Science.gov

Sample records for actores pro tabaco

  1. Actors: From Audience to Provider

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charlier, Bernadette

    2011-01-01

    This article describes and analyzes actors' experiences of distance learning systems in a wide variety of cultural and organizational contexts. In line with the project of this special series of issues, results of research, much of which is longitudinal, allow us to suggest answers to the following questions: Who are the actors of distance…

  2. You're a What? Voice Actor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liming, Drew

    2009-01-01

    This article talks about voice actors and features Tony Oliver, a professional voice actor. Voice actors help to bring one's favorite cartoon and video game characters to life. They also do voice-overs for radio and television commercials and movie trailers. These actors use the sound of their voice to sell a character's emotions--or an advertised…

  3. Multicultural Monologues for Young Actors. The Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.; Sharrar, Jack, Ed.

    This book presents 62 monologue selections from diverse cultures for young actors to perform. The book's selections offer "quality literature by significant writers." Some of the writers represented in the book are George C. Wolfe, Miguel Pinero, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), John M. Synge, Yukio Mishima, Reynolds Price, and John…

  4. The Actor and His Body.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Lucille S., Ed.

    Fourteen brief articles deal with training actors to use their bodies effectively on stage. The articles discuss the following topics: the concept of succession-sequential movement (movement that passes through the body joint by joint); learning physical action through staged fight sequences; techniques of empty-handed combat; protecting students…

  5. Actor Interdependence in Collaborative Telelearning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasson, Barbara; Bourdeau, Jacqueline

    This paper presents a model of collaborative telelearning and describes how coordination theory has provided a framework for the analysis of actor (inter)dependencies in this scenario. The model is intended to inform the instructional design of learning scenarios, the technological design of the telelearning environment, and the design of…

  6. Changing Power Actors in a Midwestern Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tait, John L.; And Others

    A longitudinal study was made of Prairie City, Iowa wherein the personal and social characteristics of the 1962 power actor pool were compared with characteristics of the 1973 power actor pool to test the hypothesis that: the personal and social characteristics of power actors will not change significantly over time. Procedures for identifying…

  7. Privileged Emotion Managers: The Case of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orzechowicz, David

    2008-01-01

    Theatre provides a unique set of conditions for the management of emotions. Drawing on participant observation from one repertory theater, three university productions, and interviews with stage actors, directors, and acting instructors, I conceptualize actors as privileged emotion managers. Actors access structural resources that enable their…

  8. Genie Pro

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2004-05-15

    Genie Pro is a general purpose, interactive, adaptive tool for automatically labeling regions and finding objects in large amounts of image data. Genie Pro uses supervised learning techniques to search for spatio-spectral algorithms that are best able to match exaple labels provided by a user during a training session. After Genie Pro has discovered a useful algorithm, this algorith can then be applied to other similar types of image data, to label regions and objectsmore » similar to those provided during the training session. Genie Pro was originally developed for analyzing multispectral satellite data, but it works equally well with panchromatic (grayscale) and hyperspectral satellite data, aerial imagery, and various kinds of medical imagery. AS a rough guideline, Genie Pro can work with any imagery where the scene being imaged is all approximately at a constant distance fromt he imaging device, and so the scale of imagery is fixed. Applications for Genie Pro include: Crop and terrain type mapping, Road and river network mapping, Broad area search for vehicles and buildings, and Cancer identification in histological images.« less

  9. Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Polytrauma: Actor and Target.

    PubMed

    Huber-Lang, Markus; Wiegner, Rebecca; Lampl, Lorenz; Brenner, Rolf E

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that are considered indispensable in regeneration processes after tissue trauma. MSCs are recruited to damaged areas via several chemoattractant pathways where they function as "actors" in the healing process by the secretion of manifold pro- and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, pro- and anticoagulatory, and trophic/angiogenic factors, but also by proliferation and differentiation into the required cells. On the other hand, MSCs represent "targets" during the pathophysiological conditions after severe trauma, when excessively generated inflammatory mediators, complement activation factors, and damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns challenge MSCs and alter their functionality. This in turn leads to complement opsonization, lysis, clearance by macrophages, and reduced migratory and regenerative abilities which culminate in impaired tissue repair. We summarize relevant cellular and signaling mechanisms and provide an up-to-date overview about promising future therapeutic MSC strategies in the context of severe tissue trauma. PMID:27340408

  10. Informe del NCI y los CDC sobre el tabaco sin humo

    Cancer.gov

    El primer informe sobre el consumo mundial del tabaco sin humo y sus consecuencias en la salud pública reveló que más de 300 millones de personas en al menos 70 países usan estos productos dañinos.

  11. Bad Actors Criticality Assessment for Pipeline system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasir, Meseret; Chong, Kit wee; Osman, Sabtuni; Siaw Khur, Wee

    2015-04-01

    Failure of a pipeline system could bring huge economic loss. In order to mitigate such catastrophic loss, it is required to evaluate and rank the impact of each bad actor of the pipeline system. In this study, bad actors are known as the root causes or any potential factor leading to the system downtime. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is used to analyze the probability of occurrence for each bad actor. Bimbaum's Importance and criticality measure (BICM) is also employed to rank the impact of each bad actor on the pipeline system failure. The results demonstrate that internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage are critical and highly contribute to the pipeline system failure with 48.0%, 12.4% and 6.0% respectively. Thus, a minor improvement in internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage would bring significant changes in the pipeline system performance and reliability. These results could also be useful to develop efficient maintenance strategy by identifying the critical bad actors.

  12. Appia, Craig and the Actor: A New Look.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Oliver F., Jr.

    Despite the amount of attention paid Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig, a misconception persists with regard to their ideas concerning the actor; namely, that Appia had the actor dominate all the elements of staging, and that Craig considered the actor less essential. However, to both, the actor was both essential and nonessential to the…

  13. ACToR - Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    SciTech Connect

    Judson, Richard Richard, Ann; Dix, David; Houck, Keith; Elloumi, Fathi; Martin, Matthew; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas R.; Spencer, Richard; Wolf, Maritja

    2008-11-15

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a database and set of software applications that bring into one central location many types and sources of data on environmental chemicals. Currently, the ACToR chemical database contains information on chemical structure, in vitro bioassays and in vivo toxicology assays derived from more than 150 sources including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), state agencies, corresponding government agencies in Canada, Europe and Japan, universities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology, ACToR helps manage large data sets being used in a high-throughput environmental chemical screening and prioritization program called ToxCast{sup TM}.

  14. Actor-Network Theory of Cosmopolitan Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Hiro

    2010-01-01

    In the past, philosophers discussed cosmopolitanism as a normative ideal of allegiance to humanity as a whole. A debate among social theorists, however, has examined cosmopolitanism as an incipient empirical phenomenon: an orientation of openness to foreign others and cultures. This paper introduces actor-network theory to elaborate the…

  15. Policy Actors: Doing Policy Work in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ball, Stephen J.; Maguire, Meg; Braun, Annette; Hoskins, Kate

    2011-01-01

    This paper considers the "policy work" of teacher actors in schools. It focuses on the "problem of meaning" and offers a typology of roles and positions through which teachers engage with policy and with which policies get "enacted". It argues that "policy work" is made up of a set of complex and differentiated activities which involve both…

  16. Public Policies and Strategies of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loiret, Pierre-Jean

    2011-01-01

    The synthesis "Public Policies and Strategies of Actors" concerns the same theme as Part 4 of the "Handbook of Distance Education" (Moore 2007), which deals with policies, administration, and management. Eleven articles illustrate the theme. Three articles are studies about the experience in France between 2000 and 2003 of the digital campuses.…

  17. Constructing Careers: Actor, Agent, and Author

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickas, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    When individuals seek career counseling, they have stories to tell about their working lives. The aim of career construction theory is to be comprehensive in encouraging employment counselors to listen for a client's career story from the perspectives of actor, agent, and author. Taking multiple perspectives on career stories enables counselors to…

  18. Autoreporte de exposición a publicidad y promoción de tabaco en una cohorte de fumadores mexicanos: Antes y durante la publicación de la Ley General para el Control del tabaco en 2008

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Rosaura Pérez; Thrasher, James F.; Bolaños, Rosibel Rodríguez; Gutiérrez, Inti Barrientos; Hernández, Norma A Ibañez

    2015-01-01

    Resumen Objetivo Determinar en población fumadora el nivel de exposición a la mercadotecnia por parte de la Industria Tabacalera (IT), a través de diferentes métodos de promocionar sus productos de tabaco, antes y durante la publicación de la Ley General para el Control del Tabaco (LGCT) en 2008. Material y métodos Estudio de cohorte en fumadores adultos (n=941 pre-LGCT y n=1051 post-LGCT) de cuatro ciudades mexicanas. Se realizaron análisis multivariados mediante modelos de ecuaciones de estimación generalizada (GEE). Resultados Se incremento el autoreporte de recepción de muestras gratis de cigarros (3.7% a 8.1%), ropa o artículos con marcas o logos (3.6% a 6.4%), haber visto información sobre eventos especiales (1.9% a 4.7%), y bares, antros y discos para mayores de edad (21.4% a 28%). Se observaron decrementos de publicidad en exteriores (54.7% a 47.2%). Conclusión Es necesaria una política integral con prohibiciones totales de la publicidad y promoción de los productos de tabaco que integre mayor vigilancia y sanciones para lograr la disminución y prevención del consumo de tabaco. PMID:22689158

  19. Pro-sociality without empathy.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Marco; Hollis, Karen; Nowbahari, Elise; Kacelnik, Alex

    2012-12-23

    Empathy, the capacity to recognize and share feelings experienced by another individual, is an important trait in humans, but is not the same as pro-sociality, the tendency to behave so as to benefit another individual. Given the importance of understanding empathy's evolutionary emergence, it is unsurprising that many studies attempt to find evidence for it in other species. To address the question of what should constitute evidence for empathy, we offer a critical comparison of two recent studies of rescuing behaviour that report similar phenomena but are interpreted very differently by their authors. In one of the studies, rescue behaviour in rats was interpreted as providing evidence for empathy, whereas in the other, rescue behaviour in ants was interpreted without reference to sharing of emotions. Evidence for empathy requires showing that actor individuals possess a representation of the receiver's emotional state and are driven by the psychological goal of improving its wellbeing. Proving psychological goal-directedness by current standards involves goal-devaluation and causal sensitivity protocols, which, in our view, have not been implemented in available publications. Empathy has profound significance not only for cognitive and behavioural sciences but also for philosophy and ethics and, in our view, remains unproven outside humans. PMID:22859561

  20. Pro-sociality without empathy

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Marco; Hollis, Karen; Nowbahari, Elise; Kacelnik, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Empathy, the capacity to recognize and share feelings experienced by another individual, is an important trait in humans, but is not the same as pro-sociality, the tendency to behave so as to benefit another individual. Given the importance of understanding empathy's evolutionary emergence, it is unsurprising that many studies attempt to find evidence for it in other species. To address the question of what should constitute evidence for empathy, we offer a critical comparison of two recent studies of rescuing behaviour that report similar phenomena but are interpreted very differently by their authors. In one of the studies, rescue behaviour in rats was interpreted as providing evidence for empathy, whereas in the other, rescue behaviour in ants was interpreted without reference to sharing of emotions. Evidence for empathy requires showing that actor individuals possess a representation of the receiver's emotional state and are driven by the psychological goal of improving its wellbeing. Proving psychological goal-directedness by current standards involves goal-devaluation and causal sensitivity protocols, which, in our view, have not been implemented in available publications. Empathy has profound significance not only for cognitive and behavioural sciences but also for philosophy and ethics and, in our view, remains unproven outside humans. PMID:22859561

  1. Integrating actors into a simulation program: a primer.

    PubMed

    Pascucci, Robert C; Weinstock, Peter H; O'Connor, Brigid E; Fancy, Kristina M; Meyer, Elaine C

    2014-04-01

    We describe our more than 10 years' experience working with actors and provide a "how-to" guide to recruiting, auditioning, hiring, training, and mentoring actors for work as simulated patients in simulation programs. We contend that trained actors add great realism, richness, and depth to simulation-based training programs. The actors experience satisfaction from their contributions, and their skill and improvisational talent allow programs to offer ethical and relational training, customized to a wide range of practitioners and adapted across a variety of health care conversations. Such learning opportunities can directly address Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies in preparing capable, confident, and empathic health care practitioners. PMID:24096918

  2. Is It What You Do, or When You Do It? the Roles of Contingency and Similarity in Pro-Social Effects of Imitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Catmur, Caroline; Heyes, Cecilia

    2013-01-01

    Being imitated has a wide range of pro-social effects, but it is not clear how these effects are mediated. Naturalistic studies of the effects of being imitated have not established whether pro-social outcomes are due to the similarity and/or the contingency between the movements performed by the actor and those of the imitator. Similarity is…

  3. Understanding the Employment of Actors. Research Division Report #3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC. Research Div.

    Focusing on actors' employment problems, part 1 of this report describes data collected by Actor's Equity primarily in terms of: (1) membership files; (2) the organization's contract department; (3) pension and welfare funds; and (4) employment statistics. Part 2 analyzes these data sets in relation to employment, unemployment, risk factors for…

  4. ACToR: Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (T)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) is a set of databases compiling information on chemicals in the environment from a large number of public and in-house EPA sources. ACToR has 3 main goals: (1) The serve as a repository of public toxicology information ...

  5. Teaching, Learning, and Leading: Preparing Teachers as Educational Policy Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heineke, Amy J.; Ryan, Ann Marie; Tocci, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Within the current federal, state, and local contexts of educational reform, teachers must be recognized as central actors in policy work, but rarely do we explicitly consider preparing teachers to become policy actors. Understanding these implications for teacher education, we investigate teacher candidates' learning of the complexity and…

  6. ProMat

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2008-06-12

    ProMAT is a software tool for statistically analyzing data from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay microarray experiments. The software estimates standard curves, sample protein concentrations and their uncertainties for multiple assays. ProMAT generates a set of comprehensive figures for assessing results and diagnosing process quality. The tool is available for Windows or Mac, and is distributed as open-source Java and R code

  7. A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism.

    PubMed

    Corner, Emily; Gill, Paul

    2015-02-01

    We test whether significant differences in mental illness exist in a matched sample of lone- and group-based terrorists. We then test whether there are distinct behavioral differences between lone-actor terrorists with and without mental illness. We then stratify our sample across a range of diagnoses and again test whether significant differences exist. We conduct a series of bivariate, multivariate, and multinomial statistical tests using a unique dataset of 119 lone-actor terrorists and a matched sample of group-based terrorists. The odds of a lone-actor terrorist having a mental illness is 13.49 times higher than the odds of a group actor having a mental illness. Lone actors who were mentally ill were 18.07 times more likely to have a spouse or partner who was involved in a wider movement than those without a history of mental illness. Those with a mental illness were more likely to have a proximate upcoming life change, more likely to have been a recent victim of prejudice, and experienced proximate and chronic stress. The results identify behaviors and traits that security agencies can utilize to monitor and prevent lone-actor terrorism events. The correlated behaviors provide an image of how risk can crystalize within the individual offender and that our understanding of lone-actor terrorism should be multivariate in nature. PMID:25133916

  8. Whose Journey Is It? A Critic's Plea to Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasser, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Laments the narcissism that the author sees in too many contemporary approaches to acting and directing. Argues that actors must focus on the world outside themselves, where the play and the audience most need them to be. (SR)

  9. Efficient model learning methods for actor-critic control.

    PubMed

    Grondman, Ivo; Vaandrager, Maarten; Buşoniu, Lucian; Babuska, Robert; Schuitema, Erik

    2012-06-01

    We propose two new actor-critic algorithms for reinforcement learning. Both algorithms use local linear regression (LLR) to learn approximations of the functions involved. A crucial feature of the algorithms is that they also learn a process model, and this, in combination with LLR, provides an efficient policy update for faster learning. The first algorithm uses a novel model-based update rule for the actor parameters. The second algorithm does not use an explicit actor but learns a reference model which represents a desired behavior, from which desired control actions can be calculated using the inverse of the learned process model. The two novel methods and a standard actor-critic algorithm are applied to the pendulum swing-up problem, in which the novel methods achieve faster learning than the standard algorithm. PMID:22156998

  10. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  11. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... an actor or performer in motion pictures or theatrical productions, or in radio or television... definition will be helpful in determining whether a child qualifies as a “* * * performer in motion...

  12. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  13. PRO-140 (Progenics).

    PubMed

    Poli, G

    2001-09-01

    PRO-140, a monoclonal antibody against the HIV coreceptor CCR5, is under investigation by Progenics and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) as a potential treatment for HIV infection [211441], [286246], [286247]. Phase I/II trials were expected to commence during 2001 [395621], [409142], despite being initially planned for 2000 [322637], [361819], [365216], [375598], [408483]. In January 1998, ADARC and Progenics reported that the HIV binding site on the CCR5 coreceptor is distinct from betachemokine binding domains, which they claimed may allow for the development of therapeutics with fewer side effects [273391], 421256]. In vitro studies have shown PRO-140 potently blocked all of 17 primary HIV isolates that use CCR5 as a fusion coreceptor [342173]. In October 2000, Progenics was awarded an SBIR grant to fund a 2-year project exploring the breadth, potency and durability of PRO-140 therapy in laboratory and animal models of HIV infection. This project was a collaboration between Progenics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the Scripps Research Institute [385982]. In May 1999, the company entered into an agreement with Protein Design Labs (PDL) for the humanization by PDL of PRO-140 [325445]. In November 1997, Progenics was awarded a 600,000 dollars grant from the NIAID for the examination of new approaches to HIV vaccine design based on CCR5 [268407]. PMID:15965853

  14. TOXIRAE PRO PID

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ToxiRAE Pro PID measures total volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using a photoionization detector (PID). This sensor can be programmed to measure concentrations of a specified compound automatically and has a real time reading of VOC concentrations in parts per million (ppm) ...

  15. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  16. Two-actor conflict with time delay: A dynamical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qubbaj, Murad R.; Muneepeerakul, Rachata

    2012-11-01

    Recent mathematical dynamical models of the conflict between two different actors, be they nations, groups, or individuals, have been developed that are capable of predicting various outcomes depending on the chosen feedback strategies, initial conditions, and the previous states of the actors. In addition to these factors, this paper examines the effect of time delayed feedback on the conflict dynamics. Our analysis shows that under certain initial and feedback conditions, a stable neutral equilibrium of conflict may destabilize for some critical values of time delay, and the two actors may evolve to new emotional states. We investigate the results by constructing critical delay surfaces for different sets of parameters and analyzing results from numerical simulations. These results provide new insights regarding conflict and conflict resolution and may help planners in adjusting and assessing their strategic decisions.

  17. Educational Judgment: Linking the Actor and the Spectator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulter, David; Wiens, John R.

    2002-01-01

    Recommends moving from debates between spectators and actors about knowledge and practice to discussions about how all educators can foster good judgment, outlining Aristotle's and Kant's accounts of judgment, which ultimately privilege spectators, and introducing Arendt's work. Arendt linked thinking and acting without privileging either in her…

  18. Actor Networks and the Division of Knowledge in the University.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Lawrence

    This paper discusses the current division of knowledge at the college and university level, its historical roots, and the application of Actor Network Theory (ANT) to arrive at an explanation of the permanence of the current division of knowledge as well as what form a new division of knowledge might take. It finds fragmentation and disintegration…

  19. Researching the Habitus of Global Policy Actors in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lingard, Bob; Sellar, Sam; Baroutsis, Aspa

    2015-01-01

    This paper reprises the argument for the emergence of a global education policy field and then focuses on the shared habitus of global and national policy actors and technicians. It is argued that this shared habitus is constituted as a reflection of and a contribution to the creation of the global education policy field. Bourdieu's approach…

  20. Hugh Grant's Image Restoration Discourse: An Actor Apologizes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benoit, William L.

    1997-01-01

    Examines the strategies used by actor Hugh Grant (in his appearances on talk shows) to help restore his reputation after he was arrested for lewd behavior with a prostitute. Uses this case as a springboard to contrast entertainment image repair with political and corporate image repair, arguing that important situational differences can be…

  1. Lifelong Learning in the EU: Changing Conceptualisations, Actors, and Policies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volles, Nina

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores the changing conceptualisations, actors, and policies of lifelong learning (LLL) in the European Union (EU) from the time the topic first emerged and was promoted by international organisations in the 1960s. The author uses Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework to analyse how the LLL discourse became an important part of the EU…

  2. Children's Recognition of Plans in the Behavior of Other Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walton, Marsha D.; Sedlak, Andrea J.

    An investigation of children's tendencies to infer planfulness from the behavior of other actors revealed systematic differences in the responses of kindergarten and second-grade children to questions about the motives, goals, and knowledge of story characters. Participating in the study were 13 boys and 13 girls attending public school (15…

  3. VR/IS Lab Virtual Actor research overview

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.; Stansfield, S.

    1995-06-22

    This overview presents current research at Sandia National Laboratories in the Virtual Reality and Intelligent Simulation Lab. Into an existing distributed VR environment which we have been developing, and which provides shared immersion for multiple users, we are adding virtual actor support. The virtual actor support we are adding to this environment is intended to provide semi-autonomous actors, with oversight and high-level guiding control by a director/user, and to allow the overall action to be driven by a scenario. We present an overview of the environment into which our virtual actors will be added in Section 3, and discuss the direction of the Virtual Actor research itself in Section 4. We will briefly review related work in Section 2. First however we need to place the research in the context of what motivates it. The motivation for our construction of this environment, and the line of research associated with it, is based on a long-term program of providing support, through simulation, for situational training, by which we mean a type of training in which students learn to handle multiple situations or scenarios. In these situations, the student may encounter events ranging from the routine occurance to the rare emergency. Indeed, the appeal of such training systems is that they could allow the student to experience and develop effective responses for situations they would otherwise have no opportunity to practice, until they happened to encounter an actual occurance. Examples of the type of students for this kind of training would be security forces or emergency response forces. An example of the type of training scenario we would like to support is given in Section 4.2.

  4. Balancing influence between actors in healthcare decision making

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Healthcare costs in most developed countries are not clearly linked to better patient and public health outcomes, but are rather associated with service delivery orientation. In the U.S. this has resulted in large variation in healthcare availability and use, increased cost, reduced employer participation in health insurance programs, and reduced overall population health outcomes. Recent U.S. healthcare reform legislation addresses only some of these issues. Other countries face similar healthcare issues. Discussion A major goal of healthcare is to enhance patient health outcomes. This objective is not realized in many countries because incentives and structures are currently not aligned for maximizing population health. The misalignment occurs because of the competing interests between "actors" in healthcare. In a simplified model these are individuals motivated to enhance their own health; enterprises (including a mix of nonprofit, for profit and government providers, payers, and suppliers, etc.) motivated by profit, political, organizational and other forces; and government which often acts in the conflicting roles of a healthcare payer and provider in addition to its role as the representative and protector of the people. An imbalance exists between the actors, due to the resources and information control of the enterprise and government actors relative to the individual and the public. Failure to use effective preventive interventions is perhaps the best example of the misalignment of incentives. We consider the current Pareto efficient balance between the actors in relation to the Pareto frontier, and show that a significant change in the healthcare market requires major changes in the utilities of the enterprise and government actors. Summary A variety of actions are necessary for maximizing population health within the constraints of available resources and the current balance between the actors. These actions include improved transparency of

  5. Performance Analysis of an Actor-Based Distributed Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeffler, James D.

    1998-01-01

    Object-oriented design of simulation programs appears to be very attractive because of the natural association of components in the simulated system with objects. There is great potential in distributing the simulation across several computers for the purpose of parallel computation and its consequent handling of larger problems in less elapsed time. One approach to such a design is to use "actors", that is, active objects with their own thread of control. Because these objects execute concurrently, communication is via messages. This is in contrast to an object-oriented design using passive objects where communication between objects is via method calls (direct calls when they are in the same address space and remote procedure calls when they are in different address spaces or different machines). This paper describes a performance analysis program for the evaluation of a design for distributed simulations based upon actors.

  6. Teachers as Actors: The Implications of Acting on Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner-Bolotin, Marina

    2007-10-01

    In the spring of 2006, a rather unusual advertisement by the Centre of Teaching and Academic Growth at UBC (http://www.tag.ubc.ca) came to my attention. Faculty members were invited to take part in a workshop entitled "All the World's a Stage: Teachers as Actors," offered by a zoology instructor and an amateur actor, Greg Bole: Teaching can be seen as creating an interpersonal relationship and hence uses many of the same skills as acting. The investigation and use of acting skills in teacher preparation can allow a greater facility with diverse methods, increase skill at adapting to change in the classroom or lecture hall, and an increased ability to quickly form positive relationships with students. (Greg Bole: http://www.tag.ubc.ca/programs/series-detail.php?series_id=249 )

  7. Extended Generalized Blockmodeling for Compound Communities and External Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendel, Radoslaw; Krawczyk, Henryk

    Some social communities evident their own unique internal structure. In this chapter, we consider social communities composed of several cohesive subgroups which we call compound communities. For such communities, an extended generalized blockmodeling is proposed, taking into account the structure of compound communities and their relations with external actors. Using the extension, the community protection approach is proposed and used in detection of spam directed toward an e-mail local society.

  8. A Low-cost System for Generating Near-realistic Virtual Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afifi, Mahmoud; Hussain, Khaled F.; Ibrahim, Hosny M.; Omar, Nagwa M.

    2015-06-01

    Generating virtual actors is one of the most challenging fields in computer graphics. The reconstruction of a realistic virtual actor has been paid attention by the academic research and the film industry to generate human-like virtual actors. Many movies were acted by human-like virtual actors, where the audience cannot distinguish between real and virtual actors. The synthesis of realistic virtual actors is considered a complex process. Many techniques are used to generate a realistic virtual actor; however they usually require expensive hardware equipment. In this paper, a low-cost system that generates near-realistic virtual actors is presented. The facial features of the real actor are blended with a virtual head that is attached to the actor's body. Comparing with other techniques that generate virtual actors, the proposed system is considered a low-cost system that requires only one camera that records the scene without using any expensive hardware equipment. The results of our system show that the system generates good near-realistic virtual actors that can be used on many applications.

  9. When More Power Makes Actors Worse off: Turning a Profit in the American Economy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan; Casciaro, Tiziana

    2006-01-01

    We propose a theory which predicts that an increase in an actor's relative power reduces the actor's rewards in high mutual dependence dyads. Our argument is based on the premise that higher relative power gives the more powerful actor a greater share of surplus, but it also reduces dyadic exchange frequency, which lowers the expected magnitude of…

  10. Who Needs What? Some Thoughts on the Possibility of Using Psychology in Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vulova, Marina

    2001-01-01

    Contends that the aim of professional actor training is to reveal and develop an actor's individuality. Proposes that the responsibility of drama teachers is to lead training in such away that students feel accepted, understood, and respected. Proposes that psychodrama is the most appropriate method for student and professional actors' personal…

  11. Breaking into the Business: Experiences of Actors with Disabilities in the Entertainment Industry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynor, Olivia; Hayward, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    The pursuit of an acting career is a difficult one for anybody. However, studies have yet to factor how disability affects casting opportunities. This study describes the employment of actors with disabilities, along with the unique barriers they encounter in the audition and casting process. Actors with disabilities from the Screen Actors Guild…

  12. Cognitively Central Actors and Their Personal Networks in an Energy Efficiency Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hytönen, Kaisa; Palonen, Tuire; Hakkarainen, Kai

    2014-01-01

    This article aims to examine cognitively central actors and their personal networks in the emerging field of energy efficiency. Cognitively central actors are frequently sought for professional advice by other actors and, therefore, they are positioned in the middle of a social network. They often are important knowledge resources, especially in…

  13. The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory tripeptides Ile-Pro-Pro and Val-Pro-Pro show increasing permeabilities with increasing physiological relevance of absorption models.

    PubMed

    Foltz, Martin; Cerstiaens, Anja; van Meensel, Ans; Mols, Raf; van der Pijl, Pieter C; Duchateau, Guus S M J E; Augustijns, Patrick

    2008-08-01

    Transepithelial transport of the ACE inhibitory peptides Ile-Pro-Pro and Val-Pro-Pro was studied in different models of absorption. Apparent permeability (P(app)) values for absorptive transport across Caco-2 monolayers were 1.0+/-0.9 x 10(-8) (Ile-Pro-Pro) and 0.5+/-0.1 x 10(-8)cms(-1) (Val-Pro-Pro). Ex vivo transport across jejunal segments in the Ussing chamber was 5-times (Ile-Pro-Pro) to 10-times (Val-Pro-Pro) higher with no significant differences (p>0.05) observed between both peptides. The peptidase inhibitor bestatin increased permeability for the absorptive direction for Ile-Pro-Pro by twofold. Neither a transepithelial pH gradient nor increased apical tripeptide concentration nor longitudinal localization of the intestinal segment influenced P(app) in the ex vivo experiments. Val-Pro-Pro transport across Peyer's patches, however, was 4-times higher (P(app)=21.0+/-9.3 x10(-8)cms(-1)) as compared to duodenum (P(app)=4.8+/-1.4 x 10(-8)cms(-1)). In the in situ perfusion experiments P(app) values varied greatly among different animals ranging from 0.5 to 24.0 x10(-8)cms(-1) (Ile-Pro-Pro) and from 1.0 to 15.6 x 10(-8)cms(-1) (Val-Pro-Pro). In summary, Caco-2 and ex vivo absorption models differ considerably regarding their peptide permeability. The in situ model seems to be less appropriate because of the observed large variability in peptide permeability. The results of this study demonstrate that the ACE inhibitory peptides Ile-Pro-Pro and Val-Pro-Pro are absorbed partially undegraded. PMID:18490081

  14. Sharing, caring, and surveilling: an actor-partner interdependence model examination of Facebook relational maintenance strategies.

    PubMed

    McEwan, Bree

    2013-12-01

    Abstract Relational maintenance is connected to high quality friendships. Friendship maintenance behaviors may occur online via social networking sites. This study utilized an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to examine how Facebook maintenance and surveillance affect friendship quality. Bryant and Marmo's (2012) Facebook maintenance scale was evaluated, revealing two factors: sharing and caring. Facebook surveillance was also measured. For friendship satisfaction and liking, significant positive actor and partner effects emerged for caring; significant negative actor, partner, and interaction effects emerged for sharing; and significant positive actor effects emerged for surveillance. For friendship closeness, significant positive actor effects emerged for caring and surveillance. PMID:23962125

  15. Backpack Smarts from A Pro

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160665.html Backpack Smarts From a Pro Overloaded carryalls injure thousands ... SATURDAY, Aug. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Ill-fitting backpacks may put school children at risk for muscle ...

  16. Production of intoxication states by actors: perception by lay listeners.

    PubMed

    Hollien, H; DeJong, G; Martin, C A

    1998-11-01

    The effects of ingesting ethanol have been shown to be somewhat variable in humans; there appear to be but few universals. Yet, questions about intoxication often are asked by law enforcement personnel (especially relative to DUI), clinicians and various individuals in social settings. A key question: Is it possible to determine if a person is intoxicated by observing them in some manner? A closely associated one: Can speech be used for that purpose? Two of the many issues related to the second of these questions involve the possibility that (1) speakers, especially actors, can effectively mimic the speech of intoxicated individuals, and (2) they may be able to volitionally reduce any speech degradation which results from intoxication. The approach used to test these two questions tasked auditors to determine if these simulations were possible. To this end, young, healthy actors chosen on the basis of a large number of selection criteria were asked to produce several types of controlled utterances (1) during a learning phase, (2) when sober, (3) at three simulated levels of intoxication (mildly, legally and severely drunk), (4) during actual, and parallel, levels of intoxication, and (5) at the highest intoxication level attained but when attempting to sound completely sober. Two aural-perceptual studies were conducted; both involved counterbalanced ABX procedures where each subject was paired with him/herself. Listeners were normally hearing university students drawn from undergraduate phonetics and linguistics courses. In the first study, they rated the actors as being more intoxicated--when they actually were sober but simulating drunkenness--88% more often than when they actually were intoxicated. In the second study, they were judged as sounding less inebriated when attempting to sound sober (than they actually were) 61% of the time. These relationships would appear to impact a number of situations; one of special importance would be the detection of

  17. Macro-actor execution on multilevel data-driven architectures

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Najjar, W.

    1988-12-31

    The data-flow model of computation brings to multiprocessors high programmability at the expense of increased overhead. Applying the model at a higher level leads to better performance but also introduces loss of parallelism. We demonstrate here syntax directed program decomposition methods for the creation of large macro-actors in numerical algorithms. In order to alleviate some of the problems introduced by the lower resolution interpretation, we describe a multi-level of resolution and analyze the requirements for its actual hardware and software integration.

  18. Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent.

    PubMed

    Plaks, Jason E; Robinson, Jeffrey S

    2015-01-01

    Two components of lay observers' calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor's mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor's mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1-2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3-4) would influence participants' sensitivity to the actor's proximal vs. distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor's proximal and distal intent were independently manipulated. In Study 1, when only distal intent was present in the actor's mind, participants rated the psychologically distant actor more responsible than the psychologically near actor. In Study 2, when only distal intent was in the actor's mind, participants with a chronic high level of action identification rated the actor more responsible than did those with a low level of action identification. In both studies, when only proximal intent was in the actor's mind, construal level did not predict judgments of responsibility. In Study 3, when only proximal intent was present in the actor's mind, the more participants believed in free will, the more they rated the actor responsible. When only distal intent was in the actor's mind, free will belief did not influence ratings of responsibility. In Study 4, the same pattern emerged when free will/determinism beliefs were manipulated and the actor performed a positive (life-saving) act. The authors discuss how these results shed new light on the literatures on moral reasoning and psycho-legal theory. PMID:26106352

  19. Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent

    PubMed Central

    Plaks, Jason E.; Robinson, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Two components of lay observers' calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor's mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor's mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1–2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3–4) would influence participants' sensitivity to the actor's proximal vs. distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor's proximal and distal intent were independently manipulated. In Study 1, when only distal intent was present in the actor's mind, participants rated the psychologically distant actor more responsible than the psychologically near actor. In Study 2, when only distal intent was in the actor's mind, participants with a chronic high level of action identification rated the actor more responsible than did those with a low level of action identification. In both studies, when only proximal intent was in the actor's mind, construal level did not predict judgments of responsibility. In Study 3, when only proximal intent was present in the actor's mind, the more participants believed in free will, the more they rated the actor responsible. When only distal intent was in the actor's mind, free will belief did not influence ratings of responsibility. In Study 4, the same pattern emerged when free will/determinism beliefs were manipulated and the actor performed a positive (life-saving) act. The authors discuss how these results shed new light on the literatures on moral reasoning and psycho-legal theory. PMID:26106352

  20. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study.

    PubMed

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  1. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Khan, Nazib Uz Zaman; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a "health knowledge economy", organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term "health knowledge economy" draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  2. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Uz Zaman Khan, Nazib; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a “health knowledge economy”, organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term “health knowledge economy” draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  3. What about the "actor's formant" in actresses' voices?

    PubMed

    Master, Suely; De Biase, Noemi Grigolleto; Madureira, Sandra

    2012-05-01

    Spectrographic analysis of male actors' voices showed a cluster, the "actor's formant" (AF), which is related to the perception of good and projected voice quality. To date, similar phenomena have not been described in the voices of actresses. Therefore, the objective of the current investigation was to compare actresses' and nonactresses' voices through acoustic analysis to verify the existence of the "AF" cluster or the strategies used to produce the performing voice. Thirty actresses and 30 nonactresses volunteered as subjects in the present study. All subjects read a 40-second text at both habitual and loud levels. Praat (v.5.1) was then used to analyze equivalent sound pressure level (Leq), speaking fundamental frequency (SFF), and in the long-term average spectrum window, the difference between the amplitude level of the fundamental frequency and first formant (L1-L0), the spectral tilt (alpha ratio), and the amplitude and frequency of the "AF" region. Significant differences between the groups, in both levels, were observed for SFF and L1-L0, with actresses presenting lower values. There were no significant differences between groups for Leq or alpha ratio at either level. There was no evidence of an "AF" cluster in the actresses' voices. Voice projection for this group of actresses seemed to be mainly a result of a laryngeal setting instead of vocal tract resonances. PMID:21376530

  4. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  5. Action adaptation during natural unfolding social scenes influences action recognition and inferences made about actor beliefs.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Bruce D; Wincenciak, Joanna; Jellema, Tjeerd; Ward, James W; Barraclough, Nick E

    2016-07-01

    When observing another individual's actions, we can both recognize their actions and infer their beliefs concerning the physical and social environment. The extent to which visual adaptation influences action recognition and conceptually later stages of processing involved in deriving the belief state of the actor remains unknown. To explore this we used virtual reality (life-size photorealistic actors presented in stereoscopic three dimensions) to see how visual adaptation influences the perception of individuals in naturally unfolding social scenes at increasingly higher levels of action understanding. We presented scenes in which one actor picked up boxes (of varying number and weight), after which a second actor picked up a single box. Adaptation to the first actor's behavior systematically changed perception of the second actor. Aftereffects increased with the duration of the first actor's behavior, declined exponentially over time, and were independent of view direction. Inferences about the second actor's expectation of box weight were also distorted by adaptation to the first actor. Distortions in action recognition and actor expectations did not, however, extend across different actions, indicating that adaptation is not acting at an action-independent abstract level but rather at an action-dependent level. We conclude that although adaptation influences more complex inferences about belief states of individuals, this is likely to be a result of adaptation at an earlier action recognition stage rather than adaptation operating at a higher, more abstract level in mentalizing or simulation systems. PMID:27472496

  6. Structural analysis of the Tabaco anticline, Cerrejón open-cast coal mine, Colombia, South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardozo, Néstor; Montes, Camilo; Marín, Dora; Gutierrez, Iván; Palencia, Alejandro

    2016-06-01

    The Tabaco anticline is a 15 km long, south plunging, east-vergent anticline in northern Colombia, close to the transpressional collisional margin between the Caribbean and South American plates. In the Cerrejón open-cast coal mine, systematic mapping of coal seams in the middle to upper Paleocene Cerrejón Formation has yielded an exceptional dataset consisting of 10 horizontal slices (sea level to 90 m elevation, regularly spaced at 10 m intervals) through the anticline. Coal seams and fault traces in these slices are used to construct a 3D model of the anticline. This 3D model shows tighter folds within lower coal seams, NW-vergent thrusts and related folds on the gentler western limb, and strike-slip faults on the steeper eastern limb. Fault slip-tendency analysis is used to infer that these two faulting styles resulted from two different stress fields: an earlier one consistent with thrusting and uplift of the Perijá range, and a later one consistent with strike-slip faulting (Oca, Ranchería and Samán faults). Our preferred interpretation is that the anticline developed its eastern vergence during the early stages (late Paleocene-early Eocene) of tilting of the Santa Marta massif. Later NW-vergent thrusting on the western limb (early to middle Eocene) was related to western propagation of the Perijá thrust system. These results contribute to the understanding of the structural evolution of the area. They are also a good example of the complex interplay between detachment folding, thrusting, and strike-slip faulting during the growth of a km-size fold in a transpressive setting.

  7. Structural analysis of the Tabaco anticline, Cerrejón open-cast coal mine, Colombia, South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardozo, Néstor; Montes, Camilo; Marín, Dora; Gutierrez, Iván; Palencia, Alejandro

    2016-06-01

    The Tabaco anticline is a 15 km long, south plunging, east-vergent anticline in northern Colombia, close to the transpressional collisional margin between the Caribbean and South American plates. In the Cerrejón open-cast coal mine, systematic mapping of coal seams in the middle to upper Paleocene Cerrejón Formation has yielded an exceptional dataset consisting of 10 horizontal slices (sea level to 90 m elevation, regularly spaced at 10 m intervals) through the anticline. Coal seams and fault traces in these slices are used to construct a 3D model of the anticline. This 3D model shows tighter folds within lower coal seams, NW-vergent thrusts and related folds on the gentler western limb, and strike-slip faults on the steeper eastern limb. Fault slip-tendency analysis is used to infer that these two faulting styles resulted from two different stress fields: an earlier one consistent with thrusting and uplift of the Perijá range, and a later one consistent with strike-slip faulting (Oca, Ranchería and Samán faults). Our preferred interpretation is that the anticline developed its eastern vergence during the early stages (late Paleocene-early Eocene) of tilting of the Santa Marta massif. Later NW-vergent thrusting on the western limb (early to middle Eocene) was related to western propagation of the Perijá thrust system. These results contribute to the understanding of the structural evolution of the area. They are also a good example of the complex interplay between detachment folding, thrusting, and strike-slip faulting during the growth of a km-size fold in a transpressive setting.

  8. Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Polytrauma: Actor and Target

    PubMed Central

    Wiegner, Rebecca; Lampl, Lorenz; Brenner, Rolf E.

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that are considered indispensable in regeneration processes after tissue trauma. MSCs are recruited to damaged areas via several chemoattractant pathways where they function as “actors” in the healing process by the secretion of manifold pro- and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, pro- and anticoagulatory, and trophic/angiogenic factors, but also by proliferation and differentiation into the required cells. On the other hand, MSCs represent “targets” during the pathophysiological conditions after severe trauma, when excessively generated inflammatory mediators, complement activation factors, and damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns challenge MSCs and alter their functionality. This in turn leads to complement opsonization, lysis, clearance by macrophages, and reduced migratory and regenerative abilities which culminate in impaired tissue repair. We summarize relevant cellular and signaling mechanisms and provide an up-to-date overview about promising future therapeutic MSC strategies in the context of severe tissue trauma. PMID:27340408

  9. ProC: Process Coordinator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovest, Wolfgang; Knoche, Jörg; Hell, Reinhard; Doerl, Uwe; Riller, Thomas; Matthai, Frank; Ensslin, Torsten; Rachen, Jörg; Robbers, Georg; Adorf, Hans-Martin; Reinecke, Martin; Bartelmann, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    ProC (short for Process Coordinator) is a versatile workflow engine that allows the user to build, run and manage workflows with just a few clicks. It automatically documents every processing step, making every modification to data reproducible. ProC provides a graphical user interface for constructing complex data processing workflows out of a given set of computer programs. The user can, for example, specify that only data products which are affected by a change in the input data are updated selectively, avoiding unnecessary computations. The ProC suite is flexible and satisfies basic needs of data processing centers that have to be able to restructure their data processing along with the development of a project.

  10. The actor as context for social judgments: effects of prior impressions and stereotypes.

    PubMed

    Stewart, T L; Doan, K A; Gingrich, B E; Smith, E R

    1998-11-01

    Three experiments identified conditions under which trait judgments made about a behavior were more likely to influence later judgments of the behavior. In Experiment 1, participants made trait judgments about numerous behaviors presented with photos of actors. Some behaviors were repeated, paired with the same or a different actor. All repeated behaviors were judged faster than new behaviors. Facilitation was greatest when repeated behaviors were paired with the same actor, suggesting greater influence of prior judgments in this condition. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated this effect, and the pattern of response times (RTs) suggested a stronger association between the actor and behavior when a prior impression of the actor had been formed (Experiment 2) and when the behavior was stereotypic of the actor's group (Experiment 3). Level of prejudice moderated RT patterns in Experiment 3. Implications for context effects, the nature of trait inferences, and stereotype change are discussed. PMID:9866181

  11. Politics, class actors, and health sector reform in Brazil and Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Qamar; Muntaner, Carles

    2013-03-01

    Universal access to healthcare has assumed renewed importance in global health discourse, along with a focus on strengthening health systems. These developments are taking place in the backdrop of concerted efforts to advocate moving away from vertical, disease-based approaches to tackling health problems. While this approach to addressing public health problems is a step in the right direction, there is still insufficient emphasis on understanding the socio-political context of health systems. Reforms to strengthen health systems and achieve universal access to healthcare should be cognizant of the importance of the socio-political context, especially state-society relations. That context determines the nature and trajectory of reforms promoting universality or any pro-equity change. Brazil and Venezuela in recent years have made progress in developing healthcare systems that aim to achieve universal access. These achievements are noteworthy given that, historically, both countries had a long tradition of healthcare systems which were highly privatized and geared towards access to healthcare for a small segment of the population while the majority was excluded. These achievements are also remarkable since they took place in an era of neoliberalism when many states, even those with universally-based healthcare systems, were moving in the opposite direction. We analyze the socio-political context in each of these countries and look specifically at how the changing state-society relations resulted in health being constitutionally recognized as a social right. We describe the challenges that each faced in developing and implementing healthcare systems embracing universality. Our contention is that achieving the principle of universality in healthcare systems is less of a technical matter and more a political project. It involves opposition from the socially conservative elements in the society. Navigation to achieve this goal requires a political strategy that

  12. Using actor network theory to understand network centric healthcare operations.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, Nilmini; Bali, Rajeev K; Tatnall, Arthur

    2007-01-01

    The adoption and diffusion of e-health and the application of ICT in healthcare is being heralded as the panacea with both European and US governments making e-health a priority on their agendas. In this context, a model of networkcentric healthcare operations has been proffered as the best way to maximise the benefits of ICT use in healthcare. We suggest that, before we can move forward and realise such a state, it is vital to examine the critical issues, likely barriers and facilitators and, most importantly, the critical success factors. To do this however, we need an appropriate cognitive lens through which we can capture all the complexities of healthcare dynamics. In this paper we suggest why Actor Network Theory (ANT) should be this lens. PMID:18048305

  13. Ship Finds and Their Management as Actor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuddenham, David Berg

    2012-12-01

    Ship finds in Norwegian waters that are more than 100 years old came under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) in 1963, when section 12a of the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act was implemented. As a consequence, a functional division between land and sea was created where management objects receive different values depending on whether or not they belong to a ship. The objective of this paper is to review Norwegian CHM underwater policy, and discuss the creation of a new management object and its borders with the introduction of a section on ship finds specifically focusing on Actor Network Theory. It is argued that the understanding of the ship find and its belongings can not be understood as something based on inherent qualities to the management object. Instead this paper proposes to comprehend the ship find as a phenomenon held together within a heterogeneous network.

  14. Role of Actors and Gender Factor in Disaster Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundogdu, Oguz; Isik, Ozden; Ozcep, Ferhat; Goksu, Goksel

    2014-05-01

    In Turkey, the discussions in the modern sense about disaster management begun after the 1992 Erzincan and the 1995 Dinar earthquakes, faulting in terms of features and effects. These earthquakes are "Urban Earthquakes'' with effects and faulting charectristics, and have led to radical changes in terms of disaster and disaster management. Disaster Management, to become a science in the world, but with the 1999 Izmit and Duzce earthquakes in Turkey has begun to take seriously on the agenda. Firstly, such as Civil Defense and Red Crescent organizations, by transforming its own, have entered into a new organizing effort. By these earthquakes, NGO's have contributed the search-rescue efforts in the field and to the process of normalization of life. Because "the authority and responsibilities" of NGO's could not be determined, and could not be in planning and scenario studies, we faced the problems. Thus, to the citizens of our country-specific "voluntary" has not benefited enough from the property. The most important development in disaster management in 2009, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has been the establishment. However, in terms of coordination and accreditation to the target point has been reached yet. Another important issue in disaster management (need to be addressed along with disaster actors) is the role of women in disasters. After the Golcuk Earthquake, successful field works of women and women's victimization has attracted attention in two different directions. Gender-sensitive policies should be noted by the all disaster actors due to the importance of the mitigation, and these policies should take place in laws, regulations and planning.

  15. Corner Office: ProQuest's Marty Kahn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fialkoff, Francine; Oder, Norman

    2009-01-01

    In a scant three years at ProQuest, Marty Kahn, CEO, has moved a company coming out of a financial morass back onto solid ground. He came on board after the purchase of ProQuest Information and Learning by the (mostly) privately owned Cambridge Information Group in late 2006 and the merger of ProQuest and CSA to form ProQuest CSA. (It's now just…

  16. Reassembling the Social - An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latour, Bruno

    2005-09-01

    Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'. Bruno Latour's contention is that the world 'social' as used by Social Scientists has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. But Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling: and a type of material, distinct from others. Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanation' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain. Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society. This approach, a 'sociology of associations' has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network-Theory, or the ideas of one of its most

  17. Commercial Actors and the Governing of Education: The Case of Academy School Sponsors in England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papanastasiou, Natalie

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the ways in which commercial actors are operating in state education by focusing on the case study of England's academies policy. First of all the discussion outlines the development of academies over time and the way in which the policy has provided opportunities for private actors to become involved in the state…

  18. Nonhumans Unbound: Actor-Network Theory and the Reconsideration of "Things" in Educational Foundations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waltz, Scott B.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to call attention to the missing discourse of non-humans as social actors in the Social Foundations of Education. The paper outlines three common figuring metaphors that impede the adoption of such a theoretical discourse and shows how Actor-Network Theory (ANT), more recently developed in the nascent field of Science and…

  19. West Side Silence: Producing "West Side Story" with Deaf and Hearing Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Diane

    2002-01-01

    Details a collaborative production of "West Side Story" with hearing actors from MacMurray College and deaf actors from the Illinois School for the Deaf. Explores some of the practical dilemmas encountered as the distinctions between the Deaf and hearing communities were negotiated. Explains that the show explored the ways in which sign language…

  20. Reading Educational Reform with Actor Network Theory: Fluid Spaces, Otherings, and Ambivalences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara

    2011-01-01

    In considering two extended examples of educational reform efforts, this discussion traces relations that become visible through analytic approaches associated with actor-network theory (ANT). The strategy here is to present multiple readings of the two examples. The first reading adopts an ANT approach to follow ways that all actors--human and…

  1. Managing the Bologna Process at the European Level: Institution and Actor Dynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazetic, Predrag

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses the work of the Bologna Follow Up Group as the main institution of the Bologna Process and the perceptions of the policy actors involved concerning the character of the process in terms of its functioning in contrast to similar multi-level multi-actor European processes, its modes of communication and consensus seeking, as…

  2. BNP and NT-proBNP Test

    MedlinePlus

    ... Peptides Formal name: B-type Natriuretic Peptide; N-terminal pro b-type Natriuretic Peptide Related tests: Cardiac ... for B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) or N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is ...

  3. CREMA-D: Crowd-sourced Emotional Multimodal Actors Dataset

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Houwei; Cooper, David G.; Keutmann, Michael K.; Gur, Ruben C.; Nenkova, Ani; Verma, Ragini

    2014-01-01

    People convey their emotional state in their face and voice. We present an audio-visual data set uniquely suited for the study of multi-modal emotion expression and perception. The data set consists of facial and vocal emotional expressions in sentences spoken in a range of basic emotional states (happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, and neutral). 7,442 clips of 91 actors with diverse ethnic backgrounds were rated by multiple raters in three modalities: audio, visual, and audio-visual. Categorical emotion labels and real-value intensity values for the perceived emotion were collected using crowd-sourcing from 2,443 raters. The human recognition of intended emotion for the audio-only, visual-only, and audio-visual data are 40.9%, 58.2% and 63.6% respectively. Recognition rates are highest for neutral, followed by happy, anger, disgust, fear, and sad. Average intensity levels of emotion are rated highest for visual-only perception. The accurate recognition of disgust and fear requires simultaneous audio-visual cues, while anger and happiness can be well recognized based on evidence from a single modality. The large dataset we introduce can be used to probe other questions concerning the audio-visual perception of emotion. PMID:25653738

  4. Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potency to act and identification of the actor role.

    PubMed

    Frenzel, Sabine; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    The inference of causality is a crucial cognitive ability and language processing is no exception: recent research suggests that, across different languages, the human language comprehension system attempts to identify the primary causer of the state of affairs described (the "actor") quickly and unambiguously (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Schlesewsky, 2009). This identification can take place verb-independently based on certain prominence cues (e.g., case, word order, animacy). Here, we present two experiments demonstrating that actor potential is also encoded at the level of individual nouns (a king is a better actor than a beggar). Experiment 1 collected ratings for 180 German nouns on 12 scales defined by adjective oppositions and deemed relevant for actorhood potential. By means of structural equation modeling, an actor potential (ACT) value was calculated for each noun. Experiment 2, an event-related potential study, embedded nouns from Experiment 1 in verb-final sentences, in which they were either actors or non-actors. N400 amplitude increased with decreasing ACT values and this modulation was larger for highly frequent nouns and for actor versus non-actor nouns. We argue that potency to act is lexically encoded for individual nouns and, since it modulates the N400 even for non-actor participants, it should be viewed as a property that modulates ease of lexical access (akin, for example, to lexical frequency). We conclude that two separate dimensions of actorhood computation are crucial to language comprehension: an experience-based, lexically encoded (bottom-up) representation of actorhood potential, and a prominence-based, computational mechanism for calculating goodness-of-fit to the actor role in a particular (top-down) sentence context. PMID:25688217

  5. ProMAT: protein microarray analysis tool

    SciTech Connect

    White, Amanda M.; Daly, Don S.; Varnum, Susan M.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Bollinger, Nikki; Zangar, Richard C.

    2006-04-04

    Summary: ProMAT is a software tool for statistically analyzing data from ELISA microarray experiments. The software estimates standard curves, sample protein concentrations and their uncertainties for multiple assays. ProMAT generates a set of comprehensive figures for assessing results and diagnosing process quality. The tool is available for Windows or Mac, and is distributed as open-source Java and R code. Availability: ProMAT is available at http://www.pnl.gov/statistics/ProMAT. ProMAT requires Java version 1.5.0 and R version 1.9.1 (or more recent versions) which are distributed with the tool.

