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. Understanding Autoimmune Diseases (United States)

    ... What are they? Points To Remember About Autoimmune Diseases Autoimmune diseases refer to problems with the immune system, ... Infectious Diseases Website: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Website: https:// ...

  4. Mitochondrial Dynamics in Mitochondrial Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan M. Suárez-Rivero


    Full Text Available Mitochondria are very versatile organelles in continuous fusion and fission processes in response to various cellular signals. Mitochondrial dynamics, including mitochondrial fission/fusion, movements and turnover, are essential for the mitochondrial network quality control. Alterations in mitochondrial dynamics can cause neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease in which mitochondrial fusion and transport are impaired, or dominant optic atrophy which is caused by a reduced mitochondrial fusion. On the other hand, mitochondrial dysfunction in primary mitochondrial diseases promotes reactive oxygen species production that impairs its own function and dynamics, causing a continuous vicious cycle that aggravates the pathological phenotype. Mitochondrial dynamics provides a new way to understand the pathophysiology of mitochondrial disorders and other diseases related to mitochondria dysfunction such as diabetes, heart failure, or Hungtinton’s disease. The knowledge about mitochondrial dynamics also offers new therapeutics targets in mitochondrial diseases.

  5. 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)

  6. Understanding anemia of chronic disease. (United States)

    Fraenkel, Paula G


    The anemia of chronic disease is an old disease concept, but contemporary research in the role of proinflammatory cytokines and iron biology has shed new light on the pathophysiology of the condition. Recent epidemiologic studies have connected the anemia of chronic disease with critical illness, obesity, aging, and kidney failure, as well as with the well-established associations of cancer, chronic infection, and autoimmune disease. Functional iron deficiency, mediated principally by the interaction of interleukin-6, the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin, and the iron exporter ferroportin, is a major contributor to the anemia of chronic disease. Although anemia is associated with adverse outcomes, experimental models suggest that iron sequestration is desirable in the setting of severe infection. Experimental therapeutic approaches targeting interleukin-6 or the ferroportin-hepcidin axis have shown efficacy in reversing anemia in either animal models or human patients, although these agents have not yet been approved for the treatment of the anemia of chronic disease. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. All rights reserved.

  7. Understanding and Modeling Teams As Dynamical Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie C. Gorman


    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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.

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


    International Society for Optical Engineering; c2001. 14. Siva P, Russell C, Xiang T, Agapito L. Looking beyond the image : Unsupervised learning for...60,000 was 0.0818 and the training error rate was 0.0273, which means that the CNN had “ learned ” to assign the correct class label to an image , when... images is necessary for scene understanding. Such dynamic environmental conditions (e.g., changing illumination, precipitation, and vegetation) can

  10. Understanding the complexity of human gait dynamics (United States)

    Scafetta, Nicola; Marchi, Damiano; West, Bruce J.


    Time series of human gait stride intervals exhibit fractal and multifractal properties under several conditions. Records from subjects walking at normal, slow, and fast pace speed are analyzed to determine changes in the fractal scalings as a function of the stress condition of the system. Records from subjects with different age from children to elderly and patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease are analyzed to determine changes in the fractal scalings as a function of the physical maturation or degeneration of the system. A supercentral pattern generator model is presented to simulate the above two properties that are typically found in dynamical network performance: that is, how a dynamical network responds to stress and to evolution.

  11. Understanding the Dynamics of Turkish Nationalism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Razo, Jr.


    Full Text Available Many scholars have analyzed Turkish nationalism to understand its progress in the Turkish Republic from different perspectives. While some scholars have fore fronted the importance of cultural and religious aspects of Turkish nationalism, others have emphasized the significance of politics and economics in its formation. Three influential scholars have provided distinctive perceptions on the significance of this nationalism in Turkish society. Carter Vaughn Findley presents a thorough reevaluation of Turkish history in examining various dynamics of Turkish society. While Findley provides an overview on the role of nationalism in the nation’s history, Derya Bayir emphasizes that minorities are not protected in the Turkish legal system because the system aims to preserve Turkish nationalism. In contrast to these two perceptions, Jenny White expresses a modern analysis of the cultural and social aspects of Turkish society with an emphasis on the contrasting outlooks of Muslim nationalists and Kemalists on asserting one’s Turkishness. These three scholarly perspectives concerning the various aspects of Turkish nationalism are essential in assisting readers to grasp the impact of nationalism in Turkish society.

  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 knowle......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. Understanding Microbial Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics (United States)


    microbial communities: Function, structure and dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to...dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to December 2014. The programme involved over 150...Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, UK, from 19th August 2014 – 19th December 2014

  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 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Revolution and Evolution: Understanding Dynamism in Military Affairs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Andrews, Timothy D


    .... Different dynamics imply different optimal responses to the challenge of change. To the extent that the term Revolution in Military Affairs can be systematically disaggregated, a better understanding of its resulting components may be possible...

  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 has...... led to the hypothesis that the affected patients suffer from a generalized dysregulation of their immune system. The present review summarizes recent discoveries unravelling the immunological mechanisms involved in autoimmunity, ranging from natural autoimmunity to disease-specific autoimmunity...

  2. When Blood Cells Bend: Understanding Sickle Cell Disease (United States)

    ... Subscribe April 2012 Print this issue When Blood Cells Bend Understanding Sickle Cell Disease Send us your ... Diabetes? Sound Health Wise Choices Living with Sickle Cell Disease See a sickle cell disease expert regularly. ...

  3. 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)

  4. Seasonally forced disease dynamics explored as switching between attractors (United States)

    Keeling, Matt J.; Rohani, Pejman; Grenfell, Bryan T.


    Biological phenomena offer a rich diversity of problems that can be understood using mathematical techniques. Three key features common to many biological systems are temporal forcing, stochasticity and nonlinearity. Here, using simple disease models compared to data, we examine how these three factors interact to produce a range of complicated dynamics. The study of disease dynamics has been amongst the most theoretically developed areas of mathematical biology; simple models have been highly successful in explaining the dynamics of a wide variety of diseases. Models of childhood diseases incorporate seasonal variation in contact rates due to the increased mixing during school terms compared to school holidays. This ‘binary’ nature of the seasonal forcing results in dynamics that can be explained as switching between two nonlinear spiral sinks. Finally, we consider the stability of the attractors to understand the interaction between the deterministic dynamics and demographic and environmental stochasticity. Throughout attention is focused on the behaviour of measles, whooping cough and rubella.

  5. Illness understanding in children and adolescents with heart disease


    Veldtman, G; Matley, S; Kendall, L; Quirk, J; Gibbs, J; Parsons, J; Hewison, J


    AIMS—To evaluate illness knowledge and understanding in children and adolescents with congenital and acquired heart disease, and whether the degree of understanding is related to age, sex, or complexity of the heart disease.
DESIGN—Prospective cohort study.
SETTING—Tertiary paediatric cardiac centre.
METHODS—Patients' understanding of their congenital heart disease was assessed in a representative sample of volunteers aged between 7-18 years using semistructured interviews based upon Leventha...

  6. Illness understanding in children and adolescents with heart disease


    Veldtman, G R; Matley, S L; Kendall, L; Quirk, J; Gibbs, J L; Parsons, J M; Hewison, J


    Aims To evaluate illness knowledge and understanding in children and adolescents with congenital and acquired heart disease and to assess whether the degree of understanding is related to age, sex, or complexity of the heart disease. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Tertiary pediatric cardiac center. Methods Patients' understanding of their congenital heart disease was assessed in a representative sample of volunteers aged between 7 and 18 years using semistructured interviews based o...

  7. 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.

  8. Defining Kidney Biology to Understand Renal Disease (United States)

    Little, Melissa H.; Brown, Dennis; Humphreys, Benjamin D.; McMahon, Andrew P.; Miner, Jeffrey H.; Sands, Jeff M.; Weisz, Ora A.; Mullins, Chris


    The Kidney Research National Dialogue represents a novel effort by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to solicit and prioritize research objectives from the renal research and clinical communities. The present commentary highlights selected scientific opportunities specific to the study of renal development, physiology, and cell biology. Describing such fundamental kidney biology serves as a necessary foundation for translational and clinical studies that will advance disease care and prevention. It is intended that these objectives foster and focus scientific efforts in these areas in the coming decade and beyond. PMID:24370769

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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,…

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding nutrition and immunity in disease management. (United States)

    Cooper, Edwin L; Ma, Melissa J


    As we search for answers to modern medicine's most prevalent and challenging problems, the relationship between nutrition, immunity, and biological function of various natural compounds are preimminent. Nutritional research involving genomics provides rational capabilities for preventing disease. Scientific advances in genomic sequencing reveal opportunities for exploring diet-health relationships and potential for individual, genotype based dietary recommendations. Utilizing molecular and genetic technology to analyze impact of nutrition on genomics and metabolism reveals that nutrients may influence certain innate and/or acquired immune functions. By analyzing immune mechanisms including their cells and complex molecules, animal models have offered relevant insight that clarifies interrelations between immunity and nutrition. Plant products also provide numerous resources through bioengineering for designing novel pharmaceuticals. Having long been employed successfully in traditional and folk medicines, plant compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and angiogenic activity. As a result, we now have a promising arsenal for successful application of bioactive compounds.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Understanding the dynamics of labor shares and inflation


    Karl Whelan; Martina Lawless


    Calvo-style models of nominal rigidities currently provide the dominant paradigm for understanding the linkages between wage and price dynamics. Recent empirical implementations stress the idea that these models link inflation to the behavior of the labor share of income. Gali, Gertler, and Lopez-Salido (2001) argue that the model explains the combination of declining inflation and labor shares in euro area. In this paper, we show that with realistic parameters, the canonical Calvo-style mode...

  19. 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 1 ).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Chalk coast dynamics: Implications for understanding rock coast evolution (United States)

    Moses, Cherith; Robinson, David


    Rock cliffs and shore platforms are linked components of the world's coastal zone. Understanding of the dynamics of their relationships has been hindered by the often imperceptible changes that occur within human time scales. The Cretaceous Chalk coasts of northwest Europe, and particularly those of southeast England, are among the most dynamic, and most intensively studied, cliffed rock coasts in the world. Perceptible changes to both cliffs and platforms have been measured on monthly, seasonal, annual and decadal time scales. Through a review of previously published data and the addition of data not previously published, average cliff retreat rates are calculated as 0.49 ± 0.38 m y - 1 and platform erosion rates 3.999 ± 3.208 mm y - 1 . This paper highlights some of the interactions over time and space between process and measurement that continue to limit our understanding of the dynamics of rock coasts; in particular the link between rates of cliff retreat and platform erosion. It concludes by identifying fruitful areas for future research.

  3. 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

  4. Chronic Granulomatous Disease; fundamental stages in our understanding of CGD. (United States)

    Assari, Tracy


    It has been 50 years since chronic granulomatous disease was first reported as a disease which fatally affected the ability of children to survive infections. Various milestone discoveries from the insufficient ability of patients' leucocytes to destroy microbial particles to the underlying genetic predispositions through which the disease is inherited have had important consequences. Longterm antibiotic prophylaxis has helped to fight infections associated with chronic granulomatous disease while the steady progress in bone marrow transplantation and the prospect of gene therapy are hailed as long awaited permanent treatment options. This review unearths the important findings by scientists that have led to our current understanding of the disease.

  5. 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...

  6. Understanding ion association states and molecular dynamics using infrared spectroscopy (United States)

    Masser, Hanqing

    A molecular level understanding of the ion transport mechanism within polymer electrolytes is crucial to the further development for advanced energy storage applications. This can be achieved by the identification and quantitative measurement of different ion species in the system and further relating them to the ion conductivity. In the first part of this thesis, research is presented towards understanding the ion association states (free ions, ion pairs and ion aggregates) in ionomer systems, and the correlation of ion association states, ion conduction, polymer dynamics, and morphology. Ion conductivity in ionomers can be improved by lowering glass transition temperature, increasing polymer ion solvation ability, and adjusting ionomer structural variables such as ion content, cation type and side chain structure. These effects are studied in three ionomer systems respectively, using a combination of characterization methods. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) identifies and quantifies the ion association states. Dielectric Spectroscopy (DRS) characterizes ion conductivity and polymer and ion dynamics. X-ray scattering reveals changes in morphology. The influence of a cation solvating plasticizer on a polyester ionomer is systematically investigated with respect to ion association states, ion and polymer dynamics and morphology. A decrease in the number ratio of ion aggregates with increased plasticizer content and a slight increase at elevated temperature are observed in FTIR. Similar results are also detected by X-ray scattering. As determined from dielectric spectroscopy, ion conductivity increases with plasticizer content, in accordance with the decrease in glass transition temperature. Research on copolymer of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and poly(tetramethylene oxide) (PTMO) based ionomers further develops an understanding of the trade-off between ion solvation and segmental dynamics. Upon the incorporation of PTMO, the majority of the PTMO

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Microbiome dynamics of disease suppresive soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gómez Expósito, Ruth


    Disease suppressive soils are soils in which plants do not get diseased from plant pathogens due to the presence (and activities) of the microbes present in the soil. Understanding which microbes contribute to confer suppression and through which mechanisms they can protect plants is crucial for a

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Understanding collective dynamics of soft active colloids by binary scattering. (United States)

    Hanke, Timo; Weber, Christoph A; Frey, Erwin


    Collective motion in actively propelled particle systems is triggered on the very local scale by nucleation of coherently moving units consisting of just a handful of particles. These units grow and merge over time, ending up in a long-range ordered, coherently moving state. So far, there exists no bottom-up understanding of how the microscopic dynamics and interactions between the constituents are related to the system's ordering instability. In this paper, we study a class of models for propelled colloids allowing an explicit treatment of the microscopic details of the collision process. Specifically, the model equations are Newtonian equations of motion with separate force terms for particles' driving, dissipation, and interaction forces. Focusing on dilute particle systems, we analyze the binary scattering behavior for these models and determine-based on the microscopic dynamics-the corresponding "collision rule," i.e., the mapping of precollisional velocities and impact parameter on postcollisional velocities. By studying binary scattering we also find that the considered models for active colloids share the same principle for parallel alignment: The first incoming particle (with respect to the center of collision) is aligned to the second particle as a result of the encounter. This behavior distinctively differs from alignment in nondriven dissipative gases. Moreover, the obtained collision rule lends itself as a starting point to apply kinetic theory for propelled particle systems in order to determine the phase boundary to a long-range ordered, coherently moving state. The microscopic origin of the collision rule offers the opportunity to quantitatively scrutinize the predictions of kinetic theory for propelled particle systems through direct comparison with multiparticle simulations. We identify local precursor correlations at the onset of collective motion to constitute the essential determinant for a qualitative and quantitative validity of kinetic

  15. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey eKolodkin


    Full Text Available Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are ‘systems biology diseases’, or ‘network diseases’. Here we focus on neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, as an example. Because of the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases using simply our ‘naked brain’. When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system’s design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called ‘design principles’ of the system. In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design

  16. 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

  17. Understanding quantum measurement from the solution of dynamical models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allahverdyan, Armen E.; Balian, Roger; Nieuwenhuizen, Theo M.


    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 -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 -hat (t f ) that involves correlations between the system and the indications of the pointer, thus ensuring registration. Although D -hat (t f ) has the form expected for ideal measurements, it only describes a large set of runs. Individual runs are

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. An in silico modeling approach to understanding the dynamics of sarcoidosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baltazar D Aguda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sarcoidosis is a polygenic disease with diverse phenotypic presentations characterized by an abnormal antigen-mediated Th1 type immune response. At present, progress towards understanding sarcoidosis disease mechanisms and the development of novel treatments is limited by constraints attendant to conducting human research in a rare disease in the absence of relevant animal models. We sought to develop a computational model to enhance our understanding of the pathological mechanisms of and predict potential treatments of sarcoidosis. METHODOLOGY/RESULTS: Based upon the literature, we developed a computational model of known interactions between essential immune cells (antigen-presenting macrophages, effector and regulatory T cells and cytokine mediators (IL-2, TNFα, IFNγ of granulomatous inflammation during sarcoidosis. The dynamics of these interactions are described by a set of ordinary differential equations. The model predicts bistable switching behavior which is consistent with normal (self-limited and "sarcoidosis-like" (sustained activation of the inflammatory components of the system following a single antigen challenge. By perturbing the influence of model components using inhibitors of the cytokine mediators, distinct clinically relevant disease phenotypes were represented. Finally, the model was shown to be useful for pre-clinical testing of therapies based upon molecular targets and dose-effect relationships. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our work illustrates a dynamic computer simulation of granulomatous inflammation scenarios that is useful for the investigation of disease mechanisms and for pre-clinical therapeutic testing. In lieu of relevant in vitro or animal surrogates, our model may provide for the screening of potential therapies for specific sarcoidosis disease phenotypes in advance of expensive clinical trials.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding the dynamics of water availability and use in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, R.P.; Conrad, S.H.; Jeppesen, D.M.; Engi, E.


    This report presents the preliminary results of an analysis of China`s water resources, part of an effort undertaken by the National Intelligence Council Medea scientists to improve the understanding of future food production and consumption in the People`s Republic of China. A dynamic water model was developed to simulate the hydrological budgetary processes in five river drainage basins located in northeastern, central, and southern China: the Chang Jiang (Yangtse River), Huanghe (Yellow River), Haihe, Huaihe, and Liaohe. The model was designed to assess the effects of changes in urban, industrial, and agricultural water use requirements on the availability of water in each basin and to develop estimates of the water surpluses and/or deficits in China through the year 2025. The model imposes a sustainable yield constraint, that is, groundwater extraction is not allowed to exceed the sustainable yield; if the available water does not meet the total water use requirements, a deficit results. An agronomic model was also developed to generate projections of the water required to service China`s agricultural sector and compare China`s projected grain production with projected grain consumption requirements to estimate any grain surplus and/or deficit. In future refinements, the agronomic model will interface directly with the water model to provide for the exchange of information on projected water use requirements and available water. The preliminary results indicate that the Chang Jiang basin will have a substantial surplus of water through 2025 and that the Haihe basin is in an ongoing situation. The agricultural water use requirements based on grain production indicate that an agricultural water deficit in the Haihe basin begins before the onset of the modeling period (1980) and steadily worsens through 2025. This assumption is confirmed by reports that groundwater mining is already under way in the most intensely cultivated and populated areas of northern China.

  5. Cycle length restitution in sinoatrial node cells: a theory for understanding spontaneous action potential dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patric Glynn

    Full Text Available Normal heart rhythm (sinus rhythm is governed by the sinoatrial node, a specialized and highly heterogeneous collection of spontaneously active myocytes in the right atrium. Sinoatrial node dysfunction, characterized by slow and/or asynchronous pacemaker activity and even failure, is associated with cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart failure, atrial fibrillation. While tremendous progress has been made in understanding the molecular and ionic basis of automaticity in sinoatrial node cells, the dynamics governing sinoatrial nodel cell synchrony and overall pacemaker function remain unclear. Here, a well-validated computational model of the mouse sinoatrial node cell is used to test the hypothesis that sinoatrial node cell dynamics reflect an inherent restitution property (cycle length restitution that may give rise to a wide range of behavior from regular periodicity to highly complex, irregular activation. Computer simulations are performed to determine the cycle length restitution curve in the computational model using a newly defined voltage pulse protocol. The ability of the restitution curve to predict sinoatrial node cell dynamics (e.g., the emergence of irregular spontaneous activity and susceptibility to termination is evaluated. Finally, ionic and tissue level factors (e.g. ion channel conductances, ion concentrations, cell-to-cell coupling that influence restitution and sinoatrial node cell dynamics are explored. Together, these findings suggest that cycle length restitution may be a useful tool for analyzing cell dynamics and dysfunction in the sinoatrial node.

  6. 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…

  7. Facilitating Understanding of Movements in Dynamic Visualizations: An Embodied Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B.B. de Koning (Björn); H.K. Tabbers (Huib)


    textabstractLearners studying mechanical or technical processes via dynamic visualizations often fail to build an accurate mental representation of the system's movements. Based on embodied theories of cognition assuming that action, perception, and cognition are closely intertwined, this paper

  8. Understanding positivity within dynamic team interactions: A statistical discourse analysis


    Lehmann-Willenbrock, N.K.; Chiu, M.M.; Lei, Z.; Kauffeld, S.


    Positivity has been heralded for its individual benefits. However, how positivity dynamically unfolds within the temporal flow of team interactions remains unclear. This is an important oversight, as positivity can be key to team problem solving and performance. In this study, we examine how team micro-processes affect the likelihood of positivity occurring within dynamic team interactions. In doing so, we build on and expand previous work on individual positivity and integrate theory on temp...

  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. Vestibular animal models: contributions to understanding physiology and disease. (United States)

    Straka, Hans; Zwergal, Andreas; Cullen, Kathleen E


    Our knowledge of the vestibular sensory system, its functional significance for gaze and posture stabilization, and its capability to ensure accurate spatial orientation perception and spatial navigation has greatly benefitted from experimental approaches using a variety of vertebrate species. This review summarizes the attempts to establish the roles of semicircular canal and otolith endorgans in these functions followed by an overview of the most relevant fields of vestibular research including major findings that have advanced our understanding of how this system exerts its influence on reflexive and cognitive challenges encountered during daily life. In particular, we highlight the contributions of different animal models and the advantage of using a comparative research approach. Cross-species comparisons have established that the morpho-physiological properties underlying vestibular signal processing are evolutionarily inherent, thereby disclosing general principles. Based on the documented success of this approach, we suggest that future research employing a balanced spectrum of standard animal models such as fish/frog, mouse and primate will optimize our progress in understanding vestibular processing in health and disease. Moreover, we propose that this should be further supplemented by research employing more "exotic" species that offer unique experimental access and/or have specific vestibular adaptations due to unusual locomotor capabilities or lifestyles. Taken together this strategy will expedite our understanding of the basic principles underlying vestibular computations to reveal relevant translational aspects. Accordingly, studies employing animal models are indispensible and even mandatory for the development of new treatments, medication and technical aids (implants) for patients with vestibular pathologies.

  11. Understanding positivity within dynamic team interactions: A statistical discourse analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehmann-Willenbrock, N.K.; Chiu, M.M.; Lei, Z.; Kauffeld, S.


    Positivity has been heralded for its individual benefits. However, how positivity dynamically unfolds within the temporal flow of team interactions remains unclear. This is an important oversight, as positivity can be key to team problem solving and performance. In this study, we examine how team

  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. Dynamic Reaction Figures: An Integrative Vehicle for Understanding Chemical Reactions (United States)

    Schultz, Emeric


    A highly flexible learning tool, referred to as a dynamic reaction figure, is described. Application of these figures can (i) yield the correct chemical equation by simply following a set of menu driven directions; (ii) present the underlying "mechanism" in chemical reactions; and (iii) help to solve quantitative problems in a number of different…

  14. 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.

  15. Understanding Positivity Within Dynamic Team Interactions : A statistical discourse analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehmann-Willenbrock, N.; Chiu, Ming Ming; Lei, Zhike; Kauffeld, Simone


    Positivity has been heralded for its individual benefits. However, how positivity dynamically unfolds within the temporal flow of team interactions remains unclear. This is an important oversight, as positivity can be key to team problem solving and performance. In this study, we examine how team

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Molecular Modeling of Enzyme Dynamics Towards Understanding Solvent Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wedberg, Nils Hejle Rasmus Ingemar

    ) in water and organic solvents. The effects of solvent on structural and dynamical enzyme properties are studied, and special attention is given to how enzyme properties in organic solvents are affected by the hydration level, which is shown to be related to the water activity. In experimental studies...... 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......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...

  19. Understanding volatility dynamics in the EU-ETS market

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanin, Maria Eugenia; Mansanet-Bataller, Maria; Violante, Francesco

    We study the short-term price behavior of Phase 2 EU emission allowances. We model returns and volatility dynamics, and we demonstrate that a standard ARMAX-GARCH framework is inadequate for this modeling and that the gaussianity assumption is rejected due to a number of outliers. To improve the ...... periods. Thus, authorities face a trade off between disseminating information effectively and promoting market stability....

  20. Understanding Patchy Landscape Dynamics: Towards a Landscape Language (United States)

    Gaucherel, Cédric; Boudon, Frédéric; Houet, Thomas; Castets, Mathieu; Godin, Christophe


    Patchy landscapes driven by human decisions and/or natural forces are still a challenge to be understood and modelled. No attempt has been made up to now to describe them by a coherent framework and to formalize landscape changing rules. Overcoming this lacuna was our first objective here, and this was largely based on the notion of Rewriting Systems, also called Formal Grammars. We used complicated scenarios of agricultural dynamics to model landscapes and to write their corresponding driving rule equations. Our second objective was to illustrate the relevance of this landscape language concept for landscape modelling through various grassland managements, with the final aim to assess their respective impacts on biological conservation. For this purpose, we made the assumptions that a higher grassland appearance frequency and higher land cover connectivity are favourable to species conservation. Ecological results revealed that dairy and beef livestock production systems are more favourable to wild species than is hog farming, although in different ways. Methodological results allowed us to efficiently model and formalize these landscape dynamics. This study demonstrates the applicability of the Rewriting System framework to the modelling of agricultural landscapes and, hopefully, to other patchy landscapes. The newly defined grammar is able to explain changes that are neither necessarily local nor Markovian, and opens a way to analytical modelling of landscape dynamics. PMID:23049935

  1. 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

  2. Understanding patients' preferences for surgical management of urethral stricture disease. (United States)

    Hampson, Lindsay A; Lin, Tracy K; Wilson, Leslie; Allen, Isabel E; Gaither, Thomas W; Breyer, Benjamin N


    To understand how prioritization of treatment attributes and treatment choice varies by patient characteristics, we sought to specifically determine how demographic variables affect patient treatment preference. Male patients with urethral stricture disease participated in a choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis exercise evaluating six treatment attributes associated with internal urethrotomy and urethroplasty. Demographic and past symptom data were collected. Stratified analysis of demographic variables, including age, education, income, was conducted using a mixed effect logistic regression model to evaluate the coefficient size and confidence intervals between the treatments attribute preferences of each strata. 169 patients completed the CBC exercise and were included in our analysis. Overall success of the procedure is the most important treatment attribute to patients and this persists across strata. Older patients (≥65) express preferences for better success rates and fewer future procedures, whereas younger patients prefer a less invasive approach and are more willing to accept additional procedures if needed. Patients with lower levels of education preferred open reconstruction and had a stronger preference against multiple future procedures, whereas those with higher levels of education preferred endoscopic treatment and had a less strong preference against multiple future procedures. Low-income individuals express statistically significant stronger negative preferences against high copay costs compared to high-income individuals. These results can help to inform physicians' counseling about surgical management of urethral stricture disease to better align patient preferences with treatment selection and encourage shared decision making.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erna Kinsey

    themselves pose barriers for both children and parents in the schooling system. Furthermore, results highlighted the central role that schools can play in increasing the degree of parental support, as well as ways in which to understand the support needed by these parents. The stress on parents and their relationships with ...

  4. Revisiting Hele-Shaw dynamics to better understand beach evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokhove, Onno; van der Horn, Avraham/Bram; van der Horn, A.J.; van der Meer, Roger M.; Gagarina, Elena; Zweers, W.; Thornton, Anthony Richard

    Wave action, particularly during storms, drives the evo lution of beaches. Beach evolution by non-linear break ing waves is poorly understood due to its three-dimensional character, the range of scales involved, and our limited understanding of particle-wave interactions. We show how a novel,

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Understanding Dynamic Competitive Technology Diffusion in Electronic Markets (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng; Song, Peijian; Xu, Yunjie; Xue, Ling

    The extant literature on information technology (IT) diffusion has largely treated technology diffusion as a generic and independent process. This study, in contrast, examines the diffusion of different IT products with brand differentiation and competition. Drawing upon existing theories of product diffusion, we propose a research model to capture the dynamics of the competitive diffusion of web-based IT products and validate it with longitudinal field data of e-business platforms. Our findings suggest that IT product diffusion can be better predicted by a competitive model than by an independent-diffusion-process model. This research extends IT research to the context of competitive diffusion and provides practitioners an effective model to predict the dissemination of their products. The research also suggests the existence of asymmetric interactions among competing products, prompting scholars and practitioners to pay attention to the influence of competing products when making forecast of their product market.

  11. 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.

  12. Understanding the dynamic ionospheric signature of the plasmapause (Invited) (United States)

    Moldwin, M.; Sibanda, P.; Zou, S.; Yizengaw, E.


    The equatorial edge of the mid-latitude trough has been shown to be an ionospheric signature of the plasmapause from both ground-based and space-based observations. However, identifying the trough is not always possible due to broad latitudinal density gradients, local time and seasonal effects, and storm and substorm dynamics. We review the current methods of identifying the trough from ground and space-based observations and describe the main deficiencies in these methods especially for tracking the trough/plasmapause during storms and substorms. We discuss the ionospheric signature of plasmaspheric plumes and their relationship to trough/plasmapause signatures. We conclude with some new multi-instrument observations that help clarify the ionospheric trough signature during geomagnetically active periods.

  13. 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.

