundred watt FSA: launch abort, solid propellant fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seabourn, C.M.

    1978-07-01

    This safety test consisted of exposing a simulant-fueled Improved Multihundred Watt Fuel Sphere Assembly, containing a Pt-3008 sphere holding the fuel simulant, to a single proximity fire of UTP-3001 solid rocket propellant for 10.5 min. The graphite outside shell sustained only minor abrasion damage. It was covered on one side with a heavy deposit of alumina from the fire mixed with silica from the test bed. The Pt-3008 shell had small amounts of carbon, alumina, and silica deposited on its surface but sustained no other damage. The PT-3008 sphere was not breached, and therefore the fuel sphere assembly would not release fuel in a solid-propellant fire of a launch abort. 12 figures

  10. Improvement of Surface Properties of CP-Titanium by Thermo-Chemical Treatment (TCT) Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hyeon-Gyeong; Hur, Bo-Young; Lee, Dong-Geun; Lee, Yong-Tai; Yaskiv, O.

    2011-01-01

    The thermo-chemical treatment (TCT) process was applied to achieve surface hardening of CP titanium. The following three different surface modification conditions were tested so that the best surface hardening process could be selected:(a) PVD, (b) TCT+PVD, and (c) TCT+Aging+PVD. These specimens were tested and analyzed in terms of surface roughness, wear, friction coefficient, and the gradient of hardening from the surface of the matrix. The three test conditions were all beneficial to improve the surface hardness of CP titanium. Moreover, the TCT treated specimens, that is, (b) and (c), showed significantly improved surface hardness and low friction coefficients through the thickness up to 100um. This is due to the functionally gradient hardened surface improvement by the diffused interstitial elements. The hardened surface also showed improvement in bonding between the PVD and TCT surface, and this leads to improvement in wear resistance. However, TCT after aging treatment did not show much improvement in surface properties compared to TCT only. For the best surface hardening on CP titanium, TCT+PVD has advantages in surface durability and economics.

  11. A comparative study of the effectiveness of "Star Show" vs. "Participatory Oriented Planetarium" lessons in a middle school Starlab setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platco, Nicholas L.., Jr.

    2005-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of "Star Show" and the "Participatory Oriented Planetarium" (POP) instructional programs in a middle school Starlab setting. The Star Show is a planetarium program that relies heavily on an audiovisual/lecture format to impart information, while the POP method of instruction is an inquiry, activity-based approach to teaching astronomy. All Star Show and POP lessons were conducted in a Starlab planetarium. This study examined the effectiveness of the two methods on the attainment of astronomy knowledge, changes in student attitudes toward astronomy, retention of knowledge, and gender differences. A pilot study (N = 69) was conducted at a middle school near King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The main study (N = 295) was conducted at a middle school near Reading, Pennsylvania. All students were pretested and posttested in both studies. The testing instruments included a 60-question paper-and-pencil content test and a 22-item Likert-style science attitude test. The content test was judged to be valid and reliable by a panel of science educators. The attitude test is a field-tested attitude survey developed by Michael Zeilik. The topics included in the Star Show and POP lessons were seasons, moon phases, eclipses, stars, and constellations. The Star Show programs used in this study are professionally prepared planetarium programs from Jeff Bowen Productions. Several planetarium educators who have been involved with planetarium training workshops throughout the United States developed the POP lessons used in this study. The Star Show was clearly the more effective method for improving student knowledge in both the pilot and main studies. Both methods were equally effective for improving student attitudes toward astronomy. The POP method was the more effective method of instruction when retention of knowledge was examined four weeks after the treatments ended. Gender did not have any significant effect on this study

  12. Showing the Unsayable: Participatory Visual Approaches and the Constitution of 'Patient Experience' in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoulias, Constantina

    2018-06-01

    This article considers the strengths and potential contributions of participatory visual methods for healthcare quality improvement research. It argues that such approaches may enable us to expand our understanding of 'patient experience' and of its potential for generating new knowledge for health systems. In particular, they may open up dimensions of people's engagement with services and treatments which exceed both the declarative nature of responses to questionnaires and the narrative sequencing of self reports gathered through qualitative interviewing. I will suggest that working with such methods may necessitate a more reflexive approach to the constitution of evidence in quality improvement work. To this end, the article will first consider the emerging rationale for the use of visual participatory methods in improvement before outlining the implications of two related approaches-photo-elicitation and PhotoVoice-for the constitution of 'experience'. It will then move to a participatory model for healthcare improvement work, Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD). It will argue that EBCD exemplifies both the strengths and the limitations of adequating visual participatory approaches to quality improvement ends. The article will conclude with a critical reflection on a small photographic study, in which the author participated, and which sought to harness service user perspectives for the design of psychiatric facilities, as a way of considering the potential contribution of visual participatory methods for quality improvement.

  13. Double positivity to bee and wasp venom: improved diagnostic procedure by recombinant allergen-based IgE testing and basophil activation test including data about cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberlein, Bernadette; Krischan, Lilian; Darsow, Ulf; Ollert, Markus; Ring, Johannes

    2012-07-01

    Specific IgE (sIgE) antibodies to both bee and wasp venom can be due to a sensitivity to both insect venoms or due to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs). Investigating whether a basophil activation test (BAT) with both venoms as well as with bromelain and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or recombinant allergen-based IgE testing can improve the diagnostic procedure. Twenty-two Hymenoptera-venom allergic patients with sIgE antibodies to both bee and wasp venom were studied. sIgE antibodies to MUXF3 CCD, bromelain, HRP, rApi m 1, and rVes v 5 were determined, and a BAT (Flow2 CAST) with venom extracts, bromelain, and HRP was performed. Further recombinant allergen-based IgE testing was done by using an ELISA, if required. The reactivity of basophils was calculated from the insect venom concentration at half-maximum stimulation. Double positivity/double negativity/single positivity to rApi m 1 and rVes v 5 was seen in 12/1/9 patients. Further recombinant allergen-based IgE testing in the last ones revealed positive results to the other venom in all cases except one. BAT was double positive/double negative/single positive in 6/2/14 patients. Four patients with negative results in sIgE antibodies to CCDs had positive results in BAT. BAT with bromelain/HRP showed a sensitivity of 50%/81% and a specificity of 91%/90%. Component-resolved IgE testing elucidates the pattern of double positivity, showing a majority of true double sensitizations independent of CCD sensitization. BAT seems to add more information about the culprit insect even if the true clinical relevance of BAT is not completely determined because of ethical limitations on diagnostic sting challenges. BAT with HRP is a good method to determine sensitivity to CCDs. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Improved Calibration Shows Images True Colors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Innovative Imaging and Research, located at Stennis Space Center, used a single SBIR contract with the center to build a large-scale integrating sphere, capable of calibrating a whole array of cameras simultaneously, at a fraction of the usual cost for such a device. Through the use of LEDs, the company also made the sphere far more efficient than existing products and able to mimic sunlight.

  15. Milk Enhancements Improve Milk Consumption and Increase Meal Participation in the NSLP: The School Milk Pilot Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafferty, Karen; Zipay, Diane; Patey, Camellia; Meyer, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    Purpose/Objectives: The objective of the School Milk Pilot Test and the Westside School Milk Pilot Study was to test the effect of a milk enhancement initiative to make milk more appealing and attractive to elementary and secondary school students and to improve milk consumption. Methods: 146 schools participated in the national School Milk Pilot…

  16. Implementing and evaluating a regional strategy to improve testing rates in VA patients at risk for HIV, utilizing the QUERI process as a guiding framework: QUERI Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osborn Teresa

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We describe how we used the framework of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI to develop a program to improve rates of diagnostic testing for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV. This venture was prompted by the observation by the CDC that 25% of HIV-infected patients do not know their diagnosis – a point of substantial importance to the VA, which is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States. Methods Following the QUERI steps (or process, we evaluated: 1 whether undiagnosed HIV infection is a high-risk, high-volume clinical issue within the VA, 2 whether there are evidence-based recommendations for HIV testing, 3 whether there are gaps in the performance of VA HIV testing, and 4 the barriers and facilitators to improving current practice in the VA. Based on our findings, we developed and initiated a QUERI step 4/phase 1 pilot project using the precepts of the Chronic Care Model. Our improvement strategy relies upon electronic clinical reminders to provide decision support; audit/feedback as a clinical information system, and appropriate changes in delivery system design. These activities are complemented by academic detailing and social marketing interventions to achieve provider activation. Results Our preliminary formative evaluation indicates the need to ensure leadership and team buy-in, address facility-specific barriers, refine the reminder, and address factors that contribute to inter-clinic variances in HIV testing rates. Preliminary unadjusted data from the first seven months of our program show 3–5 fold increases in the proportion of at-risk patients who are offered HIV testing at the VA sites (stations where the pilot project has been undertaken; no change was seen at control stations. Discussion This project demonstrates the early success of the application of the QUERI process to the development of a program to improve HIV testing rates

  17. The effectiveness of virtual simulation in improving student nurses' knowledge and performance during patient deterioration: A pre and post test design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg Sapiano, Alexis; Sammut, Roberta; Trapani, Josef

    2018-03-01

    Preparing nursing students to perform competently in complex emergency situations, such as during rapid patient deterioration, is challenging. Students' active engagement in such scenarios cannot be ensured, due to the unexpected nature of such infrequent events. Many students may consequently not experience and integrate the management of patient deterioration into their knowledge and practical competency by the end of their studies, making them unprepared to manage such situations as practicing nurses. This study investigated the effectiveness of virtual simulation in improving performance during rapid patient deterioration. To investigate the effectiveness of virtual simulation in improving student nurses' knowledge and performance during rapid patient deterioration. A pre- and post-test design was used. Nursing students at a university in Malta were invited to participate in a virtual simulation program named FIRST 2 ACTWeb™, using their own computer devices. A total of 166 (response rate=50%) second and third year diploma and degree nursing students participated in the study. The simulation included three scenarios (Cardiac-Shock-Respiratory) portraying deteriorating patients. Performance feedback was provided at the end of each scenario. Students completed pre- and post-scenario knowledge tests and performance during each scenario was recorded automatically on a database. Findings showed a significant improvement in the students' post-scenario knowledge (z=-6.506, psimulation as an effective learning tool for pre-registration nursing students in different programs. Simulation improves both knowledge about and performance during patient deterioration. Virtual simulation of rare events should be a key component of undergraduate nurse education, to prepare students to manage complex situations as practicing nurses. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Service evaluation of an educational intervention to improve sexual health services in primary care implemented using a step-wedge design: analysis of chlamydia testing and diagnosis rate changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Town, Katy; McNulty, Cliodna A M; Ricketts, Ellie J; Hartney, Thomas; Nardone, Anthony; Folkard, Kate A; Charlett, Andre; Dunbar, J Kevin

    2016-08-02

    Providing sexual health services in primary care is an essential step towards universal provision. However they are not offered consistently. We conducted a national pilot of an educational intervention to improve staff's skills and confidence to increase chlamydia testing rates and provide condoms with contraceptive information plus HIV testing according to national guidelines, known as 3Cs&HIV. The effectiveness of the pilot on chlamydia testing and diagnosis rates in general practice was evaluated. The pilot was implemented using a step-wedge design over three phases during 2013 and 2014 in England. The intervention combined educational workshops with posters, testing performance feedback and continuous support. Chlamydia testing and diagnosis rates in participating general practices during the control and intervention periods were compared adjusting for seasonal trends in chlamydia testing and differences in practice size. Intervention effect modification was assessed for the following general practice characteristics: chlamydia testing rate compared to national median, number of general practice staff employed, payment for chlamydia screening, practice urban/rurality classification, and proximity to sexual health clinics. The 460 participating practices conducted 26,021 tests in the control period and 18,797 tests during the intervention period. Intention-to-treat analysis showed no change in the unadjusted median tests and diagnoses per month per practice after receiving training: 2.7 vs 2.7; 0.1 vs 0.1. Multivariable negative binomial regression analysis found no significant change in overall testing or diagnoses post-intervention (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.01, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.96-1.07, P = 0.72; 0.98 CI 0.84-1.15, P = 0.84, respectively). Stratified analysis showed testing increased significantly in practices where payments were in place prior to the intervention (IRR 2.12 CI 1.41-3.18, P service improvement intervention to

  19. Exercise training improves breathing strategy and performance during the six-minute walk test in obese adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelson, Monique; Michallet, Anne-Sophie; Perrin, Claudine; Levy, Patrick; Wuyam, Bernard; Flore, Patrice

    2014-08-15

    We aimed to examine ventilatory responses during the six-minute walk test in healthy-weight and obese adolescents before and after exercise training. Twenty obese adolescents (OB) (age: 14.5±1.7 years; BMI: 34.0±4.7kg·m(-2)) and 20 age and gender-matched healthy-weight adolescents (HW) (age: 15.5±1.5 years; BMI: 19.9±1.4kg·m(-2)) completed six-minute walk test during which breath-by-breath gas analysis and expiratory flow limitation (expFL) were measured. OB participated in a 12-week exercise-training program. Comparison between HW and OB participants showed lower distance achieved during the 6MWT in OB (-111.0m, 95%CI: -160.1 to 62.0, p<0.05) and exertional breathlessness was greater (+0.78 a.u., 95%CI: 0.091-3.27, p=0.039) when compared with HW. Obese adolescents breathed at lower lung volumes, as evidenced by lower end expiratory and end inspiratory lung volumes during exercise (p<0.05). Prevalence of expFL (8 OB vs 2 HW, p=0.028) and mean expFL (14.9±21.9 vs 5.32±14.6% VT, p=0.043, in OB and HW) were greater in OB. After exercise training, mean increase in the distance achieved during the 6MWT was 64.5 meters (95%CI: 28.1-100.9, p=0.014) and mean decrease in exertional breathlessness was 1.62 (95%CI: 0.47-2.71, p=0.05). Obese adolescents breathed at higher lung volumes, as evidenced by the increase in end inspiratory lung volume from rest to 6-min exercise (9.9±13.4 vs 20.0±13.6%TLC, p<0.05). Improved performance was associated with improved change in end inspiratory lung volume from rest to 6-min exercise (r=0.65, p=0.025). Our results suggest that exercise training can improve breathing strategy during submaximal exercise in obese adolescents and that this increase is associated with greater exercise performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. A test for Improvement of high resolution Quantitative Precipitation Estimation for localized heavy precipitation events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jung-Hoon; Roh, Joon-Woo; Park, Jeong-Gyun

    2017-04-01

    Accurate estimation of precipitation is one of the most difficult and significant tasks in the area of weather diagnostic and forecasting. In the Korean Peninsula, heavy precipitations are caused by various physical mechanisms, which are affected by shortwave trough, quasi-stationary moisture convergence zone among varying air masses, and a direct/indirect effect of tropical cyclone. In addition to, various geographical and topographical elements make production of temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation is very complicated. Especially, localized heavy rainfall events in South Korea generally arise from mesoscale convective systems embedded in these synoptic scale disturbances. In weather radar data with high temporal and spatial resolution, accurate estimation of rain rate from radar reflectivity data is too difficult. Z-R relationship (Marshal and Palmer 1948) have adapted representatively. In addition to, several methods such as support vector machine (SVM), neural network, Fuzzy logic, Kriging were utilized in order to improve the accuracy of rain rate. These methods show the different quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and the performances of accuracy are different for heavy precipitation cases. In this study, in order to improve the accuracy of QPE for localized heavy precipitation, ensemble method for Z-R relationship and various techniques was tested. This QPE ensemble method was developed by a concept based on utilizing each advantage of precipitation calibration methods. The ensemble members were produced for a combination of different Z-R coefficient and calibration method.

  1. PAU-SA: A Synthetic Aperture Interferometric Radiometer Test Bed for Potential Improvements in Future Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merce Vall-llosera

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS mission is an Earth Explorer Opportunity mission from the European Space Agency (ESA. Its goal is to produce global maps of soil moisture and ocean salinity using the Microwave Imaging Radiometer by Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS. The purpose of the Passive Advanced Unit Synthetic Aperture (PAU-SA instrument is to study and test some potential improvements that could eventually be implemented in future missions using interferometric radiometers such as the Geoestacionary Atmosferic Sounder (GAS, the Precipitation and All-weather Temperature and Humidity (PATH and the Geostationary Interferometric Microwave Sounder (GIMS. Both MIRAS and PAU-SA are Y-shaped arrays with uniformly distributed antennas, but the receiver topology and the processing unit are quite different. The purpose of this work is to identify the elements in the MIRAS’s design susceptible of improvement and apply them in the PAU-SA instrument demonstrator, to test them in view of these future interferometric radiometer missions.

  2. Improving the quality of EMI Releases by leveraging the EMI Testing Infrastructure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aiftimiei, C; Ceccanti, A; Dongiovanni, D; Giacomini, F; Meglio, A Di

    2012-01-01

    What is an EMI Release? What is its life cycle? How is its quality assured through a continuous integration and large scale acceptance testing? These are the main questions that this article will answer, by presenting the EMI release management process with emphasis on the role played by the Testing Infrastructure in improving the quality of the middleware provided by the project. The European Middleware Initiative (EMI) is a close collaboration of four major European technology providers: ARC, gLite, UNICORE and dCache. Its main objective is to deliver a consolidated set of components for deployment in EGI (as part of the Unified Middleware Distribution, UMD), PRACE and other DCIs. The harmonized set of EMI components thus enables the interoperability and integration between Grids. EMI aims at creating an effective environment that satisfies the requirements of the scientific communities relying on it. The EMI distribution is organized in periodic major releases whose development and maintenance follow a 5-phase yearly cycle: i) requirements collection and analysis; ii) development and test planning; iii) software development, testing and certification; iv) release certification and validation and v) release and maintenance. In this article we present in detail the implementation of operational and infrastructural resources supporting the certification and validation phase of the release. The main goal of this phase is to harmonize into a single release the strongly inter-dependent products coming from various development teams through parallel certification paths. To achieve this goal the continuous integration and large scale acceptance testing performed on the EMI Testing Infrastructure plays a key role. The purpose of this infrastructure is to provide a system where both the production and the release candidate product versions are deployed. On this system inter-component testing by different product team testers can concurrently take place. The Testing

  3. Genetic Test Reporting and Counseling for Melanoma Risk in Minors May Improve Sun Protection Without Inducing Distress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stump, Tammy K; Aspinwall, Lisa G; Kohlmann, Wendy; Champine, Marjan; Hauglid, Jamie; Wu, Yelena P; Scott, Emily; Cassidy, Pamela; Leachman, Sancy A

    2018-01-19

    Genetic testing of minors is advised only for conditions in which benefits of early intervention outweigh potential psychological harms. This study investigated whether genetic counseling and test reporting for the CDKN2A/p16 mutation, which confers highly elevated melanoma risk, improved sun protection without inducing distress. Eighteen minors (M age  = 12.4, SD = 1.9) from melanoma-prone families completed measures of protective behavior and distress at baseline, 1 week (distress only), 1 month, and 1 year following test disclosure. Participants and their mothers were individually interviewed on the psychological and behavioral impact of genetic testing 1 month and 1 year post-disclosure. Carriers (n = 9) and noncarriers (n = 9) reported significantly fewer sunburns and a greater proportion reported sun protection adherence between baseline and 1 year post-disclosure; results did not vary by mutation status. Anxiety symptoms remained low post-disclosure, while depressive symptoms and cancer worry decreased. Child and parent interviews corroborated these findings. Mothers indicated that genetic testing was beneficial (100%) because it promoted risk awareness (90.9%) and sun protection (81.8%) without making their children scared (89.9%); several noted their child's greater independent practice of sun protection (45.4%). In this small initial study, minors undergoing CDKN2A/p16 genetic testing reported behavioral improvements and consistently low distress, suggesting such testing may be safely implemented early in life, allowing greater opportunity for risk-reducing lifestyle changes.

  4. Hypnotherapy and Test Anxiety: Two Cognitive-Behavioral Constructs. The Effects of Hypnosis in Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Academic Achievement in College Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapp, Marty

    A two-group randomized multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to investigate the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance in comparison to a Hawthorne control group. Subjects were enrolled in a rigorous introductory psychology course which covered an entire text in one…

  5. Dietary choline supplementation in adult rats improves performance on a test of recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Hayarelis; Hall, Geoffrey; Gallo, Milagros; de Brugada, Isabel

    2018-04-22

    In two experiments adult rats (aged at least 6 months at the start of the procedure) received a diet enriched with added choline for a period of 10 weeks; control subjects were maintained on a standard diet during this time. All rats then underwent the spontaneous object recognition (SOR) procedure in which they were exposed to a pair of objects and then tested, after a retention interval, to a display with one object changed. Exploration of the changed object indicates retention and use of information acquired during the exposure phase. All subjects showed retention with a 24-h interval (Experiments 1 and 2) and when retested after a further 24 h (Experiment 1). But when tested for the first time after a 48-h interval (Experiment 2), control subjects showed no evidence of retention, exploring both objects equally, whereas those given the dietary supplement continued to show a preference for the changed object. This supports the conclusion that dietary choline supplementation can enhance performance on a task regarded as a test of declarative memory, and will do so even when the supplementations is given in adulthood. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Show and Tell: Video Modeling and Instruction Without Feedback Improves Performance but Is Not Sufficient for Retention of a Complex Voice Motor Skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Look, Clarisse; McCabe, Patricia; Heard, Robert; Madill, Catherine J

    2018-02-02

    Modeling and instruction are frequent components of both traditional and technology-assisted voice therapy. This study investigated the value of video modeling and instruction in the early acquisition and short-term retention of a complex voice task without external feedback. Thirty participants were randomized to two conditions and trained to produce a vocal siren over 40 trials. One group received a model and verbal instructions, the other group received a model only. Sirens were analyzed for phonation time, vocal intensity, cepstral peak prominence, peak-to-peak time, and root-mean-square error at five time points. The model and instruction group showed significant improvement on more outcome measures than the model-only group. There was an interaction effect for vocal intensity, which showed that instructions facilitated greater improvement when they were first introduced. However, neither group reproduced the model's siren performance across all parameters or retained the skill 1 day later. Providing verbal instruction with a model appears more beneficial than providing a model only in the prepractice phase of acquiring a complex voice skill. Improved performance was observed; however, the higher level of performance was not retained after 40 trials in both conditions. Other prepractice variables may need to be considered. Findings have implications for traditional and technology-assisted voice therapy. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The BACHD Rat Model of Huntington Disease Shows Signs of Fronto-Striatal Dysfunction in Two Operant Conditioning Tests of Short-Term Memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Karl Håkan Clemensson

    Full Text Available The BACHD rat is a recently developed transgenic animal model of Huntington disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extensive loss of striatal neurons. Cognitive impairments are common among patients, and characterization of similar deficits in animal models of the disease is therefore of interest. The present study assessed the BACHD rats' performance in the delayed alternation and the delayed non-matching to position test, two Skinner box-based tests of short-term memory function. The transgenic rats showed impaired performance in both tests, indicating general problems with handling basic aspects of the tests, while short-term memory appeared to be intact. Similar phenotypes have been found in rats with fronto-striatal lesions, suggesting that Huntington disease-related neuropathology might be present in the BACHD rats. Further analyses indicated that the performance deficit in the delayed alternation test might be due to impaired inhibitory control, which has also been implicated in Huntington disease patients. The study ultimately suggests that the BACHD rats might suffer from neuropathology and cognitive impairments reminiscent of those of Huntington disease patients.

  8. The BACHD Rat Model of Huntington Disease Shows Signs of Fronto-Striatal Dysfunction in Two Operant Conditioning Tests of Short-Term Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemensson, Erik Karl Håkan; Clemensson, Laura Emily; Riess, Olaf; Nguyen, Huu Phuc

    2017-01-01

    The BACHD rat is a recently developed transgenic animal model of Huntington disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extensive loss of striatal neurons. Cognitive impairments are common among patients, and characterization of similar deficits in animal models of the disease is therefore of interest. The present study assessed the BACHD rats' performance in the delayed alternation and the delayed non-matching to position test, two Skinner box-based tests of short-term memory function. The transgenic rats showed impaired performance in both tests, indicating general problems with handling basic aspects of the tests, while short-term memory appeared to be intact. Similar phenotypes have been found in rats with fronto-striatal lesions, suggesting that Huntington disease-related neuropathology might be present in the BACHD rats. Further analyses indicated that the performance deficit in the delayed alternation test might be due to impaired inhibitory control, which has also been implicated in Huntington disease patients. The study ultimately suggests that the BACHD rats might suffer from neuropathology and cognitive impairments reminiscent of those of Huntington disease patients.

  9. Utilizing the Six Realms of Meaning in Improving Campus Standardized Test Scores through Team Teaching and Strategic Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Rosnisha D.; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2009-01-01

    This article will seek to utilize Dr. William Allan Kritsonis' book "Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning" (2007) as a framework to improve a campus's standardized test scores, more specifically, their TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores. Many campuses have an improvement plan, also known as a Campus…

  10. Measuring a hospital's ability to improve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meurer, Steven J; Counte, Michael A; Rubio, Doris M; Arrington, Barbara

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to test whether a recently developed measure of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) implementation can provide health care researchers and administrators with a tool to assist in understanding and with developing an appropriate structure for improvement efforts in hospitals. Two hundred respondents from 40 Missouri hospitals completed a 28-item survey addressing 8 domains of CQI. Overall, hospital scores showed low implementation of a structure that supports improvement efforts. All survey domains showed acceptable psychometric results. Leadership proved to be the most important domain of CQI because it differentiated well between all levels of the scale. Because of its ease of administration and analysis, and its reliability, validity, and level differentiation results, the researchers recommend the widespread use of this tool to understand and develop a hospital's organizational structure to support improvement activities.

  11. A patient with Cotard syndrome who showed an improvement in single photon emission computed tomography findings after successful treatment with antidepressants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashioka, Sadayuki; Monji, Akira; Sasaki, Masayuki; Yoshida, Ichiro; Baba, Kanji; Tashiro, Nobutada

    2002-01-01

    We report the case of a presenile woman with Cotard syndrome, in the context of major depression, who showed an improvement in bilateral frontal hypoperfusion in a SPECT study using 99mTc-HMPAO after undergoing successful treatment with antidepressant therapy. We also retrospectively evaluated her clinical course based on the clinical stages. The symptoms of Cotard syndrome have been reported to change dramatically according to the stages. This peculiarity made it difficult for us to rapidly diagnose Cotard syndrome in the context of major depression, and not dementia, and thereby adequately treat the patient in our case. Differences in the reduced blood flow regions and a time lag from psychiatric remission were observed before the improvement in the SPECT findings when comparing our case with a previously reported case of Cotard syndrome. These differences suggest that the mechanism of Cotard syndrome is still not well understood at the present time.

  12. Testing and Improving the Luminosity Relations for Gamma-Ray Bursts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collazzi, Andrew C.

    2012-01-01

    Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) have several luminosity relations where a measurable property of a burst light curve or spectrum is correlated with the burst luminosity. These luminosity relations are calibrated for the fraction of bursts with spectroscopic redshifts and hence the known luminosities. GRBs have thus become known as a type of "standard candle” where standard candle is meant in the usual sense that luminosities can be derived from measurable properties of the bursts. GRBs can therefore be used for the same cosmology applications as Type Ia supernovae, including the construction of the Hubble Diagram and measuring massive star formation rate. The greatest disadvantage of using GRBs as standard candles is that their accuracy is lower than desired. With the recent advent of GRBs as a new standard candle, every effort must be made to test and improve the distance measures. Here, methods are employed to do just that. First, generalized forms of two tests are performed on the luminosity relations. All the luminosity relations pass one of these tests, and all but two pass the other. Even with this failure, redundancies in using multiple luminosity relations allows all the luminosity relations to retain value. Next, the "Firmani relation” is shown to have poorer accuracy than first advertised. It is also shown to be derivable from two other luminosity relations. For these reasons, the Firmani relation is useless for cosmology. The Amati relation is then revisited and shown to be an artifact of a combination of selection effects. Therefore, the Amati relation is also not good for cosmology. Fourthly, the systematic errors involved in measuring a luminosity indicator (Epeak) are measured. The result is an irreducible systematic error of 28%. Finally, the work concludes with a discussion about the impact of the work and the future of GRB luminosity relations.

  13. The effect of pilates exercise on improvement of functional tests in young male with patello-femoral pain syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Gökhan YAZICI

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The study of the effect of Pilates exercise on improvement of functional Performance tests in young male with PFPS was the main purpose the present study. Material and Methods: The 11-young male (age: 26.41±1.04yr, height: 177.37±3.21cm, and weight: 177.37±3.21kg with PFPS, as exercise groups, performed the Pilates exercises for ten weeks, three sessions per week and one hour per session. Functional performance tests (Step-down, left and right and Single-leg press was assessed. All data were analysed using SPSS and the statistical significance level was set at p<0.05 and p<0.001. Results: The result of analysis indicated that significant difference found between pre- and post-test in exercise group in Step-down test (t=9.79, p<0.001 and Single-Leg Press (t=8.86, p<0.001 test. Conclusion: According to the results of the present research, it could be concluded that for improvement of daily activities and functional performance in young male with PFPS, Pilates exercise method is recommended.

  14. Interventions to Improve Follow-Up of Laboratory Test Results Pending at Discharge: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Nedra S; Williams, Laurina; Meleth, Sreelatha; Kennedy, Sara; Epner, Paul; Singh, Hardeep; Wooldridge, Kathleene; Dalal, Anuj K; Walz, Stacy E; Lorey, Tom; Graber, Mark L

    2018-02-28

    Failure to follow up test results pending at discharge (TPAD) from hospitals or emergency departments is a major patient safety concern. The purpose of this review is to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to improve follow-up of laboratory TPAD. We conducted literature searches in PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, and EMBASE using search terms for relevant health care settings, transition of patient care, laboratory tests, communication, and pending or missed tests. We solicited unpublished studies from the clinical laboratory community and excluded articles that did not address transitions between settings, did not include an intervention, or were not related to laboratory TPAD. We also excluded letters, editorials, commentaries, abstracts, case reports, and case series. Of the 9,592 abstracts retrieved, 8 met the inclusion criteria and reported the successful communication of TPAD. A team member abstracted predetermined data elements from each study, and a senior scientist reviewed the abstraction. Two experienced reviewers independently appraised the quality of each study using published LMBP™ A-6 scoring criteria. We assessed the body of evidence using the A-6 methodology, and the evidence suggested that electronic tools or one-on-one education increased documentation of pending tests in discharge summaries. We also found that automated notifications improved awareness of TPAD. The interventions were supported by suggestive evidence; this type of evidence is below the level of evidence required for LMBP™ recommendations. We encourage additional research into the impact of these interventions on key processes and health outcomes. © 2018 Society of Hospital Medicine.