  6. Hacia el consumo informado de tabaco en México: efecto de las advertencias con pictogramas en población fumadora

    PubMed Central

    Thrasher, James F; Pérez-Hernández, Rosaura; Arillo-Santillán, Edna; Barrientos-Gutiérrez, Inti

    2015-01-01

    Resumen Objetivo Evaluar el efecto de las advertencias sanitarias (AS) con pictogramas en las cajetillas de tabaco en adultos fumadores. Material y métodos Cohorte de fumadores con representatividad poblacional de siete ciudades mexi canas, antes (2010) y después (2011) de la implementación de AS con pictogramas (ASP). Para determinar el cambio en las variables sobre el impacto cognitivo y conductual de las advertencias, se estimaron modelos bivariados y ajustados de ecuaciones de estimación generalizada. En el Segundo levantamiento (2011), se estimaron modelos para determiner los factores que se asocian con el reporte de recordar cada advertencia que había entrado al mercado, además de los factores asociados con el autorreporte del impacto de cada advertencia vigente. Resultados Se observaron incrementos importantes de 2010 a 2011 en los conocimientos sobre los riesgos de fumar, los componentes tóxicos del tabaco y el número telefónico para recibir consejos sobre dejar de fumar. La recordación e impacto de las primeras advertencias con pictogramas parecen ser amplios y equitativos a través de la población fumadora. En comparación con 2010, un mayor nivel de ex fumadores entrevistados en 2011 reportaron que las advertencias habían influido mucho en dejar de fumar (RM=2.44, 95% IC 1.27–4.72). Conclusiones Las AS con pictogramas han logrado un impacto importante en el conocimiento y conducta, información relevante para la población y en tomadores de decisiones. PMID:22689162

  7. Deterring Asymmetric Threats from Sub-State Actors

    SciTech Connect

    Homsy, R V

    2002-01-31

    Deterrence means preventing another's actions by influencing their decisionmaking process. Nuclear deterrence was successfully accomplished during the Cold War by holding the adversary's valuable assets at risk by targeting them with nuclear weapons, a policy known as mutually assured destruction (MAD). In this case neither player attacks the other, because the ultimate outcome is self-destruction. Deterrence based upon MAD is largely ineffective against sub-state actors who may have few if any assets, the location of which may be unknown. Furthermore, the threat of destroying their assets may only serve to strengthen their motivation to do more stealthy violence, the threat being interpreted as a taunt. The key to establishing deterrence is understanding the adversary's decision process, starting with the factors upon which decisions are made, called decision attributes. Asymmetric threats are assumed to involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons. So, the key decision attributes here are concerned with the acquisition and use of CBRN weapons. We have identified the following five countermeasure objectives for establishing deterrence: (1) Reduce access to CBRN weapons, expertise, materials, and equipment; (2) Make CBRN weapons difficult to use; (3) Reduce the effectiveness of CBRN weapons; (4) Increase the likelihood of being caught acquiring and using CBRN weapons; and (5) Establish a policy of retribution for acquiring and using CBRN weapons. It should be emphasized that an adversary's perception toward these objectives is most important in affecting their decisionmaking. Of course each adversary will respond differently toward these countermeasures, depending upon their motivations, objectives, preferences, resources, and willingness to gamble. Motivation of violence is defined as the fundamental cause or driving force; absent which the intent to do violence no longer exists. Correct understanding of motivations requires adapting your

  8. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the subspaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  9. Bombing alone: tracing the motivations and antecedent behaviors of lone-actor terrorists,.

    PubMed

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-03-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender's grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors' plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article. PMID:24313297

  10. Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potency to act and identification of the actor role

    PubMed Central

    Frenzel, Sabine; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    The inference of causality is a crucial cognitive ability and language processing is no exception: recent research suggests that, across different languages, the human language comprehension system attempts to identify the primary causer of the state of affairs described (the “actor”) quickly and unambiguously (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Schlesewsky, 2009). This identification can take place verb-independently based on certain prominence cues (e.g., case, word order, animacy). Here, we present two experiments demonstrating that actor potential is also encoded at the level of individual nouns (a king is a better actor than a beggar). Experiment 1 collected ratings for 180 German nouns on 12 scales defined by adjective oppositions and deemed relevant for actorhood potential. By means of structural equation modeling, an actor potential (ACT) value was calculated for each noun. Experiment 2, an event-related potential study, embedded nouns from Experiment 1 in verb-final sentences, in which they were either actors or non-actors. N400 amplitude increased with decreasing ACT values and this modulation was larger for highly frequent nouns and for actor versus non-actor nouns. We argue that potency to act is lexically encoded for individual nouns and, since it modulates the N400 even for non-actor participants, it should be viewed as a property that modulates ease of lexical access (akin, for example, to lexical frequency). We conclude that two separate dimensions of actorhood computation are crucial to language comprehension: an experience-based, lexically encoded (bottom–up) representation of actorhood potential, and a prominence-based, computational mechanism for calculating goodness-of-fit to the actor role in a particular (top–down) sentence context. PMID:25688217

  11. Inferring the Size of a Goal Object from an Actor's Grasping Movement in 6- and 9-Month-Old Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daum, Moritz M.; Vuori, Maria T.; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-01-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement…

  12. Two-factor theory, the actor-critic model, and conditioned avoidance.

    PubMed

    Maia, Tiago V

    2010-02-01

    Two-factor theory (Mowrer, 1947, 1951, 1956) remains one of the most influential theories of avoidance, but it is at odds with empirical findings that demonstrate sustained avoidance responding in situations in which the theory predicts that the response should extinguish. This article shows that the well-known actor-critic model seamlessly addresses the problems with two-factor theory, while simultaneously being consistent with the core ideas that underlie that theory. More specifically, the article shows that (1) the actor-critic model bears striking similarities to two-factor theory and explains all of the empirical phenomena that two-factor theory explains, in much the same way, and (2) there are subtle but important differences between the actor-critic model and two-factor theory, which result in the actor-critic model predicting the persistence of avoidance responses that is found empirically. PMID:20065349

  13. Time-delay effects on dynamics of a two-actor conflict model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Pacheco, A.; Obregón-Quintana, B.; Liebovitch, L. S.; Guzmán-Vargas, L.

    2013-02-01

    We present a study of time-delay effects on a two-actor conflict model based on nonlinear differential equations. The state of each actor depends on its own state in isolation, its previous state, its inertia to change, the positive or negative feedback and a time delay in the state of the other actor. We use both theoretical and numerical approaches to characterize the evolution of the system for several values of time delays. We find that, under particular conditions, a time delay leads to the appearance of oscillations in the states of the actors. Besides, phase portraits for the trajectories are presented to illustrate the evolution of the system for different time delays. Finally, we discuss our results in the context of social conflict models.

  14. Vocal range and intensity in actors: a studio versus stage comparison.

    PubMed

    Emerich, Kate A; Titze, Ingo R; Svec, Jan G; Popolo, Peter S; Logan, Gary

    2005-03-01

    A voice range profile (VRP) was obtained from each of eight professional actors and compared with two speech range profiles (SRPs). One speech profile was obtained during the dramatic reading of a scene in the laboratory and the other during a performance on stage in a professional theater. The objective was to determine the pitch and loudness ranges used by the actors in speech relative to the VRP. The principal question of interest was whether the actors stayed within the center of the VRP, or whether they tended to drift toward the boundaries of intensity and frequency. A second question was whether the performance within the laboratory accurately reflects that of a stage performance. The results suggest that some subjects tend to exceed the center of the VRP during the stage performance. It is hypothesized that these actors may stress their vocal mechanism during performance and are more likely candidates for vocal injury. PMID:15766852

  15. Modeling and training emotional talking faces of virtual actors in synthetic movies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunaratne, Savant; Yan, Hong

    2000-05-01

    This paper presents an overview of a virtual actor system composed of several subsystems designed to automate some of these animation tasks. Our emphasis is on the facial animation of virtual actors. The paper specifically details the situations processor component of the framework, which is a major building block in the automatic virtual actor system. An expert system using a fuzzy knowledge-based control system is used to realize the automated system. Fuzzy linguistic rules are used to train virtual actors to know the appropriate emotions and gestures to use in different situations of a synthetic movie, the higher level parameters of which are provided by human directors. Theories of emotion, personality, dialogue, and acting, as well as empirical evidence is incorporated into our framework and knowledge bases to produce promising results.

  16. The Relation of Pro-Sociality to Self-Esteem: The Mediational Role of Quality of Friendships.

    PubMed

    Zuffianò, Antonio; Eisenberg, Nancy; Alessandri, Guido; Luengo Kanacri, Bernadette Paula; Pastorelli, Concetta; Milioni, Michela; Caprara, Gian Vittorio

    2016-02-01

    The present longitudinal study examined the role of quality of friendship in mediating the relation of pro-sociality to self-esteem over time. Participants were 424 Italian young adults (56% females) assessed at two waves (M(age) = 21.1 at Time 1; M(age) = 25 at Time 2). An autoregressive cross-lagged panel model was used to test the mediational model. Self- and friend-report measures of pro-sociality, quality of friendship, and self-esteem were included in the analyses. Results were in line with the hypothesized paths, with quality of friendship mediating the relation of pro-sociality to later self-esteem above and beyond its high stability. Self-esteem, in turn, predicted pro-sociality 4 years later. Overall, the present findings support the potential benefits of behaving pro-socially for an actor in terms of increased perceived self-worth and also expand previous work by outlining the specific mediational role of the quality of friendships. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed. PMID:25234333

  17. Neuroimaging of the joint Simon effect with believed biological and non-biological co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Tanya; Hsieh, Shulan

    2015-01-01

    Performing a task alone or together with another agent can produce different outcomes. The current study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural underpinnings when participants performed a Go/Nogo task alone or complementarily with another co-actor (unseen), whom was believed to be another human or a computer. During both complementary tasks, reaction time data suggested that participants integrated the potential action of their co-actor in their own action planning. Compared to the single-actor task, increased parietal and precentral activity during complementary tasks as shown in the fMRI data further suggested representation of the co-actor’s response. The superior frontal gyrus of the medial prefrontal cortex was differentially activated in the human co-actor condition compared to the computer co-actor condition. The medial prefrontal cortex, involved thinking about the beliefs and intentions of other people, possibly reflects a social-cognitive aspect or self-other discrimination during the joint task when believing a biological co-actor is present. Our results suggest that action co-representation can occur even offline with any agent type given a priori information that they are co-acting; however, additional regions are recruited when participants believe they are task-sharing with another human. PMID:26388760

  18. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event.

    PubMed

    Kersten, Alan W; Earles, Julie L; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-11-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and "remember" responses in a remember-know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults' elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  19. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event

    PubMed Central

    Earles, Julie L.; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and “remember” responses in a remember–know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults’ elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  20. Getting acquainted: Actor and partner effects of attachment and temperament on young children's peer behavior.

    PubMed

    McElwain, Nancy L; Holland, Ashley S; Engle, Jennifer M; Ogolsky, Brian G

    2014-06-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child temperament (anger proneness and social fearfulness). At 39 months, same-sex children (N = 114, 58 girls) were randomly paired, and child dyads were observed during 3 laboratory visits occurring over 1 month. Actor-partner interdependence models, tested via multilevel modeling, revealed that actor security, partner anger proneness, and acquaintanceship (e.g., initial vs. later visits) combined to predict child behavior. Actor security predicted more responsiveness to the new peer partner at the initial visit, regardless of partner anger proneness. Actor security continued to predict responsiveness at the 2nd and 3rd visits when partner anger was low, but these associations were nonsignificant when partner anger was high. Actor security also predicted a less controlling assertiveness style at the initial visit when partner anger proneness was high, yet this association was nonsignificant by the final visit. The findings shed light on the dynamic nature of young children's peer behavior and indicate that attachment security is related to behavior in expected ways during initial interactions with a new peer, but may change as children become acquainted. PMID:24635647

  1. Characteristics of pornography film actors: self-report versus perceptions of college students.

    PubMed

    Griffith, James D; Hayworth, Michelle; Adams, Lea T; Mitchell, Sharon; Hart, Christian

    2013-05-01

    The assumed characteristics of individuals in the adult entertainment industry have been used to advocate positions for and against pornography. Although prior studies have investigated perceptions of porn actors, no data on the actual characteristics of this group exist. The present study compared the self-reports of 105 male and 177 female porn actors to the perceptions of 399 college students on childhood sexual abuse (CSA), self-esteem, work and non-work sexual behaviors, and safe sex issues. College students were asked to identify the characteristics associated with either a male or female porn star. College students provided underestimates for both female and male porn actors on self-esteem, age of first intercourse, lifetime number of partners outside of work, ideal experience in a romantic partner, concerns regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), enjoyment of sex, and condom use during a first time sexual encounter, but overestimated earnings. Additional differences among male porn stars included an underestimate of the number of partners at work. For female porn stars, college students underestimated their enjoyment of work, the probability of catching an STD, and having unprotected sex. Although there were no significant differences on perceived rates of childhood abuse of porn actors, the incidence of CSA among the porn actor participants were within the ranges of the general population. The majority of college student stereotypes were not supported regarding the perceptions of porn actors. These findings were discussed within the context of attributing unfounded characteristics of individuals to an entire industry. PMID:23179237

  2. Bombing Alone: Tracing the Motivations and Antecedent Behaviors of Lone-Actor Terrorists*,†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender’s grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors’ plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article. PMID:24313297

  3. Airway hyperresponsiveness; smooth muscle as the principal actor

    PubMed Central

    Lauzon, Anne-Marie; Martin, James G.

    2016-01-01

    Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a defining characteristic of asthma that refers to the capacity of the airways to undergo exaggerated narrowing in response to stimuli that do not result in comparable degrees of airway narrowing in healthy subjects. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction mediates airway narrowing, but it remains uncertain as to whether the smooth muscle is intrinsically altered in asthmatic subjects or is responding abnormally as a result of the milieu in which it sits. ASM in the trachea or major bronchi does not differ in its contractile characteristics in asthmatics, but the more pertinent peripheral airways await complete exploration. The mass of ASM is increased in many but not all asthmatics and therefore cannot be a unifying hypothesis for AHR, although when increased in mass it may contribute to AHR. The inability of a deep breath to reverse or prevent bronchial narrowing in asthma may reflect an intrinsic difference in the mechanisms that lead to softening of contracted ASM when subjected to stretch. Cytokines such as interleukin-13 and tumor necrosis factor-α promote a more contractile ASM phenotype. The composition and increased stiffness of the matrix in which ASM is embedded promotes a more proliferative and pro-inflammatory ASM phenotype, but the expected dedifferentiation and loss of contractility have not been shown. Airway epithelium may drive ASM proliferation and/or molecular remodeling in ways that may lead to AHR. In conclusion, AHR is likely multifactorial in origin, reflecting the plasticity of ASM properties in the inflammatory environment of the asthmatic airway. PMID:26998246

  4. Airway hyperresponsiveness; smooth muscle as the principal actor.

    PubMed

    Lauzon, Anne-Marie; Martin, James G

    2016-01-01

    Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a defining characteristic of asthma that refers to the capacity of the airways to undergo exaggerated narrowing in response to stimuli that do not result in comparable degrees of airway narrowing in healthy subjects. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction mediates airway narrowing, but it remains uncertain as to whether the smooth muscle is intrinsically altered in asthmatic subjects or is responding abnormally as a result of the milieu in which it sits. ASM in the trachea or major bronchi does not differ in its contractile characteristics in asthmatics, but the more pertinent peripheral airways await complete exploration. The mass of ASM is increased in many but not all asthmatics and therefore cannot be a unifying hypothesis for AHR, although when increased in mass it may contribute to AHR. The inability of a deep breath to reverse or prevent bronchial narrowing in asthma may reflect an intrinsic difference in the mechanisms that lead to softening of contracted ASM when subjected to stretch. Cytokines such as interleukin-13 and tumor necrosis factor-α promote a more contractile ASM phenotype. The composition and increased stiffness of the matrix in which ASM is embedded promotes a more proliferative and pro-inflammatory ASM phenotype, but the expected dedifferentiation and loss of contractility have not been shown. Airway epithelium may drive ASM proliferation and/or molecular remodeling in ways that may lead to AHR. In conclusion, AHR is likely multifactorial in origin, reflecting the plasticity of ASM properties in the inflammatory environment of the asthmatic airway. PMID:26998246

  5. Conformational Plasticity of proNGF

    PubMed Central

    Paoletti, Francesca; Malerba, Francesca; Kelly, Geoff; Noinville, Sylvie; Lamba, Doriano; Cattaneo, Antonino; Pastore, Annalisa

    2011-01-01

    Nerve Growth Factor is an essential protein that supports neuronal survival during development and influences neuronal function throughout adulthood, both in the central and peripheral nervous system. The unprocessed precursor of NGF, proNGF, seems to be endowed with biological functions distinct from those of the mature protein, such as chaperone-like activities and apoptotic and/or neurotrophic properties. We have previously suggested, based on Small Angle X-ray Scattering data, that recombinant murine proNGF has features typical of an intrinsically unfolded protein. Using complementary biophysical techniques, we show here new evidence that clarifies and widens this hypothesis through a detailed comparison of the structural properties of NGF and proNGF. Our data provide direct information about the dynamic properties of the pro-peptide and indicate that proNGF assumes in solution a compact globular conformation. The N-terminal pro-peptide extension influences the chemical environment of the mature protein and protects the protein from proteolytic digestion. Accordingly, we observe that unfolding of proNGF involves a two-steps mechanism. The distinct structural properties of proNGF as compared to NGF agree with and rationalise a different functional role of the precursor. PMID:21818348

  6. Integrated Programs and Pro-Environmental Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Tiffany

    2008-01-01

    Research suggested that "nature experience as an education method played a role in developing environmental value and attitudes, and was influential in pro-environmental behaviour." Few of these studies however, assessed the long-term influences of outdoor education experiences on participants' pro-environmental behaviour. The Outward Bound Canada…

  7. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Spapé, Michiel M.; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  8. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors.

    PubMed

    Spapé, Michiel M; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  9. Pro-Anorexia and Pro-Recovery Photo Sharing: A Tale of Two Warring Tribes

    PubMed Central

    Yom-Tov, Elad; Weber, Ingmar; Crain, Steven P

    2012-01-01

    Background There is widespread use of the Internet to promote anorexia as a lifestyle choice. Pro-anorexia content can be harmful for people affected or at risk of having anorexia. That movement is actively engaged in sharing photos on social networks such as Flickr. Objective To study the characteristics of the online communities engaged in disseminating content that encourages eating disorders (known as “pro-anorexia”) and to investigate if the posting of such content is discouraged by the posting of recovery-oriented content. Methods The extraction of pro-anorexia and pro-recovery photographs from the photo sharing site Flickr pertaining to 242,710 photos from 491 users and analyzing four separate social networks therein. Results Pro-anorexia and pro-recovery communities interact to a much higher degree among themselves than what is expected from the distribution of contacts (only 59-72% of contacts but 74-83% of comments are made to members inside the community). Pro-recovery users employ similar words to those used by pro-anorexia users to describe their photographs, possibly in order to ensure that their content appears when pro-anorexia users search for images. Pro-anorexia users who are exposed to comments from the opposite camp are less likely to cease posting pro-anorexia photographs than those who do not receive such comments (46% versus 61%), and if they cease, they do so approximately three months later. Our observations show two highly active communities, where most interaction is within each community. However, the pro-recovery community takes steps to ensure that their content is visible to the pro-anorexia community, both by using textual descriptions of their photographs that are similar to those used by the pro-anorexia group and by commenting to pro-anorexia content. The latter activity is, however, counterproductive, as it entrenches pro-anorexia users in their stance. Conclusions Our results highlight the nature of pro-anorexia and pro

  10. Representing Micro-Macro Linkages by Actor-Based Dynamic Network Models

    PubMed Central

    Snijders, Tom A.B.; Steglich, Christian E.G.

    2014-01-01

    Stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics have the primary aim of statistical inference about processes of network change, but may be regarded as a kind of agent-based models. Similar to many other agent-based models, they are based on local rules for actor behavior. Different from many other agent-based models, by including elements of generalized linear statistical models they aim to be realistic detailed representations of network dynamics in empirical data sets. Statistical parallels to micro-macro considerations can be found in the estimation of parameters determining local actor behavior from empirical data, and the assessment of goodness of fit from the correspondence with network-level descriptives. This article studies several network-level consequences of dynamic actor-based models applied to represent cross-sectional network data. Two examples illustrate how network-level characteristics can be obtained as emergent features implied by micro-specifications of actor-based models. PMID:25960578

  11. Emotional labor actors: a latent profile analysis of emotional labor strategies.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Allison S; Daniels, Michael A; Diefendorff, James M; Greguras, Gary J

    2015-05-01

    Research on emotional labor focuses on how employees utilize 2 main regulation strategies-surface acting (i.e., faking one's felt emotions) and deep acting (i.e., attempting to feel required emotions)-to adhere to emotional expectations of their jobs. To date, researchers largely have considered how each strategy functions to predict outcomes in isolation. However, this variable-centered perspective ignores the possibility that there are subpopulations of employees who may differ in their combined use of surface and deep acting. To address this issue, we conducted 2 studies that examined surface acting and deep acting from a person-centered perspective. Using latent profile analysis, we identified 5 emotional labor profiles-non-actors, low actors, surface actors, deep actors, and regulators-and found that these actor profiles were distinguished by several emotional labor antecedents (positive affectivity, negative affectivity, display rules, customer orientation, and emotion demands-abilities fit) and differentially predicted employee outcomes (emotional exhaustion, job satisfaction, and felt inauthenticity). Our results reveal new insights into the nature of emotion regulation in emotional labor contexts and how different employees may characteristically use distinct combinations of emotion regulation strategies to manage their emotional expressions at work. PMID:25068812

  12. Pro-choice: a new militancy.

    PubMed

    Davis, S E

    1989-01-01

    Davis, a pro-choice advocate, describes the reactions of the abortion rights movement to the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in the 1989 Webster v. Reproductive Health Services case. Viewing the decision that allows individual states to set some restrictions on abortion as a threat to women's reproductive rights, pro-choice advocates have responded "with a new sense of defiance and commitment." Davis describes the demonstrations, sit-ins, and coalitions that give evidence of the new activism of the pro-choice movement. PMID:2606658

  13. When private actors matter: Information-sharing network and surveillance of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Delabouglise, A; Dao, T H; Truong, D B; Nguyen, T T; Nguyen, N T X; Duboz, R; Fournié, G; Antoine-Moussiaux, N; Grosbois, V; Vu, D T; Le, T H; Nguyen, V K; Salem, G; Peyre, M

    2015-07-01

    The effectiveness of animal health surveillance systems depends on their capacity to gather sanitary information from the animal production sector. In order to assess this capacity we analyzed the flow of sanitary information regarding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) suspicions in poultry in Vietnam. Participatory methods were applied to assess the type of actors and likelihood of information sharing between actors in case of HPAI suspicion in poultry. While the reporting of HPAI suspicions is mandatory, private actors had more access to information than public actors. Actors of the upstream sector (medicine and feed sellers) played a key role in the diffusion of information. The central role of these actors and the influence of the information flow on the adoption by poultry production stakeholders of behaviors limiting (e.g. prevention measures) or promoting disease transmission (e.g. increased animal movements) should be accounted for in the design of surveillance and control programs. PMID:25847263

  14. Application of the Actor-Critic Architecture to Functional Electrical Stimulation Control of a Human Arm.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philip; Branicky, Michael; van den Bogert, Antonie; Jagodnik, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Clinical tests have shown that the dynamics of a human arm, controlled using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), can vary significantly between and during trials. In this paper, we study the application of the actor-critic architecture, with neural networks for the both the actor and the critic, as a controller that can adapt to these changing dynamics of a human arm. Development and tests were done in simulation using a planar arm model and Hill-based muscle dynamics. We begin by training it using a Proportional Derivative (PD) controller as a supervisor. We then make clinically relevant changes to the dynamics of the arm and test the actor-critic's ability to adapt without supervision in a reasonable number of episodes. Finally, we devise methods for achieving both rapid learning and long-term stability. PMID:20689654

  15. Manduca sexta proprophenoloxidase activating proteinase-3 (PAP3) stimulates melanization by activating proPAP3, proSPHs, and proPOs

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Lu, Zhiqiang; Jiang, Haobo

    2014-01-01

    Melanization participates in various insect physiological processes including antimicrobial immune responses. Phenoloxidase (PO), a critical component of the enzyme system catalyzing melanin formation, is produced as an inactive precursor prophenoloxidase (proPO) and becomes active via specific proteolytic cleavage by proPO activating proteinase (PAP). In Manduca sexta, three PAPs can activate proPOs in the presence of two serine proteinase homologs (SPH1 and SPH2). While the hemolymph proteinases (HPs) that generate the active PAPs are known, it is unclear how the proSPHs (especially proSPH1) are activated. In this study, we isolated from plasma of bar-stage M. sexta larvae an Ile-Glu-Ala-Arg-p-nitroanilide hydrolyzing enzyme that cleaved the proSPHs. This proteinase, PAP3, generated active SPH1 and SPH2, which function as cofactors for PAP3 in proPO activation. Cleavage of the purified recombinant proSPHs by PAP3 yielded 38 kDa bands similar in mobility to the SPHs formed in vivo. Surprisingly, PAP3 also can activate proPAP3 to stimulate melanization in a direct positive feedback loop. The enhanced proPO activation concurred with the cleavage activation of proHP6, proHP8, proPAP1, proPAP3, proSPH1, proSPH2, proPOs, but not proHP14 or proHP21. These results indicate that PAP3, like PAP1, is a key factor of the self-reinforcing mechanism in the proPO activation system, which is linked to other immune responses in M. sexta. PMID:24768974

  16. Power and pro-poor policies: the case of iCCM in Niger.

    PubMed

    Dalglish, Sarah L; Surkan, Pamela J; Diarra, Aïssa; Harouna, Abdoutan; Bennett, Sara

    2015-12-01

    Analyses of health policy in low- and middle-income countries frequently mention but rarely adequately explore power dynamics, whether or not the policy in question targets the poor. We present a case study in Niger of integrated community case management (iCCM), a policy to provide basic care for poor rural children sick with malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia, which has contributed to measurable reductions in child mortality. We focus on the three dimensions of power in policymaking: political authority, financial resources and technical expertise. Data collection took place March to August 2012 and included semi-structured interviews with policy actors (N = 32), a document review (N = 103) and contextual analysis. Preliminary data analysis relied on process tracing methodology to examine why iCCM was prioritized and identify dimensions of power most relevant to the Nigerien case; we then applied theoretical categories deductively to our data. We find that political authorities, namely President Mamadou Tandja, created the underlying health infrastructure for the policy ('health huts') as a way to distribute rents from development aid through client networks while claiming the mantle of political legitimacy. Conditional influxes of financial resources created an incentive to declare fee exemptions for children below 5 years, a key condition for the policy's success. Technical expertise was concentrated among international actors from multi-lateral and bilateral agencies who packaged and delivered scientific arguments in support of iCCM to Nigerien policymakers, whose input was limited mainly to operational decisions. The Nigerien case sheds light on the dimensions of power in health policymaking, particularly in neo-patrimonial African regimes, and provides insights on how external actors can work within these contexts to promote pro-poor policies. PMID:26516154

  17. Technology evaluation: PRO-542, Progenics Pharmaceuticals inc.

    PubMed

    Mukhtar, M; Parveen, Z; Pomerantz, R J

    2000-12-01

    Progenics's rCD4-IgG2 (PRO-542) is a recombinant fusion protein, which has been developed using the company's Universal Antiviral Binding (UnAB) technology, and is in phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) infection [273391]. At the beginning of 1997, Progenics received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases (NIAID) to fund the development of PRO-542 [236048]. A further grant of $2.7 million was awarded in August 1998 for the clinical evaluation of PRO-542 and other anti-HIV therapies [294200]. Progenics is collaborating with the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) in New York and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta [178410]. In February 2000, Progenics and Genzyme Transgenics Corp signed an agreement to continue the development of a transgenic source of PRO-542. Genzyme will develop transgenic goats that produce PRO-542 in their milk in exchange for undisclosed fees and milestone payments. Genzyme will supply PRO-542 to Progenics for clinical trials with a possibility for eventual commercial supply [357291]. Following on from this, in October 2000, Progenics received an SBIR grant to fund a two-year project with Genzyme Transgenics into the development of cost-effective methods for the manufacture of PRO-542, by optimization of the production of the drug in the milk of transgenic dairy animals [385982]. In August 2000, Punk, Ziegel & Company predicted that Progenics Pharmaceuticals will become sustainably profitable in 2003 following the launch of PRO-542 and GMK (Progenics Pharmaceuticals) in 2002 [390063]. PMID:11249748

  18. Protein ProQ Influences Osmotic Activation of Compatible Solute Transporter ProP in Escherichia coli K-12

    PubMed Central

    Kunte, H. Jörg; Crane, Rebecca A.; Culham, Doreen E.; Richmond, Deborah; Wood, Janet M.

    1999-01-01

    ProP is an osmoregulatory compatible solute transporter in Escherichia coli K-12. Mutation proQ220::Tn5 decreased the rate constant for and the extent of ProP activation by an osmotic upshift but did not alter proP transcription or the ProP protein level. Allele proQ220::Tn5 was isolated, and the proQ sequence was determined. Locus proQ is upstream from prc (tsp) at 41.2 centisomes on the genetic map. The proQ220::Tn5 and prc phenotypes were different, however. Gene proQ is predicted to encode a 232-amino-acid, basic, hydrophilic protein (molecular mass, 25,876 Da; calculated isoelectric point, 9.66; 32% D, E, R, or K; 54.5% polar amino acids). The insertion of PCR-amplified proQ into vector pBAD24 produced a plasmid containing the wild-type proQ open reading frame, the expression of which yielded a soluble protein with an apparent molecular mass of 30 kDa. Antibodies raised against the overexpressed ProQ protein detected cross-reactive material in proQ+ bacteria but not in proQ220::Tn5 bacteria. ProQ may be a structural element that influences the osmotic activation of ProP at a posttranslational level. PMID:10049386

  19. Scientific Journals of Universities of Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela: Actors and Roles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delgado, Jorge Enrique

    2014-01-01

    A qualitative study was carried out to identify the roles of actors associated with the publication of scientific journals in Chilean, Colombian, and Venezuelan universities. Twenty-four semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with journal editors, university authorities, and other experts. The categories of analysis included university…

  20. Whose Quality? Social Actors in the Interface of Transnational and National Higher Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saarinen, Taina

    2008-01-01

    The article analyzes the construction of national reactions to a transnational higher education policy from the point of view of the representation of social actors in policy documents. The data are provided by the so-called Bologna Process, particularly the development of comparable quality assurance systems, and Finnish responses to those…

  1. Learning Science in a Virtual Reality Application: The Impacts of Animated-Virtual Actors' Visual Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kartiko, Iwan; Kavakli, Manolya; Cheng, Ken

    2010-01-01

    As the technology in computer graphics advances, Animated-Virtual Actors (AVAs) in Virtual Reality (VR) applications become increasingly rich and complex. Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) suggests that complex visual materials could hinder novice learners from attending to the lesson properly. On the other hand, previous studies have…

  2. Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie Production in a Family Literacy Workshop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Grace; Dolejs, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    The goal of the family literacy workshop "Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie production in a Family Literacy Workshop" is to empower and motivate parents to learn various storytelling strategies through theatrical production experiences and apply them at home. This is a theory-based family literacy practice supported by McClelland's…

  3. Learning through Civic Participation: Policy Actors' Perspectives on Curriculum Reform Involvement in Ontario

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinto, Laura Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    When citizens participate in policy production, the advantages go beyond policy outcomes--though the presumption is that participation leads to better public policy. Robust democracy characterized by agonistic exchanges among policy actors ought to encourage learning, dialogue, empow­erment, equity, and a shared spirit of inquiry. This article…

  4. Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance and Perceptions of Group Climate: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kivlighan, Dennis M.; Lo Coco, Gianluca; Gullo, Salvatore

    2012-01-01

    There is a lack of research examining group members' attachment styles and group climate perceptions in the context of the attachment styles and group climate perceptions of the other group members. In the current study, the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to examine the relationships among (a) a group member's attachment…

  5. Coordination between Governance Actors in Universities: The Role of Policy Documents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macheridis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    This article focuses on coordination between governance actors in a public university. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and analyze policy documents as governance tools that allow departmental management to coordinate with the authorities, the board, and the management at different university levels. A central finding is that the…

  6. Developing Integrated Rural Tourism: Actor Practices in the English/Welsh Border

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxena, Gunjan; Ilbery, Brian

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines community attitudes and distinctive practices that shape local responses to integrated rural tourism (IRT) development in the lagging rural region of the English/Welsh border area. The focus is on how actors acquire attributes as a result of their relations with others and how these assumed identities are performed in, by and…

  7. Learning to Act/Acting to Learn: Children as Actors, Critics, and Characters in Classroom Theatre.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Shelby Anne

    1994-01-01

    Investigates the experiences of 17 "remedial" readers as they interpreted and performed texts through classroom theater. Discusses results of a study aimed at analyzing patterns of children's text interpretation. Details the students' evolving conception of themselves as actors and interpreters of texts. (HB)

  8. Tolerance of Practices by Muslim Actors: An Integrative Social-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gieling, Maike; Thijs, Jochem; Verkuyten, Maykel

    2010-01-01

    Using social-cognitive domain theory and social identity theory, tolerance judgments of practices by Muslim actors among Dutch adolescents (12-17) were investigated. The findings for Study 1 (N = 180) demonstrated that participants evaluated 4 practices using different types of reasons: personal, social-conventional, and moral. In Study 2 (N =…

  9. Beyond Dyadic Interdependence: Actor-Oriented Models for Co-Evolving Social Networks and Individual Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, William J.; Steglich, Christian E. G.; Snijders, Tom A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Actor-oriented models are described as a longitudinal strategy for examining the co-evolution of social networks and individual behaviors. We argue that these models provide advantages over conventional approaches due to their ability to account for inherent dependencies between individuals embedded in a social network (i.e., reciprocity,…

  10. Seven Consciousness-Expanding Techniques and Their Relevance to Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldshuh, David Mark

    This dissertation explores techniques that assist actors in getting their minds and bodies out of the way through consciousness-expanding. The techniques examined here attempt to promote a permeability, a childlike quality of presence, and are largely drawn from Eastern philosophies. Part one of this dissertation discusses structural integration,…

  11. Extended mind and after: socially extended mind and actor-network.

    PubMed

    Kono, Tetsuya

    2014-03-01

    The concept of extended mind has been impressively developed over the last 10 years by many philosophers and cognitive scientists. The extended mind thesis (EM) affirms that the mind is not simply ensconced inside the head, but extends to the whole system of brain-body-environment. Recently, some philosophers and psychologists try to adapt the idea of EM to the domain of social cognition research. Mind is socially extended (SEM). However, EM/SEM theory has problems to analyze the interactions among a subject and its surroundings with opposition, antagonism, or conflict; it also tends to think that the environment surrounding the subject is passive or static, and to neglect the power of non-human actants to direct and regulate the human subject. In these points, actor-network theory (ANT) proposed by Latour and Callon is more persuasive, while sharing some important ideas with EM/SEM theory. Actor-network is a hybrid community which is composed of a series of heterogeneous elements, animate and inanimate for a certain period of time. I shall conclude that EM/SEM could be best analyzed as a special case of actor-network. EM/SEM is a system which can be controlled by a human agent alone. In order to understand collective behavior, philosophy and psychology have to study the actor-network in which human individuals are situated. PMID:23975479

  12. Students' Inventory of Social Actors Concerned by the Controversy Surrounding Cellular Telephones: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouliot, Chantal

    2008-01-01

    The present article scrutinizes the manner with which a group of three postsecondary students (in Quebec, Canada) describe the social actors concerned by the controversy surrounding cellular telephones. The study was conducted on the basis of an ethnographic approach. Participant observation was performed by the researcher for 3 hours during each…

  13. Managing the Dynamics of the Bologna Reforms: How Institutional Actors Re-Construct the Policy Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veiga, Amélia; Neave, Guy

    2015-01-01

    How do the constituencies in higher education re-interpret Bologna's function with regard to the European Higher Education Area? This research examines how institutional actors re-construct the policy framework in the light of their own institutional agendas. Drawing on empirical data from a survey of academics, students and administrative and…

  14. Exchange Studies as Actor-Networks: Following Korean Exchange Students in Swedish Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahn, Song-ee

    2011-01-01

    This article explores how Korean exchange students organized their studies during exchange programs in Swedish higher education. For most students, the programs became a disordered period in relation to their education. The value of exchange studies seems mainly to be extra-curricular. Drawing upon actor network theory, the article argues that the…

  15. ("un")Doing the Next Generation Science Standards: Climate Change Education Actor-Networks in Oklahoma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colston, Nicole M.; Ivey, Toni A.

    2015-01-01

    This exploratory research investigated how science education communities of practice in Oklahoma engage in translations of climate change education (CCE). Applications of actor-network theory to educational policymaking facilitate this analysis of the spaces of prescription and spaces of negotiation that characterize CCE in Oklahoma. Informed by…

  16. ("Un")Doing Standards in Education with Actor-Network Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent critiques have drawn important attention to the depoliticized consensus and empty promises embedded in network discourses of educational policy. While acceding this critique, this discussion argues that some forms of network analysis--specifically those adopting actor-network theory (ANT) approaches--actually offer useful theoretical…

  17. Recent Trends in Intergovernmental Relations: The Resurgence of Local Actors in Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Julie A.; Wohlstetter, Priscilla

    2013-01-01

    In this essay, the authors explore trends in intergovernmental relations (IGR) by analyzing recent education policies--No Child Left Behind Act, Common Core State Standards, and local empowerment policies. Identifying a resurgent role for local actors in education policy, the authors argue that recent federal efforts to exert more control have in…

  18. Early Social Fear in Relation to Play with an Unfamiliar Peer: Actor and Partner Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Olga L.; Degnan, Kathryn A.; Fox, Nathan A.; Henderson, Heather A.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between maternal reports of social fear at 24 months and social behaviors with an unfamiliar peer during play at 36 months, using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 1999). The APIM model was used to not only replicate previous findings of direct effects of…

  19. The Role of Key Actors in School Governance: An Italian Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salvioni, Daniela; Gandini, Giuseppina; Franzoni, Simona; Gennari, Francesca

    2012-01-01

    The greater awareness of the role of key actors in the school governance processes and the need to expect a "new leader" in the increasing school complexity are essential conditions to reform the schools from within, so as to provide them with skills related to globalisation, improvement to the educational quality, strengthening of positive…

  20. Modeling Homophily over Time with an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popp, Danielle; Laursen, Brett; Kerr, Margaret; Stattin, Hakan; Burk, William J.

    2008-01-01

    Selection and socialization have been implicated in friendship homophily, but the relative contributions of each are difficult to measure simultaneously because of the nonindependent nature of the data. To address this problem, the authors applied a multiple-groups longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model (D. A. Kashy & D. A. Kenny, 2000)…

  1. Assessing Mediation in Dyadic Data Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ledermann, Thomas; Macho, Siegfried; Kenny, David A.

    2011-01-01

    The assessment of mediation in dyadic data is an important issue if researchers are to test process models. Using an extended version of the actor-partner interdependence model the estimation and testing of mediation is complex, especially when dyad members are distinguishable (e.g., heterosexual couples). We show how the complexity of the model…

  2. New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Volume II. Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.

    This collection of new plays for young actors comes from the repertoire of the Young Conservatory, a professional theater training program for young people ages 8 to 18 at the American Conservatory Theater. Each of the five plays in the collection was developed in this way: an outstanding professional playwright is invited to create a new play…

  3. Effects Of Principal Actor Time Structuring On Goal Attainment In Group Counseling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jessell, John C.; Bush, John F.

    1973-01-01

    Subjects were 84 university and high school students. Data was obtained from responses to a behavioral goal questionnaire and the Truax Relationship Inventory. Structuring of group counseling through the use of principal actor time did not result in differential goal attainment between clients of structured or unstructured groups. Neither was any…

  4. Movement Actors in the Education Bureaucracy: The Figured World of Activity Based Learning in Tamil Nadu

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niesz, Tricia; Krishnamurthy, Ramchandar

    2014-01-01

    Tamil Nadu has gained international recognition for reforming its government school classrooms into active, child-centered learning environments. Our exploration of the history of the Activity Based Learning movement suggests that this reform was achieved by social movement actors serving in and through the state's administration.…

  5. Social health insurance without corporate actors: changes in self-regulation in Germany, Poland and Turkey.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Claus; Agartan, Tuba I; Kaminska, Monika Ewa

    2013-06-01

    Social health insurance in Western Europe has for many years been characterized by self-regulation in which specific conditions of healthcare financing and provision have been regulated by social-insurance institutions through mutual self-governance. However, the principle of self-regulation has recently been weakened by increased state regulation and market competition, which were introduced in response to economic and social changes. Even in Germany, which has been regarded as an "ideal-type" health insurance system and in which self-regulation remains at the core of healthcare governance, more direct state intervention has gained in importance. On the other hand, in countries such as Poland and Turkey, where this tradition of self-regulation is missing, social health insurance is deemed a financing instrument but not an instrument of governance and corporate actors are not accorded a significant role in regulation. This article investigates how social health insurance systems are regulated in contexts in which corporate actors' role is either diminishing or absent by focusing on three crucial areas of regulation: financing, the remuneration of medical doctors, and the definition of the healthcare benefit package. In Germany, state regulation has increased in healthcare financing and remuneration while the role of corporate actors has grown in the definition of the benefits package. In Poland and Turkey, on the other hand, reforms have maintained the status quo in terms of the strong regulatory, budgetary, and managerial powers of the state and very limited involvement of corporate actors. PMID:23608097

  6. Toddlers as Both More and Less Competent Social Actors in Finnish Day Care Centres

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalliala, Marjatta

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, the notion of the competent child has, in the field of Early Childhood Education, become a powerful discourse. In this paradigm, inspired by the sociology of childhood, the child is seen as a competent social actor having agency in his or her life. However, critical comments have been made at both the micro-and macro-level about…

  7. Inside the Actors' Studio: Exploring Dietetics Education Practices through Dialogical Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Ann L.; Gingras, Jacqui

    2012-01-01

    Two colleagues, Ann and Jacqui, came together, within the safety of an imagined actors' studio, to explore the challenges that Ann faced in planning a new graduate program in public health nutrition. They met before, during, and after program implementation to discuss Ann's experiences, and audio-taped and transcribed the discussions. When all…

  8. What the Words Mean: Teaching Young Actors the Value of Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    Confronts the challenges of getting young actors to embrace the use of language. Presents a series of exercises designed to expose students to the potential power of the spoken word by using three different kinds of texts: advertising copy, children's storybooks, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Discusses how the author engages his…

  9. Ordering Subjects: Actor-Networks and Intellectual Technologies in Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Argues that discourses of lifelong learning act as intellectual technologies that construct individuals as subjects in a learning society. Discuses three discourses using actor-network theory: (1) economics/human capital (individuals as accumulators of skills for competitiveness); (2) humanistic psychology (individuals seeking fulfilment through…

  10. Invisible Actors: The Oromo and the Creation of Modern Ethiopia (1855-1913)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yates, Brian James

    2009-01-01

    This is a comprehensive study of key Oromo actors in the central Ethiopia traditional provinces of Wallo and Shawa, specifically the Mammadoch of Wallo and the Tulama of Shawa during the reigns of Emperors Tewodros II (r.1855-68), Yohannes IV (1872-1888) and Menilek II (1889-1913). The Oromo entered the political arena in the highlands of Ethiopia…

  11. Temporal Effects of Performance on Causal Attributions in Actors and Observers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryant, Fred B.

    Although understanding how causal attributions for performance develop is important to attribution theory, little research has been done on this topic. To explore changes in attributions during task performance for both actors and observers, 90 female undergraduates participated in a procedure in which they received either 80 percent or 20 percent…

  12. Actor Vocal Training for the Habilitation of Speech in Adolescent Users of Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holt, Colleen M.; Dowell, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined changes to speech production in adolescents with hearing impairment following a period of actor vocal training. In addition to vocal parameters, the study also investigated changes to psychosocial factors such as confidence, self-esteem, and anxiety. The group were adolescent users of cochlear implants (mean age at commencement…

  13. Why Do Policy Frames Change? Actor-Idea Coevolution in Debates over Welfare Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensland, Brian

    2008-01-01

    One shortcoming in the literature on policy framing has been the absence of analytic models through which to explicate change. This paper advances research in this area in three related ways. First, it links policy frames to the actors who employ them. Second, based upon this linkage it proposes two complementary approaches for examining…

  14. 31 CFR 50.92 - Determination of pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Determination of pro rata share. 50... INSURANCE PROGRAM Cap on Annual Liability § 50.92 Determination of pro rata share. (a) Pro rata loss... compliance with pro rata payments in accordance with the effective date of the PRLP. (2) Determine an...

  15. Actor-critic models of the basal ganglia: new anatomical and computational perspectives.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Niv, Yael; Ruppin, Eytan

    2002-01-01

    A large number of computational models of information processing in the basal ganglia have been developed in recent years. Prominent in these are actor-critic models of basal ganglia functioning, which build on the strong resemblance between dopamine neuron activity and the temporal difference prediction error signal in the critic, and between dopamine-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity in the striatum and learning guided by a prediction error signal in the actor. We selectively review several actor-critic models of the basal ganglia with an emphasis on two important aspects: the way in which models of the critic reproduce the temporal dynamics of dopamine firing, and the extent to which models of the actor take into account known basal ganglia anatomy and physiology. To complement the efforts to relate basal ganglia mechanisms to reinforcement learning (RL), we introduce an alternative approach to modeling a critic network, which uses Evolutionary Computation techniques to 'evolve' an optimal RL mechanism, and relate the evolved mechanism to the basic model of the critic. We conclude our discussion of models of the critic by a critical discussion of the anatomical plausibility of implementations of a critic in basal ganglia circuitry, and conclude that such implementations build on assumptions that are inconsistent with the known anatomy of the basal ganglia. We return to the actor component of the actor-critic model, which is usually modeled at the striatal level with very little detail. We describe an alternative model of the basal ganglia which takes into account several important, and previously neglected, anatomical and physiological characteristics of basal ganglia-thalamocortical connectivity and suggests that the basal ganglia performs reinforcement-biased dimensionality reduction of cortical inputs. We further suggest that since such selective encoding may bias the representation at the level of the frontal cortex towards the selection of rewarded

  16. Actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Godar, Javier; Gardner, Toby A; Tizado, E Jorge; Pacheco, Pablo

    2014-10-28

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77% between 2004 and 2011, yet have stabilized since 2009 at 5,000-7,000 km(2). We provide the first submunicipality assessment, to our knowledge, of actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown by linking agricultural census and remote-sensing data on deforestation and forest degradation. Almost half (36,158 km(2)) of the deforestation between 2004 and 2011 occurred in areas dominated by larger properties (>500 ha), whereas only 12% (9,720 km(2)) occurred in areas dominated by smallholder properties (<100 ha). In addition, forests in areas dominated by smallholders tend to be less fragmented and less degraded. However, although annual deforestation rates fell during this period by 68-85% for all actors, the contribution of the largest landholders (>2,500 ha) to annual deforestation decreased over time (63% decrease between 2005 and 2011), whereas that of smallholders went up by a similar amount (69%) during the same period. In addition, the deforestation share attributable to remote areas increased by 88% between 2009 and 2011. These observations are consistent across the Brazilian Amazon, regardless of geographical differences in actor dominance or socioenvironmental context. Our findings suggest that deforestation policies to date, which have been particularly focused on command and control measures on larger properties in deforestation hotspots, may be increasingly limited in their effectiveness and fail to address all actors equally. Further reductions in deforestation are likely to be increasingly costly and require actor-tailored approaches, including better monitoring to detect small-scale deforestation and a shift toward more incentive-based conservation policies. PMID:25313087

  17. E-health approach to link-up actors in the health care system of Austria.

    PubMed

    Schabetsberger, Thomas; Ammenwerth, Elske; Breu, Ruth; Hoerbst, Alexander; Goebel, Georg; Penz, Robert; Schindelwig, Klaus; Toth, Herlinde; Vogl, Raimund; Wozak, Florian

    2006-01-01

    "Electronic health services are important" the EU commission stated in the E-Health action plan. By these means access to health care can be improved and the quality and effect of the offered medical services can be increased. By introducing the e-card in Austria, an overall link-up of nearly all health service providers of the external sector (e.g. family doctors) was achieved. In 2005 the Austrian E-Health Initiative (EHI) of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Health and Women mapped out a strategy to organise the development of the health system towards an integrated patient-centred. Hereby the electronic health record (EHR) plays a decisive role. The aim of this study is to analyse requirements for a virtual, cross-institutional and patient-centred electronic health record from the point of view of the exemplary main actors (Doctor and Patient), to define conditions, and then to evaluate the thus derived, specific concept of implementation. Aside from the two main actors regarding medical acts, namely the institution treating a patient (e.g. doctor, paramedic or nurse) and the patient receiving treatment, a row of other actors could be identified. Group assessment techniques with representatives of these actors resulted in an overview of required functions of an EHR. As a proof-of-concept an information system architecture conformable to the IHE XDS architecture for cross enterprise document sharing is currently being constructed and evaluated in the course of a pilot-project. If the core architecture fulfils the expectations, then a further extension to other hospitals and resident doctors, and subsequently also to the other actors of the health system, is planned. Since both legal and socio-technical requirements are presently not yet entirely met, and since there are also deficits from a methodical viewpoint, a complete implementation and widespread introduction will be a long term goal. PMID:17108555

  18. Teachers as Language-Policy Actors: Contending with the Erasure of Lesser-Used Languages in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Kara

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of an ethnographic study of the Voro-language revitalization in Estonia, this article explores the way teachers function as policy actors in the broader context of the school. As policy actors, the language teachers' appropriation of regional-language policy helps simultaneously to reproduce and challenge existing ideologies in the…

  19. Side Effects: An Analysis of Mind the Gap's "Boo" and the Reception of Theatre Involving Learning Disabled Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hargrave, Matt

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses Mind the Gap's Boo, a re-imagining of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", which features a cast of learning disabled actors. It is concerned with the public reception of the work, particularly the "effect" of an all-disabled cast. What are the consequences, both ethical and aesthetic, for these actors to tell this story on…

  20. From Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle and Beyond: The Influence of Policy Actors in the Federal Higher Education Rulemaking Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Natow, Rebecca S.

    2015-01-01

    The federal higher education rulemaking process develops policies that can profoundly affect college students, higher education institutions, and other actors in the higher education policy community. But little has been researched about the influence that different types of actors have on higher education rulemaking. By analyzing interviews with…

  1. Action observers implicitly expect actors to act goal-coherently, even if they do not: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2014-05-01

    Actions observed in everyday life normally consist of one person performing sequences of goal-directed actions. The present fMRI study tested the hypotheses that observers are influenced by the actor's identity, even when this information is task-irrelevant, and that this information shapes their expectation on subsequent actions of the same actor. Participants watched short video clips of action steps that either pertained to a common action with an overarching goal or not, and were performed by either one or by varying actors (2 × 2 design). Independent of goal coherence, actor coherence elicited activation in dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal cortex, together pointing to a spontaneous attempt to integrate all actions performed by one actor. Interestingly, watching an actor performing unrelated actions elicited additional activation in left inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting a search in semantic memory in an attempt to construct an overarching goal that can reconcile the disparate action steps with a coherent intention. Post-experimental surveys indicate that these processes occur mostly unconsciously. Findings strongly suggest a spontaneous expectation bias toward actor-related episodes in action observers, and hence to the immense impact of actor information on action observation. PMID:23983202

  2. Marital Relationship Quality and Couples' Cognitive Stimulation Practices toward Their Infants: Actor and Partner Effects of White and Hispanic Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sotomayor-Peterson, Marcela; Wilhelm, Mari S.; Card, Noel A.

    2011-01-01

    The present study explores actor and partner effects on mothers' and fathers' cognitive stimulation within an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). This model allows us to evaluate whether mothers' and fathers' practices are impacted not only by their own experiences but also by their partners' experiences. The APIM treats the couple as the…

  3. Human melioidosis reported by ProMED

    PubMed Central

    Nasner-Posso, Katherinn Melissa; Cruz-Calderón, Stefania; Montúfar-Andrade, Franco E.; Dance, David A.B.; Rodriguez-Morales, Alfonso J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Objective There are limited sources describing the global burden of emerging diseases. A review of human melioidosis reported by ProMED was performed and the reliability of the data retrieved assessed in comparison to published reports. The effectiveness of ProMED was evaluated as a source of epidemiological data by focusing on melioidosis. Methods Using the keyword ‘melioidosis’ in the ProMED search engine, all of the information from the reports and collected data was reviewed using a structured form, including the year, country, gender, occupation, number of infected individuals, and number of fatal cases. Results One hundred and twenty-four entries reported between January 1995 and October 2014 were identified. A total of 4630 cases were reported, with death reported in 505 cases, suggesting a misleadingly low overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 11%. Of 20 cases for which the gender was reported, 12 (60%) were male. Most of the cases were reported from Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia, with sporadic reports from other countries. Conclusions Internet-based reporting systems such as ProMED are useful to gather information and synthesize knowledge on emerging infections. Although certain areas need to be improved, ProMED provided good information about melioidosis. PMID:25975651

  4. Vocal projection in actors: the long-term average spectral features that distinguish comfortable acting voice from voicing with maximal projection in male actors.