  14. Modeling the dynamics of disease states in depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selver Demic

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD is a common and costly disorder associated with considerable morbidity, disability, and risk for suicide. The disorder is clinically and etiologically heterogeneous. Despite intense research efforts, the response rates of antidepressant treatments are relatively low and the etiology and progression of MDD remain poorly understood. Here we use computational modeling to advance our understanding of MDD. First, we propose a systematic and comprehensive definition of disease states, which is based on a type of mathematical model called a finite-state machine. Second, we propose a dynamical systems model for the progression, or dynamics, of MDD. The model is abstract and combines several major factors (mechanisms that influence the dynamics of MDD. We study under what conditions the model can account for the occurrence and recurrence of depressive episodes and how we can model the effects of antidepressant treatments and cognitive behavioral therapy within the same dynamical systems model through changing a small subset of parameters. Our computational modeling suggests several predictions about MDD. Patients who suffer from depression can be divided into two sub-populations: a high-risk sub-population that has a high risk of developing chronic depression and a low-risk sub-population, in which patients develop depression stochastically with low probability. The success of antidepressant treatment is stochastic, leading to widely different times-to-remission in otherwise identical patients. While the specific details of our model might be subjected to criticism and revisions, our approach shows the potential power of computationally modeling depression and the need for different type of quantitative data for understanding depression.

  15. 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...

  16. Understanding the major transitions in Quaternary climate dynamics (United States)

    Willeit, Matteo; Ganopolski, Andrey


    Climate dynamics over the past 3 million years was characterized by strong variability associated with glacial cycles and several distinct regime changes. The Pliocene-Pleistocene Transition (PPT), which happened around 2.7 million years ago, was characterized by the appearance of the large continental ice sheets over Northern Eurasia and North America. For two million years after the PPT climate variability was dominated by relatively symmetric 40 kyr cycles. At around 1 million years ago the dominant mode of climate variability experienced a relatively rapid transition from 40 kyr to strongly asymmetric 100 kyr cycles of larger amplitude (Mid-Pleistocene Transition). Additionally, during the past 800 kyr there are clear differences between the earlier and the later glacial cycles with the last five cycles characterized by larger magnitude of variability (Mid-Brunhes Event). Here, we use the Earth system model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER-2 to explore possible mechanisms that could explain these regime shifts. CLIMBER-2 incorporates all major components of the Earth system - atmosphere, ocean, land surface, northern hemisphere ice sheets, terrestrial biota and soil carbon, marine biogeochemistry and aeolian dust. The model was optimally tuned to reproduce climate, ice volume and CO2 variability over the last 400,000 years. Using the same model version, we performed a large set of simulations covering the entire Quaternary (3 million years) starting from identical initial conditions and using a parallelization in time technique which consists of starting the model at different times (every 100,000 years) and running each simulation for 500,000 years. The Earth's orbital variations are the only prescribed radiative forcing. Several sets of the Northern Hemisphere orography and sediment thickness representing different stages of landscape evolution during the Quaternary are prescribed as boundary conditions for the ice sheet model and volcanic CO2 outgassing is

  17. 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.

  18. A system dynamics approach to understanding the One Health concept.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai Xie

    Full Text Available There have been many terms used to describe the One Health concept, including movement, strategy, framework, agenda, approach, among others. However, the inter-relationships of the disciplines engaged in the One Health concept have not been well described. To identify and better elucidate the internal feedback mechanisms of One Health, we employed a system dynamics approach. First, a systematic literature review was conducted via searches in PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and ProQuest with the search terms: 'One Health' and (concept* or approach*. In addition, we used the HistCite® tool to add significant articles on One Health to the library. Then, of the 2368 articles identified, 19 were selected for evaluating the inter-relationships of disciplines engaged in One Health. Herein, we report a visually rich, theoretical model regarding interactions of various disciplines and complex problem descriptors engaged in One Health problem solving. This report provides a conceptual framework for future descriptions of the interdisciplinary engagements involved in One Health.

  19. 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.

  20. Toward Understanding Ambulatory Activity Decline in Parkinson Disease. (United States)

    Cavanaugh, James T; Ellis, Terry D; Earhart, Gammon M; Ford, Matthew P; Foreman, K Bo; Dibble, Leland E


    Declining ambulatory activity represents an important facet of disablement in Parkinson disease (PD). The primary study aim was to compare the 2-year trajectory of ambulatory activity decline with concurrently evolving facets of disability in a small cohort of people with PD. The secondary aim was to identify baseline variables associated with ambulatory activity at 1- and 2-year follow-up assessments. This was a prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Seventeen people with PD (Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-3) were recruited from 2 outpatient settings. Ambulatory activity data were collected at baseline and at 1- and 2-year annual assessments. Motor, mood, balance, gait, upper extremity function, quality of life, self-efficacy, and levodopa equivalent daily dose data and data on activities of daily living also were collected. Participants displayed significant 1- and 2-year declines in the amount and intensity of ambulatory activity concurrently with increasing levodopa equivalent daily dose. Worsening motor symptoms and slowing of gait were apparent only after 2 years. Concurrent changes in the remaining clinical variables were not observed. Baseline ambulatory activity and physical performance variables had the strongest relationships with 1- and 2-year mean daily steps. The sample was small and homogeneous. Future research that combines ambulatory activity monitoring with a broader and more balanced array of measures would further illuminate the dynamic interactions among evolving facets of disablement and help determine the extent to which sustained patterns of recommended daily physical activity might slow the rate of disablement in PD. © 2015 American Physical Therapy Association.

  1. Understanding Magmatic Plumbing System Dynamics at Fernandina Island, Galapagos (United States)

    Varga, K. C.; McGuire, M.; Geist, D.; Harpp, K. S.


    Fernandina is the most active Galápagos volcano, and is located closest to the seismically defined hotspot. Allan and Simkin (2000) observed that the subaerial edifice is constructed of homogeneous basalts (Mg# = 49 ± 2) with highly variable plagioclase phenocryst contents and sparse olivine. Geist et al. (2006) proposed a magmatic plumbing system in which the volcano is supplied by interconnected sills, the shallowest of which is density-stratified: olivine and pyroxene are concentrated at greater depths, whereas less dense plagioclase mush is higher in the sill. Consequently, olivine-rich lava erupts laterally during submarine events, but plagioclase-rich lava supplies subaerial vents. To test this hypothesis, we examine lavas erupted in 1995, 2005, and 2009. These SW flank eruptions emerged alternatively from en echelon radial fissures on the lower flanks and circumferential fissures near the caldera rim. The 1995 radial fissure unzipped downslope and then formed a cone 4 km from the coast, sending flows to the ocean. In 2005, circumferential fissures erupted five flows south of the 1995 fissure. As in 1995, the 2009 fissures opened down the SW flank before focusing to a cone near the 1995 vents, producing 6 km-long flows that also reached the ocean. By correlating plagioclase crystal size distribution and morphologies with single event chronological sequences, we examine Fernandina's magmatic plumbing system. Modal plagioclase in 1995 lava decreases (20% to <5%) throughout the middle eruptive phase. Early 2005 samples are nearly aphyric (Chadwick et al., 2010), with 1-2% plagioclase. The 2009 eruption has reduced plagioclase, similar to mid-1995 samples. Preliminary observations suggest that less plagioclase-rich mush is being flushed out during early-to-medial event sequences, whereas plag phenocrysts are transported more during later phases. Plausible plumbing dynamics suggest a zone of plagioclase-rich mush that is eroded and incorporated into radial

  2. Understanding the group dynamics and success of teams (United States)

    Klug, Michael; Bagrow, James P.


    Complex problems often require coordinated group effort and can consume significant resources, yet our understanding of how teams form and succeed has been limited by a lack of large-scale, quantitative data. We analyse activity traces and success levels for approximately 150 000 self-organized, online team projects. While larger teams tend to be more successful, workload is highly focused across the team, with only a few members performing most work. We find that highly successful teams are significantly more focused than average teams of the same size, that their members have worked on more diverse sets of projects, and the members of highly successful teams are more likely to be core members or ‘leads’ of other teams. The relations between team success and size, focus and especially team experience cannot be explained by confounding factors such as team age, external contributions from non-team members, nor by group mechanisms such as social loafing. Taken together, these features point to organizational principles that may maximize the success of collaborative endeavours. PMID:27152217

  3. 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...

  4. Koala Retroviruses: Evolution and Disease Dynamics. (United States)

    Xu, Wenqin; Eiden, Maribeth V


    A retroviral etiology for malignant neoplasias in koalas has long been suspected. Evidence for retroviral involvement was bolstered in 2000 by the isolation of a koala retrovirus (KoRV), now termed KoRV-A. KoRV-A is an endogenous retrovirus-a retrovirus that infects germ cells-a feature that makes it a permanent resident of the koala genome. KoRV-A lacks the genetic diversity of an exogenous retrovirus, a quality associated with the ability of a retrovirus to cause neoplasias. In 2013, a second KoRV isolate, KoRV-B, was obtained from koalas with lymphomas in the Los Angeles Zoo. Unlike KoRV-A, which is present in the genomes of all koalas in the United States, KoRV-B is restricted in its distribution and is associated with host pathology (neoplastic disease). Here, our current understanding of the evolution of endogenous and exogenous KoRVs, and the relationship between them, is reviewed to build a perspective on the future impact of these viruses on koala sustainability.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. To understand coral disease, look at coral cells (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Meteyer, Carol U.


    Diseases threaten corals globally, but 40 years on their causes remain mostly unknown. We hypothesize that inconsistent application of a complete diagnostic approach to coral disease has contributed to this slow progress. We quantified methods used to investigate coral disease in 492 papers published between 1965 and 2013. Field surveys were used in 65% of the papers, followed by biodetection (43%), laboratory trials (20%), microscopic pathology (21%), and field trials (9%). Of the microscopic pathology efforts, 57% involved standard histopathology at the light microscopic level (12% of the total investigations), with the remainder dedicated to electron or fluorescence microscopy. Most (74%) biodetection efforts focused on culture or molecular characterization of bacteria or fungi from corals. Molecular and immunological tools have been used to incriminate infectious agents (mainly bacteria) as the cause of coral diseases without relating the agent to specific changes in cell and tissue pathology. Of 19 papers that declared an infectious agent as a cause of disease in corals, only one (5%) used microscopic pathology, and none fulfilled all of the criteria required to satisfy Koch’s postulates as applied to animal diseases currently. Vertebrate diseases of skin and mucosal surfaces present challenges similar to corals when trying to identify a pathogen from a vast array of environmental microbes, and diagnostic approaches regularly used in these cases might provide a model for investigating coral diseases. We hope this review will encourage specialists of disease in domestic animals, wildlife, fish, shellfish, and humans to contribute to the emerging field of coral disease.

  8. Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics. (United States)

    Perry, Brian D; Grace, Delia; Sones, Keith


    We review the global dynamics of livestock disease over the last two decades. Our imperfect ability to detect and report disease hinders assessment of trends, but we suggest that, although endemic diseases continue their historic decline in wealthy countries, poor countries experience static or deteriorating animal health and epidemic diseases show both regression and expansion. At a mesolevel, disease is changing in terms of space and host, which is illustrated by bluetongue, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus, and it is also emerging, as illustrated by highly pathogenic avian influenza and others. Major proximate drivers of change in disease dynamics include ecosystem change, ecosystem incursion, and movements of people and animals; underlying these are demographic change and an increasing demand for livestock products. We identify three trajectories of global disease dynamics: (i) the worried well in developed countries (demanding less risk while broadening the circle of moral concern), (ii) the intensifying and market-orientated systems of many developing countries, where highly complex disease patterns create hot spots for disease shifts, and (iii) the neglected cold spots in poor countries, where rapid change in disease dynamics is less likely but smallholders and pastoralists continue to struggle with largely preventable and curable livestock diseases.

  9. Disease and the dynamics of extinction. (United States)

    McCallum, Hamish


    Invading infectious diseases can, in theory, lead to the extinction of host populations, particularly if reservoir species are present or if disease transmission is frequency-dependent. The number of historic or prehistoric extinctions that can unequivocally be attributed to infectious disease is relatively small, but gathering firm evidence in retrospect is extremely difficult. Amphibian chytridiomycosis and Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) are two very different infectious diseases that are currently threatening to cause extinctions in Australia. These provide an unusual opportunity to investigate the processes of disease-induced extinction and possible management strategies. Both diseases are apparently recent in origin. Tasmanian DFTD is entirely host-specific but potentially able to cause extinction because transmission depends weakly, if at all, on host density. Amphibian chytridiomycosis has a broad host range but is highly pathogenic only to some populations of some species. At present, both diseases can only be managed by attempting to isolate individuals or populations from disease. Management options to accelerate the process of evolution of host resistance or tolerance are being investigated in both cases. Anthropogenic changes including movement of diseases and hosts, habitat destruction and fragmentation and climate change are likely to increase emerging disease threats to biodiversity and it is critical to further develop strategies to manage these threats.

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

    ... Some research has found that if you had pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure or diabetes your children may also have an increased risk of heart disease in the future. Women with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may also have a higher risk of heart ...

  11. Advances in understanding gender difference in cardiometabolic disease risk. (United States)

    Onat, Altan; Karadeniz, Yusuf; Tusun, Eyyup; Yüksel, Hüsniye; Kaya, Ayşem


    Gender differences exist in cardiovascular or metabolic disease risk, beyond the protective effect of estrogens, mostly burdening the postmenopausal female. We aimed to review herein sex differences in pro-inflammatory states, the independence of inflammation from insulin resistance, differences in high-density lipoprotein dysfunction, in gene-environment interactions, and in the influence of current and former smoking on cardiometabolic risk. Sex differences in absorption of long-chain fatty acids are highlighted. Differences exist in the first manifestation of cardiovascular disease, men being more likely to develop coronary heart disease as a first event, compared to women who have cerebrovascular disease or heart failure as a first event. Autoimmune activation resulting from pro-inflammatory states, a fundamental mechanism for numerous chronic diseases in people prone to metabolic syndrome, is much more common in women, and these constitute major determinants. Therapeutic approaches to aspects related to sex difference are briefly reviewed.

  12. A reduced complexity discrete particle model for understanding the sediment dynamics of steep upland river confluences (United States)

    Tancock, M. J.; Lane, S. N.; Hardy, R. J.


    There has been a significant amount of research conducted in order to understand the flow fields at natural river confluences. Much of this has been made possible due to advances in the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). However, much of this research has been conducted on river confluences with negligible water surface slopes and any understanding of the sediment dynamics is largely implied from the flow fields. Therefore, a key challenge is to understand the flow and sediment dynamics of steep river confluences with dynamic boundaries. Two numerical modelling developments are presented which together are capable of increasing our understanding of the sediment dynamics of steep river confluences. The first is the application of a Height-of-Liquid (HOL) model within a CFD framework to explicitly solve the water surface elevation. This is a time-dependent, multiphase treatment of the fluid dynamics which solves for the change in volume of water and air in each vertical column of the mesh. The second is the development of a reduced complexity discrete particle transport model which uses the change in momentum on a spherical particle to predict the transport paths through the flow field determined from CFD simulations. The performance of the two models is tested using field data from a series of highly dynamic, steep gravel-bed confluences on a braidplain of the Borgne d'Arolla, Switzerland. The HOL model is validated against the water surface elevation and flow velocity data and is demonstrated to provide a reliable representation of the flow field in fast-flowing, supercritical flows. In order to validate the discrete particle model, individual particles were tracked using electronic tacheometry. The model is demonstrated to accurately represent the particle tracks obtained in the field and provides a new methodology to understand the dynamic morphology of braid plains.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Comprehensive Fluid Dynamic-Diffusion Model of Blood Microcirculation with Focus on Sickle Cell Disease (United States)

    Le Floch, Francois; Harris, Wesley L.


    A novel methodology has been developed to address sickle cell disease, based on highly descriptive mathematical models for blood flow in the capillaries. Our investigations focus on the coupling between oxygen delivery and red blood cell dynamics, which is crucial to understanding sickle cell crises and is unique to this blood disease. The main part of our work is an extensive study of blood dynamics through simulations of red cells deforming within the capillary vessels, and relies on the use of a large mathematical system of equations describing oxygen transfer, blood plasma dynamics and red cell membrane mechanics. This model is expected to lead to the development of new research strategies for sickle cell disease. Our simulation model could be used not only to assess current researched remedies, but also to spur innovative research initiatives, based on our study of the physical properties coupled in sickle cell disease.

  16. 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; 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 degrees C to 25 degrees C; fecundity across all temperatures, but especially approximately 25-32 degrees C; mortality from 20 degrees C to 30 degrees C; parasite development rate at degrees 15-16 degrees C and again at approximately 33-35 degrees 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [Ageing and Alzheimer disease - system dynamics model prediction]. (United States)

    Tomášková, Hana; Kühnová, Jitka; Kuča, Kamil

    The aim of the paper is to describe asystem dynamics model applied on aprediction of the number of patients with Alzheimers disease in the EU in the future and related financial impacts. Dementia resulting from Alzheimers disease is the most widely spread type of dementia and is highly connected with the age of the person - the patient. Most people are diagnosed with Alzheimers disease when they are older than 64. The ageing of population will be an ongoing problem in the next few decades due to alow birth rate and increasing life expectancy. This is areason to focus on prediction models of Alzheimers disease and its impact on economy. The paper presents adynamic modelling approach of system dynamics. The created model of the EU population and patients with AD is expanded by afinancial submodel at the end. This submodel estimates the cost on patients from three available cost studies.Key words: systém dynamic Alzhimers disease population ageing.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Acute colonic diverticulitis: modern understanding of pathomechanisms, risk factors, disease burden and severity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Søreide, Kjetil; Boermeester, Marja A.; Humes, David J.; Velmahos, George C.


    Conservative, non-antibiotic and non-surgical management of acute diverticulitis is currently being investigated. To better inform clinical decisions, better understanding of disease mechanisms, disease burden and severity is needed. Literature search of risk factors, pathophysiology, epidemiology

  2. 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.

  3. Sickle cell disease, part 1: understanding the condition.


    Addis, Gulen


    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common genetic blood disorders in the world and affects 12, 500 individuals in the UK. This article looks at the definition of SCD, symptoms and treatments and practical tips to prevent sickle cell crises.

  4. [Diseases and the sick--understanding medical practices in capitalism]. (United States)

    Ornellas, C P


    This article discusses the diseases and the sick as well as how the process from which to take care of them became object of medical practices. Based on Donnagelo and Gonçalves contributions, the author discusses the process that explains medical practices appropriation by the capitalism.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Molecular mechanism underlying the patho-physiology of coronary artery disease (CAD) is complex. We used global expres- sion profiling combined with analysis of biological network to dissect out potential genes and pathways associated with CAD in a representative case–control Asian Indian cohort. We initially ...

  6. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolodkin, A.; Simeonidis, E.; Balling, R.; Westerhoff, H.V.


    Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction) is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On the one hand, the biomolecular network of

  7. Understanding complexityin neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstructionof emergence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolodkin, A.N.; Simeonides, E.; Balling, R.; Westerhoff, H.V.


    Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction) is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On the one hand, the biomolecular network of

  8. Understanding the biological mechanisms of Zika virus disease ...

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

    ... as well as via sexual and mother-to-child transmission. It causes a wide spectrum of disease, ranging from symptom-free infections to mild, self-limiting symptoms, to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Additionally, Zika infection in pregnant women has been linked to microcephaly) and other brain abnormalities in ...

  9. The Onchorcerciasis Disease: Population Dynamics of Its Host And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Onchocerciasis disease is a debilitating disease that hampers the well-being and productive capacity of an affected person. In this work, we looked at the population dynamics of the Host (Man), the Vector (Simulium Damnosium – the Blackfly ) and the possible Microfilaria output of the worm in the Host via Mathematical ...

  10. 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

  11. Using system dynamics modeling to understand the impact of social change initiatives. (United States)

    Hirsch, Gary B; Levine, Ralph; Miller, Robin Lin


    Community psychologists have a long history of interest in understanding social systems and how to bring about enduring positive change in these systems. However, the methods that community psychologists use to anticipate and evaluate the changes that result from system change efforts are less well developed. In the current paper, we introduce readers to system dynamics modeling, an action research approach to studying complex systems and the consequences of system change. We illustrate this approach by describing a system dynamics model of educational reform. We provide readers with an introduction to system dynamics modeling, as well as describe the strengths and limitations of the approach for application to community psychology.

  12. Population-reaction model and microbial experimental ecosystems for understanding hierarchical dynamics of ecosystems. (United States)

    Hosoda, Kazufumi; Tsuda, Soichiro; Kadowaki, Kohmei; Nakamura, Yutaka; Nakano, Tadashi; Ishii, Kojiro


    Understanding ecosystem dynamics is crucial as contemporary human societies face ecosystem degradation. One of the challenges that needs to be recognized is the complex hierarchical dynamics. Conventional dynamic models in ecology often represent only the population level and have yet to include the dynamics of the sub-organism level, which makes an ecosystem a complex adaptive system that shows characteristic behaviors such as resilience and regime shifts. The neglect of the sub-organism level in the conventional dynamic models would be because integrating multiple hierarchical levels makes the models unnecessarily complex unless supporting experimental data are present. Now that large amounts of molecular and ecological data are increasingly accessible in microbial experimental ecosystems, it is worthwhile to tackle the questions of their complex hierarchical dynamics. Here, we propose an approach that combines microbial experimental ecosystems and a hierarchical dynamic model named population-reaction model. We present a simple microbial experimental ecosystem as an example and show how the system can be analyzed by a population-reaction model. We also show that population-reaction models can be applied to various ecological concepts, such as predator-prey interactions, climate change, evolution, and stability of diversity. Our approach will reveal a path to the general understanding of various ecosystems and organisms. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Understanding Aspects of Aluminum Exposure in Alzheimer's Disease Development. (United States)

    Kandimalla, Ramesh; Vallamkondu, Jayalakshmi; Corgiat, Edwin B; Gill, Kiran Dip


    Aluminum is a ubiquitously abundant nonessential element. Aluminum has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dialysis encephalopathy. Many continue to regard aluminum as controversial although increasing evidence supports the implications of aluminum in the pathogenesis of AD. Aluminum causes the accumulation of tau protein and Aβ protein in the brain of experimental animals. Aluminum induces neuronal apoptosis in vivo and in vitro, either by endoplasmic stress from the unfolded protein response, by mitochondrial dysfunction, or a combination of them. Some, people who are exposed chronically to aluminum, either from through water and/or food, have not shown any AD pathology, apparently because their gastrointestinal barrier is more effective. This article is written keeping in mind mechanisms of action of aluminum neurotoxicity with respect to AD. © 2015 International Society of Neuropathology.

  14. Understanding Microbial Sensing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Using Click Chemistry (United States)


    Scale bars, 20 µm. e, Flow cytometry histogram plots of luminal contents from mice given HADA or HALA orally demonstrate decay of fluorescent signal over...Software) and were based on normally distributed data sets with equal variance (Bartlett’s test). Gender- and age-matched mice were randomly assigned to...18643 (2012). 30. Elson, C. O. et al. Experimental models of inflammatory bowel disease reveal innate, adaptive , and regulatory mechanisms of host

  15. 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.

  16. The changing understanding of ageing. Part 3: Diseases of ageing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis F. Lawler


    Full Text Available This third and final paper in this series considers ageing mechanisms across species, with emphasis on conserved metabolic pathways that relate to disease. The growth hormone (GH-insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1-insulin axis continues as an example of how critical pathways might relate to longevity and senescence. Aligning theory, research outcomes and clinical investigations at the levels of the cell, organism and population, is suggested as a means by which to consider the many complexities of the ageing process in an orderly fashion. A contentious debate revolves around whether ageing is purely a combined effect of stochastic events on residual programming relating to reproductive robustness, or whether ageing itself is programmed by natural selection. Emerging data indicate that the influence of genetic programming on specific late-life diseases, and even individual tissue pathologies, will probably need to be reconsidered in the light of newer theoretical possibilities. In particular, the evidence that late life and its diseases are objects of considerable investment of energy challenges theory that couples longevity with reproduction. Furthermore, the author suggests that ageing may have evolved at least partly as a means of niche preservation for contemporaries and for progeny.

  17. 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...

  18. Depression in Parkinson Disease: Current Understanding and Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Hao Chen


    Full Text Available Depression has a negative impact on activities of daily living, cognitive performance, and quality of life. Despite the high prevalence of depressive symptoms in Parkinson disease (PD, this important clinical feature is under-recognized by physicians. Effective diagnosis, assessment and treatment of depression are, therefore, important aspects of PD management. In this article, we review the literature concerning depression associated with PD, paying specific attention to clinical presentation, diagnosis, etiology, and the principles of management and treatment. The efficacy and safety of antidepressants must rely on empiric assessments of known risks and putative benefits to guide treatment decisions.

  19. 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)

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Mathematical modeling of microtubule dynamics: insights into physiology and disease. (United States)

    Buxton, Gavin A; Siedlak, Sandra L; Perry, George; Smith, Mark A


    Computer models of microtubule dynamics have provided the basis for many of the theories on the cellular mechanics of the microtubules, their polymerization kinetics, and the diffusion of tubulin and tau. In the three-dimensional model presented here, we include the effects of tau concentration and the hydrolysis of GTP-tubulin to GDP-tubulin and observe the emergence of microtubule dynamic instability. This integrated approach simulates the essential physics of microtubule dynamics in a cellular environment. The model captures the structure of the microtubules as they undergo steady state dynamic instabilities in this simplified geometry, and also yields the average number, length, and cap size of the microtubules. The model achieves realistic geometries and simulates cellular structures found in degenerating neurons in disease states such as Alzheimer disease. Further, this model can be used to simulate microtubule changes following the addition of antimitotic drugs which have recently attracted attention as chemotherapeutic agents. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The enduring importance of animal models in understanding periodontal disease. (United States)

    Hajishengallis, George; Lamont, Richard J; Graves, Dana T


    Whereas no single animal model can reproduce the complexity of periodontitis, different aspects of the disease can be addressed by distinct models. Despite their limitations, animal models are essential for testing the biological significance of in vitro findings and for establishing cause-and-effect relationships relevant to clinical observations, which are typically correlative. We provide evidence that animal-based studies have generated a durable framework for dissecting the mechanistic basis of periodontitis. These studies have solidified the etiologic role of bacteria in initiating the inflammatory response that leads to periodontal bone loss and have identified key mediators (IL-1, TNF, prostaglandins, complement, RANKL) that induce inflammatory breakdown. Moreover, animal studies suggest that dysbiosis, rather than individual bacterial species, are important in initiating periodontal bone loss and have introduced the concept that organisms previously considered commensals can play important roles as accessory pathogens or pathobionts. These studies have also provided insight as to how systemic conditions, such as diabetes or leukocyte adhesion deficiency, contribute to tissue destruction. In addition, animal studies have identified and been useful in testing therapeutic targets.

  7. Co-infection alters population dynamics of infectious disease (United States)

    Susi, Hanna; Barrès, Benoit; Vale, Pedro F.; Laine, Anna-Liisa


    Co-infections by multiple pathogen strains are common in the wild. Theory predicts co-infections to have major consequences for both within- and between-host disease dynamics, but data are currently scarce. Here, using common garden populations of Plantago lanceolata infected by two strains of the pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis, either singly or under co-infection, we find the highest disease prevalence in co-infected treatments both at the host genotype and population levels. A spore-trapping experiment demonstrates that co-infected hosts shed more transmission propagules than singly infected hosts, thereby explaining the observed change in epidemiological dynamics. Our experimental findings are confirmed in natural pathogen populations—more devastating epidemics were measured in populations with higher levels of co-infection. Jointly, our results confirm the predictions made by theoretical and experimental studies for the potential of co-infection to alter disease dynamics across a large host–pathogen metapopulation. PMID:25569306

  8. Metro maps of plant disease dynamics--automated mining of differences using hyperspectral images.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirwaes Wahabzada

    Full Text Available Understanding the response dynamics of plants to biotic stress is essential to improve management practices and breeding strategies of crops and thus to proceed towards a more sustainable agriculture in the coming decades. In this context, hyperspectral imaging offers a particularly promising approach since it provides non-destructive measurements of plants correlated with internal structure and biochemical compounds. In this paper, we present a cascade of data mining techniques for fast and reliable data-driven sketching of complex hyperspectral dynamics in plant science and plant phenotyping. To achieve this, we build on top of a recent linear time matrix factorization technique, called Simplex Volume Maximization, in order to automatically discover archetypal hyperspectral signatures that are characteristic for particular diseases. The methods were applied on a data set of barley leaves (Hordeum vulgare diseased with foliar plant pathogens Pyrenophora teres, Puccinia hordei and Blumeria graminis hordei. Towards more intuitive visualizations of plant disease dynamics, we use the archetypal signatures to create structured summaries that are inspired by metro maps, i.e. schematic diagrams of public transport networks. Metro maps of plant disease dynamics produced on several real-world data sets conform to plant physiological knowledge and explicitly illustrate the interaction between diseases and plants. Most importantly, they provide an abstract and interpretable view on plant disease progression.

  9. 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).

  10. Are stomatal responses the key to understanding the cost of fungal disease resistance in plants? (United States)

    Withers, Catherine M; Gay, Alan P; Mur, Luis A J


    Preventing disease in cereal crops is important for maintaining productivity and as the availability and efficacy of chemical control becomes reduced the emphasis on breeding for disease resistance increases. However, there is evidence that disease resistance may be physiologically costly to the plant and we ask if understanding stomatal responses to fungal attack is the key to minimising reductions in growth associated with disease resistance. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Galectin-9: From cell biology to complex disease dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Galectins is a family of non-classically secreted, β-galactoside-binding proteins that has recently received considerableattention in the spatio-temporal regulation of surface 'signal lattice' organization, membrane dynamics, cell-adhesionand disease therapeutics. Galectin-9 is a unique member of this family, with two ...