  15. 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.

  16. Further improvement of genetic and cytogenetic test pattern with increased relevance predicting carcinogenic and pharmacological effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siebert, D.

    1982-08-01

    Testing of chemicals for their genetic activity by applying only one method has the disadvantage, that the results are of limited value. However, a combination of several test systems in such a manner that the apparent difference between the results allows additional conclusions about the pharmacokinetic properties of the substances tested, the correlation between molecular mutations and cytogenetic effects and the possible carcinogenic activity. Three nitrofuran derivatives (nitrofurantoin, carofur and FANFT) tested in six different in vitro and in vivo mutagenicity tests partly showed strong genetic activity without metabolic activation and weak cytogenetic effects. However, polycyclic hydrocarbons needed mammalian metabolism to display their mutagenicity: Dimethylbenzoanthracene and benzo(a)pyrene could be activated by liver microsomes and showed also cytogenetic effects, but phenanthrene was only active in the SCE-test. Out of nine heavy metal salts potassium chromate, potassium dichromate, calcium chromate and cis-dichloro diammine-Pt(II) were effective in at least one genetic and one cytogenetic test. The correlation between mutagenic and the known carcinogenic activity of all test substances was good in the case of the hydrocarbons and the nitrofuran derivatives; the heavy metal salts, however, are of low relevance for the carcinogenicity of the metals itself.

  17. An Unsupervised Method of Change Detection in Multi-Temporal PolSAR Data Using a Test Statistic and an Improved K&I Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinqi Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, multi-temporal imagery from spaceborne sensors has provided a fast and practical means for surveying and assessing changes in terrain surfaces. Owing to the all-weather imaging capability, polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR has become a key tool for change detection. Change detection methods include both unsupervised and supervised methods. Supervised change detection, which needs some human intervention, is generally ineffective and impractical. Due to this limitation, unsupervised methods are widely used in change detection. The traditional unsupervised methods only use a part of the polarization information, and the required thresholding algorithms are independent of the multi-temporal data, which results in the change detection map being ineffective and inaccurate. To solve these problems, a novel method of change detection using a test statistic based on the likelihood ratio test and the improved Kittler and Illingworth (K&I minimum-error thresholding algorithm is introduced in this paper. The test statistic is used to generate the comparison image (CI of the multi-temporal PolSAR images, and improved K&I using a generalized Gaussian model simulates the distribution of the CI. As a result of these advantages, we can obtain the change detection map using an optimum threshold. The efficiency of the proposed method is demonstrated by the use of multi-temporal PolSAR images acquired by RADARSAT-2 over Wuhan, China. The experimental results show that the proposed method is effective and highly accurate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-23

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

  19. Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool to Improve Quality in Microbiology Laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stang, Heather L; Anderson, Nancy L

    2013-09-15

    Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool for assessing laboratory performance and verifying the accuracy and reliability of test results. Participation is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for each of the microbiology subspecialties (bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), and the regulations include specific PT requirements for each subspecialty. To determine the use and perceived value of PT beyond meeting CLIA requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded a cooperative agreement with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to convene a series of focus groups to query laboratory professionals responsible for PT. The seven focus groups were comprised of 60 laboratory professionals representing large and small clinical laboratories, microbiology subspecialties, and public health. While participants acknowledged the need to perform PT to meet regulatory requirements, many also cited benefits and challenges beyond regulatory compliance.

  20. Wavelet analysis to decompose a vibration simulation signal to improve pre-distribution testing of packaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, K. R.; Hicks, B. J.; Keogh, P. S.; Shires, D.

    2016-08-01

    In general, vehicle vibration is non-stationary and has a non-Gaussian probability distribution; yet existing testing methods for packaging design employ Gaussian distributions to represent vibration induced by road profiles. This frequently results in over-testing and/or over-design of the packaging to meet a specification and correspondingly leads to wasteful packaging and product waste, which represent 15bn per year in the USA and €3bn per year in the EU. The purpose of the paper is to enable a measured non-stationary acceleration signal to be replaced by a constructed signal that includes as far as possible any non-stationary characteristics from the original signal. The constructed signal consists of a concatenation of decomposed shorter duration signals, each having its own kurtosis level. Wavelet analysis is used for the decomposition process into inner and outlier signal components. The constructed signal has a similar PSD to the original signal, without incurring excessive acceleration levels. This allows an improved and more representative simulated input signal to be generated that can be used on the current generation of shaker tables. The wavelet decomposition method is also demonstrated experimentally through two correlation studies. It is shown that significant improvements over current international standards for packaging testing are achievable; hence the potential for more efficient packaging system design is possible.

  1. Discovery and validation of a colorectal cancer classifier in a new blood test with improved performance for high-risk subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Croner, Lisa J; Dillon, Roslyn; Kao, Athit

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The aim was to improve upon an existing blood-based colorectal cancer (CRC) test directed to high-risk symptomatic patients, by developing a new CRC classifier to be used with a new test embodiment. The new test uses a robust assay format-electrochemiluminescence immunoassays......, the indeterminate rate of the new panel was 23.2%, sensitivity/specificity was 0.80/0.83, PPV was 36.5%, and NPV was 97.1%. CONCLUSIONS: The validated classifier serves as the basis of a new blood-based CRC test for symptomatic patients. The improved performance, resulting from robust concentration measures across......-to quantify protein concentrations. The aim was achieved by building and validating a CRC classifier using concentration measures from a large sample set representing a true intent-to-test (ITT) symptomatic population. METHODS: 4435 patient samples were drawn from the Endoscopy II sample set. Samples were...

  2. Improvement works report on mock-up model test facility with a full-scale reaction tube for HTTR hydrogen production system (Contract research)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakaki, Akihiro; Kato, Michio; Hayashi, Koji; Fujisaki, Katsuo; Aita, Hideki; Ohashi, Hirofumi; Takada, Shoji; Shimizu, Akira; Morisaki, Norihiro; Maeda, Yukimasa; Sato, Hiroyuki; Hanawa, Hiromi; Yonekawa, Hideo; Inagaki, Yoshiyuki

    2005-04-01

    In order to establish the system integration technology to connect a hydrogen production system to a high temperature gas cooled reactor; the mock-up test facility with a full-scale reaction tube for the steam reforming HTTR hydrogen production system was constructed in fiscal year 2001 and its functional test operation was performed in the year. Seven experimental test operations were performed from fiscal year 2001 to 2004. On a period of each test operation, there happened some troubles. For each trouble, the cause was investigated and the countermeasures and the improvement works were performed to succeed the experiments. The tests were successfully achieved according to plan. This report describes the improvement works on the test facility performed from fiscal year 2001 to 2004. (author)

  3. ITERATIVE EVALUATION IN A MOBILE COUNSELING AND TESTING PROGRAM TO REACH PEOPLE OF COLOR AT RISK FOR HIV—NEW STRATEGIES IMPROVE PROGRAM ACCEPTABILITY, EFFECTIVENESS, AND EVALUATION CAPABILITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielberg, Freya; Kurth, Ann; Reidy, William; McKnight, Teka; Dikobe, Wame; Wilson, Charles

    2016-01-01

    This article highlights findings from an evaluation that explored the impact of mobile versus clinic-based testing, rapid versus central-lab based testing, incentives for testing, and the use of a computer counseling program to guide counseling and automate evaluation in a mobile program reaching people of color at risk for HIV. The program’s results show that an increased focus on mobile outreach using rapid testing, incentives and health information technology tools may improve program acceptability, quality, productivity and timeliness of reports. This article describes program design decisions based on continuous quality assessment efforts. It also examines the impact of the Computer Assessment and Risk Reduction Education computer tool on HIV testing rates, staff perception of counseling quality, program productivity, and on the timeliness of evaluation reports. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for programmatic responses to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV testing recommendations. PMID:21689041

  4. Development Of Training Curriculum In Improving Community-Based Geological Hazard Mitigation Competency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rusman Rusman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to provide training curriculum model in improving community-based geological hazard mitigation competency. The goal was achieved through research and development method, is divided into three main stages. First, applied need analysis as the introduction. Second, developed the curriculum model. Third, tested the curriculum model in order to explore the curriculum effectiveness in improving the competency for mitigation measurement related to geological hazard. This study showed that the training curriculum model, which is developed based on the result of need analysis, is effective to improve the participant’s competency. The result of pre-post test shows that the improvement of the participant’s cognitive aspect.  The significant improvement is identified in the training competency showing the effectiveness of Test II in improving the participant’s practical competency to carry out the training. Some factors that support the training curriculum model development related to community-based Landslides management are: (a the public servant’s competency for geological hazard mitigation; (b the motivation of the community who becomes the volunteer; and (c support from the decision maker. On the other hand, the inhibitors are the lack of competency for training related to geological field, the lack of educational background and knowledge of geology and landslides, and the lack of time.

  5. Developing a 'Research Test Bed' to introduce innovative Emission Testing Technology to improve New Zealand's Vehicle Emission Standards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cox, Stephen J

    2012-01-01

    Vehicle exhaust emissions arise from the combustion of the fuel and air mixture in the engine. Exhaust emission gases generally include carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC), particulates, and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). In New Zealand improvements have occurred in emissions standards over the past 20 years however significant health related issues are now being discovered in Auckland as a direct effect of high vehicle emission levels. Pollution in New Zealand, especially via vehicle emissions are an increasing concern and threatens New Zealand's 'clean and green' image. Unitec Institute of Technology proposes establishing a Vehicle Emissions Testing Facility, and with an understanding with Auckland University, National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research Ltd (NIWA) this research group can work collaboratively on vehicle emissions testing. New Zealand research providers would support an application in the UK led by the University of Huddersfield to a range of European Union Structural Funds. New Zealand has an ideal 'vehicle emissions research environment' supported by significant expertise in vehicle emission control technology and associated protocols at the University of Auckland, and the effects of high vehicle emissions on health at the National Institutes of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA).

  6. Prostate cancer patient subsets showing improved bNED control with adjuvant androgen deprivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, Penny R.; Hanlon, Alexandra L.; Movsas, Benjamin; Hanks, Gerald E.

    1997-01-01

    Purpose: Cooperative groups have investigated the outcome of androgen deprivation therapy combined with radiation therapy in prostate cancer patients with variable pretreatment prognostic indicators. This report describes an objective means of selecting patients for adjuvant hormonal therapy by a retrospective matched case/control comparison of outcome between patients with specific pretreatment characteristics who receive adjuvant hormones (RT + H) vs. patients with identical pretreatment characteristics treated with radiation therapy alone (RT). In addition, this report shows the 5-year bNED control for patients selected by this method for RT + H vs. RT alone. Methods and Materials: From (10(88)) to (12(93)), 517 T1-T3 NXM0 patients with known pretreatment PSA level were treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Four hundred fifty-nine of those patients were treated with RT alone while 58 were treated with RT + H. The patients were categorized according to putative prognostic factors indicative of bNED control, which include the palpation stage, Gleason score, and pretreatment PSA. We compared actuarial bNED control rates according to treatment group within each of the prognostic groups. In addition, we devised a retrospective matched case/control selection of RT patients for comparison with the RT + H group. Five-year bNED control was compared for the two treatment groups, excluding the best prognosis group, using 56 RT + H patients and 56 matched (by stage, grade, and pretreatment PSA level) controls randomly selected from the RT alone group. bNED control for the entire group of 517 patients was then analyzed multivariately using step-wise Cox regression to determine independent predictors of outcome. Covariates considered for entry into the model included stage (T1/T2AB vs. T2C/T3), grade (2-6 vs. 7-10), pretreatment PSA (0-15 vs. > 15), treatment (RT vs. RT + H), and center of prostate dose. bNED failure is defined as PSA ≥1.5 ngm/ml and rising on two consecutive

  7. Developing and testing an instrument to measure the presence of conditions for successful implementation of quality improvement collaboratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dückers, Michel L A; Wagner, Cordula; Groenewegen, Peter P

    2008-08-11

    In quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) teams of practitioners from different health care organizations are brought together to systematically improve an aspect of patient care. Teams take part in a series of meetings to learn about relevant best practices, quality methods and change ideas, and share experiences in making changes in their own local setting. The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument for measuring team organization, external change agent support and support from the team's home institution in a Dutch national improvement and dissemination programme for hospitals based on several QICs. The exploratory methodological design included two phases: a) content development and assessment, resulting in an instrument with 15 items, and b) field testing (N = 165). Internal consistency reliability was tested via Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Principal component analyses were used to identify underlying constructs. Tests of scaling assumptions according to the multi trait/multi-item matrix, were used to confirm the component structure. Three components were revealed, explaining 65% of the variability. The components were labelled 'organizational support', 'team organization' and 'external change agent support'. One item not meeting item-scale criteria was removed. This resulted in a 14 item instrument. Scale reliability ranged from 0.77 to 0.91. Internal item consistency and divergent validity were satisfactory. On the whole, the instrument appears to be a promising tool for assessing team organization and internal and external support during QIC implementation. The psychometric properties were good and warrant application of the instrument for the evaluation of the national programme and similar improvement programmes.

  8. Developing and testing an instrument to measure the presence of conditions for successful implementation of quality improvement collaboratives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner Cordula

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In quality improvement collaboratives (QICs teams of practitioners from different health care organizations are brought together to systematically improve an aspect of patient care. Teams take part in a series of meetings to learn about relevant best practices, quality methods and change ideas, and share experiences in making changes in their own local setting. The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument for measuring team organization, external change agent support and support from the team's home institution in a Dutch national improvement and dissemination programme for hospitals based on several QICs. Methods The exploratory methodological design included two phases: a content development and assessment, resulting in an instrument with 15 items, and b field testing (N = 165. Internal consistency reliability was tested via Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Principal component analyses were used to identify underlying constructs. Tests of scaling assumptions according to the multi trait/multi-item matrix, were used to confirm the component structure. Results Three components were revealed, explaining 65% of the variability. The components were labelled 'organizational support', 'team organization' and 'external change agent support'. One item not meeting item-scale criteria was removed. This resulted in a 14 item instrument. Scale reliability ranged from 0.77 to 0.91. Internal item consistency and divergent validity were satisfactory. Conclusion On the whole, the instrument appears to be a promising tool for assessing team organization and internal and external support during QIC implementation. The psychometric properties were good and warrant application of the instrument for the evaluation of the national programme and similar improvement programmes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Johnson

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

  10. Flue gas conditioning for improved particle collection in electrostatic precipitators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durham, M.D.

    1993-04-16

    Several tasks have been completed in a program to evaluate additives to improve fine particle collection in electrostatic precipitators. Screening tests and laboratory evaluations of additives are summarized in this report. Over 20 additives were evaluated; four were found to improve flyash precipitation rates. The Insitec particle analyzer was also evaluated; test results show that the analyzer will provide accurate sizing and counting information for particles in the size range of [le] 10 [mu]m dia.

  11. Randomised controlled trial of routine individual feedback to improve rationality and reduce numbers of test requests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkens, R A; Pop, P; Bugter-Maessen, A M; Grol, R P; Kester, A D; Beusmans, G H; Knottnerus, J A

    1995-02-25

    Feedback can be described as a way to provide information on doctors' performance to enable changes in future behaviour. Feedback is used with the aim of changing test-ordering behaviour. It can lead to reductions in test usage and cost savings. It is not sufficiently clear, however, whether feedback leads to more appropriate test use. Since 1985, the Diagnostic Coordinating Center Maastricht has been giving feedback on diagnostic tests as a routine health care activity to all family doctors in its region. Both quantity and quality of requests are discussed. In a randomised, controlled trial over 2.5 years, discussion of tests not included previously was added to the existing routine feedback. One group of family doctors (n = 39) received feedback on test-group A (electrocardiography, endoscopy, cervical smears, and allergy tests), the other (n = 40) on test-group B (radiographic and ultrasonographic tests). Thus, each group of doctors acted as a control group for the other. Changes in volume and rationality of requests were analysed. The number of requests decreased during the trial (p = 0.036). Request numbers decreased particularly for test-group A (p = 0.04). The proportion of requests that were non-rational decreased more in the intervention than in the control groups (p = 0.009). Rationality improved predominantly for test-group B (p = 0.043). Thus, routine feedback can change the quantity and quality of requests.

  12. Availability of periodically tested systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Signoret, J.P.

    1979-01-01

    There is at the present time a need in accurate models to asess the availability of periodically tested stand-by systems. This paper shows how to improve the well known 'saw-tooth curve' model in order to take into account various reliability parameters. A model is developed to assess the pointwise and the mean availabilities of periodically tested stand-by systems. Exact and approxination formulae are given. In addition, the model developed herein leads to optimize the test interval in order to minimize the mean unavailability. A safety diesel in a nuclear power plant is given as an example

  13. Materials, Manufacturing, and Test Development of a Composite Fan Blade Leading Edge Subcomponent for Improved Impact Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Sandi G.; Handschuh, Katherine; Sinnott, Matthew J.; Kohlman, Lee W.; Roberts, Gary D.; Martin, Richard E.; Ruggeri, Charles R.; Pereira, J. Michael

    2015-01-01

    Application of polymer matrix composite materials for jet engine fan blades is becoming attractive as an alternative to metallic blades; particularly for large engines where significant weight savings are recognized on moving to a composite structure. However, the weight benefit of the composite is offset by a reduction of aerodynamic efficiency resulting from a necessary increase in blade thickness; relative to the titanium blades. Blade dimensions are largely driven by resistance to damage on bird strike. Further development of the composite material is necessary to allow composite blade designs to approximate the dimensions of a metallic fan blade. The reduction in thickness over the state of the art composite blades is expected to translate into structural weight reduction, improved aerodynamic efficiency, and therefore reduced fuel consumption. This paper presents test article design, subcomponent blade leading edge fabrication, test method development, and initial results from ballistic impact of a gelatin projectile on the leading edge of composite fan blades. The simplified test article geometry was developed to realistically simulate a blade leading edge while decreasing fabrication complexity. Impact data is presented on baseline composite blades and toughened blades; where a considerable improvement to impact resistance was recorded.

  14. Accuracy improvements of gyro-based measurement-while-drilling surveying instruments by a laser testing method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rong; Zhao, Jianhui; Li, Fan

    2009-07-01

    Gyroscope used as surveying sensor in the oil industry has been proposed as a good technique for measurement-whiledrilling (MWD) to provide real-time monitoring of the position and the orientation of the bottom hole assembly (BHA).However, drifts in the measurements provided by gyroscope might be prohibitive for the long-term utilization of the sensor. Some usual methods such as zero velocity update procedure (ZUPT) introduced to limit these drifts seem to be time-consuming and with limited effect. This study explored an in-drilling dynamic -alignment (IDA) method for MWD which utilizes gyroscope. During a directional drilling process, there are some minutes in the rotary drilling mode when the drill bit combined with drill pipe are rotated about the spin axis in a certain speed. This speed can be measured and used to determine and limit some drifts of the gyroscope which pay great effort to the deterioration in the long-term performance. A novel laser assembly is designed on the wellhead to count the rotating cycles of the drill pipe. With this provided angular velocity of the drill pipe, drifts of gyroscope measurements are translated into another form that can be easy tested and compensated. That allows better and faster alignment and limited drifts during the navigation process both of which can reduce long-term navigation errors, thus improving the overall accuracy in INS-based MWD system. This article concretely explores the novel device on the wellhead designed to test the rotation of the drill pipe. It is based on laser testing which is simple and not expensive by adding a laser emitter to the existing drilling equipment. Theoretical simulations and analytical approximations exploring the IDA idea have shown improvement in the accuracy of overall navigation and reduction in the time required to achieve convergence. Gyroscope accuracy along the axis is mainly improved. It is suggested to use the IDA idea in the rotary mode for alignment. Several other

  15. Genetic mouse embryo assay: improving performance and quality testing for assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a functional bioassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Rebecca S; Nunez, Brandy; Sakurai, Kumi; Fielder, Thomas; Ni, Hsiao-Tzu

    2016-03-24

    Growing concerns about safety of ART on human gametes, embryos, clinical outcomes and long-term health of offspring require improved methods of risk assessment to provide functionally relevant assays for quality control testing and pre-clinical studies prior to clinical implementation. The one-cell mouse embryo assay (MEA) is the most widely used for development and quality testing of human ART products; however, concerns exist due to the insensitivity/variability of this bioassay which lacks standardization and involves subjective analysis by morphology alone rather than functional analysis of the developing embryos. We hypothesized that improvements to MEA by the use of functional molecular biomarkers could enhance sensitivity and improve detection of suboptimal materials/conditions. Fresh one-cell transgenic mouse embryos with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression driven by Pou6f1 or Cdx2 control elements were harvested and cultured to blastocysts in varied test and control conditions to compare assessment by standard morphology alone versus the added dynamic expression of GFP for screening and selection of critical raw materials and detection of suboptimal culture conditions. Transgenic mouse embryos expressing functionally relevant biomarkers of normal early embryo development can be used to monitor the developmental impact of culture conditions. This novel approach provides a superior MEA that is more meaningful and sensitive for detection of embryotoxicity than morphological assessment alone.

  16. Phasor Measurement Unit Test and Applications for Small Signal Stability Assessment and Improvement of Power System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghiga, Radu

    to be less predictable. Therefore, the methods used for stability and security assessment will most likely use information from the wide-area measurements systems (WAMS). The work presented in this thesis deals on one hand with the development of test methods and validation of phasor measurement units (PMUs......) which are considered to be one of the key technologies in WAMS, and on the other hand with the possibility of using PMU measurements together with large wind power plants (WPPs) to help improve the damping of inter area oscillations. To validate the PMUs, a laboratory test setup is assembled....... The hardware components are capable of generating, with the required accuracy, the test signals injected in the PMUs. The signals are created according to the requirements defined in the current IEEE C37.118.1-2011 standard, to test the steady-state and dynamic compliance of the PMUs. The performance...

  17. Neurologic music therapy improves executive function and emotional adjustment in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaut, Michael H; Gardiner, James C; Holmberg, Dawn; Horwitz, Javan; Kent, Luanne; Andrews, Garrett; Donelan, Beth; McIntosh, Gerald R

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the immediate effects of neurologic music therapy (NMT) on cognitive functioning and emotional adjustment with brain-injured persons. Four treatment sessions were held, during which participants were given a pre-test, participated in 30 min of NMT that focused on one aspect of rehabilitation (attention, memory, executive function, or emotional adjustment), which was followed by post-testing. Control participants engaged in a pre-test, 30 min of rest, and then a post-test. Treatment participants showed improvement in executive function and overall emotional adjustment, and lessening of depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety. Control participants improved in emotional adjustment and lessening of hostility, but showed decreases in measures of memory, positive affect, and sensation seeking.

  18. Detection of improvement in the masticatory function from old to new removable partial dentures using mixing ability test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakawa, A; Fueki, K; Ohyama, T

    2005-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity of the Mixing Ability Test to detect improvement of masticatory function in subjects on transition from old to new removable partial dentures. Thirty-two subjects (seven males, 25 females, mean age 65.0 years) with distal extension partially edentulous area in mandible and/or maxilla participated in the study. The following reasons were presented for replacing the old removable partial dentures with new ones: fracture and/or poor fitness of retainers, extraction of abutment teeth, poor fitness of denture base, severe wear of artificial teeth and request for metal base dentures. Masticatory function with old and new removable partial dentures after an adaptation period (mean 27.4 weeks) was evaluated by the Mixing Ability Test. Subjects were asked to masticate five two-coloured wax cubes with each removable partial denture. Mixing Ability Index was obtained from the colour mixture and shape of the masticated cubes. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test the difference of Mixing Ability Indexes between old and new removable partial dentures. The mixing ability indexes with new removable partial dentures (mean+/- s.d.: 0.70+/- 0.68) was significantly higher (Premovable partial dentures (-0.11+/-1.13). The results suggest that the Mixing Ability Test was capable of detecting improvement in masticatory function with new removable partial dentures.

  19. Improved PID control for triaxial testing liquefied specimen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sabaliauskas, Tomas; Ibsen, Lars Bo

    Using a frictionless triaxial apparatus, sand specimens can be tested at relatively high axial strains, even while liquefying. However, liquefying specimens have extremely nonlinear stiffness, thus standard PID control does not perform well. To maintain control over applied loads, the PID...... controller was modified to adapt to disturbed soil states. The proposed methods expand the scope of testing towards options which are otherwise inaccessible by triaxial testing....

  20. Grain weight improvement in wheat through irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasal, P.N.; Gadekar, D.A.; Gavhane, V.N.; Bhoite, K.D.

    2006-01-01

    T. aestivum wheat variety NIAW 34 was developed by Agricultural Research Station, Niphad, and was released by Central Varietal Release Committee, for cultivation under irrigated late sown conditions of Peninsular Zone. The grains of NIAW 34 are medium sized with 40g 1000 grain weight. However, in market the bold sized grains (above 40g 1000 grain weight) are preferred by the traders and consumers. To overcome this lacuna, grains of wheat variety NIAW 34 were irradiated to exploit the possibilities of improvement in test weight. The material was irradiated with 15 and 20 kr dose of gamma rays. In M2 generation, mutants for various morphological characters were observed. The plants showing vigorous growth habit and desirable morphological characters were selected. These selected plants were studied for grain characters after harvest. On the basis of improved test weight as compared to parental line, selections were effected. The material was advanced to M6 generation and found stable for character of interest. The material selected comprised of total 10 lines showing improved test weight having range of 42-46 g i.e. increase of 4-6 g over the parental line NIAW 34. The lines selected are being evaluated in yield evaluation trials during Rabi 2006-07. Amongst the doses used, frequency of desired mutants was higher in treatment, of 15 kr

  1. Improvement of western blot test specificity for detecting equine serum antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossano, M G; Mansfield, L S; Kaneene, J B; Murphy, A J; Brown, C M; Schott, H C; Fox, J C

    2000-01-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurological disease of horses and ponies caused by the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona. The purposes of this study were to develop the most stringent criteria possible for a positive test result, to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the EPM Western blot antibody test, and to assess the ability of bovine antibodies to Sarcocystis cruzi to act as a blocking agent to minimize false-positive results in the western blot test for S. neurona. Sarcocystis neurona merozoites harvested from equine dermal cell culture were heat denatured, and the proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in a 12-20% linear gradient gel. Separated proteins were electrophoretically transferred to polyvinylidene fluoride membranes and blocked in 1% bovine serum albumin and 0.5% Tween-Tris-buffered saline. Serum samples from 6 horses with S. neurona infections (confirmed by culture from neural tissue) and 57 horses without infections (horses from the Eastern Hemisphere, where S. neurona does not exist) were tested by Western blot. Horses from both groups had reactivity to the 62-, 30-, 16-, 13-, 11-, 10.5-, and 10-kD bands. Testing was repeated with another step. Blots were treated with bovine S. cruzi antibodies prior to loading the equine samples. After this modification of the Western blot test, positive infection status was significantly associated with reactivity to the 30- and 16-kD bands (Pblot had a sample sensitivity of 100% and sample specificity of 98%. It is concluded that the specificity of the Western blot test is improved by blocking proteins not specific to S. neurona and using reactivity to the 30- and 16-kD bands as the criterion for a positive test.

  2. Investigation of productivity in a south Indian Malabari goat herd shows opportunities for planned animal health management to improve food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargison, N D; Ivil, S A J; Abraham, J; Abubaker, S P S; Hopker, A M; Mazeri, S; Otter, I A; Otter, N

    2017-03-18

    Here the authors report the objective veterinary clinical measurement of productivity in a representative south Indian Malabari goat herd. The authors show failure to meet pragmatic production targets that are commensurate with the animals' genetic potential or adequate to meet the demands of global food security. The authors suggest that this situation may have arisen as a consequence of animal husbandry constraints and protein undernutrition and imply the involvement of nematode parasitism. Benzimidazole resistance was detected in Haemonchus species, showing the need for better understanding of the principles of sustainable helminth parasite control within the southern Indian context. This study highlights the need to understand the true costs of goat production in seasonally resource-poor environments, while also considering its impact on the overall ecosystem in which the animals are placed. They conclude that pragmatic opportunities for improvements in goat production efficiency lie in the development of problem-focused planned animal health and nutrition management. British Veterinary Association.

  3. Improved classification of Alzheimer's disease data via removal of nuisance variability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha Koikkalainen

    Full Text Available Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is based on the results of neuropsychological tests and available supporting biomarkers such as the results of imaging studies. The results of the tests and the values of biomarkers are dependent on the nuisance features, such as age and gender. In order to improve diagnostic power, the effects of the nuisance features have to be removed from the data. In this paper, four types of interactions between classification features and nuisance features were identified. Three methods were tested to remove these interactions from the classification data. In stratified analysis, a homogeneous subgroup was generated from a training set. Data correction method utilized linear regression model to remove the effects of nuisance features from data. The third method was a combination of these two methods. The methods were tested using all the baseline data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database in two classification studies: classifying control subjects from Alzheimer's disease patients and discriminating stable and progressive mild cognitive impairment subjects. The results show that both stratified analysis and data correction are able to statistically significantly improve the classification accuracy of several neuropsychological tests and imaging biomarkers. The improvements were especially large for the classification of stable and progressive mild cognitive impairment subjects, where the best improvements observed were 6% units. The data correction method gave better results for imaging biomarkers, whereas stratified analysis worked well with the neuropsychological tests. In conclusion, the study shows that the excess variability caused by nuisance features should be removed from the data to improve the classification accuracy, and therefore, the reliability of diagnosis making.

  4. Aligning English Language Testing With Curriculum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Palacio

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Frustrations with traditional testing led a group of teachers at the English for adults program at Universidad EAFIT (Colombia to design tests aligned with the institutional teaching philosophy and classroom practices. This article reports on a study of an item-by-item evaluation of a series of English exams for validity and reliability in an effort to guarantee the quality of the process of test design. The study included descriptive statistics, item analysis, correlational analyses, reliability estimates, and validity analyses. The results show that the new tests are an excellent addition to the program and an improvement over traditional tests. Implications are discussed and recommendations given for the development of any institutional testing program.

  5. What does it take to show that a cognitive training procedure is useful? A critical evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacoby, Nori; Ahissar, Merav

    2013-01-01

    Individuals substantially improve with training, indicating that a large degree of plasticity is retained across ages. In the past 20 years, many studies explored the ability to boost cognitive skills (reasoning, linguistic abilities, working memory, and attention) by training with other tasks that exploit limited cognitive resources. Indeed, individuals with long-term training on challenging skills (musicians and action video gamers) show impressive behavior on related tasks (linguistic and visual attention, respectively). However, a critical evaluation of training studies that last weeks to months shows typically mild effects, mainly with respect to control groups that either did not practice or practiced with less challenging, rewarding, or exciting conditions. These findings suggest that future training studies should evaluate these factors carefully and assess whether they mainly impact the testing sessions or actual longer-term skills, and whether their impact can be further strengthened. The lack of a comprehensive theory of learning that integrates cognitive, motivational, and alertness aspects poses a bottleneck to improving current training procedures. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Testing locality at colliders via Bell's inequality?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abel, S.A.; Dreiner, H.; Dittmar, M.