    PubMed

    Pinczower, Rachel; Oates, Jennifer

    2005-09-01

    This study explored whether acoustic and perceptual features could distinguish comfortable from maximally projected acting voice. Thirteen professional male actors performed a passage from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar twice. The first delivery used their comfortably projected voices, whereas the second used maximal projection. Acoustic measures, expert ratings, and self-ratings of projection and voice quality were investigated. Long-term average spectra (LTAS) and sound pressure level (SPL) analyses were conducted. Perceptual variables included projection, breathiness, roughness, and strain. When comparing the intensity difference between the higher (2-4 kHz) and lower (0-2 kHz) regions of the spectrum in voice samples from the maximal projected condition, LTAS analyses demonstrated increased acoustic energy in the higher part of the spectrum. This LTAS pattern was not as evident in the comfortable projected condition. These findings offered some preliminary support for the existence of an actor's formant (prominent peak in the upper part of the spectrum) during maximal projection. PMID:16102670

  5. A climate game based on a Multi-Actor Dynamic Integrated Assessment Model (MADIAM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M.; Hasselmann, K.

    2003-04-01

    In November 2002 a special exhibition on climate issues opened in the German Museum for Science and Techniques ('Deutsches Museum') in Munich. Within this exposition we present an interactive game in which visitors control future climate policy by adopting the role of either the government, a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of a global company or a typical private household of an industrialized country. The players endeavor to maintain a sustainable climate in the future (global goal) while pursuing their own individual welfare goals. Task of the exhibition visitor is to combine the personal interests of the actor he is adopting with the global goal. The individual goal of government is maintain economic growth while avoiding conflicts due to inter-regional or societal inequalities. The CEO seeks to maximize total profits (business earnings). The goal of households is to maximize wages and interest earnings. The evolution of the economic system and climate is governed by the decisions of the actors. Government sets economic side conditions in terms of carbon taxes, subsidies for R&D or market infusion support for climate-friendly technologies, and transfers development aid to less advanced regions. The CEOs decide how much to invest in a number of alternative investment options and in which region. Households influences the economy by their purchasing and savings decisions. The model considers four regions, three real actors (mentioned above) and two different goods (climate-adverse and a climate-friendly). We introduce four different kinds of energy (coal, oil/gas, nuclear, renewable). A World Bank handles money flows. At different points in time the actors can cooperate with other actors in order to reach the global goal Stochastic elements regarding future technology and future climate are included. A touch-screen monitor with user friendly interface is used to present animations and videos. An animated climate scientist uses a climate simulator to compute future

  6. A Poor Man's Nuclear Deterrent: Assessing the Value of Radiological Weapons for State Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohue, Nathan

    The threat of weapons of mass destruction is an issue which remains at the forefront on national security. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are all considered very dangerous by both state and non-state actors. Radiological weapons exist in that same category yet are not held in the same regard; the reason that is given is that these types of weapons are not the weapons of mass destruction that the other three are. Instead, radiological weapons are better considered weapons of mass disruption. Accordingly, in the academic and policy literature there has been very little perceived value associated with such weapons for use by state actors. However the historical focus on the military efficacy of radiological weapons has obscured the obvious truth that they may pose significant value for state actors. What this research shows is that the explosion of a radiological weapon could disrupt a target area in ways which could cripple the economy of an adversary state and promote widespread fear concerning exposure to radiation. Any such attack would not only necessitate large scale evacuation, but cleanup, decontamination, demolition, territory exclusion, and relocation. Moreover, the effects of such an attack would be unlikely to remain an isolated event as evacuated and displaced citizens spread across the nation carrying both fear and residual radiation. All of these factors would only be compounded by a state actor's ability to not only develop such weapons, but to manufacture them in such a composition that contemporary examples of such weapons grossly underestimate their impact. Accordingly, radiological weapons could hold great value for any state actor wishing to pursue their development and to threaten their use. Moreover, "while RDDs may not be well suited as "military weapons" in the classic sense, the use of RDDs could be powerfully coercive."1 In that sense, state actors could even acquire radiological weapons for their deterrent value. 1James L. Ford

  7. Actor-network theory: a tool to support ethical analysis of commercial genetic testing.

    PubMed

    Williams-Jones, Bryn; Graham, Janice E

    2003-12-01

    Social, ethical and policy analysis of the issues arising from gene patenting and commercial genetic testing is enhanced by the application of science and technology studies, and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in particular. We suggest the potential for transferring ANT's flexible nature to an applied heuristic methodology for gathering empirical information and for analysing the complex networks involved in the development of genetic technologies. Three concepts are explored in this paper--actor-networks, translation, and drift--and applied to the case of Myriad Genetics and their commercial BRACAnalysis genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast cancer. Treating this test as an active participant in socio-technical networks clarifies the extent to which it interacts with, shapes and is shaped by people, other technologies, and institutions. Such an understanding enables more sophisticated and nuanced technology assessment, academic analysis, as well as public debate about the social, ethical and policy implications of the commercialization of new genetic technologies. PMID:15115034

  8. Reinforcement learning for a biped robot based on a CPG-actor-critic method.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yutaka; Mori, Takeshi; Sato, Masa-aki; Ishii, Shin

    2007-08-01

    Animals' rhythmic movements, such as locomotion, are considered to be controlled by neural circuits called central pattern generators (CPGs), which generate oscillatory signals. Motivated by this biological mechanism, studies have been conducted on the rhythmic movements controlled by CPG. As an autonomous learning framework for a CPG controller, we propose in this article a reinforcement learning method we call the "CPG-actor-critic" method. This method introduces a new architecture to the actor, and its training is roughly based on a stochastic policy gradient algorithm presented recently. We apply this method to an automatic acquisition problem of control for a biped robot. Computer simulations show that training of the CPG can be successfully performed by our method, thus allowing the biped robot to not only walk stably but also adapt to environmental changes. PMID:17412559

  9. Alternative manifestations of actor responses to urban flooding: case studies from Bradford and Glasgow.

    PubMed

    Cashman, A C

    2009-01-01

    Flooding processes are complex and can occur throughout urban areas sometimes with devastating consequences. Traditionally flood risks have been managed through a combination of structural defence measures, warnings and emergency measures. More recently they have included development controls and land zoning policies. When such measures fail, individuals, authorities and the economy have to cope with the consequences. There is a growing realization that the resilience of individuals and institutions to floods and the risks from flooding need to be addressed. In the past few years there has been what some have referred to as a paradigm shift in the way responses to flooding are being conceptualized and the way this affects actors and actions. Based on fieldwork including interviews this paper presents two examples of actor and institutional responses to flooding events from the cities of Bradford and Glasgow in the United Kingdom. PMID:19587405

  10. [The emergence and institutionalization of sexology in Portugal: processes, actors, and specificities].

    PubMed

    Alarcão, Violeta; Machado, Fernando Luís; Giami, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Based on Bourdieu's field theory, this article analyzes the emergence and institutionalization of sexology as a science and profession in Portugal, identifying relevant institutions, actors, and professional practices and discussing its relations and specificities. The analysis begins by contextualizing the emergence of modern Western sexology in order to comprehend the Portuguese case in the international sexology context. The second section describes the social, cultural, and institutional factors that have driven the professionalization of sexology. The third section describes the emergence of Portuguese sexology and its principal historical milestones, institutions, and actors. Finally, the article discusses some implications of this process for the role of sexology as a science and profession. The study reveals the dynamics of national and international processes in the field, in the transition from a holistic perspective of sexology to the hegemony of sexual medicine, and sheds light on its mechanisms of legitimation as a transdisciplinary science of sexuality, suggesting future perspectives. PMID:27598015

  11. The international right to health: state obligations and private actors in the health care system.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

    Most health systems have historically used a mix of public and private actors for financing and delivering care. But the last 30 years have seen many rich and middle-income countries moving to privatise parts of their health care systems. This phenomenon has generated concerns, especially about equitable access to health care. This article examines what the international right to the highest attainable standard of health in Art 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says about the obligations of states which use private actors in health care. The article involves a close study of the primary documents of the key institutions responsible for interpreting and promoting Art 12. From this study, the article concludes that in mixed public-private health care systems, states not only retain primary responsibility for fulfilling the right to health but are subject to a range of additional specific responsibilities. PMID:24218792

  12. Inferring the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement in 6- and 9-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Daum, Moritz M; Vuori, Maria T; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-11-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement towards an occluded target object. The aperture size of the actor's hand was varied as between-subjects factor. Subsequently, two final states of the grasping movement were presented simultaneously with the occluder being removed. In Experiment 1, the expected final state showed the actor's hand holding a cup in a way that would be expected after the performed grasping movement. In the unexpected final state, the actor's hand held the cup at the side which would be unexpected after the performed grasping movement. Results show that 6- as well as 9-month-olds looked longer at the unexpected than at the expected final state. Experiment 2 excluded an alternative explanation of these findings, namely that the discrimination of the final states was due to geometrical familiarity or novelty of the final states. These findings provide evidence that infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from the aperture size of the actor's hand during the grasp. PMID:19840041

  13. Daily Associations Among Self-control, Heavy Episodic Drinking, and Relationship Functioning: An Examination of Actor and Partner Effects

    PubMed Central

    Crane, Cory A.; Testa, Maria; Derrick, Jaye L.; Leonard, Kenneth E.

    2014-01-01

    An emerging literature suggests that temporary deficits in the ability to inhibit impulsive urges may be proximally associated with intimate partner aggression. The current study examined the experience of alcohol use and the depletion of self-control in the prediction of relationship functioning. Daily diary data collected from 118 heterosexual couples were analyzed using parallel multi-level Actor Partner Interdependence Models to assess the effects of heavy episodic drinking and depletion of self-control across partners on outcomes of participant-reported daily arguing with and anger toward an intimate partner. Heavy episodic drinking among actors predicted greater arguing but failed to interact with either actor or partner depletion. We also found that greater arguing was reported on days of high congruent actor and partner depletion. Both actor and partner depletion, as well as their interaction, predicted greater partner-specific anger. Greater partner-specific anger was generally reported on days of congruent actor and partner depletion, particularly on days of high partner depletion. The current results highlight the importance of independently assessing partner effects (i.e., depletion of self-control), which interact dynamically with disinhibiting actor effects, in the prediction of daily adverse relationship functioning. Results offer further support for the development of prospective individualized and couples-based interventions for partner conflict. PMID:24700558

  14. Modelling the Impact of Human Actors on Groundwater Resources under Conditions of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthel, R.; Reichenau, T. G.; Krimly, T.; Dabbert, S.; Schneider, K.; Mauser, W.; Hennicker, R.

    2012-12-01

    Water resources, activities of human actors and climate change are related in many different and complex ways because of the existence of and strong interactions between various influencing factors, including those that are natural-environmental and socio-economic. The GLOWA-Danube research cooperation has developed the integrated simulation system DANUBIA to simulate water-related influences of global change in different spatial and temporal contexts. DANUBIA is a modular system comprised of 17 dynamically-coupled, process-based model components and a framework which controls the interaction of these components with respect to space and time. This contribution describes approaches and capabilities of DANUBIA with regard to the simulation of global change effects on human decisions in water related fields with a focus on agriculture and groundwater. In agriculture, market prices and legislation can be equally or even more important than water availability in determining farmers' behavior and thus in determining the agricultural impact on water resources quantity and quality. The DANUBIA simulation framework and the associated DeepActor-framework for simulation of decision-making by human actors are presented together with the model components which are most relevant to the interactions between agriculture and groundwater. The approach for developing combination climate and socio-economic scenarios is explained. Exemplary scenario results are shown for the Upper Danube Catchment in Southern Germany. References Barthel, R., Janisch, S., N. Schwarz, A. Trifkovic, D. Nickel, C. Schulz, W. Mauser (2008): An integrated modelling framework for simulating regional-scale actor responses to global change in the water domain. Environmental Modelling and Software, 23, 1095-1121 (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.02.004) Barthel, R., Reichenau T., Krimly, T., Dabbert, S., Schneider, K., Mauser, W. (2012) Integrated modeling of climate change impacts on agriculture and groundwater

  15. Virtual actors and avatars in a flexible user-determined-scenario environment

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.

    1997-02-01

    VRaptor, a VR system for situational training that uses trainer-defined scenarios is described. The trainee is represented by an avatar; the rest of the virtual world is populated by virtual actors, which are under the control of trainer-defined scripts. The scripts allow reactive behaviors, but the trainer can control the overall scenario. This type of training system may be very useful in supplementing physical training.

  16. Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: a case study of actors' views in Peru.

    PubMed

    Entenmann, Steffen K; Kaphegyi, Thomas A M; Schmitt, Christine B

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru (n = 30) and a literature review (n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+. PMID:24178126

  17. Forest Biodiversity Monitoring for REDD+: A Case Study of Actors' Views in Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Entenmann, Steffen K.; Kaphegyi, Thomas A. M.; Schmitt, Christine B.

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru ( n = 30) and a literature review ( n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+.

  18. [Status quo and potential of health services research: the perspective of Bavarian actors].

    PubMed

    Hollederer, A; Voigtländer, S; Wildner, M; Zapf, A; Zellner, A

    2015-03-01

    In 2011, the Bavarian Parliament decided to advance health services research (HSR) in Bavaria by bundling scientific competencies in a State Working Group and integrating other actors in it. The establishment of such a State Working Group "Health Services Research" -(LAGeV) together with members from science, health care and politics followed in 2012. The objective of this study is to identify the status quo of HSR in Bavaria including its determinants and potential for development based on the actors' perspective.After the inaugural meeting a semi-structured questionnaire was sent to all 36 members from 28 organisations. Items comprise information on the respondent's background as well as status quo, future topics and potential for development of HSR in Bavaria.27 members took part in the survey, resulting in a response rate of 75.0%. Satisfaction of actors with the status quo of HSR is rather low, especially regarding the effectiveness of policy advice. Researchers and health care providers are also not much satisfied with the HSR environment. For the future of HSR, respondents prioritise the topics interface and networking research, followed by innovative care concepts, care for patients with multiple or chronic conditions as well as evaluation of innovations, processes and technologies. Potential for development and thus improvement of care is primarily seen in the abolishment of existing constraints by an overall HSR concept (including selective research promotion), networking and cooperation, research funding as well as improving the interface between politics and science. Respondents assess the benefit of an increased networking within the LAGeV as high.Status quo of HSR in Bavaria is not very satisfactory. The survey reveals important constraints as well as promoting factors based on the viewpoints of different groups of actors. It also prioritises future HSR topics and identifies potential for development, which are important for the LAGeV. The findings

  19. The Empathy Enigma: Does It Still Exist? Comparison of Empathy Using Students and Standardized Actors.

    PubMed

    Ward, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Empathy is at the heart of all nurse-patient interactions. Yet empathy often declines during students' nursing education. Nurse educators are challenged to find ways to offset this decline. A mixed-methods research design was used to assess whether an educational intervention using standardized actors influenced nursing student empathy. The results suggest that the educational intervention holds potential for improving empathy in nursing students. PMID:26779692

  20. Stuck in the middle?: A perspective on ongoing pro-competitive reforms in Dutch mental health care.

    PubMed

    Westra, Daan; Wilbers, Gloria; Angeli, Federica

    2016-04-01

    Pro-competitive reforms have been implemented in many Western healthcare systems, of which the Netherlands is a prominent example. While the pro-competitive reforms in the Dutch specialized care sector have drawn considerable academic attention, mental health care is often excluded. However, in line with other segments of specialized care, pro-competitive legislation has formed the core of mental health care reforms, albeit with several notable differences. Ever since mental health services were included in the Health Insurance Act in 2008, the Dutch mental healthcare sector has been in an ongoing state of reform. Numerous major and minor adaptations have continuously altered the services covered by the basic insurance package, the actors responsible for providing and contracting care, and definitions and measurements of quality. Most notably, insurers and municipalities, which are responsible for selectively contracting those providers that offer high value-for-money, seem insensitive to quality aspects. The question whether the Dutch mental health sector has inherited the best or the worst of a competitive and non-competitive system lingers and international policy makers contemplating reforming their mental health sector should take note. PMID:26994866

  1. Experiential learning in nursing consultation education via clinical simulation with actors: action research.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Saionara Nunes; do Prado, Marta Lenise; Kempfer, Silvana Silveira; Martini, Jussara Gue; Caravaca-Morera, Jaime Alonso; Bernardi, Mariely Carmelina

    2015-02-01

    This was an action research study conducted during an undergraduate nursing course. The objective was to propose and implement experiential learning for nursing consultation education using clinical simulation with actors. The 4 steps of action research were followed: planning, action, observation and reflection. Three nursing undergraduate students participated in the study. Data were collected in May and July 2013 via participant comments and interviews and were analyzed in accordance with the operative proposal for qualitative data analysis. Planning included constructing and validating the clinical guides, selecting and training the actors, organizing and preparing the scenario and the issuing invitations to the participants. The action was carried out according to Kolb's (1984) 4 stages of learning cycles: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. Clinical simulation involves different subjects' participation in all stages, and action research is a method that enables the clinical stimulation to be implemented. It must be guided by clear learning objectives and by a critical pedagogy that encourages critical thinking in students. Using actors and a real scenario facilitated psychological fidelity, and debriefing was the key moment of the reflective process that facilitated the integral training of students through experiential learning. PMID:25563657

  2. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value. PMID:23675345

  3. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value. PMID:23675345

  4. Creating Inquiry Between Technology Developers and Civil Society Actors: Learning from Experiences Around Nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Krabbenborg, Lotte

    2016-06-01

    Engaging civil society actors as knowledgeable dialogue partners in the development and governance of emerging technologies is a new challenge. The starting point of this paper is the observation that the design and orchestration of current organized interaction events shows limitations, particularly in the articulation of issues and in learning how to address the indeterminacies that go with emerging technologies. This paper uses Dewey's notion of 'publics' and 'reflective inquiry' to outline ways of doing better and to develop requirements for a more productive involvement of civil society actors. By studying four novel spaces for interaction in the domain of nanotechnology, this paper examines whether and how elements of Dewey's thought are visible and under what conditions. One of the main findings is that, in our society, special efforts are needed in order for technology developers and civil society actors to engage in a joint inquiry on emerging nanotechnology. Third persons, like social scientists and philosophers, play a role in this respect in addition to external input such as empirically informed scenarios and somewhat protected spaces. PMID:26040841

  5. Finding a voice. Like individuals, organizations are moral speakers and actors.

    PubMed

    Ozar, David T

    2006-01-01

    Though "good people' are important for the life of any organization, it is a myth to think that enough good people will make for a good organization. To break free of this myth, a health care organization, which is made up of numerous persons and groups, ought to be regarded as a single, unitary actor in society. When seen as a single actor, the organization's systems for carrying out its mission can be better assessed and improved if necessary. If the organization's systems are not functioning as they should, then even good people will be hindered in their efforts. It can be said, therefore, that organizational ethics takes seriously the idea that every Catholic health care organization is a moral actor needing to reflect carefully on what it does in relation to its employees, leaders, and the outside community. In an environment where the organization's actions are reflected upon, and its character is carefully and continually shaped according to its mission, individual persons in that organization will be better equipped for making and carrying out good decisions that are aligned with that same regard for the mission. PMID:17086792

  6. Acoustic changes in student actors' voices after 12 months of training.

    PubMed

    Walzak, Peta; McCabe, Patricia; Madill, Cate; Sheard, Christine

    2008-05-01

    This study was to evaluate acoustic changes in student actors' voices after 12 months of actor training. The design used was a longitudinal study. Eighteen students enrolled in an Australian tertiary 3-year acting program (nine male and nine female) were assessed at the beginning of their acting course and again 12 months later using a questionnaire, interview, maximum phonation time (MPT), reading, spontaneous speaking, sustained phonation tasks, and a pitch range task. Samples were analyzed for MPT, fundamental frequency across tasks, pitch range for speaking and reading, singing pitch range, noise-to-harmonic ratio, shimmer, and jitter. After training, measures of shimmer significantly increased for both male and female participants. Female participants' pitch range significantly increased after training, with a significantly lower mean frequency for their lowest pitch. The finding of limited or negative changes for some measures indicate that further investigation is required into the long-term effects of actor voice training and which parameters of voicing are most targeted and valued in training. Particular investigation into the relationship between training targets and outcomes could more reliably inform acting programs about changes in teaching methodologies. Further research into the relationship between specific training techniques, physiological changes, and vocal changes may also provide information on implementing more evidence-based training methods. PMID:17512170

  7. Integrated management of natural resources: dealing with ambiguous issues, multiple actors and diverging frames.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, A; Craps, M; Bouwen, R; Taillieu, T; Pahl-Wostl, C

    2005-01-01

    Uncertainty is an increasingly important concern when trying to manage complex systems of interrelated natural resources. Scientific knowledge or necessary information may be lacking or incomplete. Additionally, the multiple and interdependent users of those resources may diverge in defining what really is at stake. When they frame issues in very different ways, ambiguity results, i.e., the existence of two or more equally plausible interpretation possibilities. Environmental management in these conditions implies a shift in attention from solving clearly delineated problems to continuous negotiating and tuning between different actors and expertise domains. This requires dealing with the frame differences in a reciprocal way by mutually acknowledging frames and connecting them. Some or all parties will have to revise, enlarge or reframe the way they relate to the issues and to each other, in order to support mutual understanding and common action. The contribution of experts does not consist then in providing total predictability nor in predefining issues and solutions, but in supporting a joint learning and negotiation process among different actors and in feeding this process with relevant information. Behavioural simulations may play an important function to stimulate multi-actor learning and negotiation processes. PMID:16304943

  8. Pocahontas: Problematizing the Pro-Social.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aidman, Amy; Reese, Debbie

    The Disney film "Pocahontas" appears to be an attempt to respond to growing cultural diversity, calls for multiculturalism, and strong female role models in the United States. This paper provides an analysis of the film, examining how Disney's claims to the creation of positive, pro-social representations of women and Native Americans in…

  9. Application of actor level social characteristic indicator selection for the precursory detection of bullies in online social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Holly M.; Fields, Jeremy; Hall, Robert T.; White, Joshua S.

    2016-05-01

    Bullying is a national problem for families, courts, schools, and the economy. Social, educational, and professional lives of victims are affected. Early detection of bullies mitigates destructive effects of bullying. Our previous research found, given specific characteristics of an actor, actor logics can be developed utilizing input from natural language processing and graph analysis. Given similar characteristics of cyberbullies, in this paper, we create specific actor logics and apply these to a select social media dataset for the purpose of rapid identification of cyberbullying.

  10. Local energy governance in vermont: an analysis of energy system transition strategies and actor capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowse, Tarah

    While global, national, and regional efforts to address climate and energy challenges remain essential, local governments and community groups are playing an increasingly stronger and vital role. As an active state in energy system policy, planning and innovation, Vermont offers a testing ground for research into energy governance at the local level. A baseline understanding of the energy planning and energy organizing activities initiated at the local level can support efforts to foster a transition to a sustainable energy system in Vermont. Following an inductive, applied and participatory approach, and grounded in the fields of sustainability transitions, energy planning, and community energy, this research project identifies conditions for change, including opportunities and challenges, within Vermont energy system decision-making and governance at the local level. The following questions are posed: What are the main opportunities and challenges for sustainable energy development at the town level? How are towns approaching energy planning? What are the triggers that will facilitate a faster transition to alternative energy systems, energy efficiency initiatives, and localized approaches? In an effort to answer these questions two studies were conducted: 1) an analysis of municipal energy plans, and 2) a survey of local energy actors. Study 1 examined Vermont energy planning at the state and local level through a review and comparison of 40 municipal plan energy chapters with the state 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan. On average, municipal plans mentioned just over half of the 24 high-level strategies identified in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. Areas of strong and weak agreement were examined. Increased state and regional interaction with municipal energy planners would support more holistic and coordinated energy planning. The study concludes that while municipalities are keenly aware of the importance of education and partnerships, stronger policy mechanisms

  11. Opponent actor learning (OpAL): modeling interactive effects of striatal dopamine on reinforcement learning and choice incentive.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J

    2014-07-01

    The striatal dopaminergic system has been implicated in reinforcement learning (RL), motor performance, and incentive motivation. Various computational models have been proposed to account for each of these effects individually, but a formal analysis of their interactions is lacking. Here we present a novel algorithmic model expanding the classical actor-critic architecture to include fundamental interactive properties of neural circuit models, incorporating both incentive and learning effects into a single theoretical framework. The standard actor is replaced by a dual opponent actor system representing distinct striatal populations, which come to differentially specialize in discriminating positive and negative action values. Dopamine modulates the degree to which each actor component contributes to both learning and choice discriminations. In contrast to standard frameworks, this model simultaneously captures documented effects of dopamine on both learning and choice incentive-and their interactions-across a variety of studies, including probabilistic RL, effort-based choice, and motor skill learning. PMID:25090423

  12. 31 CFR 50.93 - Application of pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Application of pro rata share. 50.93... PROGRAM Cap on Annual Liability § 50.93 Application of pro rata share. An insurer shall apply the PRLP to determine the pro rata share of each insured loss to be paid by the insurer on all insured losses...

  13. 26 CFR 1.1377-1 - Pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 11 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pro rata share. 1.1377-1 Section 1.1377-1...) INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED) Small Business Corporations and Their Shareholders § 1.1377-1 Pro rata share. (a) Computation of pro rata shares—(1) In general. For purposes of subchapter S of chapter 1 of the...

  14. 31 CFR 50.93 - Application of pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Application of pro rata share. 50.93... PROGRAM Cap on Annual Liability § 50.93 Application of pro rata share. An insurer shall apply the PRLP to determine the pro rata share of each insured loss to be paid by the insurer on all insured losses...

  15. Cryogenic system for BERLinPro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anders, W.; Hellwig, A.; Knobloch, J.; Pflückhahn, D.; Rotterdam, S.

    2014-01-01

    In 2010 Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) received funding to design and build the Berlin Energy Recovery Linac Project BERLinPro. The goal of this compact Energy recovery linac (ERL) is to develop the accelerator physics and technology required to generate and accelerate a 100-mA, 1-mm mrad emittance electron beam. The BERLinPro know-how can then be transferred to various ERL-based applications. All accelerating RF cavities including the electron source are based on superconducting technology operated at 1.8 K. A Linde L700 helium liquefier is supplying 4.5 K helium. The subatmospheric pressure of 16 mbar of the helium bath of the cavities will be achieved by pumping with a set of cold compressors and warm vacuum pumps. While the L700 is already in operating, the 1.8 K system and the helium transfer system are in design phase.

  16. [Radiation Anticarcinogenesis by Thiazolidine Pro-drug

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warters, Raymond L.; Roberts, Jeanette C.; Fain, Heidi

    1999-01-01

    The original goal of this work was to determine the capacity of selected aminothiols to modulate radiation induced cytotoxicity, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis in a human mammary epithelial cell line. The conclusions from this work are that WR-1065 is the "gold standard" for protection against radiation induced cytotoxicity, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. While a potent radiation protector, WR-1065 is cytotoxic in vitro and in vivo. Our rationale for a study of the thiazolidine pro-drugs was that these compounds are neither toxic in vitro or in vivo. The results obtained during this funding period indicate that the thiazolidine pro-drugs are as potent as WR-1065 as protectors against radiation induced mutation induction, and thus presumably against radiation induced carcinogenesis. Our results indicate that the thiazolidine prodrugs are excellent candidates to test as non-toxic anticarcinogens for protecting astronauts from cancer induction during space travel.

  17. The ProSeal laryngeal mask airway.

    PubMed

    Brimacombe, Joseph; Keller, Christian

    2002-12-01

    The ProSeal LMA is a major advance over the Classic LMA because of the following reasons: it allows ventilation at much higher airway pressures; it protects the lungs from aspiration and the stomach from gastric insufflation; it facilitates passage of a gastric tube and monitoring devices into the esophagus; it can be inserted like the Classic or Intubating LMA; it has its own built-in bite block; malposition is detected more readily; and, through use of techniques such as gum elastic bougie-guided insertion, correct positioning is almost guaranteed. The ProSeal can be considered a replacement device for the Classic LMA, but the Flexible LMA is still preferable for most intraoral procedures, and the Intubating LMA is still preferable whenever intubation is required. Limitations are that it is slightly more difficult to insert and requires more careful thought to use optimally. PMID:12512267

  18. Cryogenic system for BERLinPro

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, W.; Hellwig, A.; Knobloch, J.; Pflückhahn, D.; Rotterdam, S.

    2014-01-29

    In 2010 Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) received funding to design and build the Berlin Energy Recovery Linac Project BERLinPro. The goal of this compact Energy recovery linac (ERL) is to develop the accelerator physics and technology required to generate and accelerate a 100-mA, 1-mm mrad emittance electron beam. The BERLinPro know-how can then be transferred to various ERL-based applications. All accelerating RF cavities including the electron source are based on superconducting technology operated at 1.8 K. A Linde L700 helium liquefier is supplying 4.5 K helium. The subatmospheric pressure of 16 mbar of the helium bath of the cavities will be achieved by pumping with a set of cold compressors and warm vacuum pumps. While the L700 is already in operating, the 1.8 K system and the helium transfer system are in design phase.

  19. Cognitive Obstacles to Pro-Vaccination Beliefs.

    PubMed

    Miton, Helena; Mercier, Hugo

    2015-11-01

    Two frameworks--cultural attraction theory and epistemic vigilance--predict a cultural disadvantage for counter-intuitive beliefs. We review several cognitive mechanisms that conspire to render pro-vaccination beliefs counter-intuitive. Trust and argumentation can spread counter-intuitive beliefs, but only under some conditions. We discuss the hurdles that trust and argumentation face in the case of vaccination. PMID:26522341

  20. Some problems with pro-competition reforms.

    PubMed

    Agich, G J; Begley, C E

    1985-01-01

    As the search for effective cost-containment policies continues, health care reform along pro-competition lines has gained considerable backing in the United States. By offering market competition to achieve allocational efficiency and vouchers and tax credits to achieve distributional equity, pro-competition reforms appear to satisfy what many believed were incommensurable goals. A critical review of this strategy reveals two practical difficulties, however. The first concerns the ambiguity arising from the proposals' reliance on the concept of equal access to some basic level of health care as its distributional objective and the second concerns the ethical dilemma arising from the proposals' reliance on physicians as rationers of health care. In considering the distributional goal of guaranteeing access to a basic minimum of health care, we argue that, despite its theoretical attractiveness, there exists no acceptable way of determining or justifying its content, and without a clear definition of the basic minimum there is no guarantee that any equity objective will be achieved under the pro-competition strategy. With regard to the use of physicians and other providers as society's gatekeepers, we point out that this role is in direct conflict with traditional responsibilities that patients expect providers to assume. Requiring doctors to ration services in response to market incentives may further erode the trust relationship between physicians and patients, and clearly puts the more seriously ill at a disadvantage. PMID:4059946

  1. Calibrating the Prominence Magnetometer (ProMag)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, Lewis; Casini, R.

    2013-07-01

    The Prominence Magnetometer (ProMag) is a dual-channel, dual-beam, slit-scanning, full Stokes spectro-polarimeter designed by the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (HAO/NCAR) for the study of the magnetism of solar prominences and filaments. It was deployed in August 2009 at the 40 cm coronagraph of the Evans Solar Facility (ESF) of the National Solar Observatory on Sacramento Peak (NSO/SP). In its standard mode of operation it acquires spectro-polarimetric maps of solar targets simultaneously in the two chromospheric lines of He I at 587.6 nm and 1083.0 nm. Since August 2011 ProMag has operated in “patrol mode” with a dedicated observer. We aim to routinely measure the vector magnetic field in prominences. The electro-optic modulator and polarization analyzer are integrated into a single mechanical unit located at the coude feed of the telescope. This location was necessary for proper co-alignment of the dual beams, but complicates the precise polarimeter calibration necessary to achieve the sensitivity required for prominence measurements (< 10^-3). At this sensitivity, small variations in optical alignment can become significant. We present a calibration method for ProMag, using a polarizer and retarder at coronagraph prime focus. Calibrations are recorded before and after observations. We discuss the success of this method and its limitations.

  2. Actor groups, related needs, and challenges at the climate downscaling interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rössler, Ole; Benestad, Rasmus; Diamando, Vlachogannis; Heike, Hübener; Kanamaru, Hideki; Pagé, Christian; Margarida Cardoso, Rita; Soares, Pedro; Maraun, Douglas; Kreienkamp, Frank; Christodoulides, Paul; Fischer, Andreas; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    At the climate downscaling interface, numerous downscaling techniques and different philosophies compete on being the best method in their specific terms. Thereby, it remains unclear to what extent and for which purpose these downscaling techniques are valid or even the most appropriate choice. A common validation framework that compares all the different available methods was missing so far. The initiative VALUE closes this gap with such a common validation framework. An essential part of a validation framework for downscaling techniques is the definition of appropriate validation measures. The selection of validation measures should consider the needs of the stakeholder: some might need a temporal or spatial average of a certain variable, others might need temporal or spatial distributions of some variables, still others might need extremes for the variables of interest or even inter-variable dependencies. Hence, a close interaction of climate data providers and climate data users is necessary. Thus, the challenge in formulating a common validation framework mirrors also the challenges between the climate data providers and the impact assessment community. This poster elaborates the issues and challenges at the downscaling interface as it is seen within the VALUE community. It suggests three different actor groups: one group consisting of the climate data providers, the other two groups being climate data users (impact modellers and societal users). Hence, the downscaling interface faces classical transdisciplinary challenges. We depict a graphical illustration of actors involved and their interactions. In addition, we identified four different types of issues that need to be considered: i.e. data based, knowledge based, communication based, and structural issues. They all may, individually or jointly, hinder an optimal exchange of data and information between the actor groups at the downscaling interface. Finally, some possible ways to tackle these issues are

  3. Performance evaluation of a simulated data-flow computer with low-resolution actors

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Ercegovac, M.D.

    1985-11-01

    In the ambition to go beyond a single-processor architecture, to enhance programmability, and to take advantage of the power brought by VLSI devices, data-flow systems and languages were devised. Indeed, due to their functional semantics, these languages offer promise in the area of multiprocessor systems design and will possibly enable the development of computers comprising large numbers of processors with a corresponding increase in performance. Several important design problems have to be surmounted and are described here. The authors thus present a ''variable-resolution'' scheme, where the level of primitives can be selected so that the overhead due to the data-flow mode of operation is reduced. A deterministic simulation of a data-flow machine with a variable number of processing elements was undertaken and is described here. The tests were performed using various program structures such as directed acyclic graphs, vector operations, and array handling. The performance results observed confirm the advantage of actors with variable size and indicate the presence of a trade-off between overhead control and the need to control parallelism in the program. The authors also look at some of the communication issues and examine the effect of several interconnection networks (dual counter-rotating rings, daisy chain, and optimal double loop network) on the performance. It is shown how increasing communication costs induce a performance degradation that can be masked when the size of the basic data-flow actor is increased. The associative memory cycle time is also changed with similar conclusions. Finally, the lower-resolution scheme is applied to the array handling case; the observations confirm the advantage of a more complex actor at the array level.

  4. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed

    Etzel, Joset A; Valchev, Nikola; Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people's actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals. PMID:26820995

  5. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed Central

    Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people’s actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals. PMID:26820995

  6. Perl Embedded in PTC's Pro/ENGINEER, Version 1

    SciTech Connect

    2003-12-22

    Pro-PERL (AKA Pro/PERL) is a Perl extension to the PTC Pro/TOOLKIT API to the PTC Pro/ENGINEER CAD application including an embedded interpreter. It can be used to automate and customize Pro/ENGINEER, create Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) format files and re-create CAD models from the VNA files. This has applications in sanitizing classified CAD models created in a classified environment for transfer to an open environment, creating template models for modification to finished models by non-expert users, and transfer of design intent data to other modeling technologies.

  7. Perl Embedded in PTC's Pro/ENGINEER, Version 1

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2003-12-22

    Pro-PERL (AKA Pro/PERL) is a Perl extension to the PTC Pro/TOOLKIT API to the PTC Pro/ENGINEER CAD application including an embedded interpreter. It can be used to automate and customize Pro/ENGINEER, create Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) format files and re-create CAD models from the VNA files. This has applications in sanitizing classified CAD models created in a classified environment for transfer to an open environment, creating template models for modification to finished models by non-expertmore » users, and transfer of design intent data to other modeling technologies.« less

  8. Potential risks of pro-eating disorder websites.

    PubMed

    Rouleau, Codie R; von Ranson, Kristin M

    2011-06-01

    Although dangers of pro-eating disorder (pro-ED) websites have recently been discussed in the popular press, no integration of research findings on this topic yet exists. After completing a systematic search for peer-reviewed articles about pro-ED websites, we identified three possible risks as themes: operation under the guise of "support," reinforcement of disordered eating, and prevention of help-seeking and recovery. Pro-ED websites tend to be perceived as supportive by users, but instead appear to exacerbate or maintain users' eating disorder symptoms. We discuss research and clinical implications of these dangers. Future research should clarify how specific features of pro-ED websites contribute to the development, exacerbation, and maintenance of eating pathology, e.g., by employing experimental techniques and prospective designs with clinical samples and various ages. Despite limited empirical research on the topic, existing findings should prompt clinicians, parents, and researchers to remain vigilant about potential negative influences of pro-ED websites on users. PMID:21272967

  9. BDNF pro-peptide regulates dendritic spines via caspase-3.

    PubMed

    Guo, J; Ji, Y; Ding, Y; Jiang, W; Sun, Y; Lu, B; Nagappan, G

    2016-01-01

    The precursor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (proBDNF) is enzymatically cleaved, by either intracellular (furin/PC1) or extracellular proteases (tPA/plasmin/MMP), to generate mature BDNF (mBDNF) and its pro-peptide (BDNF pro-peptide). Little is known about the function of BDNF pro-peptide. We have developed an antibody that specifically detects cleaved BDNF pro-peptide, but not proBDNF or mBDNF. Neuronal depolarization elicited a marked increase in extracellular BDNF pro-peptide, suggesting activity-dependent regulation of its extracellular levels. Exposure of BDNF pro-peptide to mature hippocampal neurons in culture dramatically reduced dendritic spine density. This effect was mediated by caspase-3, as revealed by studies with pharmacological inhibitors and genetic knockdown. BDNF pro-peptide also increased the number of 'elongated' mitochondria and cytosolic cytochrome c, suggesting the involvement of mitochondrial-caspase-3 pathway. These results, along with BDNF pro-peptide effects recently reported on growth cones and long-term depression (LTD), suggest that BDNF pro-peptide is a negative regulator of neuronal structure and function. PMID:27310873

  10. The pro-adhesive and pro-survival effects of glucocorticoid in human ovarian cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yin, Lijuan; Fang, Fang; Song, Xinglei; Wang, Yan; Huang, Gaoxiang; Su, Jie; Hui, Ning; Lu, Jian

    2016-07-01

    Cell adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) is controlled by multiple signaling molecules and intracellular pathways, and is pivotal for survival and growth of cells from most solid tumors. Our previous works demonstrated that dexamethasone (DEX) significantly enhances cell adhesion and cell resistance to chemotherapeutics by increasing the levels of integrin β1, α4, and α5 in human ovarian cancer cells. However, it is unclear whether the components of ECM or other membrane molecules are also involved in the pro-adhesive effect of DEX in ovarian cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrated that the treatment of cells with DEX did not change the expression of collagens (I, III, and IV), laminin, CD44, and its principal ligand hyaluronan (HA), but significantly increased the levels of intracellular and secreted fibronectin (FN). Inhibiting the expression of FN with FN1 siRNA or blocking CD44, another FN receptor, with CD44 blocking antibody significantly attenuated the pro-adhesion of DEX, indicating that upregulation of FN mediates the pro-adhesive effect of DEX by its interaction with CD44 besides integrin β1. Moreover, DEX significantly enhanced cell resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel (PTX) by activating PI-3K-Akt pathway. Finally, we found that DEX also significantly upregulated the expression of MUC1, a transmembrane glycoprotein. Inhibiting the expression of MUC1 with MUC1 siRNA significantly attenuated the DEX-induced effects of pro-adhesion, Akt-activation, and pro-survival. In conclusion, these results provide new data that upregulation of FN and MUC1 by DEX contributes to DEX-induced pro-adhesion and protects ovarian cancer cells from chemotherapy. PMID:27151574

  11. Actor-critic-based optimal tracking for partially unknown nonlinear discrete-time systems.

    PubMed

    Kiumarsi, Bahare; Lewis, Frank L

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a partially model-free adaptive optimal control solution to the deterministic nonlinear discrete-time (DT) tracking control problem in the presence of input constraints. The tracking error dynamics and reference trajectory dynamics are first combined to form an augmented system. Then, a new discounted performance function based on the augmented system is presented for the optimal nonlinear tracking problem. In contrast to the standard solution, which finds the feedforward and feedback terms of the control input separately, the minimization of the proposed discounted performance function gives both feedback and feedforward parts of the control input simultaneously. This enables us to encode the input constraints into the optimization problem using a nonquadratic performance function. The DT tracking Bellman equation and tracking Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) are derived. An actor-critic-based reinforcement learning algorithm is used to learn the solution to the tracking HJB equation online without requiring knowledge of the system drift dynamics. That is, two neural networks (NNs), namely, actor NN and critic NN, are tuned online and simultaneously to generate the optimal bounded control policy. A simulation example is given to show the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:25312944

  12. The actor-critic learning is behind the matching law: matching versus optimal behaviors.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yutaka; Fukai, Tomoki

    2008-01-01

    The ability to make a correct choice of behavior from various options is crucial for animals' survival. The neural basis for the choice of behavior has been attracting growing attention in research on biological and artificial neural systems. Alternative choice tasks with variable ratio (VR) and variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement have often been employed in studying decision making by animals and humans. In the VR schedule task, alternative choices are reinforced with different probabilities, and subjects learn to select the behavioral response rewarded more frequently. In the VI schedule task, alternative choices are reinforced at different average intervals independent of the choice frequencies, and the choice behavior follows the so-called matching law. The two policies appear robustly in subjects' choice of behavior, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that these seemingly different policies can appear from a common computational algorithm known as actor-critic learning. We present experimentally testable variations of the VI schedule in which the matching behavior gives only a suboptimal solution to decision making and show that the actor-critic system exhibits the matching behavior in the steady state of the learning even when the matching behavior is suboptimal. However, it is found that the matching behavior can earn approximately the same reward as the optimal one in many practical situations. PMID:18045007

  13. Brain-Machine Interface control of a robot arm using actor-critic rainforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Pohlmeyer, Eric A; Mahmoudi, Babak; Geng, Shijia; Prins, Noeline; Sanchez, Justin C

    2012-01-01

    Here we demonstrate how a marmoset monkey can use a reinforcement learning (RL) Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) to effectively control the movements of a robot arm for a reaching task. In this work, an actor-critic RL algorithm used neural ensemble activity in the monkey's motor cortext to control the robot movements during a two-target decision task. This novel approach to decoding offers unique advantages for BMI control applications. Compared to supervised learning decoding methods, the actor-critic RL algorithm does not require an explicit set of training data to create a static control model, but rather it incrementally adapts the model parameters according to its current performance, in this case requiring only a very basic feedback signal. We show how this algorithm achieved high performance when mapping the monkey's neural states (94%) to robot actions, and only needed to experience a few trials before obtaining accurate real-time control of the robot arm. Since RL methods responsively adapt and adjust their parameters, they can provide a method to create BMIs that are robust against perturbations caused by changes in either the neural input space or the output actions they generate under different task requirements or goals. PMID:23366831

  14. An Actor-Critic architecture and simulator for goal-directed Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Mahmoudi, Babak; Principe, Jose C; Sanchez, Justin C

    2009-01-01

    The Perception-Action Cycle (PAC) is a central component of goal-directed behavior because it links internal percepts with external outcomes in the environment. Using inspiration from the PAC, we are developing a Brain-Machine Interface control architecture that utilizes both motor commands and goal information directly from the brain to navigate to novel targets in an environment. An Actor-Critic algorithm was selected for decoding the neural motor commands because it is a PAC-based computational framework where the perception component is implemented in the critic structure and the actor is responsible for taking actions. We develop in this work a biologically realistic simulator to analyze the performance of the decoder in terms of convergence and target acquisition. Experience from the simulator will guide parameter selection and assist in understanding the architecture before animal experiments. By varying the signal to noise ratio of the neural input and error signal, we were able to demonstrate how the learning rate and initial conditions affect a motor control target selection task. In this framework, the naïve decoder was able to reach targets in the presence of noise in the error signal and neural motor command with 98% accuracy. PMID:19963795

  15. Actors and networks in resource conflict resolution under climate change in rural Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngaruiya, Grace W.; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-05-01

    The change from consensual decision-making arrangements into centralized hierarchical chieftaincy schemes through colonization disrupted many rural conflict resolution mechanisms in Africa. In addition, climate change impacts on land use have introduced additional socio-ecological factors that complicate rural conflict dynamics. Despite the current urgent need for conflict-sensitive adaptation, resolution efficiency of these fused rural institutions has hardly been documented. In this context, we analyse the Loitoktok network for implemented resource conflict resolution structures and identify potential actors to guide conflict-sensitive adaptation. This is based on social network data and processes that are collected using the saturation sampling technique to analyse mechanisms of brokerage. We find that there are three different forms of fused conflict resolution arrangements that integrate traditional institutions and private investors in the community. To effectively implement conflict-sensitive adaptation, we recommend the extension officers, the council of elders, local chiefs and private investors as potential conduits of knowledge in rural areas. In conclusion, efficiency of these fused conflict resolution institutions is aided by the presence of holistic resource management policies and diversification in conflict resolution actors and networks.

  16. Real-time reinforcement learning by sequential Actor-Critics and experience replay.

    PubMed

    Wawrzyński, Paweł

    2009-12-01

    Actor-Critics constitute an important class of reinforcement learning algorithms that can deal with continuous actions and states in an easy and natural way. This paper shows how these algorithms can be augmented by the technique of experience replay without degrading their convergence properties, by appropriately estimating the policy change direction. This is achieved by truncated importance sampling applied to the recorded past experiences. It is formally shown that the resulting estimation bias is bounded and asymptotically vanishes, which allows the experience replay-augmented algorithm to preserve the convergence properties of the original algorithm. The technique of experience replay makes it possible to utilize the available computational power to reduce the required number of interactions with the environment considerably, which is essential for real-world applications. Experimental results are presented that demonstrate that the combination of experience replay and Actor-Critics yields extremely fast learning algorithms that achieve successful policies for non-trivial control tasks in considerably short time. Namely, the policies for the cart-pole swing-up [Doya, K. (2000). Reinforcement learning in continuous time and space. Neural Computation, 12(1), 219-245] are obtained after as little as 20 min of the cart-pole time and the policy for Half-Cheetah (a walking 6-degree-of-freedom robot) is obtained after four hours of Half-Cheetah time. PMID:19523786

  17. Actor coalitions and implementation in strategic delta planning: Opening the Haringvliet sluices in the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermoolen, Myrthe; Hermans, Leon

    2016-04-01

    The sustained development of urbanizing deltas is influenced by natural and societal processes. These processes are characterized by their long time span, in which conflicting interests of different stakeholders have to be reconciled. Reaching consent between actors is a challenge itself, but maintaining this consent throughout different stages of strategic planning - from advocacy and agenda setting to implementation - over these long periods of time is even more difficult. The implementation stage still includes many different actors involved, some of which are different than the ones who agreed before, due to both the long run of the strategic delta planning, and to a shift of tasks and responsibilities. Thus, implementation of strategic plans often features delays, deviations of agreed plans and unintended outcomes. A key question therefore is how coalition dynamics in (pre-)planning stages influence and are influenced by the coalition dynamics during implementation. The different stages in strategic planning are often studied from either a plan formulation or an implementation perspective, but the connection between the two proves an important bottleneck for strategic planning in deltas. For instance, many building with nature solutions are still in their pilot-phase, and their upscaling can profit from lessons concerning past implementation efforts. The proposed contribution will use the case of the management of the Dutch Haringvliet sluices and the decision ('Kierbesluit') in 2000 to put these sluices ajar, to study the link between the different strategic delta planning stages and the role of the formation and change of actor coalitions herein. With the completion of the Haringvliet dam with outlet sluices in 1970, the Haringvliet estuary of the rivers Rhine and Meuse was closed off from the sea, creating a fresh water lake. This was done to make the Dutch Southwest delta safe from flooding, and had positive effects for agricultural water supply and

  18. Educational Opportunities in Pro-Am Collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fienberg, R. T.; Stencel, R. E.

    2006-08-01

    While many backyard stargazers take up the hobby just for fun, many others are attracted to it because of their keen interest in learning more about the universe. The best way to learn science is to do science. Happily, the technology available to today's amateur astronomers — including computer-controlled telescopes, CCD cameras, powerful astronomical software, and the Internet — gives them the potential to make real contributions to scientific research and to help support local educational objectives. Meanwhile, professional astronomers are losing access to small telescopes as funding is shifted to larger projects, including survey programs that will soon discover countless interesting objects needing follow-up observations. Clearly the field is ripe with opportunities for amateurs, professionals, and educators to collaborate. Amateurs will benefit from mentoring by expert professionals, pros will benefit from observations and data processing by increasingly knowledgeable amateurs, and educators will benefit from a larger pool of skilled talent to help them carry out astronomy-education initiatives. We will look at some successful pro-am collaborations that have already borne fruit and examine areas where the need and/or potential for new partnerships is especially large. In keeping with the theme of this special session, we will focus on how pro-am collaborations in astronomy can contribute to science education both inside and outside the classroom, not only for students of school age but also for adults who may not have enjoyed particularly good science education when they were younger. Because nighttime observations with sophisticated equipment are not always possible in formal educational settings, we will also mention other types of pro-am partnerships, including those involving remote observing, data mining, and/or distributed computing.

  19. The utility of Pro Forma Income Statements.

    PubMed

    Reiboldt, Max; Reiboldt, John

    2002-01-01

    Recent headlines surrounding the financial demise of the nation's seventh largest company, Enron, and its subsequent entanglements with its accounting and consulting firm, Arthur Andersen, have placed a cloud of suspicion upon many reasonable business practices that otherwise are considered standard procedure. The proforma income statement is one of those practices. An oft-used tool in financial management, pro formas play a useful role for projecting financial performance based on predictable forecasts or assumptions. Regardless of the current scrutiny, there is still a valid use for accurately prepared statements. PMID:12389329

  20. The Establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Senegal: Untangling the Interactions Between International Institutions and National Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, Gianluca; Brans, Marleen; Dème, Moustapha; Failler, Pierre

    2011-04-01

    International institutions, understood as sets of rules contained in international agreements, are aimed at orienting national governments towards specific policy options. Nevertheless, they can determine a change in national policies and practices only if states are willing and capable of incorporating international obligations into their national legislations and ensuring their application and enforcement in areas that follow completely under national jurisdiction. The establishment of marine protected areas promoted by international agreements as a tool for the protection of marine resources represents an interesting case for revealing the complex interactions between international institutions and national actors. Particularly, the establishment of these areas in Senegal shows the salience of domestic constellations of actors who may support or undercut national commitments to international regimes: political elites, bureaucracies, the general public and target groups. By anchoring the empirical analysis to an actor-centred institutionalist perspective, the article explains how dynamic constellations of actors can distort the penetration of international objectives in the national policy framework. Different constellations of national actors can indeed bend international institutions at different moments: during the formulation of a new law in line with international obligations; in the definition of its implementation framework; and in the enforcement of national policies.

  1. The key actors maintaining elders in functional autonomy in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Globally, a significant increase in functional disability among the elderly is expected in the near future. It is therefore vital to begin considering how Sub-Saharan Africa countries can best start building or strengthening the care and support system for that target population. Study objectives are: 1) identify the key actors of the social system who maintain elders in functional autonomy at home in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) and 2) to describe the functional status of older people living at home. Methods We conducted a longitudinal descriptive study among the elderly aged 60 and above (351). Their functional status was evaluated using the Functional Autonomy Measurement System (SMAF). Data analysis was done using the statistical software package STATA (SE11). Results In Bobo-Dioulasso, 68% of seniors have good functional capacity or a slight incapacity and 32% have moderate to severe incapacities. Older people die before (3%) or during (14%) moderate to severe disabilities. This would mean that the quality of medical and/or social care is not good for maintaining functional autonomy of older people with moderate to severe disabilities. Two main groups of people contribute to maintain elders in functional autonomy: the elderly themselves and their family. Community, private or public structures for maintaining elders in functional autonomy are non-existent. The social system for maintaining elders in functional autonomy is incomplete and failing. In case of functional handicap at home, the elders die. But stakeholders are not conscious of this situation; they believe that this system is good for maintaining elders in functional autonomy. Conclusion It is likely that the absence of formal care and support structure likely shortens the lifespan of severely disabled older people. Stakeholders have not yet looked at this possibility. The stakeholders should seriously think about: 1) how to establish the third level of actors who can fulfill the needs to

  2. Visions of the Future - the Changing Role of Actors in Data-Intensive Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schäfer, L.; Klump, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Around the world scientific disciplines are increasingly facing the challenge of a burgeoning volume of research data. This data avalanche consists of a stream of information generated from sensors and scientific instruments, digital recordings, social-science surveys or drawn from the World Wide Web. All areas of the scientific economy are affected by this rapid growth in data, from the logging of digs in Archaeology, telescope data with observations of distant galaxies in Astrophysics or data from polls and surveys in the Social Sciences. The challenge for science is not only to process the data through analysis, reduction and visualization, but also to set up infrastructures for provisioning and storing the data. The rise of new technologies and developments also poses new challenges for the actors in the area of research data infrastructures. Libraries, as one of the actors, enable access to digital media and support the publication of research data and its long-term archiving. Digital media and research data, however, introduce new aspects into the libraries' range of activities. How are we to imagine the library of the future? The library as an interface to the computer centers? Will library and computer center fuse into a new service unit? What role will scientific publishers play in future? Currently the traditional form of publication still carry greater weight - articles for conferences and journals. But will this still be the case in future? New forms of publication are already making their presence felt. The tasks of the computer centers may also change. Yesterday their remit was provisioning of rapid hardware, whereas now everything revolves around the topic of data and services. Finally, how about the researchers themselves? Not such a long time ago, Geoscience was not necessarily seen as linked to Computer Science. Nowadays, modern Geoscience relies heavily on IT and its techniques. Thus, in how far will the profile of the modern geoscientist change

  3. ProSAT+: visualizing sequence annotations on 3D structure.

    PubMed

    Stank, Antonia; Richter, Stefan; Wade, Rebecca C

    2016-08-01

    PRO: tein S: tructure A: nnotation T: ool-plus (ProSAT(+)) is a new web server for mapping protein sequence annotations onto a protein structure and visualizing them simultaneously with the structure. ProSAT(+) incorporates many of the features of the preceding ProSAT and ProSAT2 tools but also provides new options for the visualization and sharing of protein annotations. Data are extracted from the UniProt KnowledgeBase, the RCSB PDB and the PDBe SIFTS resource, and visualization is performed using JSmol. User-defined sequence annotations can be added directly to the URL, thus enabling visualization and easy data sharing. ProSAT(+) is available at http://prosat.h-its.org. PMID:27284084

  4. Actor-Network Theory and its role in understanding the implementation of information technology developments in healthcare

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is an increasingly influential, but still deeply contested, approach to understand humans and their interactions with inanimate objects. We argue that health services research, and in particular evaluations of complex IT systems in health service organisations, may benefit from being informed by Actor-Network Theory perspectives. Discussion Despite some limitations, an Actor-Network Theory-based approach is conceptually useful in helping to appreciate the complexity of reality (including the complexity of organisations) and the active role of technology in this context. This can prove helpful in understanding how social effects are generated as a result of associations between different actors in a network. Of central importance in this respect is that Actor-Network Theory provides a lens through which to view the role of technology in shaping social processes. Attention to this shaping role can contribute to a more holistic appreciation of the complexity of technology introduction in healthcare settings. It can also prove practically useful in providing a theoretically informed approach to sampling (by drawing on informants that are related to the technology in question) and analysis (by providing a conceptual tool and vocabulary that can form the basis for interpretations). We draw on existing empirical work in this area and our ongoing work investigating the integration of electronic health record systems introduced as part of England's National Programme for Information Technology to illustrate salient points. Summary Actor-Network Theory needs to be used pragmatically with an appreciation of its shortcomings. Our experiences suggest it can be helpful in investigating technology implementations in healthcare settings. PMID:21040575

  5. [The prevention of voice disorders in the actor: protocol and follow-up nine months of professional theater].