  12. 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, ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Using GPS technology to quantify human mobility, dynamic contacts and infectious disease dynamics in a resource-poor urban environment. (United States)

    Vazquez-Prokopec, Gonzalo M; Bisanzio, Donal; Stoddard, Steven T; Paz-Soldan, Valerie; Morrison, Amy C; Elder, John P; Ramirez-Paredes, Jhon; Halsey, Eric S; Kochel, Tadeusz J; Scott, Thomas W; Kitron, Uriel


    Empiric quantification of human mobility patterns is paramount for better urban planning, understanding social network structure and responding to infectious disease threats, especially in light of rapid growth in urbanization and globalization. This need is of particular relevance for developing countries, since they host the majority of the global urban population and are disproportionally affected by the burden of disease. We used Global Positioning System (GPS) data-loggers to track the fine-scale (within city) mobility patterns of 582 residents from two neighborhoods from the city of Iquitos, Peru. We used ∼2.3 million GPS data-points to quantify age-specific mobility parameters and dynamic co-location networks among all tracked individuals. Geographic space significantly affected human mobility, giving rise to highly local mobility kernels. Most (∼80%) movements occurred within 1 km of an individual's home. Potential hourly contacts among individuals were highly irregular and temporally unstructured. Only up to 38% of the tracked participants showed a regular and predictable mobility routine, a sharp contrast to the situation in the developed world. As a case study, we quantified the impact of spatially and temporally unstructured routines on the dynamics of transmission of an influenza-like pathogen within an Iquitos neighborhood. Temporally unstructured daily routines (e.g., not dominated by a single location, such as a workplace, where an individual repeatedly spent significant amount of time) increased an epidemic's final size and effective reproduction number by 20% in comparison to scenarios modeling temporally structured contacts. Our findings provide a mechanistic description of the basic rules that shape human mobility within a resource-poor urban center, and contribute to the understanding of the role of fine-scale patterns of individual movement and co-location in infectious disease dynamics. More generally, this study emphasizes the need for

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24999297

  20. 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.

  1. 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...reviewed journals: Final Report: Understanding the effects of host evolution and skin bacteria composition on disease vector choices Report Title Here...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Here we sought to understand how host biology influences the composition of skin microbes, how skin microbes influence

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding Angiography-Based Aneurysm Flow Fields through Comparison with Computational Fluid Dynamics. (United States)

    Cebral, J R; Mut, F; Chung, B J; Spelle, L; Moret, J; van Nijnatten, F; Ruijters, D


    Hemodynamics is thought to be an important factor for aneurysm progression and rupture. Our aim was to evaluate whether flow fields reconstructed from dynamic angiography data can be used to realistically represent the main flow structures in intracranial aneurysms. DSA-based flow reconstructions, obtained during interventional treatment, were compared qualitatively with flow fields obtained from patient-specific computational fluid dynamics models and quantitatively with projections of the computational fluid dynamics fields (by computing a directional similarity of the vector fields) in 15 cerebral aneurysms. The average similarity between the DSA and the projected computational fluid dynamics flow fields was 78% in the parent artery, while it was only 30% in the aneurysm region. Qualitatively, both the DSA and projected computational fluid dynamics flow fields captured the location of the inflow jet, the main vortex structure, the intrasaccular flow split, and the main rotation direction in approximately 60% of the cases. Several factors affect the reconstruction of 2D flow fields from dynamic angiography sequences. The most important factors are the 3-dimensionality of the intrasaccular flow patterns and inflow jets, the alignment of the main vortex structure with the line of sight, the overlapping of surrounding vessels, and possibly frame rate undersampling. Flow visualization with DSA from >1 projection is required for understanding of the 3D intrasaccular flow patterns. Although these DSA-based flow quantification techniques do not capture swirling or secondary flows in the parent artery, they still provide a good representation of the mean axial flow and the corresponding flow rate. © 2017 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.

  5. 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.

  6. Probing the dynamics of prion diseases with amphotericin B. (United States)

    Adjou, K T; Deslys, J P; Demaimay, R; Dormont, D


    Amphotericin B (AmB) is one of the rare drugs that affect the course of experimental prion diseases and modify the kinetics of abnormal prion protein accumulation in the central nervous system. Therefore, AmB could be used as a pharmacological tool to contribute to our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in these neurodegenerative disorders.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. From Within Host Dynamics to the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease: Scientific Overview and Challenges (United States)

    Gutierrez, Juan B.; Galinski, Mary R.; Cantrell, Stephen; Voit, Eberhard O.


    Since their earliest days, humans have been struggling with infectious diseases. Caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, or even higher organisms like worms, these diseases depend critically on numerous intricate interactions between parasites and hosts, and while we have learned much about these interactions, many details are still obscure. It is evident that the combined host-parasite dynamics constitutes a complex system that involves components and processes at multiple scales of time, space, and biological organization. At one end of this hierarchy we know of individual molecules that play crucial roles for the survival of a parasite or for the response and survival of its host. At the other end, one realizes that the spread of infectious diseases by far exceeds specific locales and, due to today's easy travel of hosts carrying a multitude of organisms, can quickly reach global proportions. The community of mathematical modelers has been addressing specific aspects of infectious diseases for a long time. Most of these efforts have focused on one or two select scales of a multi-level disease and used quite different computational approaches. This restriction to a molecular, physiological, or epidemiological level was prudent, as it has produced solid pillars of a foundation from which it might eventually be possible to launch comprehensive, multi-scale modeling efforts that make full use of the recent advances in biology and, in particular, the various high-throughput methodologies accompanying the emerging –omics revolution. This special issue contains contributions from biologists and modelers, most of whom presented and discussed their work at the workshop From within Host Dynamics to the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, which was held at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University in April 2014. These contributions highlight some of the forays into a deeper understanding of the dynamics between parasites and their hosts, and the

  12. The utility of simple mathematical models in understanding gene regulatory dynamics (United States)

    Mackey, Michael C.; Santillán, Moisés; Tyran-Kamińska, Marta; Zeron, Eduardo S.


    Abstract In this review, we survey work that has been carried out in the attempts of biomathematicians to understand the dynamic behaviour of simple bacterial operons starting with the initial work of the 1960’s. We concentrate on the simplest of situations, discussing both repressible and inducible systems and then turning to concrete examples related to the biology of the lactose and tryptophan operons. We conclude with a brief discussion of the role of both extrinsic noise and so-called intrinsic noise in the form of translational and/or transcriptional bursting. PMID:25402755

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. There's a World Going on Underground: Imaging Technologies to Understand Root Growth Dynamics and Rhizosphere Interactions (United States)

    Topp, C. N.


    Our ability to harness the power of plant genomics for basic and applied science depends on how well and how fast we can quantify the phenotypic ramifications of genetic variation. Plants can be considered from many vantage points: at scales from cells to organs, over the course of development or evolution, and from biophysical, physiological, and ecological perspectives. In all of these ways, our understanding of plant form and function is greatly limited by our ability to study subterranean structures and processes. The limitations to accessing this knowledge are well known - soil is opaque, roots are morphologically complex, and root growth can be heavily influenced by a myriad of environmental factors. Nonetheless, recent technological innovations in imaging science have generated a renewed focus on roots and thus new opportunities to understand the plant as a whole. The Topp Lab is interested in crop root system growth dynamics and function in response to environmental stresses such as drought, rhizosphere interactions, and as a consequence of artificial selection for agronomically important traits such as nitrogen uptake and high plant density. Studying roots requires the development of imaging technologies, computational infrastructure, and statistical methods that can capture and analyze morphologically complex networks over time and at high-throughput. The lab uses several imaging tools (optical, X-ray CT, PET, etc.) along with quantitative genetics and molecular biology to understand the dynamics of root growth and physiology. We aim to understand the relationships among root traits that can be effectively measured both in controlled laboratory environments and in the field, and to identify genes and gene networks that control root, and ultimately whole plant architectural features useful for crop improvement.

  17. Dynamics of the human gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halfvarson, Jonas; Brislawn, Colin J.; Lamendella, Regina; Vázquez-Baeza, Yoshiki; Walters, William A.; Bramer, Lisa M.; D' Amato, Mauro; Bonfiglio, Ferdinando; McDonald, Daniel; Gonzalez, Antonio; McClure, Erin E.; Dunklebarger, Mitchell F.; Knight, Rob; Jansson, Janet K.


    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by flares of inflammation with periodic need for increased medication and sometimes even surgery. IBD etiology is partly attributed to a deregulated immune response to gut microbiome dysbiosis. Cross-sectional studies have revealed microbial signatures for different IBD diseases, including ulcerative colitis (UC), colonic Crohn’s Disease (CCD), and ileal CD (ICD). Although IBD is dynamic, microbiome studies have primarily focused on single timepoints or few individuals. Here we dissect the long-term dynamic behavior of the gut microbiome in IBD and differentiate this from normal variation. Microbiomes of IBD subjects fluctuate more than healthy individuals, based on deviation from a newly-defined healthy plane (HP). ICD subjects deviated most from the HP, especially subjects with surgical resection. Intriguingly, the microbiomes of some IBD subjects periodically visited the HP then deviated away from it. Inflammation was not directly correlated with distance to the healthy plane, but there was some correlation between observed dramatic fluctuations in the gut microbiome and intensified medication due to a flare of the disease. These results help guide therapies that will re-direct the gut microbiome towards a healthy state and maintain remission in IBD.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Future Challenges in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Understanding Catalysts under Dynamic Reaction Conditions. (United States)

    Kalz, Kai F; Kraehnert, Ralph; Dvoyashkin, Muslim; Dittmeyer, Roland; Gläser, Roger; Krewer, Ulrike; Reuter, Karsten; Grunwaldt, Jan-Dierk


    In the future, (electro-)chemical catalysts will have to be more tolerant towards a varying supply of energy and raw materials. This is mainly due to the fluctuating nature of renewable energies. For example, power-to-chemical processes require a shift from steady-state operation towards operation under dynamic reaction conditions. This brings along a number of demands for the design of both catalysts and reactors, because it is well-known that the structure of catalysts is very dynamic. However, in-depth studies of catalysts and catalytic reactors under such transient conditions have only started recently. This requires studies and advances in the fields of 1) operando spectroscopy including time-resolved methods, 2) theory with predictive quality, 3) kinetic modelling, 4) design of catalysts by appropriate preparation concepts, and 5) novel/modular reactor designs. An intensive exchange between these scientific disciplines will enable a substantial gain of fundamental knowledge which is urgently required. This concept article highlights recent developments, challenges, and future directions for understanding catalysts under dynamic reaction conditions.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding coupling between natural and human systems to ensure disease resilient societies (United States)

    Jutla, A.; Nguyen, T. H.; Colwell, R. R.; Akanda, A. S.


    Human well-being is one of the key long-term indicators of a sustainable environment. John Snow, a prominent 19th century physician, provided insights on the role of drinking contaminated water and cholera outbreak(s). Extrapolation of Snow's discovery on locating source of cholera bacteria (in local wells) lead to the tenets of traditional doctrines of environmental sustainability of water where source capacities (such as physical condition of water) are directly linked to sink capacities (e.g., bacterial growth in water) of a system, a balance that must be maintained to sustain human life supporting mechanisms. With a changing climate, stress on availability of safe drinking water is likely to increase, particularly where population vulnerability intersects with hydroclimatic extremes. This raises a critical question on how environmental sustainability of water will affect human societies. A dynamic equilibrium exists between large scale geophysical (e.g., sea surface temperature-SST; precipitation, evaporative fluxes) and local scale water-ecological processes (salinity, plankton, organic matter) in water resources (ponds, rivers, lakes). The ecological processes aid in growth and proliferation of water based pathogens (such as cholera, Rotavirus, Shigella and other vibrios). Societal determinants, such as access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, defines interaction of human population with water. The feedback loop, between geophysical and water-ecological processes is fundamental to ensure a sustainable environment for human well-being. However, the feedback loops are often misconstrued resulting in massive loss of human life, and further leading to outbreak of diseases at various spatial and temporal scales across region(s). Using historical data on Cholera and Zika virus as examples, we will demonstrate the intricacies involved in understanding coupled human-natural system. The two infections result from a very different asymmetric

  4. Understanding the Chronology and Occupation Dynamics of Oversized Pit Houses in the Southern Brazilian Highlands (United States)

    Gregorio de Souza, Jonas; Robinson, Mark; Corteletti, Rafael; Cárdenas, Macarena Lucia; Wolf, Sidnei; Iriarte, José; Mayle, Francis; DeBlasis, Paulo


    A long held view about the occupation of southern proto-Jê pit house villages of the southern Brazilian highlands is that these sites represent cycles of long-term abandonment and reoccupation. However, this assumption is based on an insufficient number of radiocarbon dates for individual pit houses. To address this problem, we conducted a programme of comprehensive AMS radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modelling at the deeply stratified oversized pit House 1, Baggio I site (Cal. A.D. 1395–1650), Campo Belo do Sul, Santa Catarina state, Brazil. The stratigraphy of House 1 revealed an unparalleled sequence of twelve well preserved floors evidencing a major change in occupation dynamics including five completely burnt collapsed roofs. The results of the radiocarbon dating allowed us to understand for the first time the occupation dynamics of an oversized pit house in the southern Brazilian highlands. The Bayesian model demonstrates that House 1 was occupied for over two centuries with no evidence of major periods of abandonment, calling into question previous models of long-term abandonment. In addition, the House 1 sequence allowed us to tie transformations in ceramic style and lithic technology to an absolute chronology. Finally, we can provide new evidence that the emergence of oversized domestic structures is a relatively recent phenomenon among the southern proto-Jê. As monumental pit houses start to be built, small pit houses continue to be inhabited, evidencing emerging disparities in domestic architecture after AD 1000. Our research shows the importance of programmes of intensive dating of individual structures to understand occupation dynamics and site permanence, and challenges long held assumptions that the southern Brazilian highlands were home to marginal cultures in the context of lowland South America. PMID:27384341

  5. 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 <1.0 and was negatively influenced by distance to roads and elevation gradient, averaging 0.08-0.56 across primary periods (distinct agricultural seasons within each 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Biological Water Dynamics and Entropy: A Biophysical Origin of Cancer and Other Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Seneff


    Full Text Available This paper postulates that water structure is altered by biomolecules as well as by disease-enabling entities such as certain solvated ions, and in turn water dynamics and structure affect the function of biomolecular interactions. Although the structural and dynamical alterations are subtle, they perturb a well-balanced system sufficiently to facilitate disease. We propose that the disruption of water dynamics between and within cells underlies many disease conditions. We survey recent advances in magnetobiology, nanobiology, and colloid and interface science that point compellingly to the crucial role played by the unique physical properties of quantum coherent nanomolecular clusters of magnetized water in enabling life at the cellular level by solving the “problems” of thermal diffusion, intracellular crowding, and molecular self-assembly. Interphase water and cellular surface tension, normally maintained by biological sulfates at membrane surfaces, are compromised by exogenous interfacial water stressors such as cationic aluminum, with consequences that include greater local water hydrophobicity, increased water tension, and interphase stretching. The ultimate result is greater “stiffness” in the extracellular matrix and either the “soft” cancerous state or the “soft” neurodegenerative state within cells. Our hypothesis provides a basis for understanding why so many idiopathic diseases of today are highly stereotyped and pluricausal.

  9. "Social Crimes": Understandings of HIV/AIDS as a Disease Among Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Vietnam. (United States)

    Harris, Lesley M; Boggiano, Victoria; Nguyen, Duy Thang


    Grandparent caregivers are vital to the survival of grandchildren who are orphaned and who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the meaning of HIV as a disease among grandparents raising grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS in northern Vietnam and to gain insight into how this understanding affected grandparents' relationships and health-seeking decisions. Results indicated that grandparents had knowledge deficits about the biomedical aspects of the disease and often hid their grandchildren's HIV status or preferred not to seek testing. Effective interventions must address stigma reduction, family relationships, and access to health care to increase testing and treatment of grandchildren.

  10. Understanding the dynamic interactions driving Zambian health centre performance: a case-based health systems analysis (United States)

    Topp, Stephanie M; Chipukuma, Julien M; Hanefeld, Johanna


    Background Despite being central to achieving improved population health outcomes, primary health centres in low- and middle-income settings continue to underperform. Little research exists to adequately explain how and why this is the case. This study aimed to test the relevance and usefulness of an adapted conceptual framework for improving our understanding of the mechanisms and causal pathways influencing primary health centre performance. Methods A theory-driven, case-study approach was adopted. Four Zambian health centres were purposefully selected with case data including health-care worker interviews (n = 60); patient interviews (n = 180); direct observation of facility operations (2 weeks/centre) and key informant interviews (n = 14). Data were analysed to understand how the performance of each site was influenced by the dynamic interactions between system ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ acting on mechanisms of accountability. Findings Structural constraints including limited resources created challenging service environments in which work overload and stockouts were common. Health workers’ frustration with such conditions interacted with dissatisfaction with salary levels eroding service values and acting as a catalyst for different forms of absenteeism. Such behaviours exacerbated patient–provider ratios and increased the frequency of clinical and administrative shortcuts. Weak health information systems and lack of performance data undermined providers’ answerability to their employer and clients, and a lack of effective sanctions undermined supervisors’ ability to hold providers accountable for these transgressions. Weak answerability and enforceability contributed to a culture of impunity that masked and condoned weak service performance in all four sites. Conclusions Health centre performance is influenced by mechanisms of accountability, which are in turn shaped by dynamic interactions between system hardware and system software. Our

  11. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information


    Damman, Olga C.; Bogaerts, Nina M. M.; van den Haak, Maaike J.; Timmermans, Danielle R. M.


    Abstract Background Disease risk calculators are increasingly web‐based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. Objective To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. Design A qualitative study was performed, using the risk calculator in the Dutch National Prevention Program for cardiometabolic diseases. The study consisted of three parts: (i) attention: completion of the risk calcula...

  12. The role of complex networks in behavior epidemiology. Comment on "Coupled disease-behavior dynamics on complex networks: A review" by Z. Wang et al. (United States)

    Zhao, Dawei; Wang, Lianhai


    Outbreaks of disease can trigger spontaneous behavioral response of individuals to consider prevention measures (mainly including medical cure and non-pharmaceutical intervention), which usually in turn influence the diffusion of epidemic, namely, forming the interplay between individual behaviors and epidemic dynamics. During the past decade, understanding such coupled disease-behavior dynamics in population has become a critical tool for predicting the disease evolution and designing effective prevention strategies [1-3].

  13. Collaborative Research. Damage and Burst Dynamics in Failure of Complex Geomaterials. A Statistical Physics Approach to Understanding the Complex Emergent Dynamics in Near Mean-Field Geological Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rundle, John B. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Klein, William [Boston Univ., MA (United States)


    We have carried out research to determine the dynamics of failure in complex geomaterials, specifically focusing on the role of defects, damage and asperities in the catastrophic failure processes (now popularly termed “Black Swan events”). We have examined fracture branching and flow processes using models for invasion percolation, focusing particularly on the dynamics of bursts in the branching process. We have achieved a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of nucleation in complex geomaterials, specifically in the presence of inhomogeneous structures.

  14. The Alzheimer Disease Afflicted: Understanding the Disease and the Resident Instructors Guide and Teaching Materials. (United States)

    Marcec, Andrew

    The learning modules contained in this document are designed to permit instructors in many settings to deliver high quality training to caregivers of Alzheimers' disease patients. Instructors can prepare by reviewing the Instructor's Guide which outlines the behavioral objectives each learner will be expected to achieve to complete the module as…

  15. Comparison of MHD simulation codes for understanding nonlinear ELMs dynamics in KSTAR H-mode plasma (United States)

    Kim, M.; Lee, J.; Park, H. K.; Yun, G. S.; Xu, X.; Jardin, S. C.; Becoulet, M.


    KSTAR electron cyclotron emission imaging (ECEI) systems have contributed to understanding the fundamental physics of ELMs by high-quality 2D and quasi-3D images of ELMs. However, in the highly nonlinear phase of ELM dynamics, the interpretation of ECE signals becomes complicated intrinsically. Theoretical and numerical approaches are necessary to enhance the understanding of ELM physics. Well-established MHD codes (BOUT + + , JOREK, and M3D-C1) are introduced for comparative study with the observations. The nonlinear solutions are obtained using the same equilibrium of the KSTAR H-mode plasma. Each code shows the partial difference in mode evolution, probably, due to the difference in optimized operation window of initial conditions. The nonlinear simulation results show that low- n (n qualitatively matches with the recent ECEI observation just before ELM-crash, or excitation of non-modal solitary perturbation (typically, n = 1) which is highly localized in poloidal and toroidal. Regardless of differences in details, qualitative similarity can provide inspiration to understand the triggering of ELM-crash. This work is supported by NRF of Korea under Contract No. NRF-2014M1A7A1A03029865.

  16. 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.

  17. Acute colonic diverticulitis: modern understanding of pathomechanisms, risk factors, disease burden and severity. (United States)

    Søreide, Kjetil; Boermeester, Marja A; Humes, David J; Velmahos, George C


    Conservative, non-antibiotic and non-surgical management of acute diverticulitis is currently being investigated. To better inform clinical decisions, better understanding of disease mechanisms, disease burden and severity is needed. Literature search of risk factors, pathophysiology, epidemiology and disease burden/severity reported over the last decade. Acute diverticulitis is a common disease and has a high disease burden. Incidence of hospital admissions is reported around 71 per 100,000 population, with reported increase in several subpopulations over the last decades. The incidence is likely to increase further with the aging populations. Risk factors for left-sided acute diverticulitis include dietary, anthropometric and lifestyle factors. Disease mechanisms are still poorly understood, but a distinction between inflammation and infection is emerging. The integrative and complex role of the gut microbiota has become an interesting factor for both understanding the disease as well as a potential target for intervention using probiotics. Mild, self-limiting events are increasingly reported from studies of successful non-antibiotic management in a considerable number of cases. Risk markers of progression to or presence of severe, complicated disease are needed for better disease stratification. Current risk stratification by clinical, imaging or endoscopic means is imperfect and needs validation. Long-term results from minimal-invasive and comparative surgical trials may better help inform clinicians and patients. Over- and under-treatment as well as over- and under-diagnosis of severity is likely to continue in clinical practice due to lack of reliable, robust and universal severity and classification systems. Better understanding of pathophysiology is needed.

  18. Challenges to understanding spatial patterns of disease: philosophical alternatives to logical positivism. (United States)

    Mayer, J D


    Most studies of disease distribution, in medical geography and other related disciplines, have been empirical in nature and rooted in the assumptions of logical positivism. However, some of the more newly articulated philosophies of the social sciences, and of social theory, have much to add in the understanding of the processes and mechanisms underlying disease distribution. This paper represents a plea for creative synthesis between logical positivism and realism or structuration, and uses specific examples to suggest how disease distribution, as a surface phenomenon, can be explained using deeper analysis.

  19. Describing meningococcal disease: understanding, perceptions and feelings of people in a regional area of NSW, Australia. (United States)

    Kohlhagen, Julie; Massey, Peter D; Taylor, Kylie A; Osbourn, Maggi; Maple, Myfanwy


    To explore understanding, perceptions and feelings about meningococcal disease in members of higher risk groups. To explore what people say are the most important health messages and communication preferences about invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). Three focus groups and two semistructured interviews were conducted with people at higher risk of IMD in Hunter New England Local Health District in New South Wales. Participants generally had a low understanding of IMD, but described intense feelings about the disease and empathy for those who had experienced the disease. Fear of stigma and the impact of stigma were identified. Participants identified reasons for delaying presentation for care as perceptions of invincibility (particularly among young people), the cost of care (for all groups), and racism (particularly for Aboriginal people). These issues were both potential and experienced barriers for participants accessing help when acutely unwell. Factors for effective communication to improve understanding of IMD included the communication being acceptable, accessible and appropriate. IMD is a serious but uncommon disease that has a range of impacts on people, families and communities. Higher risk groups may benefit from receiving more appropriate and accessible information about early signs and symptoms of IMD. Communication and understanding about the disease could be improved by working with new technologies and partnering with key people in high-risk groups. Use of text messages and social networking for urgent communication could be considered and trialled in public health practice. It is also important to recognise the potential direct or indirect experience of racism and stigma for patients with IMD and their families. Management of IMD could be strengthened by connecting people and families with support groups or services to reduce the impact of the disease.

  20. The decline and rise of coronary heart disease: understanding public health catastrophism. (United States)

    Jones, David S; Greene, Jeremy A


    The decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States and Western Europe is one of the great accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Cardiologists and cardiovascular epidemiologists have devoted significant effort to disease surveillance and epidemiological modeling to understand its causes. One unanticipated outcome of these efforts has been the detection of early warnings that the decline had slowed, plateaued, or even reversed. These subtle signs have been interpreted as evidence of an impending public health catastrophe. This article traces the history of research on coronary heart disease decline and resurgence and situates it in broader narratives of public health catastrophism. Juxtaposing the coronary heart disease literature alongside the narratives of emerging and reemerging infectious disease helps to identify patterns in how public health researchers create data and craft them into powerful narratives of progress or pessimism. These narratives, in turn, shape public health policy.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Using a metagenomic approach to improve our understanding of Armillaria root disease (United States)

    Amy Ross-Davis; Matt Settles; John W. Hanna; John D. Shaw; Andrew T. Hudak; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Ned B. Klopfenstein


    Metagenomics has illuminated our understanding of how microbial communities influence health and disease. Researchers are beginning to characterize what constitutes healthy microbiota in terms of structure, function, and diversity in a variety of environments. Although investigation lags behind the more well-studied human microbiome, a growing body of research is using...

  4. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damman, Olga C; Bogaerts, Nina M M; van den Haak, Maaike J; Timmermans, Danielle R M


    BACKGROUND: Disease risk calculators are increasingly web-based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. OBJECTIVE: To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. DESIGN: A qualitative study

  5. 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...... 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 'The white blood cell always eat the red': how Jamaicans with sickle cell disease understand their illness. (United States)

    Anderson, Moji; Asnani, Monika


    To explore lay understandings of sickle cell disease (SCD) among Jamaicans living with the illness. There is no qualitative research on this subject in Jamaica, where SCD is the most common genetic disorder. Thirty in-depth semi-structured interviews (50% males, 50% urban residence) were conducted with adult patients attending the Sickle Cell Unit in Jamaica. Transcribed data were analysed using thematic analysis. Patients' narratives focused on two main themes: lay understandings of how SCD works (using ideas of attack and fortification, and blockage and flow); and what causes the illness (lay ideas of inheritance). The most common description of SCD was that their white blood cells were 'eating/sucking out/feeding on' their red blood cells. Hence, treatment required 'building up' their blood, while a key to good health was ensuring an unimpeded flow of blood. Most participants believed SCD was hereditary, but there were various understandings of the mechanism and probability of its transmission. Belief in the possibility of transmitting SCD was not always a barrier to reproduction, nor did participants always insist on their partner or child being tested. Participants engaged in medical pluralism, a dynamic combination of folk and biomedical beliefs. Their concerns, experiences and interpretations were powerful motivators of reproductive and screening behaviour. Their narratives of SCD transcend the individual to express social, societal and cultural realities. Health care professionals and policy-makers should communicate clearly to ensure understanding, and recognize and engage with their patients' sociocultural context.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Recent advances in understanding climate, glacier and river dynamics in high mountain Asia (United States)

    Immerzeel, W.


    The water cycle in the Himalaya is poorly understood because of its extreme topography that results in complex interactions between climate, water stored in snow and glaciers and the hydrological processes. Hydrological extremes in the greater Himalayas regularly cause great damage, while high mountain Asia also supplies water to over 25% of the global population. So, the stakes are high and an accurate understanding of the Himalayan water cycle is imperative. The hydrology of the greater Himalayas is only marginally resolved due to the intricacy of monsoon dynamics, the poorly quantified dependence on the cryosphere and the physical constraints of doing research in high-altitude and generally inaccessible terrain. However, in recent years significant scientific advances have been made in field monitoring, modelling and remote sensing and the latest progress and outstanding challenges will be presented for three related fields. First focus will be on recent learnings about high altitude climate dynamics and the interaction between the atmosphere and the extreme mountain topography. Secondly, recent advances in how climate controls key glacio-hydrological processes in high-altitude catchments will be discussed with a particular focus on debris covered glaciers. Thirdly, new developments in glacio-hydrological modelling and approaches to climate change impact assessments will be reviewed. Finally, the outstanding scientific challenges will be synthesized that need to be addressed to fully close the high mountain water cycle and to be able to reduce the uncertainty in future projections of water availability and the occurrence of extreme events in high mountain Asia.

  11. 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.


    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.