    1992-01-01

    We consider a measurement of correlated spins at LEP and show that it does not constitute a general test of local-realistic theories via Bell's inequality. The central point of the argument is that such tests, where the spins of two particles are inferred from a scattering distribution, can be described by a local hidden variable theory. We conclude that with present experimental techniques it is not possible to test locality via Bell's inequality at a collider experiment. Finally we suggest an improved fixed-target experiment as a viable test of Bell's inequality. (orig.)

  7. Geographic-didactical games as interactive tools to test and improve student's basic knowledge in Physical Geography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, S.; Tintrup Gen. Suntrup, A.

    2009-04-01

    during examination). Some examples of the games developed will be presented. Among those, games based on the principle of visualisation were most successfully. E.g. students had to describe and explain an image showing a geomorphologic landform or process, a geological rock formation etc. in front of the group to win some goodies. This game was considered as of very practical use by the students as such image interpretation is a common exercise in their oral examination. In addition, a special version of the child's favourite "Memory" containing selected geological and geomorphologic features was designed. As the students not only had to find the correct pair of photos, but as well were asked to name the feature and give as much information as available to the referee supplied with a related fact sheet, this game has shown great pedagogic value. The application of games for the purpose of testing and improving the basic knowledge in Physical Geography was successful, and gained very positive evaluation by the students themselves. As they directly discovered their immediate benefit for their own studies, motivation was high throughout the (sometimes very late) evenings. Such games might be at least partially an appropriate substitution for the recent time deficit in teaching basic fundamentals of Physical Geography in the regular study program. Therefore, they should be considered as part of a modern way of teaching at university level. However, their conceptual and practical development requires last but not least much experience and routine of the teaching staff, and a high degree of motivation from their side, too.

  8. Amniotic fluid stem cells with low γ-interferon response showed behavioral improvement in Parkinsonism rat model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Jen Chang

    Full Text Available Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs are multipotent stem cells that may be used in transplantation medicine. In this study, AFSCs established from amniocentesis were characterized on the basis of surface marker expression and differentiation potential. To further investigate the properties of AFSCs for translational applications, we examined the cell surface expression of human leukocyte antigens (HLA of these cells and estimated the therapeutic effect of AFSCs in parkinsonian rats. The expression profiles of HLA-II and transcription factors were compared between AFSCs and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs following treatment with γ-IFN. We found that stimulation of AFSCs with γ-IFN prompted only a slight increase in the expression of HLA-Ia and HLA-E, and the rare HLA-II expression could also be observed in most AFSCs samples. Consequently, the expression of CIITA and RFX5 was weakly induced by γ-IFN stimulation of AFSCs compared to that of BMMSCs. In the transplantation test, Sprague Dawley rats with 6-hydroxydopamine lesioning of the substantia nigra were used as a parkinsonian-animal model. Following the negative γ-IFN response AFSCs injection, apomorphine-induced rotation was reduced by 75% in AFSCs engrafted parkinsonian rats but was increased by 53% in the control group after 12-weeks post-transplantation. The implanted AFSCs were viable, and were able to migrate into the brain's circuitry and express specific proteins of dopamine neurons, such as tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter. In conclusion, the relative insensitivity AFSCs to γ-IFN implies that AFSCs might have immune-tolerance in γ-IFN inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, the effective improvement of AFSCs transplantation for apomorphine-induced rotation paves the way for the clinical application in parkinsonian therapy.

  9. Improving work environments in health care: test of a theoretical framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathert, Cheryl; Ishqaidef, Ghadir; May, Douglas R

    2009-01-01

    In light of high levels of staff turnover and variability in the quality of health care, much attention is currently being paid to the health care work environment and how it potentially relates to staff, patient, and organizational outcomes. Although some attention has been paid to staffing variables, more attention must be paid to improving the work environment for patient care. The purpose of this study was to empirically explore a theoretical model linking the work environment in the health care setting and how it might relate to work engagement, organizational commitment, and patient safety. This study also explored how the work environment influences staff psychological safety, which has been show to influence several variables important in health care. Clinical care providers at a large metropolitan hospital were surveyed using a mail methodology. The overall response rate was 42%. This study analyzed perceptions of staff who provided direct care to patients. Using structural equation modeling, we found that different dimensions of the work environment were related to different outcome variables. For example, a climate for continuous quality improvement was positively related to organizational commitment and patient safety, and psychological safety partially mediated these relationships. Patient-centered care was positively related to commitment but negatively related to engagement. Health care managers need to examine how organizational policies and practices are translated into the work environment and how these influence practices on the front lines of care. It appears that care provider perceptions of their work environments may be useful to consider for improvement efforts.

  10. Testing RISKGIS Platform with Students to Improve Learning and Teaching Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olyazadeh, R.; Aye, Z. C.; Jaboyedoff, M.; Derron, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    Nowadays, open-source developments in the field of natural hazards and risk management increase rapidly. The governments, NGOs and other research institutes are producing data for risk and disaster analysis, but a few platforms are available to bring a real-life experience to the students. This work focuses on the preliminary results of testing a WebGIS platform called RISKGIS with the bachelor students at the University of Lausanne. The platform is designed based on a geospatial open-source technology called OpenGeo (Boundless). This platform can calculate the potential risk of the buildings and assist the students to understand the situations for risk reduction mitigation and decision-making. The center of Jomsom in Nepal was selected for the first exercise that may be affected by amplifications of earthquake. The shaking intensity map was designed by an expert based on the geological characteristics and DEM (Digital Elevation Model) of the area. All buildings data were extracted from OpenStreetMap using QGIS and adapted to the platform. The video tutorial was prepared to guide the students through the platform, and 80 students have tested the application online successfully and 40 of them participated in Moodle (a free Open Source software package for educators) for online feedback and quiz. Among those, 30 of them have completely answered to both. We had interesting results for effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction based on System Usability Scale (SUS). The SUS score for this platform was 68.6 out of 100. The average result of the quiz was 9.39 out of 10 with a duration of 8 to 33 minutes to answer the quiz. There were several outliers for this duration with 2 minutes (two students) and 9 to 18 hours (three students). Further exercises will be carried out with students by adding more advanced functions to the platform and improving the willingness of participation in this online learning platform. This project is funded by Fonds d'innovation p

  11. Development of Final Running Test System for Digital Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Kwang-Dae; Lee, Eui-Jong; Lim, Hee-Taek; Kim, Min-Seok [KHNP Central Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    In nuclear industry, the newly designed systems to upgrade are qualified to meet IEEE standards and the regulatory guidelines for their functions, performance and reliability requirements. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, and Hazard Analysis have been used to improve the reliability of the control system. To ensure the completeness of the software, the verification and validation processes are carried out during the development process. In spite of the many efforts depending on the analysis and procedures, there are limitations to improve the reliability. The lessons learned from the currently installed system failures show the incompleteness of the final integration test. The current point-to-point and logic-to-logic separate test procedures manually performed by the engineers can cause some procedures missed and have effects on the critical functions. The design processes of the digital systems are met in accordance with the international standards and regulatory guidelines. The lessons learned from the failures of the running digital systems showed the limitations of the current verification and validation efforts. The various improvements and attempts have been considered including the expert review processes and the completeness of the test. In this paper, the Final Running Test Method evaluating the completeness of the digital system using the control patterns and the Test System Architecture are proposed.

  12. Development of Final Running Test System for Digital Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Kwang-Dae; Lee, Eui-Jong; Lim, Hee-Taek; Kim, Min-Seok

    2016-01-01

    In nuclear industry, the newly designed systems to upgrade are qualified to meet IEEE standards and the regulatory guidelines for their functions, performance and reliability requirements. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, and Hazard Analysis have been used to improve the reliability of the control system. To ensure the completeness of the software, the verification and validation processes are carried out during the development process. In spite of the many efforts depending on the analysis and procedures, there are limitations to improve the reliability. The lessons learned from the currently installed system failures show the incompleteness of the final integration test. The current point-to-point and logic-to-logic separate test procedures manually performed by the engineers can cause some procedures missed and have effects on the critical functions. The design processes of the digital systems are met in accordance with the international standards and regulatory guidelines. The lessons learned from the failures of the running digital systems showed the limitations of the current verification and validation efforts. The various improvements and attempts have been considered including the expert review processes and the completeness of the test. In this paper, the Final Running Test Method evaluating the completeness of the digital system using the control patterns and the Test System Architecture are proposed

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Melatonin improve the sperm quality in forced swimming test induced oxidative stress in nandrolone treated Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minaii, Bagher; Moayeri, Ardeshir; Shokri, Saeed; Habibi Roudkenar, Mehryar; Golmohammadi, Taghi; Malek, Fatemeh; Barbarestani, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of melatonin on the sperm quality and testis weight after the combination of swimming exercise and nandrolone decanoate (DECA). Two groups of male Wistar rats were treated for eight weeks as follows; group A consist of CO (control), Sham, N (DECA), S (swimming) and NS (DECA plus swimming); and group B: Sham M (sham melatonin), M (melatonin), MN (melatonin plus DECA), MS (melatonin plus swimming), MNS (melatonin, DECA plus swimming). The motility of sperm was significantly improved in melatonin groups in comparison to N, S and NS groups (P≤0.05).  The left testes weight was decreased in N, NS and MNS groups, and the right testes weight was decreased in N,S,NS, MS and MNS groups in compare with the control group. This study concluded that melatonin probably could improve the sperm motility and sex organs weight after the combination of DECA and exercise.

  16. Dual Component Removable Partial Denture shows improved ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-02-18

    Feb 18, 2009 ... 2Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. 3Department of ... an example of poor oral condition caused mainly by periodontitis, and ... working model of the Dual Component Removable Partial Denture.

  17. Dual Component Removable Partial Denture shows improved ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dual Component Removable Partial Denture (DuCo RPD) is composed of a double base; lower and upper. The lower base, where the artificial teeth are attached, acts as a support and is in contact with the alveolar ridges and oral mucosa. Clasps are designed on the upper base, which acts towards the retention and ...

  18. Sequential accelerated tests: Improving the correlation of accelerated tests to module performance in the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, Thomas; Gambogi, William; Stika, Katherine; Yu, Bao-Ling; Bradley, Alex; Hu, Hongjie; Garreau-Iles, Lucie; Trout, T. John

    2016-09-01

    DuPont has been working steadily to develop accelerated backsheet tests that correlate with solar panels observations in the field. This report updates efforts in sequential testing. Single exposure tests are more commonly used and can be completed more quickly, and certain tests provide helpful predictions of certain backsheet failure modes. DuPont recommendations for single exposure tests are based on 25-year exposure levels for UV and humidity/temperature, and form a good basis for sequential test development. We recommend a sequential exposure of damp heat followed by UV then repetitions of thermal cycling and UVA. This sequence preserves 25-year exposure levels for humidity/temperature and UV, and correlates well with a large body of field observations. Measurements can be taken at intervals in the test, although the full test runs 10 months. A second, shorter sequential test based on damp heat and thermal cycling tests mechanical durability and correlates with loss of mechanical properties seen in the field. Ongoing work is directed toward shorter sequential tests that preserve good correlation to field data.

  19. Improving Hepatitis C Identification: Technology Alone Is Not the Answer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitsche, Bruce; Miller, Sara C; Giorgio, Margaret; Berry, Carolyn A; Muir, Andrew

    2017-09-01

    An estimated 3 to 5 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and approximately 75% of those persons were born between 1945 and 1965 (the so-called baby boomer generation). Because of the largely asymptomatic nature of HCV, up to 50% of those infected are unaware of their disease. Risk-based testing has been largely ineffective. Based on prevalence data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations recommend a onetime HCV antibody test for all baby boomers. However, uptake of this recommendation requires significant changes in clinical practice for already busy primary care clinicians. We studied the effectiveness of a quality improvement initiative based on continuous audit and feedback combined with education for improving testing in alignment with guidelines; the control group was a cohort of clinicians whose only reminder was an institution-wide electronic health record prompt. Our data show improved testing rates among all clinician groups, but more significant improvement occurred among providers who received continuous feedback about their clinical performance coupled with education.

  20. Boys with autism spectrum disorders show superior performance on the adult Embedded Figures Test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schlooz, W.A.J.M.; Hulstijn, W.

    2014-01-01

    Weak central coherence is frequently studied using the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) yielding mixed and ambiguous results. In this study, the performance of 36 boys (9–14 years) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is compared with that of 46 typical peers using both the children's and the adult

  1. Surface coatings as xenon diffusion barriers on plastic scintillators : Improving Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty verification

    OpenAIRE

    Bläckberg, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    This thesis investigates the ability of transparent surface coatings to reduce xenon diffusion into plastic scintillators. The motivation for the work is improved radioxenon monitoring equipment, used with in the framework of the verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. A large part of the equipment used in this context incorporates plastic scintillators which are in direct contact with the radioactive gas to be detected. One problem with such setup is that radioxenon...

  2. Development and improvement of synthetic imaging methods for non-destructive ultrasonic testing of complex industrial components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bannouf, S.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this thesis was, initially, to evaluate phased array methods for ultrasonic Non Destructive Testing (NDT) in order to propose optimizations, or to develop new alternative methods. In particular, this works deals with the detection of defects in complex geometries and/or materials parts. The TFM (Total Focusing Method) algorithm provides high resolution images and several representations of a same defect thanks to different reconstruction modes. These properties have been exploited judiciously in order to propose an adaptive imaging method in immersion configuration. We showed that TFM imaging can be used to characterize more precisely the defects. However, this method presents two major drawbacks: the large amount of data to be processed and a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), especially in noisy materials. We developed solutions to these two problems. To overcome the limitation caused by the large number of signals to be processed, we propose an algorithm that defines the sparse array to activate. As for the low SNR, it can be now improved by use of virtual sources and a new filtering method based on the DORT method (Decomposition of the Time Reversal Operator). (author) [fr

  3. Robust joint score tests in the application of DNA methylation data analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuan; Fu, Yuejiao; Wang, Xiaogang; Qiu, Weiliang

    2018-05-18

    Recently differential variability has been showed to be valuable in evaluating the association of DNA methylation to the risks of complex human diseases. The statistical tests based on both differential methylation level and differential variability can be more powerful than those based only on differential methylation level. Anh and Wang (2013) proposed a joint score test (AW) to simultaneously detect for differential methylation and differential variability. However, AW's method seems to be quite conservative and has not been fully compared with existing joint tests. We proposed three improved joint score tests, namely iAW.Lev, iAW.BF, and iAW.TM, and have made extensive comparisons with the joint likelihood ratio test (jointLRT), the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test, and the AW test. Systematic simulation studies showed that: 1) the three improved tests performed better (i.e., having larger power, while keeping nominal Type I error rates) than the other three tests for data with outliers and having different variances between cases and controls; 2) for data from normal distributions, the three improved tests had slightly lower power than jointLRT and AW. The analyses of two Illumina HumanMethylation27 data sets GSE37020 and GSE20080 and one Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC data set GSE107080 demonstrated that three improved tests had higher true validation rates than those from jointLRT, KS, and AW. The three proposed joint score tests are robust against the violation of normality assumption and presence of outlying observations in comparison with other three existing tests. Among the three proposed tests, iAW.BF seems to be the most robust and effective one for all simulated scenarios and also in real data analyses.

  4. Breath Tests Application in Order to Improve the Outcomes of Treatment for Celiac Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye.Yu. Gubskaya

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The article presents data from an own study on modern opportunities to improve the effectiveness of treatment of patients with celiac disease (n = 41. All patients were on a gluten-free diet, nonetheless effectiveness of treatment was regarded as unsatisfactory. Due to the use of modern carbon and hydrogen breath tests and diagnosis of bacterial overgrowth syndrome, lactase deficiency and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which were the causes for the persistence of clinical symptoms, we obtained reasons for their correction and achieved a complete remission of the underlying disease.

  5. Effects of time and recall of patch test results on quality of life (QoL) after testing. Cross-sectional study analyzing QoL in hand eczema patients 1, 5 and 10 years after patch testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamil, Wasim N; Lindberg, Magnus

    2017-08-01

    Patch testing can improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To study the impact on HRQOL of elapsed time after patch testing (1-10 years), and how the outcome of testing and patients' recall affects HRQOL. The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire was sent to all patients (aged 18-65 years) who were patch tested for suspected contact allergy in 2009, 2005 and 2000 at the Department of Dermatology in Örebro. The response rate was 51% (n = 256). The DLQI score was significantly lower at 10 years after patch testing (mean DLQI = 5.5) than at 1 year (mean DLQI = 7.7). Work was the most impaired aspect. A binary logistic model showed that only time (10 years after testing) was associated with no effect, a light effect or a moderate effect (DLQI negative or positive test results concerning full recall, partial recall or no recall of diagnosed allergens. Although there was an improvement in HRQOL over time, the work aspect remained a major problem. The improvement was not affected by the outcome of testing and patients' recall of test results. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Analysis of disconnected diallel mating designs II: results from a third generation progeny test of the New Zealand radiata pine improvement programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.N. King; M.J. Carson; G.R. Johnson

    1998-01-01

    Genetic parameters from a second generation (F2) disconnected diallel progeny test of the New Zealand radiata pine improvement programme are presented. Heritability estimates of growth and yield traits of 0.2 are similar to progeny test results of the previous generation (F1) generation tests. A trend of declining dominance...

  7. Cost-effectiveness of using a molecular diagnostic test to improve preoperative diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najafzadeh, Mehdi; Marra, Carlo A; Lynd, Larry D; Wiseman, Sam M

    2012-12-01

    Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is a safe and inexpensive diagnostic procedure for evaluating thyroid nodules.Up to 25% of the results from an FNAB, however, may not be diagnostic or may be indeterminate, leading to a subsequent diagnostic thyroid surgery. A new molecularly based diagnostic test could potentially reduce indeterminate cytological results and, with high accuracy, provide a definitive diagnosis for cancer in thyroid nodules. The aim of the study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of utilizing a molecular diagnostic (DX) test as an adjunct to FNAB, compared with NoDX, to improve the preoperative diagnosis of thyroid nodules. We constructed a patient-level simulation model to estimate the clinical and economic outcomes of using a DX test compared with current practice (NoDX) for the diagnosis of thyroid nodules. By using a cost-effectiveness framework, we measured incremental clinical benefits in terms of quality-adjusted life-years and incremental costs over a 10-year time horizon. Assuming 95% sensitivity and specificity of the Dx test when used as an adjunct to FNAB, the utilization of the DX test resulted in a gain of 0.046 quality-adjusted life-years (95% confidence interval 0.019-0.078) and a saving of $1087 (95% confidence interval $691-$1533) in direct costs per patient. If the cost of the Dx test is less than $1087 per test, we expect to save quality-adjusted life-years and reduce costs when it is utilized. Sensitivity of the DX test, compared with specificity, had a larger influence on the overall outcomes. Copyright © 2012 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Design and Testing of Improved Spacesuit Shielding Components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ware, J.; Ferl, J.; Wilson, J.W.; Clowdsley, M.S.; DeAngelis, G.; Tweed, J.; Zeitlin, C.J.

    2002-01-01

    In prior studies of the current Shuttle Spacesuit (SSA), where basic fabric lay-ups were tested for shielding capabilities, it was found that the fabric portions of the suit give far less protection than previously estimated due to porosity and non-uniformity of fabric and LCVG components. In addition, overall material transmission properties were less than optimum. A number of alternate approaches are being tested to provide more uniform coverage and to use more efficient materials. We will discuss in this paper, recent testing of new material lay-ups/configurations for possible use in future spacesuit designs

  9. Strong violations of locality by testing Bell’s inequality with improved entangled-photon systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Yao; Fan Dai-He; Guo Wei-Jie; Wei Lian-Fu

    2015-01-01

    Bell’s theorem states that quantum mechanics cannot be accounted for by any local theory. One of the examples is the existence of quantum non-locality is essentially violated by the local Bell’s inequality. Therefore, the violation of Bell’s inequality (BI) has been regarded as one of the robust evidences of quantum mechanics. Until now, BI has been tested by many experiments, but the maximal violation (i.e., Cirel’son limit) has never been achieved. By improving the design of entangled sources and optimizing the measurement settings, in this work we report the stronger violations of the Clauser–Horne–Shimony–Holt (CHSH)-type Bell’s inequality. The biggest value of Bell’s function in our experiment reaches to a significant one: S = 2.772± 0.063, approaching to the so-called Cirel’son limit in which the Bell function value is . Further improvement is possible by optimizing the entangled-photon sources. (paper)

  10. An Improved Macro Model of Traffic Flow with the Consideration of Ramps and Numerical Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongke Shi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present an improved macro model for traffic flow based on the existing models. The equilibrium point equation of the model is obtained. The stop-and-go traffic phenomenon is described in phase plane and the relationship between traffic jams and system instability is clearly shown in the phase plane diagrams. Using the improved model, some traffic phenomena on a highway with ramps are found in this paper. The numerical simulation is carried out to investigate various nonlinear traffic phenomena with a single ramp generated by different initial densities and vehicle generation rates. According to the actual road sections of Xi’an-Baoji highways, the situations of morning peak with several ramps are also analyzed. All these results are consistent with real traffic, which shows that the improved model is reasonable.

  11. The pharmacists' role in improving guideline compliance for thyroid function testing in patients with heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziman, Melanie E; Bui, Hien T; Smith, Craig S; Tsukiji, Lori A; Asmatey, Veda M; Chu, Steven B; Miano, John S

    2012-04-01

    This single-center retrospective pilot program's objective was to utilize outpatient pharmacists to improve laboratory test adherence in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients overdue for thyroid function testing, thereby demonstrating the value of the outpatient pharmacist and justifying possible clinical role expansion. Thyroid disorders may contribute to CHF development, progression, and exacerbation. Testing is the standard of care in CHF patients per American Heart Association's 2009 Guidelines. Delinquency was defined as labs not conducted within 1 year in patients with euthyroid history, within 6 months in patients with thyroid dysfunction, abnormal labs at any time without follow-up, or lab absence after thyroid medication initiation, adjustment, or discontinuation. Targeted 80 nonpregnant adult CHF patients with delinquent thyroid function tests were counseled to get thyroid labs at point of sale, via telephone, e-mail, or letter. In collaboration with physicians, pharmacists ordered thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4 (FT4) labs. For patients with abnormal laboratory results, pharmacists coordinated drug therapy and follow-up labs. Data were collected from November 1, 2009 to March 30, 2010. Seventy-two patients (90%) previously delinquent for thyroid function testing received relevant thyroid labs. Ten patients (12.5%) with abnormal thyroid function tests not on prior drug therapy received treatment.

  12. Current limitations and recommendations to improve testing for the environmental assessment of endocrine active substances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coady, Katherine K.; Biever, Ronald C.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Gross, Melanie; Guiney, Patrick D.; Holbech, Henrik; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Katsiadaki, Ioanna; Krueger, Hank; Levine, Steven L.; Maack, Gerd; Williams, Mike; Wolf, Jeffrey C.; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, existing regulatory frameworks and test systems for assessing potential endocrine active chemicals are described, and associated challenges are discussed, along with proposed approaches to address these challenges. Regulatory frameworks vary somewhat across geographies, but all basically evaluate whether a chemical possesses endocrine activity and whether this activity can result in adverse outcomes either to humans or to the environment. Current test systems include in silico, in vitro, and in vivo techniques focused on detecting potential endocrine activity, and in vivo tests that collect apical data to detect possible adverse effects. These test systems are currently designed to robustly assess endocrine activity and/or adverse effects in the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone signaling pathways; however, there are some limitations of current test systems for evaluating endocrine hazard and risk. These limitations include a lack of certainty regarding: 1) adequately sensitive species and life stages; 2) mechanistic endpoints that are diagnostic for endocrine pathways of concern; and 3) the linkage between mechanistic responses and apical, adverse outcomes. Furthermore, some existing test methods are resource intensive with regard to time, cost, and use of animals. However, based on recent experiences, there are opportunities to improve approaches to and guidance for existing test methods and to reduce uncertainty. For example, in vitro high-throughput screening could be used to prioritize chemicals for testing and provide insights as to the most appropriate assays for characterizing hazard and risk. Other recommendations include adding endpoints for elucidating connections between mechanistic effects and adverse outcomes, identifying potentially sensitive taxa for which test methods currently do not exist, and addressing key endocrine pathways of possible concern in addition to those associated with estrogen, androgen, and thyroid

  13. Beautiful Testing Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software

    CERN Document Server

    Goucher, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Successful software depends as much on scrupulous testing as it does on solid architecture or elegant code. But testing is not a routine process, it's a constant exploration of methods and an evolution of good ideas. Beautiful Testing offers 23 essays from 27 leading testers and developers that illustrate the qualities and techniques that make testing an art. Through personal anecdotes, you'll learn how each of these professionals developed beautiful ways of testing a wide range of products -- valuable knowledge that you can apply to your own projects. Here's a sample of what you'll find i

  14. Improvement of bioreporter bacteria-based test systems for the analysis of arsenic in drinking water and the rhizosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuppardt, Anke

    2010-02-05

    improve the vitality and specific activity of preserved bioreporter bacteria by using different conservation methods and culture conditions (chapter 3). A further goal was (iii) to use arsenic bioreporter bacteria for the detection of arsenic in the rhizosphere of maize plants in order to investigate transport processes and understand resistance mechanisms of plants (chapter 4). To achieve this, different strains of the bioreporter bacteria Escherichia coli DH5{alpha} were used in well defined experiments to receive reproducible results. Zea mays L. was used as a model plant in easily accessible rhizoboxes. The main outcome of this thesis is: (i) A multiple cell line approach was developed that permits detection of arsenic without external calibration (chapter 2). For this purpose two different kind of reporter constructions were developed and modified that resulted in strains which differ in their sensitivity against arsenic. Because of this each bioreporter strain starts the visible reaction at a different concentration and in combination the strains display the arsenic concentration at relevant levels. (ii) A preservation method based on vacuum drying with addition of 34% trehalose and 1.5% polyvinylpyrrolidone could be identified that preserved the specific activity and vitality of the bioreporter bacteria over a time range of 12 weeks and that allows their application for over night measurements (chapter 3). (iii) A carrier system for bioreporter bacteria was developed which facilitates the investigation of arsenic distribution in the rhizosphere. It could be shown that the distribution along roots is dependent on the root age and structure (chapter 4). Mainly at laterals and on roots tips higher concentrations of arsenic were detected. In addition a split root experiment indicated that arsenic is translocated within the roots and released also by intact roots. This thesis shows that bioreporter based test systems can be improved to achieve broad application in low

  15. Improvement of bioreporter bacteria-based test systems for the analysis of arsenic in drinking water and the rhizosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuppardt, Anke

    2010-01-01

    vitality and specific activity of preserved bioreporter bacteria by using different conservation methods and culture conditions (chapter 3). A further goal was (iii) to use arsenic bioreporter bacteria for the detection of arsenic in the rhizosphere of maize plants in order to investigate transport processes and understand resistance mechanisms of plants (chapter 4). To achieve this, different strains of the bioreporter bacteria Escherichia coli DH5α were used in well defined experiments to receive reproducible results. Zea mays L. was used as a model plant in easily accessible rhizoboxes. The main outcome of this thesis is: (i) A multiple cell line approach was developed that permits detection of arsenic without external calibration (chapter 2). For this purpose two different kind of reporter constructions were developed and modified that resulted in strains which differ in their sensitivity against arsenic. Because of this each bioreporter strain starts the visible reaction at a different concentration and in combination the strains display the arsenic concentration at relevant levels. (ii) A preservation method based on vacuum drying with addition of 34% trehalose and 1.5% polyvinylpyrrolidone could be identified that preserved the specific activity and vitality of the bioreporter bacteria over a time range of 12 weeks and that allows their application for over night measurements (chapter 3). (iii) A carrier system for bioreporter bacteria was developed which facilitates the investigation of arsenic distribution in the rhizosphere. It could be shown that the distribution along roots is dependent on the root age and structure (chapter 4). Mainly at laterals and on roots tips higher concentrations of arsenic were detected. In addition a split root experiment indicated that arsenic is translocated within the roots and released also by intact roots. This thesis shows that bioreporter based test systems can be improved to achieve broad application in low-cost laboratory

  16. Not just scenery: viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Katherine R; Howard, James H; Howard, Darlene V

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Attention Restoration Theory (Kaplan, 1995, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182) suggests that exposure to nature improves attention. Berman, Jonides, and Kaplan (2008, Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212) showed that simply viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in young adults. The present study is the first to investigate this Nature Effect in older adults. The authors investigated whether executive attention could be improved in healthy older adults following brief exposure to nature pictures. Thirty healthy older adults (64-79 years old) and 26 young university students (18-25 years old) participated. They completed the Attention Network Test before and after 6 min of viewing either nature or urban pictures, with random assignment into a picture type. Attention immediately before (most fatigued) and after (most restored) picture viewing was measured, and change in attention was compared between age groups and picture types. Results showed that viewing nature, but not urban, pictures significantly improved executive attention in both older and young adults as measured by the Attention Network Test, with similar effects seen in the two age groups. Alerting and orienting attention scores were not affected by picture viewing. This was the first study to show that viewing nature pictures improves attention in older adults, and to show that it is executive attention, specifically, that is improved. Among a growing number of interventions, nature exposure offers a quick, inexpensive, and enjoyable means to provide a temporary boost in executive attention.

  17. The aPC treatment improves microcirculation in severe sepsis/septic shock syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donati, Abele; Damiani, Elisa; Botticelli, Laura; Adrario, Erica; Lombrano, Maria Rita; Domizi, Roberta; Marini, Benedetto; van Teeffelen, Jurgen W. G. E.; Carletti, Paola; Girardis, Massimo; Pelaia, Paolo; Ince, Can

    2013-01-01

    The role of recombinant activated protein C (aPC) during sepsis is still controversial. It showed anti-inflammatory effect and improved the microvascular perfusion in experimental models of septic shock. The present study was aimed at testing the hypothesis that recombinant aPC therapy improves the

  18. SOD1 aggregation in ALS mice shows simplistic test tube behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Lisa; Zetterström, Per; Brännström, Thomas; Marklund, Stefan L; Danielsson, Jens; Oliveberg, Mikael

    2015-08-11

    A longstanding challenge in studies of neurodegenerative disease has been that the pathologic protein aggregates in live tissue are not amenable to structural and kinetic analysis by conventional methods. The situation is put in focus by the current progress in demarcating protein aggregation in vitro, exposing new mechanistic details that are now calling for quantitative in vivo comparison. In this study, we bridge this gap by presenting a direct comparison of the aggregation kinetics of the ALS-associated protein superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in vitro and in transgenic mice. The results based on tissue sampling by quantitative antibody assays show that the SOD1 fibrillation kinetics in vitro mirror with remarkable accuracy the spinal cord aggregate buildup and disease progression in transgenic mice. This similarity between in vitro and in vivo data suggests that, despite the complexity of live tissue, SOD1 aggregation follows robust and simplistic rules, providing new mechanistic insights into the ALS pathology and organism-level manifestation of protein aggregation phenomena in general.