    PubMed

    Ormezzano, Y; Delale, A; Lamy-Simonian, A

    2011-01-01

    In July 2009, at the beginning of this work, 26 theses addressing professional principles of voice were listed in the database of SUDOC (Système Universitaire de Documentation): 9 related to voices of teachers (about 900,000* professionals in France), 14 theses relating to singers (7500** professionals), and only 3 about the voice of actors (20 000*** professional actors in France in 2006). The latter pertaining to concerning rookie actors (sensibilisation vocale auprès du comédien débutant Bichet, Linda, Bordeaux II, 2006), the mechanical larynx (étude des mécanismes laryngés dans la voix projetée: cas particulier des comédiennes Guerin, Mélanie, Paris VI, 2009), vocal fatigue (Fatigue vocale après une tâche d'utilisation prolongée de la voix chez le comédien Canaan Baggioni, Brigitte, Aix-Marseille II, 2009). Professional actors are plentiful; their training in vocal technique is very heterogeneous, or non-existent: it is not a prerequisite to have a degree to work as an actor! This lack of vocal technique is associated with risk factors specific to the acting profession: numerous travels in air-conditioned vehicles, unsuitable workplaces; dusty or poorly heated, irregular working patterns, excessive demands from directors... All this makes the actors highly susceptible to voice disorders. The protocol for the prevention of voice disorders presented here is holistic and ecological. This work also examines the effectiveness of such a preventive protocol aimed at theatre comedians. PMID:21977701

  6. Pro-Anorexia and Anti-Pro-Anorexia Videos on YouTube: Sentiment Analysis of User Responses

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, David; Sirola, Anu; Näsi, Matti; Kaakinen, Markus; Keipi, Teo; Räsänen, Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Background Pro-anorexia communities exist online and encourage harmful weight loss and weight control practices, often through emotional content that enforces social ties within these communities. User-generated responses to videos that directly oppose pro-anorexia communities have not yet been researched in depth. Objective The aim was to study emotional reactions to pro-anorexia and anti-pro-anorexia online content on YouTube using sentiment analysis. Methods Using the 50 most popular YouTube pro-anorexia and anti-pro-anorexia user channels as a starting point, we gathered data on users, their videos, and their commentators. A total of 395 anorexia videos and 12,161 comments were analyzed using positive and negative sentiments and ratings submitted by the viewers of the videos. The emotional information was automatically extracted with an automatic sentiment detection tool whose reliability was tested with human coders. Ordinary least squares regression models were used to estimate the strength of sentiments. The models controlled for the number of video views and comments, number of months the video had been on YouTube, duration of the video, uploader’s activity as a video commentator, and uploader’s physical location by country. Results The 395 videos had more than 6 million views and comments by almost 8000 users. Anti-pro-anorexia video comments expressed more positive sentiments on a scale of 1 to 5 (adjusted prediction [AP] 2.15, 95% CI 2.11-2.19) than did those of pro-anorexia videos (AP 2.02, 95% CI 1.98-2.06). Anti-pro-anorexia videos also received more likes (AP 181.02, 95% CI 155.19-206.85) than pro-anorexia videos (AP 31.22, 95% CI 31.22-37.81). Negative sentiments and video dislikes were equally distributed in responses to both pro-anorexia and anti-pro-anorexia videos. Conclusions Despite pro-anorexia content being widespread on YouTube, videos promoting help for anorexia and opposing the pro-anorexia community were more popular, gaining more

  7. Industry Actors, Think Tanks, and Alcohol Policy in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    McCambridge, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Corporate actors seek to influence alcohol policies through various means, including attempts to shape the evidential content of policy debates. In this case study, we examined how SABMiller engaged the think tank Demos to produce reports on binge drinking, which were heavily promoted among policymakers at crucial stages in the development of the UK government’s 2012 alcohol strategy. One key report coincided with other SABMiller-funded publications, advocating measures to enhance parenting as an alternative to minimum unit pricing. In this instance, the perceived independence of an influential think tank was used to promote industry interests in tactics similar to those of transnational tobacco corporations. This approach is in keeping with other alcohol industry efforts to marginalize the peer-reviewed literature. PMID:24922137

  8. Ethics in actor networks, or: what Latour could learn from Darwin and Dewey.

    PubMed

    Waelbers, Katinka; Dorstewitz, Philipp

    2014-03-01

    In contemporary Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies, Bruno Latour's Actor Network Theory (ANT) is often used to study how social change arises from interaction between people and technologies. Though Latour's approach is rich in the sense of enabling scholars to appreciate the complexity of many relevant technological, environmental, and social factors in their studies, the approach is poor from an ethical point of view: the doings of things and people are couched in one and the same behaviorist (third person) vocabulary without giving due recognition to the ethical relevance of human intelligence, sympathy and reflection in making responsible choices. This article argues that two other naturalist projects, the non-teleological virtue ethics of Charles Darwin and the pragmatist instrumentalism of John Dewey can enrich ANT-based STS studies, both, in a descriptive and in a normative sense. PMID:23371512

  9. Ensuring Mobility-Supporting Environments for an Aging Population: Critical Actors and Collaborations

    PubMed Central

    Kochtitzky, Chris S.; Freeland, Amy L.; Yen, Irene H.

    2011-01-01

    Successful aging takes on an array of attributes, including optimal health and community participation. Research indicates that (1) persons with disabilities, including age-related disabilities, report frequent barriers to community participation, including unsuitable building design (43%), transportation (32%), and sidewalks/curbs (31%), and (2) many seniors report an inability to cross roads safely near their homes. This paper attempts to define mobility-related elements that contribute to optimal health and quality of life, within the context of successful aging. It then examines the impacts of community design on individual mobility, delving into which traditional and nontraditional actors—including architects, urban planners, transportation engineers, occupational therapists, and housing authorities—play critical roles in ensuring that community environments serve as facilitators (rather than barriers) to mobility. As America ages, mobility challenges for seniors will only increase unless both traditional aging specialists and many nontraditional actors make a concerted effort to address the challenges. PMID:21766029

  10. A spiking neural network model of an actor-critic learning agent.

    PubMed

    Potjans, Wiebke; Morrison, Abigail; Diesmann, Markus

    2009-02-01

    The ability to adapt behavior to maximize reward as a result of interactions with the environment is crucial for the survival of any higher organism. In the framework of reinforcement learning, temporal-difference learning algorithms provide an effective strategy for such goal-directed adaptation, but it is unclear to what extent these algorithms are compatible with neural computation. In this article, we present a spiking neural network model that implements actor-critic temporal-difference learning by combining local plasticity rules with a global reward signal. The network is capable of solving a nontrivial gridworld task with sparse rewards. We derive a quantitative mapping of plasticity parameters and synaptic weights to the corresponding variables in the standard algorithmic formulation and demonstrate that the network learns with a similar speed to its discrete time counterpart and attains the same equilibrium performance. PMID:19196231

  11. Online human training of a myoelectric prosthesis controller via actor-critic reinforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Pilarski, Patrick M; Dawson, Michael R; Degris, Thomas; Fahimi, Farbod; Carey, Jason P; Sutton, Richard S

    2011-01-01

    As a contribution toward the goal of adaptable, intelligent artificial limbs, this work introduces a continuous actor-critic reinforcement learning method for optimizing the control of multi-function myoelectric devices. Using a simulated upper-arm robotic prosthesis, we demonstrate how it is possible to derive successful limb controllers from myoelectric data using only a sparse human-delivered training signal, without requiring detailed knowledge about the task domain. This reinforcement-based machine learning framework is well suited for use by both patients and clinical staff, and may be easily adapted to different application domains and the needs of individual amputees. To our knowledge, this is the first my-oelectric control approach that facilitates the online learning of new amputee-specific motions based only on a one-dimensional (scalar) feedback signal provided by the user of the prosthesis. PMID:22275543

  12. Impedance learning for robotic contact tasks using natural actor-critic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byungchan; Park, Jooyoung; Park, Shinsuk; Kang, Sungchul

    2010-04-01

    Compared with their robotic counterparts, humans excel at various tasks by using their ability to adaptively modulate arm impedance parameters. This ability allows us to successfully perform contact tasks even in uncertain environments. This paper considers a learning strategy of motor skill for robotic contact tasks based on a human motor control theory and machine learning schemes. Our robot learning method employs impedance control based on the equilibrium point control theory and reinforcement learning to determine the impedance parameters for contact tasks. A recursive least-square filter-based episodic natural actor-critic algorithm is used to find the optimal impedance parameters. The effectiveness of the proposed method was tested through dynamic simulations of various contact tasks. The simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method optimizes the performance of the contact tasks in uncertain conditions of the environment. PMID:19696001

  13. Multirate parallel distributed compensation of a cluster in wireless sensor and actor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chun-xi; Huang, Ling-yun; Zhang, Hao; Hua, Wang

    2016-01-01

    The stabilisation problem for one of the clusters with bounded multiple random time delays and packet dropouts in wireless sensor and actor networks is investigated in this paper. A new multirate switching model is constructed to describe the feature of this single input multiple output linear system. According to the difficulty of controller design under multi-constraints in multirate switching model, this model can be converted to a Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy model. By designing a multirate parallel distributed compensation, a sufficient condition is established to ensure this closed-loop fuzzy control system to be globally exponentially stable. The solution of the multirate parallel distributed compensation gains can be obtained by solving an auxiliary convex optimisation problem. Finally, two numerical examples are given to show, compared with solving switching controller, multirate parallel distributed compensation can be obtained easily. Furthermore, it has stronger robust stability than arbitrary switching controller and single-rate parallel distributed compensation under the same conditions.

  14. Clients' and therapists' real relationship and session quality in brief therapy: an actor partner interdependence analysis.

    PubMed

    Markin, Rayna D; Kivlighan, Dennis M; Gelso, Charles J; Hummel, Ann M; Spiegel, Eric B

    2014-09-01

    This study used the Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kenny & Cook, 1999) to examine the associations of client- and therapist-rated real relationship (RR) and session quality over time. Eighty-seven clients and their therapists (n = 25) completed RR and session quality measures after every session of brief therapy. Therapists' current session quality ratings were significantly related to all of the following: session number (b = .04), their session quality rating of the previous session (b = .24), their RR in the previous session (b = 1.091), their client's RR in the previous session (b = .17), and interactions between their own and their clients' RR and session number (b = -.16 and β = -.04, respectively). Clients' ratings of current session quality were significantly related to only their own RR in the previous session (b = .47). Implications for future research and practice are discussed. PMID:24773091

  15. Explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions is shaped by expertise: evidence from professional actors

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Ponari, Marta; Monteforte, Eva; Ricciato, Giusy; Sarà, Marco; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Can reading others' emotional states be shaped by expertise? We assessed processing of emotional facial expressions in professional actors trained either to voluntary activate mimicry to reproduce character's emotions (as foreseen by the “Mimic Method”), or to infer others' inner states from reading the emotional context (as foreseen by “Stanislavski Method”). In explicit recognition of facial expressions (Experiment 1), the two experimental groups differed from each other and from a control group with no acting experience: the Mimic group was more accurate, whereas the Stanislavski group was slower. Neither acting experience, instead, influenced implicit processing of emotional faces (Experiment 2). We argue that expertise can selectively influence explicit recognition of others' facial expressions, depending on the kind of “emotional expertise”. PMID:23825467

  16. Testing crossover effects in an actor-partner interdependence model among Chinese dual-earner couples.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huimin; Cheung, Fanny M

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of the present study is to examine the crossover effects from one partner's work-family interface (work-family conflict [WFC] and work-family enrichment [WFE]) to the other partner's four outcomes (psychological strain, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and job satisfaction) in a sample of Chinese dual-earner couples. Married couples (N = 361) completed a battery of questionnaires, including the work-family interface scale, the psychological strain scale, the life, marital, as well as job satisfaction scale. Results from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) analyses showed that wives' WFE was negatively associated with husbands' psychological strain, and positively associated with husbands' life, marital and job satisfaction. Furthermore, husbands' WFC was negatively related to wives' marital satisfaction, whereas husbands' WFE was positively related to wives' marital satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed, and future research directions were provided. PMID:25721880

  17. Rejection sensitivity and depressive symptoms: Longitudinal actor-partner effects in adolescent romantic relationships.

    PubMed

    Norona, Jerika C; Roberson, Patricia N E; Welsh, Deborah P

    2016-08-01

    The present study utilizes the actor-partner interdependence model to examine the longitudinal relationship between rejection sensitivity and one's own and one's partner's depressive symptoms. The sample included adolescent romantic couples from the U.S. (N = 198 adolescents; 50% girls; 90.2% Caucasian) whose rejection sensitivity at Time 1 and depressive symptoms approximately one year later (Time 2) were assessed. Additionally, aggressive behaviors and maintenance behaviors that commonly associated with rejection sensitivity (e.g., self-silencing) are explored as mediators. Results indicate that boyfriends' rejection sensitivity at Time 1 predicted girlfriends' depressive symptoms at Time 2. Additionally, girls' rejection sensitivity predicted their own and their boyfriends' self-silencing. Developmental and clinical implications are discussed. PMID:27254083

  18. THEORIZING HYBRIDITY: INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS, COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS, AND ACTOR IDENTITIES: THE CASE OF NONPROFITS

    PubMed Central

    SKELCHER, CHRIS; SMITH, STEVEN RATHGEB

    2015-01-01

    We propose a novel approach to theorizing hybridity in public and nonprofit organizations. The concept of hybridity is widely used to describe organizational responses to changes in governance, but the literature seldom explains how hybrids arise or what forms they take. Transaction cost and organizational design literatures offer some solutions, but lack a theory of agency. We use the institutional logics approach to theorize hybrids as entities that face a plurality of normative frames. Logics provide symbolic and material elements that structure organizational legitimacy and actor identities. Contradictions between institutional logics offer space for them to be elaborated and creatively reconstructed by situated agents. We propose five types of organizational hybridity – segmented, segregated, assimilated, blended, and blocked. Each type is theoretically derived from empirically observed variations in organizational responses to institutional plurality. We develop propositions to show how our approach to hybridity adds value to academic and policy-maker audiences. PMID:26640298

  19. Performance evaluation of a simulated data-flow computer with low-resolution actors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaudiot, J. L.; Ercegovac, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    Basic problems related to the exploitation of parallelism in a program include sequencing of the instructions and communication of the data. It is pointed out that the data-flow approach offers an elegant solution to the sequencing problem, since all data dependencies are automatically handled and only instructions with ready input sets are activated. It is shown that a change in the level of subcomputations (actors) affects communications costs. The concept of variable resolution is discussed, and the testbed environment is examined. Attention is given to the architecture of the processing elements, the communication network, and the simulators. A description of the analytical model is also provided. Simulation and results are discussed, taking into account test programs and allocation, the variation of the number of processing elements, the variation of the resolution in directed acyclic graphs, performance in processing loops, and array handling.

  20. Free-viewpoint video of human actors using multiple handheld Kinects.

    PubMed

    Ye, Genzhi; Liu, Yebin; Deng, Yue; Hasler, Nils; Ji, Xiangyang; Dai, Qionghai; Theobalt, Christian

    2013-10-01

    We present an algorithm for creating free-viewpoint video of interacting humans using three handheld Kinect cameras. Our method reconstructs deforming surface geometry and temporal varying texture of humans through estimation of human poses and camera poses for every time step of the RGBZ video. Skeletal configurations and camera poses are found by solving a joint energy minimization problem, which optimizes the alignment of RGBZ data from all cameras, as well as the alignment of human shape templates to the Kinect data. The energy function is based on a combination of geometric correspondence finding, implicit scene segmentation, and correspondence finding using image features. Finally, texture recovery is achieved through jointly optimization on spatio-temporal RGB data using matrix completion. As opposed to previous methods, our algorithm succeeds on free-viewpoint video of human actors under general uncontrolled indoor scenes with potentially dynamic background, and it succeeds even if the cameras are moving. PMID:23893757

  1. Pro-sociality and strategic reasoning in economic decisions

    PubMed Central

    Arruñada, Benito; Casari, Marco; Pancotto, Francesca

    2015-01-01

    We study the relationship between pro-social preferences and strategic reasoning. These aspects are typically studied separately but little is known about their joint distribution. In an experiment, for each participant we elicit individual concerns toward pro-sociality—inequality aversion and efficiency—as well as the number of steps of reasoning through a guessing game. We report that self-regarding and pro-social participants exhibit similar levels of strategic reasoning, which supports the view that pro-sociality and strategic reasoning can be studied independently. PMID:26074799

  2. InterPro, progress and status in 2005.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Nicola J; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bradley, Paul; Bork, Peer; Bucher, Phillip; Cerutti, Lorenzo; Copley, Richard; Courcelle, Emmanuel; Das, Ujjwal; Durbin, Richard; Fleischmann, Wolfgang; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Harte, Nicola; Hulo, Nicolas; Kahn, Daniel; Kanapin, Alexander; Krestyaninova, Maria; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Letunic, Ivica; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McDowall, Jennifer; Mitchell, Alex; Nikolskaya, Anastasia N; Orchard, Sandra; Pagni, Marco; Ponting, Chris P; Quevillon, Emmanuel; Selengut, Jeremy; Sigrist, Christian J A; Silventoinen, Ville; Studholme, David J; Vaughan, Robert; Wu, Cathy H

    2005-01-01

    InterPro, an integrated documentation resource of protein families, domains and functional sites, was created to integrate the major protein signature databases. Currently, it includes PROSITE, Pfam, PRINTS, ProDom, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF and SUPERFAMILY. Signatures are manually integrated into InterPro entries that are curated to provide biological and functional information. Annotation is provided in an abstract, Gene Ontology mapping and links to specialized databases. New features of InterPro include extended protein match views, taxonomic range information and protein 3D structure data. One of the new match views is the InterPro Domain Architecture view, which shows the domain composition of protein matches. Two new entry types were introduced to better describe InterPro entries: these are active site and binding site. PIRSF and the structure-based SUPERFAMILY are the latest member databases to join InterPro, and CATH and PANTHER are soon to be integrated. InterPro release 8.0 contains 11 007 entries, representing 2573 domains, 8166 families, 201 repeats, 26 active sites, 21 binding sites and 20 post-translational modification sites. InterPro covers over 78% of all proteins in the Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL components of UniProt. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro), and for download by anonymous FTP (ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/interpro). PMID:15608177

  3. InterPro, progress and status in 2005

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K.; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bradley, Paul; Bork, Peer; Bucher, Phillip; Cerutti, Lorenzo; Copley, Richard; Courcelle, Emmanuel; Das, Ujjwal; Durbin, Richard; Fleischmann, Wolfgang; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Harte, Nicola; Hulo, Nicolas; Kahn, Daniel; Kanapin, Alexander; Krestyaninova, Maria; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Letunic, Ivica; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McDowall, Jennifer; Mitchell, Alex; Nikolskaya, Anastasia N.; Orchard, Sandra; Pagni, Marco; Ponting, Chris P.; Quevillon, Emmanuel; Selengut, Jeremy; Sigrist, Christian J. A.; Silventoinen, Ville; Studholme, David J.; Vaughan, Robert; Wu, Cathy H.

    2005-01-01

    InterPro, an integrated documentation resource of protein families, domains and functional sites, was created to integrate the major protein signature databases. Currently, it includes PROSITE, Pfam, PRINTS, ProDom, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF and SUPERFAMILY. Signatures are manually integrated into InterPro entries that are curated to provide biological and functional information. Annotation is provided in an abstract, Gene Ontology mapping and links to specialized databases. New features of InterPro include extended protein match views, taxonomic range information and protein 3D structure data. One of the new match views is the InterPro Domain Architecture view, which shows the domain composition of protein matches. Two new entry types were introduced to better describe InterPro entries: these are active site and binding site. PIRSF and the structure-based SUPERFAMILY are the latest member databases to join InterPro, and CATH and PANTHER are soon to be integrated. InterPro release 8.0 contains 11 007 entries, representing 2573 domains, 8166 families, 201 repeats, 26 active sites, 21 binding sites and 20 post-translational modification sites. InterPro covers over 78% of all proteins in the Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL components of UniProt. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro), and for download by anonymous FTP (ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/interpro). PMID:15608177

  4. Pro-sociality and strategic reasoning in economic decisions.

    PubMed

    Arruñada, Benito; Casari, Marco; Pancotto, Francesca

    2015-01-01

    We study the relationship between pro-social preferences and strategic reasoning. These aspects are typically studied separately but little is known about their joint distribution. In an experiment, for each participant we elicit individual concerns toward pro-sociality-inequality aversion and efficiency-as well as the number of steps of reasoning through a guessing game. We report that self-regarding and pro-social participants exhibit similar levels of strategic reasoning, which supports the view that pro-sociality and strategic reasoning can be studied independently. PMID:26074799

  5. Reinforcement learning using a continuous time actor-critic framework with spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-04-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  6. Reinforcement Learning Using a Continuous Time Actor-Critic Framework with Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-01-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  7. Integrating Water, Actors, and Structure to Study Socio-Hydro-Ecological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R. L.; Armstrong, A.; Baker, M. A.; Bedingfield, S.; Betts, D.; Buahin, C. A.; Buchert, M.; Crowl, T.; Dupont, R.; Endter-Wada, J.; Flint, C.; Grant, J.; Hinners, S.; Horns, D.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Jackson-Smith, D.; Jones, A. S.; Licon, C.; Null, S. E.; Odame, A.; Pataki, D. E.; Rosenberg, D. E.; Runburg, M.; Stoker, P.; Strong, C.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization, climate uncertainty, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Water systems and the forces acting upon them are complex, and there is a need to understand and generically represent the most important system components and linkages. We developed a framework to facilitate understanding of water systems including potential vulnerabilities and opportunities for sustainability. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research to address water issues across scales (e.g., city to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, urban and transitioning landscapes). An interdisciplinary project (iUTAH - innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability) with a large (N=~100), diverse team having expertise spanning the hydrologic, biological, ecological, engineering, social, planning, and policy sciences motivated the development of this framework. The framework was developed through review of the literature, meetings with individual researchers, and workshops with participants. The Structure-Water-Actor Framework (SWAF) includes three main components: water (quality and quantity), structure (natural, built, and social), and actors (individual and organizational). Key linkages include: 1) ecological and hydrological processes, 2) ecosystem and geomorphic change, 3) planning, design, and policy, 4) perceptions, information, and experience, 5) resource access, and 6) operational water use and management. Our expansive view of structure includes natural, built, and social components, allowing us to examine a broad set of tools and levers for water managers and decision-makers to affect system sustainability and understand system outcomes. We validate the SWAF and illustrate its flexibility to generate insights for three research and management problems: green stormwater infrastructure in an arid environment, regional water supply and demand, and urban river restoration

  8. iSAW: Integrating Structure, Actors, and Water to study socio-hydro-ecological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, Rebecca L.; Armstrong, Andrea; Baker, Michelle A.; Bedingfield, Sean; Betts, David; Buahin, Caleb; Buchert, Martin; Crowl, Todd; Dupont, R. Ryan; Ehleringer, James R.; Endter-Wada, Joanna; Flint, Courtney; Grant, Jacqualine; Hinners, Sarah; Horsburgh, Jeffery S.; Jackson-Smith, Douglas; Jones, Amber S.; Licon, Carlos; Null, Sarah E.; Odame, Augustina; Pataki, Diane E.; Rosenberg, David; Runburg, Madlyn; Stoker, Philip; Strong, Courtenay

    2015-03-01

    Urbanization, climate, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Although water systems are complex, a need exists for a generalized representation of these systems to identify important components and linkages to guide scientific inquiry and aid water management. We developed an integrated Structure-Actor-Water framework (iSAW) to facilitate the understanding of and transitions to sustainable water systems. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research that could address management challenges across scales (e.g., plot to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, transitioning, and urban landscapes). The framework was designed to be generalizable across all human-environment systems, yet with sufficient detail and flexibility to be customized to specific cases. iSAW includes three major components: structure (natural, built, and social), actors (individual and organizational), and water (quality and quantity). Key linkages among these components include: (1) ecological/hydrologic processes, (2) ecosystem/geomorphic feedbacks, (3) planning, design, and policy, (4) perceptions, information, and experience, (5) resource access and risk, and (6) operational water use and management. We illustrate the flexibility and utility of the iSAW framework by applying it to two research and management problems: understanding urban water supply and demand in a changing climate and expanding use of green storm water infrastructure in a semi-arid environment. The applications demonstrate that a generalized conceptual model can identify important components and linkages in complex and diverse water systems and facilitate communication about those systems among researchers from diverse disciplines.

  9. Vocal fold self-disruption after phonotrauma on a lead actor: a case presentation.

    PubMed

    Behlau, Mara; Oliveira, Gisele; Pontes, Paulo

    2009-11-01

    It is well known that phonotraumatic events may produce laryngeal inflammation, vocal fold hemorrhage and different types of mass lesions. This study describes a vocal fold self-disruption that occurred on stage to a lead actor in the role of Richard III. The study design is as case presentation. A 43-year-old actor presented with a sudden voice loss that first occurred on stage after a series of presentations. He also had a cold-like condition that had not been treated. His past medical history included an average of ten cigarettes per day for ten years and a 10-year history of gastritis and stomach ulcer. Perceptual, acoustic, and laryngeal analyses were performed following pharmacological and voice therapy. Perceptual and acoustic analyses showed mild deviations whereas laryngeal visual examination revealed a complete right vocal fold detachment from the anterior commissure to the vocal process, with generalized hyperemia. A mild diffuse Reinke's edema was observed on the left vocal fold. Mild discomfort was present only during the first day of the acute period. Modified vocal rest was recommended and a series of vocal exercises were administered. The patient performed again 4 days later, after following a series of behavioral modification techniques that included casting guidelines during the subsequent 15 days. Healing was exceptional and his voice returned to normal. This unique case with an exceptional recovery emphasizes the etiological aspects of scar formation after phonotrauma. Positive contributing factors may include a good vocal technique and adequate training as well as the protective upregulated genes present in Reinke's edema. PMID:18538985

  10. Actor-Network Theory as a sociotechnical lens to explore the relationship of nurses and technology in practice: methodological considerations for nursing research.

    PubMed

    Booth, Richard G; Andrusyszyn, Mary-Anne; Iwasiw, Carroll; Donelle, Lorie; Compeau, Deborah

    2016-06-01

    Actor-Network Theory is a research lens that has gained popularity in the nursing and health sciences domains. The perspective allows a researcher to describe the interaction of actors (both human and non-human) within networked sociomaterial contexts, including complex practice environments where nurses and health technology operate. This study will describe Actor-Network Theory and provide methodological considerations for researchers who are interested in using this sociotechnical lens within nursing and informatics-related research. Considerations related to technology conceptualization, levels of analysis, and sampling procedures in Actor-Network Theory based research are addressed. Finally, implications for future nursing research within complex environments are highlighted. PMID:26531190

  11. French Pro/Am collaborations in exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santerne, A.; Moutou, C.; Vanhuysse, M.; Bouchy, F.; Buil, C.; Cochard, F.; Thizy, O.; Martinez, P.; Desnoux, V.; Pujol, M.; Colas, F.

    2011-10-01

    Amateur astronomers have access to huge telescope time and can reach photometric precision up to a few mmag as well as radial velocity precision up to ˜ 50m.s-1 on brightest stars. We will first present some results of french amateur astronomers in transit photometry and radial velocity and then, we will present an over-view of all the collaborations which can be done between professional and amateur astronomers in the competitive exoplanet domain, and especially the current collaboration between french Pro & Am astronomers which was used in publication in A&A. Finally, we will present a new internet wiki page which goal is to develop such collaboration in different countries.

  12. 25 CFR 273.32 - Pro rata requirement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Pro rata requirement. 273.32 Section 273.32 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION AND EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT PROGRAM EDUCATION CONTRACTS UNDER JOHNSON-O'MALLEY ACT Funding Provisions § 273.32 Pro...

  13. Ethical Dilemmas of Providing Pro Bono Art Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, Bruce L.

    2011-01-01

    This viewpoint addresses ethical questions regarding the provision of art therapy as a pro bono service, a term from Latin roots that mean "for the public good." Approaches to ethical reasoning are discussed using the case of pro bono art therapy in a residential treatment program for adolescents.

  14. Body composition of transgenic pigs expressing the myostatin pro domain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous results have shown that male mice expressing a myostatin pro domain construct (MLC-Pro) have increased body weight, more total body lean mass, and lower percentage of total body fat. Founder transgenic (TG) pigs were generated by standard pronuclear microinjection techniques using the sam...

  15. 31 CFR 50.92 - Determination of pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... INSURANCE PROGRAM Cap on Annual Liability § 50.92 Determination of pro rata share. (a) Pro rata loss... providing property and casualty insurance under the Program if there were no cap on annual liability under... estimates that aggregate insured losses may exceed the cap on annual liability for a Program Year,...

  16. Peanuts & Crackerjacks: Economics of Pro Team Sports. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, MA.

    This teacher's guide presents instructional materials which examine issues in professional sports for students in high school economics and social studies classes. The issues include how the pro sports market evolved; how leagues gained market power; why athletes earn as much as they do; what are the sources of pro sports revenues; why tickets…

  17. 25 CFR 273.32 - Pro rata requirement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pro rata requirement. 273.32 Section 273.32 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION AND EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT PROGRAM EDUCATION CONTRACTS UNDER JOHNSON-O'MALLEY ACT Funding Provisions § 273.32 Pro...

  18. 48 CFR 352.237-70 - Pro-Children Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Pro-Children Act. 352.237...-Children Act. As prescribed in 337.103-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause: Pro-Children Act (January 2006) (a) Public Law 103-227, Title X, Part C, also known as the...

  19. 48 CFR 352.237-70 - Pro-Children Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Pro-Children Act. 352.237...-Children Act. As prescribed in 337.103-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause: Pro-Children Act (January 2006) (a) Public Law 103-227, Title X, Part C, also known as the...

  20. 48 CFR 352.237-70 - Pro-Children Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Pro-Children Act. 352.237...-Children Act. As prescribed in 337.103-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause: Pro-Children Act (January 2006) (a) Public Law 103-227, Title X, Part C, also known as the...

  1. 48 CFR 352.237-70 - Pro-Children Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Pro-Children Act. 352.237...-Children Act. As prescribed in 337.103-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause: Pro-Children Act (January 2006) (a) Public Law 103-227, Title X, Part C, also known as the...

  2. 48 CFR 352.237-70 - Pro-Children Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Pro-Children Act. 352.237...-Children Act. As prescribed in 337.103-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause: Pro-Children Act (January 2006) (a) Public Law 103-227, Title X, Part C, also known as the...

  3. Pro-Market Educational Governance: Is Argentina a Black Swan?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beech, Jason; Barrenechea, Ignacio

    2011-01-01

    In this article we explore ways in which pro-market discourses have been interpreted in policy initiatives in Argentina since the 1970s. Our argument is that even though pro-market discourses have guided reforms in many aspects of public policies in Argentina, the arena of education has overall been resistant to taking them up. The first part of…

  4. Pro-Cite: A Tool for Creating and Updating Bibliographies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aluri, Rao; Bosch, Steve

    1987-01-01

    Describes the Pro-Cite database management system and its uses in searching RLIN, OCLC, DIALOG, BRS, etc.; downloading results on a floppy or hard disk; converting downloaded records into Pro-Cite databases; and editing, selecting, indexing, and printing out the selected records in a variety of bibliographic styles. (DMM)

  5. Intracerebroventricular infusion of the (Pro)renin receptor antagonist PRO20 attenuates deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt-induced hypertension.

    PubMed

    Li, Wencheng; Sullivan, Michelle N; Zhang, Sheng; Worker, Caleb J; Xiong, Zhenggang; Speth, Robert C; Feng, Yumei

    2015-02-01

    We previously reported that binding of prorenin to the (pro)renin receptor (PRR) plays a major role in brain angiotensin II formation and the development of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertension. Here, we designed and developed an antagonistic peptide, PRO20, to block prorenin binding to the PRR. Fluorescently labeled PRO20 bound to both mouse and human brain tissues with dissociation constants of 4.4 and 1.8 nmol/L, respectively. This binding was blocked by coincubation with prorenin and was diminished in brains of neuron-specific PRR-knockout mice, indicating specificity of PRO20 for PRR. In cultured human neuroblastoma cells, PRO20 blocked prorenin-induced calcium influx in a concentration- and AT(1) receptor-dependent manner. Intracerebroventricular infusion of PRO20 dose-dependently inhibited prorenin-induced hypertension in C57Bl6/J mice. Furthermore, acute intracerebroventricular infusion of PRO20 reduced blood pressure in both DOCA-salt and genetically hypertensive mice. Chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of PRO20 attenuated the development of hypertension and the increase in brain hypothalamic angiotensin II levels induced by DOCA-salt. In addition, chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of PRO20 improved autonomic function and spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity in mice treated with DOCA-salt. In summary, PRO20 binds to both mouse and human PRRs and decreases angiotensin II formation and hypertension induced by either prorenin or DOCA-salt. Our findings highlight the value of the novel PRR antagonist, PRO20, as a lead compound for a novel class of antihypertensive agents and as a research tool to establish the validity of brain PRR antagonism as a strategy for treating hypertension. PMID:25421983

  6. 20 CFR 416.1133 - What is a pro rata share of household operating expenses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false What is a pro rata share of household....1133 What is a pro rata share of household operating expenses. (a) General. If you pay your pro rata..., we value it under the rule in § 416.1140.) (b) How we determine a pro rata share. Your pro rata...

  7. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  8. Learning about a Fish from an ANT: Actor Network Theory and Science Education in the Postgenomic Era

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-01-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by…

  9. Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    García-López, Cristina; Sarriá, Encarnación; Pozo, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor-partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other's psychological…

  10. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a “reshaping” function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal “reshaping” functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good “reshaping” function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  11. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a "reshaping" function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal "reshaping" functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good "reshaping" function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  12. The Seductive Power of an Innovation: Enrolling Non-Conventional Actors in a Drip Irrigation Community in Morocco

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benouniche, Maya; Errahj, Mostafa; Kuper, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the motivations of non-conventional innovation actors to engage in innovation processes, how their involvement changed the technology and their own social-professional status, and to analyze their role in the diffusion of the innovation. Design/methodology/approach: We studied the innovation process of…

  13. Neural basis of understanding communicative actions: Changes associated with knowing the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions.

    PubMed

    Möttönen, Riikka; Farmer, Harry; Watkins, Kate E

    2016-01-29

    People can communicate by using hand actions, e.g., signs. Understanding communicative actions requires that the observer knows that the actor has an intention to communicate and the meanings of the actions. Here, we investigated how this prior knowledge affects processing of observed actions. We used functional MRI to determine changes in action processing when non-signers were told that the observed actions are communicative (i.e., signs) and learned the meanings of half of the actions. Processing of hand actions activated the left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, BA 44 and 45) when the communicative intention of the actor was known, even when the meanings of the actions remained unknown. These regions were not active when the observers did not know about the communicative nature of the hand actions. These findings suggest that the left and right IFG play a role in understanding the intention of the actor, but do not process visuospatial features of the communicative actions. Knowing the meanings of the hand actions further enhanced activity in the anterior part of the IFG (BA 45), the inferior parietal lobule and posterior inferior and middle temporal gyri in the left hemisphere. These left-hemisphere language regions could provide a link between meanings and observed actions. In sum, the findings provide evidence for the segregation of the networks involved in the neural processing of visuospatial features of communicative hand actions and those involved in understanding the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions. PMID:26752450

  14. Colombian Lay People's Willingness to Forgive Different Actors of the Armed Conflict: Results from a Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Lopez, Wilson; Pineda Marin, Claudia; Murcia Leon, Maria Camila; Perilla Garzon, Diana Carolina; Mullet, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    A pilot study examined lay people's willingness to forgive acts that were committed by actors of the armed conflicts in Colombia. The participants (100 persons living in Bogota) were shown vignettes describing cases in which a member of the guerilla or a member of the former paramilitary forces asks for forgiveness to a victim's family, and were…

  15. The Pursuit of Memory: Examining Art Teaching and Pedagogical Practices through Hannah Arendt's Actor-Spectator Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Mun Yee

    2011-01-01

    Memories of our schooling and teaching experiences shape our curriculum and pedagogical decision-making process in art education when we become teachers and teacher educators. In this paper, using Hannah Arendt's Actor-Spectator Theory, I engage in retrospective critical introspection of my practices as an art teacher and curriculum developer in…

  16. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K. Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  17. If You Get Better, Will I? An Actor-Partner Analysis of the Mutual Influence of Group Therapy Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paquin, Jill D.; Kivlighan, D. Martin, III; Drogosz, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of group psychotherapy has been empirically studied and supported over several decades; however, there remains much to understand regarding the specific factors contributing to effective group psychotherapy. The current study uses Kashy and Kenny's (2000) actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to examine the relationship…

  18. ACToR Chemical Structure processing using Open Source ChemInformatics Libraries (FutureToxII)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a centralized database repository developed by the National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Free and open source tools were used to compile toxicity data from ove...

  19. Getting Acquainted: Actor and Partner Effects of Attachment and Temperament on Young Children's Peer Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McElwain, Nancy L.; Holland, Ashley S.; Engle, Jennifer M.; Ogolsky, Brian G.

    2014-01-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child…

  20. Actors' General Conceptions and Strategies for Local Development: An Application of Perspective Text Analysis. Cognitive Science Research No. 28.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabrielsson, Ake; Paulsson, Margareta

    A study was conducted to examine the interdependence between "actors'" (persons responsible for solving problems within their municipalities) conceptions and local strategies for development. Two peripheral municipalities with development problems are compared. The municipalities have a shared history and culture and a similar economic life, yet…

  1. A Changed Language of Education with New Actors and Solutions: The Authorization of Promotion and Prevention Programmes in Swedish Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergh, Andreas; Englund, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    This article demonstrates how changes in the language of Swedish education policy have opened up a new social perception of education, in which space has been created for new actors, models and solutions in terms of managing activities in schools. Specifically, it seeks to illustrate how various "promotion" and "prevention…

  2. The Externals of Character: The Work that Needs To Be Done To Make an Actor's Actions Effective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    Presents an exercise to guide student actors through the process of building a character by identifying the story and conflict, finding and playing actions that serve the story and define character, selecting and using props, choosing costume and make-up that will help reveal character, and choosing a physicality and voice consistent with the…

  3. Exploring Actor-Partner Interdependence in Family Therapy: Whose View (Parent or Adolescent) Best Predicts Treatment Progress?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedlander, Myrna L.; Kivlighan, Dennis M., Jr.; Shaffer, Katharine S.

    2012-01-01

    Predictions of family therapy outcome consistently vary depending on which client rates the alliance. We used the actor-partner interdependence model (Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006) to test the interdependence of parents' and adolescents' ratings of alliance, session depth/value, and improvement-so-far after Sessions 3, 6, and 9. Initial analyses…

  4. Thinking Management and Leadership within Colleges and Schools Somewhat Differently: A Practice-Based, Actor-Network Theory Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulcahy, Dianne; Perillo, Suzanne

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the significance of materiality for management and leadership in education using resources provided by actor-network theory (ANT). Espousing the idea that human interactions are mediated by material objects and that these objects participate in the production of practices, ANT affords thinking management and leadership in a…

  5. Understanding the Roles of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Evidence from the Global Partnership for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menashy, Francine

    2016-01-01

    The study detailed in this paper examines the growing role of non-state actors in the transnational policy-making landscape through a case study of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)--a partnership of donor and developing country governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, private companies and foundations, dedicated to…

  6. Profiling the ‘Pro-environmental Individual’: A Personality Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Markowitz, Ezra M.; Goldberg, Lewis R.; Ashton, Michael C.; Lee, Kibeom

    2011-01-01

    There is considerable scientific interest in the psychological correlates of pro-environmental behaviors. Much research has focused on demographic and social-psychological characteristics of individuals who consistently perform such actions. Here, we report the results of two studies in which we explored relations between broad personality traits and pro-environmental actions. Using a wide variety of behavior and personality measures, we consistently found moderate positive relations between Openness to Experience and pro-environmental activities in both a community sample (Study 1: N = 778) and an undergraduate student sample (Study 2: N = 115). In Study 2 we showed that the effect of Openness on pro-environmental behaviors was fully mediated by individuals’ environmental attitudes and connection to nature. Our findings suggest that high levels of aesthetic appreciation, creativity, and inquisitiveness, but not personality traits associated with altruism, may have motivated the performance of pro-environmental actions among our respondents. Implications for intervention development are discussed. PMID:21241310

  7. Pro-resolving lipid mediators are leads for resolution physiology.

    PubMed

    Serhan, Charles N

    2014-06-01

    Advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that bring about the resolution of acute inflammation have uncovered a new genus of pro-resolving lipid mediators that include the lipoxin, resolvin, protectin and maresin families, collectively called specialized pro-resolving mediators. Synthetic versions of these mediators have potent bioactions when administered in vivo. In animal experiments, the mediators evoke anti-inflammatory and novel pro-resolving mechanisms, and enhance microbial clearance. Although they have been identified in inflammation resolution, specialized pro-resolving mediators are conserved structures that also function in host defence, pain, organ protection and tissue remodelling. This Review covers the mechanisms of specialized pro-resolving mediators and omega-3 essential fatty acid pathways that could help us to understand their physiological functions. PMID:24899309

  8. Randomized controlled trial of high fidelity patient simulators compared to actor patients in a pandemic influenza drill scenario.

    PubMed

    Wallace, David; Gillett, Brian; Wright, Brian; Stetz, Jessica; Arquilla, Bonnie

    2010-07-01

    During disaster drills hospitals traditionally use actor victims. This has been criticized for underestimating true provider resource burden during surges; however, robotic patient simulators may better approximate the challenges of actual patient care. This study quantifies the disparity between the times required to resuscitate simulators and actors during a drill and compares the times required to perform procedures on simulator patients to published values for real patients. A randomized controlled trial was conducted during an influenza disaster drill. Twelve severe influenza cases were developed for inclusion in the study. Case scenarios were randomized to either human actor patients or simulator patients for drill integration. Clinical staff participating in the drill were blinded to the study objectives. The study was recorded by trained videographers and independently scored using a standardized form by two blinded attending physicians. All critical actions took longer to perform on simulator patients compared to actor patients. The median time to provide a definitive airway (8.9min vs. 3.2min, p=0.013), to initiate vasopressors through a central line (17.4min vs. 5.2min, p=0.01) and time to disposition (16.9min vs. 5.2min, p=0.01) were all significantly longer on simulator patients. Agreement between video reviewers was excellent, ranging between 0.95 and 1 for individual domain scores. Times required to perform procedures on simulators were similar to published results on real-world patients. Patient actors underestimate resource utilization in drills. Integration of high fidelity simulator patients is one way institutions can create more realistic challenges and better evaluate disaster scenario preparedness. PMID:20398993

  9. Contribution of marital conflict to marital quality in short and long-term marriages: An actor-partner interdependence model

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadi, Khodabakhsh; Rezazade, Majid; Saadat, Hassan; Kimiaei, Seyed Ali; Zade, Nima Hoseyn

    2015-01-01

    Aims: In the field of family research, previous studies have made great strides toward understanding the relationship between marital conflict and quality. However, they have only studied couples in short-term marriages. Therefore, much remains to be unraveled with regard to long-term marriages. We aimed investigate the comparative contribution of aspects of marital conflict to marital quality in short-and long-term marriages in Iranian families. Materials and Methods: Using random clustered sampling, 400 dyads in intact first marriages were surveyed across eight provinces of Iran. Complete surveys for both husbands and wives were returned for 162 households (couple's response rate: 40.5%). Survey measures included demographics questionnaire, Barati and Sanai's Marital Conflict Questionnaire and Blum and Mehrabian's Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale. Structural equation modeling was used to test the actor-partner interdependence model of marital conflict-marital quality. Results: Generalized additive models were incorporated to define what constitutes short-and long-term marriages. Based on the models regressed, duration ≤ 10 years was defined as short-term, whereas duration ≥ 25 years was labeled long-term. In short-term marriages (n = 44), decreased sexual relations, increased daily hassles and sidedness in relations with parents were negatively associated with marital quality in both actor and actor-to-partner paths. In long-term married couples (n = 46), only increased daily hassles (P < 0.001) and disagreement over financial affairs (P = 0.005) contributed to actor paths and only sidedness in relationships with parents showed significant negative association to marital quality in actor-to-partner paths. Conclusions: Different themes of conflict contribute to the diminished level of marital quality in early and late stages of the marriage. Conflicts over sex, relationship with extended family and daily hassles are emphasized in the early years of

  10. The Experience of Bulimic College Students Who Use "Pro-Ana/Pro-Mia" Web Sites: A Two-Phase Mixed-Method Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Blair J.

    2010-01-01

    Eating disorders (EDs) are a serious problem in the U.S. due to their rise in prevalence during the 20th century and high morbidity and mortality rates. A relatively new, controversial phenomenon, "pro-Ana" (pro-anorexia) and "pro-Mia" (pro-bulimia) Web sites, came to the public's attention around 2000. These sites are created by and for people…

  11. Test Reviews: Reynolds, C., & Voress, J. K. (2007). "Test of Memory and Learning: Second Edition." Austin, TX: PRO-ED

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmitt, Ara J.; Decker, Scott L.

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews the Test of Memory and Learning: Second Edition (TOMAL-2), published by PRO-ED, which constitutes a recent revision of the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL; Reynolds & Bigler, 1994). Advertised as the "single most comprehensive memory battery available for the entire age range of 5 years through 59 years of age", the TOMAL-2…

  12. Utilizing Actors to Simulate Clients in Social Work Student Role Plays: Does This Approach Have a Place in Social Work Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petracchi, Helen E.; Collins, Kathryn S.

    2006-01-01

    The social work education literature contains limited discussion of the use of role play in the classroom. This article discusses the logistics of recruiting and utilizing professionally-trained actors to simulate clients in social work role plays. Promising results from assessments of BSW and MSW students with actor-simulated clients are…

  13. Vicious and Virtuous Cycles and the Role of External Non-government Actors in Community Forestry in Oaxaca and Michoacán, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Barsimantov, James A

    2010-02-01

    Community forestry offers potential for socioeconomic benefits while maintaining ecosystem services. In Mexico, government and donor efforts to develop this sector focus on issues within forest communities. Often overlooked are effects of external non-government actors (NGOs and foresters) as links or barriers between communities and funding, capacity building, and technical support. To analyze the role of these actors, I analyze household survey and interview data from 11 communities with varying levels of vertical integration of forestry production in states with divergent records of community forestry, Oaxaca and Michoacán. Results suggest that strong community governance is necessary but not sufficient for vertical integration, and strong interactions with non-government actors are critical. These actors, operating within the existing framework of government regulations, have a range of incentives for engaging communities. Availability of these actors motivated by concern for community capacity instead of timber income may be a determinant of community forestry development. PMID:20208983

  14. Multiple actor-critic structures for continuous-time optimal control using input-output data.

    PubMed

    Song, Ruizhuo; Lewis, Frank; Wei, Qinglai; Zhang, Hua-Guang; Jiang, Zhong-Ping; Levine, Dan

    2015-04-01

    In industrial process control, there may be multiple performance objectives, depending on salient features of the input-output data. Aiming at this situation, this paper proposes multiple actor-critic structures to obtain the optimal control via input-output data for unknown nonlinear systems. The shunting inhibitory artificial neural network (SIANN) is used to classify the input-output data into one of several categories. Different performance measure functions may be defined for disparate categories. The approximate dynamic programming algorithm, which contains model module, critic network, and action network, is used to establish the optimal control in each category. A recurrent neural network (RNN) model is used to reconstruct the unknown system dynamics using input-output data. NNs are used to approximate the critic and action networks, respectively. It is proven that the model error and the closed unknown system are uniformly ultimately bounded. Simulation results demonstrate the performance of the proposed optimal control scheme for the unknown nonlinear system. PMID:25730830

  15. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Sinopoli, Katia J; Fletcher, Jack M; Schachar, Russell

    2008-09-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes. PMID:18764966

  16. An Actor-Critic based controller for glucose regulation in type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Daskalaki, Elena; Diem, Peter; Mougiakakou, Stavroula G

    2013-02-01

    A novel adaptive approach for glucose control in individuals with type 1 diabetes under sensor-augmented pump therapy is proposed. The controller, is based on Actor-Critic (AC) learning and is inspired by the principles of reinforcement learning and optimal control theory. The main characteristics of the proposed controller are (i) simultaneous adjustment of both the insulin basal rate and the bolus dose, (ii) initialization based on clinical procedures, and (iii) real-time personalization. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in terms of glycemic control has been investigated in silico in adults, adolescents and children under open-loop and closed-loop approaches, using announced meals with uncertainties in the order of ±25% in the estimation of carbohydrates. The results show that glucose regulation is efficient in all three groups of patients, even with uncertainties in the level of carbohydrates in the meal. The percentages in the A+B zones of the Control Variability Grid Analysis (CVGA) were 100% for adults, and 93% for both adolescents and children. The AC based controller seems to be a promising approach for the automatic adjustment of insulin infusion in order to improve glycemic control. After optimization of the algorithm, the controller will be tested in a clinical trial. PMID:22502983

  17. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  18. Assessing and accounting for time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models

    PubMed Central

    Schweinberger, Michael; Snijders, Tom A. B.; Ripley, Ruth M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models (SAOM) proposed by Snijders (Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Boston, pp 361–395, 2001) which are meant to study the evolution of networks. SAOMs model social networks as directed graphs with nodes representing people, organizations, etc., and dichotomous relations representing underlying relationships of friendship, advice, etc. We illustrate several reasons why heterogeneity should be statistically tested and provide a fast, convenient method for assessment and model correction. SAOMs provide a flexible framework for network dynamics which allow a researcher to test selection, influence, behavioral, and structural properties in network data over time. We show how the forward-selecting, score type test proposed by Schweinberger (Chapter 4: Statistical modeling of network panel data: goodness of fit. PhD thesis, University of Groningen 2007) can be employed to quickly assess heterogeneity at almost no additional computational cost. One step estimates are used to assess the magnitude of the heterogeneity. Simulation studies are conducted to support the validity of this approach. The ASSIST dataset (Campbell et al. Lancet 371(9624):1595–1602, 2008) is reanalyzed with the score type test, one step estimators, and a full estimation for illustration. These tools are implemented in the RSiena package, and a brief walkthrough is provided. PMID:22003370

  19. Health workforce governance: Processes, tools and actors towards a competent workforce for integrated health services delivery.

