Sample records for understanding disease dynamics

  1. Understanding cardiovascular disease (United States)

    ... page: // Understanding cardiovascular disease To use the sharing features on this page, ... lead to heart attack or stroke. Types of Cardiovascular Disease Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common ...

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

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


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

  3. A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Alcoholic Liver Disease Molecular Mechanism: The Development of Static and Dynamic Models. (United States)

    Shafaghati, Leila; Razaghi-Moghadam, Zahra; Mohammadnejad, Javad


    Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a complex disease characterized by damages to the liver and is the consequence of excessive alcohol consumption over years. Since this disease is associated with several pathway failures, pathway reconstruction and network analysis are likely to explicit the molecular basis of the disease. To this aim, in this paper, a network medicine approach was employed to integrate interactome (protein-protein interaction and signaling pathways) and transcriptome data to reconstruct both a static network of ALD and a dynamic model for it. Several data sources were exploited to assemble a set of ALD-associated genes which further was used for network reconstruction. Moreover, a comprehensive literature mining reveals that there are four signaling pathways with crosstalk (TLR4, NF- [Formula: see text]B, MAPK and Apoptosis) which play a major role in ALD. These four pathways were exploited to reconstruct a dynamic model of ALD. The results assure that these two models are consistent with a number of experimental observations. The static network of ALD and its dynamic model are the first models provided for ALD which offer potentially valuable information for researchers in this field.

  4. Dynamics of infectious diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rock, Kat; Brand, Sam; Moir, Jo; Keeling, Matt J


    Modern infectious disease epidemiology has a strong history of using mathematics both for prediction and to gain a deeper understanding. However the study of infectious diseases is a highly interdisciplinary subject requiring insights from multiple disciplines, in particular a biological knowledge of the pathogen, a statistical description of the available data and a mathematical framework for prediction. Here we begin with the basic building blocks of infectious disease epidemiology—the SIS and SIR type models—before considering the progress that has been made over the recent decades and the challenges that lie ahead. Throughout we focus on the understanding that can be developed from relatively simple models, although accurate prediction will inevitably require far greater complexity beyond the scope of this review. In particular, we focus on three critical aspects of infectious disease models that we feel fundamentally shape their dynamics: heterogeneously structured populations, stochasticity and spatial structure. Throughout we relate the mathematical models and their results to a variety of real-world problems. (review article)

  5. Understanding the disease of addiction. (United States)

    Detar, D Todd


    Addiction is a chronic brain disease. Drug addiction manifests as a compulsive obsession to use a substance despite serious detrimental and sometimes irreversible consequences. Drug addiction is not the same as drug dependency because dependency may not manifest as an addictive behavior. This problem is fundamental to understanding the disease of addiction. This article discusses the neurobiology and genetics of drug addiction. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Understanding and Modeling Teams As Dynamical Systems (United States)

    Gorman, Jamie C.; Dunbar, Terri A.; Grimm, David; Gipson, Christina L.


    By its very nature, much of teamwork is distributed across, and not stored within, interdependent people working toward a common goal. In this light, we advocate a systems perspective on teamwork that is based on general coordination principles that are not limited to cognitive, motor, and physiological levels of explanation within the individual. In this article, we present a framework for understanding and modeling teams as dynamical systems and review our empirical findings on teams as dynamical systems. We proceed by (a) considering the question of why study teams as dynamical systems, (b) considering the meaning of dynamical systems concepts (attractors; perturbation; synchronization; fractals) in the context of teams, (c) describe empirical studies of team coordination dynamics at the perceptual-motor, cognitive-behavioral, and cognitive-neurophysiological levels of analysis, and (d) consider the theoretical and practical implications of this approach, including new kinds of explanations of human performance and real-time analysis and performance modeling. Throughout our discussion of the topics we consider how to describe teamwork using equations and/or modeling techniques that describe the dynamics. Finally, we consider what dynamical equations and models do and do not tell us about human performance in teams and suggest future research directions in this area. PMID:28744231

  7. Understanding the Entrepreneurial Process: a Dynamic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vânia Maria Jorge Nassif


    Full Text Available There is considerable predominance in the adoption of perspectives based on characteristics in research into entrepreneurship. However, most studies describe the entrepreneur from a static or snapshot approach; very few adopt a dynamic perspective. The aim of this study is to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge concerning entrepreneurial process dynamics through an understanding of the values, characteristics and actions of the entrepreneur over time. By focusing on personal attributes, we have developed a framework that shows the importance of affective and cognitive aspects of entrepreneurs and the way that they evolve during the development of their business.

  8. Understanding the natural history of Gaucher disease. (United States)

    Mistry, Pramod K; Belmatoug, Nadia; vom Dahl, Stephan; Giugliani, Roberto


    Gaucher disease is a rare and extraordinarily heterogeneous inborn error of metabolism that exhibits diverse manifestations, a broad range of age of onset of symptoms, and a wide clinical spectrum of disease severity, from lethal disease during infancy to first age of onset of symptoms in octogenarians. Before the advent of the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG) Gaucher Registry, the understanding of the natural history and phenotypic range of Gaucher disease was based on isolated case reports and small case series. Limited data hindered understanding of the full spectrum of the disease leading to some early misconceptions about Gaucher disease, notably, that nonneuronopathic (type 1) disease was a disease of adults only. The global scope of the ICGG Gaucher Registry, with its vast body of longitudinal data, has enabled a real appreciation of both the phenotypic spectrum of Gaucher disease and its natural history. This body of evidence represents the foundation for accurate assessment of the response to specific therapies for Gaucher disease and to the development of standard-of-care to monitor disease activity. Here, we outline the key developments in delineating the natural history of this highly complex disease and role of the ICGG Gaucher Registry in this effort. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Understanding gene functions and disease mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuchs, Helmut; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan Antonio; Amarie, Oana V.


    Since decades, model organisms have provided an important approach for understanding the mechanistic basis of human diseases. The German Mouse Clinic (GMC) was the first phenotyping facility that established a collaboration-based platform for phenotype characterization of mouse lines. In order...... to address individual projects by a tailor-made phenotyping strategy, the GMC advanced in developing a series of pipelines with tests for the analysis of specific disease areas. For a general broad analysis, there is a screening pipeline that covers the key parameters for the most relevant disease areas...

  10. Understanding the dynamics of parent involvement in schooling ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding the dynamics of parent involvement in schooling within the poverty context. ... South African Journal of Education ... understand the realities and dynamics facing parents when attempting to be involved in their child\\'s schooling.

  11. Perceptions of risk: understanding cardiovascular disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Webster


    Full Text Available Ruth Webster1, Emma Heeley21Cardiovascular Division, 2Neurological and Mental Health Division, The George Institute for International Health, Camperdown, NSW, AustraliaAbstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD is still the leading cause of death and disability worldwide despite the availability of well-established and effective preventive options. Accurate perception of a patient’s risk by both the patient and the doctors is important as this is one of the components that determine health-related behavior. Doctors tend to not use cardiovascular (CV risk calculators and underestimate the absolute CV risk of their patients. Patients show optimistic bias when considering their own risk and consistently underestimate it. Poor patient health literacy and numeracy must be considered when thinking about this problem. Patients must possess a reasonably high level of understanding of numerical processes when doctors discuss risk, a level that is not possessed by large numbers of the population. In order to overcome this barrier, doctors need to utilize various tools including the appropriate use of visual aids to accurately communicate risk with their patients. Any intervention has been shown to be better than nothing in improving health understanding. The simple process of repeatedly conveying risk information to a patient has been shown to improve accuracy of risk perception. Doctors need to take responsibility for the accurate assessment and effective communication of CV risk in their patients in order to improve patient uptake of cardioprotective lifestyle choices and preventive medications.Keywords: risk perception, cardiovascular disease, cardioprotective lifestyle

  12. Understanding dynamic capabilities through knowledge management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anders Paarup


    In the paper eight knowledge management activities are identified; knowledge creation, acquisition, capture, assembly, sharing, integration, leverage and exploitation. These activities are assembled into the three dynamic capabilities of knowledge development, knowledge (re......)combination and knowledge use. The dynamic capabilities and the associated knowledge management activities create flows to and from the firm’s stock of knowledge and they support the creation and use of organizational capabilities....

  13. Ideas and things: understanding the dynamic dimension of intellectual capital

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christiaan Stam


    In today’s intellectual capital literature, we see a shift from identifying intangibles towards understanding the dynamics of value creation. As it is not clear what “dynamic” stands for, the aim of this explorative and conceptual paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamic

  14. Understanding Digital Learning from the Perspective of Systems Dynamics (United States)

    Kok, Ayse


    The System Dynamics approach can be seen as a new way of understanding dynamical phenonema (natural, physical, biological, etc.) that occur in our daily lives taking into consideration not only single pairs of cause-effect variables, but the functioning of the system as a whole. This approach also provides the students with a new understanding in…

  15. Understanding lack of understanding : Invalidation in rheumatic diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kool, M.B.


    The quality of life of patients with chronic rheumatic diseases is negatively influenced by symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and stiffness, and secondary symptoms such as physical limitations and depressive mood. On top of this burden, some patients experience negative responses from others, such as

  16. Disease processes as hybrid dynamical systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Liò


    Full Text Available We investigate the use of hybrid techniques in complex processes of infectious diseases. Since predictive disease models in biomedicine require a multiscale approach for understanding the molecule-cell-tissue-organ-body interactions, heterogeneous methodologies are often employed for describing the different biological scales. Hybrid models provide effective means for complex disease modelling where the action and dosage of a drug or a therapy could be meaningfully investigated: the infection dynamics can be classically described in a continuous fashion, while the scheduling of multiple treatment discretely. We define an algebraic language for specifying general disease processes and multiple treatments, from which a semantics in terms of hybrid dynamical system can be derived. Then, the application of control-theoretic tools is proposed in order to compute the optimal scheduling of multiple therapies. The potentialities of our approach are shown in the case study of the SIR epidemic model and we discuss its applicability on osteomyelitis, a bacterial infection affecting the bone remodelling system in a specific and multiscale manner. We report that formal languages are helpful in giving a general homogeneous formulation for the different scales involved in a multiscale disease process; and that the combination of hybrid modelling and control theory provides solid grounds for computational medicine.

  17. Understanding calcium dynamics experiments and theory

    CERN Document Server

    Malchow, Dieter


    Intracellular Calcium is an important messenger in living cells. Calcium dynamics display complex temporal and spatial structures created by the concentration patterns which are characteristic for a nonlinear system operating far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Written as a set of tutorial reviews on both experimental facts and theoretical modelling, this volume is intended as an introduction and modern reference in the field for graduate students and researchers in biophysics, biochemistry and applied mathematics.

  18. Mission Driven Scene Understanding: Dynamic Environments (United States)


    WindowsSdkDir%VisualStudioInteg ration \\Tools\\Bin;%PATH% set INCLUDE=%VCINSTALLDIR%Include;%WindowsSdkDir%VisualStudioInte gration\\Common\\Inc;%INCLUDE...Hung HSW. From visual saliency to video behaviour understanding [doctoral dissertation]. [London (UK)]: Queen Mary, University of London; 2007. 10

  19. A Scientific Understanding of Keystroke Dynamics (United States)


    of Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences . Elsevier, 2011. S. Douhou and J. R. Magnus. The reliability of user authentication through keystroke...manifestations of people’s behavior — keystroke timings especially so. As such, looking to other sciences for solutions to the problem of understanding...excitement and enthusiasm over being studied. The discovery spurred changes in the research methods of behavioral science (Shadish et al., 2002

  20. Assessing neuronal networks: understanding Alzheimer's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bokde, Arun L W


    Findings derived from neuroimaging of the structural and functional organization of the human brain have led to the widely supported hypothesis that neuronal networks of temporally coordinated brain activity across different regional brain structures underpin cognitive function. Failure of integration within a network leads to cognitive dysfunction. The current discussion on Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) argues that it presents in part a disconnection syndrome. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and electroencephalography demonstrate that synchronicity of brain activity is altered in AD and correlates with cognitive deficits. Moreover, recent advances in diffusion tensor imaging have made it possible to track axonal projections across the brain, revealing substantial regional impairment in fiber-tract integrity in AD. Accumulating evidence points towards a network breakdown reflecting disconnection at both the structural and functional system level. The exact relationship among these multiple mechanistic variables and their contribution to cognitive alterations and ultimately decline is yet unknown. Focused research efforts aimed at the integration of both function and structure hold great promise not only in improving our understanding of cognition but also of its characteristic progressive metamorphosis in complex chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.

  1. Recent advances in understanding autoimmune thyroid disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bliddal, Sofie; Nielsen, Claus Henrik; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla


    Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is often observed together with other autoimmune diseases. The coexistence of two or more autoimmune diseases in the same patient is referred to as polyautoimmunity, and AITD is the autoimmune disease most frequently involved. The occurrence of polyautoimmunity h...

  2. Understanding the HIV coreceptor switch from a dynamical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamp Christel


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The entry of HIV into its target cells is facilitated by the prior binding to the cell surface molecule CD4 and a secondary coreceptor, mostly the chemokine receptors CCR5 or CXCR4. In early infection CCR5-using viruses (R5 viruses are mostly dominant while a receptor switch towards CXCR4 occurs in about 50% of the infected individuals (X4 viruses which is associated with a progression of the disease. There are many hypotheses regarding the underlying dynamics without yet a conclusive understanding. Results While it is difficult to isolate key factors in vivo we have developed a minimal in silico model based on the approaches of Nowak and May to investigate the conditions under which the receptor switch occurs. The model allows to investigate the evolution of viral strains within a probabilistic framework along the three stages of disease from primary and latent infection to the onset of AIDS with a a sudden increase in viral load which goes along with the impairment of the immune response. The model is specifically applied to investigate the evolution of the viral quasispecies in terms of R5 and X4 viruses which directly translates into the composition of viral load and consequently the question of the coreceptor switch. Conclusion The model can explain the coreceptor switch as a result of a dynamical change in the underlying environmental conditions in the host. The emergence of X4 strains does not necessarily result in the dominance of X4 viruses in viral load which is more likely to occur in the model after some time of chronic infection. A better understanding of the conditions leading to the coreceptor switch is especially of interest as CCR5 blockers have recently been licensed as drugs which suppress R5 viruses but do not seem to necessarily induce a coreceptor switch.

  3. Understanding Arsenic Dynamics in Agronomic Systems to ... (United States)

    This review is on arsenic in agronomic systems, and covers processes that influence the entry of arsenic into the human food supply. The scope is from sources of arsenic (natural and anthropogenic) in soils, biogeochemical and rhizosphere processes that control arsenic speciation and availability, through to mechanisms of uptake by crop plants and potential mitigation strategies. This review makes a case for taking steps to prevent or limit crop uptake of arsenic, wherever possible, and to work toward a long-term solution to the presence of arsenic in agronomic systems. The past two decades have seen important advances in our understanding of how biogeochemical and physiological processes influence human exposure to soil arsenic, and thus must now prompt an informed reconsideration and unification of regulations to protect the quality of agricultural and residential soils. Consumption of staple foods such as rice, beverages such as apple juice, or vegetables grown in historically arsenic-contaminated soils is now recognized as a tangible route of arsenic exposure that, in many cases, is more significant than exposure from drinking water. Understanding the sources of arsenic to crop plants and the factors that influence them is key to reducing exposure now and preventing exposure in future. In addition to the abundant natural sources of arsenic, there are a large number of industrial and agricultural sources of arsenic to the soil; from mining wastes, coal fly

  4. Dynamic computed tomography findings in cerebrovascular diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Araki, Yutaka; Tomoda, Kaname; Kariya, Mitsumasa; Mori, Shigeru; Mitomo, Masanori.


    Dynamic CT was performed with 41 patients with the clinically diagnosed cerebrovascular diseases. A visual evaluation based on the dynamic CT images classified six patterns of brain parenchymal enhancement, especially four patterns of which could only be detected by dynamic CT technique. Dynamic CT was proved of great value in detecting regional cerebral tissue filled by collaterals in retrograde fashion because of the occlusion of main arteries, namely brain tissue perfusion of internal carotid occlusion disease and moyamoya disease was best understood by dynamic CT with adequate resolution. (author)

  5. Understanding Service-Oriented Systems Using Dynamic Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Espinha, T.; Zaidman, A.; Gross, H.G.


    When trying to understand a system that is based on the principles of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), it is typically not enough to understand the individual services in the architecture, but also the interactions between the services. In this paper, we present a technique based on dynamic

  6. The Role of Caretakers in Disease Dynamics (United States)

    Noble, Charleston; Bagrow, James P.; Brockmann, Dirk


    One of the key challenges in modeling the dynamics of contagion phenomena is to understand how the structure of social interactions shapes the time course of a disease. Complex network theory has provided significant advances in this context. However, awareness of an epidemic in a population typically yields behavioral changes that correspond to changes in the network structure on which the disease evolves. This feedback mechanism has not been investigated in depth. For example, one would intuitively expect susceptible individuals to avoid other infecteds. However, doctors treating patients or parents tending sick children may also increase the amount of contact made with an infecteds, in an effort to speed up recovery but also exposing themselves to higher risks of infection. We study the role of these caretaker links in an adaptive network models where individuals react to a disease by increasing or decreasing the amount of contact they make with infected individuals. We find that, for both homogeneous networks and networks possessing large topological variability, disease prevalence is decreased for low concentrations of caretakers whereas a high prevalence emerges if caretaker concentration passes a well defined critical value.

  7. Understanding the sensory irregularities of esophageal disease. (United States)

    Farmer, Adam D; Brock, Christina; Frøkjaer, Jens Brøndum; Gregersen, Hans; Khan, Sheeba; Lelic, Dina; Lottrup, Christian; Drewes, Asbjørn Mohr


    Symptoms relating to esophageal sensory abnormalities can be encountered in the clinical environment. Such sensory abnormalities may be present in demonstrable disease, such as erosive esophagitis, and in the ostensibly normal esophagus, such as non-erosive reflux disease or functional chest pain. In this review, the authors discuss esophageal sensation and the esophageal pain system. In addition, the authors provide a primer concerning the techniques that are available for investigating the autonomic nervous system, neuroimaging and neurophysiology of esophageal sensory function. Such technological advances, whilst not readily available in the clinic may facilitate the stratification and individualization of therapy in disorders of esophageal sensation in the future.

  8. Mathematical modeling of infectious disease dynamics (United States)

    Siettos, Constantinos I.; Russo, Lucia


    Over the last years, an intensive worldwide effort is speeding up the developments in the establishment of a global surveillance network for combating pandemics of emergent and re-emergent infectious diseases. Scientists from different fields extending from medicine and molecular biology to computer science and applied mathematics have teamed up for rapid assessment of potentially urgent situations. Toward this aim mathematical modeling plays an important role in efforts that focus on predicting, assessing, and controlling potential outbreaks. To better understand and model the contagious dynamics the impact of numerous variables ranging from the micro host–pathogen level to host-to-host interactions, as well as prevailing ecological, social, economic, and demographic factors across the globe have to be analyzed and thoroughly studied. Here, we present and discuss the main approaches that are used for the surveillance and modeling of infectious disease dynamics. We present the basic concepts underpinning their implementation and practice and for each category we give an annotated list of representative works. PMID:23552814

  9. Understanding the dynamics of parent involvement in schooling ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erna Kinsey

    A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the realities and dynamics facing parents when attempting to be ... programmatic efforts for promoting children's adjustment and com- ... then conducted with six parents of two community-based support .... included in important issues regarding the education of their children.

  10. Learning and Understanding System Stability Using Illustrative Dynamic Texture Examples (United States)

    Liu, Huaping; Xiao, Wei; Zhao, Hongyan; Sun, Fuchun


    System stability is a basic concept in courses on dynamic system analysis and control for undergraduate students with computer science backgrounds. Typically, this was taught using a simple simulation example of an inverted pendulum. Unfortunately, many difficult issues arise in the learning and understanding of the concepts of stability,…

  11. Understanding Learner Agency as a Complex Dynamic System (United States)

    Mercer, Sarah


    This paper attempts to contribute to a fuller understanding of the nature of language learner agency by considering it as a complex dynamic system. The purpose of the study was to explore detailed situated data to examine to what extent it is feasible to view learner agency through the lens of complexity theory. Data were generated through a…

  12. Understanding conflict’s dynamics in participatory natural resources management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Idrissou, L.; Aarts, M.N.C.; Leeuwis, C.; Paassen, van A.


    This paper investigated conflicts in participatory protected areas management in Benin to better understand their dynamics. This review paper is based on four articles written from three case-studies of conflicts that emerged and evolved in participatory protected areas management in Benin and a

  13. Stochastic dynamics for reinfection by transmitted diseases (United States)

    Barros, Alessandro S.; Pinho, Suani T. R.


    The use of stochastic models to study the dynamics of infectious diseases is an important tool to understand the epidemiological process. For several directly transmitted diseases, reinfection is a relevant process, which can be expressed by endogenous reactivation of the pathogen or by exogenous reinfection due to direct contact with an infected individual (with smaller reinfection rate σ β than infection rate β ). In this paper, we examine the stochastic susceptible, infected, recovered, infected (SIRI) model simulating the endogenous reactivation by a spontaneous reaction, while exogenous reinfection by a catalytic reaction. Analyzing the mean-field approximations of a site and pairs of sites, and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations for the particular case of exogenous reinfection, we obtained continuous phase transitions involving endemic, epidemic, and no transmission phases for the simple approach; the approach of pairs is better to describe the phase transition from endemic phase (susceptible, infected, susceptible (SIS)-like model) to epidemic phase (susceptible, infected, and removed or recovered (SIR)-like model) considering the comparison with MC results; the reinfection increases the peaks of outbreaks until the system reaches endemic phase. For the particular case of endogenous reactivation, the approach of pairs leads to a continuous phase transition from endemic phase (SIS-like model) to no transmission phase. Finally, there is no phase transition when both effects are taken into account. We hope the results of this study can be generalized for the susceptible, exposed, infected, and removed or recovered (SEIRIE) model, for which the state exposed (infected but not infectious), describing more realistically transmitted diseases such as tuberculosis. In future work, we also intend to investigate the effect of network topology on phase transitions when the SIRI model describes both transmitted diseases (σ social contagions (σ >1 ).

  14. Understanding dynamic changes in live cell adhesion with neutron reflectometry (United States)

    Junghans, Ann

    Understanding the structure and functionality of biological systems on a nanometer-resolution and short temporal scales is important for solving complex biological problems, developing innovative treatment, and advancing the design of highly functionalized biomimetic materials. For example, adhesion of cells to an underlying substrate plays a crucial role in physiology and disease development, and has been investigated with great interest for several decades. In the talk, we would like to highlight recent advances in utilizing neutron scattering to study bio-related structures in dynamic conditions (e . g . under the shear flow) including in-situ investigations of the interfacial properties of living cells. The strength of neutron reflectometry is its non-pertubative nature, the ability to probe buried interfaces with nanometer resolution and its sensitivity to light elements like hydrogen and carbon. That allows us to study details of cell - substrate interfaces that are not accessible with any other standard techniques. We studied the adhesion of human brain tumor cells (U251) to quartz substrates and their responses to the external mechanical forces. Such cells are isolated within the central nervous system which makes them difficult to reach with conventional therapies and therefore making them highly invasive. Our results reveal changes in the thickness and composition of the adhesion layer (a layer between the cell lipid membrane and the quartz substrate), largely composed of hyaluronic acid and associated proteoglycans, when the cells were subjected to shear stress. Further studies will allow us to determine more conditions triggering changes in the composition of the bio-material in the adhesion layer. This, in turn, can help to identify changes that correlate with tumor invasiveness, which can have significant medical impact for the development of targeted anti-invasive therapies.

  15. Understanding Parkinson Disease: A Complex and Multifaceted Illness. (United States)

    Gopalakrishna, Apoorva; Alexander, Sheila A


    Parkinson disease is an incredibly complex and multifaceted illness affecting millions of people in the United States. Parkinson disease is characterized by progressive dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction and loss, leading to debilitating motor, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Parkinson disease is an enigmatic illness that is still extensively researched today to search for a better understanding of the disease, develop therapeutic interventions to halt or slow progression of the disease, and optimize patient outcomes. This article aims to examine in detail the normal function of the basal ganglia and dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system, the etiology and pathophysiology of Parkinson disease, related signs and symptoms, current treatment, and finally, the profound impact of understanding the disease on nursing care.

  16. Understanding dynamics using sensitivity analysis: caveat and solution (United States)


    Background Parametric sensitivity analysis (PSA) has become one of the most commonly used tools in computational systems biology, in which the sensitivity coefficients are used to study the parametric dependence of biological models. As many of these models describe dynamical behaviour of biological systems, the PSA has subsequently been used to elucidate important cellular processes that regulate this dynamics. However, in this paper, we show that the PSA coefficients are not suitable in inferring the mechanisms by which dynamical behaviour arises and in fact it can even lead to incorrect conclusions. Results A careful interpretation of parametric perturbations used in the PSA is presented here to explain the issue of using this analysis in inferring dynamics. In short, the PSA coefficients quantify the integrated change in the system behaviour due to persistent parametric perturbations, and thus the dynamical information of when a parameter perturbation matters is lost. To get around this issue, we present a new sensitivity analysis based on impulse perturbations on system parameters, which is named impulse parametric sensitivity analysis (iPSA). The inability of PSA and the efficacy of iPSA in revealing mechanistic information of a dynamical system are illustrated using two examples involving switch activation. Conclusions The interpretation of the PSA coefficients of dynamical systems should take into account the persistent nature of parametric perturbations involved in the derivation of this analysis. The application of PSA to identify the controlling mechanism of dynamical behaviour can be misleading. By using impulse perturbations, introduced at different times, the iPSA provides the necessary information to understand how dynamics is achieved, i.e. which parameters are essential and when they become important. PMID:21406095

  17. Neutrophil programming dynamics and its disease relevance. (United States)

    Ran, Taojing; Geng, Shuo; Li, Liwu


    Neutrophils are traditionally considered as first responders to infection and provide antimicrobial host defense. However, recent advances indicate that neutrophils are also critically involved in the modulation of host immune environments by dynamically adopting distinct functional states. Functionally diverse neutrophil subsets are increasingly recognized as critical components mediating host pathophysiology. Despite its emerging significance, molecular mechanisms as well as functional relevance of dynamically programmed neutrophils remain to be better defined. The increasing complexity of neutrophil functions may require integrative studies that address programming dynamics of neutrophils and their pathophysiological relevance. This review aims to provide an update on the emerging topics of neutrophil programming dynamics as well as their functional relevance in diseases.

  18. Toward understanding dynamic annealing processes in irradiated ceramics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myers, Michael Thomas [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)


    High energy particle irradiation inevitably generates defects in solids. The ballistic formation and thermalization of the defect creation process occur rapidly, and are believed to be reasonably well understood. However, knowledge of the evolution of defects after damage cascade thermalization, referred to as dynamic annealing, is quite limited. Unraveling the mechanisms associated with dynamic annealing is crucial since such processes play an important role in the formation of stable postirradiation disorder in ion-beam-processing of semiconductors, and determines the “radiation tolerance” of many nuclear materials. The purpose of this dissertation is to further our understanding of the processes involved in dynamic annealing. In order to achieve this, two main tasks are undertaken.

  19. Challenges and opportunities for improved understanding of regional climate dynamics (United States)

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


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

  20. Coupled disease-behavior dynamics on complex networks: A review (United States)

    Wang, Zhen; Andrews, Michael A.; Wu, Zhi-Xi; Wang, Lin; Bauch, Chris T.


    It is increasingly recognized that a key component of successful infection control efforts is understanding the complex, two-way interaction between disease dynamics and human behavioral and social dynamics. Human behavior such as contact precautions and social distancing clearly influence disease prevalence, but disease prevalence can in turn alter human behavior, forming a coupled, nonlinear system. Moreover, in many cases, the spatial structure of the population cannot be ignored, such that social and behavioral processes and/or transmission of infection must be represented with complex networks. Research on studying coupled disease-behavior dynamics in complex networks in particular is growing rapidly, and frequently makes use of analysis methods and concepts from statistical physics. Here, we review some of the growing literature in this area. We contrast network-based approaches to homogeneous-mixing approaches, point out how their predictions differ, and describe the rich and often surprising behavior of disease-behavior dynamics on complex networks, and compare them to processes in statistical physics. We discuss how these models can capture the dynamics that characterize many real-world scenarios, thereby suggesting ways that policy makers can better design effective prevention strategies. We also describe the growing sources of digital data that are facilitating research in this area. Finally, we suggest pitfalls which might be faced by researchers in the field, and we suggest several ways in which the field could move forward in the coming years.

  1. Dynamic diseases in neurology and psychiatry (United States)

    Milton, John; Black, Deborah


    Thirty-two (32) periodic diseases of the nervous system are identified in which symptoms and/or signs recur. In 10/32, the recurrence of a symptom complex is one of the defining features of the illness, whereas in 22/32 oscillatory signs occur in the setting of an ongoing nervous system disorder. We discuss the possibility that these disorders may be dynamic diseases.

  2. Integrating the social sciences to understand human-water dynamics (United States)

    Carr, G.; Kuil, L., Jr.


    Many interesting and exciting socio-hydrological models have been developed in recent years. Such models often aim to capture the dynamic interplay between people and water for a variety of hydrological settings. As such, peoples' behaviours and decisions are brought into the models as drivers of and/or respondents to the hydrological system. To develop and run such models over a sufficiently long time duration to observe how the water-human system evolves the human component is often simplified according to one or two key behaviours, characteristics or decisions (e.g. a decision to move away from a drought or flood area; a decision to pump groundwater, or a decision to plant a less water demanding crop). To simplify the social component, socio-hydrological modellers often pull knowledge and understanding from existing social science theories. This requires them to negotiate complex territory, where social theories may be underdeveloped, contested, dynamically evolving, or case specific and difficult to generalise or upscale. A key question is therefore, how can this process be supported so that the resulting socio-hydrological models adequately describe the system and lead to meaningful understanding of how and why it behaves as it does? Collaborative interdisciplinary research teams that bring together social and natural scientists are likely to be critical. Joint development of the model framework requires specific attention to clarification to expose all underlying assumptions, constructive discussion and negotiation to reach agreement on the modelled system and its boundaries. Mutual benefits to social scientists can be highlighted, i.e. socio-hydrological work can provide insights for further exploring and testing social theories. Collaborative work will also help ensure underlying social theory is made explicit, and may identify ways to include and compare multiple theories. As socio-hydrology progresses towards supporting policy development, approaches that

  3. Understanding the Dynamics of EngagingIinteraction in Public Spaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Peter; Dindler, Christian; Halskov, Kim

    We present an analysis of three interactive installations in public spaces, in terms of their support of engagement as an evolving process. In particular, we focus on how engagement unfolds as a dynamic process that may be understood in terms of evolving relations between cultural, physical......, content-related, and social elements of interactive environments. These elements are explored through the literature on engagement with interaction design, and it is argued that, although valuable contributions have been made towards understanding engagement with interactive environments, the ways...

  4. Understanding bicycling in cities using system dynamics modelling. (United States)

    Macmillan, Alexandra; Woodcock, James


    Increasing urban bicycling has established net benefits for human and environmental health. Questions remain about which policies are needed and in what order, to achieve an increase in cycling while avoiding negative consequences. Novel ways of considering cycling policy are needed, bringing together expertise across policy, community and research to develop a shared understanding of the dynamically complex cycling system. In this paper we use a collaborative learning process to develop a dynamic causal model of urban cycling to develop consensus about the nature and order of policies needed in different cycling contexts to optimise outcomes. We used participatory system dynamics modelling to develop causal loop diagrams (CLDs) of cycling in three contrasting contexts: Auckland, London and Nijmegen. We combined qualitative interviews and workshops to develop the CLDs. We used the three CLDs to compare and contrast influences on cycling at different points on a "cycling trajectory" and drew out policy insights. The three CLDs consisted of feedback loops dynamically influencing cycling, with significant overlap between the three diagrams. Common reinforcing patterns emerged: growing numbers of people cycling lifts political will to improve the environment; cycling safety in numbers drives further growth; and more cycling can lead to normalisation across the population. By contrast, limits to growth varied as cycling increases. In Auckland and London, real and perceived danger was considered the main limit, with added barriers to normalisation in London. Cycling congestion and "market saturation" were important in the Netherlands. A generalisable, dynamic causal theory for urban cycling enables a more ordered set of policy recommendations for different cities on a cycling trajectory. Participation meant the collective knowledge of cycling stakeholders was represented and triangulated with research evidence. Extending this research to further cities, especially in low

  5. A Theoretical Approach to Understanding Population Dynamics with Seasonal Developmental Durations (United States)

    Lou, Yijun; Zhao, Xiao-Qiang


    There is a growing body of biological investigations to understand impacts of seasonally changing environmental conditions on population dynamics in various research fields such as single population growth and disease transmission. On the other side, understanding the population dynamics subject to seasonally changing weather conditions plays a fundamental role in predicting the trends of population patterns and disease transmission risks under the scenarios of climate change. With the host-macroparasite interaction as a motivating example, we propose a synthesized approach for investigating the population dynamics subject to seasonal environmental variations from theoretical point of view, where the model development, basic reproduction ratio formulation and computation, and rigorous mathematical analysis are involved. The resultant model with periodic delay presents a novel term related to the rate of change of the developmental duration, bringing new challenges to dynamics analysis. By investigating a periodic semiflow on a suitably chosen phase space, the global dynamics of a threshold type is established: all solutions either go to zero when basic reproduction ratio is less than one, or stabilize at a positive periodic state when the reproduction ratio is greater than one. The synthesized approach developed here is applicable to broader contexts of investigating biological systems with seasonal developmental durations.

  6. Understanding dynamic friction through spontaneously evolving laboratory earthquakes. (United States)

    Rubino, V; Rosakis, A J; Lapusta, N


    Friction plays a key role in how ruptures unzip faults in the Earth's crust and release waves that cause destructive shaking. Yet dynamic friction evolution is one of the biggest uncertainties in earthquake science. Here we report on novel measurements of evolving local friction during spontaneously developing mini-earthquakes in the laboratory, enabled by our ultrahigh speed full-field imaging technique. The technique captures the evolution of displacements, velocities and stresses of dynamic ruptures, whose rupture speed range from sub-Rayleigh to supershear. The observed friction has complex evolution, featuring initial velocity strengthening followed by substantial velocity weakening. Our measurements are consistent with rate-and-state friction formulations supplemented with flash heating but not with widely used slip-weakening friction laws. This study develops a new approach for measuring local evolution of dynamic friction and has important implications for understanding earthquake hazard since laws governing frictional resistance of faults are vital ingredients in physically-based predictive models of the earthquake source.

  7. Determining T-cell specificity to understand and treat disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hadrup, Sine Reker; Newell, Evan W.


    Adaptive immune responses and immunopathogeneses are based on the ability of T cells to respond to specific antigens. Consequently, understanding T-cell recognition patterns in health and disease involves studying the complexity and genetic heterogeneity of the antigen recognition pathway, which...

  8. Understanding gene expression in coronary artery disease through ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Understanding gene expression in coronary artery disease through global profiling, network analysis and independent validation of key candidate genes. Prathima ... Table 2. Differentially expressed genes in CAD compared to age and gender matched controls. .... Regulation of nuclear pre-mRNA domain containing 1A.

  9. Understanding gene expression in coronary artery disease through ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Understanding gene expression in coronary artery disease through global profiling, network analysis ... A_33_P3249595 B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11A (zinc finger protein). BCL11A. 2.29 ..... It acts as a cytoplasmic sensor for viral infection and ...

  10. Mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian health and disease. (United States)

    Liesa, Marc; Palacín, Manuel; Zorzano, Antonio


    The meaning of the word mitochondrion (from the Greek mitos, meaning thread, and chondros, grain) illustrates that the heterogeneity of mitochondrial morphology has been known since the first descriptions of this organelle. Such a heterogeneous morphology is explained by the dynamic nature of mitochondria. Mitochondrial dynamics is a concept that includes the movement of mitochondria along the cytoskeleton, the regulation of mitochondrial architecture (morphology and distribution), and connectivity mediated by tethering and fusion/fission events. The relevance of these events in mitochondrial and cell physiology has been partially unraveled after the identification of the genes responsible for mitochondrial fusion and fission. Furthermore, during the last decade, it has been identified that mutations in two mitochondrial fusion genes (MFN2 and OPA1) cause prevalent neurodegenerative diseases (Charcot-Marie Tooth type 2A and Kjer disease/autosomal dominant optic atrophy). In addition, other diseases such as type 2 diabetes or vascular proliferative disorders show impaired MFN2 expression. Altogether, these findings have established mitochondrial dynamics as a consolidated area in cellular physiology. Here we review the most significant findings in the field of mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian cells and their implication in human pathologies.

  11. Understanding catchment dynamics through a Space-Society-Water trialectic (United States)

    Sutherland, Catherine; Jewitt, Graham; Risko, Susan; Hay, Ducan; Stuart-Hill, Sabine; Browne, Michelle


    Can healthy catchments be utilized to secure water for the benefit of society? This is a complex question as it requires an understanding of the connections and relations between biophysical, social, political, economic and governance dimensions over space and time in the catchment and must interrogate whether there is 'value' in investing in the catchment natural or ecological infrastructure (EI), how this should be done, where the most valuable EI is located, and whether an investment in EI will generate co-benefits socially, environmentally and economically. Here, we adopt a social ecological relations rather than systems approach to explore these interactions through development of a space-society-water trialectic. Trialectic thinking is challenging as it requires new epistemologies and it challenges conventional modes of thought. It is not ordered or fixed, but rather is constantly evolving, revealing the dynamic relations between the elements under exploration. The construction of knowledge, through detailed scientific research and social learning, which contributes to the understanding and achievement of sustainable water supply, water related resilient economic growth, greater social equity and justice in relation to water and the reduction of environmental risk is illustrated through research in the uMngeni Catchment, South Africa. Using four case studies as a basis, we construct the catchment level society-water-space trialectic as a way of connecting, assembling and comparing the understanding and knowledge that has been produced. The relations in the three elements of the trialectic are constructed through identifying, understanding and analysing the actors, discourses, knowledge, biophysical materialities, issues and spatial connections in the case studies. Together these relations, or multiple trajectories, are assembled to form the society-water-space trialectic, which illuminates the dominant relations in the catchment and hence reveal the leverage

  12. Understanding Mircrobial Sensing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Using Click Chemistry (United States)


    chemistry , microbiology and worked with the second fellow from von Andrian lab on the immunology and microscopy. Teaching has come from follow essentially any bacteria using fluorescent techniques into the host or other environments. This chemistry is also a potential method for...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0367 TITLE: Understanding Microbial Sensing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Using Click Chemistry PRINCIPAL

  13. Understanding rare disease pathogenesis: a grand challenge for model organisms. (United States)

    Hieter, Philip; Boycott, Kym M


    In this commentary, Philip Hieter and Kym Boycott discuss the importance of model organisms for understanding pathogenesis of rare human genetic diseases, and highlight the work of Brooks et al., "Dysfunction of 60S ribosomal protein L10 (RPL10) disrupts neurodevelopment and causes X-linked microcephaly in humans," published in this issue of GENETICS. Copyright © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.

  14. Framework for Understanding Balance Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease (United States)

    Schoneburg, Bernadette; Mancini, Martina; Horak, Fay; Nutt, John G.


    People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) suffer from progressive impairment in their mobility. Locomotor and balance dysfunction that impairs mobility in PD is an important cause of physical and psychosocial disability. The recognition and evaluation of balance dysfunction by the clinician is an essential component of managing PD. In this review, we describe a framework for understanding balance dysfunction in PD to help clinicians recognize patients that are at risk for falling and impaired mobility. PMID:23925954

  15. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.


    The burgeoning field of epigenetics is making a significant impact on our understanding of brain evolution, development, and function. In fact, it is now clear that epigenetic mechanisms promote seminal neurobiological processes, ranging from neural stem cell maintenance and differentiation to learning and memory. At the molecular level, epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues, including the deployment of cell type–specific gene networks and those underlying synaptic plasticity. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of epigenetic factors can, in turn, induce remarkable changes in neural cell identity and cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Not surprisingly, it is also becoming apparent that epigenetics is intimately involved in neurological disease pathogenesis. Herein, we highlight emerging paradigms for linking epigenetic machinery and processes with neurological disease states, including how (1) mutations in genes encoding epigenetic factors cause disease, (2) genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors modify disease risk, (3) abnormalities in epigenetic factor expression, localization, or function are involved in disease pathophysiology, (4) epigenetic mechanisms regulate disease-associated genomic loci, gene products, and cellular pathways, and (5) differential epigenetic profiles are present in patient-derived central and peripheral tissues. PMID:23571666

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder


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

  17. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Hoverman, Jason T.; Belden, Lisa K.; Bradley, Paul W.; Xie, Gisselle Y.


    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676

  18. Understanding the dynamic performance of microchannel plates in pulsed mode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ray Thomas; Ming Wu; Nathan Joseph; Craig Kruschwitz; Gregroy A. Rochau


    The dynamic performance of a microchannel plate (MCP) is highly dependent on the high-voltage waveforms that are applied to it. Impedance mismatches in MCP detectors can significantly vary the waveforms on the MCP compared to the input pulses. High-voltage pulse waveforms launched onto surface coatings on the MCPs have historically been difficult and expensive to measure. Over the past few years, we have developed and tested techniques utilizing probes to measure the voltage propagation on the surface of MCPs. Square and Gaussian pulses with widths ranging from 200 ps to 2 ns have been applied. We have investigated the effects of coating thickness, microstrip width, and openended versus terminated strips. These data provide a wealth of knowledge that is enabling a better understanding of images recorded with these devices. This presentation discusses a method for measuring voltage profiles on the surface of the MCP and presents Monte Carlo simulations of the optical gate profiles based on the measured waveforms. Excellent agreement in the optical gate profiles have been achieved between the simulations and the experimental measurements using a short-pulse ultraviolet laser

  19. Understanding void fraction in steady state and dynamic environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chexal, B.; Maulbetsch, J.; Harrison, J.; Petersen, C.; Jensen, P.; Horowitz, J.


    Understanding void fraction behavior in steady-state and dynamic environments is important to accurately predict the thermal-hydraulic behavior of two-phase or two-component systems. The Chexal-Lellouche (C-L) void fraction mode described herein covers the full range of pressures, flows, void fractions, and fluid types (steam-water, air-water, and refrigerants). A drift flux model formulation is used which covers the complete range of concurrent and countercurrent flows. The (1996) model revises the earlier C-L void fraction correlation, improves the capability of the model in countercurrent flow based on the incorporation of additional data, and improves the characteristics of the correlation that are important in transient programs. The model has been qualified with data from a number of steady state two-phase and two-component tests, and has been incorporated into the transient analysis code RELAP5 and RETRAN-3D and evaluated with a variety of transient and steady state tests. A 'plug-in' module for the void fraction correlation has been developed and implemented in RELAP5 and RETRAN-3D. The module is available as source code for inclusion into other thermal-hydraulic programs and can be used in any program that utilizes the same interface variables

  20. Understanding ENSO dynamics through the exploration of past climates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phipps, Steven J; Brown, Jaclyn N


    The palaeoclimate record shows that significant changes in ENSO characteristics took place during the Holocene. Exploring these changes, using both data and models, provides a means of understanding ENSO dynamics. Previous modelling studies have suggested a mechanism whereby changes in the Earth's orbital geometry explain the strengthening of ENSO over the Holocene. Decreasing summer insolation over the Asian landmass resulted in a weakening of the Asian monsoon system. This led to a weakening of the easterly trade winds in the western Pacific, creating conditions more favourable for El Nino development. To explore this hypothesised forcing mechanism, we use a climate system model to conduct a suite of simulations of the climate of the past 8,000 years. In the early Holocene, we find that the Asian summer monsoon system is intensified, resulting in an amplification of the easterly trade winds in the western Pacific. The stronger trade winds represent a barrier to the eastward propagation of westerly wind bursts, therefore inhibiting the onset of El Nino events. The fundamental behaviour of ENSO remains unchanged, with the major change over the Holocene being the influence of the background state of the Pacific on the susceptibility of the ocean to the initiation of El Nino events.

  1. The Contribution of GGOS to Understanding Dynamic Earth Processes (United States)

    Gross, Richard


    Geodesy is the science of the Earth's shape, size, gravity and rotation, including their evolution in time. Geodetic observations play a major role in the solid Earth sciences because they are fundamental for the understanding and modeling of Earth system processes. Changes in the Earth's shape, its gravitational field, and its rotation are caused by external forces acting on the Earth system and internal processes involving mass transfer and exchange of angular and linear momentum. Thus, variations in these geodetic quantities of the Earth reflect and constrain mechanical and thermo-dynamic processes in the Earth system. Mitigating the impact on human life and property of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, debris flows, landslides, land subsidence, sea level change, tsunamis, floods, storm surges, hurricanes and extreme weather is an important scientific task to which geodetic observations make fundamental contributions. Geodetic observations can be used to monitor the pre-eruptive deformation of volcanoes and the pre-seismic deformation of earthquake fault zones, aiding in the issuance of volcanic eruption and earthquake warnings. They can also be used to rapidly estimate earthquake fault motion, aiding in the modeling of tsunami genesis and the issuance of tsunami warnings. Geodetic observations are also used in other areas of the Earth sciences, not just the solid Earth sciences. For example, geodesy contributes to atmospheric science by supporting both observation and prediction of the weather by geo-referencing meteorological observing data and by globally tracking change in stratospheric mass and lower tropospheric water vapor fields. Geodetic measurements of refraction profiles derived from satellite occultation data are routinely assimilated into numerical weather prediction models. Geodesy contributes to hydrologic studies by providing a unique global reference system for measurements of: sub-seasonal, seasonal and secular movements

  2. Understanding quantum measurement from the solution of dynamical models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allahverdyan, Armen E. [Laboratoire de Physique Statistique et Systèmes Complexes, ISMANS, 44 Av. Bartholdi, 72000 Le Mans (France); Balian, Roger [Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex (France); Nieuwenhuizen, Theo M., E-mail: [Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University, 4 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003 (United States)


    The quantum measurement problem, to wit, understanding why a unique outcome is obtained in each individual experiment, is currently tackled by solving models. After an introduction we review the many dynamical models proposed over the years for elucidating quantum measurements. The approaches range from standard quantum theory, relying for instance on quantum statistical mechanics or on decoherence, to quantum–classical methods, to consistent histories and to modifications of the theory. Next, a flexible and rather realistic quantum model is introduced, describing the measurement of the z-component of a spin through interaction with a magnetic memory simulated by a Curie–Weiss magnet, including N≫1 spins weakly coupled to a phonon bath. Initially prepared in a metastable paramagnetic state, it may transit to its up or down ferromagnetic state, triggered by its coupling with the tested spin, so that its magnetization acts as a pointer. A detailed solution of the dynamical equations is worked out, exhibiting several time scales. Conditions on the parameters of the model are found, which ensure that the process satisfies all the features of ideal measurements. Various imperfections of the measurement are discussed, as well as attempts of incompatible measurements. The first steps consist in the solution of the Hamiltonian dynamics for the spin-apparatus density matrix D{sup -hat} (t). Its off-diagonal blocks in a basis selected by the spin–pointer coupling, rapidly decay owing to the many degrees of freedom of the pointer. Recurrences are ruled out either by some randomness of that coupling, or by the interaction with the bath. On a longer time scale, the trend towards equilibrium of the magnet produces a final state D{sup -hat} (t{sub f}) that involves correlations between the system and the indications of the pointer, thus ensuring registration. Although D{sup -hat} (t{sub f}) has the form expected for ideal measurements, it only describes a large set of

  3. An Evaluation of the Training Program: "The Alzheimer's Disease Afflicted: Understanding the Disease and the Resident." (United States)

    Miah, M. Mizanur Rahman

    This study was undertaken to evaluate a training program on understanding Alzheimer's disease for nursing home caregivers of those with the disease. A pretest/posttest design control group methodology was used to evaluate 81 staff members. Results of the study showed that: (1) staff satisfaction with working with mentally impaired and demented…

  4. Dynamic isotope studies in liver disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weits, J


    Much information in the field of liver research has been gained by dynamic isotope studies. Clinically, these studies can help to settle selection criteria for different types of surgical shunt, which relieve the complications of portal hypertension. By performing splenoportoscintigraphy, splenic and portal vein thrombosis can be easily and safely excluded. So-called hypoxaemia of cirrhosis can most easily be diagnosed. Suprahepatic caval vein obstruction in a patient with cryptogenic liver disease is easily excluded by a radionuclide cavogram after injection of pertechnetate into a foot vein.

  5. Syphilis: using modern approaches to understand an old disease (United States)

    Ho, Emily L.; Lukehart, Sheila A.


    Syphilis is a fascinating and perplexing infection, with protean clinical manifestations and both diagnostic and management ambiguities. Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the agent of syphilis, is challenging to study in part because it cannot be cultured or genetically manipulated. Here, we review recent progress in the application of modern molecular techniques to understanding the biological basis of this multistage disease and to the development of new tools for diagnosis, for predicting efficacy of treatment with alternative antibiotics, and for studying the transmission of infection through population networks. PMID:22133883

  6. Crustal Seismic Anisotropy: Implications for Understanding Crustal Dynamics (United States)

    Meltzer, A.; Christensen, N.; Okaya, D.


    variation in % anisotropy, changes in orientation of the regional foliation within the massif, and velocity (splitting) variance due to non-axial propagation through a wide range of event-station azimuths. Because the composition of the massif is basically homogeneous, the rock fabric is well developed, and the structure well constrained, this data set is ideal for studying and quantifying the affect of non-axial propagation through regional foliation. This type of analysis has important implications for understanding crustal dynamics. Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs ratios are typically used to infer both lithology and rheology of subsurface materials and to provide constraints for thermo-mechanical models of deformation. Current tomography codes do not generally account for anisotropic effects and may potentially under or over estimate velocity structure in the crust. At Nanga Parbat, a prominent low-velocity zone is mapped beneath the core of the massif. The magnitude and extent of this zone constrains crustal flow paths focusing crustal strain, exhumation, and potential zones of partial melting in the crust. Accurate determination of velocity structure is clearly important to understand crustal structure and modification during orogenesis.

  7. Swimming Dynamics of the Lyme Disease Spirochete (United States)

    Vig, Dhruv K.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.


    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, swims by undulating its cell body in the form of a traveling flat wave, a process driven by rotating internal flagella. We study B. burgdorferi’s swimming by treating the cell body and flagella as linearly elastic filaments. The dynamics of the cell are then determined from the balance between elastic and resistive forces and moments. We find that planar, traveling waves only exist when the flagella are effectively anchored at both ends of the bacterium and that these traveling flat waves rotate as they undulate. The model predicts how the undulation frequency is related to the torque from the flagellar motors and how the stiffness of the cell body and flagella affect the undulations and morphology.

  8. Modeling proteasome dynamics in Parkinson's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sneppen, Kim; Lizana, Ludvig; Jensen, Mogens H; Pigolotti, Simone; Otzen, Daniel


    In Parkinson's disease (PD), there is evidence that α-synuclein (αSN) aggregation is coupled to dysfunctional or overburdened protein quality control systems, in particular the ubiquitin–proteasome system. Here, we develop a simple dynamical model for the on-going conflict between αSN aggregation and the maintenance of a functional proteasome in the healthy cell, based on the premise that proteasomal activity can be titrated out by mature αSN fibrils and their protofilament precursors. In the presence of excess proteasomes the cell easily maintains homeostasis. However, when the ratio between the available proteasome and the αSN protofilaments is reduced below a threshold level, we predict a collapse of homeostasis and onset of oscillations in the proteasome concentration. Depleted proteasome opens for accumulation of oligomers. Our analysis suggests that the onset of PD is associated with a proteasome population that becomes occupied in periodic degradation of aggregates. This behavior is found to be the general state of a proteasome/chaperone system under pressure, and suggests new interpretations of other diseases where protein aggregation could stress elements of the protein quality control system

  9. Molecular Approaches to Understanding C & N Dynamics in MArine Sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arturo Massol; James Tiedje; Jizhong Zhou; Allan Devol


    Continental margin sediments constitute only about 10% of the total sediment surface area in the world’s oceans, nevertheless they are the dominant sites of nitrogen (N) cycling. Recent studies suggest that the oceanic nitrogen budget is unbalanced, primarily due to a higher nitrogen removal rate in contrast to the fixation rate, and it has been suggested that denitrification activity contributes significantly to this imbalance. Although denitrification in marine environments has been studied intensively at the process level, little is known about the species abundance, composition, distribution, and functional differences of the denitrifying population. Understanding the diversity of microbial populations in marine environments, their responses to various environmental factors such as NO3-, and how this impact the rate of denitrification is critical to predict global N dynamics. Environmental Microbiology has the prompt to study the influence of each microbial population on a biogeochemical process within a given ecosystem. Culture-dependent and –independent techniques using nucleic acid probes can access the identity and activity of cultured and uncultured microorganisms. Nucleic acid probes can target distintict genes which set phylogenetic relationships, such as rDNA 16S, DNA gyrase (gyrB) and RNA polymerase sigma 70 factor (rpoD). In the other hand, the genetic capabilities and their expression could be tracked using probes that target several functional genes, such as nirS, nirK, nosZ, and nifH, which are genes involved in denitrification. Selective detection of cells actively expressing functional genes within a community using In Situ Reverse Transcription-PCR (ISRT-PCR) could become a powerful culture-independent technique in microbial ecology. Here we describe an approach to study the expression of nirS genes in denitrifying bacteria. Pure cultures of Pseudomonas stutzeri and Paracoccus denitrificans, as well as co-cultures with non

  10. Exploiting Fast-Variables to Understand Population Dynamics and Evolution (United States)

    Constable, George W. A.; McKane, Alan J.


    We describe a continuous-time modelling framework for biological population dynamics that accounts for demographic noise. In the spirit of the methodology used by statistical physicists, transitions between the states of the system are caused by individual events while the dynamics are described in terms of the time-evolution of a probability density function. In general, the application of the diffusion approximation still leaves a description that is quite complex. However, in many biological applications one or more of the processes happen slowly relative to the system's other processes, and the dynamics can be approximated as occurring within a slow low-dimensional subspace. We review these time-scale separation arguments and analyse the more simple stochastic dynamics that result in a number of cases. We stress that it is important to retain the demographic noise derived in this way, and emphasise this point by showing that it can alter the direction of selection compared to the prediction made from an analysis of the corresponding deterministic model.

  11. Understanding original antigenic sin in influenza with a dynamical system. (United States)

    Pan, Keyao


    Original antigenic sin is the phenomenon in which prior exposure to an antigen leads to a subsequent suboptimal immune response to a related antigen. Immune memory normally allows for an improved and rapid response to antigens previously seen and is the mechanism by which vaccination works. I here develop a dynamical system model of the mechanism of original antigenic sin in influenza, clarifying and explaining the detailed spin-glass treatment of original antigenic sin. The dynamical system describes the viral load, the quantities of healthy and infected epithelial cells, the concentrations of naïve and memory antibodies, and the affinities of naïve and memory antibodies. I give explicit correspondences between the microscopic variables of the spin-glass model and those of the present dynamical system model. The dynamical system model reproduces the phenomenon of original antigenic sin and describes how a competition between different types of B cells compromises the overall effect of immune response. I illustrate the competition between the naïve and the memory antibodies as a function of the antigenic distance between the initial and subsequent antigens. The suboptimal immune response caused by original antigenic sin is observed when the host is exposed to an antigen which has intermediate antigenic distance to a second antigen previously recognized by the host's immune system.

  12. Understanding ecohydrological connectivity in savannas: A system dynamics modeling approach (United States)

    Ecohydrological connectivity is a system-level property that results from the linkages in the networks of water transport through ecosystems, by which feedback effects and other emergent system behaviors may be generated. We created a systems dynamic model that represents primary ecohydrological net...

  13. Cannabis changes: Understanding dynamics of use and dependence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liebregts, N.


    Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug. Part of ever-users become frequent users and continue to use over a longer period. 600 frequent users (18-30 years) were enrolled in a 3-year longitudinal study. Trajectories of frequent cannabis use and cannabis dependence appeared very dynamic.

  14. Differentiation of testicular diseases via dynamic MRT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaiser, W.A.; Reinges, T.; Miersch, W.D.; Vogel, J.


    The present study aimed at resolving whether dynamic MRT can improve diagnostic relevance in diseases of the testes compared with conventional spin echo images. The testes of 20 healthy volunteers and of 16 patients of the Department of Urology of the University of Bonn were examined by means of MR tomography. Within 12 hours after MR tomography the patients were surgically explored, biopsied and if necessary orchiectomised. Results obtained with the volunteers were uniform and well reproducible, independent of external influences. On comparing the maximal enhancement curves of the examined various testicular tumors with the standard values established by examining the healthy volunteers, the curves obtained with the malignant testicular tumors were always clearly above the chosen confidence range of 3 standard deviations so that malignancy diagnosis was easy. However, the degree of maximal enhancement did not enable us to arrive at a conclusion in respect of the tumor type or the degree of malignancy. The greatest enhancement occurred with the tumor of Sertoli's cell which could thus be clearly differentiated against the other malignant testicular tumors. Due to masking of the gadolinium effect by haemosiderin deposits, haemorrhagica in the tumor tissue should be excluded by means of T 2 -weighted spin echo sequences before following up a suspicion of malignant testicular tomor. Benign intratesticular changes could be safely separated from malignant findings by means of the maximal enhancement curve lying in the normal range or below the curve of the volunteers. As with other organs, dynamic MR tomography yields definitely more and better information than conventional MR tomography also in the diagnosis of testicular tumours. However, these ''pros'' do not offset the ''cons'' of high costs of such examinations. (orig.) [de

  15. How Well Do Students in Secondary School Understand Temporal Development of Dynamical Systems? (United States)

    Forjan, Matej; Grubelnik, Vladimir


    Despite difficulties understanding the dynamics of complex systems only simple dynamical systems without feedback connections have been taught in secondary school physics. Consequently, students do not have opportunities to develop intuition of temporal development of systems, whose dynamics are conditioned by the influence of feedback processes.…

  16. Recent advances in the fundamental understanding of railway vehicle dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    True, Hans


    The topic of this article is the calculation of the critical speed for railway vehicles. It is emphasised that it is misleading to formulate the mathematical problem as a stability problem. It must correctly be formulated as a problem of existence of coexisting solutions to the full non-linear dy......The topic of this article is the calculation of the critical speed for railway vehicles. It is emphasised that it is misleading to formulate the mathematical problem as a stability problem. It must correctly be formulated as a problem of existence of coexisting solutions to the full non......-linear dynamical problem. The lowest speed at which there exist more critical speed in road tests. A couple of examples show applications of the method to various dynamical models of railway vehicles. Freight wagons are treated in the end of the article because the dry friction damping with stick-slip and end...

  17. Understanding water: Molecular dynamics simulations of solubilized and crystallized myoglobin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Gu; Garcia, A.E.; Schoenborn, B.P. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)


    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed on CO myoglobin to evaluate the stability of the bound water molecules as determined in a neutron diffraction analysis. The myoglobin structure derived from the neutron analysis provided the starting coordinate set used in the simulations. The simulations show that only a few water molecules are tightly bound to protein atoms, while most solvent molecules are labile, breaking and reforming hydrogen bonds. Comparison between myoglobin in solution and in a single crystal highlighted some of the packing effects on the solvent structure and shows that water solvent plays an indispensable role in protein dynamics and structural stability. The described observations explain some of the differences in the experimental results of protein hydration as observed in NMR, neutron and X-ray diffraction studies.

  18. Understanding water: Molecular dynamics simulations of solubilized and crystallized myoglobin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Gu; Garcia, A.E.; Schoenborn, B.P.


    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed on CO myoglobin to evaluate the stability of the bound water molecules as determined in a neutron diffraction analysis. The myoglobin structure derived from the neutron analysis provided the starting coordinate set used in the simulations. The simulations show that only a few water molecules are tightly bound to protein atoms, while most solvent molecules are labile, breaking and reforming hydrogen bonds. Comparison between myoglobin in solution and in a single crystal highlighted some of the packing effects on the solvent structure and shows that water solvent plays an indispensable role in protein dynamics and structural stability. The described observations explain some of the differences in the experimental results of protein hydration as observed in NMR, neutron and X-ray diffraction studies

  19. Dynamic Diversity: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Critical Mass (United States)

    Garces, Liliana M.; Jayakumar, Uma M.


    Through an analysis of relevant social science evidence, this article provides a deeper understanding of critical mass, a concept that has become central in litigation efforts related to affirmative action admissions policies that seek to further the educational benefits of diversity. We demonstrate that the concept of critical mass requires an…

  20. Understanding the Dynamic System of Terrorist-Government Interaction (United States)


    Figure 62. Model 5D Equation Level Screen Shot 3 167 Bibliography Bajaracharya, Arun, Stephen Olu Ogunlana, and Nguyen Luong Bach...Understanding the New Security Environment Readings and Interpretations. Guilford, Connecticut: Mc- Graw -Hill/Dushkin 2002 Laqueur, Walter. “Postmodern

  1. Oxidative Stress in Oral Diseases: Understanding Its Relation with Other Systemic Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaya Kumar


    Full Text Available Oxidative stress occurs in diabetes, various cancers, liver diseases, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation, and other degenerative diseases related to the nervous system. The free radicals have deleterious effect on various organs of the body. This is due to lipid peroxidation and irreversible protein modification that leads to cellular apoptosis or programmed cell death. During recent years, there is a rise in the oral diseases related to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in oral disease is related to other systemic diseases in the body such as periodontitis, cardiovascular, pancreatic, gastric, and liver diseases. In the present review, we discuss the various pathways that mediate oxidative cellular damage. Numerous pathways mediate oxidative cellular damage and these include caspase pathway, PERK/NRF2 pathway, NADPH oxidase 4 pathways and JNK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinase pathway. We also discuss the role of inflammatory markers, lipid peroxidation, and role of oxygen species linked to oxidative stress. Knowledge of different pathways, role of inflammatory markers, and importance of low-density lipoprotein, fibrinogen, creatinine, nitric oxide, nitrates, and highly sensitive C-reactive proteins may be helpful in understanding the pathogenesis and plan better treatment for oral diseases which involve oxidative stress.