  19. Levodopa responsiveness of dysphagia in advanced Parkinson's disease and reliability testing of the FEES-Levodopa-test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnecke, Tobias; Suttrup, Inga; Schröder, Jens B; Osada, Nani; Oelenberg, Stephan; Hamacher, Christina; Suntrup, Sonja; Dziewas, Rainer

    2016-07-01

    It is still controversially discussed whether central dopaminergic stimulation improves swallowing ability in Parkinson's disease (PD). We evaluated the effect of oral levodopa application on dysphagia in advanced PD patients with motor fluctuations. In 15 PD patients (mean age 71.93 ± 8.29 years, mean disease duration 14.33 ± 5.94 years) with oropharyngeal dysphagia and motor fluctuations endoscopic swallowing evaluation was performed in the off state and on state condition following a specifically developed protocol (FEES-levodopa-test). The respective dysphagia score covered three salient parameters, i. e. premature spillage, penetration/aspiration events and residues, each tested with liquid as well as semisolid and solid food consistencies. An improvement of >30% in this score indicated levodopa responsiveness of dysphagia. Measures were compared between the off- and on-state condition by using the Wilcoxon Test and marginal homogeneity test. Inter- and intrarater reliability was also investigated. Severity of swallowing dysfunction in the off state varied widely. The lowest dysphagia score was 15 points (dysphagia without any aspiration risk). The highest dysphagia score was 84 points (dysphagia with aspiration of all consistencies). Seven patients showed a marked improvement of dysphagia in the on state condition. Eight PD patients did not respond. Inter- and intrarater reliability was excellent for all three subscales in the off state and on state conditions. A significant proportion of advanced PD patients with motor fluctuations and mild to moderate oropharyngeal dysphagia may demonstrate a clinically relevant improvement of swallowing after levodopa challenge. The FEES-levodopa-test is a reliable and sensitive tool to differentiate these responders from non-responders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Novel Feed-Forward Modeling System Leads to Sustained Improvements in Attention and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Ashley F; Rose, Maya; Norris, Troy; Gordon, Eric

    2016-01-28

    This study tested a novel feed-forward modeling (FFM) system as a nonpharmacological intervention for the treatment of ADHD children and the training of cognitive skills that improve academic performance. This study implemented a randomized, controlled, parallel design comparing this FFM with a nonpharmacological community care intervention. Improvements were measured on parent- and clinician-rated scales of ADHD symptomatology and on academic performance tests completed by the participant. Participants were followed for 3 months after training. Participants in the FFM training group showed significant improvements in ADHD symptomatology and academic performance, while the control group did not. Improvements from FFM were sustained 3 months later. The FFM appeared to be an effective intervention for the treatment of ADHD and improving academic performance. This FFM training intervention shows promise as a first-line treatment for ADHD while improving academic performance. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Teaching leadership in trauma resuscitation: Immediate feedback from a real-time, competency-based evaluation tool shows long-term improvement in resident performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg, Shea C; Heffernan, Daithi S; Connolly, Michael D; Stephen, Andrew H; Leuckel, Stephanie N; Harrington, David T; Machan, Jason T; Adams, Charles A; Cioffi, William G

    2016-10-01

    Limited data exist on how to develop resident leadership and communication skills during actual trauma resuscitations. An evaluation tool was developed to grade senior resident performance as the team leader during full-trauma-team activations. Thirty actions that demonstrated the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies were graded on a Likert scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (exceptional). These actions were grouped by their respective core competencies on 5 × 7-inch index cards. In Phase 1, baseline performance scores were obtained. In Phase 2, trauma-focused communication in-services were conducted early in the academic year, and immediate, personalized feedback sessions were performed after resuscitations based on the evaluation tool. In Phase 3, residents received only evaluation-based feedback following resuscitations. In Phase 1 (October 2009 to April 2010), 27 evaluations were performed on 10 residents. In Phase 2 (April 2010 to October 2010), 28 evaluations were performed on nine residents. In Phase 3 (October 2010 to January 2012), 44 evaluations were performed on 13 residents. Total scores improved significantly between Phases 1 and 2 (p = 0.003) and remained elevated throughout Phase 3. When analyzing performance by competency, significant improvement between Phases 1 and 2 (p competencies (patient care, knowledge, system-based practice, practice-based learning) with the exception of "communication and professionalism" (p = 0.56). Statistically similar scores were observed between Phases 2 and 3 in all competencies with the exception of "medical knowledge," which showed ongoing significant improvement (p = 0.003). Directed resident feedback sessions utilizing data from a real-time, competency-based evaluation tool have allowed us to improve our residents' abilities to lead trauma resuscitations over a 30-month period. Given pressures to maximize clinical educational opportunities among work-hour constraints, such a model may help

  2. Testing of the assisting software for radiologists analysing head CT images: lessons learned.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martynov, Petr; Mitropolskii, Nikolai; Kukkola, Katri; Gretsch, Monika; Koivisto, Vesa-Matti; Lindgren, Ilkka; Saunavaara, Jani; Reponen, Jarmo; Mäkynen, Anssi

    2017-12-11

    Assessing a plan for user testing and evaluation of the assisting software developed for radiologists. Test plan was assessed in experimental testing, where users performed reporting on head computed tomography studies with the aid of the software developed. The user testing included usability tests, questionnaires, and interviews. In addition, search relevance was assessed on the basis of user opinions. The testing demonstrated weaknesses in the initial plan and enabled improvements. Results showed that the software has acceptable usability level but some minor fixes are needed before larger-scale pilot testing. The research also proved that it is possible even for radiologists with under a year's experience to perform reporting of non-obvious cases when assisted by the software developed. Due to the small number of test users, it was impossible to assess effects on diagnosis quality. The results of the tests performed showed that the test plan designed is useful, and answers to the key research questions should be forthcoming after testing with more radiologists. The preliminary testing revealed opportunities to improve test plan and flow, thereby illustrating that arranging preliminary test sessions prior to any complex scenarios is beneficial.

  3. Resolution improvement of ultrasonic echography methods in non destructive testing by adaptative deconvolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vivet, L.

    1989-01-01

    The ultrasonic echography has a lot of advantages which make it attractive for nondestructive testing. But the important acoustic energy useful to go through very attenuating materials can be got only with resonant translators, that is a limit for the resolution on measured echograms. This resolution can be improved by deconvolution. But this method is a problem for austenitic steel. Here is developed a method of time deconvolution which allows to take in account the characteristics of the wave. A first step of phase correction and a second step of spectral equalization which gives back the spectral contents of ideal reflectivity. The two steps use fast Kalman filters which reduce the cost of the method

  4. Camera systems for crash and hyge testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreppers, Frederik

    1995-05-01

    Since the beginning of the use of high speed cameras for crash and hyge- testing substantial changements have taken place. Both the high speed cameras and the electronic control equipment are more sophisticated nowadays. With regard to high speed equipment, a short historical retrospective view will show that concerning high speed cameras, the improvements are mainly concentrated in design details, where as the electronic control equipment has taken full advantage of the rapid progress in electronic and computer technology in the course of the last decades. Nowadays many companies and institutes involved in crash and hyge-testing wish to perform this testing, as far as possible, as an automatic computer controlled routine in order to maintain and improve security and quality. By means of several in practice realize solutions, it will be shown how their requirements could be met.

  5. Collaboration can improve individual recognition memory: evidence from immediate and delayed tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaram, Suparna; Pereira-Pasarin, Luciane P

    2007-02-01

    In two experiments, we tested the effects of collaboration on individual recognition memory. In Experiment 1, participants studied pictures and words either for meaning or for surface properties and made recognition memory judgments individually either following group discussion among 3 members (collaborative condition) or in the absence of discussion (noncollaborative condition). Levels of processing and picture superiority effects were replicated, and collaboration significantly increased individual recognition memory. Experiment 2 replicated this positive effect and showed that even though memory sensitivity declined at longer delays (48 h and 1 week), collaboration continued to exert a positive influence. These findings show that (1) consensus is not necessary for producing benefits of collaboration on individual recognition, (2) collaborative facilitation on individual memory is robust, and (3) collaboration enhances individual memory further if conditions predispose individual accuracy in the absence of collaboration.

  6. Improving students’ creativity using cooperative learning with virtual media on static fluida concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunawan; Harjono, A.; Sahidu, H.; Nisrina

    2018-04-01

    Creativity is an important component of global competition in the 21st century. Therefore, learning innovation is needed to make students more creative. This research was conducted to improve students' creativity through cooperative learning using virtual media for the static fluid concept. This study was a quasi-experiment through a pre-test post-test design. The samples were chosen using cluster random sampling technique to obtain two groups, namely experimental group and control group. Data were collected using a creativity test in the form of an essay consisting of verbal and figural tests. The data were analyzed using t-test and N-gain test to determine the improvement of creativity in both groups. The results showed that the improvement of students' creativity in the experimental group was higher than the control group. The difference in the improvement of students’ creativity in both group is significant. Students become more creative especially related to indicators of fluency and elaboration. We conclude that the application of cooperative learning model using virtual media has a positive effect on students’ creativity.

  7. Ventilation System Effectiveness and Tested Indoor Air Quality Impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudd, Armin [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Bergey, Daniel [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Ventilation system effectiveness testing was conducted at two unoccupied, single-family, detached lab homes at the University of Texas - Tyler. Five ventilation system tests were conducted with various whole-building ventilation systems. Multizone fan pressurization testing characterized building and zone enclosure leakage. PFT testing showed multizone air change rates and interzonal airflow. Cumulative particle counts for six particle sizes, and formaldehyde and other Top 20 VOC concentrations were measured in multiple zones. The testing showed that single-point exhaust ventilation was inferior as a whole-house ventilation strategy. It was inferior because the source of outside air was not direct from outside, the ventilation air was not distributed, and no provision existed for air filtration. Indoor air recirculation by a central air distribution system can help improve the exhaust ventilation system by way of air mixing and filtration. In contrast, the supply and balanced ventilation systems showed that there is a significant benefit to drawing outside air from a known outside location, and filtering and distributing that air. Compared to the Exhaust systems, the CFIS and ERV systems showed better ventilation air distribution and lower concentrations of particulates, formaldehyde and other VOCs. System improvement percentages were estimated based on four System Factor Categories: Balance, Distribution, Outside Air Source, and Recirculation Filtration. Recommended System Factors could be applied to reduce ventilation fan airflow rates relative to ASHRAE Standard 62.2 to save energy and reduce moisture control risk in humid climates. HVAC energy savings were predicted to be 8-10%, or $50-$75/year.

  8. Ventilation System Effectiveness and Tested Indoor Air Quality Impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudd, Armin [Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States); Bergey, Daniel [Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States)

    2014-02-01

    In this project, Building America research team Building Science Corporation tested the effectiveness of ventilation systems at two unoccupied, single-family, detached lab homes at the University of Texas - Tyler. Five ventilation system tests were conducted with various whole-building ventilation systems. Multizone fan pressurization testing characterized building and zone enclosure leakage. PFT testing showed multizone air change rates and interzonal airflow. Cumulative particle counts for six particle sizes, and formaldehyde and other Top 20 VOC concentrations were measured in multiple zones. The testing showed that single-point exhaust ventilation was inferior as a whole-house ventilation strategy. This was because the source of outside air was not direct from outside, the ventilation air was not distributed, and no provision existed for air filtration. Indoor air recirculation by a central air distribution system can help improve the exhaust ventilation system by way of air mixing and filtration. In contrast, the supply and balanced ventilation systems showed that there is a significant benefit to drawing outside air from a known outside location, and filtering and distributing that air. Compared to the exhaust systems, the CFIS and ERV systems showed better ventilation air distribution and lower concentrations of particulates, formaldehyde and other VOCs. System improvement percentages were estimated based on four system factor categories: balance, distribution, outside air source, and recirculation filtration. Recommended system factors could be applied to reduce ventilation fan airflow rates relative to ASHRAE Standard 62.2 to save energy and reduce moisture control risk in humid climates. HVAC energy savings were predicted to be 8-10%, or $50-$75/year.

  9. marker development for two novel rice genes showing differential ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-08-19

    Aug 19, 2014 ... School of Crop Improvement, College of PostGraduate Studies, Central Agricultural University, ... from the root transcriptome data for tolerance to low P. .... Values show a representative result of three independent experiments ...

  10. Working Memory Training Does Not Improve Intelligence in Healthy Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chooi, Weng-Tink; Thompson, Lee A.

    2012-01-01

    Jaeggi and her colleagues claimed that they were able to improve fluid intelligence by training working memory. Subjects who trained their working memory on a dual n-back task for a period of time showed significant improvements in working memory span tasks and fluid intelligence tests such as the Raven's Progressive Matrices and the Bochumer…

  11. A improved Network Security Situation Awareness Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Fangwei

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to reflect the situation of network security assessment performance fully and accurately, a new network security situation awareness model based on information fusion was proposed. Network security situation is the result of fusion three aspects evaluation. In terms of attack, to improve the accuracy of evaluation, a situation assessment method of DDoS attack based on the information of data packet was proposed. In terms of vulnerability, a improved Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS was raised and maked the assessment more comprehensive. In terms of node weights, the method of calculating the combined weights and optimizing the result by Sequence Quadratic Program (SQP algorithm which reduced the uncertainty of fusion was raised. To verify the validity and necessity of the method, a testing platform was built and used to test through evaluating 2000 DAPRA data sets. Experiments show that the method can improve the accuracy of evaluation results.

  12. Improving neuromodulation technique for refractory voiding dysfunctions: two-stage implant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janknegt, R A; Weil, E H; Eerdmans, P H

    1997-03-01

    Neuromodulation is a new technique that uses electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves for patients with refractory urinary urge/frequency or urge-incontinence, and some forms of urinary retention. The limiting factor for receiving an implant is often a failure of the percutaneous nerve evaluation (PNE) test. Present publications mention only about a 50% success score for PNE of all patients, although the micturition diaries and urodynamic parameters are similar. We wanted to investigate whether PNE results improved by using a permanent electrode as a PNE test. This would show that improvement of the PNE technique is feasible. In 10 patients where the original PNE had failed to improve the micturition diary parameters more than 50%, a permanent electrode was implanted by operation. It was connected to an external stimulator. In those cases where the patients improved according to their micturition diary by more than 50% during a period of 4 days, the external stimulator was replaced by a permanent subcutaneous neurostimulator. Eight of the 10 patients had a good to very good result (60% to 90% improvement) during the testing period and received their implant 5 to 14 days after the first stage. The good results of the two-stage implant technique we used indicate that the development of better PNE electrodes may lead to an improvement of the testing technique and better selection between nonresponders and technical failures.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sigit Asmara Santa

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Field Test Results of Using a Nacelle-Mounted Lidar for Improving Wind Energy Capture by Reducing Yaw Misalignment (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fleming, P.; Scholbrock, A.; Wright, A.

    2014-11-01

    Presented at the Nordic Wind Power Conference on November 5, 2014. This presentation describes field-test campaigns performed at the National Wind Technology Center in which lidar technology was used to improve the yaw alignment of the Controls Advanced Research Turbine (CART) 2 and CART3 wind turbines. The campaigns demonstrated that whether by learning a correction function to the nacelle vane, or by controlling yaw directly with the lidar signal, a significant improvement in power capture was demonstrated.

  15. Proficiency Testing in Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amry Amin Abbas; Suhairy Sani; Mohamad Pauzi Ismail; Abd Nassir Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    Department of Standard Malaysia (DSM) launched myPTP programme on 31 December 2013 in accordance to ISO/IC 17043. The standard states the requirements for Proficiency Testing. The provider of these services is called Proficiency Testing Provider (PTP). The role of PTP is to compare the proficiency level between inspection bodies or laboratories. With the assistance of expert panel, the PTP will determine the assigned value as reference to be compared to the values obtained from the inspection bodies or laboratories. Quality wise, this services is important as participation will improve wuality of the inspection quality continuously and increase confidence level of client and improve safety level. Requirement of PT in NDT is mentioned in SC1.5- Specific Criteria for Accreditation of Mechanical Testing and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for MS ISO/IEC17025 and MTR2- MIBAS Technical Requirements for Accreditation of NDT. This paper explains and discusses the result of this proficiency test done on a number of NDT companies that participated. (author)

  16. Show Them You Really Want the Job

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlmutter, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Showing that one really "wants" the job entails more than just really wanting the job. An interview is part Broadway casting call, part intellectual dating game, part personality test, and part, well, job interview. When there are 300 applicants for a position, many of them will "fit" the required (and even the preferred) skills listed in the job…

  17. A simple identification method for spore-forming bacteria showing high resistance against γ-rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koshikawa, Tomihiko; Sone, Koji; Kobayashi, Toshikazu

    1993-01-01

    A simple identification method was developed for spore-forming bacteria which are highly resistant against γ-rays. Among 23 species of Bacillus studied, the spores of Bacillus megaterium, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, B. pumilus and B. aneurinolyticus showed high resistance against γ-rays as compared with other spores of Bacillus species. Combination of the seven kinds of biochemical tests, namely, the citrate utilization test, nitrate reduction test, starch hydrolysis test, Voges-Proskauer reaction test, gelatine hydrolysis test, mannitol utilization test and xylose utilization test showed a characteristic pattern for each species of Bacillus. The combination pattern of each the above tests with a few supplementary test, if necessary, was useful to identify Bacillus species showing high radiation resistance against γ-rays. The method is specific for B. megaterium, B. thuringiensis and B. pumilus, and highly selective for B. aneurinolyticus and B. cereus. (author)

  18. Dual-focus Magnification, High-Definition Endoscopy Improves Pathology Detection in Direct-to-Test Diagnostic Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Ashley; Burkitt, Michael D; Cox, Trevor; Smart, Howard L; Probert, Chris; Haslam, Neil; Sarkar, Sanchoy

    2017-03-01

    In the UK, the majority of diagnostic upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopies are a result of direct-to-test referral from the primary care physician. The diagnostic yield of these tests is relatively low, and the burden high on endoscopy services. Dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy is expected to improve detection and classification of UGI mucosal lesions and also help minimize biopsies by allowing better targeting. This is a retrospective study of patients attending for direct-to-test UGI endoscopy from January 2015 to June 2015. The primary outcome of interest was the identification of significant pathology. Detection of significant pathology was modelled using logistic regression. 500 procedures were included. The mean age of patients was 61.5 (±15.6) years; 60.8% of patients were female. Ninety-four gastroscopies were performed using dual-focus magnification high-definition endoscopy. Increasing age, male gender, type of endoscope, and type of operator were all identified as significant factors influencing the odds of detecting significant mucosal pathology. Use of dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy was associated with an odds ratio of 1.87 (95%CI 1.11-3.12) favouring the detection of significant pathology. Subsequent analysis suggested that the increased detection of pathology during dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy also influenced patient follow-up and led to a 3.0 fold (p=0.04) increase in the proportion of patients entered into an UGI endoscopic surveillance program. Dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy improved the diagnostic yield for significant mucosal pathology in patients referred for direct-to-test endoscopy. If this finding is recapitulated elsewhere it will have substantial impact on the provision of UGI endoscopic services.

  19. Long-term retention of a divided attention psycho-motor test combining choice reaction test and postural balance test: A preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, R; Pascolo, P B

    2015-09-01

    Driving in degraded psychophysical conditions, such as under the influence of alcohol or drugs but also in a state of fatigue or drowsiness, is a growing problem. The current roadside tests used for detecting drugs from drivers suffer various limitations, while impairment is subjective and does not necessarily correlate with drug metabolite concentration found in body fluids. This work is a validation step towards the study of feasibility of a novel test conceived to assess psychophysical conditions of individuals performing at-risk activities. Motor gestures, long-term retention and learning phase related to the protocol are analysed in unimpaired subjects. The protocol is a divided attention test, which combines a critical tracking test achieved with postural movements and a visual choice reaction test. Ten healthy subjects participated in a first set of trials and in a second set after about six months. Each session required the carrying out of the test for ten times in order to investigate learning effect and performance over repetitions. In the first set the subjects showed a learning trend up to the third trial, whilst in the second set of trials they showed motor retention. Nevertheless, the overall performance did not significantly improve. Gestures are probably retained due to the type of tasks and the way in which the instructions are conveyed to the subjects. Moreover, motor retention after a short training suggests that the protocol is easy to learn and understand. Implications for roadside test usage and comparison with current tests are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Fire safety improvement of para-aramid fiber in thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Xilei; Wang, Wenduo; Li, Shaoxiang; Jiao, Chuanmei

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Fire safety of para-aramid fiber on TPU has been investigated. • Para-aramid fiber has excellent flame retardant abilities and smoke suppression properties on TPU. • A new technique to improve the fire safety polymer is provided in this article. - Abstract: This article mainly studied fire safety effects of para-aramid fiber (AF) in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The TPU/AF composites were prepared by molten blending method, and then the fire safety effects of all TPU composites were tested using cone calorimeter test (CCT), microscale combustion colorimeter test (MCC), smoke density test (SDT), and thermogravimetric/fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TG-IR). The CCT test showed that AF could improve the fire safety of TPU. Remarkably, the peak value of heat release rate (pHRR) and the peak value of smoke production rate (pSPR) for the sample with 1.0 wt% content of AF were decreased by 52.0% and 40.5% compared with pure TPU, respectively. The MCC test showed that the HRR value of AF-2 decreased by 27.6% compared with pure TPU. TG test showed that AF promoted the char formation in the degradation process of TPU; as a result the residual carbon was increased. The TG-IR test revealed that AF had increased the thermal stability of TPU at the beginning and reduced the release of CO_2 with the decomposition going on. Through the analysis of the results of this experiment, it will make a great influence on the study of the para-aramid fiber in the aspect of fire safety of polymer.

  1. Fire safety improvement of para-aramid fiber in thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Xilei; Wang, Wenduo; Li, Shaoxiang; Jiao, Chuanmei, E-mail: jiaochm@qust.edu.cn

    2017-02-15

    Highlights: • Fire safety of para-aramid fiber on TPU has been investigated. • Para-aramid fiber has excellent flame retardant abilities and smoke suppression properties on TPU. • A new technique to improve the fire safety polymer is provided in this article. - Abstract: This article mainly studied fire safety effects of para-aramid fiber (AF) in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The TPU/AF composites were prepared by molten blending method, and then the fire safety effects of all TPU composites were tested using cone calorimeter test (CCT), microscale combustion colorimeter test (MCC), smoke density test (SDT), and thermogravimetric/fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TG-IR). The CCT test showed that AF could improve the fire safety of TPU. Remarkably, the peak value of heat release rate (pHRR) and the peak value of smoke production rate (pSPR) for the sample with 1.0 wt% content of AF were decreased by 52.0% and 40.5% compared with pure TPU, respectively. The MCC test showed that the HRR value of AF-2 decreased by 27.6% compared with pure TPU. TG test showed that AF promoted the char formation in the degradation process of TPU; as a result the residual carbon was increased. The TG-IR test revealed that AF had increased the thermal stability of TPU at the beginning and reduced the release of CO{sub 2} with the decomposition going on. Through the analysis of the results of this experiment, it will make a great influence on the study of the para-aramid fiber in the aspect of fire safety of polymer.

  2. Reading Improvement through Art Replicator Manual of Instruction, 3rd Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corwin, Sylvia K., Ed.

    2013-01-01

    Reading Improvement Through Art (RITA) program is an interdisciplinary approach to literacy that blends visual art with reading comprehension, evaluated in nine New York City urban high schools. 240 problem readers participating in the pilot program were pre- and post-tested in the Fall 1975 and Spring 1976 semesters. The testing showed the 9th…

  3. Improved PFB operations - 400-hour turbine test results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollbuhler, R. J.; Benford, S. M.; Zellars, G. R.

    1980-04-01

    The paper deals with a 400-hr small turbine test in the effluent of a pressurized fluidized bed (PFB) at an average temperature of 770 C, an average relative gas velocity of 300 m/sec, and average solid loadings of 200 ppm. Consideration is given to combustion parameters and operating procedure as well as to the turbine system and turbine test operating procedures. Emphasis is placed on erosion/corrosion results.

  4. Testing Delays Resulting in Increased Identification Accuracy in Line-Ups and Show-Ups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekle, Dawn J.

    1997-01-01

    Investigated time delays (immediate, two-three days, one week) between viewing a staged theft and attempting an eyewitness identification. Compared lineups to one-person showups in a laboratory analogue involving 412 subjects. Results show that across all time delays, participants maintained a higher identification accuracy with the showup…

  5. Instrumentation Technologies for Improving an Irradiation Testing of Nuclear Fuels and Materials at the HANARO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Bong Goo; Park, Sung Jae; Choo, Ki Nam

    2011-01-01

    Over 50 years of nuclear fuels and materials irradiation testing has led to many countries developing significant improvements in instrumentation to monitor physical parameters and to control the test conditions in Materials Test Reactors (MTRs) or research reactors. Recent effort to deploy new fuels and materials in existing and advanced reactors has increased the demand for well-instrumented irradiation tests. Specifically, demand has increased for tests with sensors capable of providing real-time measurement of key parameters, such as temperature, geometry changes, thermal conductivity, fission gas release, cracking, coating buildup, thermal and fast flux, etc. This review paper documents the current state of instrumentation technologies in MTRs in the world and summarizes on-going research efforts to deploy new sensors. There is increased interest to irradiate new materials and reactor fuels for advanced PWRs and the Gen-IV reactor systems, such as SFRs (Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors), VHTRs (Very-High-Temperature Reactors), SCWRs (Supercritical-Water-cooled Reactors) and GFRs (Gas-cooled Fast Reactor). This review documents the current state of instrumentation technologies in MTRs in the world, identifies challenges faced by previous testing methods and how these challenges were overcome. A wide range of sensors are available to measure key parameters of interest during fuels and materials irradiations in MTRs. Such sensors must be reliable, small size, highly accurate, and able to withstand harsh conditions. On-going development efforts are focusing on providing MTR users a wider range of parameter measurements with increased accuracy. In addition, development efforts are focusing on reducing the impact of sensor on measurements by reducing sensor size. This report includes not only status of instrumentation using research reactors in the world to irradiate nuclear fuels and materials but also future directions relating to instrumentation technologies for

  6. Does ownership of improved dairy cow breeds improve child nutrition? A pathway analysis for Uganda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nassul S Kabunga

    Full Text Available The promotion of livestock production is widely believed to support enhanced diet quality and child nutrition, but the empirical evidence for this causal linkage remains narrow and ambiguous. This study examines whether adoption of improved dairy cow breeds is linked to farm-level outcomes that translate into household-level benefits including improved child nutrition outcomes in Uganda. Using nationwide data from Uganda's National Panel Survey, propensity score matching is used to create an unbiased counterfactual, based on observed characteristics, to assess the net impacts of improved dairy cow adoption. All estimates were tested for robustness and sensitivity to variations in observable and unobservable confounders. Results based on the matched samples showed that households adopting improved dairy cows significantly increased milk yield-by over 200% on average. This resulted in higher milk sales and milk intakes, demonstrating the potential of this agricultural technology to both integrate households into modern value chains and increase households' access to animal source foods. Use of improved dairy cows increased household food expenditures by about 16%. Although undernutrition was widely prevalent in the study sample and in matched households, the adoption of improved dairy cows was associated with lower child stunting in adopter household. In scale terms, results also showed that holding larger farms tends to support adoption, but that this also stimulates the household's ability to achieve gains from adoption, which can translate into enhanced nutrition.

  7. Improvement of bench life-tests for automotive batteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, G.

    A common method for rating the endurance of automotive batteries is the bench life-test according to DIN, IEC, SAE or JIS. With an increasing number of maintenance-free batteries on the market, the application of these tests becomes more problematic. This is due to a step-by-step capacity decline during cycling if the content of autimony in the grid-alloy is decreased. The degradation in performance is caused by the phenomenon of acid stratification. Because this debilitating effect occurs only rarely in service (vehicle movement) if charging and discharging is well balanced, there is a need for a new bench life-test with conditions that are more representative of practical conditions. Research has shown that the main changes should be: (i) an accelerated (moved) battery during cycling; (ii) slightly lower charging or discharging capacity amplitude, also with a lower mean value.

  8. Automated and connected vehicle (AV/CV) test bed to improve transit, bicycle, and pedestrian safety : concept of operations plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-02-01

    This document presents the Concept of Operations (ConOps) Plan for the Automated and Connected Vehicle (AV/CV) Test Bed to Improve Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Safety. As illustrated in Figure 1, the plan presents the overarching vision and goals...

  9. Multiple Improvements of Multiple Imputation Likelihood Ratio Tests

    OpenAIRE

    Chan, Kin Wai; Meng, Xiao-Li

    2017-01-01

    Multiple imputation (MI) inference handles missing data by first properly imputing the missing values $m$ times, and then combining the $m$ analysis results from applying a complete-data procedure to each of the completed datasets. However, the existing method for combining likelihood ratio tests has multiple defects: (i) the combined test statistic can be negative in practice when the reference null distribution is a standard $F$ distribution; (ii) it is not invariant to re-parametrization; ...

  10. Test quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, R.S.; Keller, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    Inservice testing of safety-related components at nuclear power plants is performed under the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (the Code). Subsections IWP and IWV of Section 11 of the Code state test method and frequency requirements for pumps and valves, respectively. Tests vary greatly in quality and frequency. This paper explores the concept of test quality and its relationship with operational readiness and preventive maintenance. This paper also considers the frequencies of component testing. Test quality is related to a test's ability to detect degradation that can cause component failure. The quality of the test depends on several factors, including specific parameters measured, system or component conditions, and instrument accuracy. The quality of some currently required tests for check valves, motor-operated valves, and pumps is also discussed. Suggestions are made to improve test quality by measuring different parameters, testing valves under load, and testing positive displacement pumps at high pressure and centrifugal pumps at high flow rate conditions. These suggestions can help to improve the level of assurance of component operational readiness gained from testing

  11. Impregnation/Agglomeration Laboratory Tests of Heavy Fuel from Prestige to Improve Its Manageability and Removal from Seawater Surface. (Physical Behaviour of Fuel Agglomates)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia Frutos, F. J.; Rodriguez, V.; Otero, J.