    PubMed

    Barbazza, Erica; Langins, Margrieta; Kluge, Hans; Tello, Juan

    2015-12-01

    A competent health workforce is a vital resource for health services delivery, dictating the extent to which services are capable of responding to health needs. In the context of the changing health landscape, an integrated approach to service provision has taken precedence. For this, strengthening health workforce competencies is an imperative, and doing so in practice hinges on the oversight and steering function of governance. To aid health system stewards in their governing role, this review seeks to provide an overview of processes, tools and actors for strengthening health workforce competencies. It draws from a purposive and multidisciplinary review of literature, expert opinion and country initiatives across the WHO European Region's 53 Member States. Through our analysis, we observe distinct yet complementary roles can be differentiated between health services delivery and the health system. This understanding is a necessary prerequisite to gain deeper insight into the specificities for strengthening health workforce competencies in order for governance to rightly create the institutional environment called for to foster alignment. Differentiating between the contribution of health services and the health system in the strengthening of health workforce competencies is an important distinction for achieving and sustaining health improvement goals. PMID:26489924

  20. Comprehending Body Language and Mimics: An ERP and Neuroimaging Study on Italian Actors and Viewers

    PubMed Central

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Calbi, Marta; Manfredi, Mirella; Zani, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the neural mechanism subserving the ability to understand people’s emotional and mental states by observing their body language (facial expression, body posture and mimics) was investigated in healthy volunteers. ERPs were recorded in 30 Italian University students while they evaluated 280 pictures of highly ecological displays of emotional body language that were acted out by 8 male and female Italian actors. Pictures were briefly flashed and preceded by short verbal descriptions (e.g., “What a bore!”) that were incongruent half of the time (e.g., a picture of a very attentive and concentrated person shown after the previous example verbal description). ERP data and source reconstruction indicated that the first recognition of incongruent body language occurred 300 ms post-stimulus. swLORETA performed on the N400 identified the strongest generators of this effect in the right rectal gyrus (BA11) of the ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, the bilateral uncus (limbic system) and the cingulate cortex, the cortical areas devoted to face and body processing (STS, FFA EBA) and the premotor cortex (BA6), which is involved in action understanding. These results indicate that face and body mimics undergo a prioritized processing that is mostly represented in the affective brain and is rapidly compared with verbal information. This process is likely able to regulate social interactions by providing on-line information about the sincerity and trustfulness of others. PMID:24608244

  1. T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors

    PubMed Central

    Dupré, Loïc; Houmadi, Raïssa; Tang, Catherine; Rey-Barroso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them. PMID:26635800

  2. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    DENNIS, MAUREEN; SINOPOLI, KATIA J.; FLETCHER, JACK M.; SCHACHAR, RUSSELL

    2008-01-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes. PMID:18764966

  3. International humanitarian actors and governments in areas of conflict: challenges, obligations, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Paul

    2013-10-01

    For too long international humanitarian aid has neglected the primary responsibility of the state to assist and protect its citizens in times of disaster. A focus on the role of the state in contexts where governments are active parties to a conflict and are failing to live up to these responsibilities is difficult and underpins many of the recurring dilemmas of humanitarian action. The fundamental principles of humanitarian action should offer a framework for principled engagement with governments in situations of conflict but too often they are still interpreted as shorthand for ignoring governments. Using principles to inform engagement with both states and other international actors engaged in crises could provide a way forward. However, this would need to be a humanitarian agenda that engages with developing country governments, with non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) donors, and with the stabilisation and security agendas of Western governments, and not one that attempts to ring-fence an ever-shrinking isolationist humanitarian space. PMID:23876011

  4. T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors.

    PubMed

    Dupré, Loïc; Houmadi, Raïssa; Tang, Catherine; Rey-Barroso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them. PMID:26635800

  5. The proof is in the pudding: putting Actor-Network-Theory to work in medical education.

    PubMed

    Bleakley, Alan

    2012-01-01

    What constitutes valid evidence from medical education research is typically grounded in the scientific paradigm of proof through experiment. Here, explanation through single meaning is privileged over exploration of multiple presentations of phenomena--short, interpretation eclipses appreciation. This approach is challenged as reductive by naturalistic qualitative methods such as rich ethnographic field reports, presented as narratives. Contemporary ethnographic approaches have entered medical education by a back door--disguised as a stable of 'social learning theories'. Communities of Practice theory, Activity Theory and Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) all serve as research practices forming identifiable contemporary ethnographies. 'Evidence' is conceived as exploratory rather than explanatory, through baroque descriptions of innovations in learning organizations, including medicine. ANT is then both a theory of innovation in organizations and an ethnographic method, where practice and theory coincide. ANT is interested primarily not in epistemologies, but in how a phenomenon such as an 'illness' is conceived across differing practices as multiple ontologies (experienced meanings), each meaning generated and suspended within a particular network of effects. How such networks are initiated and developed has significance for rethinking the nature of 'evidence', restoring faith in the value of a good story. PMID:22489979

  6. Assessing and accounting for time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models.

    PubMed

    Lospinoso, Joshua A; Schweinberger, Michael; Snijders, Tom A B; Ripley, Ruth M

    2011-07-01

    This paper explores time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models (SAOM) proposed by Snijders (Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Boston, pp 361-395, 2001) which are meant to study the evolution of networks. SAOMs model social networks as directed graphs with nodes representing people, organizations, etc., and dichotomous relations representing underlying relationships of friendship, advice, etc. We illustrate several reasons why heterogeneity should be statistically tested and provide a fast, convenient method for assessment and model correction. SAOMs provide a flexible framework for network dynamics which allow a researcher to test selection, influence, behavioral, and structural properties in network data over time. We show how the forward-selecting, score type test proposed by Schweinberger (Chapter 4: Statistical modeling of network panel data: goodness of fit. PhD thesis, University of Groningen 2007) can be employed to quickly assess heterogeneity at almost no additional computational cost. One step estimates are used to assess the magnitude of the heterogeneity. Simulation studies are conducted to support the validity of this approach. The ASSIST dataset (Campbell et al. Lancet 371(9624):1595-1602, 2008) is reanalyzed with the score type test, one step estimators, and a full estimation for illustration. These tools are implemented in the RSiena package, and a brief walkthrough is provided. PMID:22003370

  7. An actor-partner interdependence analysis of associations between affect and parenting behavior among couples.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Kyle W; Lovejoy, M Christine; Oddi, Kate B

    2014-03-01

    Prior studies evaluating associations between parental affect and parenting behavior have typically focused on either mothers or fathers despite evidence suggesting that affect and parenting behavior may be interdependent among couples. This study addressed this gap in the literature by evaluating associations between self-reported affect and parenting behavior using an actor-partner interdependence analysis among a sample of 53 mother-father dyads of 3- to 5-year-old children. Results suggested that mothers' and fathers' negative affect, as well as mothers' and fathers' positive affect, were positively associated. Both mothers' and fathers' negative affect were negatively associated with fathers' positive affect. Mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior, and supportive/engaged parenting behavior, were positively associated. Furthermore, mothers' negative affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior while mothers' positive affect was negatively associated with mothers' harsh/negative behavior and positively associated with mothers' supportive/engaged behavior. Fathers' negative affect was positively associated with fathers' supportive/engaged parenting behavior, while fathers' positive affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' supportive/engaged behavior. Results highlight the importance of conceptualizing and measuring characteristics of both mothers and fathers, if applicable, when researching the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within families. PMID:24438316

  8. P5CDH affects the pathways contributing to Pro synthesis after ProDH activation by biotic and abiotic stress conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rizzi, Yanina S.; Monteoliva, Mariela I.; Fabro, Georgina; Grosso, Carola L.; Laróvere, Laura E.; Alvarez, María E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants facing adverse conditions usually alter proline (Pro) metabolism, generating changes that help restore the cellular homeostasis. These organisms synthesize Pro from glutamate (Glu) or ornithine (Orn) by two-step reactions that share Δ1 pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) as intermediate. In the catabolic process, Pro is converted back to Glu using a different pathway that involves Pro dehydrogenase (ProDH), P5C dehydrogenase (P5CDH), and P5C as intermediate. Little is known about the coordination of the catabolic and biosynthetic routes under stress. To address this issue, we analyzed how P5CDH affects the activation of Pro synthesis, in Arabidopsis tissues that increase ProDH activity by transient exposure to exogenous Pro, or infection with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Wild-type (Col-0) and p5cdh mutant plants subjected to these treatments were used to monitor the Pro, Glu, and Orn levels, as well as the expression of genes from Pro metabolism. Col-0 and p5cdh tissues consecutively activated ProDH and Pro biosynthetic genes under both conditions. However, they manifested a different coordination between these routes. When external Pro supply was interrupted, wild-type leaves degraded Pro to basal levels at which point Pro synthesis, mainly via Glu, became activated. Under the same condition, p5cdh leaves sustained ProDH induction without reducing the Pro content but rather increasing it, apparently by stimulating the Orn pathway. In response to pathogen infection, both genotypes showed similar trends. While Col-0 plants seemed to induce both Pro biosynthetic routes, p5cdh mutant plants may primarily activate the Orn route. Our study contributes to the functional characterization of P5CDH in biotic and abiotic stress conditions, by revealing its capacity to modulate the fate of P5C, and prevalence of Orn or Glu as Pro precursors in tissues that initially consumed Pro. PMID:26284090

  9. Pro-angiogenic properties of orosomucoid (ORM)

    SciTech Connect

    Irmak, Ster; Oliveira-Ferrer, Leticia; Erguen, Sueleyman; Tilki, Derya

    2009-11-01

    The acute phase protein orosomucoid (ORM), also known as alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), is found to be increased in infection, inflammation and cancer. Recently, we demonstrated that ORM is produced by endothelial cells and detectable in urine samples of patients with bladder cancer. However, it was not clarified yet whether ORM plays a role in new vessel formation. To this aim we performed overexpression and gene silencing for ORM in human microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs). ORM purified from human plasma was used individually or in combination with VEGF-A in endothelial tube formation, migration and proliferation assay. The in vivo effect of ORM in angiogenesis was studied using the chicken chorionallantois membrane (CAM) with subsequent counting of blood vessels on histological sections from the stimulated areas of CAM tissue. Our data show that ORM alone enhances migration but not proliferation of HDMECs. ORM alone does not induce endothelial tubes in vitro but simultaneous application of ORM with VEGF-A increases the number and the network of VEGF-A-induced endothelial tubes. Remarkably, ORM alone induces new vessel formation in vivo using CAM assay and supports the VEGF-A-induced new vessel formation in this assay. Taken together, our results let assume that ORM has pro-angiogenic properties and supports the angiogenic effect of VEGF-A. Thus, ORM seems to be involved in the regulation of angiogenesis.

  10. ProPortal: A Database for Prochlorococcus

    DOE Data Explorer

    Huang, Katherine [Chisholm lab, MIT

    Prochlorococcus is a marine cyanobacterium that numerically dominates the mid-latitude oceans, and is the smallest known oxygenic phototroph. All isolates described thus far can be assigned to either a tightly clustered high-light (HL) adapted clade, or a more divergent low-light (LL) adapted group. They are closely related to, but distinct from, marine Synechococcus. The genomes of 12 strains have been sequenced and they range in size from 1.6 to 2.6 Mbp. They represent diverse lineages, spanning the rRNA diversity (97 to 99.93% similarity) of cultured representatives of this group. Our analyses of these genomes inform our understanding of how adaptation occurs in the oceans along gradients of light, nutrients, and other environmental factors, providing essential context for interpreting rapidly expanding metagenomic datasets. [Copied from http://proportal.mit.edu/project/prochlorococcus/] ProPortal allows users to browse and search genome date for not only Prochlorococcus, but Cyanophage and Synechococcus. Microarray data, environmental cell concentration data, and metagenome information are also available.

  11. ProCon - PROteomics CONversion tool.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Gerhard; Stephan, Christian; Meyer, Helmut E; Kohl, Michael; Marcus, Katrin; Eisenacher, Martin

    2015-11-01

    With the growing amount of experimental data produced in proteomics experiments and the requirements/recommendations of journals in the proteomics field to publicly make available data described in papers, a need for long-term storage of proteomics data in public repositories arises. For such an upload one needs proteomics data in a standardized format. Therefore, it is desirable, that the proprietary vendor's software will integrate in the future such an export functionality using the standard formats for proteomics results defined by the HUPO-PSI group. Currently not all search engines and analysis tools support these standard formats. In the meantime there is a need to provide user-friendly free-to-use conversion tools that can convert the data into such standard formats in order to support wet-lab scientists in creating proteomics data files ready for upload into the public repositories. ProCon is such a conversion tool written in Java for conversion of proteomics identification data into standard formats mzIdentML and Pride XML. It allows the conversion of Sequest™/Comet .out files, of search results from the popular and often used ProteomeDiscoverer® 1.x (x=versions 1.1 to1.4) software and search results stored in the LIMS systems ProteinScape® 1.3 and 2.1 into mzIdentML and PRIDE XML. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Computational Proteomics. PMID:26182917

  12. Novel biomarkers in acute heart failure: MR-pro-adrenomedullin.

    PubMed

    Peacock, W Frank

    2014-10-01

    First isolated from human pheochromocytoma cells, adrenomedullin (ADM) is a peptide hormone with natriuretic, vasodilatory, and hypotensive effects mediated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), nitric oxide, and renal prostaglandin systems. ADM expression occurs in many tissues and organ systems, including cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, cerebrovascular, gastrointestinal, and endocrine tissues where it acts as a circulating hormone and a local autocrine and paracrine hormone. ADM plasma concentrations are increased in hypertension, chronic renal disease, and heart failure. As ADM is unstable in vitro, it is necessary to measure its mid-regional pro-hormone fragment, the levels of which correspond to ADM concentration (MR-proADM). The prognostic potential of MR-proADM was recently demonstrated in the Biomarkers in Acute Heart Failure (BACH) trial. In this trial of 568 acute heart failure patients, MR-proADM was superior to both brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and NT-proBNP in predicting mortality within 14 days. MR-proADM also provided significant additive incremental predictive value for 90-day mortality when added to BNP and NT-proBNP. PMID:24756062

  13. New developments in the InterPro database.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Nicola J; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bork, Peer; Buillard, Virginie; Cerutti, Lorenzo; Copley, Richard; Courcelle, Emmanuel; Das, Ujjwal; Daugherty, Louise; Dibley, Mark; Finn, Robert; Fleischmann, Wolfgang; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Hulo, Nicolas; Hunter, Sarah; Kahn, Daniel; Kanapin, Alexander; Kejariwal, Anish; Labarga, Alberto; Langendijk-Genevaux, Petra S; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Letunic, Ivica; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McAnulla, Craig; McDowall, Jennifer; Mistry, Jaina; Mitchell, Alex; Nikolskaya, Anastasia N; Orchard, Sandra; Orengo, Christine; Petryszak, Robert; Selengut, Jeremy D; Sigrist, Christian J A; Thomas, Paul D; Valentin, Franck; Wilson, Derek; Wu, Cathy H; Yeats, Corin

    2007-01-01

    InterPro is an integrated resource for protein families, domains and functional sites, which integrates the following protein signature databases: PROSITE, PRINTS, ProDom, Pfam, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF, SUPERFAMILY, Gene3D and PANTHER. The latter two new member databases have been integrated since the last publication in this journal. There have been several new developments in InterPro, including an additional reading field, new database links, extensions to the web interface and additional match XML files. InterPro has always provided matches to UniProtKB proteins on the website and in the match XML file on the FTP site. Additional matches to proteins in UniParc (UniProt archive) are now available for download in the new match XML files only. The latest InterPro release (13.0) contains more than 13 000 entries, covering over 78% of all proteins in UniProtKB. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro), and for download by anonymous FTP (ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/interpro). The InterProScan search tool is now also available via a web service at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/webservices/WSInterProScan.html. PMID:17202162

  14. Fibrinogen Substrate Recognition by Staphylocoagulase·(Pro)thrombin Complexes*

    PubMed Central

    Panizzi, Peter; Friedrich, Rainer; Fuentes-Prior, Pablo; Richter, Klaus; Bock, Paul E.; Bode, Wolfram

    2008-01-01

    Thrombin generation and fibrinogen (Fbg) clotting are the ultimate proteolytic reactions in the blood coagulation pathway. Staphylocoagulase (SC), a protein secreted by the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, activates prothrombin (ProT) without proteolysis. The SC·(pro)thrombin complex recognizes Fbg as a specific substrate, converting it directly into fibrin. The crystal structure of a fully active SC fragment containing residues 1–325 (SC-(1–325)) bound to human prethrombin 2 showed previously that SC inserts its Ile1-Val2 N terminus into the Ile16 pocket of prethrombin 2, inducing a functional active site in the cognate zymogen conformationally. Exosite I of α-thrombin, the Fbg recognition site, and proexosite I on ProT are blocked by domain 2 of SC-(1–325). In the present studies, active site-labeled fluorescent ProT analogs were used to quantitate Fbg binding to the SC-(1–325)·ProT complex. Fbg binding and cleavage are mediated by expression of a new Fbg-binding exosite on the SC-(1–325)·ProT complex, resulting in formation of an (SC-(1–325)·ProT)2·Fbg pentameric complex with a dissociation constant of 8–34 nM. In both crystal structures, the SC-(1–325)·(pre)thrombin complexes form dimers, with both pro-teinases/zymogens facing each other over a large U-shaped cleft, through which the Fbg substrate could thread. On this basis, a molecular model of the pentameric (SC-(1–325)·thrombin)2·Fbg encounter complex was generated, which explains the coagulant properties and efficient Fbg conversion. The results provide new insight into the mechanism that mediates high affinity Fbg binding and cleavage as a substrate of SC·(pro)thrombin complexes, a process that is central to the molecular pathology of S. aureus endocarditis. PMID:16230339

  15. Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase (proPO) activation requires proPO-activating proteinase (PAP) and serine proteinase homologs (SPHs) simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Snehalata; Wang, Yang; Jiang, Haobo

    2005-03-01

    In the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, proteolytic activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) is mediated by three proPO-activating proteinases (PAPs) and two serine proteinase homologs (SPHs) (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 95 (1998) 12220-12225; J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003a) 3552-3561; Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 33 (2003b) 1049-1060). While our current data are consistent with the hypothesis that the SPHs serve as a cofactor/anchor for PAPs (Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 33 (2003) 197-208; Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 34 (2004) 731-742), roles of these clip-domain proteins (i.e. PAPs and SPHs) in proPO activation are poorly defined. To better understand this process, we further characterized the activation reaction using proPO, PAP-1 and SPHs. PAP-1 itself cleaved nearly 1/3 of proPO at Arg51 without generating much phenoloxidase (PO) activity. In the presence of SPHs, the cleavage of proPO became more complete while the increase in PO activity was over 20-fold, indicating that the extent of cleavage does not directly correlate with PO activity. Since SPHs and p-amidinophenyl methanesulfonyl fluoride (APMSF)-treated PAP-1 did not generate active PO by interacting with proPO, proteolytic cleavage is critical for proPO activation. After 1/5 of proPO was processed by PAP-1 alone which was then inactivated by M. sexta serpin-1J or APMSF, further incubation of the reaction mixture with SPHs failed to generate active PO either. Thus, SPHs cannot generate PO activity by simply binding to cleaved proPO. M. sexta proPO activation requires active PAP-1 and SPHs at the same time-one for limited proteolysis and the other as a cofactor, perhaps. Gel filtration chromatography and native gel electrophoresis revealed the PAP-SPH, proPO-PAP, and SPH-proPO associations, essential for generating high Mr, active PO at the site of infection. PMID:15705503

  16. Pro/con a precessional geodynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanyo, J.

    2003-04-01

    The modest amount of research that exists on the ability, or lack of ability, of mantle precession to power a geodynamo developed mostly during the last half of the 1900s. Papers by Roberts and Stewartson (1965) and by Busse (1968) studied precession generally without a pro/con conclusion. Malkus in the late 1960s attempted to advance a positive role for precession through experiments and analysis. His experiments have survived criticism, but his analyses were discounted, especially by Rochester, Jacobs, Smylie, and Chong (1975) and by Loper (1975). Rochester, et al. critiqued existing analyses of precession, including those of Malkus, but did not reach a strong position either pro or con a precessional geodynamo. Loper argued emphatically that precession was not capable of powering the geodynamo. Explicit analyses that either critique or support Loper’s arguments have yet to appear in the literature. During the 1970s, Vanyo and associates studied energy dissipation during precession of satellite liquid fuels and its effect on satellite attitude stability. Engineers and scientists in every country that has launched satellites completed similar research. Some is published in the aerospace literature, more is available in company and government reports. Beginning in 1981, Vanyo and associates applied this knowledge to the very similar problem of energy dissipation and flow patterns in precessing mechanical models scaled geometrically and dynamically to the Earth’s liquid core. Energy experiments indicate massive amounts of mechanical energy are dissipated at the CMB, and flow experiments show complex motions within the boundary layer and axial flows with helicity throughout the interior. Analysis of Earth core precession also advanced, especially in several papers by Kerswell and by Tilgner in the late 1990s. Detail numerical models have yet to appear. Although progress in understanding the role of precession in Earth core motions has advanced, there remains a

  17. Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model.

    PubMed

    García-López, Cristina; Sarriá, Encarnación; Pozo, Pilar

    2016-07-01

    Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor-partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other's psychological adaptation. The sample includes 76 Spanish couples who completed validated questionnaires measuring predictors, i.e., self-efficacy and positive contributions, and adaptation outcomes i.e., stress, anxiety, depression and psychological well-being. Multilevel analysis revealed many actor and some partner effects of parental self-efficacy and positive contributions to be important determinants of adaptation above and beyond child and sociodemographic factors, and as such, these effects should be targeted in clinical intervention programs. PMID:27007725

  18. Theorising big IT programmes in healthcare: strong structuration theory meets actor-network theory.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, Trisha; Stones, Rob

    2010-05-01

    The UK National Health Service is grappling with various large and controversial IT programmes. We sought to develop a sharper theoretical perspective on the question "What happens - at macro-, meso- and micro-level - when government tries to modernise a health service with the help of big IT?" Using examples from data fragments at the micro-level of clinical work, we considered how structuration theory and actor-network theory (ANT) might be combined to inform empirical investigation. Giddens (1984) argued that social structures and human agency are recursively linked and co-evolve. ANT studies the relationships that link people and technologies in dynamic networks. It considers how discourses become inscribed in data structures and decision models of software, making certain network relations irreversible. Stones' (2005) strong structuration theory (SST) is a refinement of Giddens' work, systematically concerned with empirical research. It views human agents as linked in dynamic networks of position-practices. A quadripartite approcach considers [a] external social structures (conditions for action); [b] internal social structures (agents' capabilities and what they 'know' about the social world); [c] active agency and actions and [d] outcomes as they feed back on the position-practice network. In contrast to early structuration theory and ANT, SST insists on disciplined conceptual methodology and linking this with empirical evidence. In this paper, we adapt SST for the study of technology programmes, integrating elements from material interactionism and ANT. We argue, for example, that the position-practice network can be a socio-technical one in which technologies in conjunction with humans can be studied as 'actants'. Human agents, with their complex socio-cultural frames, are required to instantiate technology in social practices. Structurally relevant properties inscribed and embedded in technological artefacts constrain and enable human agency. The fortunes

  19. Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms in Wetlands – Fameless Actors in Carbon Cycling and Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W.; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36–50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change. PMID:22403575

  20. The current structure of key actors involved in research on land and soil degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escadafal, Richard; Barbero, Celia; Exbrayat, Williams; Marques, Maria Jose; Ruiz, Manuel; El Haddadi, Anass; Akhtar-Schuster, Mariam

    2013-04-01

    Land and soil conservation topics, the final mandate of the United Convention to Combat desertification in drylands, have been diagnosed as still suffering from a lack of guidance. On the contrary, climate change and biodiversity issues -the other two big subjects of the Rio Conventions- seem to progress and may benefit from the advice of international panels. Arguably the weakness of policy measures and hence the application of scientific knowledge by land users and stakeholders could be the expression of an inadequate research organization and a lack of ability to channel their findings. In order to better understand the size, breadth and depth of the scientific communities involved in providing advice to this convention and to other bodies, this study explores the corpus of international publications dealing with land and/or with soils. A database of several thousands records including a significant part of the literature published so far was performed using the Web of Science and other socio-economic databases such as FRANCIS and CAIRN. We extracted hidden information using bibliometric methods and data mining applied to these scientific publications to map the key actors (laboratories, teams, institutions) involved in research on land and on soils. Several filters were applied to the databases in combination with the word "desertification". The further use of Tetralogie software merges databases, analyses similarities and differences between keywords, disciplines, authors and regions and identifies obvious clusters. Assessing their commonalities and differences, the visualisation of links and gaps between scientists, organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders is possible. The interpretation of the 'clouds' of disciplines, keywords, and techniques will enhance the understanding of interconnections between them; ultimately this will allow diagnosing some of their strengths and weaknesses. This may help explain why land and soil degradation remains a

  1. Pharmaceutical digital marketing and governance: illicit actors and challenges to global patient safety and public health

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Digital forms of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing (eDTCA) have globalized in an era of free and open information exchange. Yet, the unregulated expansion of eDTCA has resulted in unaddressed global public health threats. Specifically, illicit online pharmacies are engaged in the sale of purportedly safe, legitimate product that may in fact be counterfeit or substandard. These cybercriminal actors exploit available eDTCA mediums over the Internet to market their suspect products globally. Despite these risks, a detailed assessment of the public health, patient safety, and cybersecurity threats and governance mechanisms to address them has not been conducted. Discussion Illicit online pharmacies represent a significant global public health and patient safety risk. Existing governance mechanisms are insufficient and include lack of adequate adoption in national regulation, ineffective voluntary governance mechanisms, and uneven global law enforcement efforts that have allowed proliferation of these cybercriminals on the web. In order to effectively address this multistakeholder threat, inclusive global governance strategies that engage the information technology, law enforcement and public health sectors should be established. Summary Effective global “eHealth Governance” focused on cybercrime is needed in order to effectively combat illicit online pharmacies. This includes building upon existing Internet governance structures and coordinating partnership between the UN Office of Drugs and Crime that leads the global fight against transnational organized crime and the Internet Governance Forum that is shaping the future of Internet governance. Through a UNODC-IGF governance mechanism, investigation, detection and coordination of activities against illicit online pharmacies and their misuse of eDTCA can commence. PMID:24131576

  2. "mysterium Cosmographicum", for Orchestra, Narrator/actor, and Computer Music on Tape. (with Original Composition)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keefe, Robert Michael

    Mysterium Cosmographicum is a musical chronicle of an astronomy treatise by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum (Tubingen, 1596), or "Secret of the Universe," was a means by which he justified the existence of the six planets discovered during his lifetime. Kepler, through flawless a priori reasoning, goes to great lengths to explain that the reason there are six and only six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) is because God had placed one of the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octa-, dodeca-, and icosahedron) around each orbiting body. Needless to say, the publication was not very successful, nor did it gain much comment from Kepler's peers, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). But hidden within the Mysterium Cosmographicum, almost like a new planet waiting to be discovered, is one of Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, a law that held true for planets discovered long after Kepler's lifetime. Mysterium Cosmographicum is a monologue with music in three parts for orchestra, narrator/actor, and computer music on tape. All musical data structures are generated via an interactive Pascal computer program that computes latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for each of the nine planets as seen from a fixed point on Earth for any given time frame. These coordinates are then mapped onto selected musical parameters as determined by the composer. Whenever Kepler reads from his treatise or from a lecture or correspondence, the monologue is supported by orchestral planetary data generated from the exact place, date, and time of the treatise, lecture, or correspondence. To the best of my knowledge, Mysterium Cosmographicum is the first composition ever written that employs planetary data as a supporting chronology to action and monologue.

  3. Contracting private sector providers for public sector health services in Jalisco, Mexico: perspectives of system actors

    PubMed Central

    Nigenda, Gustavo H; González, Luz María

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Contracting out health services is a strategy that many health systems in the developing world are following, despite the lack of decisive evidence that this is the best way to improve quality, increase efficiency and expand coverage. A large body of literature has appeared in recent years focusing on the results of several contracting strategies, but very few papers have addressed aspects of the managerial process and how this can affect results. Case description This paper describes and analyses the perceptions and opinions of managers and workers about the benefits and challenges of the contracting model that has been in place for almost 10 years in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Both qualitative and quantitative information was collected. An open-ended questionnaire was used to obtain information from a group of managers, while information provided by a self-selected group of workers was collected via a closed-ended questionnaire. The analysis contrasted the information obtained from each source. Discussion and Evaluation Findings show that perceptions of managers and workers vary for most of the items studied. For managers the model has been a success, as it has allowed for expansion of coverage based on a cost-effective strategy, while for workers the model also possesses positive elements but fails to provide fair labour relationships, which negatively affects their performance. Conclusion Perspectives of the two main groups of actors in Jalisco's contracting model are important in the design and adjustment of an adequate contracting model that includes managerial elements to give incentives to worker performance, a key element necessary to achieve the model's ultimate objectives. Lessons learnt from this study could be relevant for the experience of contracting models in other developing countries. PMID:19849831

  4. Intensity modulated radiotherapy induces pro-inflammatory and pro-survival responses in prostate cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    EL-SAGHIRE, HOUSSEIN; VANDEVOORDE, CHARLOT; OST, PIET; MONSIEURS, PIETER; MICHAUX, ARLETTE; DE MEERLEER, GERT; BAATOUT, SARAH; THIERENS, HUBERT

    2014-01-01

    Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is one of the modern conformal radiotherapies that is widely used within the context of cancer patient treatment. It uses multiple radiation beams targeted to the tumor, however, large volumes of the body receive low doses of irradiation. Using γ-H2AX and global genome expression analysis, we studied the biological responses induced by low doses of ionizing radiation in prostate cancer patients following IMRT. By means of different bioinformatics analyses, we report that IMRT induced an inflammatory response via the induction of viral, adaptive, and innate immune signaling. In response to growth factors and immune-stimulatory signaling, positive regulation in the progression of cell cycle and DNA replication were induced. This denotes pro-inflammatory and pro-survival responses. Furthermore, double strand DNA breaks were induced in every patient 30 min after the treatment and remaining DNA repair and damage signaling continued after 18–24 h. Nine genes belonging to inflammatory responses (TLR3, SH2D1A and IL18), cell cycle progression (ORC4, SMC2 and CCDC99) and DNA damage and repair (RAD17, SMC6 and MRE11A) were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. This study emphasizes that the risk assessment of health effects from the out-of-field low doses during IMRT should be of concern, as these may increase the risk of secondary cancers and/or systemic inflammation. PMID:24435511

  5. Structural requirements for processing of pro-adipokinetic hormone I.

    PubMed

    Rayne, R C; O'Shea, M

    1993-11-01

    We found that a seven-residue sequence in pro-adipokinetic hormone I (proAKH I) which precedes the endopeptidase cleavage site is predicted to form an omega loop. Molecular modelling experiments indicated that a stable omega loop may form at this site, and suggested that loop stability may depend on the C-terminal loop residue, Lys12. The importance of this residue in proAKH I processing was confirmed by the observation that replacement of Lys12 by thialysine, a Lys analog with an altered side chain, prevented processing in vivo. In addition we showed by molecular modelling that this side-chain alteration may prevent formation of an omega loop. Together, these approaches lead us to propose that an omega loop may serve as a recognition motif in proAKH I processing. PMID:8223647

  6. Project ProCEED: A Model for Developing Professional Excellence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Marilyn; Waddell, Michael G.

    1984-01-01

    Project ProCEED is a staff development model for promoting the type of professional excellence recommended in national educational reports. A six-month program designed and implemented by teachers and principals is examined. (DF)

  7. The ProDom database of protein domain families.

    PubMed Central

    Corpet, F; Gouzy, J; Kahn, D

    1998-01-01

    The ProDom database contains protein domain families generated from the SWISS-PROT database by automated sequence comparisons. It can be searched on the World Wide Web (http://protein.toulouse.inra. fr/prodom.html ) or by E-mail (prodom@toulouse.inra.fr) to study domain arrangements within known families or new proteins. Strong emphasis has been put on the graphical user interface which allows for interactive analysis of protein homology relationships. Recent improvements to the server include: ProDom search by keyword; links to PROSITE and PDB entries; more sensitive ProDom similarity search with BLAST or WU-BLAST; alignments of query sequences with homologous ProDom domain families; and links to the SWISS-MODEL server (http: //www.expasy.ch/swissmod/SWISS-MODEL.html ) for homology based 3-D domain modelling where possible. PMID:9399865

  8. Robotics Vision for a Scouting Rover - PRoViScout

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paar, G.; Woods, M.; Pullan, D.; Proviscout Team

    2011-10-01

    The FP7-SPACE Project ProViScout (Planetary Robotics Vision Scout, scheduled from April 2010 to September 2012) aims to demonstrate the feasibility of vision-based autonomous sample identification & selection in combination with vision-based navigation for a long range scouting/exploration mission on a terrestrial planet along with the robotic elements required. The paper gives an overview of the PRoViScout technical and scientific objectives, envisaged solutions and achievements so far.

  9. Associations between Perceived HIV Stigma and Quality of Life at the Dyadic Lvel: The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hongjie; Xu, Yongfang; Lin, Xinjin; Shi, Jian; Chen, Shiyi

    2013-01-01

    Background Few studies have investigated the relationship between HIV-related stigma and quality life at the dyadic level. The objective of this study was to examine the actor and partner effects of stigma that was perceived by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and caregivers on quality of life at the dyadic level. Method A survey was conducted among 148 dyads consisting of one PLWHA and one caregiver (296 participants) in Nanning, China. The interdependent relationship between a pair of dyadic members that influences the associations between stigma and quality of life was analyzed, using an innovative dyadic analysis technique: the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). Results We found in this dyadic analysis that (1) PLWHAs compared to their caregivers exhibited a higher level of perceived HIV stigma and lower level of quality of life measured in four domains; (2) both PLWHAs' and caregivers' perceived HIV stigma influenced their own quality of life; (3) The quality of life was not substantially influenced by their partners' perceived stigma; and (4) Both actor and partner effects of stigma on quality of life were similar among PLWHAs and their caregivers. Conclusion As HIV stigma and quality of life are complex phenomena rooted in cultures, intervention programs should be carefully planned based on social or cognitive theories and should be culturally adopted. PMID:23383343

  10. Analysis and expansion of the role of the Escherichia coli protein ProQ.

    PubMed

    Sheidy, Daniel T; Zielke, Ryszard A

    2013-01-01

    The decrease in proline transport by the proline porter ProP in a ΔproQ strain has been well documented; however, the reason for this phenotype remains undefined. Previous studies have speculated that ProQ facilitates translation of proP mRNA. Here, we demonstrate that ProQ is enriched in the polysome fractions of sucrose gradient separations of E. coli lysates and the 30S fractions of lysates separated under conditions causing ribosomal subunit dissociation. Thus, ProQ is a bona fide ribosome associated protein. Analysis of proQ constructs lacking predicted structural domains implicates the N-terminal domain in ribosome association. Association with the ribosome appears to be mediated by an interaction with the mRNA being translated, as limited treatment of lysates with Micrococcal Nuclease maintains ribosome integrity but disrupts ProQ localization with polysomes. ProQ also fails to robustly bind to mRNA-free 70S ribosomes in vitro. Interestingly, deletion of proP does not disrupt the localization of ProQ with translating ribosomes, and deletion of proP in combination with the proU operon has no effect on ProQ localization. We also demonstrate that ProQ is necessary for robust biofilm formation, and this phenotype is independent of ProP. Binding studies were carried out using tryptophan fluorescence and in vitro transcribed proP mRNAs. proP is transcribed from two differentially regulated promoters, and ProQ interacts with proP mRNA transcribed from both promoters, as well as a control mRNA with similar affinities. In total, these data suggest that ProQ is positioned to function as a novel translational regulator, and its cellular role extends beyond its effects on proline uptake by ProP. PMID:24205389

  11. Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    NASA's Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System experiment (ProSEDS) will demonstrate the use of an electrodynamic tether, basically a long, thin wire, for propulsion. An electrodynamic tether uses the same principles as electric motors in toys, appliances and computer disk drives, and generators in automobiles and power plants. When electrical current is flowing through the tether, a magnetic field is produced that pushes against the magnetic field of the Earth. For ProSEDS, the current in the tether results by virtue of the voltage generated when the tether moves through the Earth's magnetic field at more than 17,000 mph. This approach can produce drag thrust generating useable power. Since electrodynamic tethers require no propellant, they could substantially reduce the weight of the spacecraft and provide a cost-effective method of reboosting spacecraft. The initial flight of ProSEDS is scheduled to fly aboard an Air Force Delta II rocket in the summer of 2002. In orbit, ProSEDS will deploy from a Delta II second stage. It will be a 3.1-mile (5 kilometer) long, ultrathin base-wire cornected with a 6.2-mile (10 kilometer) long nonconducting tether. This photograph shows Less Johnson, a scientist at MSFC inspecting the nonconducting part of a tether as it exits a deployer similar to the one to be used in the ProSEDS experiment. The ProSEDS experiment is managed by the Space Transportation Directorate at MSFC.

  12. AdjudiPro{reg_sign} 2.0

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, D.; Connolly, J.; Simons, B.C.

    1996-12-31

    AdjudiPro, version 2.0, is the latest incarnation of United HealthCare`s patented physician claims adjudication expert system (US patent No. 5,359,509). Its core is an embedded expert system that contains the logic for processing 55% of all physician claim situations reviewed on United HealthCare`s managed care system. Certain physician services are reviewed as part of the claims adjudication process to ensure that submitted charges meet contractual, and other guidelines. In 1995, nearly $20 million in gross savings was realized through use of this system. Since its initial deployment in 1991-1992, there has been a steep increase in AdjudiPro`s processing volume. This increased demand created a number of issues that had to be addressed to ensure AdjudiPro`s continued viability and growth. As a result, much of the past three years was spent rearchitecting AdjudiPro to meet the increasing load placed on it, while achieving acceptable throughput. AdjudiPro is now an essentially real-time application, processing claims twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This paper describes the current AdjudiPro application, and the key issues faced during the past three years.

  13. Recombinant medaka (Oryzias melastigmus) pro-hepcidin: Multifunctional characterization.

    PubMed

    Cai, Ling; Cai, Jing-Jing; Liu, Hai-Peng; Fan, Dan-Qing; Peng, Hui; Wang, Ke-Jian

    2012-02-01

    Recently, two hepcidin variant genes (Om-hep1 and Om-hep2) were identified in a model fish marine medaka and both were highly induced in vivo with bacterial challenge, suggesting that the medaka hepcidin may have a similar function to other reported teleostean hepcidins. In the present study, the antibacterial, antiviral and antitumor activities of Om-hep1 were determined using its synthetic and recombinant pro-peptides. The recombinant pro-hepcidin1 was expressed in Escherichia coli and an effective method to produce recombinant Pro-Omhep1 was developed in order to obtain a right folded structure. The results showed that both the synthetic mature peptide and recombinant pro-peptide had similar antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and negative bacteria. In particular, both the synthetic mature Om-hep1 and recombinant Pro-Omhep1 inhibited the viral replication of white spot syndrome virus in the hematopoietic tissue cells of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus. Om-hep1 also presented antitumor activity on the cultured human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. In addition, the antimicrobial mechanism of Om-hep1 was measured and it was found that Om-hep1 was likely to be non-membranolytic. The recombinant Pro-Omhep1 performed better biological activity compared to the synthetic mature Om-hep1. This study suggested that Om-hep1 was likely to be an important multifunction protein involved in various resistance actions in the marine medaka immune system. PMID:22051539

  14. InterPro: the integrative protein signature database.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Sarah; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bork, Peer; Das, Ujjwal; Daugherty, Louise; Duquenne, Lauranne; Finn, Robert D; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Hulo, Nicolas; Kahn, Daniel; Kelly, Elizabeth; Laugraud, Aurélie; Letunic, Ivica; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McAnulla, Craig; McDowall, Jennifer; Mistry, Jaina; Mitchell, Alex; Mulder, Nicola; Natale, Darren; Orengo, Christine; Quinn, Antony F; Selengut, Jeremy D; Sigrist, Christian J A; Thimma, Manjula; Thomas, Paul D; Valentin, Franck; Wilson, Derek; Wu, Cathy H; Yeats, Corin

    2009-01-01

    The InterPro database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) integrates together predictive models or 'signatures' representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total approximately 58,000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein-protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/InterProScan/). PMID:18940856

  15. New developments in the InterPro database

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K.; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bork, Peer; Buillard, Virginie; Cerutti, Lorenzo; Copley, Richard; Courcelle, Emmanuel; Das, Ujjwal; Daugherty, Louise; Dibley, Mark; Finn, Robert; Fleischmann, Wolfgang; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Hulo, Nicolas; Hunter, Sarah; Kahn, Daniel; Kanapin, Alexander; Kejariwal, Anish; Labarga, Alberto; Langendijk-Genevaux, Petra S.; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Letunic, Ivica; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McAnulla, Craig; McDowall, Jennifer; Mistry, Jaina; Mitchell, Alex; Nikolskaya, Anastasia N.; Orchard, Sandra; Orengo, Christine; Petryszak, Robert; Selengut, Jeremy D.; Sigrist, Christian J. A.; Thomas, Paul D.; Valentin, Franck; Wilson, Derek; Wu, Cathy H.; Yeats, Corin

    2007-01-01

    InterPro is an integrated resource for protein families, domains and functional sites, which integrates the following protein signature databases: PROSITE, PRINTS, ProDom, Pfam, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF, SUPERFAMILY, Gene3D and PANTHER. The latter two new member databases have been integrated since the last publication in this journal. There have been several new developments in InterPro, including an additional reading field, new database links, extensions to the web interface and additional match XML files. InterPro has always provided matches to UniProtKB proteins on the website and in the match XML file on the FTP site. Additional matches to proteins in UniParc (UniProt archive) are now available for download in the new match XML files only. The latest InterPro release (13.0) contains more than 13 000 entries, covering over 78% of all proteins in UniProtKB. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (), and for download by anonymous FTP (). The InterProScan search tool is now also available via a web service at . PMID:17202162

  16. InterPro: the integrative protein signature database

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Sarah; Apweiler, Rolf; Attwood, Teresa K.; Bairoch, Amos; Bateman, Alex; Binns, David; Bork, Peer; Das, Ujjwal; Daugherty, Louise; Duquenne, Lauranne; Finn, Robert D.; Gough, Julian; Haft, Daniel; Hulo, Nicolas; Kahn, Daniel; Kelly, Elizabeth; Laugraud, Aurélie; Letunic, Ivica; Lonsdale, David; Lopez, Rodrigo; Madera, Martin; Maslen, John; McAnulla, Craig; McDowall, Jennifer; Mistry, Jaina; Mitchell, Alex; Mulder, Nicola; Natale, Darren; Orengo, Christine; Quinn, Antony F.; Selengut, Jeremy D.; Sigrist, Christian J. A.; Thimma, Manjula; Thomas, Paul D.; Valentin, Franck; Wilson, Derek; Wu, Cathy H.; Yeats, Corin

    2009-01-01

    The InterPro database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) integrates together predictive models or ‘signatures’ representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total ∼58 000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein–protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/InterProScan/). PMID:18940856

  17. Synthesis, DNA recognition and cleavage studies of novel tetrapeptide complexes, Cu(II)/Zn(II)-Ala-Pro-Ala-Pro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arjmand, Farukh; Jamsheera, A.; Mohapatra, D. K.

    2013-05-01

    New tetrapeptide complexes Cu(II)·Ala-Pro-Ala-Pro (1) and Zn(II)·Ala-Pro-Ala-Pro (2) were synthesized from the reaction of tetrapeptide, Ala-Pro-Ala-Pro and CuCl2/ZnCl2 and were thoroughly characterized by elemental analysis, IR,1H and 13C NMR (in case of 2), ESI-MS, UV and molar conductance measurements. The solution stability study was carried out employing UV-vis absorption titrations over a broad range of pH which suggested the stability of the complexes in solution. In vitro interaction of complexes 1 and 2 with CT-DNA was studied employing UV-vis, fluorescence, circular dichroic and viscometry studies. To throw insight into molecular binding event at the target site, UV-vis titrations of 1 and 2 with mononucleotides of interest viz.; 5'-GMP and 5'-TMP were carried out. Cleavage activity of the complexes with pBR322 plasmid DNA was evaluated by agarose gel electrophoresis and, the electrophoresis pattern demonstrated that both the complexes 1 and 2 are efficient cleavage agents. Further, the Cu(II) complex displayed efficient oxidative cleavage of supercoiled DNA while various reactive oxygen species are responsible for the cleavage in Zn(II) complex.

  18. The InterPro BioMart: federated query and web service access to the InterPro Resource.

    PubMed

    Jones, Philip; Binns, David; McMenamin, Conor; McAnulla, Craig; Hunter, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    The InterPro BioMart provides users with query-optimized access to predictions of family classification, protein domains and functional sites, based on a broad spectrum of integrated computational models ('signatures') that are generated by the InterPro member databases: Gene3D, HAMAP, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. These predictions are provided for all protein sequences from both the UniProt Knowledge Base and the UniParc protein sequence archive. The InterPro BioMart is supplementary to the primary InterPro web interface (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro), providing a web service and the ability to build complex, custom queries that can efficiently return thousands of rows of data in a variety of formats. This article describes the information available from the InterPro BioMart and illustrates its utility with examples of how to build queries that return useful biological information. Database URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/biomart/martview. PMID:21785143

  19. 78 FR 32281 - ProShares Advisors LLC, et al.; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-29

    ... COMMISSION ProShares Advisors LLC, et al.; Notice of Application May 21, 2013. AGENCY: Securities and... exemption from sections 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. Applicants: ProShares Advisors LLC (``ProShares''), ProShares Trust (the ``Trust''), and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (``SEI''). Summary...

  20. Global health actors no longer in favor of user fees: a documentary study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Since the advent of health user fees in low- and middle-income countries in the 1980s, the discourse of global health actors (GHAs) has changed to the disadvantage of this type of healthcare financing mechanism. The aim of the study was to identify and analyze the stance of GHAs in the debate on user fees. Methods We conducted documentary research using public documents published by and officially attributed to GHAs from 2005 to 2011. We categorized GHAs into four groups: intergovernmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and working groups and networks. We then classified the GHAs according to their stance relative to the abolition of user fees, and conducted a thematic analysis of their discourse to understand the arguments used by each GHA to justify its stance. Results We identified 56 GHAs, for which we analyzed 140 documents. Among them, 55% were in favor of the abolition of user fees or in favor of free care at the point of delivery. None of the GHAs stated that they were in favor of user fees; however, 30% did not take a stand. Only the World Bank declares that it is both in favor of user fees and in favor of free care at point of service. GHAs generally circumscribe their stance to specific populations (pregnant women, children under 5 years, etc.) or to specific health services (primary, basic, essential). Three types of arguments are used by GHAs to justify their stance: economic, moral and ethical, and pragmatic. Conclusions The principle of “user pays” seems to have fizzled. Production and dissemination of evidence, as well as certain advocacy networks, may have contributed to this change in discourse. However, GHAs should go a step further and translate their words into action, so that free healthcare at the point of delivery becomes a reality in low- and middle-income countries. They should provide technical and financial support to those countries that have chosen to implement user fee

  1. Sense of agency in joint action: influence of human and computer co-actors.

    PubMed

    Obhi, Sukhvinder S; Hall, Preston

    2011-06-01

    Intentional binding is the perceived shortening of the time between a voluntary action and its consequent effect and has been suggested as an implicit measure of agency. This shortening has been linked to processes underlying action preparation and is also affected by post-movement feedback. Intentional binding has been demonstrated in joint action tasks involving two humans, but it is unknown whether it occurs for tasks involving a human working alongside a non-human partner. This experiment investigated the influence of high-level feedback on the experience of agency and whether binding occurs in human-computer joint action settings. Participants were involved in two versions an action task involving another 'agent'. In one version, two participants (a genuine participant and a confederate) sat side by side, separated by a curtain that prevented vision of the other person. In baseline conditions, both participants were instructed to make a self-paced action and judge the time of the action by reporting the position of a rotating clock-hand on a computer screen. In other baseline conditions, participants judged the time of an auditory tone. In operant conditions, participants made actions and the genuine participant's action was followed 200 ms later by a tone on every trial. To examine the effect of post-movement information on binding and explicit agency judgments, a colour cue was presented on each trial informing participants about which person's action caused the tone. In another version of the task, participants were paired with a computer instead of a human co-actor. Post-movement information affected the genuine participant's explicit agency judgments but had no effect on intentional binding, which always occurred. In the human-computer version, participants never showed binding, even when they explicitly judged that their action had caused the tone. We suggest that human-human partnerships result in the formation of a new 'we' agentic identity, but that

  2. GeoPro: Technology to Enable Scientific Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    C. Juan

    2004-02-09

    Development of the ground-water flow model for the Death Valley Regional Groundwater Flow System (DVRFS) required integration of numerous supporting hydrogeologic investigations. The results from recharge, discharge, hydraulic properties, water level, pumping, model boundaries, and geologic studies were integrated to develop the required conceptual and 3-D framework models, and the flow model itself. To support the complex modeling process and the needs of the multidisciplinary DVRFS team, a hardware and software system called GeoPro (Geoscience Knowledge Integration Protocol) was developed. A primary function of GeoPro is to manage the large volume of disparate data compiled for the 100,000-square-kilometer area of southern Nevada and California. The data are primarily from previous investigations and regional flow models developed for the Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain projects. GeoPro utilizes relational database technology (Microsoft SQL Server{trademark}) to store and manage these tabular point data, groundwater flow model ASCII data, 3-D hydrogeologic framework data, 2-D and 2.5-D GIS data, and text documents. Data management consists of versioning, tracking, and reporting data changes as multiple users access the centralized database. GeoPro also supports the modeling process by automating the routine data transformations required to integrate project software. This automation is also crucial to streamlining pre- and post-processing of model data during model calibration. Another function of GeoPro is to facilitate the dissemination and use of the model data and results through web-based documents by linking and allowing access to the underlying database and analysis tools. The intent is to convey to end-users the complex flow model product in a manner that is simple, flexible, and relevant to their needs. GeoPro is evolving from a prototype system to a production-level product. Currently the DVRFS pre- and post-processing modeling tools are being re

  3. Structure and activation of pro-activin A.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuelu; Fischer, Gerhard; Hyvönen, Marko

    2016-01-01

    Activins are growth factors with multiple roles in the development and homeostasis. Like all TGF-β family of growth factors, activins are synthesized as large precursors from which mature dimeric growth factors are released proteolytically. Here we have studied the activation of activin A and determined crystal structures of the unprocessed precursor and of the cleaved pro-mature complex. Replacing the natural furin cleavage site with a HRV 3C protease site, we show how the protein gains its bioactivity after proteolysis and is as active as the isolated mature domain. The complex remains associated in conditions used for biochemical analysis with a dissociation constant of 5 nM, but the pro-domain can be actively displaced from the complex by follistatin. Our high-resolution structures of pro-activin A share features seen in the pro-TGF-β1 and pro-BMP-9 structures, but reveal a new oligomeric arrangement, with a domain-swapped, cross-armed conformation for the protomers in the dimeric protein. PMID:27373274

  4. Regulation of autoimmune inflammation by pro-inflammatory cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eugene Y.; Moudgil, Kamal D.

    2008-01-01

    The pro-inflammatory cytokines play a critical role in the initiation and propagation of autoimmune arthritis and many other disorders resulting from a dysregulated self-directed immune response. These cytokines influence the interplay among the cellular, immunological and biochemical mediators of inflammation at multiple levels. Regulation of the pro-inflammatory activity of these cytokines is generally perceived to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokines such as IL-4, IL-10, or TGF-β. However, increasing evidence is accumulating in support of the regulatory attributes of the pro-inflammatory cytokines themselves, in studies conducted in animal models of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, uveitis, and lupus. The results of our recent studies have shown that the pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IFN-γ, can suppress arthritic inflammation in rats, and also contribute to resistance against arthritis. These results are of paramount significance not only in fully understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis, but also in anticipating the full ramifications of the in vivo neutralization of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, including that for therapeutic purposes. PMID:18694783

  5. Structure and activation of pro-activin A

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xuelu; Fischer, Gerhard; Hyvönen, Marko

    2016-01-01

    Activins are growth factors with multiple roles in the development and homeostasis. Like all TGF-β family of growth factors, activins are synthesized as large precursors from which mature dimeric growth factors are released proteolytically. Here we have studied the activation of activin A and determined crystal structures of the unprocessed precursor and of the cleaved pro-mature complex. Replacing the natural furin cleavage site with a HRV 3C protease site, we show how the protein gains its bioactivity after proteolysis and is as active as the isolated mature domain. The complex remains associated in conditions used for biochemical analysis with a dissociation constant of 5 nM, but the pro-domain can be actively displaced from the complex by follistatin. Our high-resolution structures of pro-activin A share features seen in the pro-TGF-β1 and pro-BMP-9 structures, but reveal a new oligomeric arrangement, with a domain-swapped, cross-armed conformation for the protomers in the dimeric protein. PMID:27373274

  6. Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ballance, Judy; Johnson, Les; Rogacki, John R. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS) space experiment will demonstrate the use of an electrodynamic tether propulsion system to generate thrust in space by decreasing the orbital altitude of a Delta II Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) second stage. ProSEDS, which is planned to fly in 2001, will use the flight proven Small Expendable Deployer System (SEDS) to deploy a tether (5km bare wire plus 10 km spectra or dyneema) from a Delta II second stage to achieve approximately 0.4N drag thrust. ProSEDS will utilize the tether-generated current to provide limited spacecraft power. The ProSEDs instrumentation includes a Langmuir probe and Differential Ion Flux Probe, which will determine the characteristics of the ambient ionospheric plasma. Two Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers will be used (one on the Delta and one on the endmass) to help determine tether dynamics and to limit transmitter operations to occasions when the spacecraft is over selected ground stations, The flight experiment is a precursor to the more ambitious electrodynamic tether upper stage demonstration mission, which will be capable of orbit raising, lowering and inclination changes-all using electrodynamic thrust. An immediate application of ProSEDS technology is for the deorbit of spent satellites for orbital debris mitigation. In addition to the use of this technology to provide orbit transfer and debris mitigation it may also be an attractive option for future missions to Jupiter and any other planetary body with a magnetosphere.