  13. Domain decomposition-based structural condensation of large protein structures for understanding their conformational dynamics. (United States)

    Kim, Jae In; Na, Sungsoo; Eom, Kilho


    Normal mode analysis (NMA) with coarse-grained model, such as elastic network model (ENM), has allowed the quantitative understanding of protein dynamics. As the protein size is increased, there emerges the expensive computational process to find the dynamically important low-frequency normal modes due to diagonalization of massive Hessian matrix. In this study, we have provided the domain decomposition-based structural condensation method that enables the efficient computations on low-frequency motions. Specifically, our coarse-graining method is established by coupling between model condensation (MC; Eom et al., J Comput Chem 2007, 28, 1400) and component mode synthesis (Kim et al., J Chem Theor Comput 2009, 5, 1931). A protein structure is first decomposed into substructural units, and then each substructural unit is coarse-grained by MC. Once the NMA is implemented to coarse-grained substructural units, normal modes and natural frequencies for each coarse-grained substructural unit are assembled by using geometric constraints to provide the normal modes and natural frequencies for whole protein structure. It is shown that our coarse-graining method enhances the computational efficiency for analysis of large protein complexes. It is clearly suggested that our coarse-graining method provides the B-factors of 100 large proteins, quantitatively comparable with those obtained from original NMA, with computational efficiency. Moreover, the collective behaviors and/or the correlated motions for model proteins are well delineated by our suggested coarse-grained models, quantitatively comparable with those computed from original NMA. It is implied that our coarse-grained method enables the computationally efficient studies on conformational dynamics of large protein complex.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Understanding hydro-climatic drivers of infectious diarrheal diseases in South Asia and their projected risks from regional climate models (United States)

    Hasan, M. A.; Akanda, A. S.; Jutla, A.; Huq, A.; Colwell, R. R.


    Diarrheal diseases remain a major threat to global public health and are the second largest cause of death for children under the age of five. Cholera and Rotavirus diarrhea together comprise more than two-thirds of the diarrheal morbidity in South Asia. Recent studies have shown strong influences of hydrologic processes and climatic variabilities on the onset, intensity, and seasonality of the outbreaks of these diseases. However, our understanding of the propagation and manifestation of these diseases in a changing climate in vulnerable regions of the world are still limited. In this study, we build on our understanding of the role of the hydro-climatic drivers of diarrheal diseases in South Asia in recent decades to project the probable risks of the diseases in this century using the climate projection scenarios from dynamically downscaled climate models. To build the current model, we conducted a multivariate logistic regression assessment using 34 climate indices to examine the role of temperature and rainfall extremes over the seasonality of rotavirus and cholera over a South Asian country, Bangladesh. We utilize the availability of long and reliable time-series of cholera and rotavirus from Bangladesh and conducted a temporal and spatial analysis derived from both ground and satellite observations. For projecting the future risks of the diseases, we used five bias-corrected Regional Climate Model (RCM) results of the CMIP5 series under the RCP 4.5 scenario. Cholera risk shows a significantly higher rate of increase compared to Rotavirus in Bangladesh in the 21st century. As the disease is significantly influenced by extreme rainfall, majority projections showed a significant increase in flood-driven cholera risk. Most RCMs suggest a warmer winter in future years, suggesting reduced risk for Rotavirus. However, as the dryness of the climate is also highly correlated with rotavirus epidemics, the incremental risk of the disease due to drier winters would

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Modelling inter-human transmission dynamics of Chagas disease: analysis and application. (United States)

    Fabrizio, M C; Schweigmann, N J; Bartoloni, N J


    Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease, has expanded from rural endemic to urban areas due to migration. This so-called urban Chagas is an emerging health problem in American, European, Australian and Japanese cities. We present a mathematical model to analyse the dynamics of urban Chagas to better understand its epidemiology. The model considers the three clinical stages of the disease and the main routes of inter-human transmission. To overcome the complexities of the infection dynamics, the next-generation matrix method was developed. We deduced expressions which allowed estimating the number of new infections generated by an infected individual through each transmission route at each disease stage, the basic reproduction number and the number of individuals at each disease stage at the outbreak of the infection. The analysis was applied to Buenos Aires city (Argentina). We estimated that 94% of the new infections are generated by individuals in the chronic indeterminate stage. When migration was not considered, the infection disappeared slowly and R0 = 0.079, whereas when migration was considered, the number of individuals in each stage of the infection tended to stabilize. The expressions can be used to estimate different numbers of infected individuals in any place where only inter-human transmission is possible.

  2. Understanding the formidable nail barrier: A review of the nail microstructure, composition and diseases. (United States)

    Baswan, Sudhir; Kasting, Gerald B; Li, S Kevin; Wickett, Randy; Adams, Brian; Eurich, Sean; Schamper, Ryan


    The topical treatment of nail fungal infections has been a focal point of nail research in the past few decades as it offers a much safer and focused alternative to conventional oral therapy. Although the current focus remains on exploring the ways of enhancing permeation through the formidable nail barrier, the understanding of the nail microstructure and composition is far from complete. This article reviews our current understanding of the nail microstructure, composition and diseases. A few of the parameters affecting the nail permeability and potential causes of the recurrence of fungal nail infection are also discussed. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...... well the patient understands his/her disease and how to handle the therapy. In this respect, a PDNS is a vital member of the MDT who provides education and training, support, and is available for consultation when problems arise. In this article, we review the literature on the contribution of PDNSs...

  5. Modeling infectious disease dynamics in the complex landscape of global health (United States)

    Heesterbeek, Hans; Anderson, Roy; Andreasen, Viggo; Bansal, Shweta; De Angelis, Daniela; Dye, Chris; Eames, Ken; Edmunds, John; Frost, Simon; Funk, Sebastian; Hollingsworth, Deirdre; House, Thomas; Isham, Valerie; Klepac, Petra; Lessler, Justin; Lloyd-Smith, James; Metcalf, Jessica; Mollison, Denis; Pellis, Lorenzo; Pulliam, Juliet; Roberts, Mick; 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, which even within a single pathogen often span hours to months, cellular to ecosystem levels, and local to pandemic spread. Some pathogens are directly transmitted between individuals of a single species, while others circulate among multiple hosts, need arthropod vectors, or can survive in environmental reservoirs. Many factors, including increasing antimicrobial resistance, increased human connectivity, and dynamic human behavior, raise prevention and control from formerly national to international issues. In the face of this complexity, mathematical models offer essential tools for synthesizing information to understand epidemiological patterns, and for developing the quantitative evidence base for decision-making in global health. PMID:25766240

  6. 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

  7. World Trade, disease and Florida's animal populations. The changing dynamics. (United States)

    Coffman, L M


    One of Florida's three leading economic industries is agriculture. Agriculture feeds and enhances the lives of millions of people in Florida, the United States, and the entire world. Agriculture in Florida results in more than $6 billion in farm cash receipts, employment for more than 60,000 people a month, more than $18 billion in farm-related economic activity and stretches from the farm gate to the state's supermarkets with an impact of nearly $45 billion. The domestic and wild animal populations of Florida, our unique relationship to the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Central and South America, as well as tourism, diverse human population growth and immigration, all add to the complexity of an environment capable of establishing many animals, animal pests and diseases not native to the United States. Never before have the dynamics of disease control involved as much challenge and diversity. Is the balance at risk, or is the risk over-balanced? Can science, economics and politics blend to maintain this balance? How will the balance affect world trade, disease control and the animal populations of Florida?

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamic Three-Dimensional Shoulder Mri during Active Motion for Investigation of Rotator Cuff Diseases. (United States)

    Tempelaere, Christine; Pierrart, Jérome; Lefèvre-Colau, Marie-Martine; Vuillemin, Valérie; Cuénod, Charles-André; Hansen, Ulrich; Mir, Olivier; Skalli, Wafa; Gregory, Thomas


    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.

  10. Drosophila in the Heart of Understanding Cardiac Diseases: Modeling Channelopathies and Cardiomyopathies in the Fruitfly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouarda Taghli-Lamallem


    Full Text Available Cardiovascular diseases and, among them, channelopathies and cardiomyopathies are a major cause of death worldwide. The molecular and genetic defects underlying these cardiac disorders are complex, leading to a large range of structural and functional heart phenotypes. Identification of molecular and functional mechanisms disrupted by mutations causing channelopathies and cardiomyopathies is essential to understanding the link between an altered gene and clinical phenotype. The development of animal models has been proven to be efficient for functional studies in channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. In particular, the Drosophila model has been largely applied for deciphering the molecular and cellular pathways affected in these inherited cardiac disorders and for identifying their genetic modifiers. Here we review the utility and the main contributions of the fruitfly models for the better understanding of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. We also discuss the investigated pathological mechanisms and the discoveries of evolutionarily conserved pathways which reinforce the value of Drosophila in modeling human cardiac diseases.

  11. Identifying climate drivers of infectious disease dynamics: recent advances and challenges ahead. (United States)

    Metcalf, C Jessica E; Walter, Katharine S; Wesolowski, Amy; Buckee, Caroline O; Shevliakova, Elena; Tatem, Andrew J; Boos, William R; Weinberger, Daniel M; Pitzer, Virginia E


    Climate change is likely to profoundly modulate the burden of infectious diseases. However, attributing health impacts to a changing climate requires being able to associate changes in infectious disease incidence with the potentially complex influences of climate. This aim is further complicated by nonlinear feedbacks inherent in the dynamics of many infections, driven by the processes of immunity and transmission. Here, we detail the mechanisms by which climate drivers can shape infectious disease incidence, from direct effects on vector life history to indirect effects on human susceptibility, and detail the scope of variation available with which to probe these mechanisms. We review approaches used to evaluate and quantify associations between climate and infectious disease incidence, discuss the array of data available to tackle this question, and detail remaining challenges in understanding the implications of climate change for infectious disease incidence. We point to areas where synthesis between approaches used in climate science and infectious disease biology provide potential for progress. © 2017 The Authors.

  12. Understanding movement control in infants through the analysis of limb intersegmental dynamics. (United States)

    Schneider, K; Zernicke, R F; Ulrich, B D; Jensen, J L; Thelen, E


    One important component in the understanding of the control of limb movements is the way in which the central nervous system accounts for joint forces and torques that may be generated not only by muscle actions but by gravity and by passive reactions related to the movements of limb segments. In this study, we asked how the neuromotor system of young infants controls a range of active and passive forces to produce a stereotypic, nonintentional movement. We specifically analyzed limb intersegmental dynamics in spontaneous, cyclic leg movements (kicking) of varying intensity in supine 3-month-old human infants. Using inverse dynamics, we calculated the contributions of active (muscular) and passive (motion-dependent and gravitational) torque components at the hip, knee, and ankle joints from three-dimensional limb kinematics. To calculate joint torques, accurate estimates were needed of the limb's anthropometric parameters, which we determined using a model of the human body. Our analysis of limb intersegmental dynamics explicitly quantified the complex interplay of active and passive forces producing the simple, involuntary kicking movements commonly seen in 3-month-old infants. our results revealed that in nonvigorous kicks, hip joint reversal was the result of an extensor torque due to gravity, opposed by the combined flexor effect of the muscle torque and the total motion-dependent torque. The total motion-dependent torque increased as a hip flexor torque in more vigorous kicks; an extensor muscle torque was necessary to counteract the flexor influences of the total motion-dependent torque and, in the case of large ranges of motion, a flexor gravity torque as well. Thus, with changing passive torque influences due to motions of the linked segments, the muscle torques were adjusted to produce a net torque to reverse the kicking motion. As a consequence, despite considerable heterogeneity in the intensity, range of motion, coordination, and movement context of

  13. Rethinking the patient: using Burden of Treatment Theory to understand the changing dynamics of illness. (United States)

    May, Carl R; Eton, David T; Boehmer, Kasey; Gallacher, Katie; Hunt, Katherine; MacDonald, Sara; Mair, Frances S; May, Christine M; Montori, Victor M; Richardson, Alison; Rogers, Anne E; Shippee, Nathan


    In this article we outline Burden of Treatment Theory, a new model of the relationship between sick people, their social networks, and healthcare services. Health services face the challenge of growing populations with long-term and life-limiting conditions, they have responded to this by delegating to sick people and their networks routine work aimed at managing symptoms, and at retarding - and sometimes preventing - disease progression. This is the new proactive work of patient-hood for which patients are increasingly accountable: founded on ideas about self-care, self-empowerment, and self-actualization, and on new technologies and treatment modalities which can be shifted from the clinic into the community. These place new demands on sick people, which they may experience as burdens of treatment. As the burdens accumulate some patients are overwhelmed, and the consequences are likely to be poor healthcare outcomes for individual patients, increasing strain on caregivers, and rising demand and costs of healthcare services. In the face of these challenges we need to better understand the resources that patients draw upon as they respond to the demands of both burdens of illness and burdens of treatment, and the ways that resources interact with healthcare utilization. Burden of Treatment Theory is oriented to understanding how capacity for action interacts with the work that stems from healthcare. Burden of Treatment Theory is a structural model that focuses on the work that patients and their networks do. It thus helps us understand variations in healthcare utilization and adherence in different healthcare settings and clinical contexts.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Visual analytics for epidemiologists: understanding the interactions between age, time, and disease with multi-panel graphs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth K H Chui


    Full Text Available Visual analytics, a technique aiding data analysis and decision making, is a novel tool that allows for a better understanding of the context of complex systems. Public health professionals can greatly benefit from this technique since context is integral in disease monitoring and biosurveillance. We propose a graphical tool that can reveal the distribution of an outcome by time and age simultaneously.We introduce and demonstrate multi-panel (MP graphs applied in four different settings: U.S. national influenza-associated and salmonellosis-associated hospitalizations among the older adult population (≥65 years old, 1991-2004; confirmed salmonellosis cases reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the general population, 2004-2005; and asthma-associated hospital visits for children aged 0-18 at Milwaukee Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, 1997-2006. We illustrate trends and anomalies that otherwise would be obscured by traditional visualization techniques such as case pyramids and time-series plots.MP graphs can weave together two vital dynamics--temporality and demographics--that play important roles in the distribution and spread of diseases, making these graphs a powerful tool for public health and disease biosurveillance efforts.

  17. 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”.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS: utility for understanding disease pathophysiology and treatment (United States)



    While no single model can exactly recapitulate all aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS), animal models are essential in understanding the induction and pathogenesis of the disease and to develop therapeutic strategies that limit disease progression and eventually lead to effective treatments for the human disease. Several different models of MS exist, but by far the best understood and most commonly used is the rodent model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). This model is typically induced by either active immunization with myelin-derived proteins or peptides in adjuvant or by passive transfer of activated myelin-specific CD4+ T lymphocytes. Mouse models are most frequently used because of the inbred genotype of laboratory mice, their rapid breeding capacity, the ease of genetic manipulation, and availability of transgenic and knockout mice to facilitate mechanistic studies. Although not all therapeutic strategies for MS have been developed in EAE, all of the current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved immunomodulatory drugs are effective to some degree in treating EAE, a strong indicator that EAE is an extremely useful model to study potential treatments for MS. Several therapies, such as glatiramer acetate (GA: Copaxone), and natalizumab (Tysabri), were tested first in the mouse model of EAE and then went on to clinical trials. Here we discuss the usefulness of the EAE model in understanding basic disease pathophysiology and developing treatments for MS as well as the potential drawbacks of this model. PMID:24507518

  1. Experiences in early stage Alzheimer's disease: understanding the paradox of acceptance and denial. (United States)

    MacQuarrie, Colleen R


    A wealth of information about the biomedical aspects of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent dementia among people over age 65, stands in counterpoint to the lack of systematic inquiry around the lived experiences of people with AD. Thirteen (four women, nine men) people, recently diagnosed with early stage AD, participated in this 6-month longitudinal study. This paper reports on AD participant's interviews which focussed on their experiences of AD symptoms, relationships with family and friends, and thoughts about the future. The transcribed interviews, analysed using methodological hermeneutics, revealed a constitutive theme of agency versus objectification and explained the paradox of why people with AD use both acceptance and denial when speaking about their experiences. Participants simultaneously acknowledged and resisted aspects of their disease in order to maintain agency in the face of cognitive losses. Acknowledgement was expressed through the themes involving acceptance of the disease and its symptoms, expression of feelings about the disease, and strategies to cope with the symptoms. Resistance was expressed in themes involving denial, minimization, normalization, and reminiscence about achievements and experiences of competence. Longitudinal analyses of the narratives indicated themes held across time. This research contributes to understanding how people live with early stage AD. Living with AD should not be described as either denial or acceptance, but rather as a paradox of understanding that includes both acknowledgement and resistance.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Importance of Understanding MHC-I Diversity in Nonhuman Primate Models of Human Infectious Diseases. (United States)

    Maness, Nicholas J


    Decades of research, including the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine, confirm the evolutionary and immunological importance of CD8 T lymphocytes (TCD8+) that target peptides bound by the highly variable major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) proteins. However, their perceived importance has varied dramatically over the past decade. Regardless, there remains myriad reasons to consider the diversity of MHC-I alleles and the TCD8+ that target them as enormously important in infectious disease research. Thus, understanding these molecules in the best animal models of human disease could be a necessity for optimizing the translational potential of these models. Knowledge of macaque MHC has substantially improved their utility for modeling HIV and could aid in modeling other viruses as well, both in the context of distribution of alleles across treatment groups in vaccine trials and in deciphering mechanisms of immune control of pathogens for which specific MHC alleles demonstrate differential impacts on disease.

  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. Long-term analysis of Zostera noltei: A retrospective approach for understanding seagrasses' dynamics. (United States)

    Calleja, Felipe; Galván, Cristina; Silió-Calzada, Ana; Juanes, José A; Ondiviela, Bárbara


    Long-term studies are necessary to establish trends and to understand seagrasses' spatial and temporal dynamic. Nevertheless, this type of research is scarce, as the required databases are often unavailable. The objectives of this study are to create a method for mapping the seagrass Zostera noltei using remote sensing techniques, and to apply it to the characterization of the meadows' extension trend and the potential drivers of change. A time series was created using a novel method based on remote sensing techniques that proved to be adequate for mapping the seagrass in the emerged intertidal. The meadows seem to have a decreasing trend between 1984 and the early 2000s, followed by an increasing tendency that represents a recovery in the extension area of the species. This 30-year analysis demonstrated the Z. noltei's recovery in the study site, similar to that in other estuaries nearby and contrary to the worldwide decreasing behavior of seagrasses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Understanding the Dynamics of the Coupled Ring Current Radiation Belt System Using 4D VERB Simulations (United States)

    Shprits, Y.; Kellerman, A. C.; Drozdov, A.; Orlova, K.; Spasojevic, M.


    Predicting and understanding the non-linear response of different electron populations in the inner magnetosphere, including ring current and higher energy radiation belts, has been a grand challenge since the beginning of the space age. During this past decade, there have been a number of long-term simulations that used lower energy boundary condition observations around geosynchronous orbit. In this study, we set up observations at around 15 RE and study how the combined convective-diffusive transport can result in the acceleration of keV to relativistic and ultra-relativistic energies. We show that while lower energy radial transport is dominated by the convection, higher energy transport is dominated by the diffusive radial transport. MLT dependent diffusion confidents allow us to study how difference in wave properties at different MLT can influence the dynamics of the particles. Inclusion of adiabatic changes also allows us to study the radial transport that results from pitch-angle scattering and adiabatic changes. We also show that there exists an intermediate range of energies for electrons for which both processes work simultaneously. We show the comparison of the 4D VERB simulations with the Van Allen Probes measurements.

  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. Land use and land cover dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon: understanding human-environmental interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza Soler, de L.


    Land use and land cover dynamics are a result of the interactions between human activities and the environment. The objective of this thesis is to analyze Amazonian land use and land cover pattern dynamics in order to identify the underlying system dynamics. By combining empirical statistical

  10. 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…

  11. Understanding Visceral Leishmaniasis Disease Transmission and its Control—A Study Based on Mathematical Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Subramanian


    Full Text Available Understanding the transmission and control of visceral leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease that manifests in human and animals, still remains a challenging problem globally. To study the nature of disease spread, we have developed a compartment-based mathematical model of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis transmission among three different populations—human, animal and sandfly; dividing the human class into asymptomatic, symptomatic, post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis and transiently infected. We analyzed this large model for positivity, boundedness and stability around steady states in different diseased and disease-free scenarios and derived the analytical expression for basic reproduction number (R0. Sensitive parameters for each infected population were identified and varied to observe their effects on the steady state. Epidemic threshold R0 was calculated for every parameter variation. Animal population was identified to play a protective role in absorbing infection, thereby controlling the disease spread in human. To test the predictive ability of the model, seasonal fluctuation was incorporated in the birth rate of the sandflies to compare the model predictions with real data. Control scenarios on this real population data were created to predict the degree of control that can be exerted on the sensitive parameters so as to effectively reduce the infected populations.

  12. Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Rippe


    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Development of a social-hydrological-health framework for understanding risks of occurrence of diarrheal diseases (United States)

    Khan, M. R. H.; Jutla, A.; Colwell, R. R.


    Diarrheal diseases continue to pose a severe health threat in regions where sanitation facilities remain marginal and are prone to destruction. With limited efficacy of vaccines, it is important to device alternate methods to determine environmental conditions favorable for diarrheal diseases. Several vibrios (V. cholerae., V. vulnificus, V. parahaemolyticus) have characteristic signatures that are associated with large scale climatic processes. The interactions of vibrios with humans eventually lead to outbreak of diseases. Here, using cholera as one of the signature diarrheal disease, we present a framework coupling social, hydrological and microbiological understanding with satellite remote sensing data to predict environmental conditions associated with outbreak of disease in several regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Hydroclimatic processes, primarily precipitation and temperature are found to be strongly associated with epidemic and episodic outbreak of cholera. We will present an algorithm to classify regions susceptible to risks of outbreak cholera using profile method in five epidemic regions of Mozambique, Central African Republic, Cameroon, South Sudan and Rwanda. Conditions for occurrence of cholera were detectable at least one month in advance. Using spatial land surface temperature (LST) data from satellites along with water accessibility data and population data, the implementation of the algorithm aid in classification of cholera risk regions.

  14. 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.

  15. Understanding multicellular function and disease with human tissue-specific networks (United States)

    Greene, Casey S.; Krishnan, Arjun; Wong, Aaron K.; Ricciotti, Emanuela; Zelaya, Rene A.; Himmelstein, Daniel S.; Zhang, Ran; Hartmann, Boris M.; Zaslavsky, Elena; Sealfon, Stuart C.; Chasman, Daniel I.; FitzGerald, Garret A.; Dolinski, Kara; Grosser, Tilo; Troyanskaya, Olga G.


    Tissue and cell-type identity lie at the core of human physiology and disease. Understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex tissues and individual cell lineages is crucial for developing improved diagnostics and therapeutics. We present genome-wide functional interaction networks for 144 human tissues and cell types developed using a data-driven Bayesian methodology that integrates thousands of diverse experiments spanning tissue and disease states. Tissue-specific networks predict lineage-specific responses to perturbation, reveal genes’ changing functional roles across tissues, and illuminate disease-disease relationships. We introduce NetWAS, which combines genes with nominally significant GWAS p-values and tissue-specific networks to identify disease-gene associations more accurately than GWAS alone. Our webserver, GIANT, provides an interface to human tissue networks through multi-gene queries, network visualization, analysis tools including NetWAS, and downloadable networks. GIANT enables systematic exploration of the landscape of interacting genes that shape specialized cellular functions across more than one hundred human tissues and cell types. PMID:25915600

  16. Understanding the Extent and Sources of Variation in Gut Microbiota Studies; a Prerequisite for Establishing Associations with Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Baer


    Full Text Available Humans harbor distinct commensal microbiota at various anatomic sites. There has been renewed interest in the contributions of microbiota activities to human health and disease. The microbiota of the gut is the most complex of all anatomic sites in terms of total numbers of bacteria that interact closely with the mucosal immune system and contribute various functions to host physiology. Especially in the proximal large intestine a diverse microbiota ferments complex substrates such as dietary fiber and host mucins, but also metabolizes bile acids and phytoestrogens that reach the large intestine. It is now well established that microbiota composition differs between but over time also within individuals. However, a thorough understanding of the sources of variations in microbiota composition, which is an important requirement for large population based microbiota studies is lacking. Microbiota composition varies depending on what kind of sample is collected, most commonly stool samples, stool swabs or superficial rectal or intestinal biopsies, and the time of collection. Microbiota dynamics are affected by life style factors including diet and exercise that determine what nutrients reach the proximal colon and how fast these nutrients pass through (transit time. Here we review sample collection issues in gut microbiota studies and recent findings about dynamics in microbiota composition. We recommend standardizing human microbiota analysis methods to facilitate comparison and pooling between studies. Finally, we outline a need for prospective microbiota studies in large human cohorts.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Making headway in understanding pine wilt disease: what do we perceive in the postgenomic era? (United States)

    Shinya, Ryoji; Morisaka, Hironobu; Takeuchi, Yuko; Futai, Kazuyoshi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi


    The advent of next generation sequencing has revolutionized research approaches to biology by making entire genome sequences available and marking a new age in biology that has the potential to open innovative research avenues in various fields. Genome sequencing is now being applied in the fields of forest ecology and forest pathology, which previously had limited access to molecular techniques. One of the most advanced areas of progress is the study of "pine wilt disease", which is caused by the parasitic nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The entire genome sequence of B. xylophilus was determined in 2011, and since then, proteomic studies have been conducted to understand the molecular basis of the parasitism and pathogenicity of B. xylophilus. These postgenomic studies have provided numerous molecular insights and greatly changed our understanding of the pathogenesis of pine wilt disease. Here, we review the recent advances in genomic and proteomic approaches that address some of the longstanding questions behind the pathogenesis of pine wilt disease and have identified future questions and directions in this regard. Copyright © 2013 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Pathophysiology of gastroesophageal reflux disease: new understanding in a new era. (United States)

    Herregods, T V K; Bredenoord, A J; Smout, A J P M


    The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has increased in the last decades and it is now one of the most common chronic diseases. Throughout time our insight in the pathophysiology of GERD has been characterized by remarkable back and forth swings, often prompted by new investigational techniques. Even today, the pathophysiology of GERD is not fully understood but it is now recognized to be a multifactorial disease. Among the factors that have been shown to be involved in the provocation or increase of reflux, are sliding hiatus hernia, low lower esophageal sphincter pressure, transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, the acid pocket, obesity, increased distensibility of the esophagogastric junction, prolonged esophageal clearance, and delayed gastric emptying. Moreover, multiple mechanisms influence the perception of GERD symptoms, such as the acidity of the refluxate, its proximal extent, the presence of gas in the refluxate, duodenogastroesophageal reflux, longitudinal muscle contraction, mucosal integrity, and peripheral and central sensitization. Understanding the pathophysiology of GERD is important for future targets for therapy as proton pump inhibitor-refractory GERD symptoms remain a common problem. In this review we provide an overview of the mechanisms leading to reflux and the factors influencing perception, in the light of historical developments. It is clear that further research remains necessary despite the recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of GERD. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. The Exposome Research Paradigm: an Opportunity to Understand the Environmental Basis for Human Health and Disease. (United States)

    Buck Louis, Germaine M; Smarr, Melissa M; Patel, Chirag J


    This paper presents an overview of the exposome research paradigm with particular application to understanding human reproduction and development and its implications for health across a lifespan. The exposome research paradigm has generated considerable discussion about its feasibility and utility for delineating the impact of environmental exposures on human health. Early initiatives are underway, including smaller proof-of-principle studies and larger concerted efforts. Despite the notable challenges underlying the exposome paradigm, analytic techniques are being developed to handle its untargeted approach and correlated and multi-level or hierarchical data structures such initiatives generate, while considering multiple comparisons. The relatively short intervals for critical and sensitive windows of human reproduction and development seem well suited for exposome research and may revolutionize our understanding of later onset diseases. Early initiatives suggest that the exposome paradigm is feasible, but its utility remains to be established with applications to population human health research.

  8. Combating mutations in genetic disease and drug resistance: understanding molecular mechanisms to guide drug design. (United States)

    Albanaz, Amanda T S; Rodrigues, Carlos H M; Pires, Douglas E V; Ascher, David B


    Mutations introduce diversity into genomes, leading to selective changes and driving evolution. These changes have contributed to the emergence of many of the current major health concerns of the 21st century, from the development of genetic diseases and cancers to the rise and spread of drug resistance. The experimental systematic testing of all mutations in a system of interest is impractical and not cost-effective, which has created interest in the development of computational tools to understand the molecular consequences of mutations to aid and guide rational experimentation. Areas covered: Here, the authors discuss the recent development of computational methods to understand the effects of coding mutations to protein function and interactions, particularly in the context of the 3D structure of the protein. Expert opinion: While significant progress has been made in terms of innovative tools to understand and quantify the different range of effects in which a mutation or a set of mutations can give rise to a phenotype, a great gap still exists when integrating these predictions and drawing causality conclusions linking variants. This often requires a detailed understanding of the system being perturbed. However, as part of the drug development process it can be used preemptively in a similar fashion to pharmacokinetics predictions, to guide development of therapeutics to help guide the design and analysis of clinical trials, patient treatment and public health policy strategies.

  9. 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.

  10. [Understanding and treatment strategy of the pathogenesis of periodontal disease based on chronic inflammation]. (United States)

    Murakami, Tomohiko


    Prolonged inflammation continuously promotes the infiltration of macrophages in the organization and chronically induces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF and IL-1. In periodontal tissues, these inflammatory cytokines enhance the differentiation and activity of osteoclasts, which cause destruction of the alveolar bone. Therefore, inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production leads to the prevention or treatment of periodontal disease. IL-1 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that strongly enhances the bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts. Elucidation of mechanisms for the production of IL-1 is critical for understanding the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. This paper reviews recent findings of the molecular mechanisms regulating IL-1 production and focuses on inflammasome.