    2002-01-01

    The handling and removal problems showed by heavy fuel floating in seawater could be improved or solved by using materials that agglomerate it. These materials must fulfill the following conditions: be inert materials in marine environment, the agglomerated fuel/material should float and its application and removal should be done using simple technologies. Based on these requirements, clay minerals, pine chips, mineral coal and charcoal were selected. The preliminary/results on impregnation/agglomeration with the materials mentioned above of heavy fuel from Prestige at lab scale are presented in this paper. The results have shown that only hydrophobic materials, such as mineral coal and charcoal, are able to agglomerate with fuel, which is also a hydrophobic substance. Whereas the agglomerates fuel/mineral coal sink, the agglomerates fuel/charcoal keep floating on water surface. It can be concluded that the addition of charcoal on dispersed fuel in seawater could improve its handling and removal. In this sense, pilot scale and eventually controlled in situ tests to study the feasibility of the proposed solution should be performed. (Author) 2 refs

  12. A Case with Improvement of Blepharospasm by Zolpidem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munkyung Sunwoo

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Zolpidem is usually used for the treatment of insomnia as a hypnotic drug. It was also suggested to be effective in the treatment of dystonia in some studies. A 74-year-old woman had been suffering from frequent and intense bilateral spasms of the eyelids for 20 years. She has been treated with botulinum toxin injection and taken some medications. But, she experienced a little effect and was not satisfied with those treatments. Her symptom was improved after taking Zolpidem which had been prescribed for insomnia by her primary physician. She did not show any improvement after placebo injection and neostigmine test. This is the first report which shows improvement of isolated blepharospasm by Zolpidem in Korea. Zolpidem can be one of useful alternative pharmacological treatments for blepharospasm. Further randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled studies are needed to validate this finding.

  13. Ontogenetic improvement of visual function in the medaka Oryzias latipes based on an optomotor testing system for larval and adult fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Paulo S. M.; Noltie, Douglas B.; Tillitt, D.E.

    2002-01-01

    We developed a system for evaluation of visual function in larval and adult fish. Both optomotor (swimming) and optokinetic (eye movement) responses were monitored and recorded using a system of rotating stripes. The system allowed manipulation of factors such as width of the stripes used, rotation speed of the striped drum, and light illuminance levels within both the scotopic and photopic ranges. Precise control of these factors allowed quantitative measurements of visual acuity and motion detection. Using this apparatus, we tested the hypothesis that significant posthatch ontogenetic improvements in visual function occur in the medaka Oryzias latipes, and also that this species shows significant in ovo neuronal development. Significant improvements in the acuity angle alpha (ability to discriminate detail) were observed from approximately 5 degrees at hatch to 1 degree in the oldest adult stages. In addition, we measured a significant improvement in flicker fusion thresholds (motion detection skills) between larval and adult life stages within both the scotopic and photopic ranges of light illuminance. Ranges of flicker fusion thresholds (X±SD) at log I=1.96 (photopic) varied from 37.2±1.6 cycles/s in young adults to 18.6±1.6 cycles/s in young larvae 10 days posthatch. At log I=−2.54 (scotopic), flicker fusion thresholds varied from 5.8±0.7 cycles/s in young adults to 1.7±0.4 cycles/s in young larvae 10 days posthatch. Light sensitivity increased approximately 2.9 log units from early hatched larval stages to adults. The demonstrated ontogenetic improvements in visual function probably enable the fish to explore new resources, thereby enlarging their fundamental niche.

  14. Three-dimensional textural features of conventional MRI improve diagnostic classification of childhood brain tumours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetit, Ahmed E; Novak, Jan; Peet, Andrew C; Arvanitits, Theodoros N

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of three-dimensional texture analysis (3D TA) of conventional MR images for the classification of childhood brain tumours in a quantitative manner. The dataset comprised pre-contrast T1 - and T2-weighted MRI series obtained from 48 children diagnosed with brain tumours (medulloblastoma, pilocytic astrocytoma and ependymoma). 3D and 2D TA were carried out on the images using first-, second- and higher order statistical methods. Six supervised classification algorithms were trained with the most influential 3D and 2D textural features, and their performances in the classification of tumour types, using the two feature sets, were compared. Model validation was carried out using the leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) approach, as well as stratified 10-fold cross-validation, in order to provide additional reassurance. McNemar's test was used to test the statistical significance of any improvements demonstrated by 3D-trained classifiers. Supervised learning models trained with 3D textural features showed improved classification performances to those trained with conventional 2D features. For instance, a neural network classifier showed 12% improvement in area under the receiver operator characteristics curve (AUC) and 19% in overall classification accuracy. These improvements were statistically significant for four of the tested classifiers, as per McNemar's tests. This study shows that 3D textural features extracted from conventional T1 - and T2-weighted images can improve the diagnostic classification of childhood brain tumours. Long-term benefits of accurate, yet non-invasive, diagnostic aids include a reduction in surgical procedures, improvement in surgical and therapy planning, and support of discussions with patients' families. It remains necessary, however, to extend the analysis to a multicentre cohort in order to assess the scalability of the techniques used. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Has compliance with CLIA requirements really improved quality in US clinical laboratories?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrmeyer, Sharon S; Laessig, Ronald H

    2004-08-02

    The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA'88) mandate universal requirements for all U.S. clinical laboratory-testing sites. The intent of CLIA'88 is to ensure quality testing through a combination of minimum quality practices that incorporate total quality management concepts. These regulations do not contain established, objective indicators or measures to assess quality. However, there is an implicit assumption that compliance with traditionally accepted good laboratory practices--following manufacturers' directions, routinely analysing quality control materials, applying quality assurance principles, employing and assessing competent testing personnel, and participating in external quality assessment or proficiency testing (PT)--will result in improved test quality. The CLIA'88 regulations do include PT performance standards, which intentionally or unintentionally, define intra-laboratory performance. Passing PT has become a prime motivation for improving laboratory performance; it can also be used as an objective indicator to assess whether compliance to CLIA has improved intra-laboratory quality. Data from 1994 through 2002 indicate that the percentage of laboratories passing PT has increased. In addition to PT performance, subjective indicators of improved quality--frequency of inspection deficiencies, the number of government sanctions for non-compliance, and customer satisfaction--were evaluated. The results from these subjective indicators are more difficult to interpret but also seem to show improved quality in US clinical laboratories eleven years post-CLIA'88.

  16. Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeggi, Susanne M; Buschkuehl, Martin; Jonides, John; Perrig, Walter J

    2008-05-13

    Fluid intelligence (Gf) refers to the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge. Gf is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, and it is considered one of the most important factors in learning. Moreover, Gf is closely related to professional and educational success, especially in complex and demanding environments. Although performance on tests of Gf can be improved through direct practice on the tests themselves, there is no evidence that training on any other regimen yields increased Gf in adults. Furthermore, there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, we present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Gf. This transfer results even though the trained task is entirely different from the intelligence test itself. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of gain in intelligence critically depends on the amount of training: the more training, the more improvement in Gf. That is, the training effect is dosage-dependent. Thus, in contrast to many previous studies, we conclude that it is possible to improve Gf without practicing the testing tasks themselves, opening a wide range of applications.

  17. Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugin, Fiona; Metz, Andreas J.; Stauffer, Madlaina; Wolf, Martin; Jenni, Oskar G.; Huber, Reto

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily), while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls). The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training. PMID:25671082

  18. Results of extended plant tests using more realistic exposure scenarios for improving environmental risk assessment of veterinary pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Elisabeth; Berkner, Silvia; Ebert, Ina; Förster, Bernhard; Graf, Nadin; Herrchen, Monika; Kühnen, Ute; Römbke, Jörg; Simon, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Residues of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) enter the environment via application of manure onto agricultural areas where in particular antibiotics can cause phytotoxicity. Terrestrial plant tests according to OECD guideline 208 are part of the environmental risk assessment of VMPs. However, this standard approach might not be appropriate for VMPs which form non-extractable residues or transformation products in manure and manure-amended soil. Therefore, a new test design with a more realistic exposure scenario via manure application is needed. This paper presents an extended plant test and its experimental verification with the veterinary antibiotics florfenicol and tylosin tartrate. With each substance, plant tests with four different types of application were conducted: standard tests according to OECD 208 and three tests with application of test substance via spiked manure either without storage, aerobically incubated, or anaerobically incubated for different time periods. In standard tests, the lowest NOEC was tylosin tartrate. Pre-tests showed that plant growth was not impaired at 22-g fresh manure/kg dry soil, which therefore was used for the final tests. The application of the test substances via freshly spiked as well as via aerobically incubated manure had no significant influence on the test results. Application of florfenicol via anaerobically incubated manure increased the EC10 by a factor up to 282 and 540 for half-maximum and for maximum incubation period, respectively. For tylosin tartrate, this factor amounted to 64 at half-maximum and 61 at maximum incubation period. The reduction of phytotoxicity was generally stronger when using cattle manure than pig manure and particularly in tests with cattle manure phytotoxicity decreased over the incubation period. The verification of the extended plant test showed that seedling emergence and growth are comparable to a standard OECD 208 test and reliable effect concentrations could be established. As

  19. Modified Anderson-Darling tests with selective power improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Cabaña Nigro, Alejandra

    2001-01-01

    Transformed empirical processes (TEPs) have been used by the authors in a previous paper to construct consistent and selectively efficient goodness-of-fit tests of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov type. A straightforward application of the same ideas to the construction of tests of the Cramér-von-Mises type with the same properties leads to cumbersome computations. This short note of the incovenients encountered, and introduces a new family of quadratic statistics of the Cramér-von Mises type, in order...

  20. Design of Test Tracks for Odometry Calibration of Wheeled Mobile Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changbae Jung

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pose estimation for mobile robots depends basically on accurate odometry information. Odometry from the wheel's encoder is widely used for simple and inexpensive implementation. As the travel distance increases, odometry suffers from kinematic modeling errors regarding the wheels. Therefore, in order to improve the odometry accuracy, it is necessary that systematic errors be calibrated. The UMBmark test is a practical and useful scheme for calibrating the systematic errors of two-wheeled mobile robots. However, the square path track size used in the test has not been validated. A consideration of the calibration equations, experimental conditions, and modeling errors is essential to improve the calibration accuracy. In this paper, we analyze the effect on calibration performance of the approximation errors of calibration equations and nonsystematic errors under experimental conditions. Then, we propose a test track size for improving the accuracy of odometry calibration. From simulation and experimental results, we show that the proposed test track size significantly improves the calibration accuracy of odometry under a normal range of kinematic modeling errors for robots.

  1. Undergraduate Medical Academic Performance is Improved by Scientific Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-01-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and…

  2. Metabolic remodeling agents show beneficial effects in the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahnke Vanessa E

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease involving a severe muscle wasting that is characterized by cycles of muscle degeneration/regeneration and culminates in early death in affected boys. Mitochondria are presumed to be involved in the regulation of myoblast proliferation/differentiation; enhancing mitochondrial activity with exercise mimetics (AMPK and PPAR-delta agonists increases muscle function and inhibits muscle wasting in healthy mice. We therefore asked whether metabolic remodeling agents that increase mitochondrial activity would improve muscle function in mdx mice. Methods Twelve-week-old mdx mice were treated with two different metabolic remodeling agents (GW501516 and AICAR, separately or in combination, for 4 weeks. Extensive systematic behavioral, functional, histological, biochemical, and molecular tests were conducted to assess the drug(s' effects. Results We found a gain in body and muscle weight in all treated mice. Histologic examination showed a decrease in muscle inflammation and in the number of fibers with central nuclei and an increase in fibers with peripheral nuclei, with significantly fewer activated satellite cells and regenerating fibers. Together with an inhibition of FoXO1 signaling, these results indicated that the treatments reduced ongoing muscle damage. Conclusions The three treatments produced significant improvements in disease phenotype, including an increase in overall behavioral activity and significant gains in forelimb and hind limb strength. Our findings suggest that triggering mitochondrial activity with exercise mimetics improves muscle function in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice.

  3. Will fewer tests improve healthcare or profits?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. Earlier this month, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM Foundation, in partnership with Consumer Reports, announced an educational initiative called Choosing Wisely (1. Nine medical organizations were asked to name five things physicians and patients should question. The initiative lists specific, evidence-based recommendations physicians and patients should discuss to make wise decisions on their individual situation. The list of tests and procedures Choosing Wisely advises against include common procedures and treatments such as EKGs done routinely during a physical examination, routine MRI’s for back pain, antibiotics for mild sinusitis, and routine EKG and chest X-rays preoperatively. Some experts estimate that up to one-third of the $2 trillion of annual health care costs in the United States each year is spent on unnecessary hospitalizations and tests, unproven treatments, ineffective new drugs and medical devices, and futile care at the end of life (2. We at the Southwest Journal of Pulmonary …

  4. Towards a Development Environment for Model Based Test Design

    OpenAIRE

    Jing, Han

    2008-01-01

    Within the UP IP I&V organization there is high focus on increasing the ability to predict product quality in a cost efficient way. Test automation has therefore been an important enabler for us. The IP test design environment is continuously evolving and the investigations will show which improvements that is most important to implement in short and long term. In Ericsson UP IP I&V, the test automation framework environments are severed to complete some process by automated method, f...

  5. How to Begin a Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Samuel A; Harel, Ziv; McQuillan, Rory; Weizman, Adam V; Thomas, Alison; Chertow, Glenn M; Nesrallah, Gihad; Bell, Chaim M; Chan, Christopher T

    2016-05-06

    Quality improvement involves a combined effort among health care staff and stakeholders to diagnose and treat problems in the health care system. However, health care professionals often lack training in quality improvement methods, which makes it challenging to participate in improvement efforts. This article familiarizes health care professionals with how to begin a quality improvement project. The initial steps involve forming an improvement team that possesses expertise in the quality of care problem, leadership, and change management. Stakeholder mapping and analysis are useful tools at this stage, and these are reviewed to help identify individuals who might have a vested interest in the project. Physician engagement is a particularly important component of project success, and the knowledge that patients/caregivers can offer as members of a quality improvement team should not be overlooked. After a team is formed, an improvement framework helps to organize the scientific process of system change. Common quality improvement frameworks include Six Sigma, Lean, and the Model for Improvement. These models are contrasted, with a focus on the Model for Improvement, because it is widely used and applicable to a variety of quality of care problems without advanced training. It involves three steps: setting aims to focus improvement, choosing a balanced set of measures to determine if improvement occurs, and testing new ideas to change the current process. These new ideas are evaluated using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, where knowledge is gained by testing changes and reflecting on their effect. To show the real world utility of the quality improvement methods discussed, they are applied to a hypothetical quality improvement initiative that aims to promote home dialysis (home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis). This provides an example that kidney health care professionals can use to begin their own quality improvement projects. Copyright © 2016 by the American

  6. Improving Public Schools through the Dissent of Parents: Opting out of Tests, Demanding Alternative Curricula, Invoking Parent Trigger Laws, and Withdrawing Entirely

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stitzlein, Sarah M.

    2015-01-01

    Some parents and caregivers, frustrated by low academic performance of their local school, emphasis on testing, or the content of the curriculum, have worked independently or formed parent groups to speak out and demand improvements. Parents and families enact solutions such as opting out of tests, developing alternative curricula, invoking parent…

  7. Improving attitudes toward mathematics learning with problem posing in class VIII

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionita, Alfha; Purboningsih, Dyah

    2017-08-01

    This research is classroom action research which is collaborated to improve student's behavior toward math and mathematics learning at class VIII by using problem posing approach. The subject of research is all of students grade VIIIA which consist of 32 students. This research has been held on two period, first period is about 3 times meeting, and second period is about 4 times meeting. The instrument of this research is implementation of learning observation's guidance by using problem posing approach. Cycle test has been used to measure cognitive competence, and questionnaire to measure the students' behavior in mathematics learning process. The result of research shows the students' behavior has been improving after using problem posing approach. It is showed by the behavior's criteria of students that has increasing result from the average in first period to high in second period. Furthermore, the percentage of test result is also improve from 68,75% in first period to 78,13% in second period. On the other hand, the implementation of learning observation by using problem posing approach has also improving and it is showed by the average percentage of teacher's achievement in first period is 89,2% and student's achievement 85,8%. These results get increase in second period for both teacher and students' achievement which are 94,4% and 91,11%. As a result, students' behavior toward math learning process in class VIII has been improving by using problem posing approach.

  8. Test quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, R.S.; Keller, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    This document discusses inservice testing of safety-related components at nuclear power plants which is performed under the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (the Code). Subsections IWP and IWV of Section XI of the Code state test method and frequency requirements for pumps and valves respectively. Tests vary greatly in quality and frequency. This paper explores the concept of test quality and its relationship with operational readiness and preventive maintenance. This paper also considers the frequencies of component testing. Test quality is related to a test's ability to detect degradation that can cause component failure. The quality of the test depends on several factors, including specific parameters measured, system or component conditions, and instrument accuracy. The quality of some currently required tests for check valves, motor-operated valves, and pumps is also discussed. Suggestions are made to improve test quality by measuring different parameters, testing valves under load, and testing positive displacement pumps at high pressure and centrifugal pumps at high flow rate conditions. These suggestions can help to improve the level of assurance of component operational readiness gained from testing

  9. Improved animal models for testing gene therapy for atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Liang; Zhang, Jingwan; De Meyer, Guido R Y; Flynn, Rowan; Dichek, David A

    2014-04-01

    Gene therapy delivered to the blood vessel wall could augment current therapies for atherosclerosis, including systemic drug therapy and stenting. However, identification of clinically useful vectors and effective therapeutic transgenes remains at the preclinical stage. Identification of effective vectors and transgenes would be accelerated by availability of animal models that allow practical and expeditious testing of vessel-wall-directed gene therapy. Such models would include humanlike lesions that develop rapidly in vessels that are amenable to efficient gene delivery. Moreover, because human atherosclerosis develops in normal vessels, gene therapy that prevents atherosclerosis is most logically tested in relatively normal arteries. Similarly, gene therapy that causes atherosclerosis regression requires gene delivery to an existing lesion. Here we report development of three new rabbit models for testing vessel-wall-directed gene therapy that either prevents or reverses atherosclerosis. Carotid artery intimal lesions in these new models develop within 2-7 months after initiation of a high-fat diet and are 20-80 times larger than lesions in a model we described previously. Individual models allow generation of lesions that are relatively rich in either macrophages or smooth muscle cells, permitting testing of gene therapy strategies targeted at either cell type. Two of the models include gene delivery to essentially normal arteries and will be useful for identifying strategies that prevent lesion development. The third model generates lesions rapidly in vector-naïve animals and can be used for testing gene therapy that promotes lesion regression. These models are optimized for testing helper-dependent adenovirus (HDAd)-mediated gene therapy; however, they could be easily adapted for testing of other vectors or of different types of molecular therapies, delivered directly to the blood vessel wall. Our data also supports the promise of HDAd to deliver long

  10. PICTURES FOR IMPROVING INDONESIAN EFL STUDENTS’ SPEAKING COMPETENCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Aprianto Budie Nugroho

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate whether to what extent pictures can improve students’ speaking competence. It was carried out at SMAN in Cigugur for three months. The subject of the research was the students of SMAN in Cigugur in the academic year 2012/2013. The research method was classroom research and it was conducted in two cycles. The data was collected through interview, observation, diaries, document and test. The qualitative data were analyzed by using constant comparative method. While the quantitative data were analyzed by descriptive statistic to calculate the mean scores of pre-test, test, and post-test. The research findings show pictures can improve the students’ speaking competence by indicating their speaking fluency, appropriate vocabularies, grammatical sentences, and good pronunciation. The advantages of pictures were also shown by the classroom situation, i.e.: during the speaking class the students can answer teacher’s questions; the students had courage to express their idea freely; the speaking activities was not limited in the written way; and their attention in speaking class.

  11. Improving students’ understanding of mathematical concept using maple

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ningsih, Y. L.; Paradesa, R.

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Improvement Of Physical Ergonomics Using Material Handling Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveen Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This research paper is an investigation of the physical ergonomics of the work place in an automotive parts manufacturing company . Material transfer from one station to another station was done by hand including a walk of a few steps to the next station. The unmachined components that has a quite heavy raw weight also they are being loaded and unloaded by hand .Due to this continuous practice some workers began complaining physical pain in their backs and muscular related pains. The work conditions of the workers were assessed using the REBA Rapid Entire Body Assessment test to understand the stress and the impact the work environment they are exposed to. Few material handling concepts have been suggested and explained to improve the quality of the work conditions for the workers and the REBA test tends to show some significant improvement when these improvements are implemented into the production line.

  13. Pleasant music improves visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung

    2013-01-01

    To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.

  14. Neurological tests improve after Olympic-style boxing bouts: a pretournament and post-tournament study in the 2016 Women's World Boxing Championships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, David R; Meehan, William P; Loosemore, Michael P; Cummiskey, Joseph; Grabner von Rosenberg, Jean-Paul; McDonagh, David

    2017-09-01

    To prospectively examine the neurocognitive, postural, dual-task and visual abilities of female Olympic-style boxers before and after participation in a tournament. Sixty-one females completed the modified Balance Error Scoring System (mBESS), King-Devick test and 3 m timed-up-and-go test in single-task and dual-task conditions. A subset (n=31) completed the CogState computerised neurocognitive test. Initial testing was completed prior to the 2016 Women's World Boxing Championships; each participant repeated the testing protocol within a day of elimination. No participant sustained a concussion. Pretournament and post-tournament performance variables were compared using paired t-tests or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Participants completed a mean of 7.5±4.5 rounds of Olympic-style boxing over 2-8 days. Post-tournament scores were significantly lower than pretournament scores for total mBESS (2.2±1.9 errors vs 5.5±2.9 errors, pboxing tournament (maze chase task: 1.39±0.34 correct moves/second vs 1.17±0.44 correct moves/second, p=0.001, d =0.58). No significant changes across time were detected for the other obtained outcome variables. Female boxers demonstrated either improvement or no significant changes in test performance after competing in an Olympic-style boxing tournament, relative to pretournament performance. As many of the test tasks were novel for the boxers, practice effects may have contributed to improved performance. When there is a short time frame between assessments, clinicians should be aware of potential practice effects when using ringside neurological tests. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  15. Receiver-operating characteristic curves and likelihood ratios: improvements over traditional methods for the evaluation and application of veterinary clinical pathology tests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gardner, Ian A.; Greiner, Matthias

    2006-01-01

    Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves provide a cutoff-independent method for the evaluation of continuous or ordinal tests used in clinical pathology laboratories. The area under the curve is a useful overall measure of test accuracy and can be used to compare different tests (or...... different equipment) used by the same tester, as well as the accuracy of different diagnosticians that use the same test material. To date, ROC analysis has not been widely used in veterinary clinical pathology studies, although it should be considered a useful complement to estimates of sensitivity...... and specificity in test evaluation studies. In addition, calculation of likelihood ratios can potentially improve the clinical utility of such studies because likelihood ratios provide an indication of how the post-test probability changes as a function of the magnitude of the test results. For ordinal test...

  16. An Analysis of Rocket Propulsion Testing Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Pagan, Carmen P.; Rahman, Shamim A.

    2009-01-01

    The primary mission at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC) is rocket propulsion testing. Such testing is generally performed within two arenas: (1) Production testing for certification and acceptance, and (2) Developmental testing for prototype or experimental purposes. The customer base consists of NASA programs, DOD programs, and commercial programs. Resources in place to perform on-site testing include both civil servants and contractor personnel, hardware and software including data acquisition and control, and 6 test stands with a total of 14 test positions/cells. For several business reasons there is the need to augment understanding of the test costs for all the various types of test campaigns. Historical propulsion test data was evaluated and analyzed in many different ways with the intent to find any correlation or statistics that could help produce more reliable and accurate cost estimates and projections. The analytical efforts included timeline trends, statistical curve fitting, average cost per test, cost per test second, test cost timeline, and test cost envelopes. Further, the analytical effort includes examining the test cost from the perspective of thrust level and test article characteristics. Some of the analytical approaches did not produce evidence strong enough for further analysis. Some other analytical approaches yield promising results and are candidates for further development and focused study. Information was organized for into its elements: a Project Profile, Test Cost Timeline, and Cost Envelope. The Project Profile is a snap shot of the project life cycle on a timeline fashion, which includes various statistical analyses. The Test Cost Timeline shows the cumulative average test cost, for each project, at each month where there was test activity. The Test Cost Envelope shows a range of cost for a given number of test(s). The supporting information upon which this study was performed came from diverse sources and thus it was necessary to

  17. Probabilistic Requirements (Partial) Verification Methods Best Practices Improvement. Variables Acceptance Sampling Calculators: Empirical Testing. Volume 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kenneth L.; White, K. Preston, Jr.

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Engineering and Safety Center was requested to improve on the Best Practices document produced for the NESC assessment, Verification of Probabilistic Requirements for the Constellation Program, by giving a recommended procedure for using acceptance sampling by variables techniques as an alternative to the potentially resource-intensive acceptance sampling by attributes method given in the document. In this paper, the results of empirical tests intended to assess the accuracy of acceptance sampling plan calculators implemented for six variable distributions are presented.

  18. Learning software testing with Test Studio

    CERN Document Server

    Madi, Rawane

    2013-01-01

    Learning Software Testing with Test Studio is a practical, hands-on guide that will help you get started with Test Studio to design your automated solution and tests. All through the book, there are best practices and tips and tricks inside Test Studio which can be employed to improve your solution just like an experienced QA.If you are a beginner or a professional QA who is seeking a fast, clear, and direct to the point start in automated software testing inside Test Studio, this book is for you. You should be familiar with the .NET framework, mainly Visual Studio, C#, and SQL, as the book's

  19. Physical Stress Echocardiography: Prediction of Mortality and Cardiac Events in Patients with Exercise Test showing Ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carla Pereira de Araujo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Studies have demonstrated the diagnostic accuracy and prognostic value of physical stress echocardiography in coronary artery disease. However, the prediction of mortality and major cardiac events in patients with exercise test positive for myocardial ischemia is limited. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of physical stress echocardiography in the prediction of mortality and major cardiac events in patients with exercise test positive for myocardial ischemia. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort in which 866 consecutive patients with exercise test positive for myocardial ischemia, and who underwent physical stress echocardiography were studied. Patients were divided into two groups: with physical stress echocardiography negative (G1 or positive (G2 for myocardial ischemia. The endpoints analyzed were all-cause mortality and major cardiac events, defined as cardiac death and non-fatal acute myocardial infarction. Results: G2 comprised 205 patients (23.7%. During the mean 85.6 ± 15.0-month follow-up, there were 26 deaths, of which six were cardiac deaths, and 25 non-fatal myocardial infarction cases. The independent predictors of mortality were: age, diabetes mellitus, and positive physical stress echocardiography (hazard ratio: 2.69; 95% confidence interval: 1.20 - 6.01; p = 0.016. The independent predictors of major cardiac events were: age, previous coronary artery disease, positive physical stress echocardiography (hazard ratio: 2.75; 95% confidence interval: 1.15 - 6.53; p = 0.022 and absence of a 10% increase in ejection fraction. All-cause mortality and the incidence of major cardiac events were significantly higher in G2 (p < 0. 001 and p = 0.001, respectively. Conclusion: Physical stress echocardiography provides additional prognostic information in patients with exercise test positive for myocardial ischemia.

  20. Show-Bix &

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2014-01-01

    The anti-reenactment 'Show-Bix &' consists of 5 dias projectors, a dial phone, quintophonic sound, and interactive elements. A responsive interface will enable the Dias projectors to show copies of original dias slides from the Show-Bix piece ”March på Stedet”, 265 images in total. The copies are...

  1. An Improved Measure of Reading Skill: The Cognitive Structure Test

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sorrells, Robert

    1997-01-01

    This study compared the construct validity and the predictive validity of a new test, called the Cognitive Structure Test, to multiple-choice tests of reading skill, namely the Armed Forces Vocational...

  2. Improved iterative oscillation tests for first-order deviating differential equations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Chatzarakis

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, improved oscillation conditions are established for the oscillation of all solutions of differential equations with non-monotone deviating arguments and nonnegative coefficients. They lead to a procedure that checks for oscillations by iteratively computing \\(\\lim \\sup\\ and \\(\\lim \\inf\\ on terms recursively defined on the equation's coefficients and deviating argument. This procedure significantly improves all known oscillation criteria. The results and the improvement achieved over the other known conditions are illustrated by two examples, numerically solved in MATLAB.

  3. Citizen Science: The Small World Initiative Improved Lecture Grades and California Critical Thinking Skills Test Scores of Nonscience Major Students at Florida Atlantic University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Joseph P; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J; Saunders, Mary Jane

    2016-03-01

    Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested "The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery" to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of non-science majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution) in academic year 2014-15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI) and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students.

  4. Implementation of a Computerized Screening Inventory: Improved Usability Through Iterative Testing and Modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudreaux, Edwin D; Fischer, Andrew Christopher; Haskins, Brianna Lyn; Saeed Zafar, Zubair; Chen, Guanling; Chinai, Sneha A

    2016-03-09

    The administration of health screeners in a hospital setting has traditionally required (1) clinicians to ask questions and log answers, which can be time consuming and susceptible to error, or (2) patients to complete paper-and-pencil surveys, which require third-party entry of information into the electronic health record and can be vulnerable to error and misinterpretation. A highly promising method that avoids these limitations and bypasses third-party interpretation is direct entry via a computerized inventory. To (1) computerize medical and behavioral health screening for use in general medical settings, (2) optimize patient acceptability and feasibility through iterative usability testing and modification cycles, and (3) examine how age relates to usability. A computerized version of 15 screeners, including behavioral health screeners recommended by a National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research collaborative workgroup, was subjected to systematic usability testing and iterative modification. Consecutive adult, English-speaking patients seeking treatment in an urban emergency department were enrolled. Acceptability was defined as (1) the percentage of eligible patients who agreed to take the assessment (initiation rate) and (2) average satisfaction with the assessment (satisfaction rate). Feasibility was defined as the percentage of the screening items completed by those who initiated the assessment (completion rate). Chi-square tests, analyses of variance, and Pearson correlations were used to detect whether improvements in initiation, satisfaction, and completion rates were seen over time and to examine the relation between age and outcomes. Of 2157 eligible patients approached, 1280 agreed to complete the screening (initiation rate=59.34%). Statistically significant increases were observed over time in satisfaction (F3,1061=3.35, P=.019) and completion rates (F3,1276=25.44, PUsability testing revealed several critical

  5. Improvements to a uranium solidification process by in-plant testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rindfleisch, J.A.