  7. Milk-Derived Tripeptides IPP (Ile-Pro-Pro) and VPP (Val-Pro-Pro) Promote Adipocyte Differentiation and Inhibit Inflammation in 3T3-F442A Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Subhadeep; Wu, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    Milk derived tripeptides IPP (Ile-Pro-Pro) and VPP (Val-Pro-Pro) have shown promise as anti-hypertensive agents due to their inhibitory effects on angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Due to the key inter-related roles of hypertension, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, there is growing interest in investigating established anti-hypertensive agents for their effects on insulin sensitivity and inflammation. In this study, we examined the effects of IPP and VPP on 3T3-F442A murine pre-adipocytes, a widely used model for studying metabolic diseases. We found that both IPP and VPP induced beneficial adipogenic differentiation as manifested by intracellular lipid accumulation, upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and secretion of the protective lipid hormone adiponectin by these cells. The observed effects were similar to those induced by insulin, suggesting potential benefits in the presence of insulin resistance. IPP and VPP also inhibited cytokine induced pro-inflammatory changes such as reduction in adipokine levels and activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. Taken together, our findings suggest that IPP and VPP exert insulin-mimetic adipogenic effects and prevent inflammatory changes in adipocytes, which may offer protection against metabolic disease. PMID:25714093

  8. Place-Based Initiatives to Improve Health in Disadvantaged Communities: Cross-Sector Characteristics and Networks of Local Actors in North Carolina

    PubMed Central

    Moody, James; Nelson, Alicia; Willis, Janese M.; Fuller, Lori; Smart, Allen J.; Easterling, Doug; Silberberg, Mina

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. To examine the leadership attributes and collaborative connections of local actors from the health sector and those outside the health sector in a major place-based health initiative. Methods. We used survey data from 340 individuals in 4 Healthy Places North Carolina counties from 2014 to assess the leadership attributes (awareness, attitudes, and capacity) and network connections of local actors by their organizational sector. Results. Respondents’ leadership attributes—scored on 5-point Likert scales—were similar across Healthy Places North Carolina counties. Although local actors reported high levels of awareness and collaboration around community health improvement, we found lower levels of capacity for connecting diversity, identifying barriers, and using resources in new ways to improve community health. Actors outside the health sector had generally lower levels of capacity than actors in the health sector. Those in the health sector exhibited the majority of network ties in their community; however, they were also the most segregated from actors in other sectors. Conclusions. More capacity building around strategic action—particularly in nonhealth sectors—is needed to support efforts in making widespread changes to community health. PMID:27459443

  9. Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Cáceres, Daniel M.; Trainor, Sarah F.; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-01

    The crucial role of biodiversity in the links between ecosystems and societies has been repeatedly highlighted both as source of wellbeing and as a target of human actions, but not all aspects of biodiversity are equally important to different ecosystem services. Similarly, different social actors have different perceptions of and access to ecosystem services, and therefore, they have different wants and capacities to select directly or indirectly for particular biodiversity and ecosystem characteristics. Their choices feed back onto the ecosystem services provided to all parties involved and in turn, affect future decisions. Despite this recognition, the research communities addressing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human outcomes have yet to develop frameworks that adequately treat the multiple dimensions and interactions in the relationship. Here, we present an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of relationships between functional diversity, ecosystem services, and human actions that is applicable to specific social environmental systems at local scales. We connect the mechanistic understanding of the ecological role of diversity with its social relevance: ecosystem services. The framework permits connections between functional diversity components and priorities of social actors using land use decisions and ecosystem services as the main links between these ecological and social components. We propose a matrix-based method that provides a transparent and flexible platform for quantifying and integrating social and ecological information and negotiating potentially conflicting land uses among multiple social actors. We illustrate the applicability of our framework by way of land use examples from temperate to subtropical South America, an area of rapid social and ecological change. PMID:21220325

  10. Learning about a fish from an ANT: actor network theory and science education in the postgenomic era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-03-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by the FDA, AquaBounty Technologies' AquAdvantage® salmon, as a vehicle for exploring the ways in which the biosciences have fundamentally altered the boundary between nature and culture and thus the way the public understands both. In response to the new challenges of a postgenomic society, I outline three frameworks for using ANT literacies in classroom settings. Each frame, I argue, is foundational to the development of a scientific literacy that can trace and map actors involved in controversies such as the AquAdvantage® salmon. In examining these frames I follow the actor of a salmon through an environmental history lens, the technoscientific literacy operating in AquaBounty's FDA application and the National Academies new science education framework, and finally to a model of democracy rooted in an ethic of the common. The ultimate claim of this article is that until science education (and education in general) can begin to include nonhumans such as the AquAdvantage® salmon as part of a common political framework, students, educators, and community members will continue to be at the mercy of experts and corporate stakeholders for defining the terms in which people heal, feed, and educate themselves now and in the future.

  11. Motoneuron Programmed Cell Death in Response to proBDNF

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, AR; Gifondorwa, DJ; Robinson, MB; Strupe, JL; Prevette, D; Johnson, JE; Hempstead, BL; Oppenheim, RW; Milligan, CE

    2011-01-01

    Motoneurons (MN) as well as most neuronal populations undergo a temporally and spatially specific period of programmed cell death (PCD). Several factors have been considered to regulate the survival of MNs during this period, including availability of muscle-derived trophic support and activity. The possibility that target-derived factors may also negatively regulate MN survival has been considered, but not pursued. Neurotrophin precursors, through their interaction with p75NTR and sortilin receptors have been shown to induce cell death during development and following injury in the CNS. In this study, we find that muscle cells produce and secrete proBDNF. ProBDNF through its interaction with p75NTR and sortilin, promotes a caspase-dependent death of MNs in culture. We also provide data to suggest that proBDNF regulates MN PCD during development in vivo. PMID:21834083

  12. Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ami Bartal, Inbal; Decety, Jean; Mason, Peggy

    2011-12-01

    Whereas human pro-social behavior is often driven by empathic concern for another, it is unclear whether nonprimate mammals experience a similar motivational state. To test for empathically motivated pro-social behavior in rodents, we placed a free rat in an arena with a cagemate trapped in a restrainer. After several sessions, the free rat learned to intentionally and quickly open the restrainer and free the cagemate. Rats did not open empty or object-containing restrainers. They freed cagemates even when social contact was prevented. When liberating a cagemate was pitted against chocolate contained within a second restrainer, rats opened both restrainers and typically shared the chocolate. Thus, rats behave pro-socially in response to a conspecific's distress, providing strong evidence for biological roots of empathically motivated helping behavior. PMID:22158823

  13. Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica

    SciTech Connect

    Barraza, Douglas; Jansen, Kees; Wendel de Joode, Berna van; Wesseling, Catharina

    2011-07-15

    The Talamanca County in Costa Rica has large-scale banana and small-scale plantain production, probably causing pesticide exposure in indigenous children. We explored to what extent different community actors are aware of children's pesticide hazards and how their awareness related to socio-economical and cultural conditions. Methods comprised eight focus groups with fathers and mothers separately, 27 semi-structured interviews to key actors, and field observations. As a whole, the indigenous plantain farmers and banana plantation workers had some general knowledge of pesticides concerning crop protection, but little on acute health effects, and hardly any on exposure routes and pathways, and chronic effects. People expressed vague ideas about pesticide risks. Inter-community differences were related to pesticide technologies used in banana and plantain production, employment status on a multinational plantation versus smallholder status, and gender. Compared to formalized practices on transnational company plantations, where workers reported to feel protected, pesticide handling by plantain smallholders was not perceived as hazardous and therefore no safety precautions were applied. Large-scale monoculture was perceived as one of the most important problems leading to pesticide risks in Talamanca on banana plantations, and also on neighboring small plantain farms extending into large areas. Plantain farmers have adopted use of highly toxic pesticides following banana production, but in conditions of extreme poverty. Aerial spraying in banana plantations was considered by most social actors a major determinant of exposure for the population living nearby these plantations, including vulnerable children. We observed violations of legally established aerial spraying distances. Economic considerations were most mentioned as the underlying reason for the pesticide use: economic needs to obtain the production quantity and quality, and pressure to use pesticides by other

  14. Opening up the solar box: Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorrie, Bryan F.

    This project considers the ways that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be brought to bear upon Cultural Resource Management (CRM) practices on renewable energy projects. ANT is a way of making inquiry into scientific knowledge practices and as CRM is intended to preserve environmental, historic, and prehistoric resources, it necessarily involves certain kinds of knowledge generation about regions in which projects are being developed. Because the practice of CRM is complex, involving a range of actors from developers to biologists, native peoples to academics, private landholders to environmental and cultural activists, it is imperative to account for the interests of all stakeholders and to resist devolving into the polemical relations of winners and losers, good and bad participants, or simple situations of right and wrong. This project intends to account for the "matters of concern" of various actors, both primary and secondary, by examining the case study of a single solar installation project in the Mojave Desert. A theoretical description of ANT is provided at the beginning and the concerns of this theory are brought to bear upon the case study project through describing the project, discussing the laws governing CRM on federal lands and in the state of California, and providing the points of view of various interviewees who worked directly or indirectly on various aspects of CRM for the solar project. The creators of ANT claim that it is not a methodology but it does speak to ethnomethodologies in that it insists that there is always something more to learn from inquiring into and describing any given situation. These descriptions avoid generalizations, providing instead various points of entry, from diverse perspectives to the project. There is an invitation to avoid assuming that one knows all there is to know about a given situation and to choose instead to continue investigating and thus give voice to the more obscure, often marginalized, voices in the

  15. Stress and Mental Health in Families With Different Income Levels: A Strategy to Collect Multi-Actor Data

    PubMed Central

    Wouters, Edwin

    2014-01-01

    Background Several studies have focused on family stress processes, examining the association between various sources of stress and the mental health and well-being of parents and adolescents. The majority of these studies take the individual as the unit of analysis. Multi-actor panel data make it possible to examine the dynamics of the family context over time and the differentiating effects of individual roles within the same family. Accurate information about family processes allows practitioners to provide support that enhances family resilience and minimizes the risk of mental health problems. Objective Our study contributes to the research on family stress processes by focusing on families with different income levels, and by collecting panel data from mothers, fathers, and adolescents within the same family. Methods The relationship between mothers, fathers, and children (RMFC) study is an ongoing Flemish multi-actor panel study that aims to enhance our understanding of family processes that protect the mental health and well-being of two-parent families with a target adolescent between 11 and 17 years old. Mothers, fathers, and children provide information about various aspects of family life, including finances, sources of stress, health, mental health, parenting, and coping strategies. Measures have been chosen whenever possible that have sound conceptual underpinnings and robust psychometric properties. The study posed two challenges. First, economically disadvantaged families are difficult to reach. Second, the collection of multi-actor data is often plagued by high nonresponse. To ensure that the families were targeted as successfully as possible, the study employed a purposive nonprobability sampling method. Results The RMFC study is one of the largest triadic panel studies of its kind. The first wave of quantitative data collection was conducted between February 2012 and January 2013. A total of 2566 individuals of 880 families participated in our

  16. The neuropsychology of infants’ pro-social preferences

    PubMed Central

    Gredebäck, Gustaf; Kaduk, Katharina; Bakker, Marta; Gottwald, Janna; Ekberg, Therese; Elsner, Claudia; Reid, Vincent; Kenward, Ben

    2015-01-01

    The current study is the first to investigate neural correlates of infants’ detection of pro- and antisocial agents. Differences in ERP component P400 over posterior temporal areas were found during 6-month-olds’ observation of helping and hindering agents (Experiment 1), but not during observation of identically moving agents that did not help or hinder (Experiment 2). The results demonstrate that the P400 component indexes activation of infants’ memories of previously perceived interactions between social agents. This leads to suggest that similar processes might be involved in infants’ processing of pro- and antisocial agents and other social perception processes (encoding gaze direction, goal directed grasping and pointing). PMID:25681955

  17. Pro-2-PAM therapy for central and peripheral cholinesterases.

    PubMed

    Demar, James C; Clarkson, Edward D; Ratcliffe, Ruthie H; Campbell, Amy J; Thangavelu, Sonia G; Herdman, Christine A; Leader, Haim; Schulz, Susan M; Marek, Elizabeth; Medynets, Marie A; Ku, Therese C; Evans, Sarah A; Khan, Farhat A; Owens, Roberta R; Nambiar, Madhusoodana P; Gordon, Richard K

    2010-09-01

    Novel therapeutics to overcome the toxic effects of organophosphorus (OP) chemical agents are needed due to the documented use of OPs in warfare (e.g. 1980-1988 Iran/Iraq war) and terrorism (e.g. 1995 Tokyo subway attacks). Standard OP exposure therapy in the United States consists of atropine sulfate (to block muscarinic receptors), the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) reactivator (oxime) pralidoxime chloride (2-PAM), and a benzodiazepine anticonvulsant to ameliorate seizures. A major disadvantage is that quaternary nitrogen charged oximes, including 2-PAM, do not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) to treat brain AChE. Therefore, we have synthesized and evaluated pro-2-PAM (a lipid permeable 2-PAM derivative) that can enter the brain and reactivate CNS AChE, preventing seizures in guinea pigs after exposure to OPs. The protective effects of the pro-2-PAM after OP exposure were shown using (a) surgically implanted radiotelemetry probes for electroencephalogram (EEG), (b) neurohistopathology of brain, (c) cholinesterase activities in the PNS and CNS, and (d) survivability. The PNS oxime 2-PAM was ineffective at reducing seizures/status epilepticus (SE) in diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP)-exposed animals. In contrast, pro-2-PAM significantly suppressed and then eliminated seizure activity. In OP-exposed guinea pigs, there was a significant reduction in neurological damage with pro-2-PAM but not 2-PAM. Distinct regional areas of the brains showed significantly higher AChE activity 1.5h after OP exposure in pro-2-PAM treated animals compared to the 2-PAM treated ones. However, blood and diaphragm showed similar AChE activities in animals treated with either oxime, as both 2-PAM and pro-2-PAM are PNS active oximes. In conclusion, pro-2-PAM can cross the BBB, is rapidly metabolized inside the brain to 2-PAM, and protects against OP-induced SE through restoration of brain AChE activity. Pro-2-PAM represents the first non-invasive means of administering a CNS therapeutic for

  18. Cancer exosomes trigger mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into pro-angiogenic and pro-invasive myofibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Gurney, Mark; Mason, Malcolm D.; Tabi, Zsuzsanna; Clayton, Aled

    2015-01-01

    Stromal fibroblasts become altered in response to solid cancers, to exhibit myofibroblastic characteristics, with disease promoting influence. Infiltrating mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may contribute towards these changes, but the factors secreted by cancer cells that impact MSC differentiation are poorly understood. We investigated the role of nano-metre sized vesicles (exosomes), secreted by prostate cancer cells, on the differentiation of bone-marrow MSC (BM-MSC), and the subsequent functional consequences of such changes. Purified exosomes impaired classical adipogenic differentiation, skewing differentiation towards alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) positive myofibroblastic cells. A single exosomes treatment generated myofibroblasts secreting high levels of VEGF-A, HGF and matrix regulating factors (MMP-1, −3 and −13). Differentiated MSC had pro-angiogenic functions and enhanced tumour proliferation and invasivity assessed in a 3D co-culture model. Differentiation was dependent on exosomal-TGFβ, but soluble TGFβ at matched dose could not generate the same phenotype. Exosomes present in the cancer cell secretome were the principal factors driving this phenotype. Prostate cancer exosomes dominantly dictate a programme of MSC differentiation generating myofibroblasts with functional properties consistent with disease promotion. PMID:25596732

  19. Cancer exosomes trigger mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into pro-angiogenic and pro-invasive myofibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Ridwana; Webber, Jason P; Gurney, Mark; Mason, Malcolm D; Tabi, Zsuzsanna; Clayton, Aled

    2015-01-20

    Stromal fibroblasts become altered in response to solid cancers, to exhibit myofibroblastic characteristics, with disease promoting influence. Infiltrating mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may contribute towards these changes, but the factors secreted by cancer cells that impact MSC differentiation are poorly understood. We investigated the role of nano-metre sized vesicles (exosomes), secreted by prostate cancer cells, on the differentiation of bone-marrow MSC (BM-MSC), and the subsequent functional consequences of such changes. Purified exosomes impaired classical adipogenic differentiation, skewing differentiation towards alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) positive myofibroblastic cells. A single exosomes treatment generated myofibroblasts secreting high levels of VEGF-A, HGF and matrix regulating factors (MMP-1, -3 and -13). Differentiated MSC had pro-angiogenic functions and enhanced tumour proliferation and invasivity assessed in a 3D co-culture model. Differentiation was dependent on exosomal-TGFβ, but soluble TGFβ at matched dose could not generate the same phenotype. Exosomes present in the cancer cell secretome were the principal factors driving this phenotype. Prostate cancer exosomes dominantly dictate a programme of MSC differentiation generating myofibroblasts with functional properties consistent with disease promotion. PMID:25596732

  20. HBpF-proBDNF: A New Tool for the Analysis of Pro-Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptor Signaling and Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Gaub, Perrine; de Léon, Andrès; Gibon, Julien; Soubannier, Vincent; Dorval, Geneviève; Séguéla, Philippe; Barker, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins activate intracellular signaling pathways necessary for neuronal survival, growth and apoptosis. The most abundant neurotrophin in the adult brain, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is first synthesized as a proBDNF precursor and recent studies have demonstrated that proBDNF can be secreted and that it functions as a ligand for a receptor complex containing p75NTR and sortilin. Activation of proBDNF receptors mediates growth cone collapse, reduces synaptic activity, and facilitates developmental apoptosis of motoneurons but the precise signaling cascades have been difficult to discern. To address this, we have engineered, expressed and purified HBpF-proBDNF, an expression construct containing a 6X-HIS tag, a biotin acceptor peptide (BAP) sequence, a PreScission™ Protease cleavage site and a FLAG-tag attached to the N-terminal part of murine proBDNF. Intact HBpF-proBDNF has activities indistinguishable from its wild-type counterpart and can be used to purify proBDNF signaling complexes or to monitor proBDNF endocytosis and retrograde transport. HBpF-proBDNF will be useful for characterizing proBDNF signaling complexes and for deciphering the role of proBDNF in neuronal development, synapse function and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26950209

  1. HBpF-proBDNF: A New Tool for the Analysis of Pro-Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptor Signaling and Cell Biology.

    PubMed

    Gaub, Perrine; de Léon, Andrès; Gibon, Julien; Soubannier, Vincent; Dorval, Geneviève; Séguéla, Philippe; Barker, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins activate intracellular signaling pathways necessary for neuronal survival, growth and apoptosis. The most abundant neurotrophin in the adult brain, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is first synthesized as a proBDNF precursor and recent studies have demonstrated that proBDNF can be secreted and that it functions as a ligand for a receptor complex containing p75NTR and sortilin. Activation of proBDNF receptors mediates growth cone collapse, reduces synaptic activity, and facilitates developmental apoptosis of motoneurons but the precise signaling cascades have been difficult to discern. To address this, we have engineered, expressed and purified HBpF-proBDNF, an expression construct containing a 6X-HIS tag, a biotin acceptor peptide (BAP) sequence, a PreScission™ Protease cleavage site and a FLAG-tag attached to the N-terminal part of murine proBDNF. Intact HBpF-proBDNF has activities indistinguishable from its wild-type counterpart and can be used to purify proBDNF signaling complexes or to monitor proBDNF endocytosis and retrograde transport. HBpF-proBDNF will be useful for characterizing proBDNF signaling complexes and for deciphering the role of proBDNF in neuronal development, synapse function and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26950209

  2. Ionizing radiation modulates human macrophages towards a pro-inflammatory phenotype preserving their pro-invasive and pro-angiogenic capacities

    PubMed Central

    Teresa Pinto, Ana; Laranjeiro Pinto, Marta; Patrícia Cardoso, Ana; Monteiro, Cátia; Teixeira Pinto, Marta; Filipe Maia, André; Castro, Patrícia; Figueira, Rita; Monteiro, Armanda; Marques, Margarida; Mareel, Marc; dos Santos, Susana Gomes; Seruca, Raquel; Adolfo Barbosa, Mário; Rocha, Sónia; José Oliveira, Maria

    2016-01-01

    In order to improve the efficacy of conventional radiotherapy, attention has been paid to immune cells, which not only modulate cancer cell response to therapy but are also highly recruited to tumours after irradiation. Particularly, the effect of ionizing radiation on macrophages, using therapeutically relevant doses, is not well understood. To evaluate how radiotherapy affects macrophage behaviour and macrophage-mediated cancer cell activity, human monocyte derived-macrophages were subjected, for a week, to cumulative ionizing radiation doses, as used during cancer treatment (2 Gy/fraction/day). Irradiated macrophages remained viable and metabolically active, despite DNA damage. NF-kappaB transcription activation and increased Bcl-xL expression evidenced the promotion of pro-survival activity. A significant increase of pro-inflammatory macrophage markers CD80, CD86 and HLA-DR, but not CCR7, TNF and IL1B was observed after 10 Gy cumulative doses, while anti-inflammatory markers CD163, MRC1, VCAN and IL-10 expression decreased, suggesting the modulation towards a more pro-inflammatory phenotype. Moreover, ionizing radiation induced macrophage morphological alterations and increased their phagocytic rate, without affecting matrix metalloproteases (MMP)2 and MMP9 activity. Importantly, irradiated macrophages promoted cancer cell-invasion and cancer cell-induced angiogenesis. Our work highlights macrophage ability to sustain cancer cell activities as a major concern that needs to be addressed to improve radiotherapy efficacy. PMID:26735768

  3. Structuring an integrated care system: interpreted through the enacted diversity of the actors involved—the case of a French healthcare network

    PubMed Central

    Grenier, Corinne

    2011-01-01

    Research question We are looking at the process of structuring an integrated care system as an innovative process that swings back and forth between the diversity of the actors involved, local aspirations and national and regional regulations. We believe that innovation is enriched by the variety of the actors involved, but may also be blocked or disrupted by that diversity. Our research aims to add to other research, which, when questioning these integrated systems, analyses how the actors involved deal with diversity without really questioning it. Case study The empirical basis of the paper is provided by case study analysis. The studied integrated care system is a French healthcare network that brings together healthcare professionals and various organisations in order to improve the way in which interventions are coordinated and formalised, in order to promote better detection and diagnosis procedures and the implementation of a care protocol. We consider this case as instrumental in developing theoretical proposals for structuring an integrated care system in light of the diversity of the actors involved. Results and discussion We are proposing a model for structuring an integrated care system in light of the enacted diversity of the actors involved. This model is based on three factors: the diversity enacted by the leaders, three stances for considering the contribution made by diversity in the structuring process and the specific leading role played by those in charge of the structuring process. Through this process, they determined how the actors involved in the project were differentiated, and on what basis those actors were involved. By mobilising enacted diversity, the leaders are seeking to channel the emergence of a network in light of their own representation of that network. This model adds to published research on the structuring of integrated care systems. PMID:21637706

  4. Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors

    PubMed Central

    Akin, Su-Mia; Martens, Pim; Huynen, Maud M.T.E.

    2015-01-01

    There is growing evidence of climate change affecting infectious disease risk in Western Europe. The call for effective adaptation to this challenge becomes increasingly stronger. This paper presents the results of a survey exploring Dutch expert perspectives on adaptation responses to climate change impacts on infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Additionally, the survey explores the expert sample’s prioritization of mitigation and adaptation, and expert views on the willingness and capacity of relevant actors to respond to climate change. An integrated view on the causation of infectious disease risk is employed, including multiple (climatic and non-climatic) factors. The results show that the experts consider some adaptation responses as relatively more cost-effective, like fostering interagency and community partnerships, or beneficial to health, such as outbreak investigation and response. Expert opinions converge and diverge for different adaptation responses. Regarding the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation responses expert perspectives converge towards a 50/50 budgetary allocation. The experts consider the national government/health authority as the most capable actor to respond to climate change-induced infectious disease risk. Divergence and consensus among expert opinions can influence adaptation policy processes. Further research is necessary to uncover prevailing expert perspectives and their roots, and compare these. PMID:26295247

  5. Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors.

    PubMed

    Akin, Su-Mia; Martens, Pim; Huynen, Maud M T E

    2015-08-01

    There is growing evidence of climate change affecting infectious disease risk in Western Europe. The call for effective adaptation to this challenge becomes increasingly stronger. This paper presents the results of a survey exploring Dutch expert perspectives on adaptation responses to climate change impacts on infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Additionally, the survey explores the expert sample's prioritization of mitigation and adaptation, and expert views on the willingness and capacity of relevant actors to respond to climate change. An integrated view on the causation of infectious disease risk is employed, including multiple (climatic and non-climatic) factors. The results show that the experts consider some adaptation responses as relatively more cost-effective, like fostering interagency and community partnerships, or beneficial to health, such as outbreak investigation and response. Expert opinions converge and diverge for different adaptation responses. Regarding the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation responses expert perspectives converge towards a 50/50 budgetary allocation. The experts consider the national government/health authority as the most capable actor to respond to climate change-induced infectious disease risk. Divergence and consensus among expert opinions can influence adaptation policy processes. Further research is necessary to uncover prevailing expert perspectives and their roots, and compare these. PMID:26295247

  6. Adaptive Actor-Critic Design-Based Integral Sliding-Mode Control for Partially Unknown Nonlinear Systems With Input Disturbances.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quan-Yong; Yang, Guang-Hong

    2016-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the problem of integral sliding-mode control for a class of nonlinear systems with input disturbances and unknown nonlinear terms through the adaptive actor-critic (AC) control method. The main objective is to design a sliding-mode control methodology based on the adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) method, so that the closed-loop system with time-varying disturbances is stable and the nearly optimal performance of the sliding-mode dynamics can be guaranteed. In the first step, a neural network (NN)-based observer and a disturbance observer are designed to approximate the unknown nonlinear terms and estimate the input disturbances, respectively. Based on the NN approximations and disturbance estimations, the discontinuous part of the sliding-mode control is constructed to eliminate the effect of the disturbances and attain the expected equivalent sliding-mode dynamics. Then, the ADP method with AC structure is presented to learn the optimal control for the sliding-mode dynamics online. Reconstructed tuning laws are developed to guarantee the stability of the sliding-mode dynamics and the convergence of the weights of critic and actor NNs. Finally, the simulation results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:26357411

  7. [Social actors in HIV/AIDS prevention: opposition and interests in educational policy in Mexico, 1994-2000].

    PubMed

    Granados-Cosme, José Arturo; Nasaiya, Kittipong; Brambila, Alberto Torres

    2007-03-01

    Studies and recommendations by health agencies have emphasized the importance of education in HIV-AIDS prevention. Mexico has included topics on sexuality and HIV-AIDS in school programs, triggering resistance by some social actors. The current study seeks to clarify the various positions and interests and their influence on the textbook content. A literature search was conducted on the period during which the last educational reform was implemented in Mexico. The discourse analysis focused on the ethnography of communication, which identified: the various actors' positions, arguments, actions, economic and political power, and relations to others. The results show that those who oppose the inclusion of these themes in the school curriculum base their position on tradition, contrary to modernization and secularization of social life, and that their positions range from refusal to raising conditions. Networks have been formed that provide such groups with significant economic and political power. Government has given in to some demands by partially modifying the textbook contents. The current analysis proposes to reflect on the potential repercussions of such actions on the control of the epidemic. PMID:17334568

  8. Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This Quick Time movie is of NASA's Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System experiment (ProSEDS). ProSEDS will demonstrate the use of an electrodynamic tether, basically a long, thin wire, for propulsion. An electrodynamic tether uses the same principles as electric motors in toys, appliances and computer disk drives, and generators in automobiles and power plants. When electrical current is flowing through the tether, a magnetic field is produced that pushes against the magnetic field of the Earth. For ProSEDS, the current in the tether results by virtue of the voltage generated when the tether moves through the Earth's magnetic field at more than 17,000 mph. This approach can produce drag thrust generating useable power. Since electrodynamic tethers require no propellant, they could substantially reduce the weight of the spacecraft and provide a cost-effective method of reboosting spacecraft. The tether would be a 3.1-mile (5 kilometer) long, ultrathin base-wire tether connected with a 6.2-mile (10 kilometer) long nonconducting tether. The ProSEDS experiment is managed by the Space Transportation Directorate at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  9. 31 CFR 50.93 - Application of pro rata share.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Application of pro rata share. 50.93 Section 50.93 Money and Finance: Treasury Office of the Secretary of the Treasury TERRORISM RISK INSURANCE... from a subsequent act of terrorism....

  10. 19 CFR 122.74 - Incomplete (pro forma) manifest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ...; Electronic Manifest Requirements for Passengers, Crew Members, and Non-Crew Members Onboard Commercial Aircraft Departing From the United States § 122.74 Incomplete (pro forma) manifest. (a) Application—(1) Shipments to foreign countries. Except for aircraft bound for foreign locations referred to in paragraph...

  11. 19 CFR 122.74 - Incomplete (pro forma) manifest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ...; Electronic Manifest Requirements for Passengers, Crew Members, and Non-Crew Members Onboard Commercial Aircraft Departing From the United States § 122.74 Incomplete (pro forma) manifest. (a) Application—(1) Shipments to foreign countries. Except for aircraft bound for foreign locations referred to in paragraph...

  12. 19 CFR 122.74 - Incomplete (pro forma) manifest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ...; Electronic Manifest Requirements for Passengers, Crew Members, and Non-Crew Members Onboard Commercial Aircraft Departing From the United States § 122.74 Incomplete (pro forma) manifest. (a) Application—(1) Shipments to foreign countries. Except for aircraft bound for foreign locations referred to in paragraph...

  13. 19 CFR 122.74 - Incomplete (pro forma) manifest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ...; Electronic Manifest Requirements for Passengers, Crew Members, and Non-Crew Members Onboard Commercial Aircraft Departing From the United States § 122.74 Incomplete (pro forma) manifest. (a) Application—(1) Shipments to foreign countries. Except for aircraft bound for foreign locations referred to in paragraph...

  14. Pro-Forms as Projective Devices in Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keevallik, Leelo

    2011-01-01

    Cataphoric pronouns have been characterized as being co-referential with a word that comes later. Considering that talk is produced in real time, with little benefit of knowing what is yet to come, participants understand cataphoric pro-forms to be projecting more talk. Projection is a crucial interactive resource, as it enables speakers to align…

  15. Mexican American Adolescents' Perceptions of a Pro-College Culture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castillo, Linda G.; Conoley, Collie W.; Cepeda, Lisa M.; Ivy, Karen K.; Archuleta, Debra J.

    2010-01-01

    Three focus groups of ninth-grade Mexican American students explored the factors contributing to a pro-college culture. The students participated in the federal initiative program called "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs." Analysis revealed specific student, family, peer, and school personnel influences toward a…

  16. Do Null Subjects (Mis-)Trigger Pro-Drop Grammars?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frazier, Lyn

    2015-01-01

    Native speakers of English regularly hear sentences without overt subjects. Nevertheless, they maintain a [[superscript -]pro] grammar that requires sentences to have an overt subject. It is proposed that listeners of English recognize that speakers reduce predictable material and thus attribute null subjects to this process, rather than changing…

  17. Watts Up? Pro AC Power Meter for Automated Energy Recording

    PubMed Central

    Hirst, Jason M.; Miller, Jonathan R.; Kaplan, Brent A.; Reed, Derek D.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present paper is to review the Watts up? Pro AC power meter. Evaluations of the meter's reliability for measuring energy consumption by consumer electronics yielded acceptable levels of reliability. Implications and limitations for the use of this product in behavior analytic research and practice are discussed.

  18. The Role of Cyclo(His-Pro) in Neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Grottelli, Silvia; Ferrari, Ilaria; Pietrini, Grazia; Peirce, Matthew J; Minelli, Alba; Bellezza, Ilaria

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases may have distinct genetic etiologies and pathological manifestations, yet share common cellular mechanisms underpinning neuronal damage and dysfunction. These cellular mechanisms include excitotoxicity, calcium dysregulation, oxidative damage, ER stress and neuroinflammation. Recent data have identified a dual role in these events for glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, which are able both to induce and to protect against damage induced by diverse stresses. Cyclo(His-Pro), a cyclic dipeptide derived from the hydrolytic removal of the amino-terminal pyroglutamic acid residue of the hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone, may be important in regulating the nature of the glial cell contribution. Cyclo(His-Pro) is ubiquitous in the central nervous system and is a key substrate of organic cation transporters, which are strongly linked to neuroprotection. The cyclic dipeptide can also cross the brain-blood-barrier and, once in the brain, can affect diverse inflammatory and stress responses by modifying the Nrf2-NF-κB signaling axis. For these reasons, cyclo(His-Pro) has striking potential for therapeutic application by both parenteral and oral administration routes and may represent an important new tool in counteracting neuroinflammation-based degenerative pathologies. In this review, we discuss the chemistry and biology of cyclo(His-Pro), how it may interact with the biological mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disease, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and thereby act to preserve or restore neuronal function. PMID:27529240

  19. Memory for Pro-Social Intentions: When Competing Motives Collide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brandimonte, Maria A.; Ferrante, Donatella; Bianco, Carmela; Villani, Maria Grazia

    2010-01-01

    Memory for future actions, or "prospective memory" (PM), often involves remembering to do things "for others". The present article explores the motivational mechanisms underlying memory for pro-social intentions through the manipulation of the social relevance of goals and presence of material rewards during an activity-based PM task. Results…

  20. The Role of Cyclo(His-Pro) in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Grottelli, Silvia; Ferrari, Ilaria; Pietrini, Grazia; Peirce, Matthew J.; Minelli, Alba; Bellezza, Ilaria

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases may have distinct genetic etiologies and pathological manifestations, yet share common cellular mechanisms underpinning neuronal damage and dysfunction. These cellular mechanisms include excitotoxicity, calcium dysregulation, oxidative damage, ER stress and neuroinflammation. Recent data have identified a dual role in these events for glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, which are able both to induce and to protect against damage induced by diverse stresses. Cyclo(His-Pro), a cyclic dipeptide derived from the hydrolytic removal of the amino-terminal pyroglutamic acid residue of the hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone, may be important in regulating the nature of the glial cell contribution. Cyclo(His-Pro) is ubiquitous in the central nervous system and is a key substrate of organic cation transporters, which are strongly linked to neuroprotection. The cyclic dipeptide can also cross the brain-blood-barrier and, once in the brain, can affect diverse inflammatory and stress responses by modifying the Nrf2-NF-κB signaling axis. For these reasons, cyclo(His-Pro) has striking potential for therapeutic application by both parenteral and oral administration routes and may represent an important new tool in counteracting neuroinflammation-based degenerative pathologies. In this review, we discuss the chemistry and biology of cyclo(His-Pro), how it may interact with the biological mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disease, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and thereby act to preserve or restore neuronal function. PMID:27529240

  1. Affordance, Learning Opportunities, and the Lesson Plan Pro Forma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Jason

    2015-01-01

    This article argues that the most commonly used lesson plan pro formas in language teacher education are inappropriately premised on an outcomes-based approach to teaching, one that is in conflict with what we know about how languages are learnt and how experienced teachers teach. It proposes an alternative, affordance-based approach to lesson…

  2. MEMS Pro Design Kit - Parts A, B, and C

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2006-06-15

    Part A: SUMMiT V design Kit components for use with MEMS Pro from SoftMEMS Part B: SUMMiT V remote DRC and gear generator source code for use with autocad visual basic Part C: SUMMiT V DRC rules source and test cases for Calibre DRC engine

  3. The "Creation-Science" Case and Pro Bono Publico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Peggy L.

    1982-01-01

    Describes contributions and efforts of New York law firm (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, Flom) personnel in developing plaintiff's case in McLean v. Arkansas 590 (balanced treatment of creationism/evolution). Discusses aspects of "Pro Bono Publico" (unpaid public interest service) endeavors in general and those related to this law firm in…

  4. Affecting Community Change: Involving "Pro Bono" Professionals as Extension Volunteers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelley, Diane T.; Culp, Ken, III

    2013-01-01

    "Pro bono" volunteers provide an effective means for Extension professionals to expand limited financial and human resources. Volunteers recruited from business settings can provide skills, abilities, expertise, leadership, and resources to Extension programs. Allowing professional volunteers to meet their desired leadership goals while…

  5. Virtex-II Pro SEE Test Methods and Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petrick, David; Powell, Wesley; Howard, James W., Jr.; LaBel, Kenneth A.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this coarse Single Event Effect (SEE) test is to determine the suitability of the commercial Virtex-II Pro family for use in spaceflight applications. To this end, this test is primarily intended to determine any Singe Event Latchup (SEL) susceptibilities for these devices. Secondly, this test is intended to measure the level of Single Event Upset (SEU) susceptibilities and in a general sense where they occur. The coarse SEE test was performed on a commercial XC2VP7 device, a relatively small single processor version of the Virtex-II Pro. As the XC2VP7 shares the same functional block design and fabrication process with the larger Virtex-II Pro devices, the results of this test should also be applicable to the larger devices. The XC2VP7 device was tested on a commercial Virtex-II Pro development board. The testing was performed at the Cyclotron laboratories at Texas A&M and Michigan State Universities using ions of varying energy levels and fluences.

  6. Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bain, Paul G.; Hornsey, Matthew J.; Bongiorno, Renata; Jeffries, Carla

    2012-08-01

    A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally. However, the likelihood of `conversion' using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions. An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development. Study 2 (N=347) replicated this experimentally, showing that framing climate change action as increasing consideration for others, or improving economic/technological development, led to greater pro-environmental action intentions than a frame emphasizing avoiding the risks of climate change. To motivate deniers' pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.

  7. Intrinsic structural disorder of mouse proNGF.

    PubMed

    Paoletti, Francesca; Covaceuszach, Sonia; Konarev, Peter V; Gonfloni, Stefania; Malerba, Francesca; Schwarz, Elisabeth; Svergun, Dmitri I; Cattaneo, Antonino; Lamba, Doriano

    2009-06-01

    The unprocessed precursor of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), proNGF, has additional functions, besides its initially described role as a chaperone for NGF folding. The precursor protein endows apoptotic and/or neurotrophic properties, in contrast to the mature part. The structural and molecular basis for such distinct activities are presently unknown. Aiming to gain insights into the specific molecular interactions that govern rm-proNGF biological activities versus those of its mature counterpart, a structural study by synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in solution was carried out. The different binding properties of the two proteins were investigated by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) using, as structural probes, a panel of anti-NGF antibodies and the soluble forms of TrkA and p75(NTR) receptors. SAXS measurements revealed the rm-proNGF to be dimeric and anisometric, with the propeptide domain being intrinsically unstructured. Ab initio reconstructions assuming twofold symmetry generated two types of structural models, a globular "crab-like" and an elongated shape that resulted in equally good fits of the scattering data. A novel method accounting for possible coexistence of different conformations contributing to the experimental scattering pattern, with no symmetry constraints, suggests the "crab-like" to be a more likely proNGF conformation. To exploit the potential of chemical stabilizers affecting the existing conformational protein populations, SAXS data were also collected in the presence of ammonium sulphate. An increase of the proNGF compactness was observed. SPR data pinpoints that the propeptide of proNGF may act as an intrinsically unstructured protein domain, characterized by a molecular promiscuity in the interaction/binding to multiple partners (TrkA and p75(NTR) receptors and a panel of neutralizing anti-NGF antibodies) depending on the physiological conditions of the cell. These data provide a first insight into the structural basis

  8. Pro-apoptotic Action of Corticosterone in Hippocampal Organotypic Cultures.

    PubMed

    Kurek, Anna; Kucharczyk, Mateusz; Detka, Jan; Ślusarczyk, Joanna; Trojan, Ewa; Głombik, Katarzyna; Bojarski, Bartosz; Ludwikowska, Agnieszka; Lasoń, Władysław; Budziszewska, Bogusława

    2016-08-01

    Elevated levels of glucocorticoids exert neurotoxic effects, and the hippocampus is particularly sensitive to the effects of glucocorticoids. Because some data have indicated that an increased action of glucocorticoids in the perinatal period enhances the susceptibility of brain tissue to adverse substances later in life, the main purpose of the present study was to compare necrotic/apoptotic corticosterone action in hippocampal organotypic cultures obtained from control animals with the effect of this steroid in tissue from prenatally stressed rats. Because the adverse effects of glucocorticoid action on nerve cell viability appear to result mainly from an increase in the intensity of the effects of glutamate and changes in growth factor and pro-inflammatory cytokine synthesis, the involvement of these factors in corticosterone action were also determined. In stress-like concentration (1 μM), corticosterone, when added to hippocampal cultures for 1 and 3 days, alone or jointly with glutamate, did not induce necrosis. In contrast, in 3-day cultures, corticosterone (1 μM) increased caspase-3 activity and the mRNA expression of the pro-apoptotic Bax. Moreover, corticosterone's effect on caspase-3 activity was stronger in hippocampal cultures from prenatally stressed compared to control rats. Additionally, 24 h of exposure to corticosterone and glutamate, when applied separately and together, increased Bdnf, Ngf, and Tnf-α expression. In contrast, after 72 h, a strong decrease in the expression of both growth factors was observed, while the expression of TNF-α remained high. The present study showed that in stress-like concentrations, corticosterone exerted pro-apoptotic but not necrotic effects in hippocampal organotypic cultures. Prenatal stress increased the pro-apoptotic effects of corticosterone. Increased synthesis of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α may be connected with the adverse effects of corticosterone on brain cell viability. PMID:27189478

  9. Progastrin a new pro-angiogenic factor in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Najib, S; Kowalski-Chauvel, A; Do, C; Roche, S; Cohen-Jonathan-Moyal, E; Seva, C

    2015-06-11

    Angiogenesis is essential in tumor progression and metastatic process, and increased angiogenesis has been associated with poor prognosis and relapse of colorectal cancer (CRC). VEGF has become the main target of anti-angiogenic therapy. However, most patients relapse after an initial response or present a resistance to the treatment. Identification of new pro-angiogenic factors may help to improve anti-angiogenic therapy. In this study, we demonstrated that the pro-hormone progastrin (PG), over-expressed in CRC, recognized as a growth factor, is a potent pro-angiogenic factor. In transgenic mice and human colorectal HPs producing high levels of PG, we correlated PG overexpression with an increased vascularization. In vitro, exogenous PG and conditioned media (CM) from CRC cells producing PG increased endothelial cell proliferation and migration. We also showed that treatment with exogenous PG can increase the ability of endothelial cells to form capillary-like structures. Moreover, we demonstrated that PG enhanced endothelial permeability. The finding that PG stimulated the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, p125-FAK, paxillin and induced actin remodelling was consistent with a role of these components in PG-stimulated endothelial cell migration and permeability. The pro-angiogenic effects observed with CM were significantly inhibited when CRC cells expressed a PG shRNA. In vivo, we found an important decrease in tumor growth and neovascularization when the CRC cells expressing the PG shRNA were xenografted in mice or in the chick chorioallantoic membrane model. We also observed an increase in the coverage of blood vessels by pericytes and a decrease in endothelial permeability when PG expression was blocked. Our results demonstrate that PG is a new pro-angiogenic factor in CRC and an attractive therapeutic target. PMID:25109333

  10. Using Pro/ENGINEER`s{reg_sign} interface module

    SciTech Connect

    Schulze, J.

    1994-06-01

    When the ACCORD Process introduced Pro/ENGINEER to Sandians several years ago, a new process for design/definition was implemented. Prior to ACCORD, engineers and draftsmen worked in the 2-D mode with a program caned ANVIL{reg_sign}, which had limited capabilities. Although the transition from 2-D modeling to 3-D modeling met with some resistance, most engineers have embraced this new concept with enthusiasm They are now able to work in the 3-D mode and at increased levels of productivity with appropriate time savings never achieved before. One area that Pro/ENGINEER is noted for that this report will concentrate on, is the powerful interface module with its wide selection of transfer file configurations. This allows the engineer to create parts or assemblies and transfer them to many different second party software packages whose vendors can provide the capability for stress analysis, rapid prototypes, virtual reality environments, or many other forms of advanced manufacturing modes of communication. The ACCORD Program has at its core, the Pro/ENGINEER program from Parametric Technology Inc. Included in the ACCORD program, are several supporting programs from other vendors to make this cooperation between software packages a reality. It is possible to create parts in Pro/ENG transfer those parts to another package that has the capability to analyze the parts for deficiencies, then optimize those parts, and allow for changes to be made. Also included in this report, are other packages closely tied to Pro/ENGINEER, but not necessarily supported under the ACCORD program. Some of these packages allow you to create very impressive video productions, or allow you to meander through a virtual reality scenario. All of these new software packages will give you a new perspective on performance. This report will show how some of these interfaces work, and how you can improve your productivity if you utilize the ACCORD program as it is implemented here at Sandia.

  11. Development of Polymer Coatings for the ProSEDS Tether

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaughn, Jason A.; Kamenetsky, Rachel R.; Finckenor, Miria; Wright, Ken

    2000-01-01

    The ProSEDS mission is designed to provide an on-orbit demonstration of the electrodynamic propulsion capabilities of tethers in space. The ProSEDS experiment will be a secondary payload on a Delta 11 unmanned, expendable booster. A 5 km conductive tether is attached to the deployer baseplate on the Delta 11 second stage and collects current from the low Earth orbit (LEO) plasma to facilitate de-orbit of the Delta II second stage. The conductive tether is attached to a 10-15 km non-conductive tether, which in turn is attached to an endmass. A bare metal tether would have the best conductivity but thermal concerns preclude this design. A conductive polymer developed by Triton Systems has been optimized for optimum conductivity and thermo-optical properties. The current design for the ProSEDS conductive tether is seven individually coated strands of 28 AWG aluminum wire, coated with 12.7 micrometers (0.5 mil) atomic oxygen-resistant conductive polymer composed of a mixture of COR and PANi, wrapped around a braided Kevlar 29 core. Extensive testing has been performed at the Marshall Space Flight Center to qualify this material for flight on ProSEDS. Atomic oxygen exposure has been performed, with solar absorptance and infrared emittance measured before and after exposure. Plasma chamber tests have been completed, as well as tether deployment tests. Also developed for the ProSEDS mission was the insulating polymer TOR-BP. Approximately 200 meters of the conductive tether closest to the Delta II second stage is insulated to prevent any electron reconnection to the tether from the plasma contactor. The insulating material is TOR-BP with a dielectric strength of TBD.

  12. The 2015-16 Pro-Kid Policy Agenda for California: A Guide to Pro-Kid Policymaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Children Now, 2015

    2015-01-01

    The 2015-16 Pro-Kid Policy Agenda for California is the only comprehensive roadmap at the state level for policymakers, stakeholders, and others who want all children--especially children of color and children from low-income families--to have the opportunity to reach their full potential. A plethora of research shows that investments in quality…

  13. The Effects of Super-Flux (High Performance) Dialyzer on Plasma Glycosylated Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (proBNP) and Glycosylated N-Terminal proBNP in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients on Dialysis

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Yasuaki; Nishikimi, Toshio; Kuwahara, Koichiro; Yasuno, Shinji; Kinoshita, Hideyuki; Kuwabara, Yoshihiro; Nakao, Kazuhiro; Minami, Takeya; Yamada, Chinatsu; Ueshima, Kenji; Ikeda, Yoshihiro; Okamoto, Hiroyuki; Horii, Kazukiyo; Nagata, Kiyoshi; Kangawa, Kenji; Minamino, Naoto; Nakao, Kazuwa

    2014-01-01

    Background Plasma BNP levels are predictive of prognosis in hemodialysis patients. However, recent studies showed that the current BNP immunoassay cross-reacts with glycosylated proBNP, and the NT-proBNP assay underestimates glycosylated NT-proBNP. In addition, the recently developed high performance dialyzer removes medium-sized molecular solutes such as β2-microgloburin. We therefore investigated the effects of high performance dialysis on measured levels of glycosylated proBNP, glycosylated NT-proBNP and other BNP-related peptides in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on hemodialysis. Method The relationships between clinical parameters and BNP-related molecule were also investigated. We used our newly developed immunoassay to measure plasma total BNP and proBNP in 105 normal subjects and 36 ESRD patients before and after hemodialysis. Plasma NT-proBNP was measured using Elecsys II after treatment with or without deglycosylating enzymes. We also measured plasma ANP and cGMP using radioimmunoassays. Results All the measured BNP-related peptides were significantly higher in ESRD patients than healthy subjects. Total BNP (−38.9%), proBNP (−29.7%), glycoNT-proBNP (−45.5%), nonglycoNT-proBNP (−53.4%), ANP (−50.4%) and cGMP (−72.1%) were all significantly reduced after hemodialysis, and the magnitude of the reduction appeared molecular weight- dependent. Both the proBNP/total BNP and glycoNT-proBNP/nonglycoNT-proBNP ratios were increased after hemodialysis. The former correlated positively with hemodialysis vintage and negatively with systolic blood pressure, while the latter correlated positively with parathyroid hormone levels. Conclusion These results suggest that hemodialysis using super-flux dialyzer removes BNP-related peptides in a nearly molecular weight-dependent manner. The ProBNP/total BNP and glycoNT-proBNP/nonglycoNT-proBNP ratios appear to be influenced by hemodialysis-related parameters in ESRD patients on hemodialysis. PMID:24667631

  14. Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Barraza, Douglas; Jansen, Kees; van Wendel de Joode, Berna; Wesseling, Catharina

    2011-07-01

    The Talamanca County in Costa Rica has large-scale banana and small-scale plantain production, probably causing pesticide exposure in indigenous children. We explored to what extent different community actors are aware of children's pesticide hazards and how their awareness related to socio-economical and cultural conditions. Methods comprised eight focus groups with fathers and mothers separately, 27 semi-structured interviews to key actors, and field observations. As a whole, the indigenous plantain farmers and banana plantation workers had some general knowledge of pesticides concerning crop protection, but little on acute health effects, and hardly any on exposure routes and pathways, and chronic effects. People expressed vague ideas about pesticide risks. Inter-community differences were related to pesticide technologies used in banana and plantain production, employment status on a multinational plantation versus smallholder status, and gender. Compared to formalized practices on transnational company plantations, where workers reported to feel protected, pesticide handling by plantain smallholders was not perceived as hazardous and therefore no safety precautions were applied. Large-scale monoculture was perceived as one of the most important problems leading to pesticide risks in Talamanca on banana plantations, and also on neighboring small plantain farms extending into large areas. Plantain farmers have adopted use of highly toxic pesticides following banana production, but in conditions of extreme poverty. Aerial spraying in banana plantations was considered by most social actors a major determinant of exposure for the population living nearby these plantations, including vulnerable children. We observed violations of legally established aerial spraying distances. Economic considerations were most mentioned as the underlying reason for the pesticide use: economic needs to obtain the production quantity and quality, and pressure to use pesticides by other

  15. Design of a case management model for people with chronic disease (Heart Failure and COPD). Phase I: modeling and identification of the main components of the intervention through their actors: patients and professionals (DELTA-icE-PRO Study)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Chronic diseases account for nearly 60% of deaths around the world. The extent of this silent epidemic has not met determined responses in governments, policies or professionals in order to transform old Health Care Systems, configured for acute diseases. There is a large list of research about alternative models for people with chronic conditions, many of them with an advanced practice nurse as a key provider, as case management. But some methodological concerns raise, above all, the design of the intervention (intensity, frequency, components, etc). Methods/Design Objectives: General: To develop the first and second phases (theorization and modeling) for designing a multifaceted case-management intervention in people with chronic conditions (COPD and heart failure) and their caregivers. Specific aims: 1) To identify key events in people living with chronic disease and their relation with the Health Care System, from their point of view. 2) To know the coping mechanisms developed by patients and their caregivers along the story with the disease. 3) To know the information processing and its utilization in their interactions with health care providers. 4) To detect potential unmet needs and the ways deployed by patients and their caregivers to resolve them. 5) To obtain a description from patients and caregivers, about their itineraries along the Health Care System, in terms of continuity, accessibility and comprehensiveness of care. 6) To build up a list of promising case-management interventions in patients with Heart Failure and COPD with this information in order to frame it into theoretical models for its reproducibility and conceptualization. 7) To undergo this list to expert judgment to assess its feasibility and pertinence in the Andalusian Health Care. Design: Qualitative research with two phases: For the first five objectives, a qualitative technique with biographic stories will be developed and, for the remaining objectives, an expert consensus through Delphi technique, on the possible interventions yielded from the first phase. The study will be developed in the provinces of Almería, Málaga and Granada in the Southern Spain, from patients included in the Andalusian Health Care Service database with the diagnosis of COPD or Heart Failure, with the collaboration of case manager nurses and general practitioners for the assessment of their suitability to inclusion criteria. Patients and caregivers will be interviewed in their homes or their Health Centers, with their family or their case manager nurse as mediator. Discussion First of a series of studies intended to design a case-management service for people with heart failure and COPD, in the Andalusian Health Care System, where case management has been implemented since 2002. Accordingly with the steps of a theoretical model for complex interventions, in this study, theorization and intervention modeling phases will be developed. PMID:21126369

  16. Evolution of pro-protamine P2 genes in primates.

    PubMed

    Retief, J D; Dixon, G H

    1993-06-01

    Protamines P1 and P2 form a family of small basic peptides that represent the major sperm proteins in placental mammals. In human and mouse protamine P2 is one of the most abundant sperm proteins. The protamine P2 gene codes for a P2 precursor, pro-P2 which is later processed by proteolytic cleavages in its N-terminal region to form the mature P2 protamines. We have used polymerase chain amplification to directly sequence the pro-P2 genes of the five major primate families: red howler (Alouatta seniculus) is a New World monkey (Cebidae); the two macaque species, Macaca mulatta and M. nemistrina are Old World monkeys (Cercopithecidae), the gibbon, Hylobates lar, represents one branch of the apes (Hylobatidae); the orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, gorilla, Gorilla gorilla and two species of chimpanzee Pan paniscus and Pan troglodytes represent a second ape family (Pongidae). These pro-P2 genes are compared with that of human [Domenjoud, L., Nussbaum, G., Adham, I. M., Greeske, G. & Engel, W. (1990) Genomics 8, 127-133]. The overall size and organization of the genes are conserved within the group. The mean length of pro-P2 is 101 residues, with an increase to 102 in M. nemistrina and a decrease to 99 residues in red howler (A. seniculus). In gorilla and red howler one of two 79-bp tandem repeats that occurs 3' of the gene is deleted. Of the 101 deduced amino acids examined, an amino acid change occurs in one or more primates at 45 positions. Considering only the most recently diverged group, the human/gorilla/chimpanzee clade, this represents a very high mutation rate of 0.99 changes/100 sites in 10(6) years. This rapid mutation rate is characteristic of both members of the protamine gene family, P1 and P2. Consideration of the variable nature of the sequences at the multiple sites of proteolysis during the processing of the pro-P2 indicates either that there are several processing enzymes of differing specificities, or more likely that the folded structure of the pro-P2

  17. Differences in the autocatalytic cleavage of pro-PC2 and pro-PC3 can be attributed to sequences within the propeptide and Asp310 of pro-PC2.