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

    Grijalva, Mario J; Terán, David; Dangles, Olivier


    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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Dynamic functional connectivity in Parkinson's disease patients with mild cognitive impairment and normal cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Díez-Cirarda


    Findings suggest the presence of dynamic functional brain deteriorations in PD-MCI that are not present in PD-NC, showing the PD-MCI group dynamic FC dysfunctions, reduced FC mostly between SM-CC networks and graph-topological deteriorations in the SM network. A dynamic FC approach could be helpful to understand cognitive deterioration in PD.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Mathemical models of molecular epidemiology : Combining genetic and epidemiological data to unravel infectious disease dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ypma, R.J.F.


    To prevent infectious diseases from spreading, it is often very valuable to know how, when, where and between whom transmissions occur: the dynamics of the disease. These dynamics can be quantified using observations of illness, such as time of symptom onset. A relatively new source of information

  19. T-cell exhaustion: understanding the interface of chronic viral and autoinflammatory diseases. (United States)

    McKinney, Eoin F; Smith, Kenneth Gc


    During acute viral infection CD8 T cells rapidly expand before contracting down to a persistent memory population that confers long-lasting immunity. However when the antigen persists, such as during chronic viral infection, a dysfunctional process termed 'exhaustion' limits the antiviral response, facilitating ongoing viraemia and poor clinical outcome. CD8 T-cell exhaustion was originally identified in lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection of mice; however, new evidence has shown that exhaustion is associated with the control of a wide range of human chronic inflammatory states, including chronic viral infection, autoimmunity and cancer. Consequently, an understanding of the mechanisms controlling exhaustion during chronic infection may also indicate new strategies for controlling other chronic inflammatory diseases. In particular, the success of immune checkpoint blockade as a form of cancer immunotherapy has prompted renewed efforts to understand how T-cell immunity to chronic antigenic stimulation might similarly be measured or modulated in autoimmune diseases. Here we summarise the mechanisms controlling T-cell exhaustion and how they relate to the control of autoimmune responses, providing a future perspective on measuring or manipulating exhaustion to personalise therapy.

  20. Insights from the Den: How Hibernating Bears May Help Us Understand and Treat Human Disease. (United States)

    Berg von Linde, Maria; Arevström, Lilith; Fröbert, Ole


    Hibernating brown bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) spend half of the year in a physically inactive state inside their winter dens without food intake and defecating and no or little urination. Under similar extreme conditions, humans would suffer from loss of lean body mass, heart failure, thrombosis, azotemia, osteoporosis, and more. However, bears exit the den in the spring strong without organ injuries. Translational animal models are used in human medicine but traditional experimental animals have several shortcomings; thus, we believe that it is time to systematically explore new models. In this review paper, we describe physiological adaptations of hibernating bears and how similar adaptations in humans could theoretically alleviate medical conditions. The bear has solved most of the health challenges faced by humans, including heart and kidney disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Understanding and applying this library of information could lead to a number of major discoveries that could have implications for the understanding and treatment of human disease. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Long-term functionality of rural water services in developing countries: a system dynamics approach to understanding the dynamic interaction of factors. (United States)

    Walters, Jeffrey P; Javernick-Will, Amy N


    Research has shown that sustainability of rural water infrastructure in developing countries is largely affected by the dynamic and systemic interactions of technical, social, financial, institutional, and environmental factors that can lead to premature water system failure. This research employs system dynamics modeling, which uses feedback mechanisms to understand how these factors interact dynamically to influence long-term rural water system functionality. To do this, the research first identified and aggregated key factors from the literature, then asked water sector experts to indicate the polarity and strength between factors through Delphi and cross impact survey questionnaires, and finally used system dynamics modeling to identify and prioritize feedback mechanisms. The resulting model identified 101 feedback mechanisms that were dominated primarily by three- and four-factor mechanisms that contained some combination of the factors: Water System Functionality, Community, Financial, Government, Management, and Technology, implying these factors were the most influential on long-term functionality. These feedback mechanisms were then scored and prioritized, with the most dominant feedback mechanism identified as Water System Functionality-Community-Finance-Management. This study showcases a way for practitioners to better understand the complexities inherent in rural water development using expert opinion and indicates the need for future research in rural water service sustainability that investigates the dynamic interaction of factors in different contexts.

  2. Understanding DOC Mobilization Dynamics Through High Frequency Measurements in a Headwater Catchment (United States)

    Werner, B.; Musolff, A.; Lechtenfeld, O.; de Rooij, G. H.; Fleckenstein, J. H.


    Increasing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exports from headwater catchments impact the quality of downstream waters and pose challenges to water supply. The importance of riparian zones for DOC export from catchments in humid, temperate climates has generally been acknowledged, but the hydrological controls and biogeochemical factors that govern mobilization of DOC from riparian zones remain elusive. By analyzing high-frequency time series of UV-VIS based water quality we therefore aim at a better understanding on temporal dynamics of DOC mobilization and exports. In a first step a one year high frequency (15 minutes) data set from a headwater catchment in the Harz Mountains (Germany) was systematically analyzed for event-based patterns in DOC concentrations. Here, a simplistic linear model was generated to explain DOC concentration level and variability in the stream. Furthermore, spectral (e.g. slopes and SUVA254) and molecular (FT-ICR-MS) characterization of DOC was used to fingerprint in-stream DOC during events. Continuous DOC concentrations were best predicted (R², NSE = 0.53) by instantaneous discharge (Q) and antecede wetness conditions of the last 30 days (AWC30 = Precip.30/PET30) as well as mean air temperature (Tmean30) and mean discharge (Qmean30) of the preceding 30 days. Analyses of 36 events revealed seasonal trends for the slope, intercept and R² of linear log(DOC)-log(Q) regressions that can be best explained by the mean air temperature of the preceding 15 days. Continuously available optical DOC quality parameters SUVA254 and spectral slope (275 nm - 295 nm) systematically changed with shifts in discharge and in DOC concentration. This is underlined by selected FT-ICR-MS measurements indicating higher DOC aromaticity and oxygen content at high flow conditions. The change of DOC quality parameters during events indicate a shift in the activated source zones: DOC with a different quality was mobilized during high flow conditions when higher

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information. (United States)

    Damman, Olga C; Bogaerts, Nina M M; van den Haak, Maaike J; Timmermans, Danielle R M


    Disease risk calculators are increasingly web-based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. A qualitative study was performed, using the risk calculator in the Dutch National Prevention Program for cardiometabolic diseases. The study consisted of three parts: (i) attention: completion of the risk calculator while an eye tracker registered eye movements; (ii) recall: completion of a recall task; and (iii) interpretation: participation in a semi-structured interview. We recruited people from the target population through an advertisement in a local newspaper; 16 people participated in the study, which took place in our university laboratory. Eye-tracking data showed that participants looked most extensively at numerical risk information. Percentages were recalled well, whereas natural frequencies and verbal labels were remembered less well. Five qualitative themes were derived from the interview data: (i) numerical information does not really sink in; (ii) the verbal categorical label made no real impact on people; (iii) people relied heavily on existing knowledge and beliefs; (iv) people zoomed in on risk factors, especially family history of diseases; and (v) people often compared their situation to that of their peers. Although people paid attention to and recalled the risk information to a certain extent, they seemed to have difficulty in properly using this information for interpreting their risk. © 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  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 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 study's first part was quantitative. Its population consisted of a research group (223 students majoring in geology or physical geography) and a control group (312 students with no background in geology). The students were asked to rate their agreement with each statement on a Likert scale. Overall, the students in the research group expressed higher levels of dynamic thinking than those in the control group. The geology students showed relatively strong dynamic thinking toward the geosphere and hydrosphere, but not the biosphere. In cyclic thinking, their levels were significantly higher for all Earth systems, suggesting a connection between learning about different cycles in Earth systems, developing cyclic thinking and applying it to other Earth cycles. The second part was qualitative and administered only to the students who majored in geology. They were asked to freely explain their answers to the questionnaire's statements. Our aim was to identify recurring patterns in how these students express their dynamic and cyclic thinking. Their explanations were given to four experts in the field of Earth science, who then presented, in a semi-structured interview, the recurring characteristics of dynamic thinking that they found in the students' explanations.

  8. 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

  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. Perianal Crohn Disease: Evaluation of Dynamic Contrast-enhanced MR Imaging as an Indicator of Disease Activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horsthuis, Karin; Lavini, Cristina; Bipat, Shandra; Stokkers, Pieter C. F.; Stoker, Jaap


    Purpose: To prospectively determine clinical value of dynamic contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the evaluation of disease activity in perianal Crohn disease (CD). Materials and Methods: Patients provided written informed consent. Study approval was waived by an

  12. The major histocompatibility complex: a model for understanding graft-versus-host disease. (United States)

    Petersdorf, Effie W


    Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) afflicts as much as 80% of all patients who receive an unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for the treatment of blood disorders, even with optimal donor HLA matching and use of prophylactic immunosuppressive agents. Of patients who develop acute GVHD, many are at risk for chronic GVHD and bear the burden of considerable morbidity and lowered quality of life years after transplantation. The immunogenetic basis of GVHD has been the subject of intensive investigation, with the classic HLA genetic loci being the best-characterized determinants. Recent information on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region of chromosome 6 as an important source of untyped genetic variation has shed light on novel GVHD determinants. These data open new paradigms for understanding the genetic basis of GVHD.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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:

  18. 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

  19. Proceedings of the Summit on ANSAs: Understanding Strategic Roles and Operational Dynamics (United States)


    TIF) Project entitled “A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Armed Non-state Actors (ANSAs): Strategic Roles and Operational Dynamics”. TIF... performance of these roles. Broadly speaking, we seek to shed some light upon what ANSAs do and why they do it, situating their motivations, intent and...Summit on Armed Non-state Actors (ANSAs): Understanding Strategic Roles and Operational Dynamics”, held at DRDC Toronto, October 26-27, 2010. This

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Denitrification in an Oregon Salt Marsh (United States)

    Salt marshes are highly susceptible to a range of climate change effects (e.g., sea-level rise, salinity changes, storm severity, shifts in vegetation across watershed). It is unclear how these effects will alter the spatial and temporal dynamics of denitrification, a potential p...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winkler, Ingo

    . 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...

  5. Understanding the Dynamics of Requirements Evolution: A Comparative Case Study of Groupware Implementation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pumareja, D.T.; Sikkel, Nicolaas; Wieringa, Roelf J.

    This paper presents a conceptual framework that seeks to explain the dynamics of requirements change and evolution. As an initial validation of the framework, it was used to analyze two contrasting cases of groupware implementation. The framework makes a distinction between, on the one hand,

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. [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


    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...

  11. The dynamic warm pool: A new paradigm for understanding the role of the tropics in the global heat balance (United States)

    Webster, P. J.; Hoyos, C. D.


    The region of atmospheric heating in the tropics, here termed the dynamic warm pool, represents the "boiler box" of the planetary heat engine and plays a determining role in global climate and tropical weather variability, modulating the genesis and intensification of tropical cyclones, the ascending branches of the Walker and Hadley circulations, monsoons and ENSO variability, and the nature of global teleconnections emanating from the tropics. Hence, it is important to understand how the tropical warm pool has changed in the past and how it may change in the future, and how these changes may alter climate both regionally and globally. The concept of the dynamic warm pool, which encloses the region of net atmospheric convective heating in the tropics, is fundamentally different to the traditionally defined oceanic warm pool corresponding to the area occupied by sea surface temperatures above a pre-defined threshold, typically 28C. While the traditionally defined warm pool has expanded as a result of global warming, the dynamical warm pool has remained constant as a result of an increasing column integrated heating-sea surface temperature threshold. In other words, in a warming climate the convective area does not expand with the area of SST>28C. However, despite the near constancy of the dynamic warm pool area, the magnitude of the column integrated heating in the tropics increases substantially. In light of these results, the traditional warm pool definition and the thresholds for convection and cyclogenesis are not climatically meaningful and lack a physical basis. Rather than a static definition set by a constant temperature, the climatically active warm pool should be defined dynamically by the large-scale coupled ocean-atmosphere system rather than just by the temperature of the ocean surface. In this work we use the concept of the dynamical warm pool as a physical basis to explore and understand long-term variability of tropical cyclogenesis and

  12. 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)

  13. Discrete-time dynamic network model for the spread of susceptible-infective-recovered diseases (United States)

    Chauhan, Sanjeev Kumar


    We propose a discrete-time dynamic network model describing the spread of susceptible-infective-recovered diseases in a population. We consider the case in which the nodes in the network change their links due to social mixing dynamics as well as in response to the disease. The model shows the behavior that, as we increase social mixing, disease spread is inhibited in certain cases, while in other cases it is enhanced. We also extend this dynamic network model to take into account the case of hidden infection. Here we find that, as expected, the disease spreads more readily if there is a time period after contracting the disease during which an individual is infective but is not known to have the disease.

  14. 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.

  15. Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Understanding Human Dynamics (United States)


    I T I ONS OF CUL T URE I 75 culture is individualistic if each person is expected to look after him or herself and collectivistic if, region, or culture. With respect to human dynamics, these documents should include perspectives of factions (tribes, clans, villages), fears...military and technology studies, Iraqi and terrorist perspectives , religious and ideological studies, and new disciplines in social sciences. Commercial

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Understanding global nutrition dynamics as a step towards controlling cancer incidence. (United States)

    Popkin, Barry M


    As we look to understand future forces that will affect cancer risk, poor dietary patterns, overweight and obesity are significant concerns. In the past two decades these factors have shifted from issues that face higher-income countries to a global pandemic, and are rapidly becoming less a problem of affluence and more a problem of poverty. Rapid shifts in food systems, food pricing and marketing are the causes that underlie this trend. It is imperative to understand these factors and implement global interventions to slow this pandemic. The alternative is an acceleration of the incidence of the main nutrition-related cancers, primarily in developing countries.

  19. X-ray dynamic observation of cervical degenerative disease induced by unbalanced dynamic and static forces in rats 1. (United States)

    Xie, Hua; Huang, Yongjing; Nong, Luming; Xu, Nanwei; Gao, Gongming; Zhou, Dong


    To investigate dynamically the X-ray appearance of cervical degenerative disease induced by unbalanced dynamic and static forces in rats. A total of 60 Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into test (n=45) and control (n=15) groups, which were randomly subdivided into the one-, three- and six-month post-operative groups. The test group included 10, 15 and 20 rats at the respective corresponding post-operative stage and the control group included five rats at each time-point. By excising cervicodorsal muscles, interspinous ligaments and supraspinous ligament of rats in the test group, the balance of dynamic and static forces on cervical vertebrae was disrupted to establish a rat model of cervical degeneration. Spinal X-ray images were acquired, and intervertebral disc space and intervertebral foramen size were measured at one, three and six months post-operation. The results were analyzed and compared among groups. Cervical dynamic and static imbalance accelerated the appearance of cervical degenerative disease on X-ray. Cervical degenerative disease may be induced by unbalanced dynamic and static forces in rats.

  20. The Internet Knowledge Manager, Dynamic Digital Libraries, and Agents You Can Understand. (United States)

    Walker, Adrian


    Discusses the Internet Knowledge Manager (IKM) which provides an understandable way of representing knowledge, as readable software agents. Gives an example of writing and running an IKM agent for transfer pricing in corporations. Describes how the technology works. Concludes that the IKM could trigger new ways of performing knowledge management,…

  1. 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…

  2. International collaborations to facilitate a better understanding of Newcastle disease epidemiology (United States)

    Infections of poultry species with virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) cause Newcastle disease (ND), worldwide one of the most economically significant and devastating diseases for poultry producers. Biological engagement programs (BEP) between the Southeast Poultry Research Laborator...

  3. 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.

  4. Galectin-9: From cell biology to complex disease dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. SEBASTIAN JOHN1 RASHMI MISHRA1. Department of Neurobiology and Genetics, Division of Disease Biology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram 695014, India ...

  5. Understanding the influence of topography on the dynamics of the North American monsoon in climate model simulations (United States)

    Varuolo-Clarke, A. M.; Medeiros, B.; Reed, K. A.


    This project examines the influence of topography on the dynamics of the North American monsoon (NAM), including the genesis, peak, and demise of the monsoon. The monsoon season occurs from July to September in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and is characterized by an increase in rainfall that accounts for 40-80% of the total annual rainfall. We use a simple "monsoon index" and show that simulations with the Community Atmosphere model capture the essential nature of the NAM. Comparing standard low-resolution (1o latitude x 1o longitude) simulations where the topography over North America is either retained or removed we evaluate the models' representations of the NAM. To understand the origin of differences between the simulations we analyze the moist static energy budget in the monsoon region. Our preliminary results from simulations with realistic topography indicate that the simulated NAM is driven by locally-generated convection, with advection processes being secondary; this is consistent with the NAM being a result of the thermal contrast between the hot, summertime continent and relatively cool ocean. When topography is removed the simulated NAM will be relatively weak and be driven primarily by locally-generated convection. A better understanding of the monsoon dynamics and the impact topography has on these dynamics will allow for a more accurate representation of the monsoon in projections of future climate.

  6. Incorporating modeling and simulations in undergraduate biophysical chemistry course to promote understanding of structure-dynamics-function relationships in proteins. (United States)

    Hati, Sanchita; Bhattacharyya, Sudeep


    A project-based biophysical chemistry laboratory course, which is offered to the biochemistry and molecular biology majors in their senior year, is described. In this course, the classroom study of the structure-function of biomolecules is integrated with the discovery-guided laboratory study of these molecules using computer modeling and simulations. In particular, modern computational tools are employed to elucidate the relationship between structure, dynamics, and function in proteins. Computer-based laboratory protocols that we introduced in three modules allow students to visualize the secondary, super-secondary, and tertiary structures of proteins, analyze non-covalent interactions in protein-ligand complexes, develop three-dimensional structural models (homology model) for new protein sequences and evaluate their structural qualities, and study proteins' intrinsic dynamics to understand their functions. In the fourth module, students are assigned to an authentic research problem, where they apply their laboratory skills (acquired in modules 1-3) to answer conceptual biophysical questions. Through this process, students gain in-depth understanding of protein dynamics-the missing link between structure and function. Additionally, the requirement of term papers sharpens students' writing and communication skills. Finally, these projects result in new findings that are communicated in peer-reviewed journals. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  7. Understanding how Alpine Valley-Glacier Overdeepenings affect Seasonal Glacial Dynamics (United States)

    Higson, Will


    Recent advances within the fields of photogrammetry and UAV technology has opened up the potential for use in glaciological fields due to high resolution imagery (1-20 cm), low costs, increased portability and improved ortho-mosaic software. Glaciers tend to move slowly and from lower resolution satellite data, smaller scale changes can be harder to infer, particularly over shorter, seasonal time periods. High resolution imagery from 5 sets of flights using a 'DJI Phantom 4' unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were recorded over the lower 2 km of Findelen Glacier, Switzerland between 22 August and 6 September. 3-dimensional ortho-mosaics were created using Agisoft PhotoScan software of each flight. Photogrammetry was rectified by nine ground control points (GCP) positioned at the margins of the glacier in static locations and georeferenced to l-20 cm error using Magellan ProMark 3 DGPS equipment. Pixel sizing was suitable for feature tracking software (5 +/- 2 cm) but varied based on relative altitude and velocity at time of capture which was set to 2.5 m/s. vertical and horizontal overlap were high (89% & 70% respectively). Feature tracking of the glacier over 17 days combined with DEM change comparison shows a flattening slope angle and slowing of velocity before an assumed reigel and an increased velocity post-reigel. Glacier surface flow velocities over this period were found to be in the region of 1.5 m. However, this does not account for error levels of 40 cm throw doubt on findings, considered due to a lack of GCPs on the glacier itself. A repeat survey is scheduled to reduce error and seek to compare annual changes in glacial dynamics. Importantly, this method (which enables feature tracking at these high resolutions) is suitable for measuring smaller seasonal changes within glacier dynamics. Keywords: UAV, Feature Tracking, Glacier Dynamics, Overdeepening, Photogrammetry.

  8. Understanding visual map formation through vortex dynamics of spin Hamiltonian models. (United States)

    Cho, Myoung Won; Kim, Seunghwan


    The pattern formation in orientation and ocular dominance columns is one of the most investigated problems in the brain. From a known cortical structure, we build spinlike Hamiltonian models with long-range interactions of the Mexican hat type. These Hamiltonian models allow a coherent interpretation of the diverse phenomena in the visual map formation with the help of relaxation dynamics of spin systems. In particular, we explain various phenomena of self-organization in orientation and ocular dominance map formation including the pinwheel annihilation and its dependency on the columnar wave vector and boundary conditions.

  9. Understanding the dynamics of sustainable social-ecological systems: human behavior, institutions, and regulatory feedback networks. (United States)

    Anderies, John M


    I present a general mathematical modeling framework that can provide a foundation for the study of sustainability in social- ecological systems (SESs). Using basic principles from feedback control and a sequence of specific models from bioeconomics and economic growth, I outline several mathematical and empirical challenges associated with the study of sustainability of SESs. These challenges are categorized into three classes: (1) the social choice of performance measures, (2) uncertainty, and (3) collective action. Finally, I present some opportunities for combining stylized dynamical systems models with empirical data on human behavior and biophysical systems to address practical challenges for the design of effective governance regimes (policy feedbacks) for highly uncertain natural resource systems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Disease and Behavioral Dynamics for Brucellosis Control in Elk and Cattle in the Greater Yellowstone Area


    Xie, Fang; Horan, Richard D.


    This paper investigates private responses and ecological impacts of policies proposed to confront the problem of brucellosis being spread from elk to cattle in Wyoming. The policies consist of combinations of changes in elk feeding and population levels. Farmers' responses to these dynamics are modeled along with the associated impacts to livestock population dynamics. Our findings suggest that feedbacks between jointly determined disease dynamics and decentralized economic behavior matter, a...

  14. Modeling immune response and its effect on infectious disease outbreak dynamics. (United States)

    Reyes-Silveyra, Jorge; Mikler, Armin R


    In recent epidemiological models, immunity is incorporated as a simplified value that determines the capacity of an individual to become infected or to transmit the disease. Moreover, the quality of the immune response determines the chances of infection and the length of time an individual is capable to infect others. We present a model that incorporates individuals' immune responses to, further, examine the role of the collective immune response of individuals in a population during an infectious outbreak. We constructed a contagion model that incorporates the collective immune response of individuals represented by the superposition of individual immune responses (PIR). Multiple probability distributions are used to represent the immunocompetence of different age groups, thereby modeling the concept of Population Immune Response (PIR). Multiple experiments were conducted in which the population is divided in different age groups for which each group has a unique immune response quality and thus a different length for its immune periods. Finally, we explored the effects of implementing different vaccination strategies in the population. The experiments displayed important variations in the outbreak dynamics as a consequence of incorporating PIR in homogeneous and mixed populations. The experiments showed that individuals with weak immune responses and those who are immune to the pathogen play a significant role in shaping the outbreak dynamics. Finally, after implementing different vaccination strategies, the results suggest that if vaccination resources are limited, the vaccination should be targeted towards individuals that spread the disease for a longer period of time. Our results suggest that it is essential for the public health establishment to increase their understanding of the characteristics of regional demographics that could impact the quality of the immune response of the individuals. The results indicate that it is necessary to further investigate

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Disease dynamics of honeybees with Varroa destructor as parasite and virus vector. (United States)

    Kang, Yun; Blanco, Krystal; Davis, Talia; Wang, Ying; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria


    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses carried by Varroa mites. In this paper, we propose a honeybee-mite-virus model that incorporates (1) parasitic interactions between honeybees and the Varroa mites; (2) five virus transmission terms between honeybees and mites at different stages of Varroa mites: from honeybees to honeybees, from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites, from brood to the reproductive mites, from the reproductive mites to brood, and from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites; and (3) Allee effects in the honeybee population generated by its internal organization such as division of labor. We provide completed local and global analysis for the full system and its subsystems. Our analytical and numerical results allow us have a better understanding of the synergistic effects of parasitism and virus infections on honeybee population dynamics and its persistence. Interesting findings from our work include: (a) due to Allee effects experienced by the honeybee population, initial conditions are essential for the survival of the colony. (b) Low adult honeybees to brood ratios have destabilizing effects on the system which generate fluctuating dynamics that lead to a catastrophic event where both honeybees and mites suddenly become extinct. This catastrophic event could be potentially linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybee colonies. (c) Virus infections may have stabilizing effects on the system, and parasitic mites could make disease more persistent. Our model illustrates how the synergy between the parasitic mites and virus infections consequently generates rich dynamics including multiple attractors where all species can coexist or go extinct depending on initial conditions. Our findings may provide important insights on honeybee viruses and parasites and how to best control them

  19. Understanding the mechanisms of sickle cell disease by simulations with a discrete particle model (United States)

    Hui, Katrina; Lin, Guang; Pan, Wenxiao


    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder characterized by rigid, sickle-shaped red blood cells (RBCs). Because of their rigidity and shape, sickle cells can get stuck in smaller blood vessels, causing blockages and depriving oxygen to tissues. This study develops and applies mathematical models to better understand the mechanism of SCD. Two-dimensional models of RBCs and blood vessels have been constructed by representing them as discrete particles interacting with different forces. The nonlinear, elastic property of healthy RBCs could be adequately reproduced using a cosine angle bending force and a worm-like chain spring force. With the ability to deform, RBCs can squeeze through narrow blood vessels. In modeling sickle cells as rigid bodies and applying repelling and friction forces from the blood vessel, this study shows that geometrical factors (dimensions of the sickle cell and blood vessels) as well as rigidity and adhesiveness of the sickle cell all play an important role in determining how, and if, sickle cells become trapped within narrow blood capillaries. With lack of data to validate the model, this study primarily provides a sensitivity analysis of factors influencing sickle cell occlusion and identified critical data to support future modeling.

  20. Understanding the complexities of functional ability in Alzheimer's disease: more than just basic and instrumental factors. (United States)

    Kahle-Wrobleski, Kristin; Coley, Nicola; Lepage, Benoit; Cantet, Christelle; Vellas, Bruno; Andrieu, Sandrine


    Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (AD) is defined by both cognitive and functional decline; new criteria allow for identification of milder, non-functionally impaired patients. Understanding loss of autonomy in AD is essential, as later stages represent a significant burden and cost to patients, their families, and society. The purpose of the present analyses was to determine the factor structure of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL) in a cohort of AD patients. Baseline ADCS-ADL assessments of 734 AD patients from the PLASA study were included in an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Because the ADCS-ADL was designed to assess change over time, change from baseline scores over 2 years were also analyzed using an EFA. Factorial solutions were evaluated based on cross-loading, non-loadings, and number of items per factor. Mean age at baseline was 79.3, mean MMSE was 19.8 and 73.3% of participants were female. Baseline data suggested a 4-factor solution that included factors for basic ADLs (BADLs), domestic/household activities, communication/engagement with the environment, and outside activities. The change scores EFA suggested a 2-factor solution of BADLs and instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Distinct factors of IADLs should be considered for further validation as areas of attention to catch early functional decline.

  1. Newtonian chimpanzees? A molecular dynamics approach to understanding decision-making by wild chimpanzees (United States)

    Westley, Matthew; Sen, Surajit; Sinha, Anindya


    In this study, we computationally investigate decision-making by individuals and the ensuing social structure of a primate species, chimpanzees, using Newton's equations of classical mechanics, as opposed to agentbased analyses in which individual chimpanzees make independent decisions. Our model uses molecular dynamics simulation techniques to solve Newton's equations and is able to approximate the movements of female and male chimpanzees, especially in relation to the available food resources, in a manner that is consistent with their observed behavior in natural habitats. It is noteworthy that our Newtonian dynamics-based model may allow us to make certain specific observations of their behaviour, some of which may be difficult to achieve through agent-based modelling exercises or even field studies. Chimpanzees tend to live in fission-fusion social groups, with varying number of individuals, in which both females and males tend to display intrasexual competition for valuable food resources while the males also compete for oestrus females. Most populations of the species are also restricted to a small range of habitats, a clear indication that they are especially vulnerable to the availability and distribution of food sources. With reasonable assumptions of chimpanzee behaviour, we have been able to analyse the clustering behaviour of individuals in relation to local food sources as also patterns of their migration across groups. Our simulated results are qualitatively consistent with field observations conducted on a particular semi-isolated population of chimpanzees in Bossou, Guinea, in western Africa.

  2. 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.

  3. Extending Spatial Interaction Models with Agents for Understanding Relationships in a Dynamic Retail Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Birkin


    Full Text Available For many years, effective model-based representations of the dynamics and evolution of urban spatial structure have proved elusive. While some progress has been made through the deployment of spatial interaction models, these approaches have been limited by the difficulty of representing behavioural mechanisms and processes. In this paper, it is demonstrated that evolutionary models grounded in the principles of spatial interaction are compatible with the more novel approaches of agent-based modelling. The incorporation of agents provides a much more flexible means for the representation of behavioural mechanisms. The paper illustrates the way in which three more complicated situations can be handled through the fusion of spatial interaction and agent modelling perspectives. These situations comprise discontinuous evolution (in which structural adjustment takes place in discrete steps, and not as a continuously smooth process; nonequilibrium dynamics (in which the underlying system parameters continue to evolve through time; the incorporation of new decision variables (which we illustrate through the addition of land rents into the model. The conclusion of the paper is that the combination of spatial interaction and agent-based modelling methods provides encouraging prospects for the social simulation of real urban systems.

  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. 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].