    1984-01-01

    When a process is having operational or equipment problems, often there is not enough time or money available for an extensive pilot plant program. This is when in-plant testing becomes imperative. One such process at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) to undergo such an in-plant testing program was the uranium product solidification (denitrator) system. The testing program took approximately six months of in-plant testing that would have required at least two years of pilot plant preparation and operation to obtain the same information. This paper describes the results of the testing program, and the equipment and procedural changes

  6. Donepezil improved memory in multiple sclerosis in a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupp, L B; Christodoulou, C; Melville, P; Scherl, W F; MacAllister, W S; Elkins, L E

    2004-11-09

    To determine the effect of donepezil in treating memory and cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS). This single-center double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated 69 MS patients with cognitive impairment who were randomly assigned to receive a 24-week treatment course of either donepezil (10 mg daily) or placebo. Patients underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline and after 24 weeks of treatment. The primary outcome was change in verbal learning and memory on the Selective Reminding Test (SRT). Secondary outcomes included other tests of cognitive function, patient-reported change in memory, and clinician-reported impression of cognitive change. Donepezil-treated patients showed significant improvement in memory performance on the SRT compared to placebo (p = 0.043). The benefit of donepezil remained significant after controlling for various covariates including age, Expanded Disability Status Scale, baseline SRT score, reading ability, MS subtype, and sex. Donepezil-treated patients did not show significant improvements on other cognitive tests, but were more than twice as likely to report memory improvement than those in the placebo group (p = 0.006). The clinician also reported cognitive improvement in almost twice as many donepezil vs placebo patients (p = 0.036). No serious adverse events related to study medication occurred, although more donepezil (34.3%) than placebo (8.8%) subjects reported unusual/abnormal dreams (p = 0.010). Donepezil improved memory in MS patients with initial cognitive impairment in a single center clinical trial. A larger multicenter investigation of donepezil in MS is warranted in order to more definitively assess the efficacy of this intervention.

  7. Post-examination interpretation of objective test data: monitoring and improving the quality of high-stakes examinations--a commentary on two AMEE Guides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavakol, Mohsen; Dennick, Reg

    2012-01-01

    As great emphasis is rightly placed upon the importance of assessment to judge the quality of our future healthcare professionals, it is appropriate not only to choose the most appropriate assessment method, but to continually monitor the quality of the tests themselves, in a hope that we may continually improve the process. This article stresses the importance of quality control mechanisms in the exam cycle and briefly outlines some of the key psychometric concepts including reliability measures, factor analysis, generalisability theory and item response theory. The importance of such analyses for the standard setting procedures is emphasised. This article also accompanies two new AMEE Guides in Medical Education (Tavakol M, Dennick R. Post-examination Analysis of Objective Tests: AMEE Guide No. 54 and Tavakol M, Dennick R. 2012. Post examination analysis of objective test data: Monitoring and improving the quality of high stakes examinations: AMEE Guide No. 66) which provide the reader with practical examples of analysis and interpretation, in order to help develop valid and reliable tests.

  8. Testing improved steam separators in third energy block of Chernobyl AES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novosel' skiy, O Yu; Karasev, V B; Sakovich, E V; Lyutov, M A; An' kov, V I

    1984-12-01

    Improved steam separating drums are described. These have a four-row arrangement of the pipe unions of the steam-water supply lines, with increased diameter. Two collectors 400 mm in diameter from adjacent separators drums go to a single steam line 600 mm in diameter, which goes to the turbine. Tests of the system were conducted at a pressure of 7 MPa and at thermal power of 65, 83, 93, and 100% of rated value to determine the dependence of the moisture content at the output from the separator drum on the mass level at constant thermal power of the block. The separator drums, 2600 mm in diameter, were found to have a reserve for maximum permissible moisture content, and the moisture content of the steam in the central pipe unions did not exceed 0.02% with a level in the drums 200 mm above the rated level. Thus maintenance of the level above the submerged perforated plate by 100 mm above the planned level permits an increase of the water reserve in the multiple forced circulation circuit by 28 m/sup 3/ and does not hinder an increase of the steam productivity of the block.

  9. ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING APPROACHES IN IMPROVING LEARNING OUTCOMES IN ACID-BASE SUBJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachmat Sahputra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning in the understanding of acid-base chemistry in schools needs to be improved so research to determine differences in learning outcomes between students taught using environmental approaches and methods lectures in class XI SMA on acid-base subject needs to be done. In this study, using a quasi-experimental method using a data collection tool achievement test essay form. The test statistic results of the post-test learning has been obtained Asymp value. Sig (2-tailed 0,026 that showed the differences between students' learning outcomes with a control experimental class with effect size of 0.63 or much influence difference with the percentage 23.57% which indicated that the learning environment approach can improve learning outcomes of high school students.

  10. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

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

  11. Autistic adolescents show atypical activation of the brain's mentalizing system even without a prior history of mentalizing problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Sarah J; Frith, Uta; Rellecke, Julian; Al-Noor, Zainab; Gilbert, Sam J

    2014-04-01

    Some autistic children pass classic Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks that others fail, but the significance of this finding is at present unclear. We identified two such groups of primary school age (labelled ToM+ and ToM-) and a matched comparison group of typically developing children (TD). Five years later we tested these participants again on a ToM test battery appropriate for adolescents and conducted an fMRI study with a story based ToM task. We also assessed autistic core symptoms at these two time points. At both times the ToM- group showed more severe social communication impairments than the ToM+ group, and while showing an improvement in mentalizing performance, they continued to show a significant impairment compared to the NT group. Two independent ROI analyses of the BOLD signal showed activation of the mentalizing network including medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate and lateral temporal cortices. Strikingly, both ToM+ and ToM- groups showed very similar patterns of heightened activation in comparison with the NT group. No differences in other brain regions were apparent. Thus, autistic adolescents who do not have a history of mentalizing problems according to our ToM battery showed the same atypical neurophysiological response during mentalizing as children who did have such a history. This finding indicates that heterogeneity at the behavioural level may nevertheless map onto a similar phenotype at the neuro-cognitive level. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Experimental Study of Improved Loess High Embankment Foundation Jointly by Chemical Materials and Electric Field Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin He

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electric field treatment is a kind of new technology that improves and reinforces soil. Proper amounts of lime and sodium sulfate were added to the soil as stabilizers. Compacted the mixture to meet the predetermined dry density and then imposed a certain intensity of electric field on it. After curing, unconfined compression tests, direct shear tests, high pressure compression tests and collapsibility tests were carried out. The results show that the engineering properties of the improved soils, such as its unconfined compressive strength, shear strength, compressibility, are better than that of the backfill compacted loess. Moreover, collapsibility under the different degree of compaction has been removed. The microstructure and improving mechanism of the improved soils are analyzed using scanning electron microscope (SEM, and the results can provide references for further study and engineering application.

  13. IMPROVEMENT OF GRAPH INTERPRETATION ABILITY USING HYPERTEXT-ASSISTED KINEMATIC LEARNING AND FORMAL THINKING ABILITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. R. Manurung

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The effectiveness of hypertext media in improving graph interpretation ability is investigated in this paper. In addition, joint ability of the formal thinking to improve the graph ability of prospective students is considered. The research design used is the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design is carried out in the research by taking 36 students on from Physics Education Program in one institute for teacher education in Medan. The test consists of graph interpretation ability test in the topic of kinematics and Test of Logical Thinking (TOLT or formal thinking before learning and graph interpretation ability test after learning. The data are then analysed by using SPSS based two ways Analisys of Variance (ANOVA method. The results show that the ability to interpretate graph is significantly improved by using hypertext media assisted kinematic learning.

  14. The information seeking and procurment needs of attendees at an industrial trade show

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. C. Bresler

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this article is to describe what attracts visitors to an industrial trade show, and to profile them. This will enable the show organisers to attract the right mix of exhibitors and fulfil their dual role of satisfying the needs of both attendees and exhibitors and improve the role of exhibitions in the latter's marketing mix. Problem investigated: The research seeks to elicit the attendance objectives of participants in order to ascertain their information seeking and procurement needs. This can be used to improve the marketing communication of both the organisers and exhibitors. Research methodology: The research design is a multi method, descriptive study. A non probability, judgemental sample was drawn; 1020 interviews were conducted per Electra Mining Africa expo in 2004 and 2006. Both open ended and fixed response questions were posed and due to the similarity of responses, 300 per show were analysed. The researcher fulfilled a participant observer role to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings. Findings/implications: The prime reason for visitation was to see what is new, discover, and gather information, and attendees were not disappointed in that. The trade shows attracted an informed, niche audience. Exhibitors gained access to key decision makers with buying influence. Attendees represented all roles in the buying process and intended to buy some capital items exhibited within the following year. Business contacts were made. The attraction and contact efficiency of the exhibition's were high and may result in conversion efficiency. In terms of market and geographical coverage it is a vertical international show. Originality: This paper contributes to limited research conducted on trade shows, especially in South Africa. It is unique in that it describes the effectiveness of an industrial trade show from a demand perspective in order to improve the facilitating role of exhibition organisers. It

  15. Determination of elastic modulus of ceramics using ultrasonic testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasmita, Firmansyah; Wibisono, Gatot; Judawisastra, Hermawan; Priambodo, Toni Agung

    2018-04-01

    Elastic modulus is important material property on structural ceramics application. However, bending test as a common method for determining this property require particular specimen preparation. Furthermore, elastic modulus of ceramics could vary because it depends on porosity content. For structural ceramics industry, such as ceramic tiles, this property is very important. This drives the development of new method to improve effectivity or verification method as well. In this research, ultrasonic testing was conducted to determine elastic modulus of soda lime glass and ceramic tiles. The experiment parameter was frequency of probe (1, 2, 4 MHz). Characterization of density and porosity were also done for analysis. Results from ultrasonic testing were compared with elastic modulus resulted from bending test. Elastic modulus of soda-lime glass based on ultrasonic testing showed excellent result with error 2.69% for 2 MHz probe relative to bending test result. Testing on red and white ceramic tiles were still contained error up to 41% and 158%, respectively. The results for red ceramic tile showed trend that 1 MHz probe gave better accuracy in determining elastic modulus. However, testing on white ceramic tile showed different trend. It was due to the presence of porosity and near field effect.

  16. An improved standard total dose test for CMOS space electronics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleetwood, D.M.; Winokur, P.S.; Riewe, L.C.; Pease, R.L.

    1989-01-01

    The postirradiation response of hardened and commercial CMOS devices is investigated as a function of total dose, dose rate, and annealing time and temperature. Cobalt-60 irradiation at ≅ 200 rad(SiO 2 )/s followed by a 1-week 100 degrees C biased anneal and testing is shown to be an effective screen of hardened devices for space use. However, a similar screen and single-point test performed after Co-60 irradiation and elevated temperature anneal cannot be generally defined for commercial devices. In the absence of detailed knowledge about device and circuit radiation response, a two-point standard test is proposed to ensure space surviability of CMOS circuits: a Co-60 irradiation and test to screen against oxide-trapped charge related failures, and an additional rebound test to screen against interface-trap related failures. Testing implications for bipolar technologies are also discussed

  17. Interaction between morphine and noradrenergic system of basolateral amygdala on anxiety and memory in the elevated plus-maze test based on a test-retest paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valizadegan, Farhad; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad Reza

    2013-05-01

    The amygdala is the key brain structure for anxiety and emotional memory storage. We examined the involvement of β-adrenoreceptors in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their interaction with morphine in modulating these behaviors. The elevated plus-maze has been employed for investigating anxiety and memory. Male Wistar rats were used for this test. We injected morphine (4, 5, and 6 mg/kg) intraperitoneally, while salbutamol (albuterol) (1, 2, and 4 μg/rat) and propranolol (1, 2, and 4 μg/rat) were injected into the BLA. Open- arms time percentage (%OAT), open- arms entry percentage (%OAE), and locomotor activity were determined by this behavioral test. Retention was tested 24 hours later. Intraperitoneal injection of morphine (6 mg/kg) had an anxiolytic-like effect and improvement of memory. The highest dose of salbutamol decreased the anxiety parameters in test session and improved the memory in retest session. Coadministration of salbutamol and ineffective dose of morphine presenting anxiolytic response. In this case, the memory was improved. Intra-BLA administration of propranolol (4 μg/rat) decreased %OAT in the test session, while had no effect on memory formation. Coadministration of propranolol and morphine (6 mg/kg) showed an increase in %OAT. There was not any significant change in the above- mentioned parameter in the retest session. Coadministration of morphine and propranolol with the effective dose of salbutamol showed that propranolol could reverse anxiolytic-like effect. We found that opioidergic and β-adrenergic systems have the same effects on anxiety and memory in the BLA; but these effects are independent of each other.

  18. Improving the Traditional Testing Methods in Learning Foreign Languages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pachovski, Veno; Dimova, Slobodanka; Vaneva, Marjana

    2012-01-01

    A model for gathering oral answers as part of testing the speaker skills (i.e. command of language, native or foreign) is presented, as well as the software used in the experimentation. The research presented here is a result of more than six (6) months’ work with TESOL experts, based on 60 test...

  19. An improved stress corrosion test medium for aluminum alloys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, T. S.; Coston, J. E.

    1981-01-01

    A laboratory test method that is only mildly corrosive to aluminum and discriminating for use in classifying the stress corrosion cracking resistance of aluminum alloys is presented along with the method used in evaluating the media selected for testing. The proposed medium is easier to prepare and less expensive than substitute ocean water.

  20. Improving Negative Emotion Recognition in Young Offenders Reduces Subsequent Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubble, Kelly; Bowen, Katharine L; Moore, Simon C; van Goozen, Stephanie H M

    2015-01-01

    Children with antisocial behaviour show deficits in the perception of emotional expressions in others that may contribute to the development and persistence of antisocial and aggressive behaviour. Current treatments for antisocial youngsters are limited in effectiveness. It has been argued that more attention should be devoted to interventions that target neuropsychological correlates of antisocial behaviour. This study examined the effect of emotion recognition training on criminal behaviour. Emotion recognition and crime levels were studied in 50 juvenile offenders. Whilst all young offenders received their statutory interventions as the study was conducted, a subgroup of twenty-four offenders also took part in a facial affect training aimed at improving emotion recognition. Offenders in the training and control groups were matched for age, SES, IQ and lifetime crime level. All offenders were tested twice for emotion recognition performance, and recent crime data were collected after the testing had been completed. Before the training there were no differences between the groups in emotion recognition, with both groups displaying poor fear, sadness and anger recognition. After the training fear, sadness and anger recognition improved significantly in juvenile offenders in the training group. Although crime rates dropped in all offenders in the 6 months following emotion testing, only the group of offenders who had received the emotion training showed a significant reduction in the severity of the crimes they committed. The study indicates that emotion recognition can be relatively easily improved in youths who engage in serious antisocial and criminal behavior. The results suggest that improved emotion recognition has the potential to reduce the severity of reoffending.

  1. Using Small Tests of Change to Improve PMTCT Services in Northern Nigeria: Experiences From Implementation of a Continuous Quality Improvement and Breakthrough Series Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osibo, Bamidele; Oronsaye, Frank; Alo, Oluwafemi D; Phillips, Abimbola; Becquet, Renaud; Shaffer, Nathan; Ogirima, Francis; Imarhiagbe, Collins; Ameh, Bernice; Ezebuka, Obioma; Sodzi-Tettey, Sodzi; Obi, Adaobi; Afolabi, Olusegun T; Inedu, Abutu; Anyaike, Chukwuma; Oyeledun, Bolanle

    2017-06-01

    Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a process where health teams systematically collect and regularly reflect on local data to inform decisions and modify local practices and so improve delivery of services. We implemented a cluster randomized trial to examine the effects of CQI interventions on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services. Here, we report our experiences and challenges establishing CQI in 2 high HIV prevalence states in northern Nigeria. Facility-based teams were trained to implement CQI activities, including structured assessments, developing change packages, and participation in periodic collaborative learning sessions. Locally evolved solutions (change ideas) were tested and measured using process data and intermediate process indicators were agreed including overall time spent accessing services, client satisfaction, and quality of data. Health workers actively participated in clinic activities and in the collaborative learning sessions. During the study, the mean difference in time spent accessing services during clinic visits increased by 40 minutes (SD = 93.4) in the control arm and decreased by 44 minutes (SD = 73.7) in the intervention arm. No significant difference was recorded in the mean client satisfaction assessment score by study arm. The quality of data was assessed using a standardized tool scored out of 100; compared with baseline data, quality at the end of study had improved at intervention sites by 6 points (95% CI: 2.0 to 10.1). Health workers were receptive to CQI process. A compendium of "change ideas" compiled into a single change package can be used to improve health care delivery.

  2. Test-Retest Reliability of Measures Commonly Used to Measure Striatal Dysfunction across Multiple Testing Sessions: A Longitudinal Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Clare E; Langbehn, Douglas; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Papoutsi, Marina

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is common amongst many neurodegenerative movement disorders such as Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) across multiple domains. There are many tasks available to assess different aspects of this dysfunction, however, it is imperative that these show high test-retest reliability if they are to be used to track disease progression or response to treatment in patient populations. Moreover, in order to ensure effects of practice across testing sessions are not misconstrued as clinical improvement in clinical trials, tasks which are particularly vulnerable to practice effects need to be highlighted. In this study we evaluated test-retest reliability in mean performance across three testing sessions of four tasks that are commonly used to measure cognitive dysfunction associated with striatal impairment: a combined Simon Stop-Signal Task; a modified emotion recognition task; a circle tracing task; and the trail making task. Practice effects were seen between sessions 1 and 2 across all tasks for the majority of dependent variables, particularly reaction time variables; some, but not all, diminished in the third session. Good test-retest reliability across all sessions was seen for the emotion recognition, circle tracing, and trail making test. The Simon interference effect and stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) from the combined-Simon-Stop-Signal task showed moderate test-retest reliability, however, the combined SSRT interference effect showed poor test-retest reliability. Our results emphasize the need to use control groups when tracking clinical progression or use pre-baseline training on tasks susceptible to practice effects.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

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

  4. Water mobility key to improved floods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pamenter, C B

    1967-03-01

    The use of polymer floods in the U.S. and Canada is discussed. A 2-yr laboratory study conducted by Dow Chemical Co. early in the life of polymer flooding showed that polymers improved the mobility ratio without damage to porosity or permeability of reservoir rock. A pilot test was made in the Niagara Field, Ky., and the results of this pilot compared to the performance of a waterflood that had been operating in this field for about 4 yr. The results showed that polymer flooding was superior to conventional waterflooding and had a distinct behavior. Another pilot flood conducted by Dow in the Albrecht Field, Starr County, Tex., showed similar results. Union Oil Co. of California also conducted pilot tests in 4 of their California reservoirs. Additional recoverable reserves resulting from polymer flooding for 2 of these reservoirs were estimated at 95,000 and 70,000 bbl. The other 2 tests were not as satisfactory, but this behavior is thought to be the result of not using enough polymer. Two other projects discussed are the NE. Hallsville Field unit in East Texas and the Squirrel sand reservoir in Woodson County, Kans., which were conducted by Hunt Oil Co. and Brazos Oil and Gas Co., respectively.

  5. Beyond ‘test and treat’ – malaria diagnosis for improved pediatric fever management in sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Emily White

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have great potential to improve quality care and rational drug use in malaria-endemic settings although studies have shown common RDT non-compliance. Yet, evidence has largely been derived from limited hospital settings in few countries. This article reviews a PhD thesis that analyzed national surveys from multiple sub-Saharan African countries to generate large-scale evidence of malaria diagnosis practices and its determinants across different contexts. Design A mixed-methods approach was used across four studies that included quantitative analysis of national household and facility surveys conducted in multiple sub-Saharan African countries at the outset of new guidelines (Demographic and Health Surveys and Service Provision Assessments). Qualitative methods were used to explore reasons for quantitative findings in select settings. Results There was low (17%) and inequitable test uptake across 13 countries in 2009–2011/12, with greater testing at hospitals than at peripheral clinics (odds ratio [OR]: 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56–0.69) or community health workers (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.23–0.43) (Study I). Significant variation was found in the effect of diagnosis on antimalarial use at the population level across countries (Uganda OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.66–1.06; Mozambique OR: 3.54, 95% CI: 2.33–5.39) (Study II). A Malawi national facility census indicated common compliance to malaria treatment guidelines (85% clients with RDT-confirmed malaria prescribed first-line treatment), although other fever assessments were not often conducted and there was poor antibiotic targeting (59% clients inappropriately prescribed antibiotics). RDT-negative patients had 16.8 (95% CI: 8.6–32.7) times higher odds of antibiotic overtreatment than RDT-positive patients conditioned by cough or difficult breathing complaints (Study III). In Mbarara (Uganda), health workers reportedly prescribed antimalarials to RDT

  6. Beyond ‘test and treat’ – malaria diagnosis for improved pediatric fever management in sub-Saharan Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily White Johansson

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs have great potential to improve quality care and rational drug use in malaria-endemic settings although studies have shown common RDT non-compliance. Yet, evidence has largely been derived from limited hospital settings in few countries. This article reviews a PhD thesis that analyzed national surveys from multiple sub-Saharan African countries to generate large-scale evidence of malaria diagnosis practices and its determinants across different contexts. Design: A mixed-methods approach was used across four studies that included quantitative analysis of national household and facility surveys conducted in multiple sub-Saharan African countries at the outset of new guidelines (Demographic and Health Surveys and Service Provision Assessments. Qualitative methods were used to explore reasons for quantitative findings in select settings. Results: There was low (17% and inequitable test uptake across 13 countries in 2009–2011/12, with greater testing at hospitals than at peripheral clinics (odds ratio [OR]: 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56–0.69 or community health workers (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.23–0.43 (Study I. Significant variation was found in the effect of diagnosis on antimalarial use at the population level across countries (Uganda OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.66–1.06; Mozambique OR: 3.54, 95% CI: 2.33–5.39 (Study II. A Malawi national facility census indicated common compliance to malaria treatment guidelines (85% clients with RDT-confirmed malaria prescribed first-line treatment, although other fever assessments were not often conducted and there was poor antibiotic targeting (59% clients inappropriately prescribed antibiotics. RDT-negative patients had 16.8 (95% CI: 8.6–32.7 times higher odds of antibiotic overtreatment than RDT-positive patients conditioned by cough or difficult breathing complaints (Study III. In Mbarara (Uganda, health workers reportedly prescribed antimalarials to

  7. A single blood test adjusted for different liver fibrosis targets improves fibrosis staging and especially cirrhosis diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calès, Paul; Boursier, Jérôme; Oberti, Frédéric; Moal, Valérie; Fouchard Hubert, Isabelle; Bertrais, Sandrine; Hunault, Gilles; Rousselet, Marie Christine

    2018-04-01

    Fibrosis blood tests are usually developed using significant fibrosis, which is a unique diagnostic target; however, these tests are employed for other diagnostic targets, such as cirrhosis. We aimed to improve fibrosis staging accuracy by simultaneously targeting biomarkers for several diagnostic targets. A total of 3,809 patients were included, comprising 1,012 individuals with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) into a derivation population and 2,797 individuals into validation populations of different etiologies (CHC, chronic hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus/CHC, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol) using Metavir fibrosis stages as reference. FibroMeter biomarkers were targeted for different fibrosis-stage combinations into classical scores by logistic regression. Independent scores were combined into a single score reflecting Metavir stages by linear regression and called Multi-FibroMeter Version Second Generation (V2G). The primary objective was to combine the advantages of a test targeted for significant fibrosis (FibroMeter V2G ) with those of a test targeted for cirrhosis (CirrhoMeter V2G ). In the derivation CHC population, we first compared Multi-FibroMeter V2G to FibroMeter V2G and observed significant increases in the cirrhosis area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), Obuchowski index (reflecting all fibrosis-stage AUROCs), and classification metric (six classes expressed as a correctly classified percentage) and a nonsignificant increase in significant fibrosis AUROC. Thereafter, we compared it to CirroMeter V2G and observed a nonsignificant increase in the cirrhosis AUROC. In all 3,809 patients, respective accuracies for Multi-FibroMeter V2G and FibroMeter V2G were the following: cirrhosis AUROC, 0.906 versus 0.878 ( P fibrosis AUROC, 0.833 versus 0.832 ( P = 0.366). Multi-FibroMeter V2G had the highest correlation with the area of portoseptal fibrosis and the highest reproducibility over time. Correct classification rates

  8. The effects of repeat testing, malingering, and traumatic brain injury on visuospatial memory span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L Woods

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatial span tests such as the Corsi Block Test (CBT and the spatial span test of the Wechsler Memory Scale are widely used to assess deficits in spatial working memory. We conducted three experiments to evaluate the test-retest reliability and clinical sensitivity of a new computerized spatial span test (C-SST that incorporates psychophysical methods to improve the precision of spatial span measurement. In Experiment 1, we analyzed C-SST test-retest reliability in 49 participants who underwent three test sessions at weekly intervals. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC were higher for a psychophysically derived mean span (MnS metric (0.83 than for the maximal span and total correct metrics used in traditional spatial-span tests. Response times (ReTs also showed high ICCs (0.93 that correlated negatively with MnS scores and correlated positively with response-time latencies from other tests of processing speed. Learning effects were insignificant. Experiment 2 examined the performance of Experiment 1 participants when instructed to feign symptoms of traumatic brain injury: 57% showed abnormal MnS z-scores. A MnS z-score cutoff of 3.0 correctly classified 36% of simulated malingerers and 91% of the subgroup of 11 control participants with abnormal spans. Malingerers also made more substitution errors than control participants with abnormal spans (sensitivity = 43%, specificity = 91%. In addition, malingerers showed no evidence of ReT slowing, in contrast to significant abnormalities seen on other malingered tests of processing speed. As a result, differences between ReT z-scores and z-scores on other processing speed tests showed very high sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing malingering and control participants with either normal or abnormal spans. Experiment 3 examined C-SST performance in a group of patients with predominantly mild traumatic brain injury (TBI: neither MnS nor ReT z-scores showed significant group

  9. A simple spatial working memory and attention test on paired symbols shows developmental deficits in schizophrenia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Wei; Zhang, Kai; Sun, Jinhua; Ma, Lina; Jesse, Forrest Fabian; Teng, Xiaochun; Zhou, Ying; Bao, Hechen; Chen, Shiqing; Wang, Shuai; Yang, Beimeng; Chu, Xixia; Ding, Wenhua; Du, Yasong; Cheng, Zaohuo; Wu, Bin; Chen, Shanguang; He, Guang; He, Lin; Chen, Xiaoping; Li, Weidong

    2013-01-01

    People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer's judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS). It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time) reached a peak in the 20-27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  10. Two cases of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome showing interesting CT findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abe, Masahiro; Hara, Yuzo; Ito, Noritaka; Nishimura, Mieko; Onishi, Yoshitaka; Hasuo, Kanehiro

    1982-01-01

    CT showed the lesion at the orbital apex in both of the 2 cases of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. Steroid therapy resulted in improvement of clinical symptoms and regression of the lesion which was confirmed by CT. (Chiba, N.)

  11. Virtual Reality Feedback Cues for Improvement of Gait in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samih Badarny

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Our aim was to study the effects of visual feedback cues, responding dynamically to patient's self‐motion and provided through a portable see‐through virtual reality apparatus, on the walking abilities of patients with Parkinson's disease.Methods: Twenty patients participated. On‐line and residual effects on walking speed and stride length were measured. Results Attaching the visual feedback device to the patient with the display turned off showed a negligible effect of about 2%. With the display turned on, 56% of the patients improved either their walking speed, or their stride length, or both, by over 20%. After device removal, and waiting for 15 minutes, the patients were instructed to walk again: 68% of the patients showed over 20% improvement in either walking speed or stride length or both. One week after participating in the first test, 36% of the patients showed over 20% improvement in baseline performance with respect to the previous test. Some of the patients reported that they still walked on the tiles in their minds.Discussion: Improvements in walking abilities were measured in patients with Parkinson's disease using virtual reality visual feedback cues. Residual effects suggest the examination of this approach in a comprehensive therapy program.

  12. Improvement of carbon fiber surface properties using electron beam irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pino, E.S.; Machado, L.D.B.; Giovedi, C.