  2. Understanding the Offender/Environment Dynamic for Computer Crimes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willison, Robert Andrew


    practices by possiblyhighlighting new areas for safeguard implementation. To help facilitate a greaterunderstanding of the offender/environment dynamic, this paper assesses the feasibilityof applying criminological theory to the IS security context. More specifically, threetheories are advanced, which focus...... on the offender's behaviour in a criminal setting. Drawing on an account of the Barings Bank collapse, events highlighted in the casestudy are used to assess whether concepts central to the theories are supported by thedata. It is noted that while one of the theories is to be found wanting in terms ofconceptual...

  3. Understanding Social Contagion in Adoption Processes Using Dynamic Social Networks. (United States)

    Herrera, Mauricio; Armelini, Guillermo; Salvaj, Erica


    There are many studies in the marketing and diffusion literature of the conditions in which social contagion affects adoption processes. Yet most of these studies assume that social interactions do not change over time, even though actors in social networks exhibit different likelihoods of being influenced across the diffusion period. Rooted in physics and epidemiology theories, this study proposes a Susceptible Infectious Susceptible (SIS) model to assess the role of social contagion in adoption processes, which takes changes in social dynamics over time into account. To study the adoption over a span of ten years, the authors used detailed data sets from a community of consumers and determined the importance of social contagion, as well as how the interplay of social and non-social influences from outside the community drives adoption processes. Although social contagion matters for diffusion, it is less relevant in shaping adoption when the study also includes social dynamics among members of the community. This finding is relevant for managers and entrepreneurs who trust in word-of-mouth marketing campaigns whose effect may be overestimated if marketers fail to acknowledge variations in social interactions.

  4. Understanding Social Contagion in Adoption Processes Using Dynamic Social Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Herrera

    Full Text Available There are many studies in the marketing and diffusion literature of the conditions in which social contagion affects adoption processes. Yet most of these studies assume that social interactions do not change over time, even though actors in social networks exhibit different likelihoods of being influenced across the diffusion period. Rooted in physics and epidemiology theories, this study proposes a Susceptible Infectious Susceptible (SIS model to assess the role of social contagion in adoption processes, which takes changes in social dynamics over time into account. To study the adoption over a span of ten years, the authors used detailed data sets from a community of consumers and determined the importance of social contagion, as well as how the interplay of social and non-social influences from outside the community drives adoption processes. Although social contagion matters for diffusion, it is less relevant in shaping adoption when the study also includes social dynamics among members of the community. This finding is relevant for managers and entrepreneurs who trust in word-of-mouth marketing campaigns whose effect may be overestimated if marketers fail to acknowledge variations in social interactions.

  5. Visualizing and Understanding Socio-Environmental Dynamics in Baltimore (United States)

    Zaitchik, B. F.; Omeara, K.; Guikema, S.; Scott, A.; Bessho, A.; Logan, T. M.


    The City of Baltimore, like any city, is the sum of its component neighborhoods, institutions, businesses, cultures, and, ultimately, its people. It is also an organism in its own right, with distinct geography, history, infrastructure, and environments that shape its residents even as it is shaped by them. Sometimes these interactions are obvious but often they are not; while basic economic patterns are widely documented, the distribution of socio-spatial and environmental connections often hides below the surface, as does the potential that those connections hold. Here we present results of a collaborative initiative on the geography, design, and policy of socio-environmental dynamics of Baltimore. Geospatial data derived from satellite imagery, demographic databases, social media feeds, infrastructure plans, and in situ environmental networks, among other sources, are applied to generate an interactive portrait of Baltimore City's social, health, and well-being dynamics. The layering of data serves as a platform for visualizing the interconnectedness of the City and as a database for modeling risk interactions, vulnerabilities, and strengths within and between communities. This presentation will provide an overview of project findings and highlight linkages to education and policy.

  6. Understanding Social Contagion in Adoption Processes Using Dynamic Social Networks (United States)


    There are many studies in the marketing and diffusion literature of the conditions in which social contagion affects adoption processes. Yet most of these studies assume that social interactions do not change over time, even though actors in social networks exhibit different likelihoods of being influenced across the diffusion period. Rooted in physics and epidemiology theories, this study proposes a Susceptible Infectious Susceptible (SIS) model to assess the role of social contagion in adoption processes, which takes changes in social dynamics over time into account. To study the adoption over a span of ten years, the authors used detailed data sets from a community of consumers and determined the importance of social contagion, as well as how the interplay of social and non-social influences from outside the community drives adoption processes. Although social contagion matters for diffusion, it is less relevant in shaping adoption when the study also includes social dynamics among members of the community. This finding is relevant for managers and entrepreneurs who trust in word-of-mouth marketing campaigns whose effect may be overestimated if marketers fail to acknowledge variations in social interactions. PMID:26505473

  7. Metabolomics approach for discovering disease biomarkers and understanding metabolic pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeeyoun Jung


    Full Text Available Metabolomics, the multi-targeted analysis of endogenous metabolites from biological samples, can be efficiently applied to screen disease biomarkers and investigate pathophysiological processes. Metabolites change rapidly in response to physiological perturbations, making them the closest link to disease phenotypes. This study explored the role of metabolomics in gaining mechanistic insight into disease processes and in searching for novel biomarkers of human diseases

  8. Evolution of Secondary Software Businesses: Understanding Industry Dynamics (United States)

    Tyrväinen, Pasi; Warsta, Juhani; Seppänen, Veikko

    Primary software industry originates from IBM's decision to unbundle software-related computer system development activities to external partners. This kind of outsourcing from an enterprise internal software development activity is a common means to start a new software business serving a vertical software market. It combines knowledge of the vertical market process with competence in software development. In this research, we present and analyze the key figures of the Finnish secondary software industry, in order to quantify its interaction with the primary software industry during the period of 2000-2003. On the basis of the empirical data, we present a model for evolution of a secondary software business, which makes explicit the industry dynamics. It represents the shift from internal software developed for competitive advantage to development of products supporting standard business processes on top of standardized technologies. We also discuss the implications for software business strategies in each phase.

  9. Molecular Modeling of Enzyme Dynamics Towards Understanding Solvent Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wedberg, Nils Hejle Rasmus Ingemar

    This thesis describes the development of a molecular simulation methodology to study properties of enzymes in non-aqueous media at fixed thermodynamic water activities. The methodology is applied in a molecular dynamics study of the industrially important enzyme Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB...... of enzyme kinetics in non-aqueous media, it has been a fruitful approach to fix the enzyme hydration level by controlling the water activity of the medium. In this work, a protocol is therefore developed for determining the water activity in non-aqueous protein simulations. The method relies on determining...... integration, while for small systems, it seems to be even better. The method is applied to compute the excess Gibbs energy of the mixtures of water and organic solvents used in the simulations of CALB. This allows to determine the water activity of the simulated systems and thus to compare protein properties...

  10. Local understanding of forest conservation in land use change dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shaleh, Muhammad Adha; Guth, Miriam Karen; Rahman, Syed Ajijur


    Forest (SEPPSF), Malaysia. Nine in-depth interviews were conducted with Orang Asli Jakun living in SEPPSF using open-ended questions. Local communities have positive perspectives toward the forest conservation program, despite massive environmental changes in their living landscape. This study suggests......The success of local forest conservation program depends on a critical appreciation of local communities. Based on this understanding, the present study aims to explore people’s perspective of forest conservation in a context of changes in their living landscape at South East Pahang Peat Swamp...

  11. Modeling Dynamic Food Choice Processes to Understand Dietary Intervention Effects. (United States)

    Marcum, Christopher Steven; Goldring, Megan R; McBride, Colleen M; Persky, Susan


    Meal construction is largely governed by nonconscious and habit-based processes that can be represented as a collection of in dividual, micro-level food choices that eventually give rise to a final plate. Despite this, dietary behavior intervention research rarely captures these micro-level food choice processes, instead measuring outcomes at aggregated levels. This is due in part to a dearth of analytic techniques to model these dynamic time-series events. The current article addresses this limitation by applying a generalization of the relational event framework to model micro-level food choice behavior following an educational intervention. Relational event modeling was used to model the food choices that 221 mothers made for their child following receipt of an information-based intervention. Participants were randomized to receive either (a) control information; (b) childhood obesity risk information; (c) childhood obesity risk information plus a personalized family history-based risk estimate for their child. Participants then made food choices for their child in a virtual reality-based food buffet simulation. Micro-level aspects of the built environment, such as the ordering of each food in the buffet, were influential. Other dynamic processes such as choice inertia also influenced food selection. Among participants receiving the strongest intervention condition, choice inertia decreased and the overall rate of food selection increased. Modeling food selection processes can elucidate the points at which interventions exert their influence. Researchers can leverage these findings to gain insight into nonconscious and uncontrollable aspects of food selection that influence dietary outcomes, which can ultimately improve the design of dietary interventions.

  12. Spatiotemporal dynamics in understanding hand—object interactions (United States)

    Avanzini, Pietro; Fabbri-Destro, Maddalena; Campi, Cristina; Pascarella, Annalisa; Barchiesi, Guido; Cattaneo, Luigi; Rizzolatti, Giacomo


    It is generally accepted that visual perception results from the activation of a feed-forward hierarchy of areas, leading to increasingly complex representations. Here we present evidence for a fundamental role of backward projections to the occipito-temporal region for understanding conceptual object properties. The evidence is based on two studies. In the first study, using high-density EEG, we showed that during the observation of how objects are used there is an early activation of occipital and temporal areas, subsequently reaching the pole of the temporal lobe, and a late reactivation of the visual areas. In the second study, using transcranial magnetic stimulation over the occipital lobe, we showed a clear impairment in the accuracy of recognition of how objects are used during both early activation and, most importantly, late occipital reactivation. These findings represent strong neurophysiological evidence that a top-down mechanism is fundamental for understanding conceptual object properties, and suggest that a similar mechanism might be also present for other higher-order cognitive functions. PMID:24043805

  13. Dynamic systems for everyone understanding how our world works

    CERN Document Server

    Ghosh, Asish


    This book is a study of the interactions between different types of systems, their environment, and their subsystems.  The author explains how basic systems principles are applied in engineered (mechanical, electromechanical, etc.) systems and then guides the reader to understand how the same principles can be applied to social, political, economic systems, as well as in everyday life.  Readers from a variety of disciplines will benefit from the understanding of system behaviors and will be able to apply those principles in various contexts.  The book includes many examples covering various types of systems.  The treatment of the subject is non-mathematical, and the book considers some of the latest concepts in the systems discipline, such as agent-based systems, optimization, and discrete events and procedures.  ·         Shows how system knowledge may be applied in many different areas without the need for deep mathematical knowledge; ·         Demonstrates how to model and simulate s...

  14. Lab experiments in demographic fieldwork: Understanding gender dynamics in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Nii-Amoo Dodoo


    Full Text Available Background: Anthropological literature has long linked bridewealth payments to decision-making about fertility. Recent research underscores the significance of men's preferences regarding women's reproductive behavior, and suggests that bridewealth payments place constraints on women's reproductive autonomy. Yet because survey data on bridewealth are rare, and the collection of new survey data on bridewealth presents serious challenges, this explanation could not be tested. Objective: Our objective in this paper is to highlight the potential utility of lab experiments (in particular, vignette experiments for improving our understanding of gender relations in Africa, using the hypothesized effect of bridewealth on normative constraints on women's reproductive autonomy as an illustration. Methods: We discuss our reasons for turning to lab experiments, and to vignette experiments in particular. We also summarize a series of studies (Horne, Dodoo, and Dodoo 2013; Dodoo, Horne, and Biney 2014 which have implemented our experimental approach. Results: Our experimental evidence shows that bridewealth payments are associated with greater normative constraints on women's reproductive autonomy. We also find that these negative effects of bridewealth are consistent across participant ages, and do not appear to be ameliorated by female schooling. Conclusions: We conclude that lab experiments in general (and vignette experiments in particular are underutilized methodological tools that may be useful for helping us gain a better understanding of the cultural context of gender relations in Africa; and that demographic research more generally may benefit from taking advantage of the strengths of experimental methods.

  15. Mitochondrial Dynamics in Cardiovascular Health and Disease


    Ong, Sang-Bing; Hall, Andrew R.; Hausenloy, Derek J.


    Significance: Mitochondria are dynamic organelles capable of changing their shape and distribution by undergoing either fission or fusion. Changes in mitochondrial dynamics, which is under the control of specific mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins, have been implicated in cell division, embryonic development, apoptosis, autophagy, and metabolism. Although the machinery for modulating mitochondrial dynamics is present in the cardiovascular system, its function there has only recently be...

  16. Understanding the heavy-tailed dynamics in human behavior (United States)

    Ross, Gordon J.; Jones, Tim


    The recent availability of electronic data sets containing large volumes of communication data has made it possible to study human behavior on a larger scale than ever before. From this, it has been discovered that across a diverse range of data sets, the interevent times between consecutive communication events obey heavy-tailed power law dynamics. Explaining this has proved controversial, and two distinct hypotheses have emerged. The first holds that these power laws are fundamental, and arise from the mechanisms such as priority queuing that humans use to schedule tasks. The second holds that they are statistical artifacts which only occur in aggregated data when features such as circadian rhythms and burstiness are ignored. We use a large social media data set to test these hypotheses, and find that although models that incorporate circadian rhythms and burstiness do explain part of the observed heavy tails, there is residual unexplained heavy-tail behavior which suggests a more fundamental cause. Based on this, we develop a quantitative model of human behavior which improves on existing approaches and gives insight into the mechanisms underlying human interactions.

  17. A dynamical system perspective to understanding badminton singles game play. (United States)

    Chow, Jia Yi; Seifert, Ludovic; Hérault, Romain; Chia, Shannon Jing Yi; Lee, Miriam Chang Yi


    By altering the task constraints of cooperative and competitive game contexts in badminton, insights can be obtained from a dynamical systems perspective to investigate the underlying processes that results in either a gradual shift or transition of playing patterns. Positional data of three pairs of skilled female badminton players (average age 20.5±1.38years) were captured and analyzed. Local correlation coefficient, which provides information on the relationship of players' displacement data, between each pair of players was computed for angle and distance from base position. Speed scalar product was in turn established from speed vectors of the players. The results revealed two patterns of playing behaviors (i.e., in-phase and anti-phase patterns) for movement displacement. Anti-phase relation was the dominant coupling pattern for speed scalar relationships among the pairs of players. Speed scalar product, as a collective variable, was different between cooperative and competitive plays with a greater variability in amplitude seen in competitive plays leading to a winning point. The findings from this study provide evidence for increasing stroke variability to perturb existing stable patterns of play and highlights the potential for speed scalar product to be a collective variable to distinguish different patterns of play (e.g., cooperative and competitive). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Dynamic systems for everyone understanding how our world works

    CERN Document Server

    Ghosh, Asish


    Systems are everywhere and we are surrounded by them. We are a complex amalgam of systems that enable us to interact with an endless array of external systems in our daily lives. They are electrical, mechanical, social, biological, and many other types that control our environment and our well-being. By appreciating how these systems function, will broaden our understanding of how our world works. Readers from a variety of disciplines will benefit from the knowledge of system behavior they will gain from this book and will be able to apply those principles in various contexts. The treatment of the subject is non-mathematical, and the book considers some of the latest concepts in the systems discipline, such as agent based systems, optimization, and discrete events and procedures. The diverse range of examples provided in this book, will allow readers to: Apply system knowledge at work and in daily life without deep mathematical knowledge; Build models and simulate system behaviors on a personal computer; Opti...

  19. An Integrative Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Pulmonary Diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Auffray, Charles; Adcock, Ian M.; Chung, Kian Fan; Djukanovic, Ratko; Pison, Christophe; Sterk, Peter J.


    Chronic inflammatory pulmonary diseases such as COPD and asthma are highly prevalent and associated with a major health burden worldwide. Despite a wealth of biologic and clinical information on normal and pathologic airway structure and function, the primary causes and mechanisms of disease remain

  20. Heart Disease in Women: Understand Symptoms and Risk Factors (United States)

    ... unless you have no other options. Although several traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. ...

  1. Understanding pyrotechnic shock dynamics and response attenuation over distance (United States)

    Ott, Richard J.

    Pyrotechnic shock events used during stage separation on rocket vehicles produce high amplitude short duration structural response that can lead to malfunction or degradation of electronic components, cracks and fractures in brittle materials, local plastic deformation, and can cause materials to experience accelerated fatigue life. These transient loads propagate as waves through the structural media losing energy as they travel outward from the source. This work assessed available test data in an effort to better understand attenuation characteristics associated with wave propagation and attempted to update a historical standard defined by the Martin Marietta Corporation in the late 1960's using out of date data acquisition systems. Two data sets were available for consideration. The first data set came from a test that used a flight like cylinder used in NASA's Ares I-X program, and the second from a test conducted with a flat plate. Both data sets suggested that the historical standard was not a conservative estimate of shock attenuation with distance, however, the variation in the test data did not lend to recommending an update to the standard. Beyond considering attenuation with distance an effort was made to model the flat plate configuration using finite element analysis. The available flat plate data consisted of three groups of tests, each with a unique charge density linear shape charge (LSC) used to cut an aluminum plate. The model was tuned to a representative test using the lowest charge density LSC as input. The correlated model was then used to predict the other two cases by linearly scaling the input load based on the relative difference in charge density. The resulting model predictions were then compared with available empirical data. Aside from differences in amplitude due to nonlinearities associated with scaling the charge density of the LSC, the model predictions matched the available test data reasonably well. Finally, modeling best

  2. Dynamic use of geoscience information to develop scientific understanding for a nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, N.G.W.; Tsang, C.F.


    This paper discusses the development and safety evaluation of a nuclear waste geologic repository. Scientific understanding dependent upon information from a number of geoscience disciplines is described. A discussion is given on the dynamic use of the information through the different stages. The authors point out the need for abstracting, deriving and updating a quantitative spatial and process model (QSPM) to develop a scientific understanding of site responses as a crucial element in the dynamic procedure

  3. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis? (United States)

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.


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

  4. Understanding Celiac Disease From Genetics to the Future Diagnostic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Salazar


    Full Text Available Celiac disease (CD is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the permanent inflammation of the small bowel, triggered by the ingestion of gluten. It is associated with a number of symptoms, the most common being gastrointestinal. The prevalence of this illness worldwide is 1%. One of the main problems of CD is its difficulty to be diagnosed due to the various presentations of the disease. Besides, in many cases, CD is asymptomatic. Celiac disease is a multifactorial disease, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 haplotypes are predisposition factors. Nowadays, molecular markers are being studied as diagnostic tools. In this review, we explore CD from its basic concept, manifestations, types, current and future methods of diagnosis, and associated disorders. Before addressing the therapeutic approaches, we also provide a brief overview of CD genetics and treatment.

  5. Using Earth Observations to Understand and Predict Infectious Diseases (United States)

    Soebiyanto, Radina P.; Kiang, Richard


    This presentation discusses the processes from data collection and processing to analysis involved in unraveling patterns between disease outbreaks and the surrounding environment and meteorological conditions. We used these patterns to estimate when and where disease outbreaks will occur. As a case study, we will present our work on assessing the relationship between meteorological conditions and influenza in Central America. Our work represents the discovery, prescriptive and predictive aspects of data analytics.

  6. Understanding uncertainty in temperature effects on vector-borne disease: a Bayesian approach (United States)

    Johnson, Leah R.; Ben-Horin, Tal; Lafferty, Kevin D.; McNally, Amy; Mordecai, Erin A.; Paaijmans, Krijn P.; Pawar, Samraat; Ryan, Sadie J.


    Extrinsic environmental factors influence the distribution and population dynamics of many organisms, including insects that are of concern for human health and agriculture. This is particularly true for vector-borne infectious diseases like malaria, which is a major source of morbidity and mortality in humans. Understanding the mechanistic links between environment and population processes for these diseases is key to predicting the consequences of climate change on transmission and for developing effective interventions. An important measure of the intensity of disease transmission is the reproductive number R0. However, understanding the mechanisms linking R0 and temperature, an environmental factor driving disease risk, can be challenging because the data available for parameterization are often poor. To address this, we show how a Bayesian approach can help identify critical uncertainties in components of R0 and how this uncertainty is propagated into the estimate of R0. Most notably, we find that different parameters dominate the uncertainty at different temperature regimes: bite rate from 15°C to 25°C; fecundity across all temperatures, but especially ~25–32°C; mortality from 20°C to 30°C; parasite development rate at ~15–16°C and again at ~33–35°C. Focusing empirical studies on these parameters and corresponding temperature ranges would be the most efficient way to improve estimates of R0. While we focus on malaria, our methods apply to improving process-based models more generally, including epidemiological, physiological niche, and species distribution models.

  7. Markov Processes: Exploring the Use of Dynamic Visualizations to Enhance Student Understanding (United States)

    Pfannkuch, Maxine; Budgett, Stephanie


    Finding ways to enhance introductory students' understanding of probability ideas and theory is a goal of many first-year probability courses. In this article, we explore the potential of a prototype tool for Markov processes using dynamic visualizations to develop in students a deeper understanding of the equilibrium and hitting times…

  8. Understanding the application of stem cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma RK


    Full Text Available Rakesh K Sharma, Donald J Voelker, Roma Sharma, Hanumanth K ReddyUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Medical Center of South Arkansas, El Dorado, AR, USAAbstract: Throughout their lifetime, an individual may sustain many injuries and recover spontaneously over a period of time, without even realizing the injury in the first place. Wound healing occurs due to a proliferation of stem cells capable of restoring the injured tissue. The ability of adult stem cells to repair tissue is dependent upon the intrinsic ability of tissues to proliferate. The amazing capacity of embryonic stem cells to give rise to virtually any type of tissue has intensified the search for similar cell lineage in adults to treat various diseases including cardiovascular diseases. The ability to convert adult stem cells into pluripotent cells that resemble embryonic cells, and to transplant those in the desired organ for regenerative therapy is very attractive, and may offer the possibility of treating harmful disease-causing mutations. The race is on to find the best cells for treatment of cardiovascular disease. There is a need for the ideal stem cell, delivery strategies, myocardial retention, and time of administration in the ideal patient population. There are multiple modes of stem cell delivery to the heart with different cell retention rates that vary depending upon method and site of injection, such as intra coronary, intramyocardial or via coronary sinus. While there are crucial issues such as retention of stem cells, microvascular plugging, biodistribution, homing to myocardium, and various proapoptotic factors in the ischemic myocardium, the regenerative potential of stem cells offers an enormous impact on clinical applications in the management of cardiovascular diseases.Keywords: stem cell therapy, stem cell delivery, cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy

  9. Revealing Pathway Dynamics in Heart Diseases by Analyzing Multiple Differential Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoke Ma


    Full Text Available Development of heart diseases is driven by dynamic changes in both the activity and connectivity of gene pathways. Understanding these dynamic events is critical for understanding pathogenic mechanisms and development of effective treatment. Currently, there is a lack of computational methods that enable analysis of multiple gene networks, each of which exhibits differential activity compared to the network of the baseline/healthy condition. We describe the iMDM algorithm to identify both unique and shared gene modules across multiple differential co-expression networks, termed M-DMs (multiple differential modules. We applied iMDM to a time-course RNA-Seq dataset generated using a murine heart failure model generated on two genotypes. We showed that iMDM achieves higher accuracy in inferring gene modules compared to using single or multiple co-expression networks. We found that condition-specific M-DMs exhibit differential activities, mediate different biological processes, and are enriched for genes with known cardiovascular phenotypes. By analyzing M-DMs that are present in multiple conditions, we revealed dynamic changes in pathway activity and connectivity across heart failure conditions. We further showed that module dynamics were correlated with the dynamics of disease phenotypes during the development of heart failure. Thus, pathway dynamics is a powerful measure for understanding pathogenesis. iMDM provides a principled way to dissect the dynamics of gene pathways and its relationship to the dynamics of disease phenotype. With the exponential growth of omics data, our method can aid in generating systems-level insights into disease progression.

  10. Everyday walking with Parkinson's disease: understanding personal challenges and strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, D.A.; Rochester, L.; Birleson, A.; Hetherington, V.; Nieuwboer, A.; Willems, A.M.; van Wegen, E.E.H.; Kwakkel, G.


    Purpose. This qualitative study was designed to explore the personal experience of everyday walking with Parkinson's disease (PD), the challenges and the strategies employed to compensate for difficulties, to help contextualise the scientific knowledge base. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were

  11. Gains and losses on the road to understanding Alzheimer's disease. (United States)

    Konietzko, Uwe


    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and the most common cause for dementia, which affects approximately 120 thousand people in Switzerland and 35 million worldwide. Aging is a major risk factor for developing AD and thus, as our societies are growing older, we face great challenges to find treatment strategies. The disease is characterised by loss of memory, deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques containing Aβ peptides and intraneuronal tangles of the tau protein. To date, there is no effective treatment and the cause of the disease is still debated. The Schweizerische Alzheimervereinigung states that we need "continuous manifold research" into all possible causes of AD to find a cure for this disease. Fitting this proposition, a recent publication by Xia et al. (2015) described a novel mouse model that for the first time reproduces cortical neuron death as observed in human AD cases. At the same time, this publication questions the major theory of AD pathogenesis and points towards different treatment avenues that should be followed to find a cure for AD.

  12. Understanding disease control: influence of epidemiological and economic factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Oleś

    Full Text Available We present a model of disease transmission on a regular and small world network and compare different control options. Comparison is based on a total cost of epidemic, including cost of palliative treatment of ill individuals and preventive cost aimed at vaccination or culling of susceptible individuals. Disease is characterized by pre-symptomatic phase, which makes detection and control difficult. Three general strategies emerge: global preventive treatment, local treatment within a neighborhood of certain size and only palliative treatment with no prevention. While the choice between the strategies depends on a relative cost of palliative and preventive treatment, the details of the local strategy and, in particular, the size of the optimal treatment neighborhood depend on the epidemiological factors. The required extent of prevention is proportional to the size of the infection neighborhood, but depends on time till detection and time till treatment in a non-nonlinear (power law. The optimal size of control neighborhood is also highly sensitive to the relative cost, particularly for inefficient detection and control application. These results have important consequences for design of prevention strategies aiming at emerging diseases for which parameters are not nessecerly known in advance.

  13. "Touching Triton": Building Student Understanding of Complex Disease Risk. (United States)

    Loftin, Madelene; East, Kelly; Hott, Adam; Lamb, Neil


    Life science classrooms often emphasize the exception to the rule when it comes to teaching genetics, focusing heavily on rare single-gene and Mendelian traits. By contrast, the vast majority of human traits and diseases are caused by more complicated interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Research indicates that students have a deterministic view of genetics, generalize Mendelian inheritance patterns to all traits, and have unrealistic expectations of genetic technologies. The challenge lies in how to help students analyze complex disease risk with a lack of curriculum materials. Providing open access to both content resources and an engaging storyline can be achieved using a "serious game" model. "Touching Triton" was developed as a serious game in which students are asked to analyze data from a medical record, family history, and genomic report in order to develop an overall lifetime risk estimate of six common, complex diseases. Evaluation of student performance shows significant learning gains in key content areas along with a high level of engagement.

  14. Population dynamics and infectious diseases in Asia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sleigh, Adrian


    ... such as SARS. David J BRADLEY is Ross Professor of Tropical Hygiene Emeritus at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University. He has worked on the epidemiology and control of vector-borne and infectious diseases, water in relation to health, and concepts in international h...

  15. Celiac disease: understanding the gluten-free diet. (United States)

    Bascuñán, Karla A; Vespa, María Catalina; Araya, Magdalena


    The only effective and safe treatment of celiac disease (CD) continues being strict exclusion of gluten for life, the so-called gluten-free diet (GFD). Although this treatment is highly successful, following strict GFD poses difficulties to patients in family, social and working contexts, deteriorating his/her quality of life. We aimed to review main characteristics of GFD with special emphasis on factors that may interfere with adherence to it. We conducted a search of various databases, such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase, and Scielo, with focus on key words such as "gluten-free diet", "celiac disease", "gluten" and "gluten-free diet adherence". Available literature has not reached definitive conclusions on the exact amount of gluten that is harmless to celiac patients, although international agreements establish cutoff points for gluten-free products and advise the use of clinical assessment to tailor the diet according to individual needs. Following GFD must include eliminating gluten as ingredient as well as hidden component and potential cross contamination in foods. There are numerous grains to substitute wheat but composition of most gluten-free products tends to include only a small number of them, especially rice. The diet must be not only free of gluten but also healthy to avoid nutrient, vitamins and minerals deficiencies or excess. Overweight/obesity frequency has increased among celiac patients so weight gain deserves attention during follow up. Nutritional education by a trained nutritionist is of great relevance to achieve long-term satisfactory health status and good compliance. A balanced GFD should be based on a combination of naturally gluten-free foods and certified processed gluten-free products. How to measure and improve adherence to GFD is still controversial and deserves further study.

  16. Dynamics of epidemic diseases on a growing adaptive network. (United States)

    Demirel, Güven; Barter, Edmund; Gross, Thilo


    The study of epidemics on static networks has revealed important effects on disease prevalence of network topological features such as the variance of the degree distribution, i.e. the distribution of the number of neighbors of nodes, and the maximum degree. Here, we analyze an adaptive network where the degree distribution is not independent of epidemics but is shaped through disease-induced dynamics and mortality in a complex interplay. We study the dynamics of a network that grows according to a preferential attachment rule, while nodes are simultaneously removed from the network due to disease-induced mortality. We investigate the prevalence of the disease using individual-based simulations and a heterogeneous node approximation. Our results suggest that in this system in the thermodynamic limit no epidemic thresholds exist, while the interplay between network growth and epidemic spreading leads to exponential networks for any finite rate of infectiousness when the disease persists.

  17. Predicting Subnational Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic Dynamics from Sociodemographic Indicators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Valeri

    Full Text Available The recent Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak in West Africa has spread wider than any previous human EVD epidemic. While individual-level risk factors that contribute to the spread of EVD have been studied, the population-level attributes of subnational regions associated with outbreak severity have not yet been considered.To investigate the area-level predictors of EVD dynamics, we integrated time series data on cumulative reported cases of EVD from the World Health Organization and covariate data from the Demographic and Health Surveys. We first estimated the early growth rates of epidemics in each second-level administrative district (ADM2 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia using exponential, logistic and polynomial growth models. We then evaluated how these growth rates, as well as epidemic size within ADM2s, were ecologically associated with several demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the ADM2, using bivariate correlations and multivariable regression models.The polynomial growth model appeared to best fit the ADM2 epidemic curves, displaying the lowest residual standard error. Each outcome was associated with various regional characteristics in bivariate models, however in stepwise multivariable models only mean education levels were consistently associated with a worse local epidemic.By combining two common methods-estimation of epidemic parameters using mathematical models, and estimation of associations using ecological regression models-we identified some factors predicting rapid and severe EVD epidemics in West African subnational regions. While care should be taken interpreting such results as anything more than correlational, we suggest that our approach of using data sources that were publicly available in advance of the epidemic or in real-time provides an analytic framework that may assist countries in understanding the dynamics of future outbreaks as they occur.

  18. Current Understanding of Acute Bovine Liver Disease in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Read


    Full Text Available Acute bovine liver disease (ABLD is a hepatotoxicity principally of cattle which occurs in southern regions of Australia. Severely affected animals undergo rapid clinical progression with mortalities often occurring prior to the recognition of clinical signs. Less severely affected animals develop photosensitization and a proportion can develop liver failure. The characteristic histopathological lesion in acute fatal cases is severe, with acute necrosis of periportal hepatocytes with hemorrhage into the necrotic areas. Currently there are a small number of toxins that are known to cause periportal necrosis in cattle, although none of these have so far been linked to ABLD. Furthermore, ABLD has frequently been associated with the presence of rough dog’s tail grass (Cynosurus echinatus and Drechslera spp. fungi in the pasture system, but it is currently unknown if these are etiological factors. Much of the knowledge about ABLD is contained within case reports, with very little experimental research investigating the specific cause(s. This review provides an overview of the current and most recently published knowledge of ABLD. It also draws on wider research and unpublished reports to suggest possible fungi and mycotoxins that may give rise to ABLD.

  19. Understanding speaker attitudes from prosody by adults with Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Monetta, Laura; Cheang, Henry S; Pell, Marc D


    The ability to interpret vocal (prosodic) cues during social interactions can be disrupted by Parkinson's disease, with notable effects on how emotions are understood from speech. This study investigated whether PD patients who have emotional prosody deficits exhibit further difficulties decoding the attitude of a speaker from prosody. Vocally inflected but semantically nonsensical 'pseudo-utterances' were presented to listener groups with and without PD in two separate rating tasks. Task I required participants to rate how confident a speaker sounded from their voice and Task 2 required listeners to rate how polite the speaker sounded for a comparable set of pseudo-utterances. The results showed that PD patients were significantly less able than HC participants to use prosodic cues to differentiate intended levels of speaker confidence in speech, although the patients could accurately detect the politelimpolite attitude of the speaker from prosody in most cases. Our data suggest that many PD patients fail to use vocal cues to effectively infer a speaker's emotions as well as certain attitudes in speech such as confidence, consistent with the idea that the basal ganglia play a role in the meaningful processing of prosodic sequences in spoken language (Pell & Leonard, 2003).

  20. Microscopic dynamics in simple liquids: a clue to understanding the basic thermodynamics of the liquid state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cabrillo, C; Bermejo, F J; Maira-Vidal, A; Fernandez-Perea, R; Bennington, S M; Martin, D


    The advent of inelastic x-ray scattering techniques has prompted a reawakened interest in the dynamics of simple liquids. Such studies are often carried out using simplified models to account for the stochastic dynamics that give rise to quasielastic scattering. The vibrational and diffusive dynamics of molten potassium are studied here by an experiment using neutron scattering and are shown to provide some clues to understand the basic thermodynamics of the liquid state. The findings reported here suggest ways in which the true complementarity of neutron and x-ray scattering may be profitably exploited

  1. Adaptive contact networks change effective disease infectiousness and dynamics. (United States)

    Van Segbroeck, Sven; Santos, Francisco C; Pacheco, Jorge M


    Human societies are organized in complex webs that are constantly reshaped by a social dynamic which is influenced by the information individuals have about others. Similarly, epidemic spreading may be affected by local information that makes individuals aware of the health status of their social contacts, allowing them to avoid contact with those infected and to remain in touch with the healthy. Here we study disease dynamics in finite populations in which infection occurs along the links of a dynamical contact network whose reshaping may be biased based on each individual's health status. We adopt some of the most widely used epidemiological models, investigating the impact of the reshaping of the contact network on the disease dynamics. We derive analytical results in the limit where network reshaping occurs much faster than disease spreading and demonstrate numerically that this limit extends to a much wider range of time scales than one might anticipate. Specifically, we show that from a population-level description, disease propagation in a quickly adapting network can be formulated equivalently as disease spreading on a well-mixed population but with a rescaled infectiousness. We find that for all models studied here--SI, SIS and SIR--the effective infectiousness of a disease depends on the population size, the number of infected in the population, and the capacity of healthy individuals to sever contacts with the infected. Importantly, we indicate how the use of available information hinders disease progression, either by reducing the average time required to eradicate a disease (in case recovery is possible), or by increasing the average time needed for a disease to spread to the entire population (in case recovery or immunity is impossible).

  2. Contact structure, mobility, environmental impact and behaviour: the importance of social forces to infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. (United States)

    Arthur, Ronan F; Gurley, Emily S; Salje, Henrik; Bloomfield, Laura S P; Jones, James H


    Human factors, including contact structure, movement, impact on the environment and patterns of behaviour, can have significant influence on the emergence of novel infectious diseases and the transmission and amplification of established ones. As anthropogenic climate change alters natural systems and global economic forces drive land-use and land-cover change, it becomes increasingly important to understand both the ecological and social factors that impact infectious disease outcomes for human populations. While the field of disease ecology explicitly studies the ecological aspects of infectious disease transmission, the effects of the social context on zoonotic pathogen spillover and subsequent human-to-human transmission are comparatively neglected in the literature. The social sciences encompass a variety of disciplines and frameworks for understanding infectious diseases; however, here we focus on four primary areas of social systems that quantitatively and qualitatively contribute to infectious diseases as social-ecological systems. These areas are social mixing and structure, space and mobility, geography and environmental impact, and behaviour and behaviour change. Incorporation of these social factors requires empirical studies for parametrization, phenomena characterization and integrated theoretical modelling of social-ecological interactions. The social-ecological system that dictates infectious disease dynamics is a complex system rich in interacting variables with dynamically significant heterogeneous properties. Future discussions about infectious disease spillover and transmission in human populations need to address the social context that affects particular disease systems by identifying and measuring qualitatively important drivers.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. Understanding Conflict Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Ethno-Separatist Conflicts in India and the Philippines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reed, A.G.


    This thesis is a comparative analysis of three contemporary separatist conflicts in Asia: The Naga Insurgency, the Punjab Crisis and the Moro Rebellion. The objective of this thesis is the understanding of conflict dynamics: how and why conflicts escalate or de-escalate over time. Previous research

  4. Computer Assisted Comprehension of Distant Worlds: Understanding Hunger Dynamics in Africa. (United States)

    Moseley, William G.


    Describes a computer program called RiskMap. Explains that after completing an assignment on rural economics and hunger dynamics in Africa, students showed an increased level of understanding and felt that using RiskMap was helpful in learning the material. Includes references. (DAJ)

  5. Dynamic Graphics in Excel for Teaching Statistics: Understanding the Probability Density Function (United States)

    Coll-Serrano, Vicente; Blasco-Blasco, Olga; Alvarez-Jareno, Jose A.


    In this article, we show a dynamic graphic in Excel that is used to introduce an important concept in our subject, Statistics I: the probability density function. This interactive graphic seeks to facilitate conceptual understanding of the main aspects analysed by the learners.

  6. Biometrics Technology: Understanding Dynamics Influencing Adoption for Control of Identification Deception within Nigeria (United States)

    Nwatu, Gideon U.


    One of the objectives of any government is the establishment of an effective solution to significantly control crime. Identity fraud in Nigeria has generated global attention and negative publicity toward its citizens. The research problem addressed in this study was the lack of understanding of the dynamics that influenced the adoption and…

  7. What an understanding of the dynamics of gossip has to teach about group dynamics and group leadership. (United States)

    Gans, Jerome S


    Although what transpires in group therapy is not gossip per se-except perhaps when absent or former members are discussed-listening to group interaction through an understanding of the dynamics of gossip can contribute to a greater appreciation of group dynamics and group leadership as well as enlarge therapeutic space. After examining the interpersonal dynamics of gossip, this paper discusses six ways in which an understanding of these dynamics can inform group leadership and shed light on group psychotherapy. Central features of gossip that appear in group interactions are explored: These include projection, displacement, self-esteem regulation, clarification of motivation, unself-consciousness, social comparison and bonding, avoidance of psychic pain, and making the ego-syntonic dystonic. The lively use of imagination in the mature phase of group therapy is conceived of as the time when the darker side of human nature-imagined gossip harnessed for therapeutic purposes-can be welcomed in and processed in a kind, playful, and compassionate manner.

  8. Dynamic use of geoscience information to develop scientific understanding for a nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, N.G.W.; Tsang, C.F.


    The development and safety evaluation of a nuclear waste geologic repository require a proper scientific understanding of the site response. Such scientific understanding depends on information from a number of geoscience disciplines, including geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geomechanics and hydrogeology. The information comes in four stages: (1) general regional survey data base, (2) surface-based testing, (3) exploratory shaft testing, and (4) repository construction and evaluation. A discussion is given on the dynamic use of the information through the different stages. We point out the need for abstracting, deriving and updating a quantitative spatial and process model (QSPM) to develop a scientific understanding of site responses as a crucial element in the dynamic procedure. 2 figs

  9. The vascular phenotype in pseudoxanthoma elasticum and related disorders: Contribution of a genetic disease to the understanding of vascular calcification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georges eLeftheriotis


    Full Text Available Vascular calcification is a complex and dynamic process occurring in various physiological conditions such as aging and exercise or in acquired metabolic disorders like diabetes or chronic renal insufficiency. Arterial calcifications are also observed in several genetic diseases revealing the important role of unbalanced or defective anti- or pro-calcifying factors. Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE is an inherited disease (OMIM 264800 characterized by elastic fiber fragmentation and calcification in various soft conjunctive tissues including the skin, eyes and arterial media. The PXE disease results from mutations in the ABCC6 gene, encoding an ATP-binding cassette transporter primarily expressed in the liver, kidneys suggesting that it is a prototypic metabolic soft-tissue calcifying disease of genetic origin. The clinical expression of the PXE arterial disease is characterized by an increased risk for coronary (myocardial infarction, cerebral (aneurysm and stroke and lower limb peripheral artery disease. However, the structural and functional changes in the arterial wall induced by PXE are still unexplained. The use of a recombinant mouse model inactivated for the Abcc6 gene is an important tool for the understanding of the PXE pathophysiology although the vascular impact in this model remains limited to date. Overlapping of the PXE phenotype with other inherited calcifying diseases could bring important informations to our comprehension of the PXE disease.

  10. A dynamic model for infectious diseases: The role of vaccination and treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raja Sekhara Rao, P.; Naresh Kumar, M.


    Understanding dynamics of an infectious disease helps in designing appropriate strategies for containing its spread in a population. Recent mathematical models are aimed at studying dynamics of some specific types of infectious diseases. In this paper we propose a new model for infectious diseases spread having susceptible, infected, and recovered populations and study its dynamics in presence of incubation delays and relapse of the disease. The influence of treatment and vaccination efforts on the spread of infection in presence of time delays are studied. Sufficient conditions for local stability of the equilibria and change of stability are derived in various cases. The problem of global stability is studied for an important special case of the model. Simulations carried out in this study brought out the importance of treatment rate in controlling the disease spread. It is observed that incubation delays have influence on the system even under enhanced vaccination. The present study has clearly brought out the fact that treatment rate even in presence of time delays would contain the disease as compared to popular belief that eradication can only be done through vaccination

  11. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas


    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

  12. Evaluation of bone diseases using dynamic bone scintigraphy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumano, Machiko; Tamura, Kenji; Hamada, Tatsumi; Ishida, Osamu [Kinki Univ., Higashi-Osaka, Osaka (Japan); Kajita, Akiyoshi


    Dynamic bone scintigraphy with sup(99m)Tc-EHDP was performed on 96 patients with various bone diseases. The dynamic scintigrams obtained were then used to aid in the differential diagnosis of malignant (49 cases) and benign (8 cases) diseases. Short-term local deposition of the tracer in all cases of malignant bone diseases was observed in vascular (10-40 sec. after injection), and blood pool (1-3 min. after injection) phases. In the cases of malignant bone tumors where osteosclerotic lesions were present, tracer accumulation appeared in the blood pool phase. If osteolytic lesions were present, accumulation appeared in the vascular phase, and when the lesion was larger than 2 cm, accumulation was frequently found in the arterial phase. Scintigraphic differentiation of early primary and metastatic bone tumors from other lesions was facilitated by performing the dynamic scintigraphy with sup(99m)Tc-EHDP. Dynamic bone scintigraphy also allowed early diagnosis of avascular necrosis (14 cases) prior to the appearance of minimally abnormal X-ray findings, especially in cases of corticosteroid-induced necrosis.

  13. Memory-induced nonlinear dynamics of excitation in cardiac diseases. (United States)

    Landaw, Julian; Qu, Zhilin


    Excitable cells, such as cardiac myocytes, exhibit short-term memory, i.e., the state of the cell depends on its history of excitation. Memory can originate from slow recovery of membrane ion channels or from accumulation of intracellular ion concentrations, such as calcium ion or sodium ion concentration accumulation. Here we examine the effects of memory on excitation dynamics in cardiac myocytes under two diseased conditions, early repolarization and reduced repolarization reserve, each with memory from two different sources: slow recovery of a potassium ion channel and slow accumulation of the intracellular calcium ion concentration. We first carry out computer simulations of action potential models described by differential equations to demonstrate complex excitation dynamics, such as chaos. We then develop iterated map models that incorporate memory, which accurately capture the complex excitation dynamics and bifurcations of the action potential models. Finally, we carry out theoretical analyses of the iterated map models to reveal the underlying mechanisms of memory-induced nonlinear dynamics. Our study demonstrates that the memory effect can be unmasked or greatly exacerbated under certain diseased conditions, which promotes complex excitation dynamics, such as chaos. The iterated map models reveal that memory converts a monotonic iterated map function into a nonmonotonic one to promote the bifurcations leading to high periodicity and chaos.

  14. Structure and Dynamics of RNA Repeat Expansions That Cause Huntington's Disease and Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1. (United States)

    Chen, Jonathan L; VanEtten, Damian M; Fountain, Matthew A; Yildirim, Ilyas; Disney, Matthew D


    RNA repeat expansions cause a host of incurable, genetically defined diseases. The most common class of RNA repeats consists of trinucleotide repeats. These long, repeating transcripts fold into hairpins containing 1 × 1 internal loops that can mediate disease via a variety of mechanism(s) in which RNA is the central player. Two of these disorders are Huntington's disease and myotonic dystrophy type 1, which are caused by r(CAG) and r(CUG) repeats, respectively. We report the structures of two RNA constructs containing three copies of a r(CAG) [r(3×CAG)] or r(CUG) [r(3×CUG)] motif that were modeled with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and simulated annealing with restrained molecular dynamics. The 1 × 1 internal loops of r(3×CAG) are stabilized by one-hydrogen bond (cis Watson-Crick/Watson-Crick) AA pairs, while those of r(3×CUG) prefer one- or two-hydrogen bond (cis Watson-Crick/Watson-Crick) UU pairs. Assigned chemical shifts for the residues depended on the identity of neighbors or next nearest neighbors. Additional insights into the dynamics of these RNA constructs were gained by molecular dynamics simulations and a discrete path sampling method. Results indicate that the global structures of the RNA are A-form and that the loop regions are dynamic. The results will be useful for understanding the dynamic trajectory of these RNA repeats but also may aid in the development of therapeutics.

  15. Progress toward an integrated understanding of Parkinson's disease [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime W.C. Rousseaux


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, affecting over 10 million individuals worldwide. While numerous effective symptomatic treatments are currently available, no curative or disease-modifying therapies exist. An integrated, comprehensive understanding of PD pathogenic mechanisms will likely address this unmet clinical need. Here, we highlight recent progress in PD research with an emphasis on promising translational findings, including (i advances in our understanding of disease susceptibility, (ii improved knowledge of cellular dysfunction, and (iii insights into mechanisms of spread and propagation of PD pathology. We emphasize connections between these previously disparate strands of PD research and the development of an emerging systems-level understanding that will enable the next generation of PD therapeutics.

  16. Geophysical fluid dynamics understanding (almost) everything with rotating shallow water models

    CERN Document Server

    Zeitlin, Vladimir


    The book explains the key notions and fundamental processes in the dynamics of the fluid envelopes of the Earth (transposable to other planets), and methods of their analysis, from the unifying viewpoint of rotating shallow-water model (RSW). The model, in its one- or two-layer versions, plays a distinguished role in geophysical fluid dynamics, having been used for around a century for conceptual understanding of various phenomena, for elaboration of approaches and methods, to be applied later in more complete models, for development and testing of numerical codes and schemes of data assimilations, and many other purposes. Principles of modelling of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic flows, and corresponding approximations, are explained and it is shown how single- and multi-layer versions of RSW arise from the primitive equations by vertical averaging, and how further time-averaging produces celebrated quasi-geostrophic reductions of the model. Key concepts of geophysical fluid dynamics are exposed and inte...

  17. Young children’s understanding of angles in a dynamic geometry environment


    Kaur, Harpreet


    Angle is an important topic in geometry. It is a concept that children find challenging to learn, in part because of its multifaceted nature. The purpose of this study is to understand how children’s thinking about angles evolves as they participate in a classroom setting featuring the use of a dynamic geometry environment (DGE) in which the concept of angle as turn was privileged, a concept that does not require a quantitative dimension. Three research questions were proposed for the study, ...

  18. Dynamic Analytical Capability to Better Understand and Anticipate Extremist Shifts Within Populations under Authoritarian Regimes.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernard, Michael Lewis [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    The purpose of this work is to create a generalizable data- and theory-supported capability to better understand and anticipate (with quantifiable uncertainty): 1) how the dynamics of allegiance formations between various groups and society are impacted by active conflict and by third-party interventions and 2) how/why extremist allegiances co-evolve over time due to changing geopolitical, sociocultural, and military conditions.

  19. Biomedical and veterinary science can increase our understanding of coral disease (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Richardson, Laurie L.; Reynolds, T.L.; Willis, Bette L.


    A balanced approach to coral disease investigation is critical for understanding the global decline of corals. Such an approach should involve the proper use of biomedical concepts, tools, and terminology to address confusion and promote clarity in the coral disease literature. Investigating disease in corals should follow a logical series of steps including identification of disease, systematic morphologic descriptions of lesions at the gross and cellular levels, measurement of health indices, and experiments to understand disease pathogenesis and the complex interactions between host, pathogen, and the environment. This model for disease investigation is widely accepted in the medical, veterinary and invertebrate pathology disciplines. We present standard biomedical rationale behind the detection, description, and naming of diseases and offer examples of the application of Koch's postulates to elucidate the etiology of some infectious diseases. Basic epidemiologic concepts are introduced to help investigators think systematically about the cause(s) of complex diseases. A major goal of disease investigation in corals and other organisms is to gather data that will enable the establishment of standardized case definitions to distinguish among diseases. Concepts and facts amassed from empirical studies over the centuries by medical and veterinary pathologists have standardized disease investigation and are invaluable to coral researchers because of the robust comparisons they enable; examples of these are given throughout this paper. Arguments over whether coral diseases are caused by primary versus opportunistic pathogens reflect the lack of data available to prove or refute such hypotheses and emphasize the need for coral disease investigations that focus on: characterizing the normal microbiota and physiology of the healthy host; defining ecological interactions within the microbial community associated with the host; and investigating host immunity, host

  20. Skipping Posterior Dynamic Transpedicular Stabilization for Distant Segment Degenerative Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilgehan Solmaz


    Full Text Available Objective. To date, there is still no consensus on the treatment of spinal degenerative disease. Current surgical techniques to manage painful spinal disorders are imperfect. In this paper, we aimed to evaluate the prospective results of posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization, a novel surgical approach that skips the segments that do not produce pain. This technique has been proven biomechanically and radiologically in spinal degenerative diseases. Methods. A prospective study of 18 patients averaging 54.94 years of age with distant spinal segment degenerative disease. Indications consisted of degenerative disc disease (57%, herniated nucleus pulposus (50%, spinal stenosis (14.28%, degenerative spondylolisthesis (14.28%, and foraminal stenosis (7.1%. The Oswestry Low-Back Pain Disability Questionnaire and visual analog scale (VAS for pain were recorded preoperatively and at the third and twelfth postoperative months. Results. Both the Oswestry and VAS scores showed significant improvement postoperatively (P<0.05. We observed complications in one patient who had spinal epidural hematoma. Conclusion. We recommend skipping posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization for surgical treatment of distant segment spinal degenerative disease.

  1. Local disease-ecosystem-livelihood dynamics: reflections from comparative case studies in Africa. (United States)

    Leach, Melissa; Bett, Bernard; Said, M; Bukachi, Salome; Sang, Rosemary; Anderson, Neil; Machila, Noreen; Kuleszo, Joanna; Schaten, Kathryn; Dzingirai, Vupenyu; Mangwanya, Lindiwe; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa; Lawson, Elaine; Amponsah-Mensah, Kofi; Moses, Lina M; Wilkinson, Annie; Grant, Donald S; Koninga, James


    This article explores the implications for human health of local interactions between disease, ecosystems and livelihoods. Five interdisciplinary case studies addressed zoonotic diseases in African settings: Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kenya, human African trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone and henipaviruses in Ghana. Each explored how ecological changes and human-ecosystem interactions affect pathogen dynamics and hence the likelihood of zoonotic spillover and transmission, and how socially differentiated peoples' interactions with ecosystems and animals affect their exposure to disease. Cross-case analysis highlights how these dynamics vary by ecosystem type, across a range from humid forest to semi-arid savannah; the significance of interacting temporal and spatial scales; and the importance of mosaic and patch dynamics. Ecosystem interactions and services central to different people's livelihoods and well-being include pastoralism and agro-pastoralism, commercial and subsistence crop farming, hunting, collecting food, fuelwood and medicines, and cultural practices. There are synergies, but also tensions and trade-offs, between ecosystem changes that benefit livelihoods and affect disease. Understanding these can inform 'One Health' approaches towards managing ecosystems in ways that reduce disease risks and burdens.This article is part of the themed issue 'One Health for a changing world: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being'. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Developing stochastic epidemiological models to quantify the dynamics of infectious diseases in domestic livestock. (United States)

    MacKenzie, K; Bishop, S C


    A stochastic model describing disease transmission dynamics for a microparasitic infection in a structured domestic animal population is developed and applied to hypothetical epidemics on a pig farm. Rational decision making regarding appropriate control strategies for infectious diseases in domestic livestock requires an understanding of the disease dynamics and risk profiles for different groups of animals. This is best achieved by means of stochastic epidemic models. Methodologies are presented for 1) estimating the probability of an epidemic, given the presence of an infected animal, whether this epidemic is major (requires intervention) or minor (dies out without intervention), and how the location of the infected animal on the farm influences the epidemic probabilities; 2) estimating the basic reproductive ratio, R0 (i.e., the expected number of secondary cases on the introduction of a single infected animal) and the variability of the estimate of this parameter; and 3) estimating the total proportion of animals infected during an epidemic and the total proportion infected at any point in time. The model can be used for assessing impact of altering farm structure on disease dynamics, as well as disease control strategies, including altering farm structure, vaccination, culling, and genetic selection.

  3. Level of understanding of Alzheimer disease among caregivers and the general population. (United States)

    Jorge, C; Cetó, M; Arias, A; Blasco, E; Gil, M P; López, R; Dakterzada, F; Purroy, F; Piñol-Ripoll, G


    Understanding of Alzheimer disease is fundamental for early diagnosis and to reduce caregiver burden. The objective of this study is to evaluate the degree of understanding of Alzheimer disease among informal caregivers and different segments of the general population through the Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale. We assessed the knowledge of caregivers in different follow-up periods (less than one year, between 1 and 5 years, and over 5 years since diagnosis) and individuals from the general population. Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale scores were grouped into different items: life impact, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, disease progression, and caregiving. A total of 419 people (215 caregivers and 204 individuals from the general population) were included in the study. No significant differences were found between groups for overall Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale score (19.1 vs. 18.8, P = .9). There is a scarce knowledge of disease risk factors (49.3%) or the care needed (51.2%), while symptoms (78.6%) and course of the disease (77.2%) were the best understood aspects. Older caregiver age was correlated with worse Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale scores overall and for life impact, symptoms, treatment, and disease progression (P < .05). Time since diagnosis improved caregivers' knowledge of Alzheimer disease symptoms (P = .00) and diagnosis (P = .05). Assessing the degree of understanding of Alzheimer disease is essential to the development of health education strategies both in the general population and among caregivers. Copyright © 2018 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  4. Retrospective Analysis of Communication Events - Understanding the Dynamics of Collaborative Multi-Party Discourse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowell, Andrew J.; Haack, Jereme N.; McColgin, Dave W.


    This research is aimed at understanding the dynamics of collaborative multi-party discourse across multiple communication modalities. Before we can truly make sig-nificant strides in devising collaborative communication systems, there is a need to understand how typical users utilize com-putationally supported communications mechanisms such as email, instant mes-saging, video conferencing, chat rooms, etc., both singularly and in conjunction with traditional means of communication such as face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and postal mail. Attempting to un-derstand an individual’s communications profile with access to only a single modal-ity is challenging at best and often futile. Here, we discuss the development of RACE – Retrospective Analysis of Com-munications Events – a test-bed prototype to investigate issues relating to multi-modal multi-party discourse.

  5. Using chemistry and microfluidics to understand the spatial dynamics of complex biological networks. (United States)

    Kastrup, Christian J; Runyon, Matthew K; Lucchetta, Elena M; Price, Jessica M; Ismagilov, Rustem F


    Understanding the spatial dynamics of biochemical networks is both fundamentally important for understanding life at the systems level and also has practical implications for medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry. Studies at the level of individual reactions provide essential information about the function, interactions, and localization of individual molecular species and reactions in a network. However, analyzing the spatial dynamics of complex biochemical networks at this level is difficult. Biochemical networks are nonequilibrium systems containing dozens to hundreds of reactions with nonlinear and time-dependent interactions, and these interactions are influenced by diffusion, flow, and the relative values of state-dependent kinetic parameters. To achieve an overall understanding of the spatial dynamics of a network and the global mechanisms that drive its function, networks must be analyzed as a whole, where all of the components and influential parameters of a network are simultaneously considered. Here, we describe chemical concepts and microfluidic tools developed for network-level investigations of the spatial dynamics of these networks. Modular approaches can be used to simplify these networks by separating them into modules, and simple experimental or computational models can be created by replacing each module with a single reaction. Microfluidics can be used to implement these models as well as to analyze and perturb the complex network itself with spatial control on the micrometer scale. We also describe the application of these network-level approaches to elucidate the mechanisms governing the spatial dynamics of two networkshemostasis (blood clotting) and early patterning of the Drosophila embryo. To investigate the dynamics of the complex network of hemostasis, we simplified the network by using a modular mechanism and created a chemical model based on this mechanism by using microfluidics. Then, we used the mechanism and the model to

  6. Computational Cellular Dynamics Based on the Chemical Master Equation: A Challenge for Understanding Complexity. (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Qian, Hong


    Modern molecular biology has always been a great source of inspiration for computational science. Half a century ago, the challenge from understanding macromolecular dynamics has led the way for computations to be part of the tool set to study molecular biology. Twenty-five years ago, the demand from genome science has inspired an entire generation of computer scientists with an interest in discrete mathematics to join the field that is now called bioinformatics. In this paper, we shall lay out a new mathematical theory for dynamics of biochemical reaction systems in a small volume (i.e., mesoscopic) in terms of a stochastic, discrete-state continuous-time formulation, called the chemical master equation (CME). Similar to the wavefunction in quantum mechanics, the dynamically changing probability landscape associated with the state space provides a fundamental characterization of the biochemical reaction system. The stochastic trajectories of the dynamics are best known through the simulations using the Gillespie algorithm. In contrast to the Metropolis algorithm, this Monte Carlo sampling technique does not follow a process with detailed balance. We shall show several examples how CMEs are used to model cellular biochemical systems. We shall also illustrate the computational challenges involved: multiscale phenomena, the interplay between stochasticity and nonlinearity, and how macroscopic determinism arises from mesoscopic dynamics. We point out recent advances in computing solutions to the CME, including exact solution of the steady state landscape and stochastic differential equations that offer alternatives to the Gilespie algorithm. We argue that the CME is an ideal system from which one can learn to understand "complex behavior" and complexity theory, and from which important biological insight can be gained.

  7. Utility of dynamic computed tomography in diffuse liver diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujikawa, Koichi; Inagawa, Akira; Yokoyama, Tatsushi; Iwamoto, Toshiyuki; Katayama, Hiroshi; Mori, Masaki; Ito, Katsuhide; Katsuta, Shizutomo.


    We tested the diagnostic abilities of dynamic CT in diffuse liver diseases. The material includes 23 cases of chronic active hepatitis (CAH), 32 cases of liver cirrhosis (LC) and 15 cases with normal liver. For each case, time-density curve was obtained from the right lobe of the liver. To allow numerical evaluation of the curve, gamma variate fit techniques were employed. Changes in the curves were analyzed by comparing three parameters-rise time (RT), decay time (DT) and corrected first moment (MC)-derived from two coefficients of the fitting equation. Values of three parameters increased with the severity of the diseases reflecting prolonged curves with delayed peak and gradual downslope in damaged livers. MC values showed most significant correlation with the degree of the diseases. High MC value (>95) were associated with 30 cases of LC and 3 cases of CHA, and moderate MC value (70< MC<=95) with 19 cases of CAH and 2 controls, and low MC value (<=70) with 15 controls and a case of CAH. We conclude that dynamic CT time-density study with gamma variate fitting is useful in the differential diagnosis of the diffuse liver diseases. (author)

  8. Engineering 3D Models of Tumors and Bone to Understand Tumor-Induced Bone Disease and Improve Treatments (United States)

    Kwakwa, Kristin A.; Vanderburgh, Joseph P.; Guelcher, Scott A.