  6. Understanding attitudes toward adolescent vaccination and the decision-making dynamic among adolescents, parents and providers. (United States)

    Gowda, Charitha; Schaffer, Sarah E; Dombkowski, Kevin J; Dempsey, Amanda F


    With several new vaccine recommendations specifically targeting adolescents, improving adolescent vaccination rates has become a major health priority. Vaccination attitudes are an important, modifiable target for new interventions. Prior research has examined primarily the attitudes and beliefs of adolescents, parents or healthcare providers separately without exploring the decision-making dynamic among these stakeholders. We sought to identify potentially modifiable barriers in the vaccine decision process among adolescents, parents and healthcare providers that could be addressed through interventions implemented within the adolescent's medical home. We conducted a qualitative study of adolescents, their parents and healthcare providers, recruited from four primary care practices in Michigan. For each practice, three separate focus group discussions (adolescents, parents and healthcare providers, for a total of 12 focus groups) were conducted to explore vaccination attitudes, possible interventions to improve vaccine uptake and access to and use of technology for vaccination interventions. Themes that emerged from the focus group discussions were categorized using an inductive, iterative process, and analysis focused on highlighting similarities and differences among the three perspectives. Participants included 32 adolescents, 33 parents and 28 providers. The majority of parents and adolescents were female. Lack of knowledge about recommended adolescent vaccinations was universally recognized among the three groups and was perceived to be the underlying driver of low immunization rates. Notably, each group did not appear to fully appreciate the challenges faced by the other stakeholders with respect to adolescent vaccination. Adolescents were seen as having a greater role in the vaccine decision-making dynamic than previously suggested. Provider-based interventions such as educational tools and reminder-recall notices were identified as important components of

  7. Dynamic regulation of glucocorticoid signalling in health and disease


    Biddie, Simon C.; Conway-Campbell, Becky L.; Lightman, Stafford L.


    Activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) by endogenous and synthetic glucocorticoids regulates hundreds of genes to control regulatory networks in development, metabolism, cognition and inflammation. Elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate glucocorticoid action has highlighted the dynamic nature of hormone signalling and provides novel insights into genomic glucocorticoid actions. The major factors that regulate GR function include chromatin structure, epigenetics, genetic variation...

  8. Tool use ability depends on understanding of functional dynamics and not specific joint contribution profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ross eParry


    Full Text Available Researchers in cognitive neuroscience have become increasingly interested in how different aspects of tool use are integrated and represented by the brain. Comparatively less attention has been directed towards tool use actions themselves and how effective tool use behaviors are coordinated. In response, we take this opportunity to consider the mechanical principles of tool use actions and their relationship to motor learning. Using kinematic analysis, we examine both functional dynamics and joint contribution profiles of subjects with different levels of experience in a primordial percussive task. Our results show that the ability to successfully produce stone flakes using the Oldowan method did not correspond with any particular joint contribution profile. Rather, expertise in this tool use action was principally associated with the subject’s ability to regulate the functional parameters that define the task itself.

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding unusual thermal transport behavior in soft materials under mechanical strain - A molecular dynamics study (United States)

    Murad, Sohail; Puri, Ishwar K.


    Experiments have shown a dependence of the thermal conductivity of soft polymer materials on shear stress, which is common to several applications, such as film processing, fiber spinning, blow molding, and vacuum forming. Experiments reveal that the conductivity initially decreases with shear, but then increases as additional shear rate is applied. Based on molecular principles, we hypothesize that when molecules are initially placed under tension and extended, they disentangle, which reduces the number of points of interaction and diminishes the heat flux. Further molecular stretching increases this flux because the molecules are now better axially aligned. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm this competition and reproduce the inflection in the flux-strain relationship, which has not been previously explained.

  11. 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.

  12. [Using Molecular Simulations to Understand Complex Nanoscale Dynamic Phenomena in Polymer Solutions (United States)

    Smith, Grant


    The first half of the project concentrated on molecular simulation studies of the translocation of model molecules for single-stranded DNA through a nanosized pore. This has resulted in the publication, Translocation of a polymer chain across a nanopore: A Brownian dynamics simulation study, by Pu Tian and Grant D. Smith, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS VOLUME 119, NUMBER 21 1 DECEMBER 2003, which is attached to this report. In this work we carried out Brownian dynamics simulation studies of the translocation of single polymer chains across a nanosized pore under the driving of an applied field (chemical potential gradient) designed to mimic an electrostatic field. The translocation process can be either dominated by the entropic barrier resulted from restricted motion of flexible polymer chains or by applied forces (or chemical gradient). We focused on the latter case in our studies. Calculation of radius of gyration of the translocating chain at the two opposite sides of the wall shows that the polymer chains are not in equilibrium during the translocation process. Despite this fact, our results show that the one-dimensional diffusion and the nucleation model provide an excellent description of the dependence of average translocation time on the chemical potential gradients, the polymer chain length and the solvent viscosity. In good agreement with experimental results and theoretical predictions, the translocation time distribution of our simple model shows strong non-Gaussian characteristics. It is observed that even for this simple tube-like pore geometry, more than one peak of translocation time distribution can be generated for proper pore diameter and applied field strengths. Both repulsive Weeks-Chandler-Anderson and attractive Lennard-Jones polymer-nanopore interaction were studied. Attraction facilitates the translocation process by shortening the total translocation time and dramatically improve the capturing of polymer chain. The width of the translocation

  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. 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...

  15. Understanding Dynamics of Himalayan Glaciers: Scope and Challenges of Remote Sensing (United States)

    Bajracharya, S. R.; Maharjan, S. B.; Shrestha, F.


    remote-sensing based consistent semi-automated glacier mapping methodology with minimum manual intervention has been developed at ICIMOD. Using this methodology the glaciers of Hindu Kush Himalayan region were mapped in 2011 and continuously used for glacier mapping and monitoring in the region. These data were freely available to download from ICIMOD portal and GLIMS database. These comprehensive glacier information are the only data which is being used for research and development projects for countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. Recently decadal glacier change from 1980 to 2010 of Nepal and Bhutan were published to understand the glacier change in the Himalaya. The decadal change assessment will be continued in other basins of HKH region to understand the glacier change. Due to rugged terrain, remote access, and logistic hindrance field verification is a challenging task and can be limited only in selected glaciers. Geodetic mass balance study in the selected glaciers like in Yala of Langtang basin and Rikha Samba of Hidden valley are on progress complement to field validation. High resolution images, lack of hydro-meteorological stations near to the glacier and limited competent manpower are another hindrance in the study of glacier change of the HKH region.

  16. Understanding High-Resolution Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Groundwater Recharge Using Process Based Hydrologic Modeling (United States)

    Kang, G.; Qiu, H.; Li, S. G.; Lusch, D.; Phanikumar, M. S.


    Quantifying the natural rates of groundwater recharge and identifying the location and timing of major recharge events are essential for maintaining sustainable water yields and for understanding contaminant transport mechanisms in groundwater systems. Using Ottawa County, Michigan as a case study in sustainable water resources management, this research is part of a larger project that examines the issues of declining water tables and increasing chloride concentrations within the county. A process-based hydrologic model (PAWS) is used to mechanistically evaluate the integrated hydrologic response of both the surface and subsurface systems to further compute daily fluxes due to evapotranspiration, surface runoff, recharge and groundwater-stream interactions. Both rain gauge (NCDC) and NEXRAD precipitation data are used as input for the model. The model is built based on three major watersheds at 300m spatial resolution and daily temporal resolution, covering all of Ottawa County and is calibrated using streamflow data from USGS gauging stations. In addition, synoptic and time-series baseflow data collected using Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and electromagnetic flow meters during the summer of 2015 are used to test the ability of the model to simulate baseflows and to quantify the uncertainty. The MODIS evapotranspiration product is used to evaluate model performance in simulating ET. The primary objectives of this study are to (1) understand the periods of high and low groundwater recharge in the county between the years 2009 and 2015; and (2) analyze the impacts of different types of land use, soil, elevation, and slope on groundwater recharge.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Adolescent girls’ understanding of tetanus infection and prevention: implications for the disease control in western Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adebola Emmanuel Orimadegun


    Full Text Available Tetanus is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Nigeria is aiming to eliminate tetanus by maintaining coverage of routine vaccinations for infants and pregnant women, but little attention is given to the adolescents’ needs. This study assessed the understanding of adolescent girls about tetanus infection and prevention in order to provide information that may foster better policy. In this cross-sectional analytical study, 851 female adolescents were selected from eight secondary schools in Ibadan, south-west of Nigeria using a three-stage random sampling technique. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, history of tetanus vaccination and adolescents’ knowledge of tetanus infection. Mean age of respondents was 14.3±1.9 years. Only 3.1% had received tetanus toxoid injection one year prior to the study, most frequently following a wound or injury (65.4%. Though, 344 (40.4% respondents claimed they knew tetanus as a serious neurological disease, only 46.5% correctly defined tetanus. Overall, the mean knowledge score was 4.8±3.1 and 64.7% of the respondents had poor knowledge. Academic class was significantly associated with knowledge; higher mean score among the senior (5.3±5.3 than junior classes (4.4±3.2; p< 0.001. Over half (56.2% of the adolescents disagreed with the statement that tetanus immunisation can be given to students in the school premises. There is the need to improve immunisation campaigns against tetanus among adolescent girls and consider the introduction of school-based immunisation programmes if the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus is to be achieved.

  20. Understanding the Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Population Based Medical Record Review Analysis (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0573 TITLE: Understanding the Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Population -Based...Sep 2015 - 14 Sep 2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Understanding the Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s Disease...A Population -Based Medical Record Review Analysis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-15-1-0573 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Allen W. Brown 5d

  1. Dynamics of Sleep Stage Transitions in Health and Disease (United States)

    Kishi, Akifumi; Struzik, Zbigniew R.; Natelson, Benjamin H.; Togo, Fumiharu; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu


    Sleep dynamics emerges from complex interactions between neuronal populations in many brain regions. Annotated sleep stages from electroencephalography (EEG) recordings could potentially provide a non-invasive way to obtain valuable insights into the mechanisms of these interactions, and ultimately into the very nature of sleep regulation. However, to date, sleep stage analysis has been restricted, only very recently expanding the scope of the traditional descriptive statistics to more dynamical concepts of the duration of and transitions between vigilance states and temporal evaluation of transition probabilities among different stages. Physiological and/or pathological implications of the dynamics of sleep stage transitions have, to date, not been investigated. Here, we study detailed duration and transition statistics among sleep stages in healthy humans and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, known to be associated with disturbed sleep. We find that the durations of waking and non-REM sleep, in particular deep sleep (Stages III and IV), during the nighttime, follow a power-law probability distribution function, while REM sleep durations follow an exponential function, suggestive of complex underlying mechanisms governing the onset of light sleep. We also find a substantial number of REM to non-REM transitions in humans, while this transition is reported to be virtually non-existent in rats. Interestingly, the probability of this REM to non-REM transition is significantly lower in the patients than in controls, resulting in a significantly greater REM to awake, together with Stage I to awake, transition probability. This might potentially account for the reported poor sleep quality in the patients because the normal continuation of sleep after either the lightest or REM sleep is disrupted. We conclude that the dynamical transition analysis of sleep stages is useful for elucidating yet-to-be-determined human sleep regulation mechanisms with a

  2. Understanding the dynamics of change and the impact on psychiatric education. (United States)

    Feldmann, Theodore B


    Academic departments of psychiatry are experiencing unprecedented changes that are difficult and challenging for faculty and administrators. This article examines the factors that influence change and the barriers to effective change. The author reviewed the business literature on change in organizations and examined the psychodynamic factors that mediate individual and organizational response to change. Several business models for effective change management exist and can be utilized by psychiatric educators. The psychodynamic models of change are useful for understanding the psychological impact of change on organizations and individuals. Effective management of change requires careful attention to the goals of the organization, development of a detailed plan to implement change, adequate resources to carry out the change, effective leadership and communication, and contingency plans for unforeseen events. Individual and organizational needs must also be considered. A model for dealing with change in education is presented.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Ole Kjeldal

    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...... associated with product development, such as market design; 3) the diversity of these domains was found to increase the barrier for effective transition from the front-end phase to the product development phase; 4) the transition gate was found to be a separate phase, with its own knowledge...

  4. 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.

  5. Understanding the Dynamics of the Oxic-Anoxic Interface in the Black Sea (United States)

    Stanev, Emil V.; Poulain, Pierre-Marie; Grayek, Sebastian; Johnson, Kenneth S.; Claustre, Hervé; Murray, James W.


    The Black Sea, the largest semienclosed anoxic basin on Earth, can be considered as an excellent natural laboratory for oxic and anoxic biogeochemical processes. The suboxic zone, a thin interface between oxic and anoxic waters, still remains poorly understood because it has been undersampled. This has led to alternative concepts regarding the underlying processes that create it. Existing hypotheses suggest that the interface originates either by isopycnal intrusions that introduce oxygen or the dynamics of manganese redox cycling that are associated with the sinking of particles or chemosynthetic bacteria. Here we reexamine these concepts using high-resolution oxygen, sulfide, nitrate, and particle concentration profiles obtained with sensors deployed on profiling floats. Our results show an extremely stable structure in density space over the entire basin with the exception of areas near the Bosporus plume and in the southern areas dominated by coastal anticyclones. The absence of large-scale horizontal intrusive signatures in the open-sea supports a hypothesis prioritizing the role of biogeochemical processes.

  6. Understanding homogeneous nucleation in solidification of aluminum by molecular dynamics simulations (United States)

    Mahata, Avik; Asle Zaeem, Mohsen; Baskes, Michael I.


    Homogeneous nucleation from aluminum (Al) melt was investigated by million-atom molecular dynamics simulations utilizing the second nearest neighbor modified embedded atom method potentials. The natural spontaneous homogenous nucleation from the Al melt was produced without any influence of pressure, free surface effects and impurities. Initially isothermal crystal nucleation from undercooled melt was studied at different constant temperatures, and later superheated Al melt was quenched with different cooling rates. The crystal structure of nuclei, critical nucleus size, critical temperature for homogenous nucleation, induction time, and nucleation rate were determined. The quenching simulations clearly revealed three temperature regimes: sub-critical nucleation, super-critical nucleation, and solid-state grain growth regimes. The main crystalline phase was identified as face-centered cubic, but a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) and an amorphous solid phase were also detected. The hcp phase was created due to the formation of stacking faults during solidification of Al melt. By slowing down the cooling rate, the volume fraction of hcp and amorphous phases decreased. After the box was completely solid, grain growth was simulated and the grain growth exponent was determined for different annealing temperatures.

  7. Understanding the effect of polylysine architecture on DNA binding using molecular dynamics simulations. (United States)

    Elder, Robert M; Emrick, Todd; Jayaraman, Arthi


    Polycations with varying chemistries and architectures have been synthesized and used in DNA transfection. In this paper we connect poly-L-lysine (PLL) architecture to DNA-binding strength, and in turn transfection efficiency, since experiments have shown that graft-type oligolysine architectures [e.g., poly(cyclooctene-g-oligolysine)] exhibit higher transfection efficiency than linear PLL. We use atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study structural and thermodynamic effects of polycation-DNA binding for linear PLL and grafted oligolysines of varying graft lengths. Structurally, linear PLL binds in a concerted manner, while each oligolysine graft binds independently of its neighbors in the grafted architecture. Additionally, the presence of a hydrophobic backbone in the grafted architecture weakens binding to DNA compared to linear PLL. The binding free energy varies nonmonotonically with the graft length primarily due to entropic contributions. The binding free energy normalized to the number of bound amines is similar between the grafted and linear architectures at the largest (Poly5) and smallest (Poly2) graft length and stronger than the intermediate graft lengths (Poly3 and Poly4). These trends agree with experimental results that show higher transfection efficiency for Poly3 and Poly4 grafted oligolysines than for Poly5, Poly2, and linear PLL.

  8. 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.


    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.

  10. PaGenBase: a pattern gene database for the global and dynamic understanding of gene function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Bo Pan

    Full Text Available Pattern genes are a group of genes that have a modularized expression behavior under serial physiological conditions. The identification of pattern genes will provide a path toward a global and dynamic understanding of gene functions and their roles in particular biological processes or events, such as development and pathogenesis. In this study, we present PaGenBase, a novel repository for the collection of tissue- and time-specific pattern genes, including specific genes, selective genes, housekeeping genes and repressed genes. The PaGenBase database is now freely accessible at In the current version (PaGenBase 1.0, the database contains 906,599 pattern genes derived from the literature or from data mining of more than 1,145,277 gene expression profiles in 1,062 distinct samples collected from 11 model organisms. Four statistical parameters were used to quantitatively evaluate the pattern genes. Moreover, three methods (quick search, advanced search and browse were designed for rapid and customized data retrieval. The potential applications of PaGenBase are also briefly described. In summary, PaGenBase will serve as a resource for the global and dynamic understanding of gene function and will facilitate high-level investigations in a variety of fields, including the study of development, pathogenesis and novel drug discovery.

  11. Dysfunctional Mitochondrial Dynamics in the Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Haun


    Full Text Available Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in neurodegenerative diseases, however molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that nitrosative stress, mediated by reactive nitrogen species (RNS, may play a role in mitochondrial pathology. Here, we review findings that highlight the abnormal mitochondrial morphology observed in many neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. One mechanism whereby RNS can affect mitochondrial function and thus neuronal survival occurs via protein S-nitrosylation, representing chemical reaction of a nitric oxide (NO group with a critical cysteine thiol. In this review, we focus on the signaling pathway whereby S-nitrosylation of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1; forming S-nitrosothiol (SNO-Drp1 precipitates excessive mitochondrial fission or fragmentation and consequent bioenergetic compromise. Subsequently, the formation of SNO-Drp1 leads to synaptic damage and neuronal death. Thus, intervention in the SNO-Drp1 pathway may provide therapeutic benefit in neurodegenerative diseases.

  12. Dynamics of a stochastic SIS model with double epidemic diseases driven by Lévy jumps (United States)

    Zhang, Xinhong; Jiang, Daqing; Hayat, Tasawar; Ahmad, Bashir


    This paper is to investigate the dynamics of a stochastic SIS epidemic model with saturated incidence rate and double epidemic diseases which make the research more complex. The environment variability in this study is characterized by white noise and jump noise. Sufficient conditions for the extinction and persistence in the mean of two epidemic diseases are obtained. It is shown that the two diseases can coexist under appropriate conditions. Finally, numerical simulations are introduced to illustrate the results developed.

  13. On the Global Dynamics of a Vector-Borne Disease Model with Age of Vaccination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislas Ouaro


    Full Text Available We study a vector-borne disease with age of vaccination. A nonlinear incidence rate including mass action and saturating incidence as special cases is considered. The global dynamics of the equilibria are investigated and we show that if the basic reproduction number is less than 1, then the disease-free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable; that is, the disease dies out, while if the basic reproduction number is larger than 1, then the endemic equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable, which means that the disease persists in the population. Using the basic reproduction number, we derive a vaccination coverage rate that is required for disease control and elimination.

  14. Towards understanding temporal and spatial dynamics of Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) infestations using decade-long agrometeorological time series (United States)

    Marchi, Susanna; Guidotti, Diego; Ricciolini, Massimo; Petacchi, Ruggero


    Insect dynamics depend on temperature patterns, and therefore, global warming may lead to increasing frequencies and intensities of insect outbreaks. The aim of this work was to analyze the dynamics of the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi), in Tuscany (Italy). We profited from long-term records of insect infestation and weather data available from the regional database and agrometeorological network. We tested whether the analysis of 13 years of monitoring campaigns can be used as basis for prediction models of B. oleae infestation. We related the percentage of infestation observed in the first part of the host-pest interaction and throughout the whole year to agrometeorological indices formulated for different time periods. A two-step approach was adopted to inspect the effect of weather on infestation: generalized linear model with a binomial error distribution and principal component regression to reduce the number of the agrometeorological factors and remove their collinearity. We found a consistent relationship between the degree of infestation and the temperature-based indices calculated for the previous period. The relationship was stronger with the minimum temperature of winter season. Higher infestation was observed in years following warmer winters. The temperature of the previous winter and spring explained 66 % of variance of early-season infestation. The temperature of previous winter and spring, and current summer, explained 72 % of variance of total annual infestation. These results highlight the importance of multiannual monitoring activity to fully understand the dynamics of B. oleae populations at a regional scale.

  15. 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

  16. Occupancy modeling for improved accuracy and understanding of pathogen prevalence and dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Colvin

    associated uncertainties. Accounting for test sensitivity using within host replicate samples also required fewer individual fish to be sampled. This approach is useful for evaluating pathogen or microbe community dynamics when test sensitivity is <100%.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. What has the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy contributed to our understanding of this disease? (United States)

    Manning, Jennifer; O'Malley, Dervla


    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-chromosome linked recessive disorder caused by the truncation or deletion of the dystrophin gene. The most widely used animal model of this disease is the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse which was first discovered 30 years ago. Despite its extensive use in DMD research, no effective treatment has yet been developed for this devastating disease. This review explores what we have learned from this mouse model regarding the pathophysiology of DMD and asks if it has a future in providing a better more thorough understanding of this disease or if it will bring us any closer to improving the outlook for DMD patients.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The dynamics of devaluation: the spiritual disease of civilization. (United States)

    Glasberg, Ronald


    The presentation seeks to identify a major spiritual sickness that is not only widespread but also kept out of public discourse or seriously minimized in terms of its scope and destructive effects. Most religious traditions derive much of their power by giving 'believers' a sense of personal and/or collective worth, where worth may be associated with a feeling of positive valuation. However, as religious traditions decline in the wake of a materialist science or as they become corrupted by developing false forms of valuation, Western, if not world, civilization becomes ever more threatened by the disease of devaluation. In this context, the study will attempt three things: (1) to identify the manifestations or symptoms of devaluation as a disease of the soul; (2) to place these symptoms in a kind of historical context; and (3) to develop some effective healing strategies that may serve to counter, not only the symptoms but also the root causes of the disease of devaluation. In particular, it will be argued that false forms of valuation need to be identified so that public discourse can minimize the possibilities of these taking root and leading to one of the tragedies of our time: that is, the gaining of a kind of substitute value by the devaluing of some other group.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...... technologies including an in-house developed TiO2-SIMAC-TiO2-based enrichment protocol to isolate and enrich phosphorylated and glycosylated peptides enabling to elucidate hopefully new early disease biomarkers....

  9. Mitochondrial dynamics in Parkinson's disease: a role for α-synuclein?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victorio M. Pozo Devoto


    Full Text Available The distinctive pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease are the progressive death of dopaminergic neurons and the intracellular accumulation of Lewy bodies enriched in α-synuclein protein. Several lines of evidence from the study of sporadic, familial and pharmacologically induced forms of human Parkinson's disease also suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in disease progression. Although many functions have been proposed for α-synuclein, emerging data from human and animal models of Parkinson's disease highlight a role for α-synuclein in the control of neuronal mitochondrial dynamics. Here, we review the α-synuclein structural, biophysical and biochemical properties that influence relevant mitochondrial dynamic processes such as fusion-fission, transport and clearance. Drawing on current evidence, we propose that α-synuclein contributes to the mitochondrial defects that are associated with the pathology of this common and progressive neurodegenerative disease.

  10. Understanding the Role of Autoimmune Disorders on the Initial Presentation of Cardiovascular Disease (United States)


    Myocardial Infarction; Ischemic Stroke; Stroke; Subarachnoid Haemorrhage; Venous Thrombosis; Transient Ischemic Attack; Stable Angina Pectoris; Unstable Angina; Heart Failure; Peripheral Arterial Disease; Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Using iPS Cells toward the Understanding of Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Torrent


    Full Text Available Cellular reprogramming of somatic cells to human pluripotent stem cells (iPSC represents an efficient tool for in vitro modeling of human brain diseases and provides an innovative opportunity in the identification of new therapeutic drugs. Patient-specific iPSC can be differentiated into disease-relevant cell types, including neurons, carrying the genetic background of the donor and enabling de novo generation of human models of genetically complex disorders. Parkinson’s disease (PD is the second most common age-related progressive neurodegenerative disease, which is mainly characterized by nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA neuron degeneration and synaptic dysfunction. Recently, the generation of disease-specific iPSC from patients suffering from PD has unveiled a recapitulation of disease-related cell phenotypes, such as abnormal α-synuclein accumulation and alterations in autophagy machinery. The use of patient-specific iPSC has a remarkable potential to uncover novel insights of the disease pathogenesis, which in turn will open new avenues for clinical intervention. This review explores the current Parkinson’s disease iPSC-based models highlighting their role in the discovery of new drugs, as well as discussing the most challenging limitations iPSC-models face today.

  15. 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...

  16. Molecular membrane dynamics: Insights into synaptic function and neuropathological disease. (United States)

    Bannai, Hiroko


    The fluid mosaic model states that molecules in the plasma membrane can freely undergo lateral diffusion; however, in neurons and glia, specific membrane molecules are concentrated in cellular microdomains to overcome the randomizing effects of free diffusion. This specialized distribution of membrane molecules is crucial for various cell functions; one example is the accumulation of neurotransmitter receptors at the postsynaptic neuronal membrane, which enables efficient synaptic transmission. Quantum dot-single particle tracking (QD-SPT) is a super-resolution imaging technique that uses semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots as fluorescent probes, and is a powerful tool for analyzing protein and lipid behavior in the plasma membrane. In this article, we review studies implementing QD-SPT in neuroscience research and important data gleaned using this technology. Recent QD-SPT experiments have provided critical insights into the mechanism and physiological relevance of membrane self-organization in neurons and astrocytes in the brain. The mobility of some membrane molecules may become abnormal in cellular models of epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Based on these findings, we propose that the behavior of membrane molecules reflects the condition of neurons in pathological disease states. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  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. 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

  19. Toward understanding the anticorrosive mechanism of some thiourea derivatives for carbon steel corrosion: A combined DFT and molecular dynamics investigation. (United States)

    Guo, Lei; Kaya, Savaş; Obot, Ime Bassey; Zheng, Xingwen; Qiang, Yujie


    The mutually corroborated density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation methodology were employed to evaluate the inhibition performance of three thiourea derivatives (Inh1, Inh2, and Inh3) on carbon steel corrosion. Experimental results have shown that the corrosion rate follows the order: Inh3>Inh2>Inh1. Quantum chemical descriptors such as the frontier orbital energies (E HOMO and E LUMO ), the energy gap between E LUMO and E HOMO (ΔE), dipole moment (μ), and Fukui index have been calculated and discussed. Some significant factors such as solvent, temperature, and coverage have been considered when investigating the adsorption of aforementioned thiourea derivatives on Fe(110) surface. Our results provide important atomic/molecular insights into the anticorrosive mechanism of inhibitor molecules, which could help in understanding the organic-metal interface and designing more appropriate organic corrosion inhibitors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Landscape dynamics in Mediterranean oak forests under global change: understanding the role of anthropogenic and environmental drivers across forest types. (United States)

    Acácio, Vanda; Dias, Filipe S; Catry, Filipe X; Rocha, Marta; Moreira, Francisco


    The Mediterranean region is projected to be extremely vulnerable to global change, which will affect the distribution of typical forest types such as native oak forests. However, our understanding of Mediterranean oak forest responses to future conditions is still very limited by the lack of knowledge on oak forest dynamics and species-specific responses to multiple drivers. We compared the long-term (1966-2006) forest persistence and land cover change among evergreen (cork oak and holm oak) and deciduous oak forests and evaluated the importance of anthropogenic and environmental drivers on observed changes for Portugal. We used National Forest Inventories to quantify the changes in oak forests and explored the drivers of change using multinomial logistic regression analysis and an information theoretical approach. We found distinct trends among oak forest types, reflecting the differences in oak economic value, protection status and management schemes: cork oak forests were the most persistent (62%), changing mostly to pines and eucalypt; holm oak forests were less persistent (53.2%), changing mostly to agriculture; and deciduous oak forests were the least persistent (45.7%), changing mostly to shrublands. Drivers of change had distinct importance across oak forest types, but drivers from anthropogenic origin (wildfires, population density, and land accessibility) were always among the most important. Climatic extremes were also important predictors of oak forest changes, namely extreme temperatures for evergreen oak forests and deficit of precipitation for deciduous oak forests. Our results indicate that under increasing human pressure and forecasted climate change, evergreen oak forests will continue declining and deciduous oak forests will be replaced by forests dominated by more xeric species. In the long run, multiple disturbances may change competitive dominance from oak forests to pyrophytic shrublands. A better understanding of forest dynamics and the

  3. The dichotomy between disease phenotype databases and the implications for understanding complex diseases involving the major histocompatibility complex. (United States)

    Clark, P M; Kunkel, M; Monos, D S


    Many genes related to innate and adaptive immunity reside within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and have been associated with a multitude of complex, immune-related disorders. Despite years of genetic study, this region has seen few causative determinants discovered for immune-mediated diseases. Reported associations have been curated in various databases including the Genetic Association Database, NCBI database of clinically relevant variants (ClinVar) and the Human Gene Mutation Database and together capture genetic associations and annotated pathogenic loci within the MHC and across the genome for a variety of complex, immune-mediated diseases. A review of these three distinct databases reveals disparate annotations between associated genes and pathogenic loci, alluding to the polygenic, multifactorial nature of immune-mediated diseases and the pleiotropic character of genes within the MHC. The technical limitations and inherent biases imposed by current approaches and technologies in studying the MHC create a strong case for the need to perform targeted deep sequencing of the MHC and other immunologically relevant loci in order to fully elucidate and study the causative elements of complex immune-mediated diseases. © 2015 The Authors. International Journal of Immunogenetics Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. 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.

  5. Coupling environmental, social and economic models to understand land-use change dynamics in the Mekong Delta

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    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

  6. 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.