    PubMed Central

    Scougall, K; Taylor, N A; Jermany, J L; Docherty, K; Shennan, K I

    1998-01-01

    PC2 and PC3 are subtilisin-like proteases involved in the maturation of prohormones and proneuropeptides within neuroendocrine cells. They are synthesized as zymogens that undergo autocatalytic maturation within the secretory pathway. Maturation of pro-PC2 is slow (t12 >8 h), exhibits a pH optimum of 5.5 and is dependent on calcium (K0.5 2 mM), while pro-PC3 maturation is relatively rapid (t12 15 min), exhibits a neutral pH optimum and is not calcium dependent. These differences in the rates and optimal conditions for activation of the proteases may contribute to the diversity of products generated by these proteases in different cell types. Although highly similar, there are two major differences between pro-PC2 and pro-PC3: the presence of an aspartate at position 310 in pro-PC2 compared with asparagine at the equivalent position in pro-PC3 (and all other members of the subtilisin family), and the N-terminal propeptides, which exhibit low sequence identity (30%). With a view to establishing the structural features that might be responsible for these differences in the maturation of pro-PC2 and pro-PC3, Asp310 in pro-PC2 was mutated to Asn, and Asn309 in pro-PC3 was mutated to Asp. Chimaeric proteins were also made consisting of the pro-region of PC2 fused to the mature portion of PC3 and the pro-region of PC3 fused to the mature region of PC2. The wild-type and mutant DNA constructs were then transcribed and translated in an in vitro system capable of supporting maturation of pro-PC2 and pro-PC3. The results demonstrated that Asp310 of pro-PC2 is responsible for the acidic pH optimum for maturation. Thus changing Asp310 to Asn shifted the pH optimum for maturation to pH 7.0. However, changing Asn309 of pro-PC3 to Asp had no effect on the optimum pH for maturation of pro-PC3. A chimaeric construct containing the propeptide of pro-PC2 attached to PC3 shifted the pH optimum for maturation from pH 7.0 to 6.0 and slowed down the rate of maturation (t12 >8 h). When

  18. 26 CFR 1.355-4 - Non pro rata distributions, etc.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Non pro rata distributions, etc. 1.355-4 Section... (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES Effects on Shareholders and Security Holders § 1.355-4 Non pro rata distributions... not (a) the distribution is pro rata with respect to all of the shareholders of the...

  19. 20 CFR 416.1133 - What is a pro rata share of household operating expenses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What is a pro rata share of household operating expenses. 416.1133 Section 416.1133 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION....1133 What is a pro rata share of household operating expenses. (a) General. If you pay your pro...

  20. 24 CFR 266.608 - Mortgage insurance premium: Pro rata refund.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Mortgage insurance premium: Pro... premium: Pro rata refund. If the Contract of Insurance is terminated by payment in full or is terminated... account. In computing the pro rata portion of the annual mortgage insurance premium, the date...

  1. 24 CFR 241.825 - Pro rata refund of insurance premium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Pro rata refund of insurance... Projects Without a HUD-Insured or HUD-Held Mortgage Premiums § 241.825 Pro rata refund of insurance premium... Commissioner shall refund to the lender for the account of the borrower an amount equal to the pro rata...

  2. 17 CFR 240.14d-8 - Exemption from statutory pro rata requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Exemption from statutory pro... Regulations Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Regulation 14d § 240.14d-8 Exemption from statutory pro rata requirements. Notwithstanding the pro rata provisions of section 14(d)(6) of the Act, if...

  3. 78 FR 49739 - ProLiance Energy, LLC; Notice for Amendment of Petition for Temporary Waivers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-15

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission ProLiance Energy, LLC; Notice for Amendment of Petition for Temporary Waivers Take notice that on August 8, 2013, ProLiance Energy, LLC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory...\\ \\1\\ ProLiance Energy, LLC, 144 FERC ] 61,037 (2013). Any person desiring to intervene or to...

  4. 24 CFR 203.319 - Pro rata payment of premiums and charges.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Pro rata payment of premiums and... § 203.319 Pro rata payment of premiums and charges. No contract of insurance shall be terminated until the mortgagee has paid to the Commissioner the pro rata portion of the current annual MIP or...

  5. 24 CFR 203.462 - Pro rata payment of premium before termination.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Pro rata payment of premium before... Pro rata payment of premium before termination. No contract of insurance shall be terminated until the lender has paid to the Commissioner the pro rata portion of the current annual insurance premium....

  6. 78 FR 49740 - ProLiance Energy, LLC; Notice for Amendment of Petition for Temporary Waivers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-15

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission ProLiance Energy, LLC; Notice for Amendment of Petition for Temporary Waivers Take notice that on August 9, 2013, ProLiance Energy, LLC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory...\\ \\1\\ ProLiance Energy, LLC, 144 FERC ] 61,075 (2013). Any person desiring to intervene or to...

  7. 24 CFR 203.319 - Pro rata payment of premiums and charges.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pro rata payment of premiums and... § 203.319 Pro rata payment of premiums and charges. No contract of insurance shall be terminated until the mortgagee has paid to the Commissioner the pro rata portion of the current annual MIP or...

  8. 24 CFR 241.825 - Pro rata refund of insurance premium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pro rata refund of insurance... Projects Without a HUD-Insured or HUD-Held Mortgage Premiums § 241.825 Pro rata refund of insurance premium... Commissioner shall refund to the lender for the account of the borrower an amount equal to the pro rata...

  9. 26 CFR 1.1059(e)-1 - Non-pro rata redemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 11 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Non-pro rata redemptions. 1.1059(e)-1 Section 1... (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED) Special Rules § 1.1059(e)-1 Non-pro rata redemptions. (a) In general... under section 1059(e)(1). For example, if a redemption of stock is not pro rata as to all...

  10. 17 CFR 240.16a-9 - Stock splits, stock dividends, and pro rata rights.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ..., and pro rata rights. 240.16a-9 Section 240.16a-9 Commodity and Securities Exchanges SECURITIES AND... Government Securities Dealers § 240.16a-9 Stock splits, stock dividends, and pro rata rights. The following... acquisition of rights, such as shareholder or pre-emptive rights, pursuant to a pro rata grant to all...

  11. 24 CFR 203.462 - Pro rata payment of premium before termination.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pro rata payment of premium before... Pro rata payment of premium before termination. No contract of insurance shall be terminated until the lender has paid to the Commissioner the pro rata portion of the current annual insurance premium....

  12. 26 CFR 1.355-4 - Non pro rata distributions, etc.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 4 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Non pro rata distributions, etc. 1.355-4 Section... (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES Effects on Shareholders and Security Holders § 1.355-4 Non pro rata distributions... not (a) the distribution is pro rata with respect to all of the shareholders of the...

  13. Scientist-Centered Workflow Abstractions via Generic Actors, Workflow Templates, and Context-Awareness for Groundwater Modeling and Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Chin, George; Sivaramakrishnan, Chandrika; Critchlow, Terence J.; Schuchardt, Karen L.; Ngu, Anne Hee Hiong

    2011-07-04

    A drawback of existing scientific workflow systems is the lack of support to domain scientists in designing and executing their own scientific workflows. Many domain scientists avoid developing and using workflows because the basic objects of workflows are too low-level and high-level tools and mechanisms to aid in workflow construction and use are largely unavailable. In our research, we are prototyping higher-level abstractions and tools to better support scientists in their workflow activities. Specifically, we are developing generic actors that provide abstract interfaces to specific functionality, workflow templates that encapsulate workflow and data patterns that can be reused and adapted by scientists, and context-awareness mechanisms to gather contextual information from the workflow environment on behalf of the scientist. To evaluate these scientist-centered abstractions on real problems, we apply them to construct and execute scientific workflows in the specific domain area of groundwater modeling and analysis.

  14. Good soldiers and good actors: prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors.

    PubMed

    Grant, Adam M; Mayer, David M

    2009-07-01

    Researchers have discovered inconsistent relationships between prosocial motives and citizenship behaviors. We draw on impression management theory to propose that impression management motives strengthen the association between prosocial motives and affiliative citizenship by encouraging employees to express citizenship in ways that both "do good" and "look good." We report 2 studies that examine the interactions of prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship using multisource data from 2 different field samples. Across the 2 studies, we find positive interactions between prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors directed toward other people (helping and courtesy) and the organization (initiative). Study 2 also shows that only prosocial motives predict voice-a challenging citizenship behavior. Our results suggest that employees who are both good soldiers and good actors are most likely to emerge as good citizens in promoting the status quo. PMID:19594233

  15. An Actor-Network Theory Analysis of Policy Innovation for Smoke-Free Places: Understanding Change in Complex Systems

    PubMed Central

    Borland, Ron; Coghill, Ken

    2010-01-01

    Complex, transnational issues like the tobacco epidemic are major challenges that defy analysis and management by conventional methods, as are other public health issues, such as those associated with global food distribution and climate change. We examined the evolution of indoor smoke-free regulations, a tobacco control policy innovation, and identified the key attributes of those jurisdictions that successfully pursued this innovation and those that to date have not. In doing so, we employed the actor-network theory, a comprehensive framework for the analysis of fundamental system change. Through our analysis, we identified approaches to help overcome some systemic barriers to the solution of the tobacco problem and comment on other complex transnational problems. PMID:20466949

  16. Research Note: The consequences of different methods for handling missing network data in Stochastic Actor Based Models

    PubMed Central

    Hipp, John R.; Wang, Cheng; Butts, Carter T.; Jose, Rupa; Lakon, Cynthia M.

    2015-01-01

    Although stochastic actor based models (e.g., as implemented in the SIENA software program) are growing in popularity as a technique for estimating longitudinal network data, a relatively understudied issue is the consequence of missing network data for longitudinal analysis. We explore this issue in our research note by utilizing data from four schools in an existing dataset (the AddHealth dataset) over three time points, assessing the substantive consequences of using four different strategies for addressing missing network data. The results indicate that whereas some measures in such models are estimated relatively robustly regardless of the strategy chosen for addressing missing network data, some of the substantive conclusions will differ based on the missing data strategy chosen. These results have important implications for this burgeoning applied research area, implying that researchers should more carefully consider how they address missing data when estimating such models. PMID:25745276

  17. A confidence metric for using neurobiological feedback in actor-critic reinforcement learning based brain-machine interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Prins, Noeline W.; Sanchez, Justin C.; Prasad, Abhishek

    2014-01-01

    Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) can be used to restore function in people living with paralysis. Current BMIs require extensive calibration that increase the set-up times and external inputs for decoder training that may be difficult to produce in paralyzed individuals. Both these factors have presented challenges in transitioning the technology from research environments to activities of daily living (ADL). For BMIs to be seamlessly used in ADL, these issues should be handled with minimal external input thus reducing the need for a technician/caregiver to calibrate the system. Reinforcement Learning (RL) based BMIs are a good tool to be used when there is no external training signal and can provide an adaptive modality to train BMI decoders. However, RL based BMIs are sensitive to the feedback provided to adapt the BMI. In actor-critic BMIs, this feedback is provided by the critic and the overall system performance is limited by the critic accuracy. In this work, we developed an adaptive BMI that could handle inaccuracies in the critic feedback in an effort to produce more accurate RL based BMIs. We developed a confidence measure, which indicated how appropriate the feedback is for updating the decoding parameters of the actor. The results show that with the new update formulation, the critic accuracy is no longer a limiting factor for the overall performance. We tested and validated the system onthree different data sets: synthetic data generated by an Izhikevich neural spiking model, synthetic data with a Gaussian noise distribution, and data collected from a non-human primate engaged in a reaching task. All results indicated that the system with the critic confidence built in always outperformed the system without the critic confidence. Results of this study suggest the potential application of the technique in developing an autonomous BMI that does not need an external signal for training or extensive calibration. PMID:24904257

  18. A confidence metric for using neurobiological feedback in actor-critic reinforcement learning based brain-machine interfaces.

    PubMed

    Prins, Noeline W; Sanchez, Justin C; Prasad, Abhishek

    2014-01-01

    Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) can be used to restore function in people living with paralysis. Current BMIs require extensive calibration that increase the set-up times and external inputs for decoder training that may be difficult to produce in paralyzed individuals. Both these factors have presented challenges in transitioning the technology from research environments to activities of daily living (ADL). For BMIs to be seamlessly used in ADL, these issues should be handled with minimal external input thus reducing the need for a technician/caregiver to calibrate the system. Reinforcement Learning (RL) based BMIs are a good tool to be used when there is no external training signal and can provide an adaptive modality to train BMI decoders. However, RL based BMIs are sensitive to the feedback provided to adapt the BMI. In actor-critic BMIs, this feedback is provided by the critic and the overall system performance is limited by the critic accuracy. In this work, we developed an adaptive BMI that could handle inaccuracies in the critic feedback in an effort to produce more accurate RL based BMIs. We developed a confidence measure, which indicated how appropriate the feedback is for updating the decoding parameters of the actor. The results show that with the new update formulation, the critic accuracy is no longer a limiting factor for the overall performance. We tested and validated the system onthree different data sets: synthetic data generated by an Izhikevich neural spiking model, synthetic data with a Gaussian noise distribution, and data collected from a non-human primate engaged in a reaching task. All results indicated that the system with the critic confidence built in always outperformed the system without the critic confidence. Results of this study suggest the potential application of the technique in developing an autonomous BMI that does not need an external signal for training or extensive calibration. PMID:24904257

  19. Dyadic conflict, drinking to cope, and alcohol-related problems: A psychometric study and longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model.

    PubMed

    Lambe, Laura; Mackinnon, Sean P; Stewart, Sherry H

    2015-10-01

    The motivational model of alcohol use posits that individuals may consume alcohol to cope with negative affect. Conflict with others is a strong predictor of coping motives, which in turn predict alcohol-related problems. Two studies examined links between conflict, coping motives, and alcohol-related problems in emerging adult romantic dyads. It was hypothesized that the association between conflict and alcohol-related problems would be mediated by coping-depression and coping-anxiety motives. It was also hypothesized that this would be true for actor (i.e., how individual factors influence individual behaviors) and partner effects (i.e., how partner factors influence individual behaviors) and at the between- (i.e., does not vary over the study period) and within-subjects (i.e., varies over the study period) levels. Both studies examined participants currently in a romantic relationship who consumed ≥12 alcoholic drinks in the past year. Study 1 was cross-sectional using university students (N = 130 students; 86.9% female; M = 21.02 years old, SD = 3.43). Study 2 used a 4-wave, 4-week longitudinal design with romantic dyads (N = 100 dyads; 89% heterosexual; M = 22.13 years old, SD = 5.67). In Study 2, coping-depression motives emerged as the strongest mediator of the conflict-alcohol-related problems association, and findings held for actor effects but not partner effects. Supplemental analyses revealed that this mediational pathway only held among women. Within any given week, alcohol-related problems changed systematically in the same direction between romantic partners. Interventions may wish to target coping-depression drinking motives within couples in response to conflict to reduce alcohol-related problems. PMID:26075735

  20. Solution structures of active and inactive forms of the DP IV (CD26) inhibitor Pro-boroPro determined by NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sudmeier, J L; Günther, U L; Gutheil, W G; Coutts, S J; Snow, R J; Barton, R W; Bachovchin, W W

    1994-10-18

    Synthesis of the boronic acid analog of the dipeptide Pro-Pro yields a mixture of diastereomers Pro-L-boroPro and Pro-D-boroPro, one of which is a potent inhibitor [Ki = 16 pM; Gutheil, W. G., & Bachovchin, W. W. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 8723-8731] of dipeptidyl amino peptidase type IV (DP IV), also known as CD26. The structures of both diasteremers are determined here in aqueous solution by means of 1D and 2D NMR of 1H, 13C, and 11B, and force-field calculations, and the inhibitor is proven to have the L-L configuration. At low pH values (approximately 2), both diastereomers are trans with respect to the peptide bond. Populations of proline ring conformers are determined by pseudorotation analysis, using vicinal proton spin-coupling constants obtained by computer analysis of 1D1H NMR spectral fine structure. At neutral pH values, the Pro-boroPro inhibitor of DP IV undergoes slow, reversible inactivation (Gutheil & Bachovchin, 1993). By structural determination of the decomposition products of both diasteromers, the process is shown here to involve formation of a six-membered ring between the residues by means of trans-cis conversion and formation of a B-N bond, producing chiral nitrogen atoms in both cases having the S configuration. Analogy to cyclic dipeptides suggests the new compounds be named cyclo(Pro-L-boroPro) and cyclo(Pro-D-boroPro). PMID:7918465

  1. Psychological antecedents of heterosexuals' pro-gay activism behavior.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Wayne W; Sagarin, Brad J

    2010-01-01

    Previous research on heterosexuals' attitudes toward gays is characterized by a focus on negative attitudes and minimal use of behavioral dependent variables. In an attempt to rectify this situation, the present study explored the psychological antecedents of heterosexuals' pro-gay activism behavior in an undergraduate sample using the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Findings suggest that intentions predict activism behavior (in the form of signing an online petition supporting the construction of a new lesbian, gay, and bisexual resource center on their campus). In addition, attitudes toward the possible outcomes of the behavior, attitudes toward the behavior itself, and self-identity were found to predict intentions. Directions for future research on pro-gay activism are discussed. PMID:20665329

  2. Online Stigma Resistance in the Pro-Ana Community.

    PubMed

    Yeshua-Katz, Daphna

    2015-10-01

    Media scholars often use concepts from Goffman's dramaturgical approach to study online communities of stigmatized individuals as "backstages," spaces where members take refuge from social disapproval. In this study, I extend this view through an examination of in-depth interviews with bloggers from the "pro-ana" community, an online community for people with eating disorders. To explore how this community uses an online environment that is both anonymous and public, I fuse Goffman's ideas about identity performance and stigma with more recent theories about boundary maintenance. In-depth interviews with "pro-ana" bloggers reveal that to protect this virtual group and resist stigmas associated both with their illness and with their online presence, they construct their own norms and rules in the online realm, and discipline and eject members deemed to be out-group. PMID:25667161

  3. Identifying Parents Who Are Amenable to Pro-Vaccination Conversations

    PubMed Central

    Brunson, Emily K.

    2015-01-01

    While health care providers are often cited as parents’ most trusted source for information and advice about vaccination, parents differ in their level of receptiveness to pro-vaccination conversations. The purpose of this research was to identify points in individual parents’ decision-making processes when parents are particularly open to receiving information and advice from their children’s health care providers. Interview data were collected from 20 mothers and 5 couples. Analysis of these data suggested 3 primary circumstances when parents were particularly open to receiving information and advice: during parents’ initial decision-making, as parents continued to assess vaccination options, and during particular circumstances that prompted parents to reconsider previously made vaccination choices. These results provide a mechanism for providers to identify parents who may be particularly receptive to pro-vaccination conversations. By prioritizing conversations with parents at one of these points, health care providers’ efforts at promoting vaccination may be more effective. PMID:27335987

  4. The PACA Project : Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2014-04-01

    The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project is the next stage of evolution of the paradigm developed for the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON. Four different phases of collaboration are identified, and illustrate the integration of scientific investigations with amateur astronomer community via observations, and models; and the rapid dissemination of the results via a multitude of social media for rapid global access. The success of the paradigm shift in scientific research is now implemented in other comet observing campaigns. Both communities (scientific and amateur astronomers) benefit from these collective, collaborative partnerships; while outreach is the instantaneous deliverable that provides both a framework for future data analyses and the dissemination of the results. While PACA identifies a collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access and storage are needed.

  5. Cerebral Lateralization of Pro- and Anti-Social Tendencies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggest that the right-hemisphere (RH) has a relative advantage, over the left-hemisphere (LH), in mediating social intelligence - identifying social stimuli, understanding the intentions of other people, awareness of the dynamics in social relationships, and successful handling of social interactions. Furthermore, a review and synthesis of the literature suggest that pro-social attitudes and behaviors are associated with physiological activity in the RH, whereas unsocial and anti-social tendencies are mediated primarily by the LH. This hemispheric asymmetry is rooted in several neurobiological and functional differences between the two hemispheres. (I) Positive social interactions often require inhibiting one's immediate desires and considering the perspectives and needs of others. Given that self-control is mediated by the RH, pro-social emotions and behaviors are, therefore, inherently associated with the RH as it subserves the brain's self-restraint mechanisms. (II) The RH mediates experiences of vulnerability. It registers the relative clumsiness and motor weakness of the left limbs, and it is involved, more than the LH, in processing threats and mediating fear. Emotional states of vulnerability trigger the need for affiliation and sociality, therefore the RH has a greater role in mediating pro-social attitudes and behaviors. (III) The RH mediates a holistic mode of representing the world. Holistic perception emphasizes similarities rather than differences, takes a long-term perspective, is associated with divergent thinking and seeing other points-of-view, and it mediates a personal mode of relating to people. All these features of holistic perception facilitate a more empathetic attitude toward others and pro-social behaviors. PMID:24737936

  6. The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzini, Enrico C.; Cosmo, Mario L.; Curtis, Leslie (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The summary of activity during this reporting period, most of which was covered by a no-cost extension of the grant, is as follows: 1) Participation in remote and in-situ (at MSFC EDAC facility) mission operation simulations; 2) Analysis of the decay rate of ProSEDS when starting the mission at a lower altitude; 3) Analysis of the deployment control law performance when deploying at a lower altitude.

  7. Cervical arthroplasty using ProDisc-C case report.

    PubMed

    Nica, D A; Copaciu, R

    2013-03-15

    Cervical disc replacement is an emerging motion-preserving technology in the surgical treatment of the cervical degenerative disc disorders used as an alternative to the classic interbody fusion. We present a case report of a patient diagnosed with C6-7 right disc herniation who underwent anterior discectomy and received a total disc replacement using ProDisc C artificial disc prosthesis. PMID:23599830

  8. The ProDisc artificial disc: insertion technique.

    PubMed

    Aryan, Henry E; Acosta, Frank L; Ames, Christopher P

    2005-10-01

    The ProDisc artificial lumbar disc was designed for use in treatment of degenerative lumbar disease. The disc is implanted using an anterior approach to the lumbar spine with the assistance of intraoperative fluoroscopy. A variety of insertion instruments guide the surgeon through this process. The disc is implanted via an anterior approach, generally retroperitoneally but on occasion transperitoneally. The different approaches and insertion technique are described in this article. PMID:16326288

  9. Cavum Septum Pellucidum in Retired American Pro-Football Players.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Raquel C; Hess, Christopher P; Brus-Ramer, Marcel; Possin, Katherine L; Cohn-Sheehy, Brendan I; Kramer, Joel H; Berger, Mitchel S; Yaffe, Kristine; Miller, Bruce; Rabinovici, Gil D

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies report that cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) is frequent among athletes with a history of repeated traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as boxers. Few studies of CSP in athletes, however, have assessed detailed features of the septum pellucidum in a case-control fashion. This is important because prevalence of CSP in the general population varies widely (2% to 85%) between studies. Further, rates of CSP among American pro-football players have not been described previously. We sought to characterize MRI features of the septum pellucidum in a series of retired pro-football players with a history of repeated concussive/subconcussive head traumas compared with controls. We retrospectively assessed retired American pro-football players presenting to our memory clinic with cognitive/behavioral symptoms in whom structural MRI was available with slice thickness ≤2 mm (n=17). Each player was matched to a memory clinic control patient with no history of TBI. Scans were interpreted by raters blinded to clinical information and TBI/football history, who measured CSP grade (0-absent, 1-equivocal, 2-mild, 3-moderate, 4-severe) and length according to a standard protocol. Sixteen of 17 (94%) players had a CSP graded ≥2 compared with 3 of 17 (18%) controls. CSP was significantly higher grade (p<0.001) and longer in players than controls (mean length±standard deviation: 10.6 mm±5.4 vs. 1.1 mm±1.3, p<0.001). Among patients presenting to a memory clinic, long high-grade CSP was more frequent in retired pro-football players compared with patients without a history of TBI. PMID:25970145

  10. The Pro-inflammatory Effects of Glucocorticoids in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Erica de Almeida; Munhoz, Carolina Demarchi

    2016-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones derived from cholesterol. Their actions are mediated by the glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors, members of the superfamily of nuclear receptors, which, once bound to their ligands, act as transcription factors that can directly modulate gene expression. Through protein–protein interactions with other transcription factors, they can also regulate the activity of many genes in a composite or tethering way. Rapid non-genomic signaling was also demonstrated since glucocorticoids can act through membrane receptors and activate signal transduction pathways, such as protein kinases cascades, to modulate other transcriptions factors and activate or repress various target genes. By all these different mechanisms, glucocorticoids regulate numerous important functions in a large variety of cells, not only in the peripheral organs but also in the central nervous system during development and adulthood. In general, glucocorticoids are considered anti-inflammatory and protective agents due to their ability to inhibit gene expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and other possible damaging molecules. Nonetheless, recent studies have uncovered situations in which these hormones can act as pro-inflammatory agents depending on the dose, chronicity of exposure, and the structure/organ analyzed. In this review, we will provide an overview of the conditions under which these phenomena occur, a discussion that will serve as a basis for exploring the mechanistic foundation of glucocorticoids pro-inflammatory gene regulation in the brain. PMID:27445981

  11. The Pro-inflammatory Effects of Glucocorticoids in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Duque, Erica de Almeida; Munhoz, Carolina Demarchi

    2016-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones derived from cholesterol. Their actions are mediated by the glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors, members of the superfamily of nuclear receptors, which, once bound to their ligands, act as transcription factors that can directly modulate gene expression. Through protein-protein interactions with other transcription factors, they can also regulate the activity of many genes in a composite or tethering way. Rapid non-genomic signaling was also demonstrated since glucocorticoids can act through membrane receptors and activate signal transduction pathways, such as protein kinases cascades, to modulate other transcriptions factors and activate or repress various target genes. By all these different mechanisms, glucocorticoids regulate numerous important functions in a large variety of cells, not only in the peripheral organs but also in the central nervous system during development and adulthood. In general, glucocorticoids are considered anti-inflammatory and protective agents due to their ability to inhibit gene expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and other possible damaging molecules. Nonetheless, recent studies have uncovered situations in which these hormones can act as pro-inflammatory agents depending on the dose, chronicity of exposure, and the structure/organ analyzed. In this review, we will provide an overview of the conditions under which these phenomena occur, a discussion that will serve as a basis for exploring the mechanistic foundation of glucocorticoids pro-inflammatory gene regulation in the brain. PMID:27445981

  12. Control of the Immune Response by Pro-Angiogenic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Voron, Thibault; Marcheteau, Elie; Pernot, Simon; Colussi, Orianne; Tartour, Eric; Taieb, Julien; Terme, Magali

    2014-01-01

    The progressive conversion of normal cells into cancer cells is characterized by the acquisition of eight hallmarks. Among these criteria, the capability of the cancer cell to avoid the immune destruction has been noted. Thus, tumors develop mechanisms to become invisible to the immune system, such as the induction of immunosuppressive cells, which are able to inhibit the development of an efficient immune response. Molecules produced in the tumor microenvironment are involved in the occurrence of an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Recently, it has been shown that vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) exhibits immunosuppressive properties in addition to its pro-angiogenic activities. VEGF-A can induce the accumulation of immature dendritic cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, regulatory T cells, and inhibit the migration of T lymphocytes to the tumor. Other pro-angiogenic factors such as placental growth factor (PlGF) could also participate in tumor-induced immunosuppression, but only few works have been performed on this point. Here, we review the impact of pro-angiogenic factors (especially VEGF-A) on immune cells. Anti-angiogenic molecules, which target VEGF-A/VEGFR axis, have been developed in the last decades and are commonly used to treat cancer patients. These drugs have anti-angiogenic properties but can also counteract the tumor-induced immunosuppression. Based on these immunomodulatory properties, anti-angiogenic molecules could be efficiently associated with immunotherapeutic strategies in preclinical models. These combinations are currently under investigation in cancer patients. PMID:24765614

  13. Virtex-II Pro SEE Test Methods and Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petrick, David; Powell, Wesley; Howard, James

    2004-01-01

    The Xilinx Virtex-II Pro is a platform FPGA that embeds multiple microprocessors within the fabric of an SRAM-based reprogrammable FPGA. The variety and quantity of resources provided by this family of devices make them very attractive for spaceflight applications. However, these devices will be susceptible to single event effects (SEE), which must be mitigated. To use the Virtex-II Pro reliably in space applications, these devices must first be tested to determine if they are susceptible to single event latchup (SEL), the degree to which they are susceptible to single event upsets (SEU) and single event transients (SET), and how these effects are manifested in the device. With this information, mitigations schemes can be developed and tested that address the specific susceptiblities of these devices. This initial SEE test uses a commercial off the shelf Virtex-II Pro evaluation board, with a single processor XC2VP7 FPGA. The FPGA on this board is an acid etched device, which can be partially covered with a shield. The shield covers a portion of the logic, routing, and memory resources along with some of the RocketIO transceivers. The processor, along with a large portion of logic, routing, memory, and transceivers are left exposed. This test will be performed at the Cyclotron Laboratories at Texas A&M University and Michigan State University using ions of varying energy levels and fluencies.

  14. ProTherm: Thermodynamic Database for Proteins and Mutants.

    PubMed

    Gromiha, M M; An, J; Kono, H; Oobatake, M; Uedaira, H; Sarai, A

    1999-01-01

    The first release of the Thermodynamic Database for Proteins and Mutants (ProTherm) contains more than 3300 data of several thermodynamic parameters for wild type and mutant proteins. Each entry includes numerical data for unfolding Gibbs free energy change, enthalpy change, heat capacity change, transition temperature, activity etc., which are important for understanding the mechanism of protein stability. ProTherm also includes structural information such as secondary structure and solvent accessibility of wild type residues, and experimental methods and other conditions. A WWW interface enables users to search data based on various conditions with different sorting options for outputs. Further, ProTherm is cross-linked with NCBI PUBMED literature database, Protein Mutant Database, Enzyme Code and Protein Data Bank structural database. Moreover, all the mutation sites associated with each PDB structure are automatically mapped and can be directly viewed through 3DinSight developed in our laboratory. The database is available at the URL, http://www.rtc.riken.go.jp/protherm.htm l PMID:9847203

  15. The tetrapeptide N-acetyl-Pro-Pro-Tyr-Leu in skin care formulations-Physicochemical and release studies.

    PubMed

    Olejnik, Anna; Schroeder, Grzegorz; Nowak, Izabela

    2015-08-15

    Recently there has been a growth of interest in the novel skin care formulations containing active ingredients such as low molecular weight peptides. In this paper we present new skincare formulations such as hydrogels, oil-in-water emulsions and water-in-oil emulsion containing a tetrapeptide (N-acetyl-Pro-Pro-Tyr-Leu). These formulations were characterized in terms of physicochemical parameters (pH, viscosity), stability and particle size distribution. Additionally, the diffusion parameters of the peptide in the obtained formulations were calculated based on the Einstein-Smoluchowski equation. Furthermore, in order to determine the penetration of the tetrapeptide through membranes its release kinetics were investigated. On the basis of release curves, the release rate constants were determined. The results proved that the properties of the formulations strongly determined the release rate of the tetrapeptide. The higher viscosity of the semisolid, the slower was the permeation through the membrane. PMID:26188319

  16. Accelerating learning for pro-poor health markets

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Given the rapid evolution of health markets, learning is key to promoting the identification and uptake of health market policies and practices that better serve the needs of the poor. However there are significant challenges to learning about health markets. We discuss the different forms that learning takes, from the development of codified scientific knowledge, through to experience-based learning, all in relationship to health markets. Discussion Notable challenges to learning in health markets include the difficulty of acquiring data from private health care providers, designing evaluations that capture the complex dynamics present within health markets and developing communities of practice that encompass the diverse actors present within health markets, and building trust and mutual understanding across these groups. The paper proposes experimentation with country-specific market data platforms that can integrate relevant evidence from different data sources, and simultaneously exploring strategies to secure better information on private providers and health markets. Possible approaches to adapting evaluation designs so that they are better able to take account of different and changing contexts as well as producing real time findings are discussed. Finally capturing informal knowledge about health markets is key. Communities of practice that bridge different health market actors can help to share such experience-based knowledge and in so doing, may help to formalize it. More geographically-focused communities of practice are needed, and such communities may be supported by innovation brokers and/or be built around member-based organizations. Summary Strategic investments in and support to learning about health markets can address some of the challenges experienced to-date, and accelerate learning that supports health markets that serve the poor. PMID:24961671

  17. Potato virus Y HC-Pro Reduces the ATPase Activity of NtMinD, Which Results in Enlarged Chloroplasts in HC-Pro Transgenic Tobacco.

    PubMed

    Tu, Yayi; Zhang, Zhenqian; Li, Daofeng; Li, Heng; Dong, Jiangli; Wang, Tao

    2015-01-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is an important plant virus and causes great losses every year. Viral infection often leads to abnormal chloroplasts. The first step of chloroplast division is the formation of FtsZ ring (Z-ring), and the placement of Z-ring is coordinated by the Min system in both bacteria and plants. In our lab, the helper-component proteinase (HC-Pro) of PVY was previously found to interact with the chloroplast division protein NtMinD through a yeast two-hybrid screening assay and a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay in vivo. Here, we further investigated the biological significance of the NtMinD/HC-Pro interaction. We purified the NtMinD and HC-Pro proteins using a prokaryotic protein purification system and tested the effect of HC-Pro on the ATPase activity of NtMinD in vitro. We found that the ATPase activity of NtMinD was reduced in the presence of HC-Pro. In addition, another important chloroplast division related protein, NtMinE, was cloned from the cDNA of Nicotiana tabacum. And the NtMinD/NtMinE interaction site was mapped to the C-terminus of NtMinD, which overlaps the NtMinD/HC-Pro interaction site. Yeast three-hybrid assay demonstrated that HC-Pro competes with NtMinE for binding to NtMinD. HC-Pro was previously reported to accumulate in the chloroplasts of PVY-infected tobacco and we confirmed this result in our present work. The NtMinD/NtMinE interaction is very important in the regulation of chloroplast division. To demonstrate the influence of HC-Pro on chloroplast division, we generated HC-Pro transgenic tobacco with a transit peptide to retarget HC-Pro to the chloroplasts. The HC-Pro transgenic plants showed enlarged chloroplasts. Our present study demonstrated that the interaction between HC-Pro and NtMinD interfered with the function of NtMinD in chloroplast division, which results in enlarged chloroplasts in HC-Pro transgenic tobacco. The HC-Pro/NtMinD interaction may cause the formation of abnormal chloroplasts in PVY

  18. An Actor-Oriented Transfer Perspective on High School Students' Development of the Use of Procedures to Solve Problems on Rate of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roorda, Gerrit; Vos, Pauline; Goedhart, Martin J.

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on a longitudinal observation study about students' development in their use of procedures to calculate instantaneous rate of change. Different procedures for solving tasks on rate of change are taught in mathematics and physics classes, and together they form a repertoire. Our study took an actor-oriented perspective, which…

  19. Holding-based network of nations based on listed energy companies: An empirical study on two-mode affiliation network of two sets of actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Huajiao; Fang, Wei; An, Haizhong; Gao, Xiangyun; Yan, Lili

    2016-05-01

    Economic networks in the real world are not homogeneous; therefore, it is important to study economic networks with heterogeneous nodes and edges to simulate a real network more precisely. In this paper, we present an empirical study of the one-mode derivative holding-based network constructed by the two-mode affiliation network of two sets of actors using the data of worldwide listed energy companies and their shareholders. First, we identify the primitive relationship in the two-mode affiliation network of the two sets of actors. Then, we present the method used to construct the derivative network based on the shareholding relationship between two sets of actors and the affiliation relationship between actors and events. After constructing the derivative network, we analyze different topological features on the node level, edge level and entire network level and explain the meanings of the different values of the topological features combining the empirical data. This study is helpful for expanding the usage of complex networks to heterogeneous economic networks. For empirical research on the worldwide listed energy stock market, this study is useful for discovering the inner relationships between the nations and regions from a new perspective.

  20. The Discourse of Interculturality and Its Transnational Migration: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Its Appropriation by Academic and Political Actors in the State of Veracruz

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cortes, Laura Selene Mateos

    2009-01-01

    This paper analyses the ways in which social and educational networks are being configured around the actors participating in the increasingly transnational field of intercultural education both at the Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural and the Veracruz State Ministry of Education. It starts by defining the notion of discursive migration as…

  1. The role of multisensor data fusion in neuromuscular control of a sagittal arm with a pair of muscles using actor-critic reinforcement learning method.

    PubMed

    Golkhou, V; Parnianpour, M; Lucas, C

    2004-01-01

    In this study, we consider the role of multisensor data fusion in neuromuscular control using an actor-critic reinforcement learning method. The model we use is a single link system actuated by a pair of muscles that are excited with alpha and gamma signals. Various physiological sensor information such as proprioception, spindle sensors, and Golgi tendon organs have been integrated to achieve an oscillatory movement with variable amplitude and frequency, while achieving a stable movement with minimum metabolic cost and coactivation. The system is highly nonlinear in all its physical and physiological attributes. Transmission delays are included in the afferent and efferent neural paths to account for a more accurate representation of the reflex loops. This paper proposes a reinforcement learning method with an Actor-Critic architecture instead of middle and low level of central nervous system (CNS). The Actor in this structure is a two layer feedforward neural network and the Critic is a model of the cerebellum. The Critic is trained by the State-Action-Reward-State-Action (SARSA) method. The Critic will train the Actor by supervisory learning based on previous experiences. The reinforcement signal in SARSA is evaluated based on available alternatives concerning the concept of multisensor data fusion. The effectiveness and the biological plausibility of the present model are demonstrated by several simulations. The system showed excellent tracking capability when we integrated the available sensor information. Addition of a penalty for activation of muscles resulted in much lower muscle coactivation while keeping the movement stable. PMID:15671597

  2. How did policy actors use mass media to influence the Scottish alcohol minimum unit pricing debate? Comparative analysis of newspapers, evidence submissions and interviews

    PubMed Central

    Hilton, Shona

    2015-01-01

    Aims: To explore how policy actors attempted to deliberately frame public debate around alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) in the UK by comparing and contrasting their constructions of the policy in public (newspapers), semi-public (evidence submissions) and private (interviews). Methods: Content analysis was conducted on articles published in ten national newspapers between 1 January 2005 and 30 June 2012. Newsprint data were contrasted with alcohol policy documents, evidence submissions to the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee and 36 confidential interviews with policy stakeholders (academics, advocates, industry representatives, politicians and civil servants). Findings: A range of policy actors exerted influence both directly (through Parliamentary institutions and political representatives) and indirectly through the mass media. Policy actors were acutely aware of mass media's importance in shaping public opinion and used it tactically to influence policy. They often framed messages in subtly different ways, depending on target audiences. In general, newspapers presented the policy debate in a “balanced” way, but this arguably over-represented hostile perspective and suggested greater disagreement around the evidence base than is the case. Conclusions: The roles of policy actors vary between public and policy spheres, and how messages are communicated in policy debates depends on perceived strategic advantage. PMID:26045639

  3. Affective Feedback from Computers and its Effect on Perceived Ability and Affect: A Test of the Computers as Social Actor Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mishra, Punya

    2006-01-01

    We report an experimental study that examined two questions: (a) The effect of affective feedback from computers on participants' motivation and self-perception of ability; and (b) whether people respond similarly to computer feedback as they do to human feedback. This study, framed within the Computers As Social Actors (CASA) framework,…

  4. Context of action of Proline Dehydrogenase (ProDH) in the Hypersensitive Response of Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Proline (Pro) dehydrogenase (ProDH) potentiates the oxidative burst and cell death of the plant Hypersensitive Response (HR) by mechanisms not yet elucidated. ProDH converts Pro into ∆1 pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) and can act together with P5C dehydrogenase (P5CDH) to produce Glu, or with P5C reductase (P5CR) to regenerate Pro and thus stimulate the Pro/P5C cycle. To better understand the effects of ProDH in HR, we studied the enzyme at three stages of the defense response differing in their ROS and cell death levels. In addition, we tested if ProDH requires P5CDH to potentiate HR. Results Control and infected leaves of wild type and p5cdh plants were used to monitor ProDH activity, in vivo Pro catabolism, amino acid content, and gene expression. Wild type plants activated ProDH at all HR stages. They did not consume Pro during maximal ROS accumulation, and maintained almost basal P5C levels at all conditions. p5cdh mutants activated ProDH as wild type plants. They achieved maximum oxidative burst and cell death levels producing normal HR lesions, but evidenced premature defense activation. Conclusion ProDH activation has different effects on HR. Before the oxidative burst it leads to Pro consumption involving the action of P5CDH. During the oxidative burst, ProDH becomes functionally uncoupled to P5CDH and apparently works with P5CR. The absence of P5CDH does not reduce ROS, cell death, or pathogen resistance, indicating this enzyme is not accompanying ProDH in the potentiation of these defense responses. In contrast, p5cdh infected plants displayed increased ROS burst and earlier initiation of HR cell death. In turn, our results suggest that ProDH may sustain HR by participating in the Pro/P5C cycle, whose action on HR must be formally evaluated in a future. PMID:24410747

  5. Making Women the Subjects of the Abortion Debate: A Class Exercise that Moves beyond "Pro-Choice" and "Pro-Life"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crawley, Sara L.; Willman, Rebecca K.; Clark, Leisa; Walsh, Clare

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe a classroom exercise designed to put women (and children and men) back at the center of the abortion debate, avoiding the standard rhetoric and engaging reflection on how everyone might find common political goals among the so-called pro-life and pro-choice sides. The exercise the authors offer in this article…

  6. Competency in Chaos: Lifesaving Performance of Care Providers Utilizing a Competency-Based, Multi-Actor Emergency Preparedness Training Curriculum

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Lancer A.; Swartzentruber, Derrick A.; Davis, Christopher Ashby; Maddux, P. Tim; Schnellman, Jennifer; Wahlquist, Amy E.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Providing comprehensive emergency preparedness training (EPT) to care providers is important to the future success of disaster operations in the US. Few EPT programs possess both competency-driven goals and metrics to measure performance during a multi-patient simulated disaster. Methods A 1-day (8-hour) EPT course for care providers was developed to enhance provider knowledge, skill, and comfort necessary to save lives during a simulated disaster. Nine learning objectives, 18 competencies, and 34 performance objectives were developed. During the 2-year demonstration of the curriculum, 24 fourth-year medical students and 17 Veterans Hospital Administration (VHA) providers were recruited and volunteered to take the course (two did not fully complete the research materials). An online pre-test, two post-tests, course assessment, didactic and small group content, and a 6-minute clinical casualty scenario were developed. During the scenario, trainees working in teams were confronted with three human simulators and 10 actor patients simultaneously. Unless appropriate performance objectives were met, the simulators “died” and the team was exposed to “anthrax.” After the scenario, team members participated in a facilitator-led debriefing using digital video and then repeated the scenario. Results Trainees (N = 39) included 24 (62%) medical students; seven (18%) physicians; seven (18%) nurses; and one (3%) emergency manager. Forty-seven percent of the VHA providers reported greater than 16 annual hours of disaster training, while 15 (63%) of the medical students reported no annual disaster training. The mean (SD) score for the pre-test was 12.3 (3.8), or 51% correct, and after the training, the mean (SD) score was 18.5 (2.2), or 77% (P <.01). The overall rating for the course was 96 out of 100. Trainee self-assessment of “Overall Skill” increased from 63.3 out of 100 to 83.4 out of 100 and “Overall Knowledge” increased from 49.3 out of 100 to 78

  7. Capturing Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Data Electronically: The Past, Present, and Promise of ePRO Measurement in Clinical Trials.

    PubMed

    Coons, Stephen Joel; Eremenco, Sonya; Lundy, J Jason; O'Donohoe, Paul; O'Gorman, Hannah; Malizia, William

    2015-08-01

    Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are an important means of evaluating the treatment benefit of new medical products. It is recognized that PRO measures should be used when assessing concepts best known by the patient or best measured from the patient's perspective. As a result, there is growing emphasis on well defined and reliable PRO measures. In addition, advances in technology have significantly increased electronic PRO (ePRO) data collection capabilities and options in clinical trials. The movement from paper-based to ePRO data capture has enhanced the integrity and accuracy of clinical trial data and is encouraged by regulators. A primary distinction in the types of ePRO platforms is between telephone-based interactive voice response systems and screen-based systems. Handheld touchscreen-based devices have become the mainstay for remote (i.e., off-site, unsupervised) PRO data collection in clinical trials. The conventional approach is to provide study subjects with a handheld device with a device-based proprietary software program. However, an emerging alternative for clinical trials is called bring your own device (BYOD). Leveraging study subjects' own Internet-enabled mobile devices for remote PRO data collection (via a downloadable app or a Web-based data collection portal) has become possible due to the widespread use of personal smartphones and tablets. However, there are a number of scientific and operational issues that must be addressed before BYOD can be routinely considered as a practical alternative to conventional ePRO data collection methods. Nevertheless, the future for ePRO data collection is bright and the promise of BYOD opens a new chapter in its evolution. PMID:25300613

  8. The neural chaperone proSAAS blocks α-synuclein fibrillation and neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Jarvela, Timothy S; Lam, Hoa A; Helwig, Michael; Lorenzen, Nikolai; Otzen, Daniel E; McLean, Pamela J; Maidment, Nigel T; Lindberg, Iris

    2016-08-01

    Emerging evidence strongly suggests that chaperone proteins are cytoprotective in neurodegenerative proteinopathies involving protein aggregation; for example, in the accumulation of aggregated α-synuclein into the Lewy bodies present in Parkinson's disease. Of the various chaperones known to be associated with neurodegenerative disease, the small secretory chaperone known as proSAAS (named after four residues in the amino terminal region) has many attractive properties. We show here that proSAAS, widely expressed in neurons throughout the brain, is associated with aggregated synuclein deposits in the substantia nigra of patients with Parkinson's disease. Recombinant proSAAS potently inhibits the fibrillation of α-synuclein in an in vitro assay; residues 158-180, containing a largely conserved element, are critical to this bioactivity. ProSAAS also exhibits a neuroprotective function; proSAAS-encoding lentivirus blocks α-synuclein-induced cytotoxicity in primary cultures of nigral dopaminergic neurons, and recombinant proSAAS blocks α-synuclein-induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Four independent proteomics studies have previously identified proSAAS as a potential cerebrospinal fluid biomarker in various neurodegenerative diseases. Coupled with prior work showing that proSAAS blocks β-amyloid aggregation into fibrils, this study supports the idea that neuronal proSAAS plays an important role in proteostatic processes. ProSAAS thus represents a possible therapeutic target in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27457957

  9. proBAMsuite, a Bioinformatics Framework for Genome-Based Representation and Analysis of Proteomics Data*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaojing; Slebos, Robbert J. C.; Chambers, Matthew C.; Tabb, David L.; Liebler, Daniel C.; Zhang, Bing

    2016-01-01

    To facilitate genome-based representation and analysis of proteomics data, we developed a new bioinformatics framework, proBAMsuite, in which a central component is the protein BAM (proBAM) file format for organizing peptide spectrum matches (PSMs)1 within the context of the genome. proBAMsuite also includes two R packages, proBAMr and proBAMtools, for generating and analyzing proBAM files, respectively. Applying proBAMsuite to three recently published proteomics datasets, we demonstrated its utility in facilitating efficient genome-based sharing, interpretation, and integration of proteomics data. First, the interpretation of proteomics data is significantly enhanced with the rich genomic annotation information. Second, PSMs can be easily reannotated using user-specified gene annotation schemes and assembled into both protein and gene identifications. Third, using the genome as a common reference, proBAMsuite facilitates seamless proteomics and proteogenomics data integration. Finally, proBAM files can be readily visualized in genome browsers and thus bring proteomics data analysis to a general audience beyond the proteomics community. Results from this study establish proBAMsuite as a useful bioinformatics framework for proteomics and proteogenomics research. PMID:26657539

  10. Experimental results from RO-PRO: a next generation system for low-energy desalination.

    PubMed

    Achilli, Andrea; Prante, Jeri L; Hancock, Nathan T; Maxwell, Eric B; Childress, Amy E

    2014-06-01

    A pilot system was designed and constructed to evaluate reverse osmosis (RO) energy reduction that can be achieved using pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO). The RO-PRO experimental system is the first known system to utilize energy from a volume of water transferred from atmospheric pressure to elevated pressure across a semipermeable membrane to prepressurize RO feedwater. In other words, the system demonstrated that pressure could be exchanged between PRO and RO subsystems. Additionally, the first experimental power density data for a RO-PRO system is now available. Average experimental power densities for the RO-PRO system ranged from 1.1 to 2.3 W/m2. This is higher than previous river-to-sea PRO pilot systems (1.5 W/m2) and closer to the goal of 5 W/m2 that would make PRO an economically feasible technology. Furthermore, isolated PRO system testing was performed to evaluate PRO element performance with higher cross-flow velocities and power densities exceeding 8 W/m2 were achieved with a 28 g/L NaCl draw solution. From this empirical data, inferences for future system performance can be drawn that indicate future RO-PRO systems may reduce the specific energy requirements for desalination by ∼1 kWh/m3. PMID:24798068

  11. Effective production of Pro-Gly by mutagenesis of l-amino acid ligase.

    PubMed

    Kino, Haruka; Nakajima, Shota; Arai, Toshinobu; Kino, Kuniki

    2016-08-01

    l-Amino acid ligase (Lal) catalyzes dipeptide synthesis from unprotected l-amino acids by hydrolysis ATP to ADP. Each Lal displays unique substrate specificity, and many different dipeptides can be synthesized by selecting suitable Lal. We have already successfully synthesized Met-Gly selectively by replacing the Pro85 residues of Lal from Bacillus licheniformis (BL00235). From these results, we deduced that the amino acid residue at position 85 had a key role in enzyme activity, and applied these findings to other Lals. When Pro and Gly were used as substrates, TabS from Pseudomonas syringae, synthesized the salt taste enhancing dipeptide Pro-Gly and other three dipeptides (Gly-Pro, Pro-Pro, and Gly-Gly) was hardly synthesized from its substrate specificity. However, the amount of Pro-Gly was low. Therefore, to alter the substrate specificity and increase the amount of Pro-Gly, we selected amino acid residues that might affect the enzyme activity, Ser85 corresponding to Pro85 of BL00235, and His294 on the results from previous studies and the predicted structure of TabS. These residues were replaced with 20 proteogenic amino acids, and Pro-Gly synthesizing reactions were conducted. The S85T and the H294D mutants synthesized more Pro-Gly than wild-type. Furthermore, the S85T/H294D double mutant synthesized considerably more Pro-Gly than the single mutant did. These results showed that the amino acid position 85 of TabS affect the enzyme activity similarly to BL00235. In addition, replacing the amino acid residue positioning around the N-terminal substrate and constructing the double mutant led to increase the amount of Pro-Gly. PMID:27017332

  12. Assessment of tennis elbow using the Marcy Wedge-Pro.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, R W; Mani, R; Cawley, M I; Englisch, W; Eckenberger, P

    1993-01-01

    The Marcy Wedge-Pro (MWP), a device used in training by tennis players, was employed in the assessment of tennis elbow. The MWP was used to measure the ability of patients to perform wrist extension exercises, since pain resulting from this specific activity is a prominent symptom of the condition. The MWP results were compared with clinical measures and found to identify accurately patients who responded to treatment (P < 0.05). This study illustrates the potential of the MWP to assess tennis elbow quantitatively. Images Figure 1 PMID:8130959

  13. The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzini, Enrico C.; Estes, Robert D.; Cosmo, Mario L.

    2001-01-01

    This is the Annual Report #2 entitled "The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)" prepared by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. This report covers the period of activity from 1 August 2000 through 30 July 2001. The topics include: 1) Updated System Performance; 2) Mission Analysis; 3) Updated Dynamics Reference Mission; 4) Updated Deployment Control Profiles and Simulations; 5) Comparison of ED tethers and electrical thrusters; 6) Kalman filters for mission estimation; and 7) Delivery of interactive software for ED tethers.

  14. PRoViDE: Planetary Probes' Mass Vision Data Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paar, G.; Muller, J.-P.; Tao, Y.; Barnes, D. P.; Gupta, S.

    2013-09-01

    The FP7-SPACE project PRoViDE will assemble a major portion of the imaging data gathered so far from vehicles and probes on planetary surfaces into a unique database, bringing them into a common planetary geospatial context and providing access to a complete set of 3D vision products. Processing and GIS web access is complemented by a multi-resolution visualisation engine that combines various levels of detail for a seamless and immersive real-time access to dynamically rendered 3D scene representations.