    Purpose of Review Bone is a structurally unique microenvironment that presents many challenges for the development of 3D models for studying bone physiology and diseases, including cancer. As researchers continue to investigate the interactions within the bone microenvironment, the development of 3D models of bone has become critical. Recent Findings 3D models have been developed that replicate some properties of bone, but have not fully reproduced the complex structural and cellular composition of the bone microenvironment. This review will discuss 3D models including polyurethane, silk, and collagen scaffolds that have been developed to study tumor-induced bone disease. In addition, we discuss 3D printing techniques used to better replicate the structure of bone. Summary 3D models that better replicate the bone microenvironment will help researchers better understand the dynamic interactions between tumors and the bone microenvironment, ultimately leading to better models for testing therapeutics and predicting patient outcomes. PMID:28646444

  9. Toward Understanding the Dynamics of Microbial Communities in an Estuarine System

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Weipeng; Bougouffa, Salim; Wang, Yong; Lee, On On; Yang, Jiangke; Chan, Colin; Song, Xingyu; Qian, Pei-Yuan


    Community assembly theories such as species sorting theory provide a framework for understanding the structures and dynamics of local communities. The effect of theoretical mechanisms can vary with the scales of observation and effects of specific environmental factors. Based on 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing, different structures and temporal succession patterns were discovered between the surface sediments and bottom water microbial communities in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE). The microbial communities in the surface sediment samples were more diverse than those in the bottom water samples, and several genera were specific for the water or sediment communities. Moreover, water temperature was identified as the main variable driving community dynamics and the microbial communities in the sediment showed a greater temporal change. We speculate that nutrient-based species sorting and bacterial plasticity to the temperature contribute to the variations observed between sediment and water communities in the PRE. This study provides a more comprehensive understanding of the microbial community structures in a highly dynamic estuarine system and sheds light on the applicability of ecological theoretical mechanisms.

  10. Energy landscape scheme for an intuitive understanding of complex domain dynamics in ferroelectric thin films. (United States)

    Kim, Tae Heon; Yoon, Jong-Gul; Baek, Seung Hyub; Park, Woong-kyu; Yang, Sang Mo; Yup Jang, Seung; Min, Taeyuun; Chung, Jin-Seok; Eom, Chang-Beom; Noh, Tae Won


    Fundamental understanding of domain dynamics in ferroic materials has been a longstanding issue because of its relevance to many systems and to the design of nanoscale domain-wall devices. Despite many theoretical and experimental studies, a full understanding of domain dynamics still remains incomplete, partly due to complex interactions between domain-walls and disorder. We report domain-shape-preserving deterministic domain-wall motion, which directly confirms microscopic return point memory, by observing domain-wall breathing motion in ferroelectric BiFeO3 thin film using stroboscopic piezoresponse force microscopy. Spatial energy landscape that provides new insights into domain dynamics is also mapped based on the breathing motion of domain walls. The evolution of complex domain structure can be understood by the process of occupying the lowest available energy states of polarization in the energy landscape which is determined by defect-induced internal fields. Our result highlights a pathway for the novel design of ferroelectric domain-wall devices through the engineering of energy landscape using defect-induced internal fields such as flexoelectric fields.

  11. Energy landscape scheme for an intuitive understanding of complex domain dynamics in ferroelectric thin films (United States)

    Heon Kim, Tae; Yoon, Jong-Gul; Hyub Baek, Seung; Park, Woong-Kyu; Mo Yang, Sang; Yup Jang, Seung; Min, Taeyuun; Chung, Jin-Seok; Eom, Chang-Beom; Won Noh, Tae


    Fundamental understanding of domain dynamics in ferroic materials has been a longstanding issue because of its relevance to many systems and to the design of nanoscale domain-wall devices. Despite many theoretical and experimental studies, a full understanding of domain dynamics still remains incomplete, partly due to complex interactions between domain-walls and disorder. We report domain-shape-preserving deterministic domain-wall motion, which directly confirms microscopic return point memory, by observing domain-wall breathing motion in ferroelectric BiFeO3 thin film using stroboscopic piezoresponse force microscopy. Spatial energy landscape that provides new insights into domain dynamics is also mapped based on the breathing motion of domain walls. The evolution of complex domain structure can be understood by the process of occupying the lowest available energy states of polarization in the energy landscape which is determined by defect-induced internal fields. Our result highlights a pathway for the novel design of ferroelectric domain-wall devices through the engineering of energy landscape using defect-induced internal fields such as flexoelectric fields.

  12. Toward understanding the dynamics of microbial communities in an estuarine system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weipeng Zhang

    Full Text Available Community assembly theories such as species sorting theory provide a framework for understanding the structures and dynamics of local communities. The effect of theoretical mechanisms can vary with the scales of observation and effects of specific environmental factors. Based on 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing, different structures and temporal succession patterns were discovered between the surface sediments and bottom water microbial communities in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE. The microbial communities in the surface sediment samples were more diverse than those in the bottom water samples, and several genera were specific for the water or sediment communities. Moreover, water temperature was identified as the main variable driving community dynamics and the microbial communities in the sediment showed a greater temporal change. We speculate that nutrient-based species sorting and bacterial plasticity to the temperature contribute to the variations observed between sediment and water communities in the PRE. This study provides a more comprehensive understanding of the microbial community structures in a highly dynamic estuarine system and sheds light on the applicability of ecological theoretical mechanisms.

  13. Toward Understanding the Dynamics of Microbial Communities in an Estuarine System

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Weipeng


    Community assembly theories such as species sorting theory provide a framework for understanding the structures and dynamics of local communities. The effect of theoretical mechanisms can vary with the scales of observation and effects of specific environmental factors. Based on 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing, different structures and temporal succession patterns were discovered between the surface sediments and bottom water microbial communities in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE). The microbial communities in the surface sediment samples were more diverse than those in the bottom water samples, and several genera were specific for the water or sediment communities. Moreover, water temperature was identified as the main variable driving community dynamics and the microbial communities in the sediment showed a greater temporal change. We speculate that nutrient-based species sorting and bacterial plasticity to the temperature contribute to the variations observed between sediment and water communities in the PRE. This study provides a more comprehensive understanding of the microbial community structures in a highly dynamic estuarine system and sheds light on the applicability of ecological theoretical mechanisms.

  14. Ocean warming and acidification have complex interactive effects on the dynamics of a marine fungal disease (United States)

    Williams, Gareth J.; Price, Nichole N.; Ushijima, Blake; Aeby, Greta S.; Callahan, Sean M.; Davy, Simon K.; Gove, Jamison M.; Johnson, Maggie D.; Knapp, Ingrid S.; Shore-Maggio, Amanda; Smith, Jennifer E.; Videau, Patrick; Work, Thierry M.


    Diseases threaten the structure and function of marine ecosystems and are contributing to the global decline of coral reefs. We currently lack an understanding of how climate change stressors, such as ocean acidification (OA) and warming, may simultaneously affect coral reef disease dynamics, particularly diseases threatening key reef-building organisms, for example crustose coralline algae (CCA). Here, we use coralline fungal disease (CFD), a previously described CCA disease from the Pacific, to examine these simultaneous effects using both field observations and experimental manipulations. We identify the associated fungus as belonging to the subphylum Ustilaginomycetes and show linear lesion expansion rates on individual hosts can reach 6.5 mm per day. Further, we demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that ocean-warming events could increase the frequency of CFD outbreaks on coral reefs, but that OA-induced lowering of pH may ameliorate outbreaks by slowing lesion expansion rates on individual hosts. Lowered pH may still reduce overall host survivorship, however, by reducing calcification and facilitating fungal bio-erosion. Such complex, interactive effects between simultaneous extrinsic environmental stressors on disease dynamics are important to consider if we are to accurately predict the response of coral reef communities to future climate change.

  15. The role of radiology in the evolution of the understanding of articular disease. (United States)

    Huang, Mingqian; Schweitzer, Mark E


    Both the clinical practice of radiology and the journal Radiology have had an enormous effect on our understanding of articular disease. Early descriptions of osteoarthritis (OA) appeared in Radiology. More recently, advanced physiologic magnetic resonance (MR) techniques have furthered our understanding of the early prestructural changes in patients with OA. Sodium imaging, delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage, and spin-lattice relaxation in the rotating frame (or T1ρ) sequences have advanced understanding of the pathophysiology and pathoanatomy of OA. Many pioneering articles on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) also have been published in Radiology. In the intervening decades, our understanding of the natural history of RA has been altered by these articles. Many of the first descriptions of crystalline arthropathies, including gout, calcium pyrophosphate deposition, and hydroxyapatite deposition disease, appeared in Radiology.

  16. Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan D Cowled

    Full Text Available Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design versus transmission (molecular case series study design and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%. The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%. Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is

  17. Integrating Survey and Molecular Approaches to Better Understand Wildlife Disease Ecology (United States)

    Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.


    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  18. Understanding the Effects of Host Evolution and Skin Bacteria Composition on Disease Vector Choices (United States)


    Distribution Unlimited UU UU UU UU 14-04-2016 1-Sep-2014 31-Dec-2015 Final Report: Understanding the effects of host evolution and skin bacteria ...S) AND ADDRESS (ES) U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 mosquito, skin, bacteria , primate REPORT...reviewed journals: Final Report: Understanding the effects of host evolution and skin bacteria composition on disease vector choices Report Title Here

  19. Real-Time G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Imaging to Understand and Quantify Receptor Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María S. Aymerich


    Full Text Available Understanding the trafficking of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs and their regulation by agonists and antagonists is fundamental to develop more effective drugs. Optical methods using fluorescent-tagged receptors and spinning disk confocal microscopy are useful tools to investigate membrane receptor dynamics in living cells. The aim of this study was to develop a method to characterize receptor dynamics using this system which offers the advantage of very fast image acquisition with minimal cell perturbation. However, in short-term assays photobleaching was still a problem. Thus, we developed a procedure to perform a photobleaching-corrected image analysis. A study of short-term dynamics of the long isoform of the dopamine type 2 receptor revealed an agonist-induced increase in the mobile fraction of receptors with a rate of movement of 0.08 μm/s For long-term assays, the ratio between the relative fluorescence intensity at the cell surface versus that in the intracellular compartment indicated that receptor internalization only occurred in cells co-expressing G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2. These results indicate that the lateral movement of receptors and receptor internalization are not directly coupled. Thus, we believe that live imaging of GPCRs using spinning disk confocal image analysis constitutes a powerful tool to study of receptor dynamics.

  20. Physiology in Medicine: Understanding dynamic alveolar physiology to minimize ventilator-induced lung injury. (United States)

    Nieman, Gary F; Satalin, Josh; Kollisch-Singule, Michaela; Andrews, Penny; Aiash, Hani; Habashi, Nader M; Gatto, Louis A


    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains a serious clinical problem with the main treatment being supportive in the form of mechanical ventilation. However, mechanical ventilation can be a double-edged sword: if set improperly, it can exacerbate the tissue damage caused by ARDS; this is known as ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). To minimize VILI, we must understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms of tissue damage at the alveolar level. In this Physiology in Medicine paper, the dynamic physiology of alveolar inflation and deflation during mechanical ventilation will be reviewed. In addition, the pathophysiologic mechanisms of VILI will be reviewed, and this knowledge will be used to suggest an optimal mechanical breath profile (MB P : all airway pressures, volumes, flows, rates, and the duration that they are applied at both inspiration and expiration) necessary to minimize VILI. Our review suggests that the current protective ventilation strategy, known as the "open lung strategy," would be the optimal lung-protective approach. However, the viscoelastic behavior of dynamic alveolar inflation and deflation has not yet been incorporated into protective mechanical ventilation strategies. Using our knowledge of dynamic alveolar mechanics (i.e., the dynamic change in alveolar and alveolar duct size and shape during tidal ventilation) to modify the MB P so as to minimize VILI will reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with ARDS. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Mean-field modeling approach for understanding epidemic dynamics in interconnected networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Guanghu; Fu, Xinchu; Tang, Qinggan; Li, Kezan


    Modern systems (e.g., social, communicant, biological networks) are increasingly interconnected each other formed as ‘networks of networks’. Such complex systems usually possess inconsistent topologies and permit agents distributed in different subnetworks to interact directly/indirectly. Corresponding dynamics phenomena, such as the transmission of information, power, computer virus and disease, would exhibit complicated and heterogeneous tempo-spatial patterns. In this paper, we focus on the scenario of epidemic spreading in interconnected networks. We intend to provide a typical mean-field modeling framework to describe the time-evolution dynamics, and offer some mathematical skills to study the spreading threshold and the global stability of the model. Integrating the research with numerical analysis, we are able to quantify the effects of networks structure and epidemiology parameters on the transmission dynamics. Interestingly, we find that the diffusion transition in the whole network is governed by a unique threshold, which mainly depends on the most heterogenous connection patterns of network substructures. Further, the dynamics is highly sensitive to the critical values of cross infectivity with switchable phases.

  2. What shakes the FX tree? Understanding currency dominance, dependence, and dynamics (Keynote Address) (United States)

    Johnson, Neil F.; McDonald, Mark; Suleman, Omer; Williams, Stacy; Howison, Sam


    There is intense interest in understanding the stochastic and dynamical properties of the global Foreign Exchange (FX) market, whose daily transactions exceed one trillion US dollars. This is a formidable task since the FX market is characterized by a web of fluctuating exchange rates, with subtle inter-dependencies which may change in time. In practice, traders talk of particular currencies being 'in play' during a particular period of time -- yet there is no established machinery for detecting such important information. Here we apply the construction of Minimum Spanning Trees (MSTs) to the FX market, and show that the MST can capture important features of the global FX dynamics. Moreover, we show that the MST can help identify momentarily dominant and dependent currencies.

  3. Understanding role of genome dynamics in host adaptation of gut commensal, L. reuteri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shikha Sharma


    Full Text Available Lactobacillus reuteri is a gram-positive gut commensal and exhibits noteworthy adaptation to its vertebrate hosts. Host adaptation is often driven by inter-strain genome dynamics like expansion of insertion sequences that lead to acquisition and loss of gene(s and creation of large dynamic regions. In this regard we carried in-house genome sequencing of large number of L. reuteri strains origination from human, chicken, pig and rodents. We further next generation sequence data in understanding invasion and expansion of an IS element in shaping genome of strains belonging to human associated lineage. Finally, we share our experience in high-throughput genomic library preparation and generating high quality sequence data of a very low GC bacterium like L. reuteri.

  4. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease. (United States)

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


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

  5. Asymmetric Dynamic Attunement of Speech and Gestures in the Construction of Children's Understanding. (United States)

    De Jonge-Hoekstra, Lisette; Van der Steen, Steffie; Van Geert, Paul; Cox, Ralf F A


    As children learn they use their speech to express words and their hands to gesture. This study investigates the interplay between real-time gestures and speech as children construct cognitive understanding during a hands-on science task. 12 children (M = 6, F = 6) from Kindergarten (n = 5) and first grade (n = 7) participated in this study. Each verbal utterance and gesture during the task were coded, on a complexity scale derived from dynamic skill theory. To explore the interplay between speech and gestures, we applied a cross recurrence quantification analysis (CRQA) to the two coupled time series of the skill levels of verbalizations and gestures. The analysis focused on (1) the temporal relation between gestures and speech, (2) the relative strength and direction of the interaction between gestures and speech, (3) the relative strength and direction between gestures and speech for different levels of understanding, and (4) relations between CRQA measures and other child characteristics. The results show that older and younger children differ in the (temporal) asymmetry in the gestures-speech interaction. For younger children, the balance leans more toward gestures leading speech in time, while the balance leans more toward speech leading gestures for older children. Secondly, at the group level, speech attracts gestures in a more dynamically stable fashion than vice versa, and this asymmetry in gestures and speech extends to lower and higher understanding levels. Yet, for older children, the mutual coupling between gestures and speech is more dynamically stable regarding the higher understanding levels. Gestures and speech are more synchronized in time as children are older. A higher score on schools' language tests is related to speech attracting gestures more rigidly and more asymmetry between gestures and speech, only for the less difficult understanding levels. A higher score on math or past science tasks is related to less asymmetry between gestures and

  6. Asymmetric dynamic attunement of speech and gestures in the construction of children’s understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisette eDe Jonge-Hoekstra


    Full Text Available As children learn they use their speech to express words and their hands to gesture. This study investigates the interplay between real-time gestures and speech as children construct cognitive understanding during a hands-on science task. 12 children (M = 6, F = 6 from Kindergarten (n = 5 and first grade (n = 7 participated in this study. Each verbal utterance and gesture during the task were coded, on a complexity scale derived from dynamic skill theory. To explore the interplay between speech and gestures, we applied a cross recurrence quantification analysis (CRQA to the two coupled time series of the skill levels of verbalizations and gestures. The analysis focused on 1 the temporal relation between gestures and speech, 2 the relative strength and direction of the interaction between gestures and speech, 3 the relative strength and direction between gestures and speech for different levels of understanding, and 4 relations between CRQA measures and other child characteristics. The results show that older and younger children differ in the (temporal asymmetry in the gestures-speech interaction. For younger children, the balance leans more towards gestures leading speech in time, while the balance leans more towards speech leading gestures for older children. Secondly, at the group level, speech attracts gestures in a more dynamically stable fashion than vice versa, and this asymmetry in gestures and speech extends to lower and higher understanding levels. Yet, for older children, the mutual coupling between gestures and speech is more dynamically stable regarding the higher understanding levels. Gestures and speech are more synchronized in time as children are older. A higher score on schools’ language tests is related to speech attracting gestures more rigidly and more asymmetry between gestures and speech, only for the less difficult understanding levels. A higher score on math or past science tasks is related to less asymmetry between

  7. Understanding Dynamic Model Validation of a Wind Turbine Generator and a Wind Power Plant: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muljadi, Eduard; Zhang, Ying Chen; Gevorgian, Vahan; Kosterev, Dmitry


    Regional reliability organizations require power plants to validate the dynamic models that represent them to ensure that power systems studies are performed to the best representation of the components installed. In the process of validating a wind power plant (WPP), one must be cognizant of the parameter settings of the wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the operational settings of the WPP. Validating the dynamic model of a WPP is required to be performed periodically. This is because the control parameters of the WTGs and the other supporting components within a WPP may be modified to comply with new grid codes or upgrades to the WTG controller with new capabilities developed by the turbine manufacturers or requested by the plant owners or operators. The diversity within a WPP affects the way we represent it in a model. Diversity within a WPP may be found in the way the WTGs are controlled, the wind resource, the layout of the WPP (electrical diversity), and the type of WTGs used. Each group of WTGs constitutes a significant portion of the output power of the WPP, and their unique and salient behaviors should be represented individually. The objective of this paper is to illustrate the process of dynamic model validations of WTGs and WPPs, the available data recorded that must be screened before it is used for the dynamic validations, and the assumptions made in the dynamic models of the WTG and WPP that must be understood. Without understanding the correct process, the validations may lead to the wrong representations of the WTG and WPP modeled.

  8. Modules, networks and systems medicine for understanding disease and aiding diagnosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Mika; Nestor, Colm E.; Zhang, Huan


    Many common diseases, such as asthma, diabetes or obesity, involve altered interactions between thousands of genes. High-throughput techniques (omics) allow identification of such genes and their products, but functional understanding is a formidable challenge. Network-based analyses of omics dat...

  9. Modules, networks and systems medicine for understanding disease and aiding diagnosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gustafsson, Mika; Nestor, Colm E.; Zhang, Huan; Barabási, Albert-László; Baranzini, Sergio; Brunak, Sören; Chung, Kian Fan; Federoff, Howard J.; Gavin, Anne-Claude; Meehan, Richard R.; Picotti, Paola; Pujana, Miguel Àngel; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Smith, Kenneth Gc; Sterk, Peter J.; Villoslada, Pablo; Benson, Mikael


    Many common diseases, such as asthma, diabetes or obesity, involve altered interactions between thousands of genes. High-throughput techniques (omics) allow identification of such genes and their products, but functional understanding is a formidable challenge. Network-based analyses of omics data

  10. Modeling systems-level dynamics: Understanding without mechanistic explanation in integrative systems biology. (United States)

    MacLeod, Miles; Nersessian, Nancy J


    In this paper we draw upon rich ethnographic data of two systems biology labs to explore the roles of explanation and understanding in large-scale systems modeling. We illustrate practices that depart from the goal of dynamic mechanistic explanation for the sake of more limited modeling goals. These processes use abstract mathematical formulations of bio-molecular interactions and data fitting techniques which we call top-down abstraction to trade away accurate mechanistic accounts of large-scale systems for specific information about aspects of those systems. We characterize these practices as pragmatic responses to the constraints many modelers of large-scale systems face, which in turn generate more limited pragmatic non-mechanistic forms of understanding of systems. These forms aim at knowledge of how to predict system responses in order to manipulate and control some aspects of them. We propose that this analysis of understanding provides a way to interpret what many systems biologists are aiming for in practice when they talk about the objective of a "systems-level understanding." Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Perspectives of a systems biology of the brain: the big data conundrum understanding psychiatric diseases. (United States)

    Mewes, H W


    Psychiatric diseases provoke human tragedies. Asocial behaviour, mood imbalance, uncontrolled affect, and cognitive malfunction are the price for the biological and social complexity of neurobiology. To understand the etiology and to influence the onset and progress of mental diseases remains of upmost importance, but despite the much improved care for the patients, more then 100 years of research have not succeeded to understand the basic disease mechanisms and enabling rationale treatment. With the advent of the genome based technologies, much hope has been created to join the various dimension of -omics data to uncover the secrets of mental illness. Big Data as generated by -omics do not come with explanations. In this essay, I will discuss the inherent, not well understood methodological foundations and problems that seriously obstacle in striving for a quick success and may render lucky strikes impossible. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  12. Improved Understanding of Implosion Symmetry through New Experimental Techniques Connecting Hohlraum Dynamics with Laser Beam Deposition (United States)

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


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

  13. Gender consistency and flexibility: using dynamics to understand the relationship between gender and adjustment. (United States)

    DiDonato, Matthew D; Martin, Carol L; Hessler, Eric E; Amazeen, Polemnia G; Hanish, Laura D; Fabes, Richard A


    Controversy surrounds questions regarding the influence of being gender consistent (i.e., having and expressing gendered characteristics that are consistent with one's biological sex) versus being gender flexible (i.e., having and expressing gendered characteristics that vary from masculine to feminine as circumstances arise) on children's adjustment outcomes, such as self-esteem, positive emotion, or behavior problems. Whereas evidence supporting the consistency hypothesis is abundant, little support exists for the flexibility hypothesis. To shed new light on the flexibility hypothesis, we explored children's gendered behavior from a dynamical perspective that highlighted variability and flexibility in addition to employing a conventional approach that emphasized stability and consistency. Conventional mean-level analyses supported the consistency hypothesis by revealing that gender atypical behavior was related to greater maladjustment, and dynamical analyses supported the flexibility hypothesis by showing that flexibility of gendered behavior over time was related to positive adjustment. Integrated analyses showed that gender typical behavior was related to the adjustment of children who were behaviorally inflexible, but not for those who were flexible. These results provided a more comprehensive understanding of the relation between gendered behavior and adjustment in young children and illustrated for the first time the feasibility of applying dynamical analyses to the study of gendered behavior.

  14. Applying non-linear dynamics to atrial appendage flow data to understand and characterize atrial arrhythmia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandra, S.; Grimm, R.A.; Katz, R.; Thomas, J.D.


    The aim of this study was to better understand and characterize left atrial appendage flow in atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation and flutter are the most common cardiac arrhythmias affecting 15% of the older population. The pulsed Doppler velocity profile data was recorded from the left atrial appendage of patients using transesophageal echocardiography. The data was analyzed using Fourier analysis and nonlinear dynamical tools. Fourier analysis showed that appendage mechanical frequency (f f ) for patients in sinus rhythm was always lower (around1 Hz) than that in atrial fibrillation (5-8 Hz). Among patients with atrial fibrillation spectral power below f f was significantly different suggesting variability within this group of patients. Results that suggested the presence of nonlinear dynamics were: a) the existence of two arbitrary peak frequencies f 1 , f 2 , and other peak frequencies as linear combinations thereof (mf 1 ±nf 2 ), and b) the similarity between the spectrum of patient data and that obtained using the Lorenz equation. Nonlinear analysis tools, including Phase plots and differential radial plots, were also generated from the velocity data using a delay of 10. In the phase plots, some patients displayed a torus-like structure, while others had a more random-like pattern. In the differential radial plots, the first set of patients (with torus-like phase plots) showed fewer values crossing an arbitrary threshold of 10 than did the second set (8 vs. 27 in one typical example). The outcome of cardioversion was different for these two set of patients. Fourier analysis helped to: differentiate between sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation, understand the characteristics of the wide range of atrial fibrillation patients, and provide hints that atrial fibrillation could be a nonlinear process. Nonlinear dynamical tools helped to further characterize and sub-classify atrial fibrillation

  15. Mechanistic understanding of human-wildlife conflict through a novel application of dynamic occupancy models. (United States)

    Goswami, Varun R; Medhi, Kamal; Nichols, James D; Oli, Madan K


    Crop and livestock depredation by wildlife is a primary driver of human-wildlife conflict, a problem that threatens the coexistence of people and wildlife globally. Understanding mechanisms that underlie depredation patterns holds the key to mitigating conflicts across time and space. However, most studies do not consider imperfect detection and reporting of conflicts, which may lead to incorrect inference regarding its spatiotemporal drivers. We applied dynamic occupancy models to elephant crop depredation data from India between 2005 and 2011 to estimate crop depredation occurrence and model its underlying dynamics as a function of spatiotemporal covariates while accounting for imperfect detection of conflicts. The probability of detecting conflicts was consistently year). The probability of crop depredation occurrence ranged from 0.29 (SE 0.09) to 0.96 (SE 0.04). The probability that sites raided by elephants in primary period t would not be raided in primary period t + 1 varied with elevation gradient in different seasons and was influenced negatively by mean rainfall and village density and positively by distance to forests. Negative effects of rainfall variation and distance to forests best explained variation in the probability that sites not raided by elephants in primary period t would be raided in primary period t + 1. With our novel application of occupancy models, we teased apart the spatiotemporal drivers of conflicts from factors that influence how they are observed, thereby allowing more reliable inference on mechanisms underlying observed conflict patterns. We found that factors associated with increased crop accessibility and availability (e.g., distance to forests and rainfall patterns) were key drivers of elephant crop depredation dynamics. Such an understanding is essential for rigorous prediction of future conflicts, a critical requirement for effective conflict management in the context of increasing human-wildlife interactions. © 2015

  16. The contribution of twin studies to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma and atopic diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Simon F


    The prevalence of asthma and other atopic diseases has increased markedly during the past decades and the reasons for this are not fully understood. Asthma is still increasing in many parts of the world, notably in developing countries, and this emphasizes the importance of continuing research...... aimed at studying the aetiological factors of the disease and the causes of its increase in prevalence. Twin studies enable investigations into the genetic and environmental causes of individual variation in multifactorial diseases such as asthma. Thorough insight into these causes is important...... as this will ultimately guide the development of preventive strategies and targeted therapies. This review explores the contribution of twin studies to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma and atopic diseases....

  17. Effects of Structural Transparency in System Dynamics Simulators on Performance and Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgit Kopainsky


    Full Text Available Prior exploration is an instructional strategy that has improved performance and understanding in system-dynamics-based simulators, but only to a limited degree. This study investigates whether model transparency, that is, showing users the internal structure of models, can extend the prior exploration strategy and improve learning even more. In an experimental study, participants in a web-based simulation learned about and managed a small developing nation. All participants were provided the prior exploration strategy but only half received prior exploration embedded in a structure-behavior diagram intended to make the underlying model’s structure more transparent. Participants provided with the more transparent strategy demonstrated better understanding of the underlying model. Their performance, however, was the equivalent to those in the less transparent condition. Combined with previous studies, our results suggest that while prior exploration is a beneficial strategy for both performance and understanding, making the model structure transparent with structure-behavior diagrams is more limited in its effect.

  18. Understanding of and attitudes to genetic testing for inherited retinal disease: a patient perspective. (United States)

    Willis, T A; Potrata, B; Ahmed, M; Hewison, J; Gale, R; Downey, L; McKibbin, M


    The views of people with inherited retinal disease are important to help develop health policy and plan services. This study aimed to record levels of understanding of and attitudes to genetic testing for inherited retinal disease, and views on the availability of testing. Telephone questionnaires comprising quantitative and qualitative items were completed with adults with inherited retinal disease. Participants were recruited via postal invitation (response rate 48%), approach at clinic or newsletters of relevant charitable organisations. Questionnaires were completed with 200 participants. Responses indicated that participants' perceived understanding of genetic testing for inherited retinal disease was variable. The majority (90%) considered testing to be good/very good and would be likely to undergo genetic testing (90%) if offered. Most supported the provision of diagnostic (97%) and predictive (92%) testing, but support was less strong for testing as part of reproductive planning. Most (87%) agreed with the statement that testing should be offered only after the individual has received genetic counselling from a professional. Subgroup analyses revealed differences associated with participant age, gender, education level and ethnicity (p<0.02). Participants reported a range of perceived benefits (eg, family planning, access to treatment) and risks (eg, impact upon family relationships, emotional consequences). Adults with inherited retinal disease strongly support the provision of publicly funded genetic testing. Support was stronger for diagnostic and predictive testing than for testing as part of reproductive planning.

  19. An evolutionary medicine approach to understanding factors that contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (United States)

    Aoshiba, Kazutetsu; Tsuji, Takao; Itoh, Masayuki; Yamaguchi, Kazuhiro; Nakamura, Hiroyuki


    Although many studies have been published on the causes and mechanisms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the reason for the existence of COPD and the reasons why COPD develops in humans have hardly been studied. Evolutionary medical approaches are required to explain not only the proximate factors, such as the causes and mechanisms of a disease, but the ultimate (evolutionary) factors as well, such as why the disease is present and why the disease develops in humans. According to the concepts of evolutionary medicine, disease susceptibility is acquired as a result of natural selection during the evolutionary process of traits linked to the genes involved in disease susceptibility. In this paper, we discuss the following six reasons why COPD develops in humans based on current evolutionary medical theories: (1) evolutionary constraints; (2) mismatch between environmental changes and evolution; (3) co-evolution with pathogenic microorganisms; (4) life history trade-off; (5) defenses and their costs, and (6) reproductive success at the expense of health. Our perspective pursues evolutionary answers to the fundamental question, 'Why are humans susceptible to this common disease, COPD, despite their long evolutionary history?' We believe that the perspectives offered by evolutionary medicine are essential for researchers to better understand the significance of their work.

  20. Evolutionary medicine--the quest for a better understanding of health, disease and prevention. (United States)

    Brüne, Martin; Hochberg, Ze'ev


    Clinical medicine has neglected the fact that the make-up of organs and body functions, as well as the human-specific repertoire of behaviors and defenses against pathogens or other potential dangers are the product of adaptation by natural and sexual selection. Even more, for many clinicians it does not seem straightforward to accept a role of evolution in the understanding of disease, let alone, treatment and prevention.Accordingly, this Editorial seeks to set the stage for an article collection that aims at dealing precisely with the question of why evolutionary aspects of health and disease are not only interesting, but necessary to improve clinical medicine.

  1. Understanding the physiology of complex congenital heart disease using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kappanayil, Mahesh; Kannan, Rajesh; Kumar, Raman Krishna


    Complex congenital heart diseases are often associated with complex alterations in hemodynamics. Understanding these key hemodynamic changes is critical to making management decisions including surgery and postoperative management. Existing tools for imaging and hemodynamic assessment like echocardiography, computed tomography and cardiac catheterization have inherent limitations. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is emerging as a powerful bouquet of tools that allow not only excellent imaging, but also a unique insight into hemodynamics. This article introduces the reader to cardiac MRI and its utility through the clinical example of a child with a complex congenital cyanotic heart disease

  2. Understandings of psychological difficulties in people with the Huntington's disease gene and their expectations of psychological therapy. (United States)

    Theed, Rachael; Eccles, Fiona J R; Simpson, Jane


    This study sought to investigate how people who had tested positive for the Huntington's disease (HD) gene mutation understood and experienced psychological distress and their expectations of psychological therapy. A qualitative methodology was adopted involving semi-structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). A total of nine participants (five women and four men) who had opted to engage in psychological therapy were recruited and interviewed prior to the start of this particular psychological therapeutic intervention. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using IPA whereby themes were analysed within and across transcripts and classified into superordinate themes. Three superordinate themes were developed: Attributing psychological distress to HD: 'you're blaming everything on that now'; Changes in attributions of distress over time: 'in the past you'd just get on with it'; and Approaching therapy with an open mind, commitment, and hope: 'a light at the end of the tunnel'. Understandings of psychological distress in HD included biological and psychological explanations, with both often being accepted simultaneously by the same individual but with biomedical accounts generally dominating. Individual experience seemed to reflect a dynamic process whereby people's understanding and experience of their distress changed over time. Psychological therapy was accepted as a positive alternative to medication, providing people with HD with hope that their psychological well-being could be enhanced. People with the Huntington's disease gene mutation have largely biomedical understandings of their psychological distress. This largely biomedical understanding does not, however, preclude them for being interested in the potential gains resulting from psychological therapy. The mechanisms of psychological therapy should be explained in detail before therapy and explored along with current attributions of distress. © 2017 The British

  3. Slower Dynamics and Aged Mitochondria in Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease (United States)

    Gargini, Ricardo; García, Esther; Perry, George


    Sporadic Alzheimer's disease corresponds to 95% of cases whose origin is multifactorial and elusive. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major feature of Alzheimer's pathology, which might be one of the early events that trigger downstream principal events. Here, we show that multiple genes that control mitochondrial homeostasis, including fission and fusion, are downregulated in Alzheimer's patients. Additionally, we demonstrate that some of these dysregulations, such as diminished DLP1 levels and its mitochondrial localization, as well as reduced STOML2 and MFN2 fusion protein levels, take place in fibroblasts from sporadic Alzheimer's disease patients. The analysis of mitochondrial network disruption using CCCP indicates that the patients' fibroblasts exhibit slower dynamics and mitochondrial membrane potential recovery. These defects lead to strong accumulation of aged mitochondria in Alzheimer's fibroblasts. Accordingly, the analysis of autophagy and mitophagy involved genes in the patients demonstrates a downregulation indicating that the recycling mechanism of these aged mitochondria might be impaired. Our data reinforce the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the key early events of the disease intimately related with aging. PMID:29201274

  4. Dynamic Three-Dimensional Shoulder Mri during Active Motion for Investigation of Rotator Cuff Diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Tempelaere

    Full Text Available MRI is the standard methodology in diagnosis of rotator cuff diseases. However, many patients continue to have pain despite treatment, and MRI of a static unloaded shoulder seems insufficient for best diagnosis and treatment. This study evaluated if Dynamic MRI provides novel kinematic data that can be used to improve the understanding, diagnosis and best treatment of rotator cuff diseases.Dynamic MRI provided real-time 3D image series and was used to measure changes in the width of subacromial space, superior-inferior translation and anterior-posterior translation of the humeral head relative to the glenoid during active abduction. These measures were investigated for consistency with the rotator cuff diseases classifications from standard MRI.The study included: 4 shoulders with massive rotator cuff tears, 5 shoulders with an isolated full-thickness supraspinatus tear, 5 shoulders with tendinopathy and 6 normal shoulders. A change in the width of subacromial space greater than 4mm differentiated between rotator cuff diseases with tendon tears (massive cuff tears and supraspinatus tear and without tears (tendinopathy (p = 0.012. The range of the superior-inferior translation was higher in the massive cuff tears group (6.4mm than in normals (3.4mm (p = 0.02. The range of the anterior-posterior translation was higher in the massive cuff tears (9.2 mm and supraspinatus tear (9.3 mm shoulders compared to normals (3.5mm and tendinopathy (4.8mm shoulders (p = 0.05.The Dynamic MRI enabled a novel measure; 'Looseness', i.e. the translation of the humeral head on the glenoid during an abduction cycle. Looseness was better able at differentiating different forms of rotator cuff disease than a simple static measure of relative glenohumeral position.

  5. Understanding and Mastering Dynamics in Computing Grids Processing Moldable Tasks with User-Level Overlay

    CERN Document Server

    Moscicki, Jakub Tomasz

    Scientic communities are using a growing number of distributed systems, from lo- cal batch systems, community-specic services and supercomputers to general-purpose, global grid infrastructures. Increasing the research capabilities for science is the raison d'^etre of such infrastructures which provide access to diversied computational, storage and data resources at large scales. Grids are rather chaotic, highly heterogeneous, de- centralized systems where unpredictable workloads, component failures and variability of execution environments are commonplace. Understanding and mastering the hetero- geneity and dynamics of such distributed systems is prohibitive for end users if they are not supported by appropriate methods and tools. The time cost to learn and use the interfaces and idiosyncrasies of dierent distributed environments is another challenge. Obtaining more reliable application execution times and boosting parallel speedup are important to increase the research capabilities of scientic communities. L...


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bangsø Nielsen, Henrik

    environmental changes differ widely between the different groups. As a consequence of this, an unrestrained reactor operation can lead to disturbances in the balance between the different microbial groups, which might lead to reactor failure. Therefore, reliable parameters and tools for efficient process...... control and understanding are necessary. The work of present study was directed towards this challenge. Initially, the response of the anaerobic digestion process to various types of process imbalances was investigated with special focus on volatile fatty acid dynamics (VFA), methane production and pH...... of process imbalances in biogas plants. At Danish full-scale biogas plants the biogas production is normally the only continuously measured parameter. In order to examine the usability of propionate as control parameter a reactor experiment was constructed in which the reactor operation either was carried...

  7. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying postural instability in Parkinson's disease using dynamic posturography. (United States)

    Nonnekes, Jorik; de Kam, Digna; Geurts, Alexander C H; Weerdesteyn, Vivian; Bloem, Bastiaan R


    Postural instability, one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), has devastating consequences for affected patients. Better strategies to prevent falls are needed, but this calls for an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying postural instability. We must also improve our ability to timely identify patients at risk of falling. Dynamic posturography is a promising avenue to achieve these goals. The latest moveable platforms can deliver 'real-life' balance perturbations, permitting study of everyday fall circumstances. Dynamic posturography studies have shown that PD patients have fundamental problems in scaling their postural responses in accordance with the need of the actual balance task at hand. On-going studies evaluate the predictive ability of impaired posturography performance for daily life falls. We also review recent work aimed at exploring balance correcting steps in PD, and the presumed interaction between startle pathways and postural responses.

  8. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions. (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L


    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Understanding Action and Adventure Sports Participation-An Ecological Dynamics Perspective. (United States)

    Immonen, Tuomas; Brymer, Eric; Orth, Dominic; Davids, Keith; Feletti, Francesco; Liukkonen, Jarmo; Jaakkola, Timo


    Previous research has considered action and adventure sports using a variety of associated terms and definitions which has led to confusing discourse and contradictory research findings. Traditional narratives have typically considered participation exclusively as the pastime of young people with abnormal characteristics or personalities having unhealthy and pathological tendencies to take risks because of the need for thrill, excitement or an adrenaline 'rush'. Conversely, recent research has linked even the most extreme forms of action and adventure sports to positive physical and psychological health and well-being outcomes. Here, we argue that traditional frameworks have led to definitions, which, as currently used by researchers, ignore key elements constituting the essential merit of these sports. In this paper, we suggest that this lack of conceptual clarity in understanding cognitions, perception and action in action and adventure sports requires a comprehensive explanatory framework, ecological dynamics which considers person-environment interactions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Action and adventure sports can be fundamentally conceptualized as activities which flourish through creative exploration of novel movement experiences, continuously expanding and evolving beyond predetermined environmental, physical, psychological or sociocultural boundaries. The outcome is the emergence of a rich variety of participation styles and philosophical differences within and across activities. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (a) to point out some limitations of existing research on action and adventure sports; (b) based on key ideas from emerging research and an ecological dynamics approach, to propose a holistic multidisciplinary model for defining and understanding action and adventure sports that may better guide future research and practical implications.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei, Xing, E-mail: [Institute of Natural Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China); Princeton University Observatory, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)


    To understand magnetic effects on dynamical tides, we study the rotating magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flow driven by harmonic forcing. The linear responses are analytically derived in a periodic box under the local WKB approximation. Both the kinetic and Ohmic dissipations at the resonant frequencies are calculated, and the various parameters are investigated. Although magnetic pressure may be negligible compared to thermal pressure, the magnetic field can be important for the first-order perturbation, e.g., dynamical tides. It is found that the magnetic field splits the resonant frequency, namely the rotating hydrodynamic flow has only one resonant frequency, but the rotating MHD flow has two, one positive and the other negative. In the weak field regime the dissipations are asymmetric around the two resonant frequencies and this asymmetry is more striking with a weaker magnetic field. It is also found that both the kinetic and Ohmic dissipations at the resonant frequencies are inversely proportional to the Ekman number and the square of the wavenumber. The dissipation at the resonant frequency on small scales is almost equal to the dissipation at the non-resonant frequencies, namely the resonance takes its effect on the dissipation at intermediate length scales. Moreover, the waves with phase propagation that is perpendicular to the magnetic field are much more damped. It is also interesting to find that the frequency-averaged dissipation is constant. This result suggests that in compact objects, magnetic effects on tidal dissipation should be considered.

  11. Application of network methods for understanding evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats. (United States)

    Greenbaum, Gili; Fefferman, Nina H


    In populations occupying discrete habitat patches, gene flow between habitat patches may form an intricate population structure. In such structures, the evolutionary dynamics resulting from interaction of gene-flow patterns with other evolutionary forces may be exceedingly complex. Several models describing gene flow between discrete habitat patches have been presented in the population-genetics literature; however, these models have usually addressed relatively simple settings of habitable patches and have stopped short of providing general methodologies for addressing nontrivial gene-flow patterns. In the last decades, network theory - a branch of discrete mathematics concerned with complex interactions between discrete elements - has been applied to address several problems in population genetics by modelling gene flow between habitat patches using networks. Here, we present the idea and concepts of modelling complex gene flows in discrete habitats using networks. Our goal is to raise awareness to existing network theory applications in molecular ecology studies, as well as to outline the current and potential contribution of network methods to the understanding of evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats. We review the main branches of network theory that have been, or that we believe potentially could be, applied to population genetics and molecular ecology research. We address applications to theoretical modelling and to empirical population-genetic studies, and we highlight future directions for extending the integration of network science with molecular ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Understanding the Dynamics of Socio-Hydrological Environment: a Conceptual Framework (United States)

    Woyessa, Y.; Welderufael, W.; Edossa, D.


    Human actions affect ecological systems and the services they provide through various activities, such as land use, water use, pollution and climate change. Climate change is perhaps one of the most important sustainable development challenges that threaten to undo many of the development efforts being made to reach the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals. Understanding the change of ecosystems under different scenarios of climate and biophysical conditions could assist in bringing the issue of ecosystem services into decision making process. Similarly, the impacts of land use change on ecosystems and biodiversity have received considerable attention from ecologists and hydrologists alike. Land use change in a catchment can impact on water supply by altering hydrological processes, such as infiltration, groundwater recharge, base flow and direct runoff. In the past a variety of models were used for predicting land-use changes. Recently the focus has shifted away from using mathematically oriented models to agent-based modelling (ABM) approach to simulate land use scenarios. A conceptual framework is being developed which integrates climate change scenarios and the human dimension of land use decision into a hydrological model in order to assess its impacts on the socio-hydrological dynamics of a river basin. The following figures present the framework for the analysis and modelling of the socio-hydrological dynamics. Keywords: climate change, land use, river basin

  13. Switching among graphic patterns is governed by oscillatory coordination dynamics: Implications for understanding handwriting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pier-Giorgio eZanone


    Full Text Available Revisiting an original idea by Hollerbach (1981, previous work has established that the production of graphic shapes, assumed to be the blueprint for handwriting, is governed by the dynamics of orthogonal non-linear coupled oscillators. Such dynamics determines few stable coordination patterns, giving rise to a limited set of preferred graphic shapes, namely, four lines and four ellipsoids independent of orientation. The present study investigates the rules of switching among such graphic coordination patterns. Seven participants were required to voluntarily switch within twelve pairs of shapes presented on a graphic tablet. In line with previous theoretical and experimental work on bimanual coordination, results corroborated our hypothesis that the relative stability of the produced coordination patterns determines the time needed for switching: the transition to a more stable pattern was shorter, and inversely. Moreover, switching between patterns with the same orientation but different eccentricities was faster than with a change in orientation. Nonetheless, the switching time covaried strictly with the change in relative phase effected by the transition between two shapes, whether this implied a change in eccentricity or in orientation. These findings suggest a new operational definition of what the (motor units or strokes of handwriting are and shed a novel light on how co-articulation and recruitment of degrees of freedom may occur in graphic skills. They also yield some leads for understanding the acquisition and the neural underpinnings of handwriting.

  14. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics (United States)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.


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

  15. Understanding Epistatic Interactions between Genes Targeted by Non-coding Regulatory Elements in Complex Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Kyung Sung


    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies have proven the highly polygenic architecture of complex diseases or traits; therefore, single-locus-based methods are usually unable to detect all involved loci, especially when individual loci exert small effects. Moreover, the majority of associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms resides in non-coding regions, making it difficult to understand their phenotypic contribution. In this work, we studied epistatic interactions associated with three common diseases using Korea Association Resource (KARE data: type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM, hypertension (HT, and coronary artery disease (CAD. We showed that epistatic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were enriched in enhancers, as well as in DNase I footprints (the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements [ENCODE] Project Consortium 2012, which suggested that the disruption of the regulatory regions where transcription factors bind may be involved in the disease mechanism. Accordingly, to identify the genes affected by the SNPs, we employed whole-genome multiple-cell-type enhancer data which discovered using DNase I profiles and Cap Analysis Gene Expression (CAGE. Assigned genes were significantly enriched in known disease associated gene sets, which were explored based on the literature, suggesting that this approach is useful for detecting relevant affected genes. In our knowledge-based epistatic network, the three diseases share many associated genes and are also closely related with each other through many epistatic interactions. These findings elucidate the genetic basis of the close relationship between DM, HT, and CAD.

  16. Statistics Based Models for the Dynamics of Chernivtsi Children Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor G. Nesteruk


    Full Text Available Background. Simple mathematical models of contamination and SIR-model of spreading an infection were used to simulate the time dynamics of the unknown before children disease, which occurred in Chernivtsi (Ukraine. The cause of many cases of alopecia, which began in this city in August 1988 is still not fully clarified. According to the official report of the governmental commission, the last new cases occurred in the middle of November 1988, and the reason of the illness was reported as chemical exogenous intoxication. Later this illness became the name “Chernivtsi chemical disease”. Nevertheless, the significantly increased number of new cases of the local alopecia was registered almost three years and is still not clarified. Objective. The comparison of two different versions of the disease: chemical exogenous intoxication and infection. Identification of the parameters of mathematical models and prediction of the disease development. Methods. Analytical solutions of the contamination models and SIR-model for an epidemic are obtained. The optimal values of parameters with the use of linear regression were found. Results. The optimal values of the models parameters with the use of statistical approach were identified. The calculations showed that the infectious version of the disease is more reliable in comparison with the popular contamination one. The possible date of the epidemic beginning was estimated. Conclusions. The optimal parameters of SIR-model allow calculating the realistic number of victims and other characteristics of possible epidemic. They also show that increased number of cases of local alopecia could be a part of the same epidemic as “Chernivtsi chemical disease”.

  17. Understanding disease processes in multiple sclerosis through magnetic resonance imaging studies in animal models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nabeela Nathoo


    Full Text Available There are exciting new advances in multiple sclerosis (MS resulting in a growing understanding of both the complexity of the disorder and the relative involvement of grey matter, white matter and inflammation. Increasing need for preclinical imaging is anticipated, as animal models provide insights into the pathophysiology of the disease. Magnetic resonance (MR is the key imaging tool used to diagnose and to monitor disease progression in MS, and thus will be a cornerstone for future research. Although gadolinium-enhancing and T2 lesions on MRI have been useful for detecting MS pathology, they are not correlative of disability. Therefore, new MRI methods are needed. Such methods require validation in animal models. The increasing necessity for MRI of animal models makes it critical and timely to understand what research has been conducted in this area and what potential there is for use of MRI in preclinical models of MS. Here, we provide a review of MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS studies that have been carried out in animal models of MS that focus on pathology. We compare the MRI phenotypes of animals and patients and provide advice on how best to use animal MR studies to increase our understanding of the linkages between MR and pathology in patients. This review describes how MRI studies of animal models have been, and will continue to be, used in the ongoing effort to understand MS.

  18. DNA methylation dynamics in muscle development and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira eCarrio


    Full Text Available DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification for mammalian development and is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of cellular identity. Traditionally, DNA methylation has been considered as a permanent repressive epigenetic mark. However, the application of genome-wide approaches has allowed the analysis of DNA methylation in different genomic contexts revealing a more dynamic regulation than originally thought, since active DNA methylation and demethylation occur during cellular differentiation and tissue specification. Satellite cells are the primary stem cells in adult skeletal muscle and are responsible for postnatal muscle growth, hypertrophy, and muscle regeneration. This review outlines the published data regarding DNA methylation changes along the skeletal muscle program, in both physiological and pathological conditions, to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms that control myogenesis

  19. Understanding health decisions using critical realism: home-dialysis decision-making during chronic kidney disease. (United States)

    Harwood, Lori; Clark, Alexander M


    Understanding health decisions using critical realism: home-dialysis decision-making during chronic kidney disease This paper examines home-dialysis decision making in people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) from the perspective of critical realism. CKD programmes focus on patient education for self-management to delay the progression of kidney disease and the preparation and support for renal replacement therapy e.g.) dialysis and transplantation. Home-dialysis has clear health, societal and economic benefits yet service usage is low despite efforts to realign resources and educate individuals. Current research on the determinants of modality selection is superficial and insufficient to capture the complexities embedded in the process of dialysis modality selection. Predictors of home-dialysis selection and the effect of chronic kidney disease educational programmes provide a limited explanation of this experience. A re-conceptualization of the problem is required in order to fully understand this process. The epistemology and ontology of critical realism guides our knowledge and methodology particularly suited for examination of these complexities. This approach examines the deeper mechanisms and wider determinants associated with modality decision making, specifically who chooses home dialysis and under what circumstances. Until more is known regarding dialysis modality decision making service usage of home dialysis will remain low as interventions will be based on inadequate epistemology. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Chronic disease and climate change: understanding co-benefits and their policy implications. (United States)

    Capon, Anthony G; Rissel, Chris E


    Chronic disease and climate change are major public policy challenges facing governments around the world. An improved understanding of the relationship between chronic disease and climate change should enable improved policy formulation to support both human health and the health of the planet. Chronic disease and climate change are both unintended consequences of our way of life, and are attributable in part to the ready availability of inexpensive fossil fuel energy. There are co-benefits for health from actions to address climate change. For example, substituting physical activity and a vegetable-rich diet for motor vehicle transport and a meat-rich diet is both good for health and good for the planet. We should encourage ways of living that use less carbon as these can be healthy ways of living, for both individuals and society. Quantitative modelling of co-benefits should inform policy responses.

  1. An approach to understand incomplete fusion dynamics from recoil range distribution measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tali, Suhail A.; Kumar, Harish; Afzal Ansari, M.


    Britt and Quinton initially pointed out the incomplete fusion (ICF) signatures in the break-up of projectiles like 12 C, 14 N, and 16 O into α-clusters at ≈10 MeV/nucleon energies. Additional information was provided by Inamura et al. by performing the particle gamma coincidence experiment which significantly contributed in the understanding of ICF study. The interest to understand the ICF reaction dynamics for low Z projectiles (Z≤10) at energies ≈ 4-7MeV/nucleon has recently become an active area of research because of lack of any appropriate theoretical aspect, which may reproduce the experimental ICF data. At projectile energies above the Coulomb barrier, CF and ICF are dominant and competing reaction modes. For the imparted angular momentum ℓ < ℓ crit , the attractive nuclear potential is dominant, which may lead to the complete amalgamation of projectile with the target nucleus. However, for angular momentum ℓ> L crit , the projectile breaks into two parts one of them may fuse with the target nucleus, while the remainder moves as a spectator in forward direction with nearly the same velocity as that of incident projectile. The less excited composite system thus formed carries lower Forward Linear Momentum Transfer (FLMT) due to partial mass transferring from projectiles to the target nucleus compared to the compound nucleus formed via CF process

  2. General description and understanding of the nonlinear dynamics of mode-locked fiber lasers. (United States)

    Wei, Huai; Li, Bin; Shi, Wei; Zhu, Xiushan; Norwood, Robert A; Peyghambarian, Nasser; Jian, Shuisheng


    As a type of nonlinear system with complexity, mode-locked fiber lasers are known for their complex behaviour. It is a challenging task to understand the fundamental physics behind such complex behaviour, and a unified description for the nonlinear behaviour and the systematic and quantitative analysis of the underlying mechanisms of these lasers have not been developed. Here, we present a complexity science-based theoretical framework for understanding the behaviour of mode-locked fiber lasers by going beyond reductionism. This hierarchically structured framework provides a model with variable dimensionality, resulting in a simple view that can be used to systematically describe complex states. Moreover, research into the attractors' basins reveals the origin of stochasticity, hysteresis and multistability in these systems and presents a new method for quantitative analysis of these nonlinear phenomena. These findings pave the way for dynamics analysis and system designs of mode-locked fiber lasers. We expect that this paradigm will also enable potential applications in diverse research fields related to complex nonlinear phenomena.

  3. Understanding Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics from 1976 to 2014 in Yellow River Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baolei Zhang


    Full Text Available Long-term intensive land use/cover changes (LUCCs of the Yellow River Delta (YRD have been happening since the 1960s. The land use patterns of the LUCCs are crucial for bio-diversity conservation and/or sustainable development. This study quantified patterns of the LUCCs, explored the systematic transitions, and identified wetland change trajectory for the period 1976–2014 in the YRD. Landsat imageries of 1976, 1984, 1995, 2006, and 2014 were used to derive nine land use classes. Post classification change detection analysis based on enhanced transition matrix was applied to identify land use dynamics and trajectory of wetland change. The five cartographic outputs for changes in land use underlined major decreases in natural wetland areas and increases in artificial wetland and non-wetland, especially aquafarms, salt pans and construction lands. The systematic transitions in the YRD were wetland degradation, wetland artificialization, and urbanization. Wetland change trajectory results demonstrated that the main wetland changes were wetland degradation and wetland artificialization. Coastline change is the subordinate reason for natural wetland degradation in comparison with human activities. The results of this study allowed for an improvement in the understanding of the LUCC processes and enabled researchers and planners to focus on the most important signals of systematic landscape transitions while also allowing for a better understanding of the proximate causes of changes.

  4. Behaviour as a Lever of Ecological Transition? Understanding and Acting on Individual Behaviour and Collective Dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Solange; Gaspard, Albane


    Beyond broad policy declarations, the implementation of ecological transition - which consists mainly in curbing consumption of energy and raw materials in our societies - requires substantial behavioural change at the collective, but also, quite obviously, the individual level. Yet, though there is general consensus around the principle of embarking on the path to transition, things get more complicated when it comes to changing our practices and habits. Can we act on individual behaviour and collective dynamics in respect of this particular aim of ecological transition, and, if so, how are we to go about it? Solange Martin and Albane Gaspard have examined this question for the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and offer us the fruit of their labours here. They show, for example, how the social and human sciences help to understand behaviour both at the individual level and in its collective dimensions, and they outline different possible lines of action to modify it. But, given the entanglement between various levels, it is essential, if we are to act effectively on behaviour, to combine approaches, tools and actors, and to analyse and understand social practices thoroughly before implementing political projects or measures

  5. Understanding Lithium Solvation and Diffusion through Topological Analysis of First-Principles Molecular Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhatia, Harsh [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Gyulassy, Attila [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Ong, Mitchell [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Lordi, Vincenzo [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Draeger, Erik [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Pask, John [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Pascucci, Valerio [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Bremer, Peer -Timo [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)


    The performance of lithium-ion batteries is strongly influenced by the ionic conductivity of the electrolyte, which depends on the speed at which Li ions migrate across the cell and relates to their solvation structure. The choice of solvent can greatly impact, both, the solvation and diffusivity of Li ions. In this work, we present our application of the topological techniques to extract and predict such behavior in the data generated by the first-principles molecular dynamics simulation of Li ions in an important organic solvent -ethylene carbonate. More specifically, we use the scalar topology of the electron charge density field to analyze the evolution of the solvation structures. This allows us to derive a parameter-free bond definition for lithium-oxygen bonds, to provide a quantitative measure for bond strength, and to understand the regions of influence of each atom in the simulation. This has provided new insights into how and under what conditions certain bonds may form and break. As a result, we can identify and, more importantly, predict, unstable configurations in solvation structures. This can be very useful in understanding when small changes to the atoms' movements can cause significantly different bond structures to evolve. Ultimately, this promises to allow scientists to explore lithium ion solvation and diffusion more systematically, with the aim of new insights and potentially accelerating the calculations themselves.

  6. A System Dynamics Model for Planning Cardiovascular Disease Interventions (United States)

    Homer, Jack; Evans, Elizabeth; Zielinski, Ann


    Planning programs for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a challenge to every community that wants to make the best use of its limited resources. Selecting programs that provide the greatest impact is difficult because of the complex set of causal pathways and delays that link risk factors to CVD. We describe a system dynamics simulation model developed for a county health department that incorporates and tracks the effects of those risk factors over time on both first-time and recurrent events. We also describe how the model was used to evaluate the potential impacts of various intervention strategies for reducing the county's CVD burden and present the results of those policy tests. PMID:20167899

  7. Dynamic generalized linear models for monitoring endemic diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopes Antunes, Ana Carolina; Jensen, Dan; Hisham Beshara Halasa, Tariq


    The objective was to use a Dynamic Generalized Linear Model (DGLM) based on abinomial distribution with a linear trend, for monitoring the PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome sero-prevalence in Danish swine herds. The DGLM was described and its performance for monitoring control...... and eradication programmes based on changes in PRRS sero-prevalence was explored. Results showed a declining trend in PRRS sero-prevalence between 2007 and 2014 suggesting that Danish herds are slowly eradicating PRRS. The simulation study demonstrated the flexibility of DGLMs in adapting to changes intrends...... in sero-prevalence. Based on this, it was possible to detect variations in the growth model component. This study is a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the use of DGLMs for monitoring endemic diseases. In addition, the principles stated might be useful in general research on monitoring and surveillance...

  8. Dynamics of the aorta and its sidebranches : implications for endovascular treatment of aortic disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muhs, B.E.


    The main objective of this thesis is to critically evaluate the clinical results of emerging aortic endovascular therapies and then to utilize dynamic imaging modalities [EKG gated dynamic computerized tomographic angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)] to understand the

  9. Molecular dynamics as a method to gain understanding in questions concerning montmorillonite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seppaelae, A.; Vaari, J.; Puhakka, E.; Tanhua-Tyrkkoe, M.; Olin, M.; Kasa, S.


    Document available in extended abstract form only. Bentonite is one of the main material components to be used in the KBS-3 concept for safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The functional material in bentonite giving its beneficial properties is montmorillonite mineral. Montmorillonite consists of two completely different components: one nano-metre thick and approximately 200-400 nano-metres wide mineral layers carrying constant charge and charge compensating cations very near the mineral surfaces. The first component is more of a passive component while the second can absorb water molecules and change the cationic composition. In addition to montmorillonite bentonite usually contains some salts dissolved into water and accessory minerals. Any bulk bentonite is formed from these components via many scales of which structure is not yet fully known to science. Therefore the beneficial macroscopic properties of bentonite are assumed to follow from the nano-level structure and reactions. In safety studies of spent fuel disposal the time span to be considered extends beyond a hundred thousand years making any straightforward experimenting impossible. However, by modelling it is possible to study even very long periods of time. Unfortunately the model data and reactions are at least implicitly based on our short term experiments and may therefore be biased in some way. One possible solution to this may be the application of molecular chemistry or dynamics to construct the basis for our modelling studies. We have applied molecular chemistry on surface properties of kaolinite clay and biotite mineral but molecular dynamics is a new type of modelling for us. We believe that (during the coming ten years) molecular dynamics could make it easier to understand for example the following topics: How do charge compensating (exchanged) and aqueous cations interact? Why does water expand montmorillonite during wetting? Exact mechanism? How does water leave montmorillonite during

  10. Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding. (United States)

    Rippe, James M; Angelopoulos, Theodore J


    Added sugars are a controversial and hotly debated topic. Consumption of added sugars has been implicated in increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers. Support for these putative associations has been challenged, however, on a variety of fronts. The purpose of the current review is to summarize high impact evidence including systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs), in an attempt to provide an overview of current evidence related to added sugars and health considerations. This paper is an extension of a symposium held at the Experimental Biology 2015 conference entitled "Sweeteners and Health: Current Understandings, Controversies, Recent Research Findings and Directions for Future Research". We conclude based on high quality evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCT), systematic reviews and meta-analyses of cohort studies that singling out added sugars as unique culprits for metabolically based diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease appears inconsistent with modern, high quality evidence and is very unlikely to yield health benefits. While it is prudent to consume added sugars in moderation, the reduction of these components of the diet without other reductions of caloric sources seems unlikely to achieve any meaningful benefit.

  11. Population dynamics of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lyme disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Christoph Binder


    Full Text Available Many chronic inflammatory diseases are known to be caused by persistent bacterial or viral infections. A well-studied example is the tick-borne infection by the gram-negative Spirochaetes of the genus Borrelia in humans and other mammals, causing severe symptoms of chronic inflammation and subsequent tissue damage (Lyme Disease, particularly in large joints and the central nervous system, but also in the heart and other tissues of untreated patients. Although killed efficiently by human phagocytic cells in vitro, Borrelia exhibits a remarkably high infectivity in mice and men. In experimentally infected mice, the first immune response almost clears the infection. However, approximately one week post infection, the bacterial population recovers and reaches an even larger size before entering the chronic phase. We developed a mathematical model describing the bacterial growth and the immune response against Borrelia burgdorferi in the C3H mouse strain that has been established as an experimental model for Lyme disease. The peculiar dynamics of the infection exclude two possible mechanistic explanations for the regrowth of the almost cleared bacteria. Neither the hypothesis of bacterial dissemination to different tissue nor a limitation of phagocytic capacity were compatible with experiment. The mathematical model predicts that Borrelia recovers from the strong initial immune response by the regrowth of an immune-resistant sub-population of the bacteria. The chronic phase appears as an equilibration of bacterial growth and adaptive immunity. This result has major implications for the development of the chronic phase of Borrelia infections as well as on potential protective clinical interventions.