  7. Brain Dynamics: Methodological Issues and Applications in Psychiatric and Neurologic Diseases (United States)

    Pezard, Laurent

    The human brain is a complex dynamical system generating the EEG signal. Numerical methods developed to study complex physical dynamics have been used to characterize EEG since the mid-eighties. This endeavor raised several issues related to the specificity of EEG. Firstly, theoretical and methodological studies should address the major differences between the dynamics of the human brain and physical systems. Secondly, this approach of EEG signal should prove to be relevant for dealing with physiological or clinical problems. A set of studies performed in our group is presented here within the context of these two problematic aspects. After the discussion of methodological drawbacks, we review numerical simulations related to the high dimension and spatial extension of brain dynamics. Experimental studies in neurologic and psychiatric disease are then presented. We conclude that if it is now clear that brain dynamics changes in relation with clinical situations, methodological problems remain largely unsolved.

  8. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Simulation modelling of population dynamics of mosquito vectors for rift valley Fever virus in a disease epidemic setting.

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Recent developments in understanding the role of the gut microbiota in brain health and disease. (United States)

    Sherwin, Eoin; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F


    There is a growing appreciation of the role of the gut microbiota in all aspects of health and disease, including brain health. Indeed, roles for the bacterial commensals in various psychiatric and neurological conditions, such as depression, autism, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, are emerging. Microbiota dysregulation has been documented in all of these conditions or in animal models thereof. Moreover, depletion or modulation of the gut microbiota can affect the severity of the central pathology or behavioral deficits observed in a variety of brain disorders. However, the mechanisms underlying such effects are only slowly being unraveled. Additionally, recent preclinical and clinical evidence suggest that targeting the microbiota through prebiotic, probiotic, or dietary interventions may be an effective "psychobiotic" strategy for treating symptoms in mood, neurodevelopmental disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  14. Acne: An understanding of the disease and its impact on life


    Kaisar Raza; Vaibhav Talwar; Arvind Setia; Om Prakash Katare


    Acne is one of the most common skin diseases affecting majority of the teens and reaching its pinnacle during adulthood. In certain severe cases, it mounts to pronounced skin deformity. This appears to adversely dampen the self esteem of the affected which can eventually lead to depression and even suicides. The disease invariably diminishes in twenties but in some cases, it might even persist in thirties, forties and beyond and there is no such definite way to predict its spell. Majority of ...

  15. Understanding sediment dynamics in rivers using fallout radionuclides: How to move forward from the lessons learnt in a tropical catchment (United States)

    Evrard, Olivier; Laceby, J. Patrick; Huon, Sylvain; Gourdin, Elian; Lefèvre, Irène; Sengtaheuanghoung, Oloth; Ayrault, Sophie; Ribolzi, Olivier


    Land use change and the concomitant acceleration of soil erosion have led to an increase in sediment supply to rivers worldwide. This degradation results in significant on-site (e.g., decrease in soil fertility) and off-site impacts (e.g., reservoir siltation and degradation of water quality). To implement effective sediment mitigation measures, it is necessary to clearly understand catchment sediment sources and their spatial temporal dynamics. Fallout radionuclides characterized by different half-lives and origins (Be-7 - 53 d; Pb-210 - 22 y; Cs-137 - 30 y) provide important information required to quantify the dominant sources of sediment and also their temporal dynamics. However, the current methods have several limitations, and the hypotheses underpinning this technique require further verification. To examine these assumptions, we investigated sediment dynamics in a 10-km² catchment in Northern Laos during the first flood of the monsoon in June 2014. Before this event, Be-7 that labelled soil and sediment during previous storms in 2013 had completely decayed, and the material stored in the river channel was shown to be depleted in Be-7. A large set of samples (n=97) was collected to characterize the sources that may supply sediment to the river. In addition, suspended sediment (n=17) was collected in the river at several stations during this the first flood of the monsoon. A distribution modelling approach was used to quantify the relative contributions of surface and subsurface sources. Further we modelled the proportions of material eroded during this storm compared to material that previously eroded before the storm and was remobilized during this recent event. The results demonstrate that the majority of sediment transported during the first erosive storm of the year consists of older, remobilized material. Furthermore, the contribution of sediment supplied to the river by subsurface sources (i.e., channel bank erosion) increases downstream. In the

  16. Oysters and Vibrios as a Model for Disease Dynamics in Wild Animals. (United States)

    Le Roux, Frédérique; Wegner, K Mathias; Polz, Martin F


    Disease dynamics in the wild are influenced by a number of ecological and evolutionary factors not addressed by traditional laboratory-based characterization of pathogens. Here we propose the oyster, Crassostrea gigas, as a model for studying the interaction of the environment, bacterial pathogens, and the host in disease dynamics. We show that an important first step is to ask whether the functional unit of pathogenesis is a bacterial clone, a population, or a consortium in order to assess triggers of disease outbreaks and devise appropriate monitoring tools. Moreover, the development of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) oysters has enabled assessment of the infection process under natural conditions. Finally, recent results show the importance of microbial interactions and host genetics in determining oyster health and disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Progress study on the mechanism of CAG repeats dynamic mutation in polyQ disease

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    WANG Chun-rong


    Full Text Available Polyglutamine (polyQ disease is a group of neurodegenerative disorders caused by abnormal expansion of CAG repeats within coding regions of certain causative genes, which are translated into a series of abnormally expanded polyQ tracts causing cytotoxicity. So far, nine diseases caused by expanded polyQ tracts have been demonstrated including Huntington's disease (HD, spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA and several spinocerebellar ataxias subtypes (SCA. In human, long CAG repeats tend to expand during transmissions from parent to offspring, named as dynamic mutation, leading to an earlier age of disease onset and more severe symptoms in subsequent generations. The review presents some novel mechanisms based on dynamic mutation.

  18. Current status of understanding of the genetic etiology of coronary heart disease

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    R Pranavchand


    Full Text Available Coronary heart disease (CHD, synonymously known as coronary artery disease (CAD is the most predominant among the cardiovascular diseases and ranked number one in prevalence among the developing countries. CHD is a multifactorial disease involving both genetic and environmental factors and is primarily caused due to a process of progressive damage of coronary arteries called atherosclerosis. We present here a comprehensive review of molecular genetic studies conducted so far on CAD. The information was gathered through the internet using appropriate search terms for CHD/CAD. We also compiled the relevant information from the following websites: Besides several Mendelian forms of the CHD, ~300 more genes have been identified in different studies through candidate gene approach. Additionally 32 more loci have been identified through genome wide association studies that include 9p21.3 as the most replicated genetic locus across the globe. Nevertheless, overall, these studies have been characterized by a relative lack of consistency in the association pattern across the populations. A fair degree of ethnic variation in the nature of association of different genetic variants with the disease has also been apparent. Pleiotropic effects of genes, existence of subclinical phenotypes and genetic heterogeneity appear to have been the limiting factors for developing a genetic risk profile test for the disease. Given the high prevalence of this disease in India, the presence of environmental triggers and genetic variation, it would be prudent to conduct multi-ethnic large-scale studies in India, representing the subcontinent as a whole-there have been a very limited number of molecular genetic studies on Indian populations.

  19. 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

  20. Measuring and modeling spatio-temporal patterns of groundwater storage dynamics to better understand nonlinear streamflow response (United States)

    Rinderer, Michael; van Meerveld, Ilja; McGlynn, Brian


    Information about the spatial and temporal variability in catchment scale groundwater storage is needed to identify runoff source area dynamics and better understand variability in streamflow. However, information on groundwater levels is typically only available at a limited number of monitoring sites and interpolation or upscaling is necessary to obtain information on catchment scale groundwater dynamics. Here we used data from 51 spatially distributed groundwater monitoring sites in a Swiss pre-alpine catchment and time series clustering to define six groundwater response clusters. Each of the clusters was distinct in terms of the groundwater rise and recession but also had distinctly different topographic site characteristics, which allowed us to assign a groundwater response cluster to all non-monitored locations. Each of them was then assigned the mean groundwater response of the monitored cluster members. A site was considered active (i.e., enabling lateral subsurface flow) when the groundwater levels rose above the groundwater response threshold which was defined based on the depth of the more transmissive soil layers (typically between 10 cm and 30 cm below the soil surface). This allowed us to create maps of the active areas across the catchment at 15 min time intervals. The mean fraction of agreement between modeled groundwater activation (based on the mean cluster member time series) and measured groundwater activation (based on the measured groundwater level time series at a monitoring site) was 0.91 (25th percentile: 0.88, median: 0.92, 75th percentile: 0.95). The fraction of agreement dropped by 10 to 15 % at the beginning of events but was never lower than 0.4. Connectivity between all active areas and the stream network was determined using a graph theory approach. During rainfall events, the simulated active and connected area extended mainly laterally and longitudinally along the channel network, which is in agreement with the variable source

  1. The Understanding of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD Among Medical Practitioners of Karachi, Pakistan

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    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.

  2. Communicable diseases in rural and remote Australia: the need for improved understanding and action. (United States)

    Quinn, Emma K; Massey, Peter D; Speare, Rick


    Rural and remote communities of Australia, particularly those including Aboriginal people, experience greater morbidity and mortality across a range of health outcomes compared to urban communities. Previous national data have demonstrated that rural and remote communities experience a disproportionate burden of communicable diseases compared to their urban counterparts. This systematic review was undertaken to describe the types of research that have explored the epidemiology of communicable diseases in rural and remote communities in Australia, with particular reference to the social determinants of health. We conducted a keyword search of several databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, RURAL, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Database, Web of Science Core Collection, and Google and Google Scholar websites) for peer-reviewed and grey literature that described or analysed the epidemiology of communicable diseases in rural and/or remote communities of Australia from 2004 to 2013. Exclusion criteria were applied to keep the review focused on rural and/or remote communities and the population-level epidemiological analysis of communicable diseases. From 2287 retrieved articles, a total of 50 remained after applying exclusion criteria. The majority of included articles were descriptive studies (41/50). Seven of the total 50 articles contained analytical studies; one systematic literature review and one experimental study were also identified. Due to the diversity of approaches in measuring disease burden, we performed a narrative synthesis of the articles according to the review objectives. Most of the articles investigated the disease burden in remote (n=37/50) and Aboriginal communities only (n=21/50). The studies highlighted a high prevalence or incidence of skin, eye and respiratory infections for remote Aboriginal communities, particularly children over the past decade. There was emerging evidence to suggest that housing and social conditions play an

  3. Using physiology to understand climate-driven changes in disease and their implications for conservation. (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Blaustein, Andrew R; Johnson, Pieter T J; Paull, Sara H; Young, Suzanne


    Controversy persists regarding the contributions of climate change to biodiversity losses, through its effects on the spread and emergence of infectious diseases. One of the reasons for this controversy is that there are few mechanistic studies that explore the links among climate change, infectious disease, and declines of host populations. Given that host-parasite interactions are generally mediated by physiological responses, we submit that physiological models could facilitate the prediction of how host-parasite interactions will respond to climate change, and might offer theoretical and terminological cohesion that has been lacking in the climate change-disease literature. We stress that much of the work on how climate influences host-parasite interactions has emphasized changes in climatic means, despite a hallmark of climate change being changes in climatic variability and extremes. Owing to this gap, we highlight how temporal variability in weather, coupled with non-linearities in responses to mean climate, can be used to predict the effects of climate on host-parasite interactions. We also discuss the climate variability hypothesis for disease-related declines, which posits that increased unpredictable temperature variability might provide a temporary advantage to pathogens because they are smaller and have faster metabolisms than their hosts, allowing more rapid acclimatization following a temperature shift. In support of these hypotheses, we provide case studies on the role of climatic variability in host population declines associated with the emergence of the infectious diseases chytridiomycosis, withering syndrome, and malaria. Finally, we present a mathematical model that provides the scaffolding to integrate metabolic theory, physiological mechanisms, and large-scale spatiotemporal processes to predict how simultaneous changes in climatic means, variances, and extremes will affect host-parasite interactions. However, several outstanding questions

  4. Recent advances in understanding and treating chronic granulomatous disease [version 1; referees: 4 approved

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    Andrew Gennery


    Full Text Available A number of recent advances have been made in the epidemiology and treatment of chronic granulomatous disease. Several reports from developing regions describe the presentations and progress of local populations, highlighting complications due to Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccination. A number of new reports describe complications of chronic granulomatous disease in adult patients, as more survivors reach adulthood. The complications experienced by X-linked carriers are particularly highlighted in three new reports, confirming that infection and inflammatory or autoimmune conditions are more common and severe than previously recognised. Finally, definitive treatment with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and gene therapy is reviewed.

  5. An innovative lab-based training program to help patient groups understand their disease and the research process.

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    Marion Mathieu


    Full Text Available Genuine partnership between patient groups and medical experts is important but challenging. Our training program meets this challenge by organizing hands-on, lab-based training sessions for members of patient groups. These sessions allow "trainees" to better understand their disease and the biomedical research process, and strengthen links between patients and local researchers. Over the past decade, we and our partner institutes have received more than 900 French patients, with the participation of over 60 researchers and clinicians.

  6. An innovative lab-based training program to help patient groups understand their disease and the research process. (United States)

    Mathieu, Marion; Hammond, Constance; Karlin, David G


    Genuine partnership between patient groups and medical experts is important but challenging. Our training program meets this challenge by organizing hands-on, lab-based training sessions for members of patient groups. These sessions allow "trainees" to better understand their disease and the biomedical research process, and strengthen links between patients and local researchers. Over the past decade, we and our partner institutes have received more than 900 French patients, with the participation of over 60 researchers and clinicians.

  7. Modeling infectious disease dynamics in the complex landscape of global health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heesterbeek, Hans; 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,

  8. 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,

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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…

  11. Understanding outbreaks of waterborne infectious disease: quantitative microbial risk assessment vs. epidemiology (United States)

    Drinking water contaminated with microbial pathogens can cause outbreaks of infectious disease, and these outbreaks are traditionally studied using epidemiologic methods. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) can predict – and therefore help prevent – such outbreaks, but it has never been r...

  12. Genus Epidemicus: Are Notions of Entanglement Relevant to the Homeopathic Understanding of Epidemic Disease? (United States)

    Milgrom, Lionel R


    Patient-practitioner-remedy (PPR) entanglement postulates non-local triadic interaction between patient (Px), practitioner (Pr) and potentised medicine (Rx), resulting in the patient's journey to cure; the in-depth homeopathic interview is considered a major contributing factor in this process. Also, by modelling entelechy, a quantised gyroscopic analogue of the Vital Force (Vf) has been developed. To discover whether entanglement notions explain the mode of action of homeopathy during the treatment of epidemic diseases, when the individualising in-depth homeopathic interview is neither possible nor necessary. The current Vf wave equation applies specifically to the in-depth patient/practitioner consultation in chronic dis-ease. A generalised form of the Vf wave equation, an earlier hypothesis based on quantum field theory (QFT) and PPR entanglement were all re-investigated. The generalised Vf wave equation was found applicable in 3 main conditions: acute self-limiting, chronic and epidemic dis-ease. In the latter, a single, coherent Vf epidemic 'wave function' covering all susceptible beings could be identified, which, after practitioner intervention, disappears. Analogies were drawn between groups of atoms in a p-doped semiconductor and a collection of susceptible beings in an epidemic. Here, genus epidemicus is likened to an 'n-type dopant', which forms a 'p-n junction' with the dis-ease. Using the QFT hypothesis/metaphor, genus epidemicus acts as a 'gauge field' restoring 'global invariance' to the symmetry-broken, symptom-expressing Vf, i.e., restoring health. Entanglement hypotheses/metaphors may have application in the homeopathic therapeutic process beyond the one-to-one in-depth interview, and so are relevant to describing the mode of action of homeopathy during treatment of epidemic disease. © 2016 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.

  13. 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

  14. Use of physical models for the understanding of the Earth's electron radiation belts dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varotsou, Athina


    Since the discovery of the Earth's radiation belts by James Van Alien, in the fifties, the interest in exploring this region around Earth and in understanding the physics implicated hasn't ceased to increase. This environment being very radioactive, it constitutes an important danger for satellites in orbit and humans in space. The Department of Space Environment at ONERA, centre of Toulouse, begun in the nineties the development of a physical model describing the Earth's radiation belts, the Salammbo model. Since its conception, the Salammbo model hasn't ceased to evolve thanks to an important number of PhDs and continuous researches. The purpose of this thesis was to study the dynamics of the electron outer radiation belt. Early in the history of research on the radiation belts, the process of radial diffusion was identified as a key process of the dynamics observed. Recently, local acceleration of electrons due to resonant interactions with whistler-mode chorus waves is being considered as the most probable candidate to explain the important increase of high energy electron flux observed after a magnetic storm. Research of this thesis has focalized on the combined effect of radial diffusion and electron-chorus interactions outside the plasmapause. Results show that chorus waves accelerate electrons to relativistic energies. When radial diffusion and electron-chorus interactions are taken into account in the simulations, the two processes are in competition and the final result depends on the relative power of the two. (author) [fr

  15. Views of Carnac: applications of visibility analysis and dynamic visualisation for understanding the Neolithic monuments of southern Brittany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinne Roughley


    Full Text Available The Neolithic monuments of the Carnac area of southern Brittany are of international importance. However, archaeologists have tended to study the monuments as individual sites, rather than investigating their landscape settings. This is in part because the landscape is difficult to explore in the field. Modern houses and conifer plantations obscure views; earthen structures have been significantly reduced in size, indeed some have been entirely levelled. As it is difficult to conduct fieldwork in this landscape, digital techniques are particularly informative. The landscape is a subtle one, and environmentally deterministic interpretations are implausible. However, this does not mean that topography was unimportant to the choices of monument location. The visual characteristics of locales can vary greatly even in relatively slight topography. Small rises can obscure features near by, or give considerable prominence over longer distances. This article explores the potential of visibility analysis and dynamic visualisation for investigating the visual context of two of the monument types, the earthen long mounds and angled passage graves. Traditional viewshed maps allow direct quantitative comparisons to be made between sites. The effect of monument dimensions is explored. However, as has been discussed in earlier articles in Internet Archaeology (e.g. Gillings and Goodrick 1996, viewshed analysis does not represent the whole of human visual experience. Therefore, visualisations have been used to explore the landscape further. A dynamic visualisation of a journey up the Crac'h estuary provides a more subjective view of the landscape settings of the monuments. The VRML version of the landscape model provides the opportunity for readers to explore the landscape themselves, and expand on the interpretations offered. However, the visualisations are limited in their resolution, and thus it is important to refer back to the viewshed maps for specific

  16. When nature's robots go rogue: exploring protein homeostasis dysfunction and the implications for understanding human aging disease pathologies. (United States)

    Reisz, Julie A; Barrett, Alexander S; Nemkov, Travis; Hansen, Kirk C; D'Alessandro, Angelo


    Proteins have been historically regarded as "nature's robots": Molecular machines that are essential to cellular/extracellular physical mechanical properties and catalyze key reactions for cell/system viability. However, these robots are kept in check by other protein-based machinery to preserve proteome integrity and stability. During aging, protein homeostasis is challenged by oxidation, decreased synthesis, and increasingly inefficient mechanisms responsible for repairing or degrading damaged proteins. In addition, disruptions to protein homeostasis are hallmarks of many neurodegenerative diseases and diseases disproportionately affecting the elderly. Areas covered: Here we summarize age- and disease-related changes to the protein machinery responsible for preserving proteostasis and describe how both aging and disease can each exacerbate damage initiated by the other. We focus on alteration of proteostasis as an etiological or phenomenological factor in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, along with Down syndrome, ophthalmic pathologies, and cancer. Expert commentary: Understanding the mechanisms of proteostasis and their dysregulation in health and disease will represent an essential breakthrough in the treatment of many (senescence-associated) pathologies. Strides in this field are currently underway and largely attributable to the introduction of high-throughput omics technologies and their combination with novel approaches to explore structural and cross-link biochemistry.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding the causes and implications of endothelial metabolic variation in cardiovascular disease through genome scale metabolic modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah eMcGarrity


    Full Text Available High-throughput biochemical profiling has led to a requirement for advanced data interpretation techniques capable of integrating the analysis of gene, protein, and metabolic profiles to shed light on genotype-phenotype relationships. Herein, we consider the current state of knowledge of endothelial cell (EC metabolism and its connections to cardiovascular disease, and explore the use of genome scale metabolic models (GEMs for integrating metabolic and genomic data. GEMs combine gene expression and metabolic data acting as frameworks for their analysis and, ultimately, afford mechanistic understanding of how genetic variation impacts metabolism. We demonstrate how GEMs can be used to investigate cardiovascular disease-related genetic variation, drug resistance mechanisms, and novel metabolic pathways, in ECs. The application of GEMs in personalized medicine is also highlighted. Particularly, we focus on the potential of GEMs to identify metabolic biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and to discover methods of stratifying treatments for cardiovascular diseases based on individual genetic markers. Recent advances in systems biology methodology, and how these methodologies can be applied to understand EC metabolism in both health and disease, are thus highlighted.

  20. Non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: understanding the drivers of the epidemic to inform intervention strategies. (United States)

    Nyirenda, Moffat J


    Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a rapidly increasing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), while it continues to face longstanding challenges from infectious diseases. This double burden of disease could have a devastating impact on a continent that already has significant resource constraints, emphasizing the urgent need for appropriate interventions in the region. However, it is crucial to have a careful understanding of the local drivers of NCDs. This should not only include study of the traditional lifestyle risk factors, but also an examination of emerging risk factors (such as the influence of insults early in life or interactions with infection), which may be of particular importance in Africa. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  1. Dynamic Heterogeneity of the Heart Valve Interstitial Cell Population in Mitral Valve Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tori E. Horne


    Full Text Available The heart valve interstitial cell (VIC population is dynamic and thought to mediate lay down and maintenance of the tri-laminar extracellular matrix (ECM structure within the developing and mature valve throughout life. Disturbances in the contribution and distribution of valve ECM components are detrimental to biomechanical function and associated with disease. This pathological process is associated with activation of resident VICs that in the absence of disease reside as quiescent cells. While these paradigms have been long standing, characterization of this abundant and ever-changing valve cell population is incomplete. Here we examine the expression pattern of Smooth muscle α-actin, Periostin, Twist1 and Vimentin in cultured VICs, heart valves from healthy embryonic, postnatal and adult mice, as well as mature valves from human patients and established mouse models of disease. We show that the VIC population is highly heterogeneous and phenotypes are dependent on age, species, location, and disease state. Furthermore, we identify phenotypic diversity across common models of mitral valve disease. These studies significantly contribute to characterizing the VIC population in health and disease and provide insights into the cellular dynamics that maintain valve structure in healthy adults and mediate pathologic remodeling in disease states.

  2. Impacts of land cover and climate data selection on understanding terrestrial carbon dynamics and the CO2 airborne fraction (United States)

    Poulter, B.; Frank, D. C.; Hodson, E. L.; Zimmermann, N. E.


    Terrestrial and oceanic carbon cycle processes remove ~55 % of global carbon emissions, with the remaining 45 %, known as the "airborne fraction", accumulating in the atmosphere. The long-term dynamics of the component fluxes contributing to the airborne fraction are challenging to interpret, but important for informing fossil-fuel emission targets and for monitoring the trends of biospheric carbon fluxes. Climate and land-cover forcing data for terrestrial ecosystem models are a largely unexplored source of uncertainty in terms of their contribution to understanding airborne fraction dynamics. Here we present results using a single dynamic global vegetation model forced by an ensemble experiment of climate (CRU, ERA-Interim, NCEP-DOE II), and diagnostic land-cover datasets (GLC2000, GlobCover, MODIS). For the averaging period 1996-2005, forcing uncertainties resulted in a large range of simulated global carbon fluxes, up to 13 % for net primary production (52.4 to 60.2 Pg C a-1) and 19 % for soil respiration (44.2 to 54.8 Pg C a-1). The sensitivity of contemporary global terrestrial carbon fluxes to climate strongly depends on forcing data (1.2-5.9 Pg C K-1 or 0.5 to 2.7 ppmv CO2 K-1), but weakening carbon sinks in sub-tropical regions and strengthening carbon sinks in northern latitudes are found to be robust. The climate and land-cover combination that best correlate to the inferred carbon sink, and with the lowest residuals, is from observational data (CRU) rather than reanalysis climate data and with land-cover categories that have more stringent criteria for forest cover (MODIS). Since 1998, an increasing positive trend in residual error from bottom-up accounting of global sinks and sources (from 0.03 (1989-2005) to 0.23 Pg C a-1 (1998-2005)) suggests that either modeled drought sensitivity of carbon fluxes is too high, or that carbon emissions from net land-cover change is too large.

  3. Optimizing Outcomes in Immunocompromised Hosts: Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Invasive Fungal Diseases


    Ravikumar, Sharada; Win, Mar Soe; Chai, Louis Yi Ann


    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 morbidit...

  4. Pelvic inflammatory disease in the adolescent: understanding diagnosis and treatment as a health care provider. (United States)

    Woods, Jennifer L; Scurlock, Amy M; Hensel, Devon J


    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common clinical syndrome with highest rates in adolescents, but no studies have singularly focused on this population in relationship to established guidelines for diagnosis and treatment. The study objective was to assess knowledge of diagnosis and treatment criteria for PID within an adolescent population and to compare factors associated with adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in outpatient settings. Data were collected as part of a retrospective chart review of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections in adolescent women in an outpatient setting. Participant charts were eligible for review if they were 12 to 21 years of age and were given an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision/chart diagnosis of PID. Two primary outcome variables were utilized: meeting PID diagnosis guidelines (no/yes) and correct treatment for subject meeting criteria with guidelines (no/yes). The study controlled for race, age, medical venue, and current/past infection with gonorrhea/chlamydia. Subjects (n = 150) were examined for the primary outcome variables; 78% (117/150) met at least 1 criterion for PID diagnosis. Nearly 75% (111/150) had cervical motion tenderness, 34% (51/150) adnexal tenderness, and 5% (7/150) had uterine tenderness; nearly 11% (16/150) were positive for all 3 criteria. Symptoms associated with PID were compared for subjects meeting diagnosis criteria versus subjects not meeting diagnosis criteria: abdominal pain and vomiting were significantly associated with PID diagnosis at P Pelvic inflammatory disease and cervicitis appear to be confused by providers in the diagnosis process, and educational tools may be necessary to increase the knowledge base of practitioners in regard to PID.

  5. “Touching Triton”: Building Student Understanding of Complex Disease Risk


    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. T...

  6. Understanding right ventricular dysfunction and functional tricuspid regurgitation accompanying mitral valve disease. (United States)

    Vargas Abello, Lina Maria; Klein, Allan L; Marwick, Thomas H; Nowicki, Edward R; Rajeswaran, Jeevanantham; Puwanant, Sarinya; Blackstone, Eugene H; Pettersson, Gösta B


    The study objective was to correlate the degree of tricuspid regurgitation with clinical indicators of right-sided heart failure and both qualitative and quantitative measures of right-sided heart morphology and function in patients with degenerative mitral valve disease. From 2001 to 2007, 1833 patients with degenerative mitral valve disease, structurally normal tricuspid valve, and no coronary artery disease underwent surgery. Right-sided heart morphology (right ventricular base-to-apex length, tethering distance and area, and right atrial systolic area) and right ventricular function (tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, myocardial performance index, and tricuspid valve annular shortening) were measured on preoperative transthoracic echocardiograms for 100 randomly selected patients from each of tricuspid regurgitation grades 0, 1+, and 2+, and for all 93 patients with tricuspid regurgitation grade 3+/4+. Multivariable regression was used to evaluate the association of left- and right-sided heart morphology and function with tricuspid regurgitation. Increasing tricuspid regurgitation grade was associated with higher right ventricular pressure (P tricuspid regurgitation was present. When tricuspid regurgitation was 3+/4+, both tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion and myocardial performance index were almost certainly abnormal. Changes in right-sided heart morphology and right ventricular dysfunction were synergistic in relation to severity of tricuspid regurgitation. Functional tricuspid regurgitation accompanying mitral valve disease is associated with proportional changes in right-sided heart morphology; however, severe tricuspid regurgitation is nearly always associated with right ventricular dysfunction, suggesting a synergistic relationship. Right ventricular dysfunction is likely as important as tricuspid regurgitation because it offers an explanation for the negative prognostic impact of tricuspid regurgitation and has implications for the

  7. Altered fractal dynamics of gait: reduced stride-interval correlations with aging and Huntington's disease (United States)

    Hausdorff, J. M.; Mitchell, S. L.; Firtion, R.; Peng, C. K.; Cudkowicz, M. E.; Wei, J. Y.; Goldberger, A. L.


    Fluctuations in the duration of the gait cycle (the stride interval) display fractal dynamics and long-range correlations in healthy young adults. We hypothesized that these stride-interval correlations would be altered by changes in neurological function associated with aging and certain disease states. To test this hypothesis, we compared the stride-interval time series of 1) healthy elderly subjects and young controls and of 2) subjects with Huntington's disease and healthy controls. Using detrended fluctuation analysis we computed alpha, a measure of the degree to which one stride interval is correlated with previous and subsequent intervals over different time scales. The scaling exponent alpha was significantly lower in elderly subjects compared with young subjects (elderly: 0.68 +/- 0.14; young: 0.87 +/- 0.15; P elderly subjects and in subjects with Huntington's disease. Abnormal alterations in the fractal properties of gait dynamics are apparently associated with changes in central nervous system control.