    2007-01-01

    Carbon fiber-reinforced advance composites have been used for structural applications, mainly on account of their mechanical properties. The main factor for a good mechanical performance of carbon fiber-reinforced composite is the interfacial interaction between its components, which are carbon fiber and polymeric matrix. The aim of this study is to improve the surface properties of the carbon fiber using ionizing radiation from an electron beam to obtain better adhesion properties in the resultant composite. EB radiation was applied on the carbon fiber itself before preparing test specimens for the mechanical tests. Experimental results showed that EB irradiation improved the tensile strength of carbon fiber samples. The maximum value in tensile strength was reached using doses of about 250 kGy. After breakage, the morphology aspect of the tensile specimens prepared with irradiated and non-irradiated car- bon fibers were evaluated. SEM micrographs showed modifications on the carbon fiber surface. (authors)

  13. Can education improve clinical practice concerning delirium in older hospitalised patients? Results of a pre-test post-test study on an educational intervention for nursing staff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Velthuijsen, Eveline L; Zwakhalen, Sandra M G; Warnier, Ron M J; Ambergen, Ton; Mulder, Wubbo J; Verhey, Frans R J; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M

    2018-04-02

    Delirium is a common and serious complication of hospitalisation in older adults. It can lead to prolonged hospital stay, institutionalisation, and even death. However, it often remains unrecognised or is not managed adequately. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention for nursing staff on three aspects of clinical practice concerning delirium in older hospitalised patients: the frequency and correctness of screening for delirium using the 13-item Delirium Observation Screening score (DOS), and the frequency of geriatric consultations requested for older patients. The a priori expectations were that there would be an increase in all three of these outcomes. We designed an educational intervention and implemented this on two inpatient hospital units. Before providing the educational session, the nursing staff was asked to fill out two questionnaires about delirium in older hospitalised patients. The educational session was then tailored to each unit based on the results of these questionnaires. Additionally, posters and flyers with information on the screening and management of delirium were provided and participants were shown where to find additional information. Relevant data (outcomes, demographics and background patient data) were collected retrospectively from digital medical files. Data was retrospectively collected for four different time points: three pre-test and one post-test. There was a significant increase in frequency of delirium screening (P = 0.001), and both units showed an increase in the correctness of the screening. No significant effect of the educational intervention was found for the proportion of patients who received a geriatric consultation (P = 0.083). The educational intervention was fairly successful in making positive changes in clinical practice: after the educational session an improvement in the frequency and correctness of screening for delirium was observed. A trend, though not

  14. IMPROVED MOTOR-TIMING: EFFECTS OF SYNCHRONIZED METRO-NOME TRAINING ON GOLF SHOT ACCURACY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Rönnqvist

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the effect of synchronized metronome training (SMT on motor timing and how this training might affect golf shot accuracy. Twenty-six experienced male golfers participated (mean age 27 years; mean golf handicap 12.6 in this study. Pre- and post-test investigations of golf shots made by three different clubs were conducted by use of a golf simulator. The golfers were randomized into two groups: a SMT group and a Control group. After the pre-test, the golfers in the SMT group completed a 4-week SMT program designed to improve their motor timing, the golfers in the Control group were merely training their golf-swings during the same time period. No differences between the two groups were found from the pre-test outcomes, either for motor timing scores or for golf shot accuracy. However, the post-test results after the 4-weeks SMT showed evident motor timing improvements. Additionally, significant improvements for golf shot accuracy were found for the SMT group and with less variability in their performance. No such improvements were found for the golfers in the Control group. As with previous studies that used a SMT program, this study's results provide further evidence that motor timing can be improved by SMT and that such timing improvement also improves golf accuracy

  15. Treatment for Schistosoma japonicum, reduction of intestinal parasite load, and cognitive test score improvements in school-aged children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amara E Ezeamama

    Full Text Available To determine whether treatment of intestinal parasitic infections improves cognitive function in school-aged children, we examined changes in cognitive testscores over 18 months in relation to: (i treatment-related Schistosoma japonicum intensity decline, (ii spontaneous reduction of single soil-transmitted helminth (STH species, and (iii ≥2 STH infections among 253 S. japonicum-infected children.Helminth infections were assessed at baseline and quarterly by the Kato-Katz method. S. japonicum infection was treated at baseline using praziquantel. An intensity-based indicator of lower vs. no change/higher infection was defined separately for each helminth species and joint intensity declines of ≥2 STH species. In addition, S. japonicum infection-free duration was defined in four categories based on time of schistosome re-infection: >18 (i.e. cured, >12 to ≤18, 6 to ≤12 and ≤6 (persistently infected months. There was no baseline treatment for STHs but their intensity varied possibly due to spontaneous infection clearance/acquisition. Four cognitive tests were administered at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months following S. japonicum treatment: learning and memory domains of Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML, verbal fluency (VF, and Philippine nonverbal intelligence test (PNIT. Linear regression models were used to relate changes in respective infections to test performance with adjustment for sociodemographic confounders and coincident helminth infections.Children cured (β = 5.8; P = 0.02 and those schistosome-free for >12 months (β = 1.5; P = 0.03 scored higher in WRAML memory and VF tests compared to persistently infected children independent of STH infections. A decline vs. no change/increase of any individual STH species (β:11.5-14.5; all P12 months post-treatment and those who experienced declines of ≥2 STH species scored higher in three of four cognitive tests. Our result suggests that sustained

  16. Performance test for prototype game for children with adhd

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahana, R.; Gaol, F. L.; Wiguna, T.; Hendric, S. W. H. L.; Soewito, B.; Nugroho, E.; Dirgantoro, B. P.; Abdurachman, E.

    2018-03-01

    The gaming industry has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In recent years there have been several studies that have used games, especially computer-based ones to improve the executive function of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) especially in working memory improvements. There are still several obstacles in using computer-based games that have been circulating today in Indonesia. The aim of this research is to develop and create a prototype game that can be used to improve working memory of children with ADHD using Bahasa Indonesia. The prototype game application is a race game with matching colors and memory work tasks; developed using Construct2. Players will play as a driver, delivering certain fruits to specific homes with different colors. The game also included visuospatial tasks such as remembering the objects. For performance test, CPU utilization, average FPS and image memory usage has been tested in several browsers. In conclusion, the performance tests results show that the first type of the prototype game is good enough to be played in desktop or laptop.

  17. Well test imaging - a new method for determination of boundaries from well test data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slevinsky, B.A.

    1997-08-01

    A new method has been developed for analysis of well test data, which allows the direct calculation of the location of arbitrary reservoir boundaries which are detected during a well test. The method is based on elements of ray tracing and information theory, and is centered on the calculation of an instantaneous {open_quote}angle of view{close_quote} of the reservoir boundaries. In the absence of other information, the relative reservoir shape and boundary distances are retrievable in the form of a Diagnostic Image. If other reservoir information, such as 3-D seismic, is available; the full shape and orientation of arbitrary (non-straight line or circular arc) boundaries can be determined in the form of a Reservoir Image. The well test imaging method can be used to greatly enhance the information available from well tests and other geological data, and provides a method to integrate data from multiple disciplines to improve reservoir characterization. This paper covers the derivation of the analytical technique of well test imaging and shows examples of application of the technique to a number of reservoirs.

  18. DOES QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IMPROVE PATIENTS’ HEALTH? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF MEASURES OF EFFECT USED IN PDSA PROJECTS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hermansen, Nanna Kastrup; Vestergaard, Anne Sig; Ehlers, Lars Holger

    , and if the authors provide scientific evidence that their choice of effect measure, i.e. the quality indicator, is associated with patients’ health. Methods The basis of the present study was a systematic review of studies on PDSA quality improvement projects published in 2015-2017. For all identified papers...... as such. Conclusion Process indicators, rather than health-related outcome measures, appear to be used most often in quality improvement projects applying the PDSA method. Evidence-based indicators were only applied in four studies. Overall, this challenges the ability to show if, and how, interventions......Abstract Introduction Quality improvement is an inherent part of modern healthcare systems worldwide, used for the continuous advancement in effectiveness and safety. Amongst other approaches, the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) method, a four-step iterative method, is widely used for testing...

  19. Improved flotation recovery via hydrophobicity adjustment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Philip Ofori; Graham O' Brien; Bruce Firth; Clint McNally; Anh Nguyen [University of Queensland, Qld. (Australia). CSIRO

    2009-03-15

    The main goal of this project was to examine a new approach to maximising the recovery of product specification coal during coal flotation using new generation reagents complemented by the use of the Coal Grain Analysis tool. Laboratory flotation experiments in which the novel reagents were employed as promoters by adding small amounts before adding conventional collector (diesel oil) showed that flotation recovery was significantly increased with only a small product quality (ash%) penalty. The groups of reagents used included surfactants from the group of tri-block copolymers of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and polypropylene oxide (PPO) often denoted as PEO/PPO/PEO or the reverse block copolymer PPO/PEO/PPO. Analysis of the flotation products using the grain analysis technique determined that whilst the recoveries of most grain types were improved, the coarse composite grains which were the components targeted for enhancement showed the most improvement. Plant scale test results confirmed the laboratory findings with remarkable improvements in recovery achieved for all components, especially for coarse inertite and composite grains. The difficult to float coals that are lost at this plant may be recovered without significant modification to the fines circuit by the use of targeted reagents.

  20. Sex and stress: Men and women show different cortisol responses to psychological stress induced by the Trier social stress test and the Iowa singing social stress test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reschke-Hernández, Alaine E; Okerstrom, Katrina L; Bowles Edwards, Angela; Tranel, Daniel

    2017-01-02

    Acute psychological stress affects each of us in our daily lives and is increasingly a topic of discussion for its role in mental illness, aging, cognition, and overall health. A better understanding of how such stress affects the body and mind could contribute to the development of more effective clinical interventions and prevention practices. Over the past 3 decades, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) has been widely used to induce acute stress in a laboratory setting based on the principles of social evaluative threat, namely, a judged speech-making task. A comparable alternative task may expand options for examining acute stress in a controlled laboratory setting. This study uses a within-subjects design to examine healthy adult participants' (n = 20 men, n = 20 women) subjective stress and salivary cortisol responses to the standard TSST (involving public speaking and math) and the newly created Iowa Singing Social Stress Test (I-SSST). The I-SSST is similar to the TSST but with a new twist: public singing. Results indicated that men and women reported similarly high levels of subjective stress in response to both tasks. However, men and women demonstrated different cortisol responses; men showed a robust response to both tasks, and women displayed a lesser response. These findings are in line with previous literature and further underscore the importance of examining possible sex differences throughout various phases of research, including design, analysis, and interpretation of results. Furthermore, this nascent examination of the I-SSST suggests a possible alternative for inducing stress in the laboratory. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Deliverable 3.3.2 Specification of tests and test groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peterson, Carrie Beth; Mitseva, Anelia; Harpur, Jill

    2009-01-01

    Deliverable 3.3.2: Specification of tests and test groups One of the main goals of the ISISEMD project is to offer innovative ICT services to improve the quality of life of elderly persons with cognitive problems or mild dementia and their informal and formal caregivers who provide every day care...... for them. This will be done via integrating intelligent scalable ICT services which will be tested for a period of 12 months under realistic conditions. Offering the services could not be complete without evaluating quality of life improvement, user acceptance and user satisfaction with a representative...... group of the target user groups. This document is devoted to describing important aspects of services evaluation such as: who the test participants will be, inclusion and exclusion criterion, selection standards, how the test participants will be recruited, ethical considerations, etc. Test methodology...

  2. Target Matching Recognition for Satellite Images Based on the Improved FREAK Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yantong Chen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing image target matching recognition exhibits poor robustness and accuracy because of the unfit feature extractor and large data quantity. To address this problem, we propose a new feature extraction algorithm for fast target matching recognition that comprises an improved feature from accelerated segment test (FAST feature detector and a binary fast retina key point (FREAK feature descriptor. To improve robustness, we extend the FAST feature detector by applying scale space theory and then transform the feature vector acquired by the FREAK descriptor from decimal into binary. We reduce the quantity of data in the computer and improve matching accuracy by using the binary space. Simulation test results show that our algorithm outperforms other relevant methods in terms of robustness and accuracy.

  3. Gene set analysis using variance component tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yen-Tsung; Lin, Xihong

    2013-06-28

    Gene set analyses have become increasingly important in genomic research, as many complex diseases are contributed jointly by alterations of numerous genes. Genes often coordinate together as a functional repertoire, e.g., a biological pathway/network and are highly correlated. However, most of the existing gene set analysis methods do not fully account for the correlation among the genes. Here we propose to tackle this important feature of a gene set to improve statistical power in gene set analyses. We propose to model the effects of an independent variable, e.g., exposure/biological status (yes/no), on multiple gene expression values in a gene set using a multivariate linear regression model, where the correlation among the genes is explicitly modeled using a working covariance matrix. We develop TEGS (Test for the Effect of a Gene Set), a variance component test for the gene set effects by assuming a common distribution for regression coefficients in multivariate linear regression models, and calculate the p-values using permutation and a scaled chi-square approximation. We show using simulations that type I error is protected under different choices of working covariance matrices and power is improved as the working covariance approaches the true covariance. The global test is a special case of TEGS when correlation among genes in a gene set is ignored. Using both simulation data and a published diabetes dataset, we show that our test outperforms the commonly used approaches, the global test and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). We develop a gene set analyses method (TEGS) under the multivariate regression framework, which directly models the interdependence of the expression values in a gene set using a working covariance. TEGS outperforms two widely used methods, GSEA and global test in both simulation and a diabetes microarray data.

  4. Sectional pipeline bundles. Design, fabrication and testing of a subsea pipeline connection system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-08-01

    The tests of the prototype system indicated that the system is applicable for connecting pipeline bundle sections. The overall performance of the system is therefore concluded to be satisfactory. Some modifications are required though, for improving the reliability of the system to the level required for offshore North Sea application. The tests showed that connection of the pipeline bundle sections can be performed for alignment tolerances larger than those expected during a typical subsea installation. Pull-in of bundle end sections can be performed with pull-in wires deployed from surface. The offshore tests showed that handling of wires must be done with great care to avoid possibility for wire entanglement, especially if a fully diverless system is to be used. The flowline connection tool was found to be suitable for final alignment of the individual spool ends. It was demonstrated that face to face contact between the hub faces in the connector was obtained after tie-in. Pressure tests showed that the connector could be sealed by the tie-in force applied by the connection tool tie-in system. However, the standard connector clamp which was used, was found to be insuficient for maintaining the connector effectively sealed after removal of the pull-in force applied by the connection tool. Based on the results proposals for improvements of the system are included. Improvements are applicable to the current system for connection of bundle sections or for tie-in operations, relating to conventional pipelines. The improvements also includes a strong connection clamp suitable for subsea use. The connection clamp will replace the standard clamp devise used in this project. (au) EFP-96. 41 refs.

  5. Correlations of Platooning Track Test and Wind Tunnel Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lammert, Michael P. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Kelly, Kenneth J. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Yanowitz, Janet [Ecoengineering, Sharonville, OH (United States)

    2018-02-02

    In this report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyzed results from multiple, independent truck platooning projects to compare and contrast track test results with wind tunnel test results conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Some highlights from the report include compiled data, and results from four independent SAE J1321 full-size track test campaigns that were compared to LLNL wind tunnel testing results. All platooning scenarios tested demonstrated significant fuel savings with good correlation relative to following distances, but there are still unanswered questions and clear opportunities for system optimization. NOx emissions showed improvements from NREL tests in 2014 to Auburn tests in 2015 with respect to J1321 platooning track testing of Peloton system. NREL evaluated data from Volpe's Naturalistic Study of Truck Following Behavior, which showed minimal impact of naturalistic background platooning. We found significant correlation between multiple track studies, wind tunnel tests, and computational fluid dynamics, but also showed that there is more to learn regarding close formation and longer-distance effects. We also identified potential areas for further research and development, including development of advanced aerodynamic designs optimized for platooning, measurement of platoon system performance in traffic conditions, impact of vehicle lateral offsets on platooning performance, and characterization of the national potential for platooning based on fleet operational characteristics.

  6. Breeding of newly licensed wheat variety Huapei 8 and improved ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ajl yemi

    2011-12-28

    Dec 28, 2011 ... Full Length Research Paper. Breeding of newly licensed wheat variety Huapei 8 and improved breeding strategy by anther culture ... more efficient in pure line selection rather than the hete- .... Regional and productivity tests showed that Huapei 8 had .... Large-scale production of wheat and triticale double.

  7. Interprofessional simulation training improves knowledge and teamwork in nursing and medical students during internal medicine clerkship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tofil, Nancy M; Morris, Jason L; Peterson, Dawn Taylor; Watts, Penni; Epps, Chad; Harrington, Kathy F; Leon, Kevin; Pierce, Caleb; White, Marjorie Lee

    2014-03-01

    Simulation is effective at improving healthcare students' knowledge and communication. Despite increasingly interprofessional approaches to medicine, most studies demonstrate these effects in isolation. We enhanced an existing internal medicine curriculum with immersive interprofessional simulations. For ten months, third-year medical students and senior nursing students were recruited for four, 1-hour simulations. Scenarios included myocardial infarction, pancreatitis/hyperkalemia, upper gastrointestinal bleed, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation. After each scenario, experts in medicine, nursing, simulation, and adult learning facilitated a debriefing. Study measures included pre- and post-tests assessing self-efficacy, communication skills, and understanding of each profession's role. Seventy-two medical students and 30 nursing students participated. Self-efficacy communication scores improved for both (medicine, 18.9 ± 3.3 pretest vs 23.7 ± 3.7 post-test; nursing, 19.6 ± 2.7 pretest vs 24.5 ± 2.5 post-test). Both groups showed improvement in "confidence to correct another healthcare provider in a collaborative manner" (Δ = .97 medicine, Δ = 1.2 nursing). Medical students showed the most improvement in "confidence to close the loop in patient care" (Δ = .93). Nursing students showed the most improvement in "confidence to figure out roles" (Δ = 1.1). This study supports the hypothesis that interdisciplinary simulation improves each discipline's self-efficacy communication skills and understanding of each profession's role. Despite many barriers to interprofessional simulation, this model is being sustained. © 2014 Society of Hospital Medicine.

  8. Iodine Absorption Cells Purity Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Hrabina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This article deals with the evaluation of the chemical purity of iodine-filled absorption cells and the optical frequency references used for the frequency locking of laser standards. We summarize the recent trends and progress in absorption cell technology and we focus on methods for iodine cell purity testing. We compare two independent experimental systems based on the laser-induced fluorescence method, showing an improvement of measurement uncertainty by introducing a compensation system reducing unwanted influences. We show the advantages of this technique, which is relatively simple and does not require extensive hardware equipment. As an alternative to the traditionally used methods we propose an approach of hyperfine transitions’ spectral linewidth measurement. The key characteristic of this method is demonstrated on a set of testing iodine cells. The relationship between laser-induced fluorescence and transition linewidth methods will be presented as well as a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed technique (in comparison with traditional measurement approaches.

  9. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome--three further cases show response to donepezil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Murray; Cochrane, Ashley; Jauhar, Pramod; Ashton, Elizabeth

    2005-01-01

    Three patients diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome were treated with the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil, for periods of 6 to 8 months. Cognitive testing [Alzheimer's disease assessment scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog), Mini-mental state examination (MMSE), Clock drawing test and six item 2 min recall] and carer questionnaires [Informant Questionnaire (IQ Code), Neuropsychiatric inventory scale (NPI)] were performed at baseline, mid- and endpoint of the treatment period and post-discontinuation. Progressive partial improvement occurred in cognitive measurements through the treatment period, some of which was sustained after discontinuing donepezil. Carer questionnaires also indicated improvement. Confounding factors necessitate caution when attributing improvements to the medication, but these cases suggest that this option merits further investigation.

  10. Self-testing through EPR-steering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Šupić, Ivan; Hoban, Matty J

    2016-01-01

    The verification of quantum devices is an important aspect of quantum information, especially with the emergence of more advanced experimental implementations of quantum computation and secure communication. Within this, the theory of device-independent robust self-testing via Bell tests has reached a level of maturity now that many quantum states and measurements can be verified without direct access to the quantum systems: interaction with the devices is solely classical. However, the requirements for this robust level of verification are daunting and require high levels of experimental accuracy. In this paper we discuss the possibility of self-testing where we only have direct access to one part of the quantum device. This motivates the study of self-testing via EPR-steering, an intermediate form of entanglement verification between full state tomography and Bell tests. Quantum non-locality implies EPR-steering so results in the former can apply in the latter, but we ask what advantages may be gleaned from the latter over the former given that one can do partial state tomography? We show that in the case of self-testing a maximally entangled two-qubit state, or ebit, EPR-steering allows for simpler analysis and better error tolerance than in the case of full device-independence. On the other hand, this improvement is only a constant improvement and (up to constants) is the best one can hope for. Finally, we indicate that the main advantage in self-testing based on EPR-steering could be in the case of self-testing multi-partite quantum states and measurements. For example, it may be easier to establish a tensor product structure for a particular party’s Hilbert space even if we do not have access to their part of the global quantum system. (paper)

  11. A Simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols Shows Developmental Deficits in Schizophrenia Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer’s judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS. It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time reached a peak in the 20–27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  12. Usability Testing For Android Based Application “Jogja Smart Tourism”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harwati; Djati Widodo, Imam

    2017-06-01

    The android based application “Jogja Smart Tourism (JST)” is designed to help everyone who visited Yogyakarta to enjoy their travel. As new application, it is need to be tested for its usability before launched. Usability testing will show how easy user interfaces are to used. The objective of this research is to demonstrate the result of usability testing for application JST based on five characteristics: learnability, effectiveness, memorability, errors, and satisfaction. About 30 respondents were involved to test the usability of this application. Learnability and effectiveness is calculated from some task that should be finished by respondents, and the rest aspects are calculated from questionnaires that should be answered after simulation. There are 14 functions bound in this usability testing. The result shows total usability level is in 81.75%. Learnability testing shows that 98.8% of respondent could finish the task successfully with 87.5% in efficiency. The memorability level of respondents is good (84.5%) where their ability to fix the errors is 71.5%. And the last for satisfaction level of application interface is 66.25%. Low level of satisfaction occurred because most of respondent felt uncomfortable with landscape interface of application because they should turn their mobile phone while using JST application and also it happened because the lack of using picture and colour inside the application. Both of these becomes important note for the improvement of further applications where the interface in a portrait version is more comfort the use and also utilization of colour and the image will be the main focus to improve customer satisfaction.

  13. Improved cytotoxicity testing of magnesium materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, Janine [Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Materials Research, Department for Structural Research on Macromolecules, Max-Planck Str. 1, D - 21502 Geesthacht (Germany); Proefrock, Daniel [Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute for Coastal Research, Department for Marine Bioanalytical Chemistry, Max-Planck Str. 1, D - 21502 Geesthacht (Germany); Hort, Norbert [Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Materials Research, Department for Magnesium Processing, Max-Planck Str. 1, D - 21502 Geesthacht (Germany); Willumeit, Regine; Feyerabend, Frank [Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Materials Research, Department for Structural Research on Macromolecules, Max-Planck Str. 1, D - 21502 Geesthacht (Germany)

    2011-06-25

    Metallic magnesium (Mg) and its alloys are highly suitable for medical applications as biocompatible and biodegradable implant materials. Magnesium has mechanical properties similar to bone, stimulates bone regeneration, is an essential non-toxic element for the human body and degrades completely within the body environment. In consequence, magnesium is a promising candidate as implant material for orthopaedic applications. Protocols using the guideline of current ISO standards should be carefully evaluated when applying them for the characterization of the cytotoxic potential of degradable magnesium materials. For as-cast material we recommend using 10 times more extraction medium than recommended by the ISO standards to obtain reasonable results for reliable cytotoxicity rankings of degradable materials in vitro. In addition primary isolated human osteoblasts or mesenchymal stem cells should be used to test magnesium materials.

  14. Improved cytotoxicity testing of magnesium materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fischer, Janine; Proefrock, Daniel; Hort, Norbert; Willumeit, Regine; Feyerabend, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Metallic magnesium (Mg) and its alloys are highly suitable for medical applications as biocompatible and biodegradable implant materials. Magnesium has mechanical properties similar to bone, stimulates bone regeneration, is an essential non-toxic element for the human body and degrades completely within the body environment. In consequence, magnesium is a promising candidate as implant material for orthopaedic applications. Protocols using the guideline of current ISO standards should be carefully evaluated when applying them for the characterization of the cytotoxic potential of degradable magnesium materials. For as-cast material we recommend using 10 times more extraction medium than recommended by the ISO standards to obtain reasonable results for reliable cytotoxicity rankings of degradable materials in vitro. In addition primary isolated human osteoblasts or mesenchymal stem cells should be used to test magnesium materials.

  15. Improving Student Vocabulary Mastery Using Word Mapping Strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satuna Indah Wardani

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The purpose of this study was to find out whether the word mapping strategywas able to improve the students’ vocabulary mastery. The process of masteringis mainly affected by the worst thought of the vocational students who said that English as the most difficult subject to learn and was often tracked into boringcondition since theywere not involved in the process of learning. Thisstudy was conducted by using classroom action research in two cycles and each cycleconsisted of four meetings. The subject of the research was the third grade of Accounting Department at State Vocational School 1 Pamekasan whichconsisted of 34 students. The research was carried out for one month.Theinstruments used to obtained primary data and the secondary data were vocabulary test, the students’ observation sheets, and questionnaire of the respondent.The result of test in preliminary until the test in cycle two showed that there was the improvement of the number of students who passed the test. Hopefully, this outcome will certainly be useful for both teachers and students in which its harmony will give the progress for learning English,especially vocabulary mastery. 

  16. Functional improvement after carotid endarterectomy: demonstrated by gait analysis and acetazolamide stress brain perfusion SPECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, J. S.; Kim, G. E.; Yoo, J. Y.; Kim, D. G.; Moon, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    Scientific documentation of neurologic improvement following carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has not been established. The purpose of this prospective study is to investigate whether CEA performed for the internal carotid artery flow lesion improves gait and cerebrovascular hemodynamic status in patients with gait disturbance. We prospectively performed pre- and postCEA gait analysis and acetazolamide stress brain perfusion SPECT (Acz-SPECT) with Tc-99m ECD in 91 patients (M/F: 81/10, mean age: 64.1 y) who had gait disturbance before receiving CEA. Gait performance was assessed using a Vicon 370 motion analyzer. The gait improvement after CEA was correlated to cerebrovascular hemodynamic change as well as symptom duration. 12 hemiparetic stroke patients (M/F=9/3, mean age: 51 y) who did not receive CEA as a control underwent gait analysis twice in a week interval to evaluate whether repeat testing of gait performance shows learning effect. Of 91 patients, 73 (80%) patients showed gait improvement (change of gait speed > 10%) and 42 (46%) showed marked improvement (change of gait speed > 20%), but no improvement was observed in control group at repeat test. Post-operative cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement was noted in 49 (54%) of 91 patients. There was marked gait improvement in patients group with cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement compared to no change group (p<0.05). Marked gait improvement and cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement were noted in 53% and 61% of the patient who had less than 3 month history of symptom compared to 31% and 24% of the patients who had longer than 3 months, respectively (p<0.05). Marked gait improvement was obtained in patients who had improvement of cerebrovascular hemodynamic status on Acz-SPECT after CEA. These results suggest functional improvement such as gait can result from the improved perfusion of misery perfusion area, which is viable for a longer period compared to literatures previously reported

  17. Simulations Test Impact Of Education, Employment, And Income Improvements On Minority Patients With Mental Illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alegria, Margarita; Drake, Robert E; Kang, Hyeon-Ah; Metcalfe, Justin; Liu, Jingchen; DiMarzio, Karissa; Ali, Naomi

    2017-06-01

    Social determinants of health, such as poverty and minority background, severely disadvantage many people with mental disorders. A variety of innovative federal, state, and local programs have combined social services with mental health interventions. To explore the potential effects of such supports for addressing poverty and disadvantage on mental health outcomes, we simulated improvements in three social determinants-education, employment, and income. We used two large data sets: one from the National Institute of Mental Health that contained information about people with common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, and another from the Social Security Administration that contained information about people who were disabled due to severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Our simulations showed that increasing employment was significantly correlated with improvements in mental health outcomes, while increasing education and income produced weak or nonsignificant correlations. In general, minority groups as well as the majority group of non-Latino whites improved in the desired outcomes. We recommend that health policy leaders, state and federal agencies, and insurers provide evidence-based employment services as a standard treatment for people with mental disorders. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  18. Test results for triple-modulation radar electronics with improved range disambiguation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pollastrone, Fabio, E-mail: fabio.pollastrone@enea.it; Neri, Carlo

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • A new digital radar electronic system based on triple-modulation has been developed. • The triple-modulation system uses an improved algorithm for the range-disambiguation. • The new radar electronics has been applied in the IVVS optical radar prototype for ITER. • The performances obtained with IVVS double and triple-modulation were compared. - Abstract: The In Vessel Viewing System (IVVS) is an optical radar with sub milimetrical resolution that will be used for imaging and metrology pourposes in ITER. The electronics of the system is based on a Digital Radar Electronics developed in ENEA Frascati laboratories during the past years. Until the present study, the system was based on amplitude modulation technique having double-modulation frequency. The power of the laser is sinusoidally modulated and the distance of the points scanned by the laser beam is obtained measuring the phase difference between outgoing and echo signals. Recently a triple-modulation radar electronics version and an algorithm able to solve the range disambiguation were developed. The aim of the upgrade was the increase of the robustness in the range disambiguation. The paper briefly describes the updates carried out on the Digital Radar Electronics and extensively the test results obtained by comparing the performance of the triple modulation versus the double modulation techniques.

  19. Gas temperature measurements in short duration turbomachinery test facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattafesta, L. N.; Epstein, A. H.

    1988-07-01

    Thermocouple rakes for use in short-duration turbomachinery test facilities have been developed using very fine thermocouples. Geometry variations were parametrically tested and showed that bare quartz junction supports (76 microns in diameter) yielded superior performance, and were rugged enough to survive considerable impact damage. Using very low cost signal conditioning electronics, temperature accuracies of 0.3 percent were realized yielding turbine efficiency measurements at the 1-percent level. Ongoing work to improve this accuracy is described.

  20. Test Methods for Robot Agility in Manufacturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downs, Anthony; Harrison, William; Schlenoff, Craig

    2016-01-01

    The paper aims to define and describe test methods and metrics to assess industrial robot system agility in both simulation and in reality. The paper describes test methods and associated quantitative and qualitative metrics for assessing robot system efficiency and effectiveness which can then be used for the assessment of system agility. The paper describes how the test methods were implemented in a simulation environment and real world environment. It also shows how the metrics are measured and assessed as they would be in a future competition. The test methods described in this paper will push forward the state of the art in software agility for manufacturing robots, allowing small and medium manufacturers to better utilize robotic systems. The paper fulfills the identified need for standard test methods to measure and allow for improvement in software agility for manufacturing robots.

  1. Minimum scale controlled topology optimization and experimental test of a micro thermal actuator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heo, S.; Yoon, Gil Ho; Kim, Y.Y.

    2008-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the optimal topology design, fabrication and test of a micro thermal actuator. Because the minimum scale was controlled during the design optimization process, the production yield rate of the actuator was improved considerably; alternatively, the optimization design ...... tested. The test showed that control over the minimum length scale in the design process greatly improves the yield rate and reduces the performance deviation....... without scale control resulted in a very low yield rate. Using the minimum scale controlling topology design method developed earlier by the authors, micro thermal actuators were designed and fabricated through a MEMS process. Moreover, both their performance and production yield were experimentally...

  2. An Improved Fruit Fly Optimization Algorithm and Its Application in Heat Exchange Fouling Ultrasonic Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Inspired by the basic theory of Fruit Fly Optimization Algorithm, in this paper, cat mapping was added to the original algorithm, and the individual distribution and evolution mechanism of fruit fly population were improved in order to increase the search speed and accuracy. The flowchart of the improved algorithm was drawn to show its procedure. Using classical test functions, simulation optimization results show that the improved algorithm has faster and more reliable optimization ability. The algorithm was then combined with sparse decomposition theory and used in processing fouling detection ultrasonic signals to verify the validity and practicability of the improved algorithm.

  3. WHO global salm-surv external quality assurance system (EQAS): an important step toward improving the quality of Salmonella serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing worldwide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, A.; Aarestrup, Frank Møller; Angulo, F. J.

    2002-01-01

    % of the results were correct. For susceptibility testing, 92% of the results were in agreement with the expected results. However, only 78% of the performed tests with the E. coli ATCC 25922 reference strain were within the quality control range specified by National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards...... susceptibility testing through international training courses and an External Quality Assurance System (EQAS). In 2000, 44 WHO Global Salm-Surv member laboratories from 35 countries determined the serotype and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern for eight "blinded" Salmonella isolates. For serotyping, 73...... (NCCLS) guidelines. These EQAS results demonstrate the need for further training to improve the performance of some of the laboratories. WHO Global Salm-Surv activities, including international training courses and EQAS, represent an important step toward improving the quality of Salmonella serotyping...