  12. Teenagers' understandings of and attitudes towards vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases: a qualitative study. (United States)

    Hilton, S; Patterson, C; Smith, E; Bedford, H; Hunt, K


    To examine immunisation information needs of teenagers we explored understandings of vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases, attitudes towards immunisation and experiences of immunisation. Diseases discussed included nine for which vaccines are currently offered in the UK (human papillomavirus, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella), and two not currently included in the routine UK schedule (hepatitis B and chickenpox). Twelve focus groups conducted between November 2010 and March 2011 with 59 teenagers (29 girls and 30 boys) living in various parts of Scotland. Teenagers exhibited limited knowledge and experience of the diseases, excluding chickenpox. Measles, mumps and rubella were perceived as severe forms of chickenpox-like illness, and rubella was not associated with foetal damage. Boys commonly believed that human papillomavirus only affects girls, and both genders exhibited confusion about its relationship with cancer. Participants considered two key factors when assessing the threat of diseases: their prevalence in the UK, and their potential to cause fatal or long-term harm. Meningitis was seen as a threat, but primarily to babies. Participants explained their limited knowledge as a result of mass immunisation making once-common diseases rare in the UK, and acknowledged immunisation's role in reducing disease prevalence. While it is welcome that fewer teenagers have experienced vaccine-preventable diseases, this presents public health advocates with the challenge of communicating benefits of immunisation when advantages are less visible. The findings are timely in view of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's recommendation that a booster of meningitis C vaccine should be offered to teenagers; that teenagers did not perceive meningitis C as a significant threat should be a key concern of promotional information. While teenagers' experiences of immunisation in school were not always positive

  13. Teenagers’ understandings of and attitudes towards vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases: A qualitative study☆ (United States)

    Hilton, S.; Patterson, C.; Smith, E.; Bedford, H.; Hunt, K.


    Background To examine immunisation information needs of teenagers we explored understandings of vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases, attitudes towards immunisation and experiences of immunisation. Diseases discussed included nine for which vaccines are currently offered in the UK (human papillomavirus, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella), and two not currently included in the routine UK schedule (hepatitis B and chickenpox). Methods Twelve focus groups conducted between November 2010 and March 2011 with 59 teenagers (29 girls and 30 boys) living in various parts of Scotland. Results Teenagers exhibited limited knowledge and experience of the diseases, excluding chickenpox. Measles, mumps and rubella were perceived as severe forms of chickenpox-like illness, and rubella was not associated with foetal damage. Boys commonly believed that human papillomavirus only affects girls, and both genders exhibited confusion about its relationship with cancer. Participants considered two key factors when assessing the threat of diseases: their prevalence in the UK, and their potential to cause fatal or long-term harm. Meningitis was seen as a threat, but primarily to babies. Participants explained their limited knowledge as a result of mass immunisation making once-common diseases rare in the UK, and acknowledged immunisation's role in reducing disease prevalence. Conclusions While it is welcome that fewer teenagers have experienced vaccine-preventable diseases, this presents public health advocates with the challenge of communicating benefits of immunisation when advantages are less visible. The findings are timely in view of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's recommendation that a booster of meningitis C vaccine should be offered to teenagers; that teenagers did not perceive meningitis C as a significant threat should be a key concern of promotional information. While teenagers’ experiences of

  14. Understanding cell cycle and cell death regulation provides novel weapons against human diseases. (United States)

    Wiman, K G; Zhivotovsky, B


    Cell division, cell differentiation and cell death are the three principal physiological processes that regulate tissue homoeostasis in multicellular organisms. The growth and survival of cells as well as the integrity of the genome are regulated by a complex network of pathways, in which cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair and programmed cell death have critical roles. Disruption of genomic integrity and impaired regulation of cell death may both lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Compromised cell death can also favour genomic instability. It is becoming increasingly clear that dysregulation of cell cycle and cell death processes plays an important role in the development of major disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. Research achievements in these fields have led to the development of novel approaches for treatment of various conditions associated with abnormalities in the regulation of cell cycle progression or cell death. A better understanding of how cellular life-and-death processes are regulated is essential for this development. To highlight these important advances, the Third Nobel Conference entitled 'The Cell Cycle and Cell Death in Disease' was organized at Karolinska Institutet in 2016. In this review we will summarize current understanding of cell cycle progression and cell death and discuss some of the recent advances in therapeutic applications in pathological conditions such as cancer, neurological disorders and inflammation. © 2017 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

  15. Using Machine Reading to Understand Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases from the Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoshi Tsutsui


    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper aims to better understand a large number of papers in the medical domain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD and related diseases using the machine reading approach. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses the topic modeling method to obtain an overview of the field, and employs open information extraction to further comprehend the field at a specific fact level. Findings: Several topics within the AD research field are identified, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS, which can help answer the question of how AIDS/HIV and AD are very different yet related diseases. Research limitations: Some manual data cleaning could improve the study, such as removing incorrect facts found by open information extraction. Practical implications: This study uses the literature to answer specific questions on a scientific domain, which can help domain experts find interesting and meaningful relations among entities in a similar manner, such as to discover relations between AD and AIDS/HIV. Originality/value: Both the overview and specific information from the literature are obtained using two distinct methods in a complementary manner. This combination is novel because previous work has only focused on one of them, and thus provides a better way to understand an important scientific field using data-driven methods.

  16. Prospects of Understanding the Molecular Biology of Disease Resistance in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Kumar Singh


    Full Text Available Rice is one of the important crops grown worldwide and is considered as an important crop for global food security. Rice is being affected by various fungal, bacterial and viral diseases resulting in huge yield losses every year. Deployment of resistance genes in various crops is one of the important methods of disease management. However, identification, cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes is a very tedious effort. To increase the life span of resistant cultivars, it is important to understand the molecular basis of plant host–pathogen interaction. With the advancement in rice genetics and genomics, several rice varieties resistant to fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens have been developed. However, resistance response of these varieties break down very frequently because of the emergence of more virulent races of the pathogen in nature. To increase the durability of resistance genes under field conditions, understanding the mechanismof resistance response and its molecular basis should be well understood. Some emerging concepts like interspecies transfer of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and transgenerational plant immunitycan be employed to develop sustainable broad spectrum resistant varieties of rice.

  17. Repetitive elements dynamics in cell identity programming, maintenance and disease

    KAUST Repository

    Bodega, Beatrice


    The days of \\'junk DNA\\' seem to be over. The rapid progress of genomics technologies has been unveiling unexpected mechanisms by which repetitive DNA and in particular transposable elements (TEs) have evolved, becoming key issues in understanding genome structure and function. Indeed, rather than \\'parasites\\', recent findings strongly suggest that TEs may have a positive function by contributing to tissue specific transcriptional programs, in particular as enhancer-like elements and/or modules for regulation of higher order chromatin structure. Further, it appears that during development and aging genomes experience several waves of TEs activation, and this contributes to individual genome shaping during lifetime. Interestingly, TEs activity is major target of epigenomic regulation. These findings are shedding new light on the genome-phenotype relationship and set the premises to help to explain complex disease manifestation, as consequence of TEs activity deregulation.

  18. A singing choir: Understanding the dynamics of hope, hopelessness, and despair in palliative care patients. A longitudinal qualitative study. (United States)

    Olsman, Erik; Leget, Carlo; Duggleby, Wendy; Willems, Dick


    Hope, despair, and hopelessness are dynamic in nature; however, they have not been explored over time. The objective of the present study was to describe hope, hopelessness, and despair over time, as experienced by palliative care patients. We employed a qualitative longitudinal method based on narrative theories. Semistructured interviews with palliative care patients were prospectively conducted, recorded, and transcribed. Data on hope, hopelessness and despair were thematically analyzed, which led to similarities and differences between these concepts. The concepts were then analyzed over time in each case. During all stages, the researchers took a reflexive stance, wrote memos, and did member checking with participants. A total of 29 palliative care patients (mean age, 65.9 years; standard deviation, 14.7; 14 females) were included, 11 of whom suffered from incurable cancer, 10 from severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 8 from severe heart failure. They were interviewed a maximum of three times. Participants associated hope with gains in the past or future, such as physical improvement or spending time with significant others. They associated hopelessness with past losses, like loss of health, income, or significant others, and despair with future losses, which included the possibility of losing the future itself. Over time, the nature of their hope, hopelessness, and despair changed when their condition changed. These dynamics could be understood as voices in a singing choir that can sing together, alternate with each other, or sing their own melody. Our findings offer insight into hope, hopelessness, and despair over time, and the metaphor of a choir helps to understand the coexistence of these concepts. The findings also help healthcare professionals to address hope, hopelessness, and despair during encounters with patients, which is particularly important when the patients' physical condition has changed.

  19. Understanding the physical dynamics and ecological interactions in tidal stream energy environments (United States)

    Fraser, Shaun; Williamson, Benjamin J.; Nikora, Vladimir; Scott, Beth E.


    Tidal stream energy devices are intended to operate in energetic physical environments characterised by high flows and extreme turbulence. These environments are often of ecological importance to a range of marine species. Understanding the physical dynamics and ecological interactions at fine scales in such sites is essential for device/array design and to understand environmental impacts. However, investigating fine scale characteristics requires high resolution field measurements which are difficult to attain and interpret, with data often confounded by interference related to turbulence. Consequently, field observations in tidal stream energy environments are limited and require the development of specialised analysis methods and so significant knowledge gaps are still present. The seabed mounted FLOWBEC platform is addressing these knowledge gaps using upward facing instruments to collect information from around marine energy infrastructure. Multifrequency and multibeam echosounder data provide detailed information on the distribution and interactions of biological targets, such as fish and diving seabirds, while simultaneously recording the scales and intensity of turbulence. Novel processing methodologies and instrument integration techniques have been developed which combine different data types and successfully separates signal from noise to reveal new evidence about the behaviour of mobile species and the structure of turbulence at all speeds of the tide and throughout the water column. Multiple platform deployments in the presence and absence of marine energy infrastructure reveal the natural characteristics of high energy sites, and enable the interpretation of the physical and biological impacts of tidal stream devices. These methods and results are relevant to the design and consenting of marine renewable energy technologies, and provide novel information on the use of turbulence for foraging opportunities in high energy sites by mobile species.

  20. Clinical Validity, Understandability, and Actionability of Online Cardiovascular Disease Risk Calculators: Systematic Review. (United States)

    Bonner, Carissa; Fajardo, Michael Anthony; Hui, Samuel; Stubbs, Renee; Trevena, Lyndal


    Online health information is particularly important for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, where lifestyle changes are recommended until risk becomes high enough to warrant pharmacological intervention. Online information is abundant, but the quality is often poor and many people do not have adequate health literacy to access, understand, and use it effectively. This project aimed to review and evaluate the suitability of online CVD risk calculators for use by low health literate consumers in terms of clinical validity, understandability, and actionability. This systematic review of public websites from August to November 2016 used evaluation of clinical validity based on a high-risk patient profile and assessment of understandability and actionability using Patient Education Material Evaluation Tool for Print Materials. A total of 67 unique webpages and 73 unique CVD risk calculators were identified. The same high-risk patient profile produced widely variable CVD risk estimates, ranging from as little as 3% to as high as a 43% risk of a CVD event over the next 10 years. One-quarter (25%) of risk calculators did not specify what model these estimates were based on. The most common clinical model was Framingham (44%), and most calculators (77%) provided a 10-year CVD risk estimate. The calculators scored moderately on understandability (mean score 64%) and poorly on actionability (mean score 19%). The absolute percentage risk was stated in most (but not all) calculators (79%), and only 18% included graphical formats consistent with recommended risk communication guidelines. There is a plethora of online CVD risk calculators available, but they are not readily understandable and their actionability is poor. Entering the same clinical information produces widely varying results with little explanation. Developers need to address actionability as well as clinical validity and understandability to improve usefulness to consumers with low health literacy.

  1. Women, weight, poverty and menopause: understanding health practices in a context of chronic disease prevention. (United States)

    Audet, Mélisa; Dumas, Alex; Binette, Rachelle; Dionne, Isabelle J


    Socioeconomic inequalities in health persist despite major investments in illness prevention campaigns and universal healthcare systems. In this context, the increased risks of chronic diseases of specific sub-groups of vulnerable populations should be further investigated. The objective of this qualitative study is to examine the interaction between socioeconomic status (SES) and body weight in order to understand underprivileged women's increased vulnerability to chronic diseases after menopause. By drawing specifically on Pierre Bourdieu's sociocultural theory of practice, 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted from May to December of 2013 to investigate the health practices of clinically overweight, postmenopausal women living an underprivileged life in Canada. Findings emphasise that poor life conditions undermine personal investment in preventive health and weight loss, showing the importance for policy makers to bring stronger consideration on upstream determinants of health. © 2017 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness.

  2. Modelling within-host spatiotemporal dynamics of invasive bacterial disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Grant


    Full Text Available Mechanistic determinants of bacterial growth, death, and spread within mammalian hosts cannot be fully resolved studying a single bacterial population. They are also currently poorly understood. Here, we report on the application of sophisticated experimental approaches to map spatiotemporal population dynamics of bacteria during an infection. We analyzed heterogeneous traits of simultaneous infections with tagged Salmonella enterica populations (wild-type isogenic tagged strains [WITS] in wild-type and gene-targeted mice. WITS are phenotypically identical but can be distinguished and enumerated by quantitative PCR, making it possible, using probabilistic models, to estimate bacterial death rate based on the disappearance of strains through time. This multidisciplinary approach allowed us to establish the timing, relative occurrence, and immune control of key infection parameters in a true host-pathogen combination. Our analyses support a model in which shortly after infection, concomitant death and rapid bacterial replication lead to the establishment of independent bacterial subpopulations in different organs, a process controlled by host antimicrobial mechanisms. Later, decreased microbial mortality leads to an exponential increase in the number of bacteria that spread locally, with subsequent mixing of bacteria between organs via bacteraemia and further stochastic selection. This approach provides us with an unprecedented outlook on the pathogenesis of S. enterica infections, illustrating the complex spatial and stochastic effects that drive an infectious disease. The application of the novel method that we present in appropriate and diverse host-pathogen combinations, together with modelling of the data that result, will facilitate a comprehensive view of the spatial and stochastic nature of within-host dynamics.

  3. Quality of life and understanding of disease status among cancer patients of different ethnic origin. (United States)

    Tchen, N; Bedard, P; Yi, Q-L; Klein, M; Cella, D; Eremenco, S; Tannock, I F


    Patients managed in European or North American cancer centres have a variety of ethnic backgrounds and primary languages. To gain insight into the impact of ethnic origin, we have investigated understanding of disease status and quality of life (QoL) for 202 patients. Patients completed questionnaires in their first language (52 English, 50 Chinese, 50 Italian, 50 Spanish or Portuguese), including the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) QoL instrument, questions about disease status, expectations of cure and the language and/or type of interpretation used at initial consultation. Physicians also evaluated their status of disease and expectation of cure, and performance status was estimated by a trained health professional. The initial consultation was usually provided in English (except for 32% of Chinese-speaking patients); interpretation was provided by a family member for 34% of patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and by a bilingual member of staff for 21%. Patients underestimated their extent of disease and overestimated their probability of cure (P=0.001 and cultural differences is important for optimal management of patients with cancer.

  4. Understanding of coupled terrestrial carbon, nitrogen and water dynamics-an overview. (United States)

    Chen, Baozhang; Coops, Nicholas C


    Coupled terrestrial carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and hydrological processes play a crucial role in the climate system, providing both positive and negative feedbacks to climate change. In this review we summarize published research results to gain an increased understanding of the dynamics between vegetation and atmosphere processes. A variety of methods, including monitoring (e.g., eddy covariance flux tower, remote sensing, etc.) and modeling (i.e., ecosystem, hydrology and atmospheric inversion modeling) the terrestrial carbon and water budgeting, are evaluated and compared. We highlight two major research areas where additional research could be focused: (i) Conceptually, the hydrological and biogeochemical processes are closely linked, however, the coupling processes between terrestrial C, N and hydrological processes are far from well understood; and (ii) there are significant uncertainties in estimates of the components of the C balance, especially at landscape and regional scales. To address these two questions, a synthetic research framework is needed which includes both bottom-up and top-down approaches integrating scalable (footprint and ecosystem) models and a spatially nested hierarchy of observations which include multispectral remote sensing, inventories, existing regional clusters of eddy-covariance flux towers and CO(2) mixing ratio towers and chambers.

  5. Dynamics of gas-surface interactions atomic-level understanding of scattering processes at surfaces

    CERN Document Server

    Díez Muniño, Ricardo


    This book gives a representative survey of the state of the art of research on gas-surface interactions. It provides an overview of the current understanding of gas surface dynamics and, in particular, of the reactive and non-reactive processes of atoms and small molecules at surfaces. Leading scientists in the field, both from the theoretical and the experimental sides, write in this book about their most recent advances. Surface science grew as an interdisciplinary research area over the last decades, mostly because of new experimental technologies (ultra-high vacuum, for instance), as well as because of a novel paradigm, the ‘surface science’ approach. The book describes the second transformation which is now taking place pushed by the availability of powerful quantum-mechanical theoretical methods implemented numerically. In the book, experiment and theory progress hand in hand with an unprecedented degree of accuracy and control. The book presents how modern surface science targets the atomic-level u...

  6. Understanding Particulate Matter Dynamics in the San Joaquin Valley during DISCOVER-AQ, 2013 (United States)

    Prabhakar, G.; Zhang, X.; Kim, H.; Parworth, C.; Pusede, S. E.; Wooldridge, P. J.; Cohen, R. C.; Zhang, Q.; Cappa, C. D.


    Air quality in the California San Joaquin Valley (SJV) during winter continues to be the worst in the state, failing EPA's 24-hour standard for particulate matter. Despite our improved understanding of the sources of particulate matter (PM) in the valley, air-quality models are unable to predict PM concentrations accurately. We aim to characterize periods of high particulate matter concentrations in the San Joaquin Valley based on ground and airborne measurements of aerosols and gaseous pollutants, during the DISCOVER-AQ campaign, 2013. A highly instrumented aircraft flew across the SJV making three transects in a repeatable pattern, with vertical spirals over select locations. The aircraft measurements were complemented by ground measurements at these locations, with extensive chemically-speciated measurements at a ground "supersite" at Fresno. Hence, the campaign provided a comprehensive three-dimensional view of the particulate and gaseous pollutants around the valley. The vertical profiles over the different sites indicate significant variability in the concentrations and vertical distribution of PM around the valley, which are most likely driven by differences in the combined effects of emissions, chemistry and boundary layer dynamics at each site. The observations suggest that nighttime PM is dominated by surface emissions of PM from residential fuel combustion, while early morning PM is strongly influenced by mixing of low-level, above-surface, nitrate-rich layers formed from dark chemistry overnight to the surface.

  7. Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Mechanical Response of Thaumasite under Temperature and Strain Rate Effects. (United States)

    Hajilar, Shahin; Shafei, Behrouz; Cheng, Tao; Jaramillo-Botero, Andres


    Understanding the structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of thaumasite is of great interest to the cement industry, mainly because it is the phase responsible for the aging and deterioration of civil infrastructures made of cementitious materials attacked by external sources of sulfate. Despite the importance, effects of temperature and strain rate on the mechanical response of thaumasite had remained unexplored prior to the current study, in which the mechanical properties of thaumasite are fully characterized using the reactive molecular dynamics (RMD) method. With employing a first-principles based reactive force field, the RMD simulations enable the description of bond dissociation and formation under realistic conditions. From the stress-strain curves of thaumasite generated in the x, y, and z directions, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain are determined for the three orthogonal directions. During the course of each simulation, the chemical bonds undergoing tensile deformations are monitored to reveal the bonds responsible for the mechanical strength of thaumasite. The temperature increase is found to accelerate the bond breaking rate and consequently the degradation of mechanical properties of thaumasite, while the strain rate only leads to a slight enhancement of them for the ranges considered in this study.

  8. Grand challenges in developing a predictive understanding of global fire dynamics (United States)

    Randerson, J. T.; Chen, Y.; Wiggins, E. B.; Andela, N.; Morton, D. C.; Veraverbeke, S.; van der Werf, G.


    High quality satellite observations of burned area and fire thermal anomalies over the past two decades have transformed our understanding of climate, ecosystem, and human controls on the spatial and temporal distribution of landscape fires. The satellite observations provide evidence for a rapid and widespread loss of fire from grassland and savanna ecosystems worldwide. Continued expansion of industrial agriculture suggests that observed declines in global burned area are likely to continue in future decades, with profound consequences for ecosystem function and the habitat of many endangered species. Satellite time series also highlight the importance of El Niño-Southern Oscillation and other climate modes as drivers of interannual variability. In many regions, lead times between climate indices and fire activity are considerable, enabling the development of early warning prediction systems for fire season severity. With the recent availability of high-resolution observations from Suomi NPP, Landsat 8, and Sentinel 2, the field of global fire ecology is poised to make even more significant breakthroughs over the next decade. With these new observations, it may be possible to reduce uncertainties in the spatial pattern of burned area by several fold. It is difficult to overstate the importance of these new data constraints for improving our understanding of fire impacts on human health and radiative forcing of climate change. A key research challenge in this context is to understand how the loss of global burned area will affect magnitude of the terrestrial carbon sink and trends in atmospheric composition. Advances in prognostic fire modeling will require new approaches linking agriculture with landscape fire dynamics. A critical need in this context is the development of predictive models of road networks and other drivers of land fragmentation, and a closer integration of fragmentation information with algorithms predicting fire spread. Concurrently, a better

  9. Johne's disease in the eyes of Irish cattle farmers: A qualitative narrative research approach to understanding implications for disease management. (United States)

    McAloon, Conor G; Macken-Walsh, Áine; Moran, Lisa; Whyte, Paul; More, Simon J; O'Grady, Luke; Doherty, Michael L


    Bovine Johne's Disease (JD) is a disease characterised by chronic granulomatous enteritis which manifests clinically as a protein-losing enteropathy causing diarrhoea, hypoproteinaemia, emaciation and, eventually death. Some research exists to suggest that the aetiologic pathogen Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis may pose a zoonotic risk. Nationally coordinated control programmes have been introduced in many of the major milk producing countries across the world. However, JD is challenging to control in infected herds owing to limitations of diagnostic tests and the long incubation period of the disease. Internationally, research increasingly recognises that improved understanding of farmers' subjective views and behaviours may inform and enhance disease management strategies and support the identification and implementation of best practice at farm level. The aim of this study was to use qualitative research methods to explore the values and knowledges of farmers relative to the control of JD at farm level. The Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM) was used to generate data from both infected and presumed uninfected farms in Ireland. Qualitative analysis revealed that cultural and social capital informed farmers' decisions on whether to introduce control and preventive measures. Cultural capital refers to the pride and esteem farmers associate with particular objects and actions whereas social capital is the value that farmers associate with social relationships with others. On-farm controls were often evaluated by farmers as impractical and were frequently at odds with farmers' knowledge of calf management. Knowledge from farmers of infected herds did not disseminate among peer farmers. Owners of herds believed to be uninfected expressed a view that controls and preventive measures were not worthy of adoption until there was clear evidence of JD in the herd. These findings highlight important barriers and potential aids to prevention and

  10. Cerebrospinal Fluid Clearance in Alzheimer Disease Measured with Dynamic PET. (United States)

    de Leon, Mony J; Li, Yi; Okamura, Nobuyuki; Tsui, Wai H; Saint-Louis, Les A; Glodzik, Lidia; Osorio, Ricardo S; Fortea, Juan; Butler, Tracy; Pirraglia, Elizabeth; Fossati, Silvia; Kim, Hee-Jin; Carare, Roxana O; Nedergaard, Maiken; Benveniste, Helene; Rusinek, Henry


    Evidence supporting the hypothesis that reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clearance is involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) comes primarily from rodent models. However, unlike rodents, in which predominant extracranial CSF egress is via olfactory nerves traversing the cribriform plate, human CSF clearance pathways are not well characterized. Dynamic PET with 18 F-THK5117, a tracer for tau pathology, was used to estimate the ventricular CSF time-activity as a biomarker for CSF clearance. We tested 3 hypotheses: extracranial CSF is detected at the superior turbinates; CSF clearance is reduced in AD; and CSF clearance is inversely associated with amyloid deposition. Methods: Fifteen subjects, 8 with AD and 7 normal control volunteers, were examined with 18 F-THK5117. Ten subjects additionally underwent 11 C-Pittsburgh compound B ( 11 C-PiB) PET scanning, and 8 were 11 C-PiB-positive. Ventricular time-activity curves of 18 F-THK5117 were used to identify highly correlated time-activity curves from extracranial voxels. Results: For all subjects, the greatest density of CSF-positive extracranial voxels was in the nasal turbinates. Tracer concentration analyses validated the superior nasal turbinate CSF signal intensity. AD patients showed ventricular tracer clearance reduced by 23% and 66% fewer superior turbinate CSF egress sites. Ventricular CSF clearance was inversely associated with amyloid deposition. Conclusion: The human nasal turbinate is part of the CSF clearance system. Lateral ventricle and superior nasal turbinate CSF clearance abnormalities are found in AD. Ventricular CSF clearance reductions are associated with increased brain amyloid depositions. These data suggest that PET-measured CSF clearance is a biomarker of potential interest in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

  11. Dynamics of sylvatic Chagas disease vectors in coastal Ecuador is driven by changes in land cover.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario J Grijalva


    Full Text Available Chagas disease is a serious public health problem in Latin America where about ten million individuals show Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Despite significant success in controlling domiciliated triatomines, sylvatic populations frequently infest houses after insecticide treatment which hampers long term control prospects in vast geographical areas where vectorial transmission is endemic. As a key issue, the spatio-temporal dynamics of sylvatic populations is likely influenced by landscape yet evidence showing this effect is rare. The aim of this work is to examine the role of land cover changes in sylvatic triatomine ecology, based on an exhaustive field survey of pathogens, vectors, hosts, and microhabitat characteristics' dynamics.The study was performed in agricultural landscapes of coastal Ecuador as a study model. Over one year, a spatially-randomized sampling design (490 collection points allowed quantifying triatomine densities in natural, cultivated and domestic habitats. We also assessed infection of the bugs with trypanosomes, documented their microhabitats and potential hosts, and recorded changes in landscape characteristics. In total we collected 886 individuals, mainly represented by nymphal stages of one triatomine species Rhodnius ecuadoriensis. As main results, we found that 1 sylvatic triatomines had very high T. cruzi infection rates (71% and 2 densities of T. cruzi-infected sylvatic triatomines varied predictably over time due to changes in land cover and occurrence of associated rodent hosts.We propose a framework for identifying the factors affecting the yearly distribution of sylvatic T. cruzi vectors. Beyond providing key basic information for the control of human habitat colonization by sylvatic vector populations, our framework highlights the importance of both environmental and sociological factors in shaping the spatio-temporal population dynamics of triatomines. A better understanding of the dynamics of such socio

  12. Using Dynamic Tools to Develop an Understanding of the Fundamental Ideas of Calculus (United States)

    Verzosa, Debbie; Guzon, Angela Fatima; De Las Peñas, Ma. Louise Antonette N.


    Although dynamic geometry software has been extensively used for teaching calculus concepts, few studies have documented how these dynamic tools may be used for teaching the rigorous foundations of the calculus. In this paper, we describe lesson sequences utilizing dynamic tools for teaching the epsilon-delta definition of the limit and the…

  13. Dynamic computed tomography for the evaluation of cerebrovascular disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terada, Tomoaki; Nishiguchi, Takashi; Hyotani, Genhachi; Miyamoto, Kazuki; Hayashi, Seiji; Komai, Norihiko [Wakayama Medical Coll. (Japan); Nakamura, Yoshinari; Moriwaki, Hiroshi


    Dynamic computed tomography (DCT) was evaluated as a diagnostic indicator for chronic supratentorial ischemia in 50 cases with or without minor neurological deficits. Peak height (PH, the maximum value of the gamma fitted curve), peak time (PT, the time to PH from the start of DCT), transit time (TT, the time between the first and second inflection points of the gamma fitted curve), and their functional maps were analyzed. Cerebral angiography was then performed in all cases to identify stenotic or occlusive vascular lesions in major cerebral arteries. DCT clearly detected 12 of 13 occlusions of the internal carotid artery (ICA) or middle cerebral artery (MCA), although one ICA occlusion was masked by the contralateral MCA occlusion. However, DCT detected only severe ICA or MCA stenosis (more than 90%). Probably, stenotic lesions of less than 90% did not cause detectable hemodynamic compromise. DCT using PH, PT, and TT functional maps is a useful diagnostic method for hemodynamic changes in ischemic cerebrovascular disease, althogh bilateral lesions and less stenotic lesions (<90%) are difficult to detect. (author).

  14. Joint recognition-expression impairment of facial emotions in Huntington's disease despite intact understanding of feelings. (United States)

    Trinkler, Iris; Cleret de Langavant, Laurent; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine


    Patients with Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder that causes major motor impairments, also show cognitive and emotional deficits. While their deficit in recognising emotions has been explored in depth, little is known about their ability to express emotions and understand their feelings. If these faculties were impaired, patients might not only mis-read emotion expressions in others but their own emotions might be mis-interpreted by others as well, or thirdly, they might have difficulties understanding and describing their feelings. We compared the performance of recognition and expression of facial emotions in 13 HD patients with mild motor impairments but without significant bucco-facial abnormalities, and 13 controls matched for age and education. Emotion recognition was investigated in a forced-choice recognition test (FCR), and emotion expression by filming participants while they mimed the six basic emotional facial expressions (anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness and joy) to the experimenter. The films were then segmented into 60 stimuli per participant and four external raters performed a FCR on this material. Further, we tested understanding of feelings in self (alexithymia) and others (empathy) using questionnaires. Both recognition and expression were impaired across different emotions in HD compared to controls and recognition and expression scores were correlated. By contrast, alexithymia and empathy scores were very similar in HD and controls. This might suggest that emotion deficits in HD might be tied to the expression itself. Because similar emotion recognition-expression deficits are also found in Parkinson's Disease and vascular lesions of the striatum, our results further confirm the importance of the striatum for emotion recognition and expression, while access to the meaning of feelings relies on a different brain network, and is spared in HD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Review: Animal model and the current understanding of molecule dynamics of adipogenesis. (United States)

    Campos, C F; Duarte, M S; Guimarães, S E F; Verardo, L L; Wei, S; Du, M; Jiang, Z; Bergen, W G; Hausman, G J; Fernyhough-Culver, M; Albrecht, E; Dodson, M V


    Among several potential animal models that can be used for adipogenic studies, Wagyu cattle is the one that presents unique molecular mechanisms underlying the deposit of substantial amounts of intramuscular fat. As such, this review is focused on current knowledge of such mechanisms related to adipose tissue deposition using Wagyu cattle as model. So abundant is the lipid accumulation in the skeletal muscles of these animals that in many cases, the muscle cross-sectional area appears more white (adipose tissue) than red (muscle fibers). This enhanced marbling accumulation is morphologically similar to that seen in numerous skeletal muscle dysfunctions, disease states and myopathies; this might indicate cross-similar mechanisms between such dysfunctions and fat deposition in Wagyu breed. Animal models can be used not only for a better understanding of fat deposition in livestock, but also as models to an increased comprehension on molecular mechanisms behind human conditions. This revision underlies some of the complex molecular processes of fat deposition in animals.

  16. [Understanding the risk factors for infectious diseases, their prevention, and control, among residents of Zhejiang Province]. (United States)

    Zhao, Y S; Wu, Q Q; Xu, S Y; Wang, L; Liu, H; Yao, D M; Di, Z Q; Tian, X Y


    Objective: To investigate the understanding of infectious diseases, their prevention, and control, and the factors influencing this literacy among urban and rural residents of Zhejiang Province. Methods: In November- December 2014, a multistage stratified cluster sampling questionnaire was administered at study sites in eight districts of Zhejiang province: Hangzhou city Gongshu district, Hangzhou city Chun'an county, Wenzhou city Cangnan county, Dongyang city, Jiaxing city Jiashan county, Zhoushan city Putuo district, Linhai city, Lishui city Jinyun county. The inclusion criteria were: 15-60 years old, living locally for more than six continuous months, and no mental illness. The exclusion criteria were: foreigner residing locally, resident of Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan, or unable to communicate through speech or writing. In this study, 4 091 questionnaires were distributed, and 4 020 valid questionnaires were returned(98.26%). Health literacy regarding infectious diseases was measured at five levels: knowledge, skills, behaviors, access to information, and understanding of the prevention of infectious diseases. A total score was calculated for each questionnaire, and a total score of ≥80 was deemed to indicate an understanding of the prevention of infectious diseases. A χ 2 test was used to compare the levels of health literacy in different populations with single-factor analyses, and a multivariate unconditional logistic regression model was used to analyze the factors affecting infectious diseases prevention and treatment literacy levels. Results: Of the 4 020 respondents(aged(43.84 ± 10.28)years), 1 964 were male(48.86%)and 2 056 were female(51.14%). In the total surveyed population, 15.17%( n =610)understood the prevention of infectious diseases, 294 were male(14.97%)and 316 were female(15.37%)(χ 2 =2.48, P =0.115). When the participants in the different age groups were analyzed, 23.11%, 20.29%, 13.27%, and 11.04% of those aged 18- 29( n =116), 30- 39

  17. Nonketotic hyperglycinemia: Functional assessment of missense variants in GLDC to understand phenotypes of the disease. (United States)

    Bravo-Alonso, Irene; Navarrete, Rosa; Arribas-Carreira, Laura; Perona, Almudena; Abia, David; Couce, María Luz; García-Cazorla, Angels; Morais, Ana; Domingo, Rosario; Ramos, María Antonia; Swanson, Michael A; Van Hove, Johan L K; Ugarte, Magdalena; Pérez, Belén; Pérez-Cerdá, Celia; Rodríguez-Pombo, Pilar


    The rapid analysis of genomic data is providing effective mutational confirmation in patients with clinical and biochemical hallmarks of a specific disease. This is the case for nonketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH), a Mendelian disorder causing seizures in neonates and early-infants, primarily due to mutations in the GLDC gene. However, understanding the impact of missense variants identified in this gene is a major challenge for the application of genomics into clinical practice. Herein, a comprehensive functional and structural analysis of 19 GLDC missense variants identified in a cohort of 26 NKH patients was performed. Mutant cDNA constructs were expressed in COS7 cells followed by enzymatic assays and Western blot analysis of the GCS P-protein to assess the residual activity and mutant protein stability. Structural analysis, based on molecular modeling of the 3D structure of GCS P-protein, was also performed. We identify hypomorphic variants that produce attenuated phenotypes with improved prognosis of the disease. Structural analysis allows us to interpret the effects of mutations on protein stability and catalytic activity, providing molecular evidence for clinical outcome and disease severity. Moreover, we identify an important number of mutants whose loss-of-functionality is associated with instability and, thus, are potential targets for rescue using folding therapeutic approaches. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. On the need for system alignment in large water infrastructure. Understanding infrastructure dynamics in Nairobi, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pär Blomkvist


    Full Text Available In this article we contribute to the discussion of infrastructural change in Africa, and explore how a new theoretical perspective may offer a different, more comprehensive and historically informed understanding of the trend towards large water infrastructure in Africa. We examine the socio-technical dynamics of large water infrastructures in Nairobi, Kenya, in a longer historical perspective using two concepts that we call intra-systemic alignment and inter-level alignment. Our theoretical perspective is inspired by Large Technical Systems (LTS and Multi-Level Perspective (MLP. While inter-level alignment focuses on the process of aligning the technological system at the three levels of niche, regime and landscape, intra-systemic alignment deals with how components within the regime are harmonised and standardised to fit with each other. We pay special attention to intrasystemic alignment between the supply side and the demand side, or as we put it, upstream and downstream components of a system. In narrating the history of water supply in Nairobi, we look at both the upstream (largescale supply and downstream activities (distribution and payment, and compare the Nairobi case with European history of large infrastructures. We emphasise that regime actors in Nairobi have dealt with the issues of alignment mainly to facilitate and expand upstream activities, while concerning downstream activities they have remained incapable of expanding service and thus integrating the large segment of low-income consumers. We conclude that the present surge of large-scale water investment in Nairobi is the result of sector reforms that enabled the return to a long tradition – a 'Nairobi style' – of upstream investment mainly benefitting the highincome earners. Our proposition is that much more attention needs to be directed at inter-level alignment at the downstream end of the system, to allow the creation of niches aligned to the regime.

  19. Use of a dynamic simulation model to understand nitrogen cycling in the middle Rio Grande, NM.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meixner, Tom (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ); Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Oelsner, Gretchen (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ); Brooks, Paul (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ); Roach, Jesse D.


    Water quality often limits the potential uses of scarce water resources in semiarid and arid regions. To best manage water quality one must understand the sources and sinks of both solutes and water to the river system. Nutrient concentration patterns can identify source and sink locations, but cannot always determine biotic processes that affect nutrient concentrations. Modeling tools can provide insight into these large-scale processes. To address questions about large-scale nitrogen removal in the Middle Rio Grande, NM, we created a system dynamics nitrate model using an existing integrated surface water--groundwater model of the region to evaluate our conceptual models of uptake and denitrification as potential nitrate removal mechanisms. We modeled denitrification in groundwater as a first-order process dependent only on concentration and used a 5% denitrification rate. Uptake was assumed to be proportional to transpiration and was modeled as a percentage of the evapotranspiration calculated within the model multiplied by the nitrate concentration in the water being transpired. We modeled riparian uptake as 90% and agricultural uptake as 50% of the respective evapotranspiration rates. Using these removal rates, our model results suggest that riparian uptake, agricultural uptake and denitrification in groundwater are all needed to produce the observed nitrate concentrations in the groundwater, conveyance channels, and river as well as the seasonal concentration patterns. The model results indicate that a total of 497 metric tons of nitrate-N are removed from the Middle Rio Grande annually. Where river nitrate concentrations are low and there are no large nitrate sources, nitrate behaves nearly conservatively and riparian and agricultural uptake are the most important removal mechanisms. Downstream of a large wastewater nitrate source, denitrification and agricultural uptake were responsible for approximately 90% of the nitrogen removal.

  20. Understanding the adoption dynamics of medical innovations: affordances of the da Vinci robot in the Netherlands. (United States)

    Abrishami, Payam; Boer, Albert; Horstman, Klasien


    This study explored the rather rapid adoption of a new surgical device - the da Vinci robot - in the Netherlands despite the high costs and its controversial clinical benefits. We used the concept 'affordances' as a conceptual-analytic tool to refer to the perceived promises, symbolic meanings, and utility values of an innovation constructed in the wider social context of use. This concept helps us empirically understand robot adoption. Data from 28 in-depth interviews with diverse purposively-sampled stakeholders, and from medical literature, policy documents, Health Technology Assessment reports, congress websites and patients' weblogs/forums between April 2009 and February 2014 were systematically analysed from the perspective of affordances. We distinguished five interrelated affordances of the robot that accounted for shaping and fulfilling its rapid adoption: 'characteristics-related' affordances such as smart nomenclature and novelty, symbolising high-tech clinical excellence; 'research-related' affordances offering medical-technical scientific excellence; 'entrepreneurship-related' affordances for performing better-than-the-competition; 'policy-related' affordances indicating the robot's liberalised provision and its reduced financial risks; and 'communication-related' affordances of the robot in shaping patients' choices and the public's expectations by resonating promising discourses while pushing uncertainties into the background. These affordances make the take-up and use of the da Vinci robot sound perfectly rational and inevitable. This Dutch case study demonstrates the fruitfulness of the affordances approach to empirically capturing the contextual dynamics of technology adoption in health care: exploring in-depth actors' interaction with the technology while considering the interpretative spaces created in situations of use. This approach can best elicit real-life value of innovations, values as defined through the eyes of (potential) users

  1. Advances in the understanding of nutrient dynamics and management in UK agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dungait, Jennifer A.J.; Cardenas, Laura M.; Blackwell, Martin S.A.; Wu, Lianhai; Withers, Paul J.A.; Chadwick, David R.; Bol, Roland; Murray, Philip J.; Macdonald, Andrew J.; Whitmore, Andrew P.; Goulding, Keith W.T.


    Current research on macronutrient cycling in UK agricultural systems aims to optimise soil and nutrient management for improved agricultural production and minimise effects on the environment and provision of ecosystem services. Nutrient use inefficiencies can cause environmental pollution through the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and of soluble and particulate forms of N, P and carbon (C) in leachate and run-off into watercourses. Improving nutrient use efficiencies in agriculture calls for the development of sustainable nutrient management strategies: more efficient use of mineral fertilisers, increased recovery and recycling of waste nutrients, and, better exploitation of the substantial inorganic and organic reserves of nutrients in the soil. Long-term field experimentation in the UK has provided key knowledge of the main nutrient transformations in agricultural soils. Emerging analytical technologies, especially stable isotope labelling, that better characterise macronutrient forms and bioavailability and improve the quantification of the complex relationships between the macronutrients in soils at the molecular scale, are augmenting this knowledge by revealing the underlying processes. The challenge for the future is to determine the relationships between the dynamics of N, P and C across scales, which will require both new modelling approaches and integrated approaches to macronutrient cycling. -- Highlights: ► Major advances in the knowledge of macronutrient cycling in agricultural soils are reviewed in the context of management. ► Novel analytical techniques and innovative modelling approaches that enhance understanding of nutrient cycling are explored. ► Knowledge gaps are identified, and the potential to improve comprehension of the integrated nutrient cycles is considered.

  2. Advances in the understanding of nutrient dynamics and management in UK agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dungait, Jennifer A.J., E-mail: [Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB (United Kingdom); Cardenas, Laura M.; Blackwell, Martin S.A.; Wu, Lianhai [Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB (United Kingdom); Withers, Paul J.A. [School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Chadwick, David R.; Bol, Roland; Murray, Philip J. [Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB (United Kingdom); Macdonald, Andrew J.; Whitmore, Andrew P. [Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2LQ (United Kingdom); Goulding, Keith W.T. [Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB (United Kingdom); Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2LQ (United Kingdom)


    Current research on macronutrient cycling in UK agricultural systems aims to optimise soil and nutrient management for improved agricultural production and minimise effects on the environment and provision of ecosystem services. Nutrient use inefficiencies can cause environmental pollution through the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and of soluble and particulate forms of N, P and carbon (C) in leachate and run-off into watercourses. Improving nutrient use efficiencies in agriculture calls for the development of sustainable nutrient management strategies: more efficient use of mineral fertilisers, increased recovery and recycling of waste nutrients, and, better exploitation of the substantial inorganic and organic reserves of nutrients in the soil. Long-term field experimentation in the UK has provided key knowledge of the main nutrient transformations in agricultural soils. Emerging analytical technologies, especially stable isotope labelling, that better characterise macronutrient forms and bioavailability and improve the quantification of the complex relationships between the macronutrients in soils at the molecular scale, are augmenting this knowledge by revealing the underlying processes. The challenge for the future is to determine the relationships between the dynamics of N, P and C across scales, which will require both new modelling approaches and integrated approaches to macronutrient cycling. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Major advances in the knowledge of macronutrient cycling in agricultural soils are reviewed in the context of management. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Novel analytical techniques and innovative modelling approaches that enhance understanding of nutrient cycling are explored. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Knowledge gaps are identified, and the potential to improve comprehension of the integrated nutrient cycles is considered.

  3. Appreciating the ties that bind technical communication to culture: A dynamic model to help us understand differences in discourse structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastberg, Peter; Kampf, Constance

    In order to support an explicit understanding of cultural patterns as both dynamic and structured, we will examine Hofstede?s model for stabilization of cultural patterns, and use this model to explore some cultural consequences for patterns of logic and signs that influence the effectiveness of ...

  4. Towards an Understanding of Energy Impairment in Huntington’s Disease Brain (United States)

    Dubinsky, Janet M.


    This review systematically examines the evidence for shifts in flux through energy generating biochemical pathways in Huntington’s disease (HD) brains from humans and model systems. Compromise of the electron transport chain (ETC) appears not to be the primary or earliest metabolic change in HD pathogenesis. Rather, compromise of glucose uptake facilitates glucose flux through glycolysis and may possibly decrease flux through the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), limiting subsequent NADPH and GSH production needed for antioxidant protection. As a result, oxidative damage to key glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes further restricts energy production so that while basal needs may be met through oxidative phosphorylation, those of excessive stimulation cannot. Energy production may also be compromised by deficits in mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics or trafficking. Restrictions on energy production may be compensated for by glutamate oxidation and/or stimulation of fatty acid oxidation. Transcriptional dysregulation generated by mutant huntingtin also contributes to energetic disruption at specific enzymatic steps. Many of the alterations in metabolic substrates and enzymes may derive from normal regulatory feedback mechanisms and appear oscillatory. Fine temporal sequencing of the shifts in metabolic flux and transcriptional and expression changes associated with mutant huntingtin expression remain largely unexplored and may be model dependent. Differences in disease progression among HD model systems at the time of experimentation and their varying states of metabolic compensation may explain conflicting reports in the literature. Progressive shifts in metabolic flux represent homeostatic compensatory mechanisms that maintain the model organism through presymptomatic and symptomatic stages. PMID:29125492

  5. Differences in postural tremor dynamics with age and neurological disease. (United States)

    Morrison, Steven; Newell, Karl M; Kavanagh, Justin J


    The overlap of dominant tremor frequencies and similarly amplified tremor observed for Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET) means differentiating between these pathologies is often difficult. As tremor exhibits non-linear properties, employing both linear and non-linear analyses may help distinguish between the tremor dynamics of aging, PD and ET. This study was designed to examine postural tremor in healthy older adults, PD and ET using standard linear and non-linear metrics. Hand and finger postural tremor was recorded in 15 healthy older adults (64 ± 6 years), 15 older individuals with PD (63 ± 6 years), and 10 persons with ET (68 ± 7 years). Linear measures of amplitude, frequency, and between-limb coupling (coherence) were performed. Non-linear measures of regularity (ApEn) and coupling (Cross-ApEn) were also used. Additionally, receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed for those measures that were significantly different between all groups. The results revealed that the linear measures only showed significant differences between the healthy adults and ET/PD persons, but no differences between the two neurological groups. Coherence showed higher bilateral coupling for ET but no differences in inter-limb coupling between PD and healthy subjects. However, ApEn values for finger tremor revealed significant differences between all groups, with tremor for ET persons being more regular (lower ApEn) overall. Similarly, Cross-ApEn results also showed differences between all groups, with ET persons showing strongest inter-limb coupling followed by PD and elderly. Overall, our findings point to the diagnostic potential for non-linear measures of coupling and tremor structure as biomarkers for discriminating between ET, PD and healthy persons.

  6. Understanding the Earth Systems: Expressions of Dynamic and Cyclic Thinking among University Students (United States)

    Batzri, Or; Ben Zvi Assaraf, Orit; Cohen, Carmit; Orion, Nir


    In this two-part study, we examine undergraduate university students' expression of two important system thinking characteristics--dynamic thinking and cyclic thinking--focusing particularly on students of geology. The study was conducted using an Earth systems questionnaire designed to elicit and reflect either dynamic or cyclic thinking. The…

  7. A Novel Approach to Teaching and Understanding Transformations of Matter in Dynamic Earth Systems (United States)

    Clark, Scott K.; Sibley, Duncan F.; Libarkin, Julie C.; Heidemann, Merle


    The need to engage K-12 and post-secondary students in considering the Earth as a dynamic system requires explicit discussion of system characteristics. Fundamentally, dynamic systems involve the movement and change of matter, often through processes that are difficult to see and comprehend. We introduce a novel instructional method, termed…

  8. Advances in understanding gray matter pathology in multiple sclerosis: Are we ready to redefine disease pathogenesis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zivadinov Robert


    Full Text Available Abstract The purpose of this special issue in BMC Neurology is to summarize advances in our understanding of the pathological, immunological, imaging and clinical concepts of gray matter (GM pathology in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS. Review articles by Lucchinetti and Popescu, Walker and colleagues, Hulst and colleagues and Horakova and colleagues summarize important recent advances in understanding GM damage and its implications to MS pathogenesis. They also raise a number of important new questions and outline comprehensive approaches to addressing those questions in years to come. In the last decade, the use of immunohistochemistry staining methods and more advanced imaging techniques to detect GM lesions, like double inversion recovery, contributed to a surge of studies related to cortical and subcortical GM pathology in MS. It is becoming more apparent from recent biopsy studies that subpial cortical lesions in early MS are highly inflammatory. The mechanisms responsible for triggering meningeal inflammation in MS patients are not yet elucidated, and they should be further investigated in relation to their role in initiating and perpetuating the disease process. Determining the role of antigens, environmental and genetic factors in the pathogenesis of GM involvement in MS is critical. The early involvement of cortical and subcortical GM damage in MS is very intriguing and needs to be further studied. As established in numerous cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, GM damage is a better predictor of physical disability and cognitive impairment than WM damage. Monitoring the evolution of GM damage is becoming an important marker in predicting future disease course and response to therapy in MS patients.

  9. Understanding the Complexity of Temperature Dynamics in Xinjiang, China, from Multitemporal Scale and Spatial Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhua Xu


    Full Text Available Based on the observed data from 51 meteorological stations during the period from 1958 to 2012 in Xinjiang, China, we investigated the complexity of temperature dynamics from the temporal and spatial perspectives by using a comprehensive approach including the correlation dimension (CD, classical statistics, and geostatistics. The main conclusions are as follows (1 The integer CD values indicate that the temperature dynamics are a complex and chaotic system, which is sensitive to the initial conditions. (2 The complexity of temperature dynamics decreases along with the increase of temporal scale. To describe the temperature dynamics, at least 3 independent variables are needed at daily scale, whereas at least 2 independent variables are needed at monthly, seasonal, and annual scales. (3 The spatial patterns of CD values at different temporal scales indicate that the complex temperature dynamics are derived from the complex landform.

  10. Advanced computational multi-fluid dynamics: a new model for understanding electrokinetic phenomena in porous media (United States)

    Gulamali, M. Y.; Saunders, J. H.; Jackson, M. D.; Pain, C. C.


    We present results from a new computational multi-fluid dynamics code, designed to model the transport of heat, mass and chemical species during flow of single or multiple immiscible fluid phases through porous media, including gravitational effects and compressibility. The model also captures the electrical phenomena which may arise through electrokinetic, electrochemical and electrothermal coupling. Building on the advanced computational technology of the Imperial College Ocean Model, this new development leads the way towards a complex multiphase code using arbitrary unstructured and adaptive meshes, and domains decomposed to run in parallel over a cluster of workstations or a dedicated parallel computer. These facilities will allow efficient and accurate modelling of multiphase flows which capture large- and small-scale transport phenomena, while preserving the important geology and/or surface topology to make the results physically meaningful and realistic. Applications include modelling of contaminant transport in aquifers, multiphase flow during hydrocarbon production, migration of carbon dioxide during sequestration, and evaluation of the design and safety of nuclear reactors. Simulations of the streaming potential resulting from multiphase flow in laboratory- and field-scale models demonstrate that streaming potential signals originate at fluid fronts, and at geologic boundaries where fluid saturation changes. This suggests that downhole measurements of streaming potential may be used to inform production strategies in oil and gas reservoirs. As water encroaches on an oil production well, the streaming-potential signal associated with the water front encompasses the well even when the front is up to 100 m away, so the potential measured at the well starts to change significantly relative to a distant reference electrode. Variations in the geometry of the encroaching water front could be characterized using an array of electrodes positioned along the well

  11. Understanding the poultry trade network in Kenya: Implications for regional disease prevention and control. (United States)

    McCarron, Margaret; Munyua, Peninah; Cheng, Po-Yung; Manga, Thomas; Wanjohi, Cathryn; Moen, Ann; Mounts, Anthony; Katz, Mark A


    Infectious diseases in poultry can spread quickly and lead to huge economic losses. In the past decade, on multiple continents, the accelerated spread of highly pathogenic avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus, often through informal trade networks, has led to the death and culling of hundreds of millions of poultry. Endemic poultry diseases like Newcastle disease and fowl typhoid can also be devastating in many parts of the world. Understanding trade networks in unregulated systems can inform policy decisions concerning disease prevention and containment. From June to December 2008 we conducted a cross-sectional survey of backyard farmers, market traders, and middlemen in 5/8 provinces in Kenya. We administered a standardized questionnaire to each type of actor using convenience, random, snowball, and systematic sampling. Questionnaires addressed frequency, volume, and geography of trade, as well as biosecurity practices. We created a network diagram identifying the most important locations for trade. Of 380 respondents, 51% were backyard farmers, 24% were middlemen and 25% were market traders. Half (50%) of backyard farmers said they raised poultry both for household consumption and for sale. Compared to market traders, middlemen bought their poultry from a greater number of villages (median 4.2 villages for middlemen vs. 1.9 for market traders). Traders were most likely to purchase poultry from backyard farmers. Of the backyard farmers who sold poultry, 51% [CI 40-63] reported selling poultry to market traders, and 54% [CI 44-63] sold to middlemen. Middlemen moved the largest volume of poultry on a weekly basis (median purchases: 187 birds/week [IQR 206]; median sales: 188 birds/week [IQR 412.5]). The highest numbers of birds were traded in Nairobi - Kenya's capital city. Nairobi was the most prominent trading node in the network (61 degrees of centrality). Many smaller sub-networks existed as a result of clustered local trade. Market traders were also integral to the

  12. Does Your Heart Forecast help practitioner understanding and confidence with cardiovascular disease risk communication? (United States)

    Wells, Sue; Kerr, Andrew; Broadbent, Elizabeth; MacKenzie, Craig; Cole, Karl; McLachlan, Andy


    Explaining what cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk means and engaging in shared decision-making regarding risk factor modification is challenging. An electronic CVD risk visualisation tool containing multiple risk communication strategies (Your Heart Forecast) was designed in 2009. To assess whether this tool facilitated explaining CVD risk to primary care patients. Health professionals who accessed a Primary Health Organisation website or who attended educational peer groups over a three-month period were invited to complete questionnaires before and after viewing a four-minute video about the tool. Respondents were asked to make an informed guess of the CVD risk of a 35-year-old patient (actual CVD risk 5%) and rate the following sentence as being true or false: 'If there were 100 people like Mr Andrews, five would go on to have a cardiac event in the next five years.' They also were asked to rank their understanding of CVD risk and confidence in explaining the concept to patients. Fifty health professionals (37 GPs, 12 practice nurses, one other) completed before and after questionnaires. Respondents' CVD risk estimates pre-video ranged from confidence in explaining risk reduced in range and shifted towards greater efficacy. Whether this tool facilitates discussions of CVD risk with patients and improves patient understanding and lifestyle behaviour needs to be evaluated in a randomised trial.

  13. Understanding ageing in older Australians: The contribution of the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project to the evidenced base and policy (United States)

    Anstey, Kaarin J; Bielak, Allison AM; Birrell, Carole L; Browning, Colette J; Burns, Richard A; Byles, Julie; Kiley, Kim M; Nepal, Binod; Ross, Lesley A; Steel, David; Windsor, Timothy D


    Aim To describe the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project and illustrate its contributions to understanding ageing through innovative methodology, and investigations on outcomes based on the project themes. DYNOPTA provides a platform and technical expertise that may be used to combine other national and international datasets. Method The DYNOPTA project has pooled and harmonized data from nine Australian longitudinal studies to create the largest available longitudinal dataset (N=50652) on ageing in Australia. Results A range of findings have resulted from the study to date, including methodological advances, prevalence rates of disease and disability, and mapping trajectories of ageing with and without increasing morbidity. DYNOPTA also forms the basis of a microsimulation model that will provide projections of future costs of disease and disability for the baby boomer cohort. Conclusion DYNOPTA contributes significantly to the Australian evidence-base on ageing to inform key social and health policy domains. PMID:22032767

  14. [Understanding people with Steinert’s disease to better care for them. (United States)

    Lecordier, Didier; Cartron, Emmanuelle; Jovic, Ljiljana


    the lifestyles of people with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) are poorly understood and yet their consideration is essential for effective long-term care. The nursing care provided in the reference centers integrates the diversity clinic of this disease in interdisciplinary care, but it is more complicated from a relational point of view. The objective of this qualitative study was to understand the ways of living for a person with DM1, his body and the coping strategies developed. this research in social sciences and nursing is based on a problem of care and is based on an ethnosociological problematization. the aim is to make visible the evolution of the body affected by Steinert’s disease, participating in the construction of the body pattern and the social identity of the person, which allows him to maintain himself in a “normal” daily life as long as possible but can reach limits imposing him radical reorientations in his life. These results are discussed in the light of a framework of analysis based on the four levels of reading of the body proposed by Nicolas Vonarx: the “material body” ; the “capable body”, the “body feeling” and the “knowing/judging body” ; “socializing body” will be proposed to discuss the place the body takes for people living with a DM1 when it comes to living within a normative society.

  15. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment. (United States)

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E


    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  16. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment (United States)

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M.; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna


    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26590911

  17. The gut microbiota and metabolic disease: current understanding and future perspectives. (United States)

    Arora, T; Bäckhed, F


    The human gut microbiota has been studied for more than a century. However, of nonculture-based techniques exploiting next-generation sequencing for analysing the microbiota, development has renewed research within the field during the past decade. The observation that the gut microbiota, as an environmental factor, contributes to adiposity has further increased interest in the field. The human microbiota is affected by the diet, and macronutrients serve as substrates for many microbially produced metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids and bile acids, that may modulate host metabolism. Obesity predisposes towards type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Recently, it has been established that levels of butyrate-producing bacteria are reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes, whereas levels of Lactobacillus sp. are increased. Recent data suggest that the reduced levels of butyrate-producing bacteria might be causally linked to type 2 diabetes. Bariatric surgery, which promotes long-term weight loss and diabetes remission, alters the gut microbiota in both mice and humans. Furthermore, by transferring the microbiota from postbariatric surgery patients to mice, it has been demonstrated that an altered microbiota may contribute to the improved metabolic phenotype following this intervention. Thus, greater understanding of alterations of the gut microbiota, in combination with dietary patterns, may provide insights into how the gut microbiota contributes to disease progression and whether it can be exploited as a novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic target. © 2016 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

  18. Common factors drive disease and coarse woody debris dynamics in forests impacted by sudden oak death (United States)

    Richard C. Cobb; Maggie N. Chan; Ross K. Meentemeyer; David M. Rizzo


    Disease ecology has made important steps in describing how epidemiological processes control the impact of pathogens on populations and communities but fewer field or theoretical studies address disease effects at the ecosystem level. We demonstrate that the same epidemiological mechanisms drive disease intensity and coarse woody debris (CWD) dynamics...

  19. Interacting opinion and disease dynamics in multiplex networks: Discontinuous phase transition and nonmonotonic consensus times (United States)

    Velásquez-Rojas, Fátima; Vazquez, Federico


    Opinion formation and disease spreading are among the most studied dynamical processes on complex networks. In real societies, it is expected that these two processes depend on and affect each other. However, little is known about the effects of opinion dynamics over disease dynamics and vice versa, since most studies treat them separately. In this work we study the dynamics of the voter model for opinion formation intertwined with that of the contact process for disease spreading, in a population of agents that interact via two types of connections, social and contact. These two interacting dynamics take place on two layers of networks, coupled through a fraction q of links present in both networks. The probability that an agent updates its state depends on both the opinion and disease states of the interacting partner. We find that the opinion dynamics has striking consequences on the statistical properties of disease spreading. The most important is that the smooth (continuous) transition from a healthy to an endemic phase observed in the contact process, as the infection probability increases beyond a threshold, becomes abrupt (discontinuous) in the two-layer system. Therefore, disregarding the effects of social dynamics on epidemics propagation may lead to a misestimation of the real magnitude of the spreading. Also, an endemic-healthy discontinuous transition is found when the coupling q overcomes a threshold value. Furthermore, we show that the disease dynamics delays the opinion consensus, leading to a consensus time that varies nonmonotonically with q in a large range of the model's parameters. A mean-field approach reveals that the coupled dynamics of opinions and disease can be approximately described by the dynamics of the voter model decoupled from that of the contact process, with effective probabilities of opinion and disease transmission.

  20. Comparison of cardiovascular response to combined static-dynamic effort, postprandial dynamic effort and dynamic effort alone in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hung, J.; McKillip, J.; Savin, W.; Magder, S.; Kraus, R.; Houston, N.; Goris, M.; Haskell, W.; DeBusk, R.