  15. Rotation Manager Pro Version 1.0b1

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2002-02-01

    The Rotation Manager Pro Package maintains databases of instructions to replicate plate tectonic movements. The instructions are in the standard of tectonic plate rotations, including plate identification and location and angle of the rotation pole. Each database is accompanied by various metadata, including information about each rotation pole and the database itself. The package provides a range of tools to actively manage the database using methods specifically required for rotations: rotation pole addition and subtraction,more » viewing of a rotation chain through the rotation hierarchy, and the rotation of data points.« less

  16. Rotation Manager Pro Version 1.0b1

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Thomas L.; Scotese, Christopher

    2002-02-01

    The Rotation Manager Pro Package maintains databases of instructions to replicate plate tectonic movements. The instructions are in the standard of tectonic plate rotations, including plate identification and location and angle of the rotation pole. Each database is accompanied by various metadata, including information about each rotation pole and the database itself. The package provides a range of tools to actively manage the database using methods specifically required for rotations: rotation pole addition and subtraction, viewing of a rotation chain through the rotation hierarchy, and the rotation of data points.

  17. The role of intergenerational similarity and parenting in adolescent self-criticism: An actor-partner interdependence model.

    PubMed

    Bleys, Dries; Soenens, Bart; Boone, Liesbet; Claes, Stephan; Vliegen, Nicole; Luyten, Patrick

    2016-06-01

    Research investigating the development of adolescent self-criticism has typically focused on the role of either parental self-criticism or parenting. This study used an actor-partner interdependence model to examine an integrated theoretical model in which achievement-oriented psychological control has an intervening role in the relation between parental and adolescent self-criticism. Additionally, the relative contribution of both parents and the moderating role of adolescent gender were examined. Participants were 284 adolescents (M = 14 years, range = 12-16 years) and their parents (M = 46 years, range = 32-63 years). Results showed that only maternal self-criticism was directly related to adolescent self-criticism. However, both parents' achievement-oriented psychological control had an intervening role in the relation between parent and adolescent self-criticism in both boys and girls. Moreover, one parent's achievement-oriented psychological control was not predicted by the self-criticism of the other parent. PMID:27007498

  18. Memoir and performance: social change and self life-writing among men who are gay pornography producers and actors.

    PubMed

    Cohler, Bertram J

    2004-01-01

    Identity may be understood both as a life-story, either told or written as memoir or autobiography, and also as a practice such as producing or acting in gay pornographic film, but always within the context of social and historical change. Study of the memoirs of gay men who have been actors and/or producers of gay pornographic films across three generation cohorts provides an opportunity for understanding the interplay of social change and life circumstances in making gay identity. This perspective on identity is illustrated through the study of the memoirs of three men from different cohorts who have produced and acted in gay pornographic films: Wakefield Poole, born in 1936; Scott O'Hara, born in 1961; and Aaron Lawrence, born in 1971. Differences in style and content of both memoir and practice in gay pornographic films reflect changing social expectations regarding men who have sex with men following the emergence of the gay rights movement and the AIDS epidemic. PMID:15451702

  19. From conflict management to reward-based decision making: actors and critics in primate medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Silvetti, Massimo; Alexander, William; Verguts, Tom; Brown, Joshua W

    2014-10-01

    The role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and especially the anterior cingulate cortex has been the subject of intense debate for the last decade. A number of theories have been proposed to account for its function. Broadly speaking, some emphasize cognitive control, whereas others emphasize value processing; specific theories concern reward processing, conflict detection, error monitoring, and volatility detection, among others. Here we survey and evaluate them relative to experimental results from neurophysiological, anatomical, and cognitive studies. We argue for a new conceptualization of mPFC, arising from recent computational modeling work. Based on reinforcement learning theory, these new models propose that mPFC is an Actor-Critic system. This system is aimed to predict future events including rewards, to evaluate errors in those predictions, and finally, to implement optimal skeletal-motor and visceromotor commands to obtain reward. This framework provides a comprehensive account of mPFC function, accounting for and predicting empirical results across different levels of analysis, including monkey neurophysiology, human ERP, human neuroimaging, and human behavior. PMID:24239852

  20. Teaching pre-clinical medical students an integrated approach to medical interviewing: half-day workshops using actors.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Auguste H; Haeseler, Frederick D; Angoff, Nancy; Cariaga-Lo, Liza; Ellman, Matthew S; Vasquez, Luz; Bridger, Laurie

    2002-09-01

    Teaching medical students to integrate patient-centered skills into the medical interview is challenging. Longitudinal training requires significant curricular and faculty time. Unsupervised students risk harm if they uncover and inappropriately manage psychosocial issues in actual patients. They fear saying the wrong thing in emotionally charged situations. Two half-day workshops for pre-clinical students integrate patient- and physician-centered interviewing. The first occurs early in the first year. The second, late in the second year, presents interview challenges (e.g., breaking bad news). Ten professional actors portray standardized patients (SPs). Groups of 10 to 15 students interview an SP, each eliciting a part of the patient's story. Qualitative evaluation revealed that, for many students, SPs afford the opportunity to experiment without harming real patients. Students view the workshops as effective (mean score for first-year students, 6.6 [standard deviation (SD), 1.0], second-year students, 7.1 [SD, 0.7] on a Likert-type scale: 1 = not at all effective to 8 = very effective). PMID:12220367

  1. Effective access to justice against state and non-state actors in the Framework Convention on Global Health: A proposal.

    PubMed

    Hevia, Martin; Vacaflor, Carlos Herrera

    2013-01-01

    A Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) seeks to have a profound, effective, and broad impact: bringing access to health rights to the largest global community possible. One of the main issues the FCGH will address is how to make the right to health justiciable. An FCGH must articulate functional remedies for violations of the right to health by state or non-state actors. This paper analyzes one approach to ensuring the recognition of the rights defended in a future FCGH. Following the incremental development approach inspired by the architecture of other successful framework convention protocols, we propose the inclusion of access to health justice guidelines in an FCGH. This proposal is based on the amparo remedy, a figure already extant in the legislation of several Latin American countries; since its incorporation, these countries have witnessed a significant increase in litigation defending health rights. This is only one of many important advantages to broadly adopting guidelines based on the amparo remedy. The proposed guidelines would serve as a basic agreement on broad principles on access to health justice. PMID:25006093

  2. Effects of two-month vocal exercising with and without spectral biofeedback on student actors' speaking voice.

    PubMed

    Laukkanen, Anne-Maria; Syrjä, Tiina; Laitala, Marja; Leino, Timo

    2004-01-01

    Twelve student actors (6 males, 6 females) were given voice training for two months. Randomly selected, half of the students (3 males, 3 females) was trained in the traditional way, while the other half was given biofeedback with real-time spectrum analysis. The aim was a ringing voice quality with strong overtones at 3-5 kHz. Text samples read at different loudness levels were recorded before and after training. Fundamental frequency (F0), sound pressure level (SPL) and long-term-average spectrum (LTAS) analyses were made. Voice quality was evaluated by two voice trainers. Sound energy at 3-5 kHz increased by 3-4 dB (1.5-14.5 dB) across groups after training. This change, which was slightly larger for the biofeedback (BF) group, did not correlate with SPL. F0 increased slightly in the BF group and decreased in the control group. The relative dB level of fundamental decreased significantly more in the BF group probably suggesting a tighter adduction. Voice quality improved in both groups. Visual feedback seems to add some efficacy in voice training. However, there is a danger of hyperfunctional voice production if other sensory feedback is neglected. PMID:15260182

  3. Designing Performance Measurement For Supply Chain's Actors And Regulator Using Scale Balanced Scorecard And Data Envelopment Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusrini, Elisa; Subagyo; Aini Masruroh, Nur

    2016-01-01

    This research is a sequel of the author's earlier conducted researches in the fields of designing of integrated performance measurement between supply chain's actors and regulator. In the previous paper, the design of performance measurement is done by combining Balanced Scorecard - Supply Chain Operation Reference - Regulator Contribution model and Data Envelopment Analysis. This model referred as B-S-Rc-DEA model. The combination has the disadvantage that all the performance variables have the same weight. This paper investigates whether by giving weight to performance variables will produce more sensitive performance measurement in detecting performance improvement. Therefore, this paper discusses the development of the model B-S-Rc-DEA by giving weight to its performance'variables. This model referred as Scale B-S-Rc-DEA model. To illustrate the model of development, some samples from small medium enterprises of leather craft industry supply chain in province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia are used in this research. It is found that Scale B-S-Rc-DEA model is more sensitive to detecting performance improvement than B-S- Rc-DEA model.

  4. The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzini, Enrico C.

    2002-01-01

    This Annual Report covers the following main topics: 1) Updated Reference Mission. The reference ProSEDS (Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System) mission is evaluated for an updated launch date in the Summer of 2002 and for the new 80-s current operating cycle. Simulations are run for nominal solar activity condition at the time of launch and for extreme conditions of dynamic forcing. Simulations include the dynamics of the system, the electrodynamics of the bare tether, the neutral atmosphere and the thermal response of the tether. 2) Evaluation of power delivered by the tether system. The power delivered by the tethered system during the battery charging mode is computed under the assumption of minimum solar activity for the new launch date. 3) Updated Deployment Control Profiles and Simulations. A number of new deployment profiles were derived based on the latest results of the deployment ground tests. The flight profile is then derived based on the friction characteristics obtained from the deployment tests of the F-1 tether. 4) Analysis/estimation of deployment flight data. A process was developed to estimate the deployment trajectory of the endmass with respect to the Delta and the final libration amplitude from the data of the deployer turn counters. This software was tested successfully during the ProSEDS mission simulation at MSFC (Marshall Space Flight Center) EDAC (Environments Data Analysis Center).

  5. Do Null Subjects (mis-)Trigger Pro-drop Grammars?

    PubMed

    Frazier, Lyn

    2015-12-01

    Native speakers of English regularly hear sentences without overt subjects. Nevertheless, they maintain a [−pro] grammar that requires sentences to have an overt subject. It is proposed that listeners of English recognize that speakers reduce predictable material and thus attribute null subjects to this process, rather than changing their grammars to a [−pro] setting. Mack et al. (J Memory Lang 67(1):211-223, 2012) showed that sentences with noise covering the subject are analyzed as having null subjects more often with a first person pronoun and with a present tense--properties correlated with more predictable referents--compared to a third person pronoun and past tense. However, those results might in principle have been due to reporting null subjects for verbs that often occur with null subjects. An experiment is reported here in which comparable results are found for sentences containing nonsense verbs. Participants preferred a null subject more often for first person present tense sentences than for third person past tense sentences. The results are as expected if participants are responding to predictability, the likelihood of reduction, rather than to lexical statistics. The results are argued to be important in removing a class of mis-triggering examples from the language acquisition problem. PMID:25086703

  6. Development of novel cyclic peptides as pro-apoptotic agents.

    PubMed

    Brindisi, Margherita; Maramai, Samuele; Brogi, Simone; Fanigliulo, Emanuela; Butini, Stefania; Guarino, Egeria; Casagni, Alice; Lamponi, Stefania; Bonechi, Claudia; Nathwani, Seema M; Finetti, Federica; Ragonese, Francesco; Arcidiacono, Paola; Campiglia, Pietro; Valenti, Salvatore; Novellino, Ettore; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Morbidelli, Lucia; Zisterer, Daniela M; Williams, Clive D; Donati, Alessandro; Baldari, Cosima; Campiani, Giuseppe; Ulivieri, Cristina; Gemma, Sandra

    2016-07-19

    Our recent finding that paclitaxel behaves as a peptidomimetic of the endogenous protein Nur77 inspired the design of two peptides (PEP1 and PEP2) reproducing the effects of paclitaxel on Bcl-2 and tubulin, proving the peptidomimetic nature of paclitaxel. Starting from these peptide-hits, we herein describe the synthesis and the biological investigation of linear and cyclic peptides structurally related to PEP2. While linear peptides (2a,b, 3a,b, 4, 6a-f) were found inactive in cell-based assays, biological analysis revealed a pro-apoptotic effect for most of the cyclic peptides (5a-g). Cellular permeability of 5a (and also of 2a,b) on HL60 cells was assessed through confocal microscopy analysis. Further cellular studies on a panel of leukemic cell lines (HL60, Jurkat, MEC, EBVB) and solid tumor cell lines (breast cancer MCF-7 cells, human melanoma A375 and 501Mel cells, and murine melanoma B16F1 cells) confirmed the pro-apoptotic effect of the cyclic peptides. Cell cycle analysis revealed that treatment with 5a, 5c, 5d or 5f resulted in an increase in the number of cells in the sub-G0/G1 peak. Direct interaction with tubulin (turbidimetric assay) and with microtubules (immunostaining experiments) was assessed in vitro for the most promising compounds. PMID:27150036

  7. idRHa+ProMod - Rail Hardening Control System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferro, L.

    2016-03-01

    idRHa+ProMod is the process control system developed by Primetals Technologies to foresee the thermo-mechanical evolution and micro-structural composition of rail steels subjected to slack quenching into idRHa+ Rail Hardening equipments in a simulation environment. This tool can be used both off-line or in-line, giving the user the chance to test and study the best cooling strategies or letting the automatic control system free to adjust the proper cooling recipe. Optimization criteria have been tailored in order to determine the best cooling conditions according to the metallurgical requirements imposed by the main rail standards and also taking into account the elastoplastic bending phenomena occurring during all stages of the head hardening process. The computational core of idRHa+ProMod is a thermal finite element procedure coupled with special algorithms developed to work out the main thermo-physical properties of steel, to predict the non-isothermal austenite decomposition into all the relevant phases and subsequently to evaluate the amount of latent heat of transformation released, the compound thermal expansion coefficient and the amount of plastic deformation in the material. Air mist and air blades boundary conditions have been carefully investigated by means of pilot plant tests aimed to study the jet impingement on rail surfaces and the cooling efficiency at all working conditions. Heat transfer coefficients have been further checked and adjusted directly on field during commissioning. idRHa+ is a trademark of Primetals Technologies Italy Srl

  8. PRoViScout: a planetary scouting rover demonstrator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paar, Gerhard; Woods, Mark; Gimkiewicz, Christiane; Labrosse, Frédéric; Medina, Alberto; Tyler, Laurence; Barnes, David P.; Fritz, Gerald; Kapellos, Konstantinos

    2012-01-01

    Mobile systems exploring Planetary surfaces in future will require more autonomy than today. The EU FP7-SPACE Project ProViScout (2010-2012) establishes the building blocks of such autonomous exploration systems in terms of robotics vision by a decision-based combination of navigation and scientific target selection, and integrates them into a framework ready for and exposed to field demonstration. The PRoViScout on-board system consists of mission management components such as an Executive, a Mars Mission On-Board Planner and Scheduler, a Science Assessment Module, and Navigation & Vision Processing modules. The platform hardware consists of the rover with the sensors and pointing devices. We report on the major building blocks and their functions & interfaces, emphasizing on the computer vision parts such as image acquisition (using a novel zoomed 3D-Time-of-Flight & RGB camera), mapping from 3D-TOF data, panoramic image & stereo reconstruction, hazard and slope maps, visual odometry and the recognition of potential scientifically interesting targets.

  9. Use of Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Measures at Group and Patient Levels: Experiences From the Generic Integrated PRO System, WestChronic

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Louise Pape; Biering, Karin; Johnsen, Soren Paaske; Riiskjær, Erik; Schougaard, Liv Marit

    2014-01-01

    Background Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures may be used at a group level for research and quality improvement and at the individual patient level to support clinical decision making and ensure efficient use of resources. The challenges involved in implementing PRO measures are mostly the same regardless of aims and diagnostic groups and include logistic feasibility, high response rates, robustness, and ability to adapt to the needs of patient groups and settings. If generic PRO systems can adapt to specific needs, advanced technology can be shared between medical specialties and for different aims. Objective We describe methodological, organizational, and practical experiences with a generic PRO system, WestChronic, which is in use among a range of diagnostic groups and for a range of purposes. Methods The WestChronic system supports PRO data collection, with integration of Web and paper PRO questionnaires (mixed-mode) and automated procedures that enable adherence to implementation-specific schedules for the collection of PRO. For analysis, we divided functionalities into four elements: basic PRO data collection and logistics, PRO-based clinical decision support, PRO-based automated decision algorithms, and other forms of communication. While the first element is ubiquitous, the others are optional and only applicable at a patient level. Methodological and organizational experiences were described according to each element. Results WestChronic has, to date, been implemented in 22 PRO projects within 18 diagnostic groups, including cardiology, neurology, rheumatology, nephrology, orthopedic surgery, gynecology, oncology, and psychiatry. The aims of the individual projects included epidemiological research, quality improvement, hospital evaluation, clinical decision support, efficient use of outpatient clinic resources, and screening for side effects and comorbidity. In total 30,174 patients have been included, and 59,232 PRO assessments have been collected

  10. 26 CFR 1.1059(e)-1 - Non-pro rata redemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 11 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 true Non-pro rata redemptions. 1.1059(e)-1 Section 1... (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES Special Rules § 1.1059(e)-1 Non-pro rata redemptions. (a) In general. Section 1059(d... 1059(e)(1). For example, if a redemption of stock is not pro rata as to all shareholders, any...

  11. N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) –based score can predict in-hospital mortality in patients with heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ya-Ting; Tseng, Yuan-Teng; Chu, Tung-Wei; Chen, John; Lai, Min-Yu; Tang, Woung-Ru; Shiao, Chih-Chung

    2016-01-01

    Serum N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) testing is recommended in the patients with heart failure (HF). We hypothesized that NT-pro-BNP, in combination with other clinical factors in terms of a novel NT-pro BNP-based score, may provide even better predictive power for in-hospital mortality among patients with HF. A retrospective study enrolled adult patients with hospitalization-requiring HF who fulfilled the predefined criteria during the period from January 2011 to December 2013. We proposed a novel scoring system consisting of several independent predictors including NT-pro-BNP for predicting in-hospital mortality, and then compared the prognosis-predictive power of the novel NT-pro BNP-based score with other prognosis-predictive scores. A total of 269 patients were enrolled in the current study. Factors such as “serum NT-pro-BNP level above 8100 mg/dl,” “age above 79 years,” “without taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blocker,” “without taking beta-blocker,” “without taking loop diuretics,” “with mechanical ventilator support,” “with non-invasive ventilator support,” “with vasopressors use,” and “experience of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation” were found as independent predictors. A novel NT-pro BNP-based score composed of these risk factors was proposed with excellent predictability for in-hospital mortality. The proposed novel NT-pro BNP-based score was extremely effective in predicting in-hospital mortality in HF patients. PMID:27411951

  12. N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) -based score can predict in-hospital mortality in patients with heart failure.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ya-Ting; Tseng, Yuan-Teng; Chu, Tung-Wei; Chen, John; Lai, Min-Yu; Tang, Woung-Ru; Shiao, Chih-Chung

    2016-01-01

    Serum N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) testing is recommended in the patients with heart failure (HF). We hypothesized that NT-pro-BNP, in combination with other clinical factors in terms of a novel NT-pro BNP-based score, may provide even better predictive power for in-hospital mortality among patients with HF. A retrospective study enrolled adult patients with hospitalization-requiring HF who fulfilled the predefined criteria during the period from January 2011 to December 2013. We proposed a novel scoring system consisting of several independent predictors including NT-pro-BNP for predicting in-hospital mortality, and then compared the prognosis-predictive power of the novel NT-pro BNP-based score with other prognosis-predictive scores. A total of 269 patients were enrolled in the current study. Factors such as "serum NT-pro-BNP level above 8100 mg/dl," "age above 79 years," "without taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blocker," "without taking beta-blocker," "without taking loop diuretics," "with mechanical ventilator support," "with non-invasive ventilator support," "with vasopressors use," and "experience of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation" were found as independent predictors. A novel NT-pro BNP-based score composed of these risk factors was proposed with excellent predictability for in-hospital mortality. The proposed novel NT-pro BNP-based score was extremely effective in predicting in-hospital mortality in HF patients. PMID:27411951

  13. Inhibitory Properties of Cysteine Protease Pro-Peptides from Barley Confer Resistance to Spider Mite Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Diaz-Mendoza, Mercedes; Martinez, Manuel; Diaz, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    C1A plant cysteine proteases are synthesized as pre-pro-enzymes that need to be processed to become active by the pro-peptide claves off from its cognate enzyme. These pro-sequences play multifunctional roles including the capacity to specifically inhibit their own as well as other C1A protease activities from diverse origin. In this study, it is analysed the potential role of C1A pro-regions from barley as regulators of cysteine proteases in target phytophagous arthropods (coleopteran and acari). The in vitro inhibitory action of these pro-sequences, purified as recombinant proteins, is demonstrated. Moreover, transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing different fragments of HvPap-1 barley gene containing the pro-peptide sequence were generated and the acaricide function was confirmed by bioassays conducted with the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. Feeding trials resulted in a significant reduction of leaf damage in the transgenic lines expressing the pro-peptide in comparison to non-transformed control and strongly correlated with an increase in mite mortality. Additionally, the analysis of the expression levels of a selection of potential mite targets (proteases and protease inhibitors) revealed a mite strategy to counteract the inhibitory activity produced by the C1A barley pro-prodomain. These findings demonstrate that pro-peptides can control mite pests and could be applied as defence proteins in biotechnological systems. PMID:26039069

  14. An in vitro comparison of torsional stress and cyclic fatigue resistance of ProFile GT and ProFile GT Series X rotary nickel-titanium files.

    PubMed

    Kramkowski, Thomas R; Bahcall, James

    2009-03-01

    The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the torsional stress and cyclic fatigue characteristics of ProFile GT (Dentsply Tulsa Dental, Tulsa, OK) and ProFile GT Series X (Dentsply Tulsa Dental). Files of 0.04 and 0.06 taper, 25 mm in length, and ISO sizes of 20 and 30 tips were compared (n = 25 per test group). Torque stress resistance was evaluated by measuring the torque in gram-centimeters (g-cm) and angle of deflection (degrees of rotation) required for instrument separation with use of a torsiometer instrument. Cyclic fatigue was determined by recording the time until breakage of a file rotating in a simulated canal with an applied 45 degrees or 60 degrees curve. The files were operated in a cyclic fatigue instrument that simulated clinical rotary file usage with a constant cyclical axial motion. There was no statistical difference (p > 0.05) when comparing the torque (g-cm) required to induce a torsional failure of ProFile GT and ProFile GT Series X files of identical file sizes. The angle of deflection (degrees of rotation) of ProFile GT was significantly greater (p < or = 0.001) before separation than ProFile GT Series X for all file sizes tested except 20/.04 (p > 0.05). There was no statistical difference (p > 0.05) in cyclic fatigue failure for ProFile GT and ProFile GT Series X in a canal with a curvature of 45 degrees . In the 60 degrees canal curvature, ProFile GT was found to be significantly more resistant (p = 0.005) to fracture because of cyclic fatigue than ProFile GT Series X for file size 30/.06 and significant (p < or = 0.001) for files sizes 20/.06 and 30/.04. There was no difference (p > 0.05) in cyclic fatigue resistance in the 60 degrees canal for ProFile GT and ProFile GT Series X for file size 20/.04. PMID:19249605

  15. Comparison of canal transportation in simulated curved canals prepared with ProTaper Universal and ProTaper Gold systems

    PubMed Central

    Muniz, Brenda Leite; Pires, Frederico; Belladonna, Felipe Gonçalves; Neves, Aline Almeida; Souza, Erick Miranda; De-Deus, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of ProTaper Gold (PTG, Dentsply Maillefer) in maintaining the original profile of root canal anatomy. For that, ProTaper Universal (PTU, Dentsply Maillefer) was used as reference techniques for comparison. Materials and Methods Twenty simulated curved canals manufactured in clear resin blocks were randomly assigned to 2 groups (n = 10) according to the system used for canal instrumentation: PTU and PTG groups, upto F2 files (25/0.08). Color stereomicroscopic images from each block were taken exactly at the same position before and after instrumentation. All image processing and data analysis were performed with an open source program (FIJI). Evaluation of canal transportation was obtained for two independent canal regions: straight and curved levels. Student's t test was used with a cut-off for significance set at α = 5%. Results Instrumentation systems significantly influenced canal transportation (p < 0.0001). A significant interaction between instrumentation system and root canal level (p < 0.0001) was found. PTU and PTG systems produced similar canal transportation at the straight part, while PTG system resulted in lower canal transportation than PTU system at the curved part. Canal transportation was higher at the curved canal portion (p < 0.0001). Conclusions PTG system produced overall less canal transportation in the curved portion when compared to PTU system. PMID:26877984

  16. Troponin: messenger or actor?

    PubMed

    Popp, Richard L

    2013-02-12

    Cardiac troponin (cTn) is a biomarker of myocardial damage. New generations of high-sensitivity assays find circulating cTn in virtually all subjects. Multiple studies in various populations and patient groups have found higher levels of cTn to be predictive of future heart failure. The author proposes that initial myocardial damage from various mechanisms may lead to anti-cTn antibodies that participate in ongoing myocardial damage that eventually results in heart failure. PMID:23391193

  17. FGFRL1 is a neglected putative actor of the FGF signalling pathway present in all major metazoan phyla

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Stephanie; Somorjai, Ildiko; Garcia-Fernandez, Jordi; Lamonerie, Thomas; Escriva, Hector

    2009-01-01

    Background Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF) and their receptors are well known for having major implications in cell signalling controlling embryonic development. Recently, a gene coding for a protein closely related to FGFRs (Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors) called FGFR5 or FGFR-like 1 (FGFRL1), has been described in vertebrates. An orthologous gene was also found in the cephalochordate amphioxus, but no orthologous genes were found by the authors in other non-vertebrate species, even if a FGFRL1 gene was identified in the sea urchin genome, as well as a closely related gene, named nou-darake, in the planarian Dugesia japonica. These intriguing data of a deuterostome-specific gene that might be implicated in FGF signalling prompted us to search for putative FGFRL1 orthologues in the completely sequenced genomes of metazoans. Results We found FGFRL1 genes in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis as well as in many bilaterian species. Our analysis also shows that FGFRL1 orthologous genes are linked in the genome with other members of the FGF signalling pathway from cnidarians to bilaterians (distance < 10 Mb). To better understand the implication of FGFRL1 genes in chordate embryonic development, we have analyzed expression patterns of the amphioxus and the mouse genes by whole mount in situ hybridization. We show that some homologous expression territories can be defined, and we propose that FGFRL1 and FGF8/17/18 were already co-expressed in the pharyngeal endoderm in the ancestor of chordates. Conclusion Our work sheds light on the existence of a putative FGF signalling pathway actor present in the ancestor of probably all metazoans, the function of which has received little attention until now. PMID:19740411

  18. Evidence for informing health policy development in Low-income Countries (LICs): perspectives of policy actors in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Nabyonga-Orem, Juliet; Mijumbi, Rhona

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although there is a general agreement on the benefits of evidence informed health policy development given resource constraints especially in Low-Income Countries (LICs), the definition of what evidence is, and what evidence is suitable to guide decision-making is still unclear. Our study is contributing to filling this knowledge gap. We aimed to explore health policy actors’ views regarding what evidence they deemed appropriate to guide health policy development. Methods: Using exploratory qualitative methods, we conducted interviews with 51 key informants using an in-depth interview guide. We interviewed a diverse group of stakeholders in health policy development and knowledge translation in the Uganda health sector. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis techniques. Results: Different stakeholders lay emphasis on different kinds of evidence. While donors preferred international evidence and Ministry of Health (MoH) officials looked to local evidence, district health managers preferred local evidence, evidence from routine monitoring and evaluation, and reports from service providers. Service providers on the other hand preferred local evidence and routine monitoring and evaluation reports whilst researchers preferred systematic reviews and clinical trials. Stakeholders preferred evidence covering several aspects impacting on decision-making highlighting the fact that although policy actors look for factual information, they also require evidence on context and implementation feasibility of a policy decision. Conclusion: What LICs like Uganda categorize as evidence suitable for informing policy encompasses several types with no consensus on what is deemed as most appropriate. Evidence must be of high quality, applicable, acceptable to the users, and informing different aspects of decision-making. PMID:25905479

  19. An Actor-Based Model of Social Network Influence on Adolescent Body Size, Screen Time, and Playing Sports

    PubMed Central

    Shoham, David A.; Tong, Liping; Lamberson, Peter J.; Auchincloss, Amy H.; Zhang, Jun; Dugas, Lara; Kaufman, Jay S.; Cooper, Richard S.; Luke, Amy

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that obesity may be “contagious” between individuals in social networks. Social contagion (influence), however, may not be identifiable using traditional statistical approaches because they cannot distinguish contagion from homophily (the propensity for individuals to select friends who are similar to themselves) or from shared environmental influences. In this paper, we apply the stochastic actor-based model (SABM) framework developed by Snijders and colleagues to data on adolescent body mass index (BMI), screen time, and playing active sports. Our primary hypothesis was that social influences on adolescent body size and related behaviors are independent of friend selection. Employing the SABM, we simultaneously modeled network dynamics (friendship selection based on homophily and structural characteristics of the network) and social influence. We focused on the 2 largest schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and held the school environment constant by examining the 2 school networks separately (N = 624 and 1151). Results show support in both schools for homophily on BMI, but also for social influence on BMI. There was no evidence of homophily on screen time in either school, while only one of the schools showed homophily on playing active sports. There was, however, evidence of social influence on screen time in one of the schools, and playing active sports in both schools. These results suggest that both homophily and social influence are important in understanding patterns of adolescent obesity. Intervention efforts should take into consideration peers’ influence on one another, rather than treating “high risk” adolescents in isolation. PMID:22768124

  20. Perceptual identification and acoustic measures of the resonant voice based on "Lessac's Y-Buzz"--a preliminary study with actors.

    PubMed

    Barrichelo, Viviane M O; Behlau, Mara

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to verify whether the resonant voice based on Lessac's Y-Buzz can be perceived by listeners as resonant and different from habitual voice and to compare them to determine whether this sound exploration improves the vocal production. Nine newly graduated actors, six men and three women without voice complaints, were the subjects. They received a session of Lessac's Y-Buzz training from the primary investigator. Before training, they were asked to sustain the vowel /i/ at comfortable frequency and habitual loudness. After training, they were requested to sustain the Y-Buzz they had learned at a comfortable frequency and habitual loudness. Three speech-language pathologists (SLP) trained in voice developed an auditory-perceptive analysis. The pre- and posttraining voice samples were randomly spliced together, edited, and presented in pairs to perceptual judges who were asked to identify the most resonant of the pair. The voice samples were also acoustically compared through the Hoarseness Diagram and acoustic measures using the VoxMetria Software (CTS, version 2.0s, Brazil). The Y-Buzz trials were identified as resonant voice in 74% of the comparisons. The acoustic measures showed a statistically significant decrease of irregularity (P = 0.002) and shimmer (P = 0.38). The Hoarseness Diagram demonstrated how the resonant voice moved toward the normality for irregularity and noise components. The results showed that the resonant voice based on the Y-Buzz can be identified as resonant and different from normal voicing in the same subject, and it apparently implies a better vocal production demonstrating a significant decrease of shimmer and irregularity through the Hoarseness Diagram evaluation. PMID:16458480

  1. Aggregating data for computational toxicology applications: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) System.

    PubMed

    Judson, Richard S; Martin, Matthew T; Egeghy, Peter; Gangwal, Sumit; Reif, David M; Kothiya, Parth; Wolf, Maritja; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas; Smith, Doris; Vail, James; Frame, Alicia; Mosher, Shad; Cohen Hubal, Elaine A; Richard, Ann M

    2012-01-01

    Computational toxicology combines data from high-throughput test methods, chemical structure analyses and other biological domains (e.g., genes, proteins, cells, tissues) with the goals of predicting and understanding the underlying mechanistic causes of chemical toxicity and for predicting toxicity of new chemicals and products. A key feature of such approaches is their reliance on knowledge extracted from large collections of data and data sets in computable formats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a large data resource called ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to support these data-intensive efforts. ACToR comprises four main repositories: core ACToR (chemical identifiers and structures, and summary data on hazard, exposure, use, and other domains), ToxRefDB (Toxicity Reference Database, a compilation of detailed in vivo toxicity data from guideline studies), ExpoCastDB (detailed human exposure data from observational studies of selected chemicals), and ToxCastDB (data from high-throughput screening programs, including links to underlying biological information related to genes and pathways). The EPA DSSTox (Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity) program provides expert-reviewed chemical structures and associated information for these and other high-interest public inventories. Overall, the ACToR system contains information on about 400,000 chemicals from 1100 different sources. The entire system is built using open source tools and is freely available to download. This review describes the organization of the data repository and provides selected examples of use cases. PMID:22408426

  2. Neuromuscular control of the point to point and oscillatory movements of a sagittal arm with the actor-critic reinforcement learning method.

    PubMed

    Golkhou, Vahid; Parnianpour, Mohamad; Lucas, Caro

    2005-04-01

    In this study, we have used a single link system with a pair of muscles that are excited with alpha and gamma signals to achieve both point to point and oscillatory movements with variable amplitude and frequency.The system is highly nonlinear in all its physical and physiological attributes. The major physiological characteristics of this system are simultaneous activation of a pair of nonlinear muscle-like-actuators for control purposes, existence of nonlinear spindle-like sensors and Golgi tendon organ-like sensor, actions of gravity and external loading. Transmission delays are included in the afferent and efferent neural paths to account for a more accurate representation of the reflex loops.A reinforcement learning method with an actor-critic (AC) architecture instead of middle and low level of central nervous system (CNS), is used to track a desired trajectory. The actor in this structure is a two layer feedforward neural network and the critic is a model of the cerebellum. The critic is trained by state-action-reward-state-action (SARSA) method. The critic will train the actor by supervisory learning based on the prior experiences. Simulation studies of oscillatory movements based on the proposed algorithm demonstrate excellent tracking capability and after 280 epochs the RMS error for position and velocity profiles were 0.02, 0.04 rad and rad/s, respectively. PMID:16154874

  3. The role of state and non-state actors in the policy process: the contribution of policy networks to the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tantivess, Sripen; Walt, Gill

    2008-09-01

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is difficult in poor settings. In 2001, the Thai government adopted the policy to scale-up its treatment initiative to meet the needs of all its people. Employing qualitative approaches, including in-depth interviews, document review and direct observation, this study examines the processes by which the universal ART policy developed between 2001 and 2007, with the focus on the connections between actors who shared common interests--so-called policy networks. Research findings illustrate the crucial contributions of non-state networks in the policy process. The supportive roles of public-civic networks could be observed at every policy stage, and at different levels of the health sector. Although this particular health policy may be unique in case and setting, it does suggest clearly that while the state dominated the policy process initially, non-state actors played extremely important roles. Their contribution was not simply at agenda-setting stages--for example by lobbying government--but in the actual development and implementation of health policy. Further it illustrates that these processes were dynamic, took place over long periods and were not limited to national borders, but extended beyond, to include global actors and processes. PMID:18658197

  4. Thermodynamic assessment of the Pr-O system

    SciTech Connect

    McMurray, Jake W.

    2015-12-24

    We found that the Calphad method was used to perform a thermodynamic assessment of the Pr–O system. Compound energy formalism representations were developed for the fluorite α-PrO 2–x and bixbyite σ-Pr 3 O 5 ± x solid solutions while the two-sublattice liquid model was used to describe the binary melt. The series of phases between Pr 2 O 3 and PrO 2 were taken to be stoichiometric. Moreover, the equilibrium oxygen pressure, phase equilibria, and enthalpy data were used to optimize the adjustable parameters of the models for a self-consistent representation of the thermodynamic behavior of the Pr–O system from 298 K to melting.

  5. Lumbar disk replacement with the ProDisc prosthesis.

    PubMed

    Mirovsky, Yigal; Shalmon, Ehud; Halpern, Zvi; Halperin, Nahum; Blankstein, Alexander; Peer, Amir

    2008-02-01

    Twenty-two ProDisc II prostheses (Spine Solutions, New York, New York) were implanted in 21 patients with degenerative disk disease at L5-S1 (19 disks) and L4-L5 (3 disks). After mean follow-up of 3.1 years (range, 17-49 months), pain intensity in all but 3 patients had improved from an average of 7.7 preoperatively to 4.6 postoperatively (P< .001) on a visual analog scale. Average Oswestry Disability Index score improved from 61 to 35 (P< .001). Radiographic reconstruction of the disk space height was achieved in all cases. Previous diskectomy at the implanted level and disk degeneration adjacent to previous fusion negatively influenced the results. PMID:19292209

  6. Pro-environmental behavior: rational choice meets moral motivation.

    PubMed

    Turaga, Rama Mohana R; Howarth, Richard B; Borsuk, Mark E

    2010-01-01

    The determinants of individual behaviors that provide shared environmental benefits are a longstanding theme in social science research. Alternative behavioral models yield markedly different predictions and policy recommendations. This paper reviews and compares the literatures from two disciplines that appear to be moving toward a degree of convergence. In social psychology, moral theories of pro-environmental behavior have focused on the influence of personal moral norms while recognizing that external factors, such as costs and incentives, ultimately limit the strength of the norm-behavior relationship. Rational choice models, such as the theory of planned behavior in social psychology and the theories of voluntary provision of public goods in economics, have sought to incorporate the effects of personal norms and to measure their importance in explaining behaviors, such as recycling and the demand for green products. This paper explores the relationship between these approaches and their implications for the theory and practice of ecological economics. PMID:20146771

  7. The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzini, Enrico C.; Cosmo, Mario L.; Estes, Robert D.; Sanmartin, Juan; Pelaez, Jesus; Ruiz, Manuel

    2003-01-01

    This Final Report covers the following main topics: 1) Brief Description of ProSEDS; 2) Mission Analysis; 3) Dynamics Reference Mission; 4) Dynamics Stability; 5) Deployment Control; 6) Updated System Performance; 7) Updated Mission Analysis; 8) Updated Dynamics Reference Mission; 9) Updated Deployment Control Profiles and Simulations; 10) Updated Reference Mission; 11) Evaluation of Power Delivered by the Tether; 12) Deployment Control Profile Ref. #78 and Simulations; 13) Kalman Filters for Mission Estimation; 14) Analysis/Estimation of Deployment Flight Data; 15) Comparison of ED Tethers and Electrical Thrusters; 16) Dynamics Analysis for Mission Starting at a Lower Altitude; 17) Deployment Performance at a Lower Altitude; 18) Satellite Orbit after a Tether Cut; 19) Deployment with Shorter Dyneema Tether Length; 20) Interactive Software for ED Tethers.

  8. Influence of pro-algesic foods on chronic pain conditions.

    PubMed

    Cairns, Brian Edwin

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines current knowledge about putative "pro-algesic" dietary components, and discusses whether limiting the intake of these substances can help improve chronic pain. Although there is a common impression that numerous food components, natural and synthetic, can cause or worsen pain symptoms, very few of these substances have been investigated. This article focuses on four substances, monosodium glutamate, aspartame, arachidonic acid, and caffeine, where research shows that overconsumption may induce or worsen pain. For each substance, the mechanism whereby it may act to induce pain is examined, and any clinical trials examining the effectiveness of reducing the intake of the substance discussed. While all four substances are associated with pain, decreased consumption of them does not consistently reduce pain. PMID:26900907

  9. Thermodynamic assessment of the Pr-O system

    DOE PAGESBeta

    McMurray, Jake W.

    2015-12-24

    We found that the Calphad method was used to perform a thermodynamic assessment of the Pr–O system. Compound energy formalism representations were developed for the fluorite α-PrO 2–x and bixbyite σ-Pr 3 O 5 ± x solid solutions while the two-sublattice liquid model was used to describe the binary melt. The series of phases between Pr 2 O 3 and PrO 2 were taken to be stoichiometric. Moreover, the equilibrium oxygen pressure, phase equilibria, and enthalpy data were used to optimize the adjustable parameters of the models for a self-consistent representation of the thermodynamic behavior of the Pr–O system frommore » 298 K to melting.« less

  10. Pro and antiinflammatory properties of toxins from animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Farsky, Sandra H P; Antunes, Edson; Mello, Suzana B V

    2005-06-01

    Accidents evoked by venomous animals are common in tropical regions. In Brazil, envenomation evoked by snakes, spiders and scorpions are an important public health problem. Their venoms are composed of a great number of toxins, which are capable of acting on tissue and plasma components with consequent toxic and pharmacological effects. On the other hand, the diversity of venom composition makes them important source of toxins that can be employed as scientific tools. Here we describe the mechanisms of anti and pro-inflammatory properties of toxins of Bothrops and Crotalus genus snakes and Loxosceles and Phoneutria genus spider venoms. The emphasis was to summarise, both in vivo and in vitro, studies that focused on the action of phospholipases, metalloproteinases and sphingomyelinase D on vascular and cellular aspects of the process as well as the complex network of chemical mediators involved. PMID:16101549

  11. Pro-oxidative, genotoxic and cytotoxic properties of uranyl ions.

    PubMed

    Garmash, S A; Smirnova, V S; Karp, O E; Usacheva, A M; Berezhnov, A V; Ivanov, V E; Chernikov, A V; Bruskov, V I; Gudkov, S V

    2014-01-01

    It is demonstrated that hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide are formed under the action of uranyl ions in aqueous solutions containing no reducing agents. In the presence of uranyl ions, formation of 8-oxoguanine in DNA and long-lived protein radicals are observed in vitro. It is shown that the pro-oxidant properties of uranyl at micromolar concentrations mostly result from the physico-chemical nature of the compound rather than its radioactive decay. Uranyl ions lead to damage in DNA and proteins causing death of HEp-2 cells by necrotic pathway. It is revealed that the uranyl ions enhance radiation-induced oxidative stress and significantly increase a death rate of mice exposed to sublethal doses of X-rays. PMID:23312590

  12. Molecular and Structural Insight into proNGF Engagement of p75NTR and Sortilin

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Dan; Kim, Taeho; Özkan, Engin; Light, Matthew; Torkin, Risa; Teng, Kenneth K.; Hempstead, Barbara L.; Garcia, K. Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Nerve growth factor is initially synthesized as a precursor, proNGF, which is cleaved to release its C-terminal mature form. Recent studies suggest that proNGF is not an inactive precursor, but acts as a signaling ligand distinct from its mature counterpart. Pro- and mature NGF initiate opposing biological responses by utilizing both distinct and shared receptor components. Here, we carry out a structural and biochemical characterization of proNGF interactions with p75NTR and sortilin. We have crystallized proNGF complexed to p75NTR, and present the structure at 3.75 Å resolution. The structure reveals a 2:2 symmetric binding mode, as compared to the asymmetric structure of a previously reported crystal structure of mature NGF complexed to p75NTR, and the 2:2 symmetric complex of Neurotrophin-3 and p75NTR. Here we discuss the possible origins and implications of the different stoichiometries. In the proNGF/p75NTR complex, the pro regions of proNGF are mostly disordered, and two hairpin loops (L2) at the top of NGF dimer have undergone conformational changes in comparison to mature neurotrophin structures, suggesting possible interactions with the pro-peptide. We further explore the binding characteristics of proNGF to sortilin using surface plasmon resonance and cell-based assays, and determine that calcium ions promote the formation of a stable ternary complex of proNGF/sortilin/p75NTR. These results, together with previous structural and mechanistic studies of neurotrophin-receptor interactions, suggest the potential for distinct signaling activities through p75NTR mediated by different neurotrophin-induced conformational changes. PMID:20036257

  13. Pro-adrenomedullin, pro-endothelin-1, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and mortality risk in critically ill children: a prospective study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction We tested the hypothesis that higher mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), carboxy-terminal pro-endothelin-1 (CT-proET-1), procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma concentrations would be associated with increased prediction of mortality risk scores. Methods Prospective observational study set in two pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Two-hundred-thirty-eight patients were included. MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, PCT and CRP levels were compared between children with PRISM III and PIM 2 > p75 (Group A; n = 33) and the rest (Group B; n = 205). Results Median (range) MR-proADM levels were 1.39 nmol/L (0.52–12.67) in group A versus 0.54 (0.15–3.85) in group B (P < 0.001). CT-proET-1 levels were 172 pmol/L (27–500) versus 58 (4–447) (P < 0.001). PCT levels were 7.77 ng/mL (0.34–552.00) versus 0.28 (0.02–107.00) (P < 0.001). CRP levels were 6.23 mg/dL (0.08-28.25) versus 1.30 mg/dL (0.00-42.09) (P = 0.210). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for the differentiation of group A and B was 0.87 (95% CI:0.81–0.821) for MR-proADM, 0.86 (95% CI:0.79–0.92) for CT-proET-1 and 0.84 (95% CI:0.74–0.94) for PCT. A MR-proADM > 0.79 nmol/L had 93% sensitivity and 76% specificity to differentiate groups, whereas a CT-proET-1 > 123 pmol/L had 77% sensitivity and 84% specificity, and a PCT concentration > 2.05 ng/mL had 80% sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions In critically ill children, high levels of MR-proADM, CT-proET-1 and PCT were associated with increased prediction of mortality risk scores. MR-proADM, CT-proET-1 and PCT concentrations higher than 0.80 nmol/L, 123 pmol/L and 2 ng/mL, respectively, could be used by clinicians to identify critically ill children at higher prediction of risk death scores. PMID:24131732

  14. Pro-Choice Versus Pro-Life: The Relationship Between State Abortion Policy and Child Well-Being in the United States.

    PubMed

    Medoff, Marshall

    2016-01-01

    In the United States, pro-choice supporters contend that the desire of pro-life supporters to protect the life of the fetus ends at birth and that thereafter they ignore the health and well-being of infants and children. This study examines the question of whether infants and children fare better in U.S. states that have the most restrictive abortion laws. Eighteen indicators of infant/child health, family, economic, and educational status are analyzed. The empirical evidence finds that states with the most antiabortion policies are also the same states that have significantly lower indicators of infant/child well-being. This supports the contention by pro-choice supporters that efforts by pro-life supporters to protect the life of the fetus end at birth. PMID:24245932

  15. Pro-apoptotic function of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein

    PubMed Central

    Ianari, Alessandra; Natale, Tiziana; Calo, Eliezer; Ferretti, Elisabetta; Alesse, Edoardo; Screpanti, Isabella; Haigis, Kevin; Gulino, Alberto; Lees, Jacqueline A.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY The retinoblastoma protein (pRB) tumor suppressor blocks cell proliferation by repressing the E2F transcription factors. This inhibition is relieved through mitogen-induced phosphorylation of pRB, triggering E2F release and activation of cell cycle genes. E2F1 can also activate pro-apoptotic genes in response to genotoxic or oncogenic stress. However, pRB’s role in this context has not been established. Here we show that DNA damage and E1A-induced oncogenic stress promotes formation of a pRB-E2F1 complex even in proliferating cells. Moreover, pRB is bound to pro-apoptotic promoters that are transcriptional active and pRB is required for maximal apoptotic response in vitro and in vivo. Together, these data reveal a direct role for pRB in the induction of apoptosis in response to genotoxic or oncogenic stress. SIGNIFICANCE pRB function is disrupted in many human tumors through either inactivation of the Rb gene or alterations in its upstream regulators. pRB’s tumor suppressive activity is at least partially dependent upon its ability to arrest cells through E2F inhibition. Our data now establish a second role for pRB as a stress-induced activator of apoptosis. Notably, pRB’s ability to promote either arrest versus apoptosis seems to be context dependent, with apoptosis being favored in proliferating cells. This finding has the potential to explain why cells are typically more resistant to apoptosis when in the arrested state. Most importantly, our observations suggest that Rb status will influence tumor response to chemotherapy by impairing both the arrest and apoptotic checkpoint responses. PMID:19249677

  16. The pro-apoptotic role of autophagy in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Suman, S; Das, T P; Reddy, R; Nyakeriga, A M; Luevano, J E; Konwar, D; Pahari, P; Damodaran, C

    2014-01-01

    Background: Autophagy is a catabolic process that has a vital role in cancer progression and treatment. Current chemotherapeutic agents, which target autophagy, result in growth inhibition in many cancer types. In this study, we examined the role of autophagy in breast cancer (BCa) patients as well as BCa cell lines. Methods: Tissue microarray was used to detect the expression of an autophagy marker, LC3B in BCa patients (normal/hyperplasia=8; grade-I=15, grade-II=84, and grade-III=27) and BCa cell lines. To modulate the activation of autophagy, we used novel herbal compound nimocinol acetate (NA) in BCa cell lines and the anticancer activity was measured by phenotypic and molecular analysis. Results: LC3B is highly expressed in tumours as compared with normal tissues. Activation of LC3B in NA-treated BCa (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) cells was evident as compared with other autophagy makers. Further, our results confirmed that NA-transcriptionally regulates LC3B (as confirmed by mRNA levels and reporter assay), which resulted in the formation of acidic autophagy vesicles and autolysosomes in BCa cells. Nimocinol acetate inhibited mTOR-mediated pro-survival signalling that resulted in inhibition of growth in BCa cells without affecting normal breast epithelial cells. Downregulation of LC3B expression by siRNA significantly inhibited the anticancer effects of NA in BCa cells. Conclusions: Together, our results suggest that LC3B is highly expressed in BCa tissues and increasing the threshold of LC3B activation dictates the pro-apoptotic function, which in turn, suppresses the growth of BCa cells. Nimocinol acetate could be a potential agent for treatment of BCa. PMID:24945999

  17. Galectin-8 elicits pro-inflammatory activities in the endothelium.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Valentina; Tribulatti, María Virginia; Carabelli, Julieta; Carestia, Agostina; Schattner, Mirta; Campetella, Oscar

    2014-10-01

    Galectins (Gals), a family of mammalian lectins, play diverse roles under physiological and pathological conditions. Here, we analyzed the tandem-repeat Gal-8 synthesis, secretion and effects on the endothelium physiology. Gal-8M and Gal-8L isoforms were secreted under basal conditions by human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1). However, expression and secretion of the Gal-8M isoform, but not Gal-8L, were increased in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulus and returned to control values after LPS removal. Similarly, cell surface Gal-8 exposure was increased after stimulation with LPS. To evaluate Gal-8 effects on the endothelium physiology, HMEC-1 cells were incubated in the presence of recombinant Gal-8M. Pretreated HMEC-1 cells became proadhesive to human normal platelets, indicating that Gal-8 actually activates endothelial cells. This effect was specific for lectin activity as it was prevented by the simultaneous addition of lactose, but not by sucrose. Endothelial cells also increased their exposition of von Willebrand factor after Gal-8 treatment, which constitutes another feature of cell activation that could be, in turn, responsible for the observed platelet adhesion. Several pro-inflammatory molecules were abundantly produced by Gal-8 stimulated endothelial cells: CXCL1 (GRO-α), GM-CSF, IL-6 and CCL5 (RANTES), and in a lower degree CCL2 (MCP-1), CXCL3 (GRO-γ) and CXCL8 (IL-8). In agreement, Gal-8M induced nuclear factor kappa B phosphorylation. Altogether, these results not only confirm the pro-inflammatory role we have already proposed for Gal-8 in other cellular systems but also suggest that this lectin is orchestrating the interaction between leukocytes, platelets and endothelial cells. PMID:24957054

  18. Serum Levels of Cardiac Markers NT-proANP and NT-proBNP in Brachycephalic bitches at Different Gestational Stages.

    PubMed

    Feliciano, Mar; Uscategui, R R; Maciel, G S; de Almeida, V T; Silveira, M F; de Oliveira, Gac; Vicente, Wrr

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine serum levels of natriuretic peptide precursors (NT-proANP and NT-proBNP) during pregnancy in brachycephalic bitches. Fifteen healthy multiparous bitches were selected for this prospective study. Serum levels of NT-proANP and NT-proBNP were measured during anoestrous and at 14, 35, 42, 49 and 56 days (2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th weeks) of pregnancy. Fourteen animals had normal gestations, and one bitch developed single foetus syndrome. The natriuretic peptide levels of this animal were not included in this study; however, it is important to report that its NT-proANP levels were four times greater than those of normal patients. There was no significant difference (p = 0.072) in NT-proBNP levels between anoestrous (0.20 ± 0.10 ng/ml) and the different pregnancy weeks (0.27 ± 0.12 ng/ml). There was a positive correlation (p < 0.0001) between NT-proANP and gestational age, and the levels of this marker increased significantly (p < 0.0001) during the 6th (0.26 ± 0.06 ng/ml), 7th (0.28 ± 0.04 ng/ml) and 8th weeks (0.29 ± 0.05 ng/ml) when compared to anoestrous (0.18 ± 0.02 ng/ml). NT-proANP serum levels are correlated with gestational development and may be indicative of cardiovascular adaptation in canine brachycephalic pregnancy. PMID:26991598

  19. CHI3L1 plays a role in cancer through enhanced production of pro-inflammatory/pro-tumorigenic and angiogenic factors.

    PubMed

    Libreros, Stephania; Garcia-Areas, Ramon; Iragavarapu-Charyulu, Vijaya

    2013-12-01

    Elevated serum levels of a glycoprotein known as chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1) have been correlated with poor prognosis and shorter survival of patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases. The biological and physiological functions of CHI3L1 in cancer have not yet been completely elucidated. In this review, we describe the role of CHI3L1 in inducing pro-inflammatory/pro-tumorigenic and angiogenic factors that could promote tumor growth and metastasis. PMID:24222276

  20. Antibacterial activity of cyclo(L-Pro-L-Tyr) and cyclo(D-Pro-L-Tyr) from Streptomyces sp. strain 22-4 against phytopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Wattana-Amorn, Pakorn; Charoenwongsa, Waranya; Williams, Christopher; Crump, Matthew P; Apichaisataienchote, Busaya

    2016-09-01

    Two bioactive cyclic dipeptides, cyclo(L-Pro-L-Tyr) and cyclo(D-Pro-L-Tyr), were isolated from the culture broth of Streptomyces sp. strain 22-4 and tested against three economically important plant pathogens, Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri, Ralstonia solanacearum and Clavibacter michiganensis. Both cyclic dipeptides were active against X. axonopodis pv. citri and R. Solanacearum with MIC of 31.25 μg/mL. No activity could be observed against C. michiganensis. PMID:26469746