  4. Periodic tests: a human factors analysis of documentary aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perinet, Romuald; Rousseau, Jean-Marie

    2007-01-01

    Periodic tests are technical inspections aimed at verifying the availability of the safety-related systems during operation. The French licensee, Electricite de France (EDF), manages periodic tests according to procedures, methods of examination and a frequency, which were defined when the systems were designed. These requirements are defined by national authorities of EDF in a reference document composed of rules of testing and tables containing the reference values to be respected. This reference document is analyzed and transformed by each 'Centre Nucleaire de Production d'Electricite' (CNPE) into station-specific operating ranges of periodic tests. In 2003, the IRSN noted that significant events for safety (ESS) involving periodic tests represented more than 20% of ESS between 2000 and 2002. Thus, 340 ESS were related to non-compliance with the conditions of the test and errors in the implementation of the procedures. A first analysis showed that almost 26% of all ESSs from 2000 to 2002 were related to periodic tests. For many of them, the national reference document and the operating ranges of tests were involved. In this context, the 'Direction Generale de la Surete Nucleaire' (DGSNR), requested the 'Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire' (IRSN) to examine the process of definition and implementation of the periodic tests. The IRSN analyzed about thirty French Licensee event reports occurring during the considered period (2000-2002). The IRSN also interviewed the main persons responsible for the processes and observed the performance of 3 periodic tests. The results of this analysis were presented to a group of experts ('Groupe Permanent') charged with delivering advice to the DGSNR about the origin of the problems identified and the improvements to be implemented. The main conclusions of the IRSN addressed the quality of the prescriptive documents. In this context, EDF decided to carry out a thorough analysis of the whole process. The first

  5. Effectiveness of Memantine in Improvement of Cognitive Deficits in Specific Learning Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Ahmadi Zahrani

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Specific learning disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent difficulties in learning academic skills in reading, written expression, or mathematics. This study was performed to investigate the effectiveness of memantine in the relief of cognitive deficits (selective attention, sustained attention, and working memory in specific learning disorder. Materials and Methods: This study is a clinical trial. Of all children 8-12 years referred to Amir Kabir Hospital 94 patients diagnosed with specific learning disorder based on DSMV diagnostic interview referred by specialist and randomly divided by two groups, memantine and placebo. Cognitive deficits before and after treatment were measured with continuous performance test, Stroop test and Wechsler Digit Span forward and reverse and Corsi test. Results: Multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant difference in error when answering, omission answer and corrected answer in continuous performance test, but this difference is not significant in response time. Difference in forward, reverse and collected auditory was significant and not significant in the auditory span. In active visual working memory at corsi cube test, difference was significant (p <0.05. Conclusion: The results showed that memantine in improvement of sustained attention, auditory working memory and visual working memory, is effective, while in selective attention is not effective and according to similarities of learning disorder and Attention deficit / Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and the effectiveness of memantine in improvement of symptoms of ADHD, we can also use this drug in improvement of cognitive deficits of specific learning disorder.

  6. Improved meta-analytic methods show no effect of chromium supplements on fasting glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Christopher H

    2014-01-01

    The trace mineral chromium has been extensively researched over the years in its role in glucose metabolism. Dietary supplement companies have attempted to make claims that chromium may be able to treat or prevent diabetes. Previous meta-analyses/systematic reviews have indicated that chromium supplementation results in a significant lowering of fasting glucose in diabetics but not in nondiabetics. A meta-analysis was conducted using an alternative measure of effect size, d(ppc2) in order to account for changes in the control group as well as the chromium group. The literature search included MEDLINE, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and previously published article reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Included studies were randomized, placebo-controlled trials in the English language with subjects that were nonpregnant adults, both with and without diabetes. Sixteen studies with 809 participants (440 diabetics and 369 nondiabetics) were included in the analysis. Screening for publication bias indicated symmetry of the data. Tests of heterogeneity indicated the use of a fixed-effect model (I² = 0 %). The analysis indicated that there was no significant effect of chromium supplementation in diabetics or nondiabetics, with a weighted average effect size of 0.02 (SE = 0.07), p = 0.787, CI 95 % = -0.12 to 0.16. Chromium supplementation appears to provide no benefits to populations where chromium deficiency is unlikely.

  7. Report on a programme of testing and improving the geosphere models used within SYVAC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broyd, T.W.; Deaves, D.M.; Gibson, A.E.; Rutledge, K.W.

    1985-03-01

    A number of geosphere models for use with the SYVAC (System Variability Analysis Code) computer program have been developed, and are described in various previous reports. The SYVAC computer program provides an assessment of the dose effect to man resulting from buried wastes, using a series of submodels to represent transport processes in the vault, geosphere and biosphere. The work reported herein describes a programme of testing and improvements carried out on these models. It is concluded that the individual solution methods work well within stated parametric limits, and that further development studies should await a commitment to use SYVAC for the radiological assessment of specific named sites. The exception to this general rule may be the consideration of overall time scales and time stepping methods used within SYVAC. (author)

  8. A Studentized Permutation Test for the Comparison of Spatial Point Patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hahn, Ute

    of empirical K-functions are compared by a permutation test using a studentized test statistic. The proposed test performs convincingly in terms of empirical level and power in a simulation study, even for point patterns where the K-function estimates on neighboring subsamples are not strictly exchangeable....... It also shows improved behavior compared to a test suggested by Diggle et al. (1991, 2000) for the comparison of groups of independently replicated point patterns. In an application to two point patterns from pathology that represent capillary positions in sections of healthy and tumorous tissue, our...

  9. The estimated cost of "no-shows" in an academic pediatric neurology clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzek, Lindsay M; Gentry, Shelley D; Golomb, Meredith R

    2015-02-01

    Missed appointments ("no-shows") represent an important source of lost revenue for academic medical centers. The goal of this study was to examine the costs of "no-shows" at an academic pediatric neurology outpatient clinic. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who missed appointments at an academic pediatric neurology outpatient clinic during 1 academic year. Revenue lost was estimated based on average reimbursement for different insurance types and visit types. The yearly "no-show" rate was 26%. Yearly revenue lost from missed appointments was $257,724.57, and monthly losses ranged from $15,652.33 in October 2013 to $27,042.44 in January 2014. The yearly revenue lost from missed appointments at the academic pediatric neurology clinic represents funds that could have been used to improve patient access and care. Further work is needed to develop strategies to decrease the no-show rate to decrease lost revenue and improve patient care and access. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving Negative Emotion Recognition in Young Offenders Reduces Subsequent Crime.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Hubble

    Full Text Available Children with antisocial behaviour show deficits in the perception of emotional expressions in others that may contribute to the development and persistence of antisocial and aggressive behaviour. Current treatments for antisocial youngsters are limited in effectiveness. It has been argued that more attention should be devoted to interventions that target neuropsychological correlates of antisocial behaviour. This study examined the effect of emotion recognition training on criminal behaviour.Emotion recognition and crime levels were studied in 50 juvenile offenders. Whilst all young offenders received their statutory interventions as the study was conducted, a subgroup of twenty-four offenders also took part in a facial affect training aimed at improving emotion recognition. Offenders in the training and control groups were matched for age, SES, IQ and lifetime crime level. All offenders were tested twice for emotion recognition performance, and recent crime data were collected after the testing had been completed.Before the training there were no differences between the groups in emotion recognition, with both groups displaying poor fear, sadness and anger recognition. After the training fear, sadness and anger recognition improved significantly in juvenile offenders in the training group. Although crime rates dropped in all offenders in the 6 months following emotion testing, only the group of offenders who had received the emotion training showed a significant reduction in the severity of the crimes they committed.The study indicates that emotion recognition can be relatively easily improved in youths who engage in serious antisocial and criminal behavior. The results suggest that improved emotion recognition has the potential to reduce the severity of reoffending.

  11. Improvements to Technical Specifications surveillance requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobel, R.; Tjader, T.R.

    1992-12-01

    In August 1983 an NRC task group was formed to investigate problems with surveillance testing required by Technical Specifications, and to recommend approaches to effect improvements. NUREG-1024 (''Technical Specifications-Enhancing Safety Impact'') resulted, and it contained recommendations to review the basis for test frequencies; to ensure that the tests promote safety and do not degrade equipment; and to review surveillance tests so that they do not unnecessarily burden personnel. The Technical Specifications Improvement Program (TSIP) was established in December 1984 to provide the framework for rewriting and improving the Technical Specifications. As an element of the TSIP, all Technical Specifications surveillance requirements were comprehensively examined as recommended in NUREG-1024. The results of that effort are presented in this report. The study found that while some testing at power is essential to verify equipment and system operability, safety can be improved, equipment degradation decreased, and unnecessary personnel burden relaxed by reducing the amount of testing at power

  12. Self-affirmation improves problem-solving under stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, J David; Dutcher, Janine M; Klein, William M P; Harris, Peter R; Levine, John M

    2013-01-01

    High levels of acute and chronic stress are known to impair problem-solving and creativity on a broad range of tasks. Despite this evidence, we know little about protective factors for mitigating the deleterious effects of stress on problem-solving. Building on previous research showing that self-affirmation can buffer stress, we tested whether an experimental manipulation of self-affirmation improves problem-solving performance in chronically stressed participants. Eighty undergraduates indicated their perceived chronic stress over the previous month and were randomly assigned to either a self-affirmation or control condition. They then completed 30 difficult remote associate problem-solving items under time pressure in front of an evaluator. Results showed that self-affirmation improved problem-solving performance in underperforming chronically stressed individuals. This research suggests a novel means for boosting problem-solving under stress and may have important implications for understanding how self-affirmation boosts academic achievement in school settings.

  13. The use of Minilabs to improve the testing capacity of regulatory authorities in resource limited settings: Tanzanian experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risha, Peter Gasper; Msuya, Zera; Clark, Malcolm; Johnson, Keith; Ndomondo-Sigonda, Margareth; Layloff, Thomas

    2008-08-01

    The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority piloted the use of Minilab kits, a thin-layer-chromatographic based drug quality testing technique, in a two-tier quality assurance program. The program is intended to improve testing capacity with timely screening of the quality of medicines as they enter the market. After 1 week training of inspectors on Minilab screening techniques, they were stationed at key Ports-of-Entry (POE) to screen the quality of imported medicines. In addition, three non-Ports-of-Entry centres were established to screen samples collected during Post-Marketing-Surveillance. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed to structure and standardize the implementation process. Over 1200 samples were tested using the Minilab outside the central quality control laboratory (QCL), almost doubling the previous testing capacity. The program contributed to increased regulatory reach and visibility of the Authority throughout the country, serving as a deterrent against entry of substandard medicines into market. The use of Minilab for quality screening was inexpensive and provided a high sample throughput. However, it suffers from the limitation that it can reliably detect only grossly substandard or wrong drug samples and therefore, it should not be used as an independent testing resource but in conjunction with a full-service quality control laboratory capable of auditing reported substandard results.

  14. Effects of the EQUIP quasi-experimental study testing a collaborative quality improvement approach for maternal and newborn health care in Tanzania and Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waiswa, P; Manzi, F; Mbaruku, G; Rowe, A K; Marx, M; Tomson, G; Marchant, T; Willey, B A; Schellenberg, J; Peterson, S; Hanson, C

    2017-07-18

    Quality improvement is a recommended strategy to improve implementation levels for evidence-based essential interventions, but experience of and evidence for its effects in low-resource settings are limited. We hypothesised that a systemic and collaborative quality improvement approach covering district, facility and community levels, supported by report cards generated through continuous household and health facility surveys, could improve the implementation levels and have a measurable population-level impact on coverage and quality of essential services. Collaborative quality improvement teams tested self-identified strategies (change ideas) to support the implementation of essential maternal and newborn interventions recommended by the World Health Organization. In Tanzania and Uganda, we used a plausibility design to compare the changes over time in one intervention district with those in a comparison district in each country. Evaluation included indicators of process, coverage and implementation practice analysed with a difference-of-differences and a time-series approach, using data from independent continuous household and health facility surveys from 2011 to 2014. Primary outcomes for both countries were birth in health facilities, breastfeeding within 1 h after birth, oxytocin administration after birth and knowledge of danger signs for mothers and babies. Interpretation of the results considered contextual factors. The intervention was associated with improvements on one of four primary outcomes. We observed a 26-percentage-point increase (95% CI 25-28%) in the proportion of live births where mothers received uterotonics within 1 min after birth in the intervention compared to the comparison district in Tanzania and an 8-percentage-point increase (95% CI 6-9%) in Uganda. The other primary indicators showed no evidence of improvement. In Tanzania, we saw positive changes for two other outcomes reflecting locally identified improvement topics. The

  15. Creating a simulation model of software testing using Simulink package

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. M. Dubovoi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The determination of the solution model of software testing that allows prediction both the whole process and its specific stages is actual for IT-industry. The article focuses on solving this problem. The aim of the article is prediction the time and improvement the quality of software testing. The analysis of the software testing process shows that it can be attributed to the branched cyclic technological processes because it is cyclical with decision-making on control operations. The investigation uses authors' previous works andsoftware testing process method based on Markov model. The proposed method enables execution the prediction for each software module, which leads to better decision-making of each controlled suboperation of all processes. Simulink simulation model shows implementation and verification of results of proposed technique. Results of the research have practically implemented in the IT-industry.

  16. Locomotor training with body weight support in SCI: EMG improvement is more optimally expressed at a low testing speed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyns, P; Van de Crommert, H W A A; Rijken, H; van Kuppevelt, D H J M; Duysens, J

    2014-12-01

    Case series. To determine the optimal testing speed at which the recovery of the EMG (electromyographic) activity should be assessed during and after body weight supported (BWS) locomotor training. Tertiary hospital, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Four participants with incomplete chronic SCI were included for BWS locomotor training; one AIS-C and three AIS-D (according to the ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) Impairment Scale or AIS). All were at least 5 years after injury. The SCI participants were trained three times a week for a period of 6 weeks. They improved their locomotor function in terms of higher walking speed, less BWS and less assistance needed. To investigate which treadmill speed for EMG assessment reflects the functional improvement most adequately, all participants were assessed weekly using the same two speeds (0.5 and 1.5 km h(-1), referred to as low and high speed, respectively) for 6 weeks. The change in root mean square EMG (RMS EMG) was assessed in four leg muscles; biceps femoris, rectus femoris, gastrocnemius medialis and tibialis anterior. The changes in RMS EMG occurred at similar phases of the step cycle for both walking conditions, but these changes were larger when the treadmill was set at a low speed (0.5 km h(-1)). Improvement in gait is feasible with BWS treadmill training even long after injury. The EMG changes after treadmill training are more optimally expressed using a low rather than a high testing treadmill speed.

  17. Improving Decision Making about Genetic Testing in the Clinic: An Overview of Effective Knowledge Translation Interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Légaré, France; Robitaille, Hubert; Gane, Claire; Hébert, Jessica; Labrecque, Michel; Rousseau, François

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge translation (KT) interventions are attempts to change behavior in keeping with scientific evidence. While genetic tests are increasingly available to healthcare consumers in the clinic, evidence about their benefits is unclear and decisions about genetic testing are thus difficult for all parties. We sought to identify KT interventions that involved decisions about genetic testing in the clinical context and to assess their effectiveness for improving decision making in terms of behavior change, increased knowledge and wellbeing. We searched for trials assessing KT interventions in the context of genetic testing up to March 2014 in all systematic reviews (n = 153) published by two Cochrane review groups: Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) and Consumers and Communication. We retrieved 2473 unique trials of which we retained only 28 (1%). Two EPOC reviews yielded two trials of KT interventions: audit and feedback (n = 1) and educational outreach (n = 1). Both targeted health professionals and the KT intervention they assessed was found to be effective. Four Consumers and Communication reviews yielded 26 trials: decision aids (n = 15), communication of DNA-based disease risk estimates (n = 7), personalized risk communication (n = 3) and mobile phone messaging (n = 1). Among these, 25 trials targeted only health consumers or patients and the KT interventions were found to be effective in four trials, partly effective in seven, and ineffective in four. Lastly, only one trial targeted both physicians and patients and was found to be effective. More research on the effectiveness of KT interventions regarding genetic testing in the clinical context may contribute to patients making informed value-based decisions and drawing the maximum benefit from clinical applications of genetic and genomic innovations.

  18. Improving contact prediction along three dimensions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Feinauer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Correlation patterns in multiple sequence alignments of homologous proteins can be exploited to infer information on the three-dimensional structure of their members. The typical pipeline to address this task, which we in this paper refer to as the three dimensions of contact prediction, is to (i filter and align the raw sequence data representing the evolutionarily related proteins; (ii choose a predictive model to describe a sequence alignment; (iii infer the model parameters and interpret them in terms of structural properties, such as an accurate contact map. We show here that all three dimensions are important for overall prediction success. In particular, we show that it is possible to improve significantly along the second dimension by going beyond the pair-wise Potts models from statistical physics, which have hitherto been the focus of the field. These (simple extensions are motivated by multiple sequence alignments often containing long stretches of gaps which, as a data feature, would be rather untypical for independent samples drawn from a Potts model. Using a large test set of proteins we show that the combined improvements along the three dimensions are as large as any reported to date.

  19. Non-oblivious Strategy Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Fearnley, John

    2010-01-01

    We study strategy improvement algorithms for mean-payoff and parity games. We describe a structural property of these games, and we show that these structures can affect the behaviour of strategy improvement. We show how awareness of these structures can be used to accelerate strategy improvement algorithms. We call our algorithms non-oblivious because they remember properties of the game that they have discovered in previous iterations. We show that non-oblivious strategy improvement algorit...

  20. The improvement of dynamic universal testing machine for hot cell usages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Sang Bok; Lee, Key Soon; Park, Dae Kyu; Hong, Kwon Pyo; Choo, Yong Sun

    1998-01-01

    Dynamic universal testing machine(UTM) were developed for hot cell usages, which can perform tensile, compression, bending, fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth tests. In this report, technical reviews in the course of developing machine were described. Detailed subjects are as follows; 1. Outline of testing method using dynamic UTM 2. Detailed testing system organizations 3. Technical specification to develop machine 4. Setting up load string 5. Inspection and pre-commissioning tests on machine. (author). 14 figs

  1. Improvement of risk informed surveillance test interval for the safety related instrument and control system of Ulchin units 3 and 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jang, Seung Cheol; Lee, Yun Hwan; Lee, Seung Joon; Han, Sang Hoon

    2012-05-01

    The purpose of this research is the development of various methodologies necessary for the licensing of the risk informed surveillance test interval(STI) improvement for the safety related I and C systems in UCN 3 and 4, for instance, reactor protection system (RPS), engineered safety features actuation system (ESFAS), ESF auxiliary relay cabinet (ARC), and core protection calculator (CPC). The technical adequacy of the methodology was sufficiently verified through the application to the following STI changes. o CPC channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months including safety channel and log power test) o RPS channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o RPS logic and trip channel test (change from 1 month to 3 months. 1 month for RPS manual actuation test) o ESFAS channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o ESFAS logic and trip channel test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o ESF auxiliary relay test (change from 1 month to 3 months with staggered test. Manual actuation at the ESF ARC is added as a backup of ESF actuation signals during emergency operation

  2. Improvement of risk informed surveillance test interval for the safety related instrumentation and control system of Yonggwang units 3 and 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jang, Seung Cheol; Lee, Yun Hwan; Lee, Seung Joon; Han, Sang Hoon

    2012-05-01

    The purpose of this research is the development of various methodologies necessary for the licensing of the risk informed surveillance test interval(STI) improvement for the safety related I and C systems in YGN 3 and 4, for instance, reactor protection system (RPS), engineered safety features actuation system (ESFAS), ESF auxiliary relay cabinet (ARC), and core protection calculator (CPC). The technical adequacy of the methodology was sufficiently verified through the application to the following STI changes. o CPC channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months including safety channel and log power test) o RPS channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o RPS logic and trip channel test (change from 1 month to 3 months. 1 month for RPS manual actuation test) o ESFAS channel functional test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o ESFAS logic and trip channel test (change from 1 month to 3 months) o ESF auxiliary relay test (change from 1 month to 3 months with staggered test. Manual actuation at the ESF ARC is added as a backup of ESF actuation signals during emergency operation

  3. An improved design method of a tuned mass damper for an in-service footbridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Weixing; Wang, Liangkun; Lu, Zheng

    2018-03-01

    Tuned mass damper (TMD) has a wide range of applications in the vibration control of footbridges. However, the traditional engineering design method may lead to a mistuned TMD. In this paper, an improved TMD design method based on the model updating is proposed. Firstly, the original finite element model (FEM) is studied and the natural characteristics of the in-service or newly built footbridge is identified by field test, and then the original FEM is updated. TMD is designed according to the new updated FEM, and it is optimized according to the simulation on vibration control effects. Finally, the installation and field measurement of TMD are carried out. The improved design method can be applied to both in-service and newly built footbridges. This paper illustrates the improved design method with an engineering example. The frequency identification results of field test and original FEM show that there is a relatively large difference between them. The TMD designed according to the updated FEM has better vibration control effect than the TMD designed according to the original FEM. The site test results show that TMD has good effect on controlling human-induced vibrations.

  4. Model-based software process improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettervall, Brenda T.

    1994-01-01

    The activities of a field test site for the Software Engineering Institute's software process definition project are discussed. Products tested included the improvement model itself, descriptive modeling techniques, the CMM level 2 framework document, and the use of process definition guidelines and templates. The software process improvement model represents a five stage cyclic approach for organizational process improvement. The cycles consist of the initiating, diagnosing, establishing, acting, and leveraging phases.

  5. An improvement of the fast uncovering community algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Li; Wang Jiang; Shen Hua-Wei; Cheng Xue-Qi

    2013-01-01

    Community detection methods have been used in computer, sociology, physics, biology, and brain information science areas. Many methods are based on the optimization of modularity. The algorithm proposed by Blondel et al. (Blondel V D, Guillaume J L, Lambiotte R and Lefebvre E 2008 J. Stat. Mech. 10 10008) is one of the most widely used methods because of its good performance, especially in the big data era. In this paper we make some improvements to this algorithm in correctness and performance. By tests we see that different node orders bring different performances and different community structures. We find some node swings in different communities that influence the performance. So we design some strategies on the sweeping order of node to reduce the computing cost made by repetition swing. We introduce a new concept of overlapping degree (OV) that shows the strength of connection between nodes. Three improvement strategies are proposed that are based on constant OV, adaptive OV, and adaptive weighted OV, respectively. Experiments on synthetic datasets and real datasets are made, showing that our improved strategies can improve the performance and correctness. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  6. Improved method for testing susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to pyrazinamide.

    OpenAIRE

    Butler, W R; Kilburn, J O

    1982-01-01

    The acid medium required to test susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to pyrazinamide (PZA) is a major problem in obtaining reliable test results. Satisfactory growth is usually obtained on Middlebrook and Cohn 7H10 medium at pH 5.5 if albumin-dextrose-catalase (ADC) supplement rather than oleic acid-albumin-dextrose-catalase is used; however, some lots of ADC supplement still fail to support growth at this low pH. A rapid turbidimetric test was developed to determine the growth-suppo...

  7. Neuropsychological improvement in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy after posterior decompression surgery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoshimaru, Minoru

    2010-01-01

    Patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy sometimes complain of cognitive dysfunction, which may be coincidence. However, cognitive dysfunction may be related to disorders of the cervical spine and/or spinal cord. This study investigated cognitive dysfunction in patients with cervical spinal disorders. A total of 79 patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (40 women and 39 men, mean age 61.2 years) underwent cervical laminoplasty between January 2006 and July 2007. Ten of these 79 patients (7 women and 3 men, mean age 65.2 years) complained of moderate to severe memory disturbances. These 10 patients underwent neuroimaging studies and a battery of neuropsychological tests consisting of the mini-mental state examination, Kohs Block Design Test, Miyake Memory Test, Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT), and 'kana-hiroi' test before and 3 months after surgery. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed no organic brain lesions in the 10 patients, but single photon emission computed tomography demonstrated reduced regional cerebral blood flow in the posterior cortical areas in eight patients before surgery. Neuropsychological test scores showed statistically significant improvement after surgery in the Kohs Block Design Test and the BVRT, which measure visuospatial perception and reflect the function of the parietal and/or occipital lobes (p<0.05). The practice effect may have contributed to the neuropsychological improvements, but this study suggests that cervical spinal disorders may affect cognitive functions and that surgical treatment can ameliorate such effects. (author)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Integrative set enrichment testing for multiple omics platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poisson Laila M

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enrichment testing assesses the overall evidence of differential expression behavior of the elements within a defined set. When we have measured many molecular aspects, e.g. gene expression, metabolites, proteins, it is desirable to assess their differential tendencies jointly across platforms using an integrated set enrichment test. In this work we explore the properties of several methods for performing a combined enrichment test using gene expression and metabolomics as the motivating platforms. Results Using two simulation models we explored the properties of several enrichment methods including two novel methods: the logistic regression 2-degree of freedom Wald test and the 2-dimensional permutation p-value for the sum-of-squared statistics test. In relation to their univariate counterparts we find that the joint tests can improve our ability to detect results that are marginal univariately. We also find that joint tests improve the ranking of associated pathways compared to their univariate counterparts. However, there is a risk of Type I error inflation with some methods and self-contained methods lose specificity when the sets are not representative of underlying association. Conclusions In this work we show that consideration of data from multiple platforms, in conjunction with summarization via a priori pathway information, leads to increased power in detection of genomic associations with phenotypes.

  10. Remaining Gap in HIV Testing Uptake Among Female Sex Workers in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shokoohi, Mostafa; Noori, Atefeh; Karamouzian, Mohammad; Sharifi, Hamid; Khajehkazemi, Razieh; Fahimfar, Noushin; Hosseini-Hooshyar, Samira; Kazerooni, Parvin Afsar; Mirzazadeh, Ali

    2017-08-01

    We estimated the prevalence of recent HIV testing (i.e., having an HIV test during the last 12 months and knew the results) among 1295 HIV-negative Iranian female sex workers (FSW) in 2015. Overall, 70.4% (95% confidence intervals: 59.6, 79.3) of the participants reported a recent HIV testing. Concerns about their HIV status (83.2%) was reported as the most common reason for HIV testing. Incarceration history, having >5 paying partners, having >1 non-paying partner, receiving harm reduction services, utilizing healthcare services, and knowing an HIV testing site were significantly associated with recent HIV testing. In contrast, outreach participants, having one non-paying sexual partner, and self-reported inconsistent condom use reduced the likelihood of recent HIV testing. HIV testing uptake showed a ~2.5 times increase among FSW since 2010. While these findings are promising and show improvement over a short period, HIV testing programs should be expanded particularly through mobile and outreach efforts.

  11. Improvement of a clean fast cook-off test in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scholtes, J.H.G.; Makkus, J.C.; Bouma, A.; Tijhuis, B.

    2015-01-01

    One of the IM tests described in STANAG 4439 is the Fast Cook-off (FCO) test. The Liquid Fuel or External Fire, Munition Test Procedures is described in STANAG 4240: “The objective of the selected fuel fire test is the determination of the reaction and time to reaction of the munition(s) when

  12. Non-oblivious Strategy Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fearnley, John

    We study strategy improvement algorithms for mean-payoff and parity games. We describe a structural property of these games, and we show that these structures can affect the behaviour of strategy improvement. We show how awareness of these structures can be used to accelerate strategy improvement algorithms. We call our algorithms non-oblivious because they remember properties of the game that they have discovered in previous iterations. We show that non-oblivious strategy improvement algorithms perform well on examples that are known to be hard for oblivious strategy improvement. Hence, we argue that previous strategy improvement algorithms fail because they ignore the structural properties of the game that they are solving.

  13. Pipe-to-pipe impact tests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bampton, M C.C.; Alzheimer, J M; Friley, J R; Simonen, F A

    1985-11-01

    Existing licensing criteria express what damage shall be assumed for various pipe sizes as a consequence of a postulated break in a high energy system. The criteria are contained in Section 3.6.2 of the Standard Review Plan, and the purpose of the program described with this paper is to evaluate the impact criteria by means of a combined experimental and analytical approach. A series of tests has been completed. Evaluation of the test showed a deficiency in the range of test parameters. These deficiencies are being remedied by a second series of tests and a more powerful impact machine. A parallel analysis capability has been developed. This capability has been used to predict the damage for the first test series. The quality of predictions has been improved by tests that establish post-crush and bending relationships. Two outputs are expected from this project: data that may, or may not, necessitate changes to the criteria after appropriate value impact evaluations and an analytic capability for rapidly evaluating the potential for pipe whip damage after a postulated break. These outputs are to be contained in a value-impact document and a program final report. (orig.).

  14. Collaborative Testing: Cognitive and Interpersonal Processes Related to Enhanced Test Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapitanoff, Susan H.

    2009-01-01

    Research has demonstrated that collaborative testing, working on tests in groups, leads to improved test scores but the mechanism by which this occurs has not been specified. Three factors were proposed as mediators: cognitive processes, interpersonal interactions and reduced test-anxiety. Thirty-three students completed a multiple-choice exam…

  15. Improvement of Students’ Environmental Literacy by Using Integrated Science Teaching Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryanti, D.; Sinaga, P.; Surakusumah, W.

    2018-02-01

    This study aims to determine the improvement of student environmental literacy through the use of integrated science teaching materials on pollution topics. The research is used weak experiment method with the one group pre-test post-test design. The sample of the study were junior high school students in Bandung amounted to 32 people of 7th grade. Data collection in the form of environmental literacy test instrument consist of four components of environmental literacy that is (1) Knowledge, (2) Competencies (Cognitive Skill), (3) Affective and (4) Environmentally Responsible Behavior. The results show that the student’s environmental literacy ability is improved after using integrated science teaching materials. An increase in the medium category is occurring in the knowledge (N-gain=46%) and cognitive skill (N-gain=31%), while the increase in the low category occurs in the affective component (N-gain=25%) and behaviour (N-gain=24%). The conclusions of this study as a whole the improvement of students’ environmental literacy by using integrated science teaching material is in the medium category (N-gain=34%).

  16. Improvement of ultrasonic testing by use of phased arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gebhardt, W; Bonitz, F.; Woll, H.

    1983-01-01

    The paper examines the applicability of phased-array technology in non-destructive material testing for quality control, basic inspection and in-service inspections of the primary containment of nuclear power plants. Initial experiments on sonic aigrette control, defect margin reconstruction and the classification of defects have been carried out using medical equipment as commercially available which had been modified for non-destructive applications. At the same time, a for more flexible microcomputer-controlled phased-array system was developed, particularly designed for material testing. (orig./RW) [de

  17. Mechanical Behaviour of Soil Improved by Alkali Activated Binders

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