    The cardiovascular responses to combined static-dynamic effort, postprandial dynamic effort and dynamic effort alone were evaluated by upright bicycle ergometry during equilibrium-gated blood pool scintigraphy in 24 men, mean age 59 +/- 8 years, with chronic ischemic heart disease. Combined static-dynamic effort and the postprandial state elicited a peak cardiovascular response similar to that of dynamic effort alone. Heart rate, intraarterial systolic and diastolic pressures, rate-pressure product and ejection fraction were similar for the three test conditions at the onset of ischemia and at peak effort. The prevalence and extent of exercise-induced ischemic left ventricular dysfunction, ST-segment depression, angina pectoris and ventricular ectopic activity were also similar during the three test conditions. Direct and indirect measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure were highly correlated. The onset of ischemic ST-segment depression and angina pectoris correlated as strongly with heart rate alone as with the rate-pressure product during all three test conditions. The cardiovascular response to combined static-dynamic effort and to postprandial dynamic effort becomes more similar to that of dynamic effort alone as dynamic effort reaches a symptom limit. If significant ischemic and arrhythmic abnormalities are absent during symptom-limited dynamic exercise testing, they are unlikely to appear during combined static-dynamic or postprandial dynamic effort

  1. Understanding Keystroke Dynamics for Smartphone Users Authentication and Keystroke Dynamics on Smartphones Built-In Motion Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyungu Lee


    Full Text Available Personal Identification Numbers (PINs and pattern drawing have been used as common authentication methods especially on smartphones. Such methods, however, are very vulnerable to the shoulder surfing attack. Thus, keystroke dynamics that authenticate legitimate users based on their typing manner have been studied for years. However, many of the studies have focused on PC keyboard keystrokes. More studies on mobile and smartphones keystroke dynamics are warranted; as smartphones make progress in both hardware and software, features from smartphones have been diversified. In this paper, using various features including keystroke data such as time interval and motion data such as accelerometers and rotation values, we evaluate features with motion data and without motion data. We also compare 5 formulas for motion data, respectively. We also demonstrate that opposite gender match between a legitimate user and impostors has influence on authenticating by our experiment results.


    Climate changes may allow for vector-transmitted tropical diseases to spread into temperate areas. Areas of low ecological diversity are at higher risk of infectious disease transmission due to decreased zooprophylaxis, the diversion of disease carrying insects from humans to...

  3. Training the Next Generation of Scientists: System Dynamics Modeling of Chagas Disease (American Trypanosomiasis) transmission. (United States)

    Goff, P.; Hulse, A.; Harder, H. R.; Pierce, L. A.; Rizzo, D.; Hanley, J.; Orantes, L.; Stevens, L.; Justi, S.; Monroy, C.


    A computational simulation has been designed as an investigative case study by high school students to introduce system dynamics modeling into high school curriculum. This case study approach leads users through the forensics necessary to diagnose an unknown disease in a Central American village. This disease, Chagas, is endemic to 21 Latin American countries. The CDC estimates that of the 110 million people living in areas with the disease, 8 million are infected, with as many as 300,000 US cases. Chagas is caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, and is spread via blood feeding insect (vectors), that feed on vertebrates and live in crevasses in the walls and roofs of adobe homes. One-third of the infected people will develop chronic Chagas who are asymptomatic for years before their heart or GI tract become enlarged resulting in death. The case study has three parts. Students play the role of WHO field investigators and work collaboratively to: 1) use genetics to identify the host(s) and vector of the disease 2) use a STELLA™ SIR (Susceptible, Infected, Recovered) system dynamics model to study Chagas at the village scale and 3) develop management strategies. The simulations identify mitigation strategies known as Ecohealth Interventions (e.g., home improvements using local materials) to help stakeholders test and compare multiple optima. High school students collaborated with researchers from the University of Vermont, Loyola University and Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala, working in labs, interviewing researchers, and incorporating mulitple field data as part of a NSF-funded multiyear grant. The model displays stable equilibria of hosts, vectors, and disease-states. Sensitivity analyses show measures of household condition and presence of vertebrates were significant leverage points, supporting other findings by the University research team. The village-scale model explores multiple solutions to disease mitigation for the purpose of producing

  4. MDESRAP: a model for understanding the dynamics of electricity supply, resources and pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qudrat-Ullah, H.


    The inherent dynamic complexity of the energy policy design problem makes the conventional 'closed-form' solution impossible. This paper contributes a dynamic simulation model as a possible solution. The model captures the dynamics of underlying sectors of electricity demand, investment, capital, resource, production, environment and costs and pricing. The existing feedback loops, nonlinearity and time-lag characteristics present in the real world electricity systems are incorporated in the model. The model is calibrated to Pakistan's case data. How the model has been used in policy assessments and the design of the alternative energy policies subject to various environmental and resource constraints is also discussed. (author)

  5. Understanding the dynamic effects of returning patients toward emergency department density (United States)

    Ahmad, Norazura; Zulkepli, Jafri; Ramli, Razamin; Ghani, Noraida Abdul; Teo, Aik Howe


    This paper presents the development of a dynamic hypothesis for the effect of returning patients to the emergency department (ED). A logical tree from the Theory of Constraint known as Current Reality Tree was used to identify the key variables. Then, a hypothetical framework portraying the interrelated variables and its influencing relationships was developed using causal loop diagrams (CLD). The conceptual framework was designed as the basis for the development of a system dynamics model.

  6. Understanding system dynamics of an adaptive enzyme network from globally profiled kinetic parameters. (United States)

    Chiang, Austin W T; Liu, Wei-Chung; Charusanti, Pep; Hwang, Ming-Jing


    A major challenge in mathematical modeling of biological systems is to determine how model parameters contribute to systems dynamics. As biological processes are often complex in nature, it is desirable to address this issue using a systematic approach. Here, we propose a simple methodology that first performs an enrichment test to find patterns in the values of globally profiled kinetic parameters with which a model can produce the required system dynamics; this is then followed by a statistical test to elucidate the association between individual parameters and different parts of the system's dynamics. We demonstrate our methodology on a prototype biological system of perfect adaptation dynamics, namely the chemotaxis model for Escherichia coli. Our results agreed well with those derived from experimental data and theoretical studies in the literature. Using this model system, we showed that there are motifs in kinetic parameters and that these motifs are governed by constraints of the specified system dynamics. A systematic approach based on enrichment statistical tests has been developed to elucidate the relationships between model parameters and the roles they play in affecting system dynamics of a prototype biological network. The proposed approach is generally applicable and therefore can find wide use in systems biology modeling research.

  7. Understanding and benchmarking health service achievement of policy goals for chronic disease (United States)


    Background Key challenges in benchmarking health service achievement of policy goals in areas such as chronic disease are: 1) developing indicators and understanding how policy goals might work as indicators of service performance; 2) developing methods for economically collecting and reporting stakeholder perceptions; 3) combining and sharing data about the performance of organizations; 4) interpreting outcome measures; 5) obtaining actionable benchmarking information. This study aimed to explore how a new Boolean-based small-N method from the social sciences—Qualitative Comparative Analysis or QCA—could contribute to meeting these internationally shared challenges. Methods A ‘multi-value QCA’ (MVQCA) analysis was conducted of data from 24 senior staff at 17 randomly selected services for chronic disease, who provided perceptions of 1) whether government health services were improving their achievement of a set of statewide policy goals for chronic disease and 2) the efficacy of state health office actions in influencing this improvement. The analysis produced summaries of configurations of perceived service improvements. Results Most respondents observed improvements in most areas but uniformly good improvements across services were not perceived as happening (regardless of whether respondents identified a state health office contribution to that improvement). The sentinel policy goal of using evidence to develop service practice was not achieved at all in four services and appears to be reliant on other kinds of service improvements happening. Conclusions The QCA method suggested theoretically plausible findings and an approach that with further development could help meet the five benchmarking challenges. In particular, it suggests that achievement of one policy goal may be reliant on achievement of another goal in complex ways that the literature has not yet fully accommodated but which could help prioritize policy goals. The weaknesses of QCA can be

  8. Evaluation of dynamic MRCP after secretin stimulation for biliopancreatic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohhigashi, Seiji; Nishio, Takeki; Watanabe, Fumihiko; Haradome, Hiroki; Doi, Osamu


    Both pancreaticobiliary maljunction and pancreatogastrostomy after pancreatoduodenectomy were analyzed to assess the utility of dynamic MRCP after secretin stimulation. Dynamic MRCP obtained every 60 seconds for 15 minutes after secretin administration revealed the bile and pancreatic fluid kinetics. Calculating the intensity value from the MR images allowed objective estimation of the bile and pancreatic fluid kinetics. Thus, this study demonstrated that dynamic MRCP after secretin stimulation was significantly useful in evaluating not only the morphologic features in pancreaticobiliary maljunction but also pancreatic exocrine function after resection of the pancreas. (author)

  9. Virtual Laboratory in the Role of Dynamic Visualisation for Better Understanding of Chemistry in Primary School (United States)

    Herga, Nataša Rizman; Cagran, Branka; Dinevski, Dejan


    Understanding chemistry includes the ability to think on three levels: the macroscopic level, the symbolic level, and the level of particles--sub-microscopic level. Pupils have the most difficulty when trying to understand the sub-microscopic level because it is outside their range of experience. A virtual laboratory enables a simultaneous…

  10. Understanding of amount and dynamics of radioactive cesium deposited on trees in Fukushima

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Endo, Izuki; Ohte, Nobuhito; Iseda, Kohei; Tanoi, Keitaro; Hirose, Atsushi; Kobayashi, Natsuko I. [The University of Tokyo, 113-8657, 1-1-1 Yayoi Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (Japan); Ishii, Nobuyoshi [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 263-8555, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba (Japan); Ohashi, Mizue [University of Hyogo, 670-0092, 1-1-12 Shinzaike-Honcho, Himeji, Hyogo (Japan)


    The accident of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the earthquake and Tsunami in March 11, 2011 caused large amount of radioactive cesium ({sup 134}Cs, {sup 137}Cs) deposition onto the forest in the surrounding areas. River water from the forest area is used for food production and also for drinking water in these regions. In order to predict how radioactive Cs diffuse and discharge from the forest catchments, it is important to understand the amount and dynamics of radioactive Cs deposited on the trees. In this report, we show our preliminary results of {sup 137}Cs deposition in forest. Study was conducted in the forest at the upstream of Kami-Oguni River catchment, northern part of Fukushima Prefecture. Three plots (2 deciduous stands and 1 Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) plantation) were set in the forest. Quercus serrata and C. japonica, a representative of deciduous and evergreen tree species in this region, were chosen from each plot. Sample trees were logged in October 2012. Stem samples were collected every 2 m from above the ground to tree top and separated into bark, sapwood and heartwood. Litter traps were set in each plot and collected every month. Leaf litter was classified among species. Also, soil samples were collected in the cylinder of 5 cm in diameter and maximum 30 cm in depth from the forest floor every month. {sup 137}Cs concentration of all samples were measured by germanium semiconductor detector or NaI(Tl) scintillation counter. Deposited {sup 137}Cs was attached strongly on the bark of Q. serrata at high concentration (9-18 kBq/kg) but there were no clear relationship with tree height. In C. japonica, {sup 137}Cs concentration was about half times lower than that of Q. serrata at 0-10 m part of the tree. {sup 137}Cs concentration in wood of C. japonica was higher than Q. serrata. {sup 137}Cs concentration of sapwood was as high as that of heartwood in C. japonica, but in Q. serrata, {sup 137}Cs concentration in sapwood was

  11. Hepatic blood flow mapping by dynamic CT method in liver diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugano, Shigeo; Mizuyosi, Hideo; Okajima, Tsugio; Ishii, Kouji; Abei, Tohru; Machida, Keiichi


    Two parameters of dynamic CT, peak time (PT) and first moment (M1), were compared among healthy control, chronic hepatitis (CH) and liver cirrhosis (LC). The means of PT and M1 in each 9 (3 x 3) pixels on a slice of hepatic CT were computed and converted to gray spots by gray scale, so that deep gray represented high values and light gray low values of these parameters. The distribution of these gray spots in each pixels was depicted on the slice as a blood flow mapping, and it was compared among the groups. In normal control, dynamic CT showed the shortest PT and deep gray spots were distributed diffusely in the slice. In CH, where PT was longer than control, lighter gray spots were diffusely seen. LC had the longest PT and its mapping showed mottles of light gray and black, the latter indicating the presence of spots with scanty blood flow, scattering throughout the slice. The mapping of M1 gave almost the same picture as PT for each group, revieling that the disappearring time of the media in CH and LC was impaired in the same manner as in PT. This method of hepatic blood flow mapping was thought to be useful to add evidences for the understanding of abnormal blood flow in liver diseases. (author)

  12. Innate immune responses against foot-and-mouth disease virus: current understanding and future directions. (United States)

    Summerfield, Artur; Guzylack-Piriou, Laurence; Harwood, Lisa; McCullough, Kenneth C


    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) represents one of the most economically important diseases of farm animals. The basis for the threat caused by this virus is the high speed of replication, short incubation time, high contagiousness, and high mutation rate resulting in constant antigenic changes. Thus, although protective immune responses against FMD virus (FMDV) can be efficacious, the rapidity of virus replication and spread can outpace immune defence development and overrun the immune system. FMDV can also evade innate immune responses through its ability to shut down cellular protein synthesis, including IFN type I, in susceptible epithelial cells. This is important for virus evolution, as FMDV is quite sensitive to the action of IFN. Despite this, innate immune responses are probably induced in vivo, although detailed studies on this subject are lacking. Accordingly, this interaction of FMDV with cells of the innate immune system is of particular interest. Dendritic cells (DC) can be infected by FMDV and support viral RNA replication, and viral protein synthesis but the latter is inefficient or abortive, leading most often to incomplete replication and progeny virus release. As a result DC can be activated, and particularly in the case of plasmacytoid DC (pDC), this is manifest in terms of IFN-alpha release. Our current state of knowledge on innate immune responses induced by FMDV is still only at a relatively early stage of understanding. As we progress, the investigations in this area will help to improve the design of current vaccines and the development of novel control strategies against FMD.

  13. Making Sense of Dynamic Systems: How Our Understanding of Stocks and Flows Depends on a Global Perspective. (United States)

    Fischer, Helen; Gonzalez, Cleotilde


    Stocks and flows (SF) are building blocks of dynamic systems: Stocks change through inflows and outflows, such as our bank balance changing with withdrawals and deposits, or atmospheric CO2 with absorptions and emissions. However, people make systematic errors when trying to infer the behavior of dynamic systems, termed SF failure, whose cognitive explanations are yet unknown. We argue that SF failure appears when people focus on specific system elements (local processing), rather than on the system structure and gestalt (global processing). Using a standard SF task (n = 148), SF failure decreased by (a) a global as opposed to local task format; (b) individual global as opposed to local processing styles; and (c) global as opposed to local perceptual priming. These results converge toward local processing as an explanation for SF failure. We discuss theoretical and practical implications on the connections between the scope of attention and understanding of dynamic systems. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  14. Understanding the assistance dynamic of the psychiatric emergency service using the fourth generation assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Aparecida Buriola


    Full Text Available A study to comprehend the requests, concerns, and questions of professionals about the assistance dynamic of a psychiatric emergency service. We conducted a case study, using the Fourth Generation assessment method, with 15 participants. We collected data using documental analysis, semi-structured interview and observation and, we used the constant comparative method for analysis. Therefore, two thematic axes arose: a Comprehending the assistance dynamic of the Psychiatric emergency service and, b The disarticulation of the psychosocial attention network as a barrier to satisfaction with the assistance in the psychiatric emergency. We considered that the assistance dynamic in the Psychiatric Emergency extrapolated the simple, unique character of stabilizing patients with acute mental disorders, once it directs the user’s flow to the adequate treatment in the psychosocial attention network.

  15. Short term outcome of posterior dynamic stabilization system in degenerative lumbar diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingyuan Yang


    Conclusion: Dynamic stabilization system treating lumbar degenerative disease showed clinical benefits with motion preservation of the operated segments, but does not have the significant advantage on motion preservation at adjacent segments, to avoid the degeneration of adjacent intervertebral disk.

  16. Understanding long-term fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) population dynamics: implications for areawide management. (United States)

    Aluja, Martín; Ordano, Mariano; Guillén, Larissa; Rull, Juan


    Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are devastating agricultural pests worldwide but studies on their long-term population dynamics are sparse. Our aim was to determine the mechanisms driving long-term population dynamics as a prerequisite for ecologically based areawide pest management. The population density of three pestiferous Anastrepha species [Anastrepha ludens (Loew), Anastrepha obliqua (Macquart), and Anastrepha serpentina (Wiedemann)] was determined in grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi Macfad.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), and sapodilla [Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royen] orchards in central Veracruz, México, on a weekly basis over an 11-yr period. Fly populations exhibited relatively stable dynamics over time. Population dynamics were mainly driven by a direct density-dependent effect and a seasonal feedback process. We discovered direct and delayed influences that were correlated with both local (rainfall and air temperature) and global climatic variation (El Niño Southern Oscillation [ENSO] and North Atlantic Oscillation [NAO]), and detected differences among species and location of orchards with respect to the magnitude and nature (linear or nonlinear) of the observed effects, suggesting that highly mobile pest outbreaks become uncertain in response to significant climatic events at both global and local levels. That both NAO and ENSO affected Anastrepha population dynamics, coupled with the high mobility of Anastrepha adults and the discovery that when measured as rate of population change, local population fluctuations exhibited stable dynamics over time, suggests potential management scenarios for the species studied lie beyond the local scale and should be approached from an areawide perspective. Localized efforts, from individual growers will probably prove ineffective, and nonsustainable.

  17. The contribution of mathematical modeling to understanding the dynamic aspects of rumen metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Bannink


    Full Text Available All rumen models cover the main drivers of variation in rumen function, which are feed intake, the differences between feedstuffs and feeds in their intrinsic rumen degradation characteristics, and fractional outflow rate of fluid and particulate matter. Dynamic modeling approaches are best suited to the prediction of more nuanced responses in rumen metabolism, and represent the dynamics of the interaction between substrates and micro-organisms and inter-microbial interactions. The concepts of dynamics are discussed for the case of rumen starch digestion as influenced by starch intake rate and frequency of feed intake, and for the case of fermentation of fiber in the large intestine. Adding representations of new functional classes of micro-organisms (i.e. with new characteristics from the perspective of whole rumen function in rumen models only delivers new insights if complemented by the dynamics of their interactions with other functional classes. Rumen fermentation conditions have to be represented due to their profound impact on the dynamics of substrate degradation and microbial metabolism. Although the importance of rumen acidity is generally acknowledged, more emphasis is needed on predicting its variation as well as variation in the processes that underlie rumen fluid dynamics. The rumen wall has an important role in adapting to rapid changes in the rumen environment, clearing of volatile fatty acids (VFA, and maintaining rumen pH within limits. Dynamics of rumen wall epithelia and its role in VFA absorption needs to be better represented in models which aim to predict rumen responses across nutritional or physiological states. For a detailed prediction of rumen N balance there is merit in a dynamic modeling approach compared to the static approaches adopted in current protein evaluation systems. Improvement is needed on previous attempts to predict rumen VFA profiles, and this should be pursued by introducing factors that relate more

  18. Transmission dynamics of lumpy skin disease in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molla, W.; Frankena, Klaas; Jong, de Mart


    Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a severe disease of cattle caused by a Capripoxvirus and often caused epidemics in Ethiopia and many other countries. This study was undertaken to quantify the transmission between animals and to estimate the infection reproduction ratio in a predominantly mixed

  19. Rhizoctonia disease of tulip : characterization and dynamics of the pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schneider, J.H.M.


    Rhizoctonia disease causes severe losses during the production cycle of tulip. The complex nature of the disease requires a precise characterization of the causal pathogens. Typical bare patches are caused by R. solani AG 2-t. Bulb rot symptoms are, apart from AG 2-t isolates, caused by R.

  20. Understanding the dynamics of gender equality and eHealth | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)


    Jan 29, 2018 ... Unless these questions are addressed early on, people's experiences with ... Understanding how a person's gender, age, and class can influence ... It also promoted greater equity among workers in primary health centres ...

  1. Understanding hydration of Zn(2+) in hydrothermal fluids with ab initio molecular dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.; Lu, X.; Wang, R.; Meijer, E.J.


    With ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, the free-energy profiles of hydrated Zn2+ are calculated for both gaseous and aqueous systems from ambient to supercritical conditions, and from the derived free-energy information, the speciation of hydrated Zn2+ has been revealed. It is shown that the

  2. The knowledge dynamics of organizational innovation : understanding the implementation of decision support for planners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sjarbaini, Vivyane Larissa Ratna Nirma


    This thesis argues that a knowledge perspective on organizational innovation provides essential insights. A cognitive-semiotic model on knowledge dynamics is presented and used to perform an empirical study. We seek an answer to the question: What happens to the knowledge of planners during an

  3. Understanding the Online Informal Learning of English as a Complex Dynamic System: An Emic Approach (United States)

    Sockett, Geoffrey


    Research into the online informal learning of English has already shown it to be a widespread phenomenon involving a range of comprehension and production activities such as viewing original version television series, listening to music on demand and social networking with other English users. Dynamic systems theory provides a suitable framework…

  4. Using Dynamic Geometry Software to Improve Eight Grade Students' Understanding of Transformation Geometry (United States)

    Guven, Bulent


    This study examines the effect of dynamic geometry software (DGS) on students' learning of transformation geometry. A pre- and post-test quasi-experimental design was used. Participants in the study were 68 eighth grade students (36 in the experimental group and 32 in the control group). While the experimental group students were studying the…

  5. Understanding the Influence of Organizational Culture and Group Dynamics on Organizational Change and Learning (United States)

    Lucas, Colleen; Kline, Theresa


    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between organizational culture, group dynamics, and organizational learning in the context of organizational change. Design/methodology/approach: A case study was used to examine cultural and group level factors that potentially influence groups' learning in the context of…

  6. Towards a better understanding of the role and dynamics of corporate R&D

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bavel, R. van; Montalvo Corral, C.; Tunzelmann, N. von


    New analytical approaches and empirical evidence continue to shed light on the issue of corporate R&D. The papers in this special issue, which were originally presented at the conference Role and Dynamics of Corporate R&D (Seville, 8-9 October 2007), offer a sample of such approaches and evidence.

  7. Understanding the core of RNA interference: The dynamic aspects of Argonaute-mediated processes

    KAUST Repository

    Zhu, Lizhe; Jiang, Hanlun; Sheong, Fu Kit; Cui, Xuefeng; Wang, Yanli; Gao, Xin; Huang, Xuhui


    and its interaction with the nucleic acids, considerable progress has been made to reveal the dynamic aspects of various Ago-mediated processes. Here we review these novel insights into the guide-strand loading, duplex unwinding, and effects of seed

  8. Quantification of motor network dynamics in Parkinson's disease by means of landscape and flux theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Yan

    Full Text Available The basal ganglia neural circuit plays an important role in motor control. Despite the significant efforts, the understanding of the principles and underlying mechanisms of this modulatory circuit and the emergence of abnormal synchronized oscillations in movement disorders is still challenging. Dopamine loss has been proved to be responsible for Parkinson's disease. We quantitatively described the dynamics of the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuit in Parkinson's disease in terms of the emergence of both abnormal firing rates and firing patterns in the circuit. We developed a potential landscape and flux framework for exploring the modulatory circuit. The driving force of the circuit can be decomposed into a gradient of the potential, which is associated with the steady-state probability distributions, and the curl probability flux term. We uncovered the underlying potential landscape as a Mexican hat-shape closed ring valley where abnormal oscillations emerge due to dopamine depletion. We quantified the global stability of the network through the topography of the landscape in terms of the barrier height, which is defined as the potential difference between the maximum potential inside the ring and the minimum potential along the ring. Both a higher barrier and a larger flux originated from detailed balance breaking result in more stable oscillations. Meanwhile, more energy is consumed to support the increasing flux. Global sensitivity analysis on the landscape topography and flux indicates how changes in underlying neural network regulatory wirings and external inputs influence the dynamics of the system. We validated two of the main hypotheses(direct inhibition hypothesis and output activation hypothesis on the therapeutic mechanism of deep brain stimulation (DBS. We found GPe appears to be another effective stimulated target for DBS besides GPi and STN. Our approach provides a general way to quantitatively explore neural networks and may

  9. Scaling up complexity in host-pathogens interaction models. Comment on "Coupled disease-behavior dynamics on complex networks: A review" by Z. Wang et al. (United States)

    Aguiar, Maíra


    Caused by micro-organisms that are pathogenic to the host, infectious diseases have caused debilitation and premature death to large portions of the human population, leading to serious social-economic concerns. The persistence and increase in the occurrence of infectious diseases as well the emergence or resurgence of vector-borne diseases are closely related with demographic factors such as the uncontrolled urbanization and remarkable population growth, political, social and economical changes, deforestation, development of resistance to insecticides and drugs and increased human travel. In recent years, mathematical modeling became an important tool for the understanding of infectious disease epidemiology and dynamics, addressing ideas about the components of host-pathogen interactions. Acting as a possible tool to understand, predict the spread of infectious diseases these models are also used to evaluate the introduction of intervention strategies like vector control and vaccination. Many scientific papers have been published recently on these topics, and most of the models developed try to incorporate factors focusing on several different aspects of the disease (and eventually biological aspects of the vector), which can imply rich dynamic behavior even in the most basic dynamical models. As one example to be cited, there is a minimalistic dengue model that has shown rich dynamic structures, with bifurcations (Hopf, pitchfork, torus and tangent bifurcations) up to chaotic attractors in unexpected parameter regions [1,2], which was able to describe the large fluctuations observed in empirical outbreak data [3,4].

  10. Significance of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants identified by whole-genome analyses for the understanding of human diseases. (United States)

    Hitomi, Yuki; Tokunaga, Katsushi


    Human genome variation may cause differences in traits and disease risks. Disease-causal/susceptible genes and variants for both common and rare diseases can be detected by comprehensive whole-genome analyses, such as whole-genome sequencing (WGS), using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here, in addition to the application of an NGS as a whole-genome analysis method, we summarize approaches for the identification of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants from abundant genetic variants in the human genome and methods for evaluating their functional effects in human diseases, using an NGS and in silico and in vitro functional analyses. We also discuss the clinical applications of the functional disease causal/susceptible variants to personalized medicine.

  11. Dynamic Cerebral Autoregulation in Homozygous Sickle Cell Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kim, Yu-Sok; Nur, Erfan; van Beers, Eduard J.; Truijen, Jasper; Davis, Shyrin C. A. T.; Biemond, Bart J.; van Lieshout, Johannes J.


    Background and Purpose-Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with cerebral hyperperfusion and an increased risk of stroke. Also, both recurrent microvascular obstruction and chronic hemolysis affect endothelial function, potentially interfering with systemic and cerebral blood flow control. We

  12. Mathematical analysis of dynamic spread of Pine Wilt disease. (United States)

    Dimitrijevic, D D; Bacic, J


    Since its detection in Portugal in 1999, the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer), a causal agent of Pine Wilt Disease, represents a threat to European forestry. Significant amount of money has been spent on its monitoring and eradication. This paper presents mathematical analysis of spread of pine wilt disease using a set of partial differential equations with space (longitude and latitude) and time as parameters of estimated spread of disease. This methodology can be used to evaluate risk of various assumed entry points of disease and make defense plans in advance. In case of an already existing outbreak, it can be used to draw optimal line of defense and plan removal of trees. Optimization constraints are economic loss of removal of susceptible trees as well as budgetary constraints of workforce cost.

  13. Resting-state oscillatory brain dynamics in Alzheimer disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, W.; Stam, C.J.; Jones, B.F.; Zuiderwijk, I.M.; van Dijk, B.W.; Scheltens, P.


    Altered oscillatory brain activity in Alzheimer disease (AD) may reflect underlying neuropathological changes, and its characterization might lead to new diagnostic possibilities. The present study using quantitative magnetoencephalography was set up to examine power spectrum changes in AD patients,

  14. Highly dynamic animal contact network and implications on disease transmission


    Shi Chen; Brad J. White; Michael W. Sanderson; David E. Amrine; Amiyaal Ilany; Cristina Lanzas


    Contact patterns among hosts are considered as one of the most critical factors contributing to unequal pathogen transmission. Consequently, networks have been widely applied in infectious disease modeling. However most studies assume static network structure due to lack of accurate observation and appropriate analytic tools. In this study we used high temporal and spatial resolution animal position data to construct a high-resolution contact network relevant to infectious disease transmissio...

  15. Cerebrospinal fluid clearance in Alzheimer disease measured with dynamic PET

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Leon, Mony J.; Li, Yi; Okamura, Nobuyuki


    Evidence supporting the hypothesis that reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clearance is involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) comes primarily from rodent models. However, unlike rodents, in which predominant extracranial CSF egress is via olfactory nerves traversing the cribrif......Evidence supporting the hypothesis that reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clearance is involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) comes primarily from rodent models. However, unlike rodents, in which predominant extracranial CSF egress is via olfactory nerves traversing...

  16. CT study of pancreatic diseases with modified dynamic scanning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qian Minghui; Zhu Guangying


    Experience of 20 cases modified dynamic CT scanning is presented. With a slight increased X-ray tube burden, it is possible to investigate tumor blood supply and find small pancreatic insulinoma with this method. The capsular sign typical for chronic traumatic pancreatic hematoma on CT is presented

  17. Contribution of local knowledge to understand socio-hydrological dynamics. Examples from a study in Senegal river valley (United States)

    Bruckmann, Laurent


    In developing countries many watersheds are low monitored. However, rivers and its floodplains provides ecosystem services to societies, especially for agriculture, grazing and fishing. This uses of rivers and floodplains offer to communities an important local knowledge about hydrological dynamics. This knowledge can be useful to researchers studying ecological or hydrological processes. This presentation aims to discuss and present the interest of using qualitative data from surveys and interviews to understand relations between society and hydrology in floodplain from developing countries, but also to understand changes in hydrological dynamics. This communication is based on a PhD thesis held on from 2012 and 2016, that analyzes socio-ecological changes in the floodplain of the Senegal river floodplain following thirty years of transboundary water management. The results of this work along Senegal river valley suggest that the use of social data and qualitative study are beneficial in understanding the hydrological dynamics in two dimensions. First, it established the importance of perception of hydrological dynamics, particularly floods, on local water management and socio-agricultural trajectories. This perception of people is strictly derived from ecosystems services provided by river and its floodplain. Second, surveys have enlightened new questions concerning the hydrology of the river that are often cited by people, like a decrease of flood water fertility. This type of socio-hydrological study, combining hydrological and qualitative data, has great potential for guiding water management policies. Using local knowledge in their analyzes, researchers also legitimize river users, who are for the most part forgotten by water policies.

  18. New Insight in Understanding the mechanical responses of polymer glasses using molecular dynamic simulation (United States)

    Zheng, Yexin; Wang, Shi-Qing; Tsige, Mesfin

    The Kremer-Grest bead-spring model has been the standard model in molecular dynamics simulation of polymer glasses. However, due to current computational limitations in accessing relevant time scales in polymer glasses in a reasonable amount of CPU time, simulation of mechanical response of polymer glasses in molecular dynamic simulations requires a much higher quenching rate and deformation rate than used in experiments. Despite several orders of magnitude difference in time scale between simulation and experiment, previous studies have shown that simulations can produce meaningful results that can be directly compared with experimental results. In this work we show that by tuning the quenching rate and deformation rate relative to the segmental relaxation times, a reasonable mechanical response shows up in the glassy state. Specifically, we show a younger glass prepared with a faster quenching rate shows glassy responses only when the imposed deformation rate is proportionally higher. the National Science Foundation (DMR-1444859 and DMR-1609977).

  19. Attachment and Jealousy: Understanding the Dynamic Experience of Jealousy Using the Response Escalation Paradigm. (United States)

    Huelsnitz, Chloe O; Farrell, Allison K; Simpson, Jeffry A; Griskevicius, Vladas; Szepsenwol, Ohad


    Jealousy is a complex, dynamic experience that unfolds over time in relationship-threatening situations. Prior research has used retrospective reports that cannot disentangle initial levels and change in jealousy in response to escalating threat. In three studies, we examined responses to the Response Escalation Paradigm (REP)-a 5-stage hypothetical scenario in which individuals are exposed to increasing levels of relationship threat-as a function of attachment orientations. Highly anxious individuals exhibited hypervigilant, slow escalation response patterns, interfered earlier in the REP, felt more jealousy, sadness, and worry when they interfered, and wanted to engage in more vigilant, destructive, and passive behaviors aimed at their partner. Highly avoidant individuals felt more anger when they interfered in the REP and wanted to engage in more partner-focused, destructive behaviors. The REP offers a dynamic method for inducing and examining jealousy and introduces a novel approach to studying other emotional experiences.

  20. Motivation and flow: toward an understanding of the dynamics of the relation in architecture students. (United States)

    Mills, Maura J; Fullagar, Clive J


    The authors investigated the relation between motivation and flow in a sample of 327 architecture students. Specifically, they investigated the relation between flow and several levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as amotivation. They also assessed the need for autonomy in moderating the relation between intrinsic motivation and engagement. Results indicated a significant relation between flow experiences in academic activities and the more self-determined forms of intrinsic motivation, but not for extrinsic motivation. The need for autonomy moderated the relation between flow and intrinsic motivation. These results are discussed in the context of understanding flow as an intrinsically motivating state and a viable construct for understanding engagement.

  1. Critical realism in supply chain research: Understanding the dynamics of a seasonal goods supply chain


    Adamides, E. D.; Papachristos, G.; Pomonis, N.


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show how a critical realist paradigmatic stance and its associated research methodology can contribute to supply‐chain research by providing explanations for specific supply‐chain‐ and logistics‐related dynamic phenomena. / Design/methodology/approach – Initially, the case for a critical realist research paradigm is made, and then a retroductive pluralistic research methodology is used for demonstrating its application. Starting from an observation in...

  2. Understanding the free energy barrier and multiple timescale dynamics of charge separation in organic photovoltaic cells. (United States)

    Yan, Yaming; Song, Linze; Shi, Qiang


    By employing several lattice model systems, we investigate the free energy barrier and real-time dynamics of charge separation in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. It is found that the combined effects of the external electric field, entropy, and charge delocalization reduce the free energy barrier significantly. The dynamic disorder reduces charge carrier delocalization and results in the increased charge separation barrier, while the effect of static disorder is more complicated. Simulation of the real-time dynamics indicates that the free charge generation process involves multiple time scales, including an ultrafast component within hundreds of femtoseconds, an intermediate component related to the relaxation of the hot charge transfer (CT) state, and a slow component on the time scale of tens of picoseconds from the thermally equilibrated CT state. Effects of hot exciton dissociation as well as its dependence on the energy offset between the Frenkel exciton and the CT state are also analyzed. The current results indicate that only a small energy offset between the band gap and the lowest energy CT state is needed to achieve efficient free charge generation in OPV devices, which agrees with recent experimental findings.

  3. Understanding the free energy barrier and multiple timescale dynamics of charge separation in organic photovoltaic cells (United States)

    Yan, Yaming; Song, Linze; Shi, Qiang


    By employing several lattice model systems, we investigate the free energy barrier and real-time dynamics of charge separation in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. It is found that the combined effects of the external electric field, entropy, and charge delocalization reduce the free energy barrier significantly. The dynamic disorder reduces charge carrier delocalization and results in the increased charge separation barrier, while the effect of static disorder is more complicated. Simulation of the real-time dynamics indicates that the free charge generation process involves multiple time scales, including an ultrafast component within hundreds of femtoseconds, an intermediate component related to the relaxation of the hot charge transfer (CT) state, and a slow component on the time scale of tens of picoseconds from the thermally equilibrated CT state. Effects of hot exciton dissociation as well as its dependence on the energy offset between the Frenkel exciton and the CT state are also analyzed. The current results indicate that only a small energy offset between the band gap and the lowest energy CT state is needed to achieve efficient free charge generation in OPV devices, which agrees with recent experimental findings.

  4. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in patients with luminal Crohn's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ziech, M. L. W.; Lavini, C.; Caan, M. W. A.; Nio, C. Y.; Stokkers, P. C. F.; Bipat, S.; Ponsioen, C. Y.; Nederveen, A. J.; Stoker, J.


    Objectives: To prospectively assess dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE-)MRI as compared to conventional sequences in patients with luminal Crohn's disease. Methods: Patients with Crohn's disease undergoing MRI and ileocolonoscopy within 1 month had DCE-MRI (3T) during intravenous contrast injection of

  5. Students' Understanding of Equilibrium and Stability: The Case of Dynamic Systems (United States)

    Canu, Michaël; de Hosson, Cécile; Duque, Mauricio


    Engineering students in control courses have been observed to lack an understanding of equilibrium and stability, both of which are crucial concepts in this discipline. The introduction of these concepts is generally based on the study of classical examples from Newtonian mechanics supplemented with a control system. Equilibrium and stability are…

  6. Understanding Alzheimer's disease by global quantification of protein phosphorylation and sialylated N-linked glycosylation profiles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Pernille S.; Thygesen, Camilla; Larsen, Martin R.


    elucidated them in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Here, we comprehensively review Alzheimer's pathology in relation to protein phosphorylation and glycosylation on synaptic plasticity from neuroproteomics data. Moreover, we highlight several mass spectrometry-based sample processing...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Ivić


    Full Text Available Post-harvest apple fruit diseases are primarily caused by fungi. The object of this research was to quantify yield loss caused by post-harvest diseases and to determine fungal species responsible for storage rots on the cv. Idared during three months of storage, as well as to compare the development of fungi inoculated on apple fruits in the laboratory conditions. Only fruits with the visible rot symptoms were regarded as "diseased". Total yield loss during all three months of storage was 1.9%. The percentage of diseased fruits increased from the harvest moment to the end of storage. The most frequent cause of post-harvest rot in all assessments was Monilia fructigena. Penicillium species and Botrytis cinerea were present in relatively high percentage. All fungal isolates from diseased fruits caused fruit rot when inoculated on apples and incubated for 28 days at 22°C. On fruits inoculated with the same isolates and incubated at 4°C rot development was slower. Isolates of M. fructigena developed most rapidly on inoculated fruits at 22°C, while the isolates of B. cinerea developed most rapidly at 4°C.

  8. Understanding poverty-related diseases in Cameroon from a salutogenic perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Makoge, Valerie


    Poverty-related diseases (PRDs) assume poverty as a determinant in catching disease and an obstacle for cure and recovery. In Cameroon, over 48 % of the population lives below the poverty line. This dissertation starts from the premise that the relation between poverty and disease is mediated by

  9. Effects of the infectious period distribution on predicted transitions in childhood disease dynamics. (United States)

    Krylova, Olga; Earn, David J D


    The population dynamics of infectious diseases occasionally undergo rapid qualitative changes, such as transitions from annual to biennial cycles or to irregular dynamics. Previous work, based on the standard seasonally forced 'susceptible-exposed-infectious-removed' (SEIR) model has found that transitions in the dynamics of many childhood diseases result from bifurcations induced by slow changes in birth and vaccination rates. However, the standard SEIR formulation assumes that the stage durations (latent and infectious periods) are exponentially distributed, whereas real distributions are narrower and centred around the mean. Much recent work has indicated that realistically distributed stage durations strongly affect the dynamical structure of seasonally forced epidemic models. We investigate whether inferences drawn from previous analyses of transitions in patterns of measles dynamics are robust to the shapes of the stage duration distributions. As an illustrative example, we analyse measles dynamics in New York City from 1928 to 1972. We find that with a fixed mean infectious period in the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) model, the dynamical structure and predicted transitions vary substantially as a function of the shape of the infectious period distribution. By contrast, with fixed mean latent and infectious periods in the SEIR model, the shapes of the stage duration distributions have a less dramatic effect on model dynamical structure and predicted transitions. All these results can be understood more easily by considering the distribution of the disease generation time as opposed to the distributions of individual disease stages. Numerical bifurcation analysis reveals that for a given mean generation time the dynamics of the SIR and SEIR models for measles are nearly equivalent and are insensitive to the shapes of the disease stage distributions.

  10. Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy Approaches to Understand the Dynamic Organization of the Plasma Membrane in Eukaryotes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziomkiewicz, Iwona

    signaling in plants. Furthermore, it was established that ENODL9 clustering affects the organization of the PM and distribution of other PM proteins. Analysis of the phenotype of mutant lines revealed that ENODL9 has an important role for plant development and the adaptation to osmotic stress. This resulted......The plasma membrane (PM) is a physical barrier that defines the boundaries of a cell. It not only isolates the cell interior from the environment, but also enables cell communication and a selective exchange of solutes. To serve those contrasting functions, the PM has a dynamic structure consisting...

  11. Understanding flocculation mechanism of graphene oxide for organic dyes from water: Experimental and molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Liu


    Full Text Available Flocculation treatment processes play an important role in water and wastewater pretreatment. Here we investigate experimentally and theoretically the possibility of using graphene oxide (GO as a flocculant to remove methylene blue (MB from water. Experimental results show that GO can remove almost all MB from aqueous solutions at its optimal dosages and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that MB cations quickly congregate around GO in water. Furthermore, PIXEL energy contribution analysis reveals that most of the strong interactions between GO and MB are of a van der Waals (London dispersion character. These results offer new insights for shedding light on the molecular mechanism of interaction between GO and organic pollutants.

  12. Towards understanding temporal and spatial dynamics of seagrass landscapes using time-series remote sensing (United States)

    Lyons, Mitchell B.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Phinn, Stuart R.


    The spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrasses have been well studied at the leaf to patch scales, however, the link to large spatial extent landscape and population dynamics is still unresolved in seagrass ecology. Traditional remote sensing approaches have lacked the temporal resolution and consistency to appropriately address this issue. This study uses two high temporal resolution time-series of thematic seagrass cover maps to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrass at both an inter- and intra-annual time scales, one of the first globally to do so at this scale. Previous work by the authors developed an object-based approach to map seagrass cover level distribution from a long term archive of Landsat TM and ETM+ images on the Eastern Banks (≈200 km2), Moreton Bay, Australia. In this work a range of trend and time-series analysis methods are demonstrated for a time-series of 23 annual maps from 1988 to 2010 and a time-series of 16 monthly maps during 2008-2010. Significant new insight was presented regarding the inter- and intra-annual dynamics of seagrass persistence over time, seagrass cover level variability, seagrass cover level trajectory, and change in area of seagrass and cover levels over time. Overall we found that there was no significant decline in total seagrass area on the Eastern Banks, but there was a significant decline in seagrass cover level condition. A case study of two smaller communities within the Eastern Banks that experienced a decline in both overall seagrass area and condition are examined in detail, highlighting possible differences in environmental and process drivers. We demonstrate how trend and time-series analysis enabled seagrass distribution to be appropriately assessed in context of its spatial and temporal history and provides the ability to not only quantify change, but also describe the type of change. We also demonstrate the potential use of time-series analysis products to investigate seagrass growth and

  13. Structural analysis on mutation residues and interfacial water molecules for human TIM disease understanding (United States)


    Background Human triosephosphate isomerase (HsTIM) deficiency is a genetic disease caused often by the pathogenic mutation E104D. This mutation, located at the side of an abnormally large cluster of water in the inter-subunit interface, reduces the thermostability of the enzyme. Why and how these water molecules are directly related to the excessive thermolability of the mutant have not been investigated in structural biology. Results This work compares the structure of the E104D mutant with its wild type counterparts. It is found that the water topology in the dimer interface of HsTIM is atypical, having a "wet-core-dry-rim" distribution with 16 water molecules tightly packed in a small deep region surrounded by 22 residues including GLU104. These water molecules are co-conserved with their surrounding residues in non-archaeal TIMs (dimers) but not conserved across archaeal TIMs (tetramers), indicating their importance in preserving the overall quaternary structure. As the structural permutation induced by the mutation is not significant, we hypothesize that the excessive thermolability of the E104D mutant is attributed to the easy propagation of atoms' flexibility from the surface into the core via the large cluster of water. It is indeed found that the B factor increment in the wet region is higher than other regions, and, more importantly, the B factor increment in the wet region is maintained in the deeply buried core. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that for the mutant structure at normal temperature, a clear increase of the root-mean-square deviation is observed for the wet region contacting with the large cluster of interfacial water. Such increase is not observed for other interfacial regions or the whole protein. This clearly suggests that, in the E104D mutant, the large water cluster is responsible for the subunit interface flexibility and overall thermolability, and it ultimately leads to the deficiency of this enzyme. Conclusions Our study

  14. Understanding Immunology via Engineering Design: The Role of Mathematical Prototyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Klinke


    type 1 diabetes and the dynamics of dendritic cells in the lung. This paper is intended to illustrate some of the nuances associated with applying mathematical modeling to improve understanding of the dynamics of disease progression in humans.

  15. The collective construction of safety: a trade-off between "understanding" and "doing" in managing dynamic situations. (United States)

    Cuvelier, L; Falzon, P


    This exploratory research aims to understand how teams organize themselves and collectively manage risky dynamic situations. The objective is to assess the plausibility of a model of a collective trade-off between "understanding" and "doing". The empirical study, conducted in the pediatric anesthesia service of a French university hospital, was supported by a "high fidelity" simulation with six teams. Data on the teams' behavior and on the verbal communications were collected through video recordings. The results highlight three modes for management of dynamic situations (determined management, cautious management, and overwhelmed management). These modes are related to the way in which teams manage their cognitive resources. More precisely, they are related to the teams' ability to collectively elaborate a trade-off between "understanding" and "doing". These results question existing perspectives on safety and suggest improvements in the design of crisis management training (concerning for example the recommendation of "calling for help"). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Dangerous connections : the spread of infectious diseases on dynamic networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leung, K.Y.


    Are concurrent partnerships (multiple partnerships at a time) driving HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa? Opinions differ! While simulation studies show the potential impact concurrency can have, empirical evidence is inconclusive. In my PhD research I used mathematical models to understand how

  17. Risk, Rationality and Nudging in Late Modern Society: Understanding the dynamics of the climate crisis


    Jakobsen, Terne Sasha Thorn


    This study seeks to explore and explain how nudge theory may contribute to the understanding of thedynamics of the climate crisis in a ‘world risk society’. It is based on Ulrich Beck’s theory of a worldrisk society and unfolds through the combination of theories about risk, rationality and behaviour thatare ultimately brought together in relation to the climate crisis. A critical realistic perspective andmethod is taken to explore three hypothetical premises: 1) That the climate crisis is a ...

  18. Increased understanding of the dynamics and transport in ITB plasmas from multi- machine comparisons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gohil, P.


    This paper presents details on: (a) examination and compilation of experimental results on transport from the many machines worldwide to better understand the physics of ITB formation and sustainment; (b) the development of an international database on ITB experimental results to determine the requirements for the formation and sustainment of ITBs, especially for reactor relevant conditions; (c) determining and performing comprehensive tests of theory-based models and simulations using the experimental ITB database. This paper will further present the status of research on critical issues in ITB physics including barrier formation and access conditions, particle and impurity transport, fueling, core-edge integration, profile control and stability as well as issues of accessibility in reactor scale devices such as barriers with T e =T i , barriers with low toroidal rotation and flat density profiles. Results will be presented from many devices providing a clearer understanding of transport and ITB physics in present plasmas and how this understanding can be applied to increase the performance of plasmas in future devices. An ITB database is being developed. (author)

  19. Deciphering deterioration mechanisms of complex diseases based on the construction of dynamic networks and systems analysis (United States)

    Li, Yuanyuan; Jin, Suoqin; Lei, Lei; Pan, Zishu; Zou, Xiufen


    The early diagnosis and investigation of the pathogenic mechanisms of complex diseases are the most challenging problems in the fields of biology and medicine. Network-based systems biology is an important technique for the study of complex diseases. The present study constructed dynamic protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks to identify dynamical network biomarkers (DNBs) and analyze the underlying mechanisms of complex diseases from a systems level. We developed a model-based framework for the construction of a series of time-sequenced networks by integrating high-throughput gene expression data into PPI data. By combining the dynamic networks and molecular modules, we identified significant DNBs for four complex diseases, including influenza caused by either H3N2 or H1N1, acute lung injury and type 2 diabetes mellitus, which can serve as warning signals for disease deterioration. Function and pathway analyses revealed that the identified DNBs were significantly enriched during key events in early disease development. Correlation and information flow analyses revealed that DNBs effectively discriminated between different disease processes and that dysfunctional regulation and disproportional information flow may contribute to the increased disease severity. This study provides a general paradigm for revealing the deterioration mechanisms of complex diseases and offers new insights into their early diagnoses.

  20. Understanding Biases in Ribosome Profiling Experiments Reveals Signatures of Translation Dynamics in Yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Hussmann


    Full Text Available Ribosome profiling produces snapshots of the locations of actively translating ribosomes on messenger RNAs. These snapshots can be used to make inferences about translation dynamics. Recent ribosome profiling studies in yeast, however, have reached contradictory conclusions regarding the average translation rate of each codon. Some experiments have used cycloheximide (CHX to stabilize ribosomes before measuring their positions, and these studies all counterintuitively report a weak negative correlation between the translation rate of a codon and the abundance of its cognate tRNA. In contrast, some experiments performed without CHX report strong positive correlations. To explain this contradiction, we identify unexpected patterns in ribosome density downstream of each type of codon in experiments that use CHX. These patterns are evidence that elongation continues to occur in the presence of CHX but with dramatically altered codon-specific elongation rates. The measured positions of ribosomes in these experiments therefore do not reflect the amounts of time ribosomes spend at each position in vivo. These results suggest that conclusions from experiments in yeast using CHX may need reexamination. In particular, we show that in all such experiments, codons decoded by less abundant tRNAs were in fact being translated more slowly before the addition of CHX disrupted these dynamics.

  1. Dynamic hyperbolic geometry: building intuition and understanding mediated by a Euclidean model (United States)

    Moreno-Armella, Luis; Brady, Corey; Elizondo-Ramirez, Rubén


    This paper explores a deep transformation in mathematical epistemology and its consequences for teaching and learning. With the advent of non-Euclidean geometries, direct, iconic correspondences between physical space and the deductive structures of mathematical inquiry were broken. For non-Euclidean ideas even to become thinkable the mathematical community needed to accumulate over twenty centuries of reflection and effort: a precious instance of distributed intelligence at the cultural level. In geometry education after this crisis, relations between intuitions and geometrical reasoning must be established philosophically, rather than taken for granted. One approach seeks intuitive supports only for Euclidean explorations, viewing non-Euclidean inquiry as fundamentally non-intuitive in nature. We argue for moving beyond such an impoverished approach, using dynamic geometry environments to develop new intuitions even in the extremely challenging setting of hyperbolic geometry. Our efforts reverse the typical direction, using formal structures as a source for a new family of intuitions that emerge from exploring a digital model of hyperbolic geometry. This digital model is elaborated within a Euclidean dynamic geometry environment, enabling a conceptual dance that re-configures Euclidean knowledge as a support for building intuitions in hyperbolic space-intuitions based not directly on physical experience but on analogies extending Euclidean concepts.

  2. Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Link between Imatinib Resistance and Kinase Conformational Dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Lovera


    Full Text Available Due to its inhibition of the Abl kinase domain in the BCR-ABL fusion protein, imatinib is strikingly effective in the initial stage of chronic myeloid leukemia with more than 90% of the patients showing complete remission. However, as in the case of most targeted anti-cancer therapies, the emergence of drug resistance is a serious concern. Several drug-resistant mutations affecting the catalytic domain of Abl and other tyrosine kinases are now known. But, despite their importance and the adverse effect that they have on the prognosis of the cancer patients harboring them, the molecular mechanism of these mutations is still debated. Here by using long molecular dynamics simulations and large-scale free energy calculations complemented by in vitro mutagenesis and microcalorimetry experiments, we model the effect of several widespread drug-resistant mutations of Abl. By comparing the conformational free energy landscape of the mutants with those of the wild-type tyrosine kinases we clarify their mode of action. It involves significant and complex changes in the inactive-to-active dynamics and entropy/enthalpy balance of two functional elements: the activation-loop and the conserved DFG motif. What is more the T315I gatekeeper mutant has a significant impact on the binding mechanism itself and on the binding kinetics.

  3. Interspecies dynamics among bacteria associated with canine periodontal disease. (United States)

    Sanguansermsri, P; Nobbs, A H; Jenkinson, H F; Surarit, R


    The etiology and pathogenic mechanisms associated with canine periodontal disease are less well understood than the disease in humans. In this study we have reconstructed defined consortia biofilms in vitro of microorganisms identified as prevalent in a same-breed cohort of dogs with or without periodontal disease. Frederiksenia canicola and Neisseria canis were selected as potential early colonizers of salivary pellicle, and Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gulae were included as high incidence canine oral bacteria. N. canis formed a biofilm substratum under aerobic conditions, but was unable to tolerate anaerobic conditions. Fr. canicola exhibited synergistic biofilm growth with Po. gulae under anaerobic conditions, but displayed an antagonistic relationship with Fu. nucleatum. However, strong co-adhesion between Fu. nucleatum and Po. gulae was able to overcome the inhibitory effects of Fr. canicola to facilitate three-species biofilm formation. Parvimonas micra, an anaerobic, asaccharolytic Gram-positive coccus found only under disease conditions in vivo, was able to form biofilms in conjunction with Fr. canicola and Po. gulae. Furthermore, the specific proteolytic activities of biofilms containing Fr. canicola and Po. gulae or Fu. nucleatum and Po. gulae were increased several-fold upon the addition of Pa. micra. This suggests that anaerobic cocci such as Pa. micra might provide a catalyst for progressive tissue destruction, inflammation and alveolar bone loss in canine periodontal disease, in keeping with the keystone-pathogen hypothesis. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Interventions and Interactions: Understanding Coupled Human-Water Dynamics for Improved Water Resources Management in the Himalayas (United States)

    Crootof, A.


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

  5. Understanding dynamics of large-scale atmospheric vortices with moist-convective shallow water model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rostami, M.; Zeitlin, V.


    Atmospheric jets and vortices which, together with inertia-gravity waves, constitute the principal dynamical entities of large-scale atmospheric motions, are well described in the framework of one- or multi-layer rotating shallow water models, which are obtained by vertically averaging of full “primitive” equations. There is a simple and physically consistent way to include moist convection in these models by adding a relaxational parameterization of precipitation and coupling precipitation with convective fluxes with the help of moist enthalpy conservation. We recall the construction of moist-convective rotating shallow water model (mcRSW) model and give an example of application to upper-layer atmospheric vortices. (paper)

  6. Understanding strong-field coherent control: Measuring single-atom versus collective dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trallero-Herrero, Carlos; Weinacht, Thomas; Spanner, Michael


    We compare the results of two strong field coherent control experiments: one which optimizes multi-photon population transfer in atomic sodium (from the 3s to the 4s state, measured by spontaneous emission from the 3p-3s transition) with one that optimizes stimulated emission on the 3p-3s transition in an ensemble of sodium atoms. Both experiments make use of intense, shaped ultrafast laser pulses discovered by a Genetic Algorithm inside a learning control loop. Optimization leads to improvements in the spontaneous and stimulated emission yields of about 4 and 10 4 , respectively, over an unshaped pulse. We interpret these results by modeling both the single atom dynamics as well as the stimulated emission buildup through numerical integration of Schroedinger's and Maxwell's equations. Our interpretation leads to the conclusion that modest yields for controlling single quantum systems can lead to dramatic effects whenever an ensemble of such systems acts collectively following controlled impulsive excitation

  7. Shifting Stakes: Understanding the Dynamic Roles of Individuals and Organizations in Social Media Protests. (United States)

    Spiro, Emma S; Monroy-Hernández, Andrés


    In this paper we examine two protests characterized by substantial social media presence and distributed participation frameworks via two core questions: what roles did organizations and individuals play, and how did participants' social interactions change over the course of the protests? To answer these questions, we analyzed a large Twitter activity dataset for the #YoSoy132 student uprising in Mexico and Brazil's "bus rebellion." Results indicate that individuals initially took prominence at the protests but faded in importance as the movements dwindled and organizations took over. Regarding the dynamics and structure of the interactions, we found that key time points with unique social structures often map to exogenous events such as coordinated protests in physical locations. Our results have important consequences for the visibility of such social movements and their ability to attract continued participation by individuals and organizations.

  8. Dynamical instabilities in hot expanding nuclear systems: a microscopic approach to the understanding of multifragmentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suraud, E.


    We present a microscopic study of the quasi-fusion/explosion transition in the framework of Landau-Vlasov simulations and for intermediate energy heavy-ion collisions (beam energy from 10 to 100 MeV/A). After a short presentation of the results of schematic calculations, which furnish a guideline for microscopic investigations, we discuss the relevance of our approach for studying multifragmentation. Once the limitations of this kind of dynamical simulations exhibited, we perform a detailed analysis in terms of the equation of state of the system. In agreement with schematic models we find that the composite nuclear system formed in the collision actually explodes when it stays long enough in the mechanically unstable region (spinodal region). Quantitative estimates of the explosion threshold are given for central symmetric reactions (Ca + Ca and Ar + Ti). The link of the results with transport properties and the equation of state of nuclear matter are briefly discussed

  9. Contemporary Leadership Theories. Enhancing the Understanding of the Complexity, Subjectivity and Dynamic of Leadership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winkler, Ingo

    This book provides a comprehensive overview of basic theoretical approaches of today's leadership research. These approaches conceive leadership as an interactive and complex process. They stress the significance of the individual perception for developing and forming leadership relations....... Leadership is understood as product of complex social relationships embedded in the logic and dynamic of the social system. The book discusses theoretical approaches from top leadership journals, but also addresses various alternatives that are suitable to challenge mainstream leadership research....... It includes attributional and psychodynamic approaches, charismatic leadership theories, and theoretical approaches that define leader-member relations in terms of exchange relations leadership under symbolic and political perspectives, in the light of role theory and as process of social learning....

  10. An understanding of human dynamics in urban subway traffic from the Maximum Entropy Principle (United States)

    Yong, Nuo; Ni, Shunjiang; Shen, Shifei; Ji, Xuewei


    We studied the distribution of entry time interval in Beijing subway traffic by analyzing the smart card transaction data, and then deduced the probability distribution function of entry time interval based on the Maximum Entropy Principle. Both theoretical derivation and data statistics indicated that the entry time interval obeys power-law distribution with an exponential cutoff. In addition, we pointed out the constraint conditions for the distribution form and discussed how the constraints affect the distribution function. It is speculated that for bursts and heavy tails in human dynamics, when the fitted power exponent is less than 1.0, it cannot be a pure power-law distribution, but with an exponential cutoff, which may be ignored in the previous studies.

  11. Parkinson's disease Assessment using Fuzzy Expert System and Nonlinear Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GEMAN, O.


    Full Text Available This paper proposes a new screening system for quantitative evaluation and analysis, designed for the early stage detection of Parkinson disease. This has been carried out in the view of improving the diagnosis currently established upon a basis of subjective scores. Parkinson?s disease (PD appears as a result of dopamine loss, a chemical mediator that is responsible for the body?s ability to control movements. The symptoms reflect the loss of nerve cells, due to an unknown. The input parameters of the system are represented by amplitude, frequency, the spectral characteristic and trembling localization. The main symptoms include trembling of hand, arms, movement difficulties, postural instability, disturbance of coordination and equilibrium, sleep disturbance, difficulties in speaking, reducing of voice volume. The medical knowledge in PD field is characterized by imprecision, uncertainty and vagueness. The proposed system (fuzzy expert systems is non-invasive and, easy to use by both physicians and patients at home.

  12. Application of high-throughput sequencing in understanding human oral microbiome related with health and disease


    Chen, Hui; Jiang, Wen


    The oral microbiome is one of most diversity habitat in the human body and they are closely related with oral health and disease. As the technique developing,, high throughput sequencing has become a popular approach applied for oral microbial analysis. Oral bacterial profiles have been studied to explore the relationship between microbial diversity and oral diseases such as caries and periodontal disease. This review describes the application of high-throughput sequencing for characterizati...

  13. Dynamic localization and shear-induced hopping of particles: A way to understand the rheology of dense colloidal dispersions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang, Tianying; Zukoski, Charles F.


    For decades, attempts have been made to understand the formation of colloidal glasses and gels by linking suspension mechanics to particle properties where details of size, shape, and spatial dependencies of pair potentials present a bewildering array of variables that can be manipulated to achieve observed properties. Despite the range of variables that control suspension properties, one consistent observation is the remarkably similarity of flow properties observed as particle properties are varied. Understanding the underlying origins of the commonality in those behaviors (e.g., shear-thinning with increasing stress, diverging zero shear rate viscosity with increasing volume fraction, development of a dynamic yield stress plateau with increases in volume faction or strength of attraction, development of two characteristic relaxation times probed in linear viscoelasticity, the creation of a rubbery plateau modulus at high strain frequencies, and shear-thickening) remains a challenge. Recently, naïve mode coupling and dynamic localization theories have been developed to capture collective behavior giving rise to formation of colloidal glasses and gels. This approach characterizes suspension mechanics of strongly interacting particles in terms of sluggish long-range particle diffusion modulated by varying particle interactions and volume fraction. These theories capture the scaling of the modulus with the volume fraction and strength of interparticle attraction, the frequency dependence of the moduli at the onset of the gel/glass transition, together with the divergence of the zero shear rate viscosity and cessation of diffusivity for hard sphere systems as close packing is approached. In this study, we explore the generality of the predictions of dynamic localization theory for systems of particles composed of bimodal particle size distributions experiencing weak interactions. We find that the mechanical properties of these suspensions are well captured within

  14. Dynamic localization and shear-induced hopping of particles: A way to understand the rheology of dense colloidal dispersions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Tianying; Zukoski, Charles F., E-mail: [Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States)


    For decades, attempts have been made to understand the formation of colloidal glasses and gels by linking suspension mechanics to particle properties where details of size, shape, and spatial dependencies of pair potentials present a bewildering array of variables that can be manipulated to achieve observed properties. Despite the range of variables that control suspension properties, one consistent observation is the remarkably similarity of flow properties observed as particle properties are varied. Understanding the underlying origins of the commonality in those behaviors (e.g., shear-thinning with increasing stress, diverging zero shear rate viscosity with increasing volume fraction, development of a dynamic yield stress plateau with increases in volume faction or strength of attraction, development of two characteristic relaxation times probed in linear viscoelasticity, the creation of a rubbery plateau modulus at high strain frequencies, and shear-thickening) remains a challenge. Recently, naïve mode coupling and dynamic localization theories have been developed to capture collective behavior giving rise to formation of colloidal glasses and gels. This approach characterizes suspension mechanics of strongly interacting particles in terms of sluggish long-range particle diffusion modulated by varying particle interactions and volume fraction. These theories capture the scaling of the modulus with the volume fraction and strength of interparticle attraction, the frequency dependence of the moduli at the onset of the gel/glass transition, together with the divergence of the zero shear rate viscosity and cessation of diffusivity for hard sphere systems as close packing is approached. In this study, we explore the generality of the predictions of dynamic localization theory for systems of particles composed of bimodal particle size distributions experiencing weak interactions. We find that the mechanical properties of these suspensions are well captured within

  15. Discrete dynamics of contagious social diseases: Example of obesity. (United States)

    Demongeot, J; Hansen, O; Taramasco, C


    Modeling contagious diseases needs to incorporate information about social networks through which the disease spreads as well as data about demographic and genetic changes in the susceptible population. In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework (conceptualization and formalization) which seeks to model obesity as a process of transformation of one's own body determined by individual (physical and psychological), inter-individual (relational, i.e., relative to the relationship between the individual and others) and socio-cultural (environmental, i.e., relative to the relationship between the individual and his milieu) factors. Individual and inter-individual factors are tied to each other in a socio-cultural context whose impact is notably related to the visibility of anybody being exposed on the public stage in a non-contingent way. The question we are dealing with in this article is whether such kind of social diseases, i.e., depending upon socio-environmental exposure, can be considered as "contagious". In other words, can obesity be propagated from individual to individual or from environmental sources throughout an entire population?