  8. [Achieving pathogenesis understanding of ocular diseases by deciphering the underlying molecular pathways]. (United States)

    Huang, Qian


    The field of ophthalmology research has experienced a revolution since the 1970's, when molecular biology techniques were gradually and widely adopted. Many of the developments generated impact that went far beyond the field of ophthalmology. A classic case was the identification and characterization of the Retinoblastoma susceptibility gene (Rb), whose impact went far beyond the rare and obscure disease, as it provides key evidence for the concept of tumor suppressor gene and the "two hit" theory of tumor formation. The identification of scores of genes involved in retinitis pigmentosum (pigmentosa), on the other hand, show cases the complexity of multi-factorial diseases. Ophthalmology researchers in China have been quick in integrating these novel tools into their research. However, the field still lags behind in the effective use of these technologies to carry out in-depth inquiries into key disease mechanisms. The advent of "omics" technologies heralded a new era in biomedical research that allows for the global and rapid survey of genetic and biochemical profiles. Effective integration of these novel technologies into ophthalmology research will have far-reaching impact for the whole field.

  9. Marsupials as models for understanding the role of chromosome rearrangements in evolution and disease. (United States)

    Deakin, Janine E; Kruger-Andrzejewska, Maya


    Chromosome rearrangements have been implicated in diseases, such as cancer, and speciation, but it remains unclear whether rearrangements are causal or merely a consequence of these processes. Two marsupial families with very different rates of karyotype evolution provide excellent models in which to study the role of chromosome rearrangements in a disease and evolutionary context. The speciose family Dasyuridae displays remarkable karyotypic conservation, with all species examined to date possessing nearly identical karyotypes. Despite the seemingly high degree of chromosome stability within this family, they appear prone to developing tumours, including transmissible devil facial tumours. In contrast, chromosome rearrangements have been frequent in the evolution of the species-rich family Macropodidae, which displays a high level of karyotypic diversity. In particular, the genus Petrogale (rock-wallabies) displays an extraordinary level of chromosome rearrangement among species. For six parapatric Petrogale species, it appears that speciation has essentially been caught in the act, providing an opportunity to determine whether chromosomal rearrangements are a cause or consequence of speciation in this system. This review highlights the reasons that these two marsupial families are excellent models for testing hypotheses for hotspots of chromosome rearrangement and deciphering the role of chromosome rearrangements in disease and speciation.

  10. Different approaches, one target: understanding cellular mechanisms of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. (United States)

    Torrão, Andréa S; Café-Mendes, Cecilia C; Real, Caroline C; Hernandes, Marina S; Ferreira, Ana F B; Santos, Taisa O; Chaves-Kirsten, Gabriela P; Mazucanti, Caio H Y; Ferro, Emer S; Scavone, Cristoforo; Britto, Luiz R G


    Neurodegenerative disorders are undoubtedly an increasing problem in the health sciences, given the increase of life expectancy and occasional vicious life style. Despite the fact that the mechanisms of such diseases are far from being completely understood, a large number of studies that derive from both the basic science and clinical approaches have contributed substantial data in that direction. In this review, it is discussed several frontiers of basic research on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, in which research groups from three departments of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of São Paulo have been involved in a multidisciplinary effort. The main focus of the review involves the animal models that have been developed to study cellular and molecular aspects of those neurodegenerative diseases, including oxidative stress, insulin signaling and proteomic analyses, among others. We anticipate that this review will help the group determine future directions of joint research in the field and, more importantly, set the level of cooperation we plan to develop in collaboration with colleagues of the Nucleus for Applied Neuroscience Research that are mostly involved with clinical research in the same field.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Alcohol, liver disease, and transplantation: shifting attitudes and new understanding leads to changes in practice. (United States)

    Mathurin, Philippe; Lucey, Michael R


    Review the current status of liver transplantation for patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) will increase as a source of patients requiring liver transplantation. Attitudes to use of liver transplantation as rescue therapy for patients with severe alcohol-related hepatitis are changing. The long-term health of ALD liver transplantation recipients requires continued assistance to patients with AUD. Liver transplantation of patients with ALD increased during the last decade and we predict that this trend will continue because of the decline in the number of hepatitis C virus-infected candidates. Concomitantly, a shift in the selection for liver transplantation has occurred of patients with severe alcohol-related hepatitis not responding to medical therapy. Although rescue liver transplantation is a valuable option for patients with severe alcohol-related hepatitis, worldwide practice regarding rescue liver transplantation remains very heterogeneous. There is increasing recognition that excessive consumption of alcohol after liver transplantation is harmful to graft function and patient survival. Factors associated with relapse are younger age at liver transplantation and shorter duration of sobriety prior to liver transplantation. The long-term health of the ALD liver transplant recipient requires continued assistance regarding AUD, a lifelong disorder of craving, relapse, and remission. However, there have been very few studies evaluating best practices for long-term addiction care in transplant recipients. After liver transplantation, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, infections, and cancer increases over time. Addiction to tobacco constitutes an important issue that must be considered as tobacco cessation may decrease the incidence of tobacco-related cardiovascular and lung disease and aerodigestive cancers.

  17. Understanding and reducing stress and psychological distress in older women with heart disease. (United States)

    Janz, Nancy K; Dodge, Julia A; Janevic, Mary R; Lin, Xihong; Donaldson, Amy E; Clark, Noreen M


    Stress and psychological distress were assessed in 457 older women who were subsequently randomized to a six-week heart disease management program ("Women take PRIDE") or to a "usual care" control group. Baseline distress was significantly associated with age, symptoms, physical functioning, social support, optimism, and self-esteem (p stress. At four months follow-up, intervention women compared to controls were significantly more likely to report reductions in stress levels (p = 0.02) and also showed improvement in emotional behavior (p = 0.09).

  18. 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.

  19. From genome-wide association studies to Mendelian randomization: Novel opportunities for understanding cardiovascular disease causality, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment. (United States)

    Benn, Marianne; Nordestgaard, Børge G


    The Mendelian randomization approach is an epidemiologic study design incorporating genetic information into traditional epidemiologic studies to infer causality of biomarkers, risk factors, or lifestyle factors on disease risk. Mendelian randomization studies often draw on novel information generated in genome-wide association studies on causal associations between genetic variants and a risk factor or lifestyle factor. Such information can then be used in a largely unconfounded study design free of reverse causation to understand if and how risk factors and lifestyle factors cause cardiovascular disease. If causation is demonstrated, an opportunity for prevention of disease is identified; importantly however, before prevention or treatment can be implemented, randomized intervention trials altering risk factor levels or improving deleterious lifestyle factors needs to document reductions in cardiovascular disease in a safe and side-effect sparse manner. Documentation of causality can also inform on potential drug targets, more likely to be successful than prior approaches often relying on animal or cell studies mainly.The present review summarizes the history and background of Mendelian randomization, the study design, assumptions for using the design, and the most common caveats, followed by a discussion on advantages and disadvantages of different types of Mendelian randomization studies using one or more samples and different levels of information on study participants. The review also provides an overview of results on many of the risk factors and lifestyle factors for cardiovascular disease examined to date using the Mendelian randomization study design.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Recent advances in understanding and preventing human papillomavirus-related disease [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Hellner


    Full Text Available High-risk human papillomaviruses (hrHPV are responsible for anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers, which together account for at least 5% of cancers worldwide. Industrialised nations have benefitted from highly effective screening for the prevention of cervical cancer in recent decades, yet this vital intervention remains inaccessible to millions of women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs, who bear the greatest burden of HPV disease. While there is an urgent need to increase investment in basic health infrastructure and rollout of prophylactic vaccination, there are now unprecedented opportunities to exploit recent scientific and technological advances in screening and treatment of pre-invasive hrHPV lesions and to adapt them for delivery at scale in resource-limited settings. In addition, non-surgical approaches to the treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and other hrHPV lesions are showing encouraging results in clinical trials of therapeutic vaccines and antiviral agents. Finally, the use of next-generation sequencing to characterise the vaginal microbial environment is beginning to shed light on host factors that may influence the natural history of HPV infections. In this article, we focus on recent advances in these areas and discuss their potential for impact on HPV disease.

  5. Diseases and causes of death in European bats: dynamics in disease susceptibility and infection rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Mühldorfer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bats receive increasing attention in infectious disease studies, because of their well recognized status as reservoir species for various infectious agents. This is even more important, as bats with their capability of long distance dispersal and complex social structures are unique in the way microbes could be spread by these mammalian species. Nevertheless, infection studies in bats are predominantly limited to the identification of specific pathogens presenting a potential health threat to humans. But the impact of infectious agents on the individual host and their importance on bat mortality is largely unknown and has been neglected in most studies published to date. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Between 2002 and 2009, 486 deceased bats of 19 European species (family Vespertilionidae were collected in different geographic regions in Germany. Most animals represented individual cases that have been incidentally found close to roosting sites or near human habitation in urban and urban-like environments. The bat carcasses were subjected to a post-mortem examination and investigated histo-pathologically, bacteriologically and virologically. Trauma and disease represented the most important causes of death in these bats. Comparative analysis of pathological findings and microbiological results show that microbial agents indeed have an impact on bats succumbing to infectious diseases, with fatal bacterial, viral and parasitic infections found in at least 12% of the bats investigated. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data demonstrate the importance of diseases and infectious agents as cause of death in European bat species. The clear seasonal and individual variations in disease prevalence and infection rates indicate that maternity colonies are more susceptible to infectious agents, underlining the possible important role of host physiology, immunity and roosting behavior as risk factors for infection of bats.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding biology to tackle the disease: Multiple myeloma from bench to bedside, and back. (United States)

    Bianchi, Giada; Anderson, Kenneth C


    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells. The pathognomonic laboratory finding is a monoclonal immunoglobulin or free light chain in the serum and/or urine in association with bone marrow infiltration by malignant plasma cells. MM develops from a premalignant condition, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), often via an intermediate stage termed smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), which differs from active myeloma by the absence of disease-related end-organ damage. Unlike MGUS and SMM, active MM requires therapy. Over the past 6 decades, major advancements in the care of MM patients have occurred, in particular, the introduction of novel agents (ie, proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents) and the implementation of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in suitable candidates. The effectiveness and good tolerability of novel agents allowed for their combined use in induction, consolidation, and maintenance therapy, resulting in deeper and more sustained clinical response and extended progression-free and overall survival. Previously a rapidly lethal cancer with few therapeutic options, MM is the hematologic cancer with the most novel US Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs in the past 15 years. These advances have resulted in more frequent long-term remissions, transforming MM into a chronic illness for many patients. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

  15. Understanding the Psychosocial Effects of WES Test Results on Parents of Children with Rare Diseases. (United States)

    Krabbenborg, Lotte; Vissers, L E L M; Schieving, J; Kleefstra, T; Kamsteeg, E J; Veltman, J A; Willemsen, M A; Van der Burg, S


    The use of whole exome sequencing (WES) for diagnostics of children with rare genetic diseases raises questions about best practices in genetic counselling. While a lot of attention is now given to pre-test counselling procedures for WES, little is known about how parents experience the (positive, negative, or inconclusive) WES results in daily life. To fill this knowledge gap, data were gathered through in-depth interviews with parents of 15 children who underwent WES analysis. WES test results, like results from other genetic tests, evoked relief as well as worries, irrespective of the type of result. Advantages of obtaining a conclusive diagnosis included becoming more accepting towards the situation, being enabled to attune care to the needs of the child, and better coping with feelings of guilt. Disadvantages experienced included a loss of hope for recovery, and a loss by parents of their social network of peers and the effort necessary to re-establish that social network. While parents with conclusive diagnoses were able to re-establish a peer community with the help of social media, parents receiving a possible diagnosis experienced hurdles in seeking peer support, as peers still needed to be identified. These types of psychosocial effects of WES test results for parents are important to take into account for the development of successful genetic counselling strategies.

  16. Perspectives in understanding the role of human 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases in health and disease. (United States)

    Meier, Marc; Möller, Gabriele; Adamski, Jerzy


    Steroid signaling involves specific receptors that mediate genomic effects and many further proteins responsible for fast nongenomic activities. Metabolism at the position 17 of the steroid scaffold plays a pivotal role in the final regulation of the biological potency of steroid hormones. Enzymes responsible for that, the 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17beta-HSD), act as carbonyl reductases and require cofactors for their catalytic activity. There is a substantial amount of evidence that human 17beta-HSDs are as well involved in the metabolic pathways of retinoids and fatty acid beyond that which has so far been anticipated. At present fourteen 17beta-HSDs have been annotated and characterized, and more might follow. Many of 17beta-HSDs have been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of human disorders and are targets for therapeutic intervention. Strategies on deciphering the physiological role of the 17beta-HSD and the genetic predisposition for associated diseases will be presented involving analyses of animal models.

  17. 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.

  18. State of Compensatory-Adaptive Mechanisms in Patients with Purulent Meningitis in Dynamics of the Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.V. Ryabokon


    Full Text Available The article analyzes the clinical features of autonomic dysfunction and state of compensatory-adaptive mechanisms in patients with purulent meningitis in the dynamics of the disease. We found that in patients with purulent meningitis at the height of the disease dominance of cerebral, meningeal symptoms combined with some objective evidence of autonomic dysfunction and reduced power of heart rate variability with the presence of autonomic imbalance towards vagotonia. In the dynamics in patients with purulent meningitis against the background of conventional treatment clinical signs of autonomic dysfunction prevail from the 2nd week, they persist at discharge in 72.7 % of patients, combining with imbalanced parameters of neurohumoral regulation, in the form of reduced power of spectral parameters of heart rate variability with presence of autonomic imbalance towards vagotonia.

  19. Applying a Computational Fluid Dynamics model to understand flow structures in a large river: the Rio Paraná (United States)

    Sandbach, S. D.; Hardy, R. J.; Lane, S. N.; Ashworth, P. J.; Parsons, D. R.


    Our understanding of large rivers is limited due to the difficulties in obtaining field data at these large scales. Data rich results may be obtained using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models permitting the investigation of detailed flow patterns that would otherwise not be available. However, the application of these models to large rivers is not without its own complications and has yet to be fully developed. This is the result of two limiting factors, our inability; i) to design numerically stable meshes for complex topographies at these spatial resolutions; and; ii) to collect high resolution data appropriate for the boundary conditions of the numerical scheme. Here, we demonstrate a five-term mass-flux scaling algorithm (MFSA) for including bed topography in a very large river, where the discretised form of the mass and momentum equations are modified using a numerical blockage. Converged solutions were obtained using the Reynolds-averaged Navier stokes (RANS) equations modelling turbulence with a κ-ɛ RNG turbulence model. The boundary conditions were supplied from a field investigation of the Rio Paraná upstream of the Paraguay-Paraná confluence. A 38 km long reach was investigated where topographic and velocity data was collected using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (aDcp) and a single beam echo sounder. The model was validated against the aDcp data and in general showed good agreement. The model was then used to explore the impacts of roughness height upon key characteristics of the 3D flow field in large rivers. The results demonstrate the importance of topographic forcing on determining flow structures including the detection of large helical flow structures.

  20. 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.

  1. Towards a more comprehensive understanding of the diabatic ABL dynamics: variability of the pressure gradient in time and height (United States)

    Momen, M.; Bou-Zeid, E.


    Real-world atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers involve many inherent complexities that have often been neglected in the previous studies. For example, pressure gradients in nature frequently vary with time (unsteadiness) and height (baroclinicity); yet most previous investigations have focused on the steady-state barotropic conditions. We perform a suite of large-eddy simulations (LES), which include the temporal/spatial variability of the pressure gradient in the presence of the surface buoyancy. The impact of the variations in the pressure gradient on the mean and turbulent production, dissipation, and transport terms will be presented (e.g. figure 1). We then show that the mean ABL dynamics can be interpreted as a damped oscillator where inertial, Coriolis, and friction forces reflect the mass, spring and damper respectively (see e.g. Momen and Bou-Zeid [1]). This simplified physical framework reduces the governing RANS PDEs into a single ODE. The surface buoyancy forces largely influence the damping term in the model, corresponding to friction forces. The height dependence of the pressure gradient appears as an independent parameter in the model and hence this model can also be used to predict such conditions with an appropriate selection of the corresponding forces. The performance of this model is validated against LES results. The performed simulations help us better understand and model the underlying physics of the real ABLs. In addition to elucidating the fundamental features of the diurnal cycle and low-level jets, the reduced model covers a much wider range of realistic conditions, and can be employed for short-term forecasts of wind power production, and in various other engineering and meteorological applications. [1] Momen, M., and E. Bou-Zeid, 2016: Large Eddy Simulations and Damped-Oscillator Models of the Unsteady Ekman Boundary Layer. J. Atmos. Sci., 73, 25-40, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0038.1.

  2. Vascular branches from cutaneous nerve of the forearm and hand: application to better understanding raynaud's disease. (United States)

    Umemoto, K; Ohmichi, M; Ohmichi, Y; Yakura, T; Hammer, N; Mizuno, D; Naito, M; Nakano, T


    Cutaneous nerves have branches called vascular branches (VBs) that reach arteries. VBs are thought to be involved in arterial constriction, and this is the rationale for periarterial sympathectomy as a treatment option for Raynaud's disease. However, the branching patterns and distribution areas of the VBs remain largely unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anatomical structures of the VBs of the cutaneous nerves. Forty hands and forearms were examined to assess the branching patterns and distribution areas of the VBs of the superficial branch of the radial nerve (SBRN), the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve (LACN), the medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve (MACN), and the palmar cutaneous branch of the ulnar nerve (PCUN). VBs reaching the radial and ulnar arteries were observed in all specimens. The branching patterns were classified into six types. The mean distance between the radial styloid process and the point where the VBs reached the radial artery was 34.3 ± 4.8 mm in the SBRN and 38.5 ± 15.8 mm in the LACN. The mean distance between the ulnar styloid process and the point where the VBs reached the ulnar artery was 60.3 ± 25.9 mm in the MACN and 43.8 ± 26.0 mm in the PCUN. This study showed that the VBs of the cutaneous nerves have diverse branching patterns. The VBs of the SBRN had a more limited distribution areas than those of the other nerves. Clin. Anat., 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. The expanding role of fish models in understanding non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoichi Asaoka


    Full Text Available Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD is a condition in which excessive fat accumulates in the liver of an individual who has not consumed excessive alcohol. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, a severe form of NAFLD, can progress to hepatic cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC. NAFLD is considered to be a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, and its incidence has risen worldwide in lockstep with the increased global prevalence of obesity. Over the last decade, rodent studies have yielded an impressive list of molecules associated with NAFLD and NASH pathogenesis. However, the identification of currently unknown metabolic factors using mammalian model organisms is inefficient and expensive compared with studies using fish models such as zebrafish (Danio rerio and medaka (Oryzias latipes. Substantial advances in unraveling the molecular pathogenesis of NAFLD have recently been achieved through unbiased forward genetic screens using small fish models. Furthermore, these easily manipulated organisms have been used to great advantage to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of various chemical compounds for the treatment of NAFLD. In this Review, we summarize aspects of NAFLD (specifically focusing on NASH pathogenesis that have been previously revealed by rodent models, and discuss how small fish are increasingly being used to uncover factors that contribute to normal hepatic lipid metabolism. We describe the various types of fish models in use for this purpose, including those generated by mutation, transgenesis, or dietary or chemical treatment, and contrast them with rodent models. The use of small fish in identifying novel potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of NAFLD and NASH is also addressed.

  4. Integration and Visualization of Translational Medicine Data for Better Understanding of Human Diseases. (United States)

    Satagopam, Venkata; Gu, Wei; Eifes, Serge; Gawron, Piotr; Ostaszewski, Marek; Gebel, Stephan; Barbosa-Silva, Adriano; Balling, Rudi; Schneider, Reinhard


    Translational medicine is a domain turning results of basic life science research into new tools and methods in a clinical environment, for example, as new diagnostics or therapies. Nowadays, the process of translation is supported by large amounts of heterogeneous data ranging from medical data to a whole range of -omics data. It is not only a great opportunity but also a great challenge, as translational medicine big data is difficult to integrate and analyze, and requires the involvement of biomedical experts for the data processing. We show here that visualization and interoperable workflows, combining multiple complex steps, can address at least parts of the challenge. In this article, we present an integrated workflow for exploring, analysis, and interpretation of translational medicine data in the context of human health. Three Web services-tranSMART, a Galaxy Server, and a MINERVA platform-are combined into one big data pipeline. Native visualization capabilities enable the biomedical experts to get a comprehensive overview and control over separate steps of the workflow. The capabilities of tranSMART enable a flexible filtering of multidimensional integrated data sets to create subsets suitable for downstream processing. A Galaxy Server offers visually aided construction of analytical pipelines, with the use of existing or custom components. A MINERVA platform supports the exploration of health and disease-related mechanisms in a contextualized analytical visualization system. We demonstrate the utility of our workflow by illustrating its subsequent steps using an existing data set, for which we propose a filtering scheme, an analytical pipeline, and a corresponding visualization of analytical results. The workflow is available as a sandbox environment, where readers can work with the described setup themselves. Overall, our work shows how visualization and interfacing of big data processing services facilitate exploration, analysis, and interpretation of

  5. Penetration into Granular Earth Materials (Topic H): A Multi-scale Physics-Based Approach Towards Developing a Greater Understanding of Dynamically Loaded Heterogeneous Systems (United States)


    computational techniques can be explored. For the continuum analysis several candidate models have been investigated, namely the P-alpha and P- lambda ...3. COMPUTATIONAL SIMULATIONS ................................................................................................................. 14 3.1... computational techniques to gain better understanding of important phenomenology (grain-on-grain interactions, dynamic force chains, etc.) associated

  6. 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 (P<0.05) larger in BD than in FED and normal subjects while no significant differences were noticed between FED and normal. MV eccentricity progressively decreased passing from normal to FED and BD, with the latter exhibiting a rounder annulus shape. Over the cardiac cycle, we noticed significant differences for BD during systole with an abnormal annular enlargement between mid and late systole (LS) (P<0.001 vs. normal); the PAPs dynamics remained comparable in the three groups. Prolapse height and volume highlighted significant differences among normal, FED and BD valves. Our CMR-dedicated framework 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Understanding the Role of GPCR Heteroreceptor Complexes in Modulating the Brain Networks in Health and Disease. (United States)

    Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O; Carlsson, Jens; Ambrogini, Patricia; Narváez, Manuel; Wydra, Karolina; Tarakanov, Alexander O; Li, Xiang; Millón, Carmelo; Ferraro, Luca; Cuppini, Riccardo; Tanganelli, Sergio; Liu, Fang; Filip, Malgorzata; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Fuxe, Kjell


    The introduction of allosteric receptor-receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteroreceptor complexes of the central nervous system (CNS) gave a new dimension to brain integration and neuropsychopharmacology. The molecular basis of learning and memory was proposed to be based on the reorganization of the homo- and heteroreceptor complexes in the postjunctional membrane of synapses. Long-term memory may be created by the transformation of parts of the heteroreceptor complexes into unique transcription factors which can lead to the formation of specific adapter proteins. The observation of the GPCR heterodimer network (GPCR-HetNet) indicated that the allosteric receptor-receptor interactions dramatically increase GPCR diversity and biased recognition and signaling leading to enhanced specificity in signaling. Dysfunction of the GPCR heteroreceptor complexes can lead to brain disease. The findings of serotonin (5-HT) hetero and isoreceptor complexes in the brain over the last decade give new targets for drug development in major depression. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in depression via 5-HT, galanin peptides and zinc involve a number of GPCR heteroreceptor complexes in the raphe-hippocampal system: GalR1-5-HT1A, GalR1-5-HT1A-GPR39, GalR1-GalR2, and putative GalR1-GalR2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes. The 5-HT1A receptor protomer remains a receptor enhancing antidepressant actions through its participation in hetero- and homoreceptor complexes listed above in balance with each other. In depression, neuromodulation of neuronal networks in the raphe-hippocampal system and the cortical regions via 5-HT and fibroblast growth factor 2 involves either FGFR1-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes or the 5-HT isoreceptor complexes such as 5-HT1A-5-HT7 and 5-HT1A-5-HT2A. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in cocaine use disorder via dopamine (DA) and adenosine signals involve A2AR-D2R and A2AR-D2R-Sigma1R heteroreceptor complexes in the dorsal and

  12. 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.

  13. Investigation of selected outcomes of the Dynamic Physics learning environment: Understanding of mechanics concepts and achievement by male and female students (United States)

    Mackin, Joan E.

    The study investigated the Dynamic Physics learning environment to determine its effectiveness in promoting understanding of mechanics concepts and achievement as well as the differences between male and female students in understanding of physics concepts and progress in the course. The Dynamic Physics learning environment was chosen for research since it offered an opportunity to study an introductory calculus based physics that incorporated recommendations, goals, and strategies for effective learning outlined in recent reports on physics education. Data were collected using pretests and posttests, course assessments, surveys, students' evaluations, and midterm feedback interviews. The data from the pretest, posttest, and course assessments were analyzed using a difference of means t test (pphysics education studies. Analysis of interviews and evaluations of the course indicated students perceived they were understanding physics concepts in this learning environment and realized this understanding was important background for future courses. Students suggested that connections to real world applications, the format of the course, and collaborative learning were factors that helped them to understand physics concepts by making them more meaningful. Students' responses suggested that teaching strategies used in the course not only helped them to develop understanding, but confidence in their ability to learn physic. The sample of female students had significantly lower average scores in the pretest and posttest compared to male students; however, the sample of female students made the same or higher average gains in conceptual understanding when compared to the male students. Additional findings included that groups with one or more female member earned higher averages in group assessments than all male groups. Female students' perceptions of physics changed during the course; female students indicated an increase in relating personal experiences and real world

  14. 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.

  15. The Interspinous Spacer: A New Posterior Dynamic Stabilization Concept for Prevention of Adjacent Segment Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Nachanakian


    Full Text Available Introduction. Posterior Dynamic stabilization using the interspinous spacer device is a known to be used as an alternative to rigid fusion in neurogenic claudication patients in the absence of macro instability. Actually, it plays an important in the management of adjacent segment disease in previously fused lumbar spine. Materials and Method. We report our experience with posterior dynamic stabilization using an interspinous spacer. 134 cases performed in our institution between September 2008 and August 2012 with different lumbar spine pathologies. The ages of our patients were between 40 and 72 years, with a mean age of 57 years. After almost 4 years of follow up in our patient and comparing their outcome to our previous serious we found that in some case the interspinous distracter has an important role not only in the treatment of adjacent segment disease but also in its prevention. Results and Discussion. Clinical improvement was noted in ISD-treated patients, with high satisfaction rate. At first, radicular pain improves with more than 3/10 reduction of the mean score on visual analog scale (VAS. In addition, disability score as well as disc height and lordotic angle showed major improvement at 3 to 6 months post operatively. And, no adjacent segment disease was reported in the patient operated with interspinous spacer. Conclusion. The interspinous spacer is safe and efficient modality to be used not only as a treatment of adjacent segment disease but also as a preventive measure in patients necessitating rigid fusion.

  16. 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,…

  17. Understanding the structure, dynamics, and mass transport properties of self assembling peptide hydrogels for injectable, drug delivery applications (United States)

    Branco, Monica Cristina

    hydrogels as a function of peptide sequence and concentration. Changes in nanoscale dynamics and structure inherently lead to substantial differences in bulk properties, such as the elastic modulus and network mesh size. Learning how the material properties of the gels influence the transport rate of therapeutics through the hydrogel is essential to the development of delivery vehicles. The remainder of the thesis focuses on correlating the mesh sizes of MAX1 and MAX8 gels to the diffusion and mass transport properties of model dextran and protein probes. Here, work is centered on how peptide charge and concentration, as well as probe structure, in particular hydrodynamic diameter and charge, dictate the temporal release of model probes from the peptide hydrogels. Experiments include self diffusion studies and bulk release experiments with model dextrans and proteins from gels before and after syringe delivery. Overall, this thesis will demonstrate the importance of understanding material properties from the nanoscale up to the macroscale for application based design. With this approach, better and specific development of self-assembling peptide materials can be achieved, allowing for the rational engineering of peptide sequences to form hydrogels appropriate for specific drug delivery applications.

  18. Host-induced gene silencing: a tool for understanding fungal host interaction and for developing novel disease control strategies. (United States)

    Nunes, Cristiano C; Dean, Ralph A


    Recent discoveries regarding small RNAs and the mechanisms of gene silencing are providing new opportunities to explore fungal pathogen-host interactions and potential strategies for novel disease control. Plant pathogenic fungi are a constant and major threat to global food security; they represent the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants on the planet. An initial understanding of RNA silencing mechanisms and small RNAs was derived from model fungi. Now, new knowledge with practical implications for RNA silencing is beginning to emerge from the study of plant-fungus interactions. Recent studies have shown that the expression of silencing constructs in plants designed on fungal genes can specifically silence their targets in invading pathogenic fungi, such as Fusarium verticillioides, Blumeria graminis and Puccinia striiformis f.sp. tritici. Here, we highlight the important general aspects of RNA silencing mechanisms and emphasize recent findings from plant pathogenic fungi. Strategies to employ RNA silencing to investigate the basis of fungal pathogenesis are discussed. Finally, we address important aspects for the development of fungal-derived resistance through the expression of silencing constructs in host plants as a powerful strategy to control fungal disease. © 2011 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology © 2011 BSPP and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. 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

  20. 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.