  16. Resilience as a concept for understanding family caregiving of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): an integrative review. (United States)

    Rosa, Francesca; Bagnasco, Annamaria; Aleo, Giuseppe; Kendall, Sally; Sasso, Loredana


    This paper was a report of the synthesis of evidence on examining the origins and definitions of the concept of resilience, investigating its application in chronic illness management and exploring its utility as a means of understanding family caregiving of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Resilience is a concept that is becoming relevant to understanding how individuals and families live with illness, especially long-term conditions. Caregivers of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease must be able to respond to exacerbations of the condition and may themselves experience cognitive imbalances. Yet, resilience as a way of understanding family caregiving of adults with COPD is little explored. Literature review - integrative review. CINAHL, PubMed, Google Scholar and EBSCO were searched between 1989-2015. The principles of rapid evidence assessment were followed. We identified 376 relevant papers: 20 papers reported the presence of the concept of resilience in family caregivers of chronic diseases patients but only 12 papers reported the presence of the concept of resilience in caregivers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients and have been included in the synthesis. The term resilience in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease caregiving is most often understood using a deficit model of health.

  17. Stress and Systemic Inflammation: Yin-Yang Dynamics in Health and Diseases. (United States)

    Yan, Qing


    Studies in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) would provide better insights into the "whole mind-body system." Systems biology models of the complex adaptive systems (CASs), such as a conceptual framework of "Yin-Yang dynamics," may be helpful for identifying systems-based biomarkers and targets for more effective prevention and treatment. The disturbances in the Yin-Yang dynamical balance may result in stress, inflammation, and various disorders including insomnia, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, skin disorders, and cancer. At the molecular and cellular levels, the imbalances in the cytokine pathways, mitochondria networks, redox systems, and various signaling pathways may contribute to systemic inflammation. In the nervous system, Yin and Yang may represent the dynamical associations between the progressive and regressive processes in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. In response to the damages to the heart, the Yin-Yang dynamical balance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine networks is crucial. The studies of cancer have revealed the importance of the Yin-Yang dynamics in the tumoricidal and tumorigenic activities of the immune system. Stress-induced neuroimmune imbalances are also essential in chronic skin disorders including atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. With the integrative framework, the restoration of the Yin-Yang dynamics can become the objective of dynamical systems medicine.

  18. Coupled contagion dynamics of fear and disease: mathematical and computational explorations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M Epstein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In classical mathematical epidemiology, individuals do not adapt their contact behavior during epidemics. They do not endogenously engage, for example, in social distancing based on fear. Yet, adaptive behavior is well-documented in true epidemics. We explore the effect of including such behavior in models of epidemic dynamics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using both nonlinear dynamical systems and agent-based computation, we model two interacting contagion processes: one of disease and one of fear of the disease. Individuals can "contract" fear through contact with individuals who are infected with the disease (the sick, infected with fear only (the scared, and infected with both fear and disease (the sick and scared. Scared individuals--whether sick or not--may remove themselves from circulation with some probability, which affects the contact dynamic, and thus the disease epidemic proper. If we allow individuals to recover from fear and return to circulation, the coupled dynamics become quite rich, and can include multiple waves of infection. We also study flight as a behavioral response. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In a spatially extended setting, even relatively small levels of fear-inspired flight can have a dramatic impact on spatio-temporal epidemic dynamics. Self-isolation and spatial flight are only two of many possible actions that fear-infected individuals may take. Our main point is that behavioral adaptation of some sort must be considered.

  19. Dynamics of Cellular Proliferation during 'Acute Homologous Disease' in Mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vitale, B.; Silobrcic, V.; Jurin, M.; Matosic, M.; Tomazic, Vesna [Laboratory for Transplantation and Tumour Immunology, Department of Biology, Institute Ruder Boskovic, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (Croatia)


    CBA mice, lethally irradiated and injected with 20 x 10{sup 6} bone-marrow cells derived from C57BL donors, develop a chronic form of 'homologous disease' and die between 20 and 40 days after treatment. If 10 x 10{sup 6} lymph node cells are added to the bone-marrow suspension, all recipients develop 'acute' homologous disease and die 6 to 10 days after irradiation. Different parameters of the disease were systematically observed. Among them, changes in spleen weight indicated early cell proliferation, which reached its maximum on day 4 and progressively decreased later on. Chromosomal analysis showed that all dividing cells in the spleen were of donor origin. Their number decreased concomitantly with the shrinkage and devastation of the organ, which started on day 6. The period of devastation of the spleen fully corresponds to the time in which all animals die. The use of cyclophosphamide in the treatment of 'acute' homologous disease transformed the disease into a chronic form with a mortality very similar to that obtained when only bone-marrow cells were injected. Among other effects, treatment with cyclophosphamide prevented early proliferation of donor cells in the spleen, and delayed spleen weight increase for about 10 days. After that period spleen weight increased, reaching its maximum on day 12. At first only donor type cells could be detected, but towards the end of the period in which spleen weight increase was registered host type cells appeared among the cells in mitosis. Their number gradually increased, and in some cases the majority or all of the dividing cells were of the host type. After a transitional decrease in spleen weight, another peak in cellular proliferation consisting of either host or donor or both types of cells was observed about day 30. In spite of the observed irregularities in the origin of dividing cells, all animals died by day 40 after application of cyclophosphamide. The relationship between proliferation of injected lymph node

  20. Understanding The Relationships Between Noncommunicable Diseases, Unhealthy Lifestyles, And Country Wealth. (United States)

    Bollyky, Thomas J; Templin, Tara; Andridge, Caroline; Dieleman, Joseph L


    The amount of international aid given to address noncommunicable diseases is minimal. Most of it is directed to wealthier countries and focuses on the prevention of unhealthy lifestyles. Explanations for the current direction of noncommunicable disease aid include that these are diseases of affluence that benefit from substantial research and development into their treatment in high-income countries and are better addressed through domestic tax and policy measures to reduce risk-factor prevalence than through aid programs. This study assessed these justifications. First, we examined the relationships among premature adult mortality, defined as the probability that a person who has lived to the age of fifteen will die before the age of sixty from noncommunicable diseases; the major risk factors for these diseases; and country wealth. Second, we compared noncommunicable and communicable diseases prevalent in poor and wealthy countries alike, and their respective links to economic development. Last, we examined the respective roles that wealth and risk prevention have played in countries that achieved substantial reductions in premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases. Our results support greater investment in cost-effective noncommunicable disease preventive care and treatment in poorer countries and a higher priority for reducing key risk factors, particularly tobacco use. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  1. Towards a Better Understanding of Complex Disease: Identifying Endotypes of Childhood Asthma (United States)

    Complex disease, where the diagnostic criteria cannot distinguish among differing etiologies, is often difficult to diagnose, treat and study due to the inability to classify individuals into suitable subtypes of the disease. Here, we aim to use and compare a combination of met...

  2. Understanding the Influence of Retention Basin on Tidal Dynamics in Tidal Estuaries (United States)

    Kumar, Mohit; Schuttelaars, Henk; Roos, Pieter


    Both the tidal motion and suspended sediment concentration (SSC) in tidal embayments and estuaries are influenced by anthropogenic (e.g. deepening ) and natural changes. An example of such an estuary is the Ems estuary, situated on the border of the Netherlands and Germany. The mean tidal range towards the end of the Ems estuary has increased from 1.5m in the 1950s to more than 3m in the 1990s while the suspended concentration has increased by a factor 10. To possibly reduce these negative effects, the construction of retention basin(s) (RB) is considered. In this contribution, the influence of location and geometry of RBs on tidal dynamics and SSC is investigated. For this purpose, a three-dimensional semi-analytic idealized model is developed. This model is an extension of the model proposed by Winant (2007) to arbitrary domain and realistic bathymetry with partial slip boundary condition at the bottom. The sea surface elevation (SSE) is calculated numerically using a finite element method. Next, the three-dimensional velocities are calculated by combining the analytically calculated vertical profiles and the gradients of the SSE which are obtained numerically. Firstly, the influence of a RB on the tidal dynamics in an infinitely long, rectangular, frictionless estuary is considered. The SSE decreases when the RB is located between a node and a landward antinode, consistent with the work of Alebregtse et al. (2013). Secondly, an estuary of finite length is connected to a sea. By varying the width of the sea, not only the effect of the distance of the RB to the landward end plays a role, but also the distance to the open sea becomes important. Finally, we discuss the influence of a RB on the tidal motion and initial sediment transport, considering the Ems estuary with realistic bathymetry. Results show that the SSE at the landward end of the Ems estuary decreases for all locations of the RBs. This decrease is most pronounced for the RB which is closest to the end

  3. Understanding and Supporting Dynamic Capabilities of Design Teams in Production of Technology-Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Ole Kjeldal

    Rapid adaptation to a changing environment is essential for the survival of incumbent companies, but the capabilities required to lead the disruption of a technological trajectory are generally challenged by the process management activities that make the company operate efficiently within its...... current environment. This study explores the practices of engineering designers that are executing disruptive innovation projects for DONG Energy, a Danish energy utilities company. The aim of the study was to understand the role of the designer in disruptive innovation and to create a tool for supporting...... multidisciplinary design teams, while creating disruptive innovations. The results from this study are presented in five research Papers that address the following themes: 1) the willingness of engineers to follow formal procedures, 2) critical knowledge domains in front-end technology decisions, 3) knowledge...

  4. A multifaceted approach to understanding dynamic urban processes: satellites, surveys, and censuses. (United States)

    Jones, B.; Balk, D.; Montgomery, M.; Liu, Z.


    Urbanization will arguably be the most significant demographic trend of the 21st century, particularly in fast-growing regions of the developing world. Characterizing urbanization in a spatial context, however, is a difficult task given only the moderate resolution data provided by traditional sources of demographic data (i.e., censuses and surveys). Using a sample of five world "mega-cities" we demonstrate how new satellite data products and new analysis of existing satellite data, when combined with new applications of census and survey microdata, can reveal more about cities and urbanization in combination than either data type can by itself. In addition to the partially modelled Global Urban-Rural Mapping Project (GRUMP) urban extents we consider four sources of remotely sensed data that can be used to estimate urban extents; the NOAA Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) intercallibrated nighttime lights time series data, the newer NOAA Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) nighttime lights data, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) radar satellite data, and Dense Sampling Method (DSM) analysis of the NASA scatterometer data. Demographic data come from national censuses and/or georeferenced survey data from the Demographic & Health Survey (DHS) program. We overlay demographic and remotely sensed data (e.g., Figs 1, 2) to address two questions; (1) how well do satellite derived measures of urban intensity correlate with demographic measures, and (2) how well are temporal changes in the data correlated. Using spatial regression techniques, we then estimate statistical relationships (controlling for influences such as elevation, coastal proximity, and economic development) between the remotely sensed and demographic data and test the ability of each to predict the other. Satellite derived imagery help us to better understand the evolution of the built environment and urban form, while the underlying demographic

  5. Do high school chemistry examinations inhibit deeper level understanding of dynamic reversible chemical reactions? (United States)

    Wheeldon, R.; Atkinson, R.; Dawes, A.; Levinson, R.


    Background and purpose : Chemistry examinations can favour the deployment of algorithmic procedures like Le Chatelier's Principle (LCP) rather than reasoning using chemical principles. This study investigated the explanatory resources which high school students use to answer equilibrium problems and whether the marks given for examination answers require students to use approaches beyond direct application of LCP. Sample : The questionnaire was administered to 162 students studying their first year of advanced chemistry (age 16/17) in three high achieving London high schools. Design and methods : The students' explanations of reversible chemical systems were inductively coded to identify the explanatory approaches used and interviews with 13 students were used to check for consistency. AS level examination questions on reversible reactions were analysed to identify the types of explanations sought and the students' performance in these examinations was compared to questionnaire answers. Results : 19% of students used a holistic explanatory approach: when the rates of forward and reverse reactions are correctly described, recognising their simultaneous and mutually dependent nature. 36% used a mirrored reactions approach when the connected nature of the forward and reverse reactions is identified, but not their mutual dependency. 42% failed to recognize the interdependence of forward and reverse reactions (reactions not connected approach). Only 4% of marks for AS examination questions on reversible chemical systems asked for responses which went beyond either direct application of LCP or recall of equilibrium knowledge. 37% of students attained an A grade in their AS national examinations. Conclusions : Examinations favour the application of LCP making it possible to obtain the highest grade with little understanding of reversible chemical systems beyond a direct application of this algorithm. Therefore students' understanding may be attenuated so that they are

  6. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.


    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  7. Advances in the understanding of nutrient dynamics and management in UK agriculture. (United States)

    Dungait, Jennifer A J; Cardenas, Laura M; Blackwell, Martin S A; Wu, Lianhai; Withers, Paul J A; Chadwick, David R; Bol, Roland; Murray, Philip J; Macdonald, Andrew J; Whitmore, Andrew P; Goulding, Keith W T


    Current research on macronutrient cycling in UK agricultural systems aims to optimise soil and nutrient management for improved agricultural production and minimise effects on the environment and provision of ecosystem services. Nutrient use inefficiencies can cause environmental pollution through the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and of soluble and particulate forms of N, P and carbon (C) in leachate and run-off into watercourses. Improving nutrient use efficiencies in agriculture calls for the development of sustainable nutrient management strategies: more efficient use of mineral fertilisers, increased recovery and recycling of waste nutrients, and, better exploitation of the substantial inorganic and organic reserves of nutrients in the soil. Long-term field experimentation in the UK has provided key knowledge of the main nutrient transformations in agricultural soils. Emerging analytical technologies, especially stable isotope labelling, that better characterise macronutrient forms and bioavailability and improve the quantification of the complex relationships between the macronutrients in soils at the molecular scale, are augmenting this knowledge by revealing the underlying processes. The challenge for the future is to determine the relationships between the dynamics of N, P and C across scales, which will require both new modelling approaches and integrated approaches to macronutrient cycling. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Novel dynamic Bayesian networks for facial action element recognition and understanding (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Park, Jeong-Seon; Choi, Dong-You; Lee, Sang-Woong


    In daily life, language is an important tool of communication between people. Besides language, facial action can also provide a great amount of information. Therefore, facial action recognition has become a popular research topic in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). However, facial action recognition is quite a challenging task due to its complexity. In a literal sense, there are thousands of facial muscular movements, many of which have very subtle differences. Moreover, muscular movements always occur simultaneously when the pose is changed. To address this problem, we first build a fully automatic facial points detection system based on a local Gabor filter bank and principal component analysis. Then, novel dynamic Bayesian networks are proposed to perform facial action recognition using the junction tree algorithm over a limited number of feature points. In order to evaluate the proposed method, we have used the Korean face database for model training. For testing, we used the CUbiC FacePix, facial expressions and emotion database, Japanese female facial expression database, and our own database. Our experimental results clearly demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach.

  9. Understanding the dynamics of correct and error responses in free recall: evidence from externalized free recall. (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Brewer, Gene A; Spillers, Gregory J


    The dynamics of correct and error responses in a variant of delayed free recall were examined in the present study. In the externalized free recall paradigm, participants were presented with lists of words and were instructed to subsequently recall not only the words that they could remember from the most recently presented list, but also any other words that came to mind during the recall period. Externalized free recall is useful for elucidating both sampling and postretrieval editing processes, thereby yielding more accurate estimates of the total number of error responses, which are typically sampled and subsequently edited during free recall. The results indicated that the participants generally sampled correct items early in the recall period and then transitioned to sampling more erroneous responses. Furthermore, the participants generally terminated their search after sampling too many errors. An examination of editing processes suggested that the participants were quite good at identifying errors, but this varied systematically on the basis of a number of factors. The results from the present study are framed in terms of generate-edit models of free recall.

  10. How are topics born? Understanding the research dynamics preceding the emergence of new areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo A. Salatino


    Full Text Available The ability to promptly recognise new research trends is strategic for many stakeholders, including universities, institutional funding bodies, academic publishers and companies. While the literature describes several approaches which aim to identify the emergence of new research topics early in their lifecycle, these rely on the assumption that the topic in question is already associated with a number of publications and consistently referred to by a community of researchers. Hence, detecting the emergence of a new research area at an embryonic stage, i.e., before the topic has been consistently labelled by a community of researchers and associated with a number of publications, is still an open challenge. In this paper, we begin to address this challenge by performing a study of the dynamics preceding the creation of new topics. This study indicates that the emergence of a new topic is anticipated by a significant increase in the pace of collaboration between relevant research areas, which can be seen as the ‘parents’ of the new topic. These initial findings (i confirm our hypothesis that it is possible in principle to detect the emergence of a new topic at the embryonic stage, (ii provide new empirical evidence supporting relevant theories in Philosophy of Science, and also (iii suggest that new topics tend to emerge in an environment in which weakly interconnected research areas begin to cross-fertilise.

  11. Understanding the core of RNA interference: The dynamic aspects of Argonaute-mediated processes

    KAUST Repository

    Zhu, Lizhe


    At the core of RNA interference, the Argonaute proteins (Ago) load and utilize small guide nucleic acids to silence mRNAs or cleave foreign nucleic acids in a sequence specific manner. In recent years, based on extensive structural studies of Ago and its interaction with the nucleic acids, considerable progress has been made to reveal the dynamic aspects of various Ago-mediated processes. Here we review these novel insights into the guide-strand loading, duplex unwinding, and effects of seed mismatch, with a focus on two representative Agos, the human Ago 2 (hAgo2) and the bacterial Thermus thermophilus Ago (TtAgo). In particular, comprehensive molecular simulation studies revealed that although sharing similar overall structures, the two Agos have vastly different conformational landscapes and guide-strand loading mechanisms because of the distinct rigidity of their L1-PAZ hinge. Given the central role of the PAZ motions in regulating the exposure of the nucleic acid binding channel, these findings exemplify the importance of protein motions in distinguishing the overlapping, yet distinct, mechanisms of Ago-mediated processes in different organisms.

  12. Understanding plume splitting of laser ablated plasma: A view from ion distribution dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Jian; Li, Xingwen; Wei, Wenfu; Jia, Shenli; Qiu, Aici [State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi' an Jiaotong University, Shaanxi 710049 (China)


    Plume splitting in low-pressure ambient air was understood in view of ion distribution dynamics from the laser ablated Al plasma (1064 nm 0.57 J/mm{sup 2}) by combining fast photography and spatially resolved spectroscopy. In the beginning, the spectral lines were mainly from the Al III ion. Then, the Bragg peak in stopping power of the ambient gas to Al III could be the dominant reason for the enhanced emission from the fast moving part, and the recombination of Al III to Al I-II ions near the target surface was response to the radiations from the slow moving/stationary part. As the ambient gas pressure increased, stopping distances of the Al III decreased, and radiation from the air ions became pronounced. The laser shadowgraph image at 1100 Pa indicated that the shock wave front located between the fast moving and slow moving parts. Electron densities of the fast moving plasma, which peaked at the plasma front, were on the order of 10{sup 16} cm{sup −3}, and the electron temperatures were 2–3 eV.

  13. Basic mechanisms of DBS for Parkinson’s disease: computational and experimental studies on neural dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Çağnan, H.


    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has become an accepted therapy of last resort for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The acceptance of DBS for the management of PD motor symptoms is based on its success rate and contrasts sharply with ones understanding of the pathophysiology underlying the disease state and

  14. Modeling the transmission dynamics of Ebola virus disease in Liberia. (United States)

    Xia, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Shi-Fu; Li, Shen-Long; Huang, Liu-Yu; Zhang, Wen-Yi; Sun, Gui-Quan; Gai, Zhong-Tao; Jin, Zhen


    Ebola virus disease (EVD) has erupted many times in some zones since it was first found in 1976. The 2014 EVD outbreak in West Africa is the largest ever, which has caused a large number of deaths and the most serious country is Liberia during the outbreak period. Based on the data released by World Health Organization and the actual transmission situations, we investigate the impact of different transmission routes on the EVD outbreak in Liberia and estimate the basic reproduction number R0 = 2.012 in the absence of effective control measures. Through sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, we reveal that the transmission coefficients of suspected and probable cases have stronger correlations on the basic reproduction number. Furthermore, we study the influence of control measures (isolation and safe burial measures) on EVD outbreak. It is found that if combined control measures are taken, the basic reproduction number will be less than one and thus EVD in Liberia may be well contained. The obtained results may provide new guidance to prevent and control the spread of disease.

  15. Using landscape epidemiological models to understand the distribution of chronic wasting disease in the Midwestern USA (United States)

    Robinson, Stacie J.; Samuel, Michael D.; Rolley, Robert E.; Shelton, Paul


    Animal movement across the landscape plays a critical role in the ecology of infectious wildlife diseases. Dispersing animals can spread pathogens between infected areas and naïve populations. While tracking free-ranging animals over the geographic scales relevant to landscape-level disease management is challenging, landscape features that influence gene flow among wildlife populations may also influence the contact rates and disease spread between populations. We used spatial diffusion and barriers to white-tailed deer gene flow, identified through landscape genetics, to model the distribution of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the infected region of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, USA. Our generalized linear model showed that risk of CWD infection declined exponentially with distance from current outbreaks, and inclusion of gene flow barriers dramatically improved fit and predictive power of the model. Our results indicate that CWD is spreading across the Midwestern landscape from these two endemic foci, but spread is strongly influenced by highways and rivers that also reduce deer gene flow. We used our model to plot a risk map, providing important information for CWD management by identifying likely routes of disease spread and providing a tool for prioritizing disease monitoring and containment efforts. The current analysis may serve as a framework for modeling future disease risk drawing on genetic information to investigate barriers to spread and extending management and monitoring beyond currently affected regions.

  16. Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Enterography and Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography in Crohn's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilkens, Rune; Peters, David A; Nielsen, Agnete Hedemann


    Purpose e Cross-sectional imaging methods are important for objective evaluationof small intestinal inflammationinCrohn'sdisease(CD).The primary aim was to compare relative parameters of intestinal perfusion between contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic...

  17. Dynamics of socioeconomic risk factors for neglected tropical diseases and malaria in an armed conflict.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Fürst

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Armed conflict and war are among the leading causes of disability and premature death, and there is a growing share of civilians killed or injured during armed conflicts. A major part of the civilian suffering stems from indirect effects or collateral impact such as changing risk profiles for infectious diseases. We focused on rural communities in the western part of Côte d'Ivoire, where fighting took place during the Ivorian civil war in 2002/2003, and assessed the dynamics of socioeconomic risk factors for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs and malaria. METHODOLOGY: The same standardized and pre-tested questionnaires were administered to the heads of 182 randomly selected households in 25 villages in the region of Man, western Côte d'Ivoire, shortly before and after the 2002/2003 armed conflict. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: There was no difference in crowding as measured by the number of individuals per sleeping room, but the inadequate sanitation infrastructure prior to the conflict further worsened, and the availability and use of protective measures against mosquito bites and accessibility to health care infrastructure deteriorated. Although the direct causal chain between these findings and the conflict are incomplete, partially explained by the very nature of working in conflict areas, the timing and procedures of the survey, other sources and anecdotal evidence point toward a relationship between an increased risk of suffering from NTDs and malaria and armed conflict. CONCLUSION: New research is needed to deepen our understanding of the often diffuse and neglected indirect effects of armed conflict and war, which may be worse than the more obvious, direct effects.

  18. The importance of the relationship between scale and process in understanding long-term DOC dynamics. (United States)

    Clark, J M; Bottrell, S H; Evans, C D; Monteith, D T; Bartlett, R; Rose, R; Newton, R J; Chapman, P J


    Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon have increased in many, but not all, surface waters across acid impacted areas of Europe and North America over the last two decades. Over the last eight years several hypotheses have been put forward to explain these increases, but none are yet accepted universally. Research in this area appears to have reached a stalemate between those favouring declining atmospheric deposition, climate change or land management as the key driver of long-term DOC trends. While it is clear that many of these factors influence DOC dynamics in soil and stream waters, their effect varies over different temporal and spatial scales. We argue that regional differences in acid deposition loading may account for the apparent discrepancies between studies. DOC has shown strong monotonic increases in areas which have experienced strong downward trends in pollutant sulphur and/or seasalt deposition. Elsewhere climatic factors, that strongly influence seasonality, have also dominated inter-annual variability, and here long-term monotonic DOC trends are often difficult to detect. Furthermore, in areas receiving similar acid loadings, different catchment characteristics could have affected the site specific sensitivity to changes in acidity and therefore the magnitude of DOC release in response to changes in sulphur deposition. We suggest that confusion over these temporal and spatial scales of investigation has contributed unnecessarily to the disagreement over the main regional driver(s) of DOC trends, and that the data behind the majority of these studies is more compatible than is often conveyed. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Health and demographic surveillance systems: contributing to an understanding of the dynamics in migration and health (United States)

    Gerritsen, Annette; Bocquier, Philippe; White, Michael; Mbacké, Cheikh; Alam, Nurul; Beguy, Donatien; Odhiambo, Frank; Sacoor, Charfudin; Phuc, Ho Dang; Punpuing, Sureeporn; Collinson, Mark A.


    Background Migration is difficult to measure because it is highly repeatable. Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs) provide a unique opportunity to study migration as multiple episodes of migration are captured over time. A conceptual framework is needed to show the public health implications of migration. Objective/design Research conducted in seven HDSS centres [International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health (INDEPTH) Network], published in a peer-reviewed volume in 2009, is summarised focussing on the age–sex profile of migrants, the relation between migration and livelihoods, and the impact of migration on health. This illustrates the conceptual structure of the implications of migration. The next phase is described, the Multi-centre Analysis of the Dynamics In Migration And Health (MADIMAH) project, consisting of workshops focussed on preparing data and conducting the analyses for comparative studies amongst HDSS centres in Africa and Asia. The focus here is on the (standardisation of) determinants of migration and the impact of migration on adult mortality. Results The findings in the volume showed a relatively regular age structure for migration among all HDSS centres. Furthermore, migration generally contributes to improved living conditions at the place of origin. However, there are potential negative consequences of migration on health. It was concluded that there is a need to compare results from multiple centres using uniform covariate definitions as well as longitudinal analysis techniques. This was the starting point for the on-going MADIMAH initiative, which has increased capacity at the participating HDSS centres to produce the required datasets and conduct the analyses. Conclusions HDSS centres brought together within INDEPTH Network have already provided strong evidence of the potential negative consequences of migration on health, which contrast with the beneficial impacts of migration on

  20. Investigation of the middle atmosphere of Venus as a key to understand its dynamics (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Khatountsev, I. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Moroz, V. I.; Formisano, V.; Bellucci, G.


    Middle atmosphere of Venus (50 - 100km) is a very important part of the atmosphere. More than 70 % of the absorbed solar energy deposits there, providing an important source of energy to support thermal structure and dynamics. We investigate the thermal tides distribution, which is possibly responsible for the support of the superrotation. Temperature and aerosol vertical profiles were retrieved in a self consistent way from Venera-15 IR spectrometry data with vertical resolution of several kilometers. The temperature variation at the isobaric levels vs. solar longitude was presented as a superposition of the cosines with periods of 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 Venusian days with amplitude and phase depending on latitude and altitude. In particular, in the upper clouds, where most of the solar energy absorbs, all four tidal components have significant amplitudes. For the midlatitude jet the solar related periods were also found with maximal amplitude of 1/2 days period. It was also discovered that the jet changes its position in such a way that the laws of the conservation of momentum and flux are satisfied. The Fourier spectrometer on Venera-15 may be considered as a precursor of the instrument of this kind for the future missions. A functioning of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer, with spectral range 1-50 mkm, proposed for Venus Express mission together with UV (0.2-0.5 mm) mapping spectrometer, will be enable to get answers to the fundamental questions of the middle atmosphere: clouds formation, nature of the ``unknown" UV-absorber and the mechanism of support of the superrotation. This work was supported by the grant RFFI - 02-01-17841.

  1. Understanding balance differences in individuals with multiple sclerosis with mild disability: An investigation of differences in sensory feedback on postural and dynamic balance control (United States)

    Denomme, Luke T.

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and causes a broad range of neurological symptoms. One of the most common symptoms experienced by individuals with MS is poor balance control during standing and walking. The main mechanism underlying impaired balance control in MS appears to result from slowed somatosensory conduction and impaired central integration. The current thesis assessed postural and dynamic control of balance of 'individuals with MS with mild disability' (IwMS). IwMS were compared to 'healthy age-matched individuals' (HAMI) and community-dwelling 'older adults' (OA). The purpose of this thesis was to quantify differences in postural and dynamic control of balance in IwMS to the two populations who display balance control differences across the lifespan and represent two extreme ends of the balance control continuum due to natural aging. IwMS (n = 12, x¯age: 44 +/- 9.4 years), HAMI (n = 12, x¯age: 45 +/- 9.9 years) and community-dwelling OA (n = 12, x¯ age: 68.1 +/- 4.5 years) postural and dynamic balance control were evaluated during a Romberg task as well as a dynamic steering task. The Romberg task required participants to stand with their feet together and hands by their sides for 45 seconds with either their eyes open or closed. The dynamic steering task required participants to walk and change direction along the M-L plane towards a visual goal. Results from these two tasks reveal that IwMS display differences in postural control when compared to HAMI when vision was removed as well as differences in dynamic stability margin during steering situations. During the postural control task IwMS displayed faster A-P and M-L COP velocities when vision was removed and their COP position was closer to their self-selected maximum stability limits compared to HAMI. Assessment of dynamic stability during the steering task revealed that IwMS displayed reduced walking speed and cadence during the

  2. Disease dynamics and potential mitigation among restored and wild staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis (United States)

    Lohr, Kathryn E.; Cameron, Caitlin M.; Williams, Dana E.; Peters, Esther C.


    The threatened status (both ecologically and legally) of Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, has prompted rapidly expanding efforts in culture and restocking, although tissue loss diseases continue to affect populations. In this study, disease surveillance and histopathological characterization were used to compare disease dynamics and conditions in both restored and extant wild populations. Disease had devastating effects on both wild and restored populations, but dynamics were highly variable and appeared to be site-specific with no significant differences in disease prevalence between wild versus restored sites. A subset of 20 haphazardly selected colonies at each site observed over a four-month period revealed widely varying disease incidence, although not between restored and wild sites, and a case fatality rate of 8%. A tropical storm was the only discernable environmental trigger associated with a consistent spike in incidence across all sites. Lastly, two field mitigation techniques, (1) excision of apparently healthy branch tips from a diseased colony, and (2) placement of a band of epoxy fully enclosing the diseased margin, gave equivocal results with no significant benefit detected for either treatment compared to controls. Tissue condition of associated samples was fair to very poor; unsuccessful mitigation treatment samples had severe degeneration of mesenterial filament cnidoglandular bands. Polyp mucocytes in all samples were infected with suspect rickettsia-like organisms; however, no bacterial aggregates were found. No histological differences were found between disease lesions with gross signs fitting literature descriptions of white-band disease (WBD) and rapid tissue loss (RTL). Overall, our results do not support differing disease quality, quantity, dynamics, nor health management strategies between restored and wild colonies of A. cervicornis in the Florida Keys. PMID:25210660

  3. Motor unit recruitment for dynamic tasks: current understanding and future directions. (United States)

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F; Wakeling, James M


    Skeletal muscle contains many muscle fibres that are functionally grouped into motor units. For any motor task there are many possible combinations of motor units that could be recruited and it has been proposed that a simple rule, the 'size principle', governs the selection of motor units recruited for different contractions. Motor units can be characterised by their different contractile, energetic and fatigue properties and it is important that the selection of motor units recruited for given movements allows units with the appropriate properties to be activated. Here we review what is currently understood about motor unit recruitment patterns, and assess how different recruitment patterns are more or less appropriate for different movement tasks. During natural movements the motor unit recruitment patterns vary (not always holding to the size principle) and it is proposed that motor unit recruitment is likely related to the mechanical function of the muscles. Many factors such as mechanics, sensory feedback, and central control influence recruitment patterns and consequently an integrative approach (rather than reductionist) is required to understand how recruitment is controlled during different movement tasks. Currently, the best way to achieve this is through in vivo studies that relate recruitment to mechanics and behaviour. Various methods for determining motor unit recruitment patterns are discussed, in particular the recent wavelet-analysis approaches that have allowed motor unit recruitment to be assessed during natural movements. Directions for future studies into motor recruitment within and between functional task groups and muscle compartments are suggested.

  4. Increased understanding of the dynamics and transport in ITB plasmas from multi-machine comparisons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gohil, P.; Kinsey, J.; Parail, V.


    Our understanding of the physics of internal transport barriers (ITBs) is being furthered by analysis and comparisons of experimental data from many different tokamaks worldwide. An international database consisting of scalar and 2-D profile data on ITB plasmas is being developed to determine the requirements for the formation and sustainment of ITBs and to perform tests of theory-based transport models in an effort to improve the predictive capability of the models. Tests of several transport models (JETTO, Weiland model) using the 2-D profile data indicate that there is only limited agreement between the model predictions and the experimental results for the range of plasma conditions examined for the different devices (DIII-D, JET, JT-60U). Gyrokinetic stability analysis of the ITB discharges from these devices indicates that the ITG/TEM growth rates decrease with increased negative magnetic shear and that the ExB shear rate is comparable to the linear growth rates at the location of the ITB. (author)

  5. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  6. Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a model facultative pathogen: Agrobacterium and crown gall disease of plants. (United States)

    Barton, Ian S; Fuqua, Clay; Platt, Thomas G


    Many important pathogens maintain significant populations in highly disparate disease and non-disease environments. The consequences of this environmental heterogeneity in shaping the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of these facultative pathogens are incompletely understood. Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the causative agent for crown gall disease of plants has proven a productive model for many aspects of interactions between pathogens and their hosts and with other microbes. In this review, we highlight how this past work provides valuable context for the use of this system to examine how heterogeneity and transitions between disease and non-disease environments influence the ecology and evolution of facultative pathogens. We focus on several features common among facultative pathogens, such as the physiological remodelling required to colonize hosts from environmental reservoirs and the consequences of competition with host and non-host associated microbiota. In addition, we discuss how the life history of facultative pathogens likely often results in ecological tradeoffs associated with performance in disease and non-disease environments. These pathogens may therefore have different competitive dynamics in disease and non-disease environments and are subject to shifting selective pressures that can result in pathoadaptation or the within-host spread of avirulent phenotypes. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. New GOES High-Resolution Magnetic Measurements and their Contribution to Understanding Magnetospheric Particle Dynamics (United States)

    Redmon, R. J.; Loto'aniu, P. T. M.; Boudouridis, A.; Chi, P. J.; Singer, H. J.; Kress, B. T.; Rodriguez, J. V.; Abdelqader, A.; Tilton, M.


    studies, we find that the wave amplitude of poloidal oscillations is amplified at low altitudes but attenuated on the ground, confirming the theoretical predictions of wave propagation from the magnetosphere to the ground. We include examples of GOES-16 particle flux and magnetic field observations illustrating complex particle dynamics.

  8. Understanding the decline and resilience loss of a long-lived social-ecological system: insights from system dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Tenza


    Full Text Available Collapse of social-ecological systems (SESs is a common process in human history. Depletion of natural resources, scarcity of human capital, or both, is/are common pathways toward collapse. We use the system dynamics approach to better understand specific problems of small-scale, long-lived SESs. We present a qualitative (or conceptual model using the conceptualization process of the system dynamics approach to study the dynamics of an oasis in Mexico that has witnessed a dramatic transition to decline in recent decades. We used indepth interviews, participant observation, expert opinions, and official statistical data sets to define the boundaries, and structure in a causal loop diagram of our studied system. We described historical trends and showed the reference mode for the main system variables (observed data, and analyzed the expected system behavior according to the system structure. We identified the main drivers that changed the system structure, as well as structural changes, and the effects of these changes on the dynamics, resilience, and vulnerability of this SES. We found that the tendency of this SES toward collapse was triggered by exogenous factors (growth of modern agriculture in nearby valleys, and socio-political relocation, and was maintained by an endogenous structure. These structural changes weakened the resilience of this SES. One of these changes resulted in a long-term maladaptation of the SES, which increased its vulnerability to frequent system disturbances (hurricanes and droughts. The conceptual model developed provides an in-depth qualitative description of the system, with an important amount of qualitative and quantitative information, to establish the structural hypothesis of the observed behavior. Using this qualitative model, the next research steps are to develop a quantitative model to test the qualitative theories, and to explore future scenarios of system resilience for decision-making processes to

  9. Simulation modelling of population dynamics of mosquito vectors for rift valley Fever virus in a disease epidemic setting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clement N Mweya

    Full Text Available Rift Valley Fever (RVF is weather dependent arboviral infection of livestock and humans. Population dynamics of mosquito vectors is associated with disease epidemics. In our study, we use daily temperature and rainfall as model inputs to simulate dynamics of mosquito vectors population in relation to disease epidemics.Time-varying distributed delays (TVDD and multi-way functional response equations were implemented to simulate mosquito vectors and hosts developmental stages and to establish interactions between stages and phases of mosquito vectors in relation to vertebrate hosts for infection introduction in compartmental phases. An open-source modelling platforms, Universal Simulator and Qt integrated development environment were used to develop models in C++ programming language. Developed models include source codes for mosquito fecundity, host fecundity, water level, mosquito infection, host infection, interactions, and egg time. Extensible Markup Language (XML files were used as recipes to integrate source codes in Qt creator with Universal Simulator plug-in. We observed that Floodwater Aedines and Culicine population continued to fluctuate with temperature and water level over simulation period while controlled by availability of host for blood feeding. Infection in the system was introduced by floodwater Aedines. Culicines pick infection from infected host once to amplify disease epidemic. Simulated mosquito population show sudden unusual increase between December 1997 and January 1998 a similar period when RVF outbreak occurred in Ngorongoro district.Findings presented here provide new opportunities for weather-driven RVF epidemic simulation modelling. This is an ideal approach for understanding disease transmission dynamics towards epidemics prediction, prevention and control. This approach can be used as an alternative source for generation of calibrated RVF epidemics data in different settings.

  10. Simulation modelling of population dynamics of mosquito vectors for rift valley Fever virus in a disease epidemic setting. (United States)

    Mweya, Clement N; Holst, Niels; Mboera, Leonard E G; Kimera, Sharadhuli I


    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is weather dependent arboviral infection of livestock and humans. Population dynamics of mosquito vectors is associated with disease epidemics. In our study, we use daily temperature and rainfall as model inputs to simulate dynamics of mosquito vectors population in relation to disease epidemics. Time-varying distributed delays (TVDD) and multi-way functional response equations were implemented to simulate mosquito vectors and hosts developmental stages and to establish interactions between stages and phases of mosquito vectors in relation to vertebrate hosts for infection introduction in compartmental phases. An open-source modelling platforms, Universal Simulator and Qt integrated development environment were used to develop models in C++ programming language. Developed models include source codes for mosquito fecundity, host fecundity, water level, mosquito infection, host infection, interactions, and egg time. Extensible Markup Language (XML) files were used as recipes to integrate source codes in Qt creator with Universal Simulator plug-in. We observed that Floodwater Aedines and Culicine population continued to fluctuate with temperature and water level over simulation period while controlled by availability of host for blood feeding. Infection in the system was introduced by floodwater Aedines. Culicines pick infection from infected host once to amplify disease epidemic. Simulated mosquito population show sudden unusual increase between December 1997 and January 1998 a similar period when RVF outbreak occurred in Ngorongoro district. Findings presented here provide new opportunities for weather-driven RVF epidemic simulation modelling. This is an ideal approach for understanding disease transmission dynamics towards epidemics prediction, prevention and control. This approach can be used as an alternative source for generation of calibrated RVF epidemics data in different settings.

  11. Evaluating wildlife-cattle contact rates to improve the understanding of dynamics of bovine tuberculosis transmission in Michigan, USA. (United States)

    Lavelle, Michael J; Kay, Shannon L; Pepin, Kim M; Grear, Daniel A; Campa, Henry; VerCauteren, Kurt C


    Direct and indirect contacts among individuals drive transmission of infectious disease. When multiple interacting species are susceptible to the same pathogen, risk assessment must include all potential host species. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an example of a disease that can be transmitted among several wildlife species and to cattle, although the potential role of several wildlife species in spillback to cattle remains unclear. To better understand the complex network of contacts and factors driving disease transmission, we fitted proximity logger collars to beef and dairy cattle (n=37), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; n=29), raccoon (Procyon lotor; n=53), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; n=79) for 16 months in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, USA. We determined inter- and intra-species direct and indirect contact rates. Data on indirect contact was calculated when collared animals visited stationary proximity loggers placed at cattle feed and water resources. Most contact between wildlife species and cattle was indirect, with the highest contact rates occurring between raccoons and cattle during summer and fall. Nearly all visits (>99%) to cattle feed and water sources were by cattle, whereas visitation to stored cattle feed was dominated by deer and raccoon (46% and 38%, respectively). Our results suggest that indirect contact resulting from wildlife species visiting cattle-related resources could pose a risk of disease transmission to cattle and deserves continued attention with active mitigation. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Mathematical modeling of bone marrow--peripheral blood dynamics in the disease state based on current emerging paradigms, part I. (United States)

    Afenya, Evans K; Ouifki, Rachid; Camara, Baba I; Mundle, Suneel D


    Stemming from current emerging paradigms related to the cancer stem cell hypothesis, an existing mathematical model is expanded and used to study cell interaction dynamics in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. The proposed mathematical model is described by a system of nonlinear differential equations with delay, to quantify the dynamics in abnormal hematopoiesis. The steady states of the model are analytically and numerically obtained. Some conditions for the local asymptotic stability of such states are investigated. Model analyses suggest that malignancy may be irreversible once it evolves from a nonmalignant state into a malignant one and no intervention takes place. This leads to the proposition that a great deal of emphasis be placed on cancer prevention. Nevertheless, should malignancy arise, treatment programs for its containment or curtailment may have to include a maximum and extensive level of effort to protect normal cells from eventual destruction. Further model analyses and simulations predict that in the untreated disease state, there is an evolution towards a situation in which malignant cells dominate the entire bone marrow - peripheral blood system. Arguments are then advanced regarding requirements for quantitatively understanding cancer stem cell behavior. Among the suggested requirements are, mathematical frameworks for describing the dynamics of cancer initiation and progression, the response to treatment, the evolution of resistance, and malignancy prevention dynamics within the bone marrow - peripheral blood architecture. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Seeing the light: Applications of in situ optical measurements for understanding DOM dynamics in river systems (Invited) (United States)

    Pellerin, B. A.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Downing, B. D.; Saraceno, J.; Fleck, J.; Shanley, J. B.; Aiken, G.; Boss, E.; Fujii, R.


    A critical challenge for understanding the sources, character and cycling of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is making measurements at the time scales in which changes occur in aquatic systems. Traditional approaches for data collection (daily to monthly discrete sampling) are often limited by analytical and field costs, site access and logistical challenges, particularly for long-term sampling at a large number of sites. The ability to make optical measurements of DOM in situ has been known for more than 50 years, but much of the work on in situ DOM absorbance and fluorescence using commercially-available instruments has taken place in the last few years. Here we present several recent examples that highlight the application of in situ measurements for understanding DOM dynamics in riverine systems at intervals of minutes to hours. Examples illustrate the utility of in situ optical sensors for studies of DOM over short-duration events of days to weeks (diurnal cycles, tidal cycles, storm events and snowmelt periods) as well as longer-term continuous monitoring for months to years. We also highlight the application of in situ optical DOM measurements as proxies for constituents that are significantly more difficult and expensive to measure at high frequencies (e.g. methylmercury, trihalomethanes). Relatively simple DOM absorbance and fluorescence measurements made in situ could be incorporated into short and long-term ecological research and monitoring programs, resulting in advanced understanding of organic matter sources, character and cycling in riverine systems.

  14. Under the pile. Understanding subsurface dynamics of historical cities trough geophysical models interpretation (United States)

    Bernardes, Paulo; Pereira, Bruno; Alves, Mafalda; Fontes, Luís; Sousa, Andreia; Martins, Manuela; Magalhães, Fernanda; Pimenta, Mário


    Braga is one of the oldest cities of the Iberian NW and as of so, the research team's studying the city's historical core for the past 40 years is often confronted with the unpredictability factor laying beneath an urban site with such a long construction history. In fact, Braga keeps redesigning its urban structure over itself on for the past 2000 years, leaving us with a research object filled with an impressive set of construction footprints from the various planning decisions that were taken in the city along its historical path. Aiming for a predicting understanding of the subsoil, we have used near surface geophysics as an effort of minimizing the areas of intervention for traditional archaeological survey techniques. The Seminário de Santiago integrated geophysical survey is an example of the difficulties of interpreting geophysical models in very complex subsurface scenarios. This geophysical survey was planned in order to aid the requalification project being designed for this set of historical buildings, that are estimated to date back to the 16h century, and that were built over one of the main urban arteries of both roman and medieval layers of Braga. We have used both GPR as well as ERT methods for the geophysical survey, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus in the use of the ERT alone. For the interpretation of the geophysical models we've cross-referenced the dense knowledge existing over the building's construction phases with the complex geophysical data collected, using mathematical processing and volume-based visualization techniques, resorting to the use of Res2Inv©, Paraview© and Voxler® software's. At the same time we tried to pinpoint the noise caused by the past 30 year's infrastructural interventions regarding the replacement of the building's water and sanitation systems and for which we had no design plants, regardless of its recent occurring. The deep impact of this replacement actions revealed by the archaeological

  15. Characterizing the transmission dynamics and control of ebola virus disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Chowell


    Full Text Available Carefully calibrated transmission models have the potential to guide public health officials on the nature and scale of the interventions required to control epidemics. In the context of the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD epidemic in Liberia, Drake and colleagues, in this issue of PLOS Biology, employed an elegant modeling approach to capture the distributions of the number of secondary cases that arise in the community and health care settings in the context of changing population behaviors and increasing hospital capacity. Their findings underscore the role of increasing the rate of safe burials and the fractions of infectious individuals who seek hospitalization together with hospital capacity to achieve epidemic control. However, further modeling efforts of EVD transmission and control in West Africa should utilize the spatial-temporal patterns of spread in the region by incorporating spatial heterogeneity in the transmission process. Detailed datasets are urgently needed to characterize temporal changes in population behaviors, contact networks at different spatial scales, population mobility patterns, adherence to infection control measures in hospital settings, and hospitalization and reporting rates.

  16. The Understanding of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD Among Medical Practitioners of Karachi, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadia Shakeel


    Full Text Available The World Health Organization (WHO has acknowledged the large West African Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak to be a community health disaster of global concern, and the spread of disease demands a synchronized response. Medical practitioners have an increased risk of contracting the disease as compared to others as they are directly exposed to patients’ blood or fluids. This study evaluated the knowledge of medical practitioners in Karachi regarding EVD. It was descriptive and exploratory in nature and took place over a period of 4 months, i.e., August 2016 to November 2016. The respondents were randomly selected by convenience sampling and surveyed with a 20-item questionnaire. Overall, 403 questionnaires were included in the study and a response rate of 80.6% was achieved. The majority (56.3% considered themselves to be somewhat knowledgeable; females had more knowledge as compared to male (p < 0.003. More than 80% knew about the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Interestingly, the findings revealed that respondents’ knowledge about diagnosis and identification of EVD is good. Respondents considered EVD a severe disease and emphasized on the need for protective measures when contacting affected patients. Interventions should be tailored to focus on areas where respondents showed a lack of knowledge about the disease.

  17. Understanding landscape dynamics over thousand years : combining field and model work : with case study in the Drakensberg foothill, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temme, A.J.A.M.


    The title of this thesis is “Understanding landscape dynamics over thousands of years : combining field and model work, with a case study in the Drakensberg Foothills, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”. As the title clearly states, the overall objective is an increased knowledge of landscape dynamics

  18. Nucleoskeleton dynamics and functions in health and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meinke P


    Full Text Available Peter Meinke, Alexandr A Makarov, Phú Lê Thành, Daina Sadurska, Eric C SchirmerWellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology and Institute of Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKAbstract: It is a common misconception to view the "cyto"-skeleton as just the filament systems in the "cyto"-plasm. In fact, the cytoskeleton extends into the nucleus where the complex network connects to chromatin, and it also connects through the plasma membrane to the cytoskeleton of adjacent cells and to the "exo"-skeleton of the extracellular matrix. This review will focus principally on the subcomplex of the cytoskeleton associated with the nucleus, often referred to as the nucleoskeleton, but in the context of its extensive interconnectivity with the rest of the nucleus and with cytoplasmic filament systems all the way to the exoskeleton. The nucleoskeleton, made principally of type-V intermediate filament lamins, connects across the double membrane system of the nuclear envelope to likely all three primary cytoplasmic filament systems. It provides structural stability to the nucleus, and also incredible flexibility. In both its core structural aspect and through specificity gained by tissue-specific partner proteins, it contributes to genome organization and regulation as well as to signal transduction, both through chemical signaling cascades and likely through mechanotransduction. Defects in the nucleoskeleton have far-ranging effects due to its interactions with cytoplasmic filament systems, from mispositioning of nuclei to disruption of cell polarity and both decreased and increased cell migration depending on the defect. Accordingly, it is not surprising that many nucleoskeletal components are linked to a wide range of human diseases from specific types of cancer to muscular dystrophies, neuropathies, dermopathies, and premature aging syndromes.Keywords: nuclear envelope, lamin, LINC complex, cytoskeleton, nuclear envelopathies

  19. A systems medicine clinical platform for understanding and managing non- communicable diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cesario, Alfredo; Auffray, Charles; Agusti, Alvar; Apolone, Giovanni; Balling, Rudi; Barbanti, Piero; Bellia, Alfonso; Boccia, Stefania; Bousquet, Jean; Cardaci, Vittorio; Cazzola, Mario; Dall'Armi, Valentina; Daraselia, Nikolai; Ros, Lucio Da; Bufalo, Alessandra Del; Ducci, Giuseppe; Ferri, Luigi; Fini, Massimo; Fossati, Chiara; Gensini, Gianfranco; Granone, Pierluigi Maria; Kinross, James; Lauro, Davide; Cascio, Gerland Lo; Lococo, Filippo; Lococo, Achille; Maier, Dieter; Marcus, Frederick; Margaritora, Stefano; Marra, Camillo; Minati, Gianfranco; Neri, Monica; Pasqua, Franco; Pison, Christophe; Pristipino, Christian; Roca, Joseph; Rosano, Giuseppe; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Russo, Patrizia; Salinaro, Gianluca; Shenhar, Shani; Soreq, Hermona; Sterk, Peter J.; Stocchi, Fabrizio; Torti, Margherita; Volterrani, Maurizio; Wouters, Emiel F. M.; Frustaci, Alessandra; Bonassi, Stefano


    Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are among the most pressing global health problems of the twenty-first century. Their rising incidence and prevalence is linked to severe morbidity and mortality, and they are putting economic and managerial pressure on healthcare systems around the world. Moreover,

  20. Progranulin: a new avenue towards the understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative disease. (United States)

    Chitramuthu, Babykumari P; Bennett, Hugh P J; Bateman, Andrew


    Progranulin, a secreted glycoprotein, is encoded in humans by the single GRN gene. Progranulin consists of seven and a half, tandemly repeated, non-identical copies of the 12 cysteine granulin motif. Many cellular processes and diseases are associated with this unique pleiotropic factor that include, but are not limited to, embryogenesis, tumorigenesis, inflammation, wound repair, neurodegeneration and lysosome function. Haploinsufficiency caused by autosomal dominant mutations within the GRN gene leads to frontotemporal lobar degeneration, a progressive neuronal atrophy that presents in patients as frontotemporal dementia. Frontotemporal dementia is an early onset form of dementia, distinct from Alzheimer's disease. The GRN-related form of frontotemporal lobar dementia is a proteinopathy characterized by the appearance of neuronal inclusions containing ubiquitinated and fragmented TDP-43 (encoded by TARDBP). The neurotrophic and neuro-immunomodulatory properties of progranulin have recently been reported but are still not well understood. Gene delivery of GRN in experimental models of Alzheimer's- and Parkinson's-like diseases inhibits phenotype progression. Here we review what is currently known concerning the molecular function and mechanism of action of progranulin in normal physiological and pathophysiological conditions in both in vitro and in vivo models. The potential therapeutic applications of progranulin in treating neurodegenerative diseases are highlighted. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  1. Understanding age-based transition needs: Perspectives from adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease (United States)

    The purpose of this study was to explore the transition process in congenital heart disease (CHD) care through the perceived needs and concerns of adolescents (pretransition) and the experiential insight from adults (post-transition), in order to inform future transition initiatives and information ...

  2. A Noninvasive Imaging Approach to Understanding Speech Changes following Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease (United States)

    Narayana, Shalini; Jacks, Adam; Robin, Donald A.; Poizner, Howard; Zhang, Wei; Franklin, Crystal; Liotti, Mario; Vogel, Deanie; Fox, Peter T.


    Purpose: To explore the use of noninvasive functional imaging and "virtual" lesion techniques to study the neural mechanisms underlying motor speech disorders in Parkinson's disease. Here, we report the use of positron emission tomography (PET) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to explain exacerbated speech impairment following…

  3. How They Move Reveals What Is Happening: Understanding the Dynamics of Big Events from Human Mobility Pattern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Damascène Mazimpaka


    Full Text Available The context in which a moving object moves contributes to the movement pattern observed. Likewise, the movement pattern reflects the properties of the movement context. In particular, big events influence human mobility depending on the dynamics of the events. However, this influence has not been explored to understand big events. In this paper, we propose a methodology for learning about big events from human mobility pattern. The methodology involves extracting and analysing the stopping, approaching, and moving-away interactions between public transportation vehicles and the geographic context. The analysis is carried out at two different temporal granularity levels to discover global and local patterns. The results of evaluating this methodology on bus trajectories demonstrate that it can discover occurrences of big events from mobility patterns, roughly estimate the event start and end time, and reveal the temporal patterns of arrival and departure of event attendees. This knowledge can be usefully applied in transportation and event planning and management.

  4. Modeling infectious disease dynamics in the complex landscape of global health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heesterbeek, Hans|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073321427; Anderson, Roy M; Andreasen, Viggo; Bansal, Shweta; De Angelis, Daniela; Dye, Chris; Eames, Ken T D; Edmunds, W John; Frost, Simon D W; Funk, Sebastian; Hollingsworth, T Deirdre; House, Thomas; Isham, Valerie; Klepac, Petra; Lessler, Justin; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Metcalf, C Jessica E; Mollison, Denis; Pellis, Lorenzo; Pulliam, Juliet R C; Roberts, Mick G; Viboud, Cecile


    Despite some notable successes in the control of infectious diseases, transmissible pathogens still pose an enormous threat to human and animal health. The ecological and evolutionary dynamics of infections play out on a wide range of interconnected temporal, organizational, and spatial scales,

  5. Conceptual shifts needed to understand the dynamic interactions of genes, environment, epigenetics, social processes, and behavioral choices. (United States)

    Jackson, Fatimah L C; Niculescu, Mihai D; Jackson, Robert T


    Social and behavioral research in public health is often intimately tied to profound, but frequently neglected, biological influences from underlying genetic, environmental, and epigenetic events. The dynamic interplay between the life, social, and behavioral sciences often remains underappreciated and underutilized in addressing complex diseases and disorders and in developing effective remediation strategies. Using a case-study format, we present examples as to how the inclusion of genetic, environmental, and epigenetic data can augment social and behavioral health research by expanding the parameters of such studies, adding specificity to phenotypic assessments, and providing additional internal control in comparative studies. We highlight the important roles of gene-environment interactions and epigenetics as sources of phenotypic change and as a bridge between the life and social and behavioral sciences in the development of robust interdisciplinary analyses.

  6. Dynamical analysis and simulation of a 2-dimensional disease model with convex incidence (United States)

    Yu, Pei; Zhang, Wenjing; Wahl, Lindi M.


    In this paper, a previously developed 2-dimensional disease model is studied, which can be used for both epidemiologic modeling and in-host disease modeling. The main attention of this paper is focused on various dynamical behaviors of the system, including Hopf and generalized Hopf bifurcations which yield bistability and tristability, Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation, and homoclinic bifurcation. It is shown that the Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation and homoclinic bifurcation provide a new mechanism for generating disease recurrence, that is, cycles of remission and relapse such as the viral blips observed in HIV infection.

  7. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in patients with luminal Crohn's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ziech, M.L.W.; Lavini, C.; Caan, M.W.A.; Nio, C.Y.; Stokkers, P.C.F.; Bipat, S.; Ponsioen, C.Y.; Nederveen, A.J.; Stoker, J.


    Objectives: To prospectively assess dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE-)MRI as compared to conventional sequences in patients with luminal Crohn's disease. Methods: Patients with Crohn's disease undergoing MRI and ileocolonoscopy within 1 month had DCE-MRI (3T) during intravenous contrast injection of gadobutrol, single shot fast spin echo sequence and 3D T1-weighted spoiled gradient echo sequence, a dynamic coronal 3D T1-weighted fast spoiled gradient were performed before and after gadobutrol. Maximum enhancement (ME) and initial slope of increase (ISI) were calculated for four colon segments (ascending colon + coecum, transverse colon, descending colon + sigmoid, rectum) and (neo)terminal ileum. C-reactive protein (CRP), Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI), per patient and per segment Crohn's disease endoscopic index of severity (CDEIS) and disease duration were determined. Mean values of the (DCE-)MRI parameters in each segment from each patient were compared between four disease activity groups (normal mucosa, non-ulcerative lesions, mild ulcerative and severe ulcerative disease) with Mann–Whitney test with Bonferroni adjustment. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for continuous variables. Results: Thirty-three patients were included (mean age 37 years; 23 females, median CDEIS 4.4). ME and ISI correlated weakly with segmental CDEIS (r = 0.485 and r = 0.206) and ME per patient correlated moderately with CDEIS (r = 0.551). ME was significantly higher in segments with mild (0.378) or severe (0.388) ulcerative disease compared to normal mucosa (0.304) (p < 0.001). No ulcerations were identified at conventional sequences. ME correlated with disease duration in diseased segments (r = 0.492), not with CDAI and CRP. Conclusions: DCE-MRI can be used as a method for detecting Crohn's disease ulcerative lesions.

  8. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in patients with luminal Crohn's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ziech, M.L.W., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Lavini, C., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Caan, M.W.A., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Nio, C.Y., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Stokkers, P.C.F., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis, Department of Gastroenterology, Jan Tooropstraat 164, 1061 AE, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Bipat, S., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Ponsioen, C.Y., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Nederveen, A.J., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Stoker, J., E-mail: [Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam (Netherlands)


    Objectives: To prospectively assess dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE-)MRI as compared to conventional sequences in patients with luminal Crohn's disease. Methods: Patients with Crohn's disease undergoing MRI and ileocolonoscopy within 1 month had DCE-MRI (3T) during intravenous contrast injection of gadobutrol, single shot fast spin echo sequence and 3D T1-weighted spoiled gradient echo sequence, a dynamic coronal 3D T1-weighted fast spoiled gradient were performed before and after gadobutrol. Maximum enhancement (ME) and initial slope of increase (ISI) were calculated for four colon segments (ascending colon + coecum, transverse colon, descending colon + sigmoid, rectum) and (neo)terminal ileum. C-reactive protein (CRP), Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI), per patient and per segment Crohn's disease endoscopic index of severity (CDEIS) and disease duration were determined. Mean values of the (DCE-)MRI parameters in each segment from each patient were compared between four disease activity groups (normal mucosa, non-ulcerative lesions, mild ulcerative and severe ulcerative disease) with Mann-Whitney test with Bonferroni adjustment. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for continuous variables. Results: Thirty-three patients were included (mean age 37 years; 23 females, median CDEIS 4.4). ME and ISI correlated weakly with segmental CDEIS (r = 0.485 and r = 0.206) and ME per patient correlated moderately with CDEIS (r = 0.551). ME was significantly higher in segments with mild (0.378) or severe (0.388) ulcerative disease compared to normal mucosa (0.304) (p < 0.001). No ulcerations were identified at conventional sequences. ME correlated with disease duration in diseased segments (r = 0.492), not with CDAI and CRP. Conclusions: DCE-MRI can be used as a method for detecting Crohn's disease ulcerative lesions.

  9. Toward Understanding Dynamics in Shifting Biomes: An Individual Based Modeling Approach to Characterizing Drought and Mortality in Central Western Canada (United States)

    Armstrong, A. H.; Foster, A.; Rogers, B. M.; Hogg, T.; Michaelian, M.; Shuman, J. K.; Shugart, H. H., Jr.; Goetz, S. J.


    The Arctic-Boreal zone is known be warming at an accelerated rate relative to other biomes. Persistent warming has already affected the high northern latitudes, altering vegetation productivity, carbon sequestration, and many other ecosystem processes and services. The central-western Canadian boreal forests and aspen parkland are experiencing a decade long drought, and rainfall has been identified as a key factor controlling the location of the boundary between forest and prairie in this region. Shifting biome with related greening and browning trends are readily measureable with remote sensing, but the dynamics that create and result from them are not well understood. In this study, we use the University of Virginia Forest Model Enhanced (UVAFME), an individual-based forest model, to simulate the changes that are occurring across the southern boreal and parkland forests of west-central Canada. We present a parameterization of UVAFME for western central Canadian forests, validated with CIPHA data (Climate Change Impacts on the Productivity and Health of Aspen), and improved mortality. In order to gain a fine-scale understanding of how climate change and specifically drought will continue to affect the forests of this region, we simulated forest conditions following CMIP5 climate scenarios. UVAFME predictions were compared with statistical models and satellite observations of productivity across the landscape. Changes in forest cover, forest type, aboveground biomass, and mortality and recruitment dynamics are presented, highlighting the high vulnerability of this region to vegetation transitions associated with future droughts.

  10. Coupling environmental, social and economic models to understand land-use change dynamics in the Mekong Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis eDrogoul


    Full Text Available The Vietnamese Mekong Delta has undergone in recent years a considerable transformation in agricultural land-use, fueled by a boom of the exportation, an increase of population, a focus on intensive crops, but also environmental factors like sea level rise or the progression of soil salinity. These transformations have been, however, largely misestimated by the ten-year agricultural plans designed at the provincial levels, on the predictions of which, though, most of the large-scale investments (irrigation infrastructures, protection against flooding or salinity intrusion, and so on are normally planned. This situation raises the question of how to explain the divergence between the predictions used as a basis for these plans and the actual situation. Answering it could, as a matter of fact, offer some insights on the dynamics at play and hopefully allow designing them more accurately.The dynamics of land-use change at a scale of a region results from the interactions between heterogeneous actors and factors at different scales, among them institutional policies, individual farming choices, land-cover and environmental changes, economic conditions, social dynamics, just to name a few. Understanding its evolution, for example, in this case, to better support agricultural planning, therefore requires the use of models that can represent the individual contributions of each actor or factor, and of course their interactions.We address this question through the design of an integrated hybrid model of land-use change in a specific and carefully chosen case study, which relies on the central hypothesis that the main force driving land-use change is actually the individual choices made by farmers at their local level. Farmers are the actors who decide (or not to switch from one culture to another and the shifts observed at more global levels (village, district, province, region are considered, in this model, as a consequence of the aggregation of these

  11. Basal Cell Carcinoma: From the Molecular Understanding of the Pathogenesis to Targeted Therapy of Progressive Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Göppner


    Full Text Available Due to intensified research over the past decade, the Hedgehog (HH pathway has been identified as a pivotal defect implicated in roughly 25% of all cancers. As one of the most frequent cancer worldwide, the development of Basal cell carcinoma (BCC due to activation of the HH pathway has been convincingly demonstrated. Thus the discovery of this central tumor-promoting signalling pathway has not only revolutionized the understanding of BCC carcinogenesis but has also enabled the development of a completely novel therapeutic approach. Targeting just a few of several potential mutations, HH inhibitors such as GDC-0449 achieved already the first promising results in metastatic or locally advanced BCC. This paper summarizes the current understanding of BCC carcinogenesis and describes the current “mechanism-based” therapeutic strategies.

  12. Assessment of inflammatory activity in Crohn's disease by means of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. (United States)

    Pupillo, V A; Di Cesare, E; Frieri, G; Limbucci, N; Tanga, M; Masciocchi, C


    Our aim was to perform a dynamic study of contrast enhancement of the intestinal wall in patients with Crohn's disease to quantitatively assess local inflammatory activity. We studied a population of 50 patients with histologically proven Crohn's disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed using a 1.5-T magnet with a phased-array coil and acquisition of T2-weighted single-shot fast spin echo (SSFSE) half Fourier sequences before intravenous administration of gadolinium, and T1-weighted fast spoiled gradient (FSPGR) fat-saturated sequences before and after contrast administration. Before the examination, patents received oral polyethylene glycol (PEG) (1,000 ml for adults; 10 ml/Kg of body weight for children). Regions of interest (ROI) were placed on the normal and diseased intestinal wall to assess signal intensity and rate of increase in contrast enhancement over time. Data were compared with the Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI). The diseased bowel wall showed early and intense uptake of contrast that increases over time until a plateau is reached. In patients in the remission phase after treatment, signal intensity was only slightly higher in diseased bowel loops than in healthy loops. There was a significant correlation between the peak of contrast uptake and CDAI. Dynamic MRI is a good technique for quantifying local inflammatory activity of bowel wall in patients with Crohn's disease.

  13. The 3-year disease management effect: understanding the positive return on investment. (United States)

    Nyman, John A; Jeffery, Molly Moore; Abraham, Jean M; Jutkowitz, Eric; Dowd, Bryan E


    Conventional wisdom suggests that health promotion programs yield a positive return on investment (ROI) in year 3. In the case of the University of Minnesota's program, a positive ROI was achieved in the third year, but it was due entirely to the effectiveness of the disease management (DM) program. The objective of this study is to investigate why. Differences-in-differences regression equations were estimated to determine the effect of DM participation on spending (overall and service specific), hospitalizations, and avoidable hospitalizations. Disease management participation reduced expenditures overall, and especially in the third year for employees, and reduced hospitalizations and avoidable hospitalizations. The positive ROI at Minnesota was due to increased effectiveness of DM in the third year (mostly due to fewer hospitalizations) but also to the simple durability of the average DM effect.

  14. Medical Entomology: A Reemerging Field of Research to Better Understand Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. (United States)

    Laroche, Maureen; Bérenger, Jean-Michel; Delaunay, Pascal; Charrel, Remi; Pradines, Bruno; Berger, Franck; Ranque, Stéphane; Bitam, Idir; Davoust, Bernard; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe


    In the last decade, the Chikungunya and Zika virus outbreaks have turned public attention to the possibility of the expansion of vector-borne infectious diseases worldwide. Medical entomology is focused on the study of arthropods involved in human health. We review here some of the research approaches taken by the medical entomology team of the University Hospital Institute (UHI) Méditerranée Infection of Marseille, France, with the support of recent or representative studies. We propose our approaches to technical innovations in arthropod identification and the detection of microorganisms in arthropods, the use of arthropods as epidemiological or diagnostic tools, entomological investigations around clinical cases or within specific populations, and how we have developed experimental models to decipher the interactions between arthropods, microorganisms, and humans. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail:

  15. Optimizing Outcomes in Immunocompromised Hosts: Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Invasive Fungal Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharada eRavikumar


    Full Text Available A major global concern is the emergence and spread of systemic life –threatening fungal infections in critically ill patients. The increase in invasive fungal infections, caused most commonly by Candida and Aspergillus species, occurs in patients with impaired defenses due to a number of reasons such as underlying disease, the use of chemotherapeutic and immunosuppressive agents, broad-spectrum antibiotics, prosthetic devices and grafts, burns, neutropenia and HIV infection. The high morbidity and mortality associated with these infections is compounded by the limited therapeutic options and the emergence of drug resistant fungi. Hence, creative approaches to bridge the significant gap in antifungal drug development needs to be explored. Here, we review the potential anti-fungal targets for patient-centered therapies and immune-enhancing strategies for the prevention and treatment of invasive fungal diseases.

  16. Quantitative disease resistance: to better understand parasite-mediated selection on major histocompatibility complex. (United States)

    Westerdahl, Helena; Asghar, Muhammad; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan


    We outline a descriptive framework of how candidate alleles of the immune system associate with infectious diseases in natural populations of animals. Three kinds of alleles can be separated when both prevalence of infection and infection intensity are measured--qualitative disease resistance, quantitative disease resistance and susceptibility alleles. Our descriptive framework demonstrates why alleles for quantitative resistance and susceptibility cannot be separated based on prevalence data alone, but are distinguishable on infection intensity. We then present a case study to evaluate a previous finding of a positive association between prevalence of a severe avian malaria infection (GRW2, Plasmodium ashfordi) and a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I allele (B4b) in great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus. Using the same dataset, we find that individuals with allele B4b have lower GRW2 infection intensities than individuals without this allele. Therefore, allele B4b provides quantitative resistance rather than increasing susceptibility to infection. This implies that birds carrying B4b can mount an immune response that suppresses the acute-phase GRW2 infection, while birds without this allele cannot and may die. We argue that it is important to determine whether MHC alleles related to infections are advantageous (quantitative and qualitative resistance) or disadvantageous (susceptibility) to obtain a more complete picture of pathogen-mediated balancing selection.

  17. Why Are Omics Technologies Important to Understanding the Role of Nutrition in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynnette R. Ferguson


    Full Text Available For many years, there has been confusion about the role that nutrition plays in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD. It is apparent that good dietary advice for one individual may prove inappropriate for another. As with many diseases, genome-wide association studies across large collaborative groups have been important in revealing the role of genetics in IBD, with more than 200 genes associated with susceptibility to the disease. These associations provide clues to explain the differences in nutrient requirements among individuals. In addition to genes directly involved in the control of inflammation, a number of the associated genes play roles in modulating the gut microbiota. Cell line models enable the generation of hypotheses as to how various bioactive dietary components might be especially beneficial for certain genetic groups. Animal models are necessary to mimic aspects of the complex aetiology of IBD, and provide an important link between tissue culture studies and human trials. Once we are sufficiently confident of our hypotheses, we can then take modified diets to an IBD population that is stratified according to genotype. Studies in IBD patients fed a Mediterranean-style diet have been important in validating our hypotheses and as a proof-of-principle for the application of these sensitive omics technologies to aiding in the control of IBD symptoms.

  18. Sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression: a new perspective in understanding the sex bias of autoimmune diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai R


    Full Text Available Rujuan Dai, S Ansar Ahmed Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA Abstract: Autoimmune diseases encompass a diverse group of diseases which emanate from a dysregulated immune system that launches a damaging attack on its own tissues. Autoimmune attacks on self tissues can occur in any organ or body system. A notable feature of autoimmune disease is that a majority of these disorders occur predominantly in females. The precise basis of sex bias in autoimmune diseases is complex and potentially involves sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and sex-specific gene regulation in response to internal and external stimuli. Epigenetic regulation of genes, especially by microRNAs (miRNAs, is now attracting significant attention. miRNAs are small, non-protein-coding RNAs that are predicted to regulate a majority of human genes, including those involved in immune regulation. Therefore, it is not surprising that dysregulated miRNAs are evident in many diseases, including autoimmune diseases. Because there are marked sex differences in the incidence of autoimmune diseases, this review focuses on the role of sex factors on miRNA expression in the context of autoimmune diseases, an aspect not addressed thus far. Here, we initially review miRNA biogenesis and miRNA regulation of immunity and autoimmunity. We then summarize the recent findings of sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression in diverse tissues, which imply a critical role of miRNA in sex differentiation and in sex-specific regulation of tissue development and/or function. We also discuss the important contribution of the X chromosome and sex hormones to the sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression. Understanding sexually dimorphic miRNA expression in sex-biased autoimmune diseases not only offers us new insight into the mechanism of sex bias of the disease but will also aid us in developing new sex

  19. Public health impact of disease-behavior dynamics. Comment on "Coupled disease-behavior dynamics on complex networks: A review" by Z. Wang et al. (United States)

    Wells, Chad R.; Galvani, Alison P.


    In a loop of dynamic feedback, behavior such as the decision to vaccinate, hand washing, or avoidance influences the progression of the epidemic, yet behavior is driven by the individual's and population's perceived risk of infection during an outbreak. In what we believe will become a seminal paper that stimulates future research as well as an informative teaching aid, Wang et. al. comprehensively review methodological advances that have been used to incorporate human behavior into epidemiological models on the effects of coupling disease transmission and behavior on complex social networks [1]. As illustrated by the recent outbreaks of measles and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), here we highlight the importance of coupling behavior and disease transmission that Wang et al. address.

  20. [The French Chronic Kidney Disease-Renal Epidemiology and Information Network (CKD-REIN) cohort study: To better understand chronic kidney disease]. (United States)

    Stengel, Bénédicte; Combe, Christian; Jacquelinet, Christian; Briançon, Serge; Fouque, Denis; Laville, Maurice; Frimat, Luc; Pascal, Christophe; Herpe, Yves-Édouard; Morel, Pascal; Deleuze, Jean-François; Schanstra, Joost P; Pisoni, Ron L; Robinson, Bruce M; Massy, Ziad A


    Preserving kidney function and improving the transition from chronic kidney disease to end stage is a research and healthcare challenge. The national Chronic Kidney Disease-Renal Epidemiology and Information Network (CKD-REIN) cohort was established to identify the determinants, biomarkers and practice patterns associated with chronic kidney disease outcomes. The study will include more than 3000 adult patients with moderate to advanced chronic kidney disease from a representative sample of 40 nephrology clinics with respect to regions and legal status, public or private. Patients are recruited during a routine visit and followed for 5 years, before and after starting renal replacement therapy. Patient-level clinical, biological, and lifestyle data are collected annually, as well as provider-level data on clinical practices, coordinated with the International Chronic Kidney Disease Outcomes and Practice Pattern Study. Blood and urine samples are stored in a biobank. Major studied outcomes include survival, patient-reported outcomes, disease progression and hospitalizations. More than 13,000 eligible patients with chronic kidney disease were identified, 60% with stage 3 and 40% with stage 4. Their median age is 72 years [interquartile range, 62-80 years], 60% are men and 38% have diabetes. By the end of December 2015, 2885 patients were included. The CKD-REIN cohort will serve to improve our understanding of chronic kidney disease and provide evidence to improve patient survival and quality of life as well as health care system performances. Copyright © 2016 Association Société de néphrologie. All rights reserved.

  1. Understanding the dynamics of sustainable change: A 20-year case study of integrated health and social care. (United States)

    Klinga, Charlotte; Hasson, Henna; Andreen Sachs, Magna; Hansson, Johan


    Change initiatives face many challenges, and only a few lead to long-term sustainability. One area in which the challenge of achieving long-term sustainability is particularly noticeable is integrated health and social care. Service integration is crucial for a wide range of patients including people with complex mental health and social care needs. However, previous research has focused on the initiation, resistance and implementation of change, while longitudinal studies remain sparse. The objective of this study was therefore to gain insight into the dynamics of sustainable changes in integrated health and social care through an analysis of local actions that were triggered by a national policy. A retrospective and qualitative case-study research design was used, and data from the model organisation's steering-committee minutes covering 1995-2015 were gathered and analysed. The analysis generated a narrative case description, which was mirrored to the key elements of the Dynamic Sustainability Framework (DSF). The development of inter-sectoral cooperation was characterized by a participatory approach in which a shared structure was created to support cooperation and on-going quality improvement and learning based on the needs of the service user. A key management principle was cooperation, not only on all organisational levels, but also with service users, stakeholder associations and other partner organisations. It was shown that all these parts were interrelated and collectively contributed to the creation of a structure and a culture which supported the development of a dynamic sustainable health and social care. This study provides valuable insights into the dynamics of organizational sustainability and understanding of key managerial actions taken to establish, develop and support integration of health and social care for people with complex mental health needs. The service user involvement and regular reviews of service users' needs were essential in order

  2. Study of a low-dose capsule filling process by dynamic and static tests for advanced process understanding. (United States)

    Stranzinger, S; Faulhammer, E; Scheibelhofer, O; Calzolari, V; Biserni, S; Paudel, A; Khinast, J G


    Precise filling of capsules with doses in the mg-range requires a good understanding of the filling process. Therefore, we investigated the various process steps of the filling process by dynamic and static mode tests. Dynamic tests refer to filling of capsules in a regular laboratory dosator filling machine. Static tests were conducted using a novel filling system developed by us. Three grades of lactose excipients were filled into size 3 capsules with different dosing chamber lengths, nozzle diameters and powder bed heights, and, in the dynamic mode, with two filling speeds (500, 3000 caps/h). The influence of the gap at the bottom of the powder container on the fill weight and variability was assessed. Different gaps resulted in a change in fill weight in all materials, although in different ways. In all cases, the fill weight of highly cohesive Lactohale 220 increased when decreasing the gap. Furthermore, experiments with the stand-alone static test tool indicated that this very challenging powder could successfully be filled without any pre-compression in the range of 5 mg-20 mg with acceptable RSDs. This finding is of great importance since for very fine lactose powders high compression ratios (dosing-chamber-length-to-powder-bed height compression ratios) may result in jamming of the piston. Moreover, it shows that the static mode setup is suitable for studying fill weight and variability. Since cohesive powders, such as Lactohale 220, are hard to fill, we investigated the impact of vibration on the process. Interestingly, we found no correlation between the reported fill weight changes in dynamic mode at 3000 cph and static mode using similar vibration. However, we could show that vibrations during sampling in the static mode dramatically reduced fill weight variability. Overall, our results indicate that by fine-tuning instrumental settings even very challenging powders can be filled with a low-dose dosator capsule filling machine. This study is a

  3. Dynamic high-cadence cycling improves motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela eRidgel


    Full Text Available Rationale: Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD often have deficits in kinesthesia. There is a need for rehabilitation interventions that improve these kinesthetic deficits. Forced (tandem cycling at a high cadence improves motor function. However, tandem cycling is difficult to implement in a rehabilitation setting. Objective: To construct an instrumented, motored cycle and to examine if high cadence dynamic cycling promotes improvements in motor function. Method: This motored cycle had two different modes: dynamic and static cycling. In dynamic mode, the motor maintained 75-85 rpm. In static mode, the rider determined the pedaling cadence. UPDRS Motor III and Timed Up and Go (TUG were used to assess changes in motor function after three cycling sessions. Results: Individuals in the static group showed a lower cadence but a higher power, torque and heart rate than the dynamic group. UPDRS score showed a significant 13.9% improvement in the dynamic group and only a 0.9% improvement in the static group. There was also a 16.5% improvement in TUG time in the dynamic group but only an 8% improvement in the static group. Conclusion: These findings show that dynamic cycling can improve PD motor function and that activation of proprioceptors with a high cadence but variable pattern may be important for motor improvements in PD.

  4. Understanding the process of patient satisfaction with nurse-led chronic disease management in general practice. (United States)

    Mahomed, Rosemary; St John, Winsome; Patterson, Elizabeth


      To investigate the process of patient satisfaction with nurse-led chronic disease management in Australian general practice.   Nurses working in the primary care context of general practice, referred to as practice nurses, are expanding their role in chronic disease management; this is relatively new to Australia. Therefore, determining patient satisfaction with this trend is pragmatically and ethically important. However, the concept of patient satisfaction is not well understood particularly in relation to care provided by practice nurses.   A grounded theory study underpinned by a relativist ontological position and a relativist epistemology.   Grounded theory was used to develop a theory from data collected through in-depth interviews with 38 participants between November 2007-April 2009. Participants were drawn from a larger project that trialled a practice nurse-led, collaborative model of chronic disease management in three Australian general practices. Theoretical sampling, data collection, and analysis were conducted concurrently consistent with grounded theory methods.   Patients undergo a cyclical process of Navigating Care involving three stages, Determining Care Needs, Forming Relationship, and Having Confidence. The latter two processes are inter-related and a feedback loop from them informs subsequent cycles of Determining Care Needs. If any of these steps fails to develop adequately, patients are likely to opt out of nurse-led care.   Navigating Care explains how and why time, communication, continuity, and trust in general practitioners and nurses are important to patient satisfaction. It can be used in identifying suitable patients for practice nurse-led care and to inform the practice and organization of practice nurse-led care to enhance patient satisfaction. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Understanding the biology of bone sarcoma from early initiating events through late events in metastasis and disease progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Limin eZhu


    Full Text Available The two most common primary bone malignancies, osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, are both aggressive, highly metastatic cancers that most often strike teens, though both can be found in younger children and adults. Despite distinct origins and pathogenesis, both diseases share several mechanisms of progression and metastasis, including neovascularization, invasion, anoikis resistance, chemoresistance and evasion of the immune response. Some of these processes are well-studies in more common carcinoma models, and the observation from adult diseases may be readily applied to pediatric bone sarcomas. Neovascularization, which includes angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, is a clear example of a process that is likely to be similar between carcinomas and sarcomas, since the responding cells are the same in each case. Chemoresistance mechanisms also may be similar between other cancers and the bone sarcomas. Since osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma are mesenchymal in origin, the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation is largely absent in bone sarcomas, necessitating different approaches to study progression and metastasis in these diseases. One process that is less well-studied in bone sarcomas is dormancy, which allows micrometastatic disease to remain viable but not growing in distant sites – typically the lungs – for months or years before renewing growth to become overt metastatic disease. By understanding the basic biology of these processes, novel therapeutic strategies may be developed that could improve survival in children with osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.

  6. The mouse as a model for understanding chronic diseases of aging: the histopathologic basis of aging in inbred mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Harrison


    Full Text Available Inbred mice provide a unique tool to study aging populations because of the genetic homogeneity within an inbred strain, their short life span, and the tools for analysis which are available. A large-scale longitudinal and cross-sectional aging study was conducted on 30 inbred strains to determine, using histopathology, the type and diversity of diseases mice develop as they age. These data provide tools that when linked with modern in silico genetic mapping tools, can begin to unravel the complex genetics of many of the common chronic diseases associated with aging in humans and other mammals. In addition, novel disease models were discovered in some strains, such as rhabdomyosarcoma in old A/J mice, to diseases affecting many but not all strains including pseudoxanthoma elasticum, pulmonary adenoma, alopecia areata, and many others. This extensive data set is now available online and provides a useful tool to help better understand strain-specific background diseases that can complicate interpretation of genetically engineered mice and other manipulatable mouse studies that utilize these strains.

  7. Understanding the experiences of fathers of children with congenital heart disease: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. (United States)

    Gower, Carla; Higgins, Aiveen; Doherty, Nicola; McCormack, David


    Little is known about the experiences of fathers of children with congenital heart disease. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the lived experiences of six fathers were explored. Two master themes emerged: 'relinquishing and reclaiming control' and 'living in the shadow of illness'. Subordinate themes included playing the support act, a pragmatic/emotional dichotomy, and becoming the child's protector. Other themes included living in limbo and redefining 'normality' to encompass the condition. Theoretical links are made between these findings and existing literature while clinical implications include the need to involve fathers in decision-making and to respect their need to maintain control.

  8. Understanding the Impacts of Climate and Hydrologic Extremes on Diarrheal Diseases in Southwestern Amazon (United States)

    Fonseca, P. A. M.


    Bacterial diarrheal diseases have a high incidence rate during and after flooding episodes. In the Brazilian Amazon, flood extreme events have become more frequent, leading to high incidence rates for infant diarrhea. In this study we aimed to find a statistical association between rainfall, river levels and diarrheal diseases in children under 5, in the river Acre basin, in the State of Acre (Brazil). We also aimed to identify the time-lag and annual season of extreme rainfall and flooding in different cities in the water basin. The results using Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Satellite rainfall data show robustness of these estimates against observational stations on-ground. The Pearson coefficient correlation results (highest 0.35) indicate a time-lag, up to 4 days in three of the cities in the water-basin. In addition, a correlation was also tested between monthly accumulated rainfall and the diarrheal incidence during the rainy season (DJF). Correlation results were higher, especially in Acrelândia (0.7) and Brasiléia and Epitaciolândia (0.5). The correlation between water level monthly averages and diarrheal diseases incidence was 0.3 and 0.5 in Brasiléia and Epitaciolândia. The time-lag evidence found in this paper is critical to inform stakeholders, local populations and civil defense authorities about the time available for preventive and adaptation measures between extreme rainfall and flooding events in vulnerable cities. This study was part of a pilot application in the state of Acre of the PULSE-Brazil project (, an interface of climate, environmental and health data to support climate adaptation. The next step of this research is to expand the analysis to other climate variables on diarrheal diseases across the whole Brazilian Amazon Basin and estimate the relative risk (RR) of a child getting sick. A statistical model will estimate RR based on the observed values and seasonal forecasts (higher

  9. Understanding the role of the Parkinson's disease nurse specialist in the delivery of apomorphine therpy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bhidayasiri, Roongroj; Boonpang, Kamolwan; Jitkritsadakul, Onanong


    Optimal care of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients should involve a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of which a PD nurse specialist (PDNS) is a key member. The role of a PDNS is particularly prominent in the care of advanced PD patients suitable for apomorphine because, in addition to nursing skills......, apomorphine treatment requires liaison, training, interaction and coordination with patients, caregivers and other members of the MDT as well as the interface with primary care physicians. The therapeutic success of apomorphine therapy depends not only upon the pharmacologic drug response, but also on how...

  10. A multilevel understanding of HIV/AIDS disease burden among African American women. (United States)

    Brawner, Bridgette M


    Disproportionate HIV/AIDS rates among African American women have been examined extensively, primarily from an individual-centered focus. Beyond individual behaviors, factors such as the hyperincarceration of African American men and geographically concentrated disadvantage may better explain inequitable disease burden. In this article I propose a conceptual model of individual, social, and structural factors that influence HIV transmission among African American women. The model can be used to develop comprehensive assessments and guide prevention programs in African American communities. © 2014 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

  11. Extra-esophageal presentation of gastroesophageal reflux disease: new understanding in a new era. (United States)

    Martinucci, Irene; Albano, Eleonora; Marchi, Santino; Blandizzi, Corrado


    Associations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with extraesophageal manifestations, such as chronic cough, asthma, and laryngitis, are reported frequently, and there is a strong evidence of biological plausibility in support of this relationship. On the other hand, extraesophageal reflux disease (EERD) is usually multifactorial in nature with reflux being just one of the several potential contributing cofactors. Moreover, the accuracy of currently available diagnostic tests for EERD is suboptimal, and therefore the causal relationship between GERD and EERD remains far from being conclusively proven. In addition, there is a general paucity of data supporting a beneficial effect of anti-reflux treatments on symptoms of patients with suspected EERD. Therefore, diagnostic as well as therapeutic management of EERD remains largely empirical. Current guidelines suggest an initial empiric trial of proton pump inhibitors in patients without alarm features, who present also typical GERD symptoms. For those patients who improve with PPIs, GERD is presumed to be the etiology. In patients with refractory reflux, combined impedance/pH monitoring might provide the single best strategy for evaluating reflux symptoms. In this context, as symptoms ascribable to GERD may depend on other causes, investigations that excludes GERD can help to redirect the diagnostic and treatment efforts to other pathological conditions. The present review intends to discuss the current state of knowledge regarding the challenging diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with suspected EERD, emphasizing the points of strengths and limitations of currently available diagnostic options, and to provide an update on major diagnostic innovations in this area.

  12. Multiple-time-scale framework for understanding the progression of Parkinson's disease (United States)

    Andres, D. S.; Gomez, F.; Ferrari, F. A. S.; Cerquetti, D.; Merello, M.; Viana, R.; Stoop, R.


    Parkinson's disease is marked by neurodegenerative processes that affect the pattern of discharge of basal ganglia neurons. The main features observed in the parkinsonian globus pallidus pars interna (GPi), a subdomain of the basal ganglia that is involved in the regulation of voluntary movement, are pathologically increased and synchronized neuronal activity. How these changes affect the implemented neuronal code is not well understood. Our experimental temporal structure-function analysis shows that in parkinsonian animals the rate-coding window of GPi neurons needed for the proper performance of voluntary actions is reduced. The model of the GPi network that we develop and discuss here reveals indeed that the size of the rate-coding window shrinks as the network activity increases and is expanded if the coupling strength among the neurons is increased. This leads to the novel interpretation that the pathological neuronal synchronization in Parkinson's disease in the GPi is the result of a collective attempt to counterbalance the shrinking of the rate-coding window due to increased activity in GPi neurons.

  13. Do we really understand the role of the oesophagogastric junction in disease?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McMahon, Barry P


    The role of the oesophago-gastric junction (OGJ) in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is still not completely understood, and there is no clinically used method to assess the OGJ function in patients. Only indirect methods such as pH studies are carried out. The OGJ acts a valve controlling the flow of solids, liquids and gases between the oesophagus and the stomach. Manometry can determine if a sphincter is toned or relaxed; but, it cannot confirm that the sphincter region is actually open. Distension is a new technique for measuring function in the OGJ. By measuring the cross-sectional area through the narrow region in the junction during distension of a catheter mounted bag, much more information on the opening and closing patterns of the junction can be determined. This technique has already been demonstrated to show changes in the OGJ after surgical treatments for reflux disease. New measurement ideas around the concept of distending the OGJ offer new hope that a clinically useable test for compliance at the junction can be developed and could potentially help in determining appropriate therapy.

  14. Mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis from molecular understanding to clinical disease (United States)

    Alfadhel, Majid; Nashabat, Marwan; Ali, Qais Abu; Hundallah, Khalid


    Iron–sulfur clusters (ISCs) are known to play a major role in various protein functions. Located in the mitochondria, cytosol, endoplasmic reticulum and nucleus, they contribute to various core cellular functions. Until recently, only a few human diseases related to mitochondrial ISC biogenesis defects have been described. Such diseases include Friedreich ataxia, combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 19, infantile complex II/III deficiency defect, hereditary myopathy with lactic acidosis and mitochondrial muscle myopathy, lipoic acid biosynthesis defects, multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions syndromes and non ketotic hyperglycinemia due to glutaredoxin 5 gene defect. Disorders of mitochondrial import, export and translation, including sideroblastic anemia with ataxia, EVEN-PLUS syndrome and mitochondrial complex I deficiency due to nucleotide-binding protein-like protein gene defect, have also been implicated in ISC biogenesis defects. With advances in next generation sequencing technologies, more disorders related to ISC biogenesis defects are expected to be elucidated. In this article, we aim to shed the light on mitochondrial ISC biogenesis, related proteins and their function, pathophysiology, clinical phenotypes of related disorders, diagnostic approach, and future implications. PMID:28064324

  15. Interaction of synchronized dynamics in cortex and basal ganglia in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Ahn, Sungwoo; Zauber, S Elizabeth; Worth, Robert M; Witt, Thomas; Rubchinsky, Leonid L


    Parkinson's disease pathophysiology is marked by increased oscillatory and synchronous activity in the beta frequency band in cortical and basal ganglia circuits. This study explores the functional connections between synchronized dynamics of cortical areas and synchronized dynamics of subcortical areas in Parkinson's disease. We simultaneously recorded neuronal units (spikes) and local field potentials (LFP) from subthalamic nucleus (STN) and electroencephalograms (EEGs) from the scalp in parkinsonian patients, and analysed the correlation between the time courses of the spike-LFP synchronization and inter-electrode EEG synchronization. We found the (non-invasively obtained) time course of the synchrony strength between EEG electrodes and the (invasively obtained) time course of the synchrony between spiking units and LFP in STN to be weakly, but significantly, correlated with each other. This correlation is largest for the bilateral motor EEG synchronization, followed by bilateral frontal EEG synchronization. Our observations suggest that there may be multiple functional modes by which the cortical and basal ganglia circuits interact with each other in Parkinson's disease: not only may synchronization be observed between some areas in cortex and the basal ganglia, but also synchronization within cortex and within basal ganglia may be related, suggesting potentially a more global functional interaction. More coherent dynamics in one brain region may modulate or activate the dynamics of another brain region in a more powerful way, causing correlations between changes in synchrony strength in the two regions. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Dynamic and quantitative evaluation of degenerative mitral valve disease: a dedicated framework based on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. (United States)

    Sturla, Francesco; Onorati, Francesco; Puppini, Giovanni; Pappalardo, Omar A; Selmi, Matteo; Votta, Emiliano; Faggian, Giuseppe; Redaelli, Alberto


    Accurate quantification of mitral valve (MV) morphology and dynamic behavior over the cardiac cycle is crucial to understand the mechanisms of degenerative MV dysfunction and to guide the surgical intervention. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has progressively been adopted to evaluate MV pathophysiology, although a dedicated framework is required to perform a quantitative assessment of the functional MV anatomy. We investigated MV dynamic behavior in subjects with normal MV anatomy (n=10) and patients referred to surgery due to degenerative MV prolapse, classified as fibro-elastic deficiency (FED, n=9) and Barlow's disease (BD, n=10). A CMR-dedicated framework was adopted to evaluate prolapse height and volume and quantitatively assess valvular morphology and papillary muscles (PAPs) function over the cardiac cycle. Multiple comparison was used to investigate the hallmarks associated to MV degenerative prolapse and evaluate the feasibility of anatomical and functional distinction between FED and BD phenotypes. On average, annular dimensions were significantly (Pframework allows for the quantitative and dynamic evaluation of MV apparatus, with quantifiable annular alterations representing the primary hallmark of severe MV degeneration. This may aid surgeons in the evaluation of the severity of MV dysfunction and the selection of the appropriate MV treatment.

  17. Inflaming the brain: CRPS a model disease to understand neuroimmune interactions in chronic pain. (United States)

    Linnman, C; Becerra, L; Borsook, D


    We review current concepts in CRPS from a neuroimaging perspective and point out topics and potential mechanisms that are suitable to be investigated in the next step towards understanding the pathophysiology of CRPS. We have outlined functional aspects of the syndrome, from initiating lesion via inflammatory mechanisms to CNS change and associated sickness behavior, with current evidence for up-regulation of immunological factors in CRPS, neuroimaging of systemic inflammation, and neuroimaging findings in CRPS. The initiation, maintenances and CNS targets implicated in CRPS and in the neuro-inflammatory reflex are discussed in terms of CRPS symptoms and recent preclinical studies. Potential avenues for investigating CRPS with PET and fMRI are described, along with roles of inflammation, treatment and behavior in CRPS. It is our hope that this outline will provoke discussion and promote further empirical studies on the interactions between central and peripheral inflammatory pathways manifest in CRPS.

  18. [Use of laws of interelement interactions for understanding of mechanisms of various human diseases]. (United States)

    Barashkov, G K; Zaĭtseva, L I


    The review considers the basic laws of interaction of elements in real physiological conditions of metabolism. The law of replacement and two it consequences have been formulated taking into account a major principle of cybernetics, the feedback principle. A rule of a fractional threshold and the law of toxicity based on the Mertz's rules have been formulated. These laws have been used here for consideration of mechanisms of occurrence and development of apoptosis and also side-effects of statins. Study of bioinorganic mechanisms of different diseases is a erspective way for search of complex connections of metals and ligands, capable to interaction with initiators of chain reactions, and for a finding of substances--inhibitors these reactions.

  19. Understanding complex clinical reasoning in infectious diseases for improving clinical decision support design. (United States)

    Islam, Roosan; Weir, Charlene R; Jones, Makoto; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Samore, Matthew H


    Clinical experts' cognitive mechanisms for managing complexity have implications for the design of future innovative healthcare systems. The purpose of the study is to examine the constituents of decision complexity and explore the cognitive strategies clinicians use to control and adapt to their information environment. We used Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) methods to interview 10 Infectious Disease (ID) experts at the University of Utah and Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center. Participants were asked to recall a complex, critical and vivid antibiotic-prescribing incident using the Critical Decision Method (CDM), a type of Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA). Using the four iterations of the Critical Decision Method, questions were posed to fully explore the incident, focusing in depth on the clinical components underlying the complexity. Probes were included to assess cognitive and decision strategies used by participants. The following three themes emerged as the constituents of decision complexity experienced by the Infectious Diseases experts: 1) the overall clinical picture does not match the pattern, 2) a lack of comprehension of the situation and 3) dealing with social and emotional pressures such as fear and anxiety. All these factors contribute to decision complexity. These factors almost always occurred together, creating unexpected events and uncertainty in clinical reasoning. Five themes emerged in the analyses of how experts deal with the complexity. Expert clinicians frequently used 1) watchful waiting instead of over- prescribing antibiotics, engaged in 2) theory of mind to project and simulate other practitioners' perspectives, reduced very complex cases into simple 3) heuristics, employed 4) anticipatory thinking to plan and re-plan events and consulted with peers to share knowledge, solicit opinions and 5) seek help on patient cases. The cognitive strategies to deal with decision complexity found in this study have important

  20. Understanding the management of early-stage chronic kidney disease in primary care: a qualitative study (United States)

    Blakeman, Tom; Protheroe, Joanne; Chew-Graham, Carolyn; Rogers, Anne; Kennedy, Anne


    Background Primary care is recognised to have an important role in the delivery of care for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, there is evidence that CKD management is currently suboptimal, with a range of practitioner concerns about its management. Aim To explore processes underpinning the implementation of CKD management in primary care. Design and setting Qualitative study in general practices participating in a chronic kidney disease collaborative undertaken as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester. Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs and practice nurses (n = 21). Normalisation Process Theory provided a framework for generation and analysis of the data. Results A predominant theme was anxiety about the disclosure of early-stage CKD with patients. The tensions experienced related to identifying and discussing CKD in older people and patients with stage 3A, embedding early-stage CKD within vascular care, and the distribution of work within the practice team. Participants provided accounts of work undertaken to resolve the difficulties encountered, with efforts having tended to focus on reassuring patients. Analysis also highlighted how anxiety surrounding disclosure influenced, and was shaped by, the organisation of care for people with CKD and associated long-term conditions. Conclusion Offering reassurance alone may be of limited benefit, and current management of early-stage CKD in primary care may miss opportunities to address susceptibility to kidney injury, improve self-management of vascular conditions, and improve the management of multimorbidity. PMID:22520910

  1. Towards a multidisciplinary approach to understand and manage obesity and related diseases. (United States)

    Bischoff, Stephan C; Boirie, Yves; Cederholm, Tommy; Chourdakis, Michael; Cuerda, Cristina; Delzenne, Nathalie M; Deutz, Nicolaas E; Fouque, Denis; Genton, Laurence; Gil, Carmen; Koletzko, Berthold; Leon-Sanz, Miguel; Shamir, Raanan; Singer, Joelle; Singer, Pierre; Stroebele-Benschop, Nanette; Thorell, Anders; Weimann, Arved; Barazzoni, Rocco


    Overnutrition and sedentary lifestyle result in overweight or obesity defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. According to the WHO, the worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008. In 2008, over 50% of both men and women in the WHO European Region were overweight, and approximately 23% of women and 20% of men were obese. Comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic approaches should include nutritional treatment to favor the best metabolic and nutritional outcome, as well as to induce potential disease-specific benefits from selected nutritional regimens. Obesity is usually accompanied by an increased muscle mass. This might explain why obesity, under particular circumstances such as cancer or high age, might have protective effects, a phenomenon named the 'obesity paradox'. However, loss of muscle mass or function can also occur, which is associated with poor prognosis and termed 'sarcopenic obesity'. Therefore, treatment recommendations may need to be individualized and adapted to co-morbidities. Since obesity is a chronic systemic disease it requires a multidisciplinary approach, both at the level of prevention and therapy including weight loss and maintenance. In the present personal review and position paper, authors from different disciplines including endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, pediatrics, surgery, geriatrics, intensive care medicine, psychology and psychiatry, sports medicine and rheumatology, both at the basic science and clinical level, present their view on the topic and underline the necessity to provide a multidisciplinary approach, to address this epidemic. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.

  2. Understanding the dynamics of the Seguro Popular de Salud policy implementation in Mexico from a complex adaptive systems perspective. (United States)

    Nigenda, Gustavo; González-Robledo, Luz María; Juárez-Ramírez, Clara; Adam, Taghreed


    In 2003, Mexico's Seguro Popular de Salud (SPS), was launched as an innovative financial mechanism implemented to channel new funds to provide health insurance to 50 million Mexicans and to reduce systemic financial inequities. The objective of this article is to understand the complexity and dynamics that contributed to the adaptation of the policy in the implementation stage, how these changes occurred, and why, from a complex and adaptive systems perspective. A complex adaptive systems (CAS) framework was used to carry out a secondary analysis of data obtained from four SPS's implementation evaluations. We first identified key actors, their roles, incentives and power, and their responses to the policy and guidelines. We then developed a causal loop diagram to disentangle the feedback dynamics associated with the modifications of the policy implementation which we then analyzed using a CAS perspective. Implementation variations were identified in seven core design features during the first 10 years of implementation period, and in each case, the SPS's central coordination introduced modifications in response to the reactions of the different actors. We identified several CAS phenomena associated with these changes including phase transitions, network emergence, resistance to change, history dependence, and feedback loops. Our findings generate valuable lessons to policy implementation processes, especially those involving a monetary component, where the emergence of coping mechanisms and other CAS phenomena inevitably lead to modifications of policies and their interpretation by those who implement them. These include the difficulty of implementing strategies that aim to pool funds through solidarity among beneficiaries where the rich support the poor when there are no incentives for the rich to do so. Also, how resistance to change and history dependence can pose significant challenges to implementing changes, where the local actors use their significant power

  3. The Effect of Seasonal Weather Variation on the Dynamics of the Plague Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rigobert C. Ngeleja


    Full Text Available Plague is a historic disease which is also known to be the most devastating disease that ever occurred in human history, caused by gram-negative bacteria known as Yersinia pestis. The disease is mostly affected by variations of weather conditions as it disturbs the normal behavior of main plague disease transmission agents, namely, human beings, rodents, fleas, and pathogens, in the environment. This in turn changes the way they interact with each other and ultimately leads to a periodic transmission of plague disease. In this paper, we formulate a periodic epidemic model system by incorporating seasonal transmission rate in order to study the effect of seasonal weather variation on the dynamics of plague disease. We compute the basic reproduction number of a proposed model. We then use numerical simulation to illustrate the effect of different weather dependent parameters on the basic reproduction number. We are able to deduce that infection rate, progression rates from primary forms of plague disease to more severe forms of plague disease, and the infectious flea abundance affect, to a large extent, the number of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague infective agents. We recommend that it is more reasonable to consider these factors that have been shown to have a significant effect on RT for effective control strategies.

  4. Applications of condensed matter understanding to medical tissues and disease progression: Elemental analysis and structural integrity of tissue scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, D.A., E-mail: [Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH (United Kingdom); Farquharson, M.J. [Department of Radiography, School of Community and Health Sciences, City University, London (United Kingdom); Gundogdu, O. [Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH (United Kingdom); Al-Ebraheem, Alia [Department of Radiography, School of Community and Health Sciences, City University, London (United Kingdom); Che Ismail, Elna [Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH (United Kingdom); Kaabar, W., E-mail: [Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH (United Kingdom); Bunk, O. [Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen (Switzerland); Pfeiffer, F. [Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen (Switzerland); Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne (Switzerland); Falkenberg, G. [Hamburger Synchrotronstrahlungslabor HASYLAB at Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron DESY, Notkestr. 85, D-22603 Hamburg (Germany); Bailey, M. [Surrey Ion Beam Centre, Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH (United Kingdom)


    The investigations reported herein link tissue structure and elemental presence with issues of environmental health and disease, exemplified by uptake and storage of potentially toxic elements in the body, the osteoarthritic condition and malignancy in the breast and other soft tissues. Focus is placed on application of state-of-the-art ionizing radiation techniques, including, micro-synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (mu-SXRF) and particle-induced X-ray emission/Rutherford backscattering mapping (mu-PIXE/RBS), coherent small-angle X-ray scattering (cSAXS) and X-ray phase-contrast imaging, providing information on elemental make-up, the large-scale organisation of collagen and anatomical features of moderate and low atomic number media. For the particular situations under investigation, use of such facilities is allowing information to be obtained at an unprecedented level of detail, yielding new understanding of the affected tissues and the progression of disease.

  5. Applications of condensed matter understanding to medical tissues and disease progression: Elemental analysis and structural integrity of tissue scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bradley, D.A.; Farquharson, M.J.; Gundogdu, O.; Al-Ebraheem, Alia; Che Ismail, Elna; Kaabar, W.; Bunk, O.; Pfeiffer, F.; Falkenberg, G.; Bailey, M.


    The investigations reported herein link tissue structure and elemental presence with issues of environmental health and disease, exemplified by uptake and storage of potentially toxic elements in the body, the osteoarthritic condition and malignancy in the breast and other soft tissues. Focus is placed on application of state-of-the-art ionizing radiation techniques, including, micro-synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (μ-SXRF) and particle-induced X-ray emission/Rutherford backscattering mapping (μ-PIXE/RBS), coherent small-angle X-ray scattering (cSAXS) and X-ray phase-contrast imaging, providing information on elemental make-up, the large-scale organisation of collagen and anatomical features of moderate and low atomic number media. For the particular situations under investigation, use of such facilities is allowing information to be obtained at an unprecedented level of detail, yielding new understanding of the affected tissues and the progression of disease.

  6. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying postural instability in Parkinson's disease using dynamic posturography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonnekes, J.H.; Kam, D. de; Geurts, A.C.; Weerdesteijn, V.G.M.; Bloem, B.R.


    Postural instability, one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), has devastating consequences for affected patients. Better strategies to prevent falls are needed, but this calls for an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying postural instability. We must also

  7. Dynamic shear-lag model for understanding the role of matrix in energy dissipation in fiber-reinforced composites. (United States)

    Liu, Junjie; Zhu, Wenqing; Yu, Zhongliang; Wei, Xiaoding


    surprisingly with "low-grade" matrix materials, and discontinuities (often regarded as "defects") may play an important role in energy dissipation. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, our work helps understanding the secrets of the outstanding dynamic properties of some biological materials, and inspire novel ideas for man-made composites. Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding the Influence of Parkinson Disease on Adolf Hitler's Decision-Making during World War II. (United States)

    Gupta, Raghav; Kim, Christopher; Agarwal, Nitin; Lieber, Bryan; Monaco, Edward A


    Parkinson disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies and a reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the basal ganglia. Common symptoms of PD include a reduction in control of voluntary movements, rigidity, and tremors. Such symptoms are marked by a severe deterioration in motor function. The causes of PD in many cases are unknown. PD has been found to be prominent in several notable people, including Adolf Hitler, the Chancellor of Germany and Führer of Nazi Germany during World War II. It is believed that Adolf Hitler suffered from idiopathic PD throughout his life. However, the effect of PD on Adolf Hitler's decision making during World War II is largely unknown. Here we examine the potential role of PD in shaping Hitler's personality and influencing his decision-making. We purport that Germany's defeat in World War II was influenced by Hitler's questionable and risky decision-making and his inhumane and callous personality, both of which were likely affected by his condition. Likewise his paranoid disorder marked by intense anti-Semitic beliefs influenced his treatment of Jews and other non-Germanic peoples. We also suggest that the condition played an important role in his eventual political decline. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. What the Dynamic Systems Approach Can Offer for Understanding Development: An Example of Mid-childhood Reaching. (United States)

    Golenia, Laura; Schoemaker, Marina M; Otten, Egbert; Mouton, Leonora J; Bongers, Raoul M


    The Dynamic Systems Approach (DSA) to development has been shown to be a promising theory to understand developmental changes. In this perspective, we use the example of mid-childhood (6- to 10-years of age) reaching to show how using the DSA can advance the understanding of development. Mid-childhood is an important developmental period that has often been overshadowed by the focus on the acquisition of reaching during infancy. This underrepresentation of mid-childhood studies is unjustified, as earlier studies showed that important developmental changes in mid-childhood reaching occur that refine the skill of reaching. We review these studies here for the first time and show that different studies revealed different developmental trends, such as non-monotonic and linear trends, for variables such as movement time and accuracy at target. Unfortunately, proposed explanations for these developmental changes have been tailored to individual studies, limiting their scope. Also, explanations were focused on a single component or process in the system that supposedly causes developmental changes. Here, we propose that the DSA can offer an overarching explanation for developmental changes in this research field. According to the DSA, motor behavior emerges from interactions of multiple components entailed by the person, environment, and task. Changes in all these components can potentially contribute to the emerging behavior. We show how the principles of change of the DSA can be used as an overarching framework by applying these principles not only to development, but also the behavior itself. This underlines its applicability to other fields of development.

  10. Radioisotope tracer approach for understanding the impacts of global change-induced pedoturbation on soil C dynamics (United States)

    Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Sturchio, N. C.; Sanchez-de Leon, Y.; Blanc-Betes, E.; Taneva, L.; Poghosyan, A.; Norby, R. J.; Filley, T. R.; Guilderson, T. P.; Welker, J. M.


    Biogeochemical carbon-cycle feedbacks to climate are apparent but uncertain, primarily because of gaps in mechanistic understanding on the ecosystem processes that drive carbon cycling and storage in terrestrial ecosystems, particularly in soils. Recent findings are increasingly recognizing the interaction between soil biota and the soil physical environment. Soil carbon turnover is partly determined by burial of organic matter and its physical and chemical protection. These factors are potentially affected by changes in climate (freezing-thawing or wet-drying cycles) or ecosystem structure including biological invasions. A major impediment to understanding dynamics of soil C in terrestrial systems is our inability to measure soil physical processes such as soil mixing rates or turnover of soil structures, including aggregates. Here we present a multiple radioisotope tracer approach (naturally occurring and man-made) to measure soil mixing rates in response to global change. We will present evidence of soil mixing rate changes in a temperate forest exposed to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 and in a tundra ecosystem exposed to increased thermal insulation. In both cases, radioisotope tracers proved to be an effective way to measure effects of global change on pedoturbation. Results also provided insights into the specific mechanisms involved in the responses. Elevated CO2 resulted in deeper soil mixing cells (increased by about 5cm on average) when compared to control soils as a consequence of changes in biota (increased root growth, higher earthworm density). In the tundra, soil warming induced higher rates of cryoturbation, resulting in what appears to be a net uplift of organic matter to the surface thereby exposing deeper C to decomposers. In both cases, global change factors affected the vertical distribution of C and changed the amount of bulk soil actively involved in soil processes. As a consequence, comparisons of C budgets to a given soil depth in

  11. Quebec Trophoblastic Disease Registry: how to make an easy-to-use dynamic database. (United States)

    Sauthier, Philippe; Breguet, Magali; Rozenholc, Alexandre; Sauthier, Michaël


    To create an easy-to-use dynamic database designed specifically for the Quebec Trophoblastic Disease Registry (RMTQ). It is now well established that much of the success in managing trophoblastic diseases comes from the development of national and regional reference centers. Computerized databases allow the optimal use of data stored in these centers. We have created an electronic data registration system by producing a database using FileMaker Pro 12. It uses 11 external tables associated with a unique identification number for each patient. Each table allows specific data to be recorded, incorporating demographics, diagnosis, automated staging, laboratory values, pathological diagnosis, and imaging parameters. From January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2013, we used our database to register 311 patients with 380 diseases and have seen a 39.2% increase in registrations each year between 2009 and 2012. This database allows the automatic generation of semilogarithmic curves, which take into account β-hCG values as a function of time, complete with graphic markers for applied treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery). It generates a summary sheet for a synthetic vision in real time. We have created, at a low cost, an easy-to-use database specific to trophoblastic diseases that dynamically integrates staging and monitoring. We propose a 10-step procedure for a successful trophoblastic database. It improves patient care, research, and education on trophoblastic diseases in Quebec and leads to an opportunity for collaboration on a national Canadian registry.

  12. Handwritten dynamics assessment through convolutional neural networks: An application to Parkinson's disease identification. (United States)

    Pereira, Clayton R; Pereira, Danilo R; Rosa, Gustavo H; Albuquerque, Victor H C; Weber, Silke A T; Hook, Christian; Papa, João P


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is considered a degenerative disorder that affects the motor system, which may cause tremors, micrography, and the freezing of gait. Although PD is related to the lack of dopamine, the triggering process of its development is not fully understood yet. In this work, we introduce convolutional neural networks to learn features from images produced by handwritten dynamics, which capture different information during the individual's assessment. Additionally, we make available a dataset composed of images and signal-based data to foster the research related to computer-aided PD diagnosis. The proposed approach was compared against raw data and texture-based descriptors, showing suitable results, mainly in the context of early stage detection, with results nearly to 95%. The analysis of handwritten dynamics using deep learning techniques showed to be useful for automatic Parkinson's disease identification, as well as it can outperform handcrafted features. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Expanding our understanding of lower urinary tract symptoms and incontinence in adults with pompe disease. (United States)

    McNamara, Erin R; Austin, Stephanie; Case, Laura; Wiener, John S; Peterson, Andrew C; Kishnani, Priya S


    To study the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and incontinence in late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD) Methods: Adult LOPD patients seen at the Duke Pompe Clinic were prospectively recruited and asked to complete validated questionnaires on LUTS and incontinence as part of an IRB-approved study. Patient demographics as well as previous urologic history were reviewed. 35 patients with LOPD were included in the study (17 males and 18 females). The median age was 51.8 (range 18-72 years of age). Of these patients, 27/35 were receiving enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with median duration of 54 months (range 5-88 months). In the male patients, 9/17 (53%) described their stream as dribbling, weak, or intermittent, and 9/17 (53%) complained of post-void dribbling. In addition 38% of the men were unable to stop their urination midstream. In the female patients, the most common complaint was urinary incontinence, reported in 14/18 (78%). In addition, 7/18 (39%) complained of post-void dribbling, and 47% were unable to stop their urination midstream. Bowel incontinence was reported in 45% of patients. There was a significant association between urinary symptoms and lower extremity function scores and duration of ERT (p = 0.005 and p = 0.04, respectively) This is the first study in a large cohort of LOPD patients that demonstrates LUTS and incontinence occur at a high rate. This study emphasizes the spectrum of LOPD is beyond isolated gross motor and pulmonary involvement and has a significant effect on the lower urinary tract.

  14. The Dynamics of Pheromone Gland Synthesis and Release: a Paradigm Shift for Understanding Sex Pheromone Quantity in Female Moths. (United States)

    Foster, Stephen P; Anderson, Karin G; Casas, Jérôme


    Moths are exemplars of chemical communication, especially with regard to specificity and the minute amounts they use. Yet, little is known about how females manage synthesis and storage of pheromone to maintain release rates attractive to conspecific males and why such small amounts are used. We developed, for the first time, a quantitative model, based on an extensive empirical data set, describing the dynamical relationship among synthesis, storage (titer) and release of pheromone over time in a moth (Heliothis virescens). The model is compartmental, with one major state variable (titer), one time-varying (synthesis), and two constant (catabolism and release) rates. The model was a good fit, suggesting it accounted for the major processes. Overall, we found the relatively small amounts of pheromone stored and released were largely a function of high catabolism rather than a low rate of synthesis. A paradigm shift may be necessary to understand the low amounts released by female moths, away from the small quantities synthesized to the (relatively) large amounts catabolized. Future research on pheromone quantity should focus on structural and physicochemical processes that limit storage and release rate quantities. To our knowledge, this is the first time that pheromone gland function has been modeled for any animal.

  15. Understanding nucleic acid structural changes by comparing wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) experiments to molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pabit, Suzette A.; Katz, Andrea M.; Pollack, Lois [School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 (United States); Tolokh, Igor S. [Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 (United States); Drozdetski, Aleksander [Department of Physics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 (United States); Baker, Nathan [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States); Onufriev, Alexey V. [Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 (United States); Department of Physics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 (United States)


    Wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) is emerging as a powerful tool for increasing the resolution of solution structure measurements of biomolecules. Compared to its better known complement, small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), WAXS targets higher scattering angles and can enhance structural studies of molecules by accessing finer details of solution structures. Although the extension from SAXS to WAXS is easy to implement experimentally, the computational tools required to fully harness the power of WAXS are still under development. Currently, WAXS is employed to study structural changes and ligand binding in proteins; however, the methods are not as fully developed for nucleic acids. Here, we show how WAXS can qualitatively characterize nucleic acid structures as well as the small but significant structural changes driven by the addition of multivalent ions. We show the potential of WAXS to test all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and to provide insight into understanding how the trivalent ion cobalt(III) hexammine (CoHex) affects the structure of RNA and DNA helices. We find that MD simulations capture the RNA structural change that occurs due to addition of CoHex.

  16. Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics for improving freeze-dryers design and process understanding. Part 1: Modelling the lyophilisation chamber. (United States)

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


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

  17. Influence of network dynamics on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. (United States)

    Risau-Gusman, Sebastián


    Network epidemiology often assumes that the relationships defining the social network of a population are static. The dynamics of relationships is only taken indirectly into account by assuming that the relevant information to study epidemic spread is encoded in the network obtained, by considering numbers of partners accumulated over periods of time roughly proportional to the infectious period of the disease. On the other hand, models explicitly including social dynamics are often too schematic to provide a reasonable representation of a real population, or so detailed that no general conclusions can be drawn from them. Here, we present a model of social dynamics that is general enough so its parameters can be obtained by fitting data from surveys about sexual behaviour, but that can still be studied analytically, using mean-field techniques. This allows us to obtain some general results about epidemic spreading. We show that using accumulated network data to estimate the static epidemic threshold lead to a significant underestimation of that threshold. We also show that, for a dynamic network, the relative epidemic threshold is an increasing function of the infectious period of the disease, implying that the static value is a lower bound to the real threshold. A practical example is given of how to apply the model to the study of a real population.

  18. Dynamical behavior of an epidemic model for a vector-borne disease with direct transmission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai Liming; Li Xuezhi; Li Zhaoqiang


    An epidemic model of a vector-borne disease with direct transmission is investigated. The reproduction number (R 0 ) of the model is obtained. Rigorous qualitative analysis of the model reveals the presence of the phenomenon of backward bifurcation (where the stable disease-free equilibrium (DFE) coexists with a stable endemic equilibrium when the reproduction number of the disease is less than unity) in the standard incidence model. The phenomenon shows that the classical epidemiological requirement of having the reproduction number less than unity is no longer sufficient, although necessary, for effectively controlling the spread of some vector-borne diseases in a community. The backward bifurcation phenomenon can be removed by substituting the standard incidence with a bilinear mass action incidence. By using Lyapunov function theory and LaSalle invariance principle, it is shown that the unique endemic equilibrium for the model with a mass action incidence is globally stable if the reproduction number R mass is greater than one in feasible region. This suggests that the use of standard incidence in modelling some vector-borne diseases with direct transmission results in the presence of backward bifurcation. Numerical simulations analyze the effect of the direct transmission and the disease-induced death rate on dynamics of the disease transmission, and also verify our analyzed results.

  19. Frequency-Dependent Disease Transmission and the Dynamics of the Silene-Ustilago Host-Pathogen System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thrall, P.H.; Biere, A.; Uyenoyama, M.K.


    Models incorporating density-dependent disease transmission functions generally provide a good fit for airborne and directly transmitted bacterial or viral diseases. However, the transmission dynamics of sexually transmitted and vector-borne diseases are likely to be frequency- rather than density-

  20. Epidemic Wave Dynamics Attributable to Urban Community Structure: A Theoretical Characterization of Disease Transmission in a Large Network (United States)

    Eggo, Rosalind M; Lenczner, Michael


    Background Multiple waves of transmission during infectious disease epidemics represent a major public health challenge, but the ecological and behavioral drivers of epidemic resurgence are poorly understood. In theory, community structure—aggregation into highly intraconnected and loosely interconnected social groups—within human populations may lead to punctuated outbreaks as diseases progress from one community to the next. However, this explanation has been largely overlooked in favor of temporal shifts in environmental conditions and human behavior and because of the difficulties associated with estimating large-scale contact patterns. Objective The aim was to characterize naturally arising patterns of human contact that are capable of producing simulated epidemics with multiple wave structures. Methods We used an extensive dataset of proximal physical contacts between users of a public Wi-Fi Internet system to evaluate the epidemiological implications of an empirical urban contact network. We characterized the modularity (community structure) of the network and then estimated epidemic dynamics under a percolation-based model of infectious disease spread on the network. We classified simulated epidemics as multiwave using a novel metric and we identified network structures that were critical to the network’s ability to produce multiwave epidemics. Results We identified robust community structure in a large, empirical urban contact network from which multiwave epidemics may emerge naturally. This pattern was fueled by a special kind of insularity in which locally popular individuals were not the ones forging contacts with more distant social groups. Conclusions Our results suggest that ordinary contact patterns can produce multiwave epidemics at the scale of a single urban area without the temporal shifts that are usually assumed to be responsible. Understanding the role of community structure in epidemic dynamics allows officials to anticipate epidemic

  1. Modeling of the blood flow in the lower extremities for dynamic diffuse optical tomography of peripheral artery disease (United States)

    Marone, A.; Hoi, J. W.; Khalil, M. A.; Kim, H. K.; Shrikhande, G.; Dayal, R.; Hielscher, A. H.


    Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is caused by a reduction of the internal diameters of the arteries in the upper or lower extremities mainly due to atherosclerosis. If not treated, its worsening may led to a complete occlusion, causing the death of the cells lacking proper blood supply, followed by gangrene that may require chirurgical amputation. We have recently performed a clinical study in which good sensitivities and specificities were achieved with dynamic diffuse optical tomography. To gain a better understanding of the physiological foundations of many of the observed effects, we started to develop a mathematical model for PAD. The model presented in this work is based on a multi-compartment Windkessel model, where the vasculature in the leg and foot is represented by resistors and capacitors, the blood pressure with a voltage drop, and the blood flow with a current. Unlike existing models, the dynamics induced by a thigh-pressure-cuff inflation and deflation during the measurements are taken into consideration. This is achieved by dynamically varying the resistances of the large veins and arteries. By including the effects of the thigh-pressure cuff, we were able to explain many of the effects observed during our dynamic DOT measurements, including the hemodynamics of oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration changes. The model was implemented in MATLAB and the simulations were normalized and compared with the blood perfusion obtained from healthy, PAD and diabetic patients. Our preliminary results show that in unhealthy patients the total system resistance is sensibly higher than in healthy patients.

  2. Deep, multi-stage transcriptome of the schistosomiasis vector Biomphalaria glabrata provides platform for understanding molluscan disease-related pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan J Kenny


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The gastropod mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata is well known as a vector for the tropical disease schistosomiasis, which affects nearly 200 million people worldwide. Despite intensive study, our understanding of the genetic basis of B. glabrata development, growth and disease resistance is constrained by limited genetic resources, constraints for which next-generation sequencing methods provide a ready solution. Methods Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly using the Trinity program was used to generate a high-quality transcriptomic dataset spanning the entirety of in ovo development in schistosomiasis-free B. glabrata. This was subjected to automated (KEGG, BLAST2GO and manual annotation efforts, allowing insight into the gene complements of this species in a number of contexts. Results Excellent dataset recovery was observed, with 133,084 contigs produced of mean size 2219.48 bp. 80,952 (60.8 % returned a BLASTx hit with an E value of less than 10-3, and 74,492 (55.97 % were either mapped or assigned a GO identity using the BLAST2GO program. The CEGMA set of core eukaryotic genes was found to be 99.6 % present, indicating exceptional transcriptome completeness. We were able to identify a wealth of disease-pathway related genes within our dataset, including the Wnt, apoptosis and Notch pathways. This provides an invaluable reference point for further work into molluscan development and evolution, for studying the impact of schistosomiasis in this species, and perhaps providing targets for the treatment of this widespread disease. Conclusions Here we present a deep transcriptome of an embryonic sample of schistosomiasis-free B. glabrata, presenting a comprehensive dataset for comparison to disease-affected specimens and from which conclusions can be drawn about the genetics of this widespread medical model. Furthermore, the dataset provided by this sequencing provides a useful reference point for comparison to other mollusc

  3. Global dynamics of multi-group SEI animal disease models with indirect transmission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yi; Cao, Jinde


    A challenge to multi-group epidemic models in mathematical epidemiology is the exploration of global dynamics. Here we formulate multi-group SEI animal disease models with indirect transmission via contaminated water. Under biologically motivated assumptions, the basic reproduction number R 0 is derived and established as a sharp threshold that completely determines the global dynamics of the system. In particular, we prove that if R 0 <1, the disease-free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable, and the disease dies out; whereas if R 0 >1, then the endemic equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable and thus unique, and the disease persists in all groups. Since the weight matrix for weighted digraphs may be reducible, the afore-mentioned approach is not directly applicable to our model. For the proofs we utilize the classical method of Lyapunov, graph-theoretic results developed recently and a new combinatorial identity. Since the multiple transmission pathways may correspond to the real world, the obtained results are of biological significance and possible generalizations of the model are also discussed

  4. The influence of social norms on the dynamics of vaccinating behaviour for paediatric infectious diseases. (United States)

    Oraby, Tamer; Thampi, Vivek; Bauch, Chris T


    Mathematical models that couple disease dynamics and vaccinating behaviour often assume that the incentive to vaccinate disappears if disease prevalence is zero. Hence, they predict that vaccine refusal should be the rule, and elimination should be difficult or impossible. In reality, countries with non-mandatory vaccination policies have usually been able to maintain elimination or very low incidence of paediatric infectious diseases for long periods of time. Here, we show that including injunctive social norms can reconcile such behaviour-incidence models to observations. Adding social norms to a coupled behaviour-incidence model enables the model to better explain pertussis vaccine uptake and disease dynamics in the UK from 1967 to 2010, in both the vaccine-scare years and the years of high vaccine coverage. The model also illustrates how a vaccine scare can perpetuate suboptimal vaccine coverage long after perceived risk has returned to baseline, pre-vaccine-scare levels. However, at other model parameter values, social norms can perpetuate depressed vaccine coverage during a vaccine scare well beyond the time when the population's baseline vaccine risk perception returns to pre-scare levels. Social norms can strongly suppress vaccine uptake despite frequent outbreaks, as observed in some small communities. Significant portions of the parameter space also exhibit bistability, meaning long-term outcomes depend on the initial conditions. Depending on the context, social norms can either support or hinder immunization goals.

  5. Integration of Remote Sensing Products with Ground-Based Measurements to Understand the Dynamics of Nepal's Forests and Plantation Sites (United States)

    Gilani, H.; Jain, A. K.


    This study assembles information from three sources - remote sensing, terrestrial photography and ground-based inventory data, to understand the dynamics of Nepal's tropical and sub-tropical forests and plantation sites for the period 1990-2015. Our study focuses on following three specific district areas, which have conserved forests through social and agroforestry management practices: 1. Dolakha district: This site has been selected to study the impact of community-based forest management on land cover change using repeat photography and satellite imagery, in combination with interviews with community members. The study time period is during the period 1990-2010. We determined that satellite data with ground photographs can provide transparency for long term monitoring. The initial results also suggests that community-based forest management program in the mid-hills of Nepal was successful. 2. Chitwan district: Here we use high resolution remote sensing data and optimized community field inventories to evaluate potential application and operational feasibility of community level REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems. The study uses temporal dynamics of land cover transitions, tree canopy size classes and biomass over a Kayar khola watershed REDD+ study area with community forest to evaluate satellite Image segmentation for land cover, linear regression model for above ground biomass (AGB), and estimation and monitoring field data for tree crowns and AGB. We study three specific years 2002, 2009, 2012. Using integration of WorldView-2 and airborne LiDAR data for tree species level. 3. Nuwakot district: This district was selected to study the impact of establishment of tree plantation on total barren/fallow. Over the last 40 year, this area has went through a drastic changes, from barren land to forest area with tree species consisting of Dalbergia sissoo, Leucaena leucocephala, Michelia champaca, etc. In 1994, this district area was registered

  6. Imaging of vascular dynamics within the foot using dynamic diffuse optical tomography to diagnose peripheral arterial disease (United States)

    Khalil, M. A.; Kim, H. K.; Hoi, J. W.; Kim, I.; Dayal, R.; Shrikande, G.; Hielscher, A. H.


    Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the functional area of the artery generally due to atherosclerosis. It affects between 8-12 million people in the United States and if untreated this can lead to ulceration, gangrene and ultimately amputation. The current diagnostic method for PAD is the ankle-brachial index (ABI). The ABI is a ratio of the patient's systolic blood pressure in the foot to that of the brachial artery in the arm, a ratio below 0.9 is indicative of affected vasculature. However, this method is ineffective in patients with calcified arteries (diabetic and end-stage renal failure patients), which falsely elevates the ABI recording resulting in a false negative reading. In this paper we present our results in a pilot study to deduce optical tomography's ability to detect poor blood perfusion in the foot. We performed an IRB approved 30 patient study, where we imaged the feet of the enrolled patients during a five stage dynamic imaging sequence. The patients were split up into three groups: 10 healthy subjects, 10 PAD patients and 10 PAD patients with diabetes and they were imaged while applying a pressure cuff to their thigh. Differences in the magnitude of blood pooling in the foot and rate at which the blood pools in the foot are all indicative of arterial disease.

  7. Introduction to Focus Issue: Rhythms and Dynamic Transitions in Neurological Disease: Modeling, Computation, and Experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaper, Tasso J., E-mail:; Kramer, Mark A., E-mail: [Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (United States); Rotstein, Horacio G., E-mail: [Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102 (United States)


    Rhythmic neuronal oscillations across a broad range of frequencies, as well as spatiotemporal phenomena, such as waves and bumps, have been observed in various areas of the brain and proposed as critical to brain function. While there is a long and distinguished history of studying rhythms in nerve cells and neuronal networks in healthy organisms, the association and analysis of rhythms to diseases are more recent developments. Indeed, it is now thought that certain aspects of diseases of the nervous system, such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson's, and sleep disorders, are associated with transitions or disruptions of neurological rhythms. This focus issue brings together articles presenting modeling, computational, analytical, and experimental perspectives about rhythms and dynamic transitions between them that are associated to various diseases.

  8. Introduction to Focus Issue: Rhythms and Dynamic Transitions in Neurological Disease: Modeling, Computation, and Experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaper, Tasso J.; Kramer, Mark A.; Rotstein, Horacio G.


    Rhythmic neuronal oscillations across a broad range of frequencies, as well as spatiotemporal phenomena, such as waves and bumps, have been observed in various areas of the brain and proposed as critical to brain function. While there is a long and distinguished history of studying rhythms in nerve cells and neuronal networks in healthy organisms, the association and analysis of rhythms to diseases are more recent developments. Indeed, it is now thought that certain aspects of diseases of the nervous system, such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson's, and sleep disorders, are associated with transitions or disruptions of neurological rhythms. This focus issue brings together articles presenting modeling, computational, analytical, and experimental perspectives about rhythms and dynamic transitions between them that are associated to various diseases

  9. Cytokine Status, Thyroid Autoantibodies and Their Dynamic Changes During the Treatment of Graves' Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V V Lazanovich


    Full Text Available It has been found during the research that the changes of Th1 and Th2 marker cytokine content in Graves Disease are dynamic and are directly correlated not only with the severity of autoimmune thyrotoxicosis, but also with the method of treatment used and duration of Thiamazole therapy. The beginning of autoimmune thyrotoxicosis shows the largest amounts of both pro-inflammatory (IL-1a, IL-8, IFN-γ and anti-inflammatory (IL-10 cytokines which are significantly reduced during Thiamazole therapy, with the exception of the cases of severe disease course. Thyroid resection does not result in immunologic remission either, which is confirmed by persisting high serum levels of IL-1a, IL-8, IFN-γ, IL-10 and TSH antibodies in the severe GBD group. Among the unfavorable prognostic factors for recurrent disease are high serum levels of TSH antibodies, IL-1a and IFN-γ during pre-surgery period.

  10. Understanding Alzheimer's (United States)

    ... Navigation Bar Home Current Issue Past Issues Understanding Alzheimer's Past Issues / Fall 2007 Table of Contents For ... and brain scans. No treatment so far stops Alzheimer's. However, for some in the disease's early and ...

  11. Static and dynamic hyperinflation during severe acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Geffen WH


    Full Text Available Wouter H van Geffen,1,2 Huib AM Kerstjens2 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Medical Centre Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands; 2Department of Pulmonary Diseases, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands Background: Static hyperinflation is known to be increased during moderate acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD (AECOPD, but few data exist in patients with severe exacerbations of COPD. The role of dynamic hyperinflation during exacerbations is unclear. Methods: In a prospective, observational cohort study, we recruited patients admitted to hospital for AECOPD. The following measurements were performed upon admission and again after resolution (stable state at least 42 days later: inspiratory capacity (IC, body plethysmography, dynamic hyperinflation by metronome-paced IC measurement, health-related quality of life and dyspnea. Results: Forty COPD patients were included of whom 28 attended follow-up. The IC was low at admission (2.05±0.11 L and increased again during resolution by 15.6%±23.1% or 0.28±0.08 L (mean ± standard error of the mean, p<0.01. Testing of metronome-paced changes in IC was feasible, and it decreased by 0.74±0.06 L at admission, similarly to at stable state. Clinical COPD Questionnaire score was 3.7±0.2 at admission and improved by 1.7±0.2 points (p<0.01, and the Borg dyspnea score improved by 2.2±0.5 points from 4.4±0.4 at admission (p<0.01. Conclusion: Static hyperinflation is increased during severe AECOPD requiring hospitalization compared with stable state. We could measure metronome-paced dynamic hyperinflation during severe AECOPD but found no increase. Keywords: COPD, exacerbations of COPD, static hyperinflation, dynamic hyperinflation, severe acute exacerbations of COPD, COPD exacerbation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  12. Dynamic Stabilisation in the Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease with Modic Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olcay Eser


    Full Text Available Objective. Posterior dynamic stabilization is an effective alternative to fusion in the treatment of chronic instability and degenerative disc disease (DDD of the lumbar spine. This study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of dynamic stabilization in chronic degenerative disc disease with Modic types 1 and 2. Modic types 1 and 2 degeneration can be painful. Classic approach in such cases is spine fusion. We operated 88 DDD patients with Modic types 1 and 2 via posterior dynamic stabilization. Good results were obtained after 2 years of followup. Methods. A total of 88 DDD patients with Modic types 1 and 2 were selected for this study. The patients were included in the study between 2004 and 2010. All of them were examined with lumbar anteroposterior (AP and lateral X-rays. Lordosis of the lumbar spine, segmental lordosis, and ratio of the height of the intervertebral disc spaces (IVSs were measured preoperatively and at 3, 12, and 24 months after surgery. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI analysis was carried out, and according to the data obtained, the grade of disc degeneration was classified. The quality of life and pain scores were evaluated by visual analog scale (VAS score and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI preoperatively and at 3, 12, and 24 months after surgery. Appropriate statistical method was chosen. Results. The mean 3- and 12-month postoperative IVS ratio was significantly greater than that of the preoperative group (P0.05. Furthermore, the mean preoperative and 1 and 2 postoperative angles of lumbar lordosis and segmental lordosis were not significantly different (P>0.05. The mean VAS score and ODI, 3, 12, and 24 months after surgery, decreased significantly, when compared with the preoperative scores in the groups (P=0.000. Conclusion. Dynamic stabilization in chronic degenerative disc disease with Modic types 1 and 2 was effective.

  13. Bayesian dynamic modeling of time series of dengue disease case counts. (United States)

    Martínez-Bello, Daniel Adyro; López-Quílez, Antonio; Torres-Prieto, Alexander


    The aim of this study is to model the association between weekly time series of dengue case counts and meteorological variables, in a high-incidence city of Colombia, applying Bayesian hierarchical dynamic generalized linear models over the period January 2008 to August 2015. Additionally, we evaluate the model's short-term performance for predicting dengue cases. The methodology shows dynamic Poisson log link models including constant or time-varying coefficients for the meteorological variables. Calendar effects were modeled using constant or first- or second-order random walk time-varying coefficients. The meteorological variables were modeled using constant coefficients and first-order random walk time-varying coefficients. We applied Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations for parameter estimation, and deviance information criterion statistic (DIC) for model selection. We assessed the short-term predictive performance of the selected final model, at several time points within the study period using the mean absolute percentage error. The results showed the best model including first-order random walk time-varying coefficients for calendar trend and first-order random walk time-varying coefficients for the meteorological variables. Besides the computational challenges, interpreting the results implies a complete analysis of the time series of dengue with respect to the parameter estimates of the meteorological effects. We found small values of the mean absolute percentage errors at one or two weeks out-of-sample predictions for most prediction points, associated with low volatility periods in the dengue counts. We discuss the advantages and limitations of the dynamic Poisson models for studying the association between time series of dengue disease and meteorological variables. The key conclusion of the study is that dynamic Poisson models account for the dynamic nature of the variables involved in the modeling of time series of dengue disease, producing useful

  14. Neutron Scattering of Residual Hydrogen in 1,4-Dioxane-D8 Liquid. Understanding Measurements with Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Almeida, Valmor F. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Liu, Hongjun [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Herwig, Kenneth W. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Kidder, Michelle [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)


    understand measurements or calibrate/validate molecular dynamics models.

  15. Understanding groundwater dynamics on barrier islands using geochronological data: An example from North Stradbroke Island, South-east Queensland (United States)

    Hofmann, Harald; Newborn, Dean; Cartwright, Ian


    Freshwater lenses underneath barrier islands are dynamic systems affected by changing sea levels and groundwater use. They are vulnerable to contamination and over-abstraction. Residence times of fresh groundwater in barrier islands are poorly understood and have mostly been assessed by modelling approaches and estimates without fundamental validation with geochronological data. Assessing residence time and recharge rates will improve significantly our understanding of hydrological processes of coastal environments that will in turn allow us to make informed decisions on groundwater use and environmental protection. This project focused on groundwater recharge rates and residence times of the fresh water aquifer system of North Stradbroke Island, south-east Queensland, Australia. Groundwater bores, wetlands and submarine groundwater discharge points in the tidal areas (wonky holes) were sampled along a transect across the island and were analysed for major ion chemistry and stable isotopes (δ2H, δ18O, δ13C) in combination with 3H and 14C analysis. Calculated 3H using a 95% exponential-piston flow model and 14C ages range from 12 to >100 years and modern to 3770 years, respectively, indicating a highly heterogeneous aquifer system with mixing from low and high conductive areas. The major ion chemistry in combination with stable and radiogenic isotopes suggests that a significant groundwater component derives from the fractured rock basement and older sedimentary formations underlying the sand dunes of the island. The results help refining the conceptual and numerical groundwater flow model for North Stradbroke island in this particular case but also demonstrate the possible complexity of barrier island hydrogeology.

  16. Comparison of Pre-Service Physics Teachers' Conceptual Understanding of Dynamics in Model-Based Scientific Inquiry and Scientific Inquiry Environments (United States)

    Arslan Buyruk, Arzu; Ogan Bekiroglu, Feral


    The focus of this study was to evaluate the impact of model-based inquiry on pre-service physics teachers' conceptual understanding of dynamics. Theoretical framework of this research was based on models-of-data theory. True-experimental design using quantitative and qualitative research methods was carried out for this research. Participants of…

  17. Advances in Understanding Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Diseases: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air) (United States)

    Kaufman, Joel D.; Spalt, Elizabeth W.; Curl, Cynthia L.; Hajat, Anjum; Jones, Miranda R.; Kim, Sun-Young; Vedal, Sverre; Szpiro, Adam A.; Gassett, Amanda; Sheppard, Lianne; Daviglus, Martha L.; Adar, Sara D.


    The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air) leveraged the platform of the MESA cohort into a prospective longitudinal study of relationships between air pollution and cardiovascular health. MESA Air researchers developed fine-scale, state-of-the-art air pollution exposure models for the MESA Air communities, creating individual exposure estimates for each participant. These models combine cohort-specific exposure monitoring, existing monitoring systems, and an extensive database of geographic and meteorological information. Together with extensive phenotyping in MESA—and adding participants and health measurements to the cohort—MESA Air investigated environmental exposures on a wide range of outcomes. Advances by the MESA Air team included not only a new approach to exposure modeling but also biostatistical advances in addressing exposure measurement error and temporal confounding. The MESA Air study advanced our understanding of the impact of air pollutants on cardiovascular disease and provided a research platform for advances in environmental epidemiology. PMID:27741981

  18. Advances in the understanding of mitochondrial DNA as a pathogenic factor in inflammatory diseases [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray K. Boyapati


    Full Text Available Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA has many similarities with bacterial DNA because of their shared common ancestry. Increasing evidence demonstrates mtDNA to be a potent danger signal that is recognised by the innate immune system and can directly modulate the inflammatory response. In humans, elevated circulating mtDNA is found in conditions with significant tissue injury such as trauma and sepsis and increasingly in chronic organ-specific and systemic illnesses such as steatohepatitis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In this review, we examine our current understanding of mtDNA-mediated inflammation and how the mechanisms regulating mitochondrial homeostasis and mtDNA release represent exciting and previously under-recognised important factors in many human inflammatory diseases, offering many new translational opportunities.

  19. Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases with Molecular Simulations: Understanding the Roles of Artificial and Pathological Missense Mutations in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Related to Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orkid Coskuner-Weber


    Full Text Available Amyloid-β and α-synuclein are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs, which are at the center of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease pathologies, respectively. These IDPs are extremely flexible and do not adopt stable structures. Furthermore, both amyloid-β and α-synuclein can form toxic oligomers, amyloid fibrils and other type of aggregates in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Experimentalists face challenges in investigating the structures and thermodynamic properties of these IDPs in their monomeric and oligomeric forms due to the rapid conformational changes, fast aggregation processes and strong solvent effects. Classical molecular dynamics simulations complement experiments and provide structural information at the atomic level with dynamics without facing the same experimental limitations. Artificial missense mutations are employed experimentally and computationally for providing insights into the structure-function relationships of amyloid-β and α-synuclein in relation to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Furthermore, there are several natural genetic variations that play a role in the pathogenesis of familial cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which are related to specific genetic defects inherited in dominant or recessive patterns. The present review summarizes the current understanding of monomeric and oligomeric forms of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, as well as the impacts of artificial and pathological missense mutations on the structural ensembles of these IDPs using molecular dynamics simulations. We also emphasize the recent investigations on residual secondary structure formation in dynamic conformational ensembles of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, such as β-structure linked to the oligomerization and fibrillation mechanisms related to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This information represents an important foundation for the successful and

  20. Revisiting Urban Dynamics through Social Urban Data : Methods and tools for data integration, visualization, and exploratory analysis to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of human activity in cities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Psyllidis, A.


    The study of dynamic spatial and social phenomena in cities has evolved rapidly in the recent years, yielding new insights into urban dynamics. This evolution is strongly related to the emergence of new sources of data for cities (e.g. sensors, mobile phones, online social media etc.), which have

  1. The effects of radioactive pollution on the dynamics of infectious diseases in wildlife

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morley, N.J.


    The interactions between infectious diseases and chemical pollution are well known and recognised as important factors in regulating the way wild animals respond to contaminant exposure. However, the impact of ionising radiation and radionuclides has often been overlooked when assessing host–pathogen interactions in polluted habitats, despite often occurring together with chemical contamination. Nevertheless, a comprehensive body of literature exists from laboratory and field studies on host–pathogen relationships under radiation exposure, and with a renewed interest in radioecology developing; an evaluation of infectious disease dynamics under these conditions would be timely. The present study assesses the impact of external ionising radiation and radionuclides on animal hosts and pathogens (viruses, bacteria, protozoans, helminths, arthropods) in laboratory studies and collates the data from field studies, including the large number of investigations undertaken after the Chernobyl accident. It is apparent that radiation exposure has substantial effects on host–pathogen relationships. Although damage to the host immune system is a major factor other variables, such as damage to host tissue barriers and inhibition of pathogen viability are also important in affecting the prevalence and intensity of parasitic diseases. Field studies indicate that the occurrence of host–pathogen associations in radioactively contaminated sites is complex with a variety of biotic and abiotic factors influencing both pathogen and host(s), resulting in changes to the dynamics of infectious diseases. - Highlights: ► Infectious diseases are important regulating factors in the way wildlife respond to contaminants. ► An assessment of the effects of radioactive exposure to host–pathogen relationships in animals is given. ► Radioactive exposure has a profound effect on host–pathogen interactions. ► Both hosts and pathogens may be either negatively or positively affected

  2. Altered dynamics of a lipid raft associated protein in a kidney model of Fabry disease. (United States)

    Labilloy, Anatália; Youker, Robert T; Bruns, Jennifer R; Kukic, Ira; Kiselyov, Kirill; Halfter, Willi; Finegold, David; do Monte, Semiramis Jamil Hadad; Weisz, Ora A


    Accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) and other neutral glycosphingolipids with galactosyl residues is the hallmark of Fabry disease, a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (α-gal A). These lipids are incorporated into the plasma membrane and intracellular membranes, with a preference for lipid rafts. Disruption of raft mediated cell processes is implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, but little is known about the effects of the accumulation of glycosphingolipids on raft dynamics in the context of Fabry disease. Using siRNA technology, we have generated a polarized renal epithelial cell model of Fabry disease in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. These cells present increased levels of Gb3 and enlarged lysosomes, and progressively accumulate zebra bodies. The polarized delivery of both raft-associated and raft-independent proteins was unaffected by α-gal A knockdown, suggesting that accumulation of Gb3 does not disrupt biosynthetic trafficking pathways. To assess the effect of α-gal A silencing on lipid raft dynamics, we employed number and brightness (N&B) analysis to measure the oligomeric status and mobility of the model glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein GFP-GPI. We observed a significant increase in the oligomeric size of antibody-induced clusters of GFP-GPI at the plasma membrane of α-gal A silenced cells compared with control cells. Our results suggest that the interaction of GFP-GPI with lipid rafts may be altered in the presence of accumulated Gb3. The implications of our results with respect to the pathogenesis of Fabry disease are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Computational fluid dynamics modelling of left valvular heart diseases during atrial fibrillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Scarsoglio


    Full Text Available Background: Although atrial fibrillation (AF, a common arrhythmia, frequently presents in patients with underlying valvular disease, its hemodynamic contributions are not fully understood. The present work aimed to computationally study how physical conditions imposed by pathologic valvular anatomy act on AF hemodynamics. Methods: We simulated AF with different severity grades of left-sided valvular diseases and compared the cardiovascular effects that they exert during AF, compared to lone AF. The fluid dynamics model used here has been recently validated for lone AF and relies on a lumped parameterization of the four heart chambers, together with the systemic and pulmonary circulation. The AF modelling involves: (i irregular, uncorrelated and faster heart rate; (ii atrial contractility dysfunction. Three different grades of severity (mild, moderate, severe were analyzed for each of the four valvulopathies (AS, aortic stenosis, MS, mitral stenosis, AR, aortic regurgitation, MR, mitral regurgitation, by varying–through the valve opening angle–the valve area. Results: Regurgitation was hemodynamically more relevant than stenosis, as the latter led to inefficient cardiac flow, while the former introduced more drastic fluid dynamics variation. Moreover, mitral valvulopathies were more significant than aortic ones. In case of aortic valve diseases, proper mitral functioning damps out changes at atrial and pulmonary levels. In the case of mitral valvulopathy, the mitral valve lost its regulating capability, thus hemodynamic variations almost equally affected regions upstream and downstream of the valve. In particular, the present study revealed that both mitral and aortic regurgitation strongly affect hemodynamics, followed by mitral stenosis, while aortic stenosis has the least impact among the analyzed valvular diseases. Discussion: The proposed approach can provide new mechanistic insights as to which valvular pathologies merit more aggressive

  4. Clinical application of dynamic digital subtraction angiography in cerebrovascular ischemic diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirata, Yoshifumi; Nonaka, Nobuhito; Matsukado, Yasuhiko; Takahashi, Mutsumasa


    Dynamic intravenous digital subtraction angiography (IV-DSA) was performed in 37 patients with cerebrovascular ischemic diseases. The time density curve of IV-DSA was analysed, and peak time, mean transit time and mode of transit time were obtained in each patient. On the basis of these values, cerebral perfusion was classified into low, normal and high perfusion patterns. Normal perfusion pattern was noted in 40% of patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and 7 % of patients with cerebral infarction. Low perfusion pattern was observed in 60 % of patients with TIA and 87 % of patients with cerebral infarction. High perfusion pattern was encountered only in 7 % of patients with cerebral infarction. In ischemic patients with moyamoya disease, extremely prolonged cerebral circulation time was evidenced by the presence of a flat or uphill type of the time density curve. This finding well correlated with decreased cerebral blood flow on single photon emission tomography. These findings suggest that the analysis of dynamic DSA is very important and useful in the clinical evaluation of patients with cerebrovascular ischemic diseases.

  5. The Dynamics of an HIV/AIDS Model with Screened Disease Carriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. D. Hove-Musekwa


    Full Text Available The presence of carriers usually complicates the dynamics and prevention of a disease. They are not recognized as disease cases themselves unless they are screened and they usually spread the infection without them being aware. We argue that this has been one of the major causes of the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. We propose, in this paper, a model for the heterogeneous transmission of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the presence of disease carriers. The model allows us to assess the role of screening, as an intervention program that can slow the epidemic. A threshold value ψ*, for the screening rate is obtained. It is shown numerically that if 80% or more of the carrier population is screened, the epidemic can be contained. The qualitative analysis is done in terms of the model reproduction number R. The model has two equilibria, the disease free equilibrium and a unique endemic equilibrium. The disease free equilibrium is globally stable of R  1. A detailed discussion of the model reproduction number is given and numerical simulations are done to show the role of some of the important model parameters.

  6. Human drivers of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in emerging and disappearing infectious disease systems. (United States)

    Rogalski, Mary A; Gowler, Camden D; Shaw, Clara L; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Duffy, Meghan A


    Humans have contributed to the increased frequency and severity of emerging infectious diseases, which pose a significant threat to wild and domestic species, as well as human health. This review examines major pathways by which humans influence parasitism by altering (co)evolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites on ecological timescales. There is still much to learn about these interactions, but a few well-studied cases show that humans influence disease emergence every step of the way. Human actions significantly increase dispersal of host, parasite and vector species, enabling greater frequency of infection in naive host populations and host switches. Very dense host populations resulting from urbanization and agriculture can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites and, in some cases, more resistant host populations. Human activities that reduce host genetic diversity or impose abiotic stress can impair the ability of hosts to adapt to disease threats. Further, evolutionary responses of hosts and parasites can thwart disease management and biocontrol efforts. Finally, in rare cases, humans influence evolution by eradicating an infectious disease. If we hope to fully understand the factors driving disease emergence and potentially control these epidemics we must consider the widespread influence of humans on host and parasite evolutionary trajectories.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Temporal Sampling of White Band Disease Infected Corals Reveals Complex and Dynamic Bacterial Communities (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S.; Vollmer, S. V.; Aronson, F. M.


    White band disease (WBD) is a coral disease that is currently decimating populations of the endangered staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis and elkhorn coral, A. palmata across the Caribbean. Since it was first reported in 1979, WBD has killed 95% of these critical reef-building Caribbean corals. WBD is infectious; it can be transmitted through the water column or by a corallivorous snail. While previous research shows that WBD is likely caused by bacteria, identification of a specific pathogen or pathogens has remained elusive. Much of the difficulty of understanding the etiology of the disease comes from a lack of information about how existing bacterial communities respond to disease and separating initial from secondary colonizers. In order to address this lack of information, we performed a fully-crossed tank infection experiment. We exposed healthy corals from two different sites to disease and healthy (control) homogenates from both sites, replicating genotype across tanks. We sampled every coral at three time points: before inoculation with the homogenate, after inoculation, and when the coral showed signs of disease. We then performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2000. We saw significant differences between time points and disease state. Interestingly, at the first time point (time one) we observed differences between genotypes: every fragment from some genotypes was dominated by Endozoicomonas, while other genotypes were not dominated by one family. At time two we saw an increase in abundance of Alteromonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae in all corals, and a larger increase in disease-exposed corals. At time three, we saw another increase in Flavobacteriaceae abundance in diseased corals, as well as an introduction of Francisella to diseased corals. While Flavobacteriaceae and Francisella were proposed as potential pathogens, their increase at time three suggests they may be secondary colonizers or opportunists. In genotypes that were

  8. Bifurcation and spatial pattern formation in spreading of disease with incubation period in a phytoplankton dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randhir Singh Baghel


    Full Text Available In this article, we propose a three dimensional mathematical model of phytoplankton dynamics with the help of reaction-diffusion equations that studies the bifurcation and pattern formation mechanism. We provide an analytical explanation for understanding phytoplankton dynamics with three population classes: susceptible, incubated, and infected. This model has a Holling type II response function for the population transformation from susceptible to incubated class in an aquatic ecosystem. Our main goal is to provide a qualitative analysis of Hopf bifurcation mechanisms, taking death rate of infected phytoplankton as bifurcation parameter, and to study further spatial patterns formation due to spatial diffusion. Here analytical findings are supported by the results of numerical experiments. It is observed that the coexistence of all classes of population depends on the rate of diffusion. Also we obtained the time evaluation pattern formation of the spatial system.

  9. Nonparametric evaluation of dynamic disease risk: a spatio-temporal kernel approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijie Zhang

    Full Text Available Quantifying the distributions of disease risk in space and time jointly is a key element for understanding spatio-temporal phenomena while also having the potential to enhance our understanding of epidemiologic trajectories. However, most studies to date have neglected time dimension and focus instead on the "average" spatial pattern of disease risk, thereby masking time trajectories of disease risk. In this study we propose a new idea titled "spatio-temporal kernel density estimation (stKDE" that employs hybrid kernel (i.e., weight functions to evaluate the spatio-temporal disease risks. This approach not only can make full use of sample data but also "borrows" information in a particular manner from neighboring points both in space and time via appropriate choice of kernel functions. Monte Carlo simulations show that the proposed method performs substantially better than the traditional (i.e., frequency-based kernel density estimation (trKDE which has been used in applied settings while two illustrative examples demonstrate that the proposed approach can yield superior results compared to the popular trKDE approach. In addition, there exist various possibilities for improving and extending this method.

  10. Development, validation, and implementation of a questionnaire assessing disease knowledge and understanding in adult cystic fibrosis patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Siklosi, Karen R


    BACKGROUND: The number of adults living with cystic fibrosis (CF) is increasing, necessitating an assessment of knowledge in this growing population. METHODS: A questionnaire assessing CF knowledge was completed by 100 CF patients (median age: 26.0 years, range 17-49 years; median FEV: 57.0% predicted, range 20-127% predicted). Level of knowledge was correlated with clinical and sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Questionnaire validation showed acceptable internal consistency (alpha=0.75) and test-retest reliability (0.94). Patients had fair overall understanding of CF (mean=72.4%, SD=13.1), with greater knowledge of lung and gastrointestinal topics (mean=81.6%, SD=11.6) than reproduction and genetics topics (mean=57.9%, SD=24.1). Females and those with post-secondary education scored significantly higher (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study validated a questionnaire that can be utilized to assess CF knowledge. Although CF patients understand most aspects of their disease, knowledge deficits are common - particularly regarding genetics and reproduction - and should be considered when developing CF education programs.

  11. The impact of non-motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease on partners: understanding and application of chronic sorrow theory. (United States)

    Mercer, Christine J


    Parkinson's disease (PD) can cause many emotions, including grief and a sense of isolation for both the person with PD (referred to as Parkinsonian) and their partner. Such ongoing grief and emotional turmoil can be termed chronic sorrow. The aim of this research is to present accounts of partners' perspectives, analysed in the context of chronic sorrow theory, to offer health professionals an insight into the impact of non-motor PD symptoms on partners. A group of partners of Parkinsonians provided the data through individual stories. These stories were subjected to thematic analysis, using a seven-step process leading to the establishment of themes. Caregiver burden and chronic sorrow is not related to providing physical care, but the emotional care of attempting to minimise the effect of PD, coping with disturbance to sleep, and helping the Parkinsonian to maintain as much independence as possible. Contributors to this article found chronic sorrow theory provided a framework for understanding their emotions. Sharing their experiences with others provided an opportunity to be heard, and enabled them to make sense of individual situations. Chronic sorrow theory provides a useful framework for both partners of Parkinsonians in understanding their emotional responses, and for health professionals in considering the challenges partners face in coping with living with a person with PD.

  12. Hypertensive disease and renal hypertensions: renal structural and functional studies by using dynamic computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arabidze, G.G.; Pogrebnaya, G.N.; Todua, F.I.; Sokolova, R.I.; Kozdoba, O.A.


    Dynamic computed tomography was conducted by the original methods; the findings were analyzed by taking into account time-density curves which made it possible to gain an insight into the status of blood flow and filtration in each individual kidney. Computed tomography and dynamic computed tomography revealed that hypertensive disease was characterized by normal volume and thickness of the renal cortical layer and symmetric time-density curves, whereas a hypertensive type of chronic glomerulonephritis featured lower renal cartical layer thickness, reduced renal volume, symmetrically decrease amplitudes of the first and second peaks of the time-density curve, chronic pyelonephritis showed asymmetric time-density diagrams due to the lower density areas in the afflicted kidney

  13. Genomics reveals historic and contemporary transmission dynamics of a bacterial disease among wildlife and livestock (United States)

    Kamath, Pauline L.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Drees, Kevin P.; Luikart, Gordon; Quance, Christine; Anderson, Neil J.; Clarke, P. Ryan; Cole, Eric K.; Drew, Mark L.; Edwards, William H.; Rhyan, Jack C.; Treanor, John J.; Wallen, Rick L.; White, Patrick J.; Robbe-Austerman, Suelee; Cross, Paul C.


    Whole-genome sequencing has provided fundamental insights into infectious disease epidemiology, but has rarely been used for examining transmission dynamics of a bacterial pathogen in wildlife. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), outbreaks of brucellosis have increased in cattle along with rising seroprevalence in elk. Here we use a genomic approach to examine Brucella abortus evolution, cross-species transmission and spatial spread in the GYE. We find that brucellosis was introduced into wildlife in this region at least five times. The diffusion rate varies among Brucella lineages (B3 to 8 km per year) and over time. We also estimate 12 host transitions from bison to elk, and 5 from elk to bison. Our results support the notion that free-ranging elk are currently a self-sustaining brucellosis reservoir and the source of livestock infections, and that control measures in bison are unlikely to affect the dynamics of unrelated strains circulating in nearby elk populations.

  14. Variability of breath condensate pH may contribute to the better understanding of non-allergic seasonal respiratory diseases (United States)

    Kullmann, Tamás; Szipőcs, Annamária


    The seasonal variability of certain non-allergic respiratory diseases is not clearly understood. Analysis of the breath condensate, the liquid that can be collected by breathing into a cold tube, has been proposed to bring closer to the understanding of airway pathologies. It has been assumed, that (1) airway lining fluid was a stable body liquid and (2) the breath condensate samples were representative of the airway lining fluid. Research was focussed on the identification of biomarkers indicative of respiratory pathologies. Despite 30 years of extended investigations breath condensate analysis has not gained any clinical implementation so far. The pH of the condensate is the characteristic that can be determined with the highest reproducibility. The present paper shows, that contrary to the initial assumptions, breath condensate is not a representative of the airway lining fluid, and the airway lining fluid is not a stable body liquid. Condensate pH shows baseline variability and it is influenced by drinking and by the ambient temperature. The changes in condensate pH are linked to changes in airway lining fluid pH. The variability of airway lining fluid pH may explain seasonal incidence of certain non-allergic respiratory diseases such as the catching of a common cold and the increased incidence of COPD exacerbations and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in cold periods.

  15. Stabilization and complex dynamics in a predator-prey model with predator suffering from an infectious disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooi, B.W.; Voorn, van G.A.K.; Das, pada Krishna


    We study the effects of a non-specified infectious disease of the predator on the dynamics a predator–prey system, by evaluating the dynamics of a three-dimensional model. The predator population in this (PSI) model is split into a susceptible and an unrecoverable infected population, while all

  16. Stabilization and complex dynamics in a predator-prey model with predator suffering from an infectious disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooi, B.W.; van Voorn, G.A.K.; Pada Das, K.


    We study the effects of a non-specified infectious disease of the predator on the dynamics a predator-prey system, by evaluating the dynamics of a three-dimensional model. The predator population in this (PSI) model is split into a susceptible and an unrecoverable infected population, while all

  17. Making Sense of Dynamic Systems: How Our Understanding of Stocks and Flows Depends on a Global Perspective (United States)

    Fischer, Helen; Gonzalez, Cleotilde


    Stocks and flows (SF) are building blocks of dynamic systems: Stocks change through inflows and outflows, such as our bank balance changing with withdrawals and deposits, or atmospheric CO[subscript 2] with absorptions and emissions. However, people make systematic errors when trying to infer the behavior of dynamic systems, termed SF failure,…

  18. F-BAR family proteins, emerging regulators for cell membrane dynamic changes-from structure to human diseases. (United States)

    Liu, Suxuan; Xiong, Xinyu; Zhao, Xianxian; Yang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Hong


    Eukaryotic cell membrane dynamics change in curvature during physiological and pathological processes. In the past ten years, a novel protein family, Fes/CIP4 homology-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) domain proteins, has been identified to be the most important coordinators in membrane curvature regulation. The F-BAR domain family is a member of the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain superfamily that is associated with dynamic changes in cell membrane. However, the molecular basis in membrane structure regulation and the biological functions of F-BAR protein are unclear. The pathophysiological role of F-BAR protein is unknown. This review summarizes the current understanding of structure and function in the BAR domain superfamily, classifies F-BAR family proteins into nine subfamilies based on domain structure, and characterizes F-BAR protein structure, domain interaction, and functional relevance. In general, F-BAR protein binds to cell membrane via F-BAR domain association with membrane phospholipids and initiates membrane curvature and scission via Src homology-3 (SH3) domain interaction with its partner proteins. This process causes membrane dynamic changes and leads to seven important cellular biological functions, which include endocytosis, phagocytosis, filopodium, lamellipodium, cytokinesis, adhesion, and podosome formation, via distinct signaling pathways determined by specific domain-binding partners. These cellular functions play important roles in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. We further summarize F-BAR protein expression and mutation changes observed in various diseases and developmental disorders. Considering the structure feature and functional implication of F-BAR proteins, we anticipate that F-BAR proteins modulate physiological and pathophysiological processes via transferring extracellular materials, regulating cell trafficking and mobility, presenting antigens, mediating extracellular matrix degradation, and transmitting

  19. Prediction of population with Alzheimer's disease in the European Union using a system dynamics model. (United States)

    Tomaskova, Hana; Kuhnova, Jitka; Cimler, Richard; Dolezal, Ondrej; Kuca, Kamil


    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative brain disease with irreversible brain effects; it is the most common cause of dementia. With increasing age, the probability of suffering from AD increases. In this research, population growth of the European Union (EU) until the year 2080 and the number of patients with AD are modeled. The aim of this research is to predict the spread of AD in the EU population until year 2080 using a computer simulation. For the simulation of the EU population and the occurrence of AD in this population, a system dynamics modeling approach has been used. System dynamics is a useful and effective method for the investigation of complex social systems. Over the past decades, its applicability has been demonstrated in a wide variety of applications. In this research, this method has been used to investigate the growth of the EU population and predict the number of patients with AD. The model has been calibrated on the population prediction data created by Eurostat. Based on data from Eurostat, the EU population until year 2080 has been modeled. In 2013, the population of the EU was 508 million and the number of patients with AD was 7.5 million. Based on the prediction, in 2040, the population of the EU will be 524 million and the number of patients with AD will be 13.1 million. By the year 2080, the EU population will be 520 million and the number of patients with AD will be 13.7 million. System dynamics modeling approach has been used for the prediction of the number of patients with AD in the EU population till the year 2080. These results can be used to determine the economic burden of the treatment of these patients. With different input data, the simulation can be used also for the different regions as well as for different noncontagious disease predictions.

  20. Management of postural sensory conflict and dynamic balance control in late-stage Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Colnat-Coulbois, S; Gauchard, G C; Maillard, L; Barroche, G; Vespignani, H; Auque, J; Perrin, P P


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is known to affect postural control, especially in situations needing a change in balance strategy or when a concurrent task is simultaneously performed. However, few studies assessing postural control in patients with PD included homogeneous population in late stage of the disease. Thus, this study aimed to analyse postural control and strategies in a homogeneous population of patients with idiopathic advanced (late-stage) PD, and to determine the contribution of peripheral inputs in simple and more complex postural tasks, such as sensory conflicting and dynamic tasks. Twenty-four subjects with advanced PD (duration: median (M)=11.0 years, interquartile range (IQR)=4.3 years; Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS): M "on-dopa"=13.5, IQR=7.8; UPDRS: M "off-dopa"=48.5, IQR=16.8; Hoehn and Yahr stage IV in all patients) and 48 age-matched healthy controls underwent static (SPT) and dynamic posturographic (DPT) tests and a sensory organization test (SOT). In SPT, patients with PD showed reduced postural control precision with increased oscillations in both anterior-posterior and medial-lateral planes. In SOT, patients with PD displayed reduced postural performances especially in situations in which visual and vestibular cues became predominant to organize balance control, as was the ability to manage balance in situations for which visual or proprioceptive inputs are disrupted. In DPT, postural restabilization strategies were often inefficient to maintain equilibrium resulting in falls. Postural strategies were often precarious, postural regulation involving more hip joint than ankle joint in patients with advanced PD than in controls. Difficulties in managing complex postural situations, such as sensory conflicting and dynamic situations might reflect an inadequate sensory organization suggesting impairment in central information processing. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Microbiome-wide association studies link dynamic microbial consortia to disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilbert, Jack A.; Quinn, Robert A.; Debelius, Justine; Xu, Zhenjiang Z.; Morton, James; Garg, Neha; Jansson, Janet K.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Knight, Rob


    Rapid advances in DNA sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics and computation dramatically increase accessibility of microbiome studies and identify links between the microbiome and disease. Microbial time-series and multiple molecular perspectives enable Microbiome-Wide Association Studies (MWAS), analogous to Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). Rapid research advances point towards actionable results, although approved clinical tests based on MWAS are still in the future. Appreciating the complexity of interactions between diet, chemistry, health and the microbiome, and determining the frequency of observations needed to capture and integrate this dynamic interface, is paramount for addressing the need for personalized and precision microbiome-based diagnostics and therapies.

  2. Dynamic MR cardiac perfusion studies in patients with acquired heart diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finelli, D.A.; Adler, L.P.; Paschal, C.B.; Haacke, E.M.


    The combination of ultrafast scanning techniques with contrast administration has opened new venues for MR imaging relating to the physiology of organ perfusion. Regional cardiac perfusion determinations lend important additional information to the morphologic and functional data provided by conventional cardiac MR imaging. The authors of this paper studied 10 patients with acquired heart diseases, including ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, ventricular hypertrophy, and cardiac tumor, using conventional spin-echo imaging, cine gradient-echo imaging, and dynamic Gd-DTPA--enhanced perfusion imaging with an ultrafast, inversion-recovery, Turbo-fast low-angle shot sequence. This technique enables analysis of the first pass and early biodistribution phases following contrast administration, information that has been correlated with cardiac catheterization, single photo emission CT (SPECT), and administration emission tomographic (PET) data

  3. Actin dynamics at focal adhesions: a common endpoint and putative therapeutic target for proteinuric kidney diseases. (United States)

    Sever, Sanja; Schiffer, Mario


    Proteinuria encompasses diverse causes including both genetic diseases and acquired forms such as diabetic and hypertensive nephropathy. The basis of proteinuria is a disturbance in size selectivity of the glomerular filtration barrier, which largely depends on the podocyte: a terminally differentiated epithelial cell type covering the outer surface of the glomerulus. Compromised podocyte structure is one of the earliest signs of glomerular injury. The phenotype of diverse animal models and podocyte cell culture firmly established the essential role of the actin cytoskeleton in maintaining functional podocyte structure. Podocyte foot processes, actin-based membrane extensions, contain 2 molecularly distinct "hubs" that control actin dynamics: a slit diaphragm and focal adhesions. Although loss of foot processes encompasses disassembly of slit diaphragm multiprotein complexes, as long as cells are attached to the glomerular basement membrane, focal adhesions will be the sites in which stress due to filtration flow is counteracted by forces generated by the actin network in foot processes. Numerous studies within last 20 years have identified actin binding and regulatory proteins as well as integrins as essential components of signaling and actin dynamics at focal adhesions in podocytes, suggesting that some of them may become novel, druggable targets for proteinuric kidney diseases. Here we review evidence supporting the idea that current treatments for chronic kidney diseases beneficially and directly target the podocyte actin cytoskeleton associated with focal adhesions and suggest that therapeutic reagents that target the focal adhesion-regulated actin cytoskeleton in foot processes have potential to modernize treatments for chronic kidney diseases. Copyright © 2018 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Diagnostic value of electrocardiography, dynamic isotope studies and angiography in coronary heart disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haas, J.


    The goal of this work is on the basis of the case histories of 36 patients with heart anamneses (27 with electrocardiographically and/or enzymatically detected heart infarcts, 9 with various cardial diseases) to test the diagnostic value of stress electrocardiograms, dynamic isotope examinations of the heart and coronary angiographies in the cases of myocardial infarcts, heart wall aneurysms, coronary heart disease and in the determination of the global discharge fraction, specifically broad scanning (heart front, side and back walls) as well as fine scanning (individual coronary vessel branches). In the case of myocardial infarct the stress EKG and the heart scintigraphy agree with one another to a large degree, whereby scintigraphy (with 99mTc-DPTA) in addition detects infarcted myocardial regions. In the diagnosis of heart wall aneurysms scintigraphy and ventriculography had the same results in 91.6% of the cases. Coronary heart disease results agreed for all three methods in 91.7% of the cases and with scintigraphy and angiography in 94.4%. The degree of agreement between scintigraphy and coronary angiography is confirmed in the literature. One-, two- and 3-vessel diseases can be determined with these two methods in 90 to 75% agreement. The result lies thereby above the values of 201Tl-myocardial scintigraphy given in the literature. Also the global discharge fraction shows scintigraphic as well as angiographic agreement of almost 90%. (TRV) [de

  5. Evaluation of conventional, dynamic contrast enhanced and diffusion weighted MRI for quantitative Crohn's disease assessment with histopathology of surgical specimens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tielbeek, Jeroen A. W.; Ziech, Manon L. W.; Li, Zhang; Lavini, Cristina; Bipat, Shandra; Bemelman, Willem A.; Roelofs, Joris J. T. H.; Ponsioen, Cyriel Y.; Vos, Frans M.; Stoker, Jaap


    To prospectively compare conventional MRI sequences, dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) with histopathology of surgical specimens in Crohn's disease. 3-T MR enterography was performed in consecutive Crohn's disease patients scheduled for surgery within 4 weeks.

  6. Dynamical symmetry as a tool to understanding properties of supersymmetric partner potentials. Example of so(2,1) symmetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wehrhahn, R.F.; Cooper, I.L.


    Analysis of the dynamical symmetry of a system is used to predict properties arising from its supersymmetric quantum mechanical treatment. Two applications of the so(2,1) algebra, the Coulomb potential and Morse oscillator potential which display different structure with respect to the dynamical symmetry, are studied. This difference is shown to be responsible for the behaviour of the respective supersymmetric partner potentials. (orig.)

  7. A dynamical approach toward understanding mechanisms of team science: change, kinship, tension, and heritage in a transdisciplinary team. (United States)

    Lotrecchiano, Gaetano R


    Since the concept of team science gained recognition among biomedical researchers, social scientists have been challenged with investigating evidence of team mechanisms and functional dynamics within transdisciplinary teams. Identification of these mechanisms has lacked substantial research using grounded theory models to adequately describe their dynamical qualities. Research trends continue to favor the measurement of teams by isolating occurrences of production over relational mechanistic team tendencies. This study uses a social constructionist-grounded multilevel mixed methods approach to identify social dynamics and mechanisms within a transdisciplinary team. A National Institutes of Health-funded research team served as a sample. Data from observations, interviews, and focus groups were qualitatively coded to generate micro/meso level analyses. Social mechanisms operative within this biomedical scientific team were identified. Dynamics that support such mechanisms were documented and explored. Through theoretical and emergent coding, four social mechanisms dominated in the analysis-change, kinship, tension, and heritage. Each contains relational social dynamics. This micro/meso level study suggests such mechanisms and dynamics are key features of team science and as such can inform problems of integration, praxis, and engagement in teams. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Dynamics of morphofunctional erythrocyte properties during intravenous glucose injection in patients with coronary heart disease (United States)

    Malinova, Lidia I.; Simonenko, Georgy V.; Denisova, Tatyana P.; Tuchin, Valery V.


    Dynamics of glucose concentration in human organism is an important diagnostic characteristic for it's parameters correlate significantly with the severity of metabolic, vessel and perfusion disorders. 36 patients with stable angina pectoris of II and III functional classes were involved in this study. All of them were men in age range of 45-59 years old. 7 patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (aged from 49 to 59 years old) form the group of compare. Control group (n = 5) was of practically healthy men in comparable age. To all patients intravenous glucose solution (40%) in standard loading dose was injected. Capillary and vein blood samples were withdrawn before, and 5, 60, 120, 180 and 240 minutes after glucose load. At these time points blood pressure and glucose concentration were measured. In prepared blood smears shape, deformability and sizes of erythrocytes, quantity and degree of shear stress resistant erythrocyte aggregates were studied. Received data were approximated by polynomial of high degree to receive concentration function of studied parameters, which first derivative elucidate velocity characteristics of morphofunctional erythrocyte properties during intravenous glucose injection in patients with coronary heart disease and practically healthy persons. Received data show principle differences in dynamics of morphofunctional erythrocyte properties during intravenous glucose injection in patients with coronary heart disease as a possible mechanism of coronary blood flow destabilization.

  9. Historical epidemiology of the second cholera pandemic: relevance to present day disease dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina H Chan

    Full Text Available Despite nearly two centuries of study, the fundamental transmission dynamic properties of cholera remain incompletely characterized. We used historical time-series data on the spread of cholera in twelve European and North American cities during the second cholera pandemic, as reported in Amariah Brigham's 1832 A Treatise on Epidemic Cholera, to parameterize simple mathematical models of cholera transmission. Richards growth models were used to derive estimates of the basic reproductive number (R0 (median: 16.0, range: 1.9 to 550.9 and the proportion of unrecognized cases (mean: 96.3%, SD: 0.04%. Heterogeneity in model-generated R0 estimates was consistent with variability in cholera dynamics described by contemporary investigators and may represent differences in the nature of cholera spread. While subject to limitations associated with measurement and the absence of microbiological diagnosis, historical epidemic data are a potentially rich source for understanding pathogen dynamics in the absence of control measures, particularly when used in conjunction with simple and readily interpretable mathematical models.

  10. Dynamics in prevalence of Down syndrome in children with congenital heart disease. (United States)

    Pfitzer, Constanze; Helm, Paul C; Rosenthal, Lisa-Maria; Berger, Felix; Bauer, Ulrike M M; Schmitt, Katharina Rl


    We assessed the dynamics in the prevalence of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) and Down syndrome in Germany with regard to phenotype, severity, and gender. Data from patients with CHD and Down syndrome born between 1980 and 2014 were analyzed, who are registered with the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. One thousand six hundred eighteen CHD patients with Down syndrome were identified. The prevalence of children born with both Down syndrome and CHD was constant from 2005 to 2009 but increased from 2010 to 2014. Regarding CHD groups, complex and simple lesions have become more equal since 2005. The number of simple lesions with shunt has a peak prevalence in the period of 2010-2014. Atrioventricular septal defect was the most common CHD phenotype, but temporal changes were found within the group of CHD phenotypes over the observation period. Our findings suggest a growing number of CHD and Down syndrome, which may be the result of improved medical management and progress in educational, social, and financial support. This development is noteworthy as it adds new aspects to present discussions in the media and political settings. What is known: • Congenital heart disease is regarded to be the most important clinical phenomenon in children with Down syndrome, due to its significant impact on morbidity and mortality. • New developments in prenatal diagnostic and therapy management of congenital heart disease continue to influence the number of patients diagnosed with congenital heart disease and Down syndrome. What is New: • This study provides essential data giving the first overview of the dynamics in the prevalence of congenital heart disease and Down syndrome over an extended length of time up to 2015 in a large patient cohort, taking recent developments into account. • Our data suggest a growing prevalence of congenital heart disease and Down syndrome, which may be the result of improved medical management for Down syndrome

  11. S5-5: Dynamic Occlusion Deficiency in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nam-Gyoon Kim


    Full Text Available At the core of Gibson's ecological psychology is the notion of invariant—specifically, an invariant pattern in the changing energy flux. Among the invariants identified to date are texture gradients, horizon ratio, optic flow, and tau. Gibson considered his discovery of the occluding edge the most radical because observers can perceive the layout of the environment (both unprojected and projected surfaces; and the accretion and deletion of optical texture, or dynamic occlusion, at the occluding edge resulting from observer movement produces an invariant pattern. Here I present the results of an experiment demonstrating diminished sensitivity to dynamic occlusion in Alzheimer's disease (AD that led to their reduced capacity to recover 3D shape from motion. Young controls, age-matched elderly controls, and AD patients participated in the study. Participants watched computer simulations of an object, depicted as either transparent or opaque, rotating about the vertical axis against a background rendered in random dot texture. Young controls were most accurate, followed by elderly controls and AD patients. Both control groups identified opaque objects better than transparent objects, but AD patients identified both objects equally poorly. These results demonstrate the facilitating effect of the dynamic occlusion invariant to recover 3D shape from motion, the capacity of which is severely impaired in AD.

  12. Understanding the Determinants of Health-Related Quality of Life in Rheumatoid Arthritis-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease (United States)

    Natalini, Jake G.; Swigris, Jeff J.; Morisset, Julie; Elicker, Brett M.; Jones, Kirk D.; Fischer, Aryeh; Collard, Harold R.; Lee, Joyce S.


    Rationale Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is impaired among patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD). Little is understood about HRQL in specific subtypes of ILD. Objectives The aim of this study was to characterize and identify clinical determinants of HRQL among patients with rheumatoid arthritis-associated interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD) and compare them to patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Methods We identified patients with a diagnosis of RA-ILD and IPF from an ongoing longitudinal cohort of ILD patients. HRQL was measured at their baseline visit using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), versions 1 and 2. Regression models were used to characterize and understand the relationship between selected baseline clinical covariates, the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of the SF-36. Measurements and Main Results RA-ILD patients (n=50) were more likely to be younger and female compared to IPF patients (n=50). After controlling for age and pulmonary function, RA-ILD patients had a lower HRQL compared to IPF patients, as measured by the PCS (P=0.03), with significant differences in two of four PCS domains – bodily pain (P<0.01) and general health (P=0.01). Clinical covariates most strongly associated with a lower PCS in RA-ILD patients compared to IPF patients were the presence of joint pain or stiffness and dyspnea severity (P<0.01). Mental and emotional health, as measured by the MCS, was similar between RA-ILD and IPF patients. Conclusion The physical components of HRQL appear worse in RA-ILD patients compared to IPF patients as measured by the PCS of the SF-36. Differences in the PCS of the SF-36 can be explained in part by dyspnea severity and joint symptoms among patients with RA-ILD. PMID:28502413

  13. Timing and severity of immunizing diseases in rabbits is controlled by seasonal matching of host and pathogen dynamics


    Wells, Konstans; Brook, Barry W.; Lacy, Robert C.; Mutze, Greg J.; Peacock, David E.; Sinclair, Ron G.; Schwensow, Nina; Cassey, Phillip; O'Hara, Robert B.; Fordham, Damien A.


    Infectious diseases can exert a strong influence on the dynamics of host populations, but it remains unclear why such disease-mediated control only occurs under particular environmental conditions. We used 16 years of detailed field data on invasive European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Australia, linked to individual-based stochastic models and Bayesian approximations, to test whether (i) mortality associated with rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is driven primarily by seasonal matche...

  14. Quantification of Diaphragm Mechanics in Pompe Disease Using Dynamic 3D MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Mogalle

    Full Text Available Diaphragm weakness is the main reason for respiratory dysfunction in patients with Pompe disease, a progressive metabolic myopathy affecting respiratory and limb-girdle muscles. Since respiratory failure is the major cause of death among adult patients, early identification of respiratory muscle involvement is necessary to initiate treatment in time and possibly prevent irreversible damage. In this paper we investigate the suitability of dynamic MR imaging in combination with state-of-the-art image analysis methods to assess respiratory muscle weakness.The proposed methodology relies on image registration and lung surface extraction to quantify lung kinematics during breathing. This allows for the extraction of geometry and motion features of the lung that characterize the independent contribution of the diaphragm and the thoracic muscles to the respiratory cycle.Results in 16 3D+t MRI scans (10 Pompe patients and 6 controls of a slow expiratory maneuver show that kinematic analysis from dynamic 3D images reveals important additional information about diaphragm mechanics and respiratory muscle involvement when compared to conventional pulmonary function tests. Pompe patients with severely reduced pulmonary function showed severe diaphragm weakness presented by minimal motion of the diaphragm. In patients with moderately reduced pulmonary function, cranial displacement of posterior diaphragm parts was reduced and the diaphragm dome was oriented more horizontally at full inspiration compared to healthy controls.Dynamic 3D MRI provides data for analyzing the contribution of both diaphragm and thoracic muscles independently. The proposed image analysis method has the potential to detect less severe diaphragm weakness and could thus be used to determine the optimal start of treatment in adult patients with Pompe disease in prospect of increased treatment response.

  15. Quantifying the inflammatory activity in Crohn's disease using CE dynamic MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pauls, S.; Schmidt, S.A.; Brambs, H.J.; Gabelmann, A.; Kratzer, W.; Mittrach, C.; Adler, G.; Rieber, A.


    Purpose: Evaluation of dynamic contrast enhanced MRI in patients with Crohn's disease to assess local inflammatory activity. Material and Methods: Prospective study of 13 patients with histologically proven Crohn's disease. Axial and coronal slices were acquired by a 1.5 T MR (Magnetom Vision, Siemens, Germany): T1 flash 2 D (TR 72.5 ms, TE 4.1 ms), T2 (TR 2730 ms, TE 138 ms), turbo-flash sequences T1 (TR 94.2 ms, TE 4.1 ms) post contrast media fat saturated (Magnevist circledR , 0.2 ml/kg, flow 4 ml/s). In area of maximal thickening of terminal ileal wall, axial dynamic T1 sequences (TR 11 ms, TE 4.2 ms) were acquired every 1.5 s post contrast media application for a total duration of 1 min. Contrast uptake was subjectively measured by semiquantitative score and computed assisted ROI evaluation. MR parameters were correlated with CDAI (Crohn's disease activity index) and SAI (severe activity index). Results: Contrast uptake in the intestinal wall occurred after 18.5 s (range: 3.0-28.0), contrast upslope until plateau phase lasted for 16.1 s (range: 8.0-50.0). Maximum contrast enhancement into the bowel wall was 266% (105-450%) of baseline. After maximum contrast uptake, we observed a plateau phase in all cases for the total duration of measurement. A significant correlation existed for maximum contrast uptake to CDAI (r = 0.591; p = 0.033), for beginning of contrast upslope to the time until plateau phase (r = 0.822; p = 0.001), and for the time until plateau phase to CDAI (r = 0.562; p = 0.046). CDAI was on average 108, median 106; SAI was on average 114, median 115. SAI correlated significantly to CDAI (r = 